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July 3, 2015 / 16 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Rivlin’

Rivlin: No Help in Rebuilding Gaza Until IDF Soldiers’ Bodies Returned

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin, known for his warm, open manner and willingness to see both sides of a story, this time is not moving a muscle.

Rivlin told United Nations envoy to the Middle East Nicolai Mladenov in their meeting on Wednesday that Israel won’t help rebuild Gaza until Hamas returns the remains of two fallen IDF soldiers whose bodies are still being held hostage.

“Hamas is ready for the time being not to kill Israelis; they are willing to wait,” he acknowledged. “But before there is rebuilding, they have to give us back our sons. We know that their task to get rid of us is still on their agenda. Each side has to build confidence in the other.”

Lt. Hadar Goldin and St. Sgt. Oren Shaul both lost their lives last summer in Gaza while fighting in Operation Protective Edge, the counter terror war launched to silence the rocket fire and destroy the smuggler tunnels aimed at southern Israel.

Both of their bodies were stolen by Gaza terrorists during the heat of battle, and the terror group has refused to return them, thus preventing their grieving families from burying their dead loved ones. It is an especially cruel way to torture a parent, a method used as often as possible by Iranian-sponsored terror groups such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.

The Goldin family, who met two days ago with the president, requested that Rivlin raise the issue every time he meets with any foreign dignitary and any time the issue of helping Gaza is suggested.

Rivlin also told Mladenov during their meeting that ultimately, Israel would be willing to cooperate with the UN in rebuilding Gaza but noted that few others have kept their promise to do the same. “Everyone is willing to help, but no one is helping,” he observed.

The president also reminded that previous deliveries of concrete and iron intended for construction went badly astray. Literally millions of dollars’ worth of construction supplies intended to rebuild homes and infrastructure for the people of Gaza following previous wars ignited by their terrorist rulers were confiscated and used to build underground bunkers for terror leaders, rockets, mortars and terrorist tunnels.

Part of that network, which Hamas and its allies used to great advantage during last summer’s war, was dismantled by the IDF. But much of it still remains within the enclave and Hamas is intent on rebuilding the rest.

Mladenov responded that it is important to rebuild Gaza as quickly as possible, not only to address the lack of housing, but also to create jobs and opportunities so that Gazans “will be drawn away from radicalism.”

Rivlin Tells Bnei Akiva, ‘We Must Not Let This Happen Again’

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin expressed deep concern Thursday over an attack on a Bnei Akiva building containing a synagogue in northern Israel after learning about the desecration from an Arutz 7 reporter who called asking for a comment.

Vandals torched a Bnei Akiva synagogue in the northern Israeli city of Nazereth Illit this week, just before the start of the Shavuot holiday that marks the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai.

Siddurim and other holy books were torn apart, burned and desecrated in other ways. Elsewhere in the Bnei Akiva building, Israeli flags were defiled, cabinets were upended, paint was splattered all over the place and flourescent lights were smashed.

Bnei Akiva has long been a source of pride in the community; the religious Zionist movement has maintained a branch in Nazareth Illit for 40 years. Five years ago, a hesder yeshiva for Torah scholars entering army service was added to the program there as well.

According to spokesperson Naomi Toledano, President Reuven Rivlin has expressed his shock over the attack to Bnei Akiva Secretary-General Danny Hirshberg.

Rivlin expressed support for a plan by Bnei Akiva to hold a meeting between the young members of the branch and neighborhood Arabs immediately following the upcoming Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which begins at the close of the Sabbath, on Saturday night.

“Only dialogue will lead to closeness and understanding,” Rivlin said. “We must not let harsh and shocking incidents like this one happen again.”

He praised plans by the branch to hold its traditional all-night Torah study session for the Shavuot holiday despite the attack.

Although it is not yet clear who perpetrated the damage and desecration, there have been numerous incidents of harassment of the Bnei Akiva youths by local Arabs in the past.

Pres. Rivlin Receives ‘First Fruits of the Field’ for Shavuot

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin is reaping the fruits of years invested in good relations with Israeli farmers.

On Thursday, the president and his wife Nechama received two big baskets of fruit and vegetables from the nation’s farmers, in concert with the tradition of bringing the “first fruits of the field” to Jerusalem on the eve of Shavuot.

In the time of the Holy Temple, reminded Meir Yifrah, a member of Moshav Ohad (near the Gaza border) and the secretary-general of the Israel Vegetable Growers’ Association, the custom was scrupulously observed, with farmers bringing their produce to the Kohanim (priests) of the Temple. Today, he smiled, they are bringing their produce instead to the President of the State of Israel. Along with Yifrah were farmers from every part of the country.

