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September 30, 2014

NETANYAHU WARNS OBAMA ON ISIL-IRAN DEAL

 

 Keep your eye on the Iranian ball! Don't win the war on ISIL and lose the war to a nuclear Iran! This was the most telling message in Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's address to the UN General Assembly in New York. Obviously Israel's leader is worried about reports the US and the rest of the 5P+1 may offer Tehran an easing of the nuclear sanctions, if the Iranians join the coalition against Islamic State. He did not pull any punches: 

 

 'The Islamic Republic (Iran) is now trying to bamboozle its way to an agreement that will remove the sanctions it still faces, and leave it with the capacity of thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium. This would effectively cement Iran's place as a threshold nuclear power. In the future, at a time of its choosing, Iran, the world's most dangerous state in the world's most dangerous region, would obtain the world's most dangerous weapons'. 

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September 26, 2014

OBAMA LEADING FROM THE COCKPIT

 Alas, leading from behind will not work for US President Barack Obama in the Middle East. American jets are bombing and Tomahawk cruise missiles are blasting Islamic State ground forces and oil refineries in northern Syria and Iraq. After Gen. Martin Dempsey forewarned Obama that the air strikes on IS had better be serious or else he might have to recommend ground forces, the President got the message. Adding insult to injury, two of his former defense secretaries, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, also castigated Obama for being too eager to withdraw US troops from Iraq, a move that has exacerbated the overall situation. With Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Bahrain and even Qatar joining Obama's invitation to follow his lead, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron has now told the UN General Assembly that he's on board, as is Holland. The meltdown in Iraq and the civil war in Syria have spawned the IS juggernaut in those two former states and forced Obama to jettison his soft power, and switch to a harder foreign policy. This is how the US President described it in his address to the current session of the UN General Assembly in New York:

 'The only language understood by killers like this (IS) is the language of force'. 

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September 12, 2014

OBAMA & HIS MUSLIM MANIACS

 The historical irony is striking, on the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11, another U.S. President, Barack Obama, has been forced to declare total war on a new breed of Muslim maniacs. However, Obama is no George Bush, a ranting Republican hawk raring to take on al Qaeda. This time it was a dovish Democrat, who at the outset of his term, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaign promises - the judges in Oslo had discerned correctly that Obama would take a new approach in the Middle East and conclude America's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But the reality of fanatical Islam, far more savage than even al Qaida, has upset Obama's 'best laid plans'. 

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September 08, 2014

Egypt, IsraCast & Territorial Solution For Gaza

  In Israel, the Galei Tzahal radio station has reported that al Sisi was willing to contribute 1,600 square kilometers of Sinai to expand Gaza five times its present size. The new territory, together with Gaza, would provide the Palestinians with a Palestinian state under control of the Palestinian Authority, which is headed by President Mahmoud Abbas. On August 6, 2005, the IsraCast website first reported on a land swap proposal for Sinai that was proposed by Prof. Yehoshua Ben Arieh. At that time, IsraCast sponsor, Avi Yaffe even raised the question at a private meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who expressed interest in the idea.

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Listen to Professor Ben-Arieh Audio Interview with Prof. Ben-Arieh
September 05, 2014

ISRAEL - LAND GRAB & ISIS & BAN KI-MOON'S SILENCE

  Why in Jerusalem, did Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu annex another 1,000 acres of West Bank land, if he knew that in Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama would hit the roof? Indeed the annexation has thrown a monkey wrench into the already strained relations between the two allies after Obama, in effect, ordered Netanyahu to call a unilateral ceasefire, although Hamas was still launching rockets and mortars at Israel. The answer is that Netanyahu has been hauled over the coals in his own Likud party and the far Right for reigning in the IDF before it finished off the Hamas leadership and its forces, and therefore, he used the annexation to placate his Right wing supporters. But surely the national interest should trump domestic politics. On this score, Henry Kissinger's observation that 'Israel has no foreign policy, only domestic politics' does apply. However this generalization, like most others, is only partially correct. 

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August 24, 2014

SAUDI KING BLAMES HAMAS!

In a startling development, Saudi Arabia has blamed Hamas for the current bloodshed with Israel. Saudi monarch, King Abdullah has publicly accused Hamas of being responsible for the war between Gaza and Israel. 'It is shameful and disgraceful that these terrorists are doing this in the name of religion, killing the people, whose killing Allah has forbidden, and mutilating their bodies, and feeling proud in publishing this. They have distorted the image of Islam with its purity and humanity and smeared it with all sorts of bad qualities by their actions, injustice, and crimes'. The ninety-year-old King Abdullah accused Hamas of being responsible for a 'collective massacre'. His statement, read by a news announcer, is representative of what other countries like Egypt, Jordan, the Gulf States (except for Qatar), and many Lebanese feel about the confrontation with radical Islam that is being confronted mainly by Israel.

