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Showing Results 181-200 of 678 for Iran
July 12, 2014

ISRAEL'S OPTIONS FOR GAZA CONFLICT

 

 Has the time come to invade Gaza? That is now the question as Israel's Operation Protective Edge enters its fifth day. The Israel Air Force has been clobbering Hamas terrorists in Gaza who have been launching hundreds of rockets into Israel with the express aim of killing and maiming as many Israeli children, women and men as possible. Israeli aircraft and naval vessels have been knocking out Hamas targets concentrating on their launch pads, arsenals and personnel. Hamas has countered by extending its range of rocket attacks far beyond the adjacent Israeli communities in the Western Negev to the metropolis of Tel Aviv and then north to the outskirts of Haifa. Flying around the clock, Israeli jets and choppers have been systematically striking more than 1,100 targets as the campaign continues without let-up. 

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July 02, 2014

ISRAEL DECIDES ON SEVERE BUT CALIBRATED CRACKDOWN ON HAMAS

 'Hamas is responsible, Hamas will pay!' Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has warned that Israel is about to take off the gloves, after the bodies of three Israeli youths were found near Hebron, a hotbed of Hamas terrorism on the West Bank. After the massive 18-day search, the bodies of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-ad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach were uncovered in a hole. Two suspected Hamas terrorists from the Hebron area, named as Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha, are believed responsible. The manhunt continues for the two suspects, who are believed to be hiding out in the West Bank. Apparently, pretending to be religious Jews, the two killers gave a lift to the three hitchhiking Israelis and then shot them dead when Gil-ad Shaar tried to contact the Israel police on his cell phone. A police recording of the call indicates all three were shot dead in the car where bullet casings were found. 

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June 01, 2014

U.S. - No Longer Policeman of the World?

 It was highly significant that U.S. President Barack Obama selected West Point as the venue to articulate his foreign and military policy. Without saying it in so many words Obama sent a message loud and clear - America has abdicated its role of 'policeman of the world'. Obama has jettisoned the projection of American military power that characterized his predecessor George W. Bush. Addressing the graduating cadets, their commander-in-chief told them: “The U.S. will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it - when our people are threatened, when our livelihoods are at stake; when the security of our allies is in danger.” But his punch line related to global issues that do not directly threaten the U.S.: "Then the threshold of military action must be much higher. In such circumstances, we should not go it alone. Instead, we must mobilize allies and partners to take collective action." The truth is this has been a cornerstone of Obama's policy of 'leading from behind' in the Middle East, as exemplified by the crises in Libya and currently in Syria. Clearly, Obama's refusal to make good on his warning that Assad would face the consequences if he repeated his use of chemical weapons has actually tipped the scales in favor of the regime against the rebels. 

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May 07, 2014

ISRAEL CELEBRATES 66th INDEPENDENCE DAY

 The past week started with Holocaust Memorial Day and yet again the profound horror and amazement over the Nazi massacre of six million Jewish babies, children, women and men. The vast majority were defenseless and with no one to defend them. The tales of terror told by the survivors who bore witness were paralyzing: crying infants being torn from the arms of their screaming mothers at Auschwitz, of children seeing their parents being beaten and shot before their very eyes. At the memorial service at the Western Wall, President Shimon Peres told of how his beloved grandfather and other relatives, along with the rest of the Jews in his town, were herded into the local synagogue where the doors were locked behind them and then the building was burnt to the ground. The sirens wailed for them and Israelis, with heads bowed, stood at attention. 

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April 19, 2014

MOSHE KAHLON - ISRAEL'S FUTURE PRIME MINISTER?

 Could Moshe Kahlon, who is barely known outside of Israel, become a future prime minister? Who knows? It's a long shot, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. The Likud Cabinet minister achieved immense popularity and prestige in the former Netanyahu government, but then dropped a bombshell by refusing to run in the last election in January 2013. At the time, Kahlon turned down the pleas of the Likud and Netanyahu, saying he wanted some time off from politics. After attending an advanced course at Harvard for foreign administrators, Kahlon has returned to Israel and to Israeli politics. The affable and soft Kahlon has now sounded a political war cry that is likely to shake up the next election campaign when it comes around. If Kahlon does decide to make a serious bid to run for the premiership, it will be the first time a Mizrachi Jew has done so, and that could have an important impact on traditional voting patterns in Israel. (Mizrachi Jews hail from Middle East countries, and Ashkenazi Jews are from Europe or Americas). 

