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IsraCast Archive | May-June 2007

TONY BLAIR & PALESTINE

Maj. Gen (res) Shalom Harari: ' We See No Organized Campaign By President Mahmoud Abbas To Confiscate Illegal Weapons On West Bank'

' Tony Blair Will Be Unable To Make Any Economic Or Political Progress As Long As Hundreds Of Thousands Of Rifles Remain In Hands Of Palestinian Civilians'

The Sharm el Sheik summit was a high- profile show of solidarity with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his bitter confrontation with Hamas, the radical Islamists. After Hamas gunmen routed Fatah forces from the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians now have two separate governments- Gaza is run by Hamas while Fatah - supported Abbas rules on the West Bank. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is expected to arrive soon as a peace envoy. Maj. Gen. ( res) Shalom Harari told IsraCast that Tony Blair should draw on his Northern Ireland experience in order to make any progress in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

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Listen to Interview with Shalom Harari Includes transcript of interview

UPSTAGING SHARM EL SHEIK

Hamas Tries To Upstage Sharm El Sheik Summit By Releasing Recording Of Abducted IDF Soldier Corporal Gilad Shalit

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Counters By Announcing Good Will Gesture To Fatah On Release Of 250 Of Its Prisoners

Hamas succeeded in getting into the act - it upstaged the Sharm el Sheik summit by releasing a recording of captured IDF soldier Corporal Gilad Shalit. The emergency summit, hosted by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was called as a show of solidarity with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas whose Fatah movement was driven out of the Gaza Strip in a bloody showdown with Hamas last week. IsraCast is of the view, that although the summit events will be a sign of things to come the real test will be over security and terror issue on the West Bank which is controlled by Abbas.

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Message From Gilad Shalit

Hamas has released a recorded message from captured IDF soldier Corporal Gilad Shalit. The message is posted on the Web site of Hamas's military wing. Israeli officials are considering their reaction to the recording. IsraCast notes the proposal of Maj. Gen. (res) Uzzi Dayan who proposes that Israel should condition the Hamas release of Shalit as the first condition of any humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip.

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'ENGINEERING' NEW ILLUSION?

Massive International Effort Underway To Shore Up Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Emergency Summit Hosted By Egypt Indicates President Mubarak's Concern Over Rise Of Iranian-Backed Gaza On His Border

After Voting For Hamas In Election, Will West Bank Palestinians Forego Terrorism & Support Abbas Peace Talks With Israel?

The rush is on to retrieve whatever is possible out of the Palestinian rubble in the wake of the Hamas takeover in Gaza. IsraCast perceives it as an international rescue mission to 'engineer' a separate Fatah peace partner headed by President Mahmoud Abbas. In light of performance record of president Mahmoud Abbas and his failure to halt repeated terror attacks and suicide bombings from the West Bank, the outcome is hard to foresee.

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PUNISHING QASSAM CRIME

Should Israel Consider Temporary Water & Power Cuts To Gaza In Effort To Halt Rocketing Of Sderot?

Israeli Electricity Supplied To Gaza Is Used By Terrorists To Produce Qassam Rockets

Israel's new defense minister Ehud Barak is now faced with his first challenge - how to respond to the latest Qassam rocketing of Sderot from the Gaza Strip. IsraCast is of the view that the total Hamas takeover of Gaza has altered its 'hybrid' status and that Israel should now consider new responses. These could include temporary interruptions to the water and electricity that Israel still supplies to Gaza.

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Israel Facing Indictment

Dictators Fidel Castro of Cuba and Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus will be celebrating the UN Human Rights Council's likely adoption tomorrow of a new reform package that will see both regimes dropped from a blacklist, while Israel is placed under permanent indictment.

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British Government donates to Israeli research

40,000 Shekels (5,000 Pounds) is the amount granted by the British Government for IsrALS, an Israeli non-profit organization which focuses on research into the debilitating disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The grant was awarded by the British Ambassador to Israel, Tom Phillips.

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HAMAS OVERKILL

Fierce Hamas Assault In Gaza May Prove To Be Counter-Productive For Islamic Fanatics

U.S. & International Community Likely To Conduct Carrot & Stick Policy Proving Radical Islamism Doesn't Pay

Olmert To Follow Bush Lead In Bolstering Abbas & West Bank While Punishing Hamas & Gaza

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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EYELESS IN GAZA

Dr. Dan Schueftan: 'President Mahmoud Abbas Has No Chance Of Pursuing Peace From West Bank Because Palestinians There Also Support Terrorism Against Israel'

'Hamastan In Gaza & Fatahland On West Bank Is Not A Solution'

'U.S. Pressure On Israel For Concessions To Palestinians Backfires'

The dust has not yet settled after the takeover of Gaza by Hamas, the radical Islam movement. From his headquarters in Ramallah on the West Bank, President Mahmoud Abbas has appointed a new prime minister Salam Fayyad to replace Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. Haniyeh refuses to step down contending that his Hamas members control two- thirds of the Palestinian parliament. Now in the U.S., Prime Minister Ehud Olmert talks of a new opportunity arising from the split between Hamas and Fatah. A leading Israeli analyst Dr. Dan Schueftan previously told IsraCast that although today's events should have been visible from the outset it is most important to see their ramifications on future developments.

