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Showing Results 1-20 of 328 for Barak
September 16, 2018

WHO GOES FIRST, TRUMP OR THE IRANIAN AYATOLLAHS?

From an Israeli perspective, the race is now on. Will US President Donald Trump succeed in reigning in the fanatical regime in Iran that is bent on destroying Israel, or will he himself be toppled from power? At this point, it is impossible to predict. But for the vast majority of Israelis, there is no doubt that the current US President is a far better friend to Israel than his predecessor Barack Obama, who extended the Islamist regime a ten-year reprice (now down to seven) to start up again their nuclear weapons program. In return, Obama led a huge international bailout program for Iran that enables the regime to make more mischief throughout the Middle East and one day acquire nuclear weapons to attack the Jewish state. Can anyone in their right mind doubt that the Iranian regime, which persecutes its own people, is any less racist than Adolf Hitler and his Nazi cohorts? Yet, former US President Barack Obama and his sidekick, John Kerry, only reacted, when prodded several years ago by Bibi Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, to launch a preemptive strike against Iran if nothing was done to prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons. But Obama and his international partners took the easy way out by simply kicking the can down the road and leaving it to a future president, in this case, Donald Trump, to handle the threat.

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August 01, 2018

NETANYAHU & ROUHANI (AND THEIR HOUR OF HUBRIS)

First to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" This old adage has just caught up with Bibi after he conducted a highly successful diplomatic feat in blocking Iran's plans to establish a military base for threatening Israel from Syria. Netanyahu has gained the backing of both Presidents Trump and Putin. It comes as no surprise that Trump is in Israel's corner, but Putin is a different matter. However, at their recent meeting, the Russian leader told Bibi that he has no objection to Israeli airstrikes on the Iranian military buildup in Syria. Moreover, the Russian ambassador to Israel has reportedly said that Moscow cannot prevent Israel from attacking the Iranians, but on the other hand, neither can it dictate Iran's withdrawal from Syria.

Although Netanyahu has still not found a fail-safe tactic for halting Hamas firebombing from Gaza, this does not pose an existential threat to the Jewish state. However, Iranian forces closing in on the Syrian front is something that Israel will not tolerate. So Bibi was riding high in opinion polls, and if a snap election were called he would likely return as new Prime Minister, despite police investigations on four financial cases.

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May 08, 1972

Sabena Flight 707

On May 8, 1972 a Boeing 707 passenger aircraft of the Belgian airline company, Sabena, that was in flight from Vienna to Tel Aviv, was hijacked by four terrorists from the Palestinian terrorist organization, Black September, and landed at the Tel Aviv airport near Lod.


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April 15, 2018

TRUMP'S AIRSTRIKE - GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS FOR ISRAEL

The good news is that Trump, unlike Obama, kept his word and again bombed Syria's chemical weapons sites. Credit where credit is due. On the other hand, Trump is following in the footsteps of his predecessor and pulling out not only of Syria but the rest of the Middle East. America no longer depends on Arab oil. Nature abhors a vacuum, and Russia and Iran will continue their domination of Syria despite the latest attack. Iran is on remote control aimed at annihilating Israel while Russia is a wild card replacing the US as king-maker in the region.

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March 23, 2018

WHY HAS ISRAEL SUDDENLY ADMITTED IT BOMBED SYRIAN NUCLEAR REACTOR OVER TEN YEARS AGO?

Amid all the hullabaloo in Israel, one key question remains unanswered: why has Jerusalem now seen fit to admit that eight of its aircraft on the night of September 6th, 2007 flew over part of Turkey to bomb and obliterate a secret nuclear reactor being built by the North Koreans in the Syrian desert?

It was a known fact throughout the Middle East that Israel had carried out the air strike - in fact, US officials had actually confirmed it shortly after the fact. And, indirectly, none other than the then Opposition, Leader Bibi Netanyahu, in a TV interview when asked about 'foreign reports' about a mysterious Israeli operation across the northern border. Bibi simply said that he 'wholeheartedly' supported such an operation. However Israeli censorship totally banned the Israeli media from reporting that Israel had carried out the daring mission. That is until now. Suddenly like another bolt out of the blue, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the chief Israeli censor usually a high-ranking IDF officer and a special public committee have taken the wraps completely off. Not only that, senior military and intelligence figures have been given clearance to discuss their role in the operation, without having to first clear it with the official censor. During my fifty year career as a war correspondent and political reporter, I have never seen anything like it! The actual pilots, Intelligence chiefs, the Mossad official involved up to then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, all taking a piece of the media frenzy and vying for part of the glory. 

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March 14, 2018

NETANYAHU - ISRAEL'S WINSTON CHURCHILL OR RICHARD NIXON?