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April 13, 2014

Israel-US-Palestinian Conundrum

 It is not only about saving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the nature of Israeli -U.S. relations may be at stake.  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu are trying to forge a deal that will apparently see Israel freeing fourteen Israeli Arabs with 'Israeli blood on their hands'. In return, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas will carry on the peace contacts after April 29, when the current round runs out. The highest hurdle is now inside Israel's coalition government. The Jewish Home Party, which is led by Naftali Bennett, has issued an ultimatum: its twelve members will bolt the coalition if the Netanyahu government agrees to free the Israeli Arab terrorists. Netanyahu would then lose his 68 majority in the 120 member parliament. But on the other hand, another coalition partner has taken the exact opposite position. Tzippi Livni's Movement party has also threatened to quit the cabinet, if peace contacts are not continued with the Palestinians. After consulting with Livni before a Channel 22 interview, Knesset Member Amir Peretz declared: "If there is no peace process, there will be no government!" Currently, there are six Movement members in the coalition. So how on the Palestinian question has Prime Minister Netanyahu managed to wind up with both a confrontation with the U.S. and a major crisis in his coalition government? It is not all his fault.

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March 30, 2014

KERRY TACKLES ISRAELI - PALESTINIAN LOGJAM

 What happens if the Kerry mission is unable to break the Israeli-Palestinian logjam by the April 29th deadline? So far the Secretary of State's diplomatic marathon has barely made a dent in the impasse. Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are sticking to their guns. It hasn't come as any big surprise, what was apparent at the outset has prevailed: the maximum that either side is ready to offer is less than the minimum that the other side will accept. So rather than cobble a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians, the US Secretary of State is now trying just to keep the ball rolling on an agreed framework of principles. Even that is an uphill struggle. 

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March 20, 2014

NETANYAHU’S POLITICAL HEADACHES

 

 It makes no difference if you are a supporter of Israel's Prime Minister or not, you just had to sympathize with Bibi Netanyahu when he saw the headlines this morning. Staring him in the face were two political nightmares, but not the Iranian nuclear threat, Syria, or Palestinian terrorism. They were far closer to home.

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March 15, 2014

GAZA, CAMERON, ISRAEL & CRIMEA

 Rain of rockets...

 “We will not let them launch rockets at our children!” the warning came from Sderot's Mayor Elon Davidi to the Palestinian terrorists in Gaza who were launching over 100 rockets and mortars at his town. Israeli aircrafts went into action, and despite the thick fog and heavy rain, they targeted over thirty terrorist targets on the other side of the border. But it was the greatest deluge of rockets from Gaza since Israel conducted the Pillar of Defense operation to suppress similar rocketing in November, 2012. Since being hit hard at that time, the Hamas regime has abided by the ‘tahadiya’ cease-fire, except for the occasional rocket.

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March 11, 2014

FALLOUT FROM ISRAEL'S SEIZURE OF IRANIAN ROCKET VESSEL

 

 In Israel's Red Sea port of Eilat, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu presented the 40 rockets, 181 mortars and 400,000 bullets that Iran had tried to smuggle into Gaza. If they had reached Islamic Jihad or Hamas they could have killed and wounded tens of thousands of Israeli civilians in the future. However, the rest of the world, led by the Obama administration brushed the incident aside with a 'ho-hum' and the EU's foreign policy chief, decked out like a religious Muslim woman, landed in Tehran to smile and shake hands with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. The world has adopted one strategy only in dealing with a new 'moderate' Iran, led by President Rouhani, who, it hopes will agree to halt the nuclear weapons program, if the price is right.

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March 06, 2014

IRAN'S TREACHERY EXPOSED BY ISRAEL

 While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani smiles his way through the current nuclear negotiations, Tehran's campaign of terrorism also continues at full tilt. At the very same time that Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was warning of Iran's nuclear treachery and deception, an Iranian vessel flying under a Panamanian flag was sailing in the Red Sea with a cargo of deadly missiles bound for Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Within hours of Netanyahu's keynote speech to AIPAC in Washington, Israeli naval commandos boarded the ship in a daring operation before dawn.


 

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February 26, 2014

ISRAELI AIR STRIKE & IRAN'S NUCLEAR TALKS

 10:04 - Monday morning in Israel: Air raid sirens suddenly wail across the country sending hundreds of thousands of Israeli school children and kindergarten toddlers to their bomb shelters. There is no panic but some of the smaller children cry as their teachers or day care minders lead them to their underground havens. This time it was the annual drill - a dry run for the real thing that has become part of daily life in Israel. How many countries in the world have to face such a mortal threat to their children? Six decades after the Holocaust, Jewish children are again under mortal threat. And after the horrors of the current bloodbath in Syria, would anyone doubt their fate, if there is a terrible miscalculation over Israel's security needs.

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February 02, 2014

U.S. PEACE PLAN & NETANYAHU'S DILEMMA

 'Most Israelis do not want a bi-national state, I do not want a bi-national state!' If Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu means what he says, it is an indicator of where he is headed now.  Coming into the home stretch of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's exhaustive peace mission, Bibi's timing was crucial. Netanyahu has taken a meaningful step forward beyond his vague declaration in support of a two-state solution- Jewish and Palestinian. Obviously a Palestinian state would have to be founded on some undefined territory in the West Bank and Gaza. However, by rejecting the concept of a bi-national state, the Israeli leader has indicated that he is willing to part with the densely populated Palestinian parts of the West Bank, and with good reason. The high Palestinian birth rate would eventually threaten the very essence of the Jewish state of Israel, which Netanyahu insists the Palestinians must recognize. Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat once said that if Israel remained in all of the West Bank: 'The womb of the Palestinian woman would achieve the eventual victory for Palestine'.