For 20 years, MK Rivlin was a member of the lobby that advocated for the farmers of Israel, working for subsidies when things got tough.

On Thursday, Rivlin offered to become an active voice for the farmers once more. It’s not a new move for him; Rivlin has always taken an interest in agricultural affairs, partly because his wife Nechama was born on a moshav (an agricultural cooperative community.)

Due to this being the shemittah – seventh – year, in which the fields are allowed to lie fallow, there are fewer varieties and less to offer, but what there is was brought and received with joy.

Tonight at Midnight: Netanyahu’s Moment of Truth

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

By midnight, Wednesday, Benjamin Netanyahu is obligated under Israeli law to go up to the Reuven Rivlin’s presidential palace and declare whether or not he has been successful in cobbling together a coalition government.

Bibi has run out of time, and there will be no more time extensions. It’s his moment of truth.

Unfortunately, as of Wednesday morning, he is far from having a the minimum 61-member coalition that could receive the Knesset’s vote of confidence.

Netanyahu’s troubles have come from the two parties he thought he had in his pocket and thus took for granted and abused: Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu—6 seats, and Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi-8 seats.

So far, Netanyahu has secured only 53 seats, his talks with Liberman have been severed by the resigning Foreign Minister, and they appear to be on the rocks with Bennett.

Here’s an interesting point: Liberman, who is considered by many Israelis—and most of the country’s media—to be a cynical vote broker, exemplifying that with his left-right-left-right zig-zagging before the elections, quit the negotiations in a huff solely over ideological issues.

A source connected to the Yisrael Beytenu party told JewishPress.com that Netanyahu offered Liberman to continue as the Foreign Minister, and also offered him all the ministries he asked for.

Netanyahu’s previous (third) government, made serious changes in its social agreement with the Chareidi population – some good, some bad, and some good but done in a bad way.

In a collaboration between Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Economy Minister Bennett, and the entire coalition, Netanyahu’s previous government significantly reduced child welfare payments (which hurt the Chareidi population the most), and legislated draft laws that were, at least on paper, more draconian than previous ones–though in implementation, they actually reduced Chareidi enlistment instead of increasing it. The same government also used the budget to encourage Chareidi men and women to hit the job market, including a push to get them into universities.

In addition, the same government empowered the religious-Zionist agenda in areas of rabbinic officiating, such as marriages for non-religious Israeli Jews, or conversions for non-Jewish Israelis.

But in his haste to forge a government with UTJ and Shas parties, Netanyahu handed the Chareidi parties the offices empowered to roll back many of those reforms and achievements.

Speaking on Israel Radio Wednesday morning, Liberman said: “In recent days has been shown that the Likud sold out all its principles budgets to the Chareidim, and all that remains is a debate over ministerial portfolios. The debate of the past few hours is exclusively about increasing the number of ministers and deputy ministers, and there is no substantive discussion.”

Liberman is apparently fed up with Netanyahu, his ally for more than twenty years. Liberman supported him loyally, even in decisions he despised (twice he gave his cabinet vote to a decision not to conclude heavy Gaza skirmishes with the elimination of Hamas–he explicitly demanded the destruction of Hamas in these coalition negotiations).

He’s done it while being pursued for years by the judiciary civil service over seemingly unending corruption cases, none of which have ever actually found him guilty. His deputies have been investigated several times over, but police has been unable to connect their alleged crimes to Liberman.

Naftali Bennett is yet another long-time ally who feels taken for granted and used.

For one thing, Netanyahu’s amazing vote sweep in the last few days of the March election campaign came directly from Bayit Yehudi voters. Bennett and company happily obliged this sucker-punch move, setting up a right-wing rally in Kikar Rabin where they practically called on upwards of 100 thousand of their voters to switch to Bibi.

The Likud’s rise came directly from that rally at Bennett’s expense.

And while Naftali Bennett was the first politician Netanyahu called after the elections, Bayit Yehudi was almost the last party Bibi called on for serious negotiations after he had already signed away the Ministry of Religious Affairs to Shas, so the Aryeh Deri could highlight all of Bennett’s achievements in the area of religion services reform in Israel, and then press DELETE.

Now, taking advantage of Liberman’s angry departure, Bennett upped the ante—demanding major offices in return for joining, most important among them the Ministry of Justice, which he wants to hand over to his partner, Ayelet Shaked.

