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IsraCast Archive | March-April 2007

WINOGRAD FALLOUT

Winograd Commission: 'Prime Minister Olmert, Defense Minister Peretz & Former IDF Chief Of Staff Halutz Guilty Of Grave Failings In Second Lebanon War'

Olmert Sources: 'The Prime Minister Is Studying The Report & Has No Plans To Resign'

Likud Opposition Calls For Early Election & Launches Campaign To Oust Kadima-Lead Coalition

All bets are off after the Winograd Inquiry published what amounts to a condemnation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's handling of last summer's 'Second Lebanon War'. Also hauled over the coals were Defense Minister Amir Peretz, former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, the entire cabinet and successive Israeli governments that ignored the Hezbollah threat after the IDFs unilateral evacuation of southern Lebanon in May 2006. IsraCast reports that after the dust settles, public opinion and its impact on Israel's domestic politics will apparently determine what happens next.

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Theodor Herzl Day

Theodor Herzl's birthday, 10 Iyar, was declared Herzl Day, to be marked annually with a state memorial at his grave on Mount Herzl.

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WINOGRAD COUNTDOWN

Leaks From Winograd Testimony About Military Failings Eases Pressure On Political Leader Ehud Olmert

Maariv: ' Senior IDF Commanders Warned Chief Of Staff Halutz That Hizballah Kidnapping Attempt Was Imminent & They Lacked Adequate Manpower To Cope With It '

Will Winograd Fault Prime Minister Olmert For AppointingTotally Inexperienced Defense Minister & Jeopardizing State's Security?

The futures of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz will be on the line when the Winograd Commission releases its partial report on April 30th.As previously reported by IsraCast, the chances are good that Olmert will survive the interim findings. The long awaited conclusions will deal with the period from the IDF evacuation of the security zone in southern Lebanon back in May 2000 until the first five days of the war that erupted on July 12th 2006. Leaks to the media from Winograd testimony have highlighted the responsibility of former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz for failing to respond to warnings from senior officers before the war and his inexperience in conducting a war against the Hizballah guerillas.

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WINDS OF WAR

Israel Considers Reaction To Hamas Rocket Barrage From Gaza Strip

Deputy Defense Minister Sneh: 'Israel Has No Interest In Escalation But Will Act To Lower Flames Of Terror Attacks'

Hamas: 'Our Tahdia Calm With Israel Is Over, We Will Continue Attacks'

Strong winds of war are again blowing in the Middle East after Hamas launched more than 100 rockets and mortars at Israel from the Gaza Strip. It was the most massive terror attack on Israel since Hamas agreed to a temporary cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is consulting with defense officials on how to react.

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TWILIGHT ZONE

Prospects & Perils On Israel's Foreign Policy Agenda

Prime Minister Olmert: 'Sanctions Are Having An Impact On Iran - Iranians Are Not As Advanced On Their Nuclear Program As They Contend'

'New Music From Arab World On Recognizing Israel'

As Israel's Independence Day draws near, the Jewish state faces a range of evolving prospects and dangers. At the same time, if Prime minister Ehud Olmert survives the Winograd Commission into the Second Lebanon War, he will have likely have new defense and finance ministers at his side. IsraCast analyzes the current situation and the domestic political scene and possibly some dramatic changes.

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59 Years to Israel

Israel is remembering its 22,305  fallen servicemen and women with memorial services in military cemeteries around the country. Here is a photo presentation from Western Wall & Mount Herzl Ceremonies.

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DARFUR & THE HOLOCAUST

Yosef (Tommy) Lapid: 'Where Is The World Outcry To The Genocide Being Perpetrated In Darfur, Sudan?'

The world is doing nothing to halt the genocide is again being perpetrated in Darfur - that was the message from Yosef (Tommy Lapid), a Holocaust survivor from Budapest, who now serves as chairman of the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem for the six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis during World War II. Lapid was speaking at the annual Holocaust memorial ceremony this week. This is a translation of his address to the people of Israel and the world.

