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May 31, 2010

Israeli Counter-Terror Operation At Sea

 In the early hours of the day, Israeli naval commandos slid down ropes from hovering helicopters onto the six ships that were trying to break Israel's blockade of the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip. The flotilla's organizers had repeatedly ordered the flotilla to steer a course for the Israeli port of Ashdod and unload their humanitarian aid there to be checked for explosives and weapons before they were sent on to Gaza. On at least one of the ships, the soldiers were met with fierce resistance causing casualties. IsraCast analyst David Essing is of the view that while rockets continue to be launched from Gaza into Israel, Israel's message is that such ships will not pass.

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May 30, 2010

Obama's Sellout Vs. Netanyahu's Debacle

 Israeli officials were convinced that U.S. President Barack Obama's invitation to Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was a good omen. After the wrangling over Israeli settlement building in Judea & Samaria and east Jerusalem, Israeli-U.S. relations were back on track. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel even delivered the invitation during a private visit to Israel, where he was welcomed warmly. One Israeli daily even went as far as to quote Netanyahu as declaring in private 'I won!' Then came the bombshell; the U.S. for the first time in some forty years voted in favor of a UN decision for a conference in 2012 to discuss international inspection of Israel's nuclear facilities. IsraCast analyst David Essing says even Netanyahu's political rivals are flabbergasted by the U.S. vote.

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May 27, 2010

North Korea & Iran - Connect The Dots

North Korea's nuclear weapons capability enables that rogue state to literally 'get away with murder' - that is one lesson to be drawn from the current crisis. There are others that also reflect on Iran's current drive to get the bomb. Proof of North Korean startling aggression against South Korea coincides with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's upcoming visit to France, Canada and the U.S. IsraCast is of the view that the case of nuclear North Korea 'unacceptable' killing of forty-six South Korean sailors serves as a preview of what to expect from Iran, if she also acquires nuclear weapons. Netanyahu will likely call on his hosts to take more effective action against Iran before time runs out and to connect the dots between the latest North Korean atrocity and the looming Iranian threat.

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May 16, 2010

Leukemia 'Miracle' In Israel & OECD

 What is the connection between the acceptance of Israel into the esteemed OECD, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation & Development, and the miraculous recovery of a youngster from India from a critical stage of leukemia? Simply this - it illustrates why the prestigious OECD has now accepted the Jewish state as a deserving member for her record of achievement.

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May 05, 2010

Times Square & Israeli Security

 Barring unforeseen circumstances, the long awaited proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians will get underway on May 5th, when U.S. envoy George Mitchell meets with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu in Jerusalem. At week's end, middleman Mitchell will then drive for less than half an hour to Ramallah on the West Bank to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. IsraCast analyst David Essing says the recent Times Square car bomb will strengthen Israel's resolve to stand firm on security in face of Islamist terrorism. On the eve of the proximity talks, IDF intelligence has revealed a new dimension of Hezbollah's missile buildup in Lebanon that appears to be a clear and present danger to the Jewish state.

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April 19, 2010

Remembrance & Israel's Independence

 Israel has paid tribute to the 22,864 of Israelis who have fallen in defense of the state. The sirens wailed for two minutes - and the people paused throughout the land, to stand with heads bowed to remember those who had given their all in protecting the Jewish homeland. Since last Memorial Day, the Iranian nuclear threat has loomed larger - by next Remembrance Day, an Iranian nuclear capability could be a fact of life or, whatever. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses the major issues on Israel's national agenda as the Jewish state enters its sixty-second year of independence.

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April 19, 2010

יום הזיכרון - תפילת יזכור

לחללי מערכות ישראל חובר נוסח מיוחד של התפילה, והוא נאמר בטקסי יום הזיכרון לחללי מערכות ישראל. את הנוסח חיבר במקור ברל כצנלסון על הרוגי תל חי. מפי דן כנר.

