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August 23, 1929

The Massacre in Hebron

The Hebron Massacre refers to the mass murder of 67 Jews on 23 and 24 August 1929 in Hebron, then part of the British Mandate of Palestine, by Arabs incited to violence by false rumors that Jews were massacring Arabs in Jerusalem and seizing control of Muslim Holy Places.

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August 12, 2017

BIBI NETANYAHU- I AM THE STATE (OF ISRAEL)!

Now fighting for his political life, Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has launched a no-holds barred campaign. Subject to several police investigations on suspicion of political and financial fraud, Netanyahu is trying to rally the Likud party behind him no matter what the outcome. He probably has succeeded. Several thousand cheering Likudniks from all over the country flocked to a political pep rally for the PM in Tel Aviv. It was an impressive show of strength that Bibi is still in the driver's seat with the backing of the Likud rank-and-file despite the media's daily revelations.

Bibi was at his best or worst, depending on your perspective. He sailed into the media and the Left-wing opposition charging they are colluding in an 'undemocratic witch-hunt' to topple him after he was elected fair and square by the Israeli public. This was the force driving the current police investigations, and he was certain that despite the media hype 'nothing will come of it because there is nothing!' This has been his battle cry and the crowd of Likud stalwarts lapped it up, repeatedly chanting 'Bibi, Bibi'.

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March 29, 2001

Chaim Herzog (1918-1997)

Israel's sixth president, Israel's ambassador to the UN, Member of the Knesset and an outstanding figure in Modern Jewish history.

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January 21, 2017

ISRAEL AWAITS TWO SAVIORS

Israel's Right wing fervently hopes and believes US President Donald Trump will reverse America's former policy that opposed settlement building in the West Bank. From Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu on down, the Right wingers also trust the US will serve as a bulwark to anti-Israel moves at the UN and in other international forums. A first indicator will be if Trump keeps his campaign pledge to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in the face of bitter Palestinian and Muslim threats. But his credibility is at stake. Could this mean he will, as reported, suffice with some half-measure like moving the Ambassador's official residence to Jerusalem, while the embassy would remain in Tel Aviv?

Trump's Inauguration address focused on his 'America First' theme and bringing back home American jobs. If so, this might trigger a global trade war. Or then again, will Trump's bark prove to be worse than his bite?

On Friday evening, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu rushed off his best wishes to Trump:

       'Congratulations to my friend President Trump. I look forward to working closely with you to make the alliance between Israel and America stronger than ever. Shabbat Shalom'.

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December 22, 2000

Chanukah

 Chanukah is probably one of the best known Jewish holidays, not because of any great religious significance, but because of its proximity to Christmas. Many non-Jews think of this holiday as the Jewish Christmas, adopting many of the Christmas customs, such as elaborate gift-giving and decoration.

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September 10, 2016

Implications Of Latest North Korean Nuclear Test For Israel

Jerusalem:

Iranian nuclear scientists have visited North Korea in the past, so they may have also been invited to the latest nuclear bomb test. So North Korea, one crazy state, has supplied nuclear weapons aid to another one, Iran. And note this troubling aspect about the North Korean statement:

      'The standardization of the nuclear warhead will enable (North Korea) To produce at will and as many as it wants a variety of smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher striking power... This has definitely put us (North Korea) on a higher level for mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles'.

For Israel, does this raise the possibility of North Korea selling nuclear bombs to Iran in the future? A flush Iran will now have the cash. This is something that Israel must take into account although the International Atomic Energy Agency believes that Tehran is abiding by the nuclear deal forged in July 2015.

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May 27, 2016

NETANYAHU-LIEBERMAN THUNDERBOLT FOR DUMMIES

Israel is still reeling after Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu appointed Avigdor Lieberman as his new Defense Minister. Half of the country thinks Bibi has lost his marbles while the other believes Lieberman is just what the doctor ordered to cope with the violence and bloodshed running rampant in the Middle East. In the past, Lieberman has called for imposing the death penalty on Palestinian terrorists, who have been killing Israeli civilians in the streets, and suggested that Israel should topple the Hamas regime in Gaza and target Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for backing terrorism against the Jewish State. In addition, if Cairo ever threatened Israel again, Jerusalem should destroy the huge Aswan Dam in Egypt.

