- Written by MFA spokesperson
Israel condemns announcement by Iran's ambassador in Lebanon
His announcement that Iran would give financial support to Palestinian terrorists and their families is further proof of Iran’s deep involvement in encouraging terrorism against Israel.
Israel condemns the statement made by the Iranian ambassador in Lebanon at a press conference in which he announced that Iran would give financial support to Palestinian terrorists and their families.
This is further proof of Iran’s deep involvement in encouraging terrorism against Israel. Following the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with the world powers, Iran is allowing itself to be once again a central player in global terror.
- Written by Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection
One of the most important climate conferences ever is taking place in Paris in December 2015. The 21st Conference of the Parties, or COP 21, of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is being held from November 30-December 11, 2015. The Paris Climate Conference is considered so significant because a new, binding agreement on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which will be applicable to all countries, is expected to be adopted there.
Israel's has committed to reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions to 7.7 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) by 2030. This constitutes a reduction of 26% below the 2005 GHG emissions level.
Israel's GHG Emissions Reduction Target
While Israel has been a Party to the UNFCCC since 1996 and to the Kyoto Protocol since 2004, it was defined by Kyoto to be a developing, or non-Annex 1 country. Thus, it was not legally obligated to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
At the UNFCCC in Copenhagen in 2009, Israeli President Shimon Peres announced Israel's intention to reduce GHG emissions 20% by 2020, compared to a business-as-usual scenario. The government formulated a national GHG reduction program in 2010. But the Finance Ministry froze the program in 2013, making it unlikely the country will reach its 20% reduction target.
Under a new agreement expected to be adopted at the 2015 Paris conference, all countries, including Israel, will be obligated to reduce GHG emissions.
2015: A New Target
In Sept. 2015, an inter-ministerial committee submitted a recommendation to the Israeli government that it approve a program to reduce GHG emissions 25% by 2030.
In October 2015, the Israeli government submitted its official GHG reduction target to the UNFCCC.
The mitigation target is a per capita emissions reduction of 7.7 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) by 2030. This constitutes a reduction of 26% below the level in 2005 of 10.4 tCO2e per capita. An interim target of 8.8 tCO2e is expected by 2025.
There are also sector-specific targets for 2030:
17% reduction in electricity consumption relative to BAU (business as usual) scenario
17% of the electricity consumed will be from renewable sources (Currently 2% of Israel's electricity is generated by renewables.)
20% shift from private to public transportation relative to BAU scenario, transition from diesel to compressed natural gas for heavy vehicles
The emissions target is part of Israel's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), all the climate actions Israel intends to take under the new agreement.
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Preparations in Israel for the Paris Climate Conference
Conference on Sustainable Innovation: Towards the UN Convention on Climate Change, July 14, 2015
Hosts: Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP), Israel Ministry of Economy, German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.
New Climate Economy: An Action Agenda for Sustainable Economic Growth
A Universal Climate Agreement: Convergence of Moral and Economic Imperatives
Energy Efficiency on (and Beyond) the Road to Paris 2015
Comparative Findings on Climate Policy Among OECD Members
In addition, head of the MoEP's Climate Change Division presented conclusions of the inter-ministerial committee that was analyzing Israel's potential for reducing energy consumption and GHGs.
In accordance with the committee's findings, the MoEP recommended a reduction target of 30% of greenhouse gases by 2030, compared to a business as usual scenario. These reductions would come from sectors such as: electricity, industry, transportation, residential and commercial buildings, waste, and agriculture. (Ultimately, a slightly lower target was submitted. See GHG Emissions Reduction Target above.)
Article on conference, German Environment Ministry Website: "Climate action is a driver of innovation," July 14, 2015
More about the Sustainable Innovation Conference.
Climate Change Adaptation Conference, Sept. 7, 2015
Hosts: MoEP and other government ministries and agencies dealing with climate change adaptation
Creating a strategy and action plan to prepare Israel for climate change
The climate treaty expected to be adopted at the Paris Climate Conference
Climate trends and forecasts
The expected impact of climate change and adaptation efforts being made in Israel. Areas expected to be affected include: agriculture, biodiversity, rivers and streams, forestation, health, education, security, energy, planning and building, water, technologies, and more.
