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May 25, 2015 / 7 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Reuven Rivlin’

Netanyahu: Israel ‘Adds Life’ on Remembrance Day

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu focused special attention in honoring the victims of terror Wednesday at Remembrance Day ceremonies at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl military cemetery.

Joining the prime minister for the ceremony were President Reuven Rivlin and IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot. Both lay wreaths for the victims of terror.

The designation is a relatively new addition to ceremonies that once were held to commemorate only the fallen among Israel’s soldiers. It was recognized, however, that those who die simply because they are citizens of the state are as worthy of being a “soldier of Israel” as any uniformed defender.

Bereaved Israelis flocked to the graves of fallen soldiers at the cemetery, paying their respects to troops killed in wars since 1860 as well as victims of terror.

Since the close of Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, 2,538 have died in terrorist attacks – including 31 in the past year alone.

The hatred of terrorists “is blind; for them we are all targets,” the prime minister said in addressing participants. “While they try to take life, we add life.” He listed the attacks in the past year in which precious Jewish lives have been stolen and blood shed in the State of Israel by murderous terrorists.

There is no difference between IDF soldiers on the homefront or those in the field, civilians involved in their daily affairs or those serving their time in army reserves, he said.

All are targets.

But the prime minister also warned that the radical Islamist terror once believed to be exclusive to the Middle East has made its way abroad and now has spread to Europe.

Attacks against Jews in countries like France – where the week-long reign of terror in Paris horrified millions this past January and left more than a dozen people dead – are becoming more common. Four people died at the Hyper Cacher kosher grocery store during that massacre.

Such activity, said Netanyahu, perversely seems to draw the admiration of many of Israel’s neighbors, rather than disgust.

“They admire murderers,” the prime minister noted. “The more they murder, the more they admire them.”

For Israel to achieve peace with her neighbors, he said, they must “stop the incitement and the admiring of murderers. That’s not how you make peace.”

Rivlin Gives Netanyahu Two More Weeks to Form New Government

Monday, April 20th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin granted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu two more weeks Monday morning to form a new government coalition after negotiations with different t parties have not produced a positive result.

Rivlin really had no other choice. He would like to see a national unity government with the Likud and the Zionist Union, the euphemism for the merged HaTnuah party headed by Tzipi Livni and Labor, chaired by Yitzchak Herzog.

Herzog and Livni do not want to be part of a Netanyahu-led government no more than he wants them on board.

The term “national unity” sounds terrific, but in this case it would be “national disunity” govern the deep ideological gap between the two parties.

Likud officials are to speak with the Hareidi Shas and Yehadut HaTorah parties today. Shas is the biggest obstacle for Netanyahu because of the threat by Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) to ditch the coalition if Shas heads the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

New and Old Faces in Israel’s 20th Knesset Are Officially Sworn In [Video]

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

The Knesset opening session was buzzing with new faces, as 39 new Members of Knesset joined their veteran colleagues in the swearing in ceremony that took place in the Israeli parliament on Tuesday, March 31.

New Likud MK Dr. Avraham Negusie, the only Israeli of Ethiopian origin to be elected to the 20th Knesset told Tazpit News Agency that he was very happy to be elected to the Israeli parliament. “I am not only representing my community but also all the new immigrants and Israeli society,” he told Tazpit. Negusie, who lives in Jerusalem with his family, made aliyah from Ethiopia in 1985 and is a social and political activist for Ethiopian aliyah and integration in Israel.

“I will be acting in the Knesset on social efforts and working to decrease the economic gaps in this country,” added Negusie, who has a PhD in philosophy of education from the University of Sussex in England.

Another new face to the Knesset is Moscow-born MK Ksenia Svetlova, of the Zionist Union party. An Israeli journalist on Arab affairs, who speaks Russian, Arabic, Hebrew and English, Svetlova told Tazpit that the first inaugural session of the Knesset was very important to her. “We take the oath of loyalty to Israel; it’s an oath that we swear to be loyal not only to our country but to the voters, to the people of Israel.”

Commenting on the record number of 28 women MKs in the Israeli parliament, Svetlova said that “it is a fantastic accomplishment but we are not there yet.” The new MK, who had to give up her Russian citizenship prior to being sworn in on Tuesday, hopes that in the future there will be an equal number of males and females in the Israeli parliament as well as in all government offices. “We are working towards this direction,” she said.

