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Showing Results 181-200 of 422 for Lebanon
September 19, 2010

Yom Kippur War & Palestinian Negotiations

 Israelis and Jews around the world have marked the Yom Kippur Day of Atonement. Thirty-seven years ago, the Egyptian and Syrian armies exploited the holiest day in the Jewish calendar to launch a massive surprise attack that nearly succeeded in defeating the IDF and possibly wiping Israel off the map. What are the ramifications today when it comes to Israeli territorial concessions to the Palestinians and Syria? This assessment by IsraCast analyst David Essing deals with some of the issues.

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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 04, 2010

Hezbollah Co-Opts Lebanon's Army

 One day after the deadly sniping attack by the Lebanese army that killed one IDF officer and wounded another, Israel declared it will continue the routine, necessary and legitimate clearing of underbrush inside Israeli territory. Four Lebanese soldiers were reportedly killed and several others wounded when Israel responded to the sudden cross border attack from Lebanon. The sniper fire by Lebanese Army soldiers, who traditionally stay out of clashes between Hezbollah and Israel, came as a major surprise. So did Lebanese soldiers on the spot take things into their own hands and launch a 'local initiative' or has Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah now co-opted the Lebanese Army, while Lebanon's political leadership is powerless to restrain Hezbollah?

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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 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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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 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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May 27, 2010

North Korea & Iran - Connect The Dots

North Korea's nuclear weapons capability enables that rogue state to literally 'get away with murder' - that is one lesson to be drawn from the current crisis. There are others that also reflect on Iran's current drive to get the bomb. Proof of North Korean startling aggression against South Korea coincides with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's upcoming visit to France, Canada and the U.S. IsraCast is of the view that the case of nuclear North Korea 'unacceptable' killing of forty-six South Korean sailors serves as a preview of what to expect from Iran, if she also acquires nuclear weapons. Netanyahu will likely call on his hosts to take more effective action against Iran before time runs out and to connect the dots between the latest North Korean atrocity and the looming Iranian threat.

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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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April 19, 2010

Remembrance & Israel's Independence

 Israel has paid tribute to the 22,864 of Israelis who have fallen in defense of the state. The sirens wailed for two minutes - and the people paused throughout the land, to stand with heads bowed to remember those who had given their all in protecting the Jewish homeland. Since last Memorial Day, the Iranian nuclear threat has loomed larger - by next Remembrance Day, an Iranian nuclear capability could be a fact of life or, whatever. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses the major issues on Israel's national agenda as the Jewish state enters its sixty-second year of independence.

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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 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 07, 2010

Nuclear Iran And Israeli Palestinian Talks

 The U.S. announcement of a $6 billion arms sale to Taiwan could not have come at a worse time for President Barack Obama's attempt to rally UN Security Council backing for new sanctions against Iran. A former senior Israeli official in Washington says chances are now slimmer than ever of getting China's crucial support. Meanwhile, the U.S. is beefing up the missile defenses of four Gulf states as Iran launches a missile which could potentially reach America's eastern seaboard. Analyst David Essing assesses this and other developments over the past seven days.

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January 09, 2010

Israel's Zero Tolerance For Gaza Rocketing

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza escalated their rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli civilians this week - the Israeli response came within hours with pin-point air strikes. On Gaza's southern border, Egyptian security forces also repulsed Palestinians rioters who stormed the border area in protest over Egypt's blocking of the arms smuggling tunnels. In another milestone, Israel has uncovered 'Iron Dome', a state-of-the art missile defense system designed to intercept Kassam rockets fired at Israeli population centers from Gaza. Analyst David Essing also has some thoughts on the outcome of the failed Al-Qaeda attempt to blow up an American airliner and the reaction of U.S. President Barack Obama.

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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 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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November 05, 2009

Iran & Goldstone - The Missing Links

 Almost daily this week, there were dramatic developments in Israel's counter-terror campaign. At the center, what Israeli experts call the 'Iranian octopus' of terrorist activities - the Israeli seizure at sea of an innocent- looking merchant ship, the Francop, with a cargo of hundreds tons of weapons and explosives plying its course to Syria and then on to Hezballah in south Lebanon. Secondly, the Palestinians test launched a rocket with a sixty kilometer range that could hit the Tel Aviv metropolitan area of the Jewish state. This did not make any impression in the UN General Assembly. There, delegates of the 118 nations of the pro- Arab majority, took the podium to vilify the Jewish state for defending her citizens against Iranian sponsored terrorism. This time they had a new rallying point - what is viewed in Israel as the infamous Goldstone report that alleged that Israel had committed war crimes during the Cast Lead operation to halt eight years of rocketing of Israeli civilians from Gaza. IsraCast joins the dots of the big picture. 

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October 06, 2009

Att: Judge Goldstone on IDF & Gaza Report!

 British Army Colonel (ret) Richard Kemp knows a thing or two about fighting a guerrilla war; Kemp has served as commander of the British contingent to the NATO force now fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. In a lecture to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on June 18th, Colonel Kemp compared the conduct of the IDF during the Cast Lead Operation in Gaza with that of the British and American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. His conclusion: 'The Israel Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare'. Nonetheless, the pro-Palestinian Human Rights Council of the UN has published an enquiry, based mainly on Palestinian allegations and chaired by Judge Richard Goldstone, that alleges the IDF perpetrated war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.

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