Israeli Delegation at COP 21
The delegation includes:
Nearly 70 people altogether; 12 from the MoEP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay, Director General Yisrael Dancziger
Knesset (Parliament) members, Officials from other ministries and agencies
Representatives from environmental NGOs, academia, business executives
Three side events are being organized by members of the Israeli delegation. Topics of the side events are:
Alternative refrigerants. (The use of alternative refrigerants, instead of GHG-producing HFCs, to replace HCFCs that are being phased out as a result of the Montreal Protocol.) More about the HCFC phase-out and alternative refrigerants.
Organizers: MoEP and its counterpart in Bavaria, Germany, which is partnering with Israel on a project to promote alternative refrigerants in Israel.
Deforestation. Organizers: Jewish National Fund, Montenegro organization
Renewable Energies. Organizers: Israel Foreign Ministry
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the conference on Day One, Nov. 30th.
Photo :Israeli and German Environment Ministers Avi Gabbay and Dr. Barbara Hendricks at the Sustainable Innovation Conference
Photo by Aviad Weitzman
- Written by Office of the President
President Rivlin makes ‘Israeli Hope: Towards a new Israeli order’ address at the 15th Annual Herzliya Conference, marking a year since his election.
In the speech, the President stressed;
The make-up of the ‘stakeholders’ of Israeli society, and of the State of Israel, is changing before our eyes
In the State of Israel the basic systems that form people's consciousness are tribal and separate, and will most likely remain so
If we do not reduce the current gaps in the rate of participation in the work force and in the salary levels of the Arab and Haredi populations - who are soon to become one half of the work force - Israel will not be able to continue to be a developed economy.
The President posed the following challenging questions;
Are we, the members of the Zionist population, able to accept the fact that two significant groups, a half of the future population of Israel, do not define themselves as Zionists? They do not watch the torch-lighting ceremony on Mount Herzl on Independence Day. They do not sing the national anthem with eyes glistening.
Are we willing to give up military service, as an entry ticket into Israeli society and economy, and settle for civilian or community service?
Are the Arab and Haredi publics willing to commit to contributing their share in molding Israeli identity and the Israeli economy, and to participating in civil national and community service, with a sense of responsibility and commitment?
The President stressed that;
The Haredi, the secular, the religious, or the Arab individual must not feel that the issues most sensitive to them are in danger or under threat.
The sense of security that my basic identity is not threatened is a fundamental prerequisite for the ability of each one of us to hold out a hand to the other.
No tribe is exempt from proposing solutions to deal with the challenge of defending the security of the State; from facing the economic challenges, or maintaining the international status of Israel as a member of the family of nations. Partnership demands responsibility.
The developing Israeli mosaic offers a tremendous opportunity. It encompasses cultural richness, inspiration, humanity and sensitivity.
President Reuven Rivlin this afternoon, (Sunday), addressed the 15th annual Herzliya Conference of the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) at IDC Herzliya, marking the first year of his term as the Tenth President of the State of Israel. In the speech, entitled "Israeli Hope: Towards a new Israeli order", the President spoke about the various developments within the different camps in Israeli society, and of the obligation as a society to actively work to expand the partnership and cooperation as a crucial prerequisite for the State of Israel. The President warned against the deterioration of Israeli society in light of the demographic trends and the alienation between the various groups in the society; Haredim, Arabs, national religious Jews, and secular.
The President said, “I have never regarded, nor will I ever regard any persons or groups comprising Israeli society as a danger, or, God forbid, as a threat. But, I am standing here today, because I have identified a very real threat in our collective suppression of the transformations that Israeli society has been undergoing in recent decades; in neglecting to confront what I call the ‘new Israeli order’, the significance of which I want to deal with today.”
The President continued, “In the 1990s (as can be seen in the slide behind me), Israeli society comprised a clear and firm majority, with minority groups alongside it. A large secular Zionist majority, and beside it three minority groups: a national-religious minority, an Arab minority, and a Haredi minority. Although this pattern remains frozen in the minds of much of the Israeli public, in the press, in the political system, all the while, the reality has totally changed.
“Today, the first grade classes are composed of about 38% secular Jews, about 15% national religious, about one quarter Arabs, and close to a quarter Haredim. While it is true that numbers and definitions are dynamic, neither identities nor birth-rates remain static over time. But one thing is clear, the demographic processes that are restructuring or redesigning the shape of Israeli society, have, in fact, created a ‘new Israeli order’. A reality in which there is no longer a clear majority, nor clear minority groups. A reality in which Israeli society is comprised of four population sectors, or, if you will, four principal ‘tribes’, essentially different from each other, and growing closer in size. Whether we like it or not, the make-up of the ‘stakeholders’ of Israeli society, and of the State of Israel, is changing before our eyes.”
