PM Netanyahu's Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting
Photo by GPO 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this morning made the following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting:
 
"Israel will continue to act as necessary to uncover and counter the threat of tunnels in the south. We will spare no resources and means in providing security to the residents of the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip. In the past two years, these communities have flourished amidst a considerable increase in the number of residents. We are working to continue this trend. We are not seeking escalation, but we will not be deterred from doing whatever is necessary to maintain security.
 
Today the Cabinet will approve benefits for reservists – municipal tax discounts, increased scholarships, an extension of the period of eligibility for assistance from the fund for discharged soldiers and exemptions from several fees. Our position is that those who bear the heavy burden, reserve soldiers, at the expense of their families and places of work, deserve more. We are committed to act on behalf of those who contribute more toward security. This has been the government line for years, both this government and its predecessor.
 
Today and tomorrow we are marking VE Day. We are grateful to those who fought the Nazis, including hundreds of thousands of Jews who served in the Allied armies. Some of them are here with us today, the veterans and others. We salute them.
 
This Cabinet meeting is taking place between Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day and Independence Day. The State of Israel is a marvel of history and we are all proud of its achievements and of the IDF. Many things have been said recently about the State of Israel. There is no country that does not have displays of intolerance and violence, but Israeli democracy is strong. It condemns these displays and it deals with them according to the law and by other means. The comparison that was made in IDF Deputy Chief-of-Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan’s remarks about processes that characterized Nazi Germany 80 years ago is infuriating. The remarks are fundamentally incorrect. They should not have been made at any time much less now. They do injustice to Israeli society and cause a belittling of the Holocaust. The Deputy Chief-of-Staff is an outstanding officer, but his remarks on this issue were utterly mistaken and unacceptable to me."