Newsletter 01/25/12
  • Newsletter 01/25/13

  • 1/25/2013 12:00 AM

  • Embassy Update: Israel Election Results; Happy Tu B'Shevat!

    January 25, 2013

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    In This Issue
    Peres Warns of Iran Threat
    Election 2013: The Results Are In
    Prosor: "False Impression of Palestinian Statehood"
    Shapiro: "U.S. Looks Forward to Working with Next Gov't."
    60 Years of Women's Service in the IDF
    History: Jerusalem Proclaimed Capital

    In Other News


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    Pres. Peres Warns of Threat from Iran

    "Iran is a serious threat and it must understand that the world is serious in its intentions and that all options are on the table," said President Shimon Peres.


    The President conducted a work meeting yesterday at the World Economic Forum in Davos with the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr. Yukiya Amano. The two discussed the Iranian nuclear program and efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.


    A spokesperson for Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, bolstered Peres' sense of urgency by criticizing Iran's stalling tactics. "We have been very surprised to see Iran come back to us again and again with new pre-conditions on the modalities of the talks... Iran appears to be trying to delay the process by coming up with new conditions."


    Election 2013: The Results Are In

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is poised for a third term (his second in a row) in office after Tuesday's vote.  Yesh Atid, propelled by Yair Lapid, the telegenic news anchor-turned-politician, turned into the second-largest party with just over half a million votes.


    Here are some quick election numbers that go beyond just the number of legislators each party will have, based on the Central Elections Committee website:


    Out of all the 5,656,705 eligible voters, 67.52 percent cast their ballots in just under 10,000 voting stations throughout the country. The turnout was some 4% higher than in the previous election in 2009.


    More than 250,000 votes were cast by people away from their local voting station, the majority of them by soldiers and the rest by Israel's diplomatic corps, prisoners, hospital patients and sailors of the merchant navy.


    The 19th Knesset will set a record for having 26 women members, up from 21 in the previous Knesset.




    See also...

    Amb. Prosor to UN: "False Impression of Palestinian Statehood"


    Ambassador Ron Prosor compared France's military intervention in northern Africa with Israel's fight against Islamic terrorism from Gaza on Wednesday, reports the Times of Israel.


    "France's foreign minister said this month that his country was fighting to prevent the creation of an Islamist terrorist enclave 'at the doorstep of France and Europe.' If Mali is on France's doorstep, Gaza is in Israel's living room," Ron Prosor said to the UN Security Council.


    "Make no mistakes: France's principled stand should be commended. We only ask that France and all the countries who are supporting its principled stand today, support Israel tomorrow when we fight Islamic terrorism on our borders."


    Prosor also expressed the Israeli government's view that a November upgrade of Palestine to a nonmember observer state has no tangible meaning.


    "The only Palestinian state in these halls is the Palestinian state of denial," Prosor said. "Last month's resolution did not confer Palestinian statehood."


    The resolution does not entitle the Palestinians to participate in UN meetings and international conferences, join treaties, or seek membership in international organizations as a state, Prosor added. "The change in terminology and titles risks creating a false impression of Palestinian statehood when no such state exists."



    Amb. Shapiro: "U.S. Looks Forward to Working with Next Government"
    Following the Knesset elections, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Israel Radio on Wednesday the US government remains committed to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. He also said that Washington looks forward to continued cooperation with the next Israeli government, reports the Times of Israel.


    Shapiro said the US remains devoted to Israel's security and to returning Israel and the Palestinians to the negotiating table in order to secure a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


    At a briefing Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, "Israel is a vibrant democracy, and we look forward to learning the results of that election when they are available."


    60 Years of Women's Service in the IDF

    Women have always taken part in Israel's growing military, from the founding of state in 1948 to the modern army of today. In the contemporary IDF, more and more roles are opening up to women as an increasing amount of units see the value in female combat soldiers.

    Before the establishment of the state, women served in combat roles in the militias that would be the Israel Defense Forces. However, when the IDF was created, women served primarily in roles such as educators and administrators. Then, during the Yom Kippur War (1973), due to a growing need for ground forces, women were needed in roles in the field. They served as combat instructors, operations sergeants, and even officers.


    As the Israel Defense Forces evolves into a stronger, smarter army, so do the opportunities of those women serving in it. One of the most developed armies in the world today, the IDF's emphasis on women's rights sets it apart as an equal-opportunity world where women are challenged to make the most of their service whether it be in combat or non-combat roles.

    This Week in History: Knesset Proclaims Jerusalem as Israel's Capital


    On January 23, 1950, the Knesset proclaimed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.


    Photo: Fireworks over Jerusalem, GPO.


    In its final form, the proclamation welcomed the return of the parliament to Jerusalem and asked the government to speed up the construction of the government seat in Jerusalem.



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