The President added, “In the State of Israel the basic systems that form people's consciousness are tribal and separate, and will most likely remain so. The ‘new Israeli order’ is not a creative sociological differentiation; it is, rather, a reality with far-reaching consequences for our national resilience, for the future of us all. From an economic viewpoint, the current reality is not viable. The mathematics is simple, any child can see it. If we do not reduce the current gaps in the rate of participation in the work force and in the salary levels of the Arab and Haredi populations - who are soon to become one half of the work force - Israel will not be able to continue to be a developed economy. The severe and painful epidemic of poverty that is already having a major effect in Israel, will only expand and worsen.”
The President concluded by saying, “During my first year in office, I have worked to rouse each sector among us, to see the other sector - even when difficult - to hear the other sector, even when it grates on ones ears. To hold out a hand to them. At the end of that year, I now stand here before you, seeking to say these things openly and clearly, feeling deeply that Israeli society is today in need of a wake-up call. I call on you all today to join me in facing this challenge. I am a partner to anyone ready and willing to play their part in this task. I am here at your service, at the service of all of Israeli society. Only in this way, together and in partnership, shall we be able to rekindle the Israeli hope.”
In his speech, the President highlighted the need for four key principles of partnership for Israeli society:
The first is a sense of security for each sector, that entry into this partnership does not require giving up basic elements of their identity. The Haredi, the secular, the religious, or the Arab individual must not feel that the issues most sensitive to them are in danger or under threat. Whether this be the Haredi way of education in the Yeshivot; the national religious concept of redemption; the liberal lifestyle of a secular Jew, or the Arab-Palestinian identity. The sense of security that my basic identity is not threatened is a fundamental prerequisite for the ability of each one of us to hold out a hand to the other. To understand their pain and fears. The ability of us all, to establish a partnership here between the various sectors. We cannot do this unless we can learn to know each other, unless we gain an understanding of the most sensitive issues of each sector, and learn how to respect and safeguard them – even when this is difficult or even frustrating.
The second pillar is shared responsibility. When no tribe is a minority, no side can escape bearing responsibility for the destiny and the future of the State of Israel, and of Israeli society in general. So, no tribe is exempt from proposing solutions to deal with the challenge of defending the security of the State; from facing the economic challenges, or maintaining the international status of Israel as a member of the family of nations. Partnership demands responsibility.
The third pillar, is equity and equality. In order to ensure the partnership between us, we must ensure that no citizen is discriminated against, nor favored, simply because they belong to a specific sector. The current situation of structural gaps between the partners, whether in budgets, infrastructures or land, is intolerable. There are clear tribal aspects to poverty in Israel, and the majority of senior positions in the economy are held by the members of one or two sectors. In such a situation it is not possible to build a shared future here. In order to create a strong basis for the partnership between us, we will have to ensure an accessible ‘Israeli dream’ that can be realized by each and every young person, judged only on the basis of their talents, and not according to their ethnic or social origins.
The fourth, and the most challenging pillar, is the creation of a shared Israeli character - a shared ‘Israeliness’. Despite the challenges the ‘new Israeli order’ poses, we must recognize that we are not condemned to be punished by the developing Israeli mosaic – but rather it offers a tremendous opportunity. It encompasses cultural richness, inspiration, humanity and sensitivity. We must not allow the ‘new Israeli order’ to cajole us into sectarianism and separation. We must not give up on the concept of ‘Israeliness’; we should rather open up its gates and expand its language.
The President’s speech marked a year since his election to office, and a year of activity in the field of building and encouraging educational, economic and social cooperation across Israeli society. Accordingly, the the Herzliya Conference of the Institute for Policy and Strategy, in close cooperation with the President's office has created a steering committee composed of public figures and opinion leaders, along with academics and business executives from all sectors of Israeli society.
Over the next year, the committee will meet to discuss four subjects which will be held in four communities representing the main 'tribes' within Israeli society.
