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IsraCast Archive | July-August 2010

Netanyahu's Tightrope In Washington

Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu Must Walk Tightrope Between Concessions To Palestinians In Washington While Reassuring Right Wing Supporters Back Home

Netanyahu's Approach: 'Security Will Bring Peace & Not That Peace Will Bring Security'

IsraCast: Israeli PM To Tell Palestinian Leader Abbas That Extension Of Settlement Freeze Is Part Of Negotiation & Cannot Be Prior Condition

 With U.S. President Barack Obama presiding, Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are set to launch New peace talks in Washington on Sept.2nd. However, a major clash is threatening to torpedo this latest peace effort. Netanyahu has said he is committed to start rebuilding in Israeli settlements in Judea & Samaria (West Bank) after Israel's unilateral building suspension expires on Sept 26th. - Abbas warns that he'll walk out of the talks if Israel builds anew. IsraCast analyst David Essing assesses Israel's approach to the new peace talks.

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Israel - Cabinet Clash Over Settlement Freeze

Several Likud Cabinet Ministers Call On Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu To Extend Settlement Freeze In Order To Save Upcoming Israeli- Palestinian Peace Talks

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman & Some Likud Cabinet Ministers Urge Netanyahu To Honor His Promise To Immediately Renew Settlement Building After Moratorium Expires On Sept. 26th

IsraCast Assessment: If Prime Minister Decides To Extend Building Freeze Labor & Possibly Shas Would Lend Their Support Inside Government Coalition

Two dates loom large on the Middle East calendar - on Sept. 2nd, President Barack Obama is to launch a new round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks while the current Israeli settlement freeze expires on Sept.26th. Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is committed to renew building after the freeze expires while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warns that if Israel does, he will walk out of the long awaited direct negotiations. The Obama administration has now weighed in by telling both sides from taking provocative actions, a veiled warning to Israel. While it is not clear what the PM will decide, his cabinet ministers are now embroiled in a heated debate on whether or not to extend the building 'suspension'. Analyst David Essing is of the view the cabinet ministers do not have the foggiest idea of what the Prime Minister will decide.

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Secret U.S.-Russian Deal On Bushehr?

Analyst Menashe Amir: 'U.S. & Russia Concluded Secret Deal on Activating Iran's Nuclear Reactor At Bushehr

'In June, Russia Supported Latest U.N. Security Council Sanctions On Iran In Return For America's Agreement On Russia's Activating Bushehr'

IsraCast Assessment: Israel Apparently Informed Of Deal - Netanyahu Government Apparently Ready To Go Along After Reassured Of Safeguards Against Iranians Exploiting Bushehr For Producing Nuclear Weapons

Iran is set to join the 'Nuclear Club' on August 21st - that's when Russia will install nuclear fuel rods in the core of Iran's nuclear reactor at Bushehr. Surprisingly, Israeli government officials have not condemned the step that will upgrade Iran's nuclear capability and that could, if unchecked, even provide plutonium from the spent fuel rods for the eventual production of a nuclear bomb. Iranian affairs analyst Menashe Amir believes there is more to the Bushehr case than meets the eye.

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Russia To 'Launch' Iran's Nuclear Reactor

Russia Announces That It Will 'Launch' Iran's Nuclear Bushehr Reactor On August 21st

'Russian Technicians To Load Busher Reactor With Nuclear Fuel'

IsraCast Assessment: No Official Israeli Reaction But In Private Israeli Government Officials Are Likely To Be Infuriated With Russian Decision To Bolster Nuclear Capability of Iran That Threatens 'To Wipe Israel Off The Map'

 It's now official - 'Rosatom', Russia's Atomic Energy Agency has announced that on August 21st, Russian technicians will load Iran's Bushehr reactor with nuclear fuel. Spokesman Sergei Navikov was quoted as saying: 'From then on the rector will be qualified as a nuclear plant'. A Russian delegation headed by Rosatom director Sergei Kiriyenko is due to attend the ceremony. The news came just before the Sabbath when Israeli officialdom closes down until Sunday. However, IsraCast analyst David Essing has some unofficial comments.

