A View from the Arab Spring, towards the Following Summer

The phrase “Arab Spring” is a surprisingly appropriate description of current events in the

Arab world. It relates not only to the awakening of anger and to the desire for change by the

Arab masses, but also to the lack of understanding of the circumstances, by most European

and American observers. Winter in New York, London or Berlin is often accompanied by a

mild depression. It is a period when nothing blooms, very little remains green, sunshine is

rare and most birds are gone. And then comes the spring, when everything begins to blossom,

warmth returns, birds are chirping and life restarts. Alas, in most of the Arab world, winter is

a pleasant period relative to what comes next. The winter temperature is quite comfortable

and the sun often shines. When spring arrives, the heat returns, heralding an unbearable

summer, without one drop of water and a harsh and dry brown-yellow land. The little that

was partly green, during the winter, is gone. Indeed, “The Arab Spring” inevitably leads to a

difficult and unpleasant summer. The metaphor reflects not only what it purports to describe,

but also the mentality gap between its Western authors and the real situation.


Many of the demonstrators in the streets of Tunis, Cairo and Damascus were truly fed up

with the corrupt dictators, lack of democracy and absence of freedom. Indeed, democracy is

long overdue in the Arab world. But democracy and freedom are not trivial concepts.

Democracy is not removing the Shah of Iran and replacing him by a cruel Ayatollah regime.

Democracy is not removing the Russian Tsar and replacing him by Stalin and democracy is

not electing Hitler. Democracy is not even just an honest election, once every four years.

None of the above guarantee the rule of law, freedom of speech, free press, proper judicial

system, equality for women, fair treatment of minorities, freedom of religion, equal

opportunity and social mobility, to quote just a few basic ingredients of a real democracy.


Achieving any of the above in a society in which all significant organized forces are hostile

to each of these concepts, and in which the majority of women are illiterate, cannot happen

through street demonstrations. Successful protests in such countries are as good as pressing a

“restart” button on a machine which can be controlled, at present, only by one of three

previously existing forces. And, if all of these forces are hostile to every single element of

democracy, the Arab Spring will indeed lead to a long and harsh summer.


There are 22 Arab states from the west end of North Africa to the Gulf. They are as diverse

as the 27 member states of the European Union. Like the EU they have a dominant common

religion, coming in two major flavors, and numerous variants for each flavor. Like Europe,

they have substantial ethnic and religious minorities and many arbitrary national borders.

But, at the same time, all or most Arab states have many things in common. Not last among

these features is the total absence of democracy, by any definition that is even remotely

acceptable by Western standards.


At the risk of oversimplification, we might observe that, in every Arab country, in different

forms and at various levels, there are at most three major organized types of political forces:

First, “Royalty” of one sort or another, supported by the military-police-intelligence

complex; Second, fanatic political Islam, Sunni or Shiite; and third, tribal forces and rivalries

or organized ethnic minorities. In some Arab countries, one of these three types of forces is

partly missing. In others, one of the forces appears in more than one flavor (for instance, the

extremist Sunni and Shiite Islamic groups in Iraq or in Lebanon).


The first and, until the current “Spring”, the dominant organized force is the military,

coupled with the police, intelligence services and related bodies, supporting a ruler, who is

either a King (Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan), a Sultan (Oman), an Emir (Kuwait, Qatar,

UAE), or a “non-royal quasi-monarch” who is, in some sense, royalty without a crown

(Assad, Ghaddafi, Mubarak). In several cases, the ruling military-backed regime is also tribal

or sectarian, controlled by a well defined minority of the population (the Allawites in Syria,

the Bedouins in Jordan and the Sunnis in Bahrain).


The second force is the extreme political Islam, Sunni or Shiite. The Sunni version is usually

the Muslim Brothers or variations on its themes, and the Shiite version is largely inspired, if

not directly guided, by Iran’s Ayatollahs, who have an active hand in much of the tumult in

the Arab world. Iran and Turkey are, of course, Muslim but not Arab. However, both

interfere in a variety of ways in the upheaval of the “Arab Spring”. In a full analogy to a

kingdom, which has a king, a prime minister and an army, political Islam is often organized

in three layers: The “military wing”, which might be a strong organized force like the

revolutionary guard in Iran, or the Hizbullah in Lebanon; the “political wing”, which

pretends to be the real leadership but has only limited influence; and the “spiritual leader”

who is the actual dictatorial ruler, approximately equivalent to an absolute King, although he

is always pretending to play the role of a religious scholar and he never stands for election.


