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Showing Results 121-140 of 329 for Barak
May 26, 2011

Netanyahu's Quandary

 Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has weathered his political storm with President Barack Obama in Washington. However there can be little doubt now that Israel's leader will be pressed by the U.S. and the international community to go beyond his readiness to give up 'some settlements' for a peace accord with the Palestinians. It should come as no surprise that by and large, Netanyahu's stirring speech to the U.S. Congress was also applauded by the Israeli public except for hardliners in and out of the Knesset. But if 'push comes to shove', America's foreign policy is determined by the White House and not the Congress. Analyst David Essing sums up the PM's momentous visit to Washington.

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May 21, 2011

Netanyahu - Seize The Day!

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu went into the White House on the brink of a bitter crisis with U.S.President Barack Obama. This time it was not over West Bank settlements but Obama's setting the 1967 border as baseline for a Palestinian peace agreement. While still in Israel, Netanyahu had immediately rejected it in no uncertain terms. Fireworks were in the offing at a time the Jewish state needed U.S. support in the face of a successful Palestinian campaign to acquire UN General Assembly this fall for recognition of a Palestinian state on the 1967 border. However after the meeting, when the two leaders appeared together before the media, both Obama and Netanyahu parted as friends and agreed to work for an Israeli- Palestinian peace agreement despite their differences. Analyst David Essing has this appraisal.

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May 19, 2011

Netanyahu's Statecraft Put To Test

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's upcoming visit to Washington may be one of the most crucial in Israel's history. At stake, the outcome to the diplomatic warfare that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been waging against the Jewish state. At present, Abbas has garnered the votes of more than 130 members of the UN General Assembly for a resolution recognizing a Palestinian state on the lines of 1967. Israeli experts have warned that such a step will have a grave impact on the Jewish state's international status, security and economic well being. Analyst David Essing has this assessment:

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May 07, 2011

Portraying Israel as Apartheid South Africa

 Defense Minister Ehud Barak has warned of a mounting attempt to smear Israel as an apartheid South Africa, paving the way for the enforcement of international sanctions. Barak issued his warning in an interview with the Haaretz newspaper. Barak also played down the danger that Iran might try and 'nuke' Israel, if it is permitted to acquire nuclear weapons. Returning from a visit to Britain and France, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told reporters that both states insist that Hamas must recognize Israel and prior agreements as well as halting terrorism against the Jewish state.

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April 30, 2011

Palestinian Hybrid

One of the greatest surprises of the 'Arab Spring', now sweeping the Middle East, is the sudden reconciliation between the two bitter Palestinian rivals for power. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas from the West Bank and Hamas Chief Khaled Mashal, who virtually rules Gaza from Damascus, will go to Cairo on May 4th to sign an Egyptian brokered accord calling for a new election within a year. Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu swiftly rejected the step declaring: 'Mahoud Abbas must decide between Israel and Hamas that calls for Israel's destruction!' Analyst David Essing has this assessment of the latest political bombshell that has also taken Israel's security establishment by surprise.

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April 06, 2011

Wake Up Call to Netanyahu

 In September, West Bank President Mahmoud Abbas plans to call on the UN General Assembly to officially recognize the state of Palestine. Since the Netanyahu government took office two years ago, Abbas has succeeded in gaining the votes of 150 nations that will support a vote for Palestine independence Analyst David Essing says the step would bypass direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, internationalize the conflict and could open the door to an imposed agreement and Israel's international isolation. The peace proposal supported by former IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak and former Shabak Security Director Yaacov Perri is a wake-up call to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

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April 03, 2011

Goldstone Recants On Israeli Allegations

South African Judge Richard Goldstone, who alleged that the IDF operation into Gaza in 2009 may have committed 'crimes against humanity', has now recanted. In an article published in the Washington Post, Goldstone has written that the IDF did not intentionally target Palestinian civilians. Israel refused to cooperate with the Goldstone inquiry because it was orchestrated by the pro- Arab Human Rights Council of the U.N., which even Goldstone admits has always been biased against Israel. In reaction, Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has declared: 'The Goldstone Report should be thrown into the trash bin of history and the UN should now retract it!' Defense Minister Ehud Barak called on Goldstone to present his new conclusions to the international bodies where he presented the report. Analyst David Essing says that while Goldstone's retraction has now set the record straight, Goldstone's initial vilification of Israel is but one example of the trend to smear Israel when it acts  in self - defense such as countering terror attacks from Gaza or in the Mavi Marmara attempt to break the legal blockade of Gaza.

