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IsraCast Archive | September-October 2013

HOW ISRAELI HIGH-TECH HAPPENED

 Israel became a high-tech hothouse because she had to. True, she enjoys favorable conditions for the growth of high-tech industries; chief among them, well-educated, inventive, enterprising people. Relative to the size of her population, Israel has more engineers, and sees more scientific articles published, than any other country in the world (Israel has 135 engineers per 10,000 people; the US has 85). However, the stimulus for the industry's growth has been national survival, both military and economic.

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HOW AND WHEN ISRAEL SHOULD BOMB IRAN

IDF Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin: 'Israel Doesn't Need America - IDF Has Capability To Knock Out Iranian Nuclear Installations With 95% Probability Of Success’

'Israel's First Round Would Be Limited To Surgical Attack On Nuclear Facilities With No Damage To Iranian Economy or Population'

IsraCast Assessment: Yadlin's Analysis Indicates In Israel 'All Systems Are Go' If Current Nuclear Talks Fail To Produce Results By Late 2013 Or Early 2014

 How and when might Israel launch a military strike against Iran's nuclear weapons sites? For the first time, a retired Israeli general has disclosed military details that have remained under wraps. In an interview with the New Republic magazine, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin told correspondent Ben Birnbaum that Israel should give a chance for the current nuclear talks between the 5P+1, but if President Hassan Rouhani starts stalling again, he supports Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's position that Israel should go it alone without the U.S. Yadlin has served as the former head of IDF Intelligence and was one of the eight Israeli pilots who bombed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor, before it went 'hot' in 1981. (At the time, the Reagan Administration joined the rest of the world in condemning Israel but later lauded Israel for preventing the Iraqi tyrant from getting his hands on an A-bomb.) But the former fighter pilot is no super hawk. On the contrary. In the public debate, Yadlin bucked Netanyahu and former Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who were reportedly in favor of not waiting any longer. (It is still uncertain whether this was really the two leaders' position or whether they were really trying to ramp up international sanctions on Iran.)

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REMEMBERING YITZHAK RABIN AMID ISRAEL'S CURRENT CRISES

Rabin's last English language interview before his assassination

 How would former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin have perceived the two crises facing Israel today, the Iranian nuclear threat and the peace process with the Palestinians? Two days before his assassination on Nov. 4, 1995, Rabin saw 'separation with the Palestinians as the only permanent solution' and he had no inkling that Right wing fanatic Yigal Amir was planning to shoot him. On the other hand, Israeli intelligence had ascertained that the Iranian regime had started out on a determined drive to acquire nuclear weapons. Today, eighteen years later, Iran is very close to reaching its goal, although nothing is known about what was achieved this week during the two days of nuclear talks in Geneva between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. The Israeli public is also deep in the dark over what Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has negotiated with Palestinian official Saeb Erekat in their closed-door negotiations. 

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THREE ISRAELI & JEWISH PROFESSORS RECEIVE NOBEL PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013 was awarded jointly to Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel "for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems".

 On Wednesday, October 9, 2013, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences  announced the the three professors, Arieh Warshel, Michael Levitt, and Martin Karplus had been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.  Of the 23 chemistry Nobels awarded in the past decade, 11 of the winners were Jewish and six of them were Israelis.

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MENASHE AMIR PREVIEWS GENEVA NUCLEAR TALKS WITH IRAN

Listen to interview

 What approach will the Iranians take when they meet Western nuclear negotiators in Geneva on October 15th? In Jerusalem, Israeli expert Menashe Amir has some words of warning - the Iranians WILL again try 'to have their cake and eat it too'. Now in dire economic straits, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will oversee a new Iranian move to erode the sanctions by offering some minor nuclear concessions that will enable the regime to continue its drive for its first nuclear weapon, as did its ally North Korea. In a wide-ranging interview in the IsraCast studio, Amir also takes issue with those American analysts who contend that containing a nuclear armed Iran may be the 'least bad option'. 

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PM Netanyahu's speech at Bar Ilan University

"In my speech here four years ago I said that the solution is a demilitarized Palestinian state, with very clear security arrangements, not international forces. But the Palestinians must recognize the Jewish state."

 I recently read a hundred-page book by a wonderful American historian who passed away nearly 50 years ago. His name was Will Durant and he wrote many books. He wrote an eleven volume history of civilization, but at the end of his life, he wrote a hundred-page book, The Lessons of History. You should read it. Every line is carved from the stone of truth, and I will give you the bad news and the good news. 

 The bad news is that when you finish reading this book, you understand that in history, greater numbers rule. They matter. But here is the good news. On page 17, if I am not mistaken, he mentions that there may be exceptions to this rule and that through the unification of a cultural force, that's what he called it, the odds could be overcome. He gives the State of Israel as an example of such an exception. 

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NETANYAHU, ROUHANI & OBAMA UNRAVELLED

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu: 'The sole way to stop Iran's nuclear project is by maintaining or stiffening current sanctions, otherwise Israel will go it alone if need be!'

