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November 29, 2013

NOVEMBER 29th - ISRAEL & PALESTINIANS: WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

 NOV. 29th is one of the most monumental dates in the history of the Jewish people. On this day in 1947, the UN General Assembly approved the Partition Plan for Palestine that was to be implemented after the termination of the British mandate. It called for the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and heralded the rebirth of a Jewish state in its ancient homeland of over three thousand years. Similarly, it granted for the first time a Palestinian state. Designated Resolution 181, it was immediately accepted by the Jews but categorically rejected by the Arabs who later launched an all out war to literally drive the Jews into the Sea! If the Arab states had also accepted the partition there would have been no refugee problem - Palestinian or Jewish. An estimated 650,000 Palestinian refugees fled their homes while at least that number of Jewish refugees were driven out of the neighboring Arab countries. The resolution was carried by a vote of 33 in favor, 13 opposed, 10 abstentions and one member was absent. On the anniversary of that vote, you are invited to listen to this background report by David Essing that includes authentic recordings of the events as they unfolded: 

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October 07, 2013

PM Netanyahu's speech at Bar Ilan University

 I recently read a hundred-page book by a wonderful American historian who passed away nearly 50 years ago. His name was Will Durant and he wrote many books. He wrote an eleven volume history of civilization, but at the end of his life, he wrote a hundred-page book, The Lessons of History. You should read it. Every line is carved from the stone of truth, and I will give you the bad news and the good news. 

 The bad news is that when you finish reading this book, you understand that in history, greater numbers rule. They matter. But here is the good news. On page 17, if I am not mistaken, he mentions that there may be exceptions to this rule and that through the unification of a cultural force, that's what he called it, the odds could be overcome. He gives the State of Israel as an example of such an exception. 

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August 17, 2013

EGYPT - APPEARANCES & REALITY

When it comes to understanding Egypt today, U.S. President Barack Obama and other Western leaders really don't get it. They are confusing the outcome of an indecisive election with the reality of the anti-democratic Muslim Brotherhood hijacking the Egyptian Revolution in order to found an Islamist state like Iran. These are some of the key questions that America and the West should be addressing: 

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August 04, 2013

ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PARLEY & ROUHANI'S NUCLEAR DECEPTION

 Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has made the first move in the Israeli-Palestinian peace parley by agreeing to release 104 Palestinian terrorists starting on August 15th. In Tehran, the newly installed President Hassan Rouhani appeared to adopt some of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's rhetoric by describing Israel 'as a wound on the body of the Islamic world that must be removed'. 

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July 28, 2013

WILL BIBI NETANYAHU BE ISRAEL'S CHARLES DE GAULLE?

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is known to be a great admirer of Winston Churchill, who led Britain's battle for survival against Nazi Germany. However on the eve of the negotiations with the Palestinians in Washington, Netanyahu may be signaling that he may be about to follow in the footsteps of France's Charles de Gaulle, who against all the expectations, decided to relinquish French control of Algeria in order to end an extremely bloody war. Apparently, Netanyahu has crossed another milestone on his way to seeking a territorial compromise on the Land of Israel with the Palestinians.

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July 14, 2013

U.S. - CANADA IN IRAN'S NUCLEAR CROSSHAIRS?

 Thousands of Israelis along the Mediterranean Coast were startled by a resounding boom that was heard far and wide on the morning of July 12th -  it was far greater than an Israeli jet breaking the sound barrier. Defense officials were quick to announce the testing of a 'navigational rocket system' at the Palmahim launch site.  The Israeli media promptly reported, that according to foreign  sources, it was Israel's Jericho ballistic missile that purportedly has a range of over 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles). Jericho, like its biblical namesake, can bring 'the walls tumbling down' with its  warhead of one ton of explosives. It obviously provides another arrow in Israel's quiver for coping with Iran's nuclear weapons sites. Moreover the Jericho test served as a message to America and the West; Israel will not be lulled by the election of Iran's new President-elect ,Hassan Rouhani, who talks about 'interaction with the West through moderation' while supporting Iran's nuclear weapons program. 