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April 09, 2010

Middle East 'March Of Folly'

 In a leak to the Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, two White House officials have disclosed that President Barack Obama is 'seriously considering' an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan by the fall. The authoritative leak exerts additional American pressure on Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to accept Obama's demands to halt all Israeli building in Jerusalem, beyond the old 1967 line. This is an American and Palestinian condition for holding 'proximity talks' with West Bank Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses the White House leak in the context of the current confrontation between Washington and Jerusalem.

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March 26, 2010

Obama Imposing Israeli-Palestinian Agreement?

 Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has started consultations with six other members of his top level security cabinet on a reply to U.S. President Barack Obama's demands. At their White House meetings, Obama called on Israel to halt all building in east Jerusalem as well as making other reported concession in order to start proximity talks with the Palestinians under American aegis. Defense Minister Ehud Barak Reportedly Called For Accepting Most Obama Demands Except On Jerusalem. IsraCast: Netanyahu Will Require Obama Commitment On Palestinian Concessions In Order To Sell His Compromises To Israeli Public

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March 16, 2010

Obama Clobbers Netanyahu

The Obama administration indicates it has no intention of letting Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu off the hook. Administration officials, from Secretary Clinton on down, have hauled Netanyahu over the coals and demanded 'actions not just words' after the Israeli announcement about 1600 new housing units to be built in eastern Jerusalem made during the visit of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. IsraCast analyst David Essing believes the U.S. has been softening Netanyahu for the return of envoy George Mitchell. In basketball terms this is a full court press so intense that it might even threaten political sanctions on Israel. Read More...
February 20, 2010

Quiet Diplomacy & Counter Terror

Who were the ten men and one woman who arrived discreetly at Dubai airport, tracked down Hamas kingpin Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, assassinated him in his hotel room and then departed all within nineteen hours. The fact that six of them traveled on fraudulent passports in the names of six British citizens now living in Israel pointed to the Mossad Secret Service known for its daring operations in the past. At Dubai's request, Interpol has issued warrants for the eleven suspects while British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has ordered a 'full investigation' after the summoning of the Israeli ambassador for an explanation at the Foreign Office. Israel is staying mum although quiet contacts will likely calm the diplomatic storm.

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February 07, 2010

Nuclear Iran And Israeli Palestinian Talks

 The U.S. announcement of a $6 billion arms sale to Taiwan could not have come at a worse time for President Barack Obama's attempt to rally UN Security Council backing for new sanctions against Iran. A former senior Israeli official in Washington says chances are now slimmer than ever of getting China's crucial support. Meanwhile, the U.S. is beefing up the missile defenses of four Gulf states as Iran launches a missile which could potentially reach America's eastern seaboard. Analyst David Essing assesses this and other developments over the past seven days.

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January 22, 2010

Severe Sanctions Will Serve Iranian Democrats

Iran continues to defy U.S. President Barack Obama's January deadline and continues to produce enriched uranium as part of its nuclear weapons project. This week, IDF Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin disclosed the Iranian nuclear clock is still ticking and every day Tehran is enriching a 'number of kilograms of low grade uranium'. At the latest meeting of the 'five plus one', China and Russia again blocked any serious attempt to impose new and harsher sanctions on the Iranian regime. Israeli analyst Menashe Amir, who was born and bred in Iran, assessed the current situation in an address to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in Jerusalem. IsraCast's David Essing recommends Amir's analysis as an inside look into what is happening in the Iran file which is far from closed.

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January 16, 2010

Israel's Diplomatic Debacle & Mossad Success

 Defense Minister Ehud's Barak's official visit to Turkey has been saved by the eleventh hour apology of Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. Barak will be able to examine what can be salvaged from the relations after Ayalon tried to humiliate Turkish Ambassador Ahmet Oguz Celikkol while delivering a protest over Turkey's verbal attacks on Israel and the screening of anti- Semitic programs on Turkish TV. The Barak visit will now have added importance at a time that relations between Jerusalem and Ankara have hit an all time low. On the other hand, none other than the Egyptian newspaper Al-Aharam credits Mossad chief Meir Dagan with stalling Iran's nuclear weapons project.

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December 18, 2009

Iran's Smoking Gun Nears Mushroom Cloud!

