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Showing Results 241-260 of 758 for IDF
March 15, 2013

INSIDE ISRAEL'S NEW COALITION GOVERNMENT

 After a protracted round of coalition haggling, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu finally wrapped up his new government. On the way, Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett taught him a trick or too.

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March 10, 2013

THIS WEEK IN ISRAEL - COALITION CRISIS APPARENTLY OVER

 Isracast: Yair Lapid Has Guts In Accepting Problematic Finance Portfolio - Israel Will Be Watching If He Also Has Brains & Political Savvy To Cope With Huge Deficit Left By Outgoing Netanyahu Administration

 Yair Lapid has apparently resolved the current coalition crisis in Israel by agreeing to accept the Finance Portfolio in the new Netanyahu cabinet. It's still not official, but reliable sources on both sides are signaling the two leaders have now overcome this hurdle. When they meet again, they are also expected to agree on the numbers of ultra-orthodox men who will start serving in the IDF. Lapid, leader of 'There's a Future' party may be on his way to becoming Israel's next political hero or a washed-up politician, it will all depend on how he fares as new Finance Minister.



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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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February 23, 2013

ISRAEL'S WEEK – COALITION, IRAN, TURKEY, PALESTINIANS

BIBI DOESN'T GET IT, YET!

Israel's coalition crisis drags on with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu still unable to cobble together a new government that can command a solid majority in the 120 member Knesset. In fact, King Bibi is now facing a determined bid by two apparent heirs to his throne: Yair Lapid of 'There's A Future' and Naftali Bennett of 'Jewish Home' parties.

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February 20, 2013

WHY ISRAEL INCARCERATED MOSSAD AGENT BEN ZYGIER

 Has the mystery swirling around Mossad agent Ben Zygier now been solved? It apparently has, and by Trevor Bormann, the Australian reporter who first uncovered it. Bormann has quoted sources from ASIO, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization:

"Zygier told ASIO about every aspect of his work with the Israelis… Zygier met with ASIO officers in Australia and gave comprehensive details about a number of Mossad operations, including plans for a top-secret mission in Italy that had been years in the making".

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February 07, 2013

BARACK OBAMA & BIBI'S COALITION PUZZLE

The timing is critical - smack in the middle of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's complex coalition consultations U.S. President Barack Obama announces a long overdue visit to Israel. Both the White House in Washington and Bibi's backers in Jerusalem are playing down any notion of a new U.S. peace initiative for Israel and the Palestinians. Perish the thought! But in international relations, actions speak louder than words.

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January 31, 2013

WHY ISRAEL ATTACKED SYRIA

Actually the policy is not new - whenever Israel's vital interests are at stake, Israel will pre-empt and not wait until it is too late. This is the key to understanding the strategy behind the air raids that knocked out the truck convoy transporting sophisticated Russian SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles to Hezbollah and destroyed a chemical weapons facility not far from Damascus. The Syrian army is known already to be equipped with mustard, VX (nerve), and Sarin gas weaponry, as well as SCUD missiles that can deliver them to Israeli population centers.

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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 21, 2013

Israel at the Ballot Box

 With Israeli society more polarized than ever, a staunchly right-wing government is only more likely to exacerbate these divisions. Gilead Sher and Olivia Holt-Ivry discuss the elections in Israel.

 Projecting elections is a risky task, even more so in Israel. At the end of the dramatic 1996 Election Day, the public went to bed with expectations of Shimon Peres as the next prime minister, only to awaken the following morning to Binyamin Netanyahu having won by a slim 30,000 votes. Beating all political commentators, politicians and analysts, the outcome of those elections — held after the traumatic assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin — should be a lesson in humility when predicting developments in the Israeli political arena. Consequently, the following is a guide for perplexed observers, rather than a projection of the general elections’ results.

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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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January 04, 2013

Israeli Election Dramatic Developments

Age of Extremes- A spectacular victory for the far Right Jewish Home party appears to be in the offing. The latest poll indicates that party leader Naftali Bennet continues to soar in the current election campaign winning 18 Knesset seats in the 120 member parliament. And there is no doubt that Bennett, a young and charismatic newcomer on the political scene, deserves all the credit. Just two weeks ago, who served in the vaunted Sayyeret Matkal special forces unit, shocked the nation by saying that if he were ordered to evict Israeli settlers from their homes he would not do it and prefer to be sentenced to prison. Bennett swiftly apologized saying he did not mean to incite IDF soldiers to disobey orders. However Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pounced on Bennett's blunder by declaring: "Anyone who incites soldiers to disobey orders cannot serve in my government!" Netanyahu, like just about everyone else including yours truly, reckoned that Bennett would pay dearly in the polls. But think again! Lo and behold, Bennet rose to 18 seats tied with Labor's Shelli Yechimovich. And where has Bennett gained more prospective voters? From none other than the ranks of Likud – Beiteinu.

