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Showing Results 1-20 of 150 for Lieberman
August 19, 2018

ISRAEL CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC OVER CEASEFIRE ARRANGEMENT WITH HAMAS

Two of Israel's super-hawks, PM Bibi Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Leiberman, are doing their utmost to prevent the Palestinian firebombing of Israeli civilians from erupting into another all-out war. The outcome still hangs in the balance at this time. For over four months, the Hamas leadership in Gaza has incited tens of thousands of Palestinian to launch helium balloons and ingenious kites with firebombs attached at Israeli villages across the border. To date, thousands of acres of Israeli farmland and fields have been torched and many small animals have been killed in the inferno. No Israeli civilians have been killed but there have been several close calls - that's probably why Israel has not declared all-out war on Hamas. The IDF has responded with surgical airstrikes on Hamas targets inside Gaza while snipers have shot Palestinians launching the firebombs and also trying to break through the border fence.

At the moment, Egypt, Israel's peaceful Arab neighbor, is working overtime to come up with a solution for ending the current conflagration. If the crisis does escalate into a war it would be the fourth in recent years. To date, the improvised firebombs have proven to be highly successful, and Israel's hi-tech wizards have yet to find an effective response. Although, several thousand Israeli residents in the border area are, understandably, incensed over being firebombed day and night. Netanyahu and Lieberman have taken the advice of IDF Cheif of Staff Gadi Eizencot and not gone to war again with Gaza despite the provocation.

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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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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 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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January 07, 2018

IS IRAN ON BRINK OF REVOLUTION?

After a week of violent demonstrations against the regime, over twenty protesters have been killed and hundreds more carted off to Iran's notorious prisons. There some them may be executed and others tortured. Iran's chief of Staff, Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, has declared that the sudden wave of protests has been suppressed - game over. However, his declaration may be wishful thinking according to Analyst Menashe Amir. Skyrocketing prices, rampant unemployment, and a failing economy run by Islamist fanatics will continue to fuel public unrest whether the Ayatollahs like it or not. Iran's young, educated, and ambitious generation face a bleak future and feel they have nothing to lose. Take for example this anguished and telling plea by a single mother whose husband was killed fighting abroad. In the midst of a demonstration she declared: 

'I have three children and no job. My husband was killed fighting in the army. I have no money and have been forced into prostitution in order to feed my children. No one helps me!'

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December 03, 2017

ISRAEL REPORTEDLY ROCKETS IRANIAN 'RATTLESNAKE' NEAR DAMASCUS

Foreign reports disclosed that on the night of December 2nd, Israeli rockets destroyed a new Iranian military base being built 15 kilometers from the Syrian capital Damascus. The new facility was located near a Syrian Army installation and was designed to house 500 troops as well as military vehicles. Several weeks ago, BBC TV satellite photos revealed the new Iranian military site located 50 kilometers from the Israeli border on the Golan Heights. The IDF has refused to comment on the air attack, saying it does not respond to foreign news reports. Israeli Cabinet Minister Yoav Gallant did state:

"Israel has no intention of letting Iran establish another Hezbollah in Syria!"

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September 20, 2017

WILL TRUMP NOW SHOOT DOWN ANY NEW PROVOCATIVE NORTH KOREAN MISSILES? THAT'S WHAT JFK PROBABLY WOULD HAVE DONE

President Donald Trump could not have been any clearer- the US is ready, willing and able to totally destroy North Korea, if it continues with its nuclear weapons program. Trump's verbal escalation in the UN General Assembly should have left little to the imagination – even for a lunatic like Kim Jong un. On the other hand, Trump's declaration should not come as a surprise. Remember Barbara Tuchman's memorable phrase about a 'lantern on the stern' when it comes to charting a course for America's ship-of-state. Not just the mercurial Trump, but probably all US presidents would have issued the same severe warning – are they not duty-bound by their presidential oath to 'protect and defend' the constitution, the embodiment of the USA? And is North Korea now bent on building ballistic missiles that can reach America's West Coast?

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September 02, 2017

UN'S 'TUNNEL VISION' ON IRAN, LEBANON & GAZA

In Iran, the international inspectors have come and gone after giving the Iranians a clean bill of health – they are abiding by the nuclear accord worked out with the Great Powers over two years ago. Only one glaring problem: the Iranians refuse categorically to allow the nuclear watch-dogs to enter their military installations! And where else would the Iranians carry out clandestine nuclear weapons research if not inside bases they have declared to be off limits? In fact, in the past, Israel disclosed that it had intelligence showing that the Iranians had conducted secret research on detonators for A-bombs at the Parchin base. The Iranians denied it, but later the IAEA confirmed the Israeli charges. So who is to say this is not happening again at other Iranian military installations?

