Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu briefed ministers on his recent trip to Europe:“I returned on Friday from a diplomatic trip to Europe. I met with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and [former] Senator George Mitchell, all of whom are true friends of Israel.
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 30.8.09:
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu briefed ministers on his recent trip to Europe:
“I returned on Friday from a diplomatic trip to Europe. I met with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and [former] Senator George Mitchell, all of whom are true friends of Israel.
What moved me the most was receiving, in Germany, the Axel Springer publication of the original plans for the Auschwitz and Birkenau extermination camps, and then delivering them to Yad Vashem so that they might be here in Jerusalem.
We live in an era of attempts to deny the Holocaust. These attempts are being made by dark regimes that want to erase the historical truth and delegitimize Israel and the Zionist enterprise. But as of today, whoever wants to is invited to visit Yad Vashem and see with their own eyes Himmler’s signature on the plans for Auschwitz and Birkenau.
Later on the same day, I visited the villa at Wansee, where it was decided, on the shores of a pastoral lake, how to carry out the Final Solution. Whoever doubts may go there and see with their own eyes Heydrich’s signature, as SS chief Himmler’s deputy, on the invitation to a discussion of the Final Solution of the Jewish problem, including breakfast. After about two hours of meals, discussions and cognac, they decided to slaughter our people. They did not succeed in annihilating the Jewish People but they succeeded in murdering six million Jews. This is why, when I was asked to write something in the guestbook, I wrote the Hebrew date and the three Hebrew words: Am Yisrael Chai, The People of Israel Live. I believe that this subject must be a clear and regular part of the curriculum for Israeli students.”
Regarding his diplomatic meetings in Great Britain and Germany, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “In both cases there were bilateral issues. Regarding Great Britain, what bothers me is the spreading boycott policy, both academic and economic. I received a commitment from him [Prime Minister Brown] that he would act vigorously against this. I also spoke – by telephone – with Leader of the Opposition David Cameron, who was on vacation, and he underscored this. In Germany, I met with [Chancellor] Merkel and [Foreign Minister Frank-Walter] Steinmeier and had good conversations with both. With Germany, we will – in accordance with the decision of the previous Government – hold a Government dialogue in which eight to ten ministers will meet with their counterparts; this year it will be in Berlin. I must say that bilateral relations in various spheres, including the security sphere, are very good. Most attention was on their demand of us on the settlements issue, which is, of course, well known, but it does not reflect the main points of the private talks that focused – first and foremost – on Iran. There is a vigorous and almost unified policy, I must say, between Great Britain, Germany and – apparently – France. This found expression in the IAEA report, which is incomplete and does not detail all of the steps that Iran has taken regarding its nuclear program. We understand that at the end of September there will be a decision to decide, I would say, a decision to decide, if to decide – I do not know. I would not rule out the possibility that the Iranians will organize ahead of this date and try to fudge things or play for time. On the diplomatic issue, my meeting with [former Senator] Mitchell, contrary to the rumors, stories and reports that I am not responsible for, but I am responsible for what I am telling you now, there are no agreements or decisions; there is an attempt to bridge between the two goals that we would like to hold to and maintain simultaneously: The first is to launch a peace process, a diplomatic process between us and the Palestinians that will – of course – also include the Arab countries. The second has to do with our desire to see to the minimal existential needs of the settler public. As to this, there are all sorts of attempts to reach an understanding and reduce gaps but we are not there yet.”
2. Education Minister Gideon Saar briefed ministers on education data ahead of the start of the 2009-2010 academic year and on the implementation of the New Horizon plan.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said – inter alia – that Zionism, excellence and zero tolerance for violence will be at the heart of the curriculum.
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3. The Cabinet determined that promoting local industry and reducing unemployment are a national challenge that may be met – inter alia – by encouraging preferences for purchasing locally-made products. To this end, the Cabinet decided to support Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer’s initiative to return to “blue and white” with a three-year plan to promote the purchase of Israeli products in order to increase employment.
Since the third quarter of 2008, the global economy has been dealing with a sharp economic crisis the likes of which have not been seen for decades. The global economic crisis has not skipped the Israel economy and has brought with it a significant slowdown in growth and increased unemployment.
The national economy cannot be based on imports alone. The global economic crisis has underscored this view, which has found expression in the decisions of other national governments to adopt ways to strengthen the status of local industries. The instilling of Zionist values vis-א-vis patriotic consumerism is an educational and economic goal of the highest importance. Strengthening the idea among the public that every purchase of a locally-made product, as opposed to an imported one, creates jobs and assists in maintaining jobs, is an educational goal of the highest importance.
Implementing the aforesaid initiative will help realize these values. Marketing the educational message that preferring blue-and-white is a Zionist and patriotic act is both easy to implement and of great value to the Israeli economy.
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4. The Government discussed arrangements regarding the approval of overseas travel by the Chief Rabbis. Click here for further details.
5. The Government noted that next month President Shimon Peres will attend the Forum Villa d’Este in Italy, under the auspices of The European House-Ambrosetti.