(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 28 January 2007:

1. Ministers were briefed on the state of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in 2006 by officials from the various relevant government bodies
(http://www.antisemitism.org.il) and by – inter alia – Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, Jewish Agency Chairman Ze’ev Bielski and Tel Aviv University Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism Director Prof. Dina Porat. Ministers were briefed on the steps that can be taken in the struggle against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

Ministers were told that anti-Semitic incidents against Jewish communities in Europe and the world continued in 2006, including hundreds of instances of violence, such as murder, bodily assault, attacks against property, the desecration of Jewish sites, threats and graffiti. The year 2006 witnessed localized increases in events, especially in countries with large Arab and Islamic populations. There was cooperation between Leftist and Arab-Islamic elements vis-a-vis anti-Israel media propaganda that, at times, incorporated anti-Semitic motifs.

Iran provided a platform for Holocaust deniers even as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the destruction of the Jewish state and the dispersal of its population throughout Europe.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez – as part of his struggle against the United States and in solidarity with Iran – made sharp remarks against Israel and created an anti-Semitic atmosphere in his country.

Jewish communities around the world continue to receive threats and warnings from Global Islamic Jihad elements. Calls for academic and economic boycotts against Israel are heard. Iran, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon are prominent in the field of incitement and disseminate extensive anti-Semitism in the media. However, government and international elements are strengthening the struggle against anti-Semitism and understand that anti-Semitism is a societal threat. The UN has declared January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Those briefing the Cabinet recommended continued cooperation with the UN, international organizations and other countries in the struggle against anti-Semitism; greater coordination with world Jewish communities; increased dialogue with moderate Muslims around the world and with the Christian world; stepped-up legislation and law enforcement measures against anti-Semitic activities and propaganda; and expanded educational activities throughout the world.

2. The National Insurance Institute Director-General briefed ministers on the 2005-2006 poverty and incomes disparities report.

3. Pursuant to Basic Law: The Government, the Cabinet approved the appointment of MK Raleb Majadele as Minister without Portfolio. Knesset approval will be duly requested.

4. Pursuant to the 1965 Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Law, the Cabinet appointed attorney Moshe Gavish as Chairman of the IBA Plenum and as Chairman of the IBA Executive Committee.

5. Pursuant to the 1959 Civil Service Law (Appointments) and the recommendation of the Civil Service Committee, the Cabinet decided to exempt from public tender certain positions at the Israel Tax Authority.

6. Pursuant to the 1959 Civil Service Law (Appointments) and the recommendation of the Civil Service Committee, the Cabinet decided to exempt from public tender the position of Chief Government Assessor.

7. Pursuant to the 1965 Planning and Construction Law, the Cabinet authorized the Mekorot Water Company to prepare a plan regarding an additional installation for supplying water to Jerusalem and its environs.

8. The Cabinet approved a plan to reform the provision of neighborhood rehabilitation services.

9. Pursuant to the 1959 Civil Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet appointed Aryeh Livne as the Director of the Public Security Ministry Witness Protection Authority.

10. The Cabinet approved a Construction and Housing Ministry-local council financing formula for urban renewal projects.

11. The Cabinet approved Education Minister Yuli Tamir’s request to postpone until 1 January 2009 the implementation of the decision to unify districts in the Education Ministry.