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Showing Results 1-20 of 25 for Rivlin
June 24, 2016

F-35 Stealth Jets to Israel – Act II of Obama’s Political Drama

The delivery of the first two F-35 stealth fighters to Israel this week marks the close of Act II in President Barack Obama's Middle East policy. Act I was based on Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. It removed the only thing that could have fouled up his decision to cut America's losses and get out of the Middle East. Failure to find a diplomatic solution to suspending Iran's nuclear weapons program could have triggered an Israeli preventative strike that would have drawn in the US militarily. From Obama's point of view, this was and is a deliberate and rational policy. The fireworks with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu were simply an inevitable result - collateral damage, it wasn't all personal, 'it was business'. Even Ben Rhodes, apparently in a lapse of megalomania, bragged how he and his buddies had pulled the strings of the American media like puppets.

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March 18, 2016

Tsar Vladimir - Kingmaker in Syria

'I came, I bombed, now I'm kingmaker of Syria!' Russian President Vladimir Putin is now calling the shots in what is left of the former Syrian state left in ruins after five years of a horrific bloodbath. All the sides, except for the Russians, are now trying to catch their breath in the current cease-fire, while the negotiators have gathered in Geneva seeking some way forward. It was the massive Russian air strikes, which started suddenly five months ago and ended just as surprisingly this week, that have halted the internecine warfare.

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December 11, 2015

OBAMA & RIVLIN - TRUTH ABOUT U.S.-ISRAELI RELATIONS

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.

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June 12, 2015

Israel should defend Druze from IS onslaught in Syria

Israel is facing a major moral and strategic dilemma - whether or not to defend the hundreds of thousands of Druze civilians in Syria who are now under dire threat from the relentless advance of the Islamic State. Make no mistake, the Druze are strong supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad, a bitter enemy of Israel. Several weeks ago, a Druze terror squad even tried to carry out a cross-border attack against Israel on the Golan Heights. When Israel annexed part of the Golan Heights after the Six-Day War in 1967, the Druze inside that area returned their Israeli identity cards and pledged allegiance to President Hafez Assad in Damascus. However, his son, Bashar Assad has abandoned them now by pulling the Syrian Army out of the Druze regions in order to strengthen Damascus and his Alawite enclave along the Mediterranean coast.

 

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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 22, 2015

International Holocaust Memorial Day

 The Holocaust, the largest genocide recorded in modern history, resulted in the systematic murder of approximately six million Jews and five million non-Jews (including Gypsies, Poles, communists, homosexuals, Soviet POWs, and the mentally and physically disabled) at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators. The Holocaust wiped out two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population, which had once been nine million, cementing itself as a shameful stain upon the fabric history; while World War II (which involved over 30 countries and more than 100 million people) resulted in between 50-85 million casualties and is remembered as the deadliest conflict in human history.

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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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November 29, 2014

TURKEY COLLABORATES WITH ISIL & HAMAS

 According to the Associated Press, the ISIL assault was launched by a suicide bomber driving an armored vehicle across the Turkish border:

"Beirut (AP): The Islamic State group launched an attack on the Syrian border town of Kobani - a first in the ongoing siege, a Kurdish official and activist said."

 He was identified as Nawaf Khalil a spokesman for the Kurdish Democratic party. In Khalil's words:

"ISIL used to attack the town (of Kobani) from three sides. Today they are attacking from four sides."

 There is no question that ISIL could not have launched the attack from across the Turkish border without the green light from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish Army has deployed a cordon of tanks along its border with Syria to bar Turkish volunteers from reaching Kobani, which has been under ISIL attack since September. 

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June 12, 2014

CRACKS IN NETANYAHU'S COALITION

 Israel now faces international isolation - that is what Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's diplomacy has achieved on the Palestinian track. Make no mistake, this has all the components of weakening Israel's international position and could eventually topple his coalition government. First the PM lost the 'blame game' to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by letting Housing Minister Uri Ariel announce plans for building new housing units on the disputed West Bank.  U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry pointed the finger at Netanyahu. Adding insult to injury, Abbas then gambled that he could join forces with terrorist Hamas and this would not upset the U.S. and the rest of the international community. He proved to be right...

 

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January 11, 2013

Chuck Hagel & Shimon Peres

 In the midst of Israel's current election campaign, two developments have caught the headlines in Israel. First, U.S. President Barack Obama's selecting of Chuck Hagel as the new U.S. Secretary of Defense and the New York Times interview with Israel's President Shimon Peres have caught the headlines in Israel. 

