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Showing Results 261-280 of 329 for Barak
September 05, 2007

RUSSIAN ROULETTE IN SDEROT

Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip have stepped up their Qassam rocketing of the Israeli town of Sderot as the new school year got underway - the terrorists called it a 'present'. On September 3rd seven Qassam rockets crashed into Sderot some during the early morning when parents were taking toddlers and children to school. There were no casualties but the town was terrorized with panic stricken parents and children rushing to bomb shelters. Thanks to 'Red Dawn', the early warning sirens give civilians some 15 seconds to run to safety. Angry parents cancelled school in protest. The next day the Knesset was reconvened from its summer recess for a special debate on the situation and Prime Minister Olmert's contacts with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. IsraCast asked Likud leader Bibi Netanyahu if Prime Minister Olmert was playing Russian roulette with the children of Sderot. Kadima MK Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel, a former IDF general, also assessed the Sderot situation and why the Israeli government is apparently holding back.

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August 31, 2007

NUCLEAR MESSAGE OR SNAFU

Israel is now building an underground nuclear bunker that could survive a nuclear attack, presumably from Iran. The story, complete with verifying photos, was carried by the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot and sparked sharp criticism from Likud Knesset Member Yuval Steinitz who called it a grave violation of national security. IsraCast examines various aspects of the disclosure of Israel's nuclear bunker and Iranian expert Menashe Amir analyzes the latest statement by U.S. President George Bush that Iran will not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons.

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August 28, 2007

AUSCHWITZ BORDERS?

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly discussed an Israeli withdrawal on the West Bank at their latest meeting in Jerusalem. According to Israel Radio, the two leaders also considered a land swap involving West Bank settlements in return for Israeli territory in the Negev desert as well as a partition of Jerusalem. The right- wing Likud party has charged that Olmert has no mandate to negotiate such issues. Likud MK Yuval Steinitz told IsraCast that an Israeli pullback to the former lines of 1967 would lead to a Holocaust for the Jewish state.

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August 27, 2007

Ahmadinejad, Stop threatening Israel

While Israelis are worried from the Iranian nuclear threat, MK Hilo decided to act on the issue. In a letter which is making its way to Iran, she is calling Ahmadinejad to stop his threats to exterminate Israel. Nadia Hilo is an Israeli Arab and as a member of the Labor party she was elected to the Knesset in the last elections. IsraCast brings you this open letter written by her to the Iranian president.

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August 17, 2007

ISRAELI-SYRIAN MISCALCULATION

This week both Israeli and Syrian leaders have been trying to calm recent tension on the Israeli controlled Golan Heights that were captured in the Yom-Kippur War of 1973. The IDF and the Syrian army have been training on the Golan against the backdrop of some belligerent statements by Syrian President Bashar Assad that he would retrieve the area one way or another. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak toured the north declaring that Israel had no intention on attacking Syria. Syrian Vice- President Farouk Ashara also said Damascus was not about to go to war. However, Israeli expert Professor Eyal Zisser told IsraCast that despite the calming declarations, a minor incident or mistake could trigger an Israeli - Syrian war.

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August 12, 2007

BARAK BRAKES ON OLMERT

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have crossed swords over what security risks should be taken in order to promote renewed peace contacts with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Olmert appears eager to produce results by easing restrictions on Palestinian movement on West Bank. However, sources close to Barak warn of a renewed threat of Palestinian suicide bombers if vital checkpoints are removed. IsraCast is of the view that Olmert of Kadima and Barak of Labor both require time to rebuild their leadership images with Israeli voters and therefore they will seek a short-term Modus vivendi to prevent a breakup of the government coalition.

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July 27, 2007

ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE TRAIN

In Jerusalem, momentum is building for the international meeting to discuss implementing the two state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict slated for this fall. In calling for the conference, U.S. President George Bush has apparently pulled some strings in all quarters to create a constructive atmosphere. IsraCast sees signs that Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has implemented a new agenda. He has discarded his unilateralism opting for risks and concessions in bilateral talks with the Palestinians resembling that of the Labor party. This approach may also be designed to influence Israeli public opinion.

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July 17, 2007

GOING LAST MIDDLE EAST MILE

About to enter the home-stretch of his second and final term, U.S. President George Bush is making a final attempt to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement after the Hamas coup in Gaza. The IsraCast analysis is that Bush is exploiting the split between Hamas and Fatah to unify West Bank Palestinians and moderate Arab states on an accelerated two-state solution. Bush told the Palestinians they must renounce Hamas and terrorism and recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Israelis had to settle the Negev and Galilee and not the West Bank.

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July 13, 2007

SECOND THOUGHTS ON LEBANON WAR

On the first anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, Israel was soul searching about the 163 Israeli soldiers and civilians who were killed and the several thousand others who were wounded last summer. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert toured part of the northern border declaring he was right to launch the war in the face of the Hezbollah provocations. IsraCast is of the view that Olmert is now on political death row trying to appeal a condemnatory verdict by the final Winograd report that could lead to his resignation.

