Browsing Posts tagged Benjamin Netanyahu

Last night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out to reaffirm his desire to continue direct negotiations saying, “I call on [Palestinian Authority] President Abbas to continue the good and sincere talks that we have just started, in order to reach an historic peace agreement between our two peoples.”

During the day, and in recent days, Prime Minister Netanyahu has been in close contact with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and other senior US administration officials, as well as with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian king Abdullah, and has updated them on the efforts to ensure both the continuation of the talks and their success.

Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear, in his talks, that Israel is ready to hold continuous contacts in the coming days in order to find a way to continue the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Prime Minister Netanyahu added: “I hope that President Abbas will stay in the talks and, with me, continue on the road towards peace, which we started only three weeks ago after many in the world realized that my intentions to achieve peace are serious and genuine, and that I honor my commitments.  During my Government’s term in office, Israel has gone a significant way towards helping the Palestinians by easing restrictions, which has advanced their quality of life, both in Judea and Samaria, and in the Gaza Strip.  I say to President Abbas: For the future of both our peoples, let us focus on what is really important.  Let us proceed in accelerated, sincere and continuous talks in order to bring about an historic peace framework agreement within one year.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his great appreciation for US President Barack Obama’s, Secretary of State Clinton’s, and  Senator George Mitchell’s major efforts towards resuming the peace talks and ensuring their continuation.

On September 21st, Israel’s Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu addressed the press in Sderot on where the peace process is heading, and what needs to be done.

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “My goal is not to conduct a process but to complete it.  My goal is to reach an historic peace agreement between us and our Palestinian Authority neighbors.  Now, I think that I expressed this in my 14.6.09 Bar-Ilan University speech one of the two most important principles for completing such a peace, and that is my willingness – and that of Israel – to recognize a Palestinian national state.  We say that the Palestinian people have a right to a national state of its own.  And we also say that the Palestinians must recognize the right of the Jewish people to a national state of its own.  They need to recognize the Jewish state.  The fact that they do not recognize it, that they are trying to avoid such a simple statement, raises doubts.  It raises questions on the Israeli side.  Why do you not agree?  Why?  Why are you using all kinds of excuses?  You say: we do not call Israel by name.  I spoke about the name of the Palestinian state?  I did not; I spoke about its essence.  I called it the national state of the Palestinian people.  And when the Palestinians refuse say something so simple, the question is – why?  You want to flood the State of Israel about refugees so that it will no longer have a Jewish majority?  You want to tear off parts of the Galilee and the Negev into mini-states?  And the citizens of Israel who are not Jewish?  In a peace agreement, there will be simplest symmetry: Israel recognizes the Palestinian state – and the Palestinians recognize the Jewish state.  This is so simple.  It is so just, so correct and so urgent.  I say to Abu Mazen: Recognize the Jewish state.” continue reading…

Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomes the invitation of the United States to begin direct negotiations without preconditions. The Prime Minister has been calling for direct negotiations for the past year and a half.

While Israel called for a moratorium on construction in the West Bank last winter as a sign of good faith in order to restart negotiations, it has taken months of shuttle diplomacy by US envoy George Mitchell to convince Palestinian leadership to return to negotiations.

Said Netanyahu, “Reaching an agreement is a difficult challenge but is possible. We are coming to the talks with a genuine desire to reach a peace agreement between the two peoples that will protect Israel’s national security interests, foremost of which is security.”

Please stay tuned for further updates.

Following the incident off the coast of Gaza on May 31st, specifically the IDF’s actions after boarding the Mavi Marmara, Israel has been accused of wrongdoing and breaking international law. Israel has always believed that exposing the truth is in their best interest as it has nothing to hide. The old adage “the truth will set you free” was the impetus for the creation of the Turkel Commission, an independent, nongovernmental panel led by former Supreme Court Judge Jacob Turkel, with foreign observers to remove any possible bias.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu delivered a statement on Monday before the Turkel Commission, explaining the change in Israel’s policy towards the Gaza Strip and what really transpired aboard the Mavi Marmara, highlighting all actors involved.

Said Netanyahu, “Our soldiers faced a very real danger to their lives from brutal attacks, and acted in self-defense.  We made tremendous efforts to prevent injuries, but the IDF soldiers have the right to defend themselves. ”

He went on to explain “how dangerous an open sea lane to Gaza is for the security of the State of Israel. On one ship, the Karin A, Iran tried to send dozens of tons of weapons to Gaza. On another ship, the Francop, Iran tried to send Hezbollah hundreds of tons of weapons, approximately two-thirds of the total ammunition fired at Israel during the Second Lebanon War”

To read the Prime Minister’s full address to the Turkel Commission, click here.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In the history of the State of Israel, never have there been preconditions for face-to-face peace talks. While it was not obligated to do so, the Israeli government last November ordered a 10-month freeze in new building projects in the West Bank.

This sign of good faith, the outward stretch of our hands in friendship with the Palestinians, has been rejected for seven months. Now the Palestinians are calling for the freeze to be extended.

