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Showing Results 41-60 of 155 for Livni
February 23, 2013

ISRAEL'S WEEK – COALITION, IRAN, TURKEY, PALESTINIANS

BIBI DOESN'T GET IT, YET!

Israel's coalition crisis drags on with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu still unable to cobble together a new government that can command a solid majority in the 120 member Knesset. In fact, King Bibi is now facing a determined bid by two apparent heirs to his throne: Yair Lapid of 'There's A Future' and Naftali Bennett of 'Jewish Home' parties.

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February 07, 2013

BARACK OBAMA & BIBI'S COALITION PUZZLE

The timing is critical - smack in the middle of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's complex coalition consultations U.S. President Barack Obama announces a long overdue visit to Israel. Both the White House in Washington and Bibi's backers in Jerusalem are playing down any notion of a new U.S. peace initiative for Israel and the Palestinians. Perish the thought! But in international relations, actions speak louder than words.

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January 24, 2013

Israeli Elections - Nevertheless Bibi?

 It's a long way from over but there has already been a major shift in Israel's general election. Prime Minister Binyamin has suffered a major setback with his Likud-Beiteinu party dropping by 25% in its Knesset seats taking only thirty one seats. Newcomer Yair Lapid is the big winner; his 'Future' party', although expected to do well, is expected to win at least 19 seats. Lapid has now become kingmaker, unless Netanyahu wants to commit political suicide by sticking to his former ultra-orthodox parties and including the far Right Naftali Bennett. Analyst David Essing says the question is whether Netanyahu can now make an offer that Lapid will find hard to refuse and join a new Netanyahu government.

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January 21, 2013

Israel at the Ballot Box

 With Israeli society more polarized than ever, a staunchly right-wing government is only more likely to exacerbate these divisions. Gilead Sher and Olivia Holt-Ivry discuss the elections in Israel.

 Projecting elections is a risky task, even more so in Israel. At the end of the dramatic 1996 Election Day, the public went to bed with expectations of Shimon Peres as the next prime minister, only to awaken the following morning to Binyamin Netanyahu having won by a slim 30,000 votes. Beating all political commentators, politicians and analysts, the outcome of those elections — held after the traumatic assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin — should be a lesson in humility when predicting developments in the Israeli political arena. Consequently, the following is a guide for perplexed observers, rather than a projection of the general elections’ results.

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January 19, 2013

Israel's Perplexed Voters

 The Israeli election campaign has entered the home stretch with all the polls indicating that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud-Beiteinu party will win more seats than other. As things stand, Netanyahu could form a new coalition government with Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home party and the ultra-orthodox parties that could command a 63 seat majority in the 120 member Knesset. However analyst David Essing reports that the Left and Centrist parties contend there are as twenty seats that could be decided by floating voters; this means there is still a chance of closing the gap and forging a blocking majority. In any case, state President Shimon Peres will consult with all the parties that win seats and ask them whom they support for prime minister. Peres will then decide which leader has the best chance of forming a new coalition and authorize him or her to commence negotiations on building a coalition that will command a 61 seat majority in the Knesset.

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January 01, 2013

Israel's Ambassadors Criticize Governments Settlement Building

 Israeli ambassadors have dropped a bombshell on Israel's current election campaign. At a Foreign Ministry gathering of Israeli diplomats serving abroad, Israel's UN representative Ron Prosor appeared to take issue with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's recent decision to announce the building of 1300 new housing units in the area of E-1 near East Jerusalem on the West Bank. The Palestinians claim this construction would drive a wedge between a Palestinian state on the West Bank. Netanyahu said the announcement was in response to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's violation of the Oslo Accord in pushing for a Palestinian non-member observer state by the UN General Assembly on Nov.29th.

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December 23, 2012

Israel's Election Pyromania

 Are Israeli politicians from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on down now shooting from the hip in trying to attract voters in the January 22nd election? It appears so. Just listen to the rash of reckless rhetoric that is now being bandied about by some party leaders. Naftali Bennet, who heads the ultra Right-wing 'Jewish Home' party, has set fire to the campaign by stating "If I were an IDF soldier and was ordered to evacuate a Jewish settler from his home, I would first ask permission to be recused and if not, I would rather be sent to the military brig!" Analyst David Essing updates the election campaign that was kicked off by the ruling Likud-Beiteinu party this week.

