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IsraCast Archive | January-February 2007

FALLOUT OF SUNNI-SHIITE CLASH

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni: 'Seven Muslim States Feel Threatened By Sunni-Shiite Confrontation & Not Israeli-Palestinian Conflict'

Senior Israeli Official: 'Muslim States May Intervene In Iraq If U.S. Withdrawal Triggers Total Chaos'

'Muslim States Fear Nuclear Armed Iran'

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni says the current confrontation between Sunni and Shiite Muslims has superseded the Israeli- Palestinian conflict in at least seven Islamic states around the globe. In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, Livni disclosed that Israel was telling foreign countries that the recent Mecca Agreement agreed by the Palestinians does not comply with the conditions of the so-called Quartet. A senior Israeli official also said that Muslim states may intervene in Iraq if total chaos follows a future U.S. withdrawal.

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ISRAEL WARNS IRAN

Strategic Affairs Minister Lieberman: 'If All Other Efforts Fail To Stop Iran From Acquiring Nuclear Weapons, Israel Has Capabilities To Cope On Its Own'

'Economic Sanctions Are More Effective Than Iranians Pretend'

'Israeli Arabs Rejection Of Jewish State Is A Strategic Threat to Israel'

Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said that Israel has the capabilities to go it alone against the Iranian nuclear threat if left on its own. Lieberman was addressing a closed door session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee. At the same time, he called for harsher sanctions saying they could dissuade Tehran from continuing its nuclear weapons program.

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ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE & NORTHERN THREATS

IDF Intelligence & Mossad Differ Over Syria's Intentions

Syria & Hezbollah Biding Their Time While Building Military Power

Iran Continues Nuclear Weapons Drive While U.N. Dithers Over Harsher Sanctions

The Israeli intelligence establishment has presented its annual intelligence assessment to the cabinet for the coming year. While the Palestinians go through the motions of forming a national unity to halt the bloody internal feud between Hamas and Fatah and to con the international community into renewing financial aid, the gravest threats to Israel come from the north and north east.

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REPUBLICANS & DEMOCRATS SUPPORT STIFFER IRANIAN SANCTIONS

U.S. Senator Jon Kyl: 'Very Detrimental If Events In Iraq & American Politics Hamper U.S. Need To Act More Aggressively Against Iran'

U.S. Representative Jane Harman: 'U.S. Policy Must Be Effective Against Iran's Nuclear Weapons Program & Not Wait For Solution In Iraq'

Bicameral Delegation From U.S. Congress Visits Knesset For Talks On National Security Issues

In Jerusalem, a  U.S. Congressional delegation of Republicans and Democrats has discussed national security issues with Israeli Knesset members. The Iranian nuclear weapons threat was obviously high on the agenda at their closed door session in the Knesset. Delegation leader  Senator Jon Kyl (R) of Arizona and Representative (D) Jane Harman of California were interviewed by IsraCast on how Republicans and Democrats view for stiffer international sanctions may prevent Tehran from acquiring 'the bomb'.

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HEZBOLLAH & JERUSALEM PHOTO- OP

IDF Intelligence Officer: 'Hezbollah Is Potentially Stronger Today Than It was Before Last Summer's War'

Defense Minister Peretz: 'We Expect Hamas & Fatah Will Form National Unity Government But Israel Will Only Talk With President Abbas'

U.S. - Israeli-Palestinian Photo-Op In Jerusalem

A senior IDF intelligence officer has revealed that Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon are on their way to being stronger now than before last summer's war. Brig. Gen. Yossi Bidatz revealed some new facts and figures when he briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee. Also appearing at the hearing Defense Minister Amir Peretz Tried to play down the intelligence assessment. Meanwhile, in Jerusalem U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chaired a three way summit with Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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BACK TO BASICS

Chief of Staff Ashkenazi: 'IDF Will Conduct Intensive Training To Cope With Lessons Of Second Lebanon War'

Senior Defense Source: 'Gross Negligence In Co-Ordination Between IDF Northern Command & Israel Air Force Responsible For Failure To Stem Katyushas'

Question: 'Will Such Leaks Get Prime Minister Olmert Off The Hook With Winograd Enquiry?'

'Back to basics', that's the message from new IDF Chief of Staff Gaby Ashkenazi. The IDF's top soldier plans on shaking up the Israeli military to meet the various threats facing the Jewish state today.

