At the weekly Cabinet meeting today

Prime Minister Netanyahu eulogized the late Maj.-Gen.





1. Prime Minister Netanyahu eulogized the late Maj.-Gen. Yisrael Tal.

The Prime Minister also referred to his meeting this Tuesday with Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas in the context of the peace talks:

 „On Tuesday, I will leave for Sharm a-Sheikh, for an additional meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, in the framework of the direct talks.  Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will host, as well as attend, the meeting, which will also be attended by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and [former] Senator Mitchell.  I believe that if the Palestinian leadership adheres to continuous negotiations, despite the obstacles that are coming up on every side, and if it is serious and determined in its intention to advance towards peace, just as we are serious, then it will be possible to – within a year – reach a framework that will be the basis for a peace settlement.

A peace agreement is based – first of all – on the recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish People.  The conflict between us and the Palestinians, as opposed to other conflicts that were resolved by peace agreements, is over the same piece of ground.  We say that the solution is two states for two peoples, meaning two national states, a Jewish national state and a Palestinian national state.  To my regret, I have yet to hear from the Palestinians the phrase ‘two states for two peoples’.  I hear them saying ‘two states’ but I do not hear them recognizing two states for two peoples.  In 1947, David Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary, and I quote: ‘The state to be established will be Jewish in its role, its designation and its goal.  Not a state of Jews who live in the country, but a state for the Jews, for the Jewish People.’  It is clear that his intention was that there would be full equality of civil rights in the Jewish national state, as indeed is the case in the State of Israel, but the foundation of the State of Israel is that it is the national state of the Jewish People.  This is the true basis for an end to claims against the State of Israel and for the end of the conflict between the two peoples.  Just as we are asked to recognize the Palestinian national state, and I expressed this national agreement during the past year, we also demand and expect the Palestinians to recognize a Jewish state, the State of Israel, as the national state of the Jewish People.  This is the true foundation of peace.
On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, Abu Mazen called me and wished me a happy new year and I gave him my Eid al-Fitr greetings.  I hope that if the Palestinians adopt this basic principle, we will be able to resolve other issues as well, and next year we will be able to wish each other well over the peace that has been achieved.  I would like to wish the entire Jewish People a happy New Year and g’mar chatima tova.”
2. The Cabinet decided to amend the 1994 Absorption of Discharged Soldiers Law and approve the areas in which a year’s free tuition at institutions of higher learning will be given to discharged soldiers and those who complete national civilian service.  The areas are most of the Negev, the Galilee, Judea, Samaria and Ashkelon.  Click here for details.
3. ISA Director Yuval Diskin briefed ministers on the Palestinian situation.