 After months of fruitless dialogue, this week's expose by the London Times about an Iranian nuclear 'trigger' and the launching of a new long range Iranian missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead indicated that Iran may be closer to developing a nuclear weapon than previously suspected. Analyst David Essing assesses these latest developments from the Israeli perspective and what Israelis think about U.S. President Barack Obama and their own country's leadership at this crucial time.

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December 11, 2009

Iran Passes Nuclear Weapons Threshold

This week, Israel officially revealed that Iran now has sufficient enriched uranium for proceeding with the production of at least one atomic bomb. The disclosure came from Brig.Gen. Yossi Bidatz, the commander of the research department in the IDF Intelligence Branch. However, the intelligence officer told the Knesset Foreign affairs & Defense Committee there is still no evidence the Iranian regime has defied the international community and taken the decision to go nuclear. At the same time, the Iranians have developed missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead. Also addressing the closed door hearing, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated: ' Israel's paramount security concern is to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons'. Analyst David Essing assesses some of the key issues in Israel over the past seven days.

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December 05, 2009

Settlers Rebel Against Netanyahu's 'Suspension'

Israeli settlers in Judea & Samaria (West Bank) are defying the Israeli government's ten month housing freeze. In several incidents, the residents have prevented housing inspectors from entering their communities to serve the building freeze orders. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has tried to allay the settlers' fury by stressing that Israeli construction will be resumed after the ten month 'suspension' and that 3,000 current housing units will be completed. IsraCast assessment: Israel is now bracing for a showdown between settlers and their former champion, right-wing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. In other developments this week, are there new manifestations of the 'clash of civilizations' in Europe and even in the Middle East?

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November 05, 2009

Iran & Goldstone - The Missing Links

 Almost daily this week, there were dramatic developments in Israel's counter-terror campaign. At the center, what Israeli experts call the 'Iranian octopus' of terrorist activities - the Israeli seizure at sea of an innocent- looking merchant ship, the Francop, with a cargo of hundreds tons of weapons and explosives plying its course to Syria and then on to Hezballah in south Lebanon. Secondly, the Palestinians test launched a rocket with a sixty kilometer range that could hit the Tel Aviv metropolitan area of the Jewish state. This did not make any impression in the UN General Assembly. There, delegates of the 118 nations of the pro- Arab majority, took the podium to vilify the Jewish state for defending her citizens against Iranian sponsored terrorism. This time they had a new rallying point - what is viewed in Israel as the infamous Goldstone report that alleged that Israel had committed war crimes during the Cast Lead operation to halt eight years of rocketing of Israeli civilians from Gaza. IsraCast joins the dots of the big picture. 

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October 30, 2009

Stiff Sanctions On Iran Now

 Iran has rejected the latest proposal from the International Atomic Energy Agency for resolving the crisis over Tehran's nuclear weapons project. After a week's delay, Iran now contends the IAEA scheme is unacceptable in its present form. The offer was that Iran would send some 75% of its low grade enriched uranium to Russia and France, where it would be reprocessed into fuel rods for peaceful nuclear research (that are not suitable for nuclear weapons). What happens now? Menashe Amir, an Israeli expert on Iran who predicted that Tehran would reject the proposal, has revealed to IsraCast why the Free World should immediately impose harsh sanctions on the Iranian regime.

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October 23, 2009

Israel Dismayed Over Iranian Nuclear Deal

 Defense Minister Ehud Barak has warned that the nuclear arrangement brokered by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, designed to halt Iran's nuclear weapons development, will in fact lend legitimacy to Iran's continued enrichment of uranium for its development of nuclear weapons. Israel favored all options being kept on the table and the imposing of stiffer sanctions immediately. Barak has left no doubt that Israel views the Iranian deal as doomed to failure. Iran originally raised the idea of sending most of its declared 1,500 kilograms of low-grade uranium to Russia and France for further enrichment that would be returned for Iran's 'civilian' use. Menashe Amir, an Israeli analyst on Iran told IsraCast that on the basis of Iran's track record, Tehran will exploit the deal to continue its nuclear weapons plan.

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