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Showing Results 81-100 of 201 for Assad
January 11, 2014

ARIEL SHARON (1928-2014)

 '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.

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December 12, 2013

ISRAELI-SAUDI ALLIANCE AGAINST IRAN?

 In this day and age of the looming Iranian threat, what do Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf States have to fear from Israel? Absolutely nothing. And what does Israel have to fear from them? Again, absolutely nothing. Bu what do the Gulf States and Israel have to fear from Iran? Possibly their very survival! This joint interest, against the backdrop of America’s disengagement from the Middle East could be “the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

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December 02, 2013

GENEVA – BETWEEN MUNICH AND NORTH KOREA?

 Will U.S. president Barack Obama prefer a nuclear Iran, rather than launching preventative military strike if need be?

 This is the question being asked in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and around the Middle East. In light of the Geneva nuclear deal, grave doubts are being voiced throughout the region. What about Obama’s mantra of ‘all options are on the table’? Some Israeli cynics are worried this may also included the selling out of Israel. What worries Israel is that president Obama, apparently in the midst of disengaging from the Middle East, will seek another diplomatic exit in six months or so when the final agreement is to be concluded; or say, when the Iranians break out for their firs a-bomb after their economy has got a shot in the arm, provided by the easing of the sanctions.

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November 14, 2013

NEITHER ARE ISRAELIS BLIND OR STUPID OVER IRAN

 'A fool's game' is how French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius described the nuclear deal cooked up by EU rep Catharine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Geneva. So it was not only Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu who expressed 'hysterical opposition' (New York Times) to the failed proposal that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry rushed to try and wrap up. After investing so much of his time and personal effort, Kerry is beginning to show signs of the mediator's syndrome - striving to achieve an agreement at any price...

 

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October 27, 2013

HOW AND WHEN ISRAEL SHOULD BOMB IRAN

 How and when might Israel launch a military strike against Iran's nuclear weapons sites? For the first time, a retired Israeli general has disclosed military details that have remained under wraps. In an interview with the New Republic magazine, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin told correspondent Ben Birnbaum that Israel should give a chance for the current nuclear talks between the 5P+1, but if President Hassan Rouhani starts stalling again, he supports Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's position that Israel should go it alone without the U.S. Yadlin has served as the former head of IDF Intelligence and was one of the eight Israeli pilots who bombed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor, before it went 'hot' in 1981. (At the time, the Reagan Administration joined the rest of the world in condemning Israel but later lauded Israel for preventing the Iraqi tyrant from getting his hands on an A-bomb.) But the former fighter pilot is no super hawk. On the contrary. In the public debate, Yadlin bucked Netanyahu and former Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who were reportedly in favor of not waiting any longer. (It is still uncertain whether this was really the two leaders' position or whether they were really trying to ramp up international sanctions on Iran.)

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October 02, 2013

NETANYAHU, ROUHANI & OBAMA UNRAVELLED

 What does all that UN rhetoric mean? It boils down to this: Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu believes Iran will continue, by hook or by crook, to develop a nuclear weapons capability; if necessary Israel will go it alone against Iran. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is, by his own admission, a proven con artist, and his boss, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, will push on for the Bomb. US President Barack Obama says he is ready to give diplomacy a chance while keeping the military option on the table.

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September 25, 2013

US-IRAN NUCLEAR NEGOTIATIONS

 What is the essence of true negotiations? Obviously it is the readiness of both sides to compromise. For the negotiations to succeed, each side must give up something in return for something else that values more. But just think about it: is this the case between the US and Iran? Did America simply wake up one morning and decide to lead a campaign of crippling sanctions against the Islamic Republic for no good reason. So maybe it will be about America's meddling in Iran's internal affairs and the Iranians taking American diplomats in Tehran hostage in 1971? Not really. It's all about Iran's nuclear weapons program and America's subsequent sanctions action at the UN. Reading between the lines, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has told the UN General Assembly that 'constructive engagement' should result in the lifting of those sanctions. But flying in the face of the evidence, perish the thought that Iran has been advancing toward its first A-bomb! Rouhani told the General Assembly that, contrary to the US state Department's branding Iran as the world's number one state sponsor of terrorism, his country is anything but. Back home in Tehran, what might Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his Revolutionary Guards, who really call the shots, be ready to concede? Here are some IsraCast suggestions: 

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September 22, 2013

ISRAEL'S 'LANTERN ON THE STERN'

 Forget the current rhetoric coming out of Washington and Tehran. Both sides are playing each other as they prepare to kick off yet another round of negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue, the most critical crisis facing the world today. Iran's newly elected President Hassan Rouhani is the new smiling face of the tyrannical Islamist regime that supports Syria's use of chemical weapons. On the other hand, US President Barack Obama is trying to regain some of the credibility he lost to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Although he will not be taking part, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu will be a key absent partner, and he has left no doubt about where he stands on a nuclear Iran. On the basis of past experience, there is little chance that Iran will really back down from its nuclear weapons drive. On the other hand, Obama's erratic handling of the Syrian chemical weapons atrocity has raised questions about his staying the course. If Iran does eventually make a dash for the A-bomb and Obama choses to procrastinate, what will Israel do? Analyst David Essing refers to historian Barbara Tuchman's analogy of ‘the lantern on the stern' to illuminate how past history can aid in foretelling a future course of action.

