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June 18, 2019

ISRAEL AND THE GULF CRISIS

How is Israel reaction to the current escalation between the US and Iran in the Gulf? Obviously, Israel is rooting for Trump, as are all the Arab states, which also fear Iran as a regional threat. But, at the same time, Israel is wary of being accused of egging on the US against the Ayatollahs in Tehran. The smart thing for Netanyahu to do was to order all political and military officials to keep their mouths shut. So far, they have. But there is no doubt that if Trump requested military or intelligence aid, Israel would hop to it.

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June 07, 1981

Israel and Nuclear Weapons Threats - Operation Opera

On the anniversary of Israel's air strike that destroyed Saddam Husein's nuclear reactor near Baghdad on June 7th, 1981 and against the background of former Mossad Chief Meir Dagen's warning that Israel should not attack Iran's nuclear weapons sites today, IsraCast presents a report broadcast shortly after the Israeli preventative attack on Iraq.

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June 04, 2000

What happened to the Jews of Iraq?

 A war-torn nation now split between the Iraqi government, ISIS controlled areas, and the Kurdish region of the north, Iraq is certainly no safe land for anyone, let alone the small ethno-religious minorities that once thrived there for centuries. It's hard to imagine now, but Iraq was once home to a large Jewish population of over 150,000 souls, one of the longest surviving and most historically significant of Jewish communities in the Diaspora. As of 2008, there were less than ten Jews counted still living in Iraq, and the number today may very well have dwindled to none.

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May 20, 2019

TRUMP'S "MARSHALL PLAN" FOR MIDDLE EAST

At long last, US President Donald Trump will take the wraps off his "deal of the century" to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The date, June 24-25: the venue will be Bahrain in the Arab oil-rich Gulf. His special envoy, Jared Kushner, will present a novel peace package - my guess is it will resemble another historic American program "The Marshall Plan," initiated by President Harry Truman to rebuild war-torn western Europe after WWII. It was one of the most ingenious and humane economic plans in history that laid the groundwork for rebuilding the continent and even included Nazi Germany, the perpetrator of the devastation.

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May 14, 2000

THE ISRAEL YOU DON'T SEE ON THE NEWS

 Amidst the whirlwind of tensions that monopolizes much of Israel's airtime attention, it does appear to be a wonder sometimes that anyone would choose to live in such a tumultuous and threatened nation, let alone vacation here. Indeed, it is not unusual for outsiders to shake their heads dismally at the newest sensationalized upheaval, wondering, 'when will those hot-heads in the Middle East get their act together?' And this languid desire for peace and quiet is not unfounded; in point of fact, the state of Israel has been in a perpetual state of war with its neighboring countries since it's Declaration of Statehood in 1948, which was marked by Transjordan, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq launching a joint attack on the infant nation meant to 'drive the Jews into the sea'. The truth is Israel itself would like some peace and quiet more than anyone. And yet, despite the troubling realities of a nation living under the constant shadow of war, Israel has miraculously thrived in almost every way imaginable! 

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April 15, 2019

THE RATIONALITY FOR NETANYAHU'S RE-ELECTION

How come Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, who faces three indictments for fraud, has won an unprecedented fifth election? Just three days after election day Israeli jets reportedly launched another devastating airstrike on an Iranian missile facility inside Syria. Israel, as usual, did not acknowledge the attack that caused severe damage and killed several militants, possibly members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu did make a statement: "Whoever threatens or endangers Israel, threatens or endangers themselves. Israel will respond with its power also to the north!"

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April 06, 2000

Is Obama worse than Chamberlain?

 When Jan Masaryk, the foreign minister of Czechoslovakia at the time, heard first-hand the English Parliament greet Neville Chamberlain's announcement about a summit meeting with Adolf Hitler with raucous applause, he was rather confused. After all, the threatening German leader was demanding appeasement in the form of a piece of Masaryk's own country. The summit took place two days later. Representatives of Czechoslovakia weren't even invited. They were simply notified. The rest is history.

 

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March 29, 2019

ISRAELI ELECTION PREDICTION - IS NETANYAHU/GANTZ COALITION A REAL POSSIBILITY

With Election Day fast approaching on April 9, Netanyahu and Gantz are still running neck-and-neck. But, barring unforeseen circumstances, Bibi still has the best chance of forming another coalition because he can count on the other right-wing and religious parties to go over the required 61-seat majority in the 120-member Knesset.

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March 27, 2000

We don't need another failure

 Two days after the Israeli elections, Islamic State carried out suicide attacks at two mosques in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, murdering around 150 individuals. The day before, an Islamic State offshoot perpetrated a terror attack in Tunisia that killed 23 people, mostly tourists. During the same two-day period, seven people were murdered in an attack in Kathua, India, and 70 bodies were discovered in Damasak, Nigeria. Who heard? During the course of February, 1,977 people were murdered by Jihadists around the globe – all in acts of terror only. And as I write these words, reports are coming in about massacres being carried out by Iraqi-Iranian forces in the city of Tikrit, Iraq.

