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March 19, 2017

Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman to Syria: “IDF will destroy all of Syria’s anti-aircraft defenses if Syria again fires missiles at Israeli jets.”

The night of March 16th: Several Israeli jets fly into Syrian airspace. They head in the direction of Palmyra and then apparently rocket another truck convoy of advanced weaponry bound for Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. After destroying their targets, the Israeli aircraft then turn to fly back to Israel. On the way out, the Syrian army launches Russian-supplied SA-5 anti-aircraft missiles at them. They miss their target but one of the missiles flies off in the direction of Israel. Israel's Arrow 3 missile defense then kicks in. Arrow 3 is designed to intercept ballistic missiles in space but it also logs on to the errant Syrian missile headed for Israel. It could conceivably land in an Israeli community and so the decision is taken to intercept it with Arrow 3, which destroys it in mid-air. The boom is reportedly heard in Jerusalem, and parts of the SA-5, one of Russia's most advanced missiles, also land in neighboring Jordan.

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March 12, 2017

ISRAEL RESETS RELATIONS WITH MOSCOW & WASHINGTON

The state's two top leaders have returned from similar missions - Prime Minister Netanyahu went to Moscow and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to Washington to determine how Israel can better 'coordinate' strategic policies with Russia and the U.S. There are several urgent reasons for doing so as a new strategic landscape is fast emerging in the region in the wake of the Iranian nuclear deal and the winding down of the Syrian Civil War; and in fact, there is a link between the two.

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February 05, 2017

TRUMP SIGNALS NETANYAHU - HOLD YOUR HORSES ON SETTLEMENTS!

It was not long in coming – President Trump has signaled Prime Minister Netanyahu to back off on building new settlements or expanding any existing settlements 'beyond their current borders'. In fact, Israel's leader actually triggered the White House response. What did Bibi expect after he announced that Israel would build a brand-new settlement to compensate for the evacuation of the illegal settlement of Amona? For good measure Netanyahu also tacked on 5,500 new housing units to existing settlements on the West Bank! This was the official Trump statement:

  1. "While we don't believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal."
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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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January 07, 2017

ISRAELI COURT-MARTIAL RAISES SPECTER OF ANOTHER 'RABIN' ASSASSINATION

The IDF court-martial convicting IDF Sergeant Elor Azaria guilty of manslaughter for shooting dead a captured Palestinian terrorist has sent shock waves throughout Israel. This time the potential target is none other than IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot. Overnight Israel's top soldier turned, in the eyes of some Right wingers, from an admired commander to a subject of controversy. And why is that? Simply because he reprimanded Azaria for shooting to death a wounded Palestinian prisoner in Hebron last March. After the verdict in the drawn-out trial, Right wing rabble-rousers clashed with Israeli police outside the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, chanting in Hebrew:

       'Gadi Gadi Tizahair, Rabin mechakeh le Haver!'

This translates into:

       'Gadi,Gadi Beware, Rabin is waiting for a friend!'

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December 24, 2016

ISRAEL REELING FROM UN RESOLUTION OUTLAWING WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu should have known better - but he didn't. He has now presided over Israel's greatest diplomatic debacle in years. Bibi knew U.S. President Barack Obama was gunning for him yet he persisted in concocting a ludicrous settlement law to placate forty families at the Amona settlement. This even after Israel's own Supreme Court had ruled it had been built on private Arab land, in violation of both Israeli and international law. Instead, Bibi gave in to the die-hard settlers who have now, in their infinite wisdom, agreed to evacuate peacefully.

So what did the PM do? He let himself be railroaded by cabinet ministers both in the Likud and the Jewish Home parties into approving a new law that would prevent the evacuation of other settlements that were also built on private Palestinian land. It is called the 'Regulation' law. The only hitch is that it opened the door for the UN Security Council to pass a resolution of its own - one that outlaws all Israeli housing built on the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Since the Six Day War in 1967, this territory was considered to be a subject for negotiation in eventual Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Now the UN Security Council has weighed in saying in effect that all the West Bank belongs to the Palestinians for their future state. Bibi believed that US President Barack Obama, despite the bad blood between them, would again cast a US veto. But for Obama, soaking up the sun in Hawaii, it was too good to miss; he told Ambassador Samantha Power to simply abstain. The result was a landslide of 14-0 for the pro-Palestinian resolution. Bibi blew it big time and Palestinian President Mahmoud won by a knockout.

