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May 30, 2016 / 22 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Prime Minister’

State Dept. Press Briefing Gets Close to Supporting UNSC 2-State Resolution [video]

Friday, April 15th, 2016

State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby’s daily press briefing on Thursday touched on the ominous possibility that the Obama Administration will wait until after the November election, so as not to steer Jewish votes away from the Democratic candidate, and then, in a final splash of power, just before going down from the world’s stage, blow up a landmine in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s face and support or fail to veto a UN Security Council resolution creating a Palestinian State and ordering the hasty removal of all Jewish presence on the “wrong” side of the 1967 border.

We redacted and edited the exchange to make it a tad more entertaining. But one can smell the danger hidden in the spokesman’s evasions. Barring divine intervention, the Obama gang is planning to install a Palestinian State and create facts on the ground so that the next Democrat in the White House will have to start from that point, rather than with today’s murky uncertainty.

We join the conversation that’s already in progress…

Reporter: On Security Council resolutions – will you consider either supporting or failing to veto a resolution on settlement activity in the West Bank?

Kirby: …We are very concerned about trends on the ground and we do have a sense of urgency about the two-state solution. We will consider all of our options for advancing our shared objective of lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but I’m not going to comment on a draft Security Council resolution. Okay?

Reporter: What does that mean, we do have a sense of urgency for a two-state solution?

Kirby: It means exactly what it says and what I’ve been saying from the podium here for months and months and months.

Reporter: So you see a sense of urgency to get to a two-state solution?

Kirby: Sure we do. We very much would like to see a two-state solution realized, yes.

Reporter: I don’t understand.

Kirby: I don’t know what’s not to understand about “we have a sense of urgency.”

Reporter: Well, because there’s only, like, eight months left of the Administration. … You had a sense of urgency back in 2009; you had a sense of urgency when Secretary Kerry took over in 2012.

Kirby: So as time gets shorter, we shouldn’t have a sense of urgency?

Reporter: But if you had a real sense of urgency, you would’ve done something already, right?

Kirby: We have consistently had a sense of urgency.

Reporter: Does that mean, when you say you have a sense or urgency about this, that you’re going to try to cram something in that results in a two-state solution by the end of this Administration?

Kirby: I’m not going to hypothesize on future actions, whatever we continue to do or continue to consider, I don’t know that I would say it’s about cramming. It is about trying to move forward in a productive way towards a two-state solution. And as I’ve said before, we also look to the sides to enact the right kind of leadership to get us there, because ultimately it has to be done by them.

Reporter: But you’re not automatically opposed to a UN Security Council resolution that would call for a two-state solution?

Kirby: We’re not going to comment on this informal draft resolution.

Reporter: I’m not asking you to comment on this informal one. I’m saying that if a resolution presented itself that was evenhanded, in your view – not one-sided or biased against Israel – that called for an end of settlements, called for an end of incitement, and also called for the creation of two states, would you automatically oppose?

Kirby: Well, without getting into those provisions that you listed out there and making a judgment about that, I’d go back to what I said before, and that’s we will consider all of our options for advancing a shared objective, a two-state solution.

Reporter: And that would include a resolution?

Kirby: We’ll consider all options to advance a two-state solution.

Reporter: When you spoke of urgency, did you mean that the urgency comes from the possibility that the two states [solution will go] beyond reach?

Kirby: A sense of urgency about the importance of getting to a two-state solution, which has been a consistent point that we’ve made.

Reporter: But there’s a difference between consistency and urgency.

Kirby: What’s the difference?

Reporter: Well, if it’s always urgent, then it’s never more urgent than before.

Kirby: Well, I don’t know that I’d agree with that. Sometimes something can be always urgent and consistently urgent —

Reporter: You sound like a Foreigner song. (Laughter.) … There’s a song called Urgent. Maybe you’re too young to remember —

Kirby: No, I remember that. (Laughter). I know – I remember the song. I didn’t like it.

For the record, here’s the refrain from Foreigner’s memorable ending to Urgent:

“It gets so urgent / So urgent / You know it’s urgent / I wanna tell you it’s the same for me / So oh oh urgent / Just you wait and see / How urgent our love can be / It’s urgent.

