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Showing Results 21-40 of 155 for Livni
December 03, 2014

ISRAEL'S EARLY ELECTION SET FOR MARCH 17

 The process has been set in motion for the Knesset to dissolve parliament after just 18 months in office. There are no snap elections in Israel - the law stipulates some three months for an intensive election campaign that is funded by public money. Each party selects lists of candidates that are presented to the voters. After ballots are tallied, it will then be up to State President Reuven Rivlin to meet with the various elected parties with the aim of selecting the party leader with the best prospect for forming a new coalition government; in other words, one that can command a parliamentary majority in the 120-member House. 

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October 24, 2014

OTTAWA, JERUSALEM, KOBANI & TEHRAN - CONNECT THE DOTS

 Islamist terror struck within minutes in two separate world capitals, Ottawa and Jerusalem. It was a stark sign of the times that pits the militant Islam from over 1,400 years ago against everyone else: Christians, Jews, and other Muslims. Lone terrorists struck in Ottawa and Jerusalem, and Jihadist forces continue to threaten and massacre the remaining Muslim Kurds in the Syrian town of Kobani, while in Tehran it appears as if the ayatollahs have conned the U.S. into letting them keep their nuclear facilities for building A Bombs. 

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October 03, 2014

IN NETANYAHU’S WAKE

 Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu: How about taking your own advice? If an Iranian A-bomb is the greatest threat to Israel and the world, why do you repeatedly take your eye off the ball by building new housing units in a controversial area of Jerusalem? Granted the original decision was taken two years ago and has only now been approved by the Jerusalem municipality, but you could have blocked it. Or at the very least, announced that you oppose such a tendentious decision at a time you are rallying US and international support for maintaining the sanctions on Tehran. 

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September 26, 2014

OBAMA LEADING FROM THE COCKPIT

 Alas, leading from behind will not work for US President Barack Obama in the Middle East. American jets are bombing and Tomahawk cruise missiles are blasting Islamic State ground forces and oil refineries in northern Syria and Iraq. After Gen. Martin Dempsey forewarned Obama that the air strikes on IS had better be serious or else he might have to recommend ground forces, the President got the message. Adding insult to injury, two of his former defense secretaries, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, also castigated Obama for being too eager to withdraw US troops from Iraq, a move that has exacerbated the overall situation. With Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Bahrain and even Qatar joining Obama's invitation to follow his lead, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron has now told the UN General Assembly that he's on board, as is Holland. The meltdown in Iraq and the civil war in Syria have spawned the IS juggernaut in those two former states and forced Obama to jettison his soft power, and switch to a harder foreign policy. This is how the US President described it in his address to the current session of the UN General Assembly in New York:

 'The only language understood by killers like this (IS) is the language of force'. 

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September 12, 2014

OBAMA & HIS MUSLIM MANIACS

 The historical irony is striking, on the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11, another U.S. President, Barack Obama, has been forced to declare total war on a new breed of Muslim maniacs. However, Obama is no George Bush, a ranting Republican hawk raring to take on al Qaeda. This time it was a dovish Democrat, who at the outset of his term, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaign promises - the judges in Oslo had discerned correctly that Obama would take a new approach in the Middle East and conclude America's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But the reality of fanatical Islam, far more savage than even al Qaida, has upset Obama's 'best laid plans'. 

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September 05, 2014

ISRAEL - LAND GRAB & ISIS & BAN KI-MOON'S SILENCE

  Why in Jerusalem, did Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu annex another 1,000 acres of West Bank land, if he knew that in Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama would hit the roof? Indeed the annexation has thrown a monkey wrench into the already strained relations between the two allies after Obama, in effect, ordered Netanyahu to call a unilateral ceasefire, although Hamas was still launching rockets and mortars at Israel. The answer is that Netanyahu has been hauled over the coals in his own Likud party and the far Right for reigning in the IDF before it finished off the Hamas leadership and its forces, and therefore, he used the annexation to placate his Right wing supporters. But surely the national interest should trump domestic politics. On this score, Henry Kissinger's observation that 'Israel has no foreign policy, only domestic politics' does apply. However this generalization, like most others, is only partially correct. 

