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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 15, 2017

TRUMP SENDS MESSAGE TO NORTH KOREA VIA IRAN

What is the most volatile crisis on the world agenda today? Obviously, it is the ongoing clash between the US and North Korea that has raised the specter of a nuclear war. President Trump's concern about 'the very bad deal' with Iran takes second place. But the American leader has now exploited the opportunity of not certifying the nuclear accord, finalized two years, to accuse the Iranians of violating the spirit of the agreement and imposing new sanctions. It appears that Trump is taking a very tough stand on Iran, against the advice of his European partners, in order to send a tough signal to North Korean tyrant Kim Jong-un, as if to warn: 'If you continue to mess with me, I will take action no matter what everyone else thinks!' No doubt Trump is also peeved that his foreign allies are content to sit back and do nothing regarding North Korea while they cash in on lucrative trade deals with Tehran.

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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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September 29, 2001

Yom Kippur - Day of Atonement

On The holiest day of the Jewish year, a surprise joint attack by Egypt and Syria crossing the cease-fire lines in the Sinai and Golan Heights threatened the very existence of the Jewish state. 2,586 Israeli soldiers were killed and thousands more wounded.

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September 20, 2017

WILL TRUMP NOW SHOOT DOWN ANY NEW PROVOCATIVE NORTH KOREAN MISSILES? THAT'S WHAT JFK PROBABLY WOULD HAVE DONE

President Donald Trump could not have been any clearer- the US is ready, willing and able to totally destroy North Korea, if it continues with its nuclear weapons program. Trump's verbal escalation in the UN General Assembly should have left little to the imagination – even for a lunatic like Kim Jong un. On the other hand, Trump's declaration should not come as a surprise. Remember Barbara Tuchman's memorable phrase about a 'lantern on the stern' when it comes to charting a course for America's ship-of-state. Not just the mercurial Trump, but probably all US presidents would have issued the same severe warning – are they not duty-bound by their presidential oath to 'protect and defend' the constitution, the embodiment of the USA? And is North Korea now bent on building ballistic missiles that can reach America's West Coast?

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September 18, 2012

Haim Hefer (1925-2012)

 Haim Hefer (29 October 1925 – 18 September 2012) was an Israeli songwriter, poet and writer. A founder of the Palmach's Chizbatron and its chief songwriter, Haim Hefer's lyrics helped forge a national identity in contemporary Hebrew and embodied the spirit of the generation that fought for their nation’s independence.

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September 10, 2017

WHAT IF ISRAEL ATTACKED SYRIAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS SITE?

At this point the IDF and Israeli leaders refuse to confirm or deny this Syrian statement on Sept. 6th stating:

    'At 2:42 AM the Israeli Air Force launched several missiles from Lebanese air space at Syrian military positions near Masyaf. This resulted in the deaths of two Syrian soldiers as well as property damage. Syria will respond at a time and place of its choosing. There will be serious repercussions to such acts of aggression on the security and stability of the region. This desperate attack illustrates Israel's direct support for Da'esh and the other terror organizations opposed to the Syrian government'.

What was not included is the fact that the site is a research and production site of CERS, the Syrian weapons development known to have played a key role in President Assad's production of chemical weapons and missiles. Iranian chemical weapons experts reportedly participated in the project but it is not known if any were present at the time of the air attack.

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September 02, 2017

UN'S 'TUNNEL VISION' ON IRAN, LEBANON & GAZA

In Iran, the international inspectors have come and gone after giving the Iranians a clean bill of health – they are abiding by the nuclear accord worked out with the Great Powers over two years ago. Only one glaring problem: the Iranians refuse categorically to allow the nuclear watch-dogs to enter their military installations! And where else would the Iranians carry out clandestine nuclear weapons research if not inside bases they have declared to be off limits? In fact, in the past, Israel disclosed that it had intelligence showing that the Iranians had conducted secret research on detonators for A-bombs at the Parchin base. The Iranians denied it, but later the IAEA confirmed the Israeli charges. So who is to say this is not happening again at other Iranian military installations?

