PM Netanyahu: "At this morning’s meeting, I intend to update my fellow ministers on the general outline of the American proposal for the resumption of the peace talks."
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 14 November 2010:
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed his recent visit to the US:
"Last Friday, I returned from my visit to the US. I appeared at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly, which was held in New Orleans. Several of our ministers were there as well. I am certain that they, like me, attribute great importance to maintaining our relations with world Jewish communities and to strengthening the younger generation’s links with the Land of Israel. We support several programs, the results of which are very impressive; we also maintain our ties with communities and institutions there.
During my visit, I met with US Vice President Joe Biden and also with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. I also spoke and met with various leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives. I met with senior US economic and media figures, including the top analysts and commentators in the US. In all of these meetings, I raised – first and foremost – the need to stop the Iranian nuclear project. This is the greatest threat to both world peace and the security of the State of Israel.
At this morning’s meeting, I intend to update my fellow ministers on the general outline of the American proposal for the resumption of the peace talks. This proposal was raised during my talks with Secy. of State Clinton. It is still not final; it is still being formulated by Israeli and American teams. If and when it is complete, I will bring this proposal to the appropriate government forum, which in this case is the Cabinet. In any case, I insist that any proposal meet the State of Israel’s security needs, both in the immediate term and vis-à-vis the threats that we will face in the coming decade."
Prime Minister also discussed bringing the last Falashmura to Israel:
"Today, the Cabinet will discuss bringing the Falashmura, of the seed of Israel, who remain in Ethiopia, to the State of Israel. These are approximately 8,000 men, women and children who live under very difficult humanitarian conditions. The Government of Israel seeks to resolve this problem, because there is indeed a complex humanitarian crisis there, and also to avoid the creation of additional refugee camps in Ethiopia. In the first months, according to the proposal that has been submitted, 700 eligible Falashmura will come to Israel; in the next three years, the remainder of those eligible will be brought to Israel at the rate of 200 a month. I must say that, from my perspective, this closes a cycle because, during my first term as Prime Minister, I brought approximately 5,000 Falashmura to Israel. Today we are discussing an agreed-upon arrangement with all of the relevant bodies, and there are many, so that we might finally resolve this painful and complicated problem. We have a moral commitment as Jews, as the People of Israel, to find a solution. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved, especially former Supreme Court President Meir Shamgar and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky for their work towards this agreed-upon solution, which is responsible and practical."
2. Pursuant to Article 23 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet appointed Reuven Din-El as Israel’s Ambassador to the Ukraine, in place of the retiring Zina Klai-Klaitman.
3. The Cabinet approved the following Foreign Service appointments:
• Yaakov Amitai – Ambassador to Egypt;
• Alon Bar – Ambassador to Spain;
• Rafael Eldad – Ambassador to Brazil;
• Yosef Levy – Ambassador to Serbia;
• Jacques Yaakov Revah – Ambassador to Belgium;
• Eliyahu Ben-Tura – Ambassador to Senegal;
• Modi Ephraim – Ambassador to Peru;
• Menashe Bar-On – Ambassador to the Philippines;
• Shmulik-Aryeh Bass – Ambassador to El Salvador;
• Edward Shapiro – Consul-General in St. Petersburg;
• Hasid Barnea – Consul-General in Marseilles.
4. The Cabinet decided to bring the last Falashmura to Israel
5. The Cabinet discussed the issue of assisting in the establishment of saltwater fish farms in the Eilot Regional Council Area.
6. The Cabinet decided to close and move the Be’er Sheva Gas Farm.
7. Prime Minister Netanyahu referred to the auditorium in Ariel and noted that, to his regret, since he was in the US, he was unable to attend the opening, even though he would have liked to very much, given his involvement in the funding and completion of the institution. He said: "The issue is important and Ariel is important. To my regret, I heard that some people are continuing to call for a boycott of the auditorium and are also attacking Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat over this boycott. Those who advocate such a boycott will, in the end, hurt us all. I think that is not the way and anyone who considers him or herself a person of culture will deal neither in boycotts nor in attacks – neither against Israeli communities or Israeli ministers. I call on them to stop and I hope that they will do so."