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Iranian Weapons confiscated by the IDF Navy. (Photo by Haim Zach | CC GPO)

WHO GOES FIRST, TRUMP OR THE IRANIAN AYATOLLAHS?

From an Israeli perspective, the race is now on. Will US President Donald Trump succeed in reigning in the fanatical regime in Iran that is bent on destroying Israel, or will he himself be toppled from power? At this point, it is impossible to predict. But for the vast majority of Israelis, there is no doubt that the current US President is a far better friend to Israel than his predecessor Barack Obama, who extended the Islamist regime a ten-year reprice (now down to seven) to start up again their nuclear weapons program. In return, Obama led a huge international bailout program for Iran that enables the regime to make more mischief throughout the Middle East and one day acquire nuclear weapons to attack the Jewish state. Can anyone in their right mind doubt that the Iranian regime, which persecutes its own people, is any less racist than Adolf Hitler and his Nazi cohorts? Yet, former US President Barack Obama and his sidekick, John Kerry, only reacted, when prodded several years ago by Bibi Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, to launch a preemptive strike against Iran if nothing was done to prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons. But Obama and his international partners took the easy way out by simply kicking the can down the road and leaving it to a future president, in this case, Donald Trump, to handle the threat.

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Benjamin Netanyahu (then Finance Minister) and Ariel Sharon (then Prime Minister) pictured together in 2005. (CC GPO, photo credit Moshe Milner)

IT'S STILL NETANYAHU BY A MILE

Despite the plethora of police investigations into two possible cases of financial fraud, Bibi is still far ahead of the pack. Channel 13 TV showed a poll indicating that 51% of Israeli voters prefer Netanyahu for Prime Minister. The two other potential candidates, Yair Lapid and Avi Gabbay, lag far behind. Clearly, if a snap election were held in the near future, Netanyahu would win hands down. And the reasons are obvious - the two other candidates are rank amateurs when it comes to experience in leading Israel that faces the perpetual threat of Palestinian terrorism and the vow of Iran to wipe the Jewish state off the map.

So, if there is a move to oust Netanyahu via the legal process, such as an indictment, that would probably spark "a rebellion" by the Right-wing; not dissimilarly to what American politician Rudy Gulliani has warned of were the US President Donald Trump to be toppled by a legal and not a voting process.

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Haim Hefer (1925-2012)

 Haim Hefer (29 October 1925 – 18 September 2012) was an Israeli songwriter, poet and writer. A founder of the Palmach's Chizbatron and its chief songwriter, Haim Hefer's lyrics helped forge a national identity in contemporary Hebrew and embodied the spirit of the generation that fought for their nation’s independence.

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Yom Kippur - Day of Atonement

On The holiest day of the Jewish year, a surprise joint attack by Egypt and Syria crossing the cease-fire lines in the Sinai and Golan Heights threatened the very existence of the Jewish state. 2,586 Israeli soldiers were killed and thousands more wounded.

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POW Expose

Nothing In Israeli TV Documentary Indicates That Israeli Troops Executed Egyptian POWs During Six-Day War In 1967

Documented Evidence That Egyptian Troops Did Execute Israeli POWs During Yom-Kippur War of 1973

The screening of the Israeli documentary on the 'Shaked' special forces unit in the Six-Day War of 1967 has sparked a fierce reaction in Egypt. One part of the film aired on Channel One television related to the Shaked pursuit operation against a battalion of 250 Egyptian soldiers who had been attacking Israeli targets in Sinai. It is the practice and policy of the Israel Defense Forces to respect the rights of POWs. In time of war, Israel shows captured POWs each one saying his  name on television to show they are alive and being fairly treated. In contrast, Arab states do not even release the names of Israeli POWs so their anguished families can know they are alive. Who did what to Egyptian and Israeli POWs? IsraCast presents new information on the burning issue that is threatening Israeli-Egyptian relations.

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Yom-Kippur War Cease-Fire

The Yom-Kippur War began on October 6, 1973 when the combined armies of Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in the Suez Canal area and the Golan Heights. On October 22, the Security Council adopted Resolution 338 calling for "all parties to the present fighting to cease all firing and terminate all military activity immediately."

