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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘PM’

Indian PM: Our Army as Brave as the IDF

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday praised his country’s Special Forces paratroopers, which crossed the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir in late September, carrying out “surgical strikes” against terrorist camps in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Modi said proudly that the Indian troops were as good as the IDF.

“Our army’s valour is being discussed across the country these days,” Modi told a rally at Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, according to The Telegraph. “We used to hear earlier that Israel has done this, now the nation has seen that the Indian army is no less than any other.”

Retired Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal, of the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA), told The Financial Express of India he believes the Indian Army is better than the IDF, because it has had to deal with a better organized enemy and tougher terrain. “In my opinion, what the Indian Army did was far better than an Israel Army operation. Across the LoC, what the Indian Army has to face the a regular, well-organized army of Pakistan. The situation is completely different from that of an Israel Army operation. Our Army had to find gaps in Pakistan’s Army’s forward positions to conduct those surgical strikes,” Kanwal told FE Online.

“Also, in India’s case the terrain involved was jungle-mountain. Israel mainly has conflicts with Palestine and with terrorists in Lebanese territory. So, to that extent it is a fight on plains,” he noted. “So yes, the Prime Minister was right in conceptually comparing the strikes of the two armies, in fact it is a good comparison. But, as I pointed out, given the extremely tough terrain and the Pakistan Army that had to be faced, I think it is remarkable that the Indian Army came back without any casualties. In that sense, our operation was actually better,” Kanwal concluded.

India and Israel have increased military and intelligence cooperation since the rise of Islamic terrorism in both countries. In December 2009, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi visited India and pledged to help India in fighting terrorism. In March 2011, PM Modi’s government announced plans to purchase $1 billion worth of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Spike anti-tank missiles, launchers, training simulators and peripheral equipment. In September 2015, the Indian government announced the purchase of 10 Heron TP drones from Israel Aerospace Industries. In October 2015, The Pioneer reported that India and Israel were planning to hold their first joint military exercise.

JNi.Media

Britain’s PM Theresa May Visits Israeli Embassy to Pay Respects

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May visited the Israeli Embassy in London on Wednesday to pay her respects and offer condolences on the passing of Israel’s ninth President, Shimon Peres, z’l, last week.

The prime minister signed the Embassy’s Book of Condolences during her visit.

“Honoured to welcome PM Theresa May @Number10gov to @IsraelinUK today to sign the Book of Condolences for our late President Shimon Peres” tweeted Ambassador Mark Regev.

England’s Prince Charles of Wales attended the funeral for the 93-year-old former president last Friday (Sept. 30) together with a delegation of top leaders from Great Britain who had known and spent many years exchanging views with the elder statesman.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu, Australian PM, Share Views on Innovation, Aussie Cavalry Charge

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in New York, and the Israeli PM’s office released the following exchange between them:

Netanyahu: “It’s always a pleasure to see you. You’re a great friend of Israel. Australia and Israel have a solid friendship and I’m looking forward to coming to visit Australia. And I’m looking forward to seeing you in Israel soon.”

Turnbull: “Very good. Well, Lucy [Turnbull] was there earlier this year. We’ve launched our first innovation center there with you. Really, the start-up nation has been great inspiration to our whole innovation agenda. So our innovation launch pad is there and we will see a lot more collaboration between Australian and Israeli innovators and financiers. It’s a very important step. As you know, that’s the way you have to stay ahead in the 21st century – you have to innovate, to take on the challenges of technology and bring the imagination to bear on technology. That’s how you secure prosperity.”

Netanyahu: “I agree. I think the future belongs to those who innovate. We both have innovative nations and we can do a lot more together than we can separately. And also, we owe you one for the Australian troops and the liberation of our country from the Ottoman Empire. That was a great event. I think it was the last cavalry rush in history.”

Turnbull: “The last cavalry charge – that’s right, in Be’er Sheba.”

Netanyahu: “You have to come and see it.

Turnbull: “I will. I’ll do that. I look forward to coming back.”

David Israel

BBC Amplifies UN Criticism of Israeli PM Without Providing Relevant Context

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

{Originally posted to the BBC Watch website}

In an article date stamped September 15th (but which actually appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page the following day) the BBC chose to amplify some specific passages from earlier remarks made by the UN Secretary General.  Readers of “UN’s Ban: Netanyahu ethnic cleansing remarks ‘outrageous’” were told that:

“UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has criticised Israel’s prime minister for saying Palestinians want the “ethnic cleansing” of Jews in the West Bank.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s use of the term in a video attacking opponents of Jewish settlement construction on occupied territory was “outrageous”, he said.”

