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September 13, 2009

Netanyahu 'Bites The Bullet'

 The building at Israeli settlements has placed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu between the hammer and anvil of both international and domestic politics. U.S. President Barack Obama has relentlessly pressured Netanyahu to halt building at the settlements while right-wing supporters warned the Prime Minister against any such step. Coming against the backdrop of fresh reports that Iran is advancing in its nuclear weapons project, Netanyahu has been hard pressed to find a course of action that might be accepted, if grudgingly, both at home and in Washington.

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September 07, 2009

CNN Lauds 'Beautiful Americans' In Afghanistan While Blasting 'Ugly Israelis' In Gaza

 The latest U.S. bomb strike that killed an estimated 90 people in Afghanistan on Sept. 4th, many of them reportedly civilians, has again raised the dilemma of how conventional forces should fight terrorists that deliberately use civןilians as shields. This is the case in Gaza no less than Afghanistan. However, international forוums such as the U.N. and the international media often skew their reporting when it comes to Israel. The CNN's recent report 'Generation Islam' is a case in point.

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August 30, 2009

Netanyahu's Crucial Choices

 Over the past summer months Palestinian peace talks remained in the diplomatic doldrums, secret contacts on a Shalit prisoner exchange dragged on while the current internal unrest in Iran cast another shadow over the proposed nuclear negotiations with Tehran. However, the IsraCast update is that these slumbering but vital issues may soon reawaken on the international stage.

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July 21, 2009

Netanyahu & Obama Clash Over Jerusalem

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama Have again squared off, this time over Israeli construction in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheik Jarah. The two leaders had already crossed after Obama declared that all building in existing Israeli settlements on the West Bank must stop, something Netanyahu rejects. Although Special Middle East Envoy George Mitchell  and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have met twice trying to break the impasse over the settlement issue, the Israeli leader has dug in his heels over what he views as Israel's sovereign right to build in east Jerusalem. IsraCast says the latest clash is actually over Obama's insistence that Jerusalem will be up for negotiation in future Israeli-Palestinian talks while Netanyahu contends that Jerusalem is non- negotiatble as far as he is concerned.

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July 01, 2009

Barak-Mitchell Tackle Big Picture

After a four-hour meeting in New York, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and U.S. Middle East George Mitchell have reduced the gap over Israeli building in West Bank settlements. Interviewed on Israel Radio, Barak said the main thing was 'to put the settlement question in the wider context of peace between Israel and the Arab world'. In a new twist, Arab religious leaders refused to follow an Iranian delegate's lead and stayed to hear an address by President Shimon Peres at an inter- faith conference in the Islamic state of Kazakhstan.

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June 15, 2009

Netanyahu Goes For Two-State Solution

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has apparently defused a diplomatic time bomb with U.S. President Barack Obama while the Iranian election reveals how dangerous nuclear weapons would be in the hands of the tyrannical regime of President Ahmadinejad and his ayatollah masters. But Israel's Right-wing Likud prime minister has had to pay the price of accepting a Palestinian state with all that it implies. It appears, as did former Likud leader Ariel Sharon, Netanyahu decided it was in Israel's best interest to ride out the storm of American pressure and in so doing revealed who truly calls the shots in the U.S.-Israeli 'special relationship'.

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June 10, 2009

Netanyahu Takes Up Obama's Gauntlet

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's response to President Barack Obama's speech in Cairo will not be long in coming. On June 14th, Netanyahu will lay out his foreign policy goals in a 'major address'. Coming against sharp differences between Jerusalem and Washington over the settlements question as well as the two-state solution, Netanyahu will have to steer a tricky course between preserving Israel's vital relations with the U.S. while not abandoning the principles of his Right-wing coalition government.

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June 07, 2009

An Obama Diktat To Israel?

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have put a brave face on U.S. President Barack Obama's historic speech in Cairo. However, the new American leader has called on Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make the first major concession on the explosive settlement issue in order to restart the stalled Israeli- Palestinian peace effort. In Jerusalem, Obama is perceived as sending a diktat to Israel or else be held responsible for sabotaging America's entire Middle East policy.

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May 22, 2009

Netanyahu & Obama's Grand Design

What was achieved at the high-profile meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House? Dr. Dan Schueftan, Director of the National Security Studies Center At Haifa University, assesses various aspects of of Obama's new Middle East policy and the response of Israel's Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. In this wide-ranging interview with David Essing, Dr. Schueftan also discussed future scenarios against the backdrop of the Iranian nuclear threat. 

