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August 27, 2018

IT'S STILL NETANYAHU BY A MILE

Despite the plethora of police investigations into two possible cases of financial fraud, Bibi is still far ahead of the pack. Channel 13 TV showed a poll indicating that 51% of Israeli voters prefer Netanyahu for Prime Minister. The two other potential candidates, Yair Lapid and Avi Gabbay, lag far behind. Clearly, if a snap election were held in the near future, Netanyahu would win hands down. And the reasons are obvious - the two other candidates are rank amateurs when it comes to experience in leading Israel that faces the perpetual threat of Palestinian terrorism and the vow of Iran to wipe the Jewish state off the map.

So, if there is a move to oust Netanyahu via the legal process, such as an indictment, that would probably spark "a rebellion" by the Right-wing; not dissimilarly to what American politician Rudy Gulliani has warned of were the US President Donald Trump to be toppled by a legal and not a voting process.

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August 19, 2018

ISRAEL CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC OVER CEASEFIRE ARRANGEMENT WITH HAMAS

Two of Israel's super-hawks, PM Bibi Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Leiberman, are doing their utmost to prevent the Palestinian firebombing of Israeli civilians from erupting into another all-out war. The outcome still hangs in the balance at this time. For over four months, the Hamas leadership in Gaza has incited tens of thousands of Palestinian to launch helium balloons and ingenious kites with firebombs attached at Israeli villages across the border. To date, thousands of acres of Israeli farmland and fields have been torched and many small animals have been killed in the inferno. No Israeli civilians have been killed but there have been several close calls - that's probably why Israel has not declared all-out war on Hamas. The IDF has responded with surgical airstrikes on Hamas targets inside Gaza while snipers have shot Palestinians launching the firebombs and also trying to break through the border fence.

At the moment, Egypt, Israel's peaceful Arab neighbor, is working overtime to come up with a solution for ending the current conflagration. If the crisis does escalate into a war it would be the fourth in recent years. To date, the improvised firebombs have proven to be highly successful, and Israel's hi-tech wizards have yet to find an effective response. Although, several thousand Israeli residents in the border area are, understandably, incensed over being firebombed day and night. Netanyahu and Lieberman have taken the advice of IDF Cheif of Staff Gadi Eizencot and not gone to war again with Gaza despite the provocation.

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July 22, 2018

GAZA & GOLAN - ISRAEL JOINS THE DOTS

All quiet on the Gaza front, for the time being. How long now depends on Hamas. If the ceasefire holds, and that includes the Palestinian firebombing of Israeli civilians, Israel will again permit 1,000 trucks a day to deliver good and produce to poverty-stricken Gaza. If not, the latest Israeli blitz of Gaza was a taste of what will come next.

Indeed, it may be the intervention of Bulgarian diplomat Nickolay Mladenov, in his UN role, persuaded Israel and Hamas to abide by his stern demand to "step back" immediately. From Israel's perspective, both the government and public opinion were fed up after the three months of Hamas firebombing. It was only by sheer luck that Israeli civilians were not killed. In one case, a kindergarten teacher suddenly spotted a helium firebomb about to land on her children. She barely managed to rush her toddlers to safety.

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May 13, 2018

WILL ISRAEL'S NETANYAHU FIND A WAY TO CALL AN EARLY ELECTION AFTER RECENT FOREIGN AFFAIRS & SECURITY SUCCESSES?

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is probably now scheming how he can call an early election (Israel's next scheduled election is currently set for November 2019) And with good reason. No doubt about it, Bibi is riding high after scoring some major security and foreign affairs successes. All this in the space of a week or so. Hard on the heels of the Mossad's astonishing caper in getting their hands on the archives of Iran's nuclear weapons project, President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal signed with Tehran in 2015. In announcing his decision Trump praised both the Mossad and Bibi along the way. Without a doubt, Bibi played a role in convincing the US leader that his tough stand against North Korea, which has paid off, should also be applied to Iran.

Question: If Trump's Democratic critic in the US, as well as Britain, France, and Germany, have praised the US President for getting results with Kim Jong-un, why do they refuse to do so when it comes to Iran, which is just as dangerous of a crazy state as is North Korea?

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March 04, 2018

NETANYAHU'S COALITION CRISIS - CRISIS OR COMEDY?

Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and wife Sarah flew merrily off to Washington with his coalition partners in a frenzy - the Ashkenazi ultra-orthodox party, which holds the balance of power in the coalition government, was threatening to topple the government. And why was that? Simply because the cabinet was not ready to pass a new basic law that would exempt all its young religious men, who study all day, from enlisting in the IDF like the rest of the other eighteen-year-old Israeli men and women. Nearly all of the ultra-orthodox are already legal draft dodgers, but the ultra-orthodox politicians have been ordered by their rabbis to press for even stiffer legislation. Such as including it in Israel's informal constitution that is made up of 'basic laws' that can only be altered in the future by an overwhelming majority and not by a simple majority.

