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Netanyahu: Building in East Jerusalem is non-negotiable – The Times of Israel

BEIJING Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that he would not negotiate on halting construction of new homes in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

Speaking with reporters during a visit to China, Netanyahu said that while he is still working to reach an understanding with the Trump administration on settlement building in the West Bank, the topic of placing restrictions on building in East Jerusalem is off the table.

I wont negotiate on the issue of Jerusalem, but I am prepared to find an agreed upon formula regarding settlements, he said.

There is still a process of working towards arriving at an agreement on the subject of settlements in Judea and Samaria, he added, using the Biblical name for the West Bank.

Sunset over a construction site next to the Jewish East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo on November 21, 2016. (Sebi Berens/Flash90)

After US President Donald Trump told Netanyahu that Id like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit during a February meeting of the two leaders at the White House, the prime minister said he was working with the US administration to establish a mechanism to coordinate new settlement construction.

However, despite his reportedly discussing the issue at length with Trumps Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt during Greenblatts visit to Israel last week, an agreement has yet to be reached on the issue.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the Monument to the Peoples Heroes in Beijing on March 21, 2017. (Haim Zach / GPO)

In reference to the lack of progress in negotiations on the topic, Netanyahu said on Tuesday that there are different viewpoints and so he dispatched his chief of staff Yoav Horowitz to the US on Sunday in order to continue discussions on the issue with Greenblatt alongside Israels Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer.

Netanyahu also said he has not retreated from his promise to build a new West Bank settlement for the evacuees of the now demolished illegal Amona outpost.

I have a promise on Amona and I have not retreated. There is a desire to reach an outcome and I hope that it will be fair, he said.

Netanyahu has been trying to get the White Houses approval for the construction of the new settlement the first in some 25 years to replace Amona, which was evacuated and demolished in February in accordance with a High Court ruling that found it was built illegally on private Palestinian land.

Last month, he indicated to members of his security cabinet that the government may have to back off the pledge, drawing vociferous protests from the settlers and their allies in the coalition.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trumps special representative for international negotiations, at the Prime Ministers Office in Jerusalem, March 13, 2017. (Matty Stern/US Embassy Tel Aviv)

Before his second meeting with Greenblatt last week, by contrast, Netanyahu vowed that he would fulfill his promise to Amona residents to establish the new settlement.

Since Trumps inauguration, Israel has approved the construction of some 6,000 news homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which unlike during the Obama administration were met with little fanfare from the White House, although no new building plans have been announced since Trumps comments in February.

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Netanyahu: Building in East Jerusalem is non-negotiable – The Times of Israel

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March 22, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu threatens snap polls after broadcasting row – Livemint

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised Sunday the possibility of snap elections following a dispute with his finance minister over a new national broadcasting service.

Local papers, radio and television channels carried Netanyahus threat to dissolve the governmentthe most rightwing in the countrys historyif the Public Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) isnt dissolved before its scheduled start date on 30 April.

Netanyahu, whose Likud party is part of a slim parliamentary majority, has long been opposed to the new service but he appeared last week to reach an agreement with finance minister Moshe Kahlon, before rowing back.

You cannot have a situation in which Likud respects all coalition agreements while small parties dont keep their commitments on important points, Netanyahu said in remarks broadcast Sunday by public radio.

Some media suggested Netanyahu had deliberately triggered the cabinet crisis as a way to deflect attention from a long-running investigation into alleged corruption that has seen him questioned several times by police in recent weeks.

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Kahlon heads the Kulanu party which, with 10 seats in parliament, is a crucial part of Netanyahus government.

He is known as being committed to reforming Israels public broadcasting and is reported to have held talks with opposition leader Isaac Herzog of Labour on Saturday evening as the row dragged on.

Several ministers and Likud MPs are known to be against a snap election, and it is thought unlikely that rightwing and ultra-Orthodox parties would countenance joining a more centrist government.

The PBC is officially meant to revigorate Israel public broadcasting in an age when private channels have an increasing share of viewers.

It is set to begin broadcasting on 30 April and a team of some 400 staff have already started work.

But it is expected to lead to some layoffs in Israels existing public broadcasting service, something Netanyahu has used to attack the PBC.

Allies of Netanyahu, who gave himself veto power over media issues when forming his cabinet in 2015, have suggested the new institution would cede too much control from government.

Culture minister Miri Regev last year said it would be inconceivable to establish a company that we wouldnt control. Whats in it for us?

First Published: Sun, Mar 19 2017. 06 54 PM IST

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March 20, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Benjamin Netanyahu threatens to dissolve government amid … – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night retracted last weeks agreement with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to establish the new Israel Broadcasting Corporation, throwing his coalition back into crisis. Hebrew media meanwhile reported that Netanyahu threatened to dissolve the government if Kahlon does not agree to shut down the IBC before it is officially launched on April 30.

I changed my mind after a meeting I had yesterday with the employees of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday. At the meeting I heard heart-rending stories about dedicated and experienced employees who are being sent home because of the [replacement Israel Broadcasting] Corporation.

Netanyahus retraction came after a week of inter-coalition tensions, as Kulanu chairman Kahlon sparred with the prime minister about a proposal for another six-month postponement of the IBC launch. The two men later agreed to support its establishment as scheduled.

Netanyahu has fought against the IBC, which would replace the Israel Broadcasting Authority and operate under less government control.

Writing on Facebook to explain his change of heart, the prime minister said he did not want to send some 1,000 IBA employees home without jobs. Claiming that the cost of operating the IBA is tens of millions of shekels less than it would be with the IBC, he asked, So why should there be a Corporation? Zionist Union chairman Isaac Herzog said on Twitter that he plans to unseat the government and supports a vote of no-confidence. Meanwhile, Kahlon spoke with Herzog about Kulanu, with its 10 MKs, leaving the coalition and introducing a motion of no-confidence, thereby triggering an election.

Some opposition lawmakers accused the prime minister of deliberately seeking such an action, to distract from his ongoing criminal investigation.

We must not confuse the public, Zionist Union MK Erel Margalit said. [Netanyahu] wants the crisis so as not to be investigated. It is not the establishment of the Corporation but an early election.

Before the coalition was thrown into a tailspin on Saturday, the crisis appeared resolved by Thursdays agreement between Kahlon and Netanyahu to establish the IBC on April 30 as legislated.