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May 19, 2009

Netanyahu Follows Obama's Lead

After their extended meeting, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not only accentuated their agreement on the need for achieving Middle East peace, but also stressed their differing approaches for achieving the goal. The new American leader has a definite blueprint that includes a Palestinian state, something Netanyahu views as a hostile 'Hamastan' on the West Bank. As for the Iranian nuclear program, Netanyahu's assessment is that Tehran has already crossed the 'technological threshold' for producing the bomb while the U.S. has given until the end of the year before deciding on ' stronger sanctions'. IsraCast assesses the diplomatic parrying between the two leaders at the White house.

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May 14, 2009

Obama Warns Netanyahu

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that U.S. President Barack Obama has sent a senior official to Jerusalem to warn Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not to surprise the U.S. with an attack on Iran's nuclear installations. The American warning came after a Netanyahu emissary traveled to Washington to meet with National Security Adviser General James Jones and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile the IDF's Commander of Intelligence has crossed the technological threshold and could start producing weapons grade uranium, enough for a nuclear bomb within 'a number of months to one year'.

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May 10, 2009

Pope Benedict & The Jews

Pope Benedict XVI is about to begin an historic five-day visit not to Israel but to the 'Holy Land' - that is the preferred Vatican terminology. Dr. Yizthak Minerbi, an Israeli expert on Vatican affairs, who lived through the Holocaust, discussed with David Essing the various aspects of the Pope's approach to Israel and the Jewish people.  

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May 05, 2009

No Appeasement Of Nuclear Iran

Should Israel go it alone, if its intelligence community discovers that Iran is about to produce a nuclear weapon? What is  Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu likely to tell U.S. President Barack when they meet in the White House later this month to discuss Iran and the Palestinians? In an exclusive interview with IsraCast, Moshe Arens a former Israeli defense minister and foreign minister as well as ambassador to Washington, discussed these crucial issues as the U.S. leader prepares to engage Iran in a nuclear dialogue while 'urging 'progress on the ground' along the Palestinian track.

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April 28, 2009

Israelis Remember - Palestinians Reject

Israel has marked its 61st Remembrance Day with memorial services from Mount Hermon in the north to the port of Eilat in the south. Tens of thousands of Israelis flocked to military ceremonies in the hundreds of military cemeteries to remember the 22,570 Israeli fighters who died so that Israel might live. But shortly before the memorial services began, West Bank President Mahmoud Abbas declared in no uncertain terms that he would never even recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

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April 22, 2009

Netanyahu, Obama & Jewish State

The Israeli-Palestinian peace track will now move to Washington, after American peace envoy concluded his second round of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. It was the first time that Mitchell met with Israel's new Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. The meetings came against the backdrop of the Egyptian uncovering of an Iranian Hezbollah terrorist ring operating Egypt that highlighted the clash between Shiite Iran and the Sunni Arab states. In an interview with Isracast, Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington and adviser to Prime minister Netanyahu assessed the outcome of the Mitchell visit.

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April 13, 2009

Ahmadinejad's Realpolitik vs. Obama's Detente

The uncovering of a Hezbollah terror network operating inside Egypt has exposed Iran's subversive activities inside Arab states - that's the reaction not only in Israel but also in Egypt. Government officials in Cairo were furious with Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It is becoming evident that Ahmadinejad's policy of Realpolitik aimed at Iranian hegemony over the Islamic world will clash with U.S. President Barack Obama's approach of detente.

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April 01, 2009

Netanyahu Slams Brakes on Annapolis

In his inaugural speech to the Knesset, Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has presented his coalition guidelines. The leader of the right-wing Likud party set several conditions for a viable Palestinian peace process. IsraCast analyzes the Prime Minister's address and its significance.

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March 25, 2009

Barak Bulldozes Labor

How and why has Labor Party leader Ehud Barak succeeded in swaying his left wing party into joining the right wing coalition of Bibi Netanyahu? IsraCast examines some of the implications after the dramatic vote by the Labor Party conference and why many Israelis may now sleep sleep a little better.

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March 23, 2009

Israeli Army Investigates 'Atrocity' Rumors

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has reacted to recent reports that some IDF soldiers deliberately harmed Palestinian civilians during January's "Cast Lead" operation in the Gaza Strip. While visiting an IDF enlistment base, General Ashkenazi said if an investigation uncovered any wrongdoing those soldiers involved would be prosecuted. In another development, senior Hamas members being held in Israeli prisons have met to consider how to break the deadlock between Hamas and Israel over a prisoner exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shavit.

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March 19, 2009

Barak Joins Netanyahu

In a startling switch of events, Labor Party leader Ehud Barak has accepted an offer by Prime Minister designate Binyamin Netanyahu to join his Likud led coalition. In fact, Netanyahu and Barak have already worked out a secret deal which has enraged Labor Party doves who oppose Netanyahu's political and economic policies. The Labour Party conference is expected to decide the issue.

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