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March 25, 2011

Gaza - Meltdown or Cooling Down?

For over a week now, Israeli civilians along the Gaza border have been racing for their bomb shelters as early warning sirens warn that more Palestinian rockets have been fired at them from Palestinian terrorists. They've had enough and are demanding that the government put an end to it one way or the other. To date, the IDF has reacted by carrying out pin point air raids and ground fire at terror targets mainly trying to intercept the actual rocker launchers who fire from inside Palestinian populated areas. But to no avail. Meanwhile, there has also been an upsurge in terror attacks on the West Bank where the Palestinian Authority operates actively suppresses terrorism against Israel, rather than encouraging it. Analyst David Essing writes that Israel is now considering several options to solve the dilemma of how to force the terrorists in Gaza to cease their attacks without launching a major military operation into Gaza.

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March 14, 2011

Itamar Massacre

On the quiet Sabbath eve of March 11th, two Palestinian terrorists penetrated the Israeli settlement of Itamar on the West Bank and literally slaughtered five members of the Fogel family, including two young boys and a four month old baby girl. Israeli security forces have mounted a manhunt for the killers while also deploying to prevent incensed settlers from retaliating against Palestinians. The atrocity now jeopardizes the relative quiet on the West Bank and prospects for any kind of progress in the peace process. Analyst David assesses some of the ramifications.

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March 05, 2011

Netanyahu's Palestinian Peace Proposal

Faced with growing international isolation and strained relations with U.S., Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is now in the throes of formulating a new proposal for a Palestinian state. In an interview with Channel 1 TV, Likud Knesset Member Ofir Ecunis, a confidant of the Prime Minister has alluded to some key points. Earlier this week, Netanyahu startled his Likud caucus in the Knesset by declaring: 'Wake up, we can't break our heads against the wall by insisting on settlement building in areas designated for Palestinian state!' This week, Israeli security forces also fired with rubber bullets at violent settlers who tried to prevent the demolition of an illegal outpost on the West Bank.

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February 26, 2011

Middle East Meltdown?

Maj.Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad, a senior adviser to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, has warned that one lesson from Libya is that radical regimes such as Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Gen. Gilad noted that Muamar Kadafi had been forced to abandon his nuclear weapons project in the past, otherwise he would now be threatening to use them today against his opponents at home and abroad. IsraCast analyst David Essing reports on some of the issues now facing Israel.

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February 13, 2011

New Egypt - Big Question Mark For Israel

 At the end of the sabbath, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed Egypt's ruling Supreme Council pledge to honor all its international agreements including the peace treaty with Israel. Netanyahu praised the praised the peace agreement as serving the interests of both countries and a cornerstone of Middle East stability. As the monumental events unfolded, there was no telling what they would portend for Israel. While visiting the U.S., Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel must 'upgrade' its long term security while pushing for peace with both the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors. For the foreseeable future the Egyptian Army, that has served as an anchor of moderation that has resolved the crisis, will be running the country. David Essing assesses how Mubarak's departure is being viewed in Israel.

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February 05, 2011

Gen. Galant to the Guillotine!

Barring last minute developments, Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz will reportedly become the new IDF Chief of Staff after Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein disqualified Maj.Gen. Yoav Gallant. However Gallant has not given up - in TV interviews he declared: 'I never lied, deceived or acted dishonorably in the land dispute near my home'.
Nonetheless, Gen. Gallant is fighting a rear guard action against overwhelming odds, despite growing public support for his case. David Essing has this assessment of the controversial affair that has rocked the IDF and the entire country.

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December 18, 2010

Israeli-Palestinian Diplomatic Warfare

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas show no signs of budging. U.S. envoys George Mitchell and Dennis Ross have returned to the Middle East in a new attempt to break the deadlock but Netanyahu rejects a new settlement moratorium while Abbas will not negotiate unless there is a new freeze. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses the situation which has turned into a diplomatic war that Israel does not appear to be winning.

