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July 10, 2018

THE HOLOCAUST CASTS ITS GRIM SHADOW OVER ISRAEL

First the facts: Poland itself was invaded by Nazi Germany at the outset of WWII. At the same time, there are reams of documented evidence, including photographs, proving that many Poles participated in pogroms and reporting Jews to the Nazis. Granted, there was a smaller number of some 6,000 Polish citizens who risked their lives in saving Jews and who have been rightly honored by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. The bitter controversy flared last February when the Polish Parliament passed a law that imposed a three-year prison sentence on anyone who contended that the Poles had collaborated with the Nazi regime. There was immediate outrage in Israel and among many historians who had researched the Holocaust. The clash even threatened to sabotage relations between Jerusalem and Warsaw.

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July 02, 2018

ISRAEL "RESETS" ON SYRIAN CIVIL WAR

The outcome is obvious. Russian fighter-bombers are bombing the Syrian revel forces into oblivion. The rebels, who are also being pursued by President Assad's ground forces, are being driven south to within view of the Israeli border. Along the way, the Russian-led Juggernaut is destroying Syrian towns and villages where the rebels are making a last stand. Dozens of Syrian civilians are being killed and wounded daily in the crossfire. This has triggered a frantic flow of tens of thousands of civilians seeking shelter, from where? The direction of the Jewish state. Meanwhile, Israel has been supplying the Syrian refugees with humanitarian aid, baby food, tents, medicine, etc. In addition, the IDF has stepped up one of the least known secrets in the region - during the seven-year civil war it has been treating wounded Syrian civilians in need of critical medical care. These cases, now over 2,500, have been quietly transferred across the border at night to be treated at several IDF field hospitals. Emergency cases are rushed to a nearby hospital for intensive care and more complicated operations. The Identity of these Syrian patients must be kept secret for fear of reprisals after they are returned home to Syria. (They would be suspected by Assad's forces of having been turned into Israeli agents - even the many wounded children!)

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June 25, 2018

THE CLOCK IS TICKING IN ISRAEL - EARLY ELECTION AND ESCALATION IN GAZA?

It seems as though life is never dull for Israelis. Gaza: Hamas continues its "scorched earth" campaign. Days ago, Israeli military reporters disclosed the IDF had devised a hi-tech solution to intercept waves of Palestinian kites and balloons carrying incendiary bombs into Israel. However, these reports have proved to premature. These kites and balloons have now torched thousands of acres of Israeli farmland and forest with some 20-30 new fires daily. Firefighters are rushing from one blaze to another, dousing the flames, while Israeli residents are demanding the government order the IDF to take off the gloves. So far, the Israeli objective has been to develop less lethal means than firepower to deter Hamas.

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June 17, 2018

"IF NORTH KOREA IS HERE, CAN THE PALESTINIANS AND IRAN BE FAR BEHIND?"

Was it a Hollywood extravagance or a turning point in world history, maybe even with a future impact on Iran? Of course, only time will tell. All the praise or criticism of Trump is sheer speculation.

Naturally, Israel hopes it will also affect Iran's drive for nuclear weapons. Leading Israeli experts, such as Menashe Amir, see signs that the ayatollahs are worried that Trump may parlay the Singapore summit to mobilize greater pressure on Tehran. His scrapping of the 2015 deal has already forced several big European concerns to cancel lucrative deals with Iran for fear of being sanctioned by Washington. Most notably, the Nike decision to bar the Iranian soccer squad from wearing Nike sports shoes at the current World Cup. It's no contest when having to choose between doing business in the American and Iranian economies.

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June 11, 2018

"EYELESS IN GAZA" - ISRAEL LOOKS FOR NEW SOLUTIONS

For 12 weeks, thousands of Gaza's men, women, and children have been trying to break through the border fence into Israel. Israeli soldiers have stood in the breech with marksmen opening fire at the leaders and Hamas terrorists who are leading their charge. Over 130 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more wounded (including a female medic that was also filmed throwing firebombs into Israel). The Palestinians have been burning tires that create huge clouds of black smoke that pour into Israel. Using this for cover, Hamas terrorists among the civilians try to get as close to the border as possible to open fire at the Israelis.