In exchange, Kahlon agreed to a support a government bill to create a unified state regulatory body for news broadcasting.

The establishment of government control over the broadcaster has been criticized as a threat to press freedoms.

There is no agreement with Kahlon, the Broadcasting Corporation will not be established, MK David Bitan said Saturday on Channel 2s Meet the Press. The Likud leads the government and the coalition with 30 seats. They [Kulanu] cannot come to us all the time with demands and impose their agenda on us, without respecting our views.

Speaking earlier in the day in Haifa, Bitan acknowledged the coalition crisis. There is a good chance we will go to an election, he said. Bayit Yehudi and Kulanu say that the government depends on our support, but enough is enough. If the Likud and the prime minister get fed up, [Netanyahu] will dismantle everything and go to the polls.

On Thursday, the crisis took an ugly turn when, in responding to a question by Kahlon as to why Netanyahu requested a six-month delay of the Israel Broadcasting Corporation, the prime minister said his Mizrahi gene was activated. The statement, using the Hebrew word for Eastern or Oriental, appeared to play off of degrading stereotypes of Jews of Middle Eastern descent.

After a flood of condemnation from opposition and some coalition MKs, Netanyahu apologized on Friday for the charged comment, writing on Twitter, I apologize for my remarks yesterday. I had no intention to offend anyone. I am connected with all my heart to every group in Israel and I cherish their tremendous contribution to the tradition of our people and building our nation.

Amid the shake-up last week, Shas chairman and Interior Minister Arye Deri threatened to pull out of the government if these kinds of confrontations do not end.

I do not intend to stay in a cabinet that performs as such, where everyone tries to take out one another, he said, If people are not willing to come to their senses, we better go to an election.

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March 20, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Netanyahu apologizes for disparaging ‘Mizrahi gene’ comment – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Moshe Kahlon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [File]. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized on Friday for racially charged comments regarding Jews of Middle Eastern descent.

In responding to a question by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon as to why Netanyahu requested a six-month delay of the new Israel Broadcasting Corporation, the prime minister said his Mizrahi gene was activated.

The statement, using the Hebrew word for eastern, appeared to play off of degrading stereotypes of Jews of Middle Eastern descent.

After a flood of condemnation from opposition and some coalition MKs, the prime minister apologized on Twitter stating, I apologize for my remarks yesterday. I had no intention to offend anyone. I am connected with all my heart to every group in Israel and I cherish their tremendous contribution to the tradition of our people and building our land.

Zionist Union MK Amir Peretz, who is of Moroccan descent, said that what was activated in [Netanyahu] was his racist gene.

This is not humorous but reveals a dark inner truth. This is another expression of the discriminatory policies of Netanyahu, Peretz said on Facebook on Friday.

Likud MK Oren Hazan also chimed in on Twitter, stating that Netanyahu stating that if Netanyahu “really had a [Mizrahi gene] he would not insult it.”

Despite Netanyahus statement, a severe coalition crisis was averted on Thursday, after the premier and Minister Kahlon reportedly agreed that the new Israel Broadcasting Corporation would begin operations on April 30, following earlier calls by Netanyahu to prevent its establishment.

In return, Kahlon agreed to a support a ministerial bill which would create a unified state regulatory body for news broadcasting, but which has been criticized by opposition parties for creating government control over the body and thereby threatening press freedoms.

Jeremy Sharon and Udi Shaham contributed to this article

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Netanyahu apologizes for disparaging ‘Mizrahi gene’ comment – Jerusalem Post Israel News

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March 17, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Netanyahu, Greenblatt meet for five hours on way to move diplomatic process forward – Jerusalem Post Israel News

A five hour meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump’s advisor Jason Greenblatt ended Monday evening with a statement pledging commitment to finding a true, sustainable peace agreement and the need to improve living conditions in the Palestinian Authority.

According to a statement put out by the Prime Minister’s Office, the two affirmed the joint commitment of the US and Israel to advancing a true, sustainable peace between Israel and the Palestinians that will strengthen Israel’s security and stability in the region.

Greenblatt, who arrived earlier on Monday, is scheduled to meet PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday during his first foray into the thick of Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy.

According to the statement, Netanyahu said that he believed that under Trump’s leadership it will be possible to promote peace between Israel and all its neighbors, including the Palestinians, and that he anticipates working closely with Trump on this issue.

The statement said that Greenblatt reaffirmed Trumps commitment to Israel’s security and to helping the two sides reach peace through direct negotiations. The statement said that the two men discussed the issue of settlement construction in the hope of coming up with a formula that will lead to the goal of peace and security.

When Netanyahu met with Trump last month in Washington it was decided to set up a mechanism, led by Greenblatt and ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, to develop agreed upon guidelines between the US and Israel about where construction in the settlements will be permitted. Netanyahu’s hope is that if guidelines could be agreed, then an issue that served under the Obama administration as a constant irritant could be removed.

Dermer took part in Mondays meeting. The PMO statement said that Greenblatt emphasized that Trump was very interested in encouraging Palestinian economic growth and improving the living conditions for the Palestinians.

Netanyahu, according to the readout, said he too was completely committed to Palestinian economic prosperity and sees it as a way of improving the prospects of reaching a peace deal.

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Donald Netanyahu: Many Democrats See The Two Leaders As One – Forward

In sports, spectators generally watch the ball. In politics, they generally watch the people who govern. Often, however, important dynamics occur offstage, as parties out of power remake themselves in exile.

Thats likely happening to the Democrats. Quietly, in the shadow of Trump, the party will move left. The Democrats will never nominate another presidential candidate as friendly as Hillary Clinton was to a mainstream group like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Some of the reasons have nothing to do with Donald Trump. Theyre simply demographic.

Millennials are less sympathetic to Israel than their elders. African Americans and Latinos are less sympathetic than whites. The religiously unaffiliated are less sympathetic than are regular churchgoers. And the young, the secular and racial minorities are all growing as a share of the American population and, especially, of the Democratic electorate. This past January, for the first time since the Pew Research Center began asking the question in 2000, Democrats were as likely to identify with the Palestinians as with Israel.

But while this shift left would likely have happened anyway, Trump will accelerate it. First, hell accelerate it by giving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a freer hand to do things that alienate American progressives, like building settlements, silencing dissent and perhaps even annexing parts of the West Bank.

