(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 26.4.09:
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"This week we will mark Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's wars and Israel's Independence Day. These are the two poles around which revolve the life of the country and we dilute sadness with joy. Today, I would like to speak about joy because Independence Day this year marks 100 years since the founding of Tel Aviv; Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai is with us today. Sometimes we stand opposite what is happening in Tel Aviv, the city that does not cease to amaze us, a truly international city, an effervescent, creative and commercial city; a city of entertainment, technology and unceasing creativity, a city of the present and of the future. But it has one characteristic that outshines everything: A Hebrew city, the first Hebrew city. In my eyes, it symbolizes renewal alongside continuity, which is the basic characteristic of the state of Israel, the state of the Jewish People that has returned to its homeland and is building a new life. As a Jerusalemite, I would like to congratulate Mayor Huldai for everything that he and the people of Tel Aviv are doing. In many ways, this city symbolizes the future of the country, along with other parts of the country, of course; but it seems to me that it is in the vanguard of creativity in many areas, and we congratulate Tel Aviv. Mazel tov! I informed the Mayor that we are prepared to give him moral, if not budgetary, support in restoring Dizengoff Square to its original state, which most - if not all - of us recall. The city is a renewing and changing city and several of its innovations may be turned back."
2. Pursuant to Article 8 of Basic Law: The Government, the Cabinet appointed Tzvi Hauser as Cabinet Secretary.
3. Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman briefed ministers on the issue of swine flu, including Israel's preparatory measures.
4. The Cabinet decided to work towards the preservation and restoration of the building at 16 Rothschild St. in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, in which the independence of the State of Israel was proclaimed on 14.5.48.
5. Regarding the 100th anniversary of the founding of Tel Aviv, the Cabinet decided as follows:
In continuation of the government's decision that "100 Years of the First Hebrew City - Tel Aviv (Tel Aviv-Jaffa)" would be the central theme of the State of Israel's 61st Independence day celebrations:
A. The Government of Israel recognizes and appreciates the importance of the city of Tel Aviv (Tel Aviv-Jaffa) as the first Hebrew city and congratulates the city of Tel Aviv on the 100th anniversary of its founding.
B. The Ministerial Committee on Symbols and Ceremonies will, in the near future, discuss providing state sponsorship to the following events: Little Tel Aviv (27.5.09), Blue (in Jaffa, 17-18.6.09) and the closing even in October (date to be determined).
6. Pursuant to Article 12 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet approved the appointments of Dmitri Aparchev as the Director-General of the Immigrant Absorption Ministry and Shaul Tzemach as the
Director-General of the National Infrastructures Ministry, respectively.
7. The Cabinet appointed former Justice Minister Moshe Nissim as a member of the professional-public committee that will consider the manner in which the Attorney General is appointed.
8. The Cabinet appointed Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to chair the ministerial Committee on Issuing Permits for Publication for state employees and former state employees.
9. The Cabinet appointed Minister Daniel Hershkowitz to chair the Ministerial Committee on Implementing the Disengagement Plan in the areas of assistance to residents and alternative communities.
10. The Cabinet appointed Minister Sofia Landver to chair a ministerial committee on the restoration of the social rights that immigrants were entitled to in their countries of origin. .
11. The Cabinet discussed the appointment of an advisory committee for the National Economics Council.
12. Pursuant to Article 31(b) of Basic Law: The Government, the Cabinet decided to transfer responsibility vested in the Prime Minister according to the National War on Drugs Authority Law to the Public Security Minister.
13. Pursuant to Article 31(b) of Basic Law: The Government, the Cabinet approved the transfer of various powers and responsibilities to Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkovitz and Foreign Minister Avigdor
14. The Cabinet decided on various issues regarding the division of the (former) Ministry of Science, Culture and Sports.
15. The Cabinet was briefed on preparations for Pope Benedict XVI's upcoming visit to Israel.
16. The Cabinet began its discussions on the state budget. Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and senior ministry personnel briefed ministers on the macro-economic situation, timetables, methodology and the status of the