Showing Results 1-20 of 319 for Olmert
March 04, 2017
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.
January 14, 2017
The fate of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is now in the hands of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. A full blown police investigation of the PM is now underway on two counts:
- A tape recording, now in the hands of the police, reportedly proves Bibi and Yediot Ahronot newspaper owner Noni Moses discussed how to rig control over the sale and content of newspapers in Israel. This included the freebie Yisrael Hayom that totally backs Bibi and is financed by Sheldon Adelson, the American casino tycoon. (Get this: Bibi himself taped Moses. The PM now claims he did so to discredit the owner of the newspaper that hauled him over the coals day in and out. The only problem is that their secret powwows took place years ago and Bibi never handed over the recordings to the police after colluding with Moses on what was apparently a serious breech of trust, if not more).
- Bibi and his wife Sara (who has a habit of getting into hot water with the law) are suspected of having received some one hundred thousands dollars in super expensive cigars and champagne from Israeli film producer Arnon Milchan. The Netanyahus contend these were legitimate gifts between close buddies and not bribes.
December 31, 2016
US President Barack Obama screwed Israel on the UN Security Council Resolution that blamed Israeli settlements solely for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Granted, Secretary John Kerry has tried to take out some of the sting, but the fact remains Professor Obama presented his damning thesis - 'if only the Israelis had halted the settlements we would have reached an historic peace accord and today the Palestinians and Israelis would be living happily ever after'. This is patently false and does not stand up to a fair and balanced examination of what has transpired since Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Agreement on the White House lawn in 1993.
October 09, 2016
On Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement in 1973, the new-born state of Israel was nearly wiped off the map. Egypt and Syria launched a massive surprise attack along the entire lengths of the Golan Heights and the Suez Canal. The IDF was caught napping - when it finally awakened just several hours before the onslaught, Prime Minister Golda Meir and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan rejected a plea by Chief of Staff David Elezar to launch a preventative air strike against the massed Arab forces, about to surge forward. The Israeli leaders feared the US would blame Israel for starting the war because both President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger did not believe the Arabs would dare attack Israel. In the opening weeks of the Yom Kippur War, it was touch-and-go whether the Jewish state would survive. The IDF forces along the Suez Canal and the Golan were outnumbered ten-to-one in tanks and artillery, and by far more in infantry. Moreover the Russians had just supplied sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to both their Arab allies that shot down an alarming number of Israeli aircraft. In one of the war’s darkest hours, a desolate Dayan was heard to say:
'The Third House of Israel may be about to fall!'
July 31, 2016
It is still hard to say whether most Israelis favor Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Going into the Democrats' convention, Trump had a slight lead. Coming out, Hillary got her expected 'bounce' and this will also be reflected in Israeli public opinion. Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians are wary about getting drawn into the U.S. presidential campaign for obvious reasons. A majority of Netanyahu's Likud party supporters hope Trump will make it to the White House, while the Centre and Left (Zionist Union-Labor) favor Clinton. Where does Bibi Stand? An indication is the clear-cut position taken by 'Yisrael Hayom' (Israel Today) the freebie newspaper that backs Netanyahu and is also in Trump's corner. Israel Today is financed by American casino tycoon, Sheldon Adelson. But the Clintons, both Hillary and Bill, have always been strong supporters of the Jewish state.
April 08, 2016
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.
February 26, 2016
A ceasefire to halt the carnage in a bloody civil war should be a welcome event. But this is not likely in Syria. Two of the most vicious combatants, Daesh and Jabhat al Nusra (an affiliate of al Qaeda) are not even party to it, and Russia has forewarned that it will react with force to any violations by the rebels who seek to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad. And after President Putin sent in his airborne 'cavalry' to save Assad by bombing just about anything that moved, the Syrian tyrant is firmly in place in his presidential palace in Damascus.
January 29, 2016
From a mountaintop in nearby Cyprus, American and British cyber spies have been hacking into Israel's most closely guarded secrets for years. In a startling expose, the Intercept website has revealed a joint American-British operation 'to steal a bird's-eye-view' of Israeli drone operations. Not only that, they are also monitoring any Israeli preparations for a military strike against Iran's nuclear sites. This is how Intercept described what one Israeli has deemed as the gravest penetration of Israel's 'holiest of holies':
"American and British Intelligence secretly tapped into live video feeds from Israeli drones and fighter jets monitoring military operations in Gaza, watching for a potential strike against Iran, and keeping tabs on the drone technology Israel exports around the world."
