Shalom Life | October 20, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom

Israeli Vice PM sits down with Shalom Life to discuss peace plan, Iran and the new coalition

By: Sammy Hudes

Published: June 8th, 2012 in News » Israel

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom

This past Wednesday, Shalom Life had the opportunity to sit down for a one-on-one, exclusive interview with Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, the Minister for Regional Development in Israel, as well as the Development of the Negev and the Galilee.

Shalom was in Toronto, Ont. for the day to help commemorate the 60th anniversary of Chabad later in the evening, at the Spirit of the Community dinner in Vaughan. He also visited New York and Washington during a week-long stay in North America, in which time he met with World ORT and Unistream, both of which are collaborative partners of his ministry. On Thursday, Shalom was the keynote speaker at an event in New York, in which Rabbi Haim Drukman was presented with the Israel Prize, one of Israel’s most highly regarded awards.

Shalom offered his thoughts on a wide array of topics during the discussion, including the Iranian nuclear threat, the Arab Spring’s effect on Israel’s position in the Middle East, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

“It takes two to tango. We don’t need a big coalition to do it,” said the Likud MK, while explaining how Israel’s new super-coalition, formed last month in a unity deal that saw Kadima join the government, will affect peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The unity deal was signed for two main purposes, according to Shalom. The first of which is to initiate political reform in the Knesset, which he says may increase the necessary election threshold for a party to be allocated a seat from two to four per cent of the overall vote, resulting in less parties holding seats. Shalom says that the government also hopes to find a way to recruit ultra-orthodox and Arabic groups to the army by July 21, or alternatively, to national service jobs such as Magen David Adom, hospitals and police stations.


Silvan Shalom and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: AP

“Of course it helps. It brings more stability. You are not under a threat everyday of that party or another to bring down the government. We are trying to resume the negotiations; unfortunately [the PA] are not really willing to do so,” said Shalom, noting that the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt was signed without the support of the Israeli left wing.

“Since we took power, they came with many excuses why not [to negotiate]. First one was they asked Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu to accept the idea of two-state solution like his predecessors and after he did so at Bar Ilan University, they asked him to freeze the settlements for 10 months; a demand that was not put in front of any other Prime Minister of Israel before and he did so, even though they didn’t come, they didn’t show up.”

Shalom, who recently suggested that the government must find a sweeping solution to deal with issues relating to the West Bank, reiterated his support for settlement construction, citing a historical lack of sovereignty in the region.

“People live there. There are a few hundreds of them and they need to have a normal life,” he said. “They need to have schools, they need to have kindergartens, medical care centres, fire stations, police and everything that is needed.”

Report Claims Nazi War Criminals Received Millions in U.S. Social Security Benefits Report Claims Nazi War Criminals Received Millions in U.S. Social Security Benefits TrendingRussian Social Media Site Hosts 'Miss Hitler' Beauty Pageant Russian Social Media Site Hosts 'Miss Hitler' Beauty Pageant TrendingWhat You Missed in the News: October 13 - 20 What You Missed in the News: October 13 - 20 Trending
 

Sleater-Kinney is Back Together After 10 Years

October 20, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Sleater-Kinney is Back Together After 10 Years

The band is releasing their first album since 2005 and going on tour.

Read More

The Nosh Pit: Vegan Soups and Stews

October 20, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
The Nosh Pit: Vegan Soups and Stews

What's better than comforting and healthy soups and stews on these damp and rainy days?

Read More

Jerry Seinfeld Honors Jay Leno, Wonders Where His Mark Twain Prize Is

October 20, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Jerry Seinfeld Honors Jay Leno, Wonders Where His Mark Twain Prize Is

Seinfeld was one of many comedians that celebrated the former 'Tonight Show' host

Read More

'The Real Housewives of New York' Welcomes Back Bethenny Frankel

October 20, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
'The Real Housewives of New York' Welcomes Back Bethenny Frankel

The Skinnygirl founder will be returning for the seventh season of the popular reality series.

Read More

Known for Chemistry, Israeli Nobel Laureate Also Champions Tech Entrepreneurship

October 20, 2014 | By Alina Dain Sharon, JNS.org
Known for Chemistry, Israeli Nobel Laureate Also Champions Tech Entrepreneurship

Dan Shechtman, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and a candidate in last June's Israeli presidential election, has long championed technological entrepreneurship and its potential to improve lives around the world

Read More

Israeli Study Says Diet Soda Can Lead to Diabetes and Obesity

October 20, 2014 | By NoCamels Team
Israeli Study Says Diet Soda Can Lead to Diabetes and Obesity

Is this the reason why diet soda drinkers are often overweight?

Read More

Report Claims Nazi War Criminals Received Millions in U.S. Social Security Benefits

October 20, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Report Claims Nazi War Criminals Received Millions in U.S. Social Security Benefits

Investigation by Associated Press finds that dozens of Nazis collected payments as part of a deal to force them to leave the U.S. voluntarily

Read More

Mango Under Fire For Selling 'SS Blouse'

October 20, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Mango Under Fire For Selling 'SS Blouse'

The Jewish-founded fashion company has faced increased criticism this week after unveiling a new shirt that boasts a lightning-bolt motif

Read More

More Headlines