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December 30, 2011

Israel, Turkey & Armenian Dilemma

Israel's government and her Parliament are at odds over whether the Jewish state should officially recognize Turkey's responsibility for the massacre of some one and a half million Armenians in 1915. In spite of appeals by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the Knesset's Education Committee discussed the issue but stopped short of voting on recognition. IsraCast analyst David Essing is of the view that with the Iranian nuclear crisis coming to a head in 2012, it is crucial that Israel will not cause any further deterioration in the already strained relations with Turkey.

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August 28, 2011

Palestinian Strategy - Terrorism Plus Diplomacy

 All quiet on Israel's new front with Egyptian-controlled Sinai and Hamas-dominated Gaza, but for how long? The eight days of violence, triggered by the deadly Sinai attacks that killed eight Israelis, has strained Israeli- Egyptian relations more than any thing else since the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty in 1979. Israel's top analysts have been assessing the current state of affairs after the border clash and the Palestinian diplomatic steps at the UN for recognition of a Palestinian state on the lines of 1967. David Essing sums up the views of Dr. Dore Gold, a former UN Ambassador and head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs who has documented Al Qaeda's recent move into Sinai.

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June 08, 2011

Israel's Border Intifada and Mossad

 Israel has reacted firmly to Arab attempts to launch an uprising, or intifada in Arabic, along its borders. Rioters from Syria tried again and were repulsed as were Palestinians at the Kalandia check point on the West Bank and at the Gaza border. In another development, the tight-lipped former Mossad Director Meir Dagan, has set off a major controversy by launching a peace initiative to the Palestinians and not Israeli jets at Iran's nuclear weapons facilities.

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May 17, 2006

ARAFAT ADVISOR GETS KNESSET POST

Arab Knesset Member, who served as an advisor to Yasser Arafat, has long been in the limelight of Arab-Israeli relations in the Jewish state. Nonetheless, Dr. Tibi has now been elected Deputy-Speaker of Israels parliament, the Knesset. The Knesset House Committee voted in favor of Tibi.

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October 31, 2005

ISRAEL & IRANIAN NUCLEAR THREAT

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon opened the last session of Israel's parliament with a stern message for Iran and the Palestinian terrorists, as well as his political critics at home. After the new winter session, Israeli votes are scheduled to the polls, next fall, if not before then. In a carefully worded comment, Sharon referred to the threat by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about wiping Israel off the map. He also warned there would be no let-up in Israel's war against Palestinian terrorism. As for the future, Sharon declared he intends to win the next general election and open the new Knesset in 2006.

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August 30, 2005

NETANYAHU MOVES TO OUST SHARON AS PRIME MINISTER

Former Finance Minister Bibi Netanyahu has announced his candidacy for Likud leader and party candidate for prime minister. The Likud central committee is to meet on September 26th to vote on a date for primaries that are expected around the end of November. At present, polls indicate that Netanyahu leads Sharon and a far right candidate MK Uzi Landau who resigned from the cabinet in protest over the disengagement.

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July 25, 2005

SHARON REFUSES TO BUILD BETWEEN JERUSALEM & WEST BANK

A group of bipartisan Knesset members met in Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin's office criticizing Prime Minister Sharon's refusal to start building an a vacant three mile space between Jerusalem and the west Bank town of Maale Adumim. Plans have been approved to build some 4,000 housing units there but Sharon refuses to give the green light. The MKs accused Sharon of capitulating to the U.S., which opposes any Israeli building on the West Bank. Ehud Barak, who is no longer an MK but is running for the Labor party leadership said it was even more important to 'build around the clock' and even on the Sabbath to complete the security fence.

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June 22, 2005

CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS ISRAEL

The U.S. boycott of an Israeli arms sale to China has apparently not affected the very close ties between Israel and China. Chinese Foreign Minister Zhaoxing continued his trip to Israel saying his country wishes to maintain its relations with Israel in all spheres including the 'army'. He also announced that China has placed Israel on its recommended tourist map and hotels here had better start building more rooms for thousands of Chinese tourists who will invade Jerusalem, the city of peace. The Chinese official received a very warm welcome from state President Moshe Katzav and from Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin and the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

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June 17, 2005

EARLY ELECTION MOVES IN ISRAEL

An early election atmosphere is building in Israel. First, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin charged that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon cannot lose no-confidence votes in Parliament and continue to carry out the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements this fall. Several Likud MKs have also called for an election before the disengagement is implemented. Former Likud cabinet minister Dan Meridor believes an early election will take place after the disengagement. Meanwhile, Likud rebel MK Uzi Landau calls on Finance Minister Bibi Netanyahu and other Likud cabinet ministers to quit the government in order to block the pullout.

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