If we discover that we have a real partner on the Palestinian side, we will be able to shortly reach a historic peace agreement between the two peoples.
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 22 August 2010:
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"I welcome the US invitation to start direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority without preconditions. Since the Government’s inauguration nearly a year and a half ago I have been calling for these direct talks. The achievement of a peace agreement between us and the Palestinian Authority is a difficult thing, but it is possible.
We are coming to talks from a real desire to achieve a peace agreement between the two peoples, while safeguarding Israel’s national interests, foremostly security. I know that there is a considerable skepticism after 17 years having passed since the beginning of the Oslo process. It is possible to understand why this doubtfulness exists. We are seeking to surprise the critics and the skeptics, but in order to do this we need a real partner on the Palestinian side. It is possible to succeed with a hand extended in peace, but only if someone on the other likewise extends one. If we discover that we have a real partner on the Palestinian side, sincere and serious in negotiations, negotiations which will require both sides to take necessary measures, not only the Israeli side but also the Palestinian side, if we discover we have such a partner, we will be able to shortly reach a historic peace agreement between the two peoples.
This agreement will be based on three initial components: First of all, on real and sustainable security arrangements on the ground; secondly, upon recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people, and this means that the solution of a problem like the demand for return will be realized in the territory of the Palestinian state; and the third component, the end to the conflict. We are discussing a peace agreement between Israel and a demilitarized Palestinian state. This state, if it should be established after this process, is due to end the conflict and not to be a façade for its continuation by other means.
Security, recognition of the national state of the Jewish people and the end of the conflict – these are the three components that will ensure us a real and lasting peace agreement.
2. The following are excerpts from Prime Minister Netanyahu briefing to the Cabinet on his trip to Greece (16-17 August 2010):
"Our ties with Greece are ties for which there were a variety of reasons to strengthen. Unbelievably, ties were not upgraded to full ambassadorial level until 1991, and actually were not upgraded to this level of cooperation in all fields, until the last visit by Prime Minister Papandreou in Israel and my visit now to Greece.
These visits were born of a random meeting between me and Prime Minister Papandreou six months ago in Moscow. That was prior to what is now called "the Turkish flotilla’ [incident], but it was due to a certain reality, which of course was a very difficult economic reality for Greece, and its desire to be assisted by ties with Israel, but also a certain strategic reality that was clear to both us and the Greeks. When I say Greeks, I mean all of the Greeks because I also met with the opposition leader, and I did not hear anything contradictory regarding the importance of ties between Israel and Greece.
Our discussion surrounded three main issues: Firstly, security and military cooperation; the diplomatic field, naturally. Greece, and PM Papandreou in particular, are interested in assisting in the peace process, which we are starting here.
I said that we are looking for ways in which to improve the situation, or halt the deterioration of relations, with Turkey – we did not cause their deterioration and we have no interest other than to improve them. But that does not prevent, even if such a problem did not exist, and on the background of this problem as well, us from having a full interest in cooperation with moderate, responsible and stable states, who desire moderation and stability in the region.
I certainly encourage our ministers to be in contact with their Greek counterparts, because there are many fields in which we can cooperate with them – and that touches, first of all, on the third issue, the economic field."
3. Pursuant to Articles 21-23 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments) and its decisions 3167, 17 February 2008, 2545 and 2548, 29 September 2002, the Cabinet approved the appointment of Michal Cohen, by Education Minister Gideon Saar, to the position of Pedagogic Director in the Ministry of Education.
4. Pursuant to Article 3 of Government decision 91, 30 May 2006, Senior Civil-Servant Appointments Advisory Committee, the Prime Minister appointed the following member to the committee:
- Justice (ret.) Yakov Turkel – Chairman
- Adv. Moshe Nissim
- Mrs. Gila Finkelstein
- Mr. Shmuel Hollander – in his capacity as Civil-Service Commissioner
Term of appointment is three years.
5. Defense Minister Ehud Barak informed the ministers that, at next week’s Cabinet meeting, he will request that they approve GOC Southern Command, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant to the post of Chief-of-Staff.
6. Pursuant to Government Decision from, 29 July 2007, approved the extension of the special educational aid project to the municipality of Lod for the next two academic years, and accordingly allocate NIS 22 million per year from the Education Ministry budget.
7. The Government made a series of decisions and approved agreements regarding Israel’s accession to the OECD.
8. Subsequent to Supreme Court Order 5660/10, appointment of a woman as an additional member to the Public Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of May 31, 2010, chaired by Justice (ret.) Yaakov Turkel, Minister of Justice, Yaakov Ne’eman reported that he proposed the appointment to five women, whom were not previously offered, and all five declined to be appointed to the commission. The Justice Minister’s announcement will be conveyed to the Supreme Court via the State Attorney’s Office.
9. Minister of Science and Technology, Daniel Hershkowitz, briefed the Cabinet on his visit to the US.