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Woman chased by men and youth armed with clubs, Medova Street in Lviv, Ukraine, July 1941.

THE HOLOCAUST CASTS ITS GRIM SHADOW OVER ISRAEL

The jury is still out, and maybe it will always be. The recent Israeli-Polish accord on the actions of the Poles during the Holocaust ignited a firestorm of controversy in Israel. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu categorically rejected allegations that the accord was "a betrayal of Holocaust remembrance".

First the facts: Poland itself was invaded by Nazi Germany at the outset of WWII. At the same time, there are reams of documented evidence, including photographs, proving that many Poles participated in pogroms and reporting Jews to the Nazis. Granted, there was a smaller number of some 6,000 Polish citizens who risked their lives in saving Jews and who have been rightly honored by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. The bitter controversy flared last February when the Polish Parliament passed a law that imposed a three-year prison sentence on anyone who contended that the Poles had collaborated with the Nazi regime. There was immediate outrage in Israel and among many historians who had researched the Holocaust. The clash even threatened to sabotage relations between Jerusalem and Warsaw.

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A Syrian patient receiving treatment in the trauma unit at Ziv Medical Center in Israel. Photo by Simon Haddad

ISRAEL "RESETS" ON SYRIAN CIVIL WAR

The outcome is obvious. Russian fighter-bombers are bombing the Syrian revel forces into oblivion. The rebels, who are also being pursued by President Assad's ground forces, are being driven south to within view of the Israeli border. Along the way, the Russian-led Juggernaut is destroying Syrian towns and villages where the rebels are making a last stand. Dozens of Syrian civilians are being killed and wounded daily in the crossfire. This has triggered a frantic flow of tens of thousands of civilians seeking shelter, from where? The direction of the Jewish state. Meanwhile, Israel has been supplying the Syrian refugees with humanitarian aid, baby food, tents, medicine, etc. In addition, the IDF has stepped up one of the least known secrets in the region - during the seven-year civil war it has been treating wounded Syrian civilians in need of critical medical care. These cases, now over 2,500, have been quietly transferred across the border at night to be treated at several IDF field hospitals. Emergency cases are rushed to a nearby hospital for intensive care and more complicated operations. The Identity of these Syrian patients must be kept secret for fear of reprisals after they are returned home to Syria. (They would be suspected by Assad's forces of having been turned into Israeli agents - even the many wounded children!)

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Meir Amit (1921-2009)

Meir Amit was an Israeli politician and general. He served as Director of the Mossad from 1963 to 1968 before entering politics and holding two ministerial positions.

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Israel must use UN as an offensive tool

Instead of constantly defending ourselves, we should flood the United Nations' institutions with complaints, reports and information about the destruction taking place in our region.

On the fifth year of the Middle Eastern destruction, which is going to last for decades, it's time to determine that the United Nations has become irrelevant here, except in regards to one country, which is the last remnant of the old regional order – Israel. Can the UN do anything in Syria? In Iraq? In Yemen? In Saudi Arabia? In Egypt? In Libya? That's why it focuses on Israel.

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THE CLOCK IS TICKING IN ISRAEL - EARLY ELECTION AND ESCALATION IN GAZA?

It seems as though life is never dull for Israelis. Gaza: Hamas continues its "scorched earth" campaign. Days ago, Israeli military reporters disclosed the IDF had devised a hi-tech solution to intercept waves of Palestinian kites and balloons carrying incendiary bombs into Israel. However, these reports have proved to premature. These kites and balloons have now torched thousands of acres of Israeli farmland and forest with some 20-30 new fires daily. Firefighters are rushing from one blaze to another, dousing the flames, while Israeli residents are demanding the government order the IDF to take off the gloves. So far, the Israeli objective has been to develop less lethal means than firepower to deter Hamas.

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"IF NORTH KOREA IS HERE, CAN THE PALESTINIANS AND IRAN BE FAR BEHIND?"

Was it a Hollywood extravagance or a turning point in world history, maybe even with a future impact on Iran? Of course, only time will tell. All the praise or criticism of Trump is sheer speculation.

Naturally, Israel hopes it will also affect Iran's drive for nuclear weapons. Leading Israeli experts, such as Menashe Amir, see signs that the ayatollahs are worried that Trump may parlay the Singapore summit to mobilize greater pressure on Tehran. His scrapping of the 2015 deal has already forced several big European concerns to cancel lucrative deals with Iran for fear of being sanctioned by Washington. Most notably, the Nike decision to bar the Iranian soccer squad from wearing Nike sports shoes at the current World Cup. It's no contest when having to choose between doing business in the American and Iranian economies.

