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IsraCast Archive | March-April 2017

Remembrance Day - Yizkor Prayer

 Yom Hazikaron, a day of remembrance for those who fell in the struggle for the establishment of the State of Israel and in its defense, is marked during the 24 hours preceding Yom Haatsmaut (Israel's Independence Day). Listen to the Yizkor Remembrance prayer, in memory of the fallen of the Israel Defense Forces, by Dan Kaner.



It's not official yet, but President Donald Trump is expected to arrive in Israel next month. It's a safe bet that he will prod Israel and the Palestinians to show progress on the peace track that has hit a dead end. Make no mistake, Trump can use something to show in the international arena now that he has those famous 'one hundred days' under his belt. In fact, he's showing signs of some 'wear and tear'.

'I loved my previous life - I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.'

Previously, the tycoon Trump did not have to cope with such pesky problems as the U.S. Constitution, political rivals and the 'checks and balances' of American politics. If some of the hired help failed to deliver, he could just shout at him or her 'You're fired!' Now it is far more complicated with many more hurdles to overcome on the path from setting a goal and actually reaching it.


The Armenian Genocide

 The Armenian genocide refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction (genocide) of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was implemented through wholesale massacres and deportations, with the deportations consisting of forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees. The total number of resulting Armenian deaths is generally held to have been between one and one and a half million.


Yitzhak Ben-Zvi (1884-1963)

Yitzhak Ben-Zvi was a historian, Labor Zionist leader, and the second and longest-serving President of Israel.



Almost overnight, Hezbollah has blatantly demonstrated that it is the ruling power in Lebanon, with all that entails, if and when Iran orders it to launch another war against Israel. This was a known fact, but Hezbollah has now seen fit to visibly demonstrate it to the formal Lebanese government in Beirut and also to the Jewish state. This is what has transpired, the importance of which should not be underestimated:

April 20th: A senior Hezbollah officer in uniform, and accompanied by armed Hezbollah fighters, leads a group of reporters along the Lebanese-Israeli border. He is the military power in charge and explains in detail how the IDF is deeply concerned about Hezbollah's growing strength and has hunkered down in defensive positions for fear of Hezbollah. To all intents and purposes, it was Hezbollah that represented the Lebanese government and not the Lebanese Army, which was out of sight and sound.


Samir Kuntar Murders Israeli Family

Samir Kuntar is a Lebanese Terrorist who belonged to the Palestine Liberation Front. He participated in an attack on an Israeli family in 1979, and murdered three Israelis: a 28 year-old man, his 4-year-old daughter, and an Israeli policeman; the man's 2 year-old daughter suffocated as her mother tried to quiet her crying.


Israel's War of Independence

On May 15, 1948, day after the creation of the State of Israel, the armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon invaded the new Jewish state.



IsraCast update:

Has China leaned on North Korea to deliberately sabotage its own missile test? If so, it would be a crafty stratagem to diffuse the dangerous confrontation between North Korea and the US. All sides will now be able to step back from what could have escalated into an explosion no country wants at this stage. Overall, it looks a little fishy - if this was not a planned stunt, it should have been.


The Hadassah Medical Convoy Massacre

The Hadassah medical convoy massacre took place on April 13, 1948, when a civilian convoy, escorted by Haganah militia, bringing medical and fortification supplies and personnel to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus was ambushed by Arab forces. Seventy-nine Jews, including doctors and nurses, were killed in the attack.



The aftershock of the US military strike has shaken the globe far beyond Syria. President Trump showed the world that if necessary, he will 'put his money where his mouth is'. Russia's own Machiavellian Vladimir Putin probably admires Trump for it. But those 59 Tomahawk missiles served not only as a cynical super-power ploy, they were also blow dealt in the name of international morality against the Syrian war criminal Bashar Assad.


Is Obama worse than Chamberlain?

The comparison between Lausanne 2015 and Munich 1938 lets Iran off lightly, as Germany at the time wasn't calling for 'Death to the Jews'.

 When Jan Masaryk, the foreign minister of Czechoslovakia at the time, heard first-hand the English Parliament greet Neville Chamberlain's announcement about a summit meeting with Adolf Hitler with raucous applause, he was rather confused. After all, the threatening German leader was demanding appeasement in the form of a piece of Masaryk's own country. The summit took place two days later. Representatives of Czechoslovakia weren't even invited. They were simply notified. The rest is history.




Remember Henry's Kissinger's 'constructive ambiguity'? We are now seeing President Trump's version of it, possibly on the advice of his special emissary Jason Greenblatt, who recently visited the region to meet separately with Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. But how can Bibi's decision to establish a new settlement, the first new one in 25 years, aid in a resumption of peace negotiations? (All the other construction of housing units was within the boundaries of existing settlements on the West Bank).


Chaim Herzog (1918-1997)

Israel's sixth president, Israel's ambassador to the UN, Member of the Knesset and an outstanding figure in Modern Jewish history.