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April 08, 2016

Bernie Sanders blows it on Israel & Gaza

Has Bernie Sanders just disqualified himself from becoming Commander in Chief of the U.S., the most powerful nation in the world and leader of the Free World? His outrageous charge that Israel killed over 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza casts serious doubt. At best, Sanders appeared to be a befuddled 74-year-old who over-estimated the figure by five times! That is not only sloppy preparation and playing fast and loose with the facts, but it quite simply showed that Bernie sometimes doesn't know what he's talking about. And everyone thought Donald Trump was off the wall. But seriously, would Sanders as President be qualified to be awakened from a deep sleep at 3AM to make crucial calls about war and peace? It appears that even in the middle of the day Bernie has trouble keeping the facts straight.

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March 19, 2015

BIBI'S COMEBACK = U.S. REASSESSMENT

 What is on the line is America's three billion dollar grant in military aid for Israel to buy American made weapons, and political support in world forums such as the United Nations. Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, have already brushed aside Bibi's dire warnings about a nuclear deal with Iran that is now being forged with the Iranians, who are squeezing out every last concession from Washington with the goal of leaving their formidable nuclear weapons potential intact for a future break out. This will occur probably after Obama kisses good-by to the White House and Tehran has rebuilt its failing economy as a result of the current international sanctions. 

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April 19, 2014

MOSHE KAHLON - ISRAEL'S FUTURE PRIME MINISTER?

 Could Moshe Kahlon, who is barely known outside of Israel, become a future prime minister? Who knows? It's a long shot, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. The Likud Cabinet minister achieved immense popularity and prestige in the former Netanyahu government, but then dropped a bombshell by refusing to run in the last election in January 2013. At the time, Kahlon turned down the pleas of the Likud and Netanyahu, saying he wanted some time off from politics. After attending an advanced course at Harvard for foreign administrators, Kahlon has returned to Israel and to Israeli politics. The affable and soft Kahlon has now sounded a political war cry that is likely to shake up the next election campaign when it comes around. If Kahlon does decide to make a serious bid to run for the premiership, it will be the first time a Mizrachi Jew has done so, and that could have an important impact on traditional voting patterns in Israel. (Mizrachi Jews hail from Middle East countries, and Ashkenazi Jews are from Europe or Americas). 

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February 26, 2014

ISRAELI AIR STRIKE & IRAN'S NUCLEAR TALKS

 10:04 - Monday morning in Israel: Air raid sirens suddenly wail across the country sending hundreds of thousands of Israeli school children and kindergarten toddlers to their bomb shelters. There is no panic but some of the smaller children cry as their teachers or day care minders lead them to their underground havens. This time it was the annual drill - a dry run for the real thing that has become part of daily life in Israel. How many countries in the world have to face such a mortal threat to their children? Six decades after the Holocaust, Jewish children are again under mortal threat. And after the horrors of the current bloodbath in Syria, would anyone doubt their fate, if there is a terrible miscalculation over Israel's security needs.

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May 07, 2013

U.S.- ISRAELI PACKAGE DEAL ON SYRIA & IRAN

 Are Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu & U.S. President Barack Obama Collaborating On New Strategy For Taking On Syria and Iran? Analyst David Essing sees signs the two new-found allies have agreed that Israel will tackle the clear and present threat of the barbaric Assad while the U.S. will continue to pressure Iran. 

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January 21, 2013

Israel at the Ballot Box

 With Israeli society more polarized than ever, a staunchly right-wing government is only more likely to exacerbate these divisions. Gilead Sher and Olivia Holt-Ivry discuss the elections in Israel.

 Projecting elections is a risky task, even more so in Israel. At the end of the dramatic 1996 Election Day, the public went to bed with expectations of Shimon Peres as the next prime minister, only to awaken the following morning to Binyamin Netanyahu having won by a slim 30,000 votes. Beating all political commentators, politicians and analysts, the outcome of those elections — held after the traumatic assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin — should be a lesson in humility when predicting developments in the Israeli political arena. Consequently, the following is a guide for perplexed observers, rather than a projection of the general elections’ results.

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January 04, 2013

Israeli Election Dramatic Developments

Age of Extremes- A spectacular victory for the far Right Jewish Home party appears to be in the offing. The latest poll indicates that party leader Naftali Bennet continues to soar in the current election campaign winning 18 Knesset seats in the 120 member parliament. And there is no doubt that Bennett, a young and charismatic newcomer on the political scene, deserves all the credit. Just two weeks ago, who served in the vaunted Sayyeret Matkal special forces unit, shocked the nation by saying that if he were ordered to evict Israeli settlers from their homes he would not do it and prefer to be sentenced to prison. Bennett swiftly apologized saying he did not mean to incite IDF soldiers to disobey orders. However Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pounced on Bennett's blunder by declaring: "Anyone who incites soldiers to disobey orders cannot serve in my government!" Netanyahu, like just about everyone else including yours truly, reckoned that Bennett would pay dearly in the polls. But think again! Lo and behold, Bennet rose to 18 seats tied with Labor's Shelli Yechimovich. And where has Bennett gained more prospective voters? From none other than the ranks of Likud – Beiteinu.

