Showing Results 1-20 of 68 for Ramallah
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!'
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'.
June 02, 2016
The French are at it again. Nearly one hundred years to the day after France concluded the notorious Sykes-Picot agreement with the Brits, and Paris has once more come to the fore in the Middle East by convening an international conference to deal with the Israeli- Palestinian dispute.
January 22, 2016
In Davos, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu charted a new course. In a memorable interview with Fareed Zekaria, Netanyahu stressed that new clandestine ties with the Sunni Arab countries will supersede a solution to the Palestinian issue:
'There is a great shift taking place - we used to think that if we solved the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it would solve the larger Israeli-Arab conflict. The more I look at it, the more I think it may be the other way round. That by nurturing these relationships that are taking place now with the Arab world, that could actually help us resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we're actually working towards that end'.
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 23, 2015
The Palestinian 'Intifada of Knives' has entered a new phase. It has broadened to include more cases of Palestinian drivers deliberately trying to harm Israelis by running them over. After the initial shock of coping with young Palestinian killers armed with knives and meat cleavers, Israel launched a series of preventative steps. The current wave of sporadic but deadly Palestinian attacks was 'inspired' by President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas, and the Palestinian media. They whipped up a Muslim rage over false charges that Israel was planning to take control of the al Aqsa mosque on Jerusalem's Temple Mount.
October 02, 2015
The nuclear accord negotiated by the world powers, the 5P+1, may be a done deal, but for Israel, this was only act one. The second act was now coming up. Netanyahu left no doubt that if the international community did not keep 'Iran's feet to the fire' by honoring the terms, then Israel would go it alone and attack Iran's nuclear weapons sites:
"I'll say it again. The days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies - those days are over.”
"Israel will not allow Iran to break-in or sneak-in, or walk into the nuclear weapons club." "No one should question Israel's determination to defend itself against those who seek our destruction."
November 14, 2014
Most Israeli Arabs are loyal citizens – and when I say most, I mean the vast majority. Within a population of around 1.25 million people (excluding East Jerusalem) there are not only hundreds of hooligans, but thousands, who are likely to have the support of an additional percentage or two. Troubled times see the extremists flourish. On the backdrop of Islamic Movement leader Raed Salah's ongoing incitement, it would only take one incident to set the sector ablaze. The majority don't attend the demonstrations. But hundreds of youths do. Maybe even thousands. The impression created stains the entire Arab minority.
September 30, 2014
Keep your eye on the Iranian ball! Don't win the war on ISIL and lose the war to a nuclear Iran! This was the most telling message in Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's address to the UN General Assembly in New York. Obviously Israel's leader is worried about reports the US and the rest of the 5P+1 may offer Tehran an easing of the nuclear sanctions, if the Iranians join the coalition against Islamic State. He did not pull any punches:
'The Islamic Republic (Iran) is now trying to bamboozle its way to an agreement that will remove the sanctions it still faces, and leave it with the capacity of thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium. This would effectively cement Iran's place as a threshold nuclear power. In the future, at a time of its choosing, Iran, the world's most dangerous state in the world's most dangerous region, would obtain the world's most dangerous weapons'.
June 20, 2014
Hamas will likely rue the day it kidnapped three Israeli teens on the West Bank. Israeli leaders have declared war on Hamas military and social infrastructure in the West Bank while angry Palestinian President Abbas declares: 'Hamas is trying to destroy us'. IsraCast Assessment: Israel has taken off the gloves - top Hamas leaders should offer to immediately release three youths, if Israel calls off its systematic campaign to arrest Hamas members and close down its social assets on West Bank. Otherwise, Israeli campaign will continue and Hamas leadership could wind up on a new Israeli hit list. One of the most massive manhunts in Israeli history continues around the clock. For over seven days, Israeli troops and policemen backed up by the Shabak Security Service have been scouring the West Bank searching for the Hamas terrorists who are believed to have kidnapped three Israeli hitch-hikers.
April 13, 2014
It is not only about saving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the nature of Israeli -U.S. relations may be at stake. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu are trying to forge a deal that will apparently see Israel freeing fourteen Israeli Arabs with 'Israeli blood on their hands'. In return, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas will carry on the peace contacts after April 29, when the current round runs out. The highest hurdle is now inside Israel's coalition government. The Jewish Home Party, which is led by Naftali Bennett, has issued an ultimatum: its twelve members will bolt the coalition if the Netanyahu government agrees to free the Israeli Arab terrorists. Netanyahu would then lose his 68 majority in the 120 member parliament. But on the other hand, another coalition partner has taken the exact opposite position. Tzippi Livni's Movement party has also threatened to quit the cabinet, if peace contacts are not continued with the Palestinians. After consulting with Livni before a Channel 22 interview, Knesset Member Amir Peretz declared: "If there is no peace process, there will be no government!" Currently, there are six Movement members in the coalition. So how on the Palestinian question has Prime Minister Netanyahu managed to wind up with both a confrontation with the U.S. and a major crisis in his coalition government? It is not all his fault.