For veteran Knesset member, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom of Likud, the day was just as historical and important as previous inaugurations. “It’s a very important day for Israeli democracy. This is not something that we should take for granted, especially while we are in the Middle East facing so many threats and security problems,” Shalom told Tazpit.

“We are the only democratic country in the region and we need to do everything we can to keep and strengthen our democracy here in Israel,” said Shalom who made aliyah to Israel from Tunisia when he was a one-year-old.

The swearing in of the new Knesset took place in the presence of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Supreme Court President Miriam Naor.

President Rivlin gave a special address during the opening of the Knesset and told the MKs that “the walls of these halls are transparent not only because the people are examining your work, but also so that you will look outward towards them…Do not forget for even a second who sent you here; the public’s trust should always be your paramount concern.”

“The decisions you make here, are the realization of our liberty as a people in the State of Israel, the Jewish democratic state.”

Veteran MK Amir Peretz led the Knesset opening session during his very brief stint as speaker, citing the significance of unity and brotherly love as important foundations in Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

Indeed, the Israeli president also likened Israeli society to a family at the Passover seder. “There are four sons: secular, religious, ultra-Orthodox and Arab. They are all smart and they all know to ask questions,” he said.

Israel’s Arab Minority Integrating Politically and Economically

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Throughout late February and March, “Israeli Apartheid Week” took place across 200 cities around the world, from the UK and South Africa to Canada and the USA. Anti-Israel events have been held on university campuses and academic institutions, with the official aim, according to the organizers’ website, to build Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) campaigns against Israel while educating about Israel’s apartheid policies.

Meanwhile in Israel, the March 17th elections for the Jewish state’s 20th Knesset brought 13 seats to the Joint Arab List, making the united Arab party the third largest faction in the Israeli parliament.

The new Knesset will have 16 Members of Knesset who are Arab, four more than the previous Knesset. Among the 16 are four Arab parliamentarians who represent Zionist parties including Druze MK Hamad Amar of Avigdor Lieberman’s party, Yisrael Beitenu as well as Arab MKs from Likud, Meretz, and Zionist Union.

“We see the new electoral threshold law as a blessing in disguise and hope it will increase the voting percentage among Israeli-Arabs, enabling us to reach 16 seats in the Knesset,” Emilie Moatti, the spokeswoman for the Arab Joint List told Tazpit News Agency before the elections.

The Joint Arab List, whose historical unification of four Arab-dominated parties took place in January, has one sole Jewish member, Dov Khenin.

Israeli Apartheid Week of course does not take note of the above nor of the fact that the head of Israel’s Central Elections Committee who oversaw the recent Israeli elections is Justice Salim Joubran, an Arab judge who serves on the Supreme Court of Israel. Furthermore, on the economic end, more than 100 PA Arab businessmen recently participated in a conference in the Ashdod Port organized by Israel’s Civil Administration, which is part of the Coordination of Government Activities at the Territories (COGAT), a subordinate to the Minister of Defense. The head of the Palestinian Authority Importers and Exporters Association, Muhammad Abu-Ein, the acting CEO of the Ashdod port, Itzhak Blumenthal and representatives of USAID and the UN Conference on Trade and Development took part in the conference held in February.

Throughout 2014, more than 1,000 PA Arabs participated in different agriculture courses across Israel. Israel’s Civil Administration also sponsored in cooperation with USAID the planting of strawberry fields maintained by PA workers in the Jenin area.

In addition, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin met with local Arab council heads in February and following the meeting, is launching a new employment cooperation project. The President’s Office will work with the Collective Impact Initiative, which works to further the level of employment among Israeli Arab professionals. Within this framework, the President will establish a quarterly business forum of managers who will guide the process of integrating the Arab population into different Israeli companies.

Around 20 percent Israel’s eight million citizens are Arabs. According to the Israeli Democracy Index, a public opinion survey project conducted by the Israeli Democratic Institute and the Guttman Center for Surveys found last year that 65% of Israeli-Arabs are proud to be Israeli.

Kulanu Chairman Moshe Kahlon Becomes ‘Kingmaker’ in Israel

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Former Likud member Moshe Kahlon, leader of the Kulanu party, became the “kingmaker” of the next coalition Monday when recommended President Reuven Rivlin task Likud’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the formation of the new government.

