web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’

IDF Chief of Staff Visits Auschwitz (Video)

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

The IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, the son of Holocaust survivors, is leading a delegation to a Holocaust memorial at the site of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.

Lt. Gen. Gantz left for Poland on Sunday, as Israel was preparing for the Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day commemorations which begin Sunday night.

Lt. Gen. Gantz was welcomed in a military ceremony upon his arrival in Poland. He will later meet with Poland’s defense minister and chief of staff.

He will place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw.

Back in 2008, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said “there is no more reliable and loyal adherent of your stance and aspiration for a better and a fairer world order in the European Union than Poland.”

And in 2011, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “the Jewish people are an indelible part of Polish history, and Poland is an indelible part of Jewish history … Our deep bilateral cooperation is based on common values and a shared history, as well as on the aspiration to a common future in which we want to achieve the same goals.”

In light of those warm endorsements, it’s probably a good idea for Israeli military chiefs to keep visiting Auschwitz regularly.



Turks Praise Israel’s Apology

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

It is unpleasant when two long-friendly countries behave like enemies. Many have been uneasy seeing Israel and Turkey growing distant, even if only in the political arena. Friendship, love, trust and affinity are most valued universally, so I would like my Israeli friends to know that we, the Turkish nation, cherish our friendship with the Israelis and thus appreciate the prime minister’s apology as a virtuous act, and we are excited to leave this regrettable incident behind and to be able to move forward.

Although as a general principle I am against any preconditions for peace and friendship—since true friendship is unconditional—this apology was still important for the Turkish people, we heard an affirmation that Israel cares about Turkey. And we see this move as a dignifying act, a gesture that will glorify Israel in the eyes of many.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did the right thing in the right manner and with the right words. We take this as a direct message to the Turkish nation rather than to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan alone.

However, there will be people who would take this as an opportunity to create ugly propaganda against Israel. I condemn the comments and news trying to devalue this virtuous act by Israel. Loveless people are free to issue their comments, however they only reflect their inner world by expressing their hostility and by looking at everything in a negative manner rather than thinking with wisdom and compassion. If we look at things through the prism of rage and allow ourselves to hold on to grudges, no one could ever be friendly with anyone else. What happened in the past stays in the past; if one does not evaluate things with this mentality, no country could ever be friends with any other.

So let us look at the future rather than getting hung up on the past, because we are both living in an unstable region and we need unity now more than ever. I believe Israel and Turkey’s alliance will definitely help to bring stability to the region because unity and unconditional friendship are a strong deterrent against terrorism and radicalism, and against all those who promote violence and hatred. Let this be a message to all the countries in the region that we are moving forward and we—as Turkey and Israel—will not let any provocation, propaganda or mischief destroy peace and friendship in the region.

On the other hand, I humbly ask from my fellow Turks to be kind and unconditionally compassionate, and to act with dignity, and disallow the negativity of those who seem to follow a policy of promoting tension. The friendship of Israel and Turkey is crucial, and we will spread this friendship to the whole region together. Therefore, let us see things positively and use this opportunity in the best way. Israel made a move that is precious to the Turkish people, and we surely hold it dear.

Additionally, preserving peace for a few days is very easy, but to preserve peace over a lifetime is very hard to do. To preserve peace until the very end, patience and persistence are needed. Upholding peace, brotherhood and love unconditionally may seem hard or progress slowly, but it never comes to a deadlock as long as we continue to make efforts persistently and determinedly.

On this occasion I also would like to share my Passover wishes with my Jewish friends around the world. In these day, we, along with our Jewish friends, remember the exodus of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) from the oppression of the Pharaoh, and their rescue and their amazing journey with God’s help. We pray for the blessings of God upon all His servants. May God bring the Days of Mashiach (Yemot HaMashiach) soon; the times that we can altogether make Korban (sacrifice) in peace and joy in the Holy Land.

“[God said:] And remember, We delivered you from the people of Pharaoh: They set you hard tasks and punishments, slaughtered your sons and let your women-folk live; therein was a tremendous trial from your Lord. And remember We divided the sea for you and saved you and drowned Pharaoh’s people within your very sight. And remember We appointed forty nights for Moses, and in his absence you took the calf (for worship), and you did grievous wrong. Even then We did forgive you; there was a chance for you to be grateful. And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion (Between right and wrong): There was a chance for you to be guided aright.” (Qur’an, 2:49-53)

Bibi Kissed the Ring, Erdoğan: Apology ‘Exactly the Way We Wanted’

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday addressed the agreement on the renewal of his country’s diplomatic relations with Israel, complete with reinstating each country’s ambassadors. Erdogan said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology was “the way we wanted it.”

