Showing Results 1-20 of 177 for Vote
January 21, 2017
Israel's Right wing fervently hopes and believes US President Donald Trump will reverse America's former policy that opposed settlement building in the West Bank. From Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu on down, the Right wingers also trust the US will serve as a bulwark to anti-Israel moves at the UN and in other international forums. A first indicator will be if Trump keeps his campaign pledge to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in the face of bitter Palestinian and Muslim threats. But his credibility is at stake. Could this mean he will, as reported, suffice with some half-measure like moving the Ambassador's official residence to Jerusalem, while the embassy would remain in Tel Aviv?
Trump's Inauguration address focused on his 'America First' theme and bringing back home American jobs. If so, this might trigger a global trade war. Or then again, will Trump's bark prove to be worse than his bite?
On Friday evening, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu rushed off his best wishes to Trump:
'Congratulations to my friend President Trump. I look forward to working closely with you to make the alliance between Israel and America stronger than ever. Shabbat Shalom'.
January 14, 2017
The fate of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is now in the hands of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. A full blown police investigation of the PM is now underway on two counts:
- A tape recording, now in the hands of the police, reportedly proves Bibi and Yediot Ahronot newspaper owner Noni Moses discussed how to rig control over the sale and content of newspapers in Israel. This included the freebie Yisrael Hayom that totally backs Bibi and is financed by Sheldon Adelson, the American casino tycoon. (Get this: Bibi himself taped Moses. The PM now claims he did so to discredit the owner of the newspaper that hauled him over the coals day in and out. The only problem is that their secret powwows took place years ago and Bibi never handed over the recordings to the police after colluding with Moses on what was apparently a serious breech of trust, if not more).
- Bibi and his wife Sara (who has a habit of getting into hot water with the law) are suspected of having received some one hundred thousands dollars in super expensive cigars and champagne from Israeli film producer Arnon Milchan. The Netanyahus contend these were legitimate gifts between close buddies and not bribes.
December 10, 2016
Common sense will apparently prevail. The government has agreed to comply with Israel's Supreme Court that some 200 men, women and children must be evacuated from forty homes built on private Arab land at the settlement of Amona in the West Bank. After an acrimonious tug of war, it has been touch and go, and it's not over yet. The pro-Amona camp led by Education Minister Naftali Bennett of the far Right Jewish Home party played to the settler gallery. He tried, by hook and by crook, to circumvent the Supreme Court by promoting a new law that would retroactively enable Israelis to build and remain on private Arab land. This was to include Amona. His idea was that this would legally allow the settlers to remain in Amona.
However, international law stipulates that it is illegal for an occupying power to confiscate private land for private purposes. In practice, successive Israeli governments have tried to comply with it by building settlements on public or absentee Palestinian real estate. But there have been mistakes. Bennett's cockeyed idea was that if the government passed a new law making this legal, and including Amona retroactively, this would all be legally kosher.
December 03, 2016
In the final days of US President Barack Obama's second term, it is time to sum up his foreign policy. Obama has done his damnedest to keep America out of foreign wars and he succeeded. The question is at what price? Syria will go down as his most deplorable and bloodiest failures. Historians will debate whether Obama's 'leading from behind' approach contributed to the ongoing bloodbath that has dragged on into its sixth year. Aleppo will be remembered as one of the worst international atrocities since World War II. Obama has simply abandoned this hapless city to barbaric Russian and Syrian air strikes, at times with chemical weapons.
November 29, 1947
On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution, which adopted the plan for the partition of Palestine, recommended by the majority of the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). 33 states voted in favor of the resolution and 13 against. 10 states abstained.
November 19, 2016
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.