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SHATTERING THE ILLUSION

Israeli Officials: 'Israel Will Not Intervene In Gaza & Act Only In Self-Defense'

Iranian Forward Base In Gaza Also Threatens Egypt

Hamas Takeover OF Gaza Proves There Is No Palestinian Consensus On Two State Solution That Includes Jewish State

The Hamas takeover of Gaza has upset not only the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation but could also have consequences for neighboring which also faces an Islamist threat. IsraCast is of the view that the Hamas expulsion of President Mahmoud Abbas from Gaza is one of the most dramatic developments since the start of the Oslo peace process in 1993 and casts doubt on Palestinian readiness to accept the two state solution envisaged in the Road Map peace plan.

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BARAK IS BACK BIG-TIME

Ehud Barak: 'I Pledge To Restore IDF's Strength & Israel's Deterrent Capability'

Laborites Voted For Barak Hoping His Experience Will Fill Leadership Vacuum Since Second Lebanon War

On Becoming Defense Minister Barak's First Mission May Be Finding An Answer To Rocketing Of Sderot

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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Indonesian leader opposes Ahmadinejad

A former president of Indonesia came out against Holocaust denial in Iran. Abdurrahman Wahid told an interfaith conference in Bali on Tuesday that he opposes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's dismissals of the Holocaust as a myth.

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BRITAIN BLASTS BOYCOTT

British Minister Of Higher Education Bill Rammel: 'UCU Boycott Of Israeli Academia Is Fundamentally Wrong'

Visiting Israel, Rammel Meets Israeli Officials To Strengthen Educational Ties

Israeli Officials: 'Outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair Apparently Intervened Against Racist Boycott Of Israel'

'Fundamentally wrong' that's how Britain's Minister of Higher Education Bill Rammel described the recent recommendation by the Union of College and University lecturers to boycott Israeli academia. In meetings with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Education Minister Yuli Tamir, Rammel said: 'I hope my visit here sends a strong message of the views of the British government and people'. And he added that most of the British public opposes the UCU resolution. At the same time, Rammel said Britain had concerns about the Israeli occupation and called for the release of Palestinian Education Minister Nasser Shaer. IsraCast says Israeli officials are pleased that British Prime Minister Tony Blair has apparently seen fit to intervene on Israel's behalf before he leaves office.

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ISRAELI - SYRIAN DILEMMA

Olmert Now Expected To Engage Assad In Political Process

At Present Vast Majority Of Israelis Do Not Believe Syria Really Ready For Peace

Most Israelis Opposed To Total Withdrawal of Golan Heights

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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Entebbe Conspiracy & British Bombings

British Foreign Office Releases Document Of British Document Quoting Arab Source As Saying That Palestinian Skyjacking Of Air France Airliner To Entebbe Was Carried Out With Knowledge and Aid Of Israel's Shin Beit Secret Service

IDF Officers Involved In Entebbe Rescue Operation Call Document 'Ludicrous'

IsraCast Releases Photos By Renowned Photographer David Rubinger Of British Army Car Bombing In Jerusalem in 1948

British lecturers are not only out to boycott Israeli professors and students, the British Foreign Office is also in on the act. Official classified documents now released after the 30 year ban includes one that alleges that Palestinian terrorists skyjacked the Air France airliner to Entebbe in 1976 with the knowledge and aid of the Shin Beit, Israel's Security Service. As ridiculous as the allegation appears to be, it has received serious coverage by the BBC and several leading newspapers. The 'conspiracy' is based solely on an Arab source. IsraCast is publishing photos of what were very likely to have been British car bombings in Jerusalem before the end of the mandate in 1948. These photos were taken by the well known photographer David Rubinger.

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BRITISH BOYCOTT & GERMAN NAZIS

Former Justice Minister Tommy Lapid: 'The British Lecturers' Boycott Of Israeli Academia Is Comparable To Nazi Germany's Burning Of Jewish Books'

The boycott of Israeli academia recommended by the University and College Union (UCU) in Britain has sparked an angry response in Israel. Journalist Tommy Lapid wrote this imaginary Israeli response to what most Israelis view as an outrageous decision by the 300 lecturers who represent some 120,000 others in Britain. On his weekly program on Israel Radio, Lapid a former Justice Minister read his tongue in cheek letter to a British professor. IsraCast has found it appropriate to translate his response that ended with a rendition of 'Mad Dogs & Englishmen'.