On the eve of the 2016 Herzliya Conference, the steering committee will submit a report to the President that will include lines of agreement and disagreement, as well as policy recommendations in the following four issues:
Equality, rights and obligations of the new Israeli agenda (service, budgeting, land, etc)
The community and state within the new Israeli agenda (education, public sphere, "cultural autonomy")
Joint economy and society in the new Israeli agenda (fighting poverty, equal opportunity, and the "Israeli dream")
What is a "joint Israeli society" in the new Israeli agenda? (Symbols / ceremonies, education).
The full report (4 chapters) shall be submitted to the President, leading up to the 2016 Herzliya Conference, during which an extended discussion will take place with Ministers and Members of Knesset, looking at the report's findings and recommendations, entitled "Israeli Hope: Towards a New Israeli Agenda".
The committee's work will be accompanied by a process of public participation process in which the public will be asked questions on the subjects of the various sessions through an internet platform. Furthermore, a public opinion survey with key questions about the above issues will take place.
Erez Harodi Ozim Tzilum
- Written by Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
The Nuclear Deal with Iran: Commentary & Analysis from the Mitvim Institute
The Nuclear Deal with Iran: Commentary & Analysis
The deal reached between Iran and the six world powers is likely to have significant implications for Israel’s foreign policy, Israel-US relations, domestic American politics, next steps regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Iran’s role in the region. This document includes commentary and analysis on these issues by Mitvim Institute experts: Prof. Moshe Ma’oz, Dr. Nimrod Goren, Dr. Ilai Saltzman, and Brian Reeves. It is also available in Hebrew.
An Israeli campaign against the deal will further damage Israel-US relations
Dr. Ilai Saltzman, The Mitvim Institute and Claremont McKenna College
The signing of a nuclear deal with Iran will further aggravate the already tense relations between Israel and the US regardless of the exact details of the agreement or the nature of the mechanisms put in place to make it work. To be more specific, this dramatic development will bring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama further apart. The Prime Minister presented no coherent and practical alternative; he merely advocated maintaining the sanctions against Iran and dismantling its nuclear program, even by force. This “all or nothing” approach was utterly unacceptable and unfeasible from Obama’s vantage point and mutual criticism lasted until the very last minute.
The signing of the nuclear agreement will mark a new stage in Netanyahu’s anti-agreement crusade. Given the fact the American Congress will now have 60 days to review and assess the signed accords before lifting the sanctions on Iran, we should expect a massive Israeli campaign against its approval. While Netanyahu will not be invited to give another anti-agreement speech on Capitol Hill, he will use every possible asset to prevent Congress from lifting the sanctions. Netanyahu’s proxies including Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer and AIPAC will engage every legislator, Republican or Democrat, and will be extremely vocal in the public sphere, criticizing the agreement and the president’s handling of the negotiations.
Regardless of the outcomes of the battle in Congress, one obvious casualty will be US-Israel relations. Israel has become a partisan political issue, dividing Congress and the Jewish community, forcing people to choose between their President and their support of Israel, as Netanyahu’s speech in Congress vividly showed. Obama will do anything in his power to prevent Congress from interfering in what he believes to be one of the most significant diplomatic achievements of his administration. The crossfire will certainly take its toll and the only question is the exact price Israel will pay.
Netanyahu’s maximalist and uncompromising approach throughout the nuclear talks left Israel marginalized and disengaged from the negotiations. In the post-deal period, the Israeli government must engage the Administration in good faith and regain access to the decision-making process, in order to influence the way the agreement is enforced and Iran’s nuclear facilities are monitored. Moreover, in the long-term, Israel should seek a reversal of Iran’s destabilizing policies in the region through encouraging US-Iranian rapprochement induced by the nuclear agreement.
A veto-proof majority in Congress against the deal is unlikely
Brian Reeves, The Mitvim Institute
Now, that an Iranian nuclear deal has been reached, the US Congress must decide whether it risks being a hindrance or abettor to this historic compromise. Particularly in the Senate, where it can still plausibly go either way on whether the chamber can muster a veto-proof, two-thirds majority against an agreement, the reputation of many Democratic members on the fence hangs in the balance.
