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August 01, 2018

NETANYAHU & ROUHANI (AND THEIR HOUR OF HUBRIS)

First to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" This old adage has just caught up with Bibi after he conducted a highly successful diplomatic feat in blocking Iran's plans to establish a military base for threatening Israel from Syria. Netanyahu has gained the backing of both Presidents Trump and Putin. It comes as no surprise that Trump is in Israel's corner, but Putin is a different matter. However, at their recent meeting, the Russian leader told Bibi that he has no objection to Israeli airstrikes on the Iranian military buildup in Syria. Moreover, the Russian ambassador to Israel has reportedly said that Moscow cannot prevent Israel from attacking the Iranians, but on the other hand, neither can it dictate Iran's withdrawal from Syria.

Although Netanyahu has still not found a fail-safe tactic for halting Hamas firebombing from Gaza, this does not pose an existential threat to the Jewish state. However, Iranian forces closing in on the Syrian front is something that Israel will not tolerate. So Bibi was riding high in opinion polls, and if a snap election were called he would likely return as new Prime Minister, despite police investigations on four financial cases.

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July 22, 2018

GAZA & GOLAN - ISRAEL JOINS THE DOTS

All quiet on the Gaza front, for the time being. How long now depends on Hamas. If the ceasefire holds, and that includes the Palestinian firebombing of Israeli civilians, Israel will again permit 1,000 trucks a day to deliver good and produce to poverty-stricken Gaza. If not, the latest Israeli blitz of Gaza was a taste of what will come next.

Indeed, it may be the intervention of Bulgarian diplomat Nickolay Mladenov, in his UN role, persuaded Israel and Hamas to abide by his stern demand to "step back" immediately. From Israel's perspective, both the government and public opinion were fed up after the three months of Hamas firebombing. It was only by sheer luck that Israeli civilians were not killed. In one case, a kindergarten teacher suddenly spotted a helium firebomb about to land on her children. She barely managed to rush her toddlers to safety.

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July 10, 2018

THE HOLOCAUST CASTS ITS GRIM SHADOW OVER ISRAEL

First the facts: Poland itself was invaded by Nazi Germany at the outset of WWII. At the same time, there are reams of documented evidence, including photographs, proving that many Poles participated in pogroms and reporting Jews to the Nazis. Granted, there was a smaller number of some 6,000 Polish citizens who risked their lives in saving Jews and who have been rightly honored by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. The bitter controversy flared last February when the Polish Parliament passed a law that imposed a three-year prison sentence on anyone who contended that the Poles had collaborated with the Nazi regime. There was immediate outrage in Israel and among many historians who had researched the Holocaust. The clash even threatened to sabotage relations between Jerusalem and Warsaw.

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July 02, 2018

ISRAEL "RESETS" ON SYRIAN CIVIL WAR

The outcome is obvious. Russian fighter-bombers are bombing the Syrian revel forces into oblivion. The rebels, who are also being pursued by President Assad's ground forces, are being driven south to within view of the Israeli border. Along the way, the Russian-led Juggernaut is destroying Syrian towns and villages where the rebels are making a last stand. Dozens of Syrian civilians are being killed and wounded daily in the crossfire. This has triggered a frantic flow of tens of thousands of civilians seeking shelter, from where? The direction of the Jewish state. Meanwhile, Israel has been supplying the Syrian refugees with humanitarian aid, baby food, tents, medicine, etc. In addition, the IDF has stepped up one of the least known secrets in the region - during the seven-year civil war it has been treating wounded Syrian civilians in need of critical medical care. These cases, now over 2,500, have been quietly transferred across the border at night to be treated at several IDF field hospitals. Emergency cases are rushed to a nearby hospital for intensive care and more complicated operations. The Identity of these Syrian patients must be kept secret for fear of reprisals after they are returned home to Syria. (They would be suspected by Assad's forces of having been turned into Israeli agents - even the many wounded children!)

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June 25, 2018

THE CLOCK IS TICKING IN ISRAEL - EARLY ELECTION AND ESCALATION IN GAZA?

It seems as though life is never dull for Israelis. Gaza: Hamas continues its "scorched earth" campaign. Days ago, Israeli military reporters disclosed the IDF had devised a hi-tech solution to intercept waves of Palestinian kites and balloons carrying incendiary bombs into Israel. However, these reports have proved to premature. These kites and balloons have now torched thousands of acres of Israeli farmland and forest with some 20-30 new fires daily. Firefighters are rushing from one blaze to another, dousing the flames, while Israeli residents are demanding the government order the IDF to take off the gloves. So far, the Israeli objective has been to develop less lethal means than firepower to deter Hamas.