January 01, 2016
The U.S. spies on Israel - so what else is new? If U.S. President Obama spied on German Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande, Prime Minister Netanyahu should be proud to be included in such an august group. Besides, didn't Israel and the U.S. team up to spy on Iran's nuclear program and unleash the Stuxnet virus that derailed it in 2011? With advanced cybernetics and hi-tech, it's only natural that nations, having the capability, will employ it to protect and advance their national interests.
December 11, 2015
When Barack Obama and Israel's President, Reuven Rivlin, lit Chanukah candles in the Oval Office, they also cast some light on the truth about the U.S. -Israeli relationship. In the past, much was made about the 'bad blood' between Obama and Netanyahu - Barack Hussein Obama was a closet anti-Semite, although most of his closest friends and advisers were Jewish. On the other hand, a close aide to Obama even accused Bibi of coming close to using the N-word! The Obama-Rivlin meeting has gutted these assumptions. At the same time, it has revealed some underling truths about the Obama-Netanyahu feud over the last nearly seven years. Obama and Bibi simply had different perceptions of what policies they wanted to follow after identifying what their voters would support. Naturally, they were democratically elected.
November 27, 2015
The furious confrontation now raging between Russia's Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recepp Erdogan has raised this nightmare in Jerusalem. A senior Israeli Air Force officer has said he does not know what caused the Turkish jet to shoot down the Russian aircraft along Turkish-Syrian border, but indicated that chances are slim this could happen between Israeli and Russian jets. Israel and Russia have been operating an online communication network to prevent such an incident. At the end of a major Israeli Air Force exercise that has been conducted over northern Israel, the IAF officer said:
"We refrain from flying close to one another in order to prevent the pilots from having any question marks about the other's intentions. The intention is not to shoot down any Russian aircraft. Russia is not the enemy. We try to prevent any friction with the Russian aircraft, and their pilots refrain from any friction with us."
November 26, 2015
This is the propaganda being disseminated in the media, sponsored by Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and sometimes also by the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank. In other words, the ISIS leaders’ idea of conquering Rome is actually shared by all the Islamic Jihad organizations. Hamas actually said the same things long before ISIS. In this sense, there is no difference between the global jihad perpetrating mass murder in Paris and the global jihad trying to kill Jews in Israel.
October 30, 2015
What if Israeli Prime Minister had not been assassinated after that peace rally on Nov.15th, 1995? Would Israel now be living at peace with the state of Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza Strip? Did Yigal Amir, the Right Wing Israeli killer, change the course of history?
Of course, there is no way of knowing. But it is possible to examine what has happened since that cursed night. Today over 90% of Israelis can tell you exactly what they were doing when they heard the news. A night when Israel's vaunted Shabak Security Service failed abysmally to prevent the assassin, armed with a revolver, from casually walking up and firing three shots into Rabin's back while a couple of his body-guards looked on in disbelief - Jews aren't supposed to assassinate their leaders! (The bullets were hollow-point to increase the damage and Rabin never had a chance.
October 02, 2015
The nuclear accord negotiated by the world powers, the 5P+1, may be a done deal, but for Israel, this was only act one. The second act was now coming up. Netanyahu left no doubt that if the international community did not keep 'Iran's feet to the fire' by honoring the terms, then Israel would go it alone and attack Iran's nuclear weapons sites:
"I'll say it again. The days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies - those days are over.”
"Israel will not allow Iran to break-in or sneak-in, or walk into the nuclear weapons club." "No one should question Israel's determination to defend itself against those who seek our destruction."
February 27, 2015
The fanatical Revolutionary Guards put on the show to reveal who is really calling the shots in Tehran. There is no way they are going to accept the dismantling of the nuclear weapons program. This, in the midst of the current nuclear talks in which President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and National Security Adviser Rice are turning over backwards trying to sell a nuclear deal - one that will enable the Ayatollahs to keep their uranium enrichment capability, and who knows what else, while the sanctions are gradually lifted. Then after a period of so many years the international inspection will expire. In other words, it opens this nuclear spectre: the Iranians are to act nice and later, if they haven't done so in the meantime, exploit their capability to 'break out' for nuclear weapons. It boils down to acquiring A-bombs on the installment plan! But after the 'Hollywood' sea pageant, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif must have hit the roof. For months now they have been hard at work smiling their way to closing the deal.
