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AIPAC 2017: Israel will defend itself on 'moral battlefield' against boycotts, Netanyahu says

Addressing the pro-Israel lobby in a prerecorded video, Netanyahu said "We'll defend ourselves not only on the psychical battlefield, but on the moral battlefield. We'll defend ourselves against slander and boycotts.

"Israel will stand ever vigilant, always ready to defend ourselves [and] will speak clearly against anti-Semitism."

Regarding the Palestinians, Netanyahu said "the Palestinian Authority must stop teaching children to hate and must stop paying terrorists, and must above all recognize the Jewish State," adding: "My hand is extended to all our neighbors in peace."
On the topic of Israel's ties to the U.S., the prime minister said: "We confront the same enemies and cherish the same freedoms, these are the things that bring Israelis and Americans together."
Mentioning that Israel is "fast becoming a global technological power," Netanyahu said that Israel "wouldn't be the country it is today without the steadfast support of the United States of America."
Speaking on the first day of AIPAC's conference, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said that U.S. President Donald Trump was "seriously considering" moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Pence also said that Trump was committed to "finding an equitable and just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" and to "forging a lasting peace in the Middle East."
Earlier on Sunday, Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer suggested in his speach before AIPAC that Israel's relationship with Trump is better than with any previous U.S. administration. The envoy praised the new U.S. envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, and said that she was "finally bringing clarity" to the UN with regard to Israel.
Speaking ahead of Dermer, AIPAC's president, Lilian Pinkus, tried to highlight the importance of bipartisan support for Israel, and warned that the pro-Israeli community should not let Israel "fall victim" to the divisive nature of U.S. politics in the current era. She repeated a number of times that it was important to preserve support for Israel among both Democrats and Republicans.
Tony Blair, the former British prime minister who has spent the last decade trying to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians, spoke about the importance of advancing Israel's partnerships with the Arab world. However, he said that in order to achieve that, Israel would have to make progress toward peace with the Palestinians.
Last year at the AIPAC conference, Netanyahu said that he expected the Obama Administration to oppose any international initiative to advance a resolution on the Israel-Palestinian issue at the United Nations Security Council. Netanyahu, who spoke via satellite after having cancelled his trip to Washington two weeks earlier, said that some members of the international community are interested in forcing Israel to accept U.N. conditions, and he hopes the United States will stick by its longstanding policy and reject these efforts.

Amir Tibon

Haaretz Correspondent

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.779788


Schermata 2017 03 27 alle 17.00.38


Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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