European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 18.04.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 18.04.2016

Major Headlines
  • Netanyahu vows Golan Heights will remain part of Israel for ever

The Golan Heights will forever remain part of Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared on Sunday during the first ever cabinet meeting held on the Golan.

Speaking in the Israeli town of Ma’aleh Gamla, next to an archaeological site where Jewish rebels stood off against Roman soldiers nearly 2,000 years ago, Netanyahu said he told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday that Israel does not oppose current efforts to reach a political agreement to end the Syrian civil war, but that Israel’s boundary line with the country will not change, the Times of Israel reports.

“I convened this celebratory meeting in the Golan Heights to send a clear message: The Golan will always remain in Israel’s hands. Israel will never withdraw from the Golan Heights,” he declared.

Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six Day War from Syria and annexed it in 1981.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Netanyahu slams UNESCO resolution denying Jewish links to Temple Mount

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu harshly criticised a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) resolution from last week in which Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall area in Jerusalem’s Old City are wholly ignored, the Times of Israel reports.

The resolution refers to Israel as the “occupying power” at every mention and uses the Arabic al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram al-Sharif without ever calling it the Temple Mount, as it is known to Jews. The text does refer to the Western Wall Plaza but places it in quotation marks, after using the Arabic, Al-Buraq Plaza.

“This is yet another absurd UN decision,” Netanyahu said on Saturday. “UNESCO ignores the unique historic connection of Judaism to the Temple Mount, where the two temples stood for a thousand years and to which every Jew in the world has prayed for thousands of years. The UN is rewriting a basic part of human history and has again proven that there is no low to which it will not stoop.”

The resolution accuses Israel of “planting Jewish fake graves in other spaces of the Muslim cemeteries” and of “the continued conversion of many Islamic and Byzantine remains into the so-called Jewish ritual baths or into Jewish prayer places.”

Jews consider the complex, formerly the site of the two temples, to be Judaism’s holiest site. Muslims regard the compound — which today houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock — as the third-holiest site in Islam.

While Jewish visitors are allowed to enter the site, Jewish worship is banned under arrangements instituted by Israel when it captured the area from Jordan in the 1967 war.

The UNESCO resolution, authorized by the executive board’s Programme and External Relations Commission, was submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan.

The resolution was approved by 33 states, including France, Russia, Spain and Sweden. Seventeen countries abstained while six voted against - the United States, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Music stars headline solidarity concert for soldier who shot unarmed Palestinian

The family of an IDF soldier, who was expected to be indicted on Monday for manslaughter for the shooting death of an incapacitated Palestinian terrorist last month, is organising a solidarity event in Tel Aviv for their son with the participation of some big name Israeli singers, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The soldier is currently restricted to open detention on his army base. 

The Tel Aviv event for the soldier is set for the city's central Rabin Square with the participation of star singer Eyal Golan, the rapper Kobi Shimoni, (a.k.a. Subliminal), David D'or and others. 

Politicians were quick to react after the news of the concert broke on Channel 2.  

"Justice will be done in accordance with the values of the IDF in the courtroom, and not in the town squares," Zionist Union MK and former justice minister Tzipi Livni told Channel 2. 

"What Israel needs right now are not artists singing what the crowd wants to hear in the square, but rather a leader that stands together with the IDF, its commanders and values and the legal system," Livni added.  

Eyal Golan, one of the most popular singers in Israel, wrote words of support for the soldier on social media.  

"The soldier is like the son of the entire nation of Israel and on Tuesday I will be coming to support him and his family," he wrote.  

The incident, that took place in Hebron, was picked up on a video distributed by the human rights NGO B'Tselem and went viral online. It has dominated the airwaves with a war of words over the soldier's guilt or innocence pitting Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon and IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, who condemned the soldier, against various politicians on the far-right.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


Monday, April 18, 2016
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