Archive for April 10, 2019

FULL: Benjamin Netanyahu on Israeli Elections Night 

April 10, 2019

 

 

Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc wins Israeli elections – TV7 Israel News 10.04.19 

April 10, 2019

 

 

Trump congratulates Netanyahu; Bolton says peace plan coming very soon 

April 10, 2019

Source: Trump congratulates Netanyahu; Bolton says peace plan coming very soon – Israel Elections – Jerusalem Post

Goodwill wishes begin coming in from allies around the world.

BY HERB KEINON
 APRIL 10, 2019 17:56
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

US President Donald Trump, who gifted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights just two weeks before the elections, congratulated Netanyahu on his elections victory on Wednesday.

“I’d like to congratulate Bibi Netanyahu, it looks like that race has been won by him. It may be a little early, but it looks like he’s won it in good fashion,” he told reporters at the White House.

Trump called Netanyahu a “great ally” and “a friend,” and characterized the campaign as “a well thought out race.”

Trump also said that Netanyahu’s re-election will improve the chances of peace in the region.

“The fact that Bibi won, I think we’ll see some pretty good action in terms of peace.” he said. “Everybody said, and I never made it a promise, ‘you can’t have peace in the Middle East with Israel and the Palestinians.’ But I think we have a chance, and I think now we have a better chance with Bibi having won.”

US National Security Advisor John Bolton said Wednesday that the US administration will roll out its long-awaited peace plan in the “very near future.”

Trump was among a number of international leaders who sent congratulatory messages to Netanyahu, primarily from some of his closest allies.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who himself is in the midst of an election campaign – with voting there to start on Thursday – tweeted: “My dear friend Bibi, Congratulations! You are a great friend of India, and I look forward to continuing to work with you to take our bilateral partnership to new heights.”

Modi, with whom Netanyahu has forged a close relationship, then tweeted the same message in Hebrew.

Another leader with whom Netanyahu has developed a close relationship, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, was the first leader to tweet his goodwill wishes: “Congratulations to Prime Minister Netanyahu for an excellent showing in yesterday’s national elections. While the official results have yet not been published, one matter is clear: you have – once again – gained the trust of the people of Israel in record numbers.”

Italy’s far-right Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who met Netanyahu in December, also took to social media to congratulate the prime minister, writing on twitter: “Good job to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and a hug to the people of Israel.”

A less enthusiastic response came from Berlin, where Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Berlin will “work closely, cordially and faithfully with the new Israeli government.” He added that Germany was waiting for the final results of the election.

Israel, he said, “lies in a region with enormous challenges, which is why it’s important to form a government quickly.”

 

Off Topic:  Netanyahu’s peerless political instincts bring him fifth term – Irish Times

April 10, 2019

Source: Netanyahu’s peerless political instincts bring him fifth term

Israel PM’s re-election shows he knows exactly which buttons to press – and when

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely at his Likud Party headquarters in Tel Aviv on election night in the early hours of Wednesday. Photograph:  Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely at his Likud Party headquarters in Tel Aviv on election night in the early hours of Wednesday. Photograph: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

King Bibi has done it again. Trailing in the polls to the centrist Blue and White throughout the campaign, Binyamin Netanyahu managed to siphon enough votes from Israel’s smaller right-wing parties in the days before Tuesday’s election to draw level, winning 35 seats for his Likud party in the 120-seat Knesset – exactly the same as Benny Gantz’s Blue and White.

More significantly, Netanyahu’s natural right-wing/religious bloc enjoys a hefty 10-seat lead over all the other parties combined, meaning that in July he is set to surpass Israel’s founding father statesman, David Ben-Gurion, as the country’s longest-serving prime minister.

“This is a night of tremendous victory,” he told the party faithful at the Likud’s election night gathering in Tel Aviv, after it became clear that some of the TV exit polls indicating a much closer outcome were incorrect.

“He’s a magician,” the Likud faithful sang, idolising their seemingly invincible leader.

They weren’t wrong – a political magician, at least. Netanyahu is the pre-eminent Israeli politician of the modern era, who knows exactly which buttons to press, and when, in order to keep winning elections.

Even some of his closest associates had warned Netanyahu that a full-throttle attack on the Likud’s potential coalition parties in the closing days of the campaign could backfire and endanger the bloc. But they were wrong.

The Likud emerged with more seats and a comfortable majority for the bloc.

Love him or loath him, no one can deny that Netanyahu has also established himself as a major player on the world stage, forging close ties with right-wing leaders in European states and Brazil, as well as maintaining a close personal friendship with Vladimir Putin.

He has also managed to break Israel’s diplomatic isolation in Africa and improve ties with key Sunni Arab states who share Israel’s concern over Iranian regional ambitions.

