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Showing Results 21-40 of 485 for Knesset
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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April 29, 2018

Natalie Portman Please Look at These Photos

"Why Natalie Portman was wrong about accepting a prize in Israel." That was the title of an article I was writing when the news started coming in. Ten Israeli high school students in their senior year were either missing or in critical condition after being caught in a flash flood roaring down a Negev Wadi. The whole country was fearful and spellbound. The previous day every radio and TV station had been warning not to hike in that area because torrential rains could trigger dangerous flash floods in the narrow gullies.

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March 14, 2018

NETANYAHU - ISRAEL'S WINSTON CHURCHILL OR RICHARD NIXON?

For two weeks Israel has been totally absorbed in a political frenzy focused on Prime minister Bibi Netanyahu and the question - is he an Israeli Winston Churchill or a Richard Nixon. The subject of no less than four full-blown investigations into corruption charges, Bibi was battling for his political life and possibly over serving jail time. He rose to the occasion - at his best, or worst, depending on whether you love or detest him. Contending that he was the victim of a witch-hunt, the PM portrayed himself as an Israel Winston C Churchill and only he can take on the threats to the Jewish state today, first and foremost Iran's vow to annihilate it (besides, Bibi also loves cigars). To the state-witnesses and mounting evidence that he was involved in a series of seedy dealings, Netanyahu pleaded innocent and declared loud and clear to the Israeli public: 'I am not a crook!'

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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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January 14, 2018

ISRAEL TAKES ON TUNNELS, TERROR, AND IRAN

Israel is now engaged in an active low-intensity war on three fronts: Gaza, the West Bank and the Iranian-Hezbollah forces in Syria. In the past week or so, there has been a noticeable escalation in hostile activity in these three arenas. However, the IDF has things well in hand, so much so that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was able to fly off on an official visit to India. However, his prodigal son Yair, after his latest escapade, was left behind. More on Yair's caper later.

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January 07, 2018

IS IRAN ON BRINK OF REVOLUTION?

After a week of violent demonstrations against the regime, over twenty protesters have been killed and hundreds more carted off to Iran's notorious prisons. There some them may be executed and others tortured. Iran's chief of Staff, Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, has declared that the sudden wave of protests has been suppressed - game over. However, his declaration may be wishful thinking according to Analyst Menashe Amir. Skyrocketing prices, rampant unemployment, and a failing economy run by Islamist fanatics will continue to fuel public unrest whether the Ayatollahs like it or not. Iran's young, educated, and ambitious generation face a bleak future and feel they have nothing to lose. Take for example this anguished and telling plea by a single mother whose husband was killed fighting abroad. In the midst of a demonstration she declared: 

'I have three children and no job. My husband was killed fighting in the army. I have no money and have been forced into prostitution in order to feed my children. No one helps me!'

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December 21, 2017

ISRAELI POLICE CLOSE IN ON NETANYAHU

It is not a question of if, but when Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu will be forced to leave office, one way or another. The inexorable process has been accelerated by several dramatic developments over the last seven days. Bibi has lashed out in a startling and unbridled tirade against the nation's entire legal process focusing on Israeli police investigators who have been questioning him on suspicion of financial corruption and trying to 'fix' news coverage. He was speaking at a gathering of Likud party rank and file at a Chanukah celebration. But a beleaguered Bibi had little to celebrate - things have been going from bad to worse. 

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December 03, 2017

ISRAEL REPORTEDLY ROCKETS IRANIAN 'RATTLESNAKE' NEAR DAMASCUS

Foreign reports disclosed that on the night of December 2nd, Israeli rockets destroyed a new Iranian military base being built 15 kilometers from the Syrian capital Damascus. The new facility was located near a Syrian Army installation and was designed to house 500 troops as well as military vehicles. Several weeks ago, BBC TV satellite photos revealed the new Iranian military site located 50 kilometers from the Israeli border on the Golan Heights. The IDF has refused to comment on the air attack, saying it does not respond to foreign news reports. Israeli Cabinet Minister Yoav Gallant did state:

"Israel has no intention of letting Iran establish another Hezbollah in Syria!"

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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...
September 02, 2017

UN'S 'TUNNEL VISION' ON IRAN, LEBANON & GAZA

In Iran, the international inspectors have come and gone after giving the Iranians a clean bill of health – they are abiding by the nuclear accord worked out with the Great Powers over two years ago. Only one glaring problem: the Iranians refuse categorically to allow the nuclear watch-dogs to enter their military installations! And where else would the Iranians carry out clandestine nuclear weapons research if not inside bases they have declared to be off limits? In fact, in the past, Israel disclosed that it had intelligence showing that the Iranians had conducted secret research on detonators for A-bombs at the Parchin base. The Iranians denied it, but later the IAEA confirmed the Israeli charges. So who is to say this is not happening again at other Iranian military installations?

Moreover, Yukiya Amano, the IAEA's own director has just declared that his inspectors need access to all 'relevant locations', that is Iranian military bases. Amano told AP:

       'The IAEA has access to all locations without distinction between military and civilian locations'.

