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June 10, 2012

Netanyahu - Settler Showdown

 The recent inclusion of the Kadima party into the coalition has already paid dividends for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. With Kadima's support, the PM was able to sail through Right wing opposition, even from inside his Likud party, and comply with a Supreme Court ruling to evict Israeli residents from five buildings built on West Bank land that belonged to a Palestinian owner. Meanwhile just over the borders in Egypt and Syria, Analyst David Essing is of the view that the term 'Arab Spring' has obviously become a media oxymoron.

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June 07, 2012

Israeli Commander - Israel is Super Ready for Iran

 In advance of new nuclear talks with Iran, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has assessed the current range of threats now facing Israel. With the 'Arab Spring' raging in Egypt and elsewhere, the probability of a planned war against Israel was low. But on the other hand, the Arab Street was 'very volatile' and could spark a spontaneous flare-up. First and foremost there was Iran's drive for nuclear weapons and although Syria was rent by internal strife, Syria's military capabilities have not been downgraded. Analyst David Essing reports on the closed door briefing of Israel's top soldier to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

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March 15, 2012

Israel's Iron Dome Trumps Gaza's Rockets

 After five days of intense exchanges, quiet is returning to southern Israel and Gaza. The question is for how long. Both Israel and the Islamic Jihad, the two protagonists, claimed victory while the Hamas government of Gaza looked on from the sidelines. The Egyptian military again played fireman in dousing the flare-up while the rest of the Sunni Arab world was enveloped in its own Arab Spring, the carnage in Syria and its own looming confrontation with a rival Shiite Iran bent on acquiring nuclear weapons. Although there have been frequent firestorms along the Gaza-Israel frontrier, analyst David Essing says this time may have longer lasting implications.

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March 12, 2012

Iron Dome Game-Changer in New Gaza Conflagration

 It is the most serious flare-up since Israel's Cast Lead Operation into Gaza over three years ago. Rockets are flying from Gaza and Israeli aircraft are pounding the Palestinian rocket squads. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have declared they're fed up with the terrorists launching rocket attacks whenever they feel like it and driving one million Israeli civilains racing for their bomb shelters. Analyst David Essing is of the opinion that the remarkable success of the IDF's Iron Dome Missile defense has proven to be a game changer in the confrontation.

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February 12, 2012

Israel's Dagan vs. Iran's Ahmadinejad

 The Israeli-Iranian war of words continues in more ways than one. In Israel, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan again crossed swords with Defense Minister Ehud Barak over attacking Iran. Meanwhile in Tehran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised major nuclear achievements in the coming days while vowing that Iran would never give up its uranium enrichment project ... IDF intelligence believes that Iran has enriched enough low grade uranium to produce four A-bombs.

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February 07, 2012

From Auschwitz to Iran?

 After leading an Israel Air Force flight over Auschwitz back in 2003, will Maj.Gen. Amir Eshel command an Israeli air strike on Iran's nuclear weapons facilities? This is an ironic possibility in light of Iran's relentless drive to acquire atomic bombs for 'wiping Israel off the map'. Fighter-pilot Eshel has now been named the new IAF commander. Israeli born Eshel, aged fifty-two, has forged a brilliant career in the Israel Defense Forces. Known as a 'quick study', he has flown an exceptional variety of combat aircraft from the F-15 and F-16 fighters to Apache and Cobra helicopter-gunships in clocking over 5,500 hours in the air. Reacting to the promotion, a former IAF commander Eliezer Skadi said: 'It's the right man in the right place. Amir Eshel is a true professional with very high abilities that will serve him well at a time the Middle East is on the boil and when new threats are emerging from states that have no common border with Israel. I am confident he will fullfil his command with distinction'. For the past four years, Eshel has headed the IDF's strategic Planning Branch that deals with strategic threats to Israel and the IDF's force buildup. In a rare public address on January 17th, Maj.Gen. Eshel analyzed the threat of a nuclear Iran not only to Israel but to the entire globe. Read the following report of his presentation entitled 'Iran & Global Nuclear Jungle'.

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January 18, 2012

Iran & 'Global Nuclear Jungle'

 Gen. Amir Eshel, the commander of the IDF Planning Branch has presented a spell- binding look at the current and future threats to Israel. In a lecture entitled ' Planning for the Unknown - Israel's Ever Changing Strategic Reality', he outlined the challenges he has to face in the wake of the 'Arab Spring'. Speaking at the Institute for Contemporary Affairs in Jerusalem, Gen. Eshel stressed that Iran was at the top of his priority list. Analyst David Essing sums up the major points made by the commander who has responsibility for the IDF's force build-up.

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January 15, 2012

Barack Obama - A John Wayne or Woody Allen?

What can be said about the Wall Street Journal article that the Obama administration has warned Israel against a military strike on Iran 'over U.S. objections' and has stepped up security for U.S. facilities in the region? It reflects shifting assessments by Jerusalem and Washington on Iran's going nuclear, with the stress on 'shifting'. Analyst David Essing notes the WSJ has also reported that the EU and Japan were now getting cold feet over an Iranian oil embargo.

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January 11, 2012

Israel to Grant Refuge to Syria's Alewites

While Syrian President Bashar Assad was talking of his certain victory in Damascus, IDF Chief Of Staff Benny Gantz was predicting his inevitable fall. In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, Lt.Gen. Gantz also disclosed that he is preparing to grant refuge on the Golan Heights to Assad's Alewite supporters. David Essing sums up some other key assessments of Israel's high command for the new year.

