PM Netanyahu meets with Senior US Presidential Adviser Jared Kushner and US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien

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PM Netanyahu met with Sen...

FM Ashkenazi on official visit to Germany

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PM Netanyahu meets with Israel Bonds leadership delegation

​PM Netanyahu: We understand that we have great tasks before us. We need a very strong defense, but we also need a strong economy. And the balance of the two is one of the great tasks that we have before us.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with an Israel Bonds leadership delegation and said:
"ISIS and Hamas and al-Qaeda and al-Nusra and Boko Haram and Hezbollah, supported by Iran - they're branches of the same poisonous tree. It's the same ideology with minor nuances. What's the great difference between ISIS and Hamas? The great difference, supposedly, between ISIS and Hamas is that those, the former lop heads off and the others shoot people in the head.
We have been notified today of another act of savagery from ISIS and I send our condolences to the people of Britain. We understand what kind of barbarism they face. We also understand that we have great tasks for defending our country as a result of these dangers that are enveloping our region. We need a very strong defense. We need a strong army, but we also need a strong economy. And the balance of the two is one of the great tasks that we have before us and I intend to have both: A strong defense and a strong economy."

Holocaust survivors born after 1927 to get one-time payment

WJC, The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany has reached an agreement with the German government for additional financial assistance for child survivors of the Holocaust.

The Finance Ministry in Berlin reportedly agreed Wednesday to one-time payments of € 2,500 (US$ 3,270) for Jewish children who were in concentration camps, ghettos or in hiding for at least six months.It was not immediately clear how many victims would qualify for the payments and the Finance Ministry made no immediate statement. “Child survivors” are defined as Nazi victims born on or after 1 January 1928.

The agreement comes as part of annual negotiations on who should receive funds. It still needs German parliamentary approval.

“The joint fund will recognize survivors worldwide who were in camps, ghettos, hiding and false identity for psychological and medical trauma caused during their deprived childhoods,” said Claims Conference President Julius Berman.

“Jewish children were in constant fear of death during the Holocaust. As you can imagine, this distress and the horrors of the Shoah have permeated so many aspects of their lives,” added the former US deputy secretary of the Treasury, Stuart Eizenstat, who serves as Claims Conference special negotiator.

The fund is expected to become operational on 1 January 2015, and details will be made available after approval by the German Bundestag and the Claims Conference.

Merkel, Lauder to address Berlin rally against anti-Semitism

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder will be among the speakers at a rally in Berlin on 14 September against growing anti-Semitism. The demonstration will be organized by the Central Council of Jews in Germany and also feature the leaders of the two main church denominations in Germany.

Dieter Graumann and Angela MerkelDieter Graumann and Angela Merkel"It means a lot to the Jewish community" that Merkel had agree to address the rally, which will be held in front of the landmark Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin, Dieter Graumann, president of the Central Council and a vice-president of the World Jewish Congress, declared in a press release. The motto of the rally is 'Stand up! No more Jew-hatred!'.

Graumann said that in the past weeks "naked hatred against Jews" had repeatedly been witnessed in Germany and caused great concern among the country's 120,000-strong Jewish community. However, the Jewish leader added that the community would continue to strive for a "confident Jewish life" in Germany. "For this reason, we want to show on 14 September: We are here! We will stay! And we will fight all attacks vigorously, together with our friends in German society," declared Graumann.

Over 4,000 anti-Semitic expressions recorded in Venezuela in 2013

WJC, Venezuela’s Jewish umbrella body CAIV has presented a new study in which an unusually high number of anti-Semitic incidents in the country is recorded for the year 2013. The analysis focuses on the mainstream media and on social networking sites such as Twitter.
CAIV President David Bittan, who also serves as vice-president of the World Jewish Congress, noted that anti-Semitic expressions had spiked during the bitterly fought presidential campaign in the spring of 2013 which, following the death of Hugo Chavez, pitched the latter’s successor NicolasMaduro against opposition candidateHenrique Capriles, who has Jewish ancestry. Following Maduro’s victory, they subsided somewhat but remained on a high level.
“During 2013 we witnessed and recorded 4,033 anti-Semitic expressions through different media, in social networks, with an important increase in the months of March, April and May, and a decrease in October, November and December,” Bittan wrote in the foreword to the in-depth study, which is posted on the CAIV website in Spanish and English. The CAIVpresident urged the government of Venezuela to show more initiative in eradicating anti-Semitism, and said that compiling this annual study was one of the raisons d’être of CAIV. “This task will no longer be needed when the authorities show the initiative and the will to exert a policy to eradicate Judeophobia, and in our country’s specific case, there is still time to achieve this provided there is consensus.
“If the authorities truly became aware of the damage caused to the country’s reputation by maintaining a passive and accommodating attitude […] towards these aspects, I am convinced that the situation would be different here and I even dare to think out aloud and say that more damage is caused to Venezuela by the peculiar form anti-Semitism on display in our country than to the Venezuelan Jewish community.”
On the positive side, said Bittan, the Venezuelan parliament observed a minute of silence on International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27), the first time it had done so since 2009.