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June 30, 2013

WHAT DO THE PALESTINIANS REALLY WANT?

 Do the Palestinians hate the Jewish state more than they love their dream of a Palestinian homeland? That is the question amid the latest peace effort by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The fact is, the Palestinians could have had their own state years ago, if they were only willing to accept the Jewish state in return. 

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June 08, 2013

MIDDLE EAST CAULDRON

 'Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.'  

 Could the Bard's memorable lines also portend that two non-Arab countries, Turkey and Iran, will now embark on the course of the 'Arab Spring'. Will Iran follow the latest round of anti-government protests that have rocked Turkey? Ten days before Iran's upcoming presidential election on June 14th, tens of thousands of Iranian mourners flocked to the funeral of dissident cleric Ayatollah Jalaluddin Teheri in the town of Isfahan. It was described as the biggest anti-government demonstration against the 'dictator' Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in recent years. The protesters also demanded the release of thousands of political prisoners who were slammed behind bars for demonstrating against the rigged election of 2009. That same political chicanery is happening again - the government has restricted the list of presidential candidates to supporters of the Khamenei regime. So how will Iranians who aspire to a more democratic society react to the 'election' of a new puppet to replace Muhammad Ahmadinejad? Will they again take to the streets in Tehran and other urban centers to challenge the Ayatollahs, who are supported by Muslims in the rural regions of Iran?

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May 06, 2000

Arab World's Jewish Refugee Problem

It is probably the least known fact in the long and vociferous Arab-Israeli conflict, but more Jewish refugees were forced to flee from their homes in the Arab countries than all the Palestinians who were forced to flee or left of their own volition, from the newly born state of Israel in 1948.

At a Jerusalem news conference, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon announced that Israel insisted that the Jewish refugees be ‘a core element in any future negotiation or settlement to resolve the conflict’.

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May 06, 2000

SPECIAL - NEVER BEFORE RELEASED MUSIC FROM 1967

 The stunning victory of the Six Day War gave way to nation-wide enthusiasm and euphoria, even some of the Palestinian residents were excited and now hoped that better days had arrived.

 As a result, this uplifting national spirit inspired many new songs that singers and military bands performed for troops all across the country - the Sinai, the West Bank, the Jordan Valley, and Golan Heights.

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March 10, 2013

THIS WEEK IN ISRAEL - COALITION CRISIS APPARENTLY OVER

 Isracast: Yair Lapid Has Guts In Accepting Problematic Finance Portfolio - Israel Will Be Watching If He Also Has Brains & Political Savvy To Cope With Huge Deficit Left By Outgoing Netanyahu Administration

 Yair Lapid has apparently resolved the current coalition crisis in Israel by agreeing to accept the Finance Portfolio in the new Netanyahu cabinet. It's still not official, but reliable sources on both sides are signaling the two leaders have now overcome this hurdle. When they meet again, they are also expected to agree on the numbers of ultra-orthodox men who will start serving in the IDF. Lapid, leader of 'There's a Future' party may be on his way to becoming Israel's next political hero or a washed-up politician, it will all depend on how he fares as new Finance Minister.



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February 23, 2013

ISRAEL'S WEEK – COALITION, IRAN, TURKEY, PALESTINIANS

BIBI DOESN'T GET IT, YET!

Israel's coalition crisis drags on with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu still unable to cobble together a new government that can command a solid majority in the 120 member Knesset. In fact, King Bibi is now facing a determined bid by two apparent heirs to his throne: Yair Lapid of 'There's A Future' and Naftali Bennett of 'Jewish Home' parties.

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December 17, 2012

Palestinians & Israeli Elections

 What is the most dominant factor that determines the winner of an Israeli election campaign? Without fail it is how Israeli voters perceive Palestinian intentions and without fail the Palestinian leadership takes a hostile stance smack in the middle of the campaign. Analyst David Essing is of the view it is happening once again.