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June 17, 2018

"IF NORTH KOREA IS HERE, CAN THE PALESTINIANS AND IRAN BE FAR BEHIND?"

Was it a Hollywood extravagance or a turning point in world history, maybe even with a future impact on Iran? Of course, only time will tell. All the praise or criticism of Trump is sheer speculation.

Naturally, Israel hopes it will also affect Iran's drive for nuclear weapons. Leading Israeli experts, such as Menashe Amir, see signs that the ayatollahs are worried that Trump may parlay the Singapore summit to mobilize greater pressure on Tehran. His scrapping of the 2015 deal has already forced several big European concerns to cancel lucrative deals with Iran for fear of being sanctioned by Washington. Most notably, the Nike decision to bar the Iranian soccer squad from wearing Nike sports shoes at the current World Cup. It's no contest when having to choose between doing business in the American and Iranian economies.

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June 11, 2018

"EYELESS IN GAZA" - ISRAEL LOOKS FOR NEW SOLUTIONS

For 12 weeks, thousands of Gaza's men, women, and children have been trying to break through the border fence into Israel. Israeli soldiers have stood in the breech with marksmen opening fire at the leaders and Hamas terrorists who are leading their charge. Over 130 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more wounded (including a female medic that was also filmed throwing firebombs into Israel). The Palestinians have been burning tires that create huge clouds of black smoke that pour into Israel. Using this for cover, Hamas terrorists among the civilians try to get as close to the border as possible to open fire at the Israelis.

It is fair to say that the force and determination of the Palestinian violence first took the IDF by surprise. This resulted in over 60 Palestinians being killed on one day. The troops were ordered that on no account would the Palestinians be allowed to cross the border and symbolically mark what they call "the march of return". At present they have succeeded in torching thousands of acres of Israeli farmland by sending incendiary kites and balloons over the border.

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June 03, 2018

WHY GAZA WILL GET WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER

The violence along the Israel-Gaza border has spiraled out of control. In fact, it will likely get worse before it gets better. The background: in order to understand what is going on today it is necessary to put it in the Barbra Tuchman, "Looking back from the light on the stern." The two million or so Palestinians living in Gaza are led by Hamas, extreme as they get, focused on the destruction of the Jewish State. It's no two-state solution - it's winner takes all. In the Six-Day War, the IDF occupied Gaza and Israel came and built settlements there. However, in 2005, PM Ariel Sharon dismantled all the settlements and withdrew IDF forces to the Israeli border. Now, instead of exploiting Israel's pullback and seeking a similar withdrawal from the occupied West Bank, the Palestinians converted Gaza into a launchpad for terrorism against Israel. (This despite the fact that American officials quietly advised the Palestinians to call off the terrorism as this would enable them to seek a similar Israeli pullout from the West Bank.) However, this would have required the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the Jewish State. This would have meant the Palestinian refugees would not be returning to their former homes in Israel.

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March 27, 2000

We don't need another failure

 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.

 

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March 23, 2018

WHY HAS ISRAEL SUDDENLY ADMITTED IT BOMBED SYRIAN NUCLEAR REACTOR OVER TEN YEARS AGO?

Amid all the hullabaloo in Israel, one key question remains unanswered: why has Jerusalem now seen fit to admit that eight of its aircraft on the night of September 6th, 2007 flew over part of Turkey to bomb and obliterate a secret nuclear reactor being built by the North Koreans in the Syrian desert?

It was a known fact throughout the Middle East that Israel had carried out the air strike - in fact, US officials had actually confirmed it shortly after the fact. And, indirectly, none other than the then Opposition, Leader Bibi Netanyahu, in a TV interview when asked about 'foreign reports' about a mysterious Israeli operation across the northern border. Bibi simply said that he 'wholeheartedly' supported such an operation. However Israeli censorship totally banned the Israeli media from reporting that Israel had carried out the daring mission. That is until now. Suddenly like another bolt out of the blue, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the chief Israeli censor usually a high-ranking IDF officer and a special public committee have taken the wraps completely off. Not only that, senior military and intelligence figures have been given clearance to discuss their role in the operation, without having to first clear it with the official censor. During my fifty year career as a war correspondent and political reporter, I have never seen anything like it! The actual pilots, Intelligence chiefs, the Mossad official involved up to then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, all taking a piece of the media frenzy and vying for part of the glory. 

