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PM Netanyahu's Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting, 5 March
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PM Netanyahu's Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting, 5 March

05 March 2017

PM Netanyahu's Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting, 5 March

(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Sunday, 5 March 2017), at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, made the following remarks:


"On Thursday I will meet with President Putin in Moscow. Syria and the effort to formulate an agreement there will be at the center of our conversation. In the context of this agreement, or without it, Iran is trying to establish itself permanently in Syria, with a military presence on the ground and at sea, and also a gradual attempt to open a front against us on the Golan Heights. I will express to President Putin Israel's sharp and vigorous opposition to this possibility. I hope we will be able to reach certain understandings in order to reduce possible friction between our forces and theirs, as we have successfully done up until now.


Today the Cabinet will discuss approving the new enforcement policy regarding those who use cannabis. A team has considered the issue. Of course, this must be done cautiously and in a controlled manner. On the one hand, we are open to the future. On the other, we also understand the dangers and we will try to balance between the two.


Today the Cabinet will see the government ministries' work plans for the next two years. Now, it must be understood that we are running the government and the economy here in a relatively innovative manner, one that certainly stands out vis-à-vis the countries of the world. When you manage some sort of business, you want – first of all – to ensure that revenues over time will be in proportion to expenditures, that expenditures will not be greater than revenues. We are doing so by controlling the budget, with a biannual budget, which affords us a planning horizon. We are setting quantitative goals for the ministries, and it is much easier to reach a certain place when you know where you are going. There is also the fact that we are checking what we have in hand, and whether we are publishing this. These are daring and correct things. This is how you run a business; this is also how you run a country.


I must tell you that one of our major goals in the Prime Minister's Office is reducing the regulation that is choking the Israeli economy. We are in a reasonable situation vis-à-vis taxation even though the Finance Minister and I believe that we need to lower taxation, but the heaviest part of the tax burden that we are levying on Israeli citizens and businesses is overregulation. This means excessive directives and officials; we want to reduce them in order to lower the various costs to businesses and citizens in the State of Israel and make life easier here. Of course, there are many other goals and they will be presented here today. I think that with this step Israel is becoming one of the most advanced and transparent economies in the world.


Lastly, no street in the State of Israel will be named after murderers of Israelis and Jews. Last Friday I spoke with Interior Minister Aryeh Deri. We cannot allow streets in the State of Israel to be named after Yasser Arafat and Haj Amin al-Husseini and others. We will make the arrangements, including new legislation if need be, so that this does not happen here."