IsraCast Archive | November-December 2007
Prime Minister Olmert: 'I have no intention of resigning regardless of Winnograd report'
Labor party sources doubt Defense Minister Barak will keep his pledge to resign after Winnograd
IsraCast: Public opinion polls after upcoming Winnograd report will likely determine political fate of Prime Minister
What are the implications of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's statement this week that he will not resign even if severely criticized by the final report of the Winnograd enquiry into the Second Lebanon war? Defense minister Ehud Barak, leader of Labor, Olmert's key coalition partner indicates he has not yet decided whether he will keep his pledge to quit the government after the final Winnograd report expected in another month or so. However, IsraCast says opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu of Likud will also be tested in the Winnograd aftermath.
Israel appears willing to free Arab prisoners with blood on their hands
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ready to change Israeli policy in order to free three captured Israeli soldiers
The families of Israeli victims and right-wing politicians strongly oppose the move
The Israeli government may soon release Palestinian prisoners with blood on their hands in order to get back three IDF soldiers. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has convened consultations to reconsider the Israeli policy of not freeing Palestinians prisoners who were directly involved in the killing and maiming Israelis. Since the Oslo accords were signed in 1993, over 1,000 Israelis have been murdered and thousands more wounded in terror attacks. After polling coalition and opposition Knesset Members, IsraCast says there is a growing number of public officials who appear ready to change existing policy.
General Danny Yatom: 'Israeli counter-terrorism tactics are paying off in Gaza where Hamas is feeling the pressure'
'Israel is apparently implementing a two-track policy going on the offensive while building shelters for Sderot civilians'
'Hamas offers for temporary cease-fire always prove to be phony'
IDF General (res.) Danny Yatom says the Hamas leadership in Gaza is feeling the pressure of current IDF counter-terror operations into Gaza. This week a targeted air strike killed a top Islamic Jihad commander who was responsible for many of the Qassam rocket attacks on the Israeli town of Sderot. In an interview with IsraCast General Yatom said Hamas and the other terror organizations are now on the run and Israel should reject any offer of a temporary cease-fire which will only be broken when the terrorists recover.
540 days after the abduction of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, the Islamic Jihad's Web site publishes the first witness account of the incident. The witness, a Palestinian resident of the southern Gaza Strip, said the terrorists prevented him from from giving water to the wounded soldier.
Moshe Arens: 'Israeli government makes Sderot civilians pay for negotiations with Palestinians by refusal to reinvade Gaza'
Latest IDF figures indicate some 1,700 rockets and mortars have been fired at Sderot since Hamas takeover of Gaza last June
Moshe Arens: 'Latest American N.I.E will make it more difficult for U.S President to act militarily against Iran but Israel has been on its own before'
Moshe Arens, a former Israeli Defense and Foreign Minister, accuses the Israeli government of making Sderot civilians pay the price for the political process with the Palestinians. Arens was interviewed by IsraCast after IDF figures revealed that Palestinians fired some 3,500 Qassam rockets and mortars from Gaza, mainly at Sderot, since the total Israeli withdrawal in the summer of 2005. Moreover, since the Hamas takeover of Gaza last June, some 1,700 mortars and rockets have been fired at Sderot. Asked to comment on the recent American National Intelligence Estimate that Iran suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003 Arens said intelligence assessments are often wrong and Israel must act in its own best interest.
Israeli Analysts Refute U.S. National Intelligence Estimate That Iran Suspended Its Nuclear Weapons Program in 2003
'Only A Blind Man Could Conclude Such a Thing'
Israel and most Arab states in the Middle East are baffled and bewildered by the latest U.S, intelligence estimate that Iran suspended its nuclear weapons drive in 2003. In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is set to convene the defense and foreign affairs establishment to reassess what could be a change for the worse in Israel's security situation. Threatened with destruction by Iranian President Ahmadinejad, the Jewish state has been hoping that the international campaign of sanctions might dissuade Tehran to halt its uranium enrichment program which is the very heart of a nuclear weapon. While Israeli leaders have not directly criticized the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, Israeli analysts charge that its assessment of Iran is flawed by a built - in contradiction. The Israeli assessment is that Iran, if not stopped, could acquire the bomb in 2009.
Mimi Reinhard, who is now 92 years old, was born in Austria and served for three years as the secretary of Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who saved hundreds of Jews from Nazi persecution by hiring them to work in his company, an episode that served as the basis for the movie "Schindler's list".
