Visiting U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey said Thursday morning with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, “The greatest gift has been the friendship that we’ve managed to forge with the leaders in the IDF, and I know you’re proud of them but we are too. It’s our constitution, and you know that that’s what inspires us as I know service to your nation inspires you.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu told Dempsey, “You’ve been a wonderful friend and a grand champion of America and of America-Israel relations. We appreciate it. I want to take this opportunity to also express our respect and deep admiration for America’s fighting men and women.
“We know you’re extended around the world, including in our region. We know we have no better friends than the American people, the American governments, the American fighting men and women. You fight for America, but you also fight for freedom.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting with the usual warning that “Israel holds Hamas responsible for all firing from Gaza” but also jabbed the world for remaining silent.
The Prime Minister said:
I have not heard anyone in the international community condemn this firing; neither has the United Nations said a word. It will be interesting if this silence continues when we use our full strength to uphold our right to defend ourselves.
Let it be clear: The spreading hypocrisy in the world will not tie our hands and prevent us from protecting Israel’s citizens. Thus we have acted; thus we will act.
Turning to the BDS movement, Prime Minister Netanyahu noted, “We are in the midst of is establishing an offensive, first of all offensive, but also defensive, network in the face of attempts to boycott the State of Israel and harm the IDF’s right to defend the citizens of the country. As far as those pushing the boycotts are concerned, the settlements in Judea and Samaria are not the focus of the conflict, but our settling in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Be’er Sheva, Haifa and – of course – Jerusalem.
Netanyahu also had a message for the “peace process” promoters: While we call for a resumption of the diplomatic negotiations, the Palestinians are taking steps against us at the UN and at the international court in The Hague. They shun negotiations and at the same time are also pushing international sanctions and UN Security Council decisions against us because there are no negotiations. They ran from Barak, Sharon and Olmert, they ran from them all, and then they accuse us. Here as well their cynicism knows no bounds, and I regret that there are those who fall into this trap of organized hypocrisy.
Could he possibly be referring to President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry?
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Israelis Tuesday in an interview aired on Channel 2 television that the US-brokered deal with Tehran will “pave the way for Iran to atom bombs.”
Speaking at Home Front Command headquarters during the week-long “Turning Point” nationwide military defense drill, Netanyahu said challenges from the rising risks of imminent attacks are “piling up.”
The threat of rocket and missile fire has hung over Israel for decades. Most of the weapons have been supplied to the terror organizations by Iran, both north and south of the border.
“When speaking of the security of the citizens of Israel I rely first and foremost on us only. Proof of the wisdom of this is the agreement emerging between the world powers and Iran,” said the prime minister. He pointed out that the deal would inject billions of dollars into the Iranian economy, in addition to “paving the way for Iran to atom bombs.”
With the funds it receives, Iran “can continue to arm our enemies with high trajectory weapons and other arms, while also arming its own war and terror machine which is acting against us and the Middle East, and which is much more dangerous than the Da’esh (ISIS) terror machine, which is also dangerous,” Netanyahu said.
U.S. President Barack Obama is slated to present his case for the deal with Iran on Israel’s Channel 2 television later in the evening on Tuesday night.
De facto Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Israeli diplomats Thursday that her policy is to deliver a message to the world that “this land is ours” because God gave it to the Jews.
Hotovely official is Deputy Foreign Minister and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu officially has the title of Foreign Minister. In practice, he has placed his trust in her to deal with foreign diplomats.
An Orthodox woman and mother to a baby girl, Hotovely somewhat shocked several Israeli diplomats with a “Dvar Torah,” Hebrew for a short lesson from the Torah. She quoted in brief the Torah commentator Rashi, who cited the interpretation of the first word of the Torah:
Said Rabbi Isaac: It was not necessary to begin the Torah except from ‘This month is to you, (Exod. 12:2) which is the first commandment that the Israelites were commanded. Now for what reason did He commence with ‘In the beginning?’
Because of [the verse] ‘The strength of His works He related to His people, to give them the inheritance of the nations.’ (Psalms 111:6). For if the nations of the world should say to Israel, ‘You are robbers, for you conquered by force the lands of the seven nations [of Canaan],’ they will reply, ‘The entire earth belongs to the Holy One, blessed be He; He created it (this we learn from the story of the Creation) and gave it to whomever He deemed proper When He wished, He gave it to them, and when He wished, He took it away from them and gave it to us.’
Hotovely added, “We need to return to the basic truth of our rights to this country,” she said. “This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologize for that.”
Her comment that no apologizes are necessary is right out of election campaign of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) and its chairman Naftali Bennett.
Hotovely also quoted Rabbi Yehuda Ashkenazi:
If Jews will convince themselves when facing the world that they are right in their ways, they will get along fine.
Haaretz reported that one diplomat said, “This the first time we have been asked to deliver a Dvar Torah to explain Israel to the world.”
It’s about time.
Her speech to the diplomats represents a radical change – a real revolution – in the Israeli government.
Hotovely, a darling of the national religious movement, has shown herself to be a brilliant politician, and she has won the full trust of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, which is not easy.
One of the main reasons Netanyahu named her as Deputy Foreign Minister is because Hotovely never has lashed out at the Prime Minister like other Likud politicians.
She and Moshe Feiglin, whom Netanyahu maneuvered out of the Knesset, believe that the national religious movement is better off working through the Likud party instead of a smaller and ideologically defined faction, such as the old National Religious Party (Mafdal).
Hotovely has succeeded where Feiglin failed. He tried to go one-on-one against Netanyahu. Hotovely plays the game the way politicians are supposed to play it.
Even when the government carries out expulsions of Jews from the homes in Judea and Samaria, she politely disagrees but carries on with the attitude, “He is the Prime Minister, and I respect that,”
Netanyahu can trust Hotovely, who speaks excellent English, to represent the e the government, and she has stated that she will do so even if she personally disagrees.