November 06, 2016
For most Israelis Hillary Clinton is the safest bet - it's based on 'Better the devil you know than the devil you don't!' The roller-coaster polls have switched back to Hillary while the Israeli media have sent their star reporters to cover, some with baited breath, the latest ups and downs in the two rival camps. 'Israel Today', the freebie newspaper, that backs Bibi and is financed by American casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, is beating the drums for Trump. However, Netanyahu has remained neutral and has also ordered his cabinet ministers to do the same when it comes to supporting Clinton or Trump. This also applies to the rest of the political parties. After his feud with Democratic President Barack Obama, and his Adelson connection, it is probable that Bibi is pulling for Trump. But barring some unexpected bombshell, I'm sticking with the prediction of my twelve-year old grandson Ariel who is pretty good at Math. The other day, when the polls indicated that Trump was leading Clinton, Ariel asked me how Trump could possibly win?
November 04, 1995
Yitzhak Rabin was murdered on November 4th, 1995 by a Jewish assassin, Yigal Amir. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel from 1974 until 1977 and again from 1992 until his assassination in 1995. Rabin played a leading role in the signing of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians and the peace treaty with Jordan, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize For Peace in 1994.
October 26, 2016
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has offered a major aid package for Gaza, if Hamas suspends its military build-up against the Jewish State. Lieberman sent the surprising message in an interview with the Palestinian newspaper El Kuds. It is not clear at this time if Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and the Israeli government have approved Lieberman’s proposal. If so it would be a major step, otherwise Lieberman was just blowing hot air.
So to the nuts and bolts of his proposal, in his words:
'Israel will be the first to rebuild the Gaza Strip by investing in a seaport, an airport and two industrial zones at Karni and Erez. But there were several conditions: Hamas must stop digging attack tunnels from Gaza into Israel, launching rockets into Israel and smuggling in weapons'.
For its part, Israel had no intention of occupying Gaza or starting another war. But he warned:
'If war is forced on Israel again, it will be the last war for Hamas, we will totally destroy Hamas!'
The Israeli Defense Minister disclosed that Hamas, rather than improving the lot of the nearly two million Palestinians in Gaza, has spent more than $500 million dollars in a military build-up recently. Lieberman appeared to be offering a big carrot and a big stick to Hamas after the bitter summer war of 2014 that left Gaza in a shambles.
October 16, 2016
Israelis are also scratching their heads over the shenanigans of Donald Trump and how he is still even running for President. It would appear that Trump has passed the point of no return and only some new catastrophic disclosure about Hillary Clinton would bar her from entering the Oval Office. The most intriguing question is why Russian President Putin favors Trump and has mounted a cyber-campaign against Clinton leaking damaging material to American voters. In return, Trump has praised Putin as a 'strong leader'. But on the face of it, would the tough talking Trump not pose a more formidable rival to Putin than Hillary? Would she not follow in the footsteps of Obama by pulling in America's horns and giving Russia a free hand on the world stage?
July 15, 2016
Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite is a magnificent motto but it just got trumped by the battle cry of 'Allah Akbar'. The cold-blooded murder of over 84 children, women and men in Nice is a startling example of our age. After the Islamic terror attacks in Paris last November, French President Francois Hollande thought declaring a half-hearted 'state of emergency' would do the trick. And after hosting the huge Euro-Cup soccer tournament, France had breathed a sigh of relief. But then came the new slaughter that killed so many and wounded many, some critically, ironically at Bastille Day celebrations for what is probably the greatest democratic event in all of history, the French Revolution.
July 01, 2016
Israelis must brace up to terror attacks of one kind or another - it is part of the nation's struggle for survival. None are easy, but some hit harder than others.
Thursday morning 8:38 AM in Kiryat Arba in Judea-West Bank:
Thirteen-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel is sleeping in her bed alone in her home. The summer vacation has already begun and Hallel, an ardent dancer is sleeping-in after performing the night before in Jerusalem.
A seventeen-year-old Palestinian from the nearby town of Bani Na’im jumps over the Israeli security fence built around the community sounding the alarm at the security headquarters. The terrorist races to the nearest Israeli home and enters. It is still not clear if the door or a window was left open. Armed with a knife, he rushes to the children’s' room, where Hallel is apparently still sleeping, and stabs her eight times.
