Showing Results 1-20 of 172 for Arafat
April 02, 2017
Remember Henry's Kissinger's 'constructive ambiguity'? We are now seeing President Trump's version of it, possibly on the advice of his special emissary Jason Greenblatt, who recently visited the region to meet separately with Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. But how can Bibi's decision to establish a new settlement, the first new one in 25 years, aid in a resumption of peace negotiations? (All the other construction of housing units was within the boundaries of existing settlements on the West Bank).
February 05, 2017
It was not long in coming – President Trump has signaled Prime Minister Netanyahu to back off on building new settlements or expanding any existing settlements 'beyond their current borders'. In fact, Israel's leader actually triggered the White House response. What did Bibi expect after he announced that Israel would build a brand-new settlement to compensate for the evacuation of the illegal settlement of Amona? For good measure Netanyahu also tacked on 5,500 new housing units to existing settlements on the West Bank! This was the official Trump statement:
- "While we don't believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal."
January 14, 2017
The fate of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is now in the hands of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. A full blown police investigation of the PM is now underway on two counts:
- A tape recording, now in the hands of the police, reportedly proves Bibi and Yediot Ahronot newspaper owner Noni Moses discussed how to rig control over the sale and content of newspapers in Israel. This included the freebie Yisrael Hayom that totally backs Bibi and is financed by Sheldon Adelson, the American casino tycoon. (Get this: Bibi himself taped Moses. The PM now claims he did so to discredit the owner of the newspaper that hauled him over the coals day in and out. The only problem is that their secret powwows took place years ago and Bibi never handed over the recordings to the police after colluding with Moses on what was apparently a serious breech of trust, if not more).
- Bibi and his wife Sara (who has a habit of getting into hot water with the law) are suspected of having received some one hundred thousands dollars in super expensive cigars and champagne from Israeli film producer Arnon Milchan. The Netanyahus contend these were legitimate gifts between close buddies and not bribes.
December 31, 2016
US President Barack Obama screwed Israel on the UN Security Council Resolution that blamed Israeli settlements solely for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Granted, Secretary John Kerry has tried to take out some of the sting, but the fact remains Professor Obama presented his damning thesis - 'if only the Israelis had halted the settlements we would have reached an historic peace accord and today the Palestinians and Israelis would be living happily ever after'. This is patently false and does not stand up to a fair and balanced examination of what has transpired since Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Agreement on the White House lawn in 1993.
November 11, 2016
Israel is split - The Right is jubilant whereas the Center-Left worries that the election of President Trump will spur the Netanyahu government to build new settlements on the West Bank. There is no question that Netanyahu will be under immense pressure from the far Right to do so. In heralding the Trump victory, Cabinet Minister Naftali Bennett leader of the Far Right 'Jewish Home' party declared 'The two-state solution is finished! It is now in our hands to change the course of Israel - to take Israel out of the Oslo perception of a Palestinian state, which has only brought us conflict and bloodshed!'
In Jerusalem, the chairman of the local planning committee at City Hall has announced he will present plans to build 7,000 housing units in territory across the old 1967 line. The fire-brand called Meir Turgeman told Israel Radio that Prime Minister Netanyahu himself froze the plans for one reason or another due to pressure from the Obama administration. However Turgeman added now that Trump has been elected, Netanyahu will have no excuse to intervene. Though, the building plans must first be approved by the Israeli cabinet before the bulldozers start rolling.
Netanyahu who steered clear of expressing support for either Trump or Clinton issued a statement congratulating the President Elect and thanking Clinton for her support in the past. He is obviously delighted that Trump won. It's a safe bet that Bibi will want to cement ties with Trump as soon as possible. Therefore he will not want to arouse Trump's ire with hasty decisions. Bibi has also apparently instructed his Likud cabinet ministers not to go overboard by giving the impression that Trump is now in Israel's pocket. Netanyahu and his colleagues including Naftali Bennett would do well to remember that Trump has risen to power on his 'America First' platform and this will continue to be his prism for all his foreign policy decisions. If anything, policy-makers in Jerusalem must have realized Trump is impulsive and at times totally unpredictable.
November 04, 1995
Yitzhak Rabin was murdered on November 4th, 1995 by a Jewish assassin, Yigal Amir. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel from 1974 until 1977 and again from 1992 until his assassination in 1995. Rabin played a leading role in the signing of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians and the peace treaty with Jordan, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize For Peace in 1994.
