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December 26, 2013

PALESTINIAN BUS BOMBING & ISRAELI SECURITY REQUIREMENTS

 It was potentially the most dangerous Palestinian attack since U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry started his current mission to conclude a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. This was the scene:

 Early on the afternoon of December 21st, an Israeli bus is traveling in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam. A youngster notices an unattended black bag, which had been placed near the rear door of the bus. Israelis are understandably wary of such situations. So the teenager points it out to fellow passenger, David Papo, who immediately gets up and approaches the suspicious object. Moving gingerly, Papo opens the bag and the yells to the bus driver, "It’s a bomb!" Driver, Michael Yeager, hits the breaks, opens the bus doors, and yells to his passengers, "Get out!"

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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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October 07, 2013

PM Netanyahu's speech at Bar Ilan University

 I recently read a hundred-page book by a wonderful American historian who passed away nearly 50 years ago. His name was Will Durant and he wrote many books. He wrote an eleven volume history of civilization, but at the end of his life, he wrote a hundred-page book, The Lessons of History. You should read it. Every line is carved from the stone of truth, and I will give you the bad news and the good news. 

 The bad news is that when you finish reading this book, you understand that in history, greater numbers rule. They matter. But here is the good news. On page 17, if I am not mistaken, he mentions that there may be exceptions to this rule and that through the unification of a cultural force, that's what he called it, the odds could be overcome. He gives the State of Israel as an example of such an exception. 

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August 17, 2013

EGYPT - APPEARANCES & REALITY

When it comes to understanding Egypt today, U.S. President Barack Obama and other Western leaders really don't get it. They are confusing the outcome of an indecisive election with the reality of the anti-democratic Muslim Brotherhood hijacking the Egyptian Revolution in order to found an Islamist state like Iran. These are some of the key questions that America and the West should be addressing: 

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August 12, 2013

ISRAEL, EGYPT & U.S. - ALL IN SAME BOAT

Is there a link between the recent U.S. terror alert in the Middle East and North Africa and the reported Israeli air strike against terrorists in Sinai that was triggered by an Egyptian tip-off? Absolutely, when the global Islamist terror threat is considered. It reflects not only on how to cope tactically with imminent terror threats but also on America's global strategy.

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August 04, 2013

ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PARLEY & ROUHANI'S NUCLEAR DECEPTION

 Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has made the first move in the Israeli-Palestinian peace parley by agreeing to release 104 Palestinian terrorists starting on August 15th. In Tehran, the newly installed President Hassan Rouhani appeared to adopt some of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's rhetoric by describing Israel 'as a wound on the body of the Islamic world that must be removed'. 

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July 28, 2013

WILL BIBI NETANYAHU BE ISRAEL'S CHARLES DE GAULLE?

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is known to be a great admirer of Winston Churchill, who led Britain's battle for survival against Nazi Germany. However on the eve of the negotiations with the Palestinians in Washington, Netanyahu may be signaling that he may be about to follow in the footsteps of France's Charles de Gaulle, who against all the expectations, decided to relinquish French control of Algeria in order to end an extremely bloody war. Apparently, Netanyahu has crossed another milestone on his way to seeking a territorial compromise on the Land of Israel with the Palestinians.

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July 20, 2013

HOW DID KERRY FINALLY DO IT?

There is more than meets the eye - that is the only explanation for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's success in cajoling the Palestinians and Israel back to the table. After failing five times previously, Kerry with the Arab League's support, apparently made Abbas and Netanyahu an offer that neither leader could refuse. This despite the fact that both antagonists face bitter opposition among their respective supporters to the two-state solution.

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July 14, 2013

U.S. - CANADA IN IRAN'S NUCLEAR CROSSHAIRS?

 Thousands of Israelis along the Mediterranean Coast were startled by a resounding boom that was heard far and wide on the morning of July 12th -  it was far greater than an Israeli jet breaking the sound barrier. Defense officials were quick to announce the testing of a 'navigational rocket system' at the Palmahim launch site.  The Israeli media promptly reported, that according to foreign  sources, it was Israel's Jericho ballistic missile that purportedly has a range of over 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles). Jericho, like its biblical namesake, can bring 'the walls tumbling down' with its  warhead of one ton of explosives. It obviously provides another arrow in Israel's quiver for coping with Iran's nuclear weapons sites. Moreover the Jericho test served as a message to America and the West; Israel will not be lulled by the election of Iran's new President-elect ,Hassan Rouhani, who talks about 'interaction with the West through moderation' while supporting Iran's nuclear weapons program. 

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July 06, 2013

EGYPT- ISLAM IS NOT THE SOLUTION!

Is Egypt now teetering on the brink of civil war after the army's overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi? Al Qaeda leader Ayman Mohammed al-Zawahiri says 'Yes', and has declared, 'The campaign for Egypt is not over, it has just begun!'. Now hiding in exile, the Egyptian born al-Zawahiri has sounded this battle cry to his fellow Egyptians: 'The revolution in Egypt must continue, and the (Sunni) Islamic nation must be prepared to make sacrifices'. Egypt has become the focal point of the drive for power by radical Islamist movements in the current Arab Spring. The outcome of the confrontation in Egypt could have far reaching consequences, not only for Israel, but throughout the entire Islamic world. 

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June 30, 2013

WHAT DO THE PALESTINIANS REALLY WANT?