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IRAN & NORTH KOREA

Menashe Amir: 'Iranians Fear Harsher International Sanctions Could Lead To Fall Of Regime'

'Mounting Voices In Iran Calling For Halt To Nuclear Enrichment'

'Today Some Iranian Clergy Charge That President Ahmadinejad Has Exaggerated Progress In Nuclear Program'

What's the impact on Iran of the international agreement with North Korea on halting its nuclear weapons program? Israeli expert Menashe Amir says that the international sanctions on Tehran are already having an effect. Amir, who follows Iranian developments on a daily basis, says there are fears in Tehran that harsher sanctions could lead to the fall of the regime. Mounting voices are also calling for a halt to the nuclear enrichment program necessary for developing nuclear weapons in return for economic concessions from the international community. Interviewed by David Essing at IsraCast, Menashe Amir analyzes various aspects of Iran's nuclear weapons drive in light of the agreement with North Korea.

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Listen to Audio Interview - Menashe Amir Includes transcript of interview

ARROW BULL'S EYE

MK Steinitz: 'Latest Arrow Success Proves Israel Has Very Good Defense Against Iranian Missile Attack'

'No Other Country In The World Has Succeeded In Doing What Arrow Did In Destroying Simulated Iranian Shihab Rocket That Could Be Capable Of Delivering Nuclear Warhead'

PM Olmert: 'Arrow Bull's - Eye Was Very Impressive Achievement - Israel Also Working On A Short & Intermediate Missile Defense Within Three or Four Years'

Knesset Member Yuval Steinitz, the former chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, says the latest Arrow success proves Israel has a very good defense against Iranian missiles. No other country in the world has succeeded in doing what the Arrow did in the latest test. Steinitz, who attended the test, told IsraCast that the Arrow proved it can destroy ballistic missiles fired from about any range. In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also called the Arrow test a most impressive achievement.

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MECCA SUMMIT - AGREEMENT OR MIRAGE?

Brig. Gen.(res.) Shalom Harari: 'Details OF Mecca Agreement Are Cloudy- What Is Clear Does Not Look Good'

'Deal To End Internal Palestinian Violence May Hold For Day Or Two But Potential Remains For More Clashes'

'Israel Can Expect To See More Terrorism Despite Mecca Summit'

What are the prospects for the vaguely worded agreement hammered out by Hamas and Fatah in Mecca, Saudi Arabia?  Shalom Harari, a senior reserve officer in the IDF Intelligence Corps and analyst at the Herzliya Counter - terrorism Center centre assesses various aspects of the accord aimed at ending the bloody Palestinian power struggle that has killed dozens of Palestinians in recent weeks. Interviewed by IsraCast,  Harari also analyzes the possible impact of the Mecca Accord on Israel and the ongoing struggle between Radial Islam and established regimes in the Middle East.

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NO EVACUATION OF SDEROT

Defense Minister Amir Peretz: 'Under No Circumstances Will Israeli Town Of Sderot Be Evacuated Due To Palestinian Rocketing From Gaza Strip'

Former Defense Minister Moshe Arens: 'IDF Will Have To Launch Ground Operation Into Gaza To Halt Palestinian Attacks'

Is Israel planning to evacuate the Negev town of Sderot which is located just across the border from the Gaza Strip? Defense Minister Amir Peretz categorically denied rumors that this is in the offing in light of the repeated Palestinian rocketing of the town. Meanwhile, a former defense minister,  Moshe Arens says Israel will have no choice but to launch a major ground operation into Gaza to suppress the rocketing.

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Listen to Interview with Prof. Moshe Arens Includes transcript of interview

Exclusive Interview With Former Defense Minister Moshe Arens

Moshe Arens: 'Cynical & Hypocritical Of French President Jacques Chirac To Say Not So Dangerous If Iran Acquires Nuclear Weapons That Threaten Israel'

'Russian President Putin Says He Opposes Iran's Acquiring Nuclear Weapons But Sells Tehran Nuclear Reactors and Anti- Aircraft Missiles To Protect Them'

In Iran, President Ahmadinejad continues his drive to acquire nuclear weapons on one hand while threatening 'to wipe Israel off the map' on the other. Nevertheless, two world leaders Jacques Chirac and Vladimir Putin appear to be putting their narrow national interests first. In an exclusive interview with David Essing for IsraCast, a former Israeli defense minister Moshe Arens, assesses this security threat to the Jewish state.

