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Showing Results 241-260 of 329 for Barak
February 15, 2008

BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES!

The Israeli public is paying little notice to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's denial that Israeli agents were not involved in the assassination of Hezbollah arch-terrorist Imad Mugniyah in the heart of Damascus. One newspaper article carried the sardonic headline: 'Mossad Chief Meir Dagan Is Sitting Shiva' - (seven day mourning period for the dead). The Hezbollah chief is known to have planned and executed the murder of scores of Israelis and the cross border raid that triggered the Second Lebanon War in July 2006. IsraCast is of the view Imad Mugniyah had become Israel's 'Osama Bin Laden' in the eyes of Israeli intelligence.

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February 11, 2008

All Options Open On Gaza

Defense Minister Ehud Barak is feeling the heat of the continuous Palestinian rocket attacks on Sderot from Gaza. This after two Sderot brothers were badly injured on Saturday when Qassam rockets slammed into the town from Beit Hanun less than a mile away. One of the boys had his leg amputated, the other is still in serious condition. That was the background to Defense Minister Barak's closed door briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. After talking with several committee members, IsraCast is of the view that Barak will now be forced to consider more drastic steps to halt the rocketing - this could include giving the green light for a major ground offensive into Gaza, if there is no halt to the Qassams.

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February 10, 2008

GAZA & POST WINOGRAD

The aftermath of the Winograd findings into the Second Lebanon War and Gaza dominated the headlines in Israel this week. The fireworks are still popping after Prof. Yehezkel Dror's controversial interview that appeared to favor the Olmert-Barak leadership rather than the Likud's Bibi Netanyahu. Dror argues that he acted impartially on the Winograd panel but IsraCast says the highly esteemed political scientist has virtually sabotaged the Winograd enquiry. Meanwhile, Israel is starting to cut its power supply to Gaza in retaliation for the Palestinian firing of Qassam rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot and other communities in the Negev. And in a new twist, A Palestinian official has warned Israeli parents in Sderot to evacuate their homes for the sake of their children.

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February 06, 2008

Winograd Whirlwind

Professor Yehezkel Dror of the five-member Winograd inquiry into the Second Lebanon War has shocked Israel with statements that show partiality toward Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Opposition Knesset Members from both right and left have condemned Dror's statements charging that the Winograd commission was stacked in Olmert's favor. However, the IsraCast assessment is that despite the firestorm sparked by Professor Dror there is slim chance it will lead to a new public inquiry.

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February 02, 2008

BARAK'S QUANDARY

Labor party leader Ehud Barak is now wrestling with the most difficult question of his long and distinguished political and military career - should he resign as defense minister and topple the Olmert government after the scathing Winnograd enquiry into the Second Lebanon War or is his first duty to carry on reforming the Israel Defense Forces? The stakes are extremely high. All the opinion polls indicate that Bibi Netanyahu's Likud party would win an early election and form the next government. This at a time the Jewish state faces a mounting nuclear threat from Iran, relentless Palestinian rocketing from the Gaza Strip and faltering peace talks with West Bank Palestinians. The questions of the honorable politician and true patriot have created a unique and painful dilemma that includes the families of fallen soldiers and reserve soldiers who feel they were let down by an incompetent Olmert government during the recent war against Hezbollah.

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January 17, 2008

SDEROT & LIEBERMAN

In Israel this week, the escalation along the Gaza border and the resignation of Avigdor Lieberman's' Party from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's coalition government may have more in common than meets the eye. IsraCast is of the view that both developments set the stage for determining questions of national leadership in the post Winograd period. Political leaders from across the political spectrum will be taking a stand on the issues of war and peace with the Palestinians.

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January 15, 2008

ISRAELI MILITARY OPTION FOR IRAN

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has declared that Israel will not acquiesce in Iran developing nuclear weapons. Briefing the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, the Israeli leader repeated the long-standing position of the Jewish which Iranian President Mahmoud Achmadinejad threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Likud MK Silvan Shalom, a former foriegn minister, agreed that Israel must also consider the military option in confronting an Iranian nuclear threat but he was also convinced that stiffer sanctions could dissuade the Iranians as they had Libya and North Korea. Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Zippi Livni with Palestinian representative Ahmed Queira met in Jerusalem to start discussing the 'core issues' such as borders, security, Jerusalem, the refugees etc. But this could trigger the breakup of the current governmnent coalition.

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January 09, 2008

Bush, Israel and ' Iranian Bomb'

U.S president George W. Bush has received a warm welcome by Israeli leaders at Ben-Gurion airport. Although the Israeli-Palestinian process is at the top of the agenda the Iranian nuclear threat is looming over the President's visit to Israel. A former Israeli security official says Israeli leaders may present new, undisclosed intelligence information to Bush in light of the recent US intelligence estimate that Iran suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

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January 01, 2008

PRELUDE TO WINOGRAD

A group of IDF reserve soldiers interrupted the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee during its presentation of a report into the Second Lebanon War of 2005. They protested committee members focusing on military aspects of the war while not dealing with the government's responsibility. Although scathing in its criticism, the report itself revealed no surprises - the IDF was ill prepared to go to war after Hezbollah guerrillas crossed the northern border killing 7 soldiers and abducting 2 others while rocketing Galilee with Katyushas. But above and beyond the Hezbollah war, IsraCast says the report came against the background of a similar situation evolving in the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip where Palestinian terrorists continuously rocket the Israeli town of Sderot.