The rapprochement between the two leaders had been organized by visiting U.S. President Barack Obama, minutes before he departed to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah.

Obama insisted that Netanyahu end the feud with Erdoğan, particularly in light of the deteriorating situation in Syria. Both countries stand to benefit from cooperation in the political, military and intelligence aspects of the Syrian civil war, a cooperation that had been severed following the Gaza flotilla affair.

The wording of Netanyahu’s apology was a tad elusive, and different from the original Turkish demand for an apology for the killing of its citizens. Instead, the wording the two sides finally agreed to include “an apology to the Turkish people for a mistake that could lead to loss of human life.”

The alteration was based on the Israeli investigation of the incident, which indicated a number of operational errors during the takeover of the Turkish boat Mavi Marmara.

During the conversation, Netanyahu clarified that the tragic consequences of the flotilla were not intentional. He expressed regret in the name of the State of Israel over the loss of human life. The two leaders also agreed that Israel will transfer reparations to a humanitarian fund established specifically for the families of the victims, instead of paying reparations directly to the families, as the Turks originally demanded.

Erdogan, who took back some of the things said against Zionism, agreed to stop the existing legal proceedings against IDF soldiers, including any proceedings which were to be opened in the future.

The Turkish prime minister rescinded his unequivocal demand to remove Israel’s blockade on Gaza. At the same time, Netanyahu noted during the conversation the easing of the closure which has already taken place. The two leaders agreed to continue working together to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Former (and future) Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who currently heads the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, criticized the apology, calling it “a serious error that affects the motivation of IDF soldiers.”

Except, that, considering the fact that IDF soldiers were lowered from a chopper onto the Mavi Marmara’s deck to be beaten mercilessly like Jewish pinatas, just knowing that stupid, callused decisions like that won’t be made again could go a long way to improve IDF morale.

Knowing that Ehud Barack, the architect of that victory, is no longer at the helm at the Defense Ministry, is also a big relief.

Indeed, the new Minister of Defense Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon was very much in favor of restoring relations with the Turks, even at the cost of his boss eating a few slices of humble pie.

Bennett on Obama’s speech: No Nation Is Occupier of its Homeland

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

President Barack Obama’s speech in front of (mostly leftist) students in the International Convention Center in Jerusalem, provoked reactions from across the political spectrum in Israel.

There was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who thanked the visiting president (Thank you, Sir, may I have another?) for his ” unconditional support for Israel,” adding that he, too, agrees with President that we should “promote peace that ensures the safety of all the citizens of Israel.” Netanyahu also agreed with Obama that “we have a great country.”

Minister of Economy and Trade Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home), sounded a great deal less enthusiastic about the president’s speech, when he told Maariv: “Obama’s statement certainly came out of concern for Israel and out of true friendship, but we’ve seen only this morning the results of our previous withdrawal (from Gaza) in Sderot (where a missile landed on the backyard of a local home), as well as in thousands of victims over the years. It’s time for new, creative concepts to resolve the conflict in the Middle East, including the idea that a nation isn’t the occupier of its own homeland.”

Jewish Home faction Chair MK Ayelet Shaked agreed that “Obama is a true friend of Israel, it can’t be denied. But at the end of the day only we will absorb the tragic and devastating consequences of establishing a Palestinian state.”

She argued that “this is why the people have chosen, just this week, a government whose platform does not support the two state solution, and the U.S. President, for whom democracy is a beacon, should respect that.”

The Judea and Samaria Council’s official response was: “President Obama’s speech was warm and embracing, but, at the same time, he tried to create the illusion of public support for moves that are dangerous to Israel. This is why, in our opinion, students from Ariel University had not been invited. Israelis have already experienced such illusions exploding in our faces, and will not support the dangers presented by Obama. The Israeli public expresses its views in democratic elections, not through inciting young people against their leadership.”

MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List) also disapproved of Obama’s remarks on the Jewish state. “It has been the position of the U.S. government in recent years, which we oppose.”

But Tibi was pleased with the second part of the speech, because of its “detailed references to Palestinian suffering and the occupation, as well as his understanding of the suffering of the families of Palestinian prisoners, and the talk about establishing a Palestinian state as an act of justice.”

