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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘United States’

Full Text: Paris ‘Peace’ Summit Joint Declaration, January 15, 2017

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

After intense discussions, the delegations of 72 nations voted unanimously to accept the declaration, with one exception. The United Kingdom did not sign the document, having expressed reservations and in any case, having attended as an “observer” only.

I) Following the Ministerial meeting held in Paris on 3 June 2016, the Participants met in Paris on 15 January 2017 to reaffirm their support for a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They reaffirmed that a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is the only way to achieve enduring peace.

They emphasized the importance for the parties to restate their commitment to this solution, to take urgent steps in order to reverse the current negative trends on the ground, including continued acts of violence and ongoing settlement activity, and to start meaningful direct negotiations.

They reiterated that a negotiated two-state solution should meet the legitimate aspirations of both sides, including the Palestinians’ right to statehood and sovereignty, fully end the occupation that began in 1967, satisfy Israel’s security needs and resolve all permanent status issues on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and also recalled relevant Security Council resolutions.

They underscored the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 as a comprehensive framework for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, thus contributing to regional peace and security.

They welcomed international efforts to advance Middle East peace, including the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016 which clearly condemned settlement activity, incitement and all acts of violence and terror, and called on both sides to take steps to advance the two-state solution on the ground ; the recommendations of the Quartet on 1 July 2016 ; and the United States Secretary of State’s principles on the two-state solution on 28 December 2016.

They noted the importance of addressing the dire humanitarian and security situation in the Gaza Strip and called for swift steps to improve the situation. They emphasized the importance for Israelis and Palestinians to comply with international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law.

II) The Participants highlighted the potential for security, stability and prosperity for both parties that could result from a peace agreement. They expressed their readiness to exert necessary efforts toward the achievement of the two-state solution and to contribute substantially to arrangements for ensuring the sustainability of a negotiated peace agreement, in particular in the areas of political and economic incentives, the consolidation of Palestinian state capacities, and civil society dialogue.

Those could include, inter alia:

– a European special privileged partnership; other political and economic incentives and increased private sector involvement; support to further efforts by the parties to improve economic cooperation; continued financial support to the Palestinian authority in building the infrastructure for a viable Palestinian economy ;

– supporting and strengthening Palestinian steps to exercise their responsibilities of statehood through consolidating their institutions and institutional capacities, including for service delivery ;

– convening Israeli and Palestinian civil society fora, in order to enhance dialogue between the parties, rekindle the public debate and strengthen the role of civil society on both sides.

III) Looking ahead, the Participants:

– call upon both sides to officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution, thus disassociating themselves from voices that reject this solution;

– call on each side to independently demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solution and refrain from unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of negotiations on final status issues, including, inter alia, on Jerusalem, borders, security, refugees and which they will not recognize;

– welcome the prospect of closer cooperation between the Quartet and Arab League members and other relevant actors to further the objectives of this Declaration.

As follow-up to the Conference, interested Participants, expressing their readiness to review progress, resolved to meet again before the end of the year in order to support both sides in advancing the two-state solution through negotiations.

France will inform the parties about the international community’s collective support and concrete contribution to the two-State solution contained in this joint declaration.

Hana Levi Julian

Mayors of Efrat and Maale Adumim Invited to Trump’s Inauguration Ceremony

Friday, January 13th, 2017

The heads of Moetzet Yesha – The Council of Judea and Samaria, received an invitation to President Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony in Washington D.C., according to a report in Makor Rishon. The invitation was passed on to them via the Chamber of Commerce of Orthodox Jews (US), who are connected to Trump’s special advisor Jason D. Greenblatt.

The settlement council will most likely be represented at the inauguration by Mayor of Efrat, Oded Revivi, who also heads the foreign desk for Moetzet Yesha, and Beni Kashriel, the Mayor of Maale Adumim.

In addition, several other people connected to Jewish life in Judea and Samaria have been invited, but according to the report, they prefer not to publicize their invitations.

This is the first time that settlement leaders have been invited to a presidential inauguration.

Yigal Dilmoni, spokesperson for Moetzet Yesha, praised the move, saying it “foretells the new spirit emanating from the US regarding the change in [Washington’s] attitude towards Israel, and in particular, [Jewish] settlement in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley. This new spirit was also expressed by the recent visit of Governor Mike Huckabee last week to Maale Adumim, and we are preparing for it.”