If Israel and Hamas again go to war, Trump will place fewer restraints on Netanyahus military campaign than Hillary Clinton would have, and that will alienate progressives, too. Jewish Voice for Peace, which represents the left edge of the American Israel debate, saw dramatic membership growth during Israels 2014 war with Gaza. Another Gaza war which Trumps election makes more likely will boost it further.

Even more important, Trump will become the prism through which Democrats see Netanyahu. Because most Americans know little about foreign leaders, they often see them as analogues to the American politicians they know well. Why did American progressives develop such a passionate hostility toward South Africas apartheid leaders? Because those leaders resembled the politicians of the segregated South. Why has Vladimir Putins popularity dipped among Democrats and risen dramatically among Republicans since 2016? Because some Americans now see Putin as a Russian version of Trump.

Thats especially true for Netanyahu. His English is so good, and hes so intimately involved in American politics, that to many Americans he simply sounds like another Republican.

Netanyahu is a big part of the reason Democrats grew more critical of Israel during the Obama years. His fear-mongering, bellicose rhetoric about Iran reminded them of the Bush administrations fear-mongering, bellicose rhetoric in the run-up to the war in Iraq. When he spoke, they heard Dick Cheney.

Now, when Netanyahu speaks, Democrats hear Donald Trump. When Democrats read about Israel not allowing critics into the country, theyll think of Trumps travel ban. When they hear about Netanyahus threats to freedom of the press, theyll think of Trumps attacks on journalists. When Netanyahu claims his wall stopped illegal immigration, theyll think of Trumps proposed wall along the border with Mexico.

Many Democrats already saw Israel as another red state. Now unless Israel undergoes some unexpected political shift theyll view Netanyahus Israel as authoritarian, hyper-nationalist, nativist and anti-Muslim, everything they fear Trump will make the United States. Netanyahus failure to publicly press Trump to speak out against rising American anti-Semitism will only compound that view.

If you squint, you can already see evidence of the Democrats move left. Although Keith Ellison, one of the most vocal proponents of Palestinian rights in Congress, lost his bid to chair the Democratic National Committee in February, he came closer than he would have a few years ago. Despite a fierce attack from the Jewish right, he won the endorsementsof the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren and the Senate Minority leader,Charles Schumer, and received the deputy chairman as a consolation prize. Nine of the 10 Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee including New Jerseys Cory Booker, a darling of the American Jewish establishment voted against David Friedman, Trumps pro-settlements nominee to be ambassador to Israel.

And in February, at the J Street Conference, Bernie Sanders went further in his criticism of Israel than he had during the presidential campaign even hinting that if the two-state solution dies, he might embrace one equal state for [both Palestinians and Jews.

In the conclusion to his speech, Sanders explicitly linked the struggle against Netanyahu to the struggle against Trump. To my Israeli friends here with us today, he declared, we share many of the same challenges. In both our countries we see the rise of a politics of bigotry and intolerance and resentment. We must meet these challenges together.

When Sanders finished, the crowd roared. It was a sign of things to come.

Peter Beinart is a Forward senior columnist and contributing editor. Dont miss the latest episodes of Fault Lines, his new podcast with Daniel Gordis.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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Netanyahu hits out at ‘libellous’ report his wife threw him out of car … – The Guardian

Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu arrive in court to give evidence in their case against Igal Sarna. Photograph: Heidi Levine/EPA

Israels prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has appeared in court to deny a claim that his wife, Sara, expelled him from an official motorcade during a furious argument in 2015, endangering his security arrangements.

The claims and counterclaims emerged during a high-profile defamation case that has brought together two of Israels longest-running political soap operas the battle between the countrys prime minister and its media, and claims about his wifes allegedly volatile behaviour.

The libel case, in which the couple are claiming $76,000 (66,500) in damages, concerns a gossipy Facebook post by Igal Sarna, a prominent journalist at the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

The post purported to describe a row between the Netanyahus that allegedly took place in a night-time motorcade of four cars between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The Netanyahus deny the events described occurred.

The case, and the Netanyahus appearance in court, comes as the prime minister is embroiled in several police investigations that have led to a slew of allegations being published in the Israeli media, including reports of gifts such as champagne, jewellery and cigars the couple are said to have received from wealthy benefactors.

Netanyahu, who strongly denies any wrongdoing, insists the investigations will all come to nothing, because there is nothing. Meanwhile, he has taken to launching broadsides against the journalists behind some of the stories.

Sarnas Facebook post appears small beer in comparison with some of the recent allegations against Netanyahu, but the couple have forged ahead with the case, accusing their long-time critic of a disgusting, cynical, low, mean-spirited attack intended to embarrass them publicly by means of ugly and false reports.

Sarna told the court he had made the allegations in good faith based on several sources, adding that the incident bore features similar or identical to known episodes in the Netanyahus family life.

Taking the stand on Tuesday, Netanyahu insisted the fight was fiction that never occurred and never could have happened.

The hearing, which had been postponed several times at Netanyahus request, dramatised the bad blood between Netanyahu and many Israeli journalists.

Referring to that theme in her evidence on Tuesday, Sara Netanyahu accused the media of fighting a 20-year crusade against her husband through her. To her knowledge, she had never in those years argued with her husband in an official car in the presence of a security detail, she said.

Taking aim at Sarna in particular, she accused him of being inhuman in his treatment of her family.

Sarna conceded in court that there were aspects of the story of which he was not entirely sure. I hadnt known whether Sara threw Bibi out of car, he told the court to laughter, using Netanyahus nickname. Or if he left of his own accord.

Asked why he had posted on Facebook rather than offering the story to his paper, Sarna said it was because he believed it was small.

For his part, the prime minister accused Sarna of throwing a biblical size flood of lies at me.

Anyone who knows anything about convoy security knows that something like [the fight described] could not happen, Netanyahu told the court.

In response, Sarnas lawyer accused the Netanyahus of suing not because the details in the Facebook post were false, but because they had been stung by a series of critical columns by the journalist. Netanyahu replied that they had sued over the post because this was super false.

Asked whether he followed Sarnas Facebook posts, Netanyahu shot back: Its hard to follow so much crazy, surreal slander. I have other business to attend to. I cant even dedicate a moment of my time to this deluge.

