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May 5, 2016 / 27 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Netanyahu’

Bibi Addressed Opening of Conference of Presidents’ 42nd Leadership Mission to Israel

Monday, February 15th, 2016

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations convened its 42nd consecutive annual Leadership Mission to Israel today with a delegation of more than 100 leaders from the Conference’s 53 member organizations, the largest group ever.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the group at an opening dinner and thanked the delegates for “taking the message of Israel far and wide,” referring to the recent visits to Turkey and Egypt by Conference members. He emphasized his commitment to the unity of the Jewish people saying, “All Jews must feel at home and welcome in Israel.”

Netanyahu identified two parallel contradictory trends worldwide: an ongoing multinational hostility toward Israel at the UN, ICC, and EU together with what he termed an “obsession” with Israel in international forums. While at the same time, countries like China, India, Russia and Japan are coming to Israel because of their concern with militant Islam and the terrorism it produces and to benefit from Israeli operational experience and intelligence in fighting terror as well as Israeli technologies, such as cyber security, improved water management and desalination, agriculture and biotechnology.

“We need these countries who are coming to us to change their votes in international forums,” stressing the need to press this point.

Netanyahu identified what he called “a triple standard that is applied to dictatorships, democracies, and the Israeli democracy.”

He also noted that during the last year he has sensed a greater understanding of Israel internationally, in part because terrorism has touched all four corners of the earth.

Netanyahu told the group that major Arab countries are changing their view of Israel. They don’t see Israel as their enemy, but as an ally against the radical Islam of Iran and Daesh. “Israel straddles meeting challenges and seizing opportunities,” he said.

This perception was shared by Conference of Presidents Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg and Executive Vice Chairman/CEO Malcolm Hoenlein who positively described their meetings with President Erdogan of Turkey and President Sissi of Egypt in recent days.

The delegation met earlier in the day with Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked, who explained the Transparency Bill currently making its way through the Knesset, saying that that “when foreign governments interfere out of the public eye, they undermine our sovereignty.” She also said that many of Israel’s critics are hypocrites because while they level accusations at Israel over alleged human rights violations, they say nothing about the bloodshed in Syria.

Major General (Ret.) Amos Yadlin also briefed the group on Israel’s current geopolitical situation. He highlighted the fact that “countries we studied as children don’t exist anymore, they have disintegrated.” Yadlin noted that five years into the “Arab Spring,” we expect to see more of the same in the coming five years as the “Middle East is in havoc and will continue to be so.”

On Iran, Yadlin said “the agreement is problematic, but not a holocaust.” He said there is no threat of a nuclear bomb in the near future, but in the long term, we understand that the Iranians will have a nuclear program. Furthermore, he said that unlike elsewhere in the world, ISIS is not the main threat to Israel, Iran and its proxies, particularly Hezbollah, are.

The proven and effective voice of organized American Jewry for six decades, the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations advances the interests of the American Jewish Community, promotes broad-based support for Israel, and addresses critical concerns facing Israel and world Jewry.

The delegation will be in Israel through Thursday, February 18 and will be meeting with high-level Israeli leaders, academics, diplomats and opinion makers across the political spectrum.

Jewish Press Staff

Netanyahu: ‘On Holocaust Remembrance Day World Remains Obsessed with Jews’

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

The following is the statement released by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

Dear Friends,

Preserving the memory of the Holocaust is more important today than ever for in this period of resurgent and sometimes violent anti-Semitism, it is commemorations like this that remind us all where the oldest and most enduring hatred can lead.

Unfortunately, in Europe and elsewhere, Jews are once again being targeted just for being Jews. Around the world, Jewish communities are increasingly living in fear. We see anti-Semitism directed against individual Jews, and we also see this hatred directed against the collective Jew, against the Jewish state. Israel is targeted with the same slurs and the same libels that were leveled against the Jewish people since time immemorial.

Islamic extremists incorporate the most outrageous anti-Semitism into their murderous doctrines. We see this in Gaza; we see it in Raqqa; we see it in Tehran. And it’s not just Islamic extremists in the Middle East and Europe. Even respected Western opinion leaders have become afflicted with hatred for the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

The obsession with the Jews – the fixation on the Jewish state – defies any other rational explanation. While across the region, Islamist militants brutalize entire populations, enslave and rape women, murder Christians and gays, the UN Human Rights Council repeatedly condemns Israel. More than North Korea. More than Iran. More than Syria. More than all of them put together. Some things just don’t change.

