The Prime Minister's Report - November 8, 1998

Volume 2, Number 36

I. Government Resolution

II. CNN Interview with Ambassador Dore Gold

III. Address by Israeli Prime Minister to CJF

General Assembly in Jerusalem to be

Broadcast Live on the Internet

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I. Government Resolution

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1. The Israel Cabinet has convened for the second day in a row with the clear intention of ratifying the agreement with the Palestinians. A proposed draft to this effect was presented to the government.

2. Regrettably, since the Wye River conference two troubling developments have undermined Israel's intention:

A. Repeated terrorist strikes in which Israelis were killed and wounded and only a miracle prevented the mass murder of civilians, including scores of children.

B. Repeated attempts by the PA leaders to evade commitments they undertook in the Wye Agreement.

3. The Cabinet will discuss the ratification of the Wye Agreement when it is convinced that the PA is taking decisive steps in a determined war on the terrorist organizations and their infrastructure; and when it is convinced that the PA intends to fully live up to all the commitments it undertook in the Agreement, including the obligation to conduct a vote by the Palestinian National Council to affirm the repeal of the Palestinian Charter articles calling for Israel's destruction, and the arrest of wanted murderers.

4. The government will act to secure its citizens and strengthen Israel's capital Jerusalem.

5. The Prime Minister reiterated his commitment to advance the agreement with the Palestinians based on full implementation according to the principle of reciprocity.

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II. CNN Interview with Ambassador Dore Gold

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ALLEN: The Palestinian representative to the U.S. said Israel should look at this as incentive to move ahead, not as an excuse postpone the Wye memorandum; your reaction.

GOLD: Well, there's a clear transaction that was made at Wye. Israel redeploys from territory; the Palestinians fulfill commitments in fighting terrorism.

The West Bank and Gaza Strip are full of illegal Klatchnikov rifles, many of which have been used to kill Israelis. Terrorists, some of whom have been trained in Iran, are still running free and we've asked for extradition or at least they're being incarcerated in Palestinian prisons.

The moment the Palestinians seriously fight terrorism and prevent the bombing today, the bombing in Gaza last week, the bombing in Beersheba that occurred during the actual talks at Wye, we go forward.

ALLEN: Do you believe that Yasser Arafat still wants to seriously fight terrorism?

GOLD: Well, I think he's caught in certain dilemmas. Obviously, there are many Palestinians who are telling him, get the land and do the minimal amount for fighting terrorism. So you have, many times, certain numbers of Hamas members who are rounded up. We heard about 150 being rounded up who are involved in terrorism. Many of these people are let go.

Today, still, Islamic Jihad is a legal organization in the Gaza Strip. Today, still, the Isadad Kassan of Hamas, which are involved in these attacks, are still legal organizations. Let him illegalize the organizations, quickly as possible, put those who are involved in terrorism in prison.

ALLEN: If there is movement from Yasser Arafat, would you like to see the Israeli cabinet continue to begin looking at approving the Wye Accord? Do you want this to be such a setback that the Israeli cabinet does nothing for now?
GOLD: No, there's no question what we're looking for is clear, Palestinian compliance. You know, you can't just blame anonymous people like the enemies of peace. You have to, here, assign accountability. And the accountability is the accountability of the Palestinian Authority.

If they do their end of the bargain, we do our end of the bargain. We're giving up something tangible, land. We need something tangible in return, and that's fighting terrorism. If they do it we do it.

ALLEN: Finally, what kind of position now is Benjamin Netanyahu in? We heard from Hanan Ashrawi who said he's floundering on the Wye Accord. What does he do now?
GOLD: Well, we try not to say things that are negative about Chairman Arafat. We don't want to embarrass him internationally. And we'd prefer the Palestinian spokesman wouldn't attack the prime minister of Israel in public.

But what we are saying is the prime minister stands behind the mass of the Israeli public. The mass of the Israeli public wants the peace process to work, but they want it to deliver more security.

To just give you one example, my own son said to me when I came back from Wye, do we have peace now?

No longer buses will blow up in Jerusalem?

That's what the public wants to hear as well, that buses will no longer blow up in Jerusalem.

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III. Address by Israeli Prime Minister to CJF General Assembly in Jerusalem to be Broadcast Live on the Internet

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations [CJF] in Jerusalem on Monday, November 16th at approximately 8:45 pm Israel time [1:45 pm EST].

The Prime Minister's speech to an expected audience of 2,500 people at the GA Plenum will be broadcast live on the Internet, using RealMedia.

The 20-minute address to the CJF General Assembly, the largest annual gathering of Jewish organizations in North America, can be viewed by visiting http://www.pmo.gov.il

This will be the first time in its history that the General Assembly will be held outside North America. The significance of Israel as a venue is twofold:

1) to mark and celebrate the State of Israel's 50th anniversary and,

2) to mark and celebrate the beginning of a new era in the relationship between Israeli and North American Jews.

For further information about the broadcast, please contact:
Michael Stoltz,
Deputy Director of Communications,
Office of the Prime Minister,
mstoltz@pmo.gov.il.


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