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IsraCast Archive | July-August 2007

NUCLEAR MESSAGE OR SNAFU

Iranian Expert Menashe Amir: 'Iran Remains Mum To News That Israel Building Underground Command Bunker To Survive Iranian Nuclear Attack'

'Ahmadinejad Continues Nuclear Weapons Drive In Belief That Bush Is Bluffing'

Knesset Member Yuval Steinitz: 'Press Disclosure Of Israel's Nuclear Bunker Was Grave Violation Of National Security'

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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False assumptions

By Lt. Gen. (Res.) Moshe Yaalon, the 17th Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces

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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AUSCHWITZ BORDERS?

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert & Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Reportedly Discuss Peace Plan

Likud MK Yuval Steinitz: 'Olmert's West Bank Withdrawal Scheme Will Push Israel Back To Auschwitz Lines'

While Olmert & Abbas Were Meeting in Jerusalem, Palestinian Terrorists Launch More Qassam Rockets At Sderot

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly discussed an Israeli withdrawal on the West Bank at their latest meeting in Jerusalem. According to Israel Radio, the two leaders also considered a land swap involving West Bank settlements in return for Israeli territory in the Negev desert as well as a partition of Jerusalem. The right- wing Likud party has charged that Olmert has no mandate to negotiate such issues. Likud MK Yuval Steinitz told IsraCast that an Israeli pullback to the former lines of 1967 would lead to a Holocaust for the Jewish state.

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Ahmadinejad, Stop threatening Israel

Knesset Member Nadia Hilo has sent a letter to the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

While Israelis are worried from the Iranian nuclear threat, MK Hilo decided to act on the issue. In a letter which is making its way to Iran, she is calling Ahmadinejad to stop his threats to exterminate Israel. Nadia Hilo is an Israeli Arab and as a member of the Labor party she was elected to the Knesset in the last elections. IsraCast brings you this open letter written by her to the Iranian president.

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STRATEGIC QASSAM vs. DIPLOMATIC BLITZ

Maj. Gen. (res.) Shalom Harari: 'Qassam Rocket That Hits Crowded Israeli Kindergarten Or Synagogue Will Trigger Massive IDF Operation '

'Upcoming International Peace Conference Has Slim Chance Of Success Because Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Has No Control Over His Own Fatah Terrorists On West Bank'

'Palestinian Public Opinion Terrorized By Hamas'

In spite of intense diplomatic activity scheduled for this fall, little will likely change in the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation. IDF Maj. Gen. (res.) Shalom Harari sees slim chance of the international conference achieving little more than vague understandings because Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cannot exercise any control over his own West Bank terrorists. Meanwhile, the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip is locked in an escalating confrontation with Israel. This week a terrorist rocket scored a direct hit on an Israeli kindergarten in Sderot that was empty of children at the time. In an interview with IsraCast Gen. Harari, now an analyst at the Herzliya Center, warned that if a Qassam rocket hits a crowded synagogue or kindergarten it will trigger a massive IDF operation into Gaza.

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Help Infants with attachment disorders

The past few years have witnessed a significant increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism, a childhood disorder that affects, language, communication, and social skills. According to the American Health Departments CDC (center for disease control), currently autism affects as many as 1 out of 300 children.

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ISRAELI-SYRIAN MISCALCULATION

Prof. Eyal Zisser: 'Danger Of Israel- Syrian War Is Still There Despite Calming Statements By Israeli Syrian Leaders'

'Both Armies Have Been Preparing For Potential War Which Could Be Triggered By Minor Incident Or Mistake'

'I Don't Believe New American Grand Design To Form An Arab Coalition Against Nuclear Iran Will Be Any More Successful Than Previous Middle Moves'

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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BARAK BRAKES ON OLMERT

Defense Minister Barak Opposes Prime Minister Olmert's Plan To Lift West Bank Checkpoints

Olmert & Barak Appear To Be On Collision Course But Will Likely Reach Modus Vivendi For Short Term

Labor Cabinet Minister Ben Eliezer: 'Palestinian Suicide Bombers Will Again Threaten Israeli Civilians If Vital Checkpoints Are Lifted'

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have crossed swords over what security risks should be taken in order to promote renewed peace contacts with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Olmert appears eager to produce results by easing restrictions on Palestinian movement on West Bank. However, sources close to Barak warn of a renewed threat of Palestinian suicide bombers if vital checkpoints are removed. IsraCast is of the view that Olmert of Kadima and Barak of Labor both require time to rebuild their leadership images with Israeli voters and therefore they will seek a short-term Modus vivendi to prevent a breakup of the government coalition.

