(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 4 September 2011:
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"My Government is committed to carrying out tangible changes in order to ease the cost-of-living and correct social distortions. I believe that the public dialogue that has developed, as well as the discussions of the Trajtenberg committee, will offer us a unique opportunity to implement genuine and responsible changes in this sphere. The Trajtenberg committee will submit its recommendations to me in approximately two weeks. Israel has never had a committee that has begun such an open and serious dialogue with thousands of citizens. This is a serious committee and it will submit serious recommendations.
I intend to act quickly, pursuant to its recommendations, and maintain the correct balance between social sensitivity and responsible economics. This balance preserves the Israeli economy, the State of Israel, Israel's people and the national welfare. Only if we have an economy that does not slip, fall and collapse, as happened to several principal countries in Europe, only thus can we ease the cost-of-living and correct those distortions. We will do both: We will maintain the economy and we will correct what needs to be corrected.
Over the weekend, the UN issued it the Palmer Report, which unequivocally determines that the State of Israel acted according to international law during the events regarding the Mavi Marmara flotilla. The commission determined what we knew from the outset - that the State of Israel has the full and basic right to defend itself. We need not apologize for the fact that naval commandos defended their lives against an assault by violent IHH activists. We need not apologize for the fact that we acted to stop the smuggling of weapons to Hamas, a terrorist organization that has already fired over 10,000 missiles, rockets and mortar rounds at our civilians. We need not apologize for the fact that we acted to defend our people, our children and our communities.
To the naval commandos, I would like to say that just as you and the rest of the IDF defend us, we will defend you everywhere and in every forum. I reiterate that the State of Israel expresses regret over the loss of life. I also hope that a way will be found to overcome the disagreement with Turkey. Israel has never wanted a deterioration in its relations with Turkey; neither is Israel interested in such a deterioration now."
2. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his fellow ministers took their leave of outgoing Prime Minister's Office Director-General Eyal Gabai, who is concluding his duties today. The Prime Minister and other ministers praised Gabai's contribution to the work of the Cabinet and commended both the dedication and the professionalism with which he carried out his responsibilities.
3. The Cabinet, pursuant to its commitment to strengthen the history and national heritage of the State of Israel and its link to Jewish communities around the world, approved a plan for the continued development of Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv.
According to the plan, the site's Museum of the Jewish People will be upgraded and fitted with the technological means of the 21st century, exhibit areas will be developed, and more space will be added for temporary exhibitions. Also, the International School for Jewish Peoplehood Studies will be expanded and upgraded; its building will be renovated.
4. The Cabinet began its discussion of the report by the inter-ministerial team on the implementation of the recommendations by the committee on the status of Bedouin communities in the Negev, which was chaired by retired judge Eliezer Goldberg. The Cabinet will continue its deliberations on this issue at its next meeting.