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December 17, 2012

Palestinians & Israeli Elections

 What is the most dominant factor that determines the winner of an Israeli election campaign? Without fail it is how Israeli voters perceive Palestinian intentions and without fail the Palestinian leadership takes a hostile stance smack in the middle of the campaign. Analyst David Essing is of the view it is happening once again.

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December 08, 2012

George Orwell in Israeli-Palestinian Confrontation

 George Orwell can best cast light on the persistent claims of Hamas and by Israeli officials in the current confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians. Hamas leaders Khaled Mashal and Ismail Haniya claim an historic Palestinian victory over Israel in the recent eight day battle with Israel – nothing could be further from the truth. Hamas rocket teams and their weapons arsenals were clobbered in Gaza and they know it. On the other hand, after 138 nations in the UN General Assembly voted in favor of recognizing Palestine as a non- member observer state, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu adopted the old Arab adage of 'cutting off your nose to spite your face' by announcing plans to build 3,000 housing units linking Jerusalem with the Israeli town of Maale Adumim in Judea & Samaria (West Bank). This construction plan was condemned instantly by nearly one and all including Israel's closest allies, even Canada. Yet Netanyahu and his Likud cabinet ministers stand by the settlement decision as a fitting response to the flagrant violation of the Oslo Accord by West Bank Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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December 01, 2012

Isracast Weekend Report

 It is a diplomatic debacle for Israel - that is an accurate description of the massive support by the UN General Assembly for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Back in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu downplayed the impact charging that nothing had changed on the ground - only direct negotiations with Israel could ever lead to a Palestinian state. Moreover, by taking a unilateral step to bypass talks with Israel, Abbas had violated the Oslo Accord and two could play that game. Israel would also react with its own one-sided measures. Later Israeli officials announced government approval for the construction of 3,000 new housing units that will link the West Bank settlement town of Maale Adumin with Jerusalem. There is no question that Israel will insist on the area remaining part of Israel in any future peace agreement with the Palestinians.

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November 27, 2012

Likud Swings Right –Livni Enters & Barak Exits

While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu portrayed the new Likud list as 'a strong young national team', Labor's Shelly Yachimovich has blasted it as 'an extreme Right wing party with no social agenda'.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak probably left political life after his successful contribution to the recent Gaza operation before his party's poor showing in upcoming election. But he has also left his options open for a possible Netanyahu offer to return as defense minister if he forms the next government.

Tzipi Livni has entered the campaign claiming only she can attract moderate Likud supporters who are turned off by the new Likud ticket.

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November 10, 2012

Isracast Weekend Report: Now to Israel's Election Campaign!

 Will Barack Obama now retaliate against Israel for Bibi Netanyahu's betting on Mitt Romney? Netanyahu's rivals are attacking the Prime Minister for acting irresponsibly by showing his preference for the defeated Republican candidate. Although Netanyahu bet and he bet wrong, the issue is unlikely to be a game-changer in Israel's election campaign that has yet to move into top gear for January 22. First Likud and labor must hold their primaries for the party list of candidates and Shimon Peres, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni must decide once and for all whether to throw their hats into the ring. Meanwhile Netanyahu is trying vigorously to repair some of his damaged bridges with Obama with statements like: "I will continue to work with President Obama to protect the security interests of Israeli citizens". And the PM stressed:"The strategic alliance between Israel and the U.S. is stronger than ever'. (In all fairness it should be said that the much maligned Defense Minister Ehud Barak deserves most of the credit for the 'unprecedented' military collaboration between the two countries. Netanyahu often dispatched Barak on special missions to Washington to smooth over the not infrequent tiffs with the White House and keep relations on the rails with the Pentagon. But the overbearing Barak is often his own worst enemy when it comes to Israeli politics and his Independence party might not win even one seat in the election).