The third force is the old tribal structure, based on family or clan loyalty and surviving in the

21st century in a way of life not unlike that of several centuries ago. Somali, Yemen and, to a

large extent Libya, are countries in which such allegiances are extremely strong and tribal

forces must be reckoned with. In other countries various private armies may belong to

specific religious or ethnic groups, rather than to tribes. This is the case with the Druz in

Lebanon and the Kurds in Iraq.


Needless to say, not every Arab country has significant versions of all of these three forces.

Egypt’s dominant forces are, even now, the military and the Islamists, with no other visible

organized force, except for the Bedouin tribes in the Sinai. Bahrain has the Sunni Monarch

and the Iranian inspired Shiite majority. Iraq has Shiite Islamists and secular Shiites, Sunnis

of all flavors, Kurds of rival political factions and other smaller minorities. Saudi Arabia

exhibits an intricate cooperation of Sunni Islamists, royalty and the military, and, in addition,

an awakening Shiite minority, concentrated in the rich northeast oil area of the kingdom.

Tunis was a secular dictatorship and Qatar is pursuing a veiled Muslim Brotherhood agenda,

while serving as a main American military base. Such are some of the paradoxes and

complexities of the Arab world. There are also Sunni Brothers supported by Shiite fanatics,

like the Hamas, which is the Palestinian version of the Muslim Brothers, strongly supported

and supplied by its Iranian sponsors.


But almost nowhere in the Arab world we can find any significant organized force, other than

the above three dominant flavors: The military based Monarchy (or quasi-monarchy), the

Islamic extremists and the tribal forces. In particular, there is nowhere in sight a substantial

organized force pushing for real democracy. There are individuals, active in weak political

parties or in street demonstrations, cheering for democracy. But, whenever one of the three

major traditional forces is toppled, its place is taken by another element of this unholy trinity,

or by a different version of the same type of force. No street demonstration, facebook driven

enterprise or democracy seeking educated youngsters, can change this fact. A formal election

day, in any such country, even if no irregularities are taking place, must inevitably lead to a

victory of one of the above, usually the Islamic option. The uneducated rural masses,

numerous illiterate voters and even educated, frustrated and hateful young adults are easily

incited and influenced by the preachers, and the mosques are the focal points of “guided

enlightenment”. Since the Islamic extremists are often the only counterforce to the cruel

dictator, they will usually be the winners, if one of the three dominant forces is to be replaced

by another.


Even before the “Arab Spring” the Islamists won the election in Algeria, only to be

undemocratically toppled by the military. Hamas won the Palestinian election in Gaza and

the municipal election in the Palestinian West Bank, and Tunis, a largely secular country

with a relatively liberal tradition, has now voted an Islamic party into power. It is clear that,

in Egypt, the only force that can replace the military are the Muslim Brothers and any other

option is a wishful unrealistic illusion. If the King of Bahrain is removed, an Iranian-inspired

theocracy will replace him and, after the American departure, a similar fate is probably

waiting for predominantly Shiite Iraq. The most likely replacement of Assad, if he ever

ceases to butcher his own citizens, is again an extreme Islamic Sunni group ruling

predominantly secular Syria.


On the other hand, in Libya and Yemen, and probably also in the Gulf States, the leading

counterweight to royalty and quasi-royalty are the tribal elements. It will be interesting to see

whether Libya will now fall in the hands of fanatic Islamists or into an inter-tribal civil war.

Neither alternative resembles a beautiful spring, and a third option does not seem to be in the

cards. Lebanon, created by the colonial powers as a Christian enclave, is already largely in

the hands of the Shiite Islamists and Qatar, an Emirate, is collaborating actively, willingly or

under duress, with the Muslim Brothers everywhere, using its Al Jazeera as an instrument of

propagating unrest.


Most European and American observers, those who think that spring is the beginning of a

good period, observe the Islamists through the distorted lenses of Western culture. There are

a few truths, which are not transparent to most of these commentators.


The first such truth, which is very clear to the extreme militant Islam, is that it is not

necessary to preach for anything in order to rise into power. In most Arab countries, the only

forces are the military-royal force and the extreme political Islam. All that is necessary is to

incite against the regime and collect the fruits. There are two ways to eat fresh fruits from a

tall tree: You may climb a ladder and pick the fruits actively, or you can lie under the tree in

the storm and wait for the fruits to fall into your hands, and they will reach you because there

is no one else around to enjoy them. Some of them might be rotten, but they will be yours.

