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Showing Results 161-180 of 439 for Syria
September 05, 2014

ISRAEL - LAND GRAB & ISIS & BAN KI-MOON'S SILENCE

  Why in Jerusalem, did Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu annex another 1,000 acres of West Bank land, if he knew that in Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama would hit the roof? Indeed the annexation has thrown a monkey wrench into the already strained relations between the two allies after Obama, in effect, ordered Netanyahu to call a unilateral ceasefire, although Hamas was still launching rockets and mortars at Israel. The answer is that Netanyahu has been hauled over the coals in his own Likud party and the far Right for reigning in the IDF before it finished off the Hamas leadership and its forces, and therefore, he used the annexation to placate his Right wing supporters. But surely the national interest should trump domestic politics. On this score, Henry Kissinger's observation that 'Israel has no foreign policy, only domestic politics' does apply. However this generalization, like most others, is only partially correct. 

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August 24, 2014

SAUDI KING BLAMES HAMAS!

In a startling development, Saudi Arabia has blamed Hamas for the current bloodshed with Israel. Saudi monarch, King Abdullah has publicly accused Hamas of being responsible for the war between Gaza and Israel. 'It is shameful and disgraceful that these terrorists are doing this in the name of religion, killing the people, whose killing Allah has forbidden, and mutilating their bodies, and feeling proud in publishing this. They have distorted the image of Islam with its purity and humanity and smeared it with all sorts of bad qualities by their actions, injustice, and crimes'. The ninety-year-old King Abdullah accused Hamas of being responsible for a 'collective massacre'. His statement, read by a news announcer, is representative of what other countries like Egypt, Jordan, the Gulf States (except for Qatar), and many Lebanese feel about the confrontation with radical Islam that is being confronted mainly by Israel.

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August 20, 2014

ISRAELI-HAMAS TEST OF WILLS

 Why has Hamas broken the latest ceasefire with Israel? Simply because Israel did not give in to all its demands, nor will it do so in the future. On the battlefield, Hamas lost; Israel developed a counter-measure to cope with the Hamas rocketing of Israeli civilians and the threat of the terror tunnels. So Hamas must show some major Israeli concessions to justify the damage and suffering that these Islamist fanatics have brought to Gaza. Within 24 hours, Hamas and the other terror groups in Gaza have launched over 100 rockets and mortars at Israel. Sirens also blared in the Jerusalem area, but Iron Dome was again on guard and intercepted 14 of the incoming rockets. Although there were some close calls, no Israelis were killed although; there was some damage to property. In return, Israeli aircraft carried out over 90 strikes on the length and width of Gaza.  

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August 05, 2014

GAZA CEASEFIRE EXPECTED TO HOLD

 7:48 AM-August 5th, two minutes before the latest Egyptian brokered ceasefire was to go into force: Hamas launches a barrage of 25 more rockets at Jerusalem and communities in central Israel. Again, air raid sirens wail and hundreds of thousands of Israelis rush to their bomb shelters. Israel's Iron Dome missiles blast off, knocking seven of the incoming rockets out of the sky. They were on target for population centers. Several others do explode on the ground but there are no Israeli casualties. The rest are allowed to land harmlessly in open areas. Imagine how many Israeli children, women and men would have been killed and wounded if those seven rockets had hit apartment buildings. This has been at the core of the current conflagration and the IDF's mission to suppress this rocketing of Israeli civilians that has escalated ever since Israel totally evacuated the Gaza Strip in 2005. The IDF estimates that Hamas terrorists fired 3,350 rockets during its 26-day Operation that was triggered by hundreds more rockets in the preceding week. Yet critics of Israel, including some foreign governments, are castigating the Jewish state for not acting proportionately to the Hamas threat. 

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July 12, 2014

ISRAEL'S OPTIONS FOR GAZA CONFLICT

 

 Has the time come to invade Gaza? That is now the question as Israel's Operation Protective Edge enters its fifth day. The Israel Air Force has been clobbering Hamas terrorists in Gaza who have been launching hundreds of rockets into Israel with the express aim of killing and maiming as many Israeli children, women and men as possible. Israeli aircraft and naval vessels have been knocking out Hamas targets concentrating on their launch pads, arsenals and personnel. Hamas has countered by extending its range of rocket attacks far beyond the adjacent Israeli communities in the Western Negev to the metropolis of Tel Aviv and then north to the outskirts of Haifa. Flying around the clock, Israeli jets and choppers have been systematically striking more than 1,100 targets as the campaign continues without let-up. 

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July 02, 2014

ISRAEL DECIDES ON SEVERE BUT CALIBRATED CRACKDOWN ON HAMAS

 'Hamas is responsible, Hamas will pay!' Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has warned that Israel is about to take off the gloves, after the bodies of three Israeli youths were found near Hebron, a hotbed of Hamas terrorism on the West Bank. After the massive 18-day search, the bodies of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-ad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach were uncovered in a hole. Two suspected Hamas terrorists from the Hebron area, named as Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha, are believed responsible. The manhunt continues for the two suspects, who are believed to be hiding out in the West Bank. Apparently, pretending to be religious Jews, the two killers gave a lift to the three hitchhiking Israelis and then shot them dead when Gil-ad Shaar tried to contact the Israel police on his cell phone. A police recording of the call indicates all three were shot dead in the car where bullet casings were found. 

