DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 22, 2015
The US and Iran are in a last-ditch effort to rescue their nuclear diplomacy before it falls into deep crisis. Some observers say the talks are beyond saving. The Obama administration may have hit the limit of its concessions; and Iran won’t give way on centrifuges and enriched uranium stocks. debkafile finds the US, Iran and Israel in a three-way race, each aiming for a different finishing line. Washington wants a nuclear deal in the bag by March 31; Tehran aims for June; while Binyamin Netanyahu nixes the existing US-Iranian draft.
Information about the US-Iranian nuclear dialogue is no longer “sensitive.” For Obama it’s a done deal
DEBKAfile Special Report February 17, 2015
Accusing Binyamin Netanyahu of leaking “sensitive” information on US nuclear negotiations with Iran skews the fact of an almost done deal between US President Barack Obama and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani. It wants only Iran’s paramount leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei endorsement. In attempting to bring him round, Washington is using media spin tactics which Netanyahu’s opponents have seized on to accuse him of sabotaging relations with Washington. Netanyahu is not alone in objecting to Obama’s Iran policy. So too do the Saudis, some Gulf emirates and Egypt.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 14, 2015
The scandals and slurs his rivals floated against the Netanyahu couple ahead of March 17 voting-day have become boomerangs. Likud is lengthening its lead in the polls, as once determined non-voters rally around the victims. The early opposition slogan: “Just not him,” made way this week for: “It’s either Likud or them” - after the prime minister successfully harnessed the social media to reach new voters. His rivals’ bid for the premiership is now a scramble for top posts in Netanyahu’s next government. Still, 30 days of hard campaign are still ahead.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 12, 2015
Fighting ISIS is Part II of Obama’s master plan, which is to first give Iran major concessions on a nuclear deal and a free rein in the Middle East – then dump the Islamist war in the ayatollahs’ laps.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 5, 2015
Iran is putting the first interlocking pieces in place for its Shiite Crescent empire in Anbar, Iraq and the Qalamoun Mountains of western Syria. Israel is the fly in the Syrian ointment.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis January 22, 2015
President Barack Obama offered two options for resolving the Iranian nuclear impasse: His administration’s diplomatic engagement, or a new Mid East war. Neither the US Congress nor Israel accepts the Obama formula. Israel decided to strike an Iranian-Hizballah military convoy on Golan, causing the death of an Iranian general. This provided Senate sanctions initiatives with military muscle. House Speaker John Boehner responded by inviting Binyamin Netanyahu to address Congress on Feb. 11 on Iranian nuclear and radical Islamic threats. Between now and then, none of the parties may stand idle.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis January 3, 2015
Opinion polls conducted by party strategists have persuaded Likud leader Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (23-24 seats predicted) and opposition leader, Yitzhak Herzog of Labor (estimated 20-22), to discuss sharing government after the March 17 election. This is reported by debkafile. It would push the small parties to the fringes and eliminate their bargaining power. A too-close-to call outcome of the vote could result in Netanyahu and Herzog agreeing to rotate the premiership. Their mutually trusted back-door go-between is revealed here as the Labor leader’s brother, Mike Herzog.
Is Obama ready for an about-face to recognize Assad? Will Syria provide the strike force against ISIS?
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 14, 2014
Unconfirmed reports swirled around Arab capitals Sunday, Dec. 14, that President Barack Obama, in league with Moscow and Tehran, had turned his Syrian policy on its head to recognize Bashar Assad’s rule. He was said ready to accept the Syrian army as the backbone of the force battling the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. If true, the Middle East faces another strategic upheaval – and one in the eye for Israel and the Gulf. US-Russian cooperation on Syria and Palestinians would help overcome the Ukraine breach and expand US-Iranian rapprochement.
Which slogan will carry Israel’s election? Pledges of affordable housing or security against terror?
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 12, 2014
Five major blocs are emerging at the outset of Israel’s election campaign: right, left, center, religious and Arab. Yitzhak Herzog of Labor promises to form the next government after hitching up with former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni of Hatnuah. But private party polls place the couple only third or fourth in the coming election. The only fresh face in the race is Moshe Kahlan, late of Likud, who this week established his Kulanu (All of Us) party. The ultra-religious Shas is about to split with Ellie Yishay quitting to form a new religious party.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 6, 2014
The Saudi, UAE and Egyptian rulers are acting to finally unravel the effects of Barack Obama’s “Arab Spring” and extinguish the Muslim Brotherhood and other elements he supported for overturning conservative regimes. debkafile: These Arab rulers have found a key ally in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who used the chance of an epic breakthrough in relations with leading Arab nations, with immediate and far-reaching effect on Israel’s security and standing in the region. He has not so far exposed this feat in campaigning for re-election.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 4, 2014
President Barack Obama and his National Security team headed by Susan Rice have decided to seize on the political crisis besetting the Israeli government and the upcoming general election on March 17 for action to bar Binyamin Netanyahu’s reelection to a fourth term as prime minister.