Israeli-American Council (IAC) announces opening of its newest Regional Office, in Boston, MA

Los Angeles, CA The Los Angeles-based Israeli-American Council (IAC), the largest Israeli-American organization in the Unites States, announced the opening of its newest Regional Office in Boston this week to serve the Boston-area Israeli-American community. Some 15,000 Israelis are estimated to live in Massachusetts, mostly in or around Greater Boston.

The IAC Boston Regional Office will immediately begin to launch community initiatives in keeping with IAC’s mission of building up the Israeli-American community which, in turn can help broaden support for Israel, bolster the Jewish and Israeli identity of the next generation, and engage in outreach to the Jewish-American community at large. The new Regional Office is part of IAC’s national growth, which includes opening local offices in communities throughout the United States to provide community and national-level structure for Israeli-Americans, working together with other organizations to offer support, and through its grant program, providing funding to Israeli-American initiatives throughout the U.S.

Na’ama Ore, the newly appointed IAC Boston Regional Director, brings extensive experience from the non-profit world, most recently working for Clalit, Israel’s largest public health service provider. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Members of the IAC Boston Regional Council, serving as the local board, include Co-Chairs Ilan Segev and Rachel Chafetz, and Phyllis Gottleib, Dr. Avi Almozlino, Sara Aronson, Gil Breiman, Yiftach Wiesel, David Fine, Robert Mayer and Gideon Argov.

“We are thrilled to bring the Israeli-American Council to Boston,” said Rachel Chafetz, IAC Boston Co-Chair. “Our vibrant and dynamic community has long awaited substantial and relevant programming on this scale, and we are excited to connect to the national Israeli-American network.”

A special committee leading the IAC’s growth efforts is chaired by Israeli-American philanthropist Adam Milstein and is comprised of IAC National Chairman, Shawn Evenhaim; IAC Co-founding Chairman, Danny Alpert; IAC CEO, Sagi Balasha; and IAC COO, Miri Belsky.

The IAC currently helps support 30 organizations related to the Israeli-American community in the United States. It also runs a variety of community programming. Among its projects are Celebrate Israel, the largest Jewish festival in North America; Sifriyat Pijama B’America (SP-BA) the largest Hebrew outreach program in North America, reaching 10,000 families every month in partnership with The Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF); IAC BINA, a program for young professional Israeli-Americans and other young Jews, which works to strengthen connections within the community and to Israel; IAC Care, a volunteer community for Israeli and Jewish Americans of all ages in Los Angeles; MISHELANU, a young leadership group on American college campuses where Israeli-Americans come together to strengthen their Jewish and Israeli identities and their ties to Israel; and TZAV 8, which organizes community activists to participate in demonstrations and pro-Israeli activities.



Many of our readers are already considering whether to keep the same old Haggadah for next Passover or try something new. Well we have something for you to consider, something that surprisingly proves it’s possible for a Reform, Progressive, Liberal, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Orthodox Rabbi to agree on something: The soon-to-be released Sixty-Minute Seder: Preserving the Essence of the Passover Haggadah by the husband and wife team, Cass and Nellie Foster, of Kauai.

Not only are Rabbis from every denomination turning in favorable reviews, they’re coming from all over the world. So what is it they’re praising? We’ll let them speak for themselves as we start with a Conservative Rabbi in the U.S. and a Reform Rabbi in Spain: Rabbi Jerome Epstein, the Chief Israel Affairs Officer of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism says: “For those who seek a modified Seder that will stimulate discussion, inspire interest and educate Jews with a range of backgrounds will find the Sixty-Minute Seder a perfect script for the Pesach drama.” And then Rabbi Bonnie Cohen in Spain says: “(This) is a wonderful resource that will enable people to create their own Passover Seder in a personal and meaningful way…I highly recommend it.”

A Reform Rabbi in Israel, Rabbi Michael Boyden tells us: “Creating such a Haggadah is no simple undertaking and you are to be congratulated for making the traditional Haggadah more accessible.” And a similar review from the U.K., Rabbi Dr. Andrew Goldstein, President, Liberal Judaism: "You have done a great job in highlighting the main points of the Haggadah and arranging them in an order that allows the Seder to flow and the story it tells to be easily absorbed...I hope the book is a success and helps many to have a meaningful Seder."

Rabbi Judith HaLevy, a Reconstructionist Rabbi at the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue in the U.S. gives us a good sense of the contents: “Cass and Nellie Foster have done an amazing job of sifting the essence of the Passover ritual from the embellishments of time. Each section is explained clearly, with the appropriate blessings in Hebrew and transliteration. The outstanding glossary of terms make it possible for a newcomer to understand the background of the symbols and rituals without adding long readings to the text.”

While Rabbi David Stern, a Conservative Rabbi in Victoria, Australia adds, “Sure to inspire and aid in Seders for years to come!" And an Orthodox Rabbi, Rabbi Leo Fettman, co-author of SHOAH: Journey from the Ashes, gives us a unique perspective with "You have created a Sixty-Minute Seder for seniors! We love your book. It is great and written so warmly and clearly, it’s perfect for our seniors here at the care facility.”

And then we hear from the Liberal Rabbi Dr. Walter Rothschild of Vienna, Austria who is also the State Rabbi of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany with: " 'Dayenu' - yes, one CAN have enough, one can have much more than enough, and it is important to concentrate on the basics so that all present can experience, learn and enjoy the Seder. This is what the Sixty-Minute Haggadah sets out to do and it succeeds!"

And we conclude our worldwide praise by returning to the U.S. with Conservative Rabbi Jack Moline of Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia: “…you now hold an opportunity to discover a truth about this long-standing ritual that is often obscured by the focus on form over substance. The order of the Seder is a framework for building your own story of liberation. Cass and Nellie Foster have distilled it to its essence.”

When we asked the Fosters how they went about reducing a typically two-to-five hour long Seder to sixty minutes Cass tells us he did do some reduction with a few of the
steps but “Primarily eliminated commentary. We’re hoping our readers will be satisfied with going through the steps in the proper order as we provide an opportunity to explore their own point of view.” And Nellie adds, “We spend a fair amount of time explaining how to prepare the home and conduct the Seder and I provide plenty of meal suggestions but the bottom line is our readers will be able to host a Seder regardless of how familiar they are with Passover or Judaism in general. We kept the unaffiliated and Interfaith families very much in mind when we put this together.”

According to Linda F. Radke, the president of Five Star Publications, Inc., the publisher of the Sixty-Minute Seder: Preserving the Essence of the Passover Haggadah, “With more than 3,500 Haggadahs in print and no two having the same content, revisiting the Haggadah is not unheard of. Though pared down to only sixty minutes, this Haggadah still has it all, from planning to preparation to the actual presentation of the Seder.”

And what makes their Haggadah even more different is the opportunity for readers to provide input on their experience with the Haggadah. Cass and Nellie have already implemented improvements for their next edition thanks to reader feedback.

For information about ordering please contact Five Star Publications, Inc. by
phoning (480) 940-8182, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by visiting their website at - where you can also learn more about the Rabbis mentioned in this article in their REVIEW section. Just tell them you learned about them from the New York Jewish Guide.

French soccer player banned for five matches after giving Nazi-style salute

French soccer player banned for five matches after giving Nazi-style salute
England's Football Association (FA) suspended French player Nicolas Anelka for five games and fined him the equivalent of US$ 133,400 for making the 'quenelle', which is widely considered as a Nazi salute in reverse, at a match of his West Brom team in December 2013.
WJC, The 'quenelle' was made popular by French comic Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, who was convicted repeatedly in France of violating hate-speech laws. French authorities recently banned Dieudonné's show because of its anti-Semitic content, and he was forced to remove any offensive parts from the program.
The FA cited the quenelle’s ethnic, racial or religious connotations. Although an FA disciplinary panel backed Nicolas Anelka'sinsistence that he was not being intentionally anti-Semitic, performing the gesture was still found to be racist and abusive. Anelka was also ordered to complete an education course. The player can appeal, and he must decide within seven days of receiving the panel's written reasons. "He is now waiting to receive the commission's full reasons for their decision before considering whether or not to appeal," Anelka'slegal team said.
His club West Brom responded to the verdict by suspending him while an internal investigation is being conducted. "The club acknowledges that the FA panel 'did not find that Nicolas Anelka is an anti-Semite or that he intended to express or promote anti-Semitism by his use of the quenelle,'" West Brom said in a statement. "However, the club cannot ignore the offence that his actions have caused, particularly to the Jewish community, nor the potential damage to the club's reputation."
The panel found Anelka guilty of two charges - that the gesture "was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper," and it was racially offensive. "The misconduct was an 'aggravated breach' ... in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief," the panel's verdict said.
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) welcomed the ban and the fine for Anelka. “This suspension and fine show without a doubt that anti-Semitic, racist or ethnically derogatory gestures will not be tolerated in European soccer,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder. “The use of racist or anti-Semitic gestures or chants by European soccer players and crowds is a serious problem and brings shame on the continent.”
WJC Vice-President Vivian Wineman, who is the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, also welcomed Anelka's punishment. "This supports the FA's decision to invoke its own regulations after its assiduous report concluded that Mr. Anelka's gesture had anti-Semitic connotations and is highly offensive to Jews and right-minded members of the public," he said.
The European Jewish Congress expressed concern that Anelka was yet to voice any regret over the case. "Even if the FA is not convinced that the player's intent at the time was anti-Semitic, he surely knows now the origins of the quenelle and the hurt and pain it caused the Jewish community, yet we are still waiting for an apology," EJC President Moshe Kantor said. "Anelka's silence speaks volumes." The organization hopes the FA will use the case to help clamp down on abuse against Jews. "Anti-Semitism remains the fastest growing hate in football, on the field and in the stadiums, and we hope that this episode will be used positively to once and for all stamp out hatred for Jews in football," Kantor said.


Record Number of U.S. Dentists Planning Aliyah

Take Israeli Ministry of Health Licensing Exam in New Jersey 

Paramus, New Jersey, An unprecedented number of 20 dentists from around the United States who are planning to make Aliyah to Israel gathered to take the Israeli Dentistry Licensing Exam, which was held for them at the Nefesh B’Nefesh offices in Paramus, New Jersey. This is the largest group ever to take the test outside Israel.

Dentists who immigrate to Israel must pass the Dentistry Licensing Examination given by the Ministry of Health’s Dentistry Department in order to practice their profession in Israel. The test has two parts - theoretical and practical - and takes place twice a year in various languages. Following the unique cooperation between Nefesh B’Nefesh and the State of Israel’s Ministry of Health, it was decided that the dentists would be given the opportunity to take the first theoretical exam in the United States to help expedite the process of obtaining an Israeli license and make the process easier for them. The dentists still have to complete the practical part of the exam when they arrive in Israel. This part of the exam must be taken within three years of taking the theoretical exam.

“I think it’s an amazing thing to be able to have the opportunity to take the Israeli Government’s Dentistry Licensing Exam while I am still in the U.S.,” said Debbie Goldschmiedt of New York City, one of the dentists who took the exam today. “This new option is saving a lot of waiting time and energy, and more importantly, it will enable me to start working as a dentist and earn a living in Israel shortly after my Aliyah.”

Nefesh B'Nefesh, in partnership with the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Agency for Israel,Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF USA, has been assisting the dentists in every area of the exam including completing forms, payment arrangements, and preparing for the exam, as well as serving as a mediator with the Health Ministry.

“The fact that the Israeli Government, and more specifically the Health Ministry, is accommodating dentists interested in making Aliyah, is an extraordinary display of the State of Israel’s willingness to do all in their power to encourage Aliyah,” explained Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “It is an absolute game changer that Olim dentists will now be able to join the Israeli work force shortly after their arrival in Israel.”


PM Netanyahu addresses Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

In the past, antisemites boycotted Jewish businesses and today they call for the boycott of the Jewish state. But Israel is being sought after because it is the repository of great genius, great creativity, innovation. That is something that is bigger than all these boycotters could possibly address.

I want to welcome you again to Jerusalem, the eternal undivided capital of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

We meet on the eve of the resumption of negotiations of what is called the final settlement with Iran. They’re supposed to begin tomorrow in Vienna. What is the goal? Or what ought to be the goal of these negotiations? It’s not merely to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons. I want to be more precise. It’s to prevent Iran from having the capability of manufacturing nuclear weapons. That is different. If Iran perches itself as a threshold state in which it has all the elements of a nuclear weapon in place, they’ll just have to do one little twist of the knob to get final enrichment of fissile material that is the core of a nuclear weapon, then all they’ll have to do is take these components from one side of a room and another side of a room, put them together and in a very short time, days or weeks or perhaps even hours, they’d have a nuclear weapon.

Our goal is to prevent Iran from having the capacity to manufacture or put together nuclear weapons. That is our goal. Now, if they claim to want only civilian nuclear energy, that they have an abundance and they certainly don’t need what it is they’re insisting on. They don’t need enrichment for peaceful nuclear energy. They don’t a heavy water reactor for that. They don’t need ICBMs, long range inter-continental ballistic missiles. They don’t need that for that. They don’t need a weaponization program that Iran of course refuses to open to inspection. They don’t need any of these things, but these are precisely the things that Iran insists on. And they’re precisely the elements that they have to be denied.

Now, they haven’t been denied this in the so-called interim deal. They’ve been allowed to maintain their ICBMs’ their long-range ballistic missiles program, they continue to develop them. By the way, the range is geared to Europe and soon to the United States. It’s not for us. And there’s only one purpose in the world to develop ICBMs. You don’t develop inter-continental ballistic missiles to deliver some hundreds of kilos of TNT. Believe me, nobody does that. You develop an ICBM in order to deliver a nuclear payload.

Iran continues to develop that and continues to develop a heavy water reactor, and continues to develop latter-day models of centrifuges. Now, as we speak, they’re developing centrifuges that are supposed to be 15 times more effective and more efficient than the centrifuges that they have today, that will enable them to leap-frog the distance and the time from low enrichment of uranium to high enrichment like that.

