Israel and the European Union have agreed to put their relations back on track. EU HRVP Mogherini has come out strongly against BDS and against economic sanctions against Israel, which is a step in the right direction.
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Advisor)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today, (Sunday, 14 February 2016):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"Last night, Avigdor ‘Yanush’ Ben-Gal, an Israeli hero, passed away. Yanush was a child Holocaust survivor from Poland who grew up to became an IDF Major-General. As commander of the 7th Brigade in the Yom Kippur War, he – along with his brave soldiers – blocked the Syrian attack on the Golan Heights and saved the State of Israel. Three weeks later Yanush and his soldiers were at the gates of Damascus. I knew him as an extraordinarily inspirational and level-headed commander; he was courageous, wise and unpretentious. Even though he was aware of his uniqueness as a commander, he was not arrogant. He knew how to give precise orders on the battlefield. I knew him after the war and after my brother fell because they fought together, shoulder-to-shoulder, on the Golan Heights and afterwards when my brother served on the Golan Heights. This personal connection strengthened over the years. When Yanush fell gravely ill he showed the same courage and quiet heroism. He was an exemplary human being. The Jewish People have lost one of its greatest fighters. May his memory be blessed.
Israel and the European Union have agreed to put relations between us back on track. In the conversation I had over the weekend with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, I heard from her that the EU is opposed to any boycott of Israel, and about their action regarding product labeling, she defined it as non-binding and said that it does not reflect their position regarding the final borders of the State of Israel, which can be determined – that is what she said – in direct negotiations between the sides.
Israel, as a representative of democratic values, is entitled to receive support from Europe and not just criticism, and I think that this step is welcome. Of course, this is not to say that there will not be friction. There are things that we do not agree on. Neither is this to say that there will not be friction with specific countries within the EU, just as there are countries, more than a few, that also support our position. But the fact that the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy has come out strongly against BDS and against economic sanctions against Israel, is – of course – a step in the right direction.
Also, you have certainly heard reports to the effect that US Vice President Joe Biden is considering coming to Israel in the coming days. His advance team will arrive today. A date for the visit has yet to be determined, but it is clear that Vice President Biden is a welcome guest in Israel anytime he decides to come here."
2. Pursuant to Article 23 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet decided to approve the appointment of Yigal Tzarfati as Director of the Economy and Industry Ministry Regional Development Authority, for two years, effective today.
3. The Cabinet decided to approve the following Foreign Service appointments:
* Moshe Kimchi as Ambassador to Ivory Coast and non-resident Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo;
* Yaakov Keidar as Ambassador to Switzerland and non-resident Ambassador to Liechtenstein; and
* Nadav Cohen as Consul General in Guangzhou, China.
4. The Cabinet discussed and approved measures regarding the length of terms for certain senior civil service appointments.
5. The Cabinet discussed and approved draft legislation regarding compensation for various costs incurred by Holocaust victims. Click here for further details.