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NO ISRAELI ATTACK ON SYRIA

Prime Minister Olmert: 'I Have No Knowledge Of U.S. Military Operation Against Iran'

'Israel Has No Intention Of Attacking Syria'

'Latest Palestinian Prisoner List Is Disappointing'

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has denied foreign reports that Israel will attack Syria during a U.S. military operation against Iran's nuclear facilities this summer. Briefing the Knesset's Foreign Affairs & & Defense Committee, the Israeli leader said there was no truth to the rumors - Israel had no intention of attacking Syria.

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Exclusive - Catholic Collusion In Croatia

During World War II, Pavelic Regime Offered Croatian Jews Conversion To Catholicism & Contributing Personal Property - In Return For Not Being Deported To Death Camp. However, IsraCast Has Uncovered Evidence That Even These Jews & Their Families Were Later Executed By Ustasha

Some of the most horrific Holocaust  atrocities against Jews were perpetrated by the Pavelic regime in Croatia. The tragic history of the Jewish communities in that country has yet to be told because there are literally no survivors. But part of the documentation still survives. On this Holocaust and Remembrance Day, Avi Yaffe of IsraCast reveals documented evidence of how the Catholic church collaborated in the annihilation of the Jewish communities of Croatia. The town of Vukovar, located on the Croatian border with Serbia, is but an example of what transpired in Croatia where the Ustasha movement was unleashed, with the support of the Catholic church, to launch a sadistic campaign of murder and torture against Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. The Ustasha barbarity was said to have even shocked their German masters. 

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CORPORAL SHALIT & PALESTINIAN KILLERS

Israel At Odds Over Exchanging Abducted IDF Soldier For Palestinian Killers

Dov Yinon: 'Palestinian Terrorists Should Be Released On Condition They Will Be Tracked Down And Executed Or Deported If They Revert To Violence'

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his top advisors have been consulting on the list of hundreds of security prisoners that the Palestinians are demanding in return for the release of IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit. The Israeli cabinet is expected to take a final decision on whether to free Palestinians with Israeli blood on their hands. IsraCast analyzes the various views on this painful issue that has been dominating the Israeli media.

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SYRIA, SHOW ME

Olmert Confidant: 'If Syrian President Bashar Assad Is Serious About Peace, Let Him Show It's Not A Trap To Weaken Israel'

Syrian Middleman Dr. Suleiman: 'Israel & Syria Can Make Peace In Six Months'

Labor MK Avital: 'Israel Should Explore Syria's Peace Overtures'

In an unprecedented step, Dr. Ibrahim Suleiman a Syrian citizen who now resides in Washington, briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee. In the years 2004 - 2006, Suleiman and Alon Liel, a former director-general of the Israeli Foreign ministry conducted informal private contacts under the auspices of Switzerland. Although not officially authorized they updated their respective governments on understandings they have worked out in the private talks. Meretz Knesset Member Zehava Gallon initiated a move for Suleiman to go to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee to present the Syrian position. Later committee members told IsraCast they differed on whether Assad is really interested in peace.

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Listen to Dr. Ibrahim Suleiman Includes transcript of interview
Listen to MK Tzachi Hanegbi Includes transcript of interview
Listen to MK Colette Avital Includes transcript of interview

Ariel Sharon opens his eyes

Former Prime Minister Sharom has been in a coma since January 2006. His son Omri says that Mr. Sharon follows things with his eyes, watches television and responds to questions with a slight tightening of his hand.

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FOREIGN POLICY ON HOLD

New York Times: 'Israel Torpedoes Multi-Billion Dollar Arms Sale To Saudi Arabia & Gulf States'

Maariv Daily: 'Israel Objected To Offensive High-Tech Not Defensive Weaponry'

IsraCast: U.S. Consideration Of Israel's Security Concerns Again Indicates Depth Of Joint Interests

Are new developments afoot in the Middle East? The 'to and fro' of international figures coupled with the Arab League's peace offer might be misleading. The IsraCast assessment is that Israeli foreign policy is so closely tied to the Bush administration that it has been put on hold until the Iranian nuclear crisis is resolved.

