Dear Friend,

In honour of the National Day of the Republic of Slovenia, Ambassador Alenka Suhadolnik and the Chairman of the Israel-Slovenia Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Dror Dotan request the pleasure of your company at Slovene Israeli Jazz concert followed by a raffle. First prize: Round trip flight Tel Aviv-Ljubljana + two nights at Actum boutique hotel in Kranj, Slovenia. Please note: You have to be present to win.

Remarks Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of StateThe Hay Adams HotelWashington, DCJune 12, 2012

MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in a very special welcome to the president of the state of Israel Shimon Peres and the Secretary of State of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Applause.)
MR. INDYK: Please take your seats. Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you very much for joining us. It’s a great pleasure to have you here on the occasion of this event to honor Haim and Cheryl Saban for their support, 10 years of support for the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. I’m Martin Indyk, the director of the Foreign Policy Program at Brookings. One time I had something to do with the Saban Center.

President Peres, in Washington to receive the Medal of Freedom from President Obama, participated in an event at the Brookings Institution together with US Secretary of State Clinton.

Excerpts from remarks by President Shimon Peres at the Brookings Institution:

"In Syria, two unprecedented things happened. First of all, the bravery of the Syrian people, which in my eyes is admirable and unbelievable. People are facing fire every day, a dictator that kills children. I really want to express my admiration for an Arab attempt to fight for their own freedom. It’s admirable, and I wish them success. The second point, which is unprecedented, is that the Arab League took on responsibility against an Arab country, in a joint venture between the United Nations and the Arab League...

(Paris, June 6)

A meeting between the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Mr. Yakov Amidror, head of the National Security Council took place this morning, where Mr Amidror relayed a personal message from prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The President expressed France's desire to deepen and develop the bilateral relations between israel and France in all fields.
This cooperation will serve to increase productive political discourse and trust between the two nations regarding their
common interests.
Fabius also expressed interest in meeting with Mr Netanyahu in the near future.

The Netherlands and Israel look back on a fruitful visit of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation Maxime Verhagen and Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal to Israel in the week of 4 June 2012. The visit underlines the friendship and long lasting partnership between the two countries.

The two countries enjoy excellent governmental relations. Fruitful cooperation already exists in the fields of business, trade and investment, technical cooperation and science. Both governments confirm once again their intention to set up a Netherlands-Israel Cooperation Council that will further strengthen the bilateral relations between both countries in a comprehensive manner. A decision will be taken once a newly elected Dutch government is in place.

The Bureau, which is focused on building a national cybernetic defense concept, is advancing national-level regulation on the issue of information security, which will lead to raising the level of cybernetic defense.

Dr. Evyatar Mataniah, head of Israel's National Cyber Bureau, attended Tel Aviv University's 2nd Annual International Cyber Conference (Wednesday, 6 June 2012) and noted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the budget and work plan for the Bureau, established at the beginning of the year.

One of the aforesaid plans is the establishment of a national cyber situation room, which will construct a national assessment among the various organizations and constitute the beginning of a defensive layer on the state level.

The international poetry Festival »Nissan« took place in the Druze village of Maghar between May 3rd and 6th 2012. The event was initiated by Naim Araidi, Festival Director,in 1999 and it has been going on for the last 13 years as the main gathering of Hebrew and Arab poets.  The opening event was among others, attended by the Deputy Director  General for Culture at The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel Rafi Gamzou and the President of Peace Committee in Jordan Mansur Abi Rashed.  Ambassador Alenka Suhadolnik was one of the opening night speakers. She spoke about the different literary landscapes and stressed the importance of dialogue on art, culture and society. This is the first time Slovenia was invited to the festival with Slovenian poet Barbara Pogacnik. Barbara Pogacnik read her poems at the third evening of the festival.  Poets from Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Gaza as well as from Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Latvia, Slovakia, Kosovo and China attended the event.

Italy National Day and a farewell party for the Ambassador of Italy took place at the home of the Italian Ambassador Luigi and Stefania Mattielo.

Among the 500 hundred guests invited were business people, scientists, professors, and dignitaries from the Italian community.

In his speech, the Ambassador thanked the Israeli government for hosting him in Israel.
He also thanked the following companies and businesses for their generous
support and sponsorship: Ferrari, Maserati, lavazza, Pellegrino, Telit, Piaggio, Barkan, territalia, Agua panna, Shel Segal and the Italian institute of Culture.