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September 12, 2013

NETANYAHU CONNECTS SYRIA WITH IRAN

 "The message that emerges on Syria will be grasped in Iran" - Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has indicated that the Iranian nuclear project is still Israel's major concern. Addressing a graduation ceremony for Israeli Navy cadets, Netanyahu hinted that Israel would not be dependent on the U.S. for its security: ‘In these days, probably more than ever, this is the rule that guides me mainly in my actions - 'If I am not for myself, who will be for me’. And he followed this Talmudic saying by adding that Israel would always be prepared to defend itself. Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have steered clear of commenting on what course President Barack Obama should navigate on Syria. Netanyahu did say that an agreement must guarantee the Syrian regime will be disarmed of its chemical weapons and the world must make certain that whoever uses weapons of mass destruction will pay the price. 

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September 08, 2013

OBAMA - CHURCHILL OR CHAMBERLAIN?

Will U.S. President Barack Obama turn out to be a Winston Churchill or a Neville Chamberlain? Whatever the outcome, Obama's statecraft is being viewed as puzzling, to say the least, by the vast majority of Israelis. The sudden silence of Israeli officials, from Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu on down, speaks for the gravity with which they view the situation. One noticeable exception was President Shimon Peres who praised Obama 'for examining all the options to respond to Assad who had lost all legitimacy as Syria's president'. Shimon Peres, the media, and the Israeli 'in the street' found it hard to accept that the U.S. and the rest of the Free World were so prevaricating in standing up to a barbaric dictator's gassing of his own children and women. As for Russia and China, that's par for the course, realpolitik is their name of the game. In fact, it recalls Stalin's pact with Adolph Hitler when they okayed the Molotov- Ribbentrop treaty to carve up Poland and forestall Germany from invading the Soviet Union. 

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August 31, 2013

OBAMA'S DECISION TO DELAY STARTLES ISRAEL

 Total astonishment - that's been the reaction in Israel to US President Barack Obama's surprise announcement that he is delaying any possible attack on Syria at least until after September 9th. The question being asked is whether Obama was trying to buy time by seeking Congressional approval, although he said he didn't need it. Could Obama be backing out of his pledge to confront the Assad regime in Syria for the chemical weapons attack that killed an estimated 1429 civilians on August 21? After Assad had again crossed Obama's red line on chemical weapons, politicians and pundits were certain that Obama had no choice but to react with a swift, punitive strike on Syria. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu immediately ordered an official blackout so as to prevent Israel bashers in the U.S. from accusing Israel of influencing the Obama administration to launch a military strike. But nearly all media commentators were of the view that Assad had gone too far and the signals from Washington were that it was not a matter of if, but when Obama would give the order. 


 

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August 25, 2013

WHY U.S. SHOULD BOMB SYRIA

 The signs are that U.S. President Barack Obama is taking the Syrian Army's latest chemical weapons attack very seriously. Obama has consulted with his top national security advisors, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered several U.S. Navy destroyers, armed with Cruise missiles, to sail closer to the Syrian coast, and Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, is returning to the Middle East. Meanwhile, a senior Syrian official has warned that an attack on Syria will not be 'a walk in the park'.

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August 04, 2013

ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PARLEY & ROUHANI'S NUCLEAR DECEPTION

 Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has made the first move in the Israeli-Palestinian peace parley by agreeing to release 104 Palestinian terrorists starting on August 15th. In Tehran, the newly installed President Hassan Rouhani appeared to adopt some of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's rhetoric by describing Israel 'as a wound on the body of the Islamic world that must be removed'. 

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July 14, 2013

U.S. - CANADA IN IRAN'S NUCLEAR CROSSHAIRS?

