Shalom Life | September 02, 2015

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.”

Ben Gurion Airport Breaks All-Time Travel Records Ben Gurion Airport Breaks All-Time Travel Records TrendingMother Reunites with Daughter after Being Separated by the Nazis for 71 Years Mother Reunites with Daughter after Being Separated by the Nazis for 71 Years TrendingAnti-Semitic Graffiti Attacks Take Over Texas Anti-Semitic Graffiti Attacks Take Over Texas Trending
 

This Couple is Documenting their Conversion to Judaism on Instagram

August 27, 2015 | By Sy Berg
This Couple is Documenting their Conversion to Judaism on Instagram

2HipJews are putting the 'modern' back into modern Orthodox

Read More

Shalom Life is Saying Goodbye

August 27, 2015 | By Shalom Life Staff
Shalom Life is Saying Goodbye

After nearly 7 years, we are sadly ending Shalom Life's run.

Read More

Shaw Festival Review: The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide...

August 26, 2015 | By Hermine Steinberg
Shaw Festival Review: The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide...

Tony Kushner's family drama challenges it's audiences on so many levels, it leaves you breathless and beaten. It is awesome; astounding, humbling, overwhelming and remarkable.

Read More

Shaw Festival Review- The Divine: A Play for Sarah Berhnardt

August 23, 2015 | By Hermine Steinberg
Shaw Festival Review- The Divine: A Play for Sarah Berhnardt

This powerful play based on a true story is an absolute must-see this summer.

Read More

Top 10 Most Influential LGBT Jews

August 14, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Top 10 Most Influential LGBT Jews

These 10 LGBT celebrities are an inspiration to us all.

Read More

Crossfit “Guru” Does Handstand at Holocaust Memorial

August 14, 2015 | By Daina Goldfinger
Crossfit “Guru” Does Handstand at Holocaust Memorial

Dave Driskell apologized Monday evening for his actions

Read More

There’s a Jewish Rapper with a #1 Hit Record, and His Name’s Not Drake

August 14, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
There’s a Jewish Rapper with a #1 Hit Record, and His Name’s Not Drake

Lil Dicky's 'Professional Rapper' sells 22,000 copies in its first week

Read More

Ben Gurion Airport Breaks All-Time Travel Records

August 14, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Ben Gurion Airport Breaks All-Time Travel Records

Reports indicate that some 78,000 travelers passed through the Israeli airport in a single day

Read More

More Headlines