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November 29, 2013

NOVEMBER 29th - ISRAEL & PALESTINIANS: WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

 NOV. 29th is one of the most monumental dates in the history of the Jewish people. On this day in 1947, the UN General Assembly approved the Partition Plan for Palestine that was to be implemented after the termination of the British mandate. It called for the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and heralded the rebirth of a Jewish state in its ancient homeland of over three thousand years. Similarly, it granted for the first time a Palestinian state. Designated Resolution 181, it was immediately accepted by the Jews but categorically rejected by the Arabs who later launched an all out war to literally drive the Jews into the Sea! If the Arab states had also accepted the partition there would have been no refugee problem - Palestinian or Jewish. An estimated 650,000 Palestinian refugees fled their homes while at least that number of Jewish refugees were driven out of the neighboring Arab countries. The resolution was carried by a vote of 33 in favor, 13 opposed, 10 abstentions and one member was absent. On the anniversary of that vote, you are invited to listen to this background report by David Essing that includes authentic recordings of the events as they unfolded: 

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November 24, 2013

THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR DEAL - A HISTORIC MISTAKE

 November 24, 2013 for Israel is a day that will live in infamy.  This is the unanimous reaction of Israeli leaders from Prime Minister Netanyahu on down.  Israelis awakened to a new day that has brought the spectre of a nuclear-armed Iran much closer.  Only a few days ago, in the midst of the Geneva negotiations, Iran’s all-powerful leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Israelis rabid dogs who are destined for destruction; but this failed to register in Washington. It was a Hitlerian diatribe in every sense of the word, and like Munich, 1938, today it is U.S. president Barack Obama, the Free World’s leader, who is praising The Peace in Our Time Agreement.  In his view, it is a victory for diplomacy over war.  Although the Iranian economy was gasping on the ropes of sanctions, for some reason Obama did not see sanctions as the solution, ‘Better to appease Tehran and hope for the best’.  As for the Iranians, it is a monumental victory: all their nuclear weapons capability remains in place, they preserve their right to uranium enrichment, and not one of their 19,000 centrifuges will be dismantled.  Secondly, the new Iran heavy water reactor will eventually produce plutonium for A-bombs once it goes on stream.

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November 19, 2013

IS PRESIDENT OBAMA TRYING TO PASS ON IRANIAN DECISION TO HIS SUCCESSOR?

 Is U.S. President Barack Obama trying to pass the buck on Iran to his successor? Yes, according to a top Israeli official in Geneva to Israel Radio shortly before the second round of talks between the 5P+1 and Iran. The disclosure by the anonymous official was conveyed to 'Voice of Israel' special correspondent Chico Menashe, who was sent to Geneva to cover the crucial nuclear talks. According to the official, the Iranians have identified Obama's inclination and are playing it to their advantage. It was only due to French opposition that the first deal was not concluded on November 9th in Geneva. The report should be given high credibility since the Voice of Israel is Israel's equivalent of the BBC and is also a publicly financed but independent network. If reliable, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has lost credibility in President Barack Obama's determination to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. 

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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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November 08, 2013

NETANYAHU CASTIGATES PROPOSED NUCLEAR DEAL WITH IRAN

 Is the Obama administration now starting down the slippery slope that will enable Iran to eventually acquire A-bombs? Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders think it is, if the reported nuclear deal in Geneva turns out to be true. Netanyahu made this crystal clear to the US Secretary of State in a tense closed-door meeting before Kerry flew off to Geneva, possibly to close the deal with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif and EU rep Catharine Ashton. Netanyahu reportedly reminded Kerry of the Secretary's former comment: “No deal is better than a bad deal!” An indicator of the U.S.-Israeli tension was the cancellation of the usual joint photo session at the end of Kerry's latest visit to Israel. But back in Washington, President Barack Obama is obviously calling the shots. While details of the emerging deal were leaking out of Geneva, an upbeat Obama told NBC that it would provide 'very modest relief'... 

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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 17, 2013

REMEMBERING YITZHAK RABIN AMID ISRAEL'S CURRENT CRISES

 How would former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin have perceived the two crises facing Israel today, the Iranian nuclear threat and the peace process with the Palestinians? Two days before his assassination on Nov. 4, 1995, Rabin saw 'separation with the Palestinians as the only permanent solution' and he had no inkling that Right wing fanatic Yigal Amir was planning to shoot him. On the other hand, Israeli intelligence had ascertained that the Iranian regime had started out on a determined drive to acquire nuclear weapons. Today, eighteen years later, Iran is very close to reaching its goal, although nothing is known about what was achieved this week during the two days of nuclear talks in Geneva between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. The Israeli public is also deep in the dark over what Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has negotiated with Palestinian official Saeb Erekat in their closed-door negotiations. 

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October 11, 2013

MENASHE AMIR PREVIEWS GENEVA NUCLEAR TALKS WITH IRAN

 What approach will the Iranians take when they meet Western nuclear negotiators in Geneva on October 15th? In Jerusalem, Israeli expert Menashe Amir has some words of warning - the Iranians WILL again try 'to have their cake and eat it too'. Now in dire economic straits, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will oversee a new Iranian move to erode the sanctions by offering some minor nuclear concessions that will enable the regime to continue its drive for its first nuclear weapon, as did its ally North Korea. In a wide-ranging interview in the IsraCast studio, Amir also takes issue with those American analysts who contend that containing a nuclear armed Iran may be the 'least bad option'. 

