Jerusalem, 25 October 1996


(Communicated by Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Friday), 25.10.96:

1. The meeting opened by marking the first anniversary of the murder of the late Yitzhak Rabin. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that this day should serve as a focus for unifying ranks and reducing the gaps between people, and fostering tolerance. Yitzhak Rabin represented this approach for many years. The day of remembrance to mark Rabin’s murder should serve as a day for bringing people together, not as a day for deepening the rift. There is a dire need to stress that there is a large gap between the legitimacy of expressing differences of opinion and criminal, illegitimate violence. Democracy faces two dangers that our lives will be filled with violence against political figures and that opinions held among the public will be delegitimized, by their supposed connection to criminal acts of murder and violence.

The chairman of the Ministerial Committee on Ceremonies and Symbols, Tourism Minister Moshe Katzav, emphasized that the Council for Perpetuating the Memory of Presidents and Prime Ministers decided, under the Peres government and with the agreement of this government, not to recommend declaring the day of the late Yitzhak Rabin’s murder a day of national mourning.

The tourism minister noted that for at least the next 10 years, the day of Yitzhak Rabin’s murder will be a day of remembrance marked by state ceremonies. In addition, a series of activities to perpetuate Rabin’s memory has been approved.

Education and Culture Minister Zevulun Hammer stressed that this day will be used to impart educational values of unity and tolerance.

2. Regarding the political process, the prime minister said:

"Our faces look toward peace and honoring the agreements between us and the Palestinians. However, in order for it to be possible to progress toward implementing the agreements, a clear commitment by the Palestinian Authority to the path of peace is required.

"The Palestinian Authority must choose between the path of violence, escalation, incitement and calling for jihad, and the path of negotiations, dialogue and peace. It is impossible to walk both these paths simultaneously.

"The Palestinian Authority must make it unequivocally clear that it has chosen the path of peace and that it abandons the path of violence. We cannot agree to accept any other path. We decided to honor the agreements and the other side must also honor them."

3. The director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr. Avigdor Lieberman, informed the cabinet about the government’s aid and activity in Dimona. He reported on assistance for establishing two new factories in Dimona, which are to employ 800 workers. The directors-general committee, under his leadership, agreed on a budgetary framework of NIS 28 million for Dimona.

4. The cabinet decided, to accept the industry and trade minister’s suggestion, and appointed Mr. Yehoshua Gleitman director-general of the Industry and Trade Ministry, replacing Mr. Yosef Snir.

5. The prime minister informed the cabinet that, in accordance with the cabinet’s decision authorizing him to make a decision on the issue of free trade zones, he had decided that there is a need for the operation of national projects in the framework of free trade zones. After examining the Finance Ministry’s reservations, he decided in favor of the merit of establishing free trade zones. Such a zone would attract foreign capital and the chance that this will happen overcomes any concerns. In light of national needs, this is a necessary step. Therefore, the previous cabinet decision on this issue is annulled, and the law regarding free trade zones will remain in effect.