Even though there are very few fruit trees in the desert, this last option is the one preferred by

the Islamic parties. They are always present in the street demonstrations, but they rarely take

the lead. They know that an angry demonstrator is a powerful weapon against a military or

dictatorial regime, and if the anger prevails, political Islam will win by default and will pick

the falling fruits. The Western TV viewer sees secular youth roaming the streets in

demonstrations in Cairo or Tunis, with no major visible Islamic influence, and suddenly the

first post-revolution election leads to an Islamic government.


The second truth is that, once an election is declared, the real movers and shakers, namely the

preachers, the Ayatollahs and the ”Spiritual Leaders”, will never run for office. They are

allegedly selected by God, not elected by people. It is their disciples, sometimes their

puppets, invariably wearing more moderate masks, who will run for office. In this way,

secular voters, educated women and others are coerced to vote for what will then become a

very ugly version of the religion. It is this façade that leads to amazing remarks in

Washington such as “the Muslim Brothers in Egypt are not of a uniform extreme nature”. But

when reality is unveiled, spiritually and literally, it is quite different.


The third truth is that, once in power, the private armies of the extreme Islam are not

conventional at all. They are not interested in planes or tanks. Their primary weapon is

ruthless terror against civilian populations, and the leading tools are car bombs, explosive

devices, suicide murders, rockets and, eventually, even hoping to acquire weapons of mass

destruction. We see it in Iraq, in Somali, in the Palestinian areas, and in the Muslim, non-

Arab, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The division of labor between the Iranian army and the

revolutionary guard, or between the Lebanese army and the Hizbullah, serve as models for

Hamas and future Muslim Brotherhood regimes.


The fourth and final truth is that an election of an extremist Islamic regime is not a victory

for democracy, even if a real majority voted for it. It is usually the first and last free election

in such a country, just as in the Fascist or Communist regimes, which are sometimes elected

democratically, for the first time, and perpetuate their totalitarian regime thereafter without

regard to any democratic principles or human rights.


Western observers view much of the above with the naïve eyes of those who believe that

removing a dictator is a guarantee for freedom, that religious leaders cannot be murderous

and that a winning candidate in an election is indeed the real ruler. They also have the

illusion that public declarations bear a close relationship to true plans and views. None of

these are common practices in the struggle between the two leading undemocratic forces of

the Arab world: The ruthless kings and dictators and the even more ruthless extreme political



The relation of Israel to the events in the Arab world is entirely asymmetric. Israel, its

conflict with the Palestinians and any actions it takes, are either totally irrelevant or have a

very minor impact on the events in the Arab world. But the scorching “Arab Summer” that

will probably follow the “Arab Spring” may create serious problems for Israel. It is entirely

clear that the protesters in Bahrain, Tunis and Yemen, and even those in Cairo and

Damascus, could not care less about the Palestinians and are not spending a minute thinking

about Israel. Only after the fall of Mubarak, the Egyptian Muslim Brothers tried to mobilize

the masses for “a march of a million” against Israel. The attendance was meager and the

great march fizzled. This was followed by a fierce attack on the Israeli Embassy, by a

relatively small group, with no great visible interest of the demonstrating masses. The

protests are entirely an internal affair of each Arab State, with no relation to the Israeli-

Palestinian dispute, and nothing that Israel might do, or avoid doing, would have the slightest

effect on them. On the other hand, any power grab by the Muslim Brothers, an organization

historically created with the active help of the Nazis, and committed to the annihilation not

only of Israel but of the entire Jewish people, will not be good news for Israel. This topic

requires a separate analysis, and we will not dwell on it here.


The American attitude of the Obama regime, during the evolving events in the Arab world, is

truly amazing and baffling. One might understand and applaud an idealistic American

attitude based on the principles of supporting freedom, justice and democracy everywhere.

One could also understand a less honorable, but very pragmatic, American policy of

supporting its friends in the Arab world, regardless of their own attitudes towards freedom

and democracy. But there is no explanation, either idealistic or pragmatic, for a policy which

works against dictatorial friends of America and does not oppose, in any significant way, all

dictatorial foes of America.


The Obama government gave a significant boost to Hizbullah during its first months in

office, by returning its ambassador to Syria in the midst of a tense and dramatic election

campaign in Lebanon. The U.S. did not utter a word in support of the serious antigovernment

street demonstrations in non-Arab Iran. The U.S. was extremely active in

removing Mubarak in Egypt, sending a shattering message to all its other Arab allies in the

region. It reprimanded the pro-American King of Bahrain, host to the main American naval

base in the Gulf, who was fighting against Iranian sponsored agitation of his Shiite citizens.