We don't need another failure

Given upheaval in Arab world, Obama needs to ask himself why he thinks a Palestinian state is viable right now; meanwhile, Israel's right needs to understand that its actions are leading to a bi-national state.

 Two days after the Israeli elections, Islamic State carried out suicide attacks at two mosques in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, murdering around 150 individuals. The day before, an Islamic State offshoot perpetrated a terror attack in Tunisia that killed 23 people, mostly tourists. During the same two-day period, seven people were murdered in an attack in Kathua, India, and 70 bodies were discovered in Damasak, Nigeria. Who heard? During the course of February, 1,977 people were murdered by Jihadists around the globe – all in acts of terror only. And as I write these words, reports are coming in about massacres being carried out by Iraqi-Iranian forces in the city of Tikrit, Iraq.




What motivated a 52-year-old citizen, born and bred in Britain, to attack the sacred 'Mother of Parliaments' while running over, stabbing and shooting scores of his fellow countrymen? It was yet another road mark in the 'Clash of Civilizations' that radical Islam is waging world-wide. Even Canada, with no imperial past to atone for, was targeted in October 2014. The British terrorist, Adrian Elms, was apparently converted to Islam in prison when he served a term for stabbing, and adopted his new name of Khalid Masood. Daesh has confirmed he acted in its name. What may have sent him around the bend may have been the heavy bombing now being inflicted by the US-led coalition on the Daesh force in the Iraqi city of Mosul. The Daesh 'capital city' of Raqqa in Syria is next in line. In response, Daesh Internet has adopted the old Marxist battle-cry with its version, 'Muslims of the world unite - come and join our forces in the Middle East, but if you cannot, kill the infidels wherever you can!'


Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat sign on the peace agreement between the two states.


Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman to Syria: “IDF will destroy all of Syria’s anti-aircraft defenses if Syria again fires missiles at Israeli jets.”

At the same time , Lieberman repeated Netanyahu’s warning that Israel will continue attacking “game-changing” weapons shipments via Syria to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Lieberman stressed, “Israel certainly has no intention of a confrontation with Russia and is not for or against Assad in the ongoing civil war."

The night of March 16th: Several Israeli jets fly into Syrian airspace. They head in the direction of Palmyra and then apparently rocket another truck convoy of advanced weaponry bound for Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. After destroying their targets, the Israeli aircraft then turn to fly back to Israel. On the way out, the Syrian army launches Russian-supplied SA-5 anti-aircraft missiles at them. They miss their target but one of the missiles flies off in the direction of Israel. Israel's Arrow 3 missile defense then kicks in. Arrow 3 is designed to intercept ballistic missiles in space but it also logs on to the errant Syrian missile headed for Israel. It could conceivably land in an Israeli community and so the decision is taken to intercept it with Arrow 3, which destroys it in mid-air. The boom is reportedly heard in Jerusalem, and parts of the SA-5, one of Russia's most advanced missiles, also land in neighboring Jordan.



The state's two top leaders have returned from similar missions - Prime Minister Netanyahu went to Moscow and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to Washington to determine how Israel can better 'coordinate' strategic policies with Russia and the U.S. There are several urgent reasons for doing so as a new strategic landscape is fast emerging in the region in the wake of the Iranian nuclear deal and the winding down of the Syrian Civil War; and in fact, there is a link between the two.


Test your glucose level without drawing blood

Israeli maker of GlucoTrack believes its noninvasive meter will encourage people with Type 2 diabetes to check glucose levels more often.

People with diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance are advised to spot-check their blood-glucose levels several times daily to reduce the risk of serious complications. That’s a lot of finger-pricking, considering that about 700 million people fall into one of those categories. The Israeli company Integrity Applications put more than a decade into developing GlucoTrack, described as the first truly noninvasive system for self-monitoring glucose levels.



It was not Israel's finest hour. State Comptroller Yosef Shapira has lambasted both Israel's political and military echelons for their conduct before and during the 'Protective Edge' military campaign against Hamas in Gaza in the summer of 2014. Sixty-eight Israelis and five civilians were killed in the war that was triggered by the Hamas kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz barely received a passing mark. They were all found to be at fault for their failure to prepare to deal with the tunnels dug by Hamas under the border into Israel that cost many Israeli lives.


David Rubinger (1924-2017)

David Rubinger was an Israeli photographer and photojournalist. Nicknamed by Shimon Peres "the photographer of the nation in the making", he spent his professional career chronicling the story of the nation of Israel, and is perhaps most remembered by his famous photograph of three Israeli paratroopers at the Western Wall just 20 minutes following the recapture of the Western Wall and the decisive Israeli victory of the Six-Day War. The picture went on to become an iconic image to Israel's national narrative, inspiring national pride and Zionism. Because of the strong emotions it invoked, in 2001 Israeli Supreme Court Justice Misha'el Kheshin declared that the photo had "become the property of the entire nation."


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IsraCast Archive | March-April 2017

IsraCast Archive