PM Netanyahu won’t be attending the ceremony, and will instead be represented by Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Netanyahu: Security Forces Busted 43 Weapons Factories in 2016

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

by Andrew Friedman

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that security forces shut down 43 weapons factories around Judea and Samaria during 2016, as opposed to virtually none in 2015. He added that a major focus for security forces at the moment is preventing weapons from reaching the Palestinian Authority street.

Speaking after an inspection tour of IDF forces in Judea and Samaria with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, the prime minister said the price of weapons on the PA street has been driven up six-fold due to carefully planned operations and coordination between IDF, police and intelligence agents since the November, 2015 attack at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv.

“Our forces have confiscated equipment, arrested those responsible and closed factories, ” Netanyahu said.

Both Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who also participated in the inspection tour, and said that Israel “knows how to exact a heavy price from the other side for incitement. Both men blamed the Palestinian Authority, and especially PA leader Abu Mazen, for promoting violence with wild incitement and glorification of terrorists.

Liberman and Netanyahu also used the occasion to relate to foreign policy issues, saying Israel will not allow itself to be bullied by the international community on matters of domestic policy.

Netanyahu fired a shot at outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama, saying the international stage is currently undergoing “dramatic changes… some of which will be very, very good for Israel.” The defense minister added criticism of an international “peace” conference, set to meet this Friday in Paris against Israel’s wishes and without representation from Jerusalem.

“Instead of talking to us, there are people out there that are trying to pressure us, to incite against us. But anyone who thinks that trying to frighten us or pressure us with international conferences will change the situation here is sorely mistaken,” Liberman said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Germany’s Brandenburg Gate Lit Up With Flag of Israel for Victims of Terror

Monday, January 9th, 2017

In solidarity with the families of the four IDF officers who were murdered in a truck ramming attack in Jerusalem on Sunday, Germany’s Brandenburg Gate in Berlin was lit up in the colors of the Israeli flag on Monday night, hours after the young soldiers had been laid to rest.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly thanked the German people and their government in a tweet on the Twitter social networking site, writing, “Thanks, Germany, for standing with us in our common struggle against terrorism.”

The Israel Embassy in the United States, and the Israel Mission to the United Nations both posted photos of the beautiful gate on Twitter as well, saluting Germany’s commemoration of Israel’s victims of terror.

Hana Levi Julian

Bomb Threat at Jewish Community Centers (JCC) in London and America’s East Coast Cities

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Jewish community centers in a widespread number of American states were evacuated due to bomb threats on Monday morning, while across the ocean, the same phenomenon was taking place in London, England as well.

Jewish schools across the United Kingdom were placed on alert after bomb threats were called into metro London Jewish schools in Roehampton, Ilford and Brent on Monday morning. The schools were “warned” that explosive devices had been planted on the premises. Thorough searches were conducted at all three sites and other schools were placed on precautionary lock-downs until the “all clear” was received.

Bomb threats were also called in to a few non-Jewish schools as well, according to the British Jewish Chronicle news site.

“Police were alerted at around 10:30am hrs on Monday, 9 January, to phone calls made to schools in Roehampton, Ilford and Brent in which bomb threats were made. Police officers attended the schools. All three incidents were stood down a short time later. An investigation into the threat will be conducted,” Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

Meanwhile, in the United States, bomb threats were called into Jewish Community Centers (JCC)s in Delaware, Tenafly, New Jersey; Miami Beach and Jacksonville, Florida; in Rockville, Maryland; in West Nashville, Tennessee, and Columbia, South Carolina.

In Delaware, police were called to search the Siegel Jewish Community Center north of Wilmington on Monday, after a bomb threat was called into the facility at around 11:45 am. The caller reportedly said there was a bomb inside the complex, according to Seth J. Katzen, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Delaware, who spoke with Delaware Online, The News Journal.

The building was alerted, Katzen said, and everyone was evacuated from the four facilities at the site, including the JCC, the Jewish Federation of Delaware, the Albert Einstein Academy (K-5) and Jewish Family Services of Delaware. Although police arrived quickly, they told Katzen it would be “a few hours” before they could declare an “all clear.”

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, the Jewish Community Center on Palisades in Tenafly sent out a text to its membership warning it had received a bomb threat shortly after 12 noon. As a precaution, officials evacuated the building, which contains a preschool, a senior center and an adult daycare facility for people with disabilities. Parents of preschoolers were asked to pick up their children and all JCC programs were canceled for the day. The “all clear” was received a short time later from the bomb squad that swept the building.

About 450 students and 70 teachers and staff members were evacuated from the Alper JCC School at SW 112th Avenue in southwest Miami-Dade as a precaution at around 11 am, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials said. A second Miami-Dade Jewish Community Center was also evacuated, according to CBS Miami, which reported the threat was called in to the main operator line of the facility.