But one thing has changed. We have changed. The Jews have changed. We are no longer a stateless people endlessly searching for a safe haven. We are no longer a powerless people begging others to offer us protection.

Today we are an independent and sovereign people in our own homeland. Today we can speak out against the voices of hatred and those seeking our destruction. Today we can protect ourselves and defend our freedom. We have changed and we stand and speak out and we defend ourselves. But where is Europe? Where is the rest of civilization?

When a state like Iran and movements like Daesh and Hamas openly declare their goal of committing another Holocaust, we will not let it happen. But Europe and the rest of the world must stand up together with us. Not for our sake; for theirs.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

In Wake of Arab Terror Spree, UN Chief Castigates…Israel but Israel Responds

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Ban Ki-Moon had it right when he began his remarks to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, Jan. 26. In the first session of 2016, Ban said that this new year started the same way that 2015 ended, with “unacceptable violence.”

We’re with you there.

But despite emitting a one sentence acknowledgement of reality – “Stabbings, vehicle attacks, and shootings by Palestinians targeting Israeli civilians – all of which I condemn —  and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, have continued to claim lives,” Moon then proceeded to justify Palestinian Arab terrorism.

It’s the same old tired trope: the “Occupation” leads to “frustration,” the sense of “alienation and despair,” a “potent incubator of hate and extremism,” a “chipping away” at the “ability of Palestinian people to live in dignity.”

So what does Ban suggest to end the terrorism? He called for the “strengthen[ing] of Palestinian institutions, security and economic prospects,” [please note, the Palestinian Arabs are among the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid] hand over more control of Area C (the sector of the disputed territories where the greatest number of Jews live!) to the Palestinian Arabs; and a “freeze of Israel’s settlement enterprise.” Oh, and everyone should please fulfill their pledges to help rebuild Gaza and Palestinian Arab groups please stop fighting with each other and concentrate instead on Israel.

Just in case you might be wondering where Ban’s sympathies lie, he lays it out clearly. The building of homes for Jews anywhere in the disputed territories, he said, “are an affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community. They rightly raise fundamental questions about Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution.”

Got it.

Ban went so far as to suggest that Israelis should ignore the ruling by its own Supreme Court – not a hawkish institution by anyone’s (rational) imagination – that land south of Gush Etzion could be used by Jews.

That’s right, the Secretary General of the U.N. told a sovereign people to ignore the ruling of their own Supreme Court. That is unprecedented and unconscionable.

The whole issue is the creation of a Palestinian State. It is not a peace process, it is simply a Palestinian State creation process, and the security of Israel? Yes, of course, if that happens. But make no mistakes about what is the priority.

To be fair, the U.N. Secretary General also chided the Palestinian Arabs. There was one sentence, 21 paragraphs along, in which he “condemned the firing of rockets into Israel from Gaza.” But the remainder of his focus on Gaza was about reconciliation, about encouraging Arab factions in Gaza to work out issues amongst themselves. The better to eat you with, my dear. No, he actually didn’t say that. What he said was that will enable the Palestinian Arabs to work together in a more unified fashion in order to achieve a Palestinian State.

Finally, in paragraph 31, Ban slips in along with his beseeching of all parties to please, oh please quickly create a Palestinian State, a wag of a finger at the Palestinian Arabs. No, not for terrorist acts, but just to remind them that “incitement has no place,” and that “questioning the right of Israel to exist cannot be tolerated.”

In other words, all the evil terrorist acts of the Palestinian Arabs can be understood as the result of the occupation, but stop saying Israel has no right to exist and stop saying (at least in public) that killing Israelis is your right.

NETANYAHU RESPONDS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response was swift and unequivocal, rejecting Ban’s statement and its premise. Rather than seeking to justify the terrorism of the Palestinian Arabs, the U.N., including its titular head, must recognize that “Palestinian murderers do not want to build a state – they want to destroy a state and they say this openly. They want to murder Jews simply because they are Jews and they say this openly. They do not murder for peace and they do not murder for human rights.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Netanyahu Thanks Obama for Visit to Israeli Embassy ‘After so Many Years’

Monday, January 25th, 2016

At the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Jan. 24, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered several pointed remarks.

Netanyahu thanked U.S. President Barack Obama “for deciding to attend the International Holocaust Remembrance Day event at the Israeli embassy. The US President has not been at the Israeli embassy for many years.” The day of remembrance this year will be observed on Jan. 27.

Although Netanyahu claimed that Obama’s decision to attend the event was evidence of the strong relationship between the two countries, his verbiage suggested otherwise.

Netanyahu claimed the relationship between the two nations is “very strong and steadfast.”