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August 20, 2014

ISRAELI-HAMAS TEST OF WILLS

 Why has Hamas broken the latest ceasefire with Israel? Simply because Israel did not give in to all its demands, nor will it do so in the future. On the battlefield, Hamas lost; Israel developed a counter-measure to cope with the Hamas rocketing of Israeli civilians and the threat of the terror tunnels. So Hamas must show some major Israeli concessions to justify the damage and suffering that these Islamist fanatics have brought to Gaza. Within 24 hours, Hamas and the other terror groups in Gaza have launched over 100 rockets and mortars at Israel. Sirens also blared in the Jerusalem area, but Iron Dome was again on guard and intercepted 14 of the incoming rockets. Although there were some close calls, no Israelis were killed although; there was some damage to property. In return, Israeli aircraft carried out over 90 strikes on the length and width of Gaza.  

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August 05, 2014

GAZA CEASEFIRE EXPECTED TO HOLD

 7:48 AM-August 5th, two minutes before the latest Egyptian brokered ceasefire was to go into force: Hamas launches a barrage of 25 more rockets at Jerusalem and communities in central Israel. Again, air raid sirens wail and hundreds of thousands of Israelis rush to their bomb shelters. Israel's Iron Dome missiles blast off, knocking seven of the incoming rockets out of the sky. They were on target for population centers. Several others do explode on the ground but there are no Israeli casualties. The rest are allowed to land harmlessly in open areas. Imagine how many Israeli children, women and men would have been killed and wounded if those seven rockets had hit apartment buildings. This has been at the core of the current conflagration and the IDF's mission to suppress this rocketing of Israeli civilians that has escalated ever since Israel totally evacuated the Gaza Strip in 2005. The IDF estimates that Hamas terrorists fired 3,350 rockets during its 26-day Operation that was triggered by hundreds more rockets in the preceding week. Yet critics of Israel, including some foreign governments, are castigating the Jewish state for not acting proportionately to the Hamas threat. 

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July 21, 2014

AMERICA IN ISRAEL'S POSITION?

 

 The deaths of 13 Israeli infantrymen killed in house-to-house fighting with Hamas in Sajaiya has shocked and saddened Israel. In a news conference with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Prime Minister Netanyahu declared: “We are fighting for our very home and we are determined to win this battle. No other war has been so justified as the IDF's campaign to halt Hamas rocketing of Israeli civilians.” Make no mistake, Israel is determined that the deaths of the Golani soldiers will not be in vain. The country's leaders and people are resolved to follow through and prevent another rocket blitz of Israel or tunnel attack whenever the Hamas Islamists in Gaza decide to do so. Netanyahu noted that many world leaders, starting with U.S. President Barack Obama, had expressed understanding for Israel's right of self-defense. Even more telling were the countries in the region (Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan) who were also in Israel's corner. The only two countries rooting for Hamas were Iran and Qatar. 

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July 02, 2014

ISRAEL DECIDES ON SEVERE BUT CALIBRATED CRACKDOWN ON HAMAS

 'Hamas is responsible, Hamas will pay!' Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has warned that Israel is about to take off the gloves, after the bodies of three Israeli youths were found near Hebron, a hotbed of Hamas terrorism on the West Bank. After the massive 18-day search, the bodies of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-ad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach were uncovered in a hole. Two suspected Hamas terrorists from the Hebron area, named as Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha, are believed responsible. The manhunt continues for the two suspects, who are believed to be hiding out in the West Bank. Apparently, pretending to be religious Jews, the two killers gave a lift to the three hitchhiking Israelis and then shot them dead when Gil-ad Shaar tried to contact the Israel police on his cell phone. A police recording of the call indicates all three were shot dead in the car where bullet casings were found. 

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June 24, 2014

"ATTENTION SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY" - An Interview with Regional Expert Menashe Amir

 The bitter rivalry between Sunni and Shiite Muslims has erupted in Iraq with greater fury than ever. Since the U.S. withdrawal in 2011, the country has been racked with bloody terrorism between the two Muslim sects. Now a fanatic Sunni military force, which was spawned amid the Syrian civil war and known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), has shown up in Iraq where it has made stunning territorial gains. In just a few days, the vastly outnumbered Sunni fighters routed five Iraqi army divisions, capturing large quantities of American weapons and advancing on Baghdad… 

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June 12, 2014

CRACKS IN NETANYAHU'S COALITION

 Israel now faces international isolation - that is what Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's diplomacy has achieved on the Palestinian track. Make no mistake, this has all the components of weakening Israel's international position and could eventually topple his coalition government. First the PM lost the 'blame game' to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by letting Housing Minister Uri Ariel announce plans for building new housing units on the disputed West Bank.  U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry pointed the finger at Netanyahu. Adding insult to injury, Abbas then gambled that he could join forces with terrorist Hamas and this would not upset the U.S. and the rest of the international community. He proved to be right...

 

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May 25, 2014

NETANYAHU MUST CHOOSE ISRAEL'S NATIONAL INTEREST

 Israel in diplomatic doghouse...

