Monthly Archives: July 2022

Israel Will Maintain Freedom of Navigation, Trade, Ensure Aerial Defense, Strengthen Cyber Defense

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — July 23, 2022 … Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the Aspen Security Forum stated: “The State of Israel and her partners in the region have a common interest in maintaining freedom of navigation and trade, ensure aerial defense and strengthening our cyber defense. Since the signing of the Abraham Accords, Israel has participated in hundreds of meetings and discussions with regional partners and participated in at least 10 multinational exercises.”

Minister Gantz participated in the Aspen Security Forum, in a “fireside chat” moderated by editor of The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg. The discussion focused on the impact of the Abraham Accords two years after their signing.

“The Abraham Accords enable us to expand our relations [with regional partners] in security aspects, in business to business [frameworks], organizations to organizations, and people to people. And of course we are creating a regional architecture for defense” said Minister Gantz.

Gantz added: “Israel was moved from EUCOM to CENTCOM – and we use it as a strategic umbrella. Since the signing of the peace accords, there have been hundreds of meetings and discussions with regional partners, and Israel has participated in at least 10 multinational exercises with regional partners. I am very happy that the U.S. has led this and that the region’s leaders have realized and taken this opportunity. We are creating a better Middle East.”

Addressing Iran, Minister Gantz said: “Iran is first a global challenge, then a regional challenge and only lastly it is a threat to the State of Israel. We can see it everywhere around the world – the Iranian impact in Venezuela, Algeria, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen. The Saudis and the Emiratis also suffer from Iranian attacks, Iran does not only pose a threat to the State of Israel.”

Gantz added: “The countries of the region understand that Israel is here to stay and that Israel is not a burden but rather an asset. Our excellent relations with the U.S. can be used as a bridge. Israel does not threaten the countries of the region, while Iran does. We can see Iran’s malign activity in the region without a nuclear canopy, without nuclear deterrence. Imagine what they would do with it. And that’s why we cannot let Iran become a nuclear [state].

At the same time, I do not know of another country that has another country, in this case Iran, threatening its existence and building the means to do so. The government and leadership of Israel has a historic responsibility to build our capabilities and to prevent Iran from becoming nuclear.”

Speaking about the Palestinian issue, Defense Minister Gantz said: “I believe that we can leverage the Abraham Accords and ties with regional partners in order to strengthen the Palestinian Authority and promote confidence-building measures. From a Jewish, Zionist, and democratic perspective, I would like to see a better future between us and the Palestinians and that includes separating from the Palestinians.”

President Herzog, Prime Minister Lapid bid Farewell to US President Joe Biden; Saudi airspace now open to Israel.

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
/ Jewish News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — July 15, 2022 … Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this afternoon wished US President Joe Biden the very best of warm wishes upon the conclusion of his successful visit to Israel and ahead of his departure for Saudi Arabia.

“Today is a historic day,” said Prime Minister Lapid.

“After intense behind the scenes diplomacy with Saudi Arabia and the United States, Saudi airspace will now be open to Israeli airlines.

I would like to thank President Biden, for his visit here in Israel and for his commitment to a strong Israel and a prosperous region. I wish him success in Jeddah.

“I would like to thank the President of the United States, Joe Biden, for a visit that moved our entire country and for his commitment to Israel’s military and diplomatic strength. I wish him success at the Jeddah Summit.

We woke up this morning to happy news. The Saudi aviation authorities have announced that they will be opening Saudi airspace to Israeli airlines. This is the first official step in normalization with Saudi Arabia.

The decision will allow Israeli airlines to fly on a direct route to Asia and Australia. This will save vast amounts of fuel, time and money. The savings will directly reach the pockets of Israeli citizens and lower the price of airline tickets.

I thank the Saudi leadership for the opening of Saudi airspace. This is only the first step. We will continue working with necessary caution, for the sake of Israel’s economy, security and the good of our citizens.”

Lapid concluded: “This decision was preceded by the signing of the ‘Jerusalem Declaration’, deepening America’s commitment to Israel’s security, the fight against the Iranian nuclear program and the advancing of normalization initiatives of the Abraham Accords and the Negev Summit.

The visit has had additional achievements but it will be years before they can be discussed.”

US President Joe Biden Arrives in Israel

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — July 13, 2022 … Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid welcomed US President Joe Biden in a state ceremony at Ben-Gurion International Airport today in the presence of Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Ministers, and additional dignitaries. 

Prime Minister Lapid greeted President Biden at the foot of Air Force One together with President Herzog and Alternate Prime Minister Bennett. 