Sarnas claims appear to have touched a particular nerve in the Netanyahus, not least Sara, who has been buffeted by allegations of her behaviour in the prime ministers official residence.

Last year a former housekeeper was awarded damages after a court found she had abused him and subjected him to irrational demands.

Summing up the verdict in that case the judge ruled: The court had before it many testimonies indicating that the conditions of employment in the residence were harmful due to the behaviour of Mrs Netanyahu and her attitude to the employees.

Those included exaggerated demands, insults, humiliation and outbursts of anger.

The case continues.

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Netanyahu: I’ll apologize if probe finds Beduin was not a terrorist – Jerusalem Post Israel News

If an ongoing Justice Ministry probe finds that Beduin teacher Yacoub Abu al-Kaeean, who was killed during the January 18 Umm al-Hiran demolition operation, was not a terrorist, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will apologize for having called him a murderer, he declared on Tuesday.

Netanyahu made the statement while in the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court, where he is pursuing a defamation case against reporter Yigal Sarna.

Netanyahu was asked by Sarnas lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, if he tries to be truthful with his Facebook posts, to which he responded, I try to. He was then asked how he could have called Abu al-Kaeean a murderer. Netanyahu responded, The issue is still under investigation, but if it is found that what was said [by me] was untrue, I will apologize.

Netanyahus remark comes as Justice Ministry officials move toward the conclusion of an investigation that, according to media reports, will show that Abu al-Kaeean did not deliberately run over policeman St.-Sgt.-Maj. Erez Levi as Netanyahu, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Inspector-General Roni Alsheikh claimed that day. Alsheikh went so far as to say that Abu al-Kaeean belonged to Islamic State.

Police remained insistent it was a deliberate ramming attack despite multiple eyewitnesses who stated that Abu al-Kaeeans vehicle accelerated only after shots were fired at it and a police video appeared to support that conclusion With the expected findings, there have been some expressions of regret over the rush to conclusion and the tragic outcome.

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel told Beduin leaders last week, I take advantage of this platform to say that if there really was a failure in Umm al-Hiran, I say here to you that I apologize profoundly. We will wait for the results of the investigation, but there are various voices saying there were severe failures and if there were, I ask to give my apology to the family, and for the possibility to visit and speak personally with them.

Erdan defended himself recently by saying he got his information from police in the field. But in a post on Facebook, he also said that if it becomes clear that Abu al-Kaeean did not carry out a deliberate ramming attack, an apology would be issued to his family.

But Netanyahus statement has become the closest the government has come to saying it is possible security forces killed an innocent man without justification, and that authorities then misbranded him as a terrorist, something Umm al-Hiran residents have insisted all along.

Hamad Abu al-Kaeean, Yacoubs brother, reacted by saying an apology would not be enough, and that those responsible for Yacoubs murder would have to be punished.

Now they are saying they are waiting for the results of the investigation. I would have wanted them to say that on that day. Of course he has to apologize, but in the familys view, he who is guilty has to be tried. There was a fatal mistake here and people were murdered for this mistake, he said.

You killed him and tried to label him as a member of Islamic State and a terrorist. You murdered the name of the family and you demolished all those houses and the world of Yacoub and his family. Is it really enough for people to say now, I made a mistake? he continued.

MK Nachman Shai (Zionist Union) said apologizing is not enough and that if the Justice Ministry determines that Abu al-Kaeean was not carrying out an attack, Netanyahu needs to open a new chapter with the Beduin and to regain the confidence not only of the Beduin but of the public as a whole.

Raja Zaatry, a spokesman for the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, said, This was not a mistake of mischaracterizing the victim. The main issue is the policy of incitement and house demolition.

The victim was made into a terrorist, despite the fact that he was a teacher and his family members are respected people, teachers and lecturers. Taking responsibility is not just apologizing, it means that the people responsible for the lie and incitement, Erdan and Alsheikh, should resign, and it means stopping the policy of house demolitions.

The demolitions were aimed at forcing Umm al-Hiran residents to relocate to the nearby Beduin township of Hura so that a new town, Hiran, could be built in place of the village. For the Umm al-Hiran families, it is their second displacement. In 1956, the army forcibly relocated them from the Wadi Zbala area of the Negev to their present location. But they were never given title to the land or hooked up to water or electricity, and a 2015 High Court decision cleared the way for the establishment of Hiran on the site.

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Netanyahu, Kahlon agree to reduce taxes – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Moshe Kahlon. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

As a result of Israels productive 2016 and continuing this year with Mondays purchase of Mobileye Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon agreed to advance plans toward reducing taxes.

The ministers declared their intent to further stimulate the countrys economy, as well as to formulate a joint framework to decrease taxes, a spokesman for Kahlon said. Their Monday meeting followed Kahlons announcement on Channel 2s Meet the Press program on Saturday night that a tax cut is coming.

Kahlon also acknowledged that the cost of living is high, and that surplus funds would not remain in the Finance Ministrys coffers.

We are about to reduce taxes, he said on Meet the Press. We must return money to the weaker population segments; it will be returned to the public.

In response to Netanyahu and Kahlons agreement on Monday, MK Itzik Shmuli (Zionist Union) said that if a surplus of billions of shekels does in fact exist, the money should be directed toward rehabilitating the countrys social services. He particularly called for the government to use the money to implement nursing care reform and to raise disability and elderly care budgets.

If we once again take the reckless step of reducing VAT by fractions of a percent that will never be felt, the Israeli public will lose big time, Shmuli said. Without the restoration of social services, we will not manage to decrease poverty and the tremendous inequality in Israel.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog urged Netanyahu and Kahlon to do more than just lower taxes. Referring to an agreement earlier that day announcing that chip giant Intel would be acquiring Jerusalems Mobileye for $15 billion, Herzog called upon the ministers to harness the taxes generated by that forthcoming transaction to launch an emergency public health plan.

Tax money from this welcome deal can bring full and comprehensive rehabilitation of the collapsing Israeli health system, Herzog said, citing a need for more hospital beds, subsidized cancer treatments, MRI machine purchases and shortened wait times in emergency rooms.

The government of Israel must grant Israeli citizens a strong, stable and equitable health system for everyone from every place, Herzog added.

