European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 13/01/2017
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 13/01/2017

Major Headlines
  • Netanyahu: Paris peace conference is rigged for Palestinians under French auspices

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu criticised the French government on Thursday and the Palestinians in connection with the peace conference set to meet in Paris on Sunday with the participation of foreign ministers and senior diplomats from 70 countries and international organisations, Ha’aretz reports.

 "It's a rigged conference, rigged by the Palestinians with French auspices to adopt additional anti-Israel stances," said Netanyahu at the beginning of a meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Borg Brende.

Netanyahu stressed that not only terrorist organisations are trying to destroy any chance for peace, but that they have also undertaken political efforts that destroy any chance for peace, like the Paris conference. "This pushes peace backwards. It's not going to obligate us," Netanyahu said. "It's a relic of the past. It's a last gasp of the past before the future sets in."

The Norwegian foreign minister replied to Netanyahu that he will participate in the conference and promised that there would be a balanced outcome.

French President Francois Hollande said in a speech on Thursday that the aim of the conference was to restate the international community's support for the two-state solution and ensure that it remained a reference.

 "I can see that this has been weakened on the ground and in the minds. If we let it wither away then it would be a risk for Israeli's security to which we are resolutely attached," said Hollande. "However, I am realistic on what this conference can achieve. Peace will only be done by the Israelis and Palestinians and by nobody else. Only bilateral negotiations can succeed.

Click here to read the full article in Ha’aretz


  • Israel increases aid to Gaza Strip

In a conversation with the heads of Gaza border communities, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman referred to the recent quiet in the area, saying, "If the quiet on the border with the Gaza Strip continues, we will allow for a significant increase in humanitarian aid."

Moreover, Ynet has learned that for the first time, a decision was made to establish a conveyor system for transferring fuel and basic construction materials from the Erez border crossing to the northern Gaza Strip. 

Construction on the transfer system is set to begin in roughly a year.

This decision marks a significant gesture by Israel as currently, the only crossing for equipment into the Gaza Strip occurs at the Kerem Shalom Crossing.

In addition to the decision to increase humanitarian shipments and open another border crossing to the transfer of materials, the Ministry of Defence has also decided to allow an increase of workers. The decision was made following demands from the heads of several border communities for more agricultural workers.

At present, roughly 1,000 trucks a day transfer supplies to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Border Crossing. Before Operation Protective Edge, roughly 300 trucks transferred supplies a day.

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • Singer Meir Banai dies at 55

Meir Banai, one of Israel’s greatest singer/songwriters and a member of the famous Banai clan, died on Thursday after a battle with cancer, the Jerusalem Post reports.

His sister, Orna, told Ynet that “he believed that he would beat cancer, and he wrote songs until the last day. Today, his daughter sat by his side and played him music until he breathed his last breath.”

Born and raised in Beersheba, Banai is the brother of Eviatar Banai, cousin of Ehud Banai and Mashina leader Yuval Banai and the nephew of the late veteran entertainer Yossi Banai.

He released his first single in 1982, and his self-titled debut album was released in 1984. The title song from his second album, Geshem, became arguably his best-known and best-loved song.

President Reuven Rivlin eulogised Banai on Thursday night, calling him “a wonderful poet and a rare musician”.

“Every time I heard him sing, my mind drifted and my soul identified with the song and moved me in a way that only music can. I’d find myself humming his songs hours after I’d heard them played,” Rivlin said.

Banai leaves behind two children and a rich legacy of deeply personal and authentic Israeli music.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post

Friday, January 13, 2017
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