Moreover, Yukiya Amano, the IAEA's own director has just declared that his inspectors need access to all 'relevant locations', that is Iranian military bases. Amano told AP:

       'The IAEA has access to all locations without distinction between military and civilian locations'.

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August 12, 2017

BIBI NETANYAHU- I AM THE STATE (OF ISRAEL)!

Now fighting for his political life, Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has launched a no-holds barred campaign. Subject to several police investigations on suspicion of political and financial fraud, Netanyahu is trying to rally the Likud party behind him no matter what the outcome. He probably has succeeded. Several thousand cheering Likudniks from all over the country flocked to a political pep rally for the PM in Tel Aviv. It was an impressive show of strength that Bibi is still in the driver's seat with the backing of the Likud rank-and-file despite the media's daily revelations.

Bibi was at his best or worst, depending on your perspective. He sailed into the media and the Left-wing opposition charging they are colluding in an 'undemocratic witch-hunt' to topple him after he was elected fair and square by the Israeli public. This was the force driving the current police investigations, and he was certain that despite the media hype 'nothing will come of it because there is nothing!' This has been his battle cry and the crowd of Likud stalwarts lapped it up, repeatedly chanting 'Bibi, Bibi'.

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July 29, 2017

IN ISRAEL, TEMPLE MOUNT DISASTER UNLIKELY TO TOPPLE NETANYAHU

Most Israelis believe Prime Minister Netanyahu screwed up in his handling of the Temple Mount crisis but are willing to forgive him. That is the conclusion of the latest opinion polls that show about 70% feel he handled the affair badly, but if an election were held today, as things stand, Bibi would still form a new coalition government. And that is the bottom line in the sorry story of what has transpired since three Israeli Arabs shot dead two Israeli policemen on Temple Mount on July 15th. So far, the Palestinian rioting has still not ceased although Bibi removed the new metal detectors installed to prevent more sub-machine guns from being smuggled into the religious site for killing more Israelis.

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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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July 02, 2017

NETANYAHU SABOTAGES ISRAEL'S RELATIONS WITH AMERICAN JEWRY

It is mind-boggling. Never in the history of Israel's sacred ties with American Jewry has there been such a firestorm. And who lit the match - none other than the Prime Minister of the Jewish State, Bibi Netanyahu. Bibi, in a moment of utter folly, has endangered the country's national interest for the sake of keeping his job as prime minister. He sided with the Haredi ultra-orthodox Israelis by suddenly throwing out the window a compromise agreement, after five years of torturous negotiations, that would have granted Reform and Conservative Jews the right for men and women to pray together, as they wish, in a separate section of the Western Wall in Jerusalem (remnant of First & Second Jewish Temples). At present, the ultra-orthodox have a monopoly over prayer arrangements at the Western Wall. (For example, like many secular families in Israel, my two sons had their Bar Mitzvahs at the Western Wall. I was able to stand next to them, whereas my wife and daughter had to stand separately farther away and behind a barrier and a watchful custodian there to prevent them from entering).

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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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June 18, 2017

Urgent Questions About Terror In Jerusalem & High-Rise Inferno In London

Friday evening 7:30 in Jerusalem: Most Israeli families were just finishing the traditional Sabbath Eve meal. A typical peaceful quiet had descended over the city. Suddenly on Saladin Street, the main thoroughfare in East Jerusalem, gunfire shattered the calm. Near Zedekiah's Cave, two Palestinians armed with knives and a modified Karl Gustav submachine gun attacked Israeli Border police who were patrolling in the area. The terrorists' submachine gun jammed quickly and the police officers shot dead the two attackers. Meanwhile, up the street near the Damascus Gate, a third terrorist surprised another team of Israeli Border Guards and stabbed twenty-three-year-old Sergeant Hadas Malka in the back. Although critically wounded, she tries to fight off her attacker before comrades shoot dead the terrorist.

Hadas was rushed by ambulance to Hadassah Hospital on nearby Mount Scopus. Doctors worked to try and save her life, but to no avail - she was fatally wounded in the neck and throat. Five hours later she was pronounced dead. A second Israeli Border Policeman was lightly wounded by ricochet fragments, as were two Palestinian bystanders who were not linked to the attack. 

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