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May 27, 2015 / 9 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Reuven Rivlin’

34th Government of Israel Ministers Pose for Traditional Photo

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ministers of the 34th Government of Israel arrive at the President’s Residence for the Traditional Photograph with the President; PM and President Make Remarks

President Reuven Rivlin, together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stood for the traditional photograph at the President’s Residence with the ministers of the newly sworn-in 34th Government of Israel on Tuesday, May 19.

At the beginning of the event, the President and Prime Minister delivered brief statements, and toasted, with the ministers, the success of the new government.

President Rivlin began by referring to the great challenges that face the new government, “There are governments that receive a grace period of one hundred days. However, there are great challenges that this government must deal with from the outset, without a 100 day grace period. Previous governments did not face such challenges in the same way or with the same intensity. With regard to foreign affairs, you are required to deal with international pressure in a manner that demands endurance and the ability to make considered decisions which will not lead the State of Israel to isolation, but will preserve the red lines of Israeli diplomacy. On the domestic front, you face the urgent and crucial mission to present a budget which will provide an answer to the social and economic needs of the citizens of Israel – from housing and employment to welfare.”

President Rivlin addressed the ministers and spoke of the criticism of the size of the government. He said, “On your shoulders rests the task and the duty to prove your ability to manage the affairs of the state with its complexities and sensitivities, for the benefit of all citizens. Much noise was made on the issue of the size of the government which was sworn in, and ostensibly relating to its legitimacy. However, in Israeli democracy a government of sixty-one Members of Knesset is as democratic and legitimate as a government of ninety Members of Knesset. We must remember that the most dramatic moves in Israel’s political history, including the Oslo Agreement, were decided by a single vote. Equally today, we must respect and obey the rule of democracy. A narrow government must be, and is able to be, a good government as long as it is faithful to its internal cohesion, and to the public interests of all the citizens of Israel.”

The President concluded by wishing the new government success, “On my own behalf and on behalf of citizens of Israel, I want to wish success to the Prime Minister and all the new ministers and Members of Knesset in general. Together with all the people, I am filled with hope and prayers for your success.”

Prime Minster Netanyahu said, “Also for the fourth time, just as the first, I am greatly moved and honored to present to you today, the ministers of the Government of Israel. This government has been established at a time of great challenges and opportunities. Our first challenge is to ensure the security of Israel in the face of accumulating threats around us. Radical Islam is lapping at all our borders, nearly all in the form of factions and forces led by Iran and other radical elements. At the same time, aided by the agreement proposed to it, Iran is making progress in achieving a nuclear weapon. All the enemies of Israel know that in the face of these threats, we have red lines.

“Until today, Mr. President, we have been successful in keeping Israel out of the turmoil and atrocities affecting the region. We will continue to guard the security of Israel. The threats in the region also create opportunities. Many states around us have common interests with us, they see eye to eye with us on the dangers, and they see Israel as central partner in fending them off. We will make every effort to translate this cooperation into processes for stability and peace, including attempts to reach a responsible political settlement with the Palestinians, which will safeguard Israel’s essential interests. We will continue to promote deeper ties with the US Administration and the American people. Even at times of disagreements, this bond is stronger than any difference of opinion.

Israeli Political Leaders Praise the Lifetime Work of Late Hebron Rabbi Moshe Levinger

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a letter of condolences to the Levinger family on the passing of the late leader Rabbi Moshe Levinger, who was known for his life work in establishing the modern Jewish community of Hebron and as one of the founder of the Gush Emunim settlement movement.

Rabbi Levinger, who had been battling a serious illness, passed away at age 80, on Saturday, May 16 in Hebron.

“There is great symbolism that Rabbi Levinger passed away on the eve of Jerusalem Day; he leaves behind him a well-established legacy and many students are dedicated to taking root in our Land,” wrote the Israeli prime minister.

This year, thousands took to the streets of Jerusalem Day to commemorate the liberation and reunification of the Jewish people’s ancient capital 48 years ago. The public holiday also marks how for the first time in thousands of years, the holiest city in Judaism came entirely under Jewish sovereignty.

“Rabbi Levinger’s name will be forever linked with the movement for renewed Jewish settlement in Hebron and other areas of the country where our patriarchs walked thousands of years ago. He was an outstanding example of a generation that sought to realize the Zionist dream, in deed and in spirit, after the Six Day War,” pointed out Netanyahu.

