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December 5, 2016 / 5 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Uri Ariel’

Research Staff ‘Down’ $52 K Gift Drone from Israeli Minister to Russian PM

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) last week handed over to Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev a drone worth $52 thousand belonging to Volcani Center researchers.

Ariel hosted Medvedev on his tour at Israel’s world renowned agricultural research and development institute, introducing his VIP guest to several innovations Israel is hoping to get the Russians interested in, including a robot designed for spraying agricultural fields and crops in hothouses, a new tool for testing the sugar level in apples, new sensors to monitor milk quality and output in cows, and new wheat storage solutions that protect against pests.

According to Calcalist, one of the presentations was of a drone used for irrigation research, and when Ariel noticed how very interested Medvedev had been in this drone, he told his staff to deliver it to the Russian PM as a gift. Institute staff were shocked and then irate at this grab-from-above, but in agricultural institutions the Minister of Agriculture is second only to God.

Volcani senior staff member Moshe Reuveni told Calcalist that “transferring the device that was used by the Volcani Center for agricultural research projects currently in development disregards all administrative procedures and all rules and laws regarding high level visits.” Reuveni was furious that “aside from the damage caused by giving a device costing hundreds of thousands of shekels, and the damage to our image, there is also the obvious damage caused by freezing agricultural research.”

After the drone had been delivered and the Russian delegation flew with it back home, a Medvedev representative called the Agriculture ministry to inquire about the remote control device that had not been packed with the drone. According to Ma’ariv reported Ben Kaspit’s Twitt, Volcani staff told the ministry they’d hold on to the remote until they receive the budget for a new drone.

Meanwhile, as soon as he landed in Moscow, PM Medvedev was confronted with the arrest of Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev on suspicion of taking a $2 million bribe, so maybe it’s better his gift drone stays grounded.

David Israel

Medvedev, Netanyahu, Rivlin, Discuss Bilateral Cooperation and Agricultural Innovation

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev arrived in Israel on Wednesday and on Thursday held meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin. He plans to meet with opposition leader Isaac Herzog on Friday. But the Russian PM and his entourage appear to be more interested in visiting the Volcani Center in Beit Dagan, next door to Rishon L’tzion, which may be the most advanced facility in the world for agriculture research, focusing on plant sciences, animal sciences, plant protection, soil and environmental sciences, food sciences, and agricultural engineering.

On his visit there, alongside Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi), Medvedev was shown new technologies, including a robot, which should be ready for market in three years, designed for spraying agricultural fields and crops in hothouses. Also on Medvedev’s tour: a new tool for testing the sugar level in apples, to help farmers harvest their apple crops at the optimal time to fit with storage and marketing considerations. The same tool also checks the oil level of avocados and the ripeness of mango and papaya.

The Volcani tour will conclude with new sensors to monitor milk quality and output in cows, and new wheat storage solutions that protect against pests.

“I last visited Jerusalem in the 1990s, and I am glad to have an opportunity for myself and members of our delegation to visit Israel,” Medvedev told TASS on the eve of his trip.

The Russian prime minister pointed to the friendly relations between Russia and Israel that have lasted for many years, adding that, “of course, we will discuss our bilateral issues, including economic cooperation, political interaction and all kinds of international problems, which are plentiful in both this region and the entire world.”

President Rivlin noted that “Russia has always played an important role in our region,” and recalled that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Russia and Israel.

On Friday, besides meeting with Herzog, Medvedev will also visit Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, and lay a wreath to the Eternal Flame there.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Prikhodko told reporters on Thursday that “Russia and Israel are brought together by opposition to anti-Semitism, other manifestations of xenophobia and inter-ethnic strife. Together we stand against falsifying history, reconsidering the results of the Second World War, attempts to glorify accomplices of fascism, diminishing the decisive contribution of the Soviet Union to the victory over Nazi Germany, and denying the Holocaust.”

JNi.Media

Public Security Minister: Israel Discriminates Against Jews on Temple Mount

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

The first Seekers of Zion conference, aimed at tightening the connection between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount, was held in the Knesset on Monday under the banner of “Jerusalem of Peace,” on the second anniversary of the assassination attempt on MK and Temple activist Yehuda Glick.

Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs, and Information Gilad Erdan (Likud) told the conference that “our right to the Temple Mount is indisputable, and no international entity can rewrite our history. The Temple Mount is the most sacred site to the Jewish nation and that cannot be changed.”

Having said that, Erdan admitted that “today’s status quo on the Temple Mount discriminates against the Jewish people. That is the truth. When I took office [the Waqf] limited the access of Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount based on racial and religious profiling, they came up close to them in an intimidating manner, let no one have any illusions about this — everything there was arranged, timed and paid for.”

“Together with the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister, and the cabinet, I led decisions to ban the Almoravid and Morabitat (separate male and female fanatical Islamic groups), and to ban the northern branch of the Islamic Movement,” Erdan continued. “My job is to secure the visitors ascending the Temple Mount, Jews, Christians and Muslims. The status quo discriminates against Jews. I’m glad there’s been a significant rise in the number of visitors on the Temple Mount.”

