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Showing Results 321-340 of 438 for Syria
November 28, 2007

Annapolis vs. radical Islam

At Annapolis, Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Abbas were the two protagonists but it was U.S President George Bush who was in the global spotlight. Bush made clear he planned on being not only stage director at the conference but also director for his new initiative to be enacted during his final year in the White House. And indeed, Annapolis had all the markings of impacting on the troubled Middle East far beyond the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. The IsraCast assessment is that against the backdrop of the Iranian nuclear threat and the Iraqi imbroglio, Bush hopes that movement on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations will change the current Middle-East mosaic for the better.

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November 13, 2007

Olmert 'Goes For Broke'

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is pulling out all the stops in his drive to wrap up a Palestinian peace treaty before US President George Bush leaves office in January 2009. In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign affairs and defense committee, Olmert spelled out his approach which stunned both his coalition partners and opposition rivals. IsraCast says it is still an open question whether the Prime Minister coalition partners are on board his radical shift from traditional foreign policy.

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October 07, 2007

PEACE IN ANNAPOLIS?

What are the prospects for Middle East peace conference at Annapolis scheduled to convene at Annapolis next month? Although conference convener U.S. President George Bush has high hopes, the IsraCast assessment is that Annapolis has as little chance of bringing 'peace in our time' as did Munich nearly seventy years ago. While the participants try and rev up some momentum for Annapolis, Hamas reacts by escalating attacks on Israel from Gaza.

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September 17, 2007

MESSAGE TO IRAN?

John Bolton, the Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., has said the alleged Israeli air strike against a Syrian nuclear installation on September 6th would also send a message to Iran. Bolton was interviewed in New York by Israel's Channel 10 TV network. The former American diplomat had previously warned about nuclear cooperation between North Korea and Syria.

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September 16, 2007

ISRAELI BLACKOUT

Israel is refusing to comment on the Washington Post report that Israeli jets bombed a Syrian nuclear facility supplied by North Korea on September 6th. IDF intelligence chief Gen. Amos Yadlin has just briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee but made no reference to the alleged air strike. At the start of the closed door session, committee chairman Zachi Hanegbi said Gen.Yadlin that he was under no obligation to discuss the affair. Knesset Member Hanegbi later told IsraCast that Israel's refusal to comment on the alleged attack is making it easier for Syria to play down the matter and there were 'encouraging signs' that tension was subsiding.

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September 07, 2007

ENIGMA OF ISRAELI OVERFLIGHT

What was the mission of the mysterious Israeli flight into Syrian airspace which has not been commented on by Israeli officials? Both Syria and its ally Iran have condemned the overflight and warned of the consequences. After examining the information so far, IsraCast is of the view there is one explanation that appears more logical than all others. Meanwhile, on the Gaza border, the IDF's new high-tech tactics are in a race to suppress the Qassam rocketing before one of them causes a massacre in the Israeli town of Sderot. IDF Maj. Gen. (res.) Danny Yatom, a Labor Knesset member assesses the current confrontation and needs to be done.

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August 31, 2007

NUCLEAR MESSAGE OR SNAFU

Israel is now building an underground nuclear bunker that could survive a nuclear attack, presumably from Iran. The story, complete with verifying photos, was carried by the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot and sparked sharp criticism from Likud Knesset Member Yuval Steinitz who called it a grave violation of national security. IsraCast examines various aspects of the disclosure of Israel's nuclear bunker and Iranian expert Menashe Amir analyzes the latest statement by U.S. President George Bush that Iran will not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons.

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August 29, 2007

False assumptions

Unless Tony Blair, Condoleezza Rice and other emissaries shake off the conventional wisdom that settling the Israel-Palestinian conflict is a prerequisite for Middle East stability, their visits to the region will be nothing more than mere meddling.

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August 17, 2007

ISRAELI-SYRIAN MISCALCULATION

This week both Israeli and Syrian leaders have been trying to calm recent tension on the Israeli controlled Golan Heights that were captured in the Yom-Kippur War of 1973. The IDF and the Syrian army have been training on the Golan against the backdrop of some belligerent statements by Syrian President Bashar Assad that he would retrieve the area one way or another. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak toured the north declaring that Israel had no intention on attacking Syria. Syrian Vice- President Farouk Ashara also said Damascus was not about to go to war. However, Israeli expert Professor Eyal Zisser told IsraCast that despite the calming declarations, a minor incident or mistake could trigger an Israeli - Syrian war.

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July 13, 2007

SECOND THOUGHTS ON LEBANON WAR

On the first anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, Israel was soul searching about the 163 Israeli soldiers and civilians who were killed and the several thousand others who were wounded last summer. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert toured part of the northern border declaring he was right to launch the war in the face of the Hezbollah provocations. IsraCast is of the view that Olmert is now on political death row trying to appeal a condemnatory verdict by the final Winograd report that could lead to his resignation.