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Netanyahu: Building in East Jerusalem is non-negotiable – The Times of Israel

BEIJING Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that he would not negotiate on halting construction of new homes in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Speaking with reporters during a visit to China, Netanyahu said that while he is still working to reach an understanding with the Trump administration on settlement building in the West Bank, the topic of placing restrictions on building in East Jerusalem is off the table. I wont negotiate on the issue of Jerusalem, but I am prepared to find an agreed upon formula regarding settlements, he said. There is still a process of working towards arriving at an agreement on the subject of settlements in Judea and Samaria, he added, using the Biblical name for the West Bank. Sunset over a construction site next to the Jewish East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo on November 21, 2016. (Sebi Berens/Flash90) After US President Donald Trump told Netanyahu that Id like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit during a February meeting of the two leaders at the White House, the prime minister said he was working with the US administration to establish a mechanism to coordinate new settlement construction. However, despite his reportedly discussing the issue at length with Trumps Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt during Greenblatts visit to Israel last week, an agreement has yet to be reached on the issue. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the Monument to the Peoples Heroes in Beijing on March 21, 2017. (Haim Zach / GPO) In reference to the lack of progress in negotiations on the topic, Netanyahu said on Tuesday that there are different viewpoints and so he dispatched his chief of staff Yoav Horowitz to the US on Sunday in order to continue discussions on the issue with Greenblatt alongside Israels Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer. Netanyahu also said he has not retreated from his promise to build a new West Bank settlement for the evacuees of the now demolished illegal Amona outpost. I have a promise on Amona and I have not retreated. There is a desire to reach an outcome and I hope that it will be fair, he said. Netanyahu has been trying to get the White Houses approval for the construction of the new settlement the first in some 25 years to replace Amona, which was evacuated and demolished in February in accordance with a High Court ruling that found it was built illegally on private Palestinian land. Last month, he indicated to members of his security cabinet that the government may have to back off the pledge, drawing vociferous protests from the settlers and their allies in the coalition. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trumps special representative for international negotiations, at the Prime Ministers Office in Jerusalem, March 13, 2017. (Matty Stern/US Embassy Tel Aviv) Before his second meeting with Greenblatt last week, by contrast, Netanyahu vowed that he would fulfill his promise to Amona residents to establish the new settlement. Since Trumps inauguration, Israel has approved the construction of some 6,000 news homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which unlike during the Obama administration were met with little fanfare from the White House, although no new building plans have been announced since Trumps comments in February.

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March 22, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu threatens snap polls after broadcasting row – Livemint

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised Sunday the possibility of snap elections following a dispute with his finance minister over a new national broadcasting service. Local papers, radio and television channels carried Netanyahus threat to dissolve the governmentthe most rightwing in the countrys historyif the Public Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) isnt dissolved before its scheduled start date on 30 April. Netanyahu, whose Likud party is part of a slim parliamentary majority, has long been opposed to the new service but he appeared last week to reach an agreement with finance minister Moshe Kahlon, before rowing back. You cannot have a situation in which Likud respects all coalition agreements while small parties dont keep their commitments on important points, Netanyahu said in remarks broadcast Sunday by public radio. Some media suggested Netanyahu had deliberately triggered the cabinet crisis as a way to deflect attention from a long-running investigation into alleged corruption that has seen him questioned several times by police in recent weeks. ALSO READ | Israel: The start-up nation and beyond Kahlon heads the Kulanu party which, with 10 seats in parliament, is a crucial part of Netanyahus government. He is known as being committed to reforming Israels public broadcasting and is reported to have held talks with opposition leader Isaac Herzog of Labour on Saturday evening as the row dragged on. Several ministers and Likud MPs are known to be against a snap election, and it is thought unlikely that rightwing and ultra-Orthodox parties would countenance joining a more centrist government. The PBC is officially meant to revigorate Israel public broadcasting in an age when private channels have an increasing share of viewers. It is set to begin broadcasting on 30 April and a team of some 400 staff have already started work. But it is expected to lead to some layoffs in Israels existing public broadcasting service, something Netanyahu has used to attack the PBC. Allies of Netanyahu, who gave himself veto power over media issues when forming his cabinet in 2015, have suggested the new institution would cede too much control from government. Culture minister Miri Regev last year said it would be inconceivable to establish a company that we wouldnt control. Whats in it for us? First Published: Sun, Mar 19 2017. 06 54 PM IST

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March 20, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Benjamin Netanyahu threatens to dissolve government amid … – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night retracted last weeks agreement with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to establish the new Israel Broadcasting Corporation, throwing his coalition back into crisis. Hebrew media meanwhile reported that Netanyahu threatened to dissolve the government if Kahlon does not agree to shut down the IBC before it is officially launched on April 30. I changed my mind after a meeting I had yesterday with the employees of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday. At the meeting I heard heart-rending stories about dedicated and experienced employees who are being sent home because of the [replacement Israel Broadcasting] Corporation. Netanyahus retraction came after a week of inter-coalition tensions, as Kulanu chairman Kahlon sparred with the prime minister about a proposal for another six-month postponement of the IBC launch. The two men later agreed to support its establishment as scheduled. Netanyahu has fought against the IBC, which would replace the Israel Broadcasting Authority and operate under less government control. Writing on Facebook to explain his change of heart, the prime minister said he did not want to send some 1,000 IBA employees home without jobs. Claiming that the cost of operating the IBA is tens of millions of shekels less than it would be with the IBC, he asked, So why should there be a Corporation? Zionist Union chairman Isaac Herzog said on Twitter that he plans to unseat the government and supports a vote of no-confidence. Meanwhile, Kahlon spoke with Herzog about Kulanu, with its 10 MKs, leaving the coalition and introducing a motion of no-confidence, thereby triggering an election. Some opposition lawmakers accused the prime minister of deliberately seeking such an action, to distract from his ongoing criminal investigation. We must not confuse the public, Zionist Union MK Erel Margalit said. [Netanyahu] wants the crisis so as not to be investigated. It is not the establishment of the Corporation but an early election. Before the coalition was thrown into a tailspin on Saturday, the crisis appeared resolved by Thursdays agreement between Kahlon and Netanyahu to establish the IBC on April 30 as legislated. In exchange, Kahlon agreed to a support a government bill to create a unified state regulatory body for news broadcasting. The establishment of government control over the broadcaster has been criticized as a threat to press freedoms. There is no agreement with Kahlon, the Broadcasting Corporation will not be established, MK David Bitan said Saturday on Channel 2s Meet the Press. The Likud leads the government and the coalition with 30 seats. They [Kulanu] cannot come to us all the time with demands and impose their agenda on us, without respecting our views. Speaking earlier in the day in Haifa, Bitan acknowledged the coalition crisis. There is a good chance we will go to an election, he said. Bayit Yehudi and Kulanu say that the government depends on our support, but enough is enough. If the Likud and the prime minister get fed up, [Netanyahu] will dismantle everything and go to the polls. On Thursday, the crisis took an ugly turn when, in responding to a question by Kahlon as to why Netanyahu requested a six-month delay of the Israel Broadcasting Corporation, the prime minister said his Mizrahi gene was activated. The statement, using the Hebrew word for Eastern or Oriental, appeared to play off of degrading stereotypes of Jews of Middle Eastern descent. After a flood of condemnation from opposition and some coalition MKs, Netanyahu apologized on Friday for the charged comment, writing on Twitter, I apologize for my remarks yesterday. I had no intention to offend anyone. I am connected with all my heart to every group in Israel and I cherish their tremendous contribution to the tradition of our people and building our nation. Amid the shake-up last week, Shas chairman and Interior Minister Arye Deri threatened to pull out of the government if these kinds of confrontations do not end. I do not intend to stay in a cabinet that performs as such, where everyone tries to take out one another, he said, If people are not willing to come to their senses, we better go to an election. Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin Prev Article Passover Seder fun with Yaakov Kirschens Dry Bones Haggada New broadcasting corp. wastes no time hiring IBA senior staff members Next Article

