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A tanker in the Gulf of Oman near the strategic Strait of Hormuz were reportedly attacked on Thursday. (Photo/Iranian Student News Agency)

ISRAEL AND THE GULF CRISIS

How is Israel reaction to the current escalation between the US and Iran in the Gulf? Obviously, Israel is rooting for Trump, as are all the Arab states, which also fear Iran as a regional threat. But, at the same time, Israel is wary of being accused of egging on the US against the Ayatollahs in Tehran. The smart thing for Netanyahu to do was to order all political and military officials to keep their mouths shut. So far, they have. But there is no doubt that if Trump requested military or intelligence aid, Israel would hop to it.

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ISRAEL'S ELECTION CRISIS - THE AFTERSHOCK

Political turmoil reigns supreme - in the hoopla of the April 9th election, Bibi Netanyahu was confident he was on his way to a record fifth term as Israel's Prime Minister. Even faced with three possible indictments for fraud he came out of the election, apparently, with a 65-seat overall majority in the 120-member Knesset; this was based on his own Likud party teaming up with other rightwing and religious parties in the 120-member Knesset. It seemed only a matter of hammering out individual agreements with his potential partners. No sweat - Bibi's a master negotiator.

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Israel and Nuclear Weapons Threats - Operation Opera

On the anniversary of Israel's air strike that destroyed Saddam Husein's nuclear reactor near Baghdad on June 7th, 1981 and against the background of former Mossad Chief Meir Dagen's warning that Israel should not attack Iran's nuclear weapons sites today, IsraCast presents a report broadcast shortly after the Israeli preventative attack on Iraq.

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What happened to the Jews of Iraq?

 A war-torn nation now split between the Iraqi government, ISIS controlled areas, and the Kurdish region of the north, Iraq is certainly no safe land for anyone, let alone the small ethno-religious minorities that once thrived there for centuries. It's hard to imagine now, but Iraq was once home to a large Jewish population of over 150,000 souls, one of the longest surviving and most historically significant of Jewish communities in the Diaspora. As of 2008, there were less than ten Jews counted still living in Iraq, and the number today may very well have dwindled to none.

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TRUMP'S "MARSHALL PLAN" FOR MIDDLE EAST

At long last, US President Donald Trump will take the wraps off his "deal of the century" to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The date, June 24-25: the venue will be Bahrain in the Arab oil-rich Gulf. His special envoy, Jared Kushner, will present a novel peace package - my guess is it will resemble another historic American program "The Marshall Plan," initiated by President Harry Truman to rebuild war-torn western Europe after WWII. It was one of the most ingenious and humane economic plans in history that laid the groundwork for rebuilding the continent and even included Nazi Germany, the perpetrator of the devastation.

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THE ISRAEL YOU DON'T SEE ON THE NEWS

 Amidst the whirlwind of tensions that monopolizes much of Israel's airtime attention, it does appear to be a wonder sometimes that anyone would choose to live in such a tumultuous and threatened nation, let alone vacation here. Indeed, it is not unusual for outsiders to shake their heads dismally at the newest sensationalized upheaval, wondering, 'when will those hot-heads in the Middle East get their act together?' And this languid desire for peace and quiet is not unfounded; in point of fact, the state of Israel has been in a perpetual state of war with its neighboring countries since it's Declaration of Statehood in 1948, which was marked by Transjordan, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq launching a joint attack on the infant nation meant to 'drive the Jews into the sea'. The truth is Israel itself would like some peace and quiet more than anyone. And yet, despite the troubling realities of a nation living under the constant shadow of war, Israel has miraculously thrived in almost every way imaginable! 

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An Evening of Songs for Danny - ערב שירים לדני

 אחרי מלחמת ששת הימים, משנת 1969 התקיימו כל שנה במערה הקסומה, שבקיבוץ בית-גוברין, ערבי שירה עם מיטב הלהקות והזמר העברי. הערב נקרא: "ערב שירים לדני", לזכרו של דני ורדון מגבעת ברנר, אשר נפל באל-עריש במלחמת ששת הימים.


 Following the Six Day War (the War of Independence), starting in 1969, performances took place every year at the enchanting cave of Kibbutz Beit-Guvrin providing evenings of song by the best of Hebrew singers and bands.  This evening was called: "An Evening of Songs for Danny", in remembrance of Danny Verdon of Kibbutz Givat Brenner, who fell in Al-Arish during the Six Day War.

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Sabena Flight 707

On May 8, 1972 a Boeing 707 passenger aircraft of the Belgian airline company, Sabena, that was in flight from Vienna to Tel Aviv, was hijacked by four terrorists from the Palestinian terrorist organization, Black September, and landed at the Tel Aviv airport near Lod.


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BERNIE SANDERS AND ISRAEL'S HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE

Another annual day of remembering the Holocaust has come and gone in Israel. As always, it was marked by a deeply moving ceremony on Jerusalem's Mount Herzl near the Holocaust Memorial Museum. Six survivors - three elderly women and men in their 80's and 90's bore witness to their harrowing experiences and recalled their family members who went up in smoke in the crematoria of Auschwitz and the other death camps or were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during WWII in Europe. And again, the incredible tales, seen through the eyes of the then very young children, some of them no more than toddlers.

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Ben-Zion Netanyahu (1910-2012)

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. Read More...

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