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Showing Results 161-180 of 483 for Knesset
December 10, 2010

Israeli Fire-Fight And Netanyahu Dominoes

 In Israel, Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu to staving off demands for the resignation of Interior Minister Eli Ishai, who is seen as bearing most of the responsibility for the Fire Departments' failure to cope coping with the disastrous fire on Mount Carmel near Haifa. IsraCast analyst David Essing says that if Ishai is forced to go a domino effect might topple Netanyahu's government. The U.S. failure to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is already creating more pressure on Defense Minister Ehud Barak to take the party out of the coalition.

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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 02, 2010

New Syrian Missile Threat To Isareli Jets

 Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, the outgoing head of IDF intelligence, has painted a somber picture of the various threats facing Israel today. In his last briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, Gen. Yadlin disclosed that Russia has been supplying Syria with some its most advanced anti-aircraft missiles while Iran is building two new nuclear sites while advancing full steam ahead on its nuclear weapons program, despite the latest round of sanctions passed by the UN Security Council. And the relative quiet with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza is deceiving in more ways than one.

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September 22, 2010

Israeli Settlement Freeze And Palestinian Violence

 There is still no solution in sight to the tug-of-war between Israel and the Palestinians over the expiry of Israel's self-imposed building freeze at Israeli settlements in Judea & Samaria (West Bank). The Israeli government says construction will be resumed after the Sept.26th deadline - if it is, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas threatens to walk out of the current peace talks with Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The U.S. has been prodding Netanyahu to extend his 'building suspension' but the PM's Right-wing coalition colleagues are demanding that he keep his word to send the bulldozers back to work. Meanwhile, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi is preparing for 'all contingencies' including a possible renewed wave of Palestinian violence on the West Bank.

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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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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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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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May 05, 2010

Times Square & Israeli Security

 Barring unforeseen circumstances, the long awaited proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians will get underway on May 5th, when U.S. envoy George Mitchell meets with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu in Jerusalem. At week's end, middleman Mitchell will then drive for less than half an hour to Ramallah on the West Bank to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. IsraCast analyst David Essing says the recent Times Square car bomb will strengthen Israel's resolve to stand firm on security in face of Islamist terrorism. On the eve of the proximity talks, IDF intelligence has revealed a new dimension of Hezbollah's missile buildup in Lebanon that appears to be a clear and present danger to the Jewish state.

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March 26, 2010

Obama Imposing Israeli-Palestinian Agreement?

 Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has started consultations with six other members of his top level security cabinet on a reply to U.S. President Barack Obama's demands. At their White House meetings, Obama called on Israel to halt all building in east Jerusalem as well as making other reported concession in order to start proximity talks with the Palestinians under American aegis. Defense Minister Ehud Barak Reportedly Called For Accepting Most Obama Demands Except On Jerusalem. IsraCast: Netanyahu Will Require Obama Commitment On Palestinian Concessions In Order To Sell His Compromises To Israeli Public

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March 13, 2010

Netanyahu Goverment's Fiasco

 U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has come and gone but the dust is still swirling around Middle East sand storm in his wake. Biden, a close personal friend of Netanyahu, was sent by President Barack Obama, on a good will mission to clear the air with Netanyahu, kick off the long awaited proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians and to make sure that Washington and Jerusalem are on the same page in the confrontation with Iran. And smack in the middle, the startling announcement by Israel's Interior Ministry that a planning committee had approved 1600 new housing in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo. Analyst David Essing is of the view that the insult to Biden, unintentional as it was, will paradoxically enable the Obama administration to exercise more leverage over the Israeli Prime Minister.

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March 02, 2010

Iran's Nuclear Weapons Express

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has expressed concern over the failure of the international community to impose new sanctions while Iran is racing toward nuclear weapons. However, China declares she is still opposed, Russia may reconsider and the U.S. says it may take months before the UN Security Council takes action. Barring unforeseen circumstances in Iran, David Essing sees Israel waiting for the diplomatic effort to run its course before deciding what if anything she should do. Against this background, Israeli civilians are being reissued with gas masks.

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February 11, 2010

Holocaust is the most heinous crime against modern humanity

 Fellow Knesset members, there is no more natural an occurrence than for the Knesset and all its factions to unite and mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the day of liberation for the Auschwitz extermination camp. The forces of evil sent tens of millions of people - Jews, Soviets, Poles, Gypsies, and political rivals - to an awful death. This wasn't a simple death, but an industry of death, which was borne of an ideology of hate, racism, and ethnic cleansing.

