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Showing Results 341-360 of 765 for Jerusalem
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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November 16, 2010

Netanyahu Starts Crossing Rubicon

 Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has signaled his readiness to accept a U.S. proposal to freeze building in West Bank settlements for another three months in return for U.S. political and security incentives. Although Netanyahu is facing fierce opposition from inside his own ruling Likud party and some of his Right-wing coalition partners, the Prime Minister is expected to win a narrow victory in the security cabinet. Analyst David Essing assesses the implications of Netanyahu's dramatic decision that is now expected to kick-start peace talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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November 07, 2010

Obama And Netanyahu In Tests Of Leadership

 The Israeli-Palestinian peace effort is still side-tracked after Israel' ten month moratorium on settlement building expired on Sept.26th. After refusing to conduct talks with Israel during the freeze, Pa;estinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas now demands the moratorium be further extended as a condition for returning to the table. Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said he would stick to his ten month commitment, the Obama administration has urged Israel to extend the moratorium and the issue is likely to be at the top of the agenda when Netanyahu meets with Vice-President Joe Biden when they meet in the U.S. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses the impact of President Barack Obama's defeat in the U.S. mid-term elections and some of the implications for Prime Minister Netanyahu. 

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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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October 25, 2010

Israel And Saudi Arabia Vs. Iran

There may be more than meets the eye behind the monumental U.S. arms sale of $60 billion to Saudi Arabia. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses some of the possible ramifications against the backdrop of what could be a silent shift of some of Israel's strategic security considerations from Turkey to the Gulf. But there is still a fly in the ointment. In order for such a shift to jell there is a need for at least a semblance of progress on the Israeli- Palestinian track in order to placate public opinion in the Arab world. On the domestic scene, President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, two of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's strongest supporters have been urging Netanyahu to accept a U.S. request to extend the settlement freeze in the face of stiff opposition from the Right-wing coalition.

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October 06, 2010

Israeli Settlement Freeze & Iran

 Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continues to agonize over what to do about U.S. President Barack Obama's demand that Israel extend the settlement freeze in Judea & Samaria for another two months. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is sticking to his guns and refusing to carry on direct peace talks after the freeze expired on Sept.26th. The Arab League is scheduled to meet on Oct.8th to decide where it stands. Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmud Achmadenijad is due to visit Lebanon shortly in a demonstration of support for his Hezbollah surrogate forces and travel down to the Israeli border. IsraCast analyst David Essing sees a link between the issue of the settlement freeze and the Iranian nuclear threat.

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September 13, 2010

Israel's Critical New Year

 Israelis and Jews around the world have marked the Jewish New Year of 5771. In the homeland of the Jews, which the Palestinians steadfastly refuse t recognize as a people with the right of national self-determination, analysts were assessing some of the strategic issues in the coming year. There was agreement that Iran was still proceeding at full tilt toward acquiring nuclear weapons while its fanatical leaders call continually for Israel's destruction. As the new year got underway, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that he was ready to compromise on a partial building freeze in Judea & Samaria in order to save the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

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September 04, 2010

Israeli And Palestinian Summit Optimism

 Both Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have come away from the Washington summit in an upbeat mood. Back home in the Middle East, their critics on both sides will be asking: 'Just what did he concede at the summit?' IsraCast analyst David Essing says the stage may have been set for both Netanyahu and Abbas to take some fateful decisions in the coming year with the U.S. acting as adjudicator. Meanwhile, the Arab world appears ready to support a resolution of the conflict while Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah are enraged and trying to inflame the Arab world against the current peace move.

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August 31, 2010

Netanyahu's Tightrope In Washington

 With U.S. President Barack Obama presiding, Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are set to launch New peace talks in Washington on Sept.2nd. However, a major clash is threatening to torpedo this latest peace effort. Netanyahu has said he is committed to start rebuilding in Israeli settlements in Judea & Samaria (West Bank) after Israel's unilateral building suspension expires on Sept 26th. - Abbas warns that he'll walk out of the talks if Israel builds anew. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses Israel's approach to the new peace talks.

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August 27, 2010

Israel - Cabinet Clash Over Settlement Freeze

Two dates loom large on the Middle East calendar - on Sept. 2nd, President Barack Obama is to launch a new round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks while the current Israeli settlement freeze expires on Sept.26th. Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is committed to renew building after the freeze expires while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warns that if Israel does, he will walk out of the long awaited direct negotiations. The Obama administration has now weighed in by telling both sides from taking provocative actions, a veiled warning to Israel. While it is not clear what the PM will decide, his cabinet ministers are now embroiled in a heated debate on whether or not to extend the building 'suspension'. Analyst David Essing is of the view the cabinet ministers do not have the foggiest idea of what the Prime Minister will decide.

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August 15, 2010

Russia To 'Launch' Iran's Nuclear Reactor

 It's now official - 'Rosatom', Russia's Atomic Energy Agency has announced that on August 21st, Russian technicians will load Iran's Bushehr reactor with nuclear fuel. Spokesman Sergei Navikov was quoted as saying: 'From then on the rector will be qualified as a nuclear plant'. A Russian delegation headed by Rosatom director Sergei Kiriyenko is due to attend the ceremony. The news came just before the Sabbath when Israeli officialdom closes down until Sunday. However, IsraCast analyst David Essing has some unofficial comments.