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December 28, 2007

Olmert vs. Winnograd

What are the implications of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's statement this week that he will not resign even if severely criticized by the final report of the Winnograd enquiry into the Second Lebanon war? Defense minister Ehud Barak, leader of Labor, Olmert's key coalition partner indicates he has not yet decided whether he will keep his pledge to quit the government after the final Winnograd report expected in another month or so. However, IsraCast says opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu of Likud will also be tested in the Winnograd aftermath.

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December 19, 2007

Gaza Turnaround?

IDF General (res.) Danny Yatom says the Hamas leadership in Gaza is feeling the pressure of current IDF counter-terror operations into Gaza. This week a targeted air strike killed a top Islamic Jihad commander who was responsible for many of the Qassam rocket attacks on the Israeli town of Sderot. In an interview with IsraCast General Yatom said Hamas and the other terror organizations are now on the run and Israel should reject any offer of a temporary cease-fire which will only be broken when the terrorists recover.

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Listen to Audio Interview with MK Dani Yatom Includes transcript of the interview
December 14, 2007

SDEROT PAYS FOR PALESTINIAN TALKS

Moshe Arens, a former Israeli Defense and Foreign Minister, accuses the Israeli government of making Sderot civilians pay the price for the political process with the Palestinians. Arens was interviewed by IsraCast after IDF figures revealed that Palestinians fired some 3,500 Qassam rockets and mortars from Gaza, mainly at Sderot, since the total Israeli withdrawal in the summer of 2005. Moreover, since the Hamas takeover of Gaza last June, some 1,700 mortars and rockets have been fired at Sderot. Asked to comment on the recent American National Intelligence Estimate that Iran suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003 Arens said intelligence assessments are often wrong and Israel must act in its own best interest.

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November 28, 2007

Annapolis vs. radical Islam

At Annapolis, Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Abbas were the two protagonists but it was U.S President George Bush who was in the global spotlight. Bush made clear he planned on being not only stage director at the conference but also director for his new initiative to be enacted during his final year in the White House. And indeed, Annapolis had all the markings of impacting on the troubled Middle East far beyond the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. The IsraCast assessment is that against the backdrop of the Iranian nuclear threat and the Iraqi imbroglio, Bush hopes that movement on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations will change the current Middle-East mosaic for the better.

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November 13, 2007

Olmert 'Goes For Broke'

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is pulling out all the stops in his drive to wrap up a Palestinian peace treaty before US President George Bush leaves office in January 2009. In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign affairs and defense committee, Olmert spelled out his approach which stunned both his coalition partners and opposition rivals. IsraCast says it is still an open question whether the Prime Minister coalition partners are on board his radical shift from traditional foreign policy.

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October 25, 2007

From Rabin To Annapolis

If Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had not been assassinated twelve years ago by Israeli fanatic Yigal Amir would Israel now be at peace with the Palestinians? It is a question that has cropped up on October 24th the day the Jewish state officially marked the tragedy that has stunned Israelis ever since. IsraCast assesses the political climate leading up to the Rabin assassination and subsequent events leading to the upcoming Annapolis peace conference.

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October 19, 2007

MACHIAVELLI IN MOSCOW

The looming Iranian nuclear threat has been placed front row center on the international agenda - U.S. President George Bush has warned an Iranian bomb could spark World War III while his Russian counter- part chooses to say there is no evidence that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons. China, annoyed by Bush over his meeting with the Dalai Lama, shows no sign that it will support the American appeal for tougher sanctions. Meanwhile Israeli leaders, who have declared they cannot acquiesce in Iran's acquiring nuclear weapons, have been presenting their concerns in Moscow and Washington. Opinion poll indicates most Israelis favor using military force to prevent nuclear weapons falling into hands of President Ahmadinejad who threatens wipe Jewish state off the map.

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October 12, 2007

ANNAPOLIS SPIN VS. GAZA ROCKETS

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation will go to the conference table in Annapolis next month at the invitation of U.S. President George W. Bush. It's a command performance, neither Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert nor Palestinian West Bank President Mahmoud Abbas are likely to risk America's ire by refusing the invitation or being blamed for its failure. But IsraCast concludes that reality on the ground and the leadership status of Olmert and Abbas do not lend much credence for achieving a breakthrough.

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October 07, 2007

PEACE IN ANNAPOLIS?

What are the prospects for Middle East peace conference at Annapolis scheduled to convene at Annapolis next month? Although conference convener U.S. President George Bush has high hopes, the IsraCast assessment is that Annapolis has as little chance of bringing 'peace in our time' as did Munich nearly seventy years ago. While the participants try and rev up some momentum for Annapolis, Hamas reacts by escalating attacks on Israel from Gaza.

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September 11, 2007

HAMAS WILL PAY

It was about two o'clock in the morning - terrorists just over the border in Gaza launch three Qassam rockets at the IDF training base near Kibbutz Zikim. One of them explodes near the tents where most of the soldiers are sleeping. Pandemonium - 67 are wounded from the rocket shrapnel and by concussion. Several are seriously wounded. Ambulances and helicopters rush to the scene and within forty minutes or so all the injured are being treated and evacuated to hospital. In light of the gravity of the Zikim attack and the recent split between radical Hamas and more moderate Fatah, IsraCast foresees Israel declaring total war against Hamas in Gaza.

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September 11, 2007

Former Justice Aharon Barak

Prof. Aharon Barak is awarded the EMET Prize for his unique contribution to the study of law and its development, for strengthening the rule of law and basic human rights in Israel, and for his outstanding contribution to enhancing the status of the legal system and the Supreme Court in Israel and throughout the world.

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