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March 14, 2019

ISRAELI ELECTION RACE - BIBI WILL WIN UNLESS ...!

In the Israeli election, set for April 9th, the polls show Benny Gantz is still leading, but Bibi Netanyahu is still the favorite to become the next Prime Minister. And why is that? Unless Gantz wakes up and shakes up the campaign, his Blue & While Party may win a couple of seats more than Likud, but he will not be able to forge a 61-seat majority in the 120-member Knesset.

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March 01, 2019

NETANYAHU INDICTMENT ROCKS ISRAELI ELECTION CAMPAIGN

It was a long time coming, but it still hit the Jewish state like a bombshell. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has finally presented a 45-page indictment that would charge Prime Minister Netanyahu with three separate charges of bribery and breach of trust. These are grave offenses that could lead to a prison sentence. However, it's a long way from over - Israeli law entitles public officials to a pre-trial hearing before the Attorney General serves the indictment. (This is to prevent innocent public officials from being dragged into court by political rivals or wacky citizens.) 

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February 17, 2019

CALCULUS OF CURRENT ISRAELI ELECTION CAMPAIGN

"It's security, stupid!"

And how could it be otherwise? Consider the recent, horrific terror attack. Ori Ansbacher, a 19-year-old Israel woman, was walking in the outskirts of Jerusalem when she was attacked, raped, and stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist from the West Bank. The DNA of 29-year-old Arafat Arfiya was found at the site, leading to his arrest within 48 hours. Police say he has confessed and reenacted the crime.

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January 31, 2019

BENNY GANTZ - ISRAEL'S NEXT PRIME MINISTER?

Remember the name - Benny Gantz. A former IDF Chief of Staff, Gantz has just rocked the current Israeli election campaign - voters go to the polls on April 9th. What's happened? For weeks Gantz, a soft-spoken former paratroop commander, standing 6'5 tall, ran a low key campaign. He barely spoke at all, for which he was lambasted by the media and by his political rivals, in particular, by Bibi's Likud supporters. Then, on the night of January 29th, Gantz took off the wraps at his party convention. The whole country was waiting to hear what Israel's "Forest Gump" had to say finally. It turned out to be a blockbuster! Speaking quietly to his enthralled supporters and the nation, Gantz hauled Netanyahu over the coals. He compared Bibi's administration to that of the corrupt French Monarch Louis XIV - "The state? I am the State!". Bibi, now facing four investigations and possible indictment, had veered from the "straight and narrow" and the country was paying the price.

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January 10, 2019

TRUMP TO ERDOGAN: "SPEAK LOUDLY AND CARRY A HUGE STICK"

What to make of it? The US Commander in Chief has just countermanded his previous order to withdraw the remaining two thousand troops from northeastern Syria within a month or so. This after previously informing Turkish dictator Erdogan in a casual telephone conversation. However, after consulting his top foreign policy advisor, John Bolton, Trump has put the kaibosh on Erdogan's plan to clobber the Kurds, maybe once and for all.

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January 02, 2000

Ben-Gurion's Crackdown on Yeshiva Students

The lawlessness of some charedim ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel is not new. Over forty-eight years ago former Prime Minister David Ben Gurion sent a letter to the incumbent Levi Eshkol with proposals for coping with the lawlessness of some yeshiva students. In presenting a translation of that letter, analyst David Essing is of the view that it applies no less today, perhaps even more, than it did then. Read More...
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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March 04, 2017

WHO DOES BIBI FEAR MOST, ISRAELI SETTLERS OR TRUMP?

It was not Israel's finest hour. State Comptroller Yosef Shapira has lambasted both Israel's political and military echelons for their conduct before and during the 'Protective Edge' military campaign against Hamas in Gaza in the summer of 2014. Sixty-eight Israelis and five civilians were killed in the war that was triggered by the Hamas kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz barely received a passing mark. They were all found to be at fault for their failure to prepare to deal with the tunnels dug by Hamas under the border into Israel that cost many Israeli lives.

