PM Netanyahu's and Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman
Ronnie Bar-On's Remarks at the Start of Today's Committee Meeting
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
"I am committed to a more equitable division of the burden, and I have
stated this. I believe in this and I believe that equality in bearing the
burden must include all citizens of Israel – both the ultra-orthodox public
and the Arab public – and I believe that there is a way to achieve this.
I hope that our current contacts will succeed in resolving this but it will
be achieved, one way or another because the State of Israel needs a more
equitable division of the burden.
I thank you. Thank you very much."
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
Chairman Ronnie Bar-On began the meeting with a minute of silence to honor
the memory of Israel's seventh Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir, who will be
laid to rest later today, and then said:
"The late Yitzhak Shamir, the seventh Prime Minister of the State of Israel,
was – and will be – an example of public dedication. He dedicated his life
to the Zionist idea, to the Jewish People and the Land of Israel. He will
always be remembered as one who was decisive, sharp, precise, brave and
modest. May his memory be blessed.
Mr. Prime Minister, colleagues, MKs. We thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for
hosting us in your office. It seems to me that this is the first meeting of
the full Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee here in the office,
where Cabinet meetings are usually held.
Before I begin the meeting, I think that we are – vis-à-vis the state's
obligation to the silent majority – now in a situation in which the moment
of truth has arrived. The same majority, Mr. Prime Minister, that elected
you, me and most of the members sitting here around the table, expects and
deserves a courageous decision on the issue of equality in sharing the
burden. The decision will be painful, it must be balanced and it must be
clear to all that it is necessary. Nobody involved on this issue is
motivated by a desire to take revenge on this or that sector, or by hatred,
but by the dictates of reality and socio-economic need.
It should be pointed out that this law needs to have goals and an
enforcement mechanism. What has been cannot be allowed to continue. I think,
Mr. Prime Minister, that this is a great test of values for you as Prime
Minister, for all of us, as Zionists, as Israelis and as public
I am certain that a majority of the present forum fully supports you as we
make the right decisions on this issue.
Thank you very much."