Iranian President Rouhani: 'We are ready to open a new page with the US; all it takes is a new diplomacy for lifting the sanctions imposed unjustly on our peaceful nuclear program.'

US President Obama: 'We are ready to give diplomacy a chance, but the military option remains on the table if Iran does not come clean on its nuclear project.'

 What does all that UN rhetoric mean? It boils down to this: Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu believes Iran will continue, by hook or by crook, to develop a nuclear weapons capability; if necessary Israel will go it alone against Iran. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is, by his own admission, a proven con artist, and his boss, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, will push on for the Bomb. US President Barack Obama says he is ready to give diplomacy a chance while keeping the military option on the table.

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US-IRAN NUCLEAR NEGOTIATIONS

 What is the essence of true negotiations? Obviously it is the readiness of both sides to compromise. For the negotiations to succeed, each side must give up something in return for something else that values more. But just think about it: is this the case between the US and Iran? Did America simply wake up one morning and decide to lead a campaign of crippling sanctions against the Islamic Republic for no good reason. So maybe it will be about America's meddling in Iran's internal affairs and the Iranians taking American diplomats in Tehran hostage in 1971? Not really. It's all about Iran's nuclear weapons program and America's subsequent sanctions action at the UN. Reading between the lines, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has told the UN General Assembly that 'constructive engagement' should result in the lifting of those sanctions. But flying in the face of the evidence, perish the thought that Iran has been advancing toward its first A-bomb! Rouhani told the General Assembly that, contrary to the US state Department's branding Iran as the world's number one state sponsor of terrorism, his country is anything but. Back home in Tehran, what might Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his Revolutionary Guards, who really call the shots, be ready to concede? Here are some IsraCast suggestions: 

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ISRAEL'S 'LANTERN ON THE STERN'

 Forget the current rhetoric coming out of Washington and Tehran. Both sides are playing each other as they prepare to kick off yet another round of negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue, the most critical crisis facing the world today. Iran's newly elected President Hassan Rouhani is the new smiling face of the tyrannical Islamist regime that supports Syria's use of chemical weapons. On the other hand, US President Barack Obama is trying to regain some of the credibility he lost to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Although he will not be taking part, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu will be a key absent partner, and he has left no doubt about where he stands on a nuclear Iran. On the basis of past experience, there is little chance that Iran will really back down from its nuclear weapons drive. On the other hand, Obama's erratic handling of the Syrian chemical weapons atrocity has raised questions about his staying the course. If Iran does eventually make a dash for the A-bomb and Obama choses to procrastinate, what will Israel do? Analyst David Essing refers to historian Barbara Tuchman's analogy of ‘the lantern on the stern' to illuminate how past history can aid in foretelling a future course of action.

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Europe wouldn’t allow it, why should Israel?

 One of the main claims of human rights organizations is that, regarding democratic behavior, Israel should adopt the norms accepted in democratic countries. That is a justified claim. Even with the assumption that the norms are not uniform, there is a wide, common denominator. This includes freedom of speech, the rule of law, freedom of association, etc. The common denominator includes Israel. Regarding relations between states, the application must be universal. No more double standards, rather mutual norms.  

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NETANYAHU CONNECTS SYRIA WITH IRAN

 "The message that emerges on Syria will be grasped in Iran" - Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has indicated that the Iranian nuclear project is still Israel's major concern. Addressing a graduation ceremony for Israeli Navy cadets, Netanyahu hinted that Israel would not be dependent on the U.S. for its security: ‘In these days, probably more than ever, this is the rule that guides me mainly in my actions - 'If I am not for myself, who will be for me’. And he followed this Talmudic saying by adding that Israel would always be prepared to defend itself. Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have steered clear of commenting on what course President Barack Obama should navigate on Syria. Netanyahu did say that an agreement must guarantee the Syrian regime will be disarmed of its chemical weapons and the world must make certain that whoever uses weapons of mass destruction will pay the price. 

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OBAMA - CHURCHILL OR CHAMBERLAIN?

Will U.S. President Barack Obama turn out to be a Winston Churchill or a Neville Chamberlain? Whatever the outcome, Obama's statecraft is being viewed as puzzling, to say the least, by the vast majority of Israelis. The sudden silence of Israeli officials, from Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu on down, speaks for the gravity with which they view the situation. One noticeable exception was President Shimon Peres who praised Obama 'for examining all the options to respond to Assad who had lost all legitimacy as Syria's president'. Shimon Peres, the media, and the Israeli 'in the street' found it hard to accept that the U.S. and the rest of the Free World were so prevaricating in standing up to a barbaric dictator's gassing of his own children and women. As for Russia and China, that's par for the course, realpolitik is their name of the game. In fact, it recalls Stalin's pact with Adolph Hitler when they okayed the Molotov- Ribbentrop treaty to carve up Poland and forestall Germany from invading the Soviet Union. 

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IsraCast Archive | September-October 2013

IsraCast Archive