Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Cabinet ministers dipped apples in honey as a sign for a sweet New Year for Israel at the Cabinet meeting on Sunday. “May it be a sweet year, a year of achievements, a good year,” he said.
Jews around the world will repeat the custom Sunday night and at the Rosh Hashannah table, when other foods are eaten with a blessing that they are good signs for Jews.
The Prime Minister used the Cabinet meeting as an opportunity to give his recap of the past year, highlighting what he said were the administration’s successes.
He noted, “This is the last Cabinet meeting of the outgoing year and this is the fourth time that the Cabinet is marking the start of a new year – this being an unusual event in and of itself over past decades. It broadcasts government stability, which is very important for the State of Israel at all times, but especially now.”
He pointed out one success for each of the past 12 Hebrew months, starting with last year’s agreement in the month of Tishrei to return kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit after five years of captivity. Prime Minister Netanyahu did not note that Israel paid a heavy price – freeing more than 1,000 terrorists and security prisoners, many of whom have returned to terror.
In Cheshvan, we dedicated the new medical school in Tzfat after 37 years in which no new medical school had been dedicated in Israel….In Kislev, we approved the comprehensive plan to deal with [African] infiltrators, the results of which are already being seen in the field, He said.
Other achievements during the year, he said, were tax benefits for working parents and young children, approval to build a rail line to Eilat, his warnings to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Iran's arming itself with nuclear weapons, and what was a strong economy.
The last half of the year, Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that prices for mobile cellular calls dived as the government opened up the market to more competitors.
“In Sivan, we expanded free dental care to include children up to age 12,” he continued. “In Tammuz, we launched an international campaign on Israeli innovations in protecting the environment.
“In Av, we completed the construction of over 200 kilometers of the southern security fence, … and in Elul, we opened the school year in grand fashion – free education for children from age 3.”