It is fair to say that the force and determination of the Palestinian violence first took the IDF by surprise. This resulted in over 60 Palestinians being killed on one day. The troops were ordered that on no account would the Palestinians be allowed to cross the border and symbolically mark what they call "the march of return". At present they have succeeded in torching thousands of acres of Israeli farmland by sending incendiary kites and balloons over the border.

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June 03, 2018

WHY GAZA WILL GET WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER

The violence along the Israel-Gaza border has spiraled out of control. In fact, it will likely get worse before it gets better. The background: in order to understand what is going on today it is necessary to put it in the Barbra Tuchman, "Looking back from the light on the stern." The two million or so Palestinians living in Gaza are led by Hamas, extreme as they get, focused on the destruction of the Jewish State. It's no two-state solution - it's winner takes all. In the Six-Day War, the IDF occupied Gaza and Israel came and built settlements there. However, in 2005, PM Ariel Sharon dismantled all the settlements and withdrew IDF forces to the Israeli border. Now, instead of exploiting Israel's pullback and seeking a similar withdrawal from the occupied West Bank, the Palestinians converted Gaza into a launchpad for terrorism against Israel. (This despite the fact that American officials quietly advised the Palestinians to call off the terrorism as this would enable them to seek a similar Israeli pullout from the West Bank.) However, this would have required the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the Jewish State. This would have meant the Palestinian refugees would not be returning to their former homes in Israel.

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May 23, 2018

ISRAELI F-35 STEALTH JETS TAKING ON IRAN!

Suddenly out of the wild blue yonder, Israeli pilots are now flying America's top F-35 Stealth Fighter in combat missions. The revelation came publically from Gen. Amikam Norkin, the commander of the Israeli Air Force: "We are flying the F-35 over the entire Middle East and it is now part of our operational capability. We are the first in the world to attack with the F-35."

Did this also apply to the Iranian forces during the recent flare-up in Syria? Take a guess, no clear-cut answer to that intriguing question. Israel was the first foreign country to receive the F-35 from America's Lockheed Martin aircraft manufacturer. Gen. Norkin's revelation must have got the interest, and possibly the envy, of twenty visiting airforce commanders who, in addition to the U.S., included, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, India, Canada, among others.

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May 13, 2018

WILL ISRAEL'S NETANYAHU FIND A WAY TO CALL AN EARLY ELECTION AFTER RECENT FOREIGN AFFAIRS & SECURITY SUCCESSES?

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is probably now scheming how he can call an early election (Israel's next scheduled election is currently set for November 2019) And with good reason. No doubt about it, Bibi is riding high after scoring some major security and foreign affairs successes. All this in the space of a week or so. Hard on the heels of the Mossad's astonishing caper in getting their hands on the archives of Iran's nuclear weapons project, President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal signed with Tehran in 2015. In announcing his decision Trump praised both the Mossad and Bibi along the way. Without a doubt, Bibi played a role in convincing the US leader that his tough stand against North Korea, which has paid off, should also be applied to Iran.

Question: If Trump's Democratic critic in the US, as well as Britain, France, and Germany, have praised the US President for getting results with Kim Jong-un, why do they refuse to do so when it comes to Iran, which is just as dangerous of a crazy state as is North Korea?

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May 06, 2018

US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP REPORTEDLY DROPS BOMBSHELL OVER IRAN & JERUSALEM

Two Israeli newspapers have disclosed that President Trump has offered Israel massive support against the Iranian nuclear threat in return for Israel's handing over four Jerusalem neighborhoods to the Palestinians. This according to the newspapers Ma'ariv and the Jerusalem Post on May 4th. For months there has been speculation about Trump's upcoming Middle East peace proposal. According to the unconfirmed reports, Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman was given some of the key components during his recent visit to Washington. The four Arab neighborhoods named are Shuafat, Jabel Mukaber, Isawiya, and Abu Dis. It follows that if these East Jerusalem neighborhoods were included in the Arab State of Palestine, one could be designated as the capital city. It makes sense - in past articles, Israel has suggested this solution to resolve the bitter feud over the Holy City. However, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Likud party, as well as other coalition parties, have in the past categorically rejected a partition of East Jerusalem. In any case, if true the idea could dampen Palestinian rioting in Jerusalem and elsewhere over the opening of a new US embassy in the Jewish neighborhood of Arnona. However, the Palestinians are preparing to go on the warpath over the embassy issue.