Foreign media are aghast that Israel has a de facto Foreign Minister who is against the two-state illusion but Netanyahu has brilliantly made Silvan Shalom responsible for the non-existence “peace process” that Israel has to pretend is alive.
European rabbis honored the prime minister of France on Tuesday for his role in fighting anti-Semitism in the country.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls received the Lord Jakobovits Prize at the annual Conference of European Rabbis, held in Toulouse.
Both Chief Rabbis of Israel attended the gathering, as did others from nations across the European continent.
Conference organizers chose Toulouse as the venue for the gathering in order “to commemorate the attacks” where a rabbi and three Jewish children were murdered at a Jewish day school by a radical Islamist terrorist in 2012.
Valls was chosen to receive the award shortly after he announced a 600-million Euro nationwide drive to fight the rising incidence of anti-Semitic attacks in France.
Violent anti-Semitic attacks have skyrocketed by 40 percent worldwide during the past 18 months — but in France alone, 164 such incidents were recorded in 2014, in contrast to 141 in 2013.
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, said the decision to honor Valls was made after his “decisive” action to “protect the Jews of France from the mobs who were about to make a pogrom against our people and our synagogues.”
Goldschmidt told more than 200 rabbis at the annual event, “There are some voices asking if there is a future for the Jewish people in Europe.
“I say this question can only be answered by the European governments themselves – and if that answer is to be a positive answer, then they must follow the example of Prime Minister Valls.”
Shas has signed their coalition agreement with Netanyahu.
Shas chairman Aryeh Deri will become the new Minister of the Economy, replacing Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) who held that position in the previous coalition.
Despite the battle between Bayit Yehudi and Shas over the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Netanyahu has given that ministry exclusively to Shas.
The Conversion Authority will remain with the Prime Minister’s office, and not be returned to the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Shas will receive the Ministry for Development in the Negev and the Galilee, as well as a Deputy Finance Minister position.
To top it off, Shas will chair the Knesset’s Education Committee.
The Likud also announced their offer to Bayit Yehudi.
Bayit Yehudi would get the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of the Diaspora, the Ministry of Agriculture along with control of the Settlement Division, the Ministry of Culture and Sports, and a Deputy Defense Minister position.
In addition, Bennett was offered a seat in the Security Cabinet.
The Likud simultaneously threatened that if Bayit Yehudi rejected the offer, Netanyahu would form a government with Herzog’s Zionist Camp.
At this point, Kulanu, UTJ and Shas have signed. Yisrael Beytenu has said they won’t join, leaving Bayit Yehudi as the last party to decide. If Bayit Yehudi joins, Netanyahu has his 61 seat coalition just in time for his Wednesday deadline.
Police said Monday morning that anarchists incited protesters to violence in last night’s march in Tel Aviv against police brutality and racism, undermining the demonstrators’ objectives.
Protesters were armed with rocks and metal objects which they hurled at police officers, 56 of whom were injured lightly. Police arrested 43 demonstrators and hurled stun grenades in the middle of a crowd blocking a major artery at rush-hour in Tel Aviv.
Both a senior police official and “Elazar,” who made Aliyah from Ethiopia years before the massive airlift in Operation Shlomo, told Voice of Israel radio (Reshet Bet) that the protest turned violent partly because of anarchists, whom the interviewer later said could be “leftists or rightists,” although the term “right-wing anarchist” in Israel is almost contradictory.
Left-wing elements, many of them funded by American Jews and non-Jews, often have been accused of inciting Arabs and illegal African immigrants to violence.
The charge of “racism,” which undoubtedly is true but not always to the Nth degree as sometimes described, is a good way to rile up the riff-raff. That is exactly what happened last night.
Mahratta Baruch-Ron, the deputy mayor Tel Aviv and an Ethiopian, tried to calm down the protesters, but to no avail; the anarchists and trouble-makers took over.
Like last week’s protest in Jerusalem that turned violent when nearly 1,000 protesters surged towards to the official residence of the Prime Minister, last night’s demonstration lacked responsible leadership.
Police did not interfere Sunday night even when protesters blocked major arteries near Rabin Square in downtown Tel Aviv, and it appeared that some people in the crowd were itching for a fight by deciding to proceed towards the high-speed intra-city Ayalon Highway.
Yediot Acharonot, which never misses an opportunity to whitewash leftist criminals and find cause against Netanyahu, reported that “social activists” joined the protesters.
The protests were sparked by a video shown on Israeli television last week of two policemen assaulting, without any provocation, an Ethiopian soldier, who was clad with kippa. Discrimination against Ethiopians is widespread while the police show no discrimination when it comes to excessive violence.
The protesters have concentrated on racism, while political leaders, including Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali Bennett, have hitched a ride on the “race card” rather than pursuing the opportunity to demand massive reform in the police force.
The plagues of racism and violence against police, as well as police violence against civilians, elicited an immediate response from Prime Minister Netanyahu.
He is meeting Monday with Ethiopian community representatives, soldier Damas Pakada who was filmed being beaten by the policemen. Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, and representatives of the Public Security, Social Affairs and Social Services, Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, and Interior ministries.
They will make statements announcing funding for projects aimed at the Ethiopian community and will ignore police brutality.
The new protest movement is continuing Monday morning with a march in Jerusalem. Travelers are advised that major arteries, including Sderot Herzl, Rabin, Shazar, Ben Tzvi and Ruppin are closed as of 11 a.m.
The U.S. Embassy yesterday warned citizens that protests that are “intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence” and advised, “You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.”
Below, an Ethiopian protester tells Channel 2, in Hebrew, that outside inciters turned the peaceful march into a violent riot.