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New Meds Could Stop Cancer by Cutting Off Its Blood

Researchers at Tel Aviv University are developing a new family of medicines that could provide preventive treatment for cancer, or turn existing cancer into a chronic disease that one can live with for years.

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Hezbollah Co-Opts Lebanon's Army

Israeli Leaders: 'We Hold Lebanese Government Directly Responsible For Lebanese Army Attack Inside Israeli Territory' - One IDF Officer Shot Dead & Another Seriously Wounded

Hezbollah Leader Sheik Nasrallah: 'We Ordered Hezbollah Fighters In The Area To Hold Their Fire While Telling Lebanon's Army Commander That Hezbollah Was At His Service'

IsraCast Assessment: While All The Details Are Incomplete There Are Indications That Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah Stage Managed The Attack To Draw Attention Away From Lebanon's Internal Tensions & to Co-opt Lebanon's Army Into Confrontation With Israel.

 One day after the deadly sniping attack by the Lebanese army that killed one IDF officer and wounded another, Israel declared it will continue the routine, necessary and legitimate clearing of underbrush inside Israeli territory. Four Lebanese soldiers were reportedly killed and several others wounded when Israel responded to the sudden cross border attack from Lebanon. The sniper fire by Lebanese Army soldiers, who traditionally stay out of clashes between Hezbollah and Israel, came as a major surprise. So did Lebanese soldiers on the spot take things into their own hands and launch a 'local initiative' or has Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah now co-opted the Lebanese Army, while Lebanon's political leadership is powerless to restrain Hezbollah?

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Arab League Green Light vs. Gaza Rocketing

Arab League Support for Direct Talks Between Israel & Palestinians Triggers Gaza Rocketing Of Israel

Israeli Aircraft Respond By Striking Terrorist Targets In Gaza

IsraCast Assessment: West Bank Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas Now Expected To Negotiate With Israel's President Binyamin Netanyahu. Israeli Leader Has Accentuated Positive Atmospherics For Negotiations But Can He Now Deliver On Substance In Face of Right-wing Coalition

 On July 29th, the Arab League put its seal of approval on a new round of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Since the election of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, nearly a year and a half ago, West Bank Palestinian President Muhmoud Abbas has refused to negotiate with Netanyahu. But after Netanyahu met recently with U.S. President Barak Obama, European officials and Arab leaders, they have all come in support of the direct negotiations. Netanyahu has declared repeatedly that he means business about implementing the two state solution and this has apparently done the trick. While Abbas considered his reply, Hamas controlled Gaza reacted swiftly with fresh rocket attacks on Israel.

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Netanyahu & Abbas at Crossroads

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu & Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas Arm Wrestle Over Direct Talks

Likud Cabinet Ministers Warn Netanyahu Not To Extend Ten Month Suspension On Settlement Building That Expires on Sept.26th

Israel Hopeful That Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty Will Be Honored By President Hosni Mubarak's Successor

 Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and West Bank Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas continue to spar over the conditions for starting direct negotiations. Netanyahu's condition is that there be no prior conditions; Abbas now demands an Israeli commitment to extend the current freeze on settlement building that expires on September 26th. American envoy George Mitchell is trying hard to square the circle in the current proximity talks he is conducting between the two sides. The Washington Times report that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is seriously ill with stomach and pancreas cancer has caught Israel's attention. However the reaction is one of confidence - Israeli experts believe there will be a smooth succession of power, whenever Mubarak departs.