January 11, 2014
'I know best' this characterized Arik Sharon, both as a vaunted military commander and an unpredictable politician. He is destined to be remembered as the most controversial of all Israeli public figures. To friend and foe he became known as the 'bulldozer'- his driving determination could overcome most obstacles in his way whether his superiors or political supporters agreed or not. Some military commentators have rated him as the best field commander and strategist in the annals of the IDF, while in his subsequent career in politics he was a formidable opponent.
July 20, 2013
There is more than meets the eye - that is the only explanation for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's success in cajoling the Palestinians and Israel back to the table. After failing five times previously, Kerry with the Arab League's support, apparently made Abbas and Netanyahu an offer that neither leader could refuse. This despite the fact that both antagonists face bitter opposition among their respective supporters to the two-state solution.
March 24, 2013
Have U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu forged a new deal on how to approach the Iranian nuclear crisis? After Obama took Israel by storm, Bibi declared:" I am absolutely convinced the President is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons!" IsraCast is of the view that the dazzling impact the U.S. President has made on Israeli leaders and people makes it difficult to arrive at a rational assessment of the visit's longer term outcome. However, it can be said most Israelis now believe that Barack Hussein Obama is a true friend of the Jewish state.
March 19, 2013
Two days before U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu presented his new coalition government to the Knesset, Israel's parliament. The House approved the new cabinet by a 68 seat majority in the 120 member House. In his address, Netanyahu referred to the imminent visit of U.S. President Barack Obama.
February 23, 2013
BIBI DOESN'T GET IT, YET!
Israel's coalition crisis drags on with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu still unable to cobble together a new government that can command a solid majority in the 120 member Knesset. In fact, King Bibi is now facing a determined bid by two apparent heirs to his throne: Yair Lapid of 'There's A Future' and Naftali Bennett of 'Jewish Home' parties.
February 07, 2013
The timing is critical - smack in the middle of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's complex coalition consultations U.S. President Barack Obama announces a long overdue visit to Israel. Both the White House in Washington and Bibi's backers in Jerusalem are playing down any notion of a new U.S. peace initiative for Israel and the Palestinians. Perish the thought! But in international relations, actions speak louder than words.
December 08, 2012
George Orwell can best cast light on the persistent claims of Hamas and by Israeli officials in the current confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians. Hamas leaders Khaled Mashal and Ismail Haniya claim an historic Palestinian victory over Israel in the recent eight day battle with Israel – nothing could be further from the truth. Hamas rocket teams and their weapons arsenals were clobbered in Gaza and they know it. On the other hand, after 138 nations in the UN General Assembly voted in favor of recognizing Palestine as a non- member observer state, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu adopted the old Arab adage of 'cutting off your nose to spite your face' by announcing plans to build 3,000 housing units linking Jerusalem with the Israeli town of Maale Adumim in Judea & Samaria (West Bank). This construction plan was condemned instantly by nearly one and all including Israel's closest allies, even Canada. Yet Netanyahu and his Likud cabinet ministers stand by the settlement decision as a fitting response to the flagrant violation of the Oslo Accord by West Bank Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
November 22, 2012
As of 21:00 hours local time, the Palestinian rockets from Gaza ceased flying through the air bound for Israeli towns and villages while Israeli aircraft stopped raiding Hamas targets in Gaza. The latest round in the latest slugfest between Gaza and Israel was over. Egypt's President Muhamed Morsi, the surprising Muslim Brotherhood leader, is now charged with overseeing that both sides honor the new truce. The silent and final arbitrator in this unlikely scenario is U.S. President Barack Obama who has skillfully pulled his substantial levers with both sides, possibly for the benefit of one and all, including the Palestinians in Gaza. Analyst David Essing is of the view that the process of achieving the latest ceasefire could be of paramount importance.
November 05, 2012
What is the impact of Likud Cabinet Minister's Moshe Kahlon's final decision not to form a new party to run against the Likud in the upcoming election? Kahlon's shooting star has now burned out and the campaign will now turn to whether former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will again throw his hat into the ring to lead a new Center bloc or whether he will succumb to his numerous legal problems. From another quarter, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has also got into the action by trying to stir up interest in the moribund Palestinian issue. Analyst David Essing has this election update.