Election expected to take place in 101 days; Netanyahu, in campaign mode, touts his record on national security, creating jobs and helping university students in cabinet meeting.
The cabinet on Sunday approved a resolution calling for new elections to be held in 101 days, on January 22, 2013.
The upcoming elections colored Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s opening comments at the cabinet where he stressed three themes: that the government’s policies have enhanced the country’s security, created jobs, and helped university students.
Netanyahu praised the IDF’s action in Gaza Saturday night against global Jihad, saying that Israel will continue to act resolutely and with strength both in response to attacks from Gaza, and to prevent others.
In parallel, Netanyahu said, the government was actively battling cyber attacks on the country’s computers. He said – in comments sure to be repeated on numerous occasions during the election campaign – that to defend against these computer attacks he established a national cyber council to deflect the attacks.
Netanyahu said this cyber staff was working on stopping cyber attacks by developing a “digital Iron Dome” to defend against “computer terrorism.”
“Just as we have the Iron Dome against missiles and a security fence against infiltrators and terrorism, we will also have a similar response to cyber attacks,” he said. “But just like the building of the fence, time is needed to complete the project, and we are working on this in full force.”
Regarding the economy, Netanyahu took the opportunity of marking international senior citizens day by saying that a recommendation will be brought to the government to advance employment for senior citizens. He used that as jumping off point for recalling that 330,000 new jobs have been created over the last four years.
And as far as higher education is concerned, Netanyahu said – in a further sign that the election campaign is already in full swing – that he wanted to “say something” to the 300,000 students who will start the academic year in the coming days: “There is not government that has contributed more to higher education than this government.”