Tibi said he enjoyed “the refreshing change in the applause of thousands of students in response to Obama’s poignant and brave words about ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state. Of course I was sorry that he did not see fit to refer to the inequality of Israeli Arab citizens, but, altogether, those words require genuine action so the Jerusalem speech won’t have the same fate as the Cairo speech.”

NY Times: Iron Dome Not Nearly as Effective as Claimed

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

The centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s attempt at resurrecting a modicum of friendship between his administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been that $300 million gift – America’s investment in the super smart anti-missile system, Iron Dome.

While the rockets were flying into Israel, we were told that, save for one time in which a Kiryat Malachi family was killed by a direct hit, the clever rockets, costing $35 to $50 thousand each (a Qassam rocket is estimated to costs about $800) took down around 90 percent of their incoming targets.

The way the Iron Dome works, we were told, is it analyzes the trajectory of the Arab missiles, picks out only those that appear to be headed at an Israeli civilian population, and takes them out. No muss, no fuss, it’s amazing what them science folks is coming up with these days.

Well, not so fast, Mrs. Lincoln, the show has a second act. For one thing, according to a NY Times story this morning (Weapons Experts Raise Doubts About Israel’s Antimissle System), the Israelis have lowered the success rate of the system to 84 percent, as opposed to 90 percent.

“No military system is 90 percent effective,” Philip E. Coyle III, who once ran the Pentagon’s weapons-testing program and recently left a White House security post (file under “disgruntled employee?”) told the Times.

Weapons expert Richard M. Lloyd told the Times his own analyses shows a success rate of only between 30 and 40 percent. “For the remaining targets, he judges that the interceptor was either badly aligned or too far away, at best leaving the rockets wounded or thrown off course…”

According to the critics, those explosions in the sky we’ve watched on You Tube, hailed as evidence of success, were, in most cases, just “interceptor warheads blowing up.”

A senior Israeli official denied that explanation, insisting that Iron Dome system was the best we have, and Israel’s Defense Ministry issued a statement deploring “baseless claims” that relied on “amateur YouTube videos.”

They said they were “more than content with the system’s impressive results.”

Sure, at $300 million and $50 thousand a pop, they’d better be.

The American Iron Dome backers told the Times it wasn’t so much that the Iron Dome was such a mega-futuristic technological success, but because the Dome’s targets are relatively slow, small and unsophisticated.

“They have no guidance system,” explained Riki Ellison, chairman of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, “They’re not as accurate as missiles, so Israel doesn’t have to hit them all.”

That’s a lackluster endorsement if I’ve ever read one.

Immediately after the last Gaza war, in November, 2012, I wrote that the Iron Dome system was morally despicable, because “we are in the business of containing the terrorists and absorbing their attacks. We are definitely not in the business of killing the terrorists and freeing both our own people and the civilians suffering under the terrorist yoke across the border.”

Earlier, in a piece titled “The Morally Reprehensible ‘Iron Dome’ – Hamas’s Best Friend,” I wrote: “Israel has invented a magnificent tool that allows those truly horrible people to continue firing lengthy cylinders full of explosives at civilian men, women and children, without having to confront too often the fact that those are horrible criminals who should be either dead or in prison. We call it the Iron Dome.”

I concluded: “To be perfectly frank, Israel would have been much better off if the Iron Dome had proven to be a flop, like the U.S. made Patriot system, which is notorious for causing as much damage as it attempts to prevent.”

Now you understand why the Israelis and the Americans will be denying the Times’ scathing report to anyone who would listen. Because if the emperor is in dire need of a wardrobe, and the miraculous Iron Dome is kind of average – we’ll have to do something about Hamas.

And who wants that?

Two Cities Rife with Tension, as Protesters Clash with Police

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Jerusalem and Ramallah have erected massive security presence ahead of Obama’s visit. At any given time there will be 5,000 Israeli police and security officers on the streets of Jerusalem, where many areas will be cordoned off and watched over by police helicopters escorting the presidential convoy.

According to the Palestinian security forces, some 3,000 Arab policemen will be deployed in Area A, which is under complete PA control, where protests have been on the rise in recent weeks.

Palestinian Authority police on Tuesday encountered dozens of anti-Obama protesters, Reuters reported. A very large number of officers and plainclothes policemen blocked the angry crowd from arriving at the offices of PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, in a large scale shoving match that did not result in serious injuries.

Palestinians are not expecting much from Obama’s visit, especially after U.S. officials have labored in recent weeks to lower expectations about the revival of peace talks with Israel.

“It’s a slap in the face. People are angry and disappointed that this far into his presidency, Obama has done nothing, and aid to Israel’s occupation continues to flow,” demonstrator Huwaida Arraf told Reuters.

