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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’

Ma’ale Adumim Annexation Vote Postponed in Security Cabinet

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

The Security Cabinet of Israel has delayed its vote on the possibility of annexing the Jerusalem suburb of Ma’ale Adumim until after a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump. Ma’ale Adumim is a 10-minute drive from Jerusalem.

If passed, the measure would extend Israeli sovereignty — and Israeli civil law over the city, located east of Jerusalem, in the first such move since 1967, when Israel restored the lost areas of its capital to the holy city of Jerusalem upon its victory in the Six Day War.

According to a report posted by the Hebrew-language Yediot Aharonot newspaper, sources say the prime minister may try to move up a scheduled meeting for late March to an earlier date, perhaps as early as next month.

PM Netanyahu and President Trump were scheduled to speak on the phone Sunday evening at 8:30 pm Israel time.

Hana Levi Julian

Diplomatic Corps Bracing for Onslaught After Paris Conference

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

by Andrew Friedman

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, current and former foreign ministry officials are all bracing for an onslaught after the Paris conference slated for Sunday (Jan. 15). The prime minister, deputy foreign minister and current and former ministry officials said this past Thursday that the so-called “peace” conference would do little but demonize Israel and push off the possibility of peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu said Israel would not consider itself bound by any decisions or statements to come out of the session.

Ahead of Paris, foreign policy officials and professionals said that Ministry officials and professionals have issued clear directives to Israeli embassies, Jewish organizations and other support groups abroad in order to weather the storm that is certain to result from the conference.

“We are working on two levels in parallel,” said Emmanuel Nachshon, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. “One is to try to reduce the level of representation of the different countries participating in this summit. The lower the level of participation, the fewer senior diplomats who attend, the more negligible the conference, its impact and importance will be.

“The second level is trying to reduce the harmful effects of the conference. We know it isn’t going to be pro-Israel and it isn’t going to promote peace. It’s not going to be friendly, but we are trying to make sure there in nothing too extreme in it,” Nachshon said.

To accomplish that goal, the Ministry has issued policy briefings to Israeli embassies and and consulates and instructed diplomats to encourage their counterparts in international capitals not to participate in the conference. The message is clear: Far from being a “peace” conference, Sunday’s event will go a long way towards complicating peace efforts because internationalizing the Israel-Palestinian conflict or demonizing Israel serves to further support Palestinian intransigence.

“The more Palestinians believe that the world works for them the less they will be willing to sit and negotiate with Israel, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “And if they don’t negotiate with Israel they will get nothing.”

Hotovely said she has held “essential conversations” with each ambassador to a country that is expected to attend the conference, and drafted a country-specific plan of attack, both ahead of the summit and after. Those plans take into account the domestic politics in each country and focus on crafting specific work plans for each individual country.

“Still, it isn’t easy,” she said. “Some countries really understand [that talking aggressively at Israel is] not effective, especially with a new U.S. president coming into office that doesn’t believe that settlements are the world’s biggest problem, who thinks that the whole dynamic is anti-Israel and, who doesn’t put any pressure on the Palestinians. So they understand that the rules of the game are about to change.”

Despite the efforts, however, ministry officials, Jewish organizations abroad and members of the diplomatic corps say they are preparing for the “worst-case scenario: A badly skewed declaration in Paris on Sunday, followed by another anti-Israel Security Council resolution later in the week – one that the United States could again refuse to veto, or perhaps even vote to ratify.

Asked how the ministry is preparing for that eventuality, Emmanuel Nachshon said that the diplomatic community is “working on a number of alternatives” but said that he was not at liberty to divulge details.

“As you can imagine, the issue is all very sensitive right now. We don’t want to go public with our plans until we know what situation we’re trying to address,” he said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Full Text: Reaction by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Secy Kerry’s Speech [video]

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU:

“Before why I explain why this speech was so disappointing to millions of Israelis, I want to say that Israel is deeply grateful to the United States of America, to successive American administrations, to the American Congress, to the American people. We’re grateful for the support Israel has received over many, many decades. Our alliance is based on shared values, shared interests, a sense of shared destiny and a partnership that has endured differences of opinions between our two governments over the best way to advance peace and stability in the Middle East. I have no doubt that our alliance will endure the profound disagreement we have had with the Obama Administration and will become even stronger in the future.

But now I want to express my deep disappointment with the speech today of John Kerry, a speech that was almost as unbalanced as the anti-Israel resolution passed at the UN last week in a speech ostensibly about peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Secretary Kerry paid lip service to the unremitting campaign of terrorism that has been waged by the Palestinians against the Jewish State for nearly a century.

What he did was spend most of his speech blaming Israel for the lack of peace by passionately condemning a policy of enabling Jews to live in their historic homeland and in their eternal capital, Jerusalem.