Bush Plan For Israeli-Palestinian Peace Also Designed To Confront Radical Islam in Middle East
Most Of Arab World Now On Board & Ready To Actively Support Peace Deal
Underlying Reality Between Israel and Palestinians Has Still Not Changed
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.
More than one million Jewish refugees were forced to flee Arab countries
Israel expected to raise compensation issue for Jewish refugees in upcoming negotiations with Palestinians
One of the thorniest issues in the upcoming Israeli-Palestinian negotiations will be the refugee question, on both sides. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian officials claim the 'right of return' for the Palestinian refugees and their descendants who fled Palestine after the neighboring Arab states declared war on Israel in 1948. However, it appears that a similar number of Jewish refugees also fled from Arab countries, this after the Arab-League drafted a law that in effect confiscated their property and considered them to be 'members of the Jewish minority state of Palestine'.
Annapolis, home of the U.S. Naval Academy, is the site of the latest American sponsored attempt to relaunch the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Hosted by President George W. Bush, representatives of many Arab states will be lending some much needed support to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. But what can realistically be expected after Hamas, the radical Islamist movement which vows to destroy Israel, was elected to power and then expelled Abbas and his moderate cohorts from the Gaza Strip in a bloody coup last June? IsraCast views Annapolis as an American salvage operation that will try to keep the Israeli-Palestinian process afloat in the increasingly dangerous waters of the Middle East.
IDF Chief of Staff Ashkenazi: 'Palestinian terrorists launching fresh attacks to torpedo Annapolis conference'
Terrorists kill one Israeli on West-Bank and step up raids in Gaza Strip
Palestinian terrorists are stepping up their attacks with a goal of sabotaging the upcoming Annapolis conference. This was the assessment of IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi when he briefed the Knesset foreign affairs and defense committee. IsraCast says Israeli security forces have gone on alert to foil the terrorists drive to torpedo Annapolis.
The Community of Turkish Immigrants in Israel has recently dedicated a monument of the late President Kemal Atatürk in gratitude to the father of the Turkish nation
This week Israel's President Shimon Peres paid an official visit to Turkey where he received a warm welcome. For the first time, an Israeli leader addressed the Turkish parliament, and in Hebrew. The president's visit highlighted what has been called 'the quiet alliance' between the Jewish state and Turkey, a Muslim non-Arab nation in the Middle East. Tourism and commerce flourishes between the two countries with tens of thousands of Israelis flocking to Turkey every year. Israeli Air-Force pilots also train in Turkey, a key element in military ties.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: 'Annapolis will be a one day meeting to launch serious and intensive peace negotiations with Palestinians'
'Peace accord can be reached before President Bush leaves office'
'I am ready to negotiate all stages of roadmap before Palestinians halt terrorism'
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.
General Mansour Abu-Rashed: 'Annapolis Peace Conference Can Succeed With Support of US, Europe and Arab League'
'Jordan's King Abdullah is trying to facilitate peace between Israel and the Palestinians'
'Jordanian people are committed to late King Hussein's treaty with Israel'
Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian women have been marching for peace in Israel's Beit-Shean valley - a border area that was once an area of bloodshed between Israel and Jordan. But peace has reigned there ever since Israel's prime-minister Yitzhak Rabin and King Hussein signed a peace agreement in 1994. The guest of honor was Jordanian General Mansour Abu-Rashed, who served as an aide to the late King Hussein during the peace negotiations. General Abu-Rashed told IsraCast that he hopes Israeli and Palestinian leaders will go to Annapolis with the spirit of King Hussein and Yitzhak Rabin.
Cabinet Minister Shaul Mofaz: 'U.N. Nuclear Watchdog ElBaradei Is Paving Way For Iran Acquiring The Bomb'
'ElBaradei Should Be Replaced Due To His Irresponsible Policy'
Israel is ringing alarm bells after President Ahamadinejad declared that Iran is now operating 3,000 centrifuges - experts say they could produce enough enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb annually. IsraCast says Israel has now taken of the gloves in a last ditch effort to generate international sanctions that could still deter Tehran from getting the bomb. Jerusalem now views Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei as the main obstacle.
Baron Edmond Benjamin James de Rothschild was a Philanthropist and supporter of Jewish settlement in Eretz Yisrael. For his Jewish philanthropy Baron Edmond became known as 'HaNadiv HaYadu'a', 'The Known Benefactor'.
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IsraCast Archive | November-December 2007