1593 articles tagged "Israel"
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Israel Plunges into Campaign for January election
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 5, 2002
Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon announced Tuesday, November 5, he had opted for an early election - reluctantly as the lesser evil, rather than bow to "political extortion". Later, a parliamentary committee set January 28, 2003 as voting day.
This decision touched off a whirlwind of political action before Tuesday afternoon. In a broadcast news conference mobbed by the media, he denounced Labor's walkout from the unity government last week - which left him with a minority government based on 55 out of 120 seats - as "politically capricious and irresponsible". He also rejected as unacceptable the conditions laid down by the right-wing National Union (7 seats) leader Avigdor Lieberman to his subsequent overtures. Those terms included binding exceptions to a unity government with Labor - now or in a post-election lineup - and to a Palestinian state, as well as an early election.
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Sharon Expands Strategic Cabinet Ahead of Coalition Talks
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 2, 2002
Since Labor quit Israel's ruling coalition government, prime minister Ariel Sharon has been widely expected to re-orient to the right for the sake of new ultra-nationalist partners to shore up his minority government of 55 - or else face an early election.
However, debkafile's political analysts note that Sharon's first actions after losing his national unity government last Wednesday, October 31, signal no such policy shift.
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Sharon's Minority Government Will Survive Labor's Walkout
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 30, 2002
Ariel Sharon shows no sign of knuckling under to the demand from his resigned defense minister, the Labor leader Binyamin Ben Eliezer, for an early election next March or April. Labor's walkout from the unity government leaves Sharon with a minority government of 55 out of 120 Knesset seats instead of the handy 80 his unity government enjoyed for one year, ten months. But he has prospects. The prime minister achieved his first victory one hour after his government was whittled down when he rallied a majority of 67 Knesset members for the passage of the 2003 State Budget against 45 nay voters led by Labor and 2 abstentions.
Winning over the Mahane Leumi-Israel Beitenu and other hawkish factions to take his government past the 61 barrier will be his next order of business.
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Memorial Farm Splits Unity Government
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 20, 2002
The stormy controversy that erupted over a Jewish farm set up near Nablus in memory of Gilead Zar, who died in a terror attack on a West Bank road, bares once again the deep seam running down the middle of Ariel Sharon's national unity government. This seam the prime minister consistently papers over at whatever cost to national assets and his credibility as a consensual leader. This time might be harder than usual, although, if Sharon runs true to form, he will tuck this crisis too out of sight. Although by now, he has perfected his technique of give and take for the sake of specious amity, he knows he has no majority in his own Likud party for accommodating Labor on the settlement and other national issues. This fact he must keep in mind in relation to his rival Binyamin Netanyahu.
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Sharon-Bush Talks Will Focus on Iraq War - Not Palestinians
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 13, 2002
The Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon's visit to Washington on Monday, October 14, is officially described as being to coordinate the two countries' actions in the coming war against Iraq. However, certain voices, some coming from the Israeli foreign ministry too, are trying hard to force Sharon's talks in the White House into the frame of the What's Next after Saddam debate in Washington. They advise him to settle for a deal on the Palestinian issue with President George W. Bush now, or else face much steeper demands after the war is over.
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Israel: Which Is Lesser Evil? Hamas Or Arafat
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 9, 2002
The first serious inter-Palestinian clashes since Yasser Arafat proclaimed his confrontation with Israel two years have not lightened Israel's security cares and dilemmas. While fighting each other in the Gaza Strip, the two Palestinian factions - his loyalists and the Islamist Hamas - are also vying for primacy as wielder of terror against Israel.
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Bush Prepares Nation for War: B. Israeli & American Assessments Differ
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 5, 2002
The nearly 2 million inhabitants of Greater Tel Aviv, like the rest of the country, feel entitled to credible information about any potential threats from Iraq. If Israeli officials believe American estimates and figures are exaggerated or wide of the mark, they ought to set the record straight. Their failure to confirm or refute Washington's evaluations sets up the confusion and fear that overtook Israel in the first Gulf War 11 years ago. Then, too, Israelis were told that the chances of an Iraqi missile attack were very slim - until 39 Scuds hit Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan, 8-12 in each salvo - an experience that has left its mark on the national psyche up till the present.
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Bush Prepares Nation for War: A. Israel Officials Play down Dangers
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 5, 2002
In his radio address Saturday, October 5, President George W. Bush further sharpened the options in advance of his major address to the nation Monday, October 7. He said: "If the Iraqi regime persists in its defiance, the use of force may become unavoidable."
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An Israeli Writer's One-Way Mirror
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 3, 2002
The Israeli writer and novelist David Grossman, in an article published in the New York Times Tuesday, October 1, lays out his theory that Israelis know only the side of their conflict with the Palestinians that Israel chooses to tell itself. He writes: "The story that now reigns nearly unchallenged in the media and political discourse obliterates more than 33 years of roadblocks, thousands of prisoners and untold numbers of deportations and killings of innocent people." Grossman claims that Israelis act as though "there had never been long months of closures, ... no humiliations, no incessant harassment, ... no bulldozing of hundreds of homes, no uprooting of vineyards and olive groves..."