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June 24, 2014

"ATTENTION SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY" - An Interview with Regional Expert Menashe Amir

 The bitter rivalry between Sunni and Shiite Muslims has erupted in Iraq with greater fury than ever. Since the U.S. withdrawal in 2011, the country has been racked with bloody terrorism between the two Muslim sects. Now a fanatic Sunni military force, which was spawned amid the Syrian civil war and known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), has shown up in Iraq where it has made stunning territorial gains. In just a few days, the vastly outnumbered Sunni fighters routed five Iraqi army divisions, capturing large quantities of American weapons and advancing on Baghdad… 

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June 01, 2014

U.S. - No Longer Policeman of the World?

 It was highly significant that U.S. President Barack Obama selected West Point as the venue to articulate his foreign and military policy. Without saying it in so many words Obama sent a message loud and clear - America has abdicated its role of 'policeman of the world'. Obama has jettisoned the projection of American military power that characterized his predecessor George W. Bush. Addressing the graduating cadets, their commander-in-chief told them: “The U.S. will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it - when our people are threatened, when our livelihoods are at stake; when the security of our allies is in danger.” But his punch line related to global issues that do not directly threaten the U.S.: "Then the threshold of military action must be much higher. In such circumstances, we should not go it alone. Instead, we must mobilize allies and partners to take collective action." The truth is this has been a cornerstone of Obama's policy of 'leading from behind' in the Middle East, as exemplified by the crises in Libya and currently in Syria. Clearly, Obama's refusal to make good on his warning that Assad would face the consequences if he repeated his use of chemical weapons has actually tipped the scales in favor of the regime against the rebels. 

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May 25, 2014

NETANYAHU MUST CHOOSE ISRAEL'S NATIONAL INTEREST

 Israel in diplomatic doghouse...

 Is Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu getting the message? His interview with the Bloomberg News may indicate that Netanyahu realizes that he has lost the 'blame game' in the wake of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's failed peace mission. Not only Kerry and diplomat Martin Indyk pointed the finger at Bibi, but also President Barack Obama. Even Bibi's own negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, has blasted Housing Minister Uri Ariel for torpedoing the talks by announcing plans for new settlement building. At the time, the PM could have stepped in but chose not to do so in order not to rile the Right-wingers in his coalition. Israel finds itself in the diplomatic doghouse, although Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did nothing to advance Kerry's peace mission and has even teamed up with terrorist Hamas. 

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May 07, 2014

ISRAEL CELEBRATES 66th INDEPENDENCE DAY

 The past week started with Holocaust Memorial Day and yet again the profound horror and amazement over the Nazi massacre of six million Jewish babies, children, women and men. The vast majority were defenseless and with no one to defend them. The tales of terror told by the survivors who bore witness were paralyzing: crying infants being torn from the arms of their screaming mothers at Auschwitz, of children seeing their parents being beaten and shot before their very eyes. At the memorial service at the Western Wall, President Shimon Peres told of how his beloved grandfather and other relatives, along with the rest of the Jews in his town, were herded into the local synagogue where the doors were locked behind them and then the building was burnt to the ground. The sirens wailed for them and Israelis, with heads bowed, stood at attention. 

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April 27, 2014

WHY ABBAS DID IT

 What possessed moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to suddenly join forces with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, whose organization is bent on Israel's annihilation? As for the timing, it was even more puzzling - it came smack in the middle of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's apparent breakthrough in the clash between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu over the release of Israeli-Arab terrorists. The latest Abbas gambit has exposed the Palestinian leader's goal of seeking an imposed UN solution, rather than a U.S. brokered peace accord.

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April 13, 2014

Israel-US-Palestinian Conundrum

 It is not only about saving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the nature of Israeli -U.S. relations may be at stake.  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu are trying to forge a deal that will apparently see Israel freeing fourteen Israeli Arabs with 'Israeli blood on their hands'. In return, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas will carry on the peace contacts after April 29, when the current round runs out. The highest hurdle is now inside Israel's coalition government. The Jewish Home Party, which is led by Naftali Bennett, has issued an ultimatum: its twelve members will bolt the coalition if the Netanyahu government agrees to free the Israeli Arab terrorists. Netanyahu would then lose his 68 majority in the 120 member parliament. But on the other hand, another coalition partner has taken the exact opposite position. Tzippi Livni's Movement party has also threatened to quit the cabinet, if peace contacts are not continued with the Palestinians. After consulting with Livni before a Channel 22 interview, Knesset Member Amir Peretz declared: "If there is no peace process, there will be no government!" Currently, there are six Movement members in the coalition. So how on the Palestinian question has Prime Minister Netanyahu managed to wind up with both a confrontation with the U.S. and a major crisis in his coalition government? It is not all his fault.