You see? Everybody in the Middle East resents Obama, not just right-wing Jews.

During his three-day visit, the U.S. president will hold separate meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and President Abbas in Ramallah.

On Friday, Obama will visit Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, the birthplace of a major Christian figure of Jewish birth. Then the presidential convoy will ride across the Jordan River into the State of Jordan.

On Monday, in what could be coined road rage in effigy, a dozen Bethlehemites drove their cars over a banner with Obama’s face and painted a swastika on his forehead.

Shoulda’ done that last November…

According to Reuters, Palestinian singer Alaa Shaham and fellow artists recorded a satirical video clip in which Obama is shown waiting at an Israeli checkpoint and driving through a refugee camp in his shiny BMW.

I’ve searched for that supposed video, which, according to Reuters, since being uploaded to YouTube on Monday night has been viewed more than 10,000 times—didn’t find it. Would be very grateful if a reader posted a link in the comments section.

“We’re trying to send him a message. We welcome him, it’s an important visit of course. But US policy has frustrated Palestinians – it disregards their cause,” Shaham told Reuters.

Well, if you continue to post video messages no one can find – expect to be disregarded…

Israel to Ask Obama to Attack Syria if Hizbullah Gets Missiles

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Israel will ask President Barack Obama to bomb Syria or back an Israel strike on anti-aircraft missiles if Syrian President Bashar Assad again tries to ship them to Hizbullah in Lebanon, the London Guardian reported Sunday.

The chaos in Syria is bad timing or any attempts by President Obama to tour the “peace process.” which by all accounts outside wishful thinking Western diplomats is long dead and buried.

Israel, apparently following notification to the Obama administration, bombed a shipment of “gtame-changing” missiles earlier this year before they could cross the Syrian-Lebanese border.

The Soviet-made advanced missiles could cripple Israel’s ability to carry our surveillance flights over Lebanon to spot terrorist activity, Worse, the Israel Air Force would be  at a  serious disadvantage of Hizbullah were to start bombing northern Israel again, as it did in the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

Washington already has promised it would intervene militarily if Syrian President Bashar Assad were to unleash chemical weapons in his do-or-die-struggle to stay in power.

“These missiles are not just a problem for Israel,” a senior Israeli official told the London newspaper. “They include [anti-ship] missiles, and who has the biggest navy in the Mediterranean?” – a reference to the US. Israeli military

Israel does not expect a positive answer from Obama, who already is under pressure to stage pre-emptive strike on Iran’s unsupervised nuclear facilities before they will be able to produce a nuclear weapon.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would be happy to gain at least a public declaration of support for an Israel attack.

“What I hear over and over again from Israeli generals is that another war with Hezbollah is inevitable,” a western diplomat told the Guardian, Hizbullah has at least 60,000 short and medium-range missiles that can bomb Israel at least as far south as Tel Aviv. “It is easy to envisage peace breaking down along the border, almost by accident, along the lines of the First World War,” the diplomat said.

Netanyahu Tells Israeli President: ‘I Put Together a Government’

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, arrived on Saturday night at the presidential residence in Jerusalem, to officially inform President Shimon Peres and acting Knesset Speaker Benjamin Ben-Eliezer that he had succeeded in forming a government.

“As you know I was able to form a government,” Netanyahu to Peres at the beginning of their meeting. “You handed me this assignment and I carried it out.”

Netanyahu added: “We are facing a critical year in defense, economics and the peace efforts, and in the desire of the citizens of Israel to bring about change. There’s cooperation in this Government, and I believe that we can bring a new message in all the areas for all the citizens of Israel, this is my assignment and I know that this is your prayer as well.”

The president thanked the prime minister for his statement and said: “I witnessed the labor pains in the process of forming this government on time, and I congratulate you for succeeding to form the government in a timely fashion. The task of forming a government is complex and it required tremendous efforts and resourcefulness. I congratulate you and the new government and hope that you will get on your way.”

The president also noted: “As you mentioned, there are outstanding issues, but those are full of opportunities in the areas of defense, the social welfare and peace making – advancing the peace process. The country needs it and the people need it, the time has come.

“I give you my blessing, and we will gladly follow, after the establishment of the government, the issues you’ve mentioned. Yishar ko’ach, and my blessings are with you and the new government.”

The prime minister replied: “I thank you, and we would like to use your experience and your intelligence.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-tells-israeli-president-i-put-together-a-government/2013/03/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: