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PM Netanyahu departs for US and UN General Assembly

"I will represent the citizens of Israel, our national interests, our rights as a people, our determination to defend ourselves and our hope for peace."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks upon boarding his flight:

"This evening I am leaving for New York and Washington to meet with President Obama and afterwards address the UN General Assembly.

I will represent the citizens of Israel, our national interests, our rights as a people, our determination to defend ourselves and our hope for peace. I will tell the truth in the face of the sweet-talk and the onslaught of smiles. One must talk facts and one must tell the truth. Telling the truth today is vital for the security and peace of the world and, of course, it is vital for the security of the State of Israel."


PM Netanyahu Launches Virtual Exhibit to Mark the Centenary of the Birth of Menachem Begin

Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a virtual exhibit to mark the centenary of the birth of Menachem Begin. Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, Menachem Begin Heritage Center Chairman Herzl Makov and Google Israel Research and Development Director Yossi Matias also attended the event.
Menachem Begin is the first Israeli personality to be remembered in a joint initiative between the Google Cultural Institute and museums and cultural institutions around the world. The goal of the initiative is to render the materials in cultural institutions more accessible to various publics around the world via the Internet.
With photographs and video clips, the exhibit tells the life story of Menachem Begin, starting with his birth in Poland, through his activities in the Betar movement, his imprisonment by the Soviets, his arrival in the Land of Israel, his war to liberate the homeland and the key roles he played in Israeli politics – in the opposition, as a minister and as Prime Minister.
Menachem Begin Heritage Center Chairman Makov showed Prime Minister Netanyahu photographs of the signing of the peace agreement with Egypt as well as the peace agreement itself, signed by Prime Minister Begin, US President Jimmy Carter and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and a quote by Begin ("Under no circumstances will we allow an enemy to develop weapons of mass destruction to be used against our people. We will defend the citizens of Israel, at the proper time, with all means at our disposal.") regarding the bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor in June 1981.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "Menachem Begin taught us that peace is made and upheld only with the strong. There is much to learn from this splendid exhibit about this exemplary personality. Here one may surf our collective memory which is composed of the great spirit and the great deeds of great people."
Culture and Sports Minister Livnat said, "No subject is more appropriate than Menachem Begin to be the subject of an exhibit that allows anyone in the world to study his outstanding personality, his love of Israel and his abiding commitment to liberal values, including freedom of expression, equal opportunity and the reduction of social gaps. In many ways, Google is probably the most popular means in the world for making information more accessible, which provides a person with freedom, the same freedom that stood as the base of the liberal outlook which Menachem Begin clung to his entire life. Begin led a political-social revolution in Israel, and Google is leading an information technology revolution. Today we link the two so that Begin's life and deeds will be accessible to all at the click of a mouse."
Menachem Begin Heritage Center Chairman Makov said, "With the launch of this exhibit on the Google site we are emphasizing the heritage and work of Menachem Begin among millions and perhaps billions of people around the world. This is a moving moment for us and a very significant moment in the history of the Center."
Google Israel Research and Development Director Matias said, "The internet has led to the democratization of the arts, history and heritage, and is able to help preserve important material for the future such as documents, photographs and letters, which over time might be forgotten and could disappear. Via the Google Cultural Institute, we are pleased to provide the technology through which the people at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center will be able to upload archival material and, from the physical exhibit, provide background documentation and context, and render it accessible to people around the world."


PM Netanyahu: What the past few days have shown is that if diplomacy has any chance to work, it must be coupled with a credible military threat. What is true of Syria is true of Iran, and vice versa.

Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks at the conclusion of his meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry:
"We have been closely following – and support – your ongoing efforts to rid Syria of its chemical weapons. The Syrian regime must be stripped of all its chemical weapons, and that would make our entire region a lot safer.
The world needs to ensure that radical regimes don't have weapons of mass destruction because as we've learned once again in Syria, if rogue regimes have weapons of mass destruction, they will use them. The determination the international community shows regarding Syria will have a direct impact on the Syrian regime's patron, Iran. Iran must understand the consequences of its continual defiance of the international community, by its pursuit towards nuclear weapons.
What the past few days have shown is something that I have been saying for quite some time, that if diplomacy has any chance to work, it must be coupled with a credible military threat. What is true of Syria is true of Iran, and, by the way, vice versa.
John, I appreciate the opportunity we've had to discuss at some length our quest for peace with the Palestinians and the ongoing talks. We both know that this road is not an easy one, but we have embarked on this effort with you in order to succeed, to bring about a historic reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians that ends the conflict once and for all."


PM Netanyahu on US-Russian understandings regarding Syria

The understandings will be tested by results – the full destruction of the stocks of chemical weapons that the Syrian regime has used against its own people. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remarks at Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem, at the state memorial ceremony marking 40 years since the Yom Kippur War:

"We hope that the understandings that have been achieved between the US and Russia regarding Syria's chemical weapons will show results, and indeed, these understandings will be tested by results – the full destruction of the stocks of chemical weapons that the Syrian regime has used against its own people.

The test of results also applies to the international community's diplomatic efforts to stop Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons. Here as well, it is not words that will be decisive, but rather actions and results. In any case, Israel must be prepared and ready to defend itself by itself against any threat. Today, this ability and this willingness are more important than ever."


PM Netanyahu Dedicates Be'er Sheva High-Tech Park that will also Serve as the National Cyber Center

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, dedicated the high-tech park in Be'er Sheva, which will also serve as the national cyber center, and said:
"We need to see to [our] security. This is our first obligation, as well as mine as Prime Minister, and this is a challenge for us because the reality around is challenging. In the end, our lives depend on an iron wall. We are building an iron wall, an Iron Dome, and we have an iron will. These are the things that give us the strength to defend ourselves and also to tell those who would attack us: It is not worth your while. These are the fundamentals that protect the State of Israel. Everything else is happening here now.
The world around us is changing quickly and the amount of knowledge is increasing geometrically. This knowledge has created new challenges but also new opportunities and cyber is the greatest area that is happening here, and we are a force in it. We are bringing Israel's cybernetic strength here to Be'er Sheva."
The park will serve as a leading technological center in Israel and the world. It was built close to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and IDF technological units. Several leading high-tech companies chose to move to temporary facilities already in 2011 in order to assure their future presence in the first building, which was dedicated in June of this year.
Among the Israeli and international high-tech companies located in the first building are ECI Telecom, JVP, NESS, EMC, Elbit, Deutsche Telekom (in conjunction with Ben-Gurion University), Gefen Dekel and DBMotion.
The park is expected to significantly increase the supply of employment in Be'er Sheva and provide tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the coming decade. The park was established on approximately 49.42 acres and includes approximately 200,000 square meters of space in approximately 20 buildings, commercial space and parking areas.
The Israel National Cyber Bureau, in cooperation with the Be'er Sheva Municipality and Ben-Gurion University, has developed an outline to turn Be'er Sheva into an international cyber center by establishing a cyber complex that will include industry, academia, the security and defense establishments, and scientific-technological education institutions.
The statement on turning Be'er Sheva into a national cyber center follows the14 July 2013 Cabinet decision on the civilian response to the IDF's move to the Negev in which the INCB was charged with formulating an outline for establishing a unique cyber center in Be'er Sheva that would combine industry, research and development and education.
The cyber center that will be built in the framework of the high-tech park and the university will be unique in the country and the world and will attract organizations that are interested in investing in the cyber field, establish research and development centers or acquiring services and research in the field.
The team that is leading the establishment of the national center that will give an immediate response to cyber events is known by the acronym CERT – Computer Emergency Readiness Team. The national CERT will bring with it security and innovation in the field of defense for the country's civilian sector. The CERT will be established within the cyber complex and will be the first national government agency to be based in the city.
The national cyber center will also supply the necessary knowledge for cyber studies in formal and informal education and will train and guide teachers.
In order to advance the issue, NIS 40 million in Government support has been allocated over the next three years for companies that establish cyber innovation centers in Be'er Sheva.