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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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June 20, 2013

WHAT OBAMA SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ROUHANI

 Menashe Amir, a prominent Israeli expert who was born in Iran, has followed developments closely in that country for some fifty years. Amir has briefed diplomats in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Germany and Austria, as well as lecturing abroad on Iran. In addition, he is often interviewed by the international media.  In light of the surprise election of Hassan Rouhani as Iran's new president, IsraCast analyst, David Essing, interviewed Menashe Amir. 

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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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May 07, 2013

U.S.- ISRAELI PACKAGE DEAL ON SYRIA & IRAN

 Are Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu & U.S. President Barack Obama Collaborating On New Strategy For Taking On Syria and Iran? Analyst David Essing sees signs the two new-found allies have agreed that Israel will tackle the clear and present threat of the barbaric Assad while the U.S. will continue to pressure Iran. 

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April 16, 2013

ISRAEL'S REMEMBRANCE DAY & NORTH KOREA

 What connection is there between Israel's battle for survival and the current crisis between North Korea and the U.S. on the other side of the world? The Jewish state has paid a heavy price, over 23,000 fallen soldiers in order to preserve its independence and prevent its annihilation. Analyst David Essing sees a link between America's resolution of the North Korean crisis and whether Israel may have to go it alone against Iran. 

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January 24, 2013

Israeli Elections - Nevertheless Bibi?

 It's a long way from over but there has already been a major shift in Israel's general election. Prime Minister Binyamin has suffered a major setback with his Likud-Beiteinu party dropping by 25% in its Knesset seats taking only thirty one seats. Newcomer Yair Lapid is the big winner; his 'Future' party', although expected to do well, is expected to win at least 19 seats. Lapid has now become kingmaker, unless Netanyahu wants to commit political suicide by sticking to his former ultra-orthodox parties and including the far Right Naftali Bennett. Analyst David Essing says the question is whether Netanyahu can now make an offer that Lapid will find hard to refuse and join a new Netanyahu government.

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January 19, 2013

Israel's Perplexed Voters

 The Israeli election campaign has entered the home stretch with all the polls indicating that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud-Beiteinu party will win more seats than other. As things stand, Netanyahu could form a new coalition government with Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home party and the ultra-orthodox parties that could command a 63 seat majority in the 120 member Knesset. However analyst David Essing reports that the Left and Centrist parties contend there are as twenty seats that could be decided by floating voters; this means there is still a chance of closing the gap and forging a blocking majority. In any case, state President Shimon Peres will consult with all the parties that win seats and ask them whom they support for prime minister. Peres will then decide which leader has the best chance of forming a new coalition and authorize him or her to commence negotiations on building a coalition that will command a 61 seat majority in the Knesset.

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December 23, 2012

Israel's Election Pyromania

 Are Israeli politicians from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on down now shooting from the hip in trying to attract voters in the January 22nd election? It appears so. Just listen to the rash of reckless rhetoric that is now being bandied about by some party leaders. Naftali Bennet, who heads the ultra Right-wing 'Jewish Home' party, has set fire to the campaign by stating "If I were an IDF soldier and was ordered to evacuate a Jewish settler from his home, I would first ask permission to be recused and if not, I would rather be sent to the military brig!" Analyst David Essing updates the election campaign that was kicked off by the ruling Likud-Beiteinu party this week.

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December 17, 2012

Palestinians & Israeli Elections

 What is the most dominant factor that determines the winner of an Israeli election campaign? Without fail it is how Israeli voters perceive Palestinian intentions and without fail the Palestinian leadership takes a hostile stance smack in the middle of the campaign. Analyst David Essing is of the view it is happening once again.

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December 03, 2012

Bibi Bungles Big Time!

 'Keep your eye on the ball!' This is one of Prime Minister Netanyahu's adages for smart politics. But Bibi has failed to follow his own advice in his ongoing confrontation, not only with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but also with the U.S. and nearly all the international community. Netanyahu's conduct of the Palestinian issue has been abysmal – so much so that although Abbas has refused to negotiate, it is Israel that is taking all the blame! This at a time that Israel is counting on vital international support for blocking Iran's nuclear weapons program that Netanyahu warned will soon come to a head. Analyst David Essing is of the view the current furor could affect the outcome of Israel's general election on January 22nd.

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November 26, 2012

Israel & Gaza - 'Quiet for Quiet'

 After the intense eight-day conflict both sides claim victory with Israel pledging that 'quiet will be met with quiet'. However Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government have been facing criticism for 'not finishing the job' and ordering a ground operation into Gaza to stop the repeated rocketing of Israeli civilians. Not only the Israeli residents in the south who have been terrorized for years from Gaza but also many of the IDF reserve soldiers mobilized for a ground attack, blamed Netanyahu for not going all the way. However analyst David Essing is of the view that Netanyahu along with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman succeeded in blending military force with diplomacy in furthering Israel's national interest at this time.   

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November 22, 2012

Statecraft of Obama, Netanyahu and Morsi

 As of 21:00 hours local time, the Palestinian rockets from Gaza ceased flying through the air bound for Israeli towns and villages while Israeli aircraft stopped raiding Hamas targets in Gaza. The latest round in the latest slugfest between Gaza and Israel was over. Egypt's President Muhamed Morsi, the surprising Muslim Brotherhood leader, is now charged with overseeing that both sides honor the new truce. The silent and final arbitrator in this unlikely scenario is U.S. President Barack Obama who has skillfully pulled his substantial levers with both sides, possibly for the benefit of one and all, including the Palestinians in Gaza. Analyst David Essing is of the view that the process of achieving the latest ceasefire could be of paramount importance.

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