This is probably the most fun thing a National-Religious leader has had the pleasure of doing, ever.

The Left has been using Israel’s Justice department as their bulwark against the Right: appointments of a long line of anti-settlement Attorney Generals? It’s Justice department. Promotions of insider, radical leftwing judges who haven’t met a deceptive “Palestinian” land seller? Justice department again. Legislation that subverts the will of the voter in favor of the will of a tiny, self-appointing judicial minority? Justice department. Blatantly undemocratic, politically motivated investigations against popular, right wing leaders (including Netanyahu)? What do you know, it’s that Justice department again.

It’s no wonder Peace Now has called the notion of appointing Ayelet Shaked Minister of Justice “Tzelem Ba’heichal” – like placing a idol of Zeus in the Holy Temple’s inner sanctuary. For them it really is nothing less.

Yesterday Bennett handed the Likud his list of demands and disappeared from sight. No interviews, Not answering the Likud’s calls. A game of chicken—with little to lose.

Especially when Bennett suspects that the reason he was offered third-tier ministries was because Netanyahu planns to fire him following negotiatiations with Yitzchak Herzog (Zionist Camp) when no longer under deadline pressures.

The Likud spread rumors that Bayit Yehudi also demanded Defense, or the Foreign Ministry for Bennett, alongside the Judiciary.

One Likud MK joked that he’s surprised Bennett didn’t go so far as demand a rotation agreement for Prime Minister.

It’s a sellers market, and Bennett, who had at least one successful business exit, is going for broke.

Netanyahu has more to lose from a new election, assuming Zionist Camp’s Yitzhak Herzog fails to cobble a government together should President Rivlin assign him the task after midnight tonight.

In a new election, Liberman’s and Bennett’s voters, who bought the Likud’s argument that only a strong Netanyahu could represent the right—all those angry voters will come back home, giving Liberman back his 12 mandates, Bennett his 12 to 16, and Bibi — will be much reduced, with 20 or so seats.

It’s going to be an interesting day.

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.

President Rivlin’s Independence Day Message Thanks Jews in the Diaspora

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut message to Jews in the Diaspora thanked them for contribution to the Jewish state but did not even whisper a hint that they should make Aliyah and come home.

Israel and Jews around the world celebrate Israel’s Independence Day Wednesday night and Thursday, one day before the usual date of the 5th of Iyar in order to avoid desecration of the eve of the Sabbath and celebrating through Friday evening.

This also is President Rivlin’s first year in office, and he did not even tiptoe the issue of Aliyah. He simply ignored it.

Suggesting Jews in the Diaspora to move to Israel usually is an itchy subject. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu angered some French leaders and especially the French government last year when he flatly stated after a terrorist attack on Jews at a kosher deli in Paris, “The State of Israel is not just the place to which you turn in prayer. The State of Israel is also your home.”

David Ben-Gurion, when he was Prime Minister in 1961, hit a brick wall in Baltimore when he told rags-to-riches millionaire Jacob Blaustein he expected several thousand American Jews to move to Israel every month.

Blaustein told Ben-Gurion, “American is our home.”

President Rivlin played it safe and patted American Jews on the back without ruffling any feathers.

He told them in the video that can be seen below:

Israel will forever be indebted to our friends and supporters abroad. Those who have contributed and continue to contribute to charities and foundations, those who have volunteered in the Israel Defense Forces even at times of war, those who stand up for Israel in the media – you are all part of the Israeli family, and should take joy and pride in Israel’s independence celebrations….

Together, we can work to ensure that Israel fulfills its promise of a Jewish and democratic country, with equality and freedoms for all its citizens.

I wish you all Chag Atzmaut Samayach and may we all enjoy a successful and prosperous Israel.

Americans, especially Jews, love to hear about “equality and freedom” in Israel. It makes them feel proud to be Jewish Americans – and not American Jews – so the non-Jewish community can huff and puff that the United States of America is the model for Israel.

America, the country where church is church and state is state and never the twain shall meet.

America, the melting pot.

America, where the assimilation rate among Jews is 70 percent.

If the Obama administration has not convinced American Jews to move to Israel, maybe Hillary Clinton can succeed.

Remembering Begin

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C), Benny Begin (R) and Israeli president Reuven Rivlin (L) attend a ceremony at the grave of former prime minister Menahem Begin in Mount Olives as they mark 23 years since his death. February 23, 2015.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/remembering-begin/2015/02/25/

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