With this in mind, recent statements from leading senators appear to corroborate the prevailing assessment that this two-thirds majority cannot be achieved. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) repeatedly called an expected deal a “hard sell,” but refused to impart a more forceful response. Senior Senator Lindsey Graham (R) contended he was in favor of the interim deal and applauded Secretary John Kerry’s efforts, while qualifying these comments with a formulaic critique of President Obama’s supposed willingness to give concessions. Senior Democratic Senator and known hawk on Iran, Robert Menendez, voiced his concerns but would not rule out support for a deal.
Given the influence of these three senators, their statements are of considerable import. They each demonstrate pains to hedge their bets on the passing and long-term success of a deal, and more importantly to help prepare their constituencies for coming to terms with that deal. This latter, critical aspect of helping one’s nation take advantage of any new, significant reality is now also being practiced by Iranian President Rouhani.
With a deal soon to be reached and under review in Congress, Israel’s leadership now has a choice. It can either continue to level unrestrained rebuke at its American counterparts and pronounce doomsday predictions. Or it can still voice its legitimate concerns, but through language and actions mindful of its relationship with the US, while preparing new regional policies and its citizens for both the challenges and opportunities that this new paradigm in the Middle East may present. If strategy, not ideology, is to prevail, then it should adopt the second option.
The international community can now re-engage in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Dr. Nimrod Goren, The Mitvim Institute and the Hebrew University
Israeli politicians, from the coalition and opposition alike, were quick to state unequivocally that the deal poses grave danger to Israel. They did so before even having the chance to read the text of the final agreement. This is characteristic of Israeli statesmanship, which tends to emphasize the risks and the negative aspects of international and regional developments. The problem with this approach is that it lessens the ability to identify opportunities in a timely manner. Moreover, it tends to create tensions between Israel and its Western allies, which often distance Israel from international decision-making processes relating to international issues of historical significance.
Israel would be wise to react positively to the efforts invested by the six world powers, among which are Israel’s two greatest allies – the US and Germany, to address a major security threat that Israel faces. Israel would also be wise to refrain from launching a new struggle against the deal that has been reached. Instead, and despite its reservations from the deal, Israel should now work together with the US and the broader international community, and seek to leverage the deal to promote its diplomatic and security interests.
The fact that a deal has been reached on the Iranian nuclear program also means that the international community’s self-imposed hiatus from dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has come to an end. As a result of the recent Israeli elections and the negotiations with Iran, international efforts on this issue have been frozen for over half a year. However, Israel did not use this respite to propose its own framework for advancing the two-state solution and now, the international powers are likely to return to these issues with greater urgency and perhaps in a more coordinated fashion in light of their successful model of joint negotiations vis-à-vis the Iranians.
In the coming months, the US and the Europeans are expected to promote initiatives that will bring more clarity to the parameters for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the potential fruits of peace, and the prices of its absence. Israel should be as engaged as possible in the shaping of these efforts and should avoid slamming the door on its Western allies, as she did on the Iranian nuclear talks. If the current Israeli government does not do so, the Opposition will have an opportunity to carve a significant political-diplomatic role for itself, vis-à-vis both the international community and the Israeli public.
Iran’s regional role after the deal: Fighting IS while promoting a “Shi’i Crescent”
Prof. Moshe Ma’oz, The Hebrew University and the Mitvim Institute
The nuclear deal will increase Iran’s strategic, political and economic power.The crucial question is whetheror not Tehran will employ its new advantages to advance stability in the Middle East and to settle its ideological and strategic disputes with Sunni Muslim countries.
Iran is likely to expand its military and economic efforts to contain, if not defeat, IS forces in Iraq and Syria, which are threatening Tehran's allies in Baghdad, Damascus and Hizballah, and are also main factors of regional instability. By doing so, it will contribute to regional stability. But simultaneously, Iran is likely to continue its regional “Shi'i Crescent” strategy, which widens frictions between Shi'is and Sunnis in several Arab countries, thus also contributing to instability.
Shi'i Iran by no means can afford to forsake the most important Shi'i shrines in Najaf and Karbala (Southern Iraq) and the majority (60%) Shi'i state of Iraq. Nor could Tehran abandon its Alawi (pseudo-Shi'i) ally in Damascus, being a crucial link to its Shi'i proxy, Hizballah, in Lebanon, as well as to its “Shi'i Crescent" strategy. Indeed, it may be also predicted that Iran will also use its new grand position to strengthen its would-be Shi'i Crescent by fostering the Shi'i communities in oil-producing Gulf state such as Bahrain, Kuwait and even Saudi Arabia, as well as Yemen.