“You say it’s urgent / Make it fast, make it urgent / Do it quick, do it urgent / Gotta rush, make it urgent / Want it quick / Urgent, urgent, emergency / Urgent, urgent, emergency / Urgent, urgent, emergency / Urgent, urgent, emergency / So urgent, emergency / Emer… emer… emer… / It’s urgent.”

Reporter: There are those within the President’s party, certainly the former Secretary of State, that say that simply the venue itself is not the place to impose a solution from without. I just want to be clear that you think that, because you’re considering all of your options, you may consider the UN Security Council to be the venue to impose —

Kirby: I don’t – I’m not going to elaborate on my answer to you. I think I’d point you back to what I said before.

Reporter: Let me just follow up on this just for a second, okay? I mean, seeing how time after time you call on the Israelis to refrain from settlement activities, to cease settlement activities, you call them illegal and so on, but in fact they don’t really listen much to what you have to say. So in that case, in that situation, why not have a forum in the United Nations where the world can collectively come up with some sort of a resolution that they all agree on, which is the cessation of settlement activities? Why would you be opposed to that? Why can’t you say that you would support this at the United Nations?

Kirby: Again, I’m going to point you back to my original answer, which made it clear we’re not going to comment on a draft resolution that’s only been informally presented in New York, and that, as I said, we’ll consider all of our options to try to get to a two-state solution. So I think I’m just not going to go any further than that, Said. I know that’s not satisfying for you, but that’s really where we are right now.

(The conversation we refer to starts around min. 43:50)

JNi.Media

Former PM Ehud Olmert Enters Prison Today

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert entered prison at 10 am Monday morning to become the first Israeli head of state to serve a jail term.

He is to stay in a special wing at the Ma’asiyahu Prison in Ramle, with extra security to protect him at all times outside his cell.

Only specially screened inmates are allowed in his wing, and the wing itself has a separate area for eating, medical and other activities, apart from the majority of other inmates. These measures are not only designed to protect Olmert – they are also meant to ensure that no prisoner will be able to extract information from the former head of state.

Olmert’s sentence is set for a minimum of 18 months but could run as long as 27 months, depending on the outcome of current appeals.

Olmert released a video statement to the media earlier Monday professing his innocence. In his statement Olmert again denied his guilt after being convicted of bribery and graft.

“At this hour it is important for me to say once again that I am innocent of charges that I took bribes. None of the charges stemmed from the time during which I served as prime minister,” Olmert said in the clip.

On the one hand, he called the prison sentence “an unusual, serious event that shows the strength of Israeli democracy.”

But he said his particular case “snowballed for reasons that were not related to legal considerations,” as if to accuse the judicial system of being guilty of political corruption instead.

He did, however, grudgingly admit to “making mistakes,” albeit “not of a criminal nature.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli PM Netanyahu Heads to White House

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is preparing for his upcoming visit to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House next week.

On the laundry list for his visit is a request for a $50 b, 10-year military foreign aid package for Israel.

It has been a very long time since Netanyahu was welcomed by Obama to the White House — or invited for any reason, for that matter. White House officials have already told reporters they are receptive to the idea of increasing aid to Israel but are not specifying what or how much.

Also on the agenda are two other issues that have consistently remained areas of contention between the two leaders throughout their terms: Iran and “peace” with the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu has told his constituency that he will not limit building within Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria – a key demand by Obama. But quietly it appears the Israeli prime minister has done that very thing several times and may even be doing it again, perhaps at the request of the U.S. to jumpstart talks once more. Who knows?

Regardless, “Israel and America are fundamental and strategic allies that share the same interests and values,” maintained officials on both sides of the Atlantic on Thursday.

Israel receives the most defense aid from the United States than from any other nation at present. That is, when it is not engaged in a war for survival with Hamas in Gaza, when suddenly its combat supplies were frozen by Washington in summer 2014 during Operation Protection Edge as missiles rained down on Israeli civilians.

Hana Levi Julian

Security Presence to be Raised in Integrated Cities

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

The prime minister’s office announced in a statement Saturday night that the nation’s police force is beefing up its security presence in the country’s integrated towns, such as Ramle.

