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Showing Results 221-240 of 303 for Obama Iran
August 31, 2010

Netanyahu's Tightrope In Washington

 With U.S. President Barack Obama presiding, Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are set to launch New peace talks in Washington on Sept.2nd. However, a major clash is threatening to torpedo this latest peace effort. Netanyahu has said he is committed to start rebuilding in Israeli settlements in Judea & Samaria (West Bank) after Israel's unilateral building suspension expires on Sept 26th. - Abbas warns that he'll walk out of the talks if Israel builds anew. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses Israel's approach to the new peace talks.

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August 18, 2010

Secret U.S.-Russian Deal On Bushehr?

Iran is set to join the 'Nuclear Club' on August 21st - that's when Russia will install nuclear fuel rods in the core of Iran's nuclear reactor at Bushehr. Surprisingly, Israeli government officials have not condemned the step that will upgrade Iran's nuclear capability and that could, if unchecked, even provide plutonium from the spent fuel rods for the eventual production of a nuclear bomb. Iranian affairs analyst Menashe Amir believes there is more to the Bushehr case than meets the eye.

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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 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 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 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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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 30, 2010

Obama's Sellout Vs. Netanyahu's Debacle

 Israeli officials were convinced that U.S. President Barack Obama's invitation to Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was a good omen. After the wrangling over Israeli settlement building in Judea & Samaria and east Jerusalem, Israeli-U.S. relations were back on track. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel even delivered the invitation during a private visit to Israel, where he was welcomed warmly. One Israeli daily even went as far as to quote Netanyahu as declaring in private 'I won!' Then came the bombshell; the U.S. for the first time in some forty years voted in favor of a UN decision for a conference in 2012 to discuss international inspection of Israel's nuclear facilities. IsraCast analyst David Essing says even Netanyahu's political rivals are flabbergasted by the U.S. vote.

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May 19, 2010

Iran's 'Peace In Our Time' Ploy

 True to form, the Iranians have come up with a new ruse for derailing the current U.S. campaign for imposing harsher sanctions to force Tehran to halt its nuclear weapons program. With the threat of fresh sanctions fast approaching, President Ahmadenijad met with Brazilian President da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to hammer out what they have presented as a 'breakthrough' to the current Iranian nuclear crisis. But when the fine print was disclosed, the three ecstatic leaders recalled the images of Chamberlain, Hitler and Deladier at Munich.

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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 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 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 20, 2010

Quiet Diplomacy & Counter Terror

Who were the ten men and one woman who arrived discreetly at Dubai airport, tracked down Hamas kingpin Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, assassinated him in his hotel room and then departed all within nineteen hours. The fact that six of them traveled on fraudulent passports in the names of six British citizens now living in Israel pointed to the Mossad Secret Service known for its daring operations in the past. At Dubai's request, Interpol has issued warrants for the eleven suspects while British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has ordered a 'full investigation' after the summoning of the Israeli ambassador for an explanation at the Foreign Office. Israel is staying mum although quiet contacts will likely calm the diplomatic storm.

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February 14, 2010

Closing The Ring On Iran

 By enriching uranium from 3% to 20%, Iran appears to have startled most of the international community into finally believing that her ultimate goal is to acquire nuclear weapons. However China, which can cast a veto in the UN Security Council against stiffer sanctions, is still holding out. Amid the mounting tension, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be flying to Moscow to discuss the situation with Russian leaders, while U.S. Admiral Mike Mullen flies to Israel. Meanwhile Brig.Gen.(res.) Uzi Eilam, a former top Israeli nuclear official, has contended that although Iran's move was dramatic, the Iranians apparently still do not have the required capability to build an atomic bomb.

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