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March 20, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Netanyahu apologizes for disparaging ‘Mizrahi gene’ comment – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Moshe Kahlon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [File]. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized on Friday for racially charged comments regarding Jews of Middle Eastern descent. In responding to a question by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon as to why Netanyahu requested a six-month delay of the new Israel Broadcasting Corporation, the prime minister said his Mizrahi gene was activated. The statement, using the Hebrew word for eastern, appeared to play off of degrading stereotypes of Jews of Middle Eastern descent. After a flood of condemnation from opposition and some coalition MKs, the prime minister apologized on Twitter stating, I apologize for my remarks yesterday. I had no intention to offend anyone. I am connected with all my heart to every group in Israel and I cherish their tremendous contribution to the tradition of our people and building our land. Zionist Union MK Amir Peretz, who is of Moroccan descent, said that what was activated in [Netanyahu] was his racist gene. This is not humorous but reveals a dark inner truth. This is another expression of the discriminatory policies of Netanyahu, Peretz said on Facebook on Friday. Likud MK Oren Hazan also chimed in on Twitter, stating that Netanyahu stating that if Netanyahu “really had a [Mizrahi gene] he would not insult it.” Despite Netanyahus statement, a severe coalition crisis was averted on Thursday, after the premier and Minister Kahlon reportedly agreed that the new Israel Broadcasting Corporation would begin operations on April 30, following earlier calls by Netanyahu to prevent its establishment. In return, Kahlon agreed to a support a ministerial bill which would create a unified state regulatory body for news broadcasting, but which has been criticized by opposition parties for creating government control over the body and thereby threatening press freedoms. Jeremy Sharon and Udi Shaham contributed to this article Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin Prev Article 100 ultra-Orthodox prevented from entering marathon

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March 17, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Netanyahu, Greenblatt meet for five hours on way to move diplomatic process forward – Jerusalem Post Israel News

A five hour meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump’s advisor Jason Greenblatt ended Monday evening with a statement pledging commitment to finding a true, sustainable peace agreement and the need to improve living conditions in the Palestinian Authority. According to a statement put out by the Prime Minister’s Office, the two affirmed the joint commitment of the US and Israel to advancing a true, sustainable peace between Israel and the Palestinians that will strengthen Israel’s security and stability in the region. Greenblatt, who arrived earlier on Monday, is scheduled to meet PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday during his first foray into the thick of Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy. According to the statement, Netanyahu said that he believed that under Trump’s leadership it will be possible to promote peace between Israel and all its neighbors, including the Palestinians, and that he anticipates working closely with Trump on this issue. The statement said that Greenblatt reaffirmed Trumps commitment to Israel’s security and to helping the two sides reach peace through direct negotiations. The statement said that the two men discussed the issue of settlement construction in the hope of coming up with a formula that will lead to the goal of peace and security. When Netanyahu met with Trump last month in Washington it was decided to set up a mechanism, led by Greenblatt and ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, to develop agreed upon guidelines between the US and Israel about where construction in the settlements will be permitted. Netanyahu’s hope is that if guidelines could be agreed, then an issue that served under the Obama administration as a constant irritant could be removed. Dermer took part in Mondays meeting. The PMO statement said that Greenblatt emphasized that Trump was very interested in encouraging Palestinian economic growth and improving the living conditions for the Palestinians. Netanyahu, according to the readout, said he too was completely committed to Palestinian economic prosperity and sees it as a way of improving the prospects of reaching a peace deal. Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin Prev Article Hapoel Jerusalem bracing for ultimate Eurocup test in Valencia Israeli left-wing activist claims to have been detained over BDS activity Next Article

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March 17, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Donald Netanyahu: Many Democrats See The Two Leaders As One – Forward