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Exclusive! Gen. Sharon & Yom Kippur Protocols

Arik Sharon: 'I Could Have Rescued Israeli Soldiers Cut Off In Suez Canal Outposts By Egyptian Forces But Was Not Given Approval'

'As A Divisional Commander On Front Line I Contacted Directly Defense Minister Moshe Dayan & Southern Command Headquarters With My Plan'

IsraCast Exclusive: Shortly After Yom Kippur, Maj.Gen.(res.) Arik Sharon Talked To IsraCast's Avi Yaffe Of His Daring Plan That Was Ignored By Dayan & IDF Headquarters

 One of the most controversial issues of the Yom Kippur Protocols were the comments by Defense Minister Moshe Dayan that IDF soldiers, cut off in their fortified outposts along the Suez Canal, would be left to their fate. This flies in the face of the IDF's tradition of not leaving soldiers behind to be killed or captured by the enemy. In an extraordinary twist of fate, IsraCast's Avi Yaffe was doing reserve duty as a radio operator at the Porkan outpost that was surrounded by the Egyptians opposite Ismailiya. Yaffe was in radio contact with Gen. Sharon during the first days of the war including the soldiers daring trek through Egyptian lines back to safety. After the war was over, Yaffe interviewed Sharon who revealed that he could have saved the trapped soldiers in the outposts, most of whom were later captured or killed by the Egyptian forces. In light of publication of the Yom Kippur Protocols, Avi Yaffe has now decided to make public this exclusive and historic interview on his IsraCast website. 

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A Walk Through Jerusalem of 1898

A journey to the past, acompanied by a sequence of rear photos taken from the height of the "Church of the Redeemer" in Jerusalem on its opening day.

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Rosh Hashanah (Zikhron Teru'ah)

 Rosh Hashanah is celebrated as the Jewish New Year. However, the term "Rosh Hashanah" does not actually appear in the Torah, but rather is referred to as the Feast of Trumpets, known as "Zikhron Teru'ah" in Leviticus 23:24 - "a memorial with the blowing of horns". It is also referred to in the same part of Leviticus as a penultimate Sabbath or meditative rest day, and a "holy day to God". It is the first of the High Holy Days ("Days of Awe") which usually occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere and consist of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). The trumpets are meant to serve as a wakeup call, to bring the people to prayer and repentance in preparation for the coming Day of Atonement.

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Why Italian Planes Bombed Tel-Aviv?

In 1940 and 1941 there were a number of air-raids on Haifa and Tel-Aviv by the Italian air-force. On September, 1940, a residential neighborhood in Tel Aviv was targeted by the Italian planes, resulting in the deaths of over a hundred people.

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Israel Tal (1924 - 2010)

 Israel Tal (September 13, 1924 – September 8, 2010), also known as Talik, was an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) general known for his knowledge of tank warfare and for leading the development of Israel's Merkava tank.

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Munich Massacre

The Munich massacre occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually murdered by Black September, a group with ties to Yasser Arafat’s Fatah organization.

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The Massacre in Hebron

The Hebron Massacre refers to the mass murder of 67 Jews on 23 and 24 August 1929 in Hebron, then part of the British Mandate of Palestine, by Arabs incited to violence by false rumors that Jews were massacring Arabs in Jerusalem and seizing control of Muslim Holy Places.

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Yitzhak Sadeh (1890-1952)

Yitzhak Sadeh was the Chief Commander of the Palmach and one of the founders of the Israel Defense Forces at the time of the establishment of the State of Israel.

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ISRAEL CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC OVER CEASEFIRE ARRANGEMENT WITH HAMAS

"The only excuse for war is that we may live in peace unharmed." - Marcus Tullius Cicero

Two of Israel's super-hawks, PM Bibi Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Leiberman, are doing their utmost to prevent the Palestinian firebombing of Israeli civilians from erupting into another all-out war. The outcome still hangs in the balance at this time. For over four months, the Hamas leadership in Gaza has incited tens of thousands of Palestinian to launch helium balloons and ingenious kites with firebombs attached at Israeli villages across the border. To date, thousands of acres of Israeli farmland and fields have been torched and many small animals have been killed in the inferno. No Israeli civilians have been killed but there have been several close calls - that's probably why Israel has not declared all-out war on Hamas. The IDF has responded with surgical airstrikes on Hamas targets inside Gaza while snipers have shot Palestinians launching the firebombs and also trying to break through the border fence.

At the moment, Egypt, Israel's peaceful Arab neighbor, is working overtime to come up with a solution for ending the current conflagration. If the crisis does escalate into a war it would be the fourth in recent years. To date, the improvised firebombs have proven to be highly successful, and Israel's hi-tech wizards have yet to find an effective response. Although, several thousand Israeli residents in the border area are, understandably, incensed over being firebombed day and night. Netanyahu and Lieberman have taken the advice of IDF Cheif of Staff Gadi Eizencot and not gone to war again with Gaza despite the provocation.

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NETANYAHU & ROUHANI (AND THEIR HOUR OF HUBRIS)

First to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" This old adage has just caught up with Bibi after he conducted a highly successful diplomatic feat in blocking Iran's plans to establish a military base for threatening Israel from Syria. Netanyahu has gained the backing of both Presidents Trump and Putin. It comes as no surprise that Trump is in Israel's corner, but Putin is a different matter. However, at their recent meeting, the Russian leader told Bibi that he has no objection to Israeli airstrikes on the Iranian military buildup in Syria. Moreover, the Russian ambassador to Israel has reportedly said that Moscow cannot prevent Israel from attacking the Iranians, but on the other hand, neither can it dictate Iran's withdrawal from Syria.