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February 26, 2017

'WHAT TRUMP DOES TO MUSLIMS WE'LL DO TO JEWS'

In America, the flare-up in anti-Semitism is somehow related to the ascension of President Donald Trump. But just what is the connection? Trump's daughter Ivanka even converted to Judaism and he has 'three beautiful Jewish grandchildren'. However, there is another way of looking at it. The new President is keeping his word about cracking down on Muslims at large. But in advancing this highly controversial policy, the President has run afoul of the US Constitution, as was pointed out to him by a federal judge. Nonetheless, he may have sent unintentionally a viral message to violent anti-Semites, who may be now saying to themselves:

    'Look at what Trump is doing to the Muslims; he not only talks, he does something about them! We must get off our asses and also do something about the Jews. Hell, they've even infiltrated Trump's family for Christ's sake!'

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January 26, 2015

YADLIN'S VISION FOR ISRAEL'S PEACE & SECURITY

 The issues of security and economics are driving the current Israeli election campaign. Netanyahu and his ruling Likud party have the lead on security while Herzog and his Zionist Camp are coming on strong in the cost of living debate. However Amos Yadlin, Herzog's shadow defense minister, has just unveiled his approach, which is a far cry from Netanyahu's. In an interview with the Ynet website, Yadlin, a retired IDF general, pulled no punches in attacking Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.

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January 23, 2015

FIREWORKS ON GOLAN HEIGHTS AND IN WASHINGTON

 It is the IDF's biggest build-up along the Syrian-Lebanese frontier since the Second Lebanon war in 2006. And with very good reason; according to foreign reports, an Israeli rocket attack killed Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of the Hezbollah's former Chief of Staff and Iranian General Muhammad Allahdadi. Ten other Iranian and Hezbollah fighters also died in the targeted killing. Jihad was obviously out to avenge the mysterious assassination of his famous father, Imad, in Damascus in 2008. Since then Hezbollah has been biding its time, warning it will make Israel pay for the killing of Mughniyeh senior.

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December 26, 2014

ISRAEL'S 'GUNS OR BUTTER' ELECTION

 Eleven o'clock in the morning: A Palestinian sniper fires a single shot at an IDF soldier who was guarding Israeli workers busy repairing the security fence that runs along the frontier. The soldier, an Israeli Bedouin, falls after being hit in the chest. Within minutes an Israeli ambulance races to the scene while IDF forces return fire. (Not only medics but also specially trained doctors are stationed near combat troops wherever possible. According to YNET news, the doctor determined immediately that the soldier was suffering from massive bleeding in his chest cavity and his life was in danger (most fatalities in the IDF are caused by massive bleeding). 

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August 27, 2014

GAZA - WHO WON & WHO LOST?

 Hamas declared total war on Israel, throwing all its game-changers into the fray - fifty days later, it has precious little to show for it. Although dealing some severe blows, Hamas has brought death and destruction for starting the latest round and then rejecting the first Egyptian ceasefire proposal six days into the war. Israel has not given in to the Hamas demand 'to lift the siege' and will not agree to negotiate a Hamas seaport and airport that would turn into expressways for Qatar and Iran to start shipping more rockets into Gaza. Moreover, Cairo and Jerusalem see eye to eye on the need to bar weapons to Gaza - in effect, a de facto demilitarization of Gaza. 

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July 21, 2014

AMERICA IN ISRAEL'S POSITION?

 

 The deaths of 13 Israeli infantrymen killed in house-to-house fighting with Hamas in Sajaiya has shocked and saddened Israel. In a news conference with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Prime Minister Netanyahu declared: “We are fighting for our very home and we are determined to win this battle. No other war has been so justified as the IDF's campaign to halt Hamas rocketing of Israeli civilians.” Make no mistake, Israel is determined that the deaths of the Golani soldiers will not be in vain. The country's leaders and people are resolved to follow through and prevent another rocket blitz of Israel or tunnel attack whenever the Hamas Islamists in Gaza decide to do so. Netanyahu noted that many world leaders, starting with U.S. President Barack Obama, had expressed understanding for Israel's right of self-defense. Even more telling were the countries in the region (Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan) who were also in Israel's corner. The only two countries rooting for Hamas were Iran and Qatar. 