His relationship with US president Donald Trump is, of course, the most significant, and has already resulted in a diplomatic windfall for Israel that leaves even Netanyahu’s bitterest opponents in awe.

The Trump administration has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear pact, moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognised Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and declared Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation on the day before Israelis went to the polls.

Quite an impressive list, considering that Trump hasn’t asked for anything in return – at least for now.

Off Topic:  Foreign investments in Israel jumped 30% from 2015 to 2017 

April 10, 2019

Source: Foreign investments in Israel jumped 30% from 2015 to 2017 – www.israelhayom.com

2017 saw investment by foreign residents and companies in Israeli ventures totaling $129.1 billion, more than 20% more than in 2016 and a 30% increase compared to 2015 • The U.S. was the leading foreign investor, followed by the Netherlands.

Foreign investment in Israel jumped 30% in two years, according to a new report from the Central Bureau of Statistics, released Sunday.

The report states that foreign investments in Israel totaled $129.1 billion for 2017, a 20.2% increase compared to 2016 and 30% higher than 2015, which saw foreign investment of under $100 billion.

The CBS figures covered investments by foreign residents or companies who bought more than a 10% stock share in Israeli companies.

In 2017, 60.4% of foreign investment went to the fields of trade and services. The remaining investment was divided between high-tech (32.6%); industry (28.3%); and advanced technologies (15.8%).

The greatest amount of investment by foreign residents came from the U.S. ($21.1 billion), followed by the Netherlands, the Cayman Islands, Canada, China, Luxembourg, Singapore, and Switzerland.

Israelis abroad were also investing more outside of Israel. In 2017, Israelis abroad put $100.3 billion into foreign ventures, more than 65% of which went into industry. Other prominent investment targets included companies in the oil, chemical, and pharmaceutical sectors. The lion’s share of investment from Israelis abroad went to Europe, which received over 63% of the investments.

 

Netanyahu’s Iran policy welcomed by Arabs, veteran Lebanese journalist says 

April 10, 2019

Source: Netanyahu’s Iran policy welcomed by Arabs, veteran Lebanese journalist says – www.israelhayom.com

“The problem I have with Israel as a state is no different from the problem between Mexico and the Americans,” Lebanese journalist Nadim Koteich says.

Koteich said Iran is playing a destructive role in Lebanon and in the region. He added that Beirut and Lebanon are his top priorities and that for him, Beirut is more important than Jerusalem or the Golan Heights.

“Under no circumstances am I willing to pay the price for the Golan Heights,” he said.

I’m not American, so I do not focus on Trump’s domestic policies. Is he anti-women? Is he anti-homosexuals? From a general moral perspective, I support [former U.S. President Barack] Obama, but as far as my interests are concerned, I support Trump regardless of his domestic policies. The same is true for Israel,” he said.

“I’m not Israeli, and I don’t care about their domestic policies. So if Netanyahu’s economic policies – and by the way, I’m not Palestinian, either – if Netanyahu’s policy towards the Palestinians is oppressive, which it is, it is only my second or third priority. My No. 1 priority is what Netanyahu is doing vis-à-vis Iran. I consider Iran to be playing a destructive role in the region, included in Lebanon. Netanyahu’s [anti-Iranian] policy is welcomed warmly by the Arabs, despite the other differences they have with him. It’s no longer black and white.”

As a Lebanese citizen, Koteich said that “under no circumstances am I willing to pay the prices for the Golan Heights. … Jerusalem is not more important than Beirut. The Golan is not more important than Beirut.”

He said, “The problem I have with Israel as a state is no different from the problem between Mexico and the Americans.

Asked in response if Mexican planes enter American airspace on daily basis, Koteich replied, “That’s another issue. That has to do with the Israeli-Iranian conflict, and it has nothing to do with Lebanon.”

 

German police raid Islamic organizations over suspected Hamas support 

April 10, 2019

Source: German police raid Islamic organizations over suspected Hamas support – www.israelhayom.com

German interior ministry says the main targets of the raids were WorldWide Resistance-Help and Ansaar International, which are believed to have collected funds for Hamas “under the guise of humanitarian aid.”

German police on Wednesday raided offices belonging to Islamic organizations suspected of financing the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which is on the European Union’s terrorism blacklist.

The German interior ministry said the main targets of the raids were WorldWide Resistance-Help and Ansaar International, which are believed to have collected funds for Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, under the guise of humanitarian aid.

The organizations say on their websites that they collect donations for people in Gaza, Somalia, Syria and other countries.

“Whoever supports Hamas under the guise of humanitarian aid disregards fundamental values of our constitution and discredits the commitment of many aid organizations,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said in a statement.

The ministry said the two organizations also supported Hamas through propaganda campaigns.