In sports, spectators generally watch the ball. In politics, they generally watch the people who govern. Often, however, important dynamics occur offstage, as parties out of power remake themselves in exile. Thats likely happening to the Democrats. Quietly, in the shadow of Trump, the party will move left. The Democrats will never nominate another presidential candidate as friendly as Hillary Clinton was to a mainstream group like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Some of the reasons have nothing to do with Donald Trump. Theyre simply demographic. Millennials are less sympathetic to Israel than their elders. African Americans and Latinos are less sympathetic than whites. The religiously unaffiliated are less sympathetic than are regular churchgoers. And the young, the secular and racial minorities are all growing as a share of the American population and, especially, of the Democratic electorate. This past January, for the first time since the Pew Research Center began asking the question in 2000, Democrats were as likely to identify with the Palestinians as with Israel. But while this shift left would likely have happened anyway, Trump will accelerate it. First, hell accelerate it by giving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a freer hand to do things that alienate American progressives, like building settlements, silencing dissent and perhaps even annexing parts of the West Bank. If Israel and Hamas again go to war, Trump will place fewer restraints on Netanyahus military campaign than Hillary Clinton would have, and that will alienate progressives, too. Jewish Voice for Peace, which represents the left edge of the American Israel debate, saw dramatic membership growth during Israels 2014 war with Gaza. Another Gaza war which Trumps election makes more likely will boost it further. Even more important, Trump will become the prism through which Democrats see Netanyahu. Because most Americans know little about foreign leaders, they often see them as analogues to the American politicians they know well. Why did American progressives develop such a passionate hostility toward South Africas apartheid leaders? Because those leaders resembled the politicians of the segregated South. Why has Vladimir Putins popularity dipped among Democrats and risen dramatically among Republicans since 2016? Because some Americans now see Putin as a Russian version of Trump. Thats especially true for Netanyahu. His English is so good, and hes so intimately involved in American politics, that to many Americans he simply sounds like another Republican. Netanyahu is a big part of the reason Democrats grew more critical of Israel during the Obama years. His fear-mongering, bellicose rhetoric about Iran reminded them of the Bush administrations fear-mongering, bellicose rhetoric in the run-up to the war in Iraq. When he spoke, they heard Dick Cheney. Now, when Netanyahu speaks, Democrats hear Donald Trump. When Democrats read about Israel not allowing critics into the country, theyll think of Trumps travel ban. When they hear about Netanyahus threats to freedom of the press, theyll think of Trumps attacks on journalists. When Netanyahu claims his wall stopped illegal immigration, theyll think of Trumps proposed wall along the border with Mexico. Many Democrats already saw Israel as another red state. Now unless Israel undergoes some unexpected political shift theyll view Netanyahus Israel as authoritarian, hyper-nationalist, nativist and anti-Muslim, everything they fear Trump will make the United States. Netanyahus failure to publicly press Trump to speak out against rising American anti-Semitism will only compound that view. If you squint, you can already see evidence of the Democrats move left. Although Keith Ellison, one of the most vocal proponents of Palestinian rights in Congress, lost his bid to chair the Democratic National Committee in February, he came closer than he would have a few years ago. Despite a fierce attack from the Jewish right, he won the endorsementsof the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren and the Senate Minority leader,Charles Schumer, and received the deputy chairman as a consolation prize. Nine of the 10 Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee including New Jerseys Cory Booker, a darling of the American Jewish establishment voted against David Friedman, Trumps pro-settlements nominee to be ambassador to Israel. And in February, at the J Street Conference, Bernie Sanders went further in his criticism of Israel than he had during the presidential campaign even hinting that if the two-state solution dies, he might embrace one equal state for [both Palestinians and Jews. In the conclusion to his speech, Sanders explicitly linked the struggle against Netanyahu to the struggle against Trump. To my Israeli friends here with us today, he declared, we share many of the same challenges. In both our countries we see the rise of a politics of bigotry and intolerance and resentment. We must meet these challenges together. When Sanders finished, the crowd roared. It was a sign of things to come. Peter Beinart is a Forward senior columnist and contributing editor. Dont miss the latest episodes of Fault Lines, his new podcast with Daniel Gordis. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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March 17, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Netanyahu hits out at ‘libellous’ report his wife threw him out of car … – The Guardian

Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu arrive in court to give evidence in their case against Igal Sarna. Photograph: Heidi Levine/EPA Israels prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has appeared in court to deny a claim that his wife, Sara, expelled him from an official motorcade during a furious argument in 2015, endangering his security arrangements. The claims and counterclaims emerged during a high-profile defamation case that has brought together two of Israels longest-running political soap operas the battle between the countrys prime minister and its media, and claims about his wifes allegedly volatile behaviour. The libel case, in which the couple are claiming $76,000 (66,500) in damages, concerns a gossipy Facebook post by Igal Sarna, a prominent journalist at the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. The post purported to describe a row between the Netanyahus that allegedly took place in a night-time motorcade of four cars between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The Netanyahus deny the events described occurred. The case, and the Netanyahus appearance in court, comes as the prime minister is embroiled in several police investigations that have led to a slew of allegations being published in the Israeli media, including reports of gifts such as champagne, jewellery and cigars the couple are said to have received from wealthy benefactors. Netanyahu, who strongly denies any wrongdoing, insists the investigations will all come to nothing, because there is nothing. Meanwhile, he has taken to launching broadsides against the journalists behind some of the stories. Sarnas Facebook post appears small beer in comparison with some of the recent allegations against Netanyahu, but the couple have forged ahead with the case, accusing their long-time critic of a disgusting, cynical, low, mean-spirited attack intended to embarrass them publicly by means of ugly and false reports. Sarna told the court he had made the allegations in good faith based on several sources, adding that the incident bore features similar or identical to known episodes in the Netanyahus family life. Taking the stand on Tuesday, Netanyahu insisted the fight was fiction that never occurred and never could have happened. The hearing, which had been postponed several times at Netanyahus request, dramatised the bad blood between Netanyahu and many Israeli journalists. Referring to that theme in her evidence on Tuesday, Sara Netanyahu accused the media of fighting a 20-year crusade against her husband through her. To her knowledge, she had never in those years argued with her husband in an official car in the presence of a security detail, she said. Taking aim at Sarna in particular, she accused him of being inhuman in his treatment of her family. Sarna conceded in court that there were aspects of the story of which he was not entirely sure. I hadnt known whether Sara threw Bibi out of car, he told the court to laughter, using Netanyahus nickname. Or if he left of his own accord. Asked why he had posted on Facebook rather than offering the story to his paper, Sarna said it was because he believed it was small. For his part, the prime minister accused Sarna of throwing a biblical size flood of lies at me. Anyone who knows anything about convoy security knows that something like [the fight described] could not happen, Netanyahu told the court. In response, Sarnas lawyer accused the Netanyahus of suing not because the details in the Facebook post were false, but because they had been stung by a series of critical columns by the journalist. Netanyahu replied that they had sued over the post because this was super false. Asked whether he followed Sarnas Facebook posts, Netanyahu shot back: Its hard to follow so much crazy, surreal slander. I have other business to attend to. I cant even dedicate a moment of my time to this deluge. Sarnas claims appear to have touched a particular nerve in the Netanyahus, not least Sara, who has been buffeted by allegations of her behaviour in the prime ministers official residence. Last year a former housekeeper was awarded damages after a court found she had abused him and subjected him to irrational demands. Summing up the verdict in that case the judge ruled: The court had before it many testimonies indicating that the conditions of employment in the residence were harmful due to the behaviour of Mrs Netanyahu and her attitude to the employees. Those included exaggerated demands, insults, humiliation and outbursts of anger. The case continues.