 Thousands of Israelis along the Mediterranean Coast were startled by a resounding boom that was heard far and wide on the morning of July 12th -  it was far greater than an Israeli jet breaking the sound barrier. Defense officials were quick to announce the testing of a 'navigational rocket system' at the Palmahim launch site.  The Israeli media promptly reported, that according to foreign  sources, it was Israel's Jericho ballistic missile that purportedly has a range of over 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles). Jericho, like its biblical namesake, can bring 'the walls tumbling down' with its  warhead of one ton of explosives. It obviously provides another arrow in Israel's quiver for coping with Iran's nuclear weapons sites. Moreover the Jericho test served as a message to America and the West; Israel will not be lulled by the election of Iran's new President-elect ,Hassan Rouhani, who talks about 'interaction with the West through moderation' while supporting Iran's nuclear weapons program. 

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July 06, 2013

EGYPT- ISLAM IS NOT THE SOLUTION!

Is Egypt now teetering on the brink of civil war after the army's overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi? Al Qaeda leader Ayman Mohammed al-Zawahiri says 'Yes', and has declared, 'The campaign for Egypt is not over, it has just begun!'. Now hiding in exile, the Egyptian born al-Zawahiri has sounded this battle cry to his fellow Egyptians: 'The revolution in Egypt must continue, and the (Sunni) Islamic nation must be prepared to make sacrifices'. Egypt has become the focal point of the drive for power by radical Islamist movements in the current Arab Spring. The outcome of the confrontation in Egypt could have far reaching consequences, not only for Israel, but throughout the entire Islamic world. 

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June 17, 2013

IRAN & SYRIA - ISRAEL PLAYS IT COOL

Israel has reacted coolly to two new developments in the Middle East - the surprise victory of 'moderate' cleric Hassan Rohani in Iran's presidential election, and the U.S. decision to supply weapons to Syria's rebels. It's still early days and it remains to be seen how the situations will play out. 

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June 08, 2013

MIDDLE EAST CAULDRON

 'Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.'  

 Could the Bard's memorable lines also portend that two non-Arab countries, Turkey and Iran, will now embark on the course of the 'Arab Spring'. Will Iran follow the latest round of anti-government protests that have rocked Turkey? Ten days before Iran's upcoming presidential election on June 14th, tens of thousands of Iranian mourners flocked to the funeral of dissident cleric Ayatollah Jalaluddin Teheri in the town of Isfahan. It was described as the biggest anti-government demonstration against the 'dictator' Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in recent years. The protesters also demanded the release of thousands of political prisoners who were slammed behind bars for demonstrating against the rigged election of 2009. That same political chicanery is happening again - the government has restricted the list of presidential candidates to supporters of the Khamenei regime. So how will Iranians who aspire to a more democratic society react to the 'election' of a new puppet to replace Muhammad Ahmadinejad? Will they again take to the streets in Tehran and other urban centers to challenge the Ayatollahs, who are supported by Muslims in the rural regions of Iran?

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June 02, 2013

ISRAEL'S MESSAGE GETS THROUGH TO RUSSIA

 Israel's brinkmanship...

 Has Moscow finally got the message? Israel cannot and will not tolerate the deployment of Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles in Syria. If Moscow will not deliver the system to President Bashar Assad's regime before 2014, Israelis can breathe easier. Those missiles, which would threaten civil and military aircraft flying over Israel, could be a real game changer. Therefore, Israel is not bluffing even if it means a dangerous confrontation with the Russians. (Prior to the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Israel ignored the Egyptian Army's surreptitious movement of Russian SAM anti-aircraft missiles into the Suez Canal zone in flagrant violation of the 'cease-fire in place'. When the Egyptians later launched their surprise attack they had an aerial umbrella in place that protected their ground forces crossing the waterway. The IDF paid a heavy price in blood when those missiles wreaked havoc on Israeli jets trying to assist the vastly outnumbered IDF soldiers on the eastern side of the Canal.) Moreover, an S-300 system in Syria could threaten any future preventative Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear weapons program as well as instigating both Hezbollah and Hamas in Gaza to step up their attacks on the Jewish state. 

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May 26, 2013

ISRAEL: IRANIANS BELIEVE ISRAEL-U.S. WILL ATTACK IF TEHRAN ENRICHES WEAPONS GRADE URANIUM

 If anyone has any doubts about Israel's determination to prevent Iran from developing A-bombs, two top Israeli generals have set the record straight. Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yitzak Ben Yisrael and Israel Air Force Commander  Amir Eshel are two of the very few Israeli officials who know the full story of Israel's capabilities and intentions. It appears that they have made clear that Israel can and will strike Iran, if it tries to break out for the Bomb. 

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May 18, 2013

ISRAEL'S OFFER TO SYRIA & RUSSIA

How can Israel avoid a further deterioration to an all-out war with Syria that could even involve Russia? Isracast analyst David Essing sees signs that Israel has been trying to forge a deal with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could forestall such a chain reaction that neither side desires. 

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