February 06, 2015
Do Netanyahu and the Israeli intelligence services know something we don't? Otherwise it is hard to explain why the Israeli leader is jeopardizing his already strained relations with Obama, who still has some two years in office to run America's foreign policy. On the face of it, it appears to be a rash and reckless gambit for Netanyahu to put all his eggs in the basket of the Republican majority in Congress. Moreover in the current Israeli election campaign, Netanyahu has left himself open to charges that he is harming Israel's crucial relations with America in order to boost his popularity with the Right wing.
January 08, 2015
France is reeling and trying to come to grips with an Islamist terror attack that has rocked it to its very core. The cold-blooded killers who shot dead two policemen and then systematically executed the ten caricaturists and editors of the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly not only committed a massacre, but also dealt a severe blow to the very foundations of the French republic. It would appear to be on a lesser scale of the '9/11' atrocity that shocked America and the world more than thirteen years ago. The writing was on the wall, written in blood, for President Francois Hollande and the French government, after French Jihadists repeatedly attacked Jews in France and Brussels. However these were passed off as isolated incidents or carried out by 'deranged' individuals. But now the Jihadists have perpetrated a carefully planned slaughter that has wiped out a French magazine because it dared to lampoon the prophet Mohammed. In fleeing the scene, one of the killers casually walked up to a wounded policeman lying on the sidewalk and calmly shot him in the head. He then walked to the get away car and shouted:
'Allah is great', and 'We have avenged the prophet Mohammed!'
January 01, 2015
Why did the UN Security Council reject a Palestinian resolution demanding Israel's unconditional withdrawal from all of the West Bank by the end of 2017? Clearly Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas should have realized there are limits to ganging up on Israel, even at the world body. Did Abbas imply get carried away with the built-in majority for the Palestinians in such bodies as the General assembly, and the Human Rights Council that spends most of its time bashing the Jewish State? The question is, why did Abbas persist in presenting the one-sided resolution when he could have waited until after the New Year when the new composition of the Security Council would probably have passed it with the nine member majority? Simply because he knew the U.S. would have cast its veto and killed the resolution anyway. So he chose not to annoy the U.S., and gained popularity points on the West Bank for making Israel sweat it out.
September 26, 2014
Alas, leading from behind will not work for US President Barack Obama in the Middle East. American jets are bombing and Tomahawk cruise missiles are blasting Islamic State ground forces and oil refineries in northern Syria and Iraq. After Gen. Martin Dempsey forewarned Obama that the air strikes on IS had better be serious or else he might have to recommend ground forces, the President got the message. Adding insult to injury, two of his former defense secretaries, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, also castigated Obama for being too eager to withdraw US troops from Iraq, a move that has exacerbated the overall situation. With Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Bahrain and even Qatar joining Obama's invitation to follow his lead, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron has now told the UN General Assembly that he's on board, as is Holland. The meltdown in Iraq and the civil war in Syria have spawned the IS juggernaut in those two former states and forced Obama to jettison his soft power, and switch to a harder foreign policy. This is how the US President described it in his address to the current session of the UN General Assembly in New York:
'The only language understood by killers like this (IS) is the language of force'.
September 19, 2014
The current chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff has this policy - he calls them as he sees them. Apparently he has serious doubts about President Barack Obama's strategy for defeating ISIL in Iraq and Syria by air power. And that is why Gen. Martin Dempsey has told Congress:
'If there are threats to the US, then I, of course, would go back to the President and make a recommendation that may include the use of US military ground forces'.
Predictably, Obama hit the roof. If Dempsey had opened the door to the military need for an eventual deployment of American 'boots on the ground', Obama slammed it shut. Appearing before American troops twenty-four hours later in Tampa, Florida hours later, the President declared unequivocally:
'The American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission'.
In an effort to drum up support for his newfound ISIL strategy, Obama noted that Britain and France were already flying missions over Iraq, and that Canada and Australia were sending military advisors.