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December 01, 2012

Isracast Weekend Report

 It is a diplomatic debacle for Israel - that is an accurate description of the massive support by the UN General Assembly for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Back in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu downplayed the impact charging that nothing had changed on the ground - only direct negotiations with Israel could ever lead to a Palestinian state. Moreover, by taking a unilateral step to bypass talks with Israel, Abbas had violated the Oslo Accord and two could play that game. Israel would also react with its own one-sided measures. Later Israeli officials announced government approval for the construction of 3,000 new housing units that will link the West Bank settlement town of Maale Adumin with Jerusalem. There is no question that Israel will insist on the area remaining part of Israel in any future peace agreement with the Palestinians.

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July 11, 2012

Barak's Time-Line On Iran

 'Forget about the Great Powers' nuclear talks and the current sanctions, they will not halt Iran's drive for the A-Bomb'. That was the message from Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak to a closed-door session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee. Analyst David Essing quotes an Israeli official at the meeting who also referred to how long Israel will wait.

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June 30, 2012

Yitzhak Shamir (1915-2012)

 

Israeli politician and the seventh Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms, 1983-84 and 1986-1992. He was the country's second longest-serving prime minister after David Ben-Gurion.

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June 10, 2012

Netanyahu - Settler Showdown

 The recent inclusion of the Kadima party into the coalition has already paid dividends for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. With Kadima's support, the PM was able to sail through Right wing opposition, even from inside his Likud party, and comply with a Supreme Court ruling to evict Israeli residents from five buildings built on West Bank land that belonged to a Palestinian owner. Meanwhile just over the borders in Egypt and Syria, Analyst David Essing is of the view that the term 'Arab Spring' has obviously become a media oxymoron.

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February 07, 2012

From Auschwitz to Iran?

 After leading an Israel Air Force flight over Auschwitz back in 2003, will Maj.Gen. Amir Eshel command an Israeli air strike on Iran's nuclear weapons facilities? This is an ironic possibility in light of Iran's relentless drive to acquire atomic bombs for 'wiping Israel off the map'. Fighter-pilot Eshel has now been named the new IAF commander. Israeli born Eshel, aged fifty-two, has forged a brilliant career in the Israel Defense Forces. Known as a 'quick study', he has flown an exceptional variety of combat aircraft from the F-15 and F-16 fighters to Apache and Cobra helicopter-gunships in clocking over 5,500 hours in the air. Reacting to the promotion, a former IAF commander Eliezer Skadi said: 'It's the right man in the right place. Amir Eshel is a true professional with very high abilities that will serve him well at a time the Middle East is on the boil and when new threats are emerging from states that have no common border with Israel. I am confident he will fullfil his command with distinction'. For the past four years, Eshel has headed the IDF's strategic Planning Branch that deals with strategic threats to Israel and the IDF's force buildup. In a rare public address on January 17th, Maj.Gen. Eshel analyzed the threat of a nuclear Iran not only to Israel but to the entire globe. Read the following report of his presentation entitled 'Iran & Global Nuclear Jungle'.

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January 18, 2012

Iran & 'Global Nuclear Jungle'

 Gen. Amir Eshel, the commander of the IDF Planning Branch has presented a spell- binding look at the current and future threats to Israel. In a lecture entitled ' Planning for the Unknown - Israel's Ever Changing Strategic Reality', he outlined the challenges he has to face in the wake of the 'Arab Spring'. Speaking at the Institute for Contemporary Affairs in Jerusalem, Gen. Eshel stressed that Iran was at the top of his priority list. Analyst David Essing sums up the major points made by the commander who has responsibility for the IDF's force build-up.

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January 11, 2012

Israel to Grant Refuge to Syria's Alewites

While Syrian President Bashar Assad was talking of his certain victory in Damascus, IDF Chief Of Staff Benny Gantz was predicting his inevitable fall. In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, Lt.Gen. Gantz also disclosed that he is preparing to grant refuge on the Golan Heights to Assad's Alewite supporters. David Essing sums up some other key assessments of Israel's high command for the new year.

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