Israel news summary

Israel News for 2-18-19

Foreign Minister
PM Netanyahu has appointed Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz as interim Foreign Minister. He will serve until after the April 9th elections. Netanyahu has held the Foreign Minister portfolio since 2015.

For further reading click here.

Polish PM Cancels

Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki has cancelled his upcoming trip to Israel in reaction to a remark made by PM Netanyahu in Warsaw. Last Thursday Netanyahu was asked by reporters about the Polish law outlawing anyone saying that Poland played a role in the Holocaust. He answered, “Here I am saying Poles cooperated with the Nazis. I know the history and I don’t whitewash it. I bring it up.” The PM reportedly called the report false and said that he had been misquoted and that he was only referring to individual cases of Poles collaborating with Nazis.

The Polish PM was scheduled to attend a summit of 4 central and eastern European nations in Jerusalem today. Instead, Poland’s Foreign Minister was supposed to attend, but then Israel’s new interim Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz gave a TV interview in which he said, “I am a son of Holocaust survivors and I was even born and grew up in a community made up of Holocaust survivor. The memory of the Holocaust is something we cannot compromise about; it is clear and we won’t forget or forgive. In diplomacy you try not to offend, but nobody will change the historical truth to do something like that. Poles collaborated with the Nazis, definitely. As Yitzhak Shamir said, they suckle anti-Semitism with their mother’s milk.”

On Monday morning Katz told Israel Radio that “the Poles took part in the extermination of Jews in the Holocaust. Poland became the biggest cemetery of the Jewish people.” As a result, the Polish government summoned the Israeli Ambassador in Warsaw to reprimand him.

Poland will not attend the conference, at all.

[The truth hurts, but denying it is no solution. It’s time for Poland to take responsibility for its actions during WWII, and to return Jewish property to its rightful owners and their heirs. Poland is the European Union member that has not offered any such restitution.]

For further reading click here.

Election Update

Hatnuah leader MK Tzipi Livni announced today that she will not run for the Knesset in April and that she is quitting politics after a 20 year career. After polls showed that Hatnuah would not pass the electoral threshold, Livni sought to join forces with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, but Lapid declined. Then she tried to strike a deal with Israel Resilience Party leader Benny Gantz, but that didn’t work either. In January, Labor Party head Avi Gabbay split off from Hatnuah.

Livni served as Foreign Minister from 2006-2009 and then as leader of the opposition from 2009-2012. From 2013-2014 she served as Justice Minister.

For further reading click here.

Arms Sales

According to data published by the Ministry of Defense, Israeli exports of weapons and defense systems reached a new record in 2017, totaling $9.2 billion in sales. Israel is the 7th largest exporter of weapons in the world, according to a March 2018 report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Three Israeli weapon makers were among the 100 companies worldwide to make the most money by selling arms in 2017.

Around 4% of Israel’s arms sales are to what are considered to be “rogue” regimes, which Israel does primarily in order to get the votes of these countries in the UN and other such international bodies. But opposition in Israel to these sales is growing.

For further reading click here.

Free PR

IsraelAM will be publishing a series of interviews with leaders of Israel related organizations or political or religious leaders that are staunch supporters of Israel. If you fit the bill, and would like to expose your message and mission to our audience, please let us know.