President Peres Blessing Queen Elizabeth

Jerusalem, May 31, 2012




New Ambassadors from Poland, Portugal, Estonia, Kazakhstan, and Iceland have presented letters of credence to the president.
The 5 new ambassadors thanked the president for the privilege of serving Israel and having the opportunity to contribute to the strengthening of strategic ties between the countries.
The president wished the new ambassadors success and said: "Israel is a friendly country and you will no doubt feel at home. I am certain that you will contribute very highly in the expansion of cooperation, friendship and ties between Israel and your respective countries."

photo : Mark Neuman

FM Liberman and Secretary Napolitano signed a letter of intent that will expedite clearance for Israeli citizens who frequently visit the United States.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman met in Jerusalem on Sunday, May 20, 2012 with US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. After the meeting, Liberman and Napolitano signed a letter of intent regarding Israel's entry into the US Global Entry program, that will expedite clearance for Israeli citizens who frequently visit the United States. In return, Israel will set up a special procedure to expedite clearance for frequent American visitors upon arrival in Israel.Following her meeting with Liberman, Secretary Napolitano met with President Shimon Peres.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 60 years ago, Japan and Israel have steadily developed their bilateral relationship.Israel and Japan are today (Tuesday, May 15, 2012) marking the 60th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations. The year will be marked in both Israel and Japan by a series of special events in various fields, including cultural events, academic meetings, and visits by senior officials. On May 21, the Israeli embassy in Tokyo will stage a special gala concert marking the occasion, with the unique collaboration of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and leading Israeli musicians. The bilateral relationship between the two countries enjoys stability and constant growth: Israel and Japan hold an ongoing political dialogue on issues that head the political and international agendas of the two countries; economic ties are in a state of positive growth (bilateral trade totaled $ 3.3 billion in 2011); scientific and technological ties are strengthening, as is the cultural relationship.

Israel and the United Nations are cooperating on development, a central topic on the international agenda.

On 14 May 2012, Israel and the UN signed a special agreement - Memorandum of Understanding between Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MASHAV) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) - to increase cooperation in food security, water management, women empowerment and industrial development in developing countries. For Israel, this is an additional step in creating international partnerships in the area of development, demonstrating recognition and appreciation of Israel's abilities and contributions to the world.The signing ceremony took place in the presence of the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Rafael Barak. Signing on behalf of the UN was the Director General of UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), Dr. Kandeh Yumkella. The head of MASHAV (Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation), MFA Deputy Director General Daniel Carmon, signed the agreement on behalf of Israel.

Slovenia remembers this year the first international recognitions of Slovenia's status as

an independent state. On 15 January 1992, the European Community, the forerunner of

today's European Union, recognised the Republic of Slovenia. A door opened to

recognitions which began flooding in from all over the world, and Slovenia finally joined

the international community on 22 May 1992 by becoming the 176th UN Member State.

Today, Slovenia has established diplomatic relations with more than 180 countries.

Israel officially recognized Slovenia on 16th April 1992 and on 28th April of the same

year the countries signed the Protocol establishing diplomatic relations.


Representatives of the Israeli diplomatic consular team presented their
wishes this evening at the President's quarters, commemorating the 64th anniversary of Israel's independence.
The President and Deputy of Foreign Ministry Dan Eilon, presented a speech
to ambassadors, military attaches, and captains of the Peace Forces in the Middle East.****

In his speech, the President addressed the importance of speeding up the
peace process with the Palestinians. "We see in you true friends,” he
stated. “As diplomats based in Israel, your role is to serve as a liaison
and to strengthen the connections between Israel and your respective countries. We will assist you in every possible way


Author Amos Oz in Slovenia
On the occasion of his book "A Tale of Love and Darkness" translated to Slovenian
language, Amos Oz, the renowned Israeli intellectual, novelist and essayist visited

SummaryThe "2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit", which will be held in Seoul in March 2012, will be the largest summit in the security field that discusses international cooperative measures to protect nuclear materials and facilities from terrorist groups, with participation from more than 53 heads of state and international organizations. The main issues to be discussed at the Summit will be as follows.· Cooperative measures to combat the threat of nuclear terrorism· Protection of nuclear materials and related facilities· Prevention of illicit trafficking of nuclear materialsBackgroundBasic ObjetivesThe possibility of nuclear terrorism became a real threat after 9/11, which increased the importance of strengthening nuclear security to prevent nuclear materials from being misused by terrorist groups. There is a need to recognize the importance of nuclear security at the summit level and seek cooperation, as the threat of nuclear terrorism cannot be addressed by a single nation.