October 09, 2016
On Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement in 1973, the new-born state of Israel was nearly wiped off the map. Egypt and Syria launched a massive surprise attack along the entire lengths of the Golan Heights and the Suez Canal. The IDF was caught napping - when it finally awakened just several hours before the onslaught, Prime Minister Golda Meir and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan rejected a plea by Chief of Staff David Elezar to launch a preventative air strike against the massed Arab forces, about to surge forward. The Israeli leaders feared the US would blame Israel for starting the war because both President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger did not believe the Arabs would dare attack Israel. In the opening weeks of the Yom Kippur War, it was touch-and-go whether the Jewish state would survive. The IDF forces along the Suez Canal and the Golan were outnumbered ten-to-one in tanks and artillery, and by far more in infantry. Moreover the Russians had just supplied sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to both their Arab allies that shot down an alarming number of Israeli aircraft. In one of the war’s darkest hours, a desolate Dayan was heard to say:
'The Third House of Israel may be about to fall!'
October 03, 2016
Why did world leaders and ninety delegations from seventy countries attend the funeral of Shimon Peres in Jerusalem? An amazing number for a tiny country that is more often than not the butt of unbridled criticism in the corridors of the UN. They did so, as stated by US President Barack Obama, because Peres achieved the international stature of a Nelson Mandella during his incredible career that never ended until his final stroke.
First Peres bolstered the capability of the fledgling Jewish state to survive the repeated attempts by its Arab enemies to annihilate it. His contribution to Israel's defense was possibly more, and certainly no less, than many of the state's vaunted military commanders. To this very day, Israelis stand strong against threats unparalleled by any other democratic country. Although survival had to come first in the reborn homeland of the Jews, it was to be followed by a ceaseless quest for peace with her Arab neighbors.
September 19, 2016
This time it was over the record US military aid package to Israel. No less than $38 billion dollars will go to the Jewish state over a ten year period starting in 2018. Even if every penny will go back into the American economy for the purchase of American weapons, why did former Prime Minister Ehud Barak again smack Bibi in the kisser for bungling the matter? Recently Barak hauled Netanyahu over the coals for jeopardizing Israel's national security but he refused to elaborate and left the country guessing. Now after the disclosure of the details, Barak has weighed in. Writing first in the Washington Post, Barak accused Bibi of playing fast and loose by continuing to oppose US President Barack Obama even after it should have been clear the US and Iran had closed the nuclear deal. Bibi should have backed off, even if it was a ' very bad deal' and tried to salvage what he could with the US leader. But on the contrary - Bibi tried to go over Obama's head and accepted a Republican invitation to address the US Congress on this very contentious issue. Barak contends it was an act of folly that only antagonized Obama. This was a crucial period when the US leader would have been ready to listen favorably to some of Israel's legitimate concerns. After all is said and done Obama had agreed to leave almost all of Iran's nuclear weapons facilities in place which could mean a possible breakout in the future.
September 05, 1972
The Munich massacre occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually murdered by Black September, a group with ties to Yasser Arafat’s Fatah organization.
August 14, 2016
So what if an Egyptian judoka refused to shake hands after an Israeli defeated him? It was not the first time. In Rio, even Lebanese Olympians refused to travel in the same bus with Israelis. However it came in stark contrast to the under-current of relations that are slowly gaining momentum between Israel and the Sunni Arab states. Egypt's President Al-Sisi has forged a military understanding with Prime Minister Netanyahu on coping with the mounting mutual threat from Islamic State fighters in Sinai. (The Egyptian Sinai was demilitarized in the peace treaty with Israel). But much of the 'Arab street' in Egypt still views the Jewish state as an enemy. Most certainly, members of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood. It was not clear whether the Egyptian Judoka was a fanatical Muslim, probably not. Otherwise he would have refused to compete with a Jew. More likely the Egyptian was worried about the hot reception he would get back home, if he were filmed shaking the hand of an Israeli.
July 31, 2016
It is still hard to say whether most Israelis favor Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Going into the Democrats' convention, Trump had a slight lead. Coming out, Hillary got her expected 'bounce' and this will also be reflected in Israeli public opinion. Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians are wary about getting drawn into the U.S. presidential campaign for obvious reasons. A majority of Netanyahu's Likud party supporters hope Trump will make it to the White House, while the Centre and Left (Zionist Union-Labor) favor Clinton. Where does Bibi Stand? An indication is the clear-cut position taken by 'Yisrael Hayom' (Israel Today) the freebie newspaper that backs Netanyahu and is also in Trump's corner. Israel Today is financed by American casino tycoon, Sheldon Adelson. But the Clintons, both Hillary and Bill, have always been strong supporters of the Jewish state.
June 17, 2016
Ongoing genocide of Yazidis in Syria...