June 24, 2016
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.
May 27, 2016
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.
May 01, 2000
Prof. Ben-Zion Netanyahu passed away at his Jerusalem home, at the age of 102. Ben-Zion Netanyahu and his late wife Tzila, who passed away in 2000, had three sons – Lieutenant Colonel Yonatan (Yoni) Netanyahu, who was killed during Operation Yonatan in Entebbe; Benjamin, the Prime Minister of Israel; and Ido, a doctor, writer and playwright.
November 06, 2015
The signals from Washington are unmistakable. With Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu about to go to the White House, President Barack Obama has decided to bury the hatchet. Despite Netanyahu's intrusive campaign to torpedo the Iranian nuclear deal, Obama now has the Iranian nuclear deal under his belt. Moreover, with the Middle East coming apart at the seams and Russia's military expansion into Syria, Israel is emerging as America's most dependable ally in the region. And with the Presidential election looming, Obama must also consider the Jewish vote after his bashing of the Jewish state over the Palestinian issue. After Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected negotiating with Netanyahu in favor of seeking an imposed solution at the UN, Obama has called it a day. Despite the dire warnings that Netanyahu has caused irreparable harm to the 'special relationship' between Israel and the U.S., this is apparently not the case. (Granted, Bibi's address to Congress was a bit too much).
October 30, 2015
What if Israeli Prime Minister had not been assassinated after that peace rally on Nov.15th, 1995? Would Israel now be living at peace with the state of Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza Strip? Did Yigal Amir, the Right Wing Israeli killer, change the course of history?
Of course, there is no way of knowing. But it is possible to examine what has happened since that cursed night. Today over 90% of Israelis can tell you exactly what they were doing when they heard the news. A night when Israel's vaunted Shabak Security Service failed abysmally to prevent the assassin, armed with a revolver, from casually walking up and firing three shots into Rabin's back while a couple of his body-guards looked on in disbelief - Jews aren't supposed to assassinate their leaders! (The bullets were hollow-point to increase the damage and Rabin never had a chance.
September 25, 2015
Whatever you think of Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, you have to admit he has one of the toughest jobs in the world. Just look at what he has on his plate every morning he wakes up …
America, Israel's best friend, has, under President Barack Obama's leadership, has concocted a wacky deal with Iran, Israel's worst enemy. It will enable the Ayatollahs to produce nuclear weapons in 10 to 15 years or whenever. First Obama pressured Democratic Senators to swallow it hook, line and sinker - they do not even know what's in the 'secret clauses'. So now Bibi, who apparently does, must 'grin and bear it'. His only reasonable course of action is to restore his strained relations with the U.S. President and hopefully bolster Israel's security in the wake of Iran's nuclear ascendancy. Barring unforeseen circumstances, Barack will also agree to bury the hatchet, particularly with the American presidential election looming on the horizon.
September 18, 2015
Obama - let bygones be bygones...
Barack Obama won, Bibi Netanyahu lost - so what happens now? After fighting a rear guard action to the bitter end, the Israeli leader finally threw in the towel. After forging the nuclear deal with Iran, the U.S. President will apparently be able to depart the White House in another 17 months with his grand strategy intact - no new American military involvement in the Middle East (or anywhere else for that matter). The Ayatollahs in Iran have emerged with a win-win victory. They have simply put their nuclear weapons program temporarily in mothballs and will now cash in with a bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars.
August 21, 2015
There is only one logical solution to the firestorm swirling around the Iranian nuclear agreement - publish and be damned! Otherwise only the Iranians and Yukiya Amano, the Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, know what exactly is in it. It's true. Even Senators in Washington, who are set to vote on it next month, are still in the dark. Be they Democrats or Republicans, how can they vote in good conscience if they don't know what they're voting on? The question is also whether even President Barack Obama himself and Secretary of State John Kerry have been leaked the details of the IAEA's sacrosanct accord with Tehran?