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Listen to Interview with Prof. Moshe Arens Includes transcript of interview

New holocaust website for Iranians

Despite Iranian President Ahmadinejad's evil intentions, the new Yad-Vashem Persian website had more than 10,000 visitors since it went online last Thursday. The site contains pictures, information on post-war trials including Nuremburg, and poems written by victims of the Holocaust. Read more on IsraCast.

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UN marks International Day of Commemoration

The U.N. General Assembly has adopted a resolution condemning Holocaust denial

The resolution, co-sponsored by 103 countries, comes on the heels  of a December conference in Iran questioning whether the Holocaust really took place. The United States submitted the resolution on January 23rd  and Canada, Australia, Israel, Turkey, Russia and the European Union lobbied to garner majority support for it. The resolution was passed by consensus, without a vote; Iran dismissed it as a political ploy.

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PRESIDENCY UNDER FIRE

Public Debate Underway After President Moshe Katsav Accused Of Rape & Sexual Misconduct

Katsav Lawyers Say They Have New Evidence That May Persuade Attorney General To Drop Charges

Should Israel abolish the mainly ceremonial position of President after the incumbent Moshe Katsav has been accused of rape and other sexual misconduct as well as obstructing justice? This is now a burning issue in the midst of the scandal that has shocked the country. IsraCast has drawn on numerous sources in this report on President Moshe Katsav - the position and the man.

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WOOLSEY ON IRAN & HAMAS

Former CIA Director James Woolsey : 'There May Be No Alternative To Military Strikes Against Iran's Nuclear Facilities'

'How Can Israel Possibly Reach A Deal With Hamas With Hamas Which Seeks To Destroy Jewish State'

On a visit to Israel, a former CIA Director James Woolsey warned that Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapon and if need be a military operation should be mounted to prevent it. Interviewed on Channel One television Woolsey ruled out any possibility of a peace deal with the Palestinians as long as Hamas was in the government.

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SCHUEFTAN AT HERZLIYA

Middle East expert Dan Schueftan aroused great interest at the Herzlyia conference when he assessed the current Palestinian situation. In his analysis, Dr. Schueftan, also presented an analysis of how Israeli Arabs relate to the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation. Previously on January 16th, Schueftan discussed the issues in a wide - ranging audio interview on IsraCast.  Due to the interest in Schueftan's analysis, we now present the written text of that interview .

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Listen to Audio Interview with Dr. Dan Schueftan Includes transcript of interview

RESIGN OR IMPEACH!

Public Outcry: 'Katsav Resign'

Knesset Members Begin Drive To Impeach State President After Attorney General Announces His Intention To Indict Moshe Katsav On Rape Charges

Labor MK Michael Melchior: 'Despite The Deep Sense Of National Shame, Citizens Should Take Comfort In Knowing Judicial System Works At Highest Level'

Israeli citizens are reeling with a sense of disgust after Attorney General Meni Mazzuz announced that there are grounds for indicting State President Moshe Katsav on charges of rape. Cabinet ministers, Knesset members and the media are clamouring for Katsav to resign. In the Israeli political system, the state president has no real political powers - he is unifying symbol who represents the country as a whole.

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Knesset Launches Fellowship of Israel and Black America (FIBA)

African Americans and Members of Knesset launch Martin Luther King Jr. Israel Award in the Knesset

Pastor Glenn Plummer, Chairman and CEO of the Fellowship of Israel and Black America

The Fellowship of Israel and Black America (FIBA) was launched formally in Israel yesterday in honor of the birthday of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. (15th of January), through the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, with the announcement of the Martin Luther King Jr. Israel Award. Pivotal to the launch was the announcement of the first Award ceremony which will take place in Jerusalem on Dr King's birthday next year, 15 January 2008.

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GENERAL'S BOMBSHELL SHAKES ISRAELI CABINET

Resignation of IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz May Topple Olmert Government

Opposition & Some Coalition Members Call On Prime Minister Olmert & Defense Minister Peretz To Follow Halutz Example

The question being asked in Israel and in corridors of power in the Middle East and beyond is what happens now on the Israeli political scene after the surprise resignation of IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz. The General as well as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz are blamed by many Israelis for bungling last summer's war with Hezballah in Lebanon. David Essing spoke to both opposition and coalition MK's:

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CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS

Dr. Dan Schueftan: 'U.S. Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice Is Facing Total Disintegration Of Palestinian Society & Leadership - Even President Mahmoud Abbas Has No Control Of His Fatah Organization'

'Clash Of Civilizations Now Involves Israeli Arabs Who Reject Idea Of Independent Jewish State Of Israel'

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is conducting her latest Middle East mission against the background of the fierce Palestinian power struggle.