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July 12, 2014

ISRAEL'S OPTIONS FOR GAZA CONFLICT

 

 Has the time come to invade Gaza? That is now the question as Israel's Operation Protective Edge enters its fifth day. The Israel Air Force has been clobbering Hamas terrorists in Gaza who have been launching hundreds of rockets into Israel with the express aim of killing and maiming as many Israeli children, women and men as possible. Israeli aircraft and naval vessels have been knocking out Hamas targets concentrating on their launch pads, arsenals and personnel. Hamas has countered by extending its range of rocket attacks far beyond the adjacent Israeli communities in the Western Negev to the metropolis of Tel Aviv and then north to the outskirts of Haifa. Flying around the clock, Israeli jets and choppers have been systematically striking more than 1,100 targets as the campaign continues without let-up. 

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July 02, 2014

ISRAEL DECIDES ON SEVERE BUT CALIBRATED CRACKDOWN ON HAMAS

 'Hamas is responsible, Hamas will pay!' Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has warned that Israel is about to take off the gloves, after the bodies of three Israeli youths were found near Hebron, a hotbed of Hamas terrorism on the West Bank. After the massive 18-day search, the bodies of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-ad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach were uncovered in a hole. Two suspected Hamas terrorists from the Hebron area, named as Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha, are believed responsible. The manhunt continues for the two suspects, who are believed to be hiding out in the West Bank. Apparently, pretending to be religious Jews, the two killers gave a lift to the three hitchhiking Israelis and then shot them dead when Gil-ad Shaar tried to contact the Israel police on his cell phone. A police recording of the call indicates all three were shot dead in the car where bullet casings were found. 

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June 01, 2014

U.S. - No Longer Policeman of the World?

 It was highly significant that U.S. President Barack Obama selected West Point as the venue to articulate his foreign and military policy. Without saying it in so many words Obama sent a message loud and clear - America has abdicated its role of 'policeman of the world'. Obama has jettisoned the projection of American military power that characterized his predecessor George W. Bush. Addressing the graduating cadets, their commander-in-chief told them: “The U.S. will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it - when our people are threatened, when our livelihoods are at stake; when the security of our allies is in danger.” But his punch line related to global issues that do not directly threaten the U.S.: "Then the threshold of military action must be much higher. In such circumstances, we should not go it alone. Instead, we must mobilize allies and partners to take collective action." The truth is this has been a cornerstone of Obama's policy of 'leading from behind' in the Middle East, as exemplified by the crises in Libya and currently in Syria. Clearly, Obama's refusal to make good on his warning that Assad would face the consequences if he repeated his use of chemical weapons has actually tipped the scales in favor of the regime against the rebels. 

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May 07, 2014

ISRAEL CELEBRATES 66th INDEPENDENCE DAY

 The past week started with Holocaust Memorial Day and yet again the profound horror and amazement over the Nazi massacre of six million Jewish babies, children, women and men. The vast majority were defenseless and with no one to defend them. The tales of terror told by the survivors who bore witness were paralyzing: crying infants being torn from the arms of their screaming mothers at Auschwitz, of children seeing their parents being beaten and shot before their very eyes. At the memorial service at the Western Wall, President Shimon Peres told of how his beloved grandfather and other relatives, along with the rest of the Jews in his town, were herded into the local synagogue where the doors were locked behind them and then the building was burnt to the ground. The sirens wailed for them and Israelis, with heads bowed, stood at attention. 

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March 15, 2014

GAZA, CAMERON, ISRAEL & CRIMEA

 Rain of rockets...

 “We will not let them launch rockets at our children!” the warning came from Sderot's Mayor Elon Davidi to the Palestinian terrorists in Gaza who were launching over 100 rockets and mortars at his town. Israeli aircrafts went into action, and despite the thick fog and heavy rain, they targeted over thirty terrorist targets on the other side of the border. But it was the greatest deluge of rockets from Gaza since Israel conducted the Pillar of Defense operation to suppress similar rocketing in November, 2012. Since being hit hard at that time, the Hamas regime has abided by the ‘tahadiya’ cease-fire, except for the occasional rocket.

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March 06, 2014

IRAN'S TREACHERY EXPOSED BY ISRAEL

 While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani smiles his way through the current nuclear negotiations, Tehran's campaign of terrorism also continues at full tilt. At the very same time that Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was warning of Iran's nuclear treachery and deception, an Iranian vessel flying under a Panamanian flag was sailing in the Red Sea with a cargo of deadly missiles bound for Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Within hours of Netanyahu's keynote speech to AIPAC in Washington, Israeli naval commandos boarded the ship in a daring operation before dawn.


 

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