Hundreds of suicide bombers, thousands – tens of thousands of rockets – millions of Israelis and bomb shelters are not throwaway lines in a speech. They are the realities that the people of Israel had to endure because of mistaken policies; policies that at the time won the thunderous applause of the world.

I don’t seek applause. I seek the security and peace and prosperity and the future of the Jewish State. The Jewish people have sought their place under the sun for 3,000 years and we’re not about to be swayed by mistaken policies that have caused great, great damage.

Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders. Israel’s hand has been extended in peace to its neighbors from Day One, from its very first day. We pray for peace. We’ve worked for it every day since then, and thousands of Israeli families have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country and advance peace. My family has been one of them. There are many, many others.

No one wants peace more than the people of Israel. Israel remains committed to resolving the outstanding differences between us and the Palestinians through direct negotiations. This is how we made peace with Egypt. This is how we made peace with Jordan. It’s the only way we’ll make peace with the Palestinians.

That has always been Israel’s policy. That has always been America’s policy. Here’s what President Obama himself said at the UN in 2011. He said, “Peace is hard work. Peace will not come through statements, and resolutions at the United Nations; if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.”

That’s what President Obama said, and he was right. And until last week, this was repeated over and over again as American policy.

Secretary Kerry said that the United States cannot vote against its own policy – but that’s exactly what it did at the UN, and that’s why Israel opposed last week’s Security Council resolution: because it effectively called the Western Wall ‘occupied Palestinian territory.’

Because it encourages boycotts and sanctions against Israel. That’s what it effectively does. And because it reflects a radical shift in U.S. policy towards the Palestinians on final status issues – those issues that we always agreed, the U.S. and Israel – have to be negotiated directly, face to face, without preconditions.

That shift happened despite the Palestinians walking away from peace and from peace offers time and time again. Despite their refusal to even negotiate peace for the past eight years. And despite the Palestinian Authority inculcating a culture of hatred towards Israel in an entire generation of young Palestinians.

Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with the American Congress – Democrats and Republicans alike – to mitigate the damage that this resolution has done, and ultimately to repeal it.

Israel hopes that the outgoing Obama administration will prevent any more damage being done to Israel at the UN in its waning days.

I wish I could be comforted by the promise that the U.S. says we will not bring any more resolutions to the UN. That’s what they said about this previous resolution. We have it on absolute incontestable evidence that the United States organized, advanced and brought this resolution to the United Nations Security Council.

We will share that information with the incoming administration. Some of it is sensitive. It’s all true. You saw some of it in the protocol released in an Egyptian paper. There’s plenty more; it’s the tip of the iceberg.

So they say, ‘but we didn’t bring it’ and they could take John Kerry’s speech with the six points. It could be raised in the French international conference two days from now, and then brought to the UN. So France will bring it. Or, Sweden – not a noted friend of Israel – could bring it.

And the United States could say, ‘Well, we can’t vote against our own policy, we’ve just enunciated it.’

I think the United States, if it’s true to its word, or at least, if it’s now true to its word, should now come out and say, we will not allow any resolutions any more resolutions in the Security Council on Israel. Period. Not ‘we will bring’ or ‘not bring’ — ‘We will not allow any’ and stop this game of charades.

I think that the decisions that are vital to Israel’s interests and the future of its children, they won’t be made through speeches in Washington or votes in the United Nations, or conferences in Paris. They’ll be made by the government of Israel around the negotiating table, making them on behalf of the one and only Jewish state, a sovereign nation that is the master of its own fate.

And one final thought.

I personally know the pain, the loss and the suffering of war. That’s why I’m so committed to peace. Because for anyone who’s experienced it as I have, war and terror are horrible.

I want young Palestinian children to be educated like our children – for peace. But they’re not educated for peace.

The Palestinian Authority educates them to lionize terrorists, and to murder Israelis.

My vision is that Israelis and Palestinians both have a future of mutual recognition, of dignity, of mutual respect: co-existence.

But the Palestinian Authority tells them that they will never accept and SHOULD never accept the existence of the Jewish State.

So I ask you: how can you make peace with someone who rejects your very existence?

See, this conflict is not about houses or communities in the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, the Gaza district or anywhere else.

This conflict is, and has always been about Israel’s very right to exist. That’s why my hundreds of calls to sit with President Abbas for peace talks have gone unanswered.

That’s why my invitation for him to come to the Knesset was never answered.

That’s why the Palestinian government continues to pay anyone who murders Israelis a monthly salary.

The persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize a Jewish State remains the core of the conflict – and its removal is the key to peace.

Palestinian rejection of Israel and support for terror are what the nations of the world should focus on if they truly want to advance peace and I can only express my regret and say that it’s a shame that Secretary Kerry does not see this simple truth.

Thank you.”

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Says Israel Will Accept Wounded Syrians From Aleppo

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is willing to accept wounded Syrian civilians who are casualties from the horrific clashes in Aleppo.

