Kushner in Knesset: We all have a role in advancing Abraham Accords

Jared Kushner spoke at an event in honor of the one-year anniversary of the peace and normalization agreements between Israel and Arab states.

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner during a visit with Israeli delegation to Rabat, Morocco
(photo credit: US EMBASSY IN MOROCCO/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
It is time to act to ensure the Abraham Accords fulfill their potential, Jared Kushner, former senior adviser to US president Donald Trump, said Monday at a ceremony in the Knesset.
 
“What we created is a new paradigm in the region,” he said. “It can have many different outcomes. It is imperative on all of us to set high expectations for what we want the Abraham Accords to achieve.”
 
Kushner, who founded the Abraham Accords Institute for Peace, spoke at an event in honor of the one-year anniversary of the peace and normalization agreements between Israel and Arab states. His wife, Ivanka Trump, attended as well.
 
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Israel seeks to ease immigration for doctors, nurses due to manpower shortage

Government committee will weigh steps to encourage medical professionals to immigrate to Israel, amid escalating protests by healthcare workers over their work conditions

New immigrants from North America arrive on a special aliyah flight arranged by the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization, at Ben Gurion International Airport on August 14, 2019. (Flash90)

The Israeli government on Sunday approved the establishment of a committee to ease the immigration process for doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers, in order to overcome the manpower shortage in the health sector.

The cabinet voted to approve the suggestion of Immigrant Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata to establish a committee with representatives from the health, finance, and immigration ministries as well as the Prime Minister’s Office to potentially allow thousands of medical workers from the former Soviet Union as well as the US, Canada, and Argentina to easily move to Israel.

The reforms suggested would simplify the transfer of medical licenses between countries and guarantee jobs to doctors who immigrate to Israel.

 

Following the announcement, Tamano-Shata tweeted that “all of Israel will benefit” from such a move.

Israel has long suffered from a chronic shortage of healthcare workers, which has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently threatened by a labor dispute among hospital interns.

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German military planes fly over Jerusalem for 1st time since WWI in show of ties

Israeli Air Force, Luftwaffe jets perform flyby above capital after air chiefs visit Yad Vashem, as part of kickoff for multinational exercise

Israeli Air Force and German Luftwaffe aircraft performed a flyby over the Knesset in Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon as a display of the close cooperation between the two countries and their militaries, the Israel Defense Forces said.

This was the first time that German aircraft have flown over Jerusalem since World War I.

“The flyby expresses the strong partnership and connection between the air forces and the countries, as well as the commitment to continued cooperation in the future,” the IDF said.

 

Earlier on Sunday, the heads of the IAF, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, and the Luftwaffe, Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.

Sunday’s flyby was a continuation of a commemorative effort that began last August, when Israeli jets flew over the Dachau concentration camp and the Fuerstenfeldbruck airfield, where 11 Israeli Olympic athletes were killed by Palestinian terrorists in 1972.

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After reports on Jewish prayer, minister insists Temple Mt status quo ‘in place’

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev says police ‘scrupulously maintain’ regulations at flashpoint holy site, under which Jews are banned from worshiping

Illustrative: An Israeli police officer stands guard as a religious Jew in army uniform visits the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, in the Old City of Jerusalem on August 3, 2021. (AP Photo/ Maya Alleruzzo, File)

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev insisted on Sunday that the status quo on the Temple Mount “was in place and will remain in place,” after months of media reports showing Jewish worshipers openly praying at the site while police turned a blind eye.

“Israel Police scrupulously maintains the status quo at the Temple Mount, which is holy to both Jews and Muslims,” said Barlev, whose ministry is responsible for overseeing law enforcement.

Barlev made his remarks following a meeting with senior Israeli law enforcement officials, including Israeli police chief Kobi Shabtai and Jerusalem police chief Doron Turgeman. Foreign Ministry and Shin Bet officials were also present, according to Barlev’s office.

 

“The police have worked to protect the status quo — save for exceptional circumstances — which they have quickly identified and acted against,” Barlev said.

The Temple Mount, known to Muslims for its Al-Aqsa Mosque, is the holiest site for Jews and site of the third holiest shrine in Islam. It is one of the most emotionally contested places in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and clashes there were part of the backdrop to the 11-day conflict launched by Hamas from Gaza in May.

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Swedish FM: Israeli government interested in 2-State Solution

Minister Ann Linde says Swedish relations with Israel much better under Bennett-Lapid govt. than under Netanyahu.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde believes that the current Israeli government desires a two-state solution to the Arab-Israel conflict.

“I think the current government does want to promote a two-state solution,” Linde told Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot.

“The previous government did not want any relations with the Swedish government because of our recognition of Palestine. I do not think it is a personal question, but more how the current government in Israel looks at ways to resolve quagmires,” she said.

To the question of whether Sweden will be active in efforts to reach a two-state solution, she said: “To tell the truth, I do not think we are today in the position of negotiating on the issue, but we are certainly one of the more veteran and experienced players in this issue and this type of solution. I have visited Israel many times, both professionally and personally. I love Israel very much, and there I also have very good relations with the Palestinians.”

“In recent years, we have asked for official telephone conversations with Israel. The requests have not been answered. After Lapid was appointed foreign minister, we met at the foreign ministers’ conference in Brussels, and we agreed to return to full diplomatic relations.

“It is to be hoped that in the long run, the Palestinian Authority will allow talks that will lead to a two-state solution,” Linde said.

