PM Netanyahu: “We are determined to maintain quiet in the south. We will do so by a policy of preventive action and strong reaction against those who try to harm us or who harm us. I suggest that Hamas take our policy into account.”
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 19 January 2014):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat made the following remarks:
Prime Minister Netanyahu: "We are determined to maintain quiet in the south. We will do so by a policy of preventive action and strong reaction against those who try to harm us or who harm us. I suggest that Hamas take our policy into account.
UNESCO announced, over the weekend, that it was cancelling an exhibit that it had planned to hold in France on the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. The explanation given was that it would harm the negotiations. It would not harm the negotiations. Negotiations are based on facts, on the truth, which is never harmful. But what does harm the negotiations is the automatic summoning of Israeli ambassadors in certain countries regarding matters of no substance, while significant violations by the Palestinian Authority pass without a response.
The one-sided approach toward Israel does not advance peace – it pushes peace further away. It strengthens the refusal of the PA to make actual progress in the negotiations. We hope that this conduct by the PA changes. The one-sided and unfair attitude toward the State of Israel does not advance the diplomatic process.
Today, for the first time, a great friend of the State of Israel, and a great friend of mine, is visiting Israel, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen. Canada is a faithful friend of the State of Israel. Under Stephen Harper’s leadership, it has taken a moral and steadfast position against attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel. Prime Minister Harper has expressed a clear, brave and moral stand regarding the truth and in regard to the standards that the international community needs to adopt regarding the State of Israel and the conflict here. I think that this is worthy of praise and I welcome him on behalf of the Government and people of Israel.
Today we will be briefed by Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat. I would like you to say a few words. Limor, if you please."
Culture and Sports Minister Livnat: "Thank you Mr. Prime Minister. Today, we will present the activity of the Ministry of Culture and Sports during the past year and ahead of the coming year, of course. We will focus on three issues: First of all, cultural activity. We have here in the State of Israel, very ramified cultural activity even though the budget is still too low, but cultural activity is very wide-ranging.
Our main focus is on culture in the periphery. We have greatly succeeded here, in effect, today, over 2.5 times more citizens in the periphery enjoy subsidized cultural activity. We subsidize very significantly theaters, music, dance and more. We will note it here.
The second issue is sports, mainly the increase in the number of athletes. The number of registered athletes active in Israel is the lowest in the OECD. We want to change this. To this end, we are now carrying out a series of reforms including – inter alia – a NIS 370 million program, which was approved by the government a few weeks ago, in order to get children involved in sports from age 8 and up, in a series of preferred sports. Of course, there is also an additional series of reforms in the area of sports in order to break up the cartels, as you call it Mr. Prime Minister. This is another thing that we are doing of course. It is not simple, including vis-à-vis legislation. It is happening, it is moving forward and we are succeeding here as well.
The third thing touches on what you have just said and that is this strange statement by UNESCO. I will report here on a series of actions that we are taking, along with the Prime Minister’s Office, to strengthen heritage sites and preserve and save various heritage sites of which we have, thank Heaven, very many in the country. This is also being done by the Antiquities Authority, the Council for the Preservation of Sites and by the museums. We are also digitizing material and much more. All of this will be in the briefing of course."
Prime Minister Netanyahu: "I would like to congratulate you, Limor, on increasing cultural activity in the periphery. This is an innovation. I am receiving a lot of feedback on this. People are simply happy that cultural appearances and events are taking place in their communities. This is both right and it raises the self-esteem of the residents of these same communities. I think that this is very welcome activity.
Any breaking of cartels and monopolies is a welcome thing apart from cases of very exceptional natural monopolies. I do not think that there are any natural monopolies in Israeli sport. I would like to thank you for these and other activities. Thank you."
2. Pursuant to Article 12 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet decided to appoint Ami Palmor-Hertz as Director General of the Justice Ministry, effective 1 February 2014.
3. The Cabinet unanimously approved the extension of Israel Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino’s term in office for an additional year.
4. The Cabinet unanimously approved the extension of Prison Service Commissioner Lt.-Gen. Aharon Franko’s term in office for an additional year.
5. The Cabinet decided that the Prime Minister’s Prize for Initiatives and Innovation, which are awarded to initiatives and innovation that make a special contribution to society and are of far-reaching socio-economic influence, will be awarded on an annual basis near Herzl Day (the 9th of the Hebrew Month of Iyar), in order to express the link between Herzl and contemporary initiatives and innovation.
6. Culture and Sports Minister Livnat briefed the Cabinet on her ministry’s activities.