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December 25, 2011

Why Obama Opted for 'Change' on Iran

 Not only are all the options on the table, including military operations but the U.S. also has the capability to knock out Iran's nuclear weapons program - that was the stunning message from U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the new Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chief of Staff. It was a one-two punch to back up President Barack Obama's diplomatic efforts which have ended in abject failure according to the most recent IAEA report. What are the implications?

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December 16, 2011

Reaping the Whirwind on West Bank

 It remains to be seen if the young settler extremists in Judea & Samaria (West Bank) have overdone it this time. On the night of December 12th, they went on the rampage injuring a senior IDF officer, vandalizing an IDF base and also destroying Palestinian vehicles in two villages. The writing had long been on the wall but the fact is the government and its instruments of law and order, including the IDF and the Israel Police as well as the legal system, did not act to curtail it. Israel is now reaping the whirlwind of her complacency to the young fanatical settlers known as 'Price Tag'.

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December 12, 2011

Appeal For Renewal Of Israeli-Turkish Alliance

 Adnan Oktar, a prominent Muslim theologian and philosopher in Turkey, has issued a dramatic appeal for the renewal of Turkish Israeli alliance. In an IsraCast interview, that was carried live on Turkish TV, Oktar said it was in the interest of Middle East peace that the two democracies resolve their differences. Oktar rejected any idea the Turkish people have turned against Israel. On the contrary, most Turks viewed the Jews as the descendants of the prophet Abraham and the founding of Israel as evidence of divine prophecy. Speaking in his unofficial capacity, Oktar was of the opinion that Prime Minister Erdogan would agree that the new anti-missile defence system in Turkey be used to intercept any Iranian nuclear attack on Israel.

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November 29, 2011

IDF Intelligence: Iran Has Produced Nearly 100KG of Enriched Uranium for Nuclear Weapons Program

Iran is proceeding full steam ahead in her nuclear weapons program despite mysterious explosions at strategic sites, the killing of nuclear scientists and international sanctions. In a closed door briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, the IDF's Bri.Gen. Itay Brun disclosed latest details on Iran's nuclear project. Also appearing at the session, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said tougher sanctions could be imposed on Iran without the agreement of Russia and China.

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November 26, 2011

Chaos In Cairo

The Arab Spring has focused on Cairo, where the gigantic demonstrations in Tahrir Square have signaled Gen.Tantawi and his junta that they must go, and the sooner the better. In Jerusalem, the question was whether the radical Muslim Brotherhood will now rise to power and jeopardize the Israeli- Egyptian Peace Treaty. And also in the Egyptian capital, West Bank Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Mashal, who rules Gaza from Damascus, appeared together in a public display of friendship after their blood feud. David Essing reports on what all this may mean.

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November 17, 2011

Israel Warns Hamas Over Gaza Rocketing

 Israel's patience is wearing thin after repeated rocket attacks from Gaza have paralyzed much of southern Israel and forced over one million Israeli civilians into their bomb shelters for days on end. This was the message from IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz in a closed door briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Later the IDF spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, told reporters that only 'an intiated and planned IDF operation' could put a stop to the Palestinian rocketing of Israeli civilians. David Essing has this assessment of the current calm that may prove to be the quiet before the storm, if the Palestinian decide to launch more missiles into Israel.

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October 30, 2011

Iran &Israel's Armageddon Option?

 Is Israel about to launch a preemptive military strike against Iran's nuclear weapons facilties possibly before winter? Nahum Barnea, a leading commentator for the Yediot Ahronot newspaper answers his own question by writing that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are pushing for such an operation, against the advice of their own senior military and intelligence advisers. How much credence should be given the Yediot Ahronot story?

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October 19, 2011

SGT. Gilad Shalit - The Day After

 Israel has welcomed Sgt. Gilad Shalit with a massive outpouring of love and relief while also bracing for a new wave of Hamas terror attacks. In the Palestinian camp, the return of 1027 terrorists for one Israeli soldier is being viewed as a 'glorious victory' and a precedent for gaining the release of some 5,000 other terrorists now serving time in Israeli prisons. Prime Minister Netanyahu's government will likely consider a different, more tougher, approach that could not be adopted while Shalit was being held in a Hamas dungeon.

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October 14, 2011

SGT. Gilad Shalit & All Our Sons

 If all goes according to plan, IDF Sergeant Gilad Shalit will be exchanged for 1027 Palestinian terrorists on October 18th. Although Israel refused to free some top Hamas terrorists, Hamas claims that it achieved 'more than 90% of its demands'. Hamas chief Haled Meshal has also indicated that he will launch more attacks to kidnap IDF soldiers to use as bargaining chips for freeing the remaining 8,000 terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons. Nonetheless, IsraCast analyst David Essing is of the view that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has massive public support for the lopsided prisoner swap.

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October 01, 2011

Israel Snapshot - Jewish New Year 5772

Israelis celebrated the New Jewish Year 5722 with the 'Arab Spring' yet to run its course and certainly with results that will have far reaching ramifications for their country. Against this backdrop, the young generation of Israelis have ignited the vision of a more egalitarian society and they are about to launch a new campaign to achieve it.

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September 25, 2011

Aftermath of Abbas-Netanyahu Clash

 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has apparently failed in his attempt to acquire UN Security Council for full recognition of a Palestinian state. This after U.S. President Barack Obama declared that peace between Israel and the Palestinians could only be negotiated by the parties and not imposed by UN resolutions. The U.S. could cast her veto to block the Palestinian application, if nine of the fifteen members voted in favor. The international Quartet is now trying to resuscitate the moribund peace talks - Netanyahu has said Yes, Abbas has yet to announce his position.

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