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Lieberman's Gaza Proposal A Non-Starter

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's Reported Proposal To Lift Israel's Gaza Blockade & Hand Over Control To European Union Likely To Be Non-Starter

Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas To Consult With Arab League On Returning To Direct Talks With Israel

U.S. Congress Grants $200 Million To Israel For Deployment Of 'Iron Dome' Missile Defense System That Can Protect Jewish State from Future Rocket Attacks From Gaza & South Lebanon

 The week in Israel ended with some surprising developments. According to the Yediot Ahronot daily, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is about to propose a dramatic plan to lift Israel's naval blockade of Gaza and hand over control to countries from the European Union. The latest aid ship bound for Gaza complied with Israel's naval blockade and agreed to change course for Al Arish, Egypt without provoking violence. Meanwhile, U.S. envoy George Mitchell has met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on the West Bank. However Abbas, who fears condemnation from Hamas, may not agree to return to direct talks with Israel, unless he gets the green light from the Arab League.

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Friedman, 'Al-Hama Rules' & Israel

New York Times Columnist Tom Friedman Compares IDF's Cast Lead Operation Into Gaza With Syrian President Hafez Assad's Massacre at Al-Hama

IsraCast Questions: How Would Friedman Have Reacted If His Daughters Were Being Rocketed Day And Night For Eight Years?

Are U.S. & NATO Allies Not Conducting Similar Military Operations In Afghanistan With Far Less Concern For Civilian Lives?

Is Friedman's Warning That Israel May Risk Her Legitimacy By Responding To More Attacks Stripping The Jewish State Of Her Right to Self Defense?

 To say that most Israelis were shocked by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman is putting it mildly. Did Friedman really compare the IDF's Cast Lead operation last year with Syrian President Hafez Assad's massacre of twenty thousand or more of his own people in the town of Hama in 1982? In the view of IsraCast analyst David Essing, Friedman has made the appalling comparison in order to attack Israeli settlement policy. However, Friedman appears to have forgotten that it was former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who launched Operation Cast Lead and who also offered unprecedented concessions to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Abbas refused to accept.

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Obama's About-Face To Netanyahu

Obama-Netanyahu Meeting Lays Groundwork For Direct Talks Between Israel & Palestinians

Defense Minister Ehud Barak: "Important Step Forward.... Other Understandings At White House Meeting Not Revealed"

 After being humiliated on former visit to the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu received a remarkable red carpet welcome this time by President Barak Obama. Not only in words but also in deeds. IsraCast analyst David Essing sees President Obama's about- face as having two main objectives: he is signaling the Israeli public that he is not the enemy and showing Netanyahu the benefits of extending the current ten month settlement freeze in Judea and Samaria. But as Americans say 'there are no free lunches' and the Israeli leader will be expected to reciprocate. This is will likely spark a political firestorm by Netanyahu's Right- wing coalition partners.

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Netanyahu & Abbas Vying For Obama's Support

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu:'Our Decision On Settlement Suspension For Ten Months & Then Start Rebuilding Still Stands - Only Direct Negotiations With Abbas Can Resolve Differences'

Al-Hayat Newspaper:'Palestinian President Abbas Has Presented New Peace Proposals To U.S. With Demand That Israel Accept Future Borders of Palestinian State As Condition for Direct Negotiations'

IsraCast: Israel's Prime Minister Keeps Cards Close To His Chest Before July 6th Summit With U.S. President Obama Amid White House Expectations To Hear Some New Israeli Ideas After Latest Palestinian Proposals

 Recently Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met President Barack Obama in the White House, on July 6th it will be the turn of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. According to the London based Al- Hayat newspaper, Abbas has now presented the U.S. with a series of proposals starting with Israeli acceptance of the future borders for a Palestinian state. However, Netanyahu has declared he would discuss Palestinian proposals only within the framework of direct negotiations not in the current 'proximity talks' being brokered by special U.S. envoy George Mitchell. IsraCast analyst David Essing says Abbas is seeking U.S. agreement on the final borders for a Palestinian state as a pre-condition for direct negotiations with Israel.

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IsraCast Archive | July-August 2010

IsraCast Archive