It helped to destroy the ruthless Ghadafi, a man who only a few years earlier was elected as

the chair of the United Nations Human Rights Commission and presided over its frequent

condemnations of Israel, supported by many European nations and being a “born again”

friend of America and the West. America did not lift a finger against the murderous Assad. It

also did not utter a word when U.S. allies Turkey and Qatar started, immediately after the

election of President Obama (and never earlier), to support the terrorist Hamas, which is the

Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brothers. The complete American departure from Iraq is a

clear invitation to Iran to swallow this Shiite-dominated country, which cannot defend itself

against the Ayatollahs, and the Turkish-Iranian coalition seems to be making preparations for

marching into the oil rich Kurdish north of Iraq, with not one visible step taken by America

or Europe to prevent such a dangerous move.


The excitement about the “first democratic election of the Arab Spring” has already led to the

victory of the Islamists in secular Tunis, and that same Arab Spring is now well on its way to

a hot suffocating Islamic summer. But the Western world, and its leader, President Obama,

seem oblivious to the direction into which “the Arab Spring” is moving. Following the

American treatment of Mubarak, and the almost absent reaction to Assad, all friends of the

West in the Arab world, headed by the Saudi leaders, are now maneuvering in order to

distance themselves away from the U.S. administration.


Does the Obama government not understand what is happening in the region, or do they

understand and support it cheerfully? Both possibilities are mind boggling, and both

endanger the entire free world. It is indeed impossible to believe either of these two

hypotheses, but it is even more difficult to present a third alternative theory for the American

view of the evolving events. When and if the Muslim Brothers win the first “democratic”

election in Egypt, the largest Arab country, it is very likely that the “Arab Spring” will

officially move into a long and dangerous dry summer, with a significant thirst, hopefully not

for blood.

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related articles


2023 Inflated Palestinian Demography

Official Palestinian demographic numbers are highly-inflated, as documented by a study, which has audited the Palestinian data since 2004:

*500,000 overseas residents, who have been away for over a year, are included in the Palestinian census, contrary to international regulations. 325,000 were included in the 1997 census, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, and 400,000 in 2005, according to the Palestinian Election Commission. The number grows steadily due to births.

*350,000 East Jerusalem Arabs are doubly-counted – by Israel and by the Palestinian Authority. The number grows daily due to births.

*Over 150,000 Arabs, who married Israeli Arabs are similarly doubly-counted. The number expands daily due to births.

*A 390,000 Arab net-emigration from Judea & Samaria is excluded from the Palestinian census, notwithstanding the annual net-emigration since 1950.   For example, 15,466 in 2022, 26,357 – 2019, 15,173 – 2017 and 24,244 – 2014, as documented by Israel’s Population and Migration Authority (exits and entries) in all the land, air and sea international passages.

*A 32% artificial inflation of Palestinian births was documented by the World Bank (page 8, item 6) in a 2006 audit.

*The Judea & Samaria Arab fertility rate has been westernized: from 9 births per woman in the 1960s to 3.02 births in 2021, as documented by the CIA World Factbook. It reflects the sweeping urbanization, growing enrollment of women in higher education, rising marriage age and the use of contraceptives.

*The number of Arab deaths in Judea & Samaria has been under-reported (since the days of the British Mandate) for political and financial reasons.

*The aforementioned data documents 1.4 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria, when deducting the aforementioned documented-data from the official Palestinian number (3 million).

In 2023: a 69% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel. In 1947 and 1897: a 39% and 9% Jewish minority. In 2023, a 69% Jewish majority benefiting from fertility tailwind and net-immigration.  Arab fertility is Westernized, and Arab net-emigration from Judea and Samaria.  No Arab demographic time bomb. A Jewish demographic momentum.

    More data in this article and this short video.
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Iran’s Ayatollahs poke the US in the eye

(more information available here by)

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
July 26, 2023

The British “Cambridge Middle East and North Africa Forum” reported that “On January 11, 2023, Iran’s naval commander announced that before the end of 2023, Iran would station warships in the Panama Canal [which facilitates 5% of the global maritime trade].”  

According to the December 1823 Monroe Doctrine, any intervention by a foreign power in the political affairs of the American continent could be viewed as a potentially hostile act against the US. However, in November 2013, then Secretary of State John Kerry told the Organization of the American States that “the era of the Monroe Doctrine is over.”

Is Iran’s dramatic and rogue re-entrenchment in Latin America underscoring the relevance/irrelevance of the Monroe Doctrine? Does it vindicate John Kerry’s assessment?

Latin America and the Ayatollahs’ anti-US strategy

*Since the February 1979 eruption of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Ayatollahs have leveraged the US diplomatic option (toward Iran’s Ayatollahs) and the accompanying mega-billion dollar benefit (to Iran’s Ayatollahs) as a major engine, bolstering their anti-US rogue policy, regionally and globally.