While readers would not necessarily understand that the above (and later repeated) tendentious portrayal of the aim of Netanyahu’s video came from Ban himself, a more accurate description appears further down in the same article.

“Last Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a video in English on his Facebook page in which he criticised people who described settlements as an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians.”

Predictably, the article includes amplification of the BBC’s stock mantra on Israeli communities in Judea, Samaria and certain districts of Jerusalem.

“Mr Ban stressed that settlements were illegal under international law.” […]

“About 570,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Mr Netanyahu called the demand that they leave “outrageous”.” […]

[Quoting Ban] “”Let me be absolutely clear: settlements are illegal under international law. The occupation, stifling and oppressive, must end.”

Israel rejects the assertion that the settlements are illegal, and over the past two weeks has advanced plans for another 463 housing units at four locations.”

As ever, the BBC compromises its own impartiality by failing to inform its audiences of the existence of alternative opinions on that particular issue of ‘international law’. Neither are readers told that more than half of those touted “463 housing units” are accommodation for senior citizens and that they, like the rest, are located in regions which, under any reasonable scenario, would remain under Israeli control in the event of an agreement.

But the most remarkable feature of this BBC report is that while it provides amplification for censure from Ban Ki Moon and Mahmoud Abbas, it makes no effort whatsoever to inform audiences of the facts behind the statements which are the subject of that criticism.

In 2010 Mahmoud Abbas told journalists:

“We have frankly said, and always will say: If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won’t agree to the presence of one Israeli in it,”

He repeated that message in 2013:

“Abbas said that no Israeli settlers or border forces could remain in a future Palestinian state and that Palestinians deem illegal all Jewish settlement building within the land occupied in the 1967 Six Days War.”

And Abbas is of course not the only PA political personality to adopt such a position: here, for example, is the ‘moderate’ Sari Nusseibeh speaking to Al Jazeera in 2007.

“The Israelis now living in the territories of the future Palestinian state should return to living within the borders of the state of Israel. No Jew in the world, now or in the future, as a result of this document, will have the right to return, to live, or to demand to live in Hebron, in East Jerusalem, or anywhere in the Palestinian state.”

Moreover, in addition to demanding a Jew-free Palestinian state, Mahmoud Abbas and his colleagues consistently refuse to recognise Israel as the Jewish state – i.e. to declare an end to their claims regarding that country and the ‘return’ of Palestinian refugees to its territory.

Of course Israelis do not have to dig too deep in their collective memory to recall that prior evacuation of all the Jews from their homes in Hebron in 1929, in Jerusalem in 1948 or in the Gaza Strip and parts of northern Samaria in 2005 did nothing to remove ‘obstacles to peace’. As former Labour MK Einat Wilf noted:

“While the settlements are not (to say the least) the best vehicle to make the argument about ethnic cleansing in the Israeli – Arab conflict, it’s not a bad idea to remind the world that it is the Arab side that has pursued a consistent policy of ethnically cleansing the Jews from the region – whether from Arab countries (successfully) or during the Arab war of 1947-1949 designed to crush the nascent State of Israel (mercifully a failure to this day).

It has to be said again and again: Had the Arabs not violently rejected the UN Partition proposal and opened war against the nascent State of Israel there would have been no displacement of Arab Palestinians and no refugees. If anything, when the cease fire lines were set in 1949 all Jews were ethnically cleansed from the Arab side of those lines, whereas Arabs remained securely on the Israeli side of it, becoming Israel’s Arab citizens.”

The BBC, however, chose to amplify Ban Ki Moon’s remarks without providing audiences with the relevant context which would enable them to judge their accuracy and relevance. The result of course is that once again – and despite the corporation’s remit – audiences are deprived of the opportunity to see beyond the BBC’s favoured political narrative.

Related Articles:

BBC tells audiences location of centuries-old Jewish habitation is an ‘illegal settlement’

More BBC promotion of the ‘Peace Now’ narrative on construction

Why is the BBC’s failure to properly report the Jewish state issue important?

BBC News silent on Abbas’ rejection of Jewish state

Hadar Sela

Netanyahu, Luxembourg PM Bettel Meet In Jerusalem

Monday, September 12th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his Luxembourg counterpart Xavier Bettel toasted strong diplomatic ties between the two countries Monday and pledged to build on an already strong economic relationship.

“We are friends, Luxembourg and Israel, and our bilateral relations are excellent on the political level but also on the business level,” said Bettel. “We have a big economic delegation that is currently in discussions with its counterparts here in Israel.”

Bettel’s visit follows a 2015 trade mission from Luxembourg to Israel focusing on the finance, logistics, automotive components and clean technology sectors. This summer, a delegation of Israeli financial technology (fintech) companies reciprocated with a week-long visit to the European country.

