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Showing Results 1-20 of 155 for Livni
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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March 04, 2017

WHO DOES BIBI FEAR MOST, ISRAELI SETTLERS OR TRUMP?

It was not Israel's finest hour. State Comptroller Yosef Shapira has lambasted both Israel's political and military echelons for their conduct before and during the 'Protective Edge' military campaign against Hamas in Gaza in the summer of 2014. Sixty-eight Israelis and five civilians were killed in the war that was triggered by the Hamas kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz barely received a passing mark. They were all found to be at fault for their failure to prepare to deal with the tunnels dug by Hamas under the border into Israel that cost many Israeli lives.

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December 24, 2016

ISRAEL REELING FROM UN RESOLUTION OUTLAWING WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu should have known better - but he didn't. He has now presided over Israel's greatest diplomatic debacle in years. Bibi knew U.S. President Barack Obama was gunning for him yet he persisted in concocting a ludicrous settlement law to placate forty families at the Amona settlement. This even after Israel's own Supreme Court had ruled it had been built on private Arab land, in violation of both Israeli and international law. Instead, Bibi gave in to the die-hard settlers who have now, in their infinite wisdom, agreed to evacuate peacefully.

So what did the PM do? He let himself be railroaded by cabinet ministers both in the Likud and the Jewish Home parties into approving a new law that would prevent the evacuation of other settlements that were also built on private Palestinian land. It is called the 'Regulation' law. The only hitch is that it opened the door for the UN Security Council to pass a resolution of its own - one that outlaws all Israeli housing built on the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Since the Six Day War in 1967, this territory was considered to be a subject for negotiation in eventual Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Now the UN Security Council has weighed in saying in effect that all the West Bank belongs to the Palestinians for their future state. Bibi believed that US President Barack Obama, despite the bad blood between them, would again cast a US veto. But for Obama, soaking up the sun in Hawaii, it was too good to miss; he told Ambassador Samantha Power to simply abstain. The result was a landslide of 14-0 for the pro-Palestinian resolution. Bibi blew it big time and Palestinian President Mahmoud won by a knockout.

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November 19, 2016

ISRAELI MESSAGE TO TRUMP FOREIGN POLICY TEAM

Gone are the days when Time magazine crowned Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu 'King of Israel! Today Bibi has to share his top job with Education Minister Naftali Bennett who has just taught Netanyahu a painful lesson. It focused on a key Knesset vote to circumvent a Supreme Court ruling that ordered an Israeli evacuation of some forty Israeli homes that were built illegally on private Arab-owned land at the Jewish settlement of Amona on the West Bank. The pro-settlement camp went on the warpath, with Bennett leading the charge. 

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October 10, 2007

Sarah Livni (1922-2007)

Sarah Livni, the mother of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was a member of the Irgun, a pre-state paramilitary organization, and was arrested by the British and imprisoned in Bethlehem.

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September 25, 2016

Netanyahu & Abbas Talk Past Each Other At the UN

Jerusalem:

At this week's UN General Assembly session, Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, poured on the rhetoric but ignored the two key elements at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They both stuck to two straight lines in the war of words and we all know that straight lines almost never meet, except in outer space. And until the two leaders start talking in the same plane there will be no peace. Leading off the debate, Abbas actually refused to come to terms with the idea of a Jewish state while Bibi glossed over the Israeli occupation of the West Bank (Judea & Samaria).

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July 31, 2016

Israelis Split Over Trump or Clinton

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.

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June 17, 2016

Netanyahu Faces Political Rebellion in Israel

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'.

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May 27, 2016

NETANYAHU-LIEBERMAN THUNDERBOLT FOR DUMMIES

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.

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July 15, 2015

Vienna Nuclear Accord viewed from Jerusalem

President Barack Obama has succeeded - he wanted to kick the can down the road to his successor and apparently he's done it. The last chance to block the Iranian nuclear deal is now in the hands of the US Senate where only a special 67-seat majority can override Obama's presidential veto. Although it comes as no surprise, the Vienna nuclear agreement is still mind-boggling. Seventy years after the Holocaust of six million Jews in Europe by Nazi Germany, the Jewish state of Israel could face a nuclear Holocaust if the Ayatollahs in Tehran are not stopped from acquiring A-Bombs. Yet, there is no limit to the utter disdain that is being hurled at Israel for not welcoming this flawed fiasco that will leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power in the Middle East.

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May 08, 2015

NETANYAHU'S NIGHTMARE - 'EVERY BASTARD A KING!'

 'By hook and by crook', Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has apparently cobbled together a majority of one in the 120-member Knesset. Even as I write, Likud Knesset Member Ayub Kara has threatened not to show up for the required Knesset vote of approval on May 13th, unless Bibi first promises to make him a cabinet minister. This illustrates the nightmare now facing Netanyahu: every one of his miniscule majority will have the power to topple his new shaky coalition comprised of the Right Wing Likud, the Far Right Jewish home and the Centrist Kahlon party. There is a literal Hebrew expression that describes it perfectly: 'Every bastard will be a king!'