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Valley of Peace - By Shimon Peres

The 'Valley of Peace' plan can jumpstart the peace process and move forward, even now

The government of Israel adopted an important, precedential decision, designating the "Valley of Peace" plan as a "National Project" for all intents and purposes. The plan will be given preference in the government's list of priorities, and benefit from a shortening of bureaucratic processes and a comprehensive governmental effort towards putting it into action. These steps constitute the climax of an effort to change perceptions, overcome prejudice, and use modern methods in order to bring about real political change in the region.

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PERES GRAND DESIGN

President Shimon Peres: 'Israel, Palestinians & Jordan Agree To Form Economic Troika For Developing Joint Border Area'

'No Possibility Of Returning To Jordanian Option Reached With King Hussein in 1986'

'Need For Two-Track Policy With Palestinians Comprised Of Political Negotiations And Separate Economic Co-operation'

The latest meeting of Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas comes against the backdrop of more Israeli goodwill gestures and Palestinian pledges to rein in the terrorists. But behind the latest headlines about the political give and take between the two leaders some serious behind the scenes economic understandings have been forged which also include Jordan. IsraCast says President Shimon Peres has been the driving force behind this independent track and a recent meeting of the Council of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, Peres disclosed his grand design.

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ARENS WARNS ISRAEL

Moshe Arens: 'Upcoming Regional Conference Is Big Gamble For Israel - Prime Minister Olmert & Foreign Minister Livni Must Clarify That Israel Will Not Return To 1967 Lines Or Accept Palestinian Refugees'

'Big U.S. Arms Deal With Arab States Will Have No Effect On Iran's Drive For Nuclear Weapons'

'Chances Are Minimal That Palestinian Leader Abbas Will Succeed In Judea & Samaria After Losing Gaza'

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has toured the Middle East meeting with Arab and Israeli leaders in the run-up to the regional conference this fall. All signs are go that most Arab states, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert are firmly behind the current American initiative to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The latest flurry of diplomatic activity comes against the background of U.S. efforts to block Iran's drive for nuclear weapons which also worries the Sunni Arab regimes as well as a future American exit strategy from Iraq. However Moshe Arens, a former Israeli defense and foreign minister told IsraCast that the regional conference and the big U.S. arms sales to the Arab states are a big gamble for Israel and could pose some new threats.

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ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE TRAIN

Olmert & Peres: 'Israel Will Be Initiating New Moves To Advance Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process'

At Joint News Conference, Israeli Prime Minister Appears to Co-Opt Labor's Approach To Two-State Solution

Egyptian & Jordanian Foreign Ministers: 'Arab World Is Ready For Peace With Israel In Return For Total Withdrawal To 1967 Lines'

In Jerusalem, momentum is building for the international meeting to discuss implementing the two state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict slated for this fall. In calling for the conference, U.S. President George Bush has apparently pulled some strings in all quarters to create a constructive atmosphere. IsraCast sees signs that Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has implemented a new agenda. He has discarded his unilateralism opting for risks and concessions in bilateral talks with the Palestinians resembling that of the Labor party. This approach may also be designed to influence Israeli public opinion.

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European Media Slant

Is much of the European media coverage slanted when it comes to covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Are Israeli government officials 'verbal vegetarians' when it comes to confronting the nature of Palestinian terror attacks?

Media Analyst Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs talks to IsraCast about his findings

'By and large, European media coverage is biased against Israel' - that's the assessment of Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Chairman of the Board of  Fellows of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. In an interview with IsraCast, Gerstenfeld also charged that Israel's government have proved to be 'verbal vegetarians' when it comes to confronting the problem.

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Listen to Interview with Dr. Gerstenfeld Includes transcript of interview

GOING LAST MIDDLE EAST MILE

U.S. President George Bush Recruits Moderate Arab States In Last Chance Attempt To Rescue Israeli-Palestinian Peace Accord

Bush To Palestinians: 'You Must Choose Between Hamas & Palestine You Can't Have Both'

Bush To Israelis: 'Forget About Settlements & Develop Negev and Galilee'

About to enter the home-stretch of his second and final term, U.S. President George Bush is making a final attempt to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement after the Hamas coup in Gaza. The IsraCast analysis is that Bush is exploiting the split between Hamas and Fatah to unify West Bank Palestinians and moderate Arab states on an accelerated two-state solution. Bush told the Palestinians they must renounce Hamas and terrorism and recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Israelis had to settle the Negev and Galilee and not the West Bank.