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October 31, 2012

Israeli Election - 'Biberman' Off and Running

 Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's gamble has paid off, so far. His proposal to merge the Likud with Avigdor Lieberman's was approved by a sea of yellow party cards at the Likud Convention in Tel Aviv. In the general election on January 22, they will run on a united party list called Likud - Betaynu, 'Likud is our home'. Although Netanyahu is off to a fast start leaving the Left still in the starting blocks, analyst David Essing is of the view that the dust has yet to settle in the election race.

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October 27, 2012

Why Netanyahu Did It!

 Why has Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu shocked Israel by running on the same ticket with Avigdor Lieberman, probably the most controversial Right-wing politician in the country? And how will this surprising partnership affect the general election slated for January 22. Netanyahu and Lieberman are selling their deal as a means to improve 'governance and political stability' at a time the state is facing the Iranian nuclear threat and economic challenges. However analyst David Essing is of the view that Netanyahu studied recent opinion polls and was alarmed by what he saw.

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March 30, 2012

Obama Blindsides Israel on Iran

'We do not see the latest sanctions or the new nuclear talks stopping Iran's nuclear weapons project' - Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak has stated this publically and privately. On the other hand, American officials have told the New York Times that an Israeli military strike against Iran 'could leave hundreds of Americans dead'. Other U.S. and Western sources have also been leaking information designed to influence the Israeli government and public opinion. Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Achmadinejad has declared: 'No one will stop Achmadinejad from building a nuclear weapon any time he decides to do so!' On the eve of a new round of nuclear talks, analyst David Essing is of the view that paradoxically the Iranian regime and the Obama administration are both interested in playing for time, albeit for different reasons.

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January 24, 2012

Preposterous Pundits & Israel

 From their vantage point thousands of miles away, foreign pundits love nothing better than preaching to Israel on how to cope with the Iranian nuclear threat. Recently, Roger Cohen of the New York Times and Andrew Adler formerly of the Atlantic Jewish Times Weekly took diametrically opposed positions, but both were preposterous in their own right. They centered on U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Meanwhile, back in in Israel, Maj. Gen.(Ret.) Amos Yadlin, the former commander of the IDF intelligence branch, who actually knows the facts, discussed the current reality that analyst David Essing compared to the fantasizing of Adler and Cohen.

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October 24, 2011

Barak's New Rules After Gilad Shalit

 Israeli leaders are now going back to the drawing board for drafting a new policy for prisoner exchanges. In a media blitz to the Israeli public, Defense Minister Ehud Barak has indicated the government will not carry out another lopsided prisoner swap - 1027 Palestinian terrorists for one kidnapped IDF soldier. After remaining silent during the recent public debate, Opposition leader Tzipi Livni of the Kadima party has now condemned the exchange as a blow to Israel that has strengthened Hamas and weakened the more moderate West Bank President Mahmoud Abbas.

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August 28, 2011

Palestinian Strategy - Terrorism Plus Diplomacy

 All quiet on Israel's new front with Egyptian-controlled Sinai and Hamas-dominated Gaza, but for how long? The eight days of violence, triggered by the deadly Sinai attacks that killed eight Israelis, has strained Israeli- Egyptian relations more than any thing else since the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty in 1979. Israel's top analysts have been assessing the current state of affairs after the border clash and the Palestinian diplomatic steps at the UN for recognition of a Palestinian state on the lines of 1967. David Essing sums up the views of Dr. Dore Gold, a former UN Ambassador and head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs who has documented Al Qaeda's recent move into Sinai.

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August 10, 2011

Israel's Fool's Paradise

 The stage has been set: hundreds of thousands of young Israelis have signaled Netanyahu they mean business and the PM has pledged to remedy their economic plight as best he can. But can the PM reset his capitalistic ideology for a more welfare state policy as demanded by the protestors. Analyst David Essing is of the view that the stakes are extremely high.

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July 31, 2011

Israel's Summer of Discontent

 Public opinion polls show over 80% of Israelis support the thousands of mostly young hard-working middle class citizens who have organized in tent camps throughout the country protesting their slide into poverty. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his coalition government have been stunned by the popular revolt that erupted over the exorbinate price of cottage cheese but has now spread to the tax code, education, health, you name it. IsraCast analyst David Essing says Netanyahu is now scrambling to placate the protestors who demand action and they want it now.

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