 

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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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February 18, 1943

The Tehran Children

The 'Tehran Children' was a group of about one thousand Jewish children, most of them orphans, who reached Palestine through Iran in February 1943. IsraCast brings you a sequence of photos which show the 'Tehran Children' arriving in Israel.

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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 22, 2019

IRAN & ISRAEL GO TO THE BRINK

Is it now Iran's call? For the first time, Iranian forces in Syria have attacked Israel by launching a missile at a target inside of Israeli territory - the winter resort at Mt. Hermon. Fortunately, for the thousands of Israelis in the area, and indeed even for the Iranian personnel stationed in Syria, Israel's Iron Dome Defense intercepted and shot down the Iranian missile. For, if it had landed and killed Israelis, it would have triggered a full-blown war with the Iranian forces in Syria.

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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 01, 2019

IS TURKEY'S EROGAN PLANNING GENOCIDE ON THE KURDS?

Is Turkey planning a massacre of Kurdish rebels in the wake of US President Donald Tump's surprise decision to withdraw the remaining two-thousand American troops from Syria? Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not hiding his intention to punish the Kurds once and for all for their territorial games and drive for independence during the campaign in Syria against ISIS. For years, Turkey and the Kurds have been engaged in a brutal struggle over the Kurds' historic desire to establish an independent state. The Kurds, estimated to number some 30 million, live in a region known broadly as Kurdistan which is a contiguous spread over four separate states - Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Iran. How come this landlocked area with such a large indigenous population was simply left out of the New Middle East that was carved out by Britain and France during WWI? 

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November 27, 2018

ISRAELI "ROLLERCOASTER" SLOWS DOWN, BUT FOR HOW LONG?

"All quiet on the Isreali-Gaza front," at least, for the time being. After seven consecutive months of the continual firebombing of Israeli civilians, Hamas has reigned in tens of thousands of rioters, who also tried to break through the border fence and enter Israel. Hamas accepted an Egyptian cease-fire proposal based on a 30 million dollar payoff (in two installments) from the oil-rich Gulf State of Qatar. This eleventh-hour solution prevented another all-out war between Gaza and Israel after Hamas launched nearly 500 rockets at Israel within 24 hours.

Amidst this escalation, a covert Israeli unit was spotted by Hamas during an operation deep inside Gaza. The small Israeli team was apparently on a mission to bug Hamas communications, an attempt to cope with the fire-bombing. In the ensuing firefight, the Israeli commander was killed, as well as the Hamas commander in the area, and six other Hamas militants. It was a very close call for the Israeli unit that had to be extricated in a very risky helicopter operation. At this point, Gaza and Israel were on the brink, apparently about to take the next fatal step to all-out war.

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October 21, 2018

COURAGEOUS ISRAELI MOTHER PREVENTS DISASTROUS WAR BETWEEN ISRAEL & GAZA

A split second was all that averted a new all-out war between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza. At about 3:00 in the morning of October 17, Palestinians in Gaza launched two long-range missiles at Israel. One of them was on target for the Israeli city of Beersheba miles away to the east. The IDF's anti-missile defense failed to intercept it but the sirens blared throughout Beersheba. This is how the Israeli mother, from Ethiopia, of three small boys, described what happened: "I was sound asleep in my bedroom on the first floor (her husband was at work on the night shift). When I first hear the wail of sirens I thought I was dreaming, but I woke up immediately and raced upstairs to where my three boys were sleeping. I grabbed them out of their beds and pushed them half asleep downstairs to our 'mammad' (a reinforced safety room for shelter from missile attacks). I shoved them inside and then slammed the door. Immediately, we didn't even have time to sit down, a huge explosion rocked the whole building. One of my boys yelled: "Imma (mother), it hit our house!"

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October 16, 1981

Moshe Dayan (1915-1981)

Moshe Dayan was an Israeli military warrior who became a crusader for peace. He was skilled in both battle and diplomacy, and played a key role in four wars, but also helped negotiate the historic Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.

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October 14, 1986

Ron Arad, Missing in Action Israeli Soldier

Ron Arad was captured after answering a call for reserve duty as a navigator in the Israeli air force. He was forced to bail out of his plane over the city of Sidon in Lebanon and was captured by members of the Iranian backed Shiite Amal organization. Since then, Ron has been held captive by several groups, all of them extremist Shiite groups, backed by Iran.

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October 07, 2018

NETANYAHU & PUTIN TO HOLD URGENT MEETING TO RESOLVE SYRIAN CRISIS

First, some necessary background information: on July 30, 1970, Israeli and Soviet pilots clashed over the Suez Canal Zone. In the brief three-minute dogfight the Israelis shot down five Russian Mig-21 without losing a single plan. It was at the height of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the US in the Middle East. Moscow was backing Cairo to the hilt not only with advanced weapons but also with military advisors. However, Russian experts got fed up with Israel's air superiority in Egyptian skies. So Soviet pilots started flying Egyptian Migs to take on the Israelis with the goal of showing "how it was done". But all that we nearly five decades ago.

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