PM Netanyahu at Dedication of New Golani Interchange: "While They Shoot at Each Other, We Build for Each Other"

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Transportation and Road Safety Minister Yisrael Katz attended the dedication of the new Golani interchange. Transportation and Road Safety Ministry Director General Uzi Yitzhaki and other senior and local officials were also in attendance.
The new interchange was built at an investment of NIS 300 million and is part of the NIS 27.5 billion "Israel Lanes" plan initiated by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Transportation and Road Safety Minister Katz. The plan is designed to create a national network of highways and rail lines from Kiryat Shemona in the north to Eilat in the south.
During the dedication ceremony, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "We have very great tasks in light of what is occurring throughout our region both near and far. While they shoot at each other, we build for each other. Our state is peaceful, certain of the strength of the IDF and sure in itself because it knows that it can defend itself. I will not allow anyone to harm the State of Israel. I ask you to go out and enjoy the holiday and if someone thinks of harming the tranquility of the holiday, he knows what awaits him."

PM Netanyahu Meets with IDF General Staff Forum: "Today, the IDF is stronger than ever"

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the IDF General Staff forum, including Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and General Staff officers.
At a toast for Rosh Hashanah, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "Today, the IDF is stronger than ever. I rely on you, we rely on you and the Israeli people rely on you. I am certain that you are capable of carrying out any mission that we charge you with. We will see to it that the Jewish People have a good year." Defense Minister Yaalon said, "Those here know that the relative quiet on the borders stem from the work of this group, led by the Chief-of-Staff and the General Staff. May we have a year of security and prosperity." IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gantz said, "This is an opportunity to thank all of the people for the continuous work throughout the year. There is no arena in which something is not happening. There is no field in which the IDF is not active along with its partners in the security establishment who are not here, and along with the Defense Ministry of course. At a quick glance, the southern border has been closed. We had Operation Pillar of Defense. We learned the lessons and carried out many operations in Judea and Samaria. The Golan Heights is not as it was one year ago. There have been many operations which we cannot expand on in front of the cameras, of course, and preparations for what may come. All in all, Mr. Defense Minister and Mr. Prime Minister, we feel that we have someone to take orders from and with whom we can work. And we thank you wish you a happy new year."

PM Netanyahu: "The State of Israel is ready for any scenario. We are not part of the civil war in Syria but if we identify any attempt whatsoever to harm us, we will respond and we will respond in strength.

Israel Headlines - PM Netanyahu: "The State of Israel is ready for any scenario. We are not part of the civil war in Syria but if we identify any attempt whatsoever to harm us, we will respond and we will respond in strength.

There is no reason to change daily routines. The IDF is ready to defend against any threat and to respond strongly against any attempt to harm Israeli citizens".

Israel Cabinet Approved: a thousand reserve soldiers will be recruited to the Air Force and the Home Front Command.
As part of the Cabinet decision thousands of soldiers will be recruited and Iron Dome batteries will be deployed in the north.

Preparations for a possible attacks on Israrl from Syria, Senior military official said that the Cabinet has approved the to recruit thousands of reservists for the Home Front Command, Air Force, intelligence and headquarters. The source added that if the United States attacks Syria, Israel may change the level of preparedness in the army and accordingly will be recruited more reservists. Currently, no change in the alert level, but Northern Command units and units in charge of protecting Israeli home front will remain on alert. The Senior official stressed that the likelihood that the Syrian army would launch missiles at Israel "is not high, even low." However, he added that during the meeting, also attended by Chief of Staff - Gen. Benny Gantz and senior defense, it was also decided to reinforce the Iron Dome batteries in the northern arena. Now, according to the senior official, there are no plans to open extra distribution points for Chemical Protection Kits.

Meanwhile, United States formed a coalition attack against Syria including some Arab countries. Estimated that Americans apparently waiting for the UN inspectors in Syria. However, it is important to remember that the United States is limited to the opening date of the operation due to the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama in Russia next week. Senior official admitted that Israel has not yet received a formal assurance from the United States for the a period of time which Israel will receive a warning before the beginning of the operation, Israel may receive warnings just few hours before the attack.

At the end of the Cabinet meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "The IDF prepared to defend against any threat, and prepared to respond with force to any attempt to harm Israeli citizens." The Cabinet Meeting, held in the Kirya in Tel Aviv, the ministers presented scenarios that Syrian President will take if attacked, when some of the scenarios were also the possibility that the Syrian president chooses to attack Israel.

"Further security evaluations took place today, there is no reason to change the routine of life. Meanwhile, we are preparing for any scenario," added the Prime Minister.