The resolution by the Human Rights Council to establish a "Fact Finding Mission on the influence of settlements on Palestinians" is yet another surrealistic decision from the workshop of a Council that is instrumentalized as a tool to push for one-sided politicized moves instead of promoting human rights.

While all over the Middle East human rights are violated in an unprecedented scale, the HRC ridicules itself by dedicating its time and resources to establish a superfluous and extravagant body whose sole purpose is to satisfy the Palestinians' whims and to harm future chances to reach an agreement through peaceful means. The Palestinians must understand that they can't have it both ways: they can't enjoy cooperation with Israel and at the same time initiate political clashes in international fora.

World Jewish Congress reacts with horror and shock at deadly attack against Jewish

  school in France

Four people, among them three children, died when a man opened fire on a group of students and teachers at a Jewish school in Toulouse, in southern France on Monday morning. They were reportedly a 30-year-old school teacher, his six and three-year-old sons, and a ten-year-old school boy. A 17-year-old boy was badly injured in the attack.

The incident happened on Monday morning at the drop-off point for the nursery- and primary-age children of the Ozar Hatorah school, which is located in the northeast of the city. The gunman escaped from the scene. He was wearing a helmet and fled on a black scooter.

The shooting comes a week after incidents in Toulouse and Montauban in which three people were killed and a fourth injured. The gunman also escaped on a scooter following that attack. The killer was reportedly armed with two weapons, one of which was the same .45 caliber as that fired in the attack on the paratroopers in Montauban. The AFP news agency said the gunman initially used a 9 mm weapon but it jammed so he switched to a .45 calibre gun.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy immediately traveled to Toulouse, together with the president of the French Jewish umbrella organization CRIF, Richard Prasquier. Sarkozy said it was "much too early" to know if there is a definite link. to the other shootings, adding: "Faced with this kind of toll, we can say that the French Republic as a whole has been hit by this appalling tragedy."

The Socialist candidate for the French presidency, François Hollande, condemned the shooting in the strongest terms, saying it was an "anti-Semitic and abhorrent attack." He also traveled to Toulouse to pay his respects to the victims and their families.


World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder reacted with horror and shock to the attack, saying: “Today, Jews everywhere in the world are weeping in sorrow and disgust in the face of this despicable terrorist attack. Targeting children is a particularly sick and vile act, and nothing can justify it. This attack is an attack on all of us. We have full confidence that the French authorities will do everything in their power to quickly hunt down the perpetrator of this horrible crime and bring him to justice. Jews in all countries stand shoulder to shoulder with French Jewry. We weep for the victims, and our hearts go out to their families,” Lauder added. The WJC president praised the show of solidarity by senior French politicians in the wake of the attack.

Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, said in a statement: “While many of the details are still emerging, it appears that this was a premeditated attack with the intention to murder Jewish children. We hope the authorities will spare no resources in apprehending the perpetrator. Whoever did this is looking to target the Jewish community at its weakest point, its youth, in the hopes of spreading fear throughout the community. They will not suceed."

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, declared: "There is today an urgent need to ensure that appropriate security measures are put in place at all Jewish institutions in Europe to ensure that the safety of Jews on this continent is not placed in jeopardy."

Claude Guéant, the French interior minister, has ordered security to be tightened around all Jewish schools in the country. France's chief rabbi Gilles Bernheim said he was "horrified" and "stunned" by the attack. The Israeli government said in a first reaction that it trusted the French authorities "to shed full light on this tragedy and bring the perpetrators to justice".

The head of the French Muslim Council, Mohammed Moussaou, expressed the "solidarity of all French Muslims with the Jewish community in France."


After the appalling murders in Toulouse, the Israeli Embassy in Paris, as well as the Israeli Consulate in Marseille, have contacted the bereaved families and learned of their desire to bring their loved ones to Israel for burial. The Government of Israel has therefore decided to transfer the coffins to Israel as soon as possible, with the cooperation and assistance of Israel's representatives in France and in coordination with the French authorities.

The names of the victims are: Rabbi Jomnathan Sandler, Gabriel Sandler (age 4), Arieh Sandler (age 5), Miriam Monsonego (age 7).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs extends Israel's sincere condolences to Egypt, to the Copt community and to the Egyptian people upon the passing of the Coptic Pope Shenouda III.