We’ve made a calculation. How much time has been saved by the interim deal? How much has Iran regressed by agreeing to distill or to dilute the 20% enriched uranium that they have to 3.5%? Well, given everything that they’re preparing, the 19,000 centrifuges that they have in place, and the advanced centrifuges that they continue to develop under the deal, the sub-total of what they’ve been sent back in time is four weeks. That’s what Iran has given to the world, which means it’s given practically nothing, but Iran has received a great deal. It’s received the easing of sanctions. It’s received the nations that are queuing up to ease more sanction with Iran and do more business with Iran. It’s very important to understand that. Iran has given zero, or practically zero. It’s given four weeks, but it’s receiving a new position in the world. It’s being legitimized. Everybody is embracing Iran because of a smile. But Iran’s moderation is a myth.

You should know what Iran is doing as we speak. As we speak, inside Iran innocent people are being executed. They’re executed in horrific ways. They’re executed with these cranes in the middle of cities, innocent people, hoisted up, executed by this regime. This regime continues to foster terrorism around the world. It sends the most deadly weapons to Hezbollah, to Hamas, weapons that are fired on our civilians. This regime participates in the slaughter, the massive slaughter, the unending slaughter in Syria. That would not be possible without Iran.

The Assad regime does not exist a day without Iran, without Iran’s money, without Iran’s weapons, without Iran’s commanders who were there on the site to tell what is left of the Syrian army what to do. But in addition to that, when that didn’t help, when everything else failed, Iran supplied Assad with the most important component. They actually gave them fighters. Khamenei instructed Nasrallah to go and bring his people to Lebanon, and there they do the fighting for Assad. There is no Assad regime without Iran. So as Assad perpetrates this savagery day in and day out, Iran is committing the savagery. Iran is supporting terrorists around the world. Iran is sending these weapons, deadly weapons to be fired on Israel’s cities, and Iran has not changed one iota its call to annihilate the Jewish state. And yet this regime is being embraced.

So I think what is needed are two things. One, we have to expose Iran for what it is. It smiles but it continues its deadly business every day. And secondly, it has to be stripped of the capacity to make nuclear weapons.

What the deal that is being discussed today should achieve is one simple thing: zero centrifuges. Not one. Zero enrichment. They don’t need any centrifuges and they don’t have a right for enrichment. I think this is something that requires firmness and clarity. It may not be fashionable, but it’s the right thing, it’s the truthful thing, and I think that the only way that we could make Iran become a more moderate element, a more moderate nation and a more peaceful nation is by exhorting consistent pressure on it, political pressure, economic pressure and the demands of dismantling the Iranian nuclear program, which should be maintained throughout. I think any other route will actually produce the other result and make a diplomatic solution less likely. It will kick it away and force us into a reality that I think none of us want. We all want to see a peaceful solution. For a peaceful solution to succeed, you need more, not less, pressure.

The second thing that we’re discussing every day is how to achieve a secure and enduring peace with the Palestinians. By the way, the strength of Iran weakens that too, because Iran now controls one half of the Palestinian population. They control Hamas, they control Gaza through their proxies Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and of course they tell them what they say in Tehran, no peace with Israel, no reconciliation with Israel, continuous war in Israel. That’s what Hamas and the other terror proxies that Iran again, arms, funds and instructs are doing in Gaza. So one half of the Palestinian population is under the boot of Iran. And the other half, so far, has refused to confront the first half.

We’re trying to make peace with those Palestinians who at least have not engaged in terror and we say to them: If you want to achieve a real peace, then that peace has to be based on a real reconciliation with the Jewish State of Israel. I appreciate the ceaseless efforts that Secretary John Kerry is engaging with me. We shall soon see if we have a partner in Abu Mazen, but I think if there is a partner there, then there is a way to move this process forward. And for it to move forward and for it to succeed ultimately, then it must address first the root cause of the conflict.

The root cause of the conflict is not the settlements, it’s not the territories. This conflict predated it by at least half a century. The root cause of this conflict is the refusal to accept the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own in any boundaries. That remains a simple truth. Simple truths have a way of eluding common perception until they somehow land on you like a ton of bricks.

Here is a simple truth that eluded all the experts and many of the commentators about the Middle East for decades. This was an area that was supposed to be preoccupied with one conflict and they always said "the conflict": the core of the conflict in the Middle East - always in the singular - was the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. That’s what was said. Today if somebody repeated it, he should be at least laughed away. I think that you find that rarer and rarer. And that’s good, because when you see Syria imploding, and you see Iraq imploding, and you see Lebanon imploding and you see so many other parts of the Middle East imploding, Libya imploding, when you see all of that happening, you know that has nothing to do with the Palestinians.