An additional contingent of three companies of Border Guard Police reservists was authorized for deployment in mixed Arab-Jewish cities where increased tensions have become obvious over the past 48 hours.

Dozens of Arab rioters hurled rocks at Israeli police officers in the integrated town of Ramle on Saturday afternoon. At least ten arrests were made, according to police.

Also on Saturday night, a Jerusalem bus driver was injured in a stone-throwing attack by Arabs hurling rocks as he drove his vehicle along Rehov Shmuel HaNavi. The route skirts along the area outside the Old City of Jerusalem adjacent to an area leading to an Arab neighborhood.

Hana Levi Julian

Rosh Hashana Message from Prime Minister Netanyahu [video]

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Give the video a moment to load:

Jewish Press News Briefs

Yitzchak Shamir

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Yitzchak Shamir, born October 22, 1915, died June 30 2012.

Shamir was Prime Minister of Israel from 1983 to 1984 and again from 1986 to 1992. He was a leader of the pre-State Lehi (Stern Gang) group. He also served in the Mossad fom 1955 to 1965.

From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Yitzhak Shamir – underground leader, spymaster, parliamentarian and the seventh Prime Minister of the State of Israel – was born Yizhak Yzernitzky in Ruzinoy, Poland in 1915. He attended Bialystok Hebrew secondary school and at age 14 joined the Betar youth movement. In 1935 he left Warsaw, where he was studying law, moved to Palestine and enrolled at the Hebrew University.

In 1937, opposing the mainstream Zionist policy of restraint vis-à-vis the British Mandatory administration, Shamir joined the Irgun Tzeva’i Le’umi (Etzel) – the Revisionist underground organization – and in 1940 became a member of the small, but more militant, faction led by Avraham Stern, the Lehi (Lohamei Herut Israel – Fighters for the Freedom of Israel), that broke away from the larger body. There, as part of the leadership troika, he coordinated organizational and operational activities.

Twice arrested by the British – during and after World War II – Shamir escaped both times, the second time in 1947 from the British prison camp in Eritrea to neighboring French Djibouti. Granted political asylum in France, he returned to Palestine in 1948 and resumed command of the Lehi until it was disbanded following the establishment of the State of Israel.

After several years during which he managed commercial enterprises, Shamir joined Israel’s security services in the mid-1950s and held senior positions in the Mossad. He returned to private commercial activity in the mid-1960s and became involved in the struggle to free Soviet Jewry. In 1970 he joined Menachem Begin’s opposition Herut party and became a member of its Executive. In 1973 he was elected a Member of Knesset for the Likud party – a position he held for the next 23 years. During his first decade as a parliamentarian, Shamir was a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and, in 1977, became Speaker of the Knesset. In this capacity he presided over the historic appearance of Egyptian President Sadat in the Knesset and the debate over ratifying the Camp David Accords two years later. He abstained in the vote on the Accords, primarily because of the requirement to dismantle settlements.

Yitzhak Shamir served as Minister of Foreign Affairs between 1980 and 1983. Among his achievements were closer ties with Washington – reflected in the Memorandum of Understanding on strategic cooperation with the United States and the agreement in principle on free trade between the two nations. Shamir also initiated diplomatic contacts with many African countries which had severed diplomatic ties during the 1973 oil crisis. After the 1982 “Operation Peace for Galilee,” Yitzhak Shamir directed negotiations with Lebanon which led to the 1983 peace agreement (which was, however, never ratified by the Lebanese government).

Following the resignation of Menachem Begin in October 1983, Yitzhak Shamir became Prime Minister until the general elections in the fall of 1984. During this year, Shamir concentrated on economic matters – the economy was suffering from hyper-inflation – while also nurturing closer strategic ties with the United States.

Indecisive results in the 1984 general elections led to the formation of a National Unity Government based on a rotation agreement between Shamir and Labor leader Shimon Peres. Shamir served as Vice-Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs for two years, while Shimon Peres was Prime Minister. Subsequently, Shamir served for six years as Prime Minister – from 1986 to 1992 – first heading a National Unity Government, and then as head of a narrow coalition government.

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Gen. Dempsey Tells Netanyahu ‘Friendship with IDF a Gift’

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

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.”

 

Jewish Press News Briefs

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