The prime minister tweeted a series of statements on his Twitter account late Tuesday night in response to questions during a gaggle in Jerusalem at the annual winter holiday toast for the foreign media corps.

“I’ve asked the Foreign Ministry to expand our medical assistance to civilian casualties of the Syrian tragedy, specifically in Aleppo,” Netanyahu said. “We’re prepared to take in wounded women and children, and also non-combatant men.

“We’d like to bring them to Israel, to our hospitals, as we’ve treated thousands of Syrian civilians. We’re looking for ways to do this,” he added.

Israel opened a field hospital in the Golan Heights to provide medical treatment to wounded Syrians several years after the start of the Syrian civil war, which began in March 2011, as the so-called Arab Spring swept across the Middle East.

Some of the more seriously wounded Syrians — including children — who cannot be treated within the confines of that environment are transferred to hospitals within Israel until their health improves.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Reminds Amona in Letter: Israel is a Nation That Lives by the Rule of Law

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the residents of Amona and protesters who are gathering to stand with them in solidarity against eviction from their homes, to avoid violence, in an open letter posted Friday.

The prime minister also reminded the residents in the letter that he had ordered the government this past week to speed up demolition of illegal construction in the Arab sector. In addition, he urged parents not to allow their children and teens to be present at what promises at the very least to be a painful and chaotic protest.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu / screen capture

“Dear Residents of Amona,

“My heart is with you.

“We are living in a difficult time – for you, your families and for the entire people of Israel.

“The government is committed to the settlements of Judea and Samaria. We are more committed to this than any other government in the history of the State. As such, the minister’s of the government are making every possible effort – every effort – to find a solution that would allow the settlers to remain in place.

“We have dedicated days and nights to this – dozens of discussions – we have come up creative solutions, but sadly, these suggestions have not been accepted.

“One thing must be made clear. The State of Israel is a state that abides by the rule of law. The Court’s ruling binds us all, including those of us in the Israeli government.

“However, the law must also be equal. The same law that necessitates the evacuation of Amona also necessitates the evacuation of illegal building in other areas of our country.

“For this reason I ordered the demolition of illegal building in the Negev, Wadi Ara, the Galilee, the Central region – all over the country, which we will do in the coming days.

“I will not tolerate discrimination in the enforcement of building regulations between Israeli Jewish citizens and Israeli Arab citizens, between one person and the next.

“I will fight so that Israel will have one law for everyone, and one path to enforce it for everyone; something that has not been the case for several decades.

“I also turn to the beloved parents in Amona: Your protest is understandable, but it is no place for the presence of young boys and girls, nor for teenagers.

“I call on all leaders to show national responsibility during this time. The unity of Israel is one of our highest principles and it is the source of our strength. We are one people. We are brothers.”

Hana Levi Julian

Joint Azeri-Israeli Presidential Fund Supports Local Jewish Education

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s first stop on his eastern European tour on Tuesday was one he has spoken about and looked for to for some time: a meeting in Baku with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan at the Zagulba Palace.

On the agenda were signatures on agreements for trade and agriculture, taxes, economics issues, health, science and technology, with Environmental Protection Minister Zev Elkin signing on behalf of Israel. But it’s clear there was much more to this meeting.

The Azeri president said in his welcoming remarks that he believed Netanyahu’s visit would definitely strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations, and that he was looking forward to developing cooperation with Israel in tourism and education.

But in particular, Aliyev pointed out there are seven synagogues in Azerbaijan – five of them in Baku – and spoke with great pride about his country’s Jewish community as well as about those who had moved to Israel, and still maintained ties with family in Azerbaijan. He emphasized how glad he was that Netanyahu would have time to visit the Chabad Or Avner Jewish Education Center in Baku during his visit.

For his part, Netanyahu commented that the warm relationship between their two countries is especially unique in that “Israel is a Jewish state, and Azerbaijan is a Muslim state… This is an example of Muslims and Jews working together to secure a better future for both.”

After their talks, Netanyahu and his wife Sara met with members of the Azerbaijan Jewish community at the Or Avner Chabad Day School. They first met with pupils and sat with them for an open talk. Sara Netanyahu asked about their homes, Jewish customs at home and the study of Hebrew. The pupils also spoke about the weekly Torah portion. The prime minister and his wife told them that their son won the Bible Quiz and that the prime minister reads the weekly Torah portion with his son every Shabbat when the latter comes home from the IDF. Also discussed was Chanukah, the revolt of the Maccabees and their victory over the Greeks. Netanyahu told them that the Greeks are now friends of Israel.

The children said they pray every morning, go to the synagogue, eat kosher food, study at a Jewish school and keep Shabbat and the holidays. Sara Netanyahu congratulated the pupils and said, “We wish that you come to Israel both to visit and to live. We are waiting for you.” At the event with the Jewish community, schoolchildren sang Hebrew songs and waved Israeli and Azerbaijani flags.

