European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 16/09/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 16/09/2016

Major Headlines
  • Israel and US sign landmark defence package

Israel and the United States inked a landmark defence aid package on Wednesday, in which Washington has pledged to give Jerusalem $38 billion in military assistance over the next decade. The package, which will provide Israel with $3.8 billion a year between 2018 and 2028, is the largest aid package ever given to a U.S. ally, Israel Hayom reports.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed the deal, saying, "This agreement ensures unprecedented U.S. defence aid to Israel over the next decade. This is the biggest defence aid package the U.S. has ever extended any nation, and it will allow us to continue and develop our military strength and our missile defences. This is a very important achievement for the State of Israel."

In a televised statement from his office, Netanyahu said, "I would like to thank President Obama and his administration for this historic deal. I also thank our many, many friends in the American Congress and the American people for their support, bipartisan support from the United States.

"This deal illustrates a simple truth: The relationship between Israel and the United States is solid and powerful, it does not mean that we don't have disputes now and then, but these are disputes you have between family, it does not affect whatsoever the great friendship between Israel and the United States, a friendship that this aid deal represents, that will strengthen Israel's military force in the next decade," he said.

Israel’s National Security Council acting head Jacob Nagel and U.S. Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon signed the deal in Washington.

Nagel hailed the agreement as an indication of the "rock-solid alliance" between Israel and the United States.

President Barack Obama issued a special statement after the deal was signed, stressing that it demonstrates the U.S.'s commitment to Israel's security in word and deed.

"Both Prime Minister Netanyahu and I are confident that the new MOU [memorandum of understanding] will make a significant contribution to Israel's security in what remains a dangerous neighbourhood. The continued supply of the world's most advanced weapons technology will ensure that Israel has the ability to defend itself from all manner of threats," Obama said.

Click here to read the full article in Israel Hayom


  • Knesset member under fire for slamming hospitalised Peres

Politicians in both the government and opposition blasted MK Basel Ghattas (Joint List) after the Arab legislator harshly criticised Shimon Peres as the former president lay hospitalised after a stroke, Ha’aretz reports.

On Facebook, Ghattas called Peres a “tyrant” and a leader responsible for war crimes.

“Is he reaching the end of his road, Shimon Peres? We don’t know. The man has nine lives, but without a doubt he's on his last stretch,” Ghattas wrote.

“We have to remember that he is one of the main pillars of the Zionist colonial settler project and, in light of the results, is one of the worst extremists, someone who lived a long life and caused the most damage to the Palestinian and other Arab peoples,” he added.

“Peres managed, despite all these descriptions, to portray himself as a dove of peace, and even won a Nobel Peace Prize. Peres wouldn’t have achieved this without our direct and indirect deliberate and unintentional help.”

As Ghattas put it, “So at least when he’s about to die, we have to remember his true essence as a tyrant, being directly responsible for the crimes and war crimes that he committed against us. Our blood covers him from head to toe, and we won't rush to participate in the tribal festival of collective grieving and loss.”

Politicians on both the center-left and right criticized Ghattas.

MK Hilik Bar (Zionist Union) said Ghattas’ post was “horrifying and disgusting, in addition to being false and inflammatory. Unfortunately, Ghattas is choosing to continue to sow destruction and hate, and to use dark words against the man who contributed more than anyone to the rehabilitation of Israeli and Arab society, and certainly to the issue of coexistence and peace with the Palestinians.”

As MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Habayit Hayehudi) put it, “Ghattas is trying to grab headlines in the most pathetic way. Since he was elected to the Knesset, I haven’t seen him do a single worthy thing for the quality of life of Israeli Arabs, whether it was worth headlines or not. What motivates him is not just hatred of Israel but also envy. While Peres has a series of achievements to his credit in Israeli public life, even if some of them are controversial, Ghattas doesn’t have a single one.”

Ghattas later released his own statement. “The media buzz around my post is hysterical and incomprehensible,” he said.

“All I did was write my opinion, which reflects how the man is perceived in the Palestinian narrative and collective memory as one of the central leaders of the Zionist enterprise. This is a political position and opinion that has no connection to my humane position toward Mr. Peres and his family during this difficult time.” 

Click here to read the full article in Ha’aretz


  • Israel and Palestinian Authority to move ahead with Gaza pipeline

Israel and the Palestinian Authority agreed to move ahead with plans to build a gas pipeline to Gaza in an effort to boost energy and water supplies to the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave, the Times of Israel reports.

Gaza faces a severe energy crisis, with authorities using an 8-hour on, 8-hour off electricity rationing system. The sole power plant in Gaza routinely operates at half capacity.

Israel and the Palestinians are set to jointly request funding for the pipeline from a number of donor countries. A committee comprised of representatives of such donor states is set to meet in New York later this month.

The agreement came amid a number of economic deals between Israel and the PA, including a massive NIS 2 billion Palestinian debt to the state-owned Israel Electric Corporation. Agreements on upgrading the postal service system and 3G cellphone technology in the West Bank were also signed recently.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Friday, September 16, 2016
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