In view of this possible scenario, Israel should find ways to establish a solid strategic cooperation with Sunni-Muslim states in the region aiming at curbing this common Shi'i threat. A major condition for such strategic cooperation is for Israel to settle the Palestinian problem. Such bold policy may also reduce Iran's immense antagonism to Israel.
Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
11 Tuval St, Ramat Gan 525226, Israel
- Written by President’s Media Advisor
PM Netanyahu: The threats in the region also create opportunities. We will take every opportunity to translate regional cooperation into processes for stability and peace, including attempts to reach a responsible political settlement with the Palestinians.
President Reuven Rivlin today (Tuesday, 19 May 2015), together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stood for the traditional photograph at the President's Residence with the ministers of the newly sworn-in 34th Government of Israel.
At the beginning of the event, the President and Prime Minister delivered brief statements, and toasted, with the ministers, the success of the new government.
President Rivlin began by referring to the great challenges that face the new government, "There are governments that receive a grace period of one hundred days. However, there are great challenges that this government must deal with from the outset, without a 100 day grace period. Previous governments did not face such challenges in the same way or with the same intensity. With regard to foreign affairs, you are required to deal with international pressure in a manner that demands endurance and the ability to make considered decisions which will not lead the State of Israel to isolation, but will preserve the red lines of Israeli diplomacy. On the domestic front, you face the urgent and crucial mission to present a budget which will provide an answer to the social and economic needs of the citizens of Israel - from housing and employment to welfare."
President Rivlin addressed the ministers and spoke of the criticism of the size of the government. He said, "On your shoulders rests the task and the duty to prove your ability to manage the affairs of the state with its complexities and sensitivities, for the benefit of all citizens. Much noise was made on the issue of the size of the government which was sworn in, and ostensibly relating to its legitimacy. However, in Israeli democracy a government of sixty-one Members of Knesset is as democratic and legitimate as a government of ninety Members of Knesset. We must remember that the most dramatic moves in Israel's political history, including the Oslo Agreement, were decided by a single vote. Equally today, we must respect and obey the rule of democracy. A narrow government must be, and is able to be, a good government as long as it is faithful to its internal cohesion, and to the public interests of all the citizens of Israel."
The President concluded by wishing the new government success, "On my own behalf and on behalf of citizens of Israel, I want to wish success to the Prime Minister and all the new ministers and Members of Knesset in general. Together with all the people, I am filled with hope and prayers for your success."
Prime Minster Netanyahu said, "Also for the fourth time, just as the first, I am greatly moved and honored to present to you today, the ministers of the Government of Israel. This government has been established at a time of great challenges and opportunities. Our first challenge is to ensure the security of Israel in the face of accumulating threats around us. Radical Islam is lapping at all our borders, nearly all in the form of factions and forces led by Iran and other radical elements. At the same time, aided by the agreement proposed to it, Iran is making progress in achieving a nuclear weapon. All the enemies of Israel know that in the face of these threats, we have red lines.
Until today, Mr. President, we have been successful in keeping Israel out of the turmoil and atrocities affecting the region. We will continue to guard the security of Israel. The threats in the region also create opportunities. Many states around us have common interests with us, they see eye to eye with us on the dangers, and they see Israel as central partner in fending them off. We will make every effort to translate this cooperation into processes for stability and peace, including attempts to reach a responsible political settlement with the Palestinians, which will safeguard Israel's essential interests. We will continue to promote deeper ties with the US Administration and the American people. Even at times of disagreements, this bond is stronger than any difference of opinion.
"Mr. President, the welfare of the citizens of Israel is our top priority. We will work to reduce the cost of living, and the cost of housing. Already today, at the cabinet meeting which took place this morning at the Israel Museum, we made decisions aimed at these goals.
"The People of Israel returned to its land, and established here the State of Israel, a Jewish and democratic state, a state which preserves the rule of law and respects every human being. Here in our eternal capital of Jerusalem, the Prophets of Israel embedded the eternal values of humanity, but also embedded the eternal values of our people – to which we are committed in each generation. I am proud to be the Prime Minister of Israel, and I will do all in my power, together with my ministers, to honor the mandate we have been given by the citizens of Israel. There is nothing more valuable than that."
Photo The 34th Government of Israel.
By GPO / Avi Ohayon