 Pope Shenouda was an important spiritual leader who for many years was outstanding in his ministration to the faithful and in his contributions to fraternity and coexistence in Egypt.  


 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs extends Israel's sincere condolences to Egypt, to the Copt community and to the Egyptian people upon the passing of the Coptic Pope Shenouda III.

 Pope Shenouda was an important spiritual leader who for many years was outstanding in his ministration to the faithful and in his contributions to fraternity and coexistence in Egypt.  


President Boris Tadić reiterated his country's commitment to stand by the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

Israel Amb Levy (left) with Serbian President
Tadić (Photo: Israel Embassy, Belgrade)

The UN has a decisive role to play in the war against global terrorism, at the head of which stands Iran.

Photo: GPO

We hope the Palestinian Authority decides to resume the talks and back away from terror and glorification of killers.

PM Netanyahu meets with Irish FM Gilmore (Photo: GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks during his meeting with Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore today (Sunday), 29 January 2012:

"The only way to enter into a discussion is through direct negotiations. Israel wants to do just that. We have our disappointments. One of them occurred this week when the Palestinian Authority's official television broadcasts a glorification of the killers who murdered an Israeli family, the Fogel family. They murdered the three little children and the parents. And they were on official Palestinian television presented as martyrs and heroes.

This comes on the heels of the Palestinian Mufti's call to murder Jews wherever they are. Also broadcast on official Palestinian Television. I think this is the wrong way to go. We demand a prompt condemnation; I hope you demand a condemnation because the only way to move to peace is to prepare our people for peace and not for brutal terror. We hope that these talks will continue. We're prepared to continue these talks, we hope the Palestinian Authority decides to resume the talks and back away from terror and glorification of killers."
We trust Egypt will continue to uphold the importance of peace and stability in our region.
On the occasion of the opening session of the Egyptian parliament, on January 23rd, Israel extends its congratulations to the people of Egypt for its efforts to achieve freedom, democracy and economic development.

We send the new parliament our wishes of constructive and fruitful work for the well-being of the Egyptian public.

We trust Egypt will continue to uphold the importance of peace and stability in our region.
Has the world truly learned the lessons of the Holocaust and internalized them? Have the horrors of the past prevented the genocide or mass murder of other peoples?

Photo: Reuters


"I want to express our appreciation for the last resolutions taken by the EU. I understand you led this process and I hope it will really bear fruit."
Photo: GPO

This year, Israel and China mark twenty years of diplomatic relations. I am confident that the coming year will bring a deepening of the great friendship between our two peoples.

The project is part of a broad plan, led by the President, to boost economic cooperation between Israel and Vietnam.
Illustration: Participants in MASHAV international course on enterprises in agricultural areas

President Shimon Peres received the credentials of the new ambassadors from the Netherlands, Slovenia, Austria and Argentina at his Jerusalem Residence.
President Peres with Slovenian Ambassador Alenka Suhadolnik (Photo: GPO)

Leaders in Industry, Government, Education, Science and Entertainment Will Convene in Jerusalem to Discuss Major Issues Facing Our World, the State of Israel and the Future of the Jewish People. 


JERUSALEM, Israel – June 16, 2011 – An All-Star list of speakers, including former British prime minister Tony Blair, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and American comedienne Sarah Silverman, headlines Facing Tomorrow 2011, the third annual Conference under the auspices of the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, which is scheduled to begin next Tuesday, June 21.

Also expected to speak at Facing Tomorrow 2011 will be President Peres himself, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Harvard University president Larry Summers, Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann and Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, in what has become the leading conference focusing on vital issues, initiatives and decisions that must be implemented to guarantee a better tomorrow for the world, the Jewish people, and the State of Israel.

"We are honored that the world's leading authorities in economics, politics and technology will be joining us at this year's conference. Their participation attests to the importance of this event," said Israel Maimon, Chairman of the Israeli Presidential Conference Steering Committee. “Facing Tomorrow 2011 presents a unique opportunity for all of the participants to address the most pressing issues being dealt with by the global community today."

Among the sessions planned for Facing Tomorrow 2011 are “How Can We Feed Seven Billion People,” “Cutting-Edge Medicine” and “Stopping Nuclear Proliferation,” with world experts and public figures alike debating key questions.