“Trade between Luxembourg and Israel nearly doubled from 2014 to 2015. There is still a large potential but I’m also happy that we opened a Trade and Investment Office here in Israel in 2010,” Bettel added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the bilateral relationship between Israel and Luxembourg demonstrates a unique ability for small countries to assume leadership roles in the field of innovation.

“Israel and Luxembourg are two small countries but we’ve shown that two small countries shouldn’t be judged by our size,” said Netanyahu. “Innovation is the key to economic growth, to turn the promise of tomorrow’s technologies to better the lives of our peoples and I think for the peoples around the world,” the Israeli prime minister added.

Prime Minister Bettel said an additional focus of his visit to Israel is the field of education. He will visit the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to sign an agreement between universities to strengthen cooperation on the academic and student levels.

Jerusalem’s ties with Luxembourg have not always run smoothly. A significant portion of the European country’s population collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II, and did not offer an official apology until June 2015.

“I’m very happy that my Government, 70 years later, apologized to the Jewish community by saying that we were not all heroes in my country,” said Luxembourg’s Prime Minister. “It’s never too late to recognize mistakes, but the biggest mistake is not to recognize mistakes.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu acknowledged the apology, saying, “I expressed my appreciation for the forthright position that you took in Luxembourg regarding the events there during the Second World War. Your apology to the Jewish community was [also] deeply appreciated,” Netanyahu told Bettel.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Turkish PM Denies Russia Demanding to Use NATO Nuke Base

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Russia is not demanding to land its planes in the İncirlik air base in southern Turkey, as several Russian news services have claimed. “Russia had no demands to use İncirlik air base, those reports are not true,” Yildirim told foreign correspondents in Istanbul on Saturday, according to Hurriyet Daily News. However, the prime minister did agree that should Russia wish to use the base for its operations against ISIS, it would be welcome to do so. Still, Yildirim added, “Russia doesn’t need to use the base. They have bases in Syria.”

Yildirim’s statement concluded an anxiety-filled few days in which Russian news sources were announcing that Russia has been demanding that Turkey give its air force access to the NATO air base in İncirlik, which is where US and coalition air forces take off on their strikes in Syria. Located some 65 miles from the Syrian border, Incirlik is also where an estimated 50 US B-61 nuclear warheads (think 100 Hiroshimas times 50) are kept.

According to Izvestia, a Russian lawmaker named Igor Morozov said it was only a matter of time before Turkish president Erdogan hands over the NATO base at Incirlik to the Russians, to intensify the war against ISIS. “You’ll see, the next base will be İncirlik,” Morozov told Izvestia, shortly after the Kremlin had revealed that Russian bombers have been using an Iranian airbase for their attack on Syria. He predicted İncirlik would be “one more victory for Putin.”

Those statements came against the background of a report by EurActiv, a Belgian foundation focusing on European Union policies, that the US has begun to transfer its nuclear weapons stationed in Turkey to Romania, for fear of the worsening relations between Washington and Ankara.

EurActiv cites a Stimson issue paper from August 2016, suggesting that during the July failed coup in Turkey, the Incirlik base power was cut, and US planes were not allowed to fly in or out of the base. As the coup was being suppressed, the base commander was arrested. Another source told EurActiv that US-Turkey relations have so deteriorated after the coup that Washington no longer trusted Ankara with the nuclear weapons, and so the warheads are being moved to the Deveselu air base in Romania.

Foreign Policy on Friday debunked the story, quoting a tweet from nuclear weapons expert Jeffrey Lewis, the director of non-proliferation studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, that said Romania does not have the special WS3 vaults needed to store the weapons safely. Also, the Romanian Defense Ministry released a statement saying “so far there have not been any plans or discussions on this topic.”

Of course, this entire brouhaha is borne by Erdogan’s obsession with his former ally and current enemy Fetullah Gulen, whose extradition from the US the Turks have been demanding since the failing of the coup (which Gulen’s supporters may or may not been responsible for). As long as the US insists on following the rule of law on the Gulen extradition, the Turks will persist in these shenanigans, until someone gets seriously hurt.

So far, as that Moscow parliamentarian has put it so aptly, one more victory for Putin.

JNi.Media

PM Netanyahu Speaks with British PM Theresa May

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday afternoon spoke with British Prime Minister Theresa May, wishing her luck as she begins her term at the helm of the UK. Netanyahu and May discussed ways in which their two countries can maintain and increase cooperation in a wide variety of fields, as well as regional issues and the threat of global terrorism.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pm-netanyahu-speaks-with-british-pm-theresa-may/2016/08/03/

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