I bring to your attention the fact that until two years ago people actually said this with a straight face. Professors, scholars, politicians, heads of state, they said the root cause of the conflict in the Middle East is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Well that is as accurate as the next statement that they now say - that the root cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, inside the myriad conflicts of the Middle East, is the settlements. Now, friends, you can take all the settlements and you can uproot them and the conflict will continue. You can have Israel continue, go back to the ’67 lines and the conflict will continue. How do we know that? Because we tried it. That’s exactly what we did in Gaza. We went back to the ’67 lines, we uprooted at terrible human cost and financial costs the 10,000 Israelis who were there. Did we get peace? What we got is a forward outpost of Iran from which they’ve so far fired about 12,000 rockets on our heads.

Now, what is going to prevent that from happening again? Well, what we need to see with the Palestinians who make a deal is that they’re resigned to the fact that they’ll have to make a genuine peace with Israel and that means finally recognizing the Jewish state. This will be a peace between two nation states. The Palestinians expect us to recognize a nation state for the Palestinian people. How do they have the temerity not to recognize the Jewish state, the nation state of the Jewish people? Do they not know that we’ve been here for the last 3,800 years? They don’t know that this is the land of the Bible? That this is where Jewish history and Jewish identity was forged? This is what defines us?

This is how we define ourselves. We’ve been here a very long time, for God’s sake. They have no excuse, and they can try to distort ancient history and modern history, they can try to do that, but it doesn’t make it true. This is the Land of Israel. We’ve been here on this land, associated with it for millennia, and now we say, we know that there has to be a very difficult decision to be made here. But in our ancestral homeland, we are the Jewish people. This is the Jewish land. This is the Jewish state. When we make an agreement it is an agreement between the nation state of the Jewish people and a nation state of the Palestinian people.

If they don’t accept that, you have to ask yourself why not? Why don’t they accept that? Why do they insist on not recognizing us? There is a reason. Because once you accept the fact that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people then you have no more claims on this land and on this country, wherever the final border will be drawn. You cannot claim the so-called right of return, because that claim of Palestinian refugees or their descendants will be satisfied in the nation state of the Palestinian people. Just as Jews can come here, Palestinians if they chose can go there. That claim evaporates.

Secondly, you cannot make any territorial claims on what remains as the territory of Israel. You cannot say, well there is another people there. Perhaps a sub-group of Israel’s citizens. They’re entitled to a sub-state or to separate state or to an irredentist claim. The minute you agree to the formulation of two nation states, a Jewish state for the Jewish people and a Palestinian state for the Palestinian people, you end all claims. You end territorial claims, and you end refugee claims, you end the so-called "right of return". That is all incorporated in ending the conflict. The fact that the Palestinian leadership and the Palestinian Authority adamantly refuses to accept this raises serious questions on whether they're committed to a genuine peace. And unless they’re willing to accept it, they’re not committed to a genuine peace.

Now, even if they accept it, which I sincerely hope they do, that doesn’t guarantee that the decades of incitement that they’ve led to their own people, teaching them to seek this solution, an elimination of the Jewish states, that that will come to an end. We don’t know that. We cannot guarantee that. And I certainly am not coming into any of this Pollyannaish. I’m not looking at this wide eyed, from pink eyeglasses. I can understand that this will be a very difficult experience, but it starts with a Palestinian leadership that accepts the Jewish state, accepts the end of claims, ends the conflict and disavows, shuts down, the whole claim of flooding Israel with refugees. That’s a necessity. It’s just not a guarantee. In fact, there is no guarantee. There is no guarantee that the incitement will stop, that the culture of hatred will end. And that’s why we need very solid security arrangements.

We hope that there will be a cultural change. We hope that the fruits of peace will take root in the soil. We hope that the new generation of Palestinians will embrace a different path. We hope, but we can’t base the peace on hope alone. We must base it also on security. I think we have to base it also on sound economic cooperation in every way that we can to give the individual Palestinians a stake in their future. But we cannot base it merely on our wishful thinking. It just doesn’t happen that way. Look at the Middle East as a whole. The whole land is convulsing, there are earthquakes everywhere you go. And how are we to be sure that areas that we cede to the Palestinians will not be taken over by Hamas and Hezbollah and Al-Queda and Salafis. They’re all there. So we must ensure solid security arrangements that protect the peace and protect Israel in case the peace unravels. And that is the second pillar of peace.

Now what are sound security arrangements? Are they security arrangements of which we ask UNIFIL to protect us? I don’t hear a response. Maybe EUBAM? Remember EUBAM? No? EUBAM was the European force that was placed along the Gaza-Sinai border after we departed from Gaza. I have to tell you that in its favor it lasted I think seven days. Well, maybe I’m wrong, maybe a few more, maybe a few less. But that’s about it. The minute Hamas took over, EUBAM evaporated. UNIFIL has been unable to staunch or stop the arming of Hezbollah, which by now has quintupled compared to what it was when we left Lebanon in 2006. UNIFIL was charged with preventing the rearming of Hezbollah. Hezbollah is rearmed five times and in many ways with much more deadly weapons.