Facing Tomorrow 2011 will kick off with a plenary session entitled, “My Recipe for a Better Tomorrow,” in which advertising conglomerate WPP’s CEO, Sir Martin Sorrell, Duke University professor Dan Ariely, Wikipedia founder Wales and actress/comedienne Silverman will present their own unique prescriptions for a "better tomorrow.”

Facing Tomorrow 2011 runs from June 21-23, 2011, and will take place at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center. The conference is organized in partnership with Hebrew University.


 About Facing Tomorrow 2011


Facing Tomorrow 2011, the third annual Conference under the auspices of the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, will take place in Jerusalem, June 21-23, 2011. The Israeli Presidential Conference took place for the first time in May 2008, one week following the 60-year anniversary of the State of Israel. Attended by more than 4,000 people from around the world, and dedicated to designing a better tomorrow, the 2011 Conference will focus on the vital issues, initiatives and decisions that must be implemented today in order to guarantee a better tomorrow for the world, the Jewish people, and the State of Israel.


For more information, please visit





"We must recognize the dangers facing us and work to thwart them. We must seize the opportunity for prosperity and for peace with those of our neighbors who want peace."

New Orleans, 8 November 2010


 The story of the Jewish people is that of great destruction followed by miraculous redemption.

That same resilient spirit is exemplified by your collective efforts to help this great city rebuild itself after Hurricane Katrina. Just as you have rallied time after time to help Israel weather the storms it has faced, you rallied to help New Orleans to get back on its feet.
You should be proud of what you have been doing for the Jewish people and the Jewish state, and for others. I am doubly proud to be with you here today. Thank you.


On the eve of the 20th century, Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, foresaw the great challenges that stood before the dispersed Jewish people. He charted a clear path to direct the Jewish destiny to the safer shores of a Jewish state. Herzl's vision was guided by three principles: Recognize perils, seize opportunities, forge unity. 
These same three principles should guide us at the dawn of the 21st century. We must recognize the dangers facing us and work to thwart them. We must seize the opportunity for prosperity and for peace with those of our neighbors who want peace. And we must forge unity among our people to shoulder these monumental tasks.

The greatest danger facing Israel and the world is the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. Iran threatens to annihilate Israel. It denies the Holocaust. It sponsors terror. It confronts America in Afghanistan and Iraq. It dominates Lebanon and Gaza. It establishes beachheads in Arabia and in Africa. It even spreads its influence into this hemisphere, into South America.

Now, this is what Iran is doing without nuclear weapons. Imagine what it would do with them. Imagine the devastation that its terror proxies, Hizbullah and Hamas and others, would wreak under an Iranian nuclear umbrella.

This is why Israel appreciates President Obama's successful efforts to have the UN Security Council adopt new sanctions against Iran. It values American efforts to successfully mobilize other countries to pass tough sanctions of their own. There is no doubt that these sanctions are putting strong economic pressures on the Iranian regime.

But we have yet to see any signs that the tyrants of Tehran are reconsidering their pursuit of nuclear weapons. The only time that Iran suspended its nuclear program was for a brief period in 2003 when the regime believed it faced a credible threat of military action against it. And the simple paradox is this: if the international community, led by the United States, hopes to stop Iran's nuclear program without resorting to military action, it will have to convince Iran that it is prepared to take such action.  Containment will not work against Iran. It won't work with a brazen regime that accuses America of bombing its own cities on 9/11, openly calls for Israel's annihilation, and is the world's leading sponsor of terrorism.

When faced with such a regime, the only responsible policy is to prevent it from developing atomic bombs in the first place. The bottom line is this: Iran's nuclear program must be stopped. Iran's nuclear program is the greatest danger we face. The assault on Israel's legitimacy is another.

We know from our history that attacks on the Jews were often preceded by attempts to dehumanize the Jewish people - to paint them as vile criminals, as the scourge of humanity. This is why the attempts by our enemies and their misguided fellow travelers to delegitimize the Jewish state must be countered.
Herzl was right about many things.  He was right about the conflagration that would soon engulf Europe. He was right about the need for a Jewish state and for a Jewish army to defend that state.

Yet Herzl was too optimistic in believing that the rebirth of the Jewish state would gradually put an end to anti-Semitism.