Yazidis are neither Muslim nor Arab, and follow a distinct faith that is abhorred by Daesh. At this very moment, Daesh is perpetrating genocide of 400,000 Yazidi women, children and men, mostly in Syria. Everyone has known it's been going on and now the UN has verified it. Chairman Paul Pinheiro has issued a report by the UN commission of Inquiry in Geneva disclosing:
'Genocide has occurred and is ongoing. ISIS (Daesh) has subjected every Yazidi woman, child and man that it has captured to the most horrific of atrocities. Girls as young as nine are being raped, as are pregnant women. More than 3,200 Yazidi women and children are being held mostly in Syria'.
May 27, 2016
Israel is still reeling after Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu appointed Avigdor Lieberman as his new Defense Minister. Half of the country thinks Bibi has lost his marbles while the other believes Lieberman is just what the doctor ordered to cope with the violence and bloodshed running rampant in the Middle East. In the past, Lieberman has called for imposing the death penalty on Palestinian terrorists, who have been killing Israeli civilians in the streets, and suggested that Israel should topple the Hamas regime in Gaza and target Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for backing terrorism against the Jewish State. In addition, if Cairo ever threatened Israel again, Jerusalem should destroy the huge Aswan Dam in Egypt.
February 26, 2016
A ceasefire to halt the carnage in a bloody civil war should be a welcome event. But this is not likely in Syria. Two of the most vicious combatants, Daesh and Jabhat al Nusra (an affiliate of al Qaeda) are not even party to it, and Russia has forewarned that it will react with force to any violations by the rebels who seek to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad. And after President Putin sent in his airborne 'cavalry' to save Assad by bombing just about anything that moved, the Syrian tyrant is firmly in place in his presidential palace in Damascus.
January 29, 2016
From a mountaintop in nearby Cyprus, American and British cyber spies have been hacking into Israel's most closely guarded secrets for years. In a startling expose, the Intercept website has revealed a joint American-British operation 'to steal a bird's-eye-view' of Israeli drone operations. Not only that, they are also monitoring any Israeli preparations for a military strike against Iran's nuclear sites. This is how Intercept described what one Israeli has deemed as the gravest penetration of Israel's 'holiest of holies':
"American and British Intelligence secretly tapped into live video feeds from Israeli drones and fighter jets monitoring military operations in Gaza, watching for a potential strike against Iran, and keeping tabs on the drone technology Israel exports around the world."
January 15, 2016
The symbolism was stark. Just days before Washington was due to lift billions of dollars of sanctions on Tehran, the Iranians humiliated ten American sailors who were forced to their knees with their hands behind their heads in submission. The photos from the Persian Gulf were flashed around the world showing who is boss in the Persian Gulf. Just hours later, U.S. President Barack Obama ignored the ignominious incident in his last speech to the nation. On the contrary, he lauds the nuclear deal with Iran. And his Secretary of State, John Kerry, even thanks his Iranian counter-part, Javad Zarif, for the subsequent release of the wayward sailors.
December 11, 2015
When Barack Obama and Israel's President, Reuven Rivlin, lit Chanukah candles in the Oval Office, they also cast some light on the truth about the U.S. -Israeli relationship. In the past, much was made about the 'bad blood' between Obama and Netanyahu - Barack Hussein Obama was a closet anti-Semite, although most of his closest friends and advisers were Jewish. On the other hand, a close aide to Obama even accused Bibi of coming close to using the N-word! The Obama-Rivlin meeting has gutted these assumptions. At the same time, it has revealed some underling truths about the Obama-Netanyahu feud over the last nearly seven years. Obama and Bibi simply had different perceptions of what policies they wanted to follow after identifying what their voters would support. Naturally, they were democratically elected.
October 30, 2015
What if Israeli Prime Minister had not been assassinated after that peace rally on Nov.15th, 1995? Would Israel now be living at peace with the state of Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza Strip? Did Yigal Amir, the Right Wing Israeli killer, change the course of history?
Of course, there is no way of knowing. But it is possible to examine what has happened since that cursed night. Today over 90% of Israelis can tell you exactly what they were doing when they heard the news. A night when Israel's vaunted Shabak Security Service failed abysmally to prevent the assassin, armed with a revolver, from casually walking up and firing three shots into Rabin's back while a couple of his body-guards looked on in disbelief - Jews aren't supposed to assassinate their leaders! (The bullets were hollow-point to increase the damage and Rabin never had a chance.
October 16, 2015
"What would you do in New York, Washington, London or Paris if terrorists were attacking people in the streets with knives and meat cleavers? Your policemen would act immediately to prevent it, and that's what Israeli policemen and doing now!"
That was Netanyahu's response to the insinuation by U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby:
"We have seen some reports of (Israel's) security activity that could indicate the potential excessive use of force."