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August 01, 2010

Arab League Green Light vs. Gaza Rocketing

 On July 29th, the Arab League put its seal of approval on a new round of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Since the election of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, nearly a year and a half ago, West Bank Palestinian President Muhmoud Abbas has refused to negotiate with Netanyahu. But after Netanyahu met recently with U.S. President Barak Obama, European officials and Arab leaders, they have all come in support of the direct negotiations. Netanyahu has declared repeatedly that he means business about implementing the two state solution and this has apparently done the trick. While Abbas considered his reply, Hamas controlled Gaza reacted swiftly with fresh rocket attacks on Israel.

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July 24, 2010

Netanyahu & Abbas at Crossroads

 Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and West Bank Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas continue to spar over the conditions for starting direct negotiations. Netanyahu's condition is that there be no prior conditions; Abbas now demands an Israeli commitment to extend the current freeze on settlement building that expires on September 26th. American envoy George Mitchell is trying hard to square the circle in the current proximity talks he is conducting between the two sides. The Washington Times report that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is seriously ill with stomach and pancreas cancer has caught Israel's attention. However the reaction is one of confidence - Israeli experts believe there will be a smooth succession of power, whenever Mubarak departs.

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July 18, 2010

Lieberman's Gaza Proposal A Non-Starter

 The week in Israel ended with some surprising developments. According to the Yediot Ahronot daily, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is about to propose a dramatic plan to lift Israel's naval blockade of Gaza and hand over control to countries from the European Union. The latest aid ship bound for Gaza complied with Israel's naval blockade and agreed to change course for Al Arish, Egypt without provoking violence. Meanwhile, U.S. envoy George Mitchell has met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on the West Bank. However Abbas, who fears condemnation from Hamas, may not agree to return to direct talks with Israel, unless he gets the green light from the Arab League.

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July 13, 2010

Friedman, 'Al-Hama Rules' & Israel

 To say that most Israelis were shocked by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman is putting it mildly. Did Friedman really compare the IDF's Cast Lead operation last year with Syrian President Hafez Assad's massacre of twenty thousand or more of his own people in the town of Hama in 1982? In the view of IsraCast analyst David Essing, Friedman has made the appalling comparison in order to attack Israeli settlement policy. However, Friedman appears to have forgotten that it was former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who launched Operation Cast Lead and who also offered unprecedented concessions to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Abbas refused to accept.

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July 08, 2010

Obama's About-Face To Netanyahu

 After being humiliated on former visit to the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu received a remarkable red carpet welcome this time by President Barak Obama. Not only in words but also in deeds. IsraCast analyst David Essing sees President Obama's about- face as having two main objectives: he is signaling the Israeli public that he is not the enemy and showing Netanyahu the benefits of extending the current ten month settlement freeze in Judea and Samaria. But as Americans say 'there are no free lunches' and the Israeli leader will be expected to reciprocate. This is will likely spark a political firestorm by Netanyahu's Right- wing coalition partners.

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July 04, 2010

Netanyahu & Abbas Vying For Obama's Support

 Recently Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met President Barack Obama in the White House, on July 6th it will be the turn of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. According to the London based Al- Hayat newspaper, Abbas has now presented the U.S. with a series of proposals starting with Israeli acceptance of the future borders for a Palestinian state. However, Netanyahu has declared he would discuss Palestinian proposals only within the framework of direct negotiations not in the current 'proximity talks' being brokered by special U.S. envoy George Mitchell. IsraCast analyst David Essing says Abbas is seeking U.S. agreement on the final borders for a Palestinian state as a pre-condition for direct negotiations with Israel.

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June 26, 2010

Israeli Satellites Keeping Eye On Iran

In defiance of the latest UN Security Council sanctions, President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad has made clear that Tehran has no intention of halting her nuclear weapons program. Within days Israel launched 'OFEK 9', a space satellite that will provide up to the minute photos from inside Iran. At a closed door briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, a senior IDF intelligence officer presented the latest intelligence estimate on Iran's nuclear program. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu also spoke of some of the challenges he was facing in the 'uneasy days' before his next meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in the White House on July 6th.

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June 20, 2010

Israel Ready To Consider Extension Of Settlement Freeze

In an interview with Israel Radio's English News, Ambassador Michael Oren has indicated the Netanyahu government will be ready to consider an extension of the ten month settlement freeze in Judea & Samaria. However, such a possibility had to be dealt with in direct negotiations with the Palestinians. Until now, Prime Minister Netanyahu has declared the building freeze will expire after its ten month time-frame runs out on September 26th. Until now, government leaders have indicated that building in the settlements woll then be resumed. In another development, Israel has made clear that she will not permit any vessels sailing to Gaza to violate her maritime blockade. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses the implications.

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June 12, 2010

Israel's 'Final Countdown' For Iran?

 The London Times has reported a dramatic new development after Iran rejected the latest UN Security Council sanctions and indicated she has no intention of halting her nuclear weapons program. According to the report, Saudi Arabia has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of her airspace in the north to shorten the distance for a bombing raid on Iran's nuclear facilities. The Saudis had even tested a 'stand-down' of their air defenses that would allow Israeli aircraft to fly through unscathed. The U.S. was said to have approved the arrangement. Analyst David Essing cautions that the U.S. involvement has yet to be confirmed - this is his assessment on the basis of available information.

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