The establishment of Israel did not end the hatred towards the Jews. It merely redirected it. The old hatred against the Jewish people is now focused against the Jewish state. If in the past Jews were demonized, singled out or denied the rights that were automatically granted to others, today in many quarters Israel is demonized, singled out and denied the rights automatically granted to other nations, first and foremost the right of self-defense.

For too many, Israel is guilty until proven guilty. The greatest success of our detractors is when Jews start believing that too - we've seen that today.
Last year, at the UN General Assembly, I spoke out against the travesty of the Goldstone Report, which falsely accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza two years ago. The United States, led by President Obama, and Canada, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, stood by Israel's side against this blood libel. Many countries didn't.

Well, last week, Hamas finally admitted that over 700 of its fighters in Gaza were killed by the IDF during that war. This is precisely what the Israeli army said all along - that roughly 50% of the casualties of the war were Hamas terrorists.  Such a high percentage of enemy combatants and such a low percentage of unintended civilian casualties is remarkable in modern urban warfare. It is even more remarkable when fighting an enemy that deliberately and shamelessly embeds itself next to schools and inside mosques and hospitals.

The authors of the Goldstone Report owe the Israeli army an apology. And all those who supported and helped spread this libel owe the State of Israel an apology. The best way to counter lies is with the truth. That is why I commend your decision to establish the Israel Action Network and dedicate resources to fight this battle for truth.  We must fight these lies and slanders together to ensure that truth prevails.
The threat from Iran and its proxies, and the continued assault on Israel's legitimacy are great perils we must thwart.

Now let me speak about two great opportunities we must seize: peace and prosperity.

The opportunity today to achieve a broader Israeli-Arab peace derives not exclusively but mainly from the perception of a common threat. Today, Arab governments and many throughout the Arab world understand that Iran is a great danger to them as well. This understanding opens up new possibilities for a broader peace that could support our efforts to reach peace with our Palestinian neighbors.

Israelis want to see that the Palestinians are as committed as they are to ending the conflict once and for all. They want to know that just as we are ready to recognize a state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians are ready to recognize Israel as the state for the Jewish people.

Israel also wants a secure peace. We do not want to vacate more territory only to see Iran walk in and fire thousands of rockets at our cities. That is exactly what happened after we left Lebanon and Gaza. We don't want to see rockets and missiles streaming into a Palestinian state and placed on the hills above Tel Aviv and the hills encircling Jerusalem. If Israel does not maintain a credible security presence in the Jordan Valley for the foreseeable future, this is exactly what will happen. I will not let that happen.

We do not want security on paper. We want security on the ground. Real security. I am willing to make mutual compromises for a genuine peace with the Palestinians, but I will not gamble with the security of the Jewish state. Palestinian leaders who say they want to live peacefully alongside Israel should sit down and negotiate peace with Israel. They should stop placing preconditions and start negotiating peace. The Palestinians may think they can avoid negotiations. They may think that the world will dictate Palestinian demands to Israel. I firmly believe that will not happen because I am confident that friends of Israel, led by the United States, will not let that happen. There is only one path to peace - that is through a negotiated settlement.

We should spend the next year trying to reach an historic agreement for peace and not waste time arguing about marginal issues that will not affect the final peace map in any way. I am confident that if there is goodwill on the Palestinian side, a formula can be found that will enable peace talks to continue. I believe that if we succeed, and I always like to confound the skeptics, and I continue to do that systematically, I believe that peace would unleash tremendous economic opportunities for Israelis, Palestinians, and peoples throughout the region.

But as the last years have shown, Israel has not waited for peace to seize the opportunity to develop a strong economy. As Prime Minister, then as finance minister and now again as Prime Minister, I have spent a great deal of time advancing economic reforms and removing obstacles to Israel's economic growth - and I have the political scars to prove it. The reforms that we have been enacting have changed Israel's economy beyond recognition. We are now building fast roads and rail lines that crisscross the country, to connect the Negev and the Galilee to the center of the country. I intend to complete a rail line that will link the Red Sea with the Mediterranean and the Jordan River to the Port of Haifa. This will enable Israel to take advantage of its strategic location as more and more goods are shipped from East to West.

As the world economy becomes more competitive, Israel is well placed to succeed. We are global leaders in high technology. Our scientists win Nobel Prizes. Our innovations in science, medicine, water, energy, communication, agriculture and in many other fields are literally changing the world.