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July 06, 2007

ZERO TOLERANCE TO GAZA TERROR

The recent surge in IDF strikes against terrorist activity in the Gaza Strip indicates that Israel has adopted a zero tolerance policy similar to that on the West Bank. The new Defense Minister Ehud Barak is overseeing this approach while IDF Chief of Staff Gaby Ashkenazi is in command on the ground. After hearing accounts of recent briefing by the Chief of Staff and senior IDF officers, IsraCast has the impression that the Gaza Strip has become the focal point in blocking the Iranian thrust to threaten Israel from both its northern and southern borders.

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July 02, 2007

OLMERT'S CALCULATED RISKS

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has spelled out a series of concessions to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his West Bank government. In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, Olmert spoke of lifting some West Bank checkpoints in addition to transferring hundreds of millions of Palestinian tax money to Abbas and seeking a new approach to peace talks. But IsraCast reports that Olmert also stressed that his 'calculated risks' were conditioned on Abbas leading a 'Hamas-free' government.

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June 23, 2007

'ENGINEERING' NEW ILLUSION?

The rush is on to retrieve whatever is possible out of the Palestinian rubble in the wake of the Hamas takeover in Gaza. IsraCast perceives it as an international rescue mission to 'engineer' a separate Fatah peace partner headed by President Mahmoud Abbas. In light of performance record of president Mahmoud Abbas and his failure to halt repeated terror attacks and suicide bombings from the West Bank, the outcome is hard to foresee.

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June 21, 2007

PUNISHING QASSAM CRIME

Israel's new defense minister Ehud Barak is now faced with his first challenge - how to respond to the latest Qassam rocketing of Sderot from the Gaza Strip. IsraCast is of the view that the total Hamas takeover of Gaza has altered its 'hybrid' status and that Israel should now consider new responses. These could include temporary interruptions to the water and electricity that Israel still supplies to Gaza.

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June 19, 2007

HAMAS OVERKILL

What should we do to help President Mahmoud Abbas and his West Bank government and weaken Hamas and its grip on the Gaza Strip? The signs are that both U.S. President George Bush and Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert see eye to eye in principle. The U.S. though may seek more than Israel would like to give when it comes to releasing terrorist prisoners, lifting roadblocks and other security related issues on the West Bank. IsraCast anticipates that the Hamas takeover of Gaza will be viewed as an overkill both of Palestinian lives and politically.

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June 15, 2007

SHATTERING THE ILLUSION

The Hamas takeover of Gaza has upset not only the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation but could also have consequences for neighboring which also faces an Islamist threat. IsraCast is of the view that the Hamas expulsion of President Mahmoud Abbas from Gaza is one of the most dramatic developments since the start of the Oslo peace process in 1993 and casts doubt on Palestinian readiness to accept the two state solution envisaged in the Road Map peace plan.

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June 13, 2007

BARAK IS BACK BIG-TIME

With his election victory in the Labor party, Ehud Barak must now show the Israeli people he has answers to their pressing security problems. IsraCast is of the view that Barak's comeback is a direct result of Israel's failure to win the Second Lebanon War last summer, an event that has shaken public confidence in the nation's leadership. Barak's expected appointment as defense minister may strengthen Prime Minister Ehud Olmert - but if Barak succeeds he could eventually upstage Olmert and become the 'de facto' leader in security and foreign affairs.

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May 31, 2007

BRITISH PROFS FAIL OBJECTIVITY

In Britain, the University and College Union (UCU) vote to promote a boycott of Israeli academic institutions has aroused a furious Israeli reaction. The UCU boycott was said to be in protest to Israel's actions in the conflict with the Palestinians. Even super-dove Yossi Beilin of the left wing Labor party called on British Prime Minister Tony Blair to condemn the UCU decision. Otherwise Beilin said the outgoing leader's term would be stained by such an ignominy. The UCU resolution, approved by 158 to 99, is only a recommendation until approved by a majority of the body's 120,000 members. IsraCast evaluates the UCU motion and other manifestations of what appear to be a double standard of morality applied only to the Jewish state.

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May 29, 2007

NEW BALL GAME IN LABOR

What do the results of the Labor party leadership primary auger for the campaign before the June 12th runoff? IsraCast says new issues will surface that may determine the outcome before Laborites again go to the polls to pick their new leader.

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May 27, 2007

GENERAL BARAK OR ADMIRAL AYALON ?

In the Labor party race for new party leader, two top retired military commanders are leading the pack. According to opinion polls, Gen.(ret.) Ehud Barak and Admiral(ret.) Ami Ayalon are virtually tied before the May 28th ballot. IsraCast says a large number of Laborites are still undecided and their votes will likely decide the outcome. However the question is can either Ayalon or Barak win by passing the 40% threshold or will the two top candidates have to compete in a runoff. The incumbent Defense Minister Amir Peretz is not giving up declaring that last time the polls proved wrong when they predicted he would lose to Shimon Peres.

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May 19, 2007

HARD CHOICES ON GAZA

Palestinians kept up their rocket barrage at the Israeli town of Sderot on Friday - this week alone they have terrorized the town with some one-hundred Qassams crashing down by day and night. The IDF has been ordered to step up counter-terror strikes but a senior officer rules out a major ground operation at this time. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also appears ready to adopt this policy. IsraCast is of the view that Olmert will try and ride out the coming days with the expectation that his Labor coalition partners will elect either Ehud Barak or Ami Ayalon as party leader who will then take over as defense minister.

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