Turning to Glick, Minister Erdan said, “I think your victory, Yehuda, against those decrepit terrorists, is first of all the fact that more Jews are ascending the Temple Mount.” He added, “We believe that religion can be a source of reconciliation for people.”

Former MK Moshe Feiglin told the audience that “when we retreated in our hold on the Temple Mount, we retreated in our hold over the entire land.” He cited poet Uri Zvi Greenberg who wrote, “Whomever governs the mountain governs the land.”

Feiglin noted that when the nation lost its hold over the Temple mount, “we got the wave of knifings, we got a weakening of our hold on the rest of the neighborhood of Jerusalem, terrorist attacks in remote villages, rockets in Sderot, Beer Sheva and Tel Aviv, and our hold over the land continues to weaken.”

“Why the heck are we complaining against UNESCO who says we have no connection to the Mountain,” Feiglin asked, “when every Israeli government, especially this most recent one and especially this most recent prime minister are voting with their feet that we, indeed, have no ties to the mountain.”

Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi) called for the speedy arrangement of of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, and the sooner the better.

Conference speakers included Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein; Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Ze’ev Elkin; Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel; Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely; and Sheikh Ahmad Riyadh.

David Israel

Minister Ariel: If AG Can’t Defend Law Saving Amona, Let’s Get an Attorney Who Can

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) may end up being the politician who broke the iron hold of the judicial civil service on Israel’s democracy — when all along we were certain it would be his teammate, Ayelet Shaked.

In years past, when the Attorney General, who serves both as the executive officer for Israel’s law enforcement agencies and as the government’s legal counsel and litigator, would tell ministers that he could not defend a certain legislation before the Supreme Court, that was the end of said legislation. Which is why, early on in her term as Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) was looking to cut the job in half and hire one person to manage law enforcement, and another to manage the government’s legal affairs. But she couldn’t find enough support for the idea and, possibly, didn’t want to appear too radical so early in her administration.

Now, as the government is mulling legal means of bypassing a draconian Supreme Court decree calling for the demolition of the community of Amona in Samaria over a lawsuit by phantom Arab owners—the entire affair has been managed by Peace Now and other anti-Zionist NGOs—the AG, Avichai Mandelblit, on Sunday announced, through his deputy, Avi Licht, that he could not defend the proposed Regulation Act before the high court.

The bill compels Arab claimants against existing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria to be treated like similar claimants inside green line Israel: if it can be shown that the land indeed belongs to them and the construction on it had been done illegally, the court rules on an amount, usually fair market value plus a fine, to be paid out by the defendant. No one inside 1949 Israel has ever demanded that standing buildings be struck down to remedy such a situation.

But over in Judea and Samaria, the Israeli Supreme Court has been riding high for years, insisting that the only remedy, even in cases in which there is no living and breathing claimant, the only acceptable remedy is destruction.

The cabinet decided to delay their discussion of the proposed Regulation Act until next week, to give the state time to petition the court for a postponement of the demolition date, December 25, 2016. It’s doubtful the Miriam Naor court, which has already voiced its exasperation over the Netanyahu government’s failure to carry out its demolition order for Amona given back in 2006, would grant yet another delay. As we noted earlier, should the court not grant a delay, Deputy AG Licht told the cabinet that his boss is not prepared to defend the proposed law before the high court.

Minister Uri Ariel then issued a statement saying, “I regret the prime minister’s decision to postpone the debate on regulating communities, most importantly Amona. It is an unjust decision which contradicts the prime minister’s own announcement two and a half months ago. We will continue to promote the Regulation Act despite the difficulties.”

And then Ariel released a shot across the bow of the AG’s office: “The AG’s statement regarding his inability to defend the state under certain conditions is unacceptable, and I hope he will change his mind. Should the AG not be willing to defend the new law at the Supreme Court, we’ll demand private representation, rather than give up our righteous struggle.”

And that’s how you teach a civil servant about the limits of his office.

JNi.Media

Gloves Are Off as Cabinet Revives Settlement Division

Friday, October 7th, 2016

On Sunday, the Netanyahu cabinet is expected to liberate an important tool for the reclamation and development of Israeli lands on either side of the “green line,” as the Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization will come under tighter government control and at the same time increase its contribution to Jewish communities, Israeli media reported Friday.

Two years ago, Deputy AG Dina Zilber issued a harsh critique of the Settlement Division, accusing it of running a murky operation, especially in Judea and Samaria, outside the control of Israeli governments, mostly due to its status as a private entity. As a result, the Justice Ministry, then under one of the Jewish settlement enterprise’s worst enemies, Tzipi Livni, recommended that the next government (which Tzipi expected to head) dismantle the division by blocking its state budget. Without a budget, the division was expected to wither and die.

On Sunday, apparently, the same Zionist instrument of vitality will roar back to life, with a budget just short of $10 million, to be distributed equally among the Jewish communities of the Negev, Galilee, and Judea and Samaria. In addition, the Settlement Division will be empowered to offer solutions to stressed communities, especially in the periphery. No such first-aid government entity exists today.