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March 14, 2018

NETANYAHU - ISRAEL'S WINSTON CHURCHILL OR RICHARD NIXON?

For two weeks Israel has been totally absorbed in a political frenzy focused on Prime minister Bibi Netanyahu and the question - is he an Israeli Winston Churchill or a Richard Nixon. The subject of no less than four full-blown investigations into corruption charges, Bibi was battling for his political life and possibly over serving jail time. He rose to the occasion - at his best, or worst, depending on whether you love or detest him. Contending that he was the victim of a witch-hunt, the PM portrayed himself as an Israel Winston C Churchill and only he can take on the threats to the Jewish state today, first and foremost Iran's vow to annihilate it (besides, Bibi also loves cigars). To the state-witnesses and mounting evidence that he was involved in a series of seedy dealings, Netanyahu pleaded innocent and declared loud and clear to the Israeli public: 'I am not a crook!'

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February 25, 2018

MAY OPENING OF US EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM TORPEDOES PALESTINIAN CAMPAIGN TO DELEGITIMIZE JEWISH STATE

What could be more historically just! Jerusalem, documented by the Old Testament as becoming Israel's capital three thousand years ago after being captured by King David; where the Israelites, the forefathers of today's Israelis, later built the Holy Temple, now officially recognized in word and deed by the greatest democracy in the world - the United States of America. President Donald Trump has decreed an American embassy will be opened on May 14th, Israel's Independence Day. Jerusalem, whose very name is derived from the Hebrew word 'shalom' for peace, and has always been the heart and soul of the Jewish people ever since they were exiled from the city by the Roman conquerors in 70A.D. The same Roman Empire that even tried to sever the Jews unbreakable bond with Jerusalem changing the city's name to 'Aelia Capitolina' - 'the conquered city'. But they never succeeded, nor did the other persecutors of the Jews during the following twenty centuries of Jewish exile. Throughout the ages Jerusalem always remained at the heart of the Jewish soul: 

'If I forget thee, O' Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget its cunning!'


And: 'God willing, next year in Jerusalem!'
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February 04, 2018

ISRAEL TO LEBANON - STOP BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!

In the space of several, short days - Israeli military and civilian leaders had fired salvos of dire warnings to Lebanon. They all targeted Iran's mounting military presence in Lebanon, Israel's northern neighbor. Tehran already has armed to the teeth its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah force that is actually more powerful than the official Lebanese Army. Remember that Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah triggered the Second Lebanese War with Israel in 2006 by conducting a cross-border raid that killed a number of IDF soldiers and kidnapped two more. Now after Iran and Hezbollah's extensive campaign in the Syrian civil war has kept President Bashar Assad in power, Iran and Hezbollah are now bent on building their military threat against Israel from inside Lebanon. Israeli intelligence has discovered that Iran plans on constructing an installation to assemble precision surface to surface missiles to bombard Israeli targets, probably including its crucial offshore natural gas project in the Mediterranean.

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January 28, 2018

ISRAEL - ANGER TRUMP AT YOUR PERIL!

Don't mess with US President Donald Trump. That's the lesson the shell-shocked Palestinians are digesting after his startling decisions recently. First, although the irascible leader of the Free World often seems to let his mouth run on ahead of his brain, there are times when he means what he says. First Trump sent his two negotiators, Greenblatt and Kushner, to start forging a peace proposal. However, they could not get past the total Palestinian rejection of any Israeli rights in Jerusalem (built by King David over three thousand years ago and whose very name is derived from the Hebrew language). So Trump simply 'took it off the table' by recognizing it as Israel's capital. But he also stressed that the White House was not setting any permanent lines - that would be up to Israel and the Palestinians in future negotiations. Nonetheless, Abbas hit the roof and hauled Trump and his negotiators over the coals. In an angry diatribe in Arabic, Abbas added fuel to the flames by referring directly to Trump with the saying: 'May your house be destroyed!' This went over big with his Palestinian audience but less so in the White House.

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January 14, 2018

ISRAEL TAKES ON TUNNELS, TERROR, AND IRAN

Israel is now engaged in an active low-intensity war on three fronts: Gaza, the West Bank and the Iranian-Hezbollah forces in Syria. In the past week or so, there has been a noticeable escalation in hostile activity in these three arenas. However, the IDF has things well in hand, so much so that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was able to fly off on an official visit to India. However, his prodigal son Yair, after his latest escapade, was left behind. More on Yair's caper later.