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January 16, 2010

Israel's Diplomatic Debacle & Mossad Success

 Defense Minister Ehud's Barak's official visit to Turkey has been saved by the eleventh hour apology of Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. Barak will be able to examine what can be salvaged from the relations after Ayalon tried to humiliate Turkish Ambassador Ahmet Oguz Celikkol while delivering a protest over Turkey's verbal attacks on Israel and the screening of anti- Semitic programs on Turkish TV. The Barak visit will now have added importance at a time that relations between Jerusalem and Ankara have hit an all time low. On the other hand, none other than the Egyptian newspaper Al-Aharam credits Mossad chief Meir Dagan with stalling Iran's nuclear weapons project.

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January 02, 2010

Israel, Iran & New Year

Israel has entered 2010 facing with a wide range of both dangers and prospects in the security and foreign affairs arena. The Iranian regime is now battling for its political survival at home against a mounting campaign for democratic reform while time has apparently run out for its clandestine nuclear weapons project. At year's end, the international reach of Islamist terrorism struck again at Schiphol Airport and at a CIA base in Afghanistan, while a divided Palestinian camp remained split over terrorism or negotiations. Analyst David Essing assesses the situation from an Israeli perspective.

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December 29, 2009

Iran - Atomic Bomb Or Revolution?

 Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak has criticized the Free World for not lending sufficient support for Iranian dissidents in their confrontation with their country's dictatorial regime. In a closed door briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, Barak assessed current developments against the Iranian government's drive to acquire nuclear weapons and Analyst David Essing says these issues are intertwined from Israel's perspective. The Defense Minister also sized up other threats to the Jewish state such as failing to reach an agreement on separation from the West Bank Palestinians.

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December 18, 2009

Iran's Smoking Gun Nears Mushroom Cloud!

 After months of fruitless dialogue, this week's expose by the London Times about an Iranian nuclear 'trigger' and the launching of a new long range Iranian missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead indicated that Iran may be closer to developing a nuclear weapon than previously suspected. Analyst David Essing assesses these latest developments from the Israeli perspective and what Israelis think about U.S. President Barack Obama and their own country's leadership at this crucial time.

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December 11, 2009

Iran Passes Nuclear Weapons Threshold

This week, Israel officially revealed that Iran now has sufficient enriched uranium for proceeding with the production of at least one atomic bomb. The disclosure came from Brig.Gen. Yossi Bidatz, the commander of the research department in the IDF Intelligence Branch. However, the intelligence officer told the Knesset Foreign affairs & Defense Committee there is still no evidence the Iranian regime has defied the international community and taken the decision to go nuclear. At the same time, the Iranians have developed missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead. Also addressing the closed door hearing, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated: ' Israel's paramount security concern is to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons'. Analyst David Essing assesses some of the key issues in Israel over the past seven days.

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November 20, 2009

Peres, Gilo, Israeli Pilots & Iran

At week's end, speculation again swirled around the possibility that a German mediator may be closing a long awaited prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas - captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in return for hundreds of Palestinian terrorists. Meanwhile, the Israeli decision to build 900 housing units in the Jerusalem neighborhood Gilo, after Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to U.S. President Barack Obama's demand for a settlement freeze on the West Bank, is a new source of friction. But while these events were dominating the headlines, Iran for the umpteenth time, declared it would not concede on enriching uranium. Obama warned of 'consequences'. Meanwhile it was reported that while Israeli pilots were to undergo a refresher course to cope with the mental stress in attacking long range targets.

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November 13, 2009

Israeli Double Bind Over Iranian Nuclear Threat

 The Iranian nuclear threat was obviously high on the agenda of US President Barack Obama and Israel's Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu when they met in the White House this week. So far, nothing has leaked about what they discussed. However according to the respected Al-Hayat newspaper, published in London, 'informed sources' have said Netanyahu told Sarkozy that Israel did not rule out a military strike against Iran. The French leader stressed the need of pursuing with the current diplomatic effort that has failed to dissuade to halt its uranium enrichment program. Meanwhile, in the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, the IDF Chief Of Staff, Gen. Ashkenazi made some telling remarks that illuminate the nuclear double bind that confronts Israel at this juncture.

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July 21, 2009

Netanyahu & Obama Clash Over Jerusalem

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama Have again squared off, this time over Israeli construction in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheik Jarah. The two leaders had already crossed after Obama declared that all building in existing Israeli settlements on the West Bank must stop, something Netanyahu rejects. Although Special Middle East Envoy George Mitchell  and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have met twice trying to break the impasse over the settlement issue, the Israeli leader has dug in his heels over what he views as Israel's sovereign right to build in east Jerusalem. IsraCast says the latest clash is actually over Obama's insistence that Jerusalem will be up for negotiation in future Israeli-Palestinian talks while Netanyahu contends that Jerusalem is non- negotiatble as far as he is concerned.

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