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FROM KHARTOUM TO RIYADH

Prime Minister Olmert: 'I Believe With All My Heart That We'll Achieve A Comprehensive Peace Settlement With Arabs In Five Years'

Hamas Official: 'Palestinians Will Never Accept Israel's Right To Exist'

Israel's Dilemma - How To Advance Riyadh Peace Initiative Without Agreeing To Unacceptable Conditions?

The Arab League convened in Riyadh, to approve the Saudi peace initiative that was first raised five years ago. Israel is now debating how to react to the Arab peace offer that comes with some serious strings attached. In any event, the IsraCast analysis is that Jerusalem is faced with the dilemma of how to advance the latest Arab peace initiative without officially accepting the Arab conditions for a total Israeli withdrawal and the so-called right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel proper.

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MEANWHILE, BACK IN GAZA

Palestinians Fire Seven Qassams At Israel

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi: 'The Hamas Military Buildup In Gaza Must Be Resolved One Way Or Another'

Deputy Premier Shimon Peres: 'The Arabs Cannot Dictate To Israel No More Than Israel Can Dictate To Arabs'

On the very day the Arab League was convening in Saudi Arabia to approve their peace plan, Palestinian terrorists launched seven more Qassam rockets at Israel. For the first time since last November, Israeli helicopters went into action to strike the rocket launchers. In the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, the new IDF Chief of Staff Gaby Ashkenazi that the Hamas military buildup in Gaza must be eliminated one way or another. IsraCast presents a detailed assessment of major changes being implemented by the new Chief of Staff in light of the Second Lebanon War.

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ISRAEL TO REJECT SAUDI DICTATE

Israeli Official: 'The Arab League Peace Plan In Its Present Form Is An Offer Israel Must Refuse'

Saudi Foreign Minister: 'Israel Must Accept Proposal As Is, Otherwise Israel Will Be Inviting Future War'

Labor MK Danny Yatom: 'The Best Solution For Israel Is To Explore Peace Negotiations With Syria'

A senior Israeli official has welcomed the Arab League's offer to make peace with Israel however it must be the starting point for negotiations. The official told IsraCast that Jerusalem could not agree to the Arab demand that the Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to Israel and that Israel must withdraw to the old 1967 lines including East Jerusalem. However, the Arab League declares  that it's a take-it-or-leave-it offer. In an interview with IsraCast, Labor MK Danny Yatom says the best option for Israel in light of the impasse on the Palestinian tract is to explore peace talks with Syria.

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PERES FAULTS OLMERT

Former PM Shimon Peres: 'I would Not Have Gone To War With Hezbollah'

Maj.Gen.( res.) Amos Malka: 'The IDF Was Worn Down After Lebanon Withdrawal By Its Exaggerated Attention To Palestinian Issue'

IsraCast: 'Peres Testimony Reveals That Prime Minister Olmert & Defense Minister Peretz Performed As Inexperienced Leaders'

Former prime minister Shimon Peres has starred in the first installment of closed door testimony to the Winograd Inquiry into last summer's war with Hezbollah. Deputy-Premier Peres, who has voiced public support for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in effect hauled Olmert over the coals for his performance after the Hezbollah attack that killed eight IDF soldiers and abducted two others. Maj. Gen.(res.) Amos Malka, IDF intelligence chief at the time of the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000 also blamed the IDF General Staff for being preoccupied with the war on Palestinian terrorism. IsraCast analyzes part of the testimony against the backdrop of Israel's political scene.

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ISRAEL NOT CZECHOSLOVAKIA!

Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres: 'Israel Is Not Czechoslovakia Of 1938'

Peres: 'The U.S. Has Blocked Nuclear Weapons Programs in Ukraine, Libya, South Africa & North Korea... It Will Also Stop Iran'

'I Believe Prime Minister Olmert Will Survive Findings of Winograd Enquiry Into War With Hezbollah'

Several European countries have indicated they will recognize Hamas cabinet ministers in the new Palestinian government.  In Gaza, a senior Norwegian diplomat has met with Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh who has declared his support for 'resistance' - that is terrorism against Israel. Hamas also claimed responsibility for the shooting of an Israeli electricity worker who was repairing a power line that supplies electricity to the Gaza Strip. The Israeli was seriously wounded. In addition, more Qassam rockets have been fired into Israel  from Gaza. In Jerusalem, IsraCast asked Deputy Premier Shimon Peres  if there were now a danger  that  European countries will try and appease the Hamas government  by selling out Israel, like Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany in 1938?

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DRESSING UP HAMAS

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: 'Israel Calls On International Community Not To Be Duped By Palestinian Unity Government'

'Israel Will Not Deal With Hamas Lead Government But Will Talk To President Mahmoud Abbas On Limited Issues'

Dr. Dan Schueftan: 'Palestinian Unity Government Is Attempt To Dress Up Hamas As Legitimate Partner'

The Israeli government has voted overwhelmingly to boycott the new Palestinian unity government. At its weekly cabinet session, 19 ministers voted against conducting a dialogue with the Hamas-lead cabinet. Only two ministers abstained in the vote. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called on the international community to maintain its boycott of the Palestinian government until it accepts conditions set up the international Quartet; they call on the Palestinians to recognize Israel, halt terrorism and implement former agreements. In an interview with IsraCast, Dr. Dan Schueftan said the Palestinian unity government is a ploy to dress up Hamas as a legitimate partner while the terror organization continues to plot the destruction of Israel.

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

OLMERT PRE-EMPTS WINOGRAD

Ehud Olmert: 'I Plan On Serving As Prime Minister For Long Time, Despite My Unpopularity & Criticism of Me'

'My Critics Are Right - I Am An Unpopular Prime Minister But It's Because I Take Unpopular But Necessaay Decisions'

Analysis: By Admitting To Unpopularity Prime Minister Olmert Is Trying To Take Sting Out of Criticism By Winograd Enquiry Next Month

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert acted swiftly after  the Winograd Enquiry into the war with Hizballah announced that it would include 'personal conclusions' in its partial agreement to be made public in the second half of April. This will apply to the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister and the IDF Chief of Staff. At a meeting of his ruling Kadima party, Olmert admittted that he was an unpopular prime minister but rejected his critics attacks.  A  IsraCast analysis of the Olmert speech indicates that the Prime Minister may have tried to pre-empt public reaction to possible criticism in the upcoming Winograd findings.

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Yigal Allon (1918-1980)

27 Years to Yigal Allon - Israel's foreign minister under the first Rabin government, and one of Israel's greatest military minds.

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IRAN TRAINING HAMAS

Shabak Security Chief Diskin: 'Hundreds Of Hamas Terrorists Are Training In Iran'

'Hamas & Hezbollah Now View Islamist Movement In Israel As Sister Movement Also Bent On Destruction of Jewish State'

Shabak Security Chief Yuval Diskin presented a grim picture when he briefed the Knesset Foreign & Affairs Committee. Diskin disclosed that hundreds of Hamas terrorists are now undergoing 'extended training in Iran'. 

The security chief also reported on the growing strategic threat posed by Hamas and other groups in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, he  issued a warning about tens of thousands of Israeli Arabs who are members of the Islamist Movement inside Israel. Knesset Member Effy Eitam of the National Union, a retired combat officer, told  IsraCast that many MKs were alarmed by the revelations saying that Israel must take action against the looming threat from Gaza.

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Listen to Interview with MK Effy Eitam Includes transcript of interview

THE SAUDI OPTION

Israel Warms Up To Saudi Arabian Peace Plan

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: 'Saudi Plan Has Positive Elements: We're Watching Its Acceptance By Arab World'

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni: 'If Saudi Plan Gets Off Return Of Refugees & Focuses On Borders It Will Create Good Situation'

The Saudi Arabian peace proposal of several years ago is back in the limelight. When first presented, it called for the Arab world to make full peace with Israel in return for a total Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders. But a short time later, a Beirut summit meeting added the so-called right of return of Palestinian refugees to Israel. IsraCast examines various aspects of the plan that splits the Israeli political spectrum.