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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 02, 2017

NETANYAHU SABOTAGES ISRAEL'S RELATIONS WITH AMERICAN JEWRY

It is mind-boggling. Never in the history of Israel's sacred ties with American Jewry has there been such a firestorm. And who lit the match - none other than the Prime Minister of the Jewish State, Bibi Netanyahu. Bibi, in a moment of utter folly, has endangered the country's national interest for the sake of keeping his job as prime minister. He sided with the Haredi ultra-orthodox Israelis by suddenly throwing out the window a compromise agreement, after five years of torturous negotiations, that would have granted Reform and Conservative Jews the right for men and women to pray together, as they wish, in a separate section of the Western Wall in Jerusalem (remnant of First & Second Jewish Temples). At present, the ultra-orthodox have a monopoly over prayer arrangements at the Western Wall. (For example, like many secular families in Israel, my two sons had their Bar Mitzvahs at the Western Wall. I was able to stand next to them, whereas my wife and daughter had to stand separately farther away and behind a barrier and a watchful custodian there to prevent them from entering).

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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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May 28, 2017

TRUMP RAISES MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS IN MIDDLE EAST

The only thing consistent about U.S. President Donald Trump is his frequent lack of consistency. He left Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Right-wing camp jumping for joy: Trump had made no specific reference to the two-state solution! But on the other hand, he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was truly interested in making peace with Israel. Knesset Member Tzipi Livni, a former Likudnik who has switched to Labor, has more negotiating hours with Abbas than any other Israeli politician. Livni feels the question now is whether Trump will follow through on his declaration that both Bibi and Abbas are ready for a deal.

Livni is looking for Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt to start the ball rolling by putting something on the table. Greenblatt is Trump's longtime private lawyer with a reputation for resolving sticky issues. He will now have his work cut out for him. So far, he stage-managed a great Middle East tour for his boss that has left everybody singing the praises of Trump: Saudi Arabia's King Salman, Abbas, and Bibi.

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March 27, 2017

LONDON & JERUSALEM IN 'CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS'

What motivated a 52-year-old citizen, born and bred in Britain, to attack the sacred 'Mother of Parliaments' while running over, stabbing and shooting scores of his fellow countrymen? It was yet another road mark in the 'Clash of Civilizations' that radical Islam is waging world-wide. Even Canada, with no imperial past to atone for, was targeted in October 2014. The British terrorist, Adrian Elms, was apparently converted to Islam in prison when he served a term for stabbing, and adopted his new name of Khalid Masood. Daesh has confirmed he acted in its name. What may have sent him around the bend may have been the heavy bombing now being inflicted by the US-led coalition on the Daesh force in the Iraqi city of Mosul. The Daesh 'capital city' of Raqqa in Syria is next in line. In response, Daesh Internet has adopted the old Marxist battle-cry with its version, 'Muslims of the world unite - come and join our forces in the Middle East, but if you cannot, kill the infidels wherever you can!'

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March 01, 2000

David Rubinger (1924-2017)

David Rubinger was an Israeli photographer and photojournalist. Nicknamed by Shimon Peres "the photographer of the nation in the making", he spent his professional career chronicling the story of the nation of Israel, and is perhaps most remembered by his famous photograph of three Israeli paratroopers at the Western Wall just 20 minutes following the recapture of the Western Wall and the decisive Israeli victory of the Six-Day War. The picture went on to become an iconic image to Israel's national narrative, inspiring national pride and Zionism. Because of the strong emotions it invoked, in 2001 Israeli Supreme Court Justice Misha'el Kheshin declared that the photo had "become the property of the entire nation."

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February 11, 2017

WILL NETANYAHU AND TRUMP CLASH OR COOPERATE OVER SETTLEMENTS?

What's going on? Twice in the last week US President Donald Trump has opposed wide-scale Israeli settlement building on the West Bank. In Israel, Right-wingers have been shocked to the core - Trump and Bibi were supposed to be great pals. They had anticipated that Trump would give Israel the green light for constructing a brand new settlement and adding 5,500 new housing units to existing settlements. Moreover, there is the new controversial law that would enable Israel to legalize homes built on privately owned Palestinian land. But is this promising package is unraveling? In an exclusive interview with Yisrael Hayom, the pro-Netanyahu newspaper, Trump clarified his position:

  • 'The settlements don't help the process. I can say that. There is only so much land left (on the West bank). And every time you (Israel) take land for settlements, there is less land left (for a Palestinian state). But we are looking at that, and we are looking at some other options, we'll see. But no I am not somebody that believes that going forward with these settlements is a good thing for peace'.
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February 05, 2017

TRUMP SIGNALS NETANYAHU - HOLD YOUR HORSES ON SETTLEMENTS!

It was not long in coming – President Trump has signaled Prime Minister Netanyahu to back off on building new settlements or expanding any existing settlements 'beyond their current borders'. In fact, Israel's leader actually triggered the White House response. What did Bibi expect after he announced that Israel would build a brand-new settlement to compensate for the evacuation of the illegal settlement of Amona? For good measure Netanyahu also tacked on 5,500 new housing units to existing settlements on the West Bank! This was the official Trump statement:

  1. "While we don't believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal."
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