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Showing Results 41-60 of 326 for Olmert
March 19, 2013

'BIBI' COZIES UP TO BARACK

 Two days before U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu presented his new coalition government to the Knesset, Israel's parliament. The House approved the new cabinet by a 68 seat majority in the 120 member House. In his address, Netanyahu referred to the imminent visit of U.S. President Barack Obama.

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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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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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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 22, 2012

Statecraft of Obama, Netanyahu and Morsi

 As of 21:00 hours local time, the Palestinian rockets from Gaza ceased flying through the air bound for Israeli towns and villages while Israeli aircraft stopped raiding Hamas targets in Gaza. The latest round in the latest slugfest between Gaza and Israel was over. Egypt's President Muhamed Morsi, the surprising Muslim Brotherhood leader, is now charged with overseeing that both sides honor the new truce. The silent and final arbitrator in this unlikely scenario is U.S. President Barack Obama who has skillfully pulled his substantial levers with both sides, possibly for the benefit of one and all, including the Palestinians in Gaza. Analyst David Essing is of the view that the process of achieving the latest ceasefire could be of paramount importance.

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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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November 05, 2012

Kahlon's Cold Feet and Abbas's Hot Tip

 What is the impact of Likud Cabinet Minister's Moshe Kahlon's final decision not to form a new party to run against the Likud in the upcoming election? Kahlon's shooting star has now burned out and the campaign will now turn to whether former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will again throw his hat into the ring to lead a new Center bloc or whether he will succumb to his numerous legal problems. From another quarter, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has also got into the action by trying to stir up interest in the moribund Palestinian issue. Analyst David Essing has this election update.

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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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October 09, 2012

Early Israeli Election & Iran

 Israeli voters are going to an early election, probably some time in February. In a statement to the nation, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blamed his coalition partners for refusing to put their party interest above the national interest - they had refused to agree on drafting a responsible state budget. Netanyahu's decision had been widely expected and came as no surprise to the Israeli people. IsraCast analyst David Essing says the PM's announcement has implications for the current crisis with Iran - it is highly improbable that Netanyahu would press for an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear target's during an Israeli election campaign.

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June 10, 2012

Netanyahu - Settler Showdown

 The recent inclusion of the Kadima party into the coalition has already paid dividends for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. With Kadima's support, the PM was able to sail through Right wing opposition, even from inside his Likud party, and comply with a Supreme Court ruling to evict Israeli residents from five buildings built on West Bank land that belonged to a Palestinian owner. Meanwhile just over the borders in Egypt and Syria, Analyst David Essing is of the view that the term 'Arab Spring' has obviously become a media oxymoron.

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October 14, 2011

SGT. Gilad Shalit & All Our Sons

 If all goes according to plan, IDF Sergeant Gilad Shalit will be exchanged for 1027 Palestinian terrorists on October 18th. Although Israel refused to free some top Hamas terrorists, Hamas claims that it achieved 'more than 90% of its demands'. Hamas chief Haled Meshal has also indicated that he will launch more attacks to kidnap IDF soldiers to use as bargaining chips for freeing the remaining 8,000 terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons. Nonetheless, IsraCast analyst David Essing is of the view that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has massive public support for the lopsided prisoner swap.

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October 01, 2011

Israel Snapshot - Jewish New Year 5772

Israelis celebrated the New Jewish Year 5722 with the 'Arab Spring' yet to run its course and certainly with results that will have far reaching ramifications for their country. Against this backdrop, the young generation of Israelis have ignited the vision of a more egalitarian society and they are about to launch a new campaign to achieve it.

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September 18, 2011

Israeli-Palestinian Uncharted Territory

West Bank Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniya, the Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza, have again crossed swords - this time over the attempt by Abbas to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state, based on the lines of June 4th,1967. This implies Abbas's recognition of Israel in the remaining territory. However in Gaza, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, who represents at least half of the Palestinian population has categorically rejected the Abbas move declaring: 'The Palestinians will never recognize Israel or give up an inch of their land!' Hamas, an ally of Iran, also subscribes to Tehran's vow to wipe Israel 'off the map'. In effect, Mahmoud Abbas will be calling on the UN to recognize a Palestinian state that also declares its intention to annihilate another UN member state.

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December 18, 2010

Israeli-Palestinian Diplomatic Warfare

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas show no signs of budging. U.S. envoys George Mitchell and Dennis Ross have returned to the Middle East in a new attempt to break the deadlock but Netanyahu rejects a new settlement moratorium while Abbas will not negotiate unless there is a new freeze. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses the situation which has turned into a diplomatic war that Israel does not appear to be winning.

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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 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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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 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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