Moreover, Yukiya Amano, the IAEA's own director has just declared that his inspectors need access to all 'relevant locations', that is Iranian military bases. Amano told AP:

       'The IAEA has access to all locations without distinction between military and civilian locations'.

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August 26, 2017

Obama chose dishonor, and Israel will have war

Iran is taking over Syria. The distant enemy is coming closer. The US is out of the picture. Those who put their trust in the new world sheriff, Donald Trump, have to admit he appears to be far more concerned with the American media than the Iranian imperialism. That is who he is.

The world's sheriff is not whoever has more power—the United States has a lot more—but whoever uses the power he has. Netanyahu had to go to Vladimir Putin this week again for another round of talks with the Russian leader during his vacation in Sochi. It's not clear whether Putin is going to stop the Iranian threat. It is clear, however, that he's the only one there is any point in talking to.

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July 18, 2017

U.S. SHOCKS ISRAEL BY CONSIDERING EXPANDED IRANIAN MILITARY PRESENCE IN SYRIA NEAR ISRAELI BORDER

In a dramatic move, Iran may be on the brink of expanding its military forces in Syria southwards towards the Israeli border. This was disclosed during Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's recent visit to Paris for talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. According to Israeli reporters, the cease-fire accord forged by the U.S. and Russia will allow Iranian forces to move to within twenty kilometers (twelve miles) of the Syrian-Israeli frontier on the Golan Heights. Netanyahu told his French host that Israel categorically rejects such a step. Iran, which declares openly its intention to destroy the Jewish state, has dispatched thousands of its Revolutionary Guards as well as large quantities of weapons to keep Assad in power. Israel is also said to have information that Iran now intends to build its own air base and naval port in Syria. Netanyahu was quoted as saying that 'such steps would alter the strategic picture in the region'. The Israeli leader reportedly told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that he opposed this aspect of the ceasefire proposal. A senior Israeli official also told reporters:

       'The agreement as it stands today is very bad and does not take into account nearly any of Israel's security concerns. It creates a very worrying reality in southern Syria. Moreover, there is not a single word (restricting) Iran, Hezbollah or Daesh terrorists now located in Syria'.

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July 10, 2000

Israel must use UN as an offensive tool

On the fifth year of the Middle Eastern destruction, which is going to last for decades, it's time to determine that the United Nations has become irrelevant here, except in regards to one country, which is the last remnant of the old regional order – Israel. Can the UN do anything in Syria? In Iraq? In Yemen? In Saudi Arabia? In Egypt? In Libya? That's why it focuses on Israel.

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June 25, 2017

TENSION RISING ALONG ISRAEL'S BORDERS WITH SYRIA & LEBANON

Saturday afternoon on the Golan Heights: Hundreds of Israeli visitors are enjoying the annual cherry picking festival. Suddenly, a barrage of ten mortar bombs rains down inside Israeli territory opposite the deserted Syrian town of Kuneitra. Just seven hundred yards away inside Syria, President Assad's army has been battling rebel forces. Israeli spotters identify the source of the mortar fire in a nearby Syrian army position. Israel's policy is to steer clear of the Syrian civil war that has raged for seven years. However, Jerusalem also holds Syrian President Assad responsible for any artillery fire from his territory into Israel, whether it is accidental or deliberate. And so within a very short time, Israeli aircraft rocket the Syrian position, hitting two tanks. The Syrians reported later that two of their soldiers were killed. Meanwhile, Israeli visitors in the immediate region were ordered to leave. It was the most serious Israeli-Syrian clash since February, and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman again clarified that Israel will not tolerate any spillover of shooting into Israeli territory. At the same time, it's Assad's call - if there is more Syrian shooting across the frontier, the IDF will hit back hard.

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June 11, 2017

BIBI, ABBAS & ARAB STATES PLAY BALL WITH TRUMP

While the rest of the world was looking for the 'smoking gun' in James Comey's testimony against President Donald Trump in Washington, some intriguing developments were going on in the Middle East. After Trump's recent visit, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf States ganged up on Qatar for its support of Iran, the Muslim Brothers, and Hamas. It triggered a diplomatic and commercial earthquake throughout the region. It stands to reason that the Arab states would not have taken such drastic steps without the green light from the US President. Even though America maintains a big air base with 10,000 troops on Qatar, Trump has accused Qatar of backing Islamist terrorism.