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March 20, 2014

NETANYAHU’S POLITICAL HEADACHES

 

 It makes no difference if you are a supporter of Israel's Prime Minister or not, you just had to sympathize with Bibi Netanyahu when he saw the headlines this morning. Staring him in the face were two political nightmares, but not the Iranian nuclear threat, Syria, or Palestinian terrorism. They were far closer to home.

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March 11, 2014

FALLOUT FROM ISRAEL'S SEIZURE OF IRANIAN ROCKET VESSEL

 

 In Israel's Red Sea port of Eilat, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu presented the 40 rockets, 181 mortars and 400,000 bullets that Iran had tried to smuggle into Gaza. If they had reached Islamic Jihad or Hamas they could have killed and wounded tens of thousands of Israeli civilians in the future. However, the rest of the world, led by the Obama administration brushed the incident aside with a 'ho-hum' and the EU's foreign policy chief, decked out like a religious Muslim woman, landed in Tehran to smile and shake hands with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. The world has adopted one strategy only in dealing with a new 'moderate' Iran, led by President Rouhani, who, it hopes will agree to halt the nuclear weapons program, if the price is right.

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March 06, 2014

IRAN'S TREACHERY EXPOSED BY ISRAEL

 While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani smiles his way through the current nuclear negotiations, Tehran's campaign of terrorism also continues at full tilt. At the very same time that Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was warning of Iran's nuclear treachery and deception, an Iranian vessel flying under a Panamanian flag was sailing in the Red Sea with a cargo of deadly missiles bound for Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Within hours of Netanyahu's keynote speech to AIPAC in Washington, Israeli naval commandos boarded the ship in a daring operation before dawn.


 

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February 26, 2014

ISRAELI AIR STRIKE & IRAN'S NUCLEAR TALKS

 10:04 - Monday morning in Israel: Air raid sirens suddenly wail across the country sending hundreds of thousands of Israeli school children and kindergarten toddlers to their bomb shelters. There is no panic but some of the smaller children cry as their teachers or day care minders lead them to their underground havens. This time it was the annual drill - a dry run for the real thing that has become part of daily life in Israel. How many countries in the world have to face such a mortal threat to their children? Six decades after the Holocaust, Jewish children are again under mortal threat. And after the horrors of the current bloodbath in Syria, would anyone doubt their fate, if there is a terrible miscalculation over Israel's security needs.

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January 22, 2014

NETANYAHU AT THE RUBICON, AGAIN

 Above and beyond the egregious gaffe by Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, this crucial question remains unanswered - what will Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu do when he next meets U.S. Secretary of State? Yaalon certainly highlighted some of the Right wing's exasperation over Kerry's 'messianic and obsessive' mission to hammer out an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. However, Netanyahu has apparently been telling Kerry that he would be willing to cut a deal with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, under certain conditions. The Israeli leader is already on record as accepting the two-state solution.  Is he now prepared to go one step further and possibly risk the breakup of his cabinet and Likud party? Although Yaalon has adopted an 'in-your-face' rejection, he represents the far Right of the Likud and Jewish Home party. But in a dramatic shift, Avigdor Lieberman of the Israel Our Home party has pleaded for giving Kerry a chance. So what's going on and why?

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January 11, 2014

ARIEL SHARON (1928-2014)

 'I know best' this characterized Arik Sharon, both as a vaunted military commander and an unpredictable politician. He is destined to be remembered as the most controversial of all Israeli public figures. To friend and foe he became known as the 'bulldozer'- his driving determination could overcome most obstacles in his way whether his superiors or political supporters agreed or not. Some military commentators have rated him as the best field commander and strategist in the annals of the IDF, while in his subsequent career in politics he was a formidable opponent.

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December 12, 2013

ISRAELI-SAUDI ALLIANCE AGAINST IRAN?

 In this day and age of the looming Iranian threat, what do Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf States have to fear from Israel? Absolutely nothing. And what does Israel have to fear from them? Again, absolutely nothing. Bu what do the Gulf States and Israel have to fear from Iran? Possibly their very survival! This joint interest, against the backdrop of America’s disengagement from the Middle East could be “the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

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December 02, 2013

GENEVA – BETWEEN MUNICH AND NORTH KOREA?

 Will U.S. president Barack Obama prefer a nuclear Iran, rather than launching preventative military strike if need be?

 This is the question being asked in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and around the Middle East. In light of the Geneva nuclear deal, grave doubts are being voiced throughout the region. What about Obama’s mantra of ‘all options are on the table’? Some Israeli cynics are worried this may also included the selling out of Israel. What worries Israel is that president Obama, apparently in the midst of disengaging from the Middle East, will seek another diplomatic exit in six months or so when the final agreement is to be concluded; or say, when the Iranians break out for their firs a-bomb after their economy has got a shot in the arm, provided by the easing of the sanctions.

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