He went on to stay that “what has collapsed is the talk about a collapse and what is becoming increasingly clear is that this special relationship finds expression in very many areas.”

One example of such expression being found is the package of security assistance for Israel from the U.S., the terms of which Netanyahu hopes will be finalized in the coming months.

Discussion about that package officially began in earnest between the two parties once the U.S.-led negotiations concluded over the Nuclear Iran Deal. The U.S. sought to assure Israel that it “has Israel’s back” despite the deal, by providing what it claims is adequate protection from Iran’s war-mongering.

The Israeli government initially refused to engage in discussions about the memorandum regarding U.S. military assistance to Israel, in order to make clear it was not acquiescing in the American rationale for the deal with Iran, which Netanyahu lobbied against relentlessly, claiming it would pose an existential risk to the Jewish State.

Once the deal releasing Iran from sanctions was concluded, the Israeli prime minister came back to the table for the military assistance package which is expected to exceed $3.1 billion per year, and may reach $5 billion per year. The new ten year deal follows an earlier one which is set to expire in 2017.

Netanyahu concluded his public statements before the cabinet meeting by mentioning talks he had at the World Economic Forum at Davos with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry. Following their talk, Biden “reaffirmed the unshakable U.S. commitment to Israel’s security.”

Netanyahu said, “Everyone understands that in the end, in the whirlpool in the Middle East, with the rise of radical Islamic forces, Israel is the U.S.’s strongest, and most loyal and stable, ally in the region. This also finds expression in the shared values and common interests that we are advancing.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

PM Netanyahu Speaks to the Foreign Press

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

PM Netanyahu spoke with the foreign media last week.

His opening jokes didn’t garner any laughs, but overall the speech was very interesting.

He’s clearly comfortable on the stage proudly talking about how Israel can help the rest of the world.

His Q&A afterwards is well worth listening to.

Video of the Day

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “We Will Not Allow Iran To Have Nuclear Weapons”

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – After the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated on Saturday that Iran has made all the necessary steps to fully implement the international nuclear agreement with the P5 +1 countries, both the US and EU removed previously imposed sanctions on Iran.

During a meeting with his cabinet earlier this morning, Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear that Israel would still continue to closely monitor Iran’s activities.

“Pursuant to the nuclear agreement with Iran, Israel will continue to monitor all international violations by Iran including the nuclear deal, the agreement on ballistic missiles and terrorism,” said Israel’s Prime Minister.

“Israel’s policy was and continues to remain exactly as it was, not to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” added Netanyahu.

The Israeli prime minister also spoke of the need for the international community to reenact sanctions against Iran in light of any action by Iran that violates the international agreement on its nuclear enrichment program.

“The international community must impose severe, hard sanctions for each violation,” stressed Israel’s Prime Minister. “If it had not been for our efforts to move ahead with the sanctions and to stop Iran’s nuclear program, then Iran would have already had nuclear weapons.”

A “snapback” provision in the Iran nuclear agreement allows for the P5+1 countries to automatically re-impose sanctions on Iran in response to any Iranian violation of the nuclear agreement. However, critics doubt the usefulness of such a provision, arguing that the “snapback” process is both convoluted and vague.

Netanyahu also addressed terror threats emanating from Iran’s continued aggression in the region.

“What is clear is that Iran will now have more means to turn to its terrorist activity and aggression in the region and the world, and Israel is prepared to handle any threat,” Netanyahu stated.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Netanyahu Finally Lends Support to Shaked’s Transparency Bill

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday endorsed for the first time Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s NGO transparency bill. Speaking at a reception for the foreign press, Netanyahu accused the bill’s opponents of hypocrisy. He cited a law that was passed in the US Congress in 2015, which directs foreign-funded NGOs appearing before Congress to disclose their source of funding in writing prior to the hearing. Netanyahu noted that while the Israeli bill only asks for disclosure if the foreign funding exceeds 50% of the NGO’s budget, the US version starts at one dollar.

“I fail to understand how more transparency is undemocratic,” Netanyahu said. “It’s the most elementary requirement in any democracy… Transparency is at the heart of democracy. When you hear of the illegitimate use of NGOs in Israel, transparency is the minimum we ask for. It’s highly justified, it’s common sense.”

On Sunday, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro met with Justice Minister Shaked to express the Administration’s concern about the transparency bill, suggesting it would have a chilling effect on NGOs. Shaked has received similar messages from the Ambassadors of Germany, the UK, France, the Netherlands, and the EU.

Jewish Press News Briefs

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