PM demands 'national effort' to reduce gaps

Netanyahu states new gov't program to spearhead development in Arab sector will occur simultaneously with program to enforce Israel's laws.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened his Cabinet meeting on Sunday by bidding farewell to outgoing Mossad chief Tamir Pardo. 

"Today we are taking our leave, with gratitude and appreciation, from Tamir Pardo after five years as head of the Mossad and after long years in service to the security of the state," Netanyahu stated. "We welcome Yossi Cohen as head of the Mossad. Both of them have many merits as well as much experience." 

Netanyahu stressed that the Mossad, Israel's national security agency, is "an integral part of Israel's security and is becoming more and more important in the complex world in which we live."

The Prime Minister also addressed new draft legislation including a plan to reduce tariffs for public transportation as well as NIS 2 billion multi-year plan for development of the minority Druze and Circassian communities. 

"The plan touches on many areas of life," Netanyahu explained, "education, construction and infrastructure, welfare, employment and tourism, and it will help reduce disparities and promote the population that serves in the IDF and sees itself as part of the State of Israel."

"In this respect I would like to touch on the broader subject," he added. "Any sensible person knows that there are large gaps between the Arab and Jewish population, resource gaps and disparities in law enforcement, gaps and discrepancies in rights and obligations." 

"These gaps formed over decades, and it is time to make a major national effort to reduce them. In recent years, the governments which I have led have invested significant resources in the Arab sector, and the unprecedented government program approved ten days ago will do even more in this direction."

"At the same time, we will implement a comprehensive program for law enforcement in the Arab sector," the Prime Minister added. "I want to make it clear that nothing that has been done in various areas - infrastructure, tourism, education, trade, economy – can move forward if we do not address the question of enforcing the laws of the State of Israel in the Arab sector." 

"These two programs are intertwined, and they will help and benefit the citizens of Israel, primarily Arab citizens," Netanyahu stressed. 

"I believe that anyone who wants a genuine integration of all citizens of Israel into Israeli society will be a partner in this national effort that the Government will lead in the coming years. "