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June 12, 2014

CRACKS IN NETANYAHU'S COALITION

 Israel now faces international isolation - that is what Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's diplomacy has achieved on the Palestinian track. Make no mistake, this has all the components of weakening Israel's international position and could eventually topple his coalition government. First the PM lost the 'blame game' to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by letting Housing Minister Uri Ariel announce plans for building new housing units on the disputed West Bank.  U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry pointed the finger at Netanyahu. Adding insult to injury, Abbas then gambled that he could join forces with terrorist Hamas and this would not upset the U.S. and the rest of the international community. He proved to be right...

 

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May 25, 2014

NETANYAHU MUST CHOOSE ISRAEL'S NATIONAL INTEREST

 Israel in diplomatic doghouse...

 Is Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu getting the message? His interview with the Bloomberg News may indicate that Netanyahu realizes that he has lost the 'blame game' in the wake of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's failed peace mission. Not only Kerry and diplomat Martin Indyk pointed the finger at Bibi, but also President Barack Obama. Even Bibi's own negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, has blasted Housing Minister Uri Ariel for torpedoing the talks by announcing plans for new settlement building. At the time, the PM could have stepped in but chose not to do so in order not to rile the Right-wingers in his coalition. Israel finds itself in the diplomatic doghouse, although Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did nothing to advance Kerry's peace mission and has even teamed up with terrorist Hamas. 

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April 27, 2014

WHY ABBAS DID IT

 What possessed moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to suddenly join forces with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, whose organization is bent on Israel's annihilation? As for the timing, it was even more puzzling - it came smack in the middle of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's apparent breakthrough in the clash between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu over the release of Israeli-Arab terrorists. The latest Abbas gambit has exposed the Palestinian leader's goal of seeking an imposed UN solution, rather than a U.S. brokered peace accord.

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April 13, 2014

Israel-US-Palestinian Conundrum

 It is not only about saving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the nature of Israeli -U.S. relations may be at stake.  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu are trying to forge a deal that will apparently see Israel freeing fourteen Israeli Arabs with 'Israeli blood on their hands'. In return, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas will carry on the peace contacts after April 29, when the current round runs out. The highest hurdle is now inside Israel's coalition government. The Jewish Home Party, which is led by Naftali Bennett, has issued an ultimatum: its twelve members will bolt the coalition if the Netanyahu government agrees to free the Israeli Arab terrorists. Netanyahu would then lose his 68 majority in the 120 member parliament. But on the other hand, another coalition partner has taken the exact opposite position. Tzippi Livni's Movement party has also threatened to quit the cabinet, if peace contacts are not continued with the Palestinians. After consulting with Livni before a Channel 22 interview, Knesset Member Amir Peretz declared: "If there is no peace process, there will be no government!" Currently, there are six Movement members in the coalition. So how on the Palestinian question has Prime Minister Netanyahu managed to wind up with both a confrontation with the U.S. and a major crisis in his coalition government? It is not all his fault.

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April 06, 2014

EHUD OLMERT - ISRAEL'S NATIONAL TRAGEDY

 It is a sorry tale of high politics and low morality. In the same week, a former Israeli prime minister from the moderate camp is convicted of bribery while U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warns he may suspend his peace mission if Israel and the Palestinians fail their 'reality check'. Analyst David Essing connects the dots between these two seemingly separate developments. 

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February 13, 2014

LIEBERMAN'S LEAP TO ISRAEL'S CENTER

 Does Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman realize something about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the rest of his far Right wing colleagues do not?  Lieberman, who has a well-earned reputation for his caustic comments, is no fool; so surely there is more than meets the eye about the Foreign Minister's recent praise for Kerry. By contrast, in the Knesset, Lieberman once declared that former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to 'go to hell!' for refusing to visit the Jewish state.