Israel is a wellspring of technological, artistic and cultural creativity. Today, Israel is ranked 15th in the world in terms of quality of life - by the UN - so you knows we are at least 15th. And if that does not impress the young people in the audience, here's something else that might. For those of you planning to travel world, Lonely Planet just ranked Tel Aviv the 3rd most exciting city in the world. I don't agree - that of course is Jerusalem. Still, Israel's best economic days are ahead.

If we hope to thwart and dangers and seize opportunities, we must strengthen our unity. The best way to strengthen Jewish unity is to strengthen Jewish identity. By deepening our connection to our shared past, we fortify our bonds to one another and to our state, and thereby strengthen our common future. That is why this year I decided to initiate a national Heritage Plan that will restore and renovate hundreds of Jewish and Israeli sites throughout the country.

I want young people to visit the place where David Ben Gurion declared our independence just as I want them to visit the place where our patriarchs and matriarchs, the mothers and fathers of the Jewish nation, are buried. Talk about distortions, can you imagine that UNESCO tried to deny the Jewish connection to Rachel's Tomb next to Jerusalem and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron? This absurdity to try to erase our past will fail as we reconnect a new generation of Jews with their history. Our young people will know that we are not foreign interlopers in our own homeland. They will know something that our enemies and politicized international bodies cannot bring themselves to admit: The Jewish people are not strangers in the Land of Israel.  Israel is our home. It has always been our home and it will always be our home.

I have also decided to enhance Israel's support for programs that strengthen Jewish identity in the Diaspora. In my first term as Prime Minister, I decided to invest Israeli government funds in what many then thought was a preposterous idea - that we would pay for young Jews to come on short visits to Israel. Since then, a quarter of a million Jews have come to Israel on Birthright programs, and we will continue. I am committed to working with Birthright, Masa and Lapid to ensure that every young Jew who wants to can come to Israel.

And I am committed to working with Natan Sharansky and the Jewish Agency to strengthen Jewish identity in the Diaspora.

I know that there are controversial issues that threaten to divide us. We need to resolve these issues in a spirit of compromise and tolerance. As Prime Minister of Israel, I promise you that I will not permit anything to undermine the unity of our people. Israel must always be a place that each and every one of you can call home. Our unity is a critical foundation of our collective strength. The more we speak with one voice, the more that voice will be heard. And in a rapidly changing world, it needs to be heard loud and clear.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the fantastic rise of Asia challenges many nations, but it is not a danger. It is a natural shift in global wealth and power that is lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. The great danger we face is not from the battle between East and West but from the aggressive force wedged between them that is spreading its tentacles far and wide. That force is radical Islam, whose fanaticism and savagery knows no bounds. If I can leave you with one message, it is that we must warn others of this peril.

History shows that the most advance weapons were usually developed by the most advanced societies. Yet today, primitive and barbaric tyrannies that stone women, hang gays, promote terror worldwide, send bombs to synagogues, and advance the most fanatical doctrines can acquire nuclear weapons. If not stopped, this means that the greatest nightmare of all - nuclear terrorism - can become a reality. The civilized world must not let that happen.

As we continue to build a modern and democratic Israel and as we seek peace with all our neighbors, we must also warn the world about this formidable peril. In standing up for modernity against medievalism, the Jewish people and the Jewish state play a vital role in securing our common civilization. And by helping dispel the shadows of a dark despotism, we can truly fulfill our destiny to be a beacon of light and progress unto all the nations.




(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman has appointed Israel Prize winner Tal Brody as Israel's international Goodwill Ambassador. Brody will assist with Israel's international public diplomacy efforts.

During the appointment ceremony, FM Liberman stated that "Brody's diverse activities, which, apart from him being an outstanding sportsman, include years of community volunteer service and largesse, have turned him into a Zionist symbol and role model. His unique biography, which includes participation in both the US and Israeli basketball teams as well as service in the US Army and the IDF, make him the ideal Israeli Goodwill Ambassador to the world in general and the United States in particular.   I am certain that Brody will make a huge contribution to Israel's positive image around the world."

Latest News

Useful Links

logo_gmail logo_windows_live logo_yahoo logo_marker
logo_haaretz logo_ynet logo_globes logo_jpost
logo_airport logo_youtube logo_imfa logo_gov
logo_wpost logo_cnn logo_bbc logo_nytimes


Newsletter Subscribe

Get News,Selected Articles, Event Notices and Special Info from the Diplomatic World.

twitter  facebook



Powered by Mad-Logic Internet Solutions
All rights reserved