The goal of the freeze was to encourage Palestinians to come to peace talks, but rather than embracing this moment, many are foolishly waiting for it to end so another freeze can be used as a “precondition for peace talks.” continue reading…

Eight tentacles. Eight predictions. The now infamous “Paul the Octopus” has emerged from the FIFA World Cup with 100% accuracy, predicting all of Germany’s games as well as the final. Like consecutive flips of a coin, with what starts off as a 50-50 chance gets smaller and smaller with each next prediction. The odds of going eight for eight? 0.39 percent. For his next look into the proverbial crystal ball, Paul the Octopus would be smart to predict a two-state solution: lasting peace between Israelis and their Palestinian neighbors.
There is a lot the Jewish people can learn from this psychic, nonkosher specimen. No one would have put money on this psychic octopus, even if the payoff is about 256:1. Then again, two thousand years ago, who would have bet on the Jewish people? Whether it is oil lasting 8 days or an unbelievable statistical anomaly of an octopus having a perfect world cup bracket, the world is full of surprises. Our prediction is that peace is coming and we hope that we have the same clairvoyance  as Paul the Octopus. continue reading…

Photo: GPO

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Israel for a series of meetings with top Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Two major issues on the agenda include Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and putting an end to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “Progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there’s simply no space between the United States and Israel,” stated Biden. “There is no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel’s security and for that reason and many others addressing Iran’s nuclear program has been one of our Administration’s priorities. We’re determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and we’re working with many countries around the world to convince Tehran to meet its international obligations and cease and desist.  Iran must also curb its other destabilizing actions in the region, well beyond their desire to acquire nuclear weapons and that is their continued support for terrorist groups that threaten Israel and I might add our interest as well. President Obama and I strongly believe that the best long-term guarantee for Israel’s security is a comprehensive Middle East peace with the Palestinians, with the Syrians, with Lebanon, and leading eventually to full and normalized relationships with the entire Arab world. It’s overwhelming in the interest of Israel, but it’s also overwhelming interest to the Arab world and it’s in our interest as well.  The goal is obviously to resolve the final status issues to achieve a two-state solution with Israel and a Palestine living side by side in peace and security. A historic peace is going to require both parties to make some historically bold commitments. You have done it before and I’m confident for real peace you would do it again”.

During his visit to Israel, Biden commended the Israeli moratorium on new building in the West Bank, and stated that on the Palestinian end there is a real commitment to reach an agreement.

In the coming weeks, Israeli and Palestinian officials will resume proxy talks that will eventually reignite official dialogue between the two administrations: “I appreciate the Administration’s effort to advance peace in the region,” added Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I know that this has been difficult and has required a great deal of patience, but I’m pleased that these efforts are beginning to bear fruit and we have to be persistent and purposeful in making sure that we get to those direct negotiations that will enable us to resolve this conflict.

“I look forward to working with President Obama, and with you and your entire Administration to forge a historic peace agreement in which the permanence and legitimacy of the Jewish State of Israel is recognized by our Palestinian neighbors and in which Israel’s security is guaranteed for generations to come.”

Marking 65 years to the liberation of Auschwitz Concentration camp, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, joined leaders worldwide who gathered at the death camp, to commemorate the memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

PM Netanyahu’s full speech has been translated from Hebrew:

continue reading…

Jerusalem

Israeli Jews, Muslims, and Christians live side-by-side throughout Israel; whether in Tel Aviv, the Negev, or Jerusalem.  According the the High Court of Israel, one shall not be denied a construction permit based on race, creed, gender, religion, or national identity.   As such, Jews, Muslims, and Christian alike can purchase land in all parts of the city of Jerusalem.  Just as Arab residents live in Western Jerusalem, Jews are allowed to live in Eastern Jerusalem.

To learn more about the Shepherd Hotel and it’s current renovation and construction, read “Behind the Headlines: Background Information from the Municipality of Jerusalem Regarding the Shepherd Hotel Building

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman addressed the issue of the Shepherd Hotel building at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting:

PM Netanyahu: “…united Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people and of the State of Israel.  Our sovereignty over it is cannot be challenged; this means that residents of Jerusalem may purchase apartments in all parts of the city…hundreds of apartments in Jewish neighborhoods and in the western part of the city have been purchased by – or rented to – Arab residents, and we did not interfere.  This says that there is no ban on Arabs buying apartments in the western part of the city and there is no ban on Jews buying or building apartments in the eastern part of the city.”

FM Lieberman: “Thousands of Arab families buy homes in Jerusalem in the Neve Yaakov and French Hill neighborhoods…It would be very strange– and I am trying to be subtle – if the State of Israel decides to discriminate against Jews, especially in Jerusalem, and does not allow them to buy and to build throughout Jerusalem.”

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM ANNUAL MEETING 2009 - Ben...
Image by World Economic Forum via Flickr

In his first interview with the foreign media since he was chosen to head Israel’s next government, the Likud chair told The Washington Post: “I think there is broad agreement inside Israel and outside that the Palestinians should have the ability to govern their lives but not to threaten ours.”

Netanyahu further said he would continue peace talks with the Palestinians, while at the same time advancing “the economic development that has begun” in the Palestinian Authority. Prime Minister-designate added: “I personally intend to take charge of a government committee that will regularly address the needs of the Palestinian economy in the West Bank.

You can read Netanyahu’s interview here.

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