“We nominate Netanyahu and the broader the base of the coalition, the better it will be for all of us,” said Kahlon, who told the president that his party had a social orientation that was focused on the human being.

Kahlon’s hearty endorsement brought Netanyahu to an absolute majority of 61 votes in his favor, which allowed Rivlin to announce the prime minister would be tasked with forming the next government – one of the swiftest coalition assignment determinations ever to take place.

Also voting for Netanyahu on Sunday in addition to the Likud were the delegates from the Bayit Yehudi, Shas and United Torah Judaism parties. An endorsement from Yisrael Beytenu that followed shortly after brought Netanyahu’s total to 67 mandates.

The total meant that although the president had yet to meet with the far-left Meretz party, which had five votes to either add or withhold, neither would change the outcome.

At present, not including Meretz, the merged Zionist Union led by Labor party chairman Isaac (“Buji”) Herzog holds 24 votes. The remaining 24 potential coalition members, which include Yesh Atid and the Joint Arab List are holding back for the time being.

Rivlin pointed out that it is not a given that all those who voted for Netanyahu will actually support the government he assembles, when the time comes.

Even after a president has tasked a designated person to form a government, and even that person successfully forms a coalition, the government still must be approved by the Knesset plenum, he noted.

Pres. Rivlin Launches Joint Project to Integrate Israeli Arabs into Private Business Sector

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin launched a joint project Sunday evening with Collective Impact, a group working to increase employment among Israeli Arabs, to integrate the population into the private sector.

CEOs and employers involved with the group met with Rivlin at the President’s Resident to discuss the project.

“The Arab public with all its diversity today makes up more than 20 percent of the general population and more than a quarter of children in first grade,” Rivlin pointed out.

“One may like it, one may fear it, but one cannot ignore it. This is a community, part and parcel of this land, for whom this land is their homeland.

Sadly, too few Israeli Jews are familiar with the Arab society, beyond assumptions of stereotype.  Therefore, there exists a significant gap, created over the years, between the two societies which live side by side, together – yet blind to one another.  Over this divide, this gap, we must build a bridge, step by step.  The mission to build a bridge, and a basis for a sense of cooperation between the Jewish and Arab communities, is for me a humanitarian, Jewish, Zionist, and national mission of the very highest priority,” he added. 

Rivlin pointed out that the project to integrate Israeli Arab workers into the private business sector could go a long way towards ending social gaps and perhaps some security issues as well. There would be no guarantees — but also every opportunity possible to succeed.

“The success of our journey may alter our long-term reality, yet its failure may lead to pain and distress,” he said. “We do not have the privilege to fail, nor to give up.  Good-will alone will not suffice. 

“One thing that I can assure you – as long as you stand by your commitment to this mission, I will be here with you and for you, and my door will always be open to you.  We are partners in this national mission which you have taken upon yourselves.  We are partners on this journey which is our duty to our children, for us all, each and every one of us.”
 
Among the companies that participated in the study that launched the project were The Strauss Group, Amdocs, Fattal, Check Point, Herzog-Fox-Ne’eman; Shikun&Binui; Teva Pharmaceuticals; HP; Migdal; Matrix and others. Ofra Strauss, chairwoman of the Strauss Group, Ilan Birnfeld, CEO of Deloitte, Shai Levy, CEO of Amdocs and Imad Telhami, CEO of Babcom were present at Sunday night’s meeting, along with a number of others as well.

Rivlin Cuts Short US Trip

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has instructed his staff to shorten his stay in New York, where he is currently visiting so that he could speak at the United Nations special session in commemoration of the Holocaust and the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Rivlin will depart from New York as early as this evening with the desire to be in Israel, with the bereaved families and the wounded, following the events in northern Israel. The President will arrive back in Israel tomorrow afternoon, two days before he was due to return.

President Rivlin said;

I am here today moments before my address to the United Nations special session to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. However, my heart and my mind are at home in Israel. I want to send my condolences to the bereaved families as well as my wishes for a full recovery to the wounded. I am certain that the IDF knows how to manage the situation, and that Israel’s leaders will work to calm the situation as much as possible. We are with you, even when we are required to do our job abroad, for our country and for our people.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rivlin-cuts-short-us-trip/2015/01/28/

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