Real Clear Israel Press Release: WATCH: PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

Bibi & Flags

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PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

“We are in the midst of a great struggle being waged against the State of Israel, an international campaign to blacken its name. It is not connected to our actions; it is connected to our very existence. It does not matter what we do; it matters what we symbolize and what we are. Now, this is a phenomenon that we have known in the history of our people – what hasn’t been said about the Jewish People? They said that we are the focus of all evil in the world. They said that we are the poisoners of the wells of humanity. They said that we drink the blood of little children. All of these things are being said about us today as well. It was not true then and it is not true today. This does not have a shred of truth.

I read again the poem of the great Alterman, about the accusations that are hurled at us, and he says that the most important thing is that we do not believe the awful things aimed at us because in the end that will be the victory against us. As long as we do not believe, as long as we reject these things and do not flagellate ourselves, we will be strong and steadfast.

I think that it is important to understand that these things do not stem from the fact that if only we were nicer or a little more generous – we are very generous, we have made many offers, we have made many concessions – that anything would change because this campaign to delegitimize Israel entails something much deeper that is being directed at us and seeks to deny our very right to live here.

I think that one must ask how can it be that Israel is accused over homes in Gilo, or over this or that action that we take to defend ourselves from terrorists, but that when a hundred times more victims – a hundred times more, not twice or ten or 50 times as many, but a hundred times – more people are being slaughtered in Syria, just in Syria – there are no protests, no condemnations, no 80% of decisions by UN human rights committees, against Syria. It is we who are accused, IDF soldiers who are accused of killing children. I saw the IDF delegation to Nepal which rescued Nepalese children and brought babies into the world. I did not see a delegation from Boko Haram. I did not see delegations from Iran there. I did not see delegations from Al Qaida and I did not see delegations from Syria. There is no justification for the campaign of delegitimization being waged against the State of Israel, in which they are trying to suspend us from international organizations. The last thing we need to do is to bow our heads and ask where we went wrong, where we erred. We have done nothing wrong and we have not erred. We are not a perfect country; we do not pretend to be such, but they are setting standards for us that are both twisted and higher than those for any other country, any other democracy. There is no democracy that is more challenged than the State of Israel, which respects human rights, which respects pluralism, which respects humanity even in the most difficult war situations, even when thousands of missiles are being fired at our cities. Therefore, here we are not dealing in justifications, here we are telling the truth.

This past weekend we had to rebuff a major international effort to oust us from FIFA and I am pleased that we succeeded. This was part of the continuing effort; I am not deluding myself that these efforts will cease, and we need to act on a very broad front, but the first thing that we must arm ourselves with is the truth, the truth, and also with the inner pride that we know who we are and what we represent, and that we will not capitulate to libels. And therefore, an accomplishment must be noted, an important accomplishment, but it must also be noted that this was a milestone in a long campaign in which we will insist on our rights and in which we will uphold the truth – not on our truth alone, but on the truth and we will not allow ourselves to be ousted from important sports organizations nor from those which are not important.

Today we will deal with the home front exercise. I must say that alongside the development of our offensive capabilities, which is in a very impressive high gear, most of which is known to the public, we are also busy with preparing the home front for future campaigns because we have discovered that home front is a front line. There has been very great success; we saw this in Operation Protective Edge and at other times, in developments that we have made in both active and passive defense. Adequate preparation is important because planning well will pay off in the end.

We are holding an exercise that will continue from Sunday until Thursday. It includes almost all – I do not think almost all – ministries represented around this table. We are as prepared defensively as we are offensively and I think this capability is steadily improving.

1. And last, there is another issue in which we must improve urgently and there we are lagging very far behind. I mean the ministerial committee on regulatory affairs. I discussed this over the weekend with the Finance Minister and the Economy Minister. Israel Manufacturers Association President Shraga Brosh showed me shocking data. According to this check, the statistics are from the Global Economic Forum, Israel has declined, in the amount of over-regulation, from 23rd place in 2006 to 106th place in 2014. We are pushing away businesses and initiatives here. We are producing here an atmosphere and a reality of excessive regulation, of legalese, of regulator after regulator after regulator. We are currently in 106th place. I am raising this here because we are not creating just a committee, we promised to fight this, to fight this with axes; this will not be. We will restore ourselves to a worthy place, not 23rd, but lower than this. Whoever gets rid of over-regulation brings about growth and this growth will enable us to realize our other goals including those in the social sphere. There is no justification for what is happening here. Everything is justified as being for the benefit of the public and for the advantage of the citizen – this is simply not true. We are harming citizens, we are primarily harming the weaker strata, when we harm growth, and we are harming all Israelis by hasty regulation. Then if someone thought that this was OK, this is not OK. We are in a bad place and we will improve and be in a better place. This is the first goal, one of this government’s first three goals, and it will be achieved much faster than one thinks, in cooperation with all the ministers seated around this table.”

2. Pursuant to Article 12 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet decided to appoint Eshel Armoni as Director General of the Construction Ministry.

3. Pursuant to the 2012 Government Law, the Cabinet decided to approve the composition of the Ministerial Committee on National Security Affairs (the Security-Diplomatic Cabinet):

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (by law) – Chairman;

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon (by law);

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (by law);

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (by law);

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (by law);

Minister Naftali Bennett;

Minister Aryeh Machluf Deri;

Minister Yisrael Katz;

Minister Silvan Shalom; and

Minister Yuval Steinitz, from 31.5-30.11.15, to be replaced on 1.12.15 by Minister Zeev Elkin. The Prime Minister will, one year from the formation of the Security Cabinet, submit, for Government approval, the identity of the minister to fill this position.

Observers – Minister Yoav Galant and Minister Zeev Elkin from, 31.5-30.11.15, to be replaced on 1.12.15 by Minister Yuval Steinitz. The Prime Minister will, one year from the formation of the Security Cabinet, submit, for Government approval, the identity of the minister to fill this position.

Responsibilities of the committee:

* National security affairs of the State of Israel

* The security establishment and its policy

* Foreign relations and foreign policy of the State of Israel

* Approving development and procurement plans for the security establishment and intelligence agencies

* Any other issue that the Prime Minister deems fit.

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4. Pursuant to Article 31 of Basic Law: The Government, the Cabinet decided to transfer the responsibility vested in the Prime Minister by Article 59 of the 1975 Government Companies Law to the Finance Minister and to transfer to the Economy Minister the responsibility vested in the Finance Minister.

The Cabinet also approved the composition of the Ministerial Committee on Privatization.

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5. The Cabinet approved the formation of a ministerial committee on regulatory affairs to be chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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6. The Cabinet approved the composition of the Ministerial Committee on Symbols and Ceremonies.

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7. The Cabinet approved draft amendments to the 2015 Security Service Law. Click here for further details.

8. Pursuant to Article 31 of Basic Law: The Government, the Cabinet decided to create a new ministry – the Jerusalem and Heritage Ministry, to appoint Minister Zeev Elkin as Jerusalem and Heritage Minister, and to allocate the responsibilities of the foregoing.

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9. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and acting National Emergency Authority Director Betzalel Treiber briefed ministers on the Turning Point 15 home front exercise.

10. The Cabinet marked National Student Day.

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