“You believed with all your heart that by rebuilding Hebron, you would also re-build Jerusalem, and out of that belief you acted to ensure that not only would Jerusalem be redeemed, but so would Kiryat Arba in Hebron,” the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin further eulogized at Rabbi Levinger’s funeral in Hebron today, May 17.

Rabbi Levinger, a prominent student of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, was described by Rivlin as coming from a unique Jerusalem family. “You grew up in a household with rare religious and spiritual depth. A house with wide-ranging knowledge, a loyalty to the concept of Torah and science…” said Rivlin.

The Israeli president also noted that the first donor to the Hebron Yeshiva, under Rabbi Levinger’s leadership, was none other than Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, who gave 100 Israeli liras (the old Israeli currency).

“Today, as we accompany you on your last path, I cannot but remember your struggle not only for life here, but for the right to be buried in the cemetery here in Hebron. Today these graves here will be joined by the grave of Rabbi Levinger one of our most treasured sons and founders of the Jewish community here,” concluded Rivlin, whose own mother’s family lived in Hebron before the Arab massacre of 67 Jews in 1929.

German Foreign Minister, Jordanian King Push for PA-Israel 2-State ‘Solution’

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier spent Saturday in Jordan meeting with King Abdullah II discussing how to restart final status talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The two also talked about bilateral ties, the Middle East, and how to combat terrorism.

But in a joint news conference held by Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and his German counterpart, the two told reporters the whole world is “unanimous” in its agreement that Israel and the PA must negotiate the establishment of a new Arab country for Palestinians.

Last Wednesday, the Jordanian monarch had met in Berlin on the same topic with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Abdullah called the issue of talks between Israel and the PA “the most persistent problem in our region” while in Germany. Merkel also noted that she had told Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin during their visit together that Germany was “concentrating on a two-state solution” as well.

Iran Nuclear Deal Looking Unlikely, Says Merkel

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

A deal to freeze or roll back Iran’s nuclear development program is looking unlikely as a final deadline for talks approaches.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin Tuesday during his state visit to the country the current reality shows no promise of a deal between world powers and Tehran. She added that Iran’s nuclear technology has advanced considerably over the last decade, but said if a comprehensive agreement was reached, it might prevent further development.

Merkel also told Rivlin that Germany remains completely committed to the safety and security of the State of Israel; a diplomatic relationship that has lasted 50 years, officially as of this week.

Both leaders stressed their mutual regard and friendship for each other in their meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, despite differences of opinion on what do regarding Iran.

In his response, Israel’s president said that tougher sanctions are likely to prove more effective in controlling Iran’s race towards the bomb than the current measures that are in place.

Rivlin added that if attacked, Israel reserves the right to defend herself to the best of her ability.

Why sell German arms to Israel?

At a visit to a school in Berlin prior to her meeting with Israel’s president, Merkel was questioned by a student over Germany’s decision to continue to sell arms to the Jewish State.

Merkel answered that Germany is obligated to defend Israel because six million Jews lost their lives under the Nazi regime during World War II.

The question, however, reflects a growing anti-Zionist trend in Germany that one can see in the rising number of anti-Semitic incidents in the country.

The chancellor told the student that Germany continues to believe in a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. She added that she would raise the issue with Israel’s president – which she did – but made it clear that the issue of Israel-PA politics was separate and apart from that of Israel’s defense.

“We sell weapons to Israel, which is often under attack, because we believe that Israel must have the ability to defend itself,” she said.

Earlier this week, Israel and Germany signed an agreement for the purchase from Germany of four new naval vessels to protect Israel’s Mediterranean offshore oil and gas rigs. The reciprocal deal also includes a purchase from Israel of military hardware; most likely that with which the vessels will be equipped before they are delivered.

President Rivlin says Ethiopian Protest Opened ‘Raw Wound’

Monday, May 4th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin said Monday morning that the Ethiopian protests against police brutality and racism “revealed an open and raw wound at the heart of Israeli society.”

Speaking at a meeting in his office with mayors and heads of the ultra-Orthodox municipalities and local council, the President added, “We must look directly at this open wound.  We have erred.  We did not look, and we did not listen enough.  Among the protesters on the streets, were some of our finest sons and daughters; outstanding students; those who served in the IDF.  We owe them answers.