*The threat posed to the US by Iran’s Ayatollahs is not limited to the survival of the pro-US Arab regimes in the Middle East and the stability of Central Asia, Europe and North and West Africa. The threat extends to Latin America up to the US-Mexico border. The Ayatollahs poke the US in the eye in a most vulnerable geo-strategic area, which directly impacts the US homeland.    

*Iran’s penetration of Latin America – the backyard of the US and its soft belly – has been a top national security priority of the Ayatollahs since assuming power in February 1979. The Ayatollahs’ re-entrenchment in Latin America has been assisted by their Hezbollah proxy, driven by their 1,400-year-old mega imperialistic goal (toppling all “apostate” Sunni regimes and bringing the “infidel” West to submission), which requires overcoming the mega hurdle (“the Great American Satan”), the development of mega military capabilities (conventional, ballistic and nuclear) and the adoption of an apocalyptic state of mind.

*Iran’s penetration of Latin America has been based on the anti-U.S. agenda of most Latin American governments, which has transcended the striking ideological and religious differences between the anti-US, socialist, secular Latin American governments and the fanatic Shiite Ayatollahs. The overriding joint aim has been to erode the strategic stature of the US in its own backyard, and subsequently (as far as the Ayatollahs are concerned) in the US homeland, through a network of sleeper cells.

*Iran’s penetration of Latin America has been a hydra-like multi-faceted structure, focusing on the lawless tri-border-areas of Argentina-Paraguay-Brazil and Chile-Peru-Bolivia, as well as Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua and all other anti-US governments. It involves a growing collaboration with all regional terror organizations, the leading drug cartels of Mexico, Columbia, Brazil and Bolivia, global money launderers and every anti-US government in Latin America. Moreover, the Ayatollahs have established terror-training camps in Latin America, as well as sophisticated media facilities and cultural/proselytizing centers. They have exported to the region ballistic technologies, predator unmanned aerial vehicles and tunnel construction equipment.     

Latin America and the Ayatollahs’ anti-US tactics

*According to the Cambridge MENAF (ibid), the Brazilian navy reported that two Iranian warships have been granted permission to dock in Brazil. Experts speculate that the vessels could reach the Panama Canal as early as mid-February 2024. The presence of Iranian warships in the Panama Canal threatens not only Western security, but the safety and reliability of one of the world’s key trade routes.  

“The gradual permeation of Iranian influence across Latin America over the past 40 years is a significant phenomenon, which has paved the way for this recent strategic move by Teheran. Attention is concentrated toward Iran’s criminal and terrorist network [in Latin America] via Hezbollah operations….”

*Wikileaks cables claim that Secret US diplomatic reports alleged that Iranian engineers have visited Venezuela searching for uranium deposits…. in exchange for assistance in their own nuclear programs. The Chile-based bnAmericas reported that “Iranian experts with knowledge of the most uranium-rich areas in Venezuela are allegedly extracting the mineral under the guise of mining and tractor assembly companies…. Planes are prohibited from flying over the location of the plant…. The Iranian state-owned Impasco, which has a gold mining concession in Venezuela, is linked to Iran’s nuclear program. Its Venezuela mine is located in one of the most uranium-rich areas, which has no-fly restrictions….”     

*According to the June 2022 Iran-Venezuela 20-year-agreement (military, oil, economy), Iran received the title over one million hectares of Venezuelan land, which could be employed for the testing of advanced Iranian ballistic systems. Similar agreements were signed by Iran with Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia.  

*Venezuela has issued fraudulent passports, national IDs and birth certificates to Iranian officials and terrorists, avoiding international sanctions and blunting counter-terrorism measures. The Iran-Venezuela air traffic has grown significantly, although tourism activity has been marginal….

*Since the early 1980s, Iran’s Ayatollahs have leveraged the networking of Hezbollah terrorists in the very large and successful Lebanese communities in Latin America (and West Africa). Hezbollah’s narcotrafficking, money laundering, crime and terror infrastructure have yielded billions of dollars to both Hezbollah and Iran. The US Department of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimates that Hezbollah earns about $2bn annually through illegal drug trafficking and weapon proliferation in the Tri Border Area of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, expanding ties with the most violent drug cartels in Latin America, including Mexico’s Los Zetas, Colombia’s FARC and Brazil’s PCC, impacting drug trafficking, crime and terror in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Iran has intensified its Hezbollah-assisted intelligence missions against US and Israeli targets in Latin America and beyond. Hezbollah has leveraged its stronghold, the Bekaa Valley, in Lebanon, which is one of the largest opium and hashish producing areas in the world.  