Following are Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s comments at the state welcoming ceremony: 

“Mr. President, this is both a historic visit, and a deeply personal one.

It is historic because it expresses the unbreakable bond between our two countries. Our commitment to shared values: democracy, freedom, and the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own.

It is also a personal visit, because your relationship with Israel has always been personal. You once defined yourself as a Zionist. You said that you don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.

You were right, and in your case: A great Zionist and one of the best friends Israel has ever known.

President Biden visits Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.

You have not been here for a few years, so in the next couple of days, you will see how Israel has grown and developed. You will see the strength and smartness of the Israeli army, the creativity of the start-up nation, the diversity of Israeli society.”

Lapid continued: “Israel is a country that brings together the past, present, and future. Just moments ago, your plane flew over where King Saul searched for his father’s donkeys, above King David’s rooftop, above the palm tree that Deborah the prophet sat under.

You also flew over world-leading hi-tech industries, over agriculture that is helping improve food security around the globe, above universities and research institutes where Israeli scientists — including Nobel Prize winners — are leading groundbreaking research.

During your visit, we will discuss matters of national security.”

Prime Minister Lapid concluded: “We will discuss building a new security and economy architecture with the nations of the Middle East, following the Abraham Accords and the achievements of the Negev Summit. And we will discuss the need to renew a strong global coalition that will stop the Iranian nuclear program.

There will be time for all of that. Right now, we are simply happy to see you, Mr. President. The simple, genuine joy brought by seeing a good friend once again.

Mr. President, Welcome to Israel.”

Israel Bonds – Strengthening Peace in The Middle East

Israel Bonds President Dani Naveh In Bahrain with H.E. Ambassador Dr. Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed Al Khalifa

By Israel Bonds President, CEO Dani Naveh

Jerusalem, Israel — July 11, 2022 … “Upon receiving the Nobel Prize for reaching peace with Egypt, the legendary Menachem Begin declared, “Reborn Israel always strove for peace, yearned for it, and made endless endeavors to achieve it.” 

After Begin spoke those words, it would be another 16 years before Israel signed its second peace treaty, this time with Jordan. Nearly three more decades would pass before Israel signed the Abraham Accords.

As a former government negotiator tasked with reaching agreement with the Palestinians, it sometimes seemed as though real, tangible peace was an elusive dream. Yet, years later, just five months into my term as president & CEO, I was leading, together with Bonds National and International Chairman of the Board Howard L. Goldstein and National Campaign Advisory Council Chair Chuck Berk, a delegation to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

May’s Footsteps of the Abraham Accords delegation, 80 members strong, was a 10-day exploration of the true meaning of peace. The warmth with which we were greeted in the UAE and Bahrain was emotionally overwhelming. The sight of guest speakers standing behind an Israel Bonds podium, and taking selfies with delegates, were highlights we will always cherish.
Especially gratifying was the impressive New Leadership representation on the trip. Witnessing the delegation through their eyes was among my most memorable moments thus far as president & CEO.

At each meeting, I underscored the legacy of Israel Bonds, emphasizing the fact that the organization has been at the forefront of strengthening ties between the Jewish state and the Jewish people everywhere. Our guests were deeply impressed to learn worldwide Israel bond sales have surpassed $47 billion for Israel’s economic development.
So, in addition to strengthening Israel’s economy, the delegation demonstrated to our hosts that Israel Bonds can also help strengthen the bonds of peace.

Appropriately, the delegation ended in Jerusalem, the biblical City of Peace. When meeting with President Herzog, Finance Minister Lieberman and Defense Minister Gantz, together with Israelis from across the spectrum, we felt a profound connection with the nation and people of Israel.

Every delegate has returned home proud, inspired and honored to be brand ambassadors for Israel Bonds. As we look to the future, we take pride in positioning the Bonds enterprise as a foundation on which to build for the limitless possibilities of peace.”

State of Israel Bonds refers both to securities issued by the government of Israel and to the commonly-used name of the company that is the exclusive underwriter for Israel bonds in the United States. The formal name of the company is the Development Corporation for Israel (DCI), and it is headquartered in New York City.

The idea of having an overseas bond issue was conceived by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion in 1950 and was endorsed by Finance Minister Eliezer Kaplan and Labor Minister Golda Meir. Following the 1948 War of Independence, Israel was mired in a sever economic crisis and was in desperate need of an infusion of financial resources to help build, develop, strengthen or modernize nearly every sector of the economy. Worldwide Israel bond sales have surpassed $47 billion for Israel’s economic development.

Edited by Joel Leyden