(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 18 April 2010:
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"Israel’s 62nd Independence Day is marked by the country’s achievements in the 150 years since the birth of Theodor (Binyamin Zeev) Herzl. Herzl began his work at the age of 36 and ended it at 44. In eight years, he changed Jewish and human history. He took a dispersed and powerless people and motivated them to gather in return to their country, to re-establish its sovereignty and its creative power. Herzl foresaw the evil; he understood what was going to happen in Europe. It is not correct that he wrote about the Holocaust; he wrote repeatedly about the catastrophe that would come. He believed that the emigration of Jews to their country and the building up of their country, ‘Zionism’ as he called it, was the order of the day, an order to rescue the Jewish People and an order for them to flourish anew. He saw no contradiction here – rejecting the bad and building up the good.
I think that it is important that every boy and girl In Israel know about the father of our country. Today, there are stamps [commemorating Herzl] – we will talk about them soon. But we would like to deepen knowledge of this great personality, who is comparable in my eyes to the ancient prophets of Israel, without whom there would certainly have been no possibility of national revival. Without him, we would not be sitting here today."
2. In continuation of its 30 June 2009 decision and pursuant to Article 38 of Basic Law: The Government, the Cabinet decided to ask the Knesset to declare a state of emergency for one year.
This is important because various essential laws that grant the Government the authority necessary to deal with the current security situation, including the war on terrorism, depend on the continuation of the state of emergency.
3. The Chairman of the Public Council for the Commemoration of Binyamin Zeev Herzl briefed ministers on the Council’s activities to mark the 150th anniversary of Herzl’s birth. Education Minister Gideon Saar briefed ministers on his ministry’s plan to increase and encourage the study of Zionism and Herzl’s heritage in the framework of 10th-grade history classes.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon and the Israel Post Director-General launched the new Israel Post Herzl stamp.
4. The Government decided to allocate NIS 2 million to finance a new educational wing at the Herzl Museum.
5. Pursuant to Articles 8 and 12 of the 1954 Bank of Israel Law, the Cabinet decided to recommend to President Shimon Peres that he extend the tenure of Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer for an additional five-year term, effective 1 May 2010.
6. Pursuant to Article 29a of the 2000 Prohibition on Money Laundering Law, the Cabinet appointed attorney Paul Landis as Acting Director of the Israel Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority for six months or until the appointment of a permanent director, whichever comes first.
7. The Cabinet decided to adopt the ‘long-term rent’ model currently being operated by the Immigrant Absorption Ministry and the Construction and Housing Ministry at Jewish Agency-owned absorption centers around the country.
8. The Cabinet discussed and approved a plan to upgrade fishing in the Sea of Galilee basin in order to maintain sustainable fish stocks, restore the lake’s ecological balance and improve water quality.
9. The Cabinet discussed the report of the committee of inquiry into the management of the Veterinary Services and Animal Health unit.