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BRITISH PROFS FAIL OBJECTIVITY

Israel Lambastes British University and College Union Boycott Of Israeli Academia

Media Coverage & Discussion Of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Often Ignore Cause & Effect Relationship When It Comes To Israel

None Of World Powers Or Other States Are Held To Such Harsh Moral Standards As Jewish State

In Britain, the University and College Union (UCU) vote to promote a boycott of Israeli academic institutions has aroused a furious Israeli reaction. The UCU boycott was said to be in protest to Israel's actions in the conflict with the Palestinians. Even super-dove Yossi Beilin of the left wing Labor party called on British Prime Minister Tony Blair to condemn the UCU decision. Otherwise Beilin said the outgoing leader's term would be stained by such an ignominy. The UCU resolution, approved by 158 to 99, is only a recommendation until approved by a majority of the body's 120,000 members. IsraCast evaluates the UCU motion and other manifestations of what appear to be a double standard of morality applied only to the Jewish state.

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NEW BALL GAME IN LABOR

Ehud Barak Gains Momentum For June 12th Runoff in Labor Party Leadership Race

Ami Ayalon Will Have To Spring Some Surprises To Overtake Barak

Is Outgoing Leader Amir Peretz Now The King-maker Or Will His Supporters Now Go Their Own Way?

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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GENERAL BARAK OR ADMIRAL AYALON ?

Two Former Military Commanders Running Neck And Neck In Labor Party Leader Election

Large Number Of Floating Voters Likely To Decide Whether A Winner Or Runoff

Incumbent Leader Amir Peretz: 'The Polls Are Wrong Again, Don 't Count Me Out'

In the Labor party race for new party leader, two top retired military commanders are leading the pack. According to opinion polls, Gen.(ret.) Ehud Barak and Admiral(ret.) Ami Ayalon are virtually tied before the May 28th ballot. IsraCast says a large number of Laborites are still undecided and their votes will likely decide the outcome. However the question is can either Ayalon or Barak win by passing the 40% threshold or will the two top candidates have to compete in a runoff. The incumbent Defense Minister Amir Peretz is not giving up declaring that last time the polls proved wrong when they predicted he would lose to Shimon Peres.

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HAMAS 'POLITICIANS' & TERRORISTS

Israel Exerts Pressure On Hamas Politicians To Halt Rocketing Of Sderot

Palestinians Rush To U.N. Security Council Demanding Immediate Cease-Fire

'Should Israel Be Required To Abide By Queensbury Rules While Palestinians Continually Hit Below The Belt'

The Palestinian rockets continued crashing into Sderot this week killing and wounding Israeli civilians. One of Israel's responses is to arrest Hamas politicians and IsraCast points to the possibility that they may also face targeted killing if they do not halt the Qassams from Gaza.

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HAMAS IN ISRAELI CROSSHAIRS

Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh: 'We Make No Distinction Between Political & Military Leaders of Hamas'

'When Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh , the Palestinian Prime Minister, Calls For Israel's Destruction, He Is A Terrorist Dressed In A Suit'

After Israeli Woman Was Killed By Qassam Rocket, Israel To Step Up Targeted Killing & Other Counter-Terror Strikes

How will Israel react after a Qassam rocket from Gaza killed an Israeli woman driving in Sderot on Monday night? IsraCast says subsequent statements by Israeli officials indicate that Hamas political leaders may be put on Israel's hit list in addition to those who actually send the launchers of the rockets. What is certain is that targeted killings and other counter-terror operation will be escalated now but a major ground operation into the Gaza Strip is not in the offing.

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HARD CHOICES ON GAZA

Senior IDF Officer: 'Pinpoint Counter-Terror Strikes May Be More Cost-Effective Than Major Ground Operation Into Gaza'

Palestinians Launch More Qassam Rockets At Sderot Bringing This Week's Total To Over One Hundred

Is Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Hoping For Labor Party To Bail Him Out With New Defense Minister?

Palestinians kept up their rocket barrage at the Israeli town of Sderot on Friday - this week alone they have terrorized the town with some one-hundred Qassams crashing down by day and night. The IDF has been ordered to step up counter-terror strikes but a senior officer rules out a major ground operation at this time. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also appears ready to adopt this policy. IsraCast is of the view that Olmert will try and ride out the coming days with the expectation that his Labor coalition partners will elect either Ehud Barak or Ami Ayalon as party leader who will then take over as defense minister.

