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Showing Results 161-180 of 433 for Likud
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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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 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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April 25, 2010

Israeli-Palsetinian Talks Within Two Weeks?

After the recent tension between Jerusalem and Washington, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has spoken optimistically about the launching of Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks within two weeks. U.S. mediator George Mitchell has returned to the area, meeting Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Jerusalem and Ramallah with the aim of getting the negotiations underway. After rejecting an American and Palestinian demand to freeze building in eastern Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has offered a package of concessions that may lead to a break in the logjam. However, back in Washington the State Department spokesman has cautioned against an imminent breakthrough. Analyst David Essing assesses the current state of play.

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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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April 09, 2010

Middle East 'March Of Folly'

 In a leak to the Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, two White House officials have disclosed that President Barack Obama is 'seriously considering' an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan by the fall. The authoritative leak exerts additional American pressure on Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to accept Obama's demands to halt all Israeli building in Jerusalem, beyond the old 1967 line. This is an American and Palestinian condition for holding 'proximity talks' with West Bank Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses the White House leak in the context of the current confrontation between Washington and Jerusalem.

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April 02, 2010

Chechnya & Gaza, Iran & Sanctions

 Radical Islamic terrorists are again on the rampage. In Russia, Chechnyan terrorists murdered over fifty people, while Palestinian terrorists from Gaza killed two IDF soldiers and launched over thirty rockets at Israeli civilians in March. Although, U.S. President Barack Obama has been talking confidently about the international community imposing a new round of sanctions against Iran within 'weeks', China is still balking. Analyst David Essing says it may be still too early to pop upon the champagne over a sanctions solution to the Iranian nuclear threat.

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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 19, 2010

Israel Seeks Obama Solution

 President Barack Obama has said there is no crisis between the U.S. and Israel and the special relations with the Israel people will not go way. However Obama also told Fox News that he was still awaiting answers from Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. Answers to demands made by Secretary Hillary Clinton required to rectify the Israeli announcement, during Vice President Joe Biden's visit, on 1600 new apartments to be built beyond the old 1967 line (Green Line) in Jerusalem. Analyst David Essing is of the view the Obama administration is now pressing Israel for concessions that will not only persuade West Bank Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to participate in the proximity talks but to also jump-start the U.S. mediated negotiation once they get going.

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March 16, 2010

Obama Clobbers Netanyahu

The Obama administration indicates it has no intention of letting Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu off the hook. Administration officials, from Secretary Clinton on down, have hauled Netanyahu over the coals and demanded 'actions not just words' after the Israeli announcement about 1600 new housing units to be built in eastern Jerusalem made during the visit of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. IsraCast analyst David Essing believes the U.S. has been softening Netanyahu for the return of envoy George Mitchell. In basketball terms this is a full court press so intense that it might even threaten political sanctions on Israel. Read More...
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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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 05, 2009

Settlers Rebel Against Netanyahu's 'Suspension'

Israeli settlers in Judea & Samaria (West Bank) are defying the Israeli government's ten month housing freeze. In several incidents, the residents have prevented housing inspectors from entering their communities to serve the building freeze orders. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has tried to allay the settlers' fury by stressing that Israeli construction will be resumed after the ten month 'suspension' and that 3,000 current housing units will be completed. IsraCast assessment: Israel is now bracing for a showdown between settlers and their former champion, right-wing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. In other developments this week, are there new manifestations of the 'clash of civilizations' in Europe and even in the Middle East?

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November 27, 2009

Netanyahu's Constructive Ambiguity

In a dramatic diplomatic development, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has announced a ten-month suspension of housing permits for building in West Bank settlements. At the same time, Netanyahu made clear that housing construction would continue in Jerusalem's suburbs such as Gilo, which were constructed beyond the 1967 line after the Six Day War of 1967. In the existing West Bank settlements, public buildings such as schools, kindergartens and synagogues will continue as well as the completing of 3,000 housing units now underway. Analyst David Essing is of the view that Netanyahu's ambiguous approach on settlement construction may prove to impact as much on Israel's confrontation with Iran as it does on the Palestinians.

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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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September 13, 2009

Netanyahu 'Bites The Bullet'

 The building at Israeli settlements has placed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu between the hammer and anvil of both international and domestic politics. U.S. President Barack Obama has relentlessly pressured Netanyahu to halt building at the settlements while right-wing supporters warned the Prime Minister against any such step. Coming against the backdrop of fresh reports that Iran is advancing in its nuclear weapons project, Netanyahu has been hard pressed to find a course of action that might be accepted, if grudgingly, both at home and in Washington.

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August 30, 2009

Netanyahu's Crucial Choices

 Over the past summer months Palestinian peace talks remained in the diplomatic doldrums, secret contacts on a Shalit prisoner exchange dragged on while the current internal unrest in Iran cast another shadow over the proposed nuclear negotiations with Tehran. However, the IsraCast update is that these slumbering but vital issues may soon reawaken on the international stage.

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