The bottom line

The track record of the Ayatollahs, including the surge of their rogue presence in Latin America, documents the self-destructive nature of the diplomatic option toward Iran – which has served as a most effective tailwind of the Ayatollahs’ anti US agenda – and the self-defeating assumptions that the Ayatollahs are amenable to good-faith negotiation, peaceful-coexistence with their Sunni Arab neighbors and the abandonment of their 1,400-year-old fanatical imperialistic vision.

Judea & Samaria

Israel-Saudi accord and Israel’s control of Judea & Samaria (video)

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
September 15, 2023, https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/377022

*The platform of an Israel-Saudi accord is the volcanic, violent and unpredictably tenuous Middle East, not Western Europe or No. America;

*Saudi Arabia is driven by Saudi – not Palestinian – interests;

*Unlike the State Department, Saudi Arabia accords much weight to the rogue Palestinian track record in the intra-Arab arena, and therefore limits its support of the proposed Palestinian state to (mostly) talk, not to walk; *An accord with Saudi Arabia – in the shifty, tenuous Middle East – is not a major component of Israel’s national security. On the other hand, Israel’s control of the mountain ridges of Judea & Samaria is a prerequisite for Israel’s survival in the inherently turbulent, intolerantly violent Middle East, which features tenuous regimes, and therefore tenuous policies and accords.


United Jerusalem – a shared US-Israel legacy and interest

US departure from the recognition of a United Jerusalem as the exclusive capital of the Jewish State, and the site of the US Embassy to Israel, would be consistent with the track record of the State Department, which has been systematically wrong on Middle East issues, such as its opposition to the establishment of the Jewish State; stabbing the back of the pro-US Shah of Iran and Mubarak of Egypt, and pressuring the pro-US Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, while courting the anti-US Ayatollahs of Iran, Saddam Hussein, Arafat, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and the Houthis of Yemen; transforming Libya into a platform of global Islamic terrorism and civil wars; etc..

However, such departure would violate US law, defy a 3,000 year old reality – documented by a litany of archeological sites and a multitude of documents from Biblical time until today – spurn US history and geography, and undermine US national and homeland security.

United Jerusalem and the US law

Establishing a US Consulate General in Jerusalem – which would be a de facto US Embassy to the Palestinian Authority – would violate the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which became US law on November 8, 1995 with substantially more than a veto-override majority on Capitol Hill.

According to the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which enjoys massive support among the US population and, therefore, in both chambers of Congress:

“Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected….

“Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the state of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem….

“In 1990, Congress unanimously adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 106, which declares that Congress ‘strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected….’

“In 1992, the United States Senate and House of Representatives unanimously adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 113… to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, and reaffirming Congressional sentiment that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city….

“In 1996, the state of Israel will celebrate the 3,000th anniversary of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem since King David’s entry….

“The term ‘United States Embassy’ means the offices of the United States diplomatic mission and the residence of the United States chief of mission.”

United Jerusalem and the legacy of the Founding Fathers

The US Early Pilgrims and Founding Fathers were inspired – in their unification of the 13 colonies – by King David’s unification of the 12 Jewish tribes into a united political entity, and establishing Jerusalem as the capital city, which did not belong to any of the tribes (hence, Washington, DC does not belong to any state). King David entered Jerusalem 3,000 years before modern day US presidents entered the White House and 2,755 years before the US gained its independence.

The impact of Jerusalem on the US founders of the Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist system and overall civic life is reflected by the existence, in the US, of 18 Jerusalems (4 in Maryland; 2 in Vermont, Georgia and New York; and 1 in Ohio, Michigan, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Utah, Rhode Island and Tennessee), 32 Salems (the original Biblical name of Jerusalem) and many Zions (a Biblical synonym for Jerusalem and the Land of Israel).  Moreover, in the US there are thousands of cities, towns, mountains, cliffs, deserts, national parks and streets bearing Biblical names.

The Jerusalem reality and US interests

Recognizing the Jerusalem reality and adherence to the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act – and the subsequent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the site of the US Embassy to Israel – bolstered the US posture of deterrence in defiance of Arab/Islamic pressure and threats.

Contrary to the doomsday assessments by the State Department and the “elite” US media – which have been wrong on most Middle East issues – the May 2018 implementation of the 1995 law did not intensify Palestinian, Arab and Islamic terrorism. State Department “wise men” were equally wrong when they warned that Israel’s 1967 reunification of Jerusalem would ignite a worldwide anti-Israel and anti-US Islamic volcanic eruption.