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March 19, 2015

BIBI'S COMEBACK = U.S. REASSESSMENT

 What is on the line is America's three billion dollar grant in military aid for Israel to buy American made weapons, and political support in world forums such as the United Nations. Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, have already brushed aside Bibi's dire warnings about a nuclear deal with Iran that is now being forged with the Iranians, who are squeezing out every last concession from Washington with the goal of leaving their formidable nuclear weapons potential intact for a future break out. This will occur probably after Obama kisses good-by to the White House and Tehran has rebuilt its failing economy as a result of the current international sanctions. 

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March 13, 2015

ISRAEL'S NEW PRIME MINISTER - ISAAC HERZOG?

 What's been happening? It's the economy, stupid! For the first time, domestic politics has come home to roost for Netanyahu, who has focused his campaign on the Iranian nuclear threat, while housing prices and the cost of living have been going through the roof during Bibi's last six years in office. In his home stretch interviews Bibi has admitted that 'mistakes' have been made and he pledges to rectify them. But it may be too late. The far Right 'Jewish Home' party has also dealt Bibi a body blow by siphoning off voters from the Likud. (Paradoxically, a majority of Israelis think Bibi is better qualified than 'Buji' to be PM but they say they will still cast their ballots for Jewish Home or the religious parties).

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January 23, 2015

FIREWORKS ON GOLAN HEIGHTS AND IN WASHINGTON

 It is the IDF's biggest build-up along the Syrian-Lebanese frontier since the Second Lebanon war in 2006. And with very good reason; according to foreign reports, an Israeli rocket attack killed Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of the Hezbollah's former Chief of Staff and Iranian General Muhammad Allahdadi. Ten other Iranian and Hezbollah fighters also died in the targeted killing. Jihad was obviously out to avenge the mysterious assassination of his famous father, Imad, in Damascus in 2008. Since then Hezbollah has been biding its time, warning it will make Israel pay for the killing of Mughniyeh senior.

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January 08, 2015

FRANCE'S '9/11' IN PARIS

 France is reeling and trying to come to grips with an Islamist terror attack that has rocked it to its very core. The cold-blooded killers who shot dead two policemen and then systematically executed the ten caricaturists and editors of the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly not only committed a massacre, but also dealt a severe blow to the very foundations of the French republic. It would appear to be on a lesser scale of the '9/11' atrocity that shocked America and the world more than thirteen years ago. The writing was on the wall, written in blood, for President Francois Hollande and the French government, after French Jihadists repeatedly attacked Jews in France and Brussels. However these were passed off as isolated incidents or carried out by 'deranged' individuals. But now the Jihadists have perpetrated a carefully planned slaughter that has wiped out a French magazine because it dared to lampoon the prophet Mohammed. In fleeing the scene, one of the killers casually walked up to a wounded policeman lying on the sidewalk and calmly shot him in the head. He then walked to the get away car and shouted:

 'Allah is great', and 'We have avenged the prophet Mohammed!'

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January 01, 2015

PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT'S DIPLOMATIC SHOCK TACTICS

 Why did the UN Security Council reject a Palestinian resolution demanding Israel's unconditional withdrawal from all of the West Bank by the end of 2017? Clearly Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas should have realized there are limits to ganging up on Israel, even at the world body. Did Abbas imply get carried away with the built-in majority for the Palestinians in such bodies as the General assembly, and the Human Rights Council that spends most of its time bashing the Jewish State? The question is, why did Abbas persist in presenting the one-sided resolution when he could have waited until after the New Year when the new composition of the Security Council would probably have passed it with the nine member majority? Simply because he knew the U.S. would have cast its veto and killed the resolution anyway. So he chose not to annoy the U.S., and gained popularity points on the West Bank for making Israel sweat it out.

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December 26, 2014

ISRAEL'S 'GUNS OR BUTTER' ELECTION

 Eleven o'clock in the morning: A Palestinian sniper fires a single shot at an IDF soldier who was guarding Israeli workers busy repairing the security fence that runs along the frontier. The soldier, an Israeli Bedouin, falls after being hit in the chest. Within minutes an Israeli ambulance races to the scene while IDF forces return fire. (Not only medics but also specially trained doctors are stationed near combat troops wherever possible. According to YNET news, the doctor determined immediately that the soldier was suffering from massive bleeding in his chest cavity and his life was in danger (most fatalities in the IDF are caused by massive bleeding). 

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December 19, 2014

ISRAELI ELECTION CAMPAIGN FOR DUMMIES

 They are fed up with both his foreign and domestic policies. Israel has been suffering one diplomatic defeat after another in the international arena and the cost of living, mainly housing prices, has been skyrocketing during his tenure. And that is why the March 17th election is now up for grabs and why the ruling Likud party is now in trouble. While the polls show that no other candidate comes close to Netanyahu for being the most experienced 'in taking the telephone call at three AM in the morning', Israelis do not select the prime minister but vote for the list of candidates presented by the various parties running in the election. This is the crux of the current campaign. 

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December 03, 2014

ISRAEL'S EARLY ELECTION SET FOR MARCH 17

 The process has been set in motion for the Knesset to dissolve parliament after just 18 months in office. There are no snap elections in Israel - the law stipulates some three months for an intensive election campaign that is funded by public money. Each party selects lists of candidates that are presented to the voters. After ballots are tallied, it will then be up to State President Reuven Rivlin to meet with the various elected parties with the aim of selecting the party leader with the best prospect for forming a new coalition government; in other words, one that can command a parliamentary majority in the 120-member House. 

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