This decision reverberated through Future party leader Yair Lapid’s assertion Wednesday night, Dec. 3, after he was sacked as finance minister, that Binyamin Netanyahu would not be next prime minister. He laid claim to the premiership himself. The Obama administration has maintained close ties with Lapid.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 1, 2014
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu preferred Maj. Gen. Yair Golan for the top IDF post to Maj. Gen. Gady Eizenkott, whose appointment was announced Nov. 29. He was dissatisfied with the performance of retiring Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and his deputy Eizenkott in the Gaza campaign, as wanting in assertiveness and the operational and tactical capabilities required for countering Hizballah’s plans to take the coming war forecast for the spring onto Israel’s home ground. Netanyahu hopes Gen. Golan as Deputy C-of-S will make up for those deficiencies.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis September 8, 2014
The Netanyahu government is caught in the crossfire of two conflicts: Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh threatens to revive rocket fire on Sept. 25, the first day of the Jewish New Year Festival, unless the Gaza blockade is lifted by then. This would sorely embarrass Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who defended the ceasefire by maintaining that Hamas would never shoot another rocket after enduring 50 days of relentless Israeli assaults. Netanyahu and Ya’alon have also launched the highly-charged process of choosing the next IDF chief of staff.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 30, 2014
US Secretary of State John Kerry called Saturday, Aug. 30 for a “coalition of nations… to stamp out the disease of the Islamic state group,” following President Barack Obama highly-criticized denial of a strategy for “dealing with Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.” The British premier revealed that Al Qaeda carried out the attack on the Jewish museum of Brussels. World leaders wax eloquent on the Islamist peril, but prefer to fight it at leisure through “allies” and “coalitions.” Israel too avoided reacting to the abduction of 43 UN observers at its Golan back door.
Israel-Hamas truce deal in effect from Tuesday 7 p.m. Heavy Palestinian barrage last minute kills 2 Israelis
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 26, 2014
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi were able to bring Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip to accept an unlimited ceasefire in hostilities in effect from 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, based on the 2012 deal. Netanyahu did not ask for his ministers’ endorsement, knowing he did not have majority support in the cabinet. Hamas violated all eleven agreed truces during during the 50-day Gaza conflict. Up to the last minute, Hamas kept up heavy rocket and mortar fire, causing two Israeli deaths and seven injured in the Eshkol District.
Israeli air strikes reduce Gazan high-rise towers to dust, while Israelis flee in droves from Hamas fire
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 25, 2014
Community leaders of 40,000 dwellers of the dozens of kibbutzim, moshavim and small towns adjoining the Gaza Strip spoke out Monday, Aug 25:" It is no longer possible to hide what is going on. The populated front line facing the Gaza Strip is no more.” Some bluntly blamed this fiasco on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and their management of the operation against Hamas. Attesting to an untenable situation, they juxtapose Gaza buildings reduced to dust by Israeli air strikes against Negev communities made refugees.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 24, 2014
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Sunday, Aug. 24 that Operation Defensive Edge would end “only when quiet returns to southern Israel. Till then, we shall continue to hammer Hamas - for now by air.” debkafile:
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 21, 2014
Israel has entered a new stage in its war on Hamas, called by Binyamin Netanyahu “hammering to halt attrition.” It started with the assassination attempt on Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif, with unclear results, and was followed by the liquidation of Hamas’ three top southern Gaza commanders. The assassination campaign has the potential to expand and prolong the Gaza conflict, with a diplomatic resolution fading. Netanyahu faces a mutiny by a group of ministers who object to the way he and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon are managing the war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 19, 2014
Israelis were stunned Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 19, when rocket fire suddenly erupted from the Gaza Strip against Beersheba and Netivot, after they had been lulled into a sense of false security by the suspension of Hamas attacks for 135 hours. debkafile: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s stubborn belief that Hamas really, really wants to end hostilities prevented Israel from inflicting a final defeat on the Palestinian fundamentalists and opened the way to a war of attrition. The Israeli public is losing patience with the uncertainty and showing signs of defiance.
Narrow Israel-Hamas truce deal initialed in Cairo - if Israeli cabinet approves. Abbas due in Qatar and Cairo
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 18, 2014
A narrow, or partial, accord between Israel and Hamas was initialed in Cairo Monday, Aug. 18, say Palestinian sources. Israel does not confirm this. Hamas reportedly agreed not to resume rocket fire when the latest ceasefire ran out at midnight, while Egypt and Israel said to have consented to reopen their border crossings for the delivery to the Gaza Strip of humanitarian assistance. The issue of demilitarization was left till later. Thursday, Mahmoud Abbas is due to discuss with Khaled Meshaal in Qatar the start of Palestinian Authority operations in Gaza.