“At the same time, it must be said in the clearest of terms. Protests are an essential tool in democracy, but violence is neither the way nor the solution.  The demonstrators and the police notably maintained restraint throughout the protests, and we must not allow a handful of violent trouble makers to drown-out the legitimate voices of protest.”

Special Event to Mark Hamas Kidnap-Murder of 3 Israeli Teens on June 3

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

In slightly over a month, at least one million Jews will mark a horrifying event that became the straw that broke the camel’s back in Israel, igniting another war on terror in Gaza.

June 3 corresponds with the date on the Hebrew calendar that marks the abduction of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16, and Gilad Sha’ar, 16.

The event is being organized by the families of the three boys, together with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and the Gesher organization.

The three families also recently celebrated the launching of the Jerusalem Unity Prize, to be awarded for the first time on June 3 as well.

Together with the Jerusalem municipality, Gesher and Israel President Reuven Rivlin, the three families celebrated the launch of the Jerusalem Unity Prize several months ago. It is intended to commemorate and further the Jewish unity that was seen when the entire nation of Israel came together to pray and help search for the missing boys.

The three boys were kidnapped on June 12 by Hamas terrorists while hitchiking home from yeshiva in Gush Etzion on a Thursday evening. They were murdered in cold blood shortly after they were grabbed; a shooting that was heard on a recording made by Israel Police when one of them managed to dial the emergency dispatcher in a desperate cry for help.

It took nearly three weeks for search and rescue teams and volunteers to locate their bodies in a shallow grave, hastily dug in a field in Halhul. During that time, Jews in Israel and around the world came together in an unprecedented show of unity to pray, demonstrate and otherwise show their support for the families and other Jews.

The bodies of the three boys were found on June 30.

The ‘Almost’ Coalition: Bennett Education Minister and Lieberman FM

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Formation of a new government is almost complete after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali smoked a peace pipe on Friday.

Bennett has backed down on his party taking over the post of Foreign Minister, which Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman will retain, or Defense Minister, where the Likud’s Moshe Ya’alon will continue to run.

Instead, Bennett will head the Education Ministry, a plum because of its budget allocations that include national religious institutions. He will give up the post as Minister of Economy, which Reshet Bet (Voice of Israel) radio said may be filled by Silvan Shalom of the Likud.

Bayit Yehudi will get two other posts. Uri Ariel will serve as Minister of Agriculture, which is important for Jordan Valley farmers as well as those in Judea and Samaria, and Ayelet Shaked reportedly will be Minister of Sport and Culture. Pensioners’ affairs and responsibility for national service, such as Sherut Leumi for girls and boys who prefer that option as an alternative to IDF service, probably will be attached to the ministry.

Shas is slated to head the Religious Affairs Ministry under a compromise with Bayit Yehudi, whose Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan probably will be deputy minister.

The last remaining puzzle in the coalition is the Yehadut HaTorah (UTJ) party, but with all the other pieces in place, Netanyahu should have no problem finalizing the coalition by the end of this week or shortly after, meeting the latest deadline granted by President Reuven Rivlin.

One other question is what ministry will be run by senior Likud MK Shalom, who was Minister for Development in the Galilee and Negev in the last government. The best bet is that he will replace Bennett as Minister of Economy.

The proposed coalition, for now, includes Sofa Landver continuing as Minister of Immigration, and Kulanu chairman Moshe Kachlon as Finance Minister. His party also is slated to head the Environment and Housing Ministries.

Yisrael Katz of the Likud will continue as Minister of Transportation, and Voice of Israel reported that Yuval Steinitz will be the new Minister for Public Security.

That will be good news for the public at large following a miserable defense of the police by outgoing Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich. Several senior police officers have been dismissed or are under investigation for sexual harassment.  Aharonovich also has been under constant criticism for ignoring police brutality.

The proposed coalition is a far cry from the previous government, which was doomed from the outset with the inclusion of Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid.

With all coalition partners more or less seeing eye to eye on most foreign and domestic policies, the next government has a chance of achieving a rare feat and staying in office until the end of its four-year term, sparing Israeli voters of another exasperating election until 2019

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/the-almost-coalition-bennett-education-minister-and-lieberman-fm/2015/04/26/

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