Although Netanyahu has still not found a fail-safe tactic for halting Hamas firebombing from Gaza, this does not pose an existential threat to the Jewish state. However, Iranian forces closing in on the Syrian front is something that Israel will not tolerate. So Bibi was riding high in opinion polls, and if a snap election were called he would likely return as new Prime Minister, despite police investigations on four financial cases.

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Memorial to Tragic Flight

El Al Flight 402, was an international passenger flight from Vienna, Austria to Tel Aviv, Israel via Istanbul, Turkey, on July 27, 1955, which strayed into Bulgarian airspace and was shot down by two Bulgarian MiG-15 jet fighters and crashed near Petrich, Bulgaria. All 7 crew and 51 passengers on board the airliner were killed.

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GAZA & GOLAN - ISRAEL JOINS THE DOTS

All quiet on the Gaza front, for the time being. How long now depends on Hamas. If the ceasefire holds, and that includes the Palestinian firebombing of Israeli civilians, Israel will again permit 1,000 trucks a day to deliver good and produce to poverty-stricken Gaza. If not, the latest Israeli blitz of Gaza was a taste of what will come next.

Indeed, it may be the intervention of Bulgarian diplomat Nickolay Mladenov, in his UN role, persuaded Israel and Hamas to abide by his stern demand to "step back" immediately. From Israel's perspective, both the government and public opinion were fed up after the three months of Hamas firebombing. It was only by sheer luck that Israeli civilians were not killed. In one case, a kindergarten teacher suddenly spotted a helium firebomb about to land on her children. She barely managed to rush her toddlers to safety.

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Meir Amit (1921-2009)

Meir Amit was an Israeli politician and general. He served as Director of the Mossad from 1963 to 1968 before entering politics and holding two ministerial positions.

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THE HOLOCAUST CASTS ITS GRIM SHADOW OVER ISRAEL

The jury is still out, and maybe it will always be. The recent Israeli-Polish accord on the actions of the Poles during the Holocaust ignited a firestorm of controversy in Israel. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu categorically rejected allegations that the accord was "a betrayal of Holocaust remembrance".

First the facts: Poland itself was invaded by Nazi Germany at the outset of WWII. At the same time, there are reams of documented evidence, including photographs, proving that many Poles participated in pogroms and reporting Jews to the Nazis. Granted, there was a smaller number of some 6,000 Polish citizens who risked their lives in saving Jews and who have been rightly honored by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. The bitter controversy flared last February when the Polish Parliament passed a law that imposed a three-year prison sentence on anyone who contended that the Poles had collaborated with the Nazi regime. There was immediate outrage in Israel and among many historians who had researched the Holocaust. The clash even threatened to sabotage relations between Jerusalem and Warsaw.

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Israel must use UN as an offensive tool

Instead of constantly defending ourselves, we should flood the United Nations' institutions with complaints, reports and information about the destruction taking place in our region.

On the fifth year of the Middle Eastern destruction, which is going to last for decades, it's time to determine that the United Nations has become irrelevant here, except in regards to one country, which is the last remnant of the old regional order – Israel. Can the UN do anything in Syria? In Iraq? In Yemen? In Saudi Arabia? In Egypt? In Libya? That's why it focuses on Israel.

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ISRAEL "RESETS" ON SYRIAN CIVIL WAR

The outcome is obvious. Russian fighter-bombers are bombing the Syrian revel forces into oblivion. The rebels, who are also being pursued by President Assad's ground forces, are being driven south to within view of the Israeli border. Along the way, the Russian-led Juggernaut is destroying Syrian towns and villages where the rebels are making a last stand. Dozens of Syrian civilians are being killed and wounded daily in the crossfire. This has triggered a frantic flow of tens of thousands of civilians seeking shelter, from where? The direction of the Jewish state. Meanwhile, Israel has been supplying the Syrian refugees with humanitarian aid, baby food, tents, medicine, etc. In addition, the IDF has stepped up one of the least known secrets in the region - during the seven-year civil war it has been treating wounded Syrian civilians in need of critical medical care. These cases, now over 2,500, have been quietly transferred across the border at night to be treated at several IDF field hospitals. Emergency cases are rushed to a nearby hospital for intensive care and more complicated operations. The Identity of these Syrian patients must be kept secret for fear of reprisals after they are returned home to Syria. (They would be suspected by Assad's forces of having been turned into Israeli agents - even the many wounded children!)

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