Miami Beach police also were called to the Jewish Community Center on Pine Tree, where only a handful of people were in the building at the time. A thorough search that included K-9 units turned up nothing and the “all-clear” was given. In addition, the Jewish Community Alliance building in Jacksonville, Florida was also evacuated in response to a bomb threat as well. Both were called in at around 10:45 am. Both were given the “all clear” within an hour or two, after sweeps of the buildings turned up nothing.

A woman called a bomb threat into the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington in Rockville, Maryland, according to CBS News. Officials immediately evacuated the building, Executive Director Michael Feinstein said.

In West Nashville, Tennessee, metro police responded to a report at about 10:30 am of a bomb threat at the Gordon Jewish Community Center, in the 800 block on Percy Warner Boulevard. Officials quickly evacuated the 80 people who were in the building, which functions as a childcare center during the week, according to The Tennessean, part of the USA Today network. Special Agent Michael P. Knight of the Nashville field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told media the ATF is standing by to provide “technical assistance” as needed.

In South Carolina, the Columbia Fire Department and the Richland County bomb squad were also called in just before 11:30 am Monday to scan the Katie and Irwin Kahn Jewish Community Center on Flora Drive in Columbia, WBTV reported. After a thorough scan of the building, nothing was found and the “all clear” was given.

This is a developing story.

Hana Levi Julian

President Rivlin Gets Annual Strategic Survey for Israel, Warns: We Don’t Yet Know Middle East Policies of President-elect Trump

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Israel does not yet know what President-elect Donald Trump has in store, policy-wise, for the Middle East, President Reuven Rivlin warned Monday, and added that the political agenda this year in Europe has raised the level of uncertainty and the need for “readiness” even further in the Jewish State.

The president made the remarks upon receiving the “2016-17 Strategic Survey for Israel” produced by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) at his official residence in Jerusalem.

“The ‘Strategic Survey’ always considers elements of uncertainty,” he said. “However, this year more than ever uncertainty is especially high.” He noted that elections are being held in France, Germany annd elsewhere. “Uncertainty is always a recipe for risk, and also for opportunities and we need know how to deal with it – and utilize it – wherever possible.”

Nevertheless, he said, there are also things that do not change. One of those he pointed to is the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“We must begin to think practically, to allow us to build the conditions for future agreements with the Palestinians. There is no other choice, we must begin to think ahead, how we can get out of the political stalemate. Included in this Strategic Survey are a number of articles and ideas, which open horizons to real practical thinking on building the conditions for future agreements with the Palestinians.”

The INSS ‘Strategic Survey’ is open to the public, enabling every Israeli to understand individually the significant security and political challenges currently faced by the State. The document also provides recommendations on “the ways to deal with” those challenges.

“The conclusion is that Israel must preserve its independence in order to safeguard its essential interests,” the president commented. “Yet in the same breath, you make clear that specifically for the sake of this security and independence, Israel must have cooperation with as many countries as possible in our region and around the world. You highlight that sovereignty and security will never be assured only with high walls and military might. Today more than ever, this is a message of unparalleled importance.”

Hana Levi Julian

Full Text: Reaction by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Secy Kerry’s Speech [video]

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU:

“Before why I explain why this speech was so disappointing to millions of Israelis, I want to say that Israel is deeply grateful to the United States of America, to successive American administrations, to the American Congress, to the American people. We’re grateful for the support Israel has received over many, many decades. Our alliance is based on shared values, shared interests, a sense of shared destiny and a partnership that has endured differences of opinions between our two governments over the best way to advance peace and stability in the Middle East. I have no doubt that our alliance will endure the profound disagreement we have had with the Obama Administration and will become even stronger in the future.

But now I want to express my deep disappointment with the speech today of John Kerry, a speech that was almost as unbalanced as the anti-Israel resolution passed at the UN last week in a speech ostensibly about peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Secretary Kerry paid lip service to the unremitting campaign of terrorism that has been waged by the Palestinians against the Jewish State for nearly a century.

What he did was spend most of his speech blaming Israel for the lack of peace by passionately condemning a policy of enabling Jews to live in their historic homeland and in their eternal capital, Jerusalem.

Hundreds of suicide bombers, thousands – tens of thousands of rockets – millions of Israelis and bomb shelters are not throwaway lines in a speech. They are the realities that the people of Israel had to endure because of mistaken policies; policies that at the time won the thunderous applause of the world.

