Showing Results 1-20 of 364 for Sharon
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.
February 11, 2017
What's going on? Twice in the last week US President Donald Trump has opposed wide-scale Israeli settlement building on the West Bank. In Israel, Right-wingers have been shocked to the core - Trump and Bibi were supposed to be great pals. They had anticipated that Trump would give Israel the green light for constructing a brand new settlement and adding 5,500 new housing units to existing settlements. Moreover, there is the new controversial law that would enable Israel to legalize homes built on privately owned Palestinian land. But is this promising package is unraveling? In an exclusive interview with Yisrael Hayom, the pro-Netanyahu newspaper, Trump clarified his position:
- 'The settlements don't help the process. I can say that. There is only so much land left (on the West bank). And every time you (Israel) take land for settlements, there is less land left (for a Palestinian state). But we are looking at that, and we are looking at some other options, we'll see. But no I am not somebody that believes that going forward with these settlements is a good thing for peace'.
January 21, 2017
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'.
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.
December 24, 2016
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.
November 29, 1947
On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution, which adopted the plan for the partition of Palestine, recommended by the majority of the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). 33 states voted in favor of the resolution and 13 against. 10 states abstained.
November 19, 2016
Gone are the days when Time magazine crowned Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu 'King of Israel! Today Bibi has to share his top job with Education Minister Naftali Bennett who has just taught Netanyahu a painful lesson. It focused on a key Knesset vote to circumvent a Supreme Court ruling that ordered an Israeli evacuation of some forty Israeli homes that were built illegally on private Arab-owned land at the Jewish settlement of Amona on the West Bank. The pro-settlement camp went on the warpath, with Bennett leading the charge.
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!'
October 03, 2016
Why did world leaders and ninety delegations from seventy countries attend the funeral of Shimon Peres in Jerusalem? An amazing number for a tiny country that is more often than not the butt of unbridled criticism in the corridors of the UN. They did so, as stated by US President Barack Obama, because Peres achieved the international stature of a Nelson Mandella during his incredible career that never ended until his final stroke.
First Peres bolstered the capability of the fledgling Jewish state to survive the repeated attempts by its Arab enemies to annihilate it. His contribution to Israel's defense was possibly more, and certainly no less, than many of the state's vaunted military commanders. To this very day, Israelis stand strong against threats unparalleled by any other democratic country. Although survival had to come first in the reborn homeland of the Jews, it was to be followed by a ceaseless quest for peace with her Arab neighbors.
September 04, 2016
Pandemonium in Israel after the end of the Saturday Sabbath! Tens of thousands of IDF soldiers were left stranded with no way to return to their bases after Sabbath leave. And why was that? Because Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, their Commander in Chief, bowed to the demand of his ultra-orthodox (Heredi in Hebrew) coalition partners to cease all maintenance work on the railway during the Sabbath. And since the thirteen ultra-orthodox MKs hold the balance of power in Bibi's sixty-seven member majority; they threatened to topple the government. The PM caved into their ultimatum rather than call their bluff. On Friday evening after the maintenance work had already begun, Bibi issued an urgent order barring all work on the Sabbath. That meant that the necessary work would have to be done by closing down the railway on Sunday, the start of the work-week in Israel. Of course, this is a wonderful recipe for stranding not only IDF soldiers, but also thousands of civilians going back to their jobs. In order to help the soldiers return to base, Bibi leapt into the fray by dispatching hundreds of buses to the railway stations he closed down to pick up the soldiers he marooned. Hopefully, IDF base commanders will not penalize soldiers who arrive late.
May 27, 2016
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.
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.
March 18, 2016
'I came, I bombed, now I'm kingmaker of Syria!' Russian President Vladimir Putin is now calling the shots in what is left of the former Syrian state left in ruins after five years of a horrific bloodbath. All the sides, except for the Russians, are now trying to catch their breath in the current cease-fire, while the negotiators have gathered in Geneva seeking some way forward. It was the massive Russian air strikes, which started suddenly five months ago and ended just as surprisingly this week, that have halted the internecine warfare.
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.
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 09, 2015
A young Palestinian wakes up in the morning, or maybe on the spur of the moment, and decides to attack Israelis. He, or she, takes a butcher knife or a sharpened screw-driver or makes a Molotov cocktail and then goes looking for some Israelis to kill. Their preferred target is an Israeli soldier in uniform or an ultra-orthodox Jew dressed in black or wearing a skull-cap - that's to prevent the terrorist from attacking another Palestinian by mistake. The less ambitious rely on forming a gang of ten, twenty or more who hurl big rocks to smash and stop Israeli cars and maybe lynch the driver. In one case, they almost succeeded before a lone woman, although injured, managed to get away - in this case driving for her life! These lone-wolf attacks have suddenly escalated into eight or more on the same day. Naturally, Israeli and Palestinian radio and TV stations carried vivid accounts of the almost hourly attacks. This may have led to a 'copy-cat' phenomenon among teen-age Palestinians, while arousing alarm among Israelis. But the main source is to be found elsewhere.
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."
September 22, 2000
The IsraCast guide to information on the Yom Kippur War of 1973: Access to live recordings from the war, exclusive post-war recording of Arik Sharon discussing his part, historical facts you may not have known about the war and its many complexities, insightful analysis of the war and region, and explanation of the Yom Kippur - the holiest day in the Jewish Year.
September 22, 2015
One of the most controversial issues of the Yom Kippur Protocols were the comments by Defense Minister Moshe Dayan that IDF soldiers, cut off in their fortified outposts along the Suez Canal, would be left to their fate. This flies in the face of the IDF's tradition of not leaving soldiers behind to be killed or captured by the enemy. In an extraordinary twist of fate, IsraCast's Avi Yaffe was doing reserve duty as a radio operator at the Porkan outpost that was surrounded by the Egyptians opposite Ismailiya. Yaffe was in radio contact with Gen. Sharon during the first days of the war including the soldiers daring trek through Egyptian lines back to safety. After the war was over, Yaffe interviewed Sharon who revealed that he could have saved the trapped soldiers in the outposts, most of whom were later captured or killed by the Egyptian forces. In light of publication of the Yom Kippur Protocols, Avi Yaffe has now decided to make public this exclusive and historic interview on his IsraCast website.
June 05, 2015
US President Barack Obama has given Israel's leader Bibi Netanyahu an ultimatum - offer a concession to the Palestinian peace process or the US won't block new anti-Israeli resolutions at the UN General Assembly this fall. This was the gist of Obama's warning to the Israeli people when he was interviewed on Channel 2 TV.