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OLMERT TO RESIGN?

Will Prime Minister Ehud Olmert be forced to resign next month when the Winograd Enquiry makes public its interim findings on the recent war with Hezbollah? Kol Israel, the publicly run radio network today reported that the commission has decided to issue 'personal conclusion' about role of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and the retired IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz.

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POW Expose

Nothing In Israeli TV Documentary Indicates That Israeli Troops Executed Egyptian POWs During Six-Day War In 1967

Documented Evidence That Egyptian Troops Did Execute Israeli POWs During Yom-Kippur War of 1973

The screening of the Israeli documentary on the 'Shaked' special forces unit in the Six-Day War of 1967 has sparked a fierce reaction in Egypt. One part of the film aired on Channel One television related to the Shaked pursuit operation against a battalion of 250 Egyptian soldiers who had been attacking Israeli targets in Sinai. It is the practice and policy of the Israel Defense Forces to respect the rights of POWs. In time of war, Israel shows captured POWs each one saying his  name on television to show they are alive and being fairly treated. In contrast, Arab states do not even release the names of Israeli POWs so their anguished families can know they are alive. Who did what to Egyptian and Israeli POWs? IsraCast presents new information on the burning issue that is threatening Israeli-Egyptian relations.

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HAMAS & NAZIS

British historian Sir Martin Gilbert: 'Anti-Semitic Propaganda Of Hamas & Radical Islam Is Similar To That Of Nazis'

'Moderate Arab States Are Playing With Fire By Not Checking Shocking Anti-Semitic Campaigns'

'Iran's Ahmadinejad Poses Threat Similar To Hitler Before World War II'

The eminent British historian Sir Martin Gilbert sees a direct connection between the Anti-Semitic campaign being waged by radical Islam including Hamas and that of Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. Visiting Jerusalem for the International Book Affair, Sir Martin was interviewed by Yaacov Achi-Meir on Channel One television. The author of more than seventy books, Gilbert is the official biographer of Sir Winston Churchill.

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Listen to Interview with Sir Martin Gilbert Includes transcript of interview

RUSSIAN ARMS SALE ROILS ISRAEL

Israeli Officials: 'Russia's Billion Dollar Sale Of Advanced Missiles Will Encourage Syria To Go To War Against Israel'

Former IDF Intelligence Chief Ze'evi - Farkash: 'Advanced Anti-tank & Aircraft Rockets Could Tip Balance Of Power Against Israel - Weapons Will Be Handed On To Hezbollah'

Prof. Galia Golan: 'Russia Is Interested mainly In Making Fast Rubble Not In Renewing Cold War Confrontation With U.S.'

Israeli officials charge that a billion dollar sale of Russian anti-tank and anti-missile rockets will encourage Syria to go to war against Israel. The new anti-tank missiles were said to be more accurate and effective than the Russian weapons that destroyed a number of Israeli tanks in last summer's war with Hezbollah. Moscow had sold those weapons to Damascus but they ended up in the hands of Hezbollah fighters. Some Israeli experts warn the sale of such advanced weaponry to Syria could alter the balance of power with the Jewish state. Does the latest weapons sale to Syria signal that Russia is renewing its cold war confrontation here in the Middle East or are the Russians trying 'to make a fast rubble'? IsraCast interviewed Prof. Galia Golan, Prof. (Emeritus) of the Hebrew University and currently Professor of Government at the Herzliya Inter-Disciplinary Center. Professor Golan assessed the latest Russian arms sale as well as other aspects of Russian policy.

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Listen to Interview with Prof. Galia Golan Includes transcript of interview

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IsraCast Archive | March-April 2007

IsraCast Archive