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April 29, 2018

Natalie Portman Please Look at These Photos

"Why Natalie Portman was wrong about accepting a prize in Israel." That was the title of an article I was writing when the news started coming in. Ten Israeli high school students in their senior year were either missing or in critical condition after being caught in a flash flood roaring down a Negev Wadi. The whole country was fearful and spellbound. The previous day every radio and TV station had been warning not to hike in that area because torrential rains could trigger dangerous flash floods in the narrow gullies.

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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 16, 2018

RUSSIANS ENCOURAGING SYRIANS TO ACCELERATE ANTI-AIRCRAFT FIRE AT ISRAELI JETS

On Feb. 9th, Israel and Iran clashed for the first time when an Iranian drone from Syria penetrated Israeli airspace and was shot down by an Israeli Apache helicopter. A short time later, Israeli F-16 aircraft rocketed the Iranian command vehicle that had launched the drone not far from Russian military personnel also stationed at the Syrian base. A barrage of Syrian Russian-made rockets were then fired at the Israeli jets, hitting one and forcing the two-man crew bailout after making it back over the border into Israeli territory.

Since then speculation has run rife about just what happened and what could be the serious fallout. What is clear is that a new theater of operations is evolving as the Syrian Civil war winds down. First, Iran is striving to turn Syria into a forward base against Israel as it has already done with Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon. But Israel has announced loud and clear it will take military action to prevent Iran from doing so. In addition, it will continue to intercept Iranian shipments of advanced weapons to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. These are two red lines Jerusalem has every intention of enforcing. Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Assad is trying to extend his control over what is left of his battered state. Last but not least is Russian President Vladimir Putin, eager to cash in his dividends after preserving Assad in power by securing a strategic Russian port on the Mediterranean Coast. US President Donald Trump has opted to take a back seat while all this is going on.

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February 04, 2018

ISRAEL TO LEBANON - STOP BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!

In the space of several, short days - Israeli military and civilian leaders had fired salvos of dire warnings to Lebanon. They all targeted Iran's mounting military presence in Lebanon, Israel's northern neighbor. Tehran already has armed to the teeth its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah force that is actually more powerful than the official Lebanese Army. Remember that Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah triggered the Second Lebanese War with Israel in 2006 by conducting a cross-border raid that killed a number of IDF soldiers and kidnapped two more. Now after Iran and Hezbollah's extensive campaign in the Syrian civil war has kept President Bashar Assad in power, Iran and Hezbollah are now bent on building their military threat against Israel from inside Lebanon. Israeli intelligence has discovered that Iran plans on constructing an installation to assemble precision surface to surface missiles to bombard Israeli targets, probably including its crucial offshore natural gas project in the Mediterranean.

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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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January 21, 2018

WILL ORTHODOX-SECULAR CLASH TRIGGER EARLY ISRAELI ELECTION?

The next Israeli general election is slated for November 2019. However, recent gains by the Orthodox Jewish sector have sparked a fierce clash with the majority of Israelis who are either secular or semi-religious. The confrontation swirls around the current campaign by ultra-orthodox politicians and some national religious rabbis that has aroused great indignation by other Jewish Israelis. In order to grasp the nature of this ' culture war,' it is necessary to define the various camps involved.

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January 14, 2018

ISRAEL TAKES ON TUNNELS, TERROR, AND IRAN

Israel is now engaged in an active low-intensity war on three fronts: Gaza, the West Bank and the Iranian-Hezbollah forces in Syria. In the past week or so, there has been a noticeable escalation in hostile activity in these three arenas. However, the IDF has things well in hand, so much so that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was able to fly off on an official visit to India. However, his prodigal son Yair, after his latest escapade, was left behind. More on Yair's caper later.

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