Adherence to the 1995 law distinguishes the US President, Congress and most Americans from the state of mind of rogue regimes and terror organizations, the anti-US UN, the vacillating Europe, and the cosmopolitan worldview of the State Department, which has systematically played-down the US’ unilateral, independent and (sometimes) defiant national security action.

On the other hand, US procrastination on the implementation of the 1995 law – by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama – eroded the US posture of deterrence, since it was rightly perceived by the world as appeasement in the face of pressure and threats from Arab/Muslim regimes and terrorists.  As expected, it radicalized Arab expectations and demands, failed to advance the cause of Israel-Arab peace, fueled Islamic terrorism, and severely undermined US national and homeland security. For example, blowing up the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and murdering 224 persons in August 1998; blowing up the USS Cole destroyer in the port of Aden and murdering 17 US sailors in October 2000; the 9/11 Twin Towers massacre, etc.

Jerusalem and Israel’s defiance of US pressure

In 1949, President Truman followed Secretary of State Marshall’s policy, pressuring Israel to refrain from annexing West Jerusalem and to accept the internationalization of the ancient capital of the Jewish people.

in 1950, in defiance of brutal US and global pressure to internationalize Jerusalem, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion reacted constructively by proclaiming Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish State, relocating government agencies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and settling tens of thousands of Olim (Jewish immigrants to Israel) in Jerusalem. He upgraded the transportation infrastructure to Jerusalem, erected new Jewish neighborhoods along the 1949 cease fire lines in Jerusalem, and provided the city land reserves for long-term growth.

In 1953, Ben Gurion rebuffed President Eisenhower’s pressure – inspired by Secretary of State Dulles – to refrain from relocating Israel’s Foreign Ministry from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In 1967, President Johnson followed the advice of Secretary of State Rusk – who opposed Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence – highlighting the international status of Jerusalem, and warned Israel against the reunification of Jerusalem and construction in its eastern section. Prime Minister Levi Eshkol adopted Ben Gurion’s statesmanship, fended off the US pressure, reunited Jerusalem, built the first Jerusalem neighborhood beyond the 1949 ceasefire lines, Ramat Eshkol, in addition to the first wave of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights.

In 1970, President Nixon collaborated with Secretary of State Rogers, attempting to repartition Jerusalem, pressuring Israel to relinquish control of Jerusalem’s Holy Basin, and to stop Israel’s plans to construct additional neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem.  However, Prime Minister Golda Meir refused to rescind the reunification of Jerusalem, and proceeded to lay the foundation for additional Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the 1949 ceasefire lines: Gilo, Ramot Alon, French Hill and Neve’ Yaakov, currently home to 150,000 people.

In 1977-1992, Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir defied US and global pressure, expanding construction in Jerusalem, sending a clear message: “Jerusalem is the exclusive and non-negotiable capital of Israel!”

“[In 1978], at the very end of [Prime Minister Begin’s] successful Camp David talks with President Jimmy Carter and President Anwar Sadat, literally minutes before the signing ceremony, the American president had approached [Begin] with ‘Just one final formal item.’ Sadat, said the president, was asking that Begin put his signature to a simple letter committing him to place Jerusalem on the negotiating table of the final peace accord.  ‘I refused to accept the letter, let alone sign it,’ rumbled Begin. ‘If I forgot thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning,’ said [Begin] to the president of the United States of America, ‘and may my tongue cleave to my mouth’ (The Prime Ministers – An Intimate Portrait of Leaders of Israel, 2010)”

In 2021, Prime Minister Bennett should follow in the footsteps of Israel’s Founding Father, Ben Gurion, who stated: “Jerusalem is equal to the whole of the Land of Israel. Jerusalem is not just a central Jewish settlement. Jerusalem is an invaluable global historical symbol. The Jewish People and the entire world shall judge us in accordance with our steadfastness on Jerusalem (“We and Our Neighbors,” p. 175. 1929).”

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Jewish Holidays

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Guide for the Perplexed, 2023

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel initiative”
Based on ancient Jewish sages, September 26, 2023

More on Jewish holidays: Smashwords, Amazon     

1. Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles (September 30 – October 7, 2023) derives its name from the first stop of the Exodus – the town of Sukkot – as documented in Exodus 13:20-22 and Numbers 33:3-5. Sukkot was also the name of Jacob’s first stop west of the Jordan River, upon returning to the Land of Israel from his 20 years of work for Laban in Aram (Genesis 33:17).