I don’t seek applause. I seek the security and peace and prosperity and the future of the Jewish State. The Jewish people have sought their place under the sun for 3,000 years and we’re not about to be swayed by mistaken policies that have caused great, great damage.

Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders. Israel’s hand has been extended in peace to its neighbors from Day One, from its very first day. We pray for peace. We’ve worked for it every day since then, and thousands of Israeli families have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country and advance peace. My family has been one of them. There are many, many others.

No one wants peace more than the people of Israel. Israel remains committed to resolving the outstanding differences between us and the Palestinians through direct negotiations. This is how we made peace with Egypt. This is how we made peace with Jordan. It’s the only way we’ll make peace with the Palestinians.

That has always been Israel’s policy. That has always been America’s policy. Here’s what President Obama himself said at the UN in 2011. He said, “Peace is hard work. Peace will not come through statements, and resolutions at the United Nations; if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.”

That’s what President Obama said, and he was right. And until last week, this was repeated over and over again as American policy.

Secretary Kerry said that the United States cannot vote against its own policy – but that’s exactly what it did at the UN, and that’s why Israel opposed last week’s Security Council resolution: because it effectively called the Western Wall ‘occupied Palestinian territory.’

Because it encourages boycotts and sanctions against Israel. That’s what it effectively does. And because it reflects a radical shift in U.S. policy towards the Palestinians on final status issues – those issues that we always agreed, the U.S. and Israel – have to be negotiated directly, face to face, without preconditions.

That shift happened despite the Palestinians walking away from peace and from peace offers time and time again. Despite their refusal to even negotiate peace for the past eight years. And despite the Palestinian Authority inculcating a culture of hatred towards Israel in an entire generation of young Palestinians.

Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with the American Congress – Democrats and Republicans alike – to mitigate the damage that this resolution has done, and ultimately to repeal it.

Israel hopes that the outgoing Obama administration will prevent any more damage being done to Israel at the UN in its waning days.

I wish I could be comforted by the promise that the U.S. says we will not bring any more resolutions to the UN. That’s what they said about this previous resolution. We have it on absolute incontestable evidence that the United States organized, advanced and brought this resolution to the United Nations Security Council.

We will share that information with the incoming administration. Some of it is sensitive. It’s all true. You saw some of it in the protocol released in an Egyptian paper. There’s plenty more; it’s the tip of the iceberg.

So they say, ‘but we didn’t bring it’ and they could take John Kerry’s speech with the six points. It could be raised in the French international conference two days from now, and then brought to the UN. So France will bring it. Or, Sweden – not a noted friend of Israel – could bring it.

And the United States could say, ‘Well, we can’t vote against our own policy, we’ve just enunciated it.’

I think the United States, if it’s true to its word, or at least, if it’s now true to its word, should now come out and say, we will not allow any resolutions any more resolutions in the Security Council on Israel. Period. Not ‘we will bring’ or ‘not bring’ — ‘We will not allow any’ and stop this game of charades.

I think that the decisions that are vital to Israel’s interests and the future of its children, they won’t be made through speeches in Washington or votes in the United Nations, or conferences in Paris. They’ll be made by the government of Israel around the negotiating table, making them on behalf of the one and only Jewish state, a sovereign nation that is the master of its own fate.

And one final thought.

I personally know the pain, the loss and the suffering of war. That’s why I’m so committed to peace. Because for anyone who’s experienced it as I have, war and terror are horrible.

I want young Palestinian children to be educated like our children – for peace. But they’re not educated for peace.

The Palestinian Authority educates them to lionize terrorists, and to murder Israelis.

My vision is that Israelis and Palestinians both have a future of mutual recognition, of dignity, of mutual respect: co-existence.

But the Palestinian Authority tells them that they will never accept and SHOULD never accept the existence of the Jewish State.

So I ask you: how can you make peace with someone who rejects your very existence?

See, this conflict is not about houses or communities in the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, the Gaza district or anywhere else.

This conflict is, and has always been about Israel’s very right to exist. That’s why my hundreds of calls to sit with President Abbas for peace talks have gone unanswered.

That’s why my invitation for him to come to the Knesset was never answered.

That’s why the Palestinian government continues to pay anyone who murders Israelis a monthly salary.

The persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize a Jewish State remains the core of the conflict – and its removal is the key to peace.

Palestinian rejection of Israel and support for terror are what the nations of the world should focus on if they truly want to advance peace and I can only express my regret and say that it’s a shame that Secretary Kerry does not see this simple truth.

Thank you.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/full-text-reaction-by-israeli-prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-to-secy-kerrys-speech/2016/12/29/

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