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April 15, 2019

THE RATIONALITY FOR NETANYAHU'S RE-ELECTION

How come Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, who faces three indictments for fraud, has won an unprecedented fifth election? Just three days after election day Israeli jets reportedly launched another devastating airstrike on an Iranian missile facility inside Syria. Israel, as usual, did not acknowledge the attack that caused severe damage and killed several militants, possibly members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu did make a statement: "Whoever threatens or endangers Israel, threatens or endangers themselves. Israel will respond with its power also to the north!"

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April 06, 2000

Is Obama worse than Chamberlain?

 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.

 

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March 29, 2019

ISRAELI ELECTION PREDICTION - IS NETANYAHU/GANTZ COALITION A REAL POSSIBILITY

With Election Day fast approaching on April 9, Netanyahu and Gantz are still running neck-and-neck. But, barring unforeseen circumstances, Bibi still has the best chance of forming another coalition because he can count on the other right-wing and religious parties to go over the required 61-seat majority in the 120-member Knesset.

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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 14, 2019

ISRAELI ELECTION RACE - BIBI WILL WIN UNLESS ...!

In the Israeli election, set for April 9th, the polls show Benny Gantz is still leading, but Bibi Netanyahu is still the favorite to become the next Prime Minister. And why is that? Unless Gantz wakes up and shakes up the campaign, his Blue & While Party may win a couple of seats more than Likud, but he will not be able to forge a 61-seat majority in the 120-member Knesset.

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February 18, 1943

The Tehran Children

The 'Tehran Children' was a group of about one thousand Jewish children, most of them orphans, who reached Palestine through Iran in February 1943. IsraCast brings you a sequence of photos which show the 'Tehran Children' arriving in Israel.

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February 17, 2019

CALCULUS OF CURRENT ISRAELI ELECTION CAMPAIGN

"It's security, stupid!"

And how could it be otherwise? Consider the recent, horrific terror attack. Ori Ansbacher, a 19-year-old Israel woman, was walking in the outskirts of Jerusalem when she was attacked, raped, and stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist from the West Bank. The DNA of 29-year-old Arafat Arfiya was found at the site, leading to his arrest within 48 hours. Police say he has confessed and reenacted the crime.

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January 22, 2019

IRAN & ISRAEL GO TO THE BRINK

Is it now Iran's call? For the first time, Iranian forces in Syria have attacked Israel by launching a missile at a target inside of Israeli territory - the winter resort at Mt. Hermon. Fortunately, for the thousands of Israelis in the area, and indeed even for the Iranian personnel stationed in Syria, Israel's Iron Dome Defense intercepted and shot down the Iranian missile. For, if it had landed and killed Israelis, it would have triggered a full-blown war with the Iranian forces in Syria.

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January 10, 2019

TRUMP TO ERDOGAN: "SPEAK LOUDLY AND CARRY A HUGE STICK"

What to make of it? The US Commander in Chief has just countermanded his previous order to withdraw the remaining two thousand troops from northeastern Syria within a month or so. This after previously informing Turkish dictator Erdogan in a casual telephone conversation. However, after consulting his top foreign policy advisor, John Bolton, Trump has put the kaibosh on Erdogan's plan to clobber the Kurds, maybe once and for all.

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January 01, 2019

IS TURKEY'S EROGAN PLANNING GENOCIDE ON THE KURDS?

Is Turkey planning a massacre of Kurdish rebels in the wake of US President Donald Tump's surprise decision to withdraw the remaining two-thousand American troops from Syria? Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not hiding his intention to punish the Kurds once and for all for their territorial games and drive for independence during the campaign in Syria against ISIS. For years, Turkey and the Kurds have been engaged in a brutal struggle over the Kurds' historic desire to establish an independent state. The Kurds, estimated to number some 30 million, live in a region known broadly as Kurdistan which is a contiguous spread over four separate states - Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Iran. How come this landlocked area with such a large indigenous population was simply left out of the New Middle East that was carved out by Britain and France during WWI? 

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November 27, 2018

ISRAELI "ROLLERCOASTER" SLOWS DOWN, BUT FOR HOW LONG?

"All quiet on the Isreali-Gaza front," at least, for the time being. After seven consecutive months of the continual firebombing of Israeli civilians, Hamas has reigned in tens of thousands of rioters, who also tried to break through the border fence and enter Israel. Hamas accepted an Egyptian cease-fire proposal based on a 30 million dollar payoff (in two installments) from the oil-rich Gulf State of Qatar. This eleventh-hour solution prevented another all-out war between Gaza and Israel after Hamas launched nearly 500 rockets at Israel within 24 hours.

Amidst this escalation, a covert Israeli unit was spotted by Hamas during an operation deep inside Gaza. The small Israeli team was apparently on a mission to bug Hamas communications, an attempt to cope with the fire-bombing. In the ensuing firefight, the Israeli commander was killed, as well as the Hamas commander in the area, and six other Hamas militants. It was a very close call for the Israeli unit that had to be extricated in a very risky helicopter operation. At this point, Gaza and Israel were on the brink, apparently about to take the next fatal step to all-out war.

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October 21, 2018

COURAGEOUS ISRAELI MOTHER PREVENTS DISASTROUS WAR BETWEEN ISRAEL & GAZA

A split second was all that averted a new all-out war between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza. At about 3:00 in the morning of October 17, Palestinians in Gaza launched two long-range missiles at Israel. One of them was on target for the Israeli city of Beersheba miles away to the east. The IDF's anti-missile defense failed to intercept it but the sirens blared throughout Beersheba. This is how the Israeli mother, from Ethiopia, of three small boys, described what happened: "I was sound asleep in my bedroom on the first floor (her husband was at work on the night shift). When I first hear the wail of sirens I thought I was dreaming, but I woke up immediately and raced upstairs to where my three boys were sleeping. I grabbed them out of their beds and pushed them half asleep downstairs to our 'mammad' (a reinforced safety room for shelter from missile attacks). I shoved them inside and then slammed the door. Immediately, we didn't even have time to sit down, a huge explosion rocked the whole building. One of my boys yelled: "Imma (mother), it hit our house!"