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Equivocal Israeli Rhetoric Weakens Deterrence
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 2, 2002
The British prime minister Tony Blair may have needed a Middle East slogan to get him through this week's Labor conference in Blackpool. But his simplistic message, delivered in a speech on October 1, drew derision in Jerusalem with a tinge of remembered bitterness over Britain's record in this region. The word from government circles in Jerusalem was: The Foreign Office may write whatever speeches it likes for Blair, but we stand by President Bush's Middle East outline.
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No Clear Verdict on Two-Year Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 28, 2002
How come that, notwithstanding Israel's military might and resources, the Palestinians, after two years of warfare, are still able to buffet the Jewish state with terror and suicide massacres? How do they get away with willfully butchering civilians in the middle of the US-led global assault of terrorism? And why is the score in the conflict even, the confrontation reaching neither a military nor a political resolution.
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Under Iraq War Shadow Sharon Fights for Strategic Foothold
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 23, 2002
The weathervane of US-Israel relations has begun to hover between fair and cloudy as the Bush administration's assault on Iraq approaches. debkafile's Washington and Jerusalem sources say the trouble is not related to Israel's isolation of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah - that episode is closely coordinated with the White House - but to developing dissonances over the Iraq campaign.
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Saddam May Get First Strike in: Israel Is Prime Target
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 21, 2002
debkafile's military sources point to the danger of Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein attempting to turn the tables on the American offensive against his regime by stealing a leaf from the Bush administration's newly- enunciated first-strike strategy.
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US, Israel Join to End Arafat's Regime
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 21, 2002
Israel's military's Operation Absolute, which has flattened building after building in Yasser Arafat's government compound in Ramallah, is aimed at more than winkling out the 50 hardcore terrorist chiefs he harbors, or even retribution for the fresh wave of suicide terror he unleashed against Israel this week at the cost of nine Israeli lives. This operation was planned jointly in Washington and Jerusalem as a strategic step in the military and intelligence preparations that are bringing open war on Iraq very close.
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New Satellite Imagery Bares Jericho Missile Site
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 14, 2002
Some of Israel's missile sites had their first airing in spring 2000, when space imaging Ikonos, the world's first commercial 1-meter remote sensing satellite homed in on the "Zakaria" Sedot Micha bases, 45 km south of Tel Aviv. debkafile's analysts note the timing of their photos' first release in Washington: close to the 29th anniversary of the Arab-Israel Yom Kippur War and during the run-up to Gulf War II.
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Is Israel's Existence under Threat?
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 14, 2002
US President George W. Bush and his top military and intelligence advisers are clearly convinced by the evidence in their hands that America faces an existential peril. One piece of evidence is revealed in the article on this page about the "Palermo Senator" container vessel, detained and searched at sea for four days after radiation traces were detected in its hold on September 9. The fact that the search came up empty does not obviate the danger. It is as acute as ever. It ties in with the solid intelligence the FBI is holding that 40 al Qaeda men are heading for the United States by ship. No one knows what ship, what arms they bear - conventional, chemical, biological or nuclear - or where they are programmed to strike.
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Sharon's One-Man Show Eclipses Opposition
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 9, 2002
Ariel Sharon's dozen years in the political wilderness - plus the bitter sniping suffered by his ten predecessors as Israeli prime minister - taught him some basic math: The best way to downsize your parliamentary opposition is to upsize your coalition government. Straight after his landslide election victory in February 2001, Sharon rolled up his sleeves and constructed a bumper coalition government, declaring the country needed a national unity administration to take on the spiraling Palestinian terror. The result: 25 more or less biddable ministers, a bevy of deputy ministers, depleted opposition benches and a frustrated country with little voice in policy-making.
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Israel's Foot-Dragging on WMD Counter-Measures and Saddam's Passivity
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 2, 2002
On August 14, after repeated delays, the Israeli security cabinet finally held a special meeting to review the country's preparedness for unconventional warfare. It decided to vaccinate 15,000 "first response" personnel against smallpox, as a first stage of a general vaccination campaign against a possible bio-weapons attack originating in Iraq or carried out by Saddam's Palestinian proxies.
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Jerusalem Cell is Tip of Iceberg
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 21, 2002
Israel's security and police authorities are keeping their aces well covered even after publicizing their coup on Wednesday, August 21. Saturday night, August 16, they captured a six- man cell of Jerusalemite Arabs, all bearing Israeli identity cards, who admit to complicity in executing 8 of the most devastating terrorist attacks in the last three months, in which 35 Israelis died and dozens were gravely wounded in different parts of the country.
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What's Amiss with US-Israel Relations? Low Mark for Sharon
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 18, 2002
When in the past Israel was beset with extreme economic distress, its finance ministers were to be found in Washington, lobbying hard for help - even in the form of symbolic investment for boosting the country's financial credibility and morale. Yet finance minister Sylvan Shalom has given up transatlantic travel, even though the Sharon government enjoys exceptionally cooperative relations with the Bush administration.
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