The bloody clash between Fatah and Hamas is leading to the disintegration of the Palestinian society - that's the view of Dr. Dan Schueftan, a leading Palestinian analyst at Haifa University. Although Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ( Abu Mazen ) calls for a negotiated settlement with Israel, he no longer exerts control over his own Fatah organization in its bloody feud with Hamas that calls for Israel's destruction.

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GATHERING POLITICAL STORM

Opinion Polls Are Distorted By Uncertainty About Party Leaders In Kadima & Labor

Barak & Ayalon In Neck And Neck Race In Labor

Olmert's Political Fate Could Be Decided By Attorney General And/Or Vinograd Enquiry Into Lebanon War

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak's entry into the race for Labor party leader, has thrown a wild card into the gathering poker game of Israeli politics. But in the current state of play there are several key moves that have yet to be resolved.

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PASSING THE BUCK ON NATIONAL SECURITY

Is Israel's National Interest Taking Back Seat To Political & Personal Careers?

Did The Fall Of The Iraqi Regime Impact On Poor Performance Of IDF Ground Forces Against Hezbollah?

Israel is still reeling from the outcome of the Lebanon war. In reviewing internal IDF inquiries into why IDF ground forces failed to route the Hezbollah guerrillas and halt the rocketing of northern Israel, Chief of Staff Dan Halutz admitted that Israel's deterrent has suffered in the Arab world. Meanwhile, speculation is rife that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert may appoint Ehud Barak, a former IDF Chief of Staff and Prime Minister, to replace Defense Minister Amir Peretz. However, coalition politics and personal careers may block such a move.

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PALESTINIAN BLOODLETTING

Brig. Gen. Shalom Harari: 'Internal Palestinian Clashes Between Hamas And Fatah Likely To Continue In Coming Days'

'Israeli Easing Of Roadblocks Has Always Been Exploited By Terrorists - IDF Undercover Operations On West Bank Prevent Suicide Bombers From Penetrating Israel'

'Egypt Could Do Much More To Block Palestinian Arms Smuggling From Sinai in to Gaza Strip'

Over the weekend, the internal Palestinian bloodshed has soared in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The Palestinian power struggle between Hamas and Fatah reached a new peak - seven Palestinians were killed when Hamas raiders attacked the home of a Fatah security officer in the Gaza Strip. More deadly clashes have occurred on the West Bank. Meanwhile, in the West Bank town of Ramallah an Israeli undercover operation to catch a wanted terrorist  is detected leading to a shootout that kills five Palestinians and wounds several dozen others. All this as terrorists in the Gaza Strip continue to launch two or three Qassam rockets daily at Israeli targets despite the current 'cease-fire' in Gaza. IDF Brig. Gen. (Res.) Shalom Harari, a senior analyst at the Counter-Terrorism Institute at the Herzlyia Center assesses latest Palestinian developments. Shalom Harari was interviewed by David Essing:

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Listen to Interview with Brig. Gen, Shalom Harari Includes transcript of interview

Teddy Kollek Laid to Rest

P.M. Ehud Olmert: "There will never be another Teddy Kollek"

Mayor Lupolianski: "Teddy was Jerusalem and Jerusalem was Teddy"

Hundreds of people pay last tribute to former Mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President Moshe Katzav and Vice Premier Shimon Peres are just few of the Israeli dignitaries and foreign diplomats who attended the funeral at Mount Herzl National Cemetery. Earlier,  Kollek's coffin laid in state at City Hall's Safra Square, where Jerusalem citizens could pass by and pay tribute to their legendary Mayor.

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Teddy Kollek, the legendary mayor of Jerusalem (1911-2007)

Former mayor of Jerusalem Teddy Kollek passed away at the age of 95. Kollek was elected to the position six times and served as mayor of Jerusalem for almost three decades - from 1965 until 1993. In 1988, Kollek was awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Israel Prize, for his contributions to building the modern Jerusalem.

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IsraCast Archive | January-February 2007

IsraCast Archive