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Sunday, January 19, 2014
Cabinet Communique

Cabinet Communique
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 19 January 2014):

1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Culture and Sports Minister Limor
Livnat made the following remarks:

Prime Minister Netanyahu:

"We are determined to maintain quiet in the south. We will do so by a policy
of preventive action and strong reaction against those who try to harm us or
who harm us. I suggest that Hamas take our policy into account.

UNESCO announced, over the weekend, that it was cancelling an exhibit that
it had planned to hold in France on the connection between the Jewish People
and the Land of Israel. The explanation given was that it would harm the
negotiations. It would not harm the negotiations. Negotiations are based on
facts, on the truth, which is never harmful. But what does harm the
negotiations is the automatic summoning of Israeli ambassadors in certain
countries regarding matters of no substance, while significant violations by
the Palestinian Authority pass without a response.

The one-sided approach toward Israel does not advance peace it pushes
peace further away. It strengthens the refusal of the PA to make actual
progress in the negotiations. We hope that this conduct by the PA changes.
The one-sided and unfair attitude toward the State of Israel does not
advance the diplomatic process.

Today, for the first time, a great friend of the State of Israel, and a
great friend of mine, is visiting Israel, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen
Harper. Canada is a faithful friend of the State of Israel. Under Stephen
Harper's leadership, it has taken a moral and steadfast position against
attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel. Prime Minister Harper has
expressed a clear, brave and moral stand regarding the truth and in regard
to the standards that the international community needs to adopt regarding
the State of Israel and the conflict here. I think that this is worthy of
praise and I welcome him on behalf of the Government and people of Israel.

Today we will be briefed by Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat. I
would like you to say a few words. Limor, if you please."

Culture and Sports Minister Livnat:

"Thank you Mr. Prime Minister. Today, we will present the activity of the
Ministry of Culture and Sports during the past year and ahead of the coming
year, of course. We will focus on three issues: First of all, cultural
activity. We have here in the State of Israel, very ramified cultural
activity even though the budget is still too low, but cultural activity is
very wide-ranging.

Our main focus is on culture in the periphery. We have greatly succeeded
here, in effect, today, over 2.5 times more citizens in the periphery enjoy
subsidized cultural activity. We subsidize very significantly theaters,
music, dance and more. We will note it here.

The second issue is sports, mainly the increase in the number of athletes.
The number of registered athletes active in Israel is the lowest in the
OECD. We want to change this. To this end, we are now carrying out a series
of reforms including inter alia a NIS 370 million program, which was
approved by the government a few weeks ago, in order to get children
involved in sports from age 8 and up, in a series of preferred sports. Of
course, there is also an additional series of reforms in the area of sports
in order to break up the cartels, as you call it Mr. Prime Minister. This is
another thing that we are doing of course. It is not simple, including
vis--vis legislation. It is happening, it is moving forward and we are
succeeding here as well.

The third thing touches on what you have just said and that is this strange
statement by UNESCO. I will report here on a series of actions that we are
taking, along with the Prime Minister's Office, to strengthen heritage sites
and preserve and save various heritage sites of which we have, thank Heaven,
very many in the country. This is also being done by the Antiquities
Authority, the Council for the Preservation of Sites and by the museums. We
are also digitizing material and much more. All of this will be in the
briefing of course."

Prime Minister Netanyahu:

"I would like to congratulate you, Limor, on increasing cultural activity in
the periphery. This is an innovation. I am receiving a lot of feedback on
this. People are simply happy that cultural appearances and events are
taking place in their communities. This is both right and it raises the
self-esteem of the residents of these same communities. I think that this is
very welcome activity.

Any breaking of cartels and monopolies is a welcome thing apart from cases
of very exceptional natural monopolies. I do not think that there are any
natural monopolies in Israeli sport.

I would like to thank you for these and other activities. Thank you."

2. Pursuant to Article 12 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the
Cabinet decided to appoint Ami Palmor-Hertz as Director General of the
Justice Ministry, effective 1 February 2014.

3. The Cabinet unanimously approved the extension of Israel Police
Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino's term in office for an additional
year

4. The Cabinet unanimously approved the extension of Prison Service
Commissioner Lt.-Gen. Aharon Franko's term in office for an additional year

5. The Cabinet decided that the Prime Minister's Prize for Initiatives and
Innovation, which are awarded to initiatives and innovation that make a
special contribution to society and are of far-reaching socio-economic
influence, will be awarded on an annual basis near Herzl Day (the 9th of the
Hebrew Month of Iyar), in order to express the link between Herzl and
contemporary initiatives and innovation
http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/MediaCenter/Spokesman/Pages/spokeyazamut190114.aspx#.

6. Culture and Sports Minister Livnat briefed the Cabinet on her ministry's
activities. Click
http://www.pmo.gov.il/MediaCenter/SecretaryAnnouncements/Pages/govmes190114.aspx
for further details.

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