Now, UNIFIL has only one mandate: To report these violations – not to act against them, not to intercede, not to intervene, just to report these violations. So now Hezbollah has anywhere close to 100,000 missiles. How many missiles has UNIFIL reported? Want to guess? Zero. So who are we to rely on to enforce these arrangements? Not UNIFIL, not EUBAM. Maybe UNDOF in the Golan Heights? You know what’s happening there. We have Jihad on our fences. We have attacks literally bouncing off our fences. Sometimes they cross them.

We are, of course, not indifferent to the suffering of the people there and we do take, we’ve taken hundreds of these people who were bleeding to death, suffering from loss of blood or loss of limbs. We’ve taken them into our hospitals. But UNDOF? Not UNDOF, not UNIFIL, not EUBAM. And we don’t ask for Western troops. We’re the only country that is allied with the United States in distress that is not asking for American troops or for NATO troops. We’re perfectly capable of defending ourselves by ourselves against any threat, and that’s what we need to continue.

So when we speak of robust security arrangements, these are not ones that include these illusory arrangements that don’t foster security. And by the way, if security collapses, it’s not only the peace that will collapse, it’s also the Palestinian Authority that will collapse and other important regional structures. So when we seek a peace that we can defend, that peace and that security serves not only us, but also our partners in peace.

These are the twin elements, the twin pillars of the real peace: mutual recognition of two nation states, a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian state, and it has to be a demilitarized Palestinian state that has around it and in Israel’s immediate borders the possibility of Israel defending itself with its own forces.

Now I don’t think this is a particularly complicated equation. It’s difficult, there are a lot of details in there that I haven’t discussed, as you can imagine. And I’m not saying the pursuit of peace will be easy. But I’m saying it becomes possible if you keep in mind the main items, the main elements of peace, which are mutual recognition and Israel’s capacity to defend itself by itself. I can assure you that these are not matters on which we intend to compromise.

Peace always involves compromises, but I will never compromise on Israel’s security. Never. And never apologize for the fact that the Jewish people are living in their ancestral homeland. I never think of myself as an aggressor or as an outsider or some crusader kingdom. We’ve been here for so many centuries, and our attachments are so deep, that I’m always proud of the fact that the Jewish people have come home. This is our home and this is our city.

But obviously there are people who are uncomfortable with it and there is a new campaign against us, having failed to dislodge us with weapons, with armies, with terrorists, with rockets, with missiles, they now think that they’ll dislodge us with boycotts, and that’s nothing new. We’ve had that in our history as well, the boycotts of Jews. I think the most eerie thing, the most disgraceful thing, is to have people on the soil of Europe talking about the boycott of Jews. I think that’s an outrage, but that is something that we’re re-encountering.

In the past, antisemites boycotted Jewish businesses and today they call for the boycott of the Jewish state. And by the way, only the Jewish state. Now, don’t take my word for it. The founders of the BDS movement make their goals perfectly clear. They want to see the end of the Jewish state. They’re quite explicit about it. And I think it’s important that the boycotters must be exposed for what they are. They’re classical antisemites in modern garb. And I think we have to fight them. It’s time to delegitimize the delegitimizers. And it’s time that we fight back.

There are two ways of fighting back. One is exposing them, and the other is something that is happening and they can’t do very much about it. I meet heads of state, and captains of industry, as they’re called, that is founders and leaders of big companies and some small companies and medium-sized companies. They’re all coming to Israel, including today. I had a meeting with another head of state, and they all want the same three things: Israeli technology, Israeli technology and Israeli technology. They crave it. They thirst for it, because they know that we’re in the knowledge century. They know that Israel is the repository of great genius, great creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation, scientific capability, out-of-the-box thinking. This is a tremendous capacity that we have. It’s crystalized here for a variety of reasons. It’s not always easy to explain why these things happen, but it’s very important for us to realize that we possess a great treasure – the capacity to innovate is a great treasure of profound economic value in today’s world.

And that is something that is bigger than all these boycotters could possibly address. Because people are coming here. The old powers and the new powers - the super-powers: Google, Yahoo. They all want to participate in this. They all understand that the world economy is being propelled forward by the internet. The internet requires cyber protection, you have to protect your bank accounts, your privacy, your communications, the power lines, the power grids, traffic lights, train schedules. All of that is run today in the digital world and all of that requires protection and we happen to have a capacity to protect it.

So for this and for many many other reasons, Israel is being sought after. And I say that the response that we have to the BDS is twofold. One, expose them, the second is outflank them. We have the economic future of the world in Israel. We have it because we support it, we develop it.

Somebody said to me, you know there are only two real centers of high-tech innovation. This was said to me by a young man whose company is worth today 9 billion dollars and two years ago was worth a billion dollars. And he said to me: You know, there are only two centers of high-tech innovation in the world: Palo Alto and Tel Aviv. I said, correction, add Be’er Sheva. Because Be’er Sheva will be the new cyber capital of Israel.

