Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet in Jerusalem, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010. Netanyahu says he is heading to the U.S. next week to discuss Mideast peace efforts with Vice President Joe Biden. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Jim Hollander, Pool)
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October 31, 2010 (KATAKAMI / PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE) — Following are excerpts from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today:
“Several weeks ago, I visited Lod. I said that we could not let the city continue to deteriorate and become the wild west in the heart of the country. I said that we would act so that Lod would continue to attract new residents, young couples and tourists. Immediately after the tour, I asked Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Eyal Gabai to prepare a comprehensive plan for the city. This plan will be submitted for Cabinet approval today. It costs NIS 130 million and is designed to bolster the personal security of Lod’s residents and raise their standard of living.
This comprehensive plan includes – inter alia – the collection of illegal weapons, community policing, the renovation of infrastructure, marketing the city’s new neighborhoods, making transportation more accessible, building sports facilities, developing tourist infrastructures, upgrading social welfare services, strengthening culture, etc. I point out that this plan follows on the Education Ministry’s NIS 44 million plan to strengthen education in the city. I believe that this comprehensive plan will bear fruit in the very near future and I expect all ministers to do their part for this important goal, which is both a local and a national goal, vis-à-vis our perspective on how a city with various ethnic communities, and with problems and troubles that can be overcome if we work together, should appear.
Next Sunday, I will leave for the annual Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly. I will meet there with US Vice President Joe Biden and other senior administration figures, and will discuss with them a series of issues, including – of course – the resumption of the diplomatic process in order to reach a peace agreement with security for the future of the State of Israel.
This General Assembly will be held against the background of reports about the attempt to attack the Jewish community in Chicago, and the truth is that it does not matter if the target was a synagogue in Chicago or a railway station in Madrid, or London, or Mumbai, or Bali. We are facing a growing wave of terrorism by extremist Islam. It is growing in the scope and brazen gall of its attacks, in the weapons with which it is arming itself and in the sweeping objectives of the leaders of global terrorism. Therefore, one of the main issues that I will address at the General Assembly is the steps that the civilized and free world must take in order to stop this wave that threatens us all.”