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December 17, 2016

IMPACT OF ISRAEL'S F-35 SLEUTHS ON IRANIAN NULCEAR THREAT

All systems are go for Israel's Air Force to start operational training on their F-35s, touted to be the top fighter-bomber in the world. Israeli top pilots have long been training on simulators and are eager to get inside the cockpit. Maintenance crews have also been burning the midnight oil studying the myriad of hi-tech that comes with the $100 million price tag (although funded by U.S. military aid). Squadron leader IAF Col. Yotam promises the F-35s will go operational within a year. In addition, the IAF has permission to upgrade the F-35 with secret Israeli improvements - the products of Israeli hi-tech that have proved so effective in the F-15 and F-16. In an unguarded moment, the squadron leader went gung ho saying we'll make changes the designers never dreamed about and they won't believe it a year from now.

While only the first two landed at the Nevatim Air base, more and more will be coming. Fifty are now on order. The IAf has dubbed the F-35 in Hebrew by the name of 'Adir' - the Mighty. Israel is the first foreign country to be supplied with the F-35. The rest of America's allies will keep an eagle eye on how successfully the IAF integrates this aircraft. If things go well they can be expected to also start ordering F-35s from Lockheed-Martin. So economically a lot is riding on its going operational in Israel.

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November 27, 2016

ISRAEL ENGULFED IN DISASTROUS FOREST FIRES & GERMAN SUBS

So far, no people have been killed, but over one thousand homes have been destroyed or damaged while tens of thousands of people were evacuated as the flames raced towards their communities. Some Israelis had to race for their lives carrying their small children and pets. Thousands of animals perished in the flames while tens of thousands of trees have been incinerated in over two hundred separate fires. Forestland that was planted and developed over the decades has been left a wasteland. It is a national disaster.

Visiting the Hatzor Air Base from where special firefighting aircraft have been 'bombing' the fires around the clock, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu said experts have concluded there is no doubt that arsonists are involved, although the dry weather and strong winds may have started the inferno. Thirty-three Palestinian suspects have been arrested as the investigation continues. Netanyahu believes the arson campaign is a 'derivative' of the wave of 'lone wolf' terrorism that started over a year ago. Now it is a case of terrorists deliberately igniting forest fires rather than wielding knives or hatchets. In other words: 'If you can't stab them, let's burn them!'

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October 26, 2016

Israel Offers Massive Aid To Gaza While Battle of Mosul Could Turn Into 'Free-For All'

Jerusalem:

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has offered a major aid package for Gaza, if Hamas suspends its military build-up against the Jewish State. Lieberman sent the surprising message in an interview with the Palestinian newspaper El Kuds. It is not clear at this time if Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and the Israeli government have approved Lieberman’s proposal. If so it would be a major step, otherwise Lieberman was just blowing hot air.

So to the nuts and bolts of his proposal, in his words:

      'Israel will be the first to rebuild the Gaza Strip by investing in a seaport, an airport and two industrial zones at Karni and Erez. But there were several conditions: Hamas must stop digging attack tunnels from Gaza into Israel, launching rockets into Israel and smuggling in weapons'.

For its part, Israel had no intention of occupying Gaza or starting another war. But he warned:

      'If war is forced on Israel again, it will be the last war for Hamas, we will totally destroy Hamas!'

The Israeli Defense Minister disclosed that Hamas, rather than improving the lot of the nearly two million Palestinians in Gaza, has spent more than $500 million dollars in a military build-up recently. Lieberman appeared to be offering a big carrot and a big stick to Hamas after the bitter summer war of 2014 that left Gaza in a shambles.

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October 16, 2016

Maybe Putin believes 'President' Trump would weaken America...

Israelis are also scratching their heads over the shenanigans of Donald Trump and how he is still even running for President. It would appear that Trump has passed the point of no return and only some new catastrophic disclosure about Hillary Clinton would bar her from entering the Oval Office. The most intriguing question is why Russian President Putin favors Trump and has mounted a cyber-campaign against Clinton leaking damaging material to American voters. In return, Trump has praised Putin as a 'strong leader'. But on the face of it, would the tough talking Trump not pose a more formidable rival to Putin than Hillary? Would she not follow in the footsteps of Obama by pulling in America's horns and giving Russia a free hand on the world stage?

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September 29, 2000

There's a strong leader around, and his name isn’t Obama

US President Barack Obama delivered an impressive speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday. He knows how to talk. Military power alone will not solve the problem in Syria, he said, and presented a vision of peace and comradeship. He asked Iran nicely not to shout "Death to America," because it won’t bring them jobs, and expressed his hope that those who hope for its extinction will maintain the nuclear agreement and turn the world into a safer place. Just like that. There is no doubt that he is a believer. 

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July 29, 2016

Anti-bacterial textiles to save lives

What makes sweaty socks smell? It’s not the moisture; it’s the bacteria that grow in the damp fabric. If you could alter or banish those microbes, you could wear sweaty socks for a week without offending anyone. Israeli Prof. Aharon Gedanken’s success with antibacterial socks, a product intended for Israeli soldiers that never made it to market, may hold the key to addressing what is actually a global healthcare concern.