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November 26, 2012

Israel & Gaza - 'Quiet for Quiet'

 After the intense eight-day conflict both sides claim victory with Israel pledging that 'quiet will be met with quiet'. However Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government have been facing criticism for 'not finishing the job' and ordering a ground operation into Gaza to stop the repeated rocketing of Israeli civilians. Not only the Israeli residents in the south who have been terrorized for years from Gaza but also many of the IDF reserve soldiers mobilized for a ground attack, blamed Netanyahu for not going all the way. However analyst David Essing is of the view that Netanyahu along with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman succeeded in blending military force with diplomacy in furthering Israel's national interest at this time.   

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November 10, 2012

Isracast Weekend Report: Now to Israel's Election Campaign!

 Will Barack Obama now retaliate against Israel for Bibi Netanyahu's betting on Mitt Romney? Netanyahu's rivals are attacking the Prime Minister for acting irresponsibly by showing his preference for the defeated Republican candidate. Although Netanyahu bet and he bet wrong, the issue is unlikely to be a game-changer in Israel's election campaign that has yet to move into top gear for January 22. First Likud and labor must hold their primaries for the party list of candidates and Shimon Peres, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni must decide once and for all whether to throw their hats into the ring. Meanwhile Netanyahu is trying vigorously to repair some of his damaged bridges with Obama with statements like: "I will continue to work with President Obama to protect the security interests of Israeli citizens". And the PM stressed:"The strategic alliance between Israel and the U.S. is stronger than ever'. (In all fairness it should be said that the much maligned Defense Minister Ehud Barak deserves most of the credit for the 'unprecedented' military collaboration between the two countries. Netanyahu often dispatched Barak on special missions to Washington to smooth over the not infrequent tiffs with the White House and keep relations on the rails with the Pentagon. But the overbearing Barak is often his own worst enemy when it comes to Israeli politics and his Independence party might not win even one seat in the election).

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October 20, 2012

Kahlon and Israeli Election Fever

 Just why popular Likud Cabinet Minister Moshe Kahlon has bowed out of politics is still shrouded in mystery. At the height of his career and at the start of the early election campaign Kahlon has still not provided a full explanation for his decision that startled the country. On the basis of what is known so far, Analyst David Essing has concluded 'Though this be madness, yet there is method in it'.

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February 13, 2011

New Egypt - Big Question Mark For Israel

 At the end of the sabbath, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed Egypt's ruling Supreme Council pledge to honor all its international agreements including the peace treaty with Israel. Netanyahu praised the praised the peace agreement as serving the interests of both countries and a cornerstone of Middle East stability. As the monumental events unfolded, there was no telling what they would portend for Israel. While visiting the U.S., Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel must 'upgrade' its long term security while pushing for peace with both the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors. For the foreseeable future the Egyptian Army, that has served as an anchor of moderation that has resolved the crisis, will be running the country. David Essing assesses how Mubarak's departure is being viewed in Israel.

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February 05, 2011

Gen. Galant to the Guillotine!

Barring last minute developments, Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz will reportedly become the new IDF Chief of Staff after Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein disqualified Maj.Gen. Yoav Gallant. However Gallant has not given up - in TV interviews he declared: 'I never lied, deceived or acted dishonorably in the land dispute near my home'.
Nonetheless, Gen. Gallant is fighting a rear guard action against overwhelming odds, despite growing public support for his case. David Essing has this assessment of the controversial affair that has rocked the IDF and the entire country.

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December 23, 2010

Gaza 'Kornet' Triggers Escalation

 After two years of relative quiet along the Gaza-Israeli border, recent Palestinian attacks have seriously escalated the situation. In fact, it's only by chance that the area was not turned overnight into a major battle zone. At a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, IDF Chief Of Staff Gaby Ashkenazi disclosed that on Dec. 6th, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired a Kornet anti-tank missile across the border hitting an IDF tank. Fortunately, the missile did not explode inside the tank after penetrating its armor. IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi warned: "The situation with Gaza is tense and fragile and could turn explosive if fresh Palestinian attacks injure Israelis".

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