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Showing Results 221-240 of 445 for Syria
February 07, 2013

BARACK OBAMA & BIBI'S COALITION PUZZLE

The timing is critical - smack in the middle of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's complex coalition consultations U.S. President Barack Obama announces a long overdue visit to Israel. Both the White House in Washington and Bibi's backers in Jerusalem are playing down any notion of a new U.S. peace initiative for Israel and the Palestinians. Perish the thought! But in international relations, actions speak louder than words.

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January 31, 2013

WHY ISRAEL ATTACKED SYRIA

Actually the policy is not new - whenever Israel's vital interests are at stake, Israel will pre-empt and not wait until it is too late. This is the key to understanding the strategy behind the air raids that knocked out the truck convoy transporting sophisticated Russian SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles to Hezbollah and destroyed a chemical weapons facility not far from Damascus. The Syrian army is known already to be equipped with mustard, VX (nerve), and Sarin gas weaponry, as well as SCUD missiles that can deliver them to Israeli population centers.

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January 21, 2013

Israel at the Ballot Box

 With Israeli society more polarized than ever, a staunchly right-wing government is only more likely to exacerbate these divisions. Gilead Sher and Olivia Holt-Ivry discuss the elections in Israel.

 Projecting elections is a risky task, even more so in Israel. At the end of the dramatic 1996 Election Day, the public went to bed with expectations of Shimon Peres as the next prime minister, only to awaken the following morning to Binyamin Netanyahu having won by a slim 30,000 votes. Beating all political commentators, politicians and analysts, the outcome of those elections — held after the traumatic assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin — should be a lesson in humility when predicting developments in the Israeli political arena. Consequently, the following is a guide for perplexed observers, rather than a projection of the general elections’ results.

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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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November 21, 2012

No Recycling of Hamas Ceasefires

 Isracast Assessment: Israel insisting the new ceasefire must include solid guarantees that will bar the renewal of Palestinian rocketing from Gaza for a long term. Will Hamas agree to such a demand that would pull the rug out from their vow to wipe Israel off the map? Analyst David Essing is of the view that behind the flurry of diplomatic activity to halt the violence, U.S. President Barack Obama and Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi have been cooperating on a deal to resolve the crisis and possibly restart negotiations between Israel & Palestinians. In return, the U.S. would again view Egypt as a close ally with all that entails. As President, will Morsi put Egypt's crucial economic interests before his role as leader of the radical Muslim Brotherhood and lean on Hamas to halt its rocketing of Israel? In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is weighing the pros and cons: whether the ceasefire deal offers a reasonable prospect of peace and quiet for Israeli residents in the south and the subsequent improvement in relations with Egypt and the U.S. or to launch an IDF ground operation into Gaza. He will hold off at least until U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joins the bevy of diplomats visiting the region. Meanwhile, while the diplomatic deliberations continue, both Israel and the Palestinians are continuing to slug it out with civilians on both sides caught in the middle. So far the IDF has hit over 1400 terror targets in Gaza while signaling that there must be quiet on both sides of the border.

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August 29, 2012

Israel's Landscape of Strategic Threats

 With Iran closing in on nuclear weapons and the 'Arab Spring' in high gear, the stark IDF intelligence estimate comes as no surprise. The outlook for 2013 is for a more unstable and Islamist Middle East and a higher security threat to Israel. IDF Intelligence Commander, Maj.Gen. Aviv Kochavi has briefed the IDF high command and will also present it to the full cabinet. The Yisrael Hayom newspaper has disclosed some details of the classified document that will serve as as Israel's security assessment for 2013.

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August 16, 2012

Israel Replies to U.S Gen. Martin Dempsey

 Israel's unofficial reply to U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey was not long in coming - the IDF did have the capability to severely damage Iran's nuclear sites. But IDF Gen. (res.) Yitzak Ben Yisrael added: 'I think Gen. Dempsey was referring to continuous follow-up action to prevent Iran from again trying to produce nuclear weapons'. Ben Yisrael, who masterminded IDF weapons development for many years, is now a highly respected professor of strategic affairs. In two separate interviews, with Yediot Ahronot newspaper and Channel 10 TV, Gen. Ben Yisrael sized up the present situation.

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July 31, 2012

Israel, Turkey & Syria's Chemical Weapons

The menace of President Bashar Assad's arsenal of chemical weapons overshadows the current chaos in Syria. In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz addressed the volatile situation that has pitted the Syrian Army and the rebels exchanging fire near the Israeli border on the Golan Heights. Analyst David Essing says there are differing accounts on whether the Chief of Staff warned that an Israeli strike against Syria's chemical weapons could start a regional flareup.

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July 23, 2012

Israel Will Bar Syria's Chemical Weapons From Hezbollah

Israel will act militarily to prevent Hezbollah from transporting Syria's chemical weapons across the border to Lebanon - that was the message from Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Interviewed on July 20th, Barak told Channel 1 TV that Israel was 'very concerned' about terror groups exploiting the current chaos to take control of Syria's chemical weapons. The New York Times had reported that Israel has raised such a contingency with the U.S. On the Hezbollah bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis and injured more than 30 others, Israel would find out 'exactly' who had sent the lone terrorist to Burgas Airport. Analyst David Essing is of the view that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will order the Mossad to track down and execute the perpetrators, as did Golda Meir after Palestinian terrorists massacred eleven Israeli athletes at the Much Olympics in 1972.