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February 25, 2018

MAY OPENING OF US EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM TORPEDOES PALESTINIAN CAMPAIGN TO DELEGITIMIZE JEWISH STATE

What could be more historically just! Jerusalem, documented by the Old Testament as becoming Israel's capital three thousand years ago after being captured by King David; where the Israelites, the forefathers of today's Israelis, later built the Holy Temple, now officially recognized in word and deed by the greatest democracy in the world - the United States of America. President Donald Trump has decreed an American embassy will be opened on May 14th, Israel's Independence Day. Jerusalem, whose very name is derived from the Hebrew word 'shalom' for peace, and has always been the heart and soul of the Jewish people ever since they were exiled from the city by the Roman conquerors in 70A.D. The same Roman Empire that even tried to sever the Jews unbreakable bond with Jerusalem changing the city's name to 'Aelia Capitolina' - 'the conquered city'. But they never succeeded, nor did the other persecutors of the Jews during the following twenty centuries of Jewish exile. Throughout the ages Jerusalem always remained at the heart of the Jewish soul: 

'If I forget thee, O' Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget its cunning!'


And: 'God willing, next year in Jerusalem!'
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February 04, 2018

ISRAEL TO LEBANON - STOP BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!

In the space of several, short days - Israeli military and civilian leaders had fired salvos of dire warnings to Lebanon. They all targeted Iran's mounting military presence in Lebanon, Israel's northern neighbor. Tehran already has armed to the teeth its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah force that is actually more powerful than the official Lebanese Army. Remember that Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah triggered the Second Lebanese War with Israel in 2006 by conducting a cross-border raid that killed a number of IDF soldiers and kidnapped two more. Now after Iran and Hezbollah's extensive campaign in the Syrian civil war has kept President Bashar Assad in power, Iran and Hezbollah are now bent on building their military threat against Israel from inside Lebanon. Israeli intelligence has discovered that Iran plans on constructing an installation to assemble precision surface to surface missiles to bombard Israeli targets, probably including its crucial offshore natural gas project in the Mediterranean.

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January 28, 2018

ISRAEL - ANGER TRUMP AT YOUR PERIL!

Don't mess with US President Donald Trump. That's the lesson the shell-shocked Palestinians are digesting after his startling decisions recently. First, although the irascible leader of the Free World often seems to let his mouth run on ahead of his brain, there are times when he means what he says. First Trump sent his two negotiators, Greenblatt and Kushner, to start forging a peace proposal. However, they could not get past the total Palestinian rejection of any Israeli rights in Jerusalem (built by King David over three thousand years ago and whose very name is derived from the Hebrew language). So Trump simply 'took it off the table' by recognizing it as Israel's capital. But he also stressed that the White House was not setting any permanent lines - that would be up to Israel and the Palestinians in future negotiations. Nonetheless, Abbas hit the roof and hauled Trump and his negotiators over the coals. In an angry diatribe in Arabic, Abbas added fuel to the flames by referring directly to Trump with the saying: 'May your house be destroyed!' This went over big with his Palestinian audience but less so in the White House.

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December 08, 2017

TRUMP'S JERUSALEM ANNOUNCEMENT PULLS OUT RUG FROM UNDER PALESTINIAN STRATEGY

It is not just America's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, important as that may be. And what is more natural and just than recognizing the 'City of David' which was founded over three thousand years ago, long before Washington, Moscow, London, Paris, or even Ottawa existed? Its very name, Jerusalem, is derived from the Hebrew language and spoken by Israelis today.

The fact is that President Trump's historic decision has bankrupt the long-standing policy of the Palestinian 'peace camp'. And this is why: the Palestinians have long been divided, since the Arabs lost their 1967 war against Israel, on how to force Israel back to the old 'Green' cease-fire line of 1967 without recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

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November 26, 2017

ISRAELI PEACE MAKING & MUSLIM BLOODBATH IN SINAI

Friday morning at a packed mosque near the town of el-Arish in Sinai:

Thousands of Sunni Muslims have packed the Mosque for the traditional Friday morning prayers. Suddenly, four or five pickup trucks speed toward the Mosque where a throng has gathered outside. In the vehicles, an estimated 20 terrorists open fire with machine guns spraying the bystanders. Simultaneously, explosive charges blow up inside the building. The terrorists then run inside firing RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and machine gun the worshippers. Pandemonium – terror at its worst! The panic-stricken worshippers, many of them Egyptian off-duty soldiers, race for the exits. But in the packed building, it is almost impossible to escape. Some of the shooters even go from wounded to wounded shooting them dead at point blank range.