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December 10, 2010

Israeli Fire-Fight And Netanyahu Dominoes

 In Israel, Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu to staving off demands for the resignation of Interior Minister Eli Ishai, who is seen as bearing most of the responsibility for the Fire Departments' failure to cope coping with the disastrous fire on Mount Carmel near Haifa. IsraCast analyst David Essing says that if Ishai is forced to go a domino effect might topple Netanyahu's government. The U.S. failure to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is already creating more pressure on Defense Minister Ehud Barak to take the party out of the coalition.

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November 20, 2010

Gates' Misreading Of Iran

U.S. Secretary of State Robert Gates has come out against a military strike against Iran arguing that it would only provide a short term solution of two-to-three years to the Iranian nuclear weapons threat. At the same time, Gates told the Wall Street Journal that the latest UN sanctions are biting much harder than anyone expected. Israeli analyst Menashe Amir takes issue with the Gates assessment charging that it is another misunderstanding of the Iranian situation, similar to the approach of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter that led to the Khomeini Revolution and the Islamist regime that now rules Iran. If Israel ever decides to go it alone against Iran, Israel Air Force pilots will likely lead the way. The traditional seven days of mourning has just ended for two airmen. Maj. Emmanuel Levi and Maj. Amihai Itkis who were killed when their F-16I crashed in the Negev. Writing a tribute in the Israeli daily Yisrael Hayom, a former Israel Air Force commander Maj.Gen.(res.) Eitan Ben Eliyahu shared his thoughts and feelings.  

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November 16, 2010

Netanyahu Starts Crossing Rubicon

 Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has signaled his readiness to accept a U.S. proposal to freeze building in West Bank settlements for another three months in return for U.S. political and security incentives. Although Netanyahu is facing fierce opposition from inside his own ruling Likud party and some of his Right-wing coalition partners, the Prime Minister is expected to win a narrow victory in the security cabinet. Analyst David Essing assesses the implications of Netanyahu's dramatic decision that is now expected to kick-start peace talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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November 07, 2010

Obama And Netanyahu In Tests Of Leadership

 The Israeli-Palestinian peace effort is still side-tracked after Israel' ten month moratorium on settlement building expired on Sept.26th. After refusing to conduct talks with Israel during the freeze, Pa;estinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas now demands the moratorium be further extended as a condition for returning to the table. Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said he would stick to his ten month commitment, the Obama administration has urged Israel to extend the moratorium and the issue is likely to be at the top of the agenda when Netanyahu meets with Vice-President Joe Biden when they meet in the U.S. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses the impact of President Barack Obama's defeat in the U.S. mid-term elections and some of the implications for Prime Minister Netanyahu. 

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October 25, 2010

Israel And Saudi Arabia Vs. Iran

There may be more than meets the eye behind the monumental U.S. arms sale of $60 billion to Saudi Arabia. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses some of the possible ramifications against the backdrop of what could be a silent shift of some of Israel's strategic security considerations from Turkey to the Gulf. But there is still a fly in the ointment. In order for such a shift to jell there is a need for at least a semblance of progress on the Israeli- Palestinian track in order to placate public opinion in the Arab world. On the domestic scene, President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, two of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's strongest supporters have been urging Netanyahu to accept a U.S. request to extend the settlement freeze in the face of stiff opposition from the Right-wing coalition.

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September 22, 2010

Israeli Settlement Freeze And Palestinian Violence

 There is still no solution in sight to the tug-of-war between Israel and the Palestinians over the expiry of Israel's self-imposed building freeze at Israeli settlements in Judea & Samaria (West Bank). The Israeli government says construction will be resumed after the Sept.26th deadline - if it is, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas threatens to walk out of the current peace talks with Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The U.S. has been prodding Netanyahu to extend his 'building suspension' but the PM's Right-wing coalition colleagues are demanding that he keep his word to send the bulldozers back to work. Meanwhile, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi is preparing for 'all contingencies' including a possible renewed wave of Palestinian violence on the West Bank.

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