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July 19, 2012

Syria - Beginning of the End?

 Does the deadly bomb blast in Damascus that killed three of President Bashar Assad's three top officials spell the beginning of the end? That is the question that is now being asked in Israel. Just twenty-four hours earlier, IDF Maj.Gen. Aviv Kochavi gave a closed-door briefing on the situation in Syria. Kochavi, the commander of the IDF Intelligence Branch stated: 'Syria is going the way of Iraq: the demise of the central government and the breakup of the state into various tribal regions'. In the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, Gen. Kochavi reviewed the latest developments on Israel's various fronts. Analyst David Essing is of the view that not only Iranian A-Bombs pose a future threat, Syria's massive chemical weapons may now be a 'clear and present danger!'

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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 17, 2012

Israel is Not Czechoslovakia

 'Israel is not Czechoslovakia' - that statement came from Israel's Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon amid the current nuclear talks with Iran. Interviewed by the Israeli daily Haaretz, Yaalon disclosed that despite the international effort to rein in Iran's nuclear weapons program, Tehran has actually been accelerating its uranium enrichment. At the same time, Yaalon said Israel has not yet reached the point that it has to decide whether to bomb and the international community could still act 'forcefully and with determination' against Iran. But if the question arose about whether Israel should accept an Iranian A-bomb or to bomb - the answer would be to bomb. Analyst David Essing is of the view that Yaalon has revealed some key intelligence to dispel some of the diplomatic fog surrounding the nuclear talks being conducted with Iran by the P5+1 and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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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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June 07, 2012

Israeli Commander - Israel is Super Ready for Iran

 In advance of new nuclear talks with Iran, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has assessed the current range of threats now facing Israel. With the 'Arab Spring' raging in Egypt and elsewhere, the probability of a planned war against Israel was low. But on the other hand, the Arab Street was 'very volatile' and could spark a spontaneous flare-up. First and foremost there was Iran's drive for nuclear weapons and although Syria was rent by internal strife, Syria's military capabilities have not been downgraded. Analyst David Essing reports on the closed door briefing of Israel's top soldier to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

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May 30, 2012

Israel's Nuclear Alarm Bells Ringing!

 Is Israel on the verge of a preventative strike on Iran? Just consider the recent statements from Israel over the past twenty-four hours. They reflect the current view that the current P5+1 nuclear talks are doomed to failure and the U.S. and the rest of the world are actually letting Tehran off the hook. From Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on down there is a mounting school of thought that the nuclear talks have turned into a farce - the Obama administration is categorically opposed to a military operation against Iran before the U.S. presidential election in November, if at all, while Tehran is again stonewalling as it continues its nuclear weapons program. Analyst David Essing assesses the latest developments.

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April 16, 2012

Israeli Pilot: 'We Are Prepared For Iran If Given The Order'

 While pundits can continue pontificating, the Israeli public got a first hand view of the Israeli pilots who, if given the order, will take off on the most hazardous mission in the state's history. Channel 10 TV was given a rare opportunity recently to visit a base of the Israel Air Force, where preparations are continuing for a possible air strike on Iran's nuclear installations. Military correspondent Alon Ben David was also permitted to interview some of the squadron commanders about such a mission. His report left no doubt the IAF is ready to attack Iran's nuclear weapons sites, if Israel's political leadership decides that time's up and U.S. President Barack Obama has failed to halt Iran's drive to produce nuclear weapons.

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April 13, 2012

Iran's Nuclear Poker in Istanbul

Who will win and who will lose at the diplomatic poker game in Istanbul? The stakes are extremely high for all concerned and the other silent players not at the table - first and foremost for Israel. Israeli leaders will be watching and waiting to see if U.S. President Barack Obama and the rest of the P5+1 are ready to call Iran's bluff. In the run-up, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared that Tehran 'will not retreat one millimeter and never give in to international pressure to halt its nuclear program'. Analyst David Essing is of the view that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have indicated they are hoping for the best but also preparing for the worst.

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March 15, 2012

Israel's Iron Dome Trumps Gaza's Rockets

 After five days of intense exchanges, quiet is returning to southern Israel and Gaza. The question is for how long. Both Israel and the Islamic Jihad, the two protagonists, claimed victory while the Hamas government of Gaza looked on from the sidelines. The Egyptian military again played fireman in dousing the flare-up while the rest of the Sunni Arab world was enveloped in its own Arab Spring, the carnage in Syria and its own looming confrontation with a rival Shiite Iran bent on acquiring nuclear weapons. Although there have been frequent firestorms along the Gaza-Israel frontrier, analyst David Essing says this time may have longer lasting implications.

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February 19, 2012

Israel Issues Global Terror Alert

Israel is bracing for a new round of Iranian and Hizbollah terror attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets world-wide. That was the message from the Counter-Terror Headquarters in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's bureau in Jerusalem. The global alert was issued after the flurry of Iranian terror attacks against Israeli diplomats in Georgia, Thailand and India. Analyst David Essing is of the view that while Tehran is retaliating for the international pressure on its nuclear weapons program, its spree of terror could trigger an even more dangerous escalation between Israel on one side and Iran and its Hizballah proxy on the other.

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