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SDEROT UNDER FIRE

Arkadi Gaydamak: 'I Will Send Buses To Evacuate Children & Mothers From Sderot'

Sderot Residents: 'Three Cheers For Gaydamak, The Government Has Abandoned Us To Qassam Rockets'

Israeli Government Ponders Reaction To Massive Palestinian Rocketing Of Sderot

As anticipated by IsraCast, the bloody Palestinian infighting between Hamas and Fatah in the Gaza Strip has spilled over into Israel. The Palestinians have launched over 30 Qassam rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot apparently in an attempt to deflect the focus from their internal feud that killed at least 15 Palestinians on Tuesday, May 15th. The rockets are terrorizing the children, women and men. In the initial bombardment, one woman was seriously injured and dozens more were lightly hurt and suffered from shock. While the Israeli government considers what to do, Jewish-Russian philanthropist Arkadi Gaydamak has stepped in with his own private solution.

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LIVNI, ARAB LEAGUE & GAZA

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni: 'Arab League Initiative Has Role To Play In Aiding Palestinians & Israel To Make Necessary Compromises'

'Palestinian State Must Solve Problem of Palestinian Refugees Like Israel Provided a Home for Jewish Refugees'

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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AUTOPSY OF SECOND LEBANON WAR

Israel's Top Political & Military Leaders Put Into Words How Their Lack Of Necessary Expertise Lead To Failings In Second Lebanon War

Winograd Testimony Reveals No Real Surprises To Israeli Public

Labor's Ehud Barak Finally Becomes Real Player On Israeli Political Scene

The publication of the long awaited Winograd testimony has done little to alter the Israeli public's perception that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz fumbled the Second Lebanon War last summer. Olmert and Peretz, both inexperienced in conducting a war, rushed into battle with a military commander determined to prove that his pilots could win a guerrilla war with Hezbollah. When this strategy got bogged down, all three were at a loss of what to do. An IsraCast analysis indicates there although Olmert may have survived the first wave of public criticism, he now faces a political campaign of attrition calling on him to step down.

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Herod's Tomb Discovered

Herod's tomb has been discovered at Herodium (12 km south of Jerusalem). The discovery of the grave  solves one of the great mysteries of archaeology in the Land of Israel.

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SECOND LEBANON WAR REVISITED

Moshe Yaalon: 'Former Chief Of Staff Dan Halutz Caused The IDF To Fail In Second Lebanon War'

'I Believe That If I Had Been In Command War Would Have Ended Entirely Different'

'I Repeatedly Tried To Persuade Halutz That Air Power Alone Could Not Knock Out Hezbollah'

Not only Israel, but countries in the Middle East and the international community are still pondering what happened to the vaunted Israel Defense Forces Israel in last summer's war against Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. The Winograd Commission has painted the the broad outline focusing on the faulty decision making of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz. But it is Halutz's predecessor, Moshe Yaalon who has spelled out what what went wrong from the strategic and tactical points of view. Yaalon who served as Chief of Staff from 2002 , after the IDF withdrawal from southern Lebanon, until the spring of 2005, has given extensive interviews to the Maariv newspaper and Channel One TV. IsraCast summarizes these two important insights into what went wrong in the Second Lebanon war.

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OLMERT'S SURVIVAL

Olmert Officials: 'One-Hundred Thousand Demonstrators Calling For Prime Minister's Resignation Will Not Decide For Entire Country'

Olmert Absorbs Winograd Onslaught With Both His Party & Coalition Still In Tact

Labor Faces Dilemma Of Alienating Potential Voters By Remaining In Olmert Cabinet In Order To Block Bibi Netanyahu's Rise To Power In Early Election

The scathing findings of the Winograd interim report were harsher than expected and have rocked Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his coalition government. But Olmert has absorbed the immediate impact, rolling with the punches and determined to survive. But as previously discussed by IsraCast, the Prime Minister could be at the mercy of Labor, his main coalition partner which faces a major dilemma over remaining in an Olmert-led cabinet.

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POLITICAL TSUNAMI SWEEPING ISRAEL

Labor Party Cabinet Minister Eitan Kabel Resigns Saying : 'Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Must Resign!'

Israeli Protesters Begin Begin Marching To Tel Aviv & Jerusalem

Demanding Resignation of Olmert & Defense Minister Amir Peretz

A political tsunami is now sweeping Israel after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz declared they will not resign after the Winograd Enquiry condemned their conduct of the Second Lebanon War. Labor Party Cabinet Minister Eitan Kabel has resigned declaring that he could no longer serve in a cabinet lead by Olmert. Israelis from different parts of Israel for a big protest demonstration against the government in Tel Aviv on Thursday night. IsraCast reports that both Olmert and Peretz appear to be on borrowed time as they face a growing wave of protest.

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IsraCast Archive | May-June 2007

IsraCast Archive