Monthly Archives: June 2022

Yair Lapid Becomes Prime Minister of Israel

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — June 30, 2022 … Outgoing Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and incoming Prime Minister of Israel Yair Lapid held a modest handover ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, today (Thursday, 30 June 2022).

Senior Israeli officials from their bureaus and members of the Bennett and Lapid families also attended the ceremony. An orderly and in-depth transition meeting was then held between outgoing Prime Minister Bennett and incoming Prime Minister Lapid in which the former outlined the main security and diplomatic issues of the State of Israel. 

Outgoing Prime Minister Bennett: “This very special position, and this country, does not belong to any one person.” Bennett continued: “This Jewish nation belongs to the entire people of Israel. I hand over to you the responsibility for the State of Israel.”

“I wish that you guard it well and may G-d watch over you. Lihi, I want to say that it is not easy to be the Prime Minister’s wife. But the stability is at home, the warmth is at home, the place that you are familiar with. Everyone will be there for you, without outside interests, without anything. This is the cornerstone for Yair’s success. Gilat, you are amazing, you are something special. The children, I know that it was not an easy year but what I told you at the outset, we are all together for the country. Together, you have paid a price for the country.” 

“Yair, every Shabbat we bless the children: ‘May G-d make you like Efraim and Menashe. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May he make his face to shine on you and be gracious to you. May He lift up his face to you and grant you peace.’ Good luck my brother!” 

Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said: “Amazingly, my mother said the same blessing to me 25 minutes ago. I will yet say what I have to say. I have worked under prime ministers. I am familiar with prime ministers. You are a good man and an excellent prime minister. You are also a good friend. This is not a farewell ceremony because there is no intention to take leave of you.” 

Following is a list of incoming Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s senior staff.
Chief of Staff – Dani Vesely
Senior Special Advisor – Gili Haushner
Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office – Naama Schultz
Diplomatic Adviser – Yair Zivan
Director of Communications – Yael Bar
Spokesperson – Roei Konkol
Senior Adviser – Tami Nassee
Director of Government-Knesset Relations – Dana Pitelis Kaduri
Head of the Digital Department – Noy Alroy Schnitzer
Head of Bureau – Heli Sinai

Israeli President Isaac Herzog met today with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. The President thanked the Prime Minister for their close cooperation for the sake of Israel’s security and added that their work together has always taken place in a positive atmosphere of friendship and mutual respect.
President Herzog thanked Prime Minister Bennett and noted that he has always worked with his sights set on the good of the public and of the State of Israel.
Prime Minister Bennett thanked President Herzog for their friendship, his wise counsel, and his love of the State of Israel. The Prime Minister also thanked the President for his consistent work to bring together all parts of the nation. The two also discussed the diplomatic and security picture, U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr’s. expected visit, and the resumption of the nuclear talks.

Israel Prime Minister Bennett Holds Security Assessment at IDF Gaza HQ

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — June 23, 2022 … Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited Israel Defense Forces Gaza Division headquarters and held a security assessment with the commander of IDF Southern Command, Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Toledano, and Gaza Division commander IDF Brig.-Gen. Nimrod Aloni. They discussed the main points of the strategic concept vis-à-vis the Palestinians, especially in Gaza; a survey of the operational situation was presented.

“I have just finished an assessment with the head of Southern Command and the commander of the Gaza Division,” said Prime Minister Bennett. “We are currently concluding the quietest year for the residents of Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod and the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip in the past 15 years.”

“The new normal in the south is quiet, security and a normal life. The South and the area are in peak demand. There are new families and new homes being built here. This is the true picture of victory.”

“We are in a period of political instability but the security stability must be preserved. I do not suggest that anyone on the other side try and challenge this.”

After the visit, Prime Minister Bennett met with Eshkol Regional Council Chairman Gadi Yarkoni and residents of the regional council area.

Prime Minister Bennett told the residents about his many visits to the area, even in his previous positions. He added that he wishes that the routine and quiet that they have experienced in the past year, thanks to the policy of the government, will continue in the coming years as well.

Ukraine President Zelensky to Address Hebrew University on Thursday, 23 June

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — June 20, 2022 … Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky’s will address Hebrew University on Thursday, 23 June 2022, at 12:00 Israel time at Mt Scopus in Jerusalem.  President Zelensky will speak through a translator.

Following his address, there will be 45 minutes of Q&A from STUDENTS AND STAFF ONLY.  President Zelensky will not take questions from reporters.

The live virtual address, with simultaneous translation in English, will be broadcast live on the University FaceBook and YouTube channels.

Russia has repeatedly lashed out at Israel in recent days, while Israel’s position on the Ukraine conflict has remained unchanged.

The latest Russian move against Israel is to circulate a draft UN Security Council resolution condemning the bombing of the international airport in Damascus, which Russia has blamed on Israel. Israel will not allow Iranian weapons in Syria.

Israeli Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata has revealed that since the beginning of operation Immigrants Come Home, over 25,000 new Olim have arrived in Israel from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Moldova.

Most of the new immigrants received temporary housing in hotels and later dispersed to various cities, closely accompanied by the Israeli ministry and local authorities.

Israel’s 100-ton humanitarian aid package to Ukraine was prepared for transport at Ben Gurion Airport, with the El Al plane carrying the aid – preceded by two additional flights for delivery in Ukraine.

“This is a gesture of friendship to the Ukrainian people,” said a representative from Mashav, a division of the Foreign Ministry that coordinates Israel’s national aid, as the third plane was being loaded.

“The mission, 100 tons in one day to Ukraine, is without precedent and we should be proud about it,” she said.

Israel to India: “We have the opportunity to deepen defense cooperation, build on shared values for global stability.”

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — June 2022 … Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as part of his official visit, marking 30 years of diplomatic ties and defense cooperation between Israel and India.

Minister Gantz also met with Indian Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh, and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

During his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Modi, Defense Minister Gantz emphasized the opportunity to invest further in defense cooperation between the two countries, while building on shared values in order to contribute to global stability.

Minister Gantz: “India is an industrial superpower and Israel is a technological superpower – cooperation between our countries will expand the capabilities of both countries to contend with developing challenges.”

On the Israeli side the meetings were attended by Chief of Staff to Israel’s Minister of Defense Maayan Israeli, Military Secretary Brig. Gen. Yaki Dolf, Director of the Policy and POL-MIL Bureau Dror Shalom, Head of the Israel International Defense Cooperation Directorate Yair Kulas, Israel’s Defense Attache to India Col. Asaf Maller, and Ambassador Naor Gilon.