A political source in Jerusalem said that Israel believes Assad will not try to drag Israel into war. However, he added, "We are preparing for this possibility, although it is unlikely, We must be prepared for any scenario." He added that it is assumed that the West will not try to topple the Assad Regime, and that so far have not clarified the scope of the anticipated attack.

Earlier today the Israel Air Force increased the intelligence-gathering effort over Lebanon.


PM Netanyahu meets with French FM Fabius

For too long people believed that the root cause of instability in the Middle East was the Palestinian-Israeli problem. It is not the root cause; it’s one of its results of the regional turmoil. If we have peace with the Palestinians, the centrifuges will not stop spinning in Iran, the turmoil will not stop in Syria, the instability in North Africa will not cease, the attacks on the West will not cease.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and said at the start of the meeting:

"I know that France shares our interest in the ongoing events in Syria that are tragic. I think what is going on there is a crime committed by the Syrian regime against its own people. It’s truly shocking. And these atrocities must stop.

I have to say, however, that Assad’s regime is not acting alone. Iran, and Iran's proxy, Hezbollah, are there on the ground playing an active role assisting Syria.

In fact, Assad's regime has become a full Iranian client and Syria has become Iran's testing ground. Now the whole world is watching. Iran is watching and it wants to see what would be the reaction on the use of chemical weapons.

What we see in Syria is how extremist regimes have no reservations whatsoever about using these weapons even when they use it against innocent civilians, against their own people. This demonstrates, yet again, that we simply cannot allow the world's most dangerous regimes to acquire the world's most dangerous weapons. In the end, the extremists use these weapons. So we must prevent them from having these weapons.

I speak here of course in the context of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Iran must not be allowed to get nuclear weapons. What is happening in Syria, simply demonstrates what will happen if Iran gets even deadlier weapons.

I think the situation in Syria also exposes another truth, and that is that there is something very deep and very broad in the turmoil in the Middle East. We see the entire region from Morocco to Afghanistan in turmoil, in convulsion, in instability. And that’s an endemic instability that is not rooted in this or that conflict but in the rejection of modernity, in the rejection of moderation, in the rejection of progress, in the rejection of political solutions.

This is in fact the core of the problem in the Middle East. It’s something that threatens everyone, threatens moderate regimes, threatens Israel, threatens the West and threatens all those who don’t believe in the doctrinaire dogmas that guide the extremists.

I say that because for too long people believed that the root cause of this instability in the Middle East was the Palestinian-Israeli problem. It is not the root cause; it’s one of its results. It’s one of the results of the regional turmoil, and in fact it is merely a manifestation of one of its many problems.

If we have peace with the Palestinians, the centrifuges will not stop spinning in Iran, the turmoil will not stop in Syria, the instability in North Africa will not cease, the attacks on the West will not cease.

We want peace for its own sake. We want peace because we want peace with our Palestinian neighbors, because we want to live in peace, and anybody who’s been at war know the consequences of not having peace. But this will not put an end to the region’s problems. They are far too deep, they are far too many, they require much more complex solutions, but they require solutions.

This is something that I would like to talk to you, about all these things: our pursuit of peace with the Palestinians, the situation in Syria, the rampant instability in the region and above all, a goal we share closely – that is how to make sure that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons. All these and many others, I’m sure we’ll have an opportunity to discuss so welcome to Jerusalem."

Statements by PM Netanyahu and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