It is hard to envisage this diabolical inferno. The terrorists, after an estimated 20 minutes, then run back to their pickups and make their get-away. It is the worst terrorist atrocity in Egypt's history. At this time 305 Egyptian Muslims have been massacred and another 500 have been wounded, some of them critically. Daesh wanted to make a point; they have been beaten in Syria and Iraq but they are still alive and kicking.

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November 05, 2017

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: 'LEBANESE LEADER HARIRI'S WARNING ABOUT IRAN SHOULD BE A WAKE-UP CALL FOR WORLD LEADERS!'

Speaking in Saudi Arabia, Hariri also said he feared for his life. And with good reason – in 2005 Hezbollah terrorists apparently assassinated his father Rafik Hariri, who then served as Prime Minister. Four Hezbollah suspects are being tried in absentia by the International Court in the Hague. The Hariri family is Sunni Muslim while Iran and Hezbollah are Shiite. But not only Lebanon is being threatened by Tehran. In Hariri's words:

       'Iran is sowing fear and destruction in several Middle East countries'.

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October 29, 2017

ISRAEL TO IRAN: 'IT'S YOUR CALL ON GOLAN HEIGHTS!'

Iran's Chief of Staff, Joe Blow, has just toured southern Syria, just north of the Syrian border on the Golan Heights with Israel. His message was loud after sending Iranian boots on the ground to help Syrian President Bashar Assad win the civil war - Tehran would now like to turn southern Syria into a forward base against Israel - like it has in southern Lebanon with the Shiite Hezbollah army right under the noses of the UN peace monitors, who were supposed to prevent it. One problem - Israel isn't having it. The IDF has drawn a line in the sand; another Iranian military build-up in southern Syria will be met by force. This includes any further attempts to transport sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. This Israeli message has been conveyed to Moscow, which ignored Israel's vital security interests by not stipulating that Iranian forces should not move into the Syrian border region to threaten Israel. And that is why the IDF destroyed a Syrian missile battery that launched a rocket at Israeli jets flying over neighboring Lebanon. Read More...
July 29, 2017

IN ISRAEL, TEMPLE MOUNT DISASTER UNLIKELY TO TOPPLE NETANYAHU

Most Israelis believe Prime Minister Netanyahu screwed up in his handling of the Temple Mount crisis but are willing to forgive him. That is the conclusion of the latest opinion polls that show about 70% feel he handled the affair badly, but if an election were held today, as things stand, Bibi would still form a new coalition government. And that is the bottom line in the sorry story of what has transpired since three Israeli Arabs shot dead two Israeli policemen on Temple Mount on July 15th. So far, the Palestinian rioting has still not ceased although Bibi removed the new metal detectors installed to prevent more sub-machine guns from being smuggled into the religious site for killing more Israelis.

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July 18, 2017

U.S. SHOCKS ISRAEL BY CONSIDERING EXPANDED IRANIAN MILITARY PRESENCE IN SYRIA NEAR ISRAELI BORDER

In a dramatic move, Iran may be on the brink of expanding its military forces in Syria southwards towards the Israeli border. This was disclosed during Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's recent visit to Paris for talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. According to Israeli reporters, the cease-fire accord forged by the U.S. and Russia will allow Iranian forces to move to within twenty kilometers (twelve miles) of the Syrian-Israeli frontier on the Golan Heights. Netanyahu told his French host that Israel categorically rejects such a step. Iran, which declares openly its intention to destroy the Jewish state, has dispatched thousands of its Revolutionary Guards as well as large quantities of weapons to keep Assad in power. Israel is also said to have information that Iran now intends to build its own air base and naval port in Syria. Netanyahu was quoted as saying that 'such steps would alter the strategic picture in the region'. The Israeli leader reportedly told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that he opposed this aspect of the ceasefire proposal. A senior Israeli official also told reporters:

       'The agreement as it stands today is very bad and does not take into account nearly any of Israel's security concerns. It creates a very worrying reality in southern Syria. Moreover, there is not a single word (restricting) Iran, Hezbollah or Daesh terrorists now located in Syria'.

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July 09, 2017

ISRAEL'S LABOR PARTY AT FATEFUL CROSSROADS

By the time you read this article, Israel's Zionist Union (old Labor) will have elected its new party leader. Over fifty thousand Laborites will have determined whether newcomer Avi Gabay or old-timer Amir Peretz will take the helm from Yitzhak Herzog, who lost badly in the recent primary after leading the party into near oblivion.