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PRESIDENT PERES & ZE'EV JABOTINSKY

The first official duty of President Shimon Peres was to address a memorial ceremony for Zeev Jabotinsky, the revered founder of Betar and Revisionist movement - the forerunner of the Likud party. At the service on Jerusalem's Mount Herzl, President Peres spoke of how even David Ben-Gurion had exaggerated the rift between the Revisionists on the Right and Mapai on the Left when it came to the Greater Land of Israel. Peres said that Jabotinsky advocated holding both banks of the Jordan River while Ben-Gurion was in favor of dividing the land. Peres added that both leaders had agreed on the need to ensure a Jewish majority - an issue that is topical to this day.

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PERES LASTS LONGER

Israel's New President Shimon Peres Pledges To Work For Unity Of All Israelis

The Ninth State President Was Born In Poland In 1923 & Arrived In Israel At The Age Of Eleven

IsraCast: President Peres Will Play A Greater Political Role Than Any Of His Predecessors Possibly Challenging Prime Minister Of The Day

Israel's parliament, the Knesset has sworn in Shimon Peres as new state president. In his address, Peres declared that he would work to unify all the Israeli people in its quest for peace. Although the position of state president is mainly ceremonial without executive power, IsraCast believes all the indications are that Peres will play a more active political role than any of his predecessors - possibly stepping on the prime minister's toes. Peres himself never won an election for premiership although he served twice in the position and even initiated the Oslo process with the Palestinians.

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SECOND THOUGHTS ON LEBANON WAR

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Signals Winograd Findings Will Not Force Him To Resign

On Anniversary Of Second Lebanon War, Israeli Mood Now Seeks Security Leading To Peace Not Oslo Approach

Former Defense Minister Amir Peretz: 'Second Lebanon War Revealed IDF Was Not Ready For Major Ground War, Now It Is'

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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a year in captivity

On July 12, 2006, at 9:05 a.m., IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were kidnapped by Hezbollah on the northern Israeli border. Top Israeli websites ceased all their online activity this morning for the duration of five minutes.

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HAMAS TORPEDOES MILK SUPPLY TO GAZA

Hamas Deliberately Shells Israeli Trucks Delivering Milk To Palestinian In Gaza Strip

IDF Gen. Yusuf Mislav: 'Hamas Government In Gaza Is Trying To Torpedo Humanitarian Supplies To Gaza For Propaganda Purposes'

'There Is No Threat Of Starvation Or Humanitarian Disaster In Gaza'

A senior IDF officer, responsible for overseeing the supply of humanitarian aid to Gaza , has rejected allegations that the Palestinian population will soon be facing starvation and other deprivation. In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee Gen. Yusuf Mislav said Israeli policy is to ensure that Palestinians in Gaza receive adequate humanitarian aid - Israel refuses to have any contact with the radical Hamas regime in Gaza that identifies with Iran's aim to wipe Israel off the map. IsraCast quotes Gen. Mislav as saying : 'The Hamas regime actually launched a mortar attack on Israeli milk supplies to Gaza today as part of its propaganda campaign about looming starvation'.

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ZERO TOLERANCE TO GAZA TERROR

Defense Minister Ehud Barak Has Ordered Carefully Calibrated Campaign Against Terrorism From Gaza

Barak Appears Determined To Prevent Hamas Turning Gaza Into Iranian Forward Base As Hezbollah Did In South Lebanon

Israel Permits Tons Of Food Supplies & Drugs To Be Shipped Into Gaza

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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OLMERT'S CALCULATED RISKS

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert : 'I'm Ready To Take Calculated Risk & Lift Some Israeli Checkpoints On the West Bank To Help Shore Up Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas'

'IDF Maneuvers ON Golan Heights Are Routine & Israel Has No Intention Of Attacking Syria'

Opposition Leader Bibi Netanyahu: 'Talk Of Palestinian State Will Lead To Establishing Iranian State On Israel's Borders'

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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IsraCast Archive | July-August 2007

IsraCast Archive