The Israeli prime minister then told members of the Jewish community that he and his wife were pleased to be there, for two reasons: “One, we love Azerbaijan and two, we love Chabad. Relations with Azerbaijan are very close. They will be even better after this visit.

“I would like to say something about Chabad. Thirty-two years ago I met the Lubavitcher Rebbe for the first time and he told me, I had gone to the United Nations to be Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, and he told me: ‘You are going’, how he called it, ‘to the house of eternal darkness.’ As you know, he did not have a high opinion of the UN and in any case he told me: ‘You are going to the house of darkness and remember that if you light one candle of truth, it will shine a precious light that will be seen from far away.’

“Ever since, I have tried to do just as the Rebbe said,” Netanyahu said. “But I must say that there are also different situations. Sometimes one lights a candle in a place that has light and not darkness and this is the situation here in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Rebbe taught us love of Israel and of humanity and here there is love of Israel and of humanity.

“President Heydar Aliyev and his son, President Ilham Aliyev, established and are maintaining a fund that helps, as you said Mr. Minister, Jewish education here in an Islamic country. And in contrast to what then-MK Rivlin said, we are also contributing to it, the State of Israel is also helping it.

“And how could one not be moved by the splendid boys and girls that can be seen here? But I am very moved by something else, these two flags, the Star of David and the half-crescent. Look at these two flags, this is what we want to show the world – this is what can be and what needs to be.

“It is the exact opposite, but the exact opposite of the darkness; this light, this is the light that dispels the darkness. And this is the spirit that guides us in Israel, in Azerbaijan, in Chabad and – with divine help – in many other places around the world. Therefore, I am very, very pleased to be with you. Thank you, thank you from the heart.”

Hana Levi Julian

‘Mighty’ Adir F-35 Stealth Fighter Jets Arrive Home at Nevatim Air Base

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Israel’s two new ‘Adir’ F-35 stealth fighter jets landed in Israel on Monday evening, with great pomp and circumstance at Nevatim Air Base in the Negev. They were received with great ceremony by Israel’s leadership, including President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, Israel Air Force Commander Amir Eshel and top IAF officials.

“The Adir aircraft redefines Israel’s abilities of deterrence. It re-defines the IDF’s long arm. It redefines the realm of our ability to operate,” noted President Rivlin.

“Anyone who thinks to destroy us puts himself in danger of extinction,” the prime minister said during the welcoming ceremony for the “Mighty” Adir aircraft.

“Today, our military strength is bolstered with this significant addition. The Adir pilots and the Adir aircraft will be capable of operating in every arena – whether it be from close or from afar. I also want to say this very clearly: Anyone who thinks of attacking us will be attacked. Anyone who thinks to destroy us places themselves in existential danger. This is a prerequisite for ensuring our future.

An American pilot brought the first Adir F-35 stealth fighter jet home to Israel.

An American pilot brought the first Adir F-35 stealth fighter jet home to Israel.

“History teaches us a simple lesson: Weak nations do not survive. They invite themselves to attacks and are prone to collapse. The weak are trampled upon and the strong are respected. Only strength creates deterrence; only strength inspires respect; only strength produces alliances – and only strength brings peace. We will continue to bolster our security and build up our forces.”

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter also spoke at the ceremony, noting, “This is an historic day for Israel, the greatest friend of the United States, if only to follow the U.S. as the first to accept the F-35 aircraft.” He added that once all 50 of the stealth fighter jets have arrived in the Jewish State, the intensity of Israel’s Air Force will be “completely changed.”

A live broadcast heard between Israeli pilots accompanying the Adir was heard by those waiting on the ground: “We fighter pilots of the [Israel] Air Force are proud to escort the mighty aircraft to its arrival in the State of Israel.”

After the arrival of the two aircraft, the pilots were welcomed with the playing of the national anthems of the United States and the State of Israel, Hatikva.

Israel Air Force Commander Major General Amir Eshel also spoke. “Tonight begins a fascinating encounter between a man and the machine, between our excellent pilots and the maintenance teams, to the technological progress in the field of aviation,” he said. “This encounter is expected to bring new ideas and great abilities. The aircraft will become more and more blue and white, both operational and by its technological systems.

“Every Adir will be a powerful offensive machine, information and control center and will operate in the most advanced patterns in a completely different way from what is known.

“In 2017 the aircraft will be operational and we will operate it in a way that will exceed the expectations of its planners. The Adir will become an accelerator for the IAF in its whole. We intend to leverage the systematical abilities to new peaks, both in offense and defense. The aerial power will become more lethal, combined and relevant.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mighty-adir-f-35-stealth-fighter-jets-land-in-israel/2016/12/12/

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