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October 16, 1981

Moshe Dayan (1915-1981)

Moshe Dayan was an Israeli military warrior who became a crusader for peace. He was skilled in both battle and diplomacy, and played a key role in four wars, but also helped negotiate the historic Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.

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October 14, 1986

Ron Arad, Missing in Action Israeli Soldier

Ron Arad was captured after answering a call for reserve duty as a navigator in the Israeli air force. He was forced to bail out of his plane over the city of Sidon in Lebanon and was captured by members of the Iranian backed Shiite Amal organization. Since then, Ron has been held captive by several groups, all of them extremist Shiite groups, backed by Iran.

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October 07, 2018

NETANYAHU & PUTIN TO HOLD URGENT MEETING TO RESOLVE SYRIAN CRISIS

First, some necessary background information: on July 30, 1970, Israeli and Soviet pilots clashed over the Suez Canal Zone. In the brief three-minute dogfight the Israelis shot down five Russian Mig-21 without losing a single plan. It was at the height of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the US in the Middle East. Moscow was backing Cairo to the hilt not only with advanced weapons but also with military advisors. However, Russian experts got fed up with Israel's air superiority in Egyptian skies. So Soviet pilots started flying Egyptian Migs to take on the Israelis with the goal of showing "how it was done". But all that we nearly five decades ago.

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September 29, 2000

There's a strong leader around, and his name isn’t Obama

US President Barack Obama delivered an impressive speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday. He knows how to talk. Military power alone will not solve the problem in Syria, he said, and presented a vision of peace and comradeship. He asked Iran nicely not to shout "Death to America," because it won’t bring them jobs, and expressed his hope that those who hope for its extinction will maintain the nuclear agreement and turn the world into a safer place. Just like that. There is no doubt that he is a believer. 

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September 16, 2018

WHO GOES FIRST, TRUMP OR THE IRANIAN AYATOLLAHS?

From an Israeli perspective, the race is now on. Will US President Donald Trump succeed in reigning in the fanatical regime in Iran that is bent on destroying Israel, or will he himself be toppled from power? At this point, it is impossible to predict. But for the vast majority of Israelis, there is no doubt that the current US President is a far better friend to Israel than his predecessor Barack Obama, who extended the Islamist regime a ten-year reprice (now down to seven) to start up again their nuclear weapons program. In return, Obama led a huge international bailout program for Iran that enables the regime to make more mischief throughout the Middle East and one day acquire nuclear weapons to attack the Jewish state. Can anyone in their right mind doubt that the Iranian regime, which persecutes its own people, is any less racist than Adolf Hitler and his Nazi cohorts? Yet, former US President Barack Obama and his sidekick, John Kerry, only reacted, when prodded several years ago by Bibi Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, to launch a preemptive strike against Iran if nothing was done to prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons. But Obama and his international partners took the easy way out by simply kicking the can down the road and leaving it to a future president, in this case, Donald Trump, to handle the threat.

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August 27, 2018

IT'S STILL NETANYAHU BY A MILE

Despite the plethora of police investigations into two possible cases of financial fraud, Bibi is still far ahead of the pack. Channel 13 TV showed a poll indicating that 51% of Israeli voters prefer Netanyahu for Prime Minister. The two other potential candidates, Yair Lapid and Avi Gabbay, lag far behind. Clearly, if a snap election were held in the near future, Netanyahu would win hands down. And the reasons are obvious - the two other candidates are rank amateurs when it comes to experience in leading Israel that faces the perpetual threat of Palestinian terrorism and the vow of Iran to wipe the Jewish state off the map.

So, if there is a move to oust Netanyahu via the legal process, such as an indictment, that would probably spark "a rebellion" by the Right-wing; not dissimilarly to what American politician Rudy Gulliani has warned of were the US President Donald Trump to be toppled by a legal and not a voting process.

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August 19, 2018

ISRAEL CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC OVER CEASEFIRE ARRANGEMENT WITH HAMAS

Two of Israel's super-hawks, PM Bibi Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Leiberman, are doing their utmost to prevent the Palestinian firebombing of Israeli civilians from erupting into another all-out war. The outcome still hangs in the balance at this time. For over four months, the Hamas leadership in Gaza has incited tens of thousands of Palestinian to launch helium balloons and ingenious kites with firebombs attached at Israeli villages across the border. To date, thousands of acres of Israeli farmland and fields have been torched and many small animals have been killed in the inferno. No Israeli civilians have been killed but there have been several close calls - that's probably why Israel has not declared all-out war on Hamas. The IDF has responded with surgical airstrikes on Hamas targets inside Gaza while snipers have shot Palestinians launching the firebombs and also trying to break through the border fence.

At the moment, Egypt, Israel's peaceful Arab neighbor, is working overtime to come up with a solution for ending the current conflagration. If the crisis does escalate into a war it would be the fourth in recent years. To date, the improvised firebombs have proven to be highly successful, and Israel's hi-tech wizards have yet to find an effective response. Although, several thousand Israeli residents in the border area are, understandably, incensed over being firebombed day and night. Netanyahu and Lieberman have taken the advice of IDF Cheif of Staff Gadi Eizencot and not gone to war again with Gaza despite the provocation.

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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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