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January 22, 2014

NETANYAHU AT THE RUBICON, AGAIN

 Above and beyond the egregious gaffe by Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, this crucial question remains unanswered - what will Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu do when he next meets U.S. Secretary of State? Yaalon certainly highlighted some of the Right wing's exasperation over Kerry's 'messianic and obsessive' mission to hammer out an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. However, Netanyahu has apparently been telling Kerry that he would be willing to cut a deal with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, under certain conditions. The Israeli leader is already on record as accepting the two-state solution.  Is he now prepared to go one step further and possibly risk the breakup of his cabinet and Likud party? Although Yaalon has adopted an 'in-your-face' rejection, he represents the far Right of the Likud and Jewish Home party. But in a dramatic shift, Avigdor Lieberman of the Israel Our Home party has pleaded for giving Kerry a chance. So what's going on and why?

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December 12, 2013

ISRAELI-SAUDI ALLIANCE AGAINST IRAN?

 In this day and age of the looming Iranian threat, what do Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf States have to fear from Israel? Absolutely nothing. And what does Israel have to fear from them? Again, absolutely nothing. Bu what do the Gulf States and Israel have to fear from Iran? Possibly their very survival! This joint interest, against the backdrop of America’s disengagement from the Middle East could be “the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

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December 04, 2013

KISSINGER AND SHULTZ CASTIGATE GENEVA NUCLEAR DEAL

 It is no less than a diplomatic bombshell in the midst of the Iranian nuclear crisis. Two of America’s most distinguished secretaries of state, Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, have severely criticized the nuclear agreement signed by the P5+1 and Iran on November 24th. Their joint article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “What a Final Iran Deal Must Do” took issue with various aspects of the Geneva Accord. Their conclusion was the U.S. must lead a campaign to plug all the holes; otherwise Iran will wind up as a de-facto nuclear power leading the radical Islamist movement in the Middle East. The two former diplomats left no stone unturned.

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December 02, 2013

GENEVA – BETWEEN MUNICH AND NORTH KOREA?

 Will U.S. president Barack Obama prefer a nuclear Iran, rather than launching preventative military strike if need be?

 This is the question being asked in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and around the Middle East. In light of the Geneva nuclear deal, grave doubts are being voiced throughout the region. What about Obama’s mantra of ‘all options are on the table’? Some Israeli cynics are worried this may also included the selling out of Israel. What worries Israel is that president Obama, apparently in the midst of disengaging from the Middle East, will seek another diplomatic exit in six months or so when the final agreement is to be concluded; or say, when the Iranians break out for their firs a-bomb after their economy has got a shot in the arm, provided by the easing of the sanctions.

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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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November 24, 2013

THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR DEAL - A HISTORIC MISTAKE

 November 24, 2013 for Israel is a day that will live in infamy.  This is the unanimous reaction of Israeli leaders from Prime Minister Netanyahu on down.  Israelis awakened to a new day that has brought the spectre of a nuclear-armed Iran much closer.  Only a few days ago, in the midst of the Geneva negotiations, Iran’s all-powerful leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Israelis rabid dogs who are destined for destruction; but this failed to register in Washington. It was a Hitlerian diatribe in every sense of the word, and like Munich, 1938, today it is U.S. president Barack Obama, the Free World’s leader, who is praising The Peace in Our Time Agreement.  In his view, it is a victory for diplomacy over war.  Although the Iranian economy was gasping on the ropes of sanctions, for some reason Obama did not see sanctions as the solution, ‘Better to appease Tehran and hope for the best’.  As for the Iranians, it is a monumental victory: all their nuclear weapons capability remains in place, they preserve their right to uranium enrichment, and not one of their 19,000 centrifuges will be dismantled.  Secondly, the new Iran heavy water reactor will eventually produce plutonium for A-bombs once it goes on stream.

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November 19, 2013

IS PRESIDENT OBAMA TRYING TO PASS ON IRANIAN DECISION TO HIS SUCCESSOR?

 Is U.S. President Barack Obama trying to pass the buck on Iran to his successor? Yes, according to a top Israeli official in Geneva to Israel Radio shortly before the second round of talks between the 5P+1 and Iran. The disclosure by the anonymous official was conveyed to 'Voice of Israel' special correspondent Chico Menashe, who was sent to Geneva to cover the crucial nuclear talks. According to the official, the Iranians have identified Obama's inclination and are playing it to their advantage. It was only due to French opposition that the first deal was not concluded on November 9th in Geneva. The report should be given high credibility since the Voice of Israel is Israel's equivalent of the BBC and is also a publicly financed but independent network. If reliable, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has lost credibility in President Barack Obama's determination to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. 

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