PM Netanyahu: On Tuesday, I will leave for Washington to launch the direct talks between us and the Palestinians. Our goal is to seriously and responsibly advance a peace agreement.

 Cabinet communique

 

Israel Cabinet meeting (GPO archive photo)

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
 
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 29 August 2010:
 
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
 
"This summer, we face the start of accelerated work on all fronts – in the diplomatic sphere, with the start of the new school year, in the economic sphere and in your ministries. We will get to these presently, but first I must note one thing: The State of Israel is under an attack of de-legitimization by elements in the international community.
 
This attack includes attempts to enact economic, academic and cultural boycotts. The last thing we need at this time is to be under such an attack; I mean this attempt at a boycott from within. I do not want to deny the right of any person, of any artist, to hold to a political opinion. He or she can express this opinion but we, as a Government, do not need to fund boycotts. We do not have to support boycotts directed at Israeli citizens in any manner whatsoever.
 
Therefore, this morning I was pleased to hear Culture Minister Limor Livnat announce that the theaters concerned have stated that they would continue to hold their performances in the various communities as planned. This is the correct approach, as opposed to the incorrect approach of pushing or trying to promote boycotts against Israeli citizens.
 
On Tuesday, I will leave for Washington to launch the direct talks between us and the Palestinians. We have insisted that these talks be held without pre-conditions and thus it will be. Our goal is to seriously and responsibly advance a peace agreement that will be based on the following principles:
 
First of all, the recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people, the end of the conflict and of claims on Israel, that will stem from recognizing it as the national state of the Jewish people, and the establishment of tangible security measures on the ground so as to ensure that there will not be a repeat in Judea and Samaria of what happened in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip after Israel withdrew from these areas. Of course, there are many other issues but I note these three principles as the basic components of Israel’s approach.
 
I am convinced that if the Palestinian leadership approaches these talks with the same degree of seriousness as we will be able to advance toward a stable agreement that will ensure peace and security for both peoples and will contribute to the security and stability of the region. I am aware of the difficulties; I do not make light of them. I know that there will be many potholes, but the basic question is whether the Palestinian side will be as willing as the Israeli side to advance towards a peace that will resolve this conflict for generations to come.
 
There shouldn’t just be a tactical halt between two wars or two outbreaks of terrorism, but a peace based on recognition, security, stability and economic prosperity between the two peoples that will endure for us and our children. This is my goal and I very much hope that it is the goal of the Palestinian leadership as well.
 
In the framework of these talks, of course, I will meet with US President Barack Obama and I also expect to see our neighbors there, the leaders of Egypt and Jordan, in addition to meetings with the Palestinians.
 
On Wednesday, even as the summit starts in Washington, the 2010-2011 school year will also start: Over 1.8 million students, including those in kindergartens, will go back to school. As you will recall, we have declared this year to be the year of the Hebrew language. There will be many activities and lessons in which the Hebrew language will be emphasized, along with the new curriculum on Israel’s heritage and Jewish and Zionist values.
 
We will continue to strengthen the core subjects, as we did last year, led by Education Minister Gideon Saar. We will add mathematics and science classroom hours in elementary and intermediate schools. This year, for the first time, we will also usher in a computerization plan for approximately 200 schools in the north and south.
 
This plan will be expanded to another 600 schools next year and it is designed to adapt the State of Israel’s educational system to the 21st century by introducing computers, broadband connections, and other existing technologies that, regrettably, have still not reached classrooms. This year, we will begin to close the gap."
 
2. On the occasion of the start of the 2010-2011 school year, Education Minister Saar briefed ministers on the current state of the education system. The Cabinet held a discussion after the briefing.
 
3. Pursuant to Article 23 of the 1959 State Service Law, the Cabinet appointed Shai Bazak as Israeli Consul-General in Boston. Mr. Bazak has previously served – inter alia – as the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser (1996-1998), Consul-General in Miami (1998-2000) and a media commentator on politics and Israel-US relations (2001-2009). Click here for further details.
 
4. The Cabinet discussed the integration of working mothers in the cycle of employment via subsidizing afternoon daycare.