 Do the Palestinians hate the Jewish state more than they love their dream of a Palestinian homeland? That is the question amid the latest peace effort by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The fact is, the Palestinians could have had their own state years ago, if they were only willing to accept the Jewish state in return. 

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June 17, 2013

IRAN & SYRIA - ISRAEL PLAYS IT COOL

Israel has reacted coolly to two new developments in the Middle East - the surprise victory of 'moderate' cleric Hassan Rohani in Iran's presidential election, and the U.S. decision to supply weapons to Syria's rebels. It's still early days and it remains to be seen how the situations will play out. 

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June 02, 2013

ISRAEL'S MESSAGE GETS THROUGH TO RUSSIA

 Israel's brinkmanship...

 Has Moscow finally got the message? Israel cannot and will not tolerate the deployment of Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles in Syria. If Moscow will not deliver the system to President Bashar Assad's regime before 2014, Israelis can breathe easier. Those missiles, which would threaten civil and military aircraft flying over Israel, could be a real game changer. Therefore, Israel is not bluffing even if it means a dangerous confrontation with the Russians. (Prior to the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Israel ignored the Egyptian Army's surreptitious movement of Russian SAM anti-aircraft missiles into the Suez Canal zone in flagrant violation of the 'cease-fire in place'. When the Egyptians later launched their surprise attack they had an aerial umbrella in place that protected their ground forces crossing the waterway. The IDF paid a heavy price in blood when those missiles wreaked havoc on Israeli jets trying to assist the vastly outnumbered IDF soldiers on the eastern side of the Canal.) Moreover, an S-300 system in Syria could threaten any future preventative Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear weapons program as well as instigating both Hezbollah and Hamas in Gaza to step up their attacks on the Jewish state. 

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May 26, 2013

ISRAEL: IRANIANS BELIEVE ISRAEL-U.S. WILL ATTACK IF TEHRAN ENRICHES WEAPONS GRADE URANIUM

 If anyone has any doubts about Israel's determination to prevent Iran from developing A-bombs, two top Israeli generals have set the record straight. Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yitzak Ben Yisrael and Israel Air Force Commander  Amir Eshel are two of the very few Israeli officials who know the full story of Israel's capabilities and intentions. It appears that they have made clear that Israel can and will strike Iran, if it tries to break out for the Bomb. 

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May 11, 2013

NETANYAHU TO MOSCOW FOR URGENT MEETING WITH PUTIN

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will soon fly to Moscow for an urgent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the possible supply of sophisticated Russian SA-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria. Israel is deeply concerned about the lethal missiles that could not only shoot down Israeli aircraft flying over Syria and Lebanon but also many planes taking off from inside Israel. Netanyahu spoke with Putin recently by telephone and the Russian leader invited him to come to Moscow within the next two weeks. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has issued an ambiguous statement about Moscow not concluding any new weapons deals but 'is now completing supplies under the previous contracts that are air defense systems'.

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April 20, 2013

FALLOUT FROM BOSTON MARATHON MASSACRE

The eyes of Israel focused on Boston and the two terrorists of Chechen background who terrorized the entire city for four days. How was it that two kids who were welcomed with open arms over ten years ago decided to blow their fellow Americans to smithereens? How did they start out on their heinous mission apparently in the name of Islam?

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April 02, 2013

YOM KIPPUR WAR, U.S. & IRAN

 Publication of confidential IDF protocols reveals dramatic details of confrontation between Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and IDF Chief of Staff David Elazar, just hours before Egypt and Syria launched a combined offensive against Israel. Dayan later dissuaded Prime Minister Golda Meir from carrying out a preemptive air strike or a total mobilization of the IDF reserves; this while Egyptian and Syrian aircraft, artillery, tanks and troops were about to go to war. Although Dayan's position was previously known, the new details cast the final hours before the Yom Kippur war of 1973 in a new light. Israel, at Dayan's insistence, bowed to the U.S. which believed the Arabs would not attack. In so doing Israel paid a heavy price – many of the Israeli soldiers and pilots killed in the war would be alive today, if Israel had decided differently. It also raises the issue of what will happen if Israel and the U.S. disagree over when to act on a nuclear Iran, even if Netanyahu and Obama have reached a tentative understanding. 

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March 24, 2013

OBAMA WIELDS 'SOFT POWER' IN MIDDLE EAST

 Have U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu forged a new deal on how to approach the Iranian nuclear crisis? After Obama took Israel by storm, Bibi declared:" I am absolutely convinced the President is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons!" IsraCast is of the view that the dazzling impact the U.S. President has made on Israeli leaders and people makes it difficult to arrive at a rational assessment of the visit's longer term outcome. However, it can be said most Israelis now believe that Barack Hussein Obama is a true friend of the Jewish state. 

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March 19, 2013

'BIBI' COZIES UP TO BARACK

 Two days before U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu presented his new coalition government to the Knesset, Israel's parliament. The House approved the new cabinet by a 68 seat majority in the 120 member House. In his address, Netanyahu referred to the imminent visit of U.S. President Barack Obama.

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March 02, 2013

IRAN & NETANYAHU'S COALITION CAPERS

Almaty, Khazakhstan has now joined the list of exotic venues for the Great Power negotiations with Iran - aside from that nothing else has changed. The Iranians continued to string along the P5 +1, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, as they did so skillfully in Geneva, Istanbul, Moscow and Baghdad. The scene may shift but the Iranian nuclear negotiators always stick to their two-step routine - one step forward and one step back.

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