The Zilber report was attacked not only by the rightwing parties, but also by communities that are associated with Tzipi Livni’s Labor party, alongside the Gaza border and down in the Jordan Valley. In fact, after the elections that saw Livni retreat to the opposition benches, several of her own party MKs supported a bill submitted by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi), enabling the government to delegate its power to the Settlement Division. Zilber, a civil servant, lobbied against the bill, which passed in three plenum votes. The eager bureaucrat was later rebuked by her new boss, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi), for her acting against the expressed will of the elected officials above her.

The layout of the revived Settlement Division which will be discussed by the cabinet on Sunday will define it as an expert, consulting entity which both counsels the government on settlement issues and carries out specific government assignments. For the first time, the division is expected to be able to act within urban communities in the rural sectors, when in the past it was limited to working with the regional councils. Its policy will no longer be shaped by the division, but instead by the Agriculture Minister, Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi).

One of Zilber’s criticisms was taken seriously by the designers of the renewed Settlement Division — the need for transparency. To that end, it will be placed under the supervision of the Agriculture Ministry’s Accountant General and Legal Counsel. It will also have to comply with Israel’s Freedom of Information Act.

With all those provisos in place, the Settlement Division will be empowered to plan and establish new communities, pave roads, lay down infrastructure, manage mobile homes, and strengthen and rehabilitate communities in need. The division will also manage the lands of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria until such time as a more permanent legal solution is reached.

Minister Ariel, who has been a major force behind the efforts to revive the division, told Makor Rishon on Thursday that “in the past few years there have been many different attempts by judicial entities to lock down the Settlement Division which endeavors to develop periphery communities across the land. I believe and hope that once the Settlement Division returns to full capacity the regional councils and the local residents will once again receive solutions to their enormous needs.”

JNi.Media

Uri Ariel: Jewish Presence in Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter Best Answer to International Hypocrisy

Friday, October 7th, 2016

Members of the National Union faction, which included Jewish Home Knesset members, toured the Old City of Jerusalem on Thursday night, after the dedication of a new residential building for Jews in the Muslim Quarter.

National Union Knesset faction lawmakers were heavily guarded as they toured the Old City of Jerusalem.

National Union Knesset faction lawmakers were heavily guarded as they toured the Old City of Jerusalem.

Among the participants in the events were Jewish Home MK and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich and deputy mayor of Jerusalem, Dov Kalmanovich.

Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel at the doorpost of a new Jewish home in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City.

Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel at the doorpost of a new Jewish home in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City.

“The same voice that protects the Shiloh Valley mandates a Jewish building freeze in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel,” observed Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich in remarks at the ceremony. “This is a demographic threat to Jerusalem, one that is absurd and not to be tolerated.

Kalmanovich noted that the evening included a “unique Selichot Tour of the Muslim and Christian Quarters, within which there is also a Jewish presence, albeit not yet large enough, but one which must continue to grow as a daily statement of the Jewish reality here.

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel categorically rejected this week’s U.S. condemnation of Israeli construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, saying, ‘They condemn, and we build.

“This dedication of a building where Jews are coming to live in the Muslim Quarter is the best answer to the condemnation and hypocrisy of the international community,” he said.

Hana Levi Julian

Russian Deputy PM Surveys Israeli Farming Technology

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

by Ilana Messika Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Arkady Dvorkovich and Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel visited today the Agricultural Research Organization Volcani Center, which serves as the research arm of the Ministry of Agriculture, and met some of its researchers in the context of extending agriculture cooperation between the two countries.

“Deputy Prime Minister Dvorkovich was very impressed by the technical know-how and technological advances made by Israeli researchers in the field,”said Naama Rosenberg, Associate Director for International Cooperation and spokesperson at the Volcani Center.

Rosenberg said researchers showed Dvorkovich and Ariel the latest advances in engineering and robotics such as satellite thermography that enables farmers to use heat imagery to determine water levels in irrigated fields. The technology allows farmers to monitor water resources by indicating whether fields are under- or over-irrigated.

The deputy prime minister also observed special storage mechanisms that prevents potatoes from sprouting, as well as new fertilizing chemicals and a selection of local produce, including pomegranates and grapes.

“The central issue in agriculture nowadays in no longer the growth of the produce but its proper conservation,” Rosenberg.

The visit followed Ariel’s visit to Russia last June. Then, Ariel and his Russian counterpart, Alexander Nikolayevich Tkachyov, signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation between Israel and the Russian Federation in the field of agriculture. Now, the countries expect to draft agreements in the fields of water resource management and irrigation technologies, development of advanced greenhouses and storage of agricultural produce.

Ariel celebrated that agreement as a “ milestone in relations between our two countries” and said Israel was well-placed to help Russia meet the challenges facing its agriculture sector.

“With Israel’s extensive knowledge, know-how and advanced technology in this field, [we] agreed to strengthen our agricultural collaboration, with a special emphasis on the milk industry,” Ariel said in June.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/287518/2016/09/27/

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