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March 15, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Netanyahu: I’ll apologize if probe finds Beduin was not a terrorist – Jerusalem Post Israel News

If an ongoing Justice Ministry probe finds that Beduin teacher Yacoub Abu al-Kaeean, who was killed during the January 18 Umm al-Hiran demolition operation, was not a terrorist, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will apologize for having called him a murderer, he declared on Tuesday. Netanyahu made the statement while in the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court, where he is pursuing a defamation case against reporter Yigal Sarna. Netanyahu was asked by Sarnas lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, if he tries to be truthful with his Facebook posts, to which he responded, I try to. He was then asked how he could have called Abu al-Kaeean a murderer. Netanyahu responded, The issue is still under investigation, but if it is found that what was said [by me] was untrue, I will apologize. Netanyahus remark comes as Justice Ministry officials move toward the conclusion of an investigation that, according to media reports, will show that Abu al-Kaeean did not deliberately run over policeman St.-Sgt.-Maj. Erez Levi as Netanyahu, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Inspector-General Roni Alsheikh claimed that day. Alsheikh went so far as to say that Abu al-Kaeean belonged to Islamic State. Police remained insistent it was a deliberate ramming attack despite multiple eyewitnesses who stated that Abu al-Kaeeans vehicle accelerated only after shots were fired at it and a police video appeared to support that conclusion With the expected findings, there have been some expressions of regret over the rush to conclusion and the tragic outcome. Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel told Beduin leaders last week, I take advantage of this platform to say that if there really was a failure in Umm al-Hiran, I say here to you that I apologize profoundly. We will wait for the results of the investigation, but there are various voices saying there were severe failures and if there were, I ask to give my apology to the family, and for the possibility to visit and speak personally with them. Erdan defended himself recently by saying he got his information from police in the field. But in a post on Facebook, he also said that if it becomes clear that Abu al-Kaeean did not carry out a deliberate ramming attack, an apology would be issued to his family. But Netanyahus statement has become the closest the government has come to saying it is possible security forces killed an innocent man without justification, and that authorities then misbranded him as a terrorist, something Umm al-Hiran residents have insisted all along. Hamad Abu al-Kaeean, Yacoubs brother, reacted by saying an apology would not be enough, and that those responsible for Yacoubs murder would have to be punished. Now they are saying they are waiting for the results of the investigation. I would have wanted them to say that on that day. Of course he has to apologize, but in the familys view, he who is guilty has to be tried. There was a fatal mistake here and people were murdered for this mistake, he said. You killed him and tried to label him as a member of Islamic State and a terrorist. You murdered the name of the family and you demolished all those houses and the world of Yacoub and his family. Is it really enough for people to say now, I made a mistake? he continued. MK Nachman Shai (Zionist Union) said apologizing is not enough and that if the Justice Ministry determines that Abu al-Kaeean was not carrying out an attack, Netanyahu needs to open a new chapter with the Beduin and to regain the confidence not only of the Beduin but of the public as a whole. Raja Zaatry, a spokesman for the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, said, This was not a mistake of mischaracterizing the victim. The main issue is the policy of incitement and house demolition. The victim was made into a terrorist, despite the fact that he was a teacher and his family members are respected people, teachers and lecturers. Taking responsibility is not just apologizing, it means that the people responsible for the lie and incitement, Erdan and Alsheikh, should resign, and it means stopping the policy of house demolitions. The demolitions were aimed at forcing Umm al-Hiran residents to relocate to the nearby Beduin township of Hura so that a new town, Hiran, could be built in place of the village. For the Umm al-Hiran families, it is their second displacement. In 1956, the army forcibly relocated them from the Wadi Zbala area of the Negev to their present location. But they were never given title to the land or hooked up to water or electricity, and a 2015 High Court decision cleared the way for the establishment of Hiran on the site. Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin Prev Article Intel CEO: We think of ourselves as an Israeli company as much as a US company Identity released of man who burned nurse to death Next Article

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March 15, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Netanyahu, Kahlon agree to reduce taxes – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Moshe Kahlon. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) As a result of Israels productive 2016 and continuing this year with Mondays purchase of Mobileye Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon agreed to advance plans toward reducing taxes. The ministers declared their intent to further stimulate the countrys economy, as well as to formulate a joint framework to decrease taxes, a spokesman for Kahlon said. Their Monday meeting followed Kahlons announcement on Channel 2s Meet the Press program on Saturday night that a tax cut is coming. Kahlon also acknowledged that the cost of living is high, and that surplus funds would not remain in the Finance Ministrys coffers. We are about to reduce taxes, he said on Meet the Press. We must return money to the weaker population segments; it will be returned to the public. In response to Netanyahu and Kahlons agreement on Monday, MK Itzik Shmuli (Zionist Union) said that if a surplus of billions of shekels does in fact exist, the money should be directed toward rehabilitating the countrys social services. He particularly called for the government to use the money to implement nursing care reform and to raise disability and elderly care budgets. If we once again take the reckless step of reducing VAT by fractions of a percent that will never be felt, the Israeli public will lose big time, Shmuli said. Without the restoration of social services, we will not manage to decrease poverty and the tremendous inequality in Israel. Opposition leader Isaac Herzog urged Netanyahu and Kahlon to do more than just lower taxes. Referring to an agreement earlier that day announcing that chip giant Intel would be acquiring Jerusalems Mobileye for $15 billion, Herzog called upon the ministers to harness the taxes generated by that forthcoming transaction to launch an emergency public health plan. Tax money from this welcome deal can bring full and comprehensive rehabilitation of the collapsing Israeli health system, Herzog said, citing a need for more hospital beds, subsidized cancer treatments, MRI machine purchases and shortened wait times in emergency rooms. The government of Israel must grant Israeli citizens a strong, stable and equitable health system for everyone from every place, Herzog added. Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin Prev Article How many of these Israeli companies do you know? PM testifies in court, denies claims he endangered state security Next Article

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March 15, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed


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