PM Netanyahu: A diplomatic assault compelling Israel to withdraw to the 1967 lines will lead Islamic extremists to the suburbs of Tel Aviv and to the heart of Jerusalem. We will not allow this. We will strongly and responsibly rebuff this.
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 14 December 2014):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"Today, the Cabinet will discuss the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot as the next IDF Chief-of-Staff. Gadi Eizenkot is the right man in the right place at the right time. Gadi has been a soldier and a commander. He is a veteran commander and he can lead the IDF in the face of the major challenges that surround us. The challenges are unceasing; they are not taking even a moment’s respite, and I am convinced that with determined, responsible and strong leadership and policy, along with Gadi’s command of the IDF, we will be able to overcome any and all obstacles and challenges. I wish Gadi Eizenkot great success; his success in all areas is our success.
Tomorrow I will leave for Rome to meet with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and US Secretary of State John Kerry. I will tell them that Israel, to a large degree, stands as a solitary island against the waves of Islamic extremism that are washing over the entire Middle East. Until now we have successfully withstood and repelled these attacks and now we also stand against the possibility of a diplomatic assault, i.e. an attempt to compel us – by means of UN decisions – to withdraw to the 1967 lines within two years. This will lead to Islamic extremists to the suburbs of Tel Aviv and to the heart of Jerusalem. We will not allow this. We will strongly and responsibly rebuff this. Let there be no doubt, this will be rejected.
Today, the Cabinet will also discuss a five-year plan to aid Druze and Circassian communities. I recently met with Druze community leaders, led by Sheikh Muwafaq Tarif. I told him that we would be submitting this plan. This is a wide-ranging plan on infrastructures, employment, education and other issues and it will do two things: One, it will reduce gaps between this population and the population at large. Two, it will express appreciation for the unique role of Druze and Circassian policemen and soldiers, who are our very flesh, who fight and fall in defense of our people. I think that this is one of the ways to express this appreciation.
This week we will celebrate Chanukah. I think that we all find very great inspiration from it. It is a holiday that, almost more than any other except perhaps for Passover, expresses the spirit of freedom. It expresses the great strength latent in our people, the victory of light over darkness and of the few against the many. Nothing has changed, neither the mission nor the result. As it was then so it is now. Happy Chanukah to the entire Jewish People."
2. Pursuant to Article 3c of Basic Law: The Army, the Cabinet approved the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot as the next IDF Chief-of-Staff.
3. Pursuant to Article 18a of the 1989 Antiquities Authority Law and in accordance with the decision of the Israel Antiquities Authority Council, the Cabinet decided to approve Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat’s proposal to appoint Yisrael Chason as Director of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
4. Deputy Minister in the Environmental Protection Ministry Ofir Akunis briefed ministers on the actions being taken to deal with the ecological disaster in the Aravah as a result of a breach in the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline.
5. The Cabinet discussed linking Haifa Bay to natural gas infrastructures.
6. The Cabinet discussed the continuation of the Morasha program – study tours in Israel for Jewish students from the Diaspora.
7. Civil Service Commissioner Moshe Dayan discussed the implementation of various civil service reforms.
8. The Cabinet approved a national plan to advance gender equality and instill gender awareness in the work of government ministries in order to promote equality between men and women in Israel.
9. The Cabinet approved Prime Minister Netanyahu’s proposal for the first allocation – approximately NIS 185 million – of a five-year plan for Druze and Circassian communities.