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"EYELESS IN GAZA" - ISRAEL LOOKS FOR NEW SOLUTIONS

For 12 weeks, thousands of Gaza's men, women, and children have been trying to break through the border fence into Israel. Israeli soldiers have stood in the breech with marksmen opening fire at the leaders and Hamas terrorists who are leading their charge. Over 130 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more wounded (including a female medic that was also filmed throwing firebombs into Israel). The Palestinians have been burning tires that create huge clouds of black smoke that pour into Israel. Using this for cover, Hamas terrorists among the civilians try to get as close to the border as possible to open fire at the Israelis.

It is fair to say that the force and determination of the Palestinian violence first took the IDF by surprise. This resulted in over 60 Palestinians being killed on one day. The troops were ordered that on no account would the Palestinians be allowed to cross the border and symbolically mark what they call "the march of return". At present they have succeeded in torching thousands of acres of Israeli farmland by sending incendiary kites and balloons over the border.

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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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WHY GAZA WILL GET WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER

The violence along the Israel-Gaza border has spiraled out of control. In fact, it will likely get worse before it gets better. The background: in order to understand what is going on today it is necessary to put it in the Barbra Tuchman, "Looking back from the light on the stern." The two million or so Palestinians living in Gaza are led by Hamas, extreme as they get, focused on the destruction of the Jewish State. It's no two-state solution - it's winner takes all. In the Six-Day War, the IDF occupied Gaza and Israel came and built settlements there. However, in 2005, PM Ariel Sharon dismantled all the settlements and withdrew IDF forces to the Israeli border. Now, instead of exploiting Israel's pullback and seeking a similar withdrawal from the occupied West Bank, the Palestinians converted Gaza into a launchpad for terrorism against Israel. (This despite the fact that American officials quietly advised the Palestinians to call off the terrorism as this would enable them to seek a similar Israeli pullout from the West Bank.) However, this would have required the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the Jewish State. This would have meant the Palestinian refugees would not be returning to their former homes in Israel.

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ISRAELI F-35 STEALTH JETS TAKING ON IRAN!

"We are flying the F-35 over the entire Middle East and it is now part of our operational capability. We are the first in the world to attack with the F-35."

Suddenly out of the wild blue yonder, Israeli pilots are now flying America's top F-35 Stealth Fighter in combat missions. The revelation came publically from Gen. Amikam Norkin, the commander of the Israeli Air Force: "We are flying the F-35 over the entire Middle East and it is now part of our operational capability. We are the first in the world to attack with the F-35."

Did this also apply to the Iranian forces during the recent flare-up in Syria? Take a guess, no clear-cut answer to that intriguing question. Israel was the first foreign country to receive the F-35 from America's Lockheed Martin aircraft manufacturer. Gen. Norkin's revelation must have got the interest, and possibly the envy, of twenty visiting airforce commanders who, in addition to the U.S., included, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, India, Canada, among others.

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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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WILL ISRAEL'S NETANYAHU FIND A WAY TO CALL AN EARLY ELECTION AFTER RECENT FOREIGN AFFAIRS & SECURITY SUCCESSES?

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is probably now scheming how he can call an early election (Israel's next scheduled election is currently set for November 2019) And with good reason. No doubt about it, Bibi is riding high after scoring some major security and foreign affairs successes. All this in the space of a week or so. Hard on the heels of the Mossad's astonishing caper in getting their hands on the archives of Iran's nuclear weapons project, President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal signed with Tehran in 2015. In announcing his decision Trump praised both the Mossad and Bibi along the way. Without a doubt, Bibi played a role in convincing the US leader that his tough stand against North Korea, which has paid off, should also be applied to Iran.

Question: If Trump's Democratic critic in the US, as well as Britain, France, and Germany, have praised the US President for getting results with Kim Jong-un, why do they refuse to do so when it comes to Iran, which is just as dangerous of a crazy state as is North Korea?

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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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US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP REPORTEDLY DROPS BOMBSHELL OVER IRAN & JERUSALEM

Two Israeli newspapers have disclosed that President Trump has offered Israel massive support against the Iranian nuclear threat in return for Israel's handing over four Jerusalem neighborhoods to the Palestinians. This according to the newspapers Ma'ariv and the Jerusalem Post on May 4th. For months there has been speculation about Trump's upcoming Middle East peace proposal. According to the unconfirmed reports, Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman was given some of the key components during his recent visit to Washington. The four Arab neighborhoods named are Shuafat, Jabel Mukaber, Isawiya, and Abu Dis. It follows that if these East Jerusalem neighborhoods were included in the Arab State of Palestine, one could be designated as the capital city. It makes sense - in past articles, Israel has suggested this solution to resolve the bitter feud over the Holy City. However, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Likud party, as well as other coalition parties, have in the past categorically rejected a partition of East Jerusalem. In any case, if true the idea could dampen Palestinian rioting in Jerusalem and elsewhere over the opening of a new US embassy in the Jewish neighborhood of Arnona. However, the Palestinians are preparing to go on the warpath over the embassy issue.

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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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