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July 24, 2016

Did Israel Deliberately Miss Unidentified Drone that Entered Israeli Air Space From Syria?

Golan Heights July 17th: 5:00 PM:

An unidentified pilotless drone flies into Israeli air space from Syria. Israeli Air Force controllers launch a Patriot (American made) surface-to-air missile. It misses the target. A second Patriot goes streaking skyward. It also goes wide. An Israeli jet then fires an air-to-air rocket - again no bull's eye. After penetrating Israeli airspace by some four kilometers (over two miles) the drone turns around and then flies back unharmed into Syria. A small part of a Patriot missile falls on the head of an Israeli girl far below. She is not seriously hurt.

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July 01, 2016

Netanyahu: 'You Don't Slit a Little Girl's Throat…!'

Israelis must brace up to terror attacks of one kind or another - it is part of the nation's struggle for survival. None are easy, but some hit harder than others.

Thursday morning 8:38 AM in Kiryat Arba in Judea-West Bank:

Thirteen-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel is sleeping in her bed alone in her home. The summer vacation has already begun and Hallel, an ardent dancer is sleeping-in after performing the night before in Jerusalem.

A seventeen-year-old Palestinian from the nearby town of Bani Na’im jumps over the Israeli security fence built around the community sounding the alarm at the security headquarters. The terrorist races to the nearest Israeli home and enters. It is still not clear if the door or a window was left open. Armed with a knife, he rushes to the children’s' room, where Hallel is apparently still sleeping, and stabs her eight times.

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May 20, 2016

Is Netanyahu Playing Russian Roulette with Israel's National Security?

Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has just made the biggest mistake of his political career. He has forced the resignation of the popular Defense Minister Moshe 'Bogie' Ya'alon, who has also resigned from the Knesset and threatens to challenge Netanyahu for 'the national leadership' in the future. This is nothing less than one of the biggest political bombshells in Israel's history.

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May 13, 2016

Rhodes' Spin vs. American F-35 Fighters to Israel

Surprise, surprise! President Obama, Secretary Kerry and senior adviser Ben Rhodes were all lying through their teeth over the Iranian nuclear deal. The only surprising thing is that Rhodes didn't even wait until after the Obama administration leaves office in January. On the contrary, Rhodes revels in how he and the rest of the administration turned the Washington press corps into an 'echo chamber' for the administration's spiel, without checking out the facts. In effect, Rhodes, in a mind-meld with Obama, lied to the American people, the US Congress, and the entire world.

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May 06, 2016

Why Obama & Trump are Two Sides of the Same Foreign Policy Coin

As strange as it seems, President Barack Obama and Republican contender Donald Trump actually see eye-to-eye on America's new international role. Both are ‘American Firsters’. After the Bush era that squandered much blood and treasure in the Middle East, the American foreign policy pendulum has swung the other way. Not total isolationism, but in line with public opinion in the US today. It is a more Machiavellian approach or cost-benefit analysis when it comes to America's vital interests.

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April 22, 2016

Russian Pilots in a Buzzing Mood!

In the Middle East, Russian Air Force pilots are at it again. Recently they startled two US Navy vessels by roaring over their decks in a mock attack, and now they have threatened an Israeli jet, apparently on a peaceful reconnaissance flight over what was the former Syria, trying to spot more Syrian-Iran shipments of sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. In the American incident, President Obama viewed it as a one-time thing and did not take it too seriously - along the line of 'boys will be boys'. And Obama probably got this right - if Donald Trump were President we'd probably be in the middle of World War III with Russian's new Czar Vladimir!

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April 21, 2016

A newfangled weather vane for a connected world

In less than 10 years, the world will need 30 percent more food to feed some 8 billion people. Israeli agricultural technologies help farmers everywhere in meeting that challenge by increasing yield, decreasing use of water and pesticides, bolstering crops’ nutritional profile and disease resistance, and lowering costs.

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April 15, 2016

Egypt, Saudi Arabia & Israel link up to take on Iran

In just one week, two signs of the times in a new, emerging Middle East:

  • 1. Russia keeps its word to supply Iran with sophisticated S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, just dandy for shooting down Israeli jets that may try bombing Iranian nuclear weapons sites in the future.
  • 2. Egypt transfers two strategic islands to Saudi Arabia to solidify their cooperation after U.S. signals they are on their own. Israel signs on to the emerging pact as a silent partner.

The writing has been on the wall for Saudi Arabia and Egypt. By closing the Iranian nuclear deal with the Ayatollahs, U.S. President Barack Obama has signaled to Riyadh and Cairo that they now occupy a lower place on America's Middle East totem pole. So naturally these two leading Sunni Muslim states are closing ranks to face their bitter Shiite enemy, Iran.

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