Today, we will welcome French President Francois Hollande. This visit would be important at any time both for bilateral relations but also, of course, in light of the talks being held in Geneva on the Iranian nuclear issue.
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 17 November 2013):
1. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Interior Minister Gideon Saar made the following remarks:
"Yechiel Kadishai was in this room many times. He was the right-hand man and close and dedicated assistant of the late Menachem Begin. He was direct, a man of integrity, very witty and had a great Jewish soul. Yechiel was dedicated to the Zionist idea, the Jewish people and the Land of Israel and had a very realistic but always optimistic perspective. Until today I have not found someone who did not love him; it was impossible not to love, appreciate and honor Yechiel. While he was an organic part of the national movement, of our movement, the Likud and its Herut predecessor, he had a great heart and love that opened paths for him throughout the political spectrum. On behalf of the Cabinet, I would like to send our condolences to his wife Esther and to all members of the Kadishai family. May his memory be blessed.
Today, we will welcome French President Francois Hollande and ministers of his government, including Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. They come as friends and will be welcomed as friends. This visit would be important at any time both for bilateral relations but also, of course, in light of the talks being held in Geneva on the Iranian nuclear issue. We will discuss this issue, which tops the agenda, as I will with Russian President Vladimir Putin when I visit Moscow on Wednesday, and as I will with US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is arriving here on Friday. John Kerry is an old friend and he is also a friend of Israel. He is making an effort to advance the issue of peace between us and the Palestinians, and of course we will discuss this too, but we will also discuss the issue of Iran.
I would like to make it clear that there can be disagreements even among the best of friends, certainly on issues related to our future and our fate. It is the obligation of the Prime Minister of Israel and the Government of Israel to uphold our vital interests and thus we are doing vis-à-vis an agreement which is a bad agreement. I hope that we will succeed in convincing our friends this week and in the days afterwards to achieve a much better agreement, and it will be possible to do so. Iran is under economic pressure and continuing – and even increasing – this pressure will be able to achieve the much better result of a peaceful, diplomatic solution. I believe that many in the region and beyond it share this view.
Today, we will submit a new law to prevent illegal migration. The law has been led by Interior Minister Saar. He has done important work with other Government officials – including Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and others in order to enable us to uphold the decisions of the High Court of Justice and, on the other hand, to advance our goal of preventing illegal migration and deporting illegal migrants. We are doing both of these.
In the past three months, the number of those entering Israel has been zero. We also deported several thousand from the State of Israel; however, we also need other tools, including legal, in order to ensure that the State of Israel, in contrast to other countries, will not have illegal labor migrants."
Interior Minister Saar: "The draft law that I will submit to the Cabinet today, and to the Knesset next week, was rendered necessary by September’s High Court of Justice ruling. We need new tools to deal with the phenomenon of illegal migration into Israel. What is correct for Australia, which is surrounded entirely by the ocean, is certainly correct for the state of Israel, which is the only Western country that has a land border with Africa. We have one country – we will show determination in ensuring its future. In a previous Supreme Court ruling, there is a sentence that in my opinion has never been more correct: Democracy is not a recipe for suicide and human rights are not a platform for national ruin."
Prime Minister Netanyahu showed ministers a video clip in which an interpreter at the UN Human Rights Council is shown saying that she thinks that when there are ten decisions about Israel and the Palestinians, that there are also very bad things happening and nobody says a word about them.
Prime Minister Netanyahu: "Here is an easy moment. The State of Israel does not have many easy moments in international arenas but we had one when a UN Human Rights Council interpreter was overheard making a comment. And she said: What is this picking on Israel? I would like to show this clip to the Cabinet. I would like to tell this interpreter that she has a job waiting for her in the State of Israel. There are moments that tear the hypocrisy off the unending attacks against us and this brave interpreter did so."
2. The Cabinet discussed reforms at the Israel State Archives and the construction of a depository facility in Arad.
3. The Cabinet discussed the issuing of memorial coins, as well as their value, weight and composition.
4. The Cabinet approved draft legislation on a) benefits for Holocaust survivors, b) changes to income tax regulations, c) changes to pension arrangements for civil servants, d) capital market development, and e) amendments to the Prevention of Illegal Migration Law.