2. Sukkot is a Jewish national liberation holiday, commemorating the Biblical Exodus, and the transition of the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt to liberty, the ongoing Jewish ingathering to the Land of Israel, and sovereignty in the Land of Israel, which inspired the US Founding Fathers and the Abolitionist Movement.

The construction of the Holy Tabernacle, during the Exodus, was launched on the first day of Sukkot (full moon).

3. Sukkot is the 3rd 3,300-year-old Jewish pilgrimage holiday (following Passover and Shavou’ot/Pentecost), highlighting faith, reality-based-optimism, can-do mentality and the defiance of odds.  It is also the 3rd major Jewish holiday – following Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – in the month of Tishrei, the holiest Jewish month. According to Judaism, 3 represents divine wisdom, stability and peace. In addition, the 3rd day of the Creation was blessed twice; God appeared on Mt. Sinai 3 days after Moses’ ascension of the mountain; there are 3 parts to the Bible (the Torah, Prophets and Writings); the 3 Jewish Patriarchs; the 3 annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem, etc. 3 is the total sum of the basic odd (1) and even (2) numbers, symbolizing strength: “a three-strand cord is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

4. Sukkot underscores the gradual transition from the spiritual state-of-mind during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to the mundane of the rest of the year, and from religious tenets of Judaism to the formation of the national, historic and geographical Jewish identity.

5. The 7 days of Sukkot – which is celebrated in the 7th Jewish month, Tishrei – are dedicated to 7 supreme guests-in-spirit and notable care-takers (Ushpizin in Aramaic and Hebrew): Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron and David. They were endowed with faith, reality-based-optimism, humility, magnanimity, principle-driven leadership, compassion, tenacity in the face of daunting odds and peace-through-strength.  

6. Sukkot features the following four species (Leviticus 23:39-41): 1 citron (representing King David, the author of Psalms), 1 palm branch (representing Joseph), 3 myrtle branches (representing the three Patriarchs) and 2 willow branches (representing Moses and Aharon, the role models of humility), which are bonded together, representing the unity-through-diversity and strength-through-unity.

They embody four leadership prerequisites: a solid backbone (palm branch), humility (willow), a compassionate heart (citron) and penetrating eyes (myrtle). 

These species also represent the agricultural regions of the Land of Israel: the southern Negev and Arava (palm); the slopes of the northern Golan Heights, Upper Galilee and Mt. Carmel (myrtle); the streams of the central mountains of Judea and Samaria, including Jerusalem (willow); and the western coastal plain (citron). 

7. Traditionally, Sukkot is dedicated to the study of the Biblical Scroll of Ecclesiastes (Kohelet, קהלת in Hebrew, which was one of King Solomon’s names), written by King Solomon, which highlights humility, morality, patience, learning from past mistakes, commemoration and historical perspective, family, friendship, long-term thinking, proper timing, realism and knowledge.

The late Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), the longest serving US Senator, often quoted Biblical verses, in general, and Ecclesiastes, in particular. For example, on November 7, 2008, upon retirement from the chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he stated: “’To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.’ Those Biblical words from Ecclesiastes 3:1 express my feelings about this particular time in my life.”  On September 9, 1998, Senator Byrd made the following Senate floor remarks on the Lewinsky affair: “As the book of Ecclesiastes plainly tells us, ‘There is no new thing under the sun.’  Time seems to be turning backwards in its flight. And, many of the mistakes that President Nixon made are being made all over again.” 

8. During the holiday of Sukkot, it is customary to highlight humility by experiencing a seven-day-relocation from one’s permanent dwelling to the temporary, humble, wooden booth (Sukkah in Hebrew) – which sheltered the people of Israel during the Exodus.

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US interests and Israel’s control of Judea & Samaria (West Bank)

A new 8-minute-video: YouTube, Facebook


*Israel’s control of the topographically-dominant mountain ridges of the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria has enhanced Israel’s posture of deterrence, constraining regional violence, transforming Israel into a unique force-multiplier for the US.

*Top Jordanian military officers warned that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into a non-controllable terrorist heaven, generating an anti-US domino scenario in the Arabian Peninsula.

*Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria has eliminated much of the threat (to Jordan) of Judea and Samaria-based Palestinian terrorism.

*Israel’s posture of deterrence emboldens Jordan in the face of domestic and regional threats, sparing the US the need to deploy its own troops, in order to avoid an economic and national security setback.

*The proposed Palestinian state would become the Palestinian straw that would break the pro-US Hashemite back.

*The Palestinian track record of the last 100 years suggests that the proposed Palestinian state would be a rogue entity, adding fuel to the Middle East fire, undermining US interests.

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Islamic Terrorism

Iran’s Ayatollahs poke the US in the eye