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January 01, 2013

Israel's Ambassadors Criticize Governments Settlement Building

 Israeli ambassadors have dropped a bombshell on Israel's current election campaign. At a Foreign Ministry gathering of Israeli diplomats serving abroad, Israel's UN representative Ron Prosor appeared to take issue with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's recent decision to announce the building of 1300 new housing units in the area of E-1 near East Jerusalem on the West Bank. The Palestinians claim this construction would drive a wedge between a Palestinian state on the West Bank. Netanyahu said the announcement was in response to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's violation of the Oslo Accord in pushing for a Palestinian non-member observer state by the UN General Assembly on Nov.29th.

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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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November 27, 2012

Likud Swings Right –Livni Enters & Barak Exits

While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu portrayed the new Likud list as 'a strong young national team', Labor's Shelly Yachimovich has blasted it as 'an extreme Right wing party with no social agenda'.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak probably left political life after his successful contribution to the recent Gaza operation before his party's poor showing in upcoming election. But he has also left his options open for a possible Netanyahu offer to return as defense minister if he forms the next government.

Tzipi Livni has entered the campaign claiming only she can attract moderate Likud supporters who are turned off by the new Likud ticket.

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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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November 21, 2012

No Recycling of Hamas Ceasefires

 Isracast Assessment: Israel insisting the new ceasefire must include solid guarantees that will bar the renewal of Palestinian rocketing from Gaza for a long term. Will Hamas agree to such a demand that would pull the rug out from their vow to wipe Israel off the map? Analyst David Essing is of the view that behind the flurry of diplomatic activity to halt the violence, U.S. President Barack Obama and Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi have been cooperating on a deal to resolve the crisis and possibly restart negotiations between Israel & Palestinians. In return, the U.S. would again view Egypt as a close ally with all that entails. As President, will Morsi put Egypt's crucial economic interests before his role as leader of the radical Muslim Brotherhood and lean on Hamas to halt its rocketing of Israel? In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is weighing the pros and cons: whether the ceasefire deal offers a reasonable prospect of peace and quiet for Israeli residents in the south and the subsequent improvement in relations with Egypt and the U.S. or to launch an IDF ground operation into Gaza. He will hold off at least until U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joins the bevy of diplomats visiting the region. Meanwhile, while the diplomatic deliberations continue, both Israel and the Palestinians are continuing to slug it out with civilians on both sides caught in the middle. So far the IDF has hit over 1400 terror targets in Gaza while signaling that there must be quiet on both sides of the border.

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November 15, 2012

Gaza-Israel and the Bigger Middle East Picture

 Regional implications: First, Israel will not allow Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi to hold Israeli peace treaty as ransom for Gaza rocketing of Israel. Second, after rise of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas felt it could cross Israel's red line with impunity. Analyst David Essing is of the view that Israel will also react with the necessary force, if Iran crosses Israel's nuclear red line this spring.

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November 12, 2012

Israel on Verge of Major Ground Operation Into Gaza

 Within twenty-four hours over one hundred rockets and missiles launched from Gaza sent some one and a half million Israeli men, women and children racing for their bomb shelters. Only 'Color Red!', the wail of sirens, that give children and adults fifteen seconds warning to reach safety the 'Iron Dome' missile defense, have prevented many Israelis being killed. As it is, a number have been injured as the missiles landed as far away as the city of Beersheba. In some cases, parents caught in the open were seen huddling over their children to protect them with their own bodies. Life in southern has been paralyzed for days. Analyst David Essing is of the view that Tzachi Hanegbi, a confidant of Netanyahu was obviously speaking on instructions from the Prime Minister.

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November 10, 2012

Isracast Weekend Report: Now to Israel's Election Campaign!

 Will Barack Obama now retaliate against Israel for Bibi Netanyahu's betting on Mitt Romney? Netanyahu's rivals are attacking the Prime Minister for acting irresponsibly by showing his preference for the defeated Republican candidate. Although Netanyahu bet and he bet wrong, the issue is unlikely to be a game-changer in Israel's election campaign that has yet to move into top gear for January 22. First Likud and labor must hold their primaries for the party list of candidates and Shimon Peres, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni must decide once and for all whether to throw their hats into the ring. Meanwhile Netanyahu is trying vigorously to repair some of his damaged bridges with Obama with statements like: "I will continue to work with President Obama to protect the security interests of Israeli citizens". And the PM stressed:"The strategic alliance between Israel and the U.S. is stronger than ever'. (In all fairness it should be said that the much maligned Defense Minister Ehud Barak deserves most of the credit for the 'unprecedented' military collaboration between the two countries. Netanyahu often dispatched Barak on special missions to Washington to smooth over the not infrequent tiffs with the White House and keep relations on the rails with the Pentagon. But the overbearing Barak is often his own worst enemy when it comes to Israeli politics and his Independence party might not win even one seat in the election).

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