You should see what is happening now in the south of Israel, in the Negev. This fantastic growth, this fantastic explosion. We’re putting highways and railways to the north and to the south, it makes Israel sound like an enormous country. We’re just doing what the United States did in the 19th century. But we’re doing it. We’re connecting the periphery, we’re trying to eliminate the periphery. And the most important lines that we’re paving are the fast fibers that we’re putting in from Kiryat Shmona right to Eilat. That’s the real highway. That’s the information highway. Every child, every boy, every girl in Israel - Jew, non-Jew, Christians, Muslims, Bedouins - they’re all going to be connected to it, and it’s a fabulous future that we have.

I think we’re perfectly suited for the information society. We have a lot of things that we have to do, improve our education, reduce our bureaucracy, deregulate, open ourselves up and we’re consciously opening ourselves up, including to the cyber companies of the world.

We’re doing this because I believe in Israel’s future. I believe we can overcome all these challenges that we face. But we have to be clear about the challenges. We have to be clear that there’s a force against us, and that is the force of medievalism that is centered in Iran. We have to make sure that those eerie medievalists do not get their hands on the weapons of mass death. It is perfectly possible. We have to achieve a durable and stable peace with our Palestinian neighbors, one that is based on mutual recognition and solid security arrangements. And we have to keep developing the State of Israel while exposing those who would rob us of the legitimacy that we so much deserve and that we have earned over centuries of suffering.


70 Young Entrepreneurs from Israel and around the World to Explore Ways to Solve Challenges in the Developing World

Head of UNDP, Former New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark to speak at the event

ID² (Israeli Designed International Development) conference
February 18-20, Caesarea, Israel

Caesarea, Israel, Israeli Designed International Development, an exclusive three-day gathering of 70 young Jewish innovators, entrepreneurs and international development professionals from Israel and around the world, is scheduled for February 18-20 in Caesarea. Coming together across sectors – private, government and NGOs – they will be looking at how to harness Israeli innovations, technologies and the spirit of entrepreneurship to provide solutions to some of the Developing World’s most pressing challenges.

Under the theme “Entrepreneurship for Development”, the gathering is being organized and co-chaired by Danielle Abraham, policy advisor to MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Daniel Ben Yehuda, Deputy Director of the Pears Program on Innovation and International Development, Tel Aviv University. It was created as part of Schusterman Connection Points, an initiative launched by the Schusterman Family Foundation, a global enterprise that supports and creates innovative initiatives for the purpose of igniting the passion and unleashing the power in young people to create positive change in Jewish communities and beyond.

Technology is helping improve the lives of some of the world’s poorest populations in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Israeli companies are at the forefront of this technological advancement in some of the fields with the greatest potential to transform the lives of the global poor: water, dryland agriculture, health, ICT, renewable energy and educational technology. Participants of the conference will be challenged to draw on their personal experience to help tackle the world's most pressing development challenges with the goal of finding ways to cultivate sustainable development. ID² will provide them with an opportunity to become leaders in this field and position Israel as the “Development Start-Up Nation”.

“We are looking to explore how entrepreneurship can be used to tackle the world's most pressing development challenges,” said Abraham and Ben Yehuda in a joint statement. “Our goal is to transform Israel from the Startup Nation to the Development Startup Nation by encouraging and empowering young international development players and entrepreneurs from around the world to get on board. We expect amazing ideas to come out of ID2 and to move the entrepreneurship for development agenda forward into real action.”

Among those who will be attending the event are Sasha Fisher, from America, co-founder and executive director of Spark MicroGrants, a non-profit that has developed the first proactive, group-based micro-granting model; Errol Freeman, from South Africa, Managing Director of Lulaway, an online job portal linked to a network of job centers in the townships and rural areas of South Africa, to provide greater access to job opportunities for the unemployed in those areas; Vivian Lan, from Mexico, Co-founder and Executive Director of a medical test company that uses a dry blood method to make diagnosis accessible for everyone; and Gal Moore, from England, Head of Business Development at BOP Connect, a social venture that develops human-centric technology solutions for the rural poor in the areas of energy, sanitation, health, education and agriculture.

Among those scheduled to speak are Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and former Prime Minister of New Zealand; William Tevie, Director General at National Information Technology Agency in Ghana; David Hardin, Mission Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in the West Bank and Gaza; and Danny Almagor, Founder of Small Giants in Australia.

The contributing partners for the ID² 2014 Connection Point include MASHAV, Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation which is a part of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Pears Program on Innovation and International Development at the Hartog School of Government and Policy at Tel Aviv University.

"We are excited to help young Jewish innovators create spaces to explore how they can harness the spirit of Israeli entrepreneurship in furthering ideas for international development. I believe young people hold the key to building a vibrant global Jewish future, and we must invest in their passion and potential to do so," said Lynn Schusterman, chair of the Schusterman Family Foundation.

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