For two weeks Israel has been totally absorbed in a political frenzy focused on Prime minister Bibi Netanyahu and the question - is he an Israeli Winston Churchill or a Richard Nixon. The subject of no less than four full-blown investigations into corruption charges, Bibi was battling for his political life and possibly over serving jail time. He rose to the occasion - at his best, or worst, depending on whether you love or detest him. Contending that he was the victim of a witch-hunt, the PM portrayed himself as an Israel Winston C Churchill and only he can take on the threats to the Jewish state today, first and foremost Iran's vow to annihilate it (besides, Bibi also loves cigars). To the state-witnesses and mounting evidence that he was involved in a series of seedy dealings, Netanyahu pleaded innocent and declared loud and clear to the Israeli public: 'I am not a crook!'

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March 04, 2018

NETANYAHU'S COALITION CRISIS - CRISIS OR COMEDY?

Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and wife Sarah flew merrily off to Washington with his coalition partners in a frenzy - the Ashkenazi ultra-orthodox party, which holds the balance of power in the coalition government, was threatening to topple the government. And why was that? Simply because the cabinet was not ready to pass a new basic law that would exempt all its young religious men, who study all day, from enlisting in the IDF like the rest of the other eighteen-year-old Israeli men and women. Nearly all of the ultra-orthodox are already legal draft dodgers, but the ultra-orthodox politicians have been ordered by their rabbis to press for even stiffer legislation. Such as including it in Israel's informal constitution that is made up of 'basic laws' that can only be altered in the future by an overwhelming majority and not by a simple majority.

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February 25, 2018

MAY OPENING OF US EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM TORPEDOES PALESTINIAN CAMPAIGN TO DELEGITIMIZE JEWISH STATE

What could be more historically just! Jerusalem, documented by the Old Testament as becoming Israel's capital three thousand years ago after being captured by King David; where the Israelites, the forefathers of today's Israelis, later built the Holy Temple, now officially recognized in word and deed by the greatest democracy in the world - the United States of America. President Donald Trump has decreed an American embassy will be opened on May 14th, Israel's Independence Day. Jerusalem, whose very name is derived from the Hebrew word 'shalom' for peace, and has always been the heart and soul of the Jewish people ever since they were exiled from the city by the Roman conquerors in 70A.D. The same Roman Empire that even tried to sever the Jews unbreakable bond with Jerusalem changing the city's name to 'Aelia Capitolina' - 'the conquered city'. But they never succeeded, nor did the other persecutors of the Jews during the following twenty centuries of Jewish exile. Throughout the ages Jerusalem always remained at the heart of the Jewish soul: 

'If I forget thee, O' Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget its cunning!'


And: 'God willing, next year in Jerusalem!'
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February 18, 2018

Why settlement construction isn’t the answer to terror

Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal, may God avenge his blood, was murdered last week. It was the second murder of a settler in Samaria within less than a month. After every terror attack, we keep hearing that the response should be further construction. Another outpost. Another legalization of an already existing outpost. As our dead lie before us, the outcry is received with open ears. And indeed, the government convened to approve another outpost and to discuss another expansion.

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January 28, 2018

ISRAEL - ANGER TRUMP AT YOUR PERIL!

Don't mess with US President Donald Trump. That's the lesson the shell-shocked Palestinians are digesting after his startling decisions recently. First, although the irascible leader of the Free World often seems to let his mouth run on ahead of his brain, there are times when he means what he says. First Trump sent his two negotiators, Greenblatt and Kushner, to start forging a peace proposal. However, they could not get past the total Palestinian rejection of any Israeli rights in Jerusalem (built by King David over three thousand years ago and whose very name is derived from the Hebrew language). So Trump simply 'took it off the table' by recognizing it as Israel's capital. But he also stressed that the White House was not setting any permanent lines - that would be up to Israel and the Palestinians in future negotiations. Nonetheless, Abbas hit the roof and hauled Trump and his negotiators over the coals. In an angry diatribe in Arabic, Abbas added fuel to the flames by referring directly to Trump with the saying: 'May your house be destroyed!' This went over big with his Palestinian audience but less so in the White House.

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December 08, 2017

TRUMP'S JERUSALEM ANNOUNCEMENT PULLS OUT RUG FROM UNDER PALESTINIAN STRATEGY

It is not just America's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, important as that may be. And what is more natural and just than recognizing the 'City of David' which was founded over three thousand years ago, long before Washington, Moscow, London, Paris, or even Ottawa existed? Its very name, Jerusalem, is derived from the Hebrew language and spoken by Israelis today.

The fact is that President Trump's historic decision has bankrupt the long-standing policy of the Palestinian 'peace camp'. And this is why: the Palestinians have long been divided, since the Arabs lost their 1967 war against Israel, on how to force Israel back to the old 'Green' cease-fire line of 1967 without recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

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October 29, 2017

ISRAEL TO IRAN: 'IT'S YOUR CALL ON GOLAN HEIGHTS!'