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February 02, 2014

U.S. PEACE PLAN & NETANYAHU'S DILEMMA

 'Most Israelis do not want a bi-national state, I do not want a bi-national state!' If Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu means what he says, it is an indicator of where he is headed now.  Coming into the home stretch of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's exhaustive peace mission, Bibi's timing was crucial. Netanyahu has taken a meaningful step forward beyond his vague declaration in support of a two-state solution- Jewish and Palestinian. Obviously a Palestinian state would have to be founded on some undefined territory in the West Bank and Gaza. However, by rejecting the concept of a bi-national state, the Israeli leader has indicated that he is willing to part with the densely populated Palestinian parts of the West Bank, and with good reason. The high Palestinian birth rate would eventually threaten the very essence of the Jewish state of Israel, which Netanyahu insists the Palestinians must recognize. Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat once said that if Israel remained in all of the West Bank: 'The womb of the Palestinian woman would achieve the eventual victory for Palestine'.

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January 11, 2014

ARIEL SHARON (1928-2014)

 'I know best' this characterized Arik Sharon, both as a vaunted military commander and an unpredictable politician. He is destined to be remembered as the most controversial of all Israeli public figures. To friend and foe he became known as the 'bulldozer'- his driving determination could overcome most obstacles in his way whether his superiors or political supporters agreed or not. Some military commentators have rated him as the best field commander and strategist in the annals of the IDF, while in his subsequent career in politics he was a formidable opponent.

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October 17, 2013

REMEMBERING YITZHAK RABIN AMID ISRAEL'S CURRENT CRISES

 How would former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin have perceived the two crises facing Israel today, the Iranian nuclear threat and the peace process with the Palestinians? Two days before his assassination on Nov. 4, 1995, Rabin saw 'separation with the Palestinians as the only permanent solution' and he had no inkling that Right wing fanatic Yigal Amir was planning to shoot him. On the other hand, Israeli intelligence had ascertained that the Iranian regime had started out on a determined drive to acquire nuclear weapons. Today, eighteen years later, Iran is very close to reaching its goal, although nothing is known about what was achieved this week during the two days of nuclear talks in Geneva between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. The Israeli public is also deep in the dark over what Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has negotiated with Palestinian official Saeb Erekat in their closed-door negotiations. 

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August 04, 2013

ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PARLEY & ROUHANI'S NUCLEAR DECEPTION

 Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has made the first move in the Israeli-Palestinian peace parley by agreeing to release 104 Palestinian terrorists starting on August 15th. In Tehran, the newly installed President Hassan Rouhani appeared to adopt some of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's rhetoric by describing Israel 'as a wound on the body of the Islamic world that must be removed'. 

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July 28, 2013

WILL BIBI NETANYAHU BE ISRAEL'S CHARLES DE GAULLE?

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is known to be a great admirer of Winston Churchill, who led Britain's battle for survival against Nazi Germany. However on the eve of the negotiations with the Palestinians in Washington, Netanyahu may be signaling that he may be about to follow in the footsteps of France's Charles de Gaulle, who against all the expectations, decided to relinquish French control of Algeria in order to end an extremely bloody war. Apparently, Netanyahu has crossed another milestone on his way to seeking a territorial compromise on the Land of Israel with the Palestinians.

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July 20, 2013

HOW DID KERRY FINALLY DO IT?

There is more than meets the eye - that is the only explanation for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's success in cajoling the Palestinians and Israel back to the table. After failing five times previously, Kerry with the Arab League's support, apparently made Abbas and Netanyahu an offer that neither leader could refuse. This despite the fact that both antagonists face bitter opposition among their respective supporters to the two-state solution.

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March 24, 2013

OBAMA WIELDS 'SOFT POWER' IN MIDDLE EAST

 Have U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu forged a new deal on how to approach the Iranian nuclear crisis? After Obama took Israel by storm, Bibi declared:" I am absolutely convinced the President is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons!" IsraCast is of the view that the dazzling impact the U.S. President has made on Israeli leaders and people makes it difficult to arrive at a rational assessment of the visit's longer term outcome. However, it can be said most Israelis now believe that Barack Hussein Obama is a true friend of the Jewish state. 

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March 02, 2013

IRAN & NETANYAHU'S COALITION CAPERS

Almaty, Khazakhstan has now joined the list of exotic venues for the Great Power negotiations with Iran - aside from that nothing else has changed. The Iranians continued to string along the P5 +1, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, as they did so skillfully in Geneva, Istanbul, Moscow and Baghdad. The scene may shift but the Iranian nuclear negotiators always stick to their two-step routine - one step forward and one step back.

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