The facts: unlike all the other Sunni Arab states, Qatar is on good terms with Shiite Iran. In addition, it supports the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt against President Al-Sisi while also backing Daesh, Al Qaida and Hamas in Gaza. (The IMF estimates that Qatar is the richest country in the world per capita with an average annual income of $127,000 compared to Israel with $35,000). As for the Jewish state, independent-minded Qatar maintains some informal ties, despite its support for Hamas. But Trump and the Shiite Arab states have concluded that Qatar has gotten too big for its britches, so to speak, and decided to take it down a peg or two. Its capital, Doha, is isolated in the Persian Gulf and will be forced to mend its ways.

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May 28, 2017

TRUMP RAISES MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS IN MIDDLE EAST

The only thing consistent about U.S. President Donald Trump is his frequent lack of consistency. He left Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Right-wing camp jumping for joy: Trump had made no specific reference to the two-state solution! But on the other hand, he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was truly interested in making peace with Israel. Knesset Member Tzipi Livni, a former Likudnik who has switched to Labor, has more negotiating hours with Abbas than any other Israeli politician. Livni feels the question now is whether Trump will follow through on his declaration that both Bibi and Abbas are ready for a deal.

Livni is looking for Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt to start the ball rolling by putting something on the table. Greenblatt is Trump's longtime private lawyer with a reputation for resolving sticky issues. He will now have his work cut out for him. So far, he stage-managed a great Middle East tour for his boss that has left everybody singing the praises of Trump: Saudi Arabia's King Salman, Abbas, and Bibi.

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May 14, 2017

ISRAEL SUCCEEDS IN BLOCKING CYBER ATTACKS

So far so good. As of this moment Israel's cyber defenses have prevented any major cyber break-in. After some one hundred countries have reported a major cyber offensive around the globe, Prime Minister Netanyahu told the regular cabinet session today that Israel's cyber wall had stood the test. The country was waiting for Sunday when Israel goes back to work after the Sabbath when everything shuts down. The PM reported only 'very minor' cyber attempts were detected and there had been no penetration of vital strategic networks. He also disclosed that several years ago Israel had established a 'Governmental Authority' to protect Israel's vital institutions. This obviously referred to the IDF and a vast array of other potential military and civilian targets. Netanyahu did not reveal details, but it's a safe bet that Iran poses the greatest cyber threat to Israel.

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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 30, 2017

PRESIDENT TRUMP TO PERSONALLY PROD ISRAEL & PALESTINIANS TOWARD PEACE

It's not official yet, but President Donald Trump is expected to arrive in Israel next month. It's a safe bet that he will prod Israel and the Palestinians to show progress on the peace track that has hit a dead end. Make no mistake, Trump can use something to show in the international arena now that he has those famous 'one hundred days' under his belt. In fact, he's showing signs of some 'wear and tear'.

'I loved my previous life - I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.'

Previously, the tycoon Trump did not have to cope with such pesky problems as the U.S. Constitution, political rivals and the 'checks and balances' of American politics. If some of the hired help failed to deliver, he could just shout at him or her 'You're fired!' Now it is far more complicated with many more hurdles to overcome on the path from setting a goal and actually reaching it.

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April 24, 1915

The Armenian Genocide

 The Armenian genocide refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction (genocide) of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was implemented through wholesale massacres and deportations, with the deportations consisting of forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees. The total number of resulting Armenian deaths is generally held to have been between one and one and a half million.

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April 18, 1948

Israel's War of Independence

On May 15, 1948, day after the creation of the State of Israel, the armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon invaded the new Jewish state.

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April 16, 2017

DONALD TRUMP VS. KIM JONG UN = NUCLEAR PYROMANIA?

Has China leaned on North Korea to deliberately sabotage its own missile test? If so, it would be a crafty stratagem to diffuse the dangerous confrontation between North Korea and the US. All sides will now be able to step back from what could have escalated into an explosion no country wants at this stage. Overall, it looks a little fishy - if this was not a planned stunt, it should have been.

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