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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 16, 2011

Goldstone & Islamic Terrorism

After six days of quiet, following the recent flare-up along the Israeli- Gaza border, two more Grads were fired from Gaza at the Israeli town of Ashdod. The two missiles detonated without causing any casualties or damage, except for again terrorizing the whole town and sending its children, women and men racing for their bomb shelters on the eve of the Sabbath. This time, Hamas was not believed responsible and therefore IDF responded by hitting two unmanned Hamas targets in Gaza, where Gaza is the official government and bears responsibility for any attacks from its territory. In the wake of Judge Richard Goldstone's article of regret there are still those who have made up their mind against Israel in spite of the facts. Analyst David Essing is of the view that Israel bashing thrives on the use of doublespeak whether it was the original Goldstone Report and its aftermath or the murder of the Italian activisit In Gaza.

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April 09, 2011

700,000 Israelis in Bomb Shelters

 What would be a 'proportional' Israeli response to the Hamas attempt to murder and maim dozens of Israeli children in a school bus traveling near the border with Gaza? In the ongoing war of terror being launched by Palestinians in Gaza, the deliberate missile attack on the school bus is a new flash point - the IDF is not only avenging the missile strike but also seeking to deter it in the future. Since the bus atrocity on April 7th, the IDF has responded with air and artillery strikes over the border and the terrorists have been firing rockets day and night forcing 700,000 Israeli children, women and men to remain in or near their bomb shelters.

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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 17, 2011

Iran's Long Arm Of Terror

 While Iran advances at full tilt on its nuclear weapons program, Tehran is also stepping up its subversion throughout the Middle East. The Israel Navy's interception of a major shipment of advanced missiles and other sophisticated weaponry to Gaza is but one tentacle of the Iranian octopus of terror and intervention aimed at imposing Iranian hegemony in the region. Analyst David Essing bases his assessment on two corners of the arena.

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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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January 30, 2011

Israel Braces For Post Mubarak Era

Israeli leaders and the IDF are closely monitoring the rioting across Egypt that is threatening to topple the regime of President Hosni Mubarak, Israel's closest ally in the Middle East. A former Israeli cabinet minister, who has been the closest Israeli official to Mubarak, has now warned that Israel must prepare for the post-Mubarak era. And Binyamin Ben Eliezer adds: 'I believe a new Egyptian regime will be more militant and radical Islamist'! Analyst David Essing has this assessment on how the tumult in Egypt is being viewed in Israel.

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January 26, 2011

Iran - Potentially One or Two Years to Bomb

 Maj.Gen. Aviv Kochavi, the new commander of IDF Intelligence Branch, has presented his first briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee. His main point was that Iran has the capability of producing a nuclear weapon within one to two years after its leadership takes a decision to 'break out' and dash for the bomb. IsraCast analyst David Essing says Kochavi, whose name is derived from the word for star in Hebrew, is indeed the rising star in the IDF, and committee members later said they were impressed by the incisiveness of the new intelligence chief.

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January 19, 2011

While Israel Sleeps!

 In 1940, John F. Kennedy wrote a book on the rise of Nazi Germany entitled 'Why Europe Slept'. In 2006, Bruce Bawer described how radical Islam is destroying the West from within in his book 'While Europe Slept'. Now Yuval Diskin the chief of Israel's Shabak Security Service, has warned that the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank had launched a diplomatic war that it is winning against Israel. Analyst David Essing says Diskin pulled no punches when he briefed a closed door session of the Knesset's Foreign affairs & Defense Committee.

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January 17, 2011

Israeli Eyes Peeled on Arab Turmoil

 Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has reacted swiftly to the sudden upheaval in Tunisia and the threat of a new civil war in Lebanon, Israel's northern neighbor, where Hezballah, an Iranian proxy is threatening to take overall control of the state. The shock waves are still reverberating throughout the entire Middle East and are likely to do so for some time to come. Iraq was formerly the epicenter, now Tunisia the quiet state on the Mediterranean that welcomed Israeli tourists, has become a new focus of turmoil. Its tyrannical President Ben Ali was toppled by thousands of citizens who took to the streets ending his regime of twenty three years. Meanwhile 'Lebanon is Lebanon'. The Sunni-Shiite, Christian and Druze ethnic tensions have again escalated after a UN inquiry has found Hezbollah guilty of assassinating former Sunni Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Analyst David Essing has this assessment of how the recent developments may affect Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's strategic outlook.

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January 09, 2011

Mossad's 'Superman' Retires

 At the latest Israeli cabinet meeting, when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu personally thanked outgoing Mossad chief Meir Dagan, all the ministers rose to applaud. Although Mossad operations are never confirmed or denied, Dagan mounted a daring an effective campaign against Iran's nuclear weapons program during his unprecedented eight year tenure. Mossad operations have set back Iran's plans to acquire nuclear weapons for years, although there is still no sign the regime of ayatollahs are ready to halt the project, in spite of the economic sanctions that are hurting the country's economy. David Essing has this assessment of the man the Egyptian newspaper Al Aharam once called Israel's 'Superman'.

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December 23, 2010

Gaza 'Kornet' Triggers Escalation

 After two years of relative quiet along the Gaza-Israeli border, recent Palestinian attacks have seriously escalated the situation. In fact, it's only by chance that the area was not turned overnight into a major battle zone. At a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, IDF Chief Of Staff Gaby Ashkenazi disclosed that on Dec. 6th, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired a Kornet anti-tank missile across the border hitting an IDF tank. Fortunately, the missile did not explode inside the tank after penetrating its armor. IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi warned: "The situation with Gaza is tense and fragile and could turn explosive if fresh Palestinian attacks injure Israelis".

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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 01, 2010

Bomb Iran And New Middle East

 Ironically the latest WikiLeaks revelations, and there are more to come, may be of long-term benefit to Israel- that's the assessment of IsraCast analyst David Essing. The fact that Arab leaders have quietly been urging the U.S. to bomb Iran reveals a new strategic balance in the region - the Sunni Arab states are lining up against Shi'ite Iran that is seeking nuclear weapons to impose regional hegemony.

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November 02, 2010

New Syrian Missile Threat To Isareli Jets

 Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, the outgoing head of IDF intelligence, has painted a somber picture of the various threats facing Israel today. In his last briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, Gen. Yadlin disclosed that Russia has been supplying Syria with some its most advanced anti-aircraft missiles while Iran is building two new nuclear sites while advancing full steam ahead on its nuclear weapons program, despite the latest round of sanctions passed by the UN Security Council. And the relative quiet with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza is deceiving in more ways than one.

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October 31, 2010

Iran - Paper Tiger That Bites

 After Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili has announced that Tehran is now ready to resume nuclear talks with the P5+1, what are the prospects? None according to Menashe Amir, an Israeli expert on Iran. Amir told IsraCast there was no possibility that Iran would halt its nuclear weapons program unless the international community was prepared to adopt more drastic steps to deter the Iranians. Interviewed by David Essing, Amir explained how 'the bomb' plays a crucial role in Iran's grand design for regional and international domination something that is misunderstood by some foreign commentators who either view Iran as a 'paper tiger' or preach 'the need to live with an Iranian bomb'. 

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