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July 06, 2007

ZERO TOLERANCE TO GAZA TERROR

The recent surge in IDF strikes against terrorist activity in the Gaza Strip indicates that Israel has adopted a zero tolerance policy similar to that on the West Bank. The new Defense Minister Ehud Barak is overseeing this approach while IDF Chief of Staff Gaby Ashkenazi is in command on the ground. After hearing accounts of recent briefing by the Chief of Staff and senior IDF officers, IsraCast has the impression that the Gaza Strip has become the focal point in blocking the Iranian thrust to threaten Israel from both its northern and southern borders.

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July 02, 2007

OLMERT'S CALCULATED RISKS

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has spelled out a series of concessions to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his West Bank government. In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, Olmert spoke of lifting some West Bank checkpoints in addition to transferring hundreds of millions of Palestinian tax money to Abbas and seeking a new approach to peace talks. But IsraCast reports that Olmert also stressed that his 'calculated risks' were conditioned on Abbas leading a 'Hamas-free' government.

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June 19, 2007

HAMAS OVERKILL

What should we do to help President Mahmoud Abbas and his West Bank government and weaken Hamas and its grip on the Gaza Strip? The signs are that both U.S. President George Bush and Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert see eye to eye in principle. The U.S. though may seek more than Israel would like to give when it comes to releasing terrorist prisoners, lifting roadblocks and other security related issues on the West Bank. IsraCast anticipates that the Hamas takeover of Gaza will be viewed as an overkill both of Palestinian lives and politically.

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June 13, 2007

BARAK IS BACK BIG-TIME

With his election victory in the Labor party, Ehud Barak must now show the Israeli people he has answers to their pressing security problems. IsraCast is of the view that Barak's comeback is a direct result of Israel's failure to win the Second Lebanon War last summer, an event that has shaken public confidence in the nation's leadership. Barak's expected appointment as defense minister may strengthen Prime Minister Ehud Olmert - but if Barak succeeds he could eventually upstage Olmert and become the 'de facto' leader in security and foreign affairs.

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June 08, 2007

ISRAELI - SYRIAN DILEMMA

As forecast by IsraCast, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is now ready to actively explore the intentions of Syria President Bashaar Assad. Olmert had to fill two necessary requirements: first the greenlight from U.S. President George W. Bush and second a new and respected defense minister, to ease the jitters of an Israeli public which has grave doubts about Olmert's capabilties after the Second Lebanon War.

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May 29, 2007

NEW BALL GAME IN LABOR

What do the results of the Labor party leadership primary auger for the campaign before the June 12th runoff? IsraCast says new issues will surface that may determine the outcome before Laborites again go to the polls to pick their new leader.

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May 14, 2007

LIVNI, ARAB LEAGUE & GAZA

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni presented a wide ranging Briefing on Israel's foreign relations when the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee was opened to the public for the first time. Livni focused on the Arab League initiative which offers full peace in return for a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. IsraCast reports that Livni was cautiously optimistic about the Arab League aiding the peace process but it could not substitute for the Palestinians at the conference table. Meanwhile in the Gaza Strip, the Hamas - Fatah bloodbath continues but this has not interfered with the the terrorists launch more Qassam rockets into Israel.

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April 23, 2007

TWILIGHT ZONE

As Israel's Independence Day draws near, the Jewish state faces a range of evolving prospects and dangers. At the same time, if Prime minister Ehud Olmert survives the Winograd Commission into the Second Lebanon War, he will have likely have new defense and finance ministers at his side. IsraCast analyzes the current situation and the domestic political scene and possibly some dramatic changes.

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April 18, 2007

NO ISRAELI ATTACK ON SYRIA

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has denied foreign reports that Israel will attack Syria during a U.S. military operation against Iran's nuclear facilities this summer. Briefing the Knesset's Foreign Affairs & & Defense Committee, the Israeli leader said there was no truth to the rumors - Israel had no intention of attacking Syria.

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April 13, 2007

SYRIA, SHOW ME

In an unprecedented step, Dr. Ibrahim Suleiman a Syrian citizen who now resides in Washington, briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee. In the years 2004 - 2006, Suleiman and Alon Liel, a former director-general of the Israeli Foreign ministry conducted informal private contacts under the auspices of Switzerland. Although not officially authorized they updated their respective governments on understandings they have worked out in the private talks. Meretz Knesset Member Zehava Gallon initiated a move for Suleiman to go to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee to present the Syrian position. Later committee members told IsraCast they differed on whether Assad is really interested in peace.

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Listen to Dr. Ibrahim Suleiman Includes transcript of interview
Listen to MK Tzachi Hanegbi Includes transcript of interview
Listen to MK Colette Avital Includes transcript of interview