Following are excerpts from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today:
"We are in the midst of Chanukah.  This holiday affords us the possibility of a more correct perspective on several issues that we are currently dealing with.
Another issue has made headlines in recent days and cannot be ignored.  I am referring to the worrying reports about separation between Ethiopian and other children in the education system.  These reports add to the general feeling of distress of the Ethiopian children in particular and of the Ethiopian population in Israeli society in general.  I cannot say that this sense of distress is completely detached from some sort of vexing reality that exists toward this population.  In no way can I say that it is correct only in regard to a certain place in the country.  An injustice will have been done if we decide that all of this has happened in a certain city only and that everything is fine everywhere else.  There are problems.  There is distress, a sense of injustice by many Ethiopian Jews that is not detached from the reality in which they live.  In the end, we must change it and we have the obligation to do so.  Next month, the Government will approve an NIS 1 billion plan, mainly financed by the Government in cooperation with the Jewish Agency, to respond to a considerable portion of the problems that the Ethiopian community is suffering from in Israeli society.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference is currently taking place in Indonesia.  Environmental Protection Minister Gideon Ezra will brief us on the issue".
Prime Minister Olmert also discussed various issues related to the ongoing secondary school teachers’ strike.