 Is Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu getting the message? His interview with the Bloomberg News may indicate that Netanyahu realizes that he has lost the 'blame game' in the wake of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's failed peace mission. Not only Kerry and diplomat Martin Indyk pointed the finger at Bibi, but also President Barack Obama. Even Bibi's own negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, has blasted Housing Minister Uri Ariel for torpedoing the talks by announcing plans for new settlement building. At the time, the PM could have stepped in but chose not to do so in order not to rile the Right-wingers in his coalition. Israel finds itself in the diplomatic doghouse, although Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did nothing to advance Kerry's peace mission and has even teamed up with terrorist Hamas. 

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April 27, 2014

WHY ABBAS DID IT

 What possessed moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to suddenly join forces with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, whose organization is bent on Israel's annihilation? As for the timing, it was even more puzzling - it came smack in the middle of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's apparent breakthrough in the clash between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu over the release of Israeli-Arab terrorists. The latest Abbas gambit has exposed the Palestinian leader's goal of seeking an imposed UN solution, rather than a U.S. brokered peace accord.

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March 30, 2014

KERRY TACKLES ISRAELI - PALESTINIAN LOGJAM

 What happens if the Kerry mission is unable to break the Israeli-Palestinian logjam by the April 29th deadline? So far the Secretary of State's diplomatic marathon has barely made a dent in the impasse. Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are sticking to their guns. It hasn't come as any big surprise, what was apparent at the outset has prevailed: the maximum that either side is ready to offer is less than the minimum that the other side will accept. So rather than cobble a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians, the US Secretary of State is now trying just to keep the ball rolling on an agreed framework of principles. Even that is an uphill struggle. 

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February 13, 2014

LIEBERMAN'S LEAP TO ISRAEL'S CENTER

 Does Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman realize something about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the rest of his far Right wing colleagues do not?  Lieberman, who has a well-earned reputation for his caustic comments, is no fool; so surely there is more than meets the eye about the Foreign Minister's recent praise for Kerry. By contrast, in the Knesset, Lieberman once declared that former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to 'go to hell!' for refusing to visit the Jewish state.

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February 02, 2014

U.S. PEACE PLAN & NETANYAHU'S DILEMMA

 'Most Israelis do not want a bi-national state, I do not want a bi-national state!' If Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu means what he says, it is an indicator of where he is headed now.  Coming into the home stretch of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's exhaustive peace mission, Bibi's timing was crucial. Netanyahu has taken a meaningful step forward beyond his vague declaration in support of a two-state solution- Jewish and Palestinian. Obviously a Palestinian state would have to be founded on some undefined territory in the West Bank and Gaza. However, by rejecting the concept of a bi-national state, the Israeli leader has indicated that he is willing to part with the densely populated Palestinian parts of the West Bank, and with good reason. The high Palestinian birth rate would eventually threaten the very essence of the Jewish state of Israel, which Netanyahu insists the Palestinians must recognize. Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat once said that if Israel remained in all of the West Bank: 'The womb of the Palestinian woman would achieve the eventual victory for Palestine'.

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January 22, 2014

NETANYAHU AT THE RUBICON, AGAIN

 Above and beyond the egregious gaffe by Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, this crucial question remains unanswered - what will Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu do when he next meets U.S. Secretary of State? Yaalon certainly highlighted some of the Right wing's exasperation over Kerry's 'messianic and obsessive' mission to hammer out an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. However, Netanyahu has apparently been telling Kerry that he would be willing to cut a deal with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, under certain conditions. The Israeli leader is already on record as accepting the two-state solution.  Is he now prepared to go one step further and possibly risk the breakup of his cabinet and Likud party? Although Yaalon has adopted an 'in-your-face' rejection, he represents the far Right of the Likud and Jewish Home party. But in a dramatic shift, Avigdor Lieberman of the Israel Our Home party has pleaded for giving Kerry a chance. So what's going on and why?

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January 11, 2014

ARIEL SHARON (1928-2014)

 'I know best' this characterized Arik Sharon, both as a vaunted military commander and an unpredictable politician. He is destined to be remembered as the most controversial of all Israeli public figures. To friend and foe he became known as the 'bulldozer'- his driving determination could overcome most obstacles in his way whether his superiors or political supporters agreed or not. Some military commentators have rated him as the best field commander and strategist in the annals of the IDF, while in his subsequent career in politics he was a formidable opponent.

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December 26, 2013

PALESTINIAN BUS BOMBING & ISRAELI SECURITY REQUIREMENTS

 It was potentially the most dangerous Palestinian attack since U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry started his current mission to conclude a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. This was the scene:

 Early on the afternoon of December 21st, an Israeli bus is traveling in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam. A youngster notices an unattended black bag, which had been placed near the rear door of the bus. Israelis are understandably wary of such situations. So the teenager points it out to fellow passenger, David Papo, who immediately gets up and approaches the suspicious object. Moving gingerly, Papo opens the bag and the yells to the bus driver, "It’s a bomb!" Driver, Michael Yeager, hits the breaks, opens the bus doors, and yells to his passengers, "Get out!"

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