Iran's Chief of Staff, Joe Blow, has just toured southern Syria, just north of the Syrian border on the Golan Heights with Israel. His message was loud after sending Iranian boots on the ground to help Syrian President Bashar Assad win the civil war - Tehran would now like to turn southern Syria into a forward base against Israel - like it has in southern Lebanon with the Shiite Hezbollah army right under the noses of the UN peace monitors, who were supposed to prevent it. One problem - Israel isn't having it. The IDF has drawn a line in the sand; another Iranian military build-up in southern Syria will be met by force. This includes any further attempts to transport sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. This Israeli message has been conveyed to Moscow, which ignored Israel's vital security interests by not stipulating that Iranian forces should not move into the Syrian border region to threaten Israel. And that is why the IDF destroyed a Syrian missile battery that launched a rocket at Israeli jets flying over neighboring Lebanon. Read More...
August 21, 2017

ISRAELI AIR FORCE STILL HAS PREEMPTIVE STRIKE CAPABILITY AGAINST IRAN IN ITS TOOL BOX

In a rare interview, the outgoing commander of Israel's Air Force, Gen. Amir Eshel has taken some of the wraps off Israel's air power. Interviewed on Channel 2 TV by Ronny Daniel, Eshel left no doubt that although the world powers have signed an agreement with Iran limiting its nuclear weapons program, Israel is closely monitoring the situation – if Iran breaks out for A-bombs the Israel Air Force will be ready, willing and able. Gen. Eshel described it this way:

       'We can't wake up one morning and say oops, the Iranians have surprised us! Our air strike capability (on Iran) is all set to go we just have to take it out of the tool box!'

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July 09, 2017

ISRAEL'S LABOR PARTY AT FATEFUL CROSSROADS

By the time you read this article, Israel's Zionist Union (old Labor) will have elected its new party leader. Over fifty thousand Laborites will have determined whether newcomer Avi Gabay or old-timer Amir Peretz will take the helm from Yitzhak Herzog, who lost badly in the recent primary after leading the party into near oblivion.

Full disclosure: early on, Isracast took the position that only Gabay had the slightest chance of defeating Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu if he is the Likud candidate in the next general election slated for no later than Nov. 15th, 2019.

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June 25, 2017

TENSION RISING ALONG ISRAEL'S BORDERS WITH SYRIA & LEBANON

Saturday afternoon on the Golan Heights: Hundreds of Israeli visitors are enjoying the annual cherry picking festival. Suddenly, a barrage of ten mortar bombs rains down inside Israeli territory opposite the deserted Syrian town of Kuneitra. Just seven hundred yards away inside Syria, President Assad's army has been battling rebel forces. Israeli spotters identify the source of the mortar fire in a nearby Syrian army position. Israel's policy is to steer clear of the Syrian civil war that has raged for seven years. However, Jerusalem also holds Syrian President Assad responsible for any artillery fire from his territory into Israel, whether it is accidental or deliberate. And so within a very short time, Israeli aircraft rocket the Syrian position, hitting two tanks. The Syrians reported later that two of their soldiers were killed. Meanwhile, Israeli visitors in the immediate region were ordered to leave. It was the most serious Israeli-Syrian clash since February, and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman again clarified that Israel will not tolerate any spillover of shooting into Israeli territory. At the same time, it's Assad's call - if there is more Syrian shooting across the frontier, the IDF will hit back hard.

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May 28, 2017

TRUMP RAISES MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS IN MIDDLE EAST

The only thing consistent about U.S. President Donald Trump is his frequent lack of consistency. He left Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Right-wing camp jumping for joy: Trump had made no specific reference to the two-state solution! But on the other hand, he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was truly interested in making peace with Israel. Knesset Member Tzipi Livni, a former Likudnik who has switched to Labor, has more negotiating hours with Abbas than any other Israeli politician. Livni feels the question now is whether Trump will follow through on his declaration that both Bibi and Abbas are ready for a deal.

Livni is looking for Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt to start the ball rolling by putting something on the table. Greenblatt is Trump's longtime private lawyer with a reputation for resolving sticky issues. He will now have his work cut out for him. So far, he stage-managed a great Middle East tour for his boss that has left everybody singing the praises of Trump: Saudi Arabia's King Salman, Abbas, and Bibi.

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April 02, 2017

NETANYAHU IMPOSES PARTIAL FREEZE ON SETTLEMENTS

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).

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February 05, 2017

TRUMP SIGNALS NETANYAHU - HOLD YOUR HORSES ON SETTLEMENTS!

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:

  1. "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."
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January 14, 2017

ISRAELI EARTHQUAKE IF ISRAEL'S ATTORNEY GENERAL PROSECUTES BIBI FOR FRAUD

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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
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December 31, 2016

OBAMA MAY HAVE SCREWED ISRAEL BUT BIBI ALSO SCREWED UP

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.

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