To the question of whether Sweden will be active in efforts to reach a two-state solution, she said: “To tell the truth, I do not think we are today in the position of negotiating on the issue, but we are certainly one of the more veteran and experienced players in this issue and this type of solution. I have visited Israel many times, both professionally and personally. I love Israel very much, and there I also have very good relations with the Palestinians.”

“In recent years, we have asked for official telephone conversations with Israel. The requests have not been answered. After Lapid was appointed foreign minister, we met at the foreign ministers’ conference in Brussels, and we agreed to return to full diplomatic relations.

“It is to be hoped that in the long run, the Palestinian Authority will allow talks that will lead to a two-state solution,” Linde said.

 
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Knesset launches Abraham Accords caucus, with Gantz claiming credit for deals

Lapid, Gantz say new government seeks peace with Palestinians and other Arab states; Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend and meet with Netanyahu, won’t be meeting Bennett

(Right to left) Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud MK Ofir Akunis at an event launching a Knesset caucus dedicated to the Abraham Accords, in Jerusalem, October 11, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Knesset on Monday launched a new caucus dedicated to the Abraham Accords, the US-brokered normalization deals with Arab countries reached one year ago.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were in attendance alongside former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, representing the since-ousted US and Israeli leaderships that signed the normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

But Defense Minister Benny Gantz — who also held that position during the previous Netanyahu-led government — touted the role of his own Blue and White party in reaching the accords, which were announced alongside the scrapping of plans to annex large swaths of the West Bank.

 

“The fact that we prevented a unilateral annexation enabled the Abraham Accords to solidify and move ahead,” Gantz said, in an apparent swipe at Netanyahu, the current opposition leader.

“I am happy these peace agreements were signed and I am sure they will be broadened and drive change in the Middle East, because this is peace between peoples,” he said, adding that Jerusalem “is acting to expand the agreements and even add more agreements.”

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Netanyahu: Bennett pretends to be prime minister

Opposition leader slams government claims ‘every minister acts on his own without regard for Bennett.’

Benjamin Netanyahu

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday evening addressed the ’40 signatures’ discussion in the Knesset plenum, and sharply attacked the Bennett government.

“Bennett has no mandate, the citizens of Israel say that. After only three months as prime minister, being treated like an etrog by the media in a way that I don’t remember ever seeing before, Bennett barely passes the electoral threshold,” Netanyahu said in his opening remarks.

According to Netanyahu, “there has been no such thing in the history of the country that an incumbent prime minister swings like a leaf fluttering in the wind on the edge of the electoral threshold. Nor was there such a thing as taking power with six seats that were also gotten through fraud. The public simply does not buy this bluff, from someone who coaxed his way to the prime minister’s office, after he himself has declared that it is undemocratic to be prime minister even with ten seats. In this situation the public expresses unequivocal distrust in Bennett.”

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Bennett defends state budget in Knesset; Netanyahu: He’s not a ‘real’ PM

Opposition MKs removed from plenum for heckling premier, who says previous government was ‘addicted’ to lockdowns; opposition chief says ministers ‘don’t care what Bennett thinks’

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addresses the Knesset plenum on October 11, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tussled with opposition members and defended his government’s state budget on Monday during a stormy Knesset plenum session called by 40 opposition members.

Several opposition lawmakers were removed from the chamber during the session for heckling and angry outbursts, and Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu alleged that Bennett was “not a real prime minister.”

A state budget hasn’t been approved since 2018 amid a protracted political crisis that resulted in four consecutive election cycles.

 

Netanyahu is widely believed to have intentionally prevented it from passing during the previous, short-lived government, utilizing a loophole in a power-sharing deal with Benny Gantz that otherwise would have resulted in the latter becoming prime minister.

The current government has until November 13 to finalize the budget and have it approved in its second and third readings, or the coalition will automatically dissolve, triggering new elections.

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Bennett announces major drive to quadruple population of Golan Heights

PM says increasing Israeli presence on plateau captured from Syria is a ‘strategic goal,’ notes Biden administration hasn’t reversed US recognition of area as Israeli territory

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attends the Golan Heights Conference on Economics and Regional Development on October 11, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced Monday that the government intends to dramatically increase the number of people living on the Golan Heights and stressed that the Biden administration continues to recognize the northern plateau as Israeli territory.

Speaking at the Makor Rishon Golan Conference in Haspin, a moshav commonly known as Hispin, Bennett said that in six weeks the government will present a plan to greatly boost the population, including the construction of two new communities.

The ultimate goal, he said, was to hit 100,000 residents, almost four times the current population of around 27,000.

 

“The Golan Heights is Israeli, period,” Bennett said to applause.

Describing the Golan as a “strategic goal,” he said “our aim is to double, and then double again the number of residents on the Golan Heights.”

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Merkel in Jerusalem: We are in ‘decisive weeks’ for Iran nuclear talks

Bennett pledges to keep Tehran from bomb, says he is pragmatic on Palestinians; German leader says Israel’s security will always be of ‘central importance,’ urges 2-state solution

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks as she attends a cabinet meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. (Menahem Kahana/Pool Photo via AP)

During a joint press conference Sunday alongside Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that negotiations over the return to the nuclear deal have entered “very decisive weeks.”

She stressed that every day that goes by without an agreement, Iran continues to enrich uranium.

Merkel, who is making a farewell visit to Israel after 16 years as chancellor marked by warm relations with the Jewish state, called for greater involvement by world powers in pushing Iran back to the negotiating table in Vienna.

 

“I see a responsibility for Russia and China here,” she said, adding that Israel’s security will be a top priority for “every German government.”

Negotiators from the US and the European parties to the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal are still waiting for Iran’s hardline president Ebrahim Raisi to return to talks in Vienna, suspended since June.

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