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December 08, 2017

TRUMP'S JERUSALEM ANNOUNCEMENT PULLS OUT RUG FROM UNDER PALESTINIAN STRATEGY

It is not just America's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, important as that may be. And what is more natural and just than recognizing the 'City of David' which was founded over three thousand years ago, long before Washington, Moscow, London, Paris, or even Ottawa existed? Its very name, Jerusalem, is derived from the Hebrew language and spoken by Israelis today.

The fact is that President Trump's historic decision has bankrupt the long-standing policy of the Palestinian 'peace camp'. And this is why: the Palestinians have long been divided, since the Arabs lost their 1967 war against Israel, on how to force Israel back to the old 'Green' cease-fire line of 1967 without recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

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November 26, 2017

ISRAELI PEACE MAKING & MUSLIM BLOODBATH IN SINAI

Friday morning at a packed mosque near the town of el-Arish in Sinai:

Thousands of Sunni Muslims have packed the Mosque for the traditional Friday morning prayers. Suddenly, four or five pickup trucks speed toward the Mosque where a throng has gathered outside. In the vehicles, an estimated 20 terrorists open fire with machine guns spraying the bystanders. Simultaneously, explosive charges blow up inside the building. The terrorists then run inside firing RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and machine gun the worshippers. Pandemonium – terror at its worst! The panic-stricken worshippers, many of them Egyptian off-duty soldiers, race for the exits. But in the packed building, it is almost impossible to escape. Some of the shooters even go from wounded to wounded shooting them dead at point blank range.

It is hard to envisage this diabolical inferno. The terrorists, after an estimated 20 minutes, then run back to their pickups and make their get-away. It is the worst terrorist atrocity in Egypt's history. At this time 305 Egyptian Muslims have been massacred and another 500 have been wounded, some of them critically. Daesh wanted to make a point; they have been beaten in Syria and Iraq but they are still alive and kicking.

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November 12, 2017

ISRAEL WARNS GAZA & SYRIA/IRAN TO BACK OFF BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!

In an unprecedented step, IDF Gen. Yoav Mordechai has gone on TV to warn Gaza's leaders that Israel knows they are planning a retaliatory strike against Israel and that the IDF will hit back hard. Speaking in Arabic, Gen. Mordechai said that Islamic Jihad and Hamas 'were playing with fire'. Two weeks ago, Israeli jets blew up a terror tunnel inside Israeli territory for infiltrating terrorists to kill and kidnap capture Israeli civilians near the kibbutz of Kissufim. Fourteen terrorists were killed, including several top leaders of Islamic Jihad. Five of them are still believed to be buried under the rubble because Israel refuses to permit Islamic Jihad them to dig out their bodies unless the Palestinians also agree to return the bodies of two IDF soldiers who were killed and kidnapped during an actual cease-fire over three years ago. The Palestinians refuse.

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November 05, 2017

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: 'LEBANESE LEADER HARIRI'S WARNING ABOUT IRAN SHOULD BE A WAKE-UP CALL FOR WORLD LEADERS!'

Speaking in Saudi Arabia, Hariri also said he feared for his life. And with good reason – in 2005 Hezbollah terrorists apparently assassinated his father Rafik Hariri, who then served as Prime Minister. Four Hezbollah suspects are being tried in absentia by the International Court in the Hague. The Hariri family is Sunni Muslim while Iran and Hezbollah are Shiite. But not only Lebanon is being threatened by Tehran. In Hariri's words:

       'Iran is sowing fear and destruction in several Middle East countries'.

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October 29, 2017

ISRAEL TO IRAN: 'IT'S YOUR CALL ON GOLAN HEIGHTS!'

Iran's Chief of Staff, Joe Blow, has just toured southern Syria, just north of the Syrian border on the Golan Heights with Israel. His message was loud after sending Iranian boots on the ground to help Syrian President Bashar Assad win the civil war - Tehran would now like to turn southern Syria into a forward base against Israel - like it has in southern Lebanon with the Shiite Hezbollah army right under the noses of the UN peace monitors, who were supposed to prevent it. One problem - Israel isn't having it. The IDF has drawn a line in the sand; another Iranian military build-up in southern Syria will be met by force. This includes any further attempts to transport sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. This Israeli message has been conveyed to Moscow, which ignored Israel's vital security interests by not stipulating that Iranian forces should not move into the Syrian border region to threaten Israel. And that is why the IDF destroyed a Syrian missile battery that launched a rocket at Israeli jets flying over neighboring Lebanon. Read More...