Full disclosure: early on, Isracast took the position that only Gabay had the slightest chance of defeating Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu if he is the Likud candidate in the next general election slated for no later than Nov. 15th, 2019.

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June 11, 2017

BIBI, ABBAS & ARAB STATES PLAY BALL WITH TRUMP

While the rest of the world was looking for the 'smoking gun' in James Comey's testimony against President Donald Trump in Washington, some intriguing developments were going on in the Middle East. After Trump's recent visit, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf States ganged up on Qatar for its support of Iran, the Muslim Brothers, and Hamas. It triggered a diplomatic and commercial earthquake throughout the region. It stands to reason that the Arab states would not have taken such drastic steps without the green light from the US President. Even though America maintains a big air base with 10,000 troops on Qatar, Trump has accused Qatar of backing Islamist terrorism.

The facts: unlike all the other Sunni Arab states, Qatar is on good terms with Shiite Iran. In addition, it supports the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt against President Al-Sisi while also backing Daesh, Al Qaida and Hamas in Gaza. (The IMF estimates that Qatar is the richest country in the world per capita with an average annual income of $127,000 compared to Israel with $35,000). As for the Jewish state, independent-minded Qatar maintains some informal ties, despite its support for Hamas. But Trump and the Shiite Arab states have concluded that Qatar has gotten too big for its britches, so to speak, and decided to take it down a peg or two. Its capital, Doha, is isolated in the Persian Gulf and will be forced to mend its ways.

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June 04, 2017

PRES. DONALD TRUMP = HOMO DEUS OR YERTLE THE TURTLE?

Does U.S. President Donald Trump perceive himself to be a first and only master of humankind; a Homo Deus, to pinch the title of Prof. Yuval Harari's intriguing book? Never mind that the preponderance of serious scientists in the world agree that there is an urgent need to also 'repeal and replace' the Paris accord on the emission of dangerous gases into the atmosphere - our very future is at stake. But Trump has signaled that America's coal miners come first. However, just as Trump struck out on rejecting Obamacare, he probably will also fail again. Even Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who opposed withdrawing from the Paris accord, was quick to play down the impact:

       “I think it's important everyone recognizes the U.S. has a terrific record of reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions. I don't think we are going to change our ongoing efforts to reduce these emissions in the future either. So, hopefully people can keep it in perspective.”

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May 14, 2017

ISRAEL SUCCEEDS IN BLOCKING CYBER ATTACKS

So far so good. As of this moment Israel's cyber defenses have prevented any major cyber break-in. After some one hundred countries have reported a major cyber offensive around the globe, Prime Minister Netanyahu told the regular cabinet session today that Israel's cyber wall had stood the test. The country was waiting for Sunday when Israel goes back to work after the Sabbath when everything shuts down. The PM reported only 'very minor' cyber attempts were detected and there had been no penetration of vital strategic networks. He also disclosed that several years ago Israel had established a 'Governmental Authority' to protect Israel's vital institutions. This obviously referred to the IDF and a vast array of other potential military and civilian targets. Netanyahu did not reveal details, but it's a safe bet that Iran poses the greatest cyber threat to Israel.

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April 30, 2017

PRESIDENT TRUMP TO PERSONALLY PROD ISRAEL & PALESTINIANS TOWARD PEACE

It's not official yet, but President Donald Trump is expected to arrive in Israel next month. It's a safe bet that he will prod Israel and the Palestinians to show progress on the peace track that has hit a dead end. Make no mistake, Trump can use something to show in the international arena now that he has those famous 'one hundred days' under his belt. In fact, he's showing signs of some 'wear and tear'.

'I loved my previous life - I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.'

Previously, the tycoon Trump did not have to cope with such pesky problems as the U.S. Constitution, political rivals and the 'checks and balances' of American politics. If some of the hired help failed to deliver, he could just shout at him or her 'You're fired!' Now it is far more complicated with many more hurdles to overcome on the path from setting a goal and actually reaching it.

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April 09, 2017

AFTER SYRIA, ISRAEL & PALESTINIANS WILL NOT BE FAR BEHIND

The aftershock of the US military strike has shaken the globe far beyond Syria. President Trump showed the world that if necessary, he will 'put his money where his mouth is'. Russia's own Machiavellian Vladimir Putin probably admires Trump for it. But those 59 Tomahawk missiles served not only as a cynical super-power ploy, they were also blow dealt in the name of international morality against the Syrian war criminal Bashar Assad.

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