Netanyahu strikes out against German department store boycott

Prime Minister notes KaDeWe store which removed Israeli products from shelves was taken from Jews by the Nazis.

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Hezki Baruch,

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister's Office (PMO)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday by addressing the decision by German department store KaDeWe to remove articles from Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights from its shelves.

Netanyahu began by noting the store chain's dark history.

"This department store was owned by Jews; the Nazis took it," he began. "Absurdly, this department store is now marking products from Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights."

"It started marking products, and now we are informed that they have removed the products - a full-fledged boycott," Netanyahu continued. "We strongly protest this unacceptable step - one which is morally and substantively improper and invalid historically."

"And we expect the German government to condemn this labeling and treat it in a serious manner," he added. 

Netanyahu also addressed the State of Israel's decision to concentrate on Hevron as the nucleus of ongoing terror attacks against Jews and Israelis. 

"We continue to fight terrorism," he said. "At the end of the week I held consultations with the Minister of Defense, Internal Security Minister and IDF Chief of Staff."

"I have instructed the security agencies to concentrate their efforts on Hevron, where most or all of the attacks are originating," he stated, noting similar measures were taken in Arab parts of Jerusalem. "There we make arrests, roadblocks, curfews and are flooding the area with our forces." 

"I want to thank the security forces for taking vigorous action to thwart terror attacks, or catch murderers," he continued. "I would also like to express a word of appreciation to the citizens of Israel."

"We are facing a terrorist wave of individuals - it is not terrorist organizations, this is the terrorism of individuals, sometimes with knives, mainly incited via social networks," he added, noting fighting 'lone wolf' attackers is "systemically difficult."

He encourage civilians to remain vigilant, and praised their "awareness, stamina, and courage" - speaking in the wake of two separate attacks in two hours thwarted by armed and alert civilians. 

Netanyahu also addressed specifically the threat from the Islamic State terror group, or ISIS, noting that Israel has broken up a major Israeli-Arab cell recently.

"Last week, indictments were filed against Israeli citizens who were planning to join ISIS.  Also, I have asked the Attorney General to advance steps to revoke the citizenship of those who join ISIS.

"Whoever joins ISIS will not be an Israeli citizen. And if he leaves the borders of the state, he will not return. I think this lesson is becoming increasingly clear throughout the international arena and it is fitting that we lead this effort as well."

Netanyahu concluded his remarks by once again hailing the release of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard from prison in the US after 30 years.

"Finally, I – and I am sure on behalf of all members of the government – would like to note our appreciation of the fact that Jonathan Pollard is out of prison," Netanyahu said. "While he is not completely free, he is no longer behind prison walls.

"As someone who was very active for his release over the years with US presidents Clinton and Obama, I regret that we were not able to get him out sooner. I almost succeeded once or even twice, but I am glad he was released to freedom, relatively.

"In the future, I am certain that we will see him in the country. I am certain that I speak for all ministers and for all Israelis, that we wish him a life of joy, peace and freedom."