PM Netanyahu: “I think today everybody understands that the root cause of the instability in the Middle East and beyond has to do with the convulsion that is historic and cultural in nature, of which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is merely one of many, many such manifestations.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Following are their statements at the start of their meeting:
Prime Minister Netanyahu: "Mr. Secretary, welcome to Jerusalem. It’s always a pleasure to see you and to discuss the issues of our time with you, the Secretary-General of the United Nations. I know, like me, you want to see the peace process which has been resumed, succeed. I know that like me you know that the most important thing is to prepare our respective peoples for peace and in this regard, I’m sure you are going to look into the abuse of UNRWA camps in Gaza that have been used purportedly for peace camps, but actually to instill the culture of hatred and the ideas of destroying Israel amidst Palestinian children. It’s very hard to habituate and prepare the next generation for peace when they’re told that Jews are the descendants of pigs and monkeys and that the Jewish State has no right to exist, so I trust that you will make sure that these abuses of U.N. goals and U.N. funds does not continue.
I look forward to discuss with you the urgent issues of the day that plague our region: First and foremost Iran’s continual quest to achieve nuclear weapons and of course the unfolding situation in Syria and elsewhere in our region. I think it’s important to discuss the real problems and not those that are often discussed in the media. It wasn’t until long ago that people said that the root cause of the instability in the Middle East was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And now, you can’t say that with a straight face because from the Atlantic Ocean to the Khyber Pass, you can see this endemic instability that is plaguing so much of the Arab and Muslim world. We, of course would like to see it, not only restore stability, but also restore peace and move towards prosperity and equitable relations among nations, including with our nation, but I think today everybody understands that the root cause of the instability in the Middle East and beyond has to do with the convulsion that is historic and cultural in nature of which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is merely one of many, many such manifestations.
As far as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, we have to get to the root cause of the problem and the root cause was and remains the persistent refusal to recognize the Jewish State in any boundary. It doesn’t have to do with the settlements – that’s an issue that has to be resolved, but this is not the reason that we have a continual conflict.
The conflict preceded the establishment of a single settlement by half a century and when we rooted out all the settlements in Gaza, the attacks continued because of this basic opposition to the Jewish State. I think it’s important to understand that if we build a few hundred apartments in Gilo or Ramot, or the other Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, or in urban blocks that everybody knows, including the Palestinian negotiating team, according to the Al Jazeera leaks, will be part of the final peace map in Israel, I think these are not the real issues that we need to discuss.
The real issue is how to get a demilitarized Palestinian state to finally recognize and accept the one and only Jewish State. These and other matters of course will I’m sure inform our discussions. There are a few other things that I prefer to discuss with you privately, but I do look forward to discussing with you all these and other issues and I welcome you once again, Mr. Secretary, to Jerusalem."

UN Secretary General Ki-moon: "Thank you Mr. Prime Minister. Thank you for your very kind welcome and hospitality and I’m also very pleased to see you in good health and I’m really appreciative of your receiving me despite your recent operation. I sincerely hope that you will recover as quickly as possible and continue to be healthy and as dynamic as ever.
I think my visit is taking place at crucially important timing for the Middle East peace process, which you courageously and wisely agreed to resume. I’m here to lend my strong support, of myself and the United Nations and the Quartet.
I’m encouraged that Israelis and Palestinians have reengaged in direct dialogue, but for these negotiations to have a chance at success, they need to be meaningful. I know that a program has remained open and for decades causing hardships and casualties on both sides. It might sometimes seem that the program will never be solved.
Dealing these symptoms might seem easier in the short-term. It takes courage and vision and creativity to decide that the long-term cost of the program is actually too high. That is what is happening now with the Israeli-Palestinian issue. I applaud Prime Minister Netanyahu for having the courage to set out a solution as a priority. I know that many Israelis look at the original unrest and ask whether now is the time to try to make peace with the Palestinians. Some might want greater government focus on tackling other issues within their own society. I also say to the Israeli people that this process should and must lead to increase the security and hope for a more stable region.
The time is now for Israel to be fully respected as a member of the international community. In this regard, I would very much welcome a more constructive relationship between Israel and the Human Rights Council. I believe Prime Minister Netanyahu recognizes that Israel will never realize its potential internally or externally as long as there is no peace with Israel’s closest neighbors, the Palestinians. The Prime Minister knows that occupying Palestinian land is not the long-term solution to Israel’s regional challenges.
I’m here to urge all the leaders to continue along the path to peace and to underscore a shared commitment to walk together to make 2013 a decisive year for Israel-Palestinian peace and peace in the region. And as you have discussed, I’m also ready to discuss all other regional issues including the Syrian crisis, Egyptian situations and Iranian nuclear issues and the situation in Lebanon and the situation in a broader Middle East peace and stability and I’m grateful for your leadership and count on your continuing leadership and great success and prosperity of Israeli people and government.
Todah. Thank you."
Prime Minister Netanyahu: "Thank you Mr. Secretary."

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