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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.

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
June 27, 2023

Notwithstanding the current tension between the Administrations of the US and Israel, and while there is an erosion in Israel’s high favorability among Americans (according to Gallup: Israel’s favorability – 68% compared to 71% in 2022; Palestinian Authority’s – 26%), the US-Israel defense and commercial cooperation keeps expanding.  This expansion responds to mutual threats and challenges, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs, Sunni Islamic terrorism, the vulnerability of all pro-US Arab regimes, and the need to bolster the US’ global, technological competitive edge. Facing these threats and challenges, the US is leveraging Israel’s unique defense and commercial capabilities, which have contributed to the US economy and defense – in dollar terms – more than the annual US “foreign aid” to Israel.   

The mutually-beneficial US-Israel partnership has been a derivative of the following factors:

1. US-Israel relations transcend the reality of international relations, in general, and US foreign relations, in particular.  US foreign relations are usually determined by the State Department establishment and the “elite” media, streaming in an up-bottom manner to the public. However, in the case of the US policy towards Israel, the direction of the policy has been determined by the general public’s state-of-mind – which has prevailed since the Early Pilgrims and the Founding Fathers – streaming in a bottom-up manner to elected officials in the House, Senate and White House.  Moreover, US elected officials are accountable to their constituents, who expect them to faithfully represent their worldview (including their pro-Israel sentiments), or “we shall remember in November.”

2. While the White House tends to adopt the State Department’s worldview – which opposed the establishment of Israel in 1948, and has criticized Israel since then – both chambers of Congress (which are the most authentic representatives of the US constituency in the 435 Districts and 50 States) welcomed the newly-established Jewish State in 1948, and have always favored enhanced US-Israel cooperation. Furthermore, the US Congress is the world’s strongest Legislature, co-equal and co-determining to the President, capable of blocking, altering and initiating policy, as demonstrated by a litany of precedents, such as:

*Congress overruled Nixon and Reagan, ending the US military involvement in Southeast Asia (1973), Angola (1976) and Nicaragua (1984);
*Congress prevailed over Nixon (1974), forcing the USSR/Russia to allow free emigration;
*Congress overrode Clinton, Obama and Trump (1996-97, 2011, 2013, 2017), imposing sanctions on Iran, Egypt and Russia;
*The Senate did not ratify the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran (JCPOA), which enabled Trump to withdraw from the accord;
*Congress substantially expanded US-Israel strategic cooperation, in defiance of the Bush/Baker opposition (1990-1992);  
*Etc.

3. The roots of Israel’s favorability among most constituents – and therefore among most legislators – are linked to the legacy of the Founding Fathers, who were inspired by Moses and the Exodus in shaping the Federalist Papers, the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Federal system (e.g., separation of powers and checks and balances). They considered the colonies and the emerging USA as “the modern day Promised Land” and “the New Israel.” Hence, the bust of Moses facing the Speaker of the House of Representatives; statues and engravings of Moses and the Tablets in the halls of the US Supreme Court; over 200 monuments of the Ten Commandments throughout the USA; and Biblical names of well over thousand sites in the US, such as Jerusalem, Salem (the original name of Jerusalem), Shiloh, Bethel, Zion, Boaz, Moab, Gilead, Pisgah, Canaan, Rehoboth, Sharon, Hebron, Bethlehem, Joshua, Hephzibah, etc. While the attachment to the legacy of the Founding Fathers is waning, it is still consequential among most constituents and legislators.

4. The dramatic, demographic transformation of the US through waves of immigration from Latin America, Africa and Asia has eroded the attachment to the legacy of the Founding Fathers. For example, in 1990, there were 20 million Americans, who were foreign born; the number surged to 45 million in 2023. This dramatic demographic transformation has yielded cultural, ideological and political transformation, increasingly distancing the US population from the legacy of the Founding Fathers, adversely impacting the appreciation of Israel; thus, facilitating presidential pressure on Israel.

5. Presidential pressure on Israel – which has been fended off on many critical occasions – has been a frequent feature of US-Israel relations since 1948, when Truman and then Eisenhower attempted to force Israel to withdraw from areas within its pre-1967 boundaries, including the whole of West Jerusalem.  Presidential pressure on Israel, as currently exercised by the Biden Administration, clouds US-Israel relations whenever the State Department dominates foreign policy making, irrespective of its systematic failure in the Middle East at-large. The aim of the current pressure is:

*To prevent a large scale Israeli military operation, intended to obliterate the infrastructure of Palestinian terrorism, which is also a potential threat to every pro-US Arab regime;
*To forestall an independent Israeli military assault on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, which is a clear and present danger to the “Great American Satan” and every pro-US Arab regime;
*To induce Israel to retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), and facilitate the establishment of a Palestinian state, while ignoring the volcanic nature of the Middle East and the rogue Palestinian intra-Arab track record, as well as the lethal impact (of the proposed Palestinian state) on the pro-US Hashemite regime in Jordan, and the devastating ripple effect on the oil-producing, pro-US Arab regimes, as well as on the US economy and national security.

However, simultaneously with 75 years of presidential pressure on Israel, the mutually-beneficial US-Israel strategic cooperation has surged to a startling level.

6. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the US does not extend foreign aid to Israel, but makes an annual investment in Israel, which yields to the US taxpayer an annual Return-on-Investment of several hundred percent. For example, Israel has served as the cost-effective, battle-tested laboratory of the US defense and aerospace industries, sharing with them operational lessons, which have been integrated as upgrades into the US products; thus, sparing the US mega-billion-dollars of research and development, enhancing US competitiveness in the global market, which results in mega-billion-dollar exports, and expanding the employment base. The US commercial industries benefit in a similar way through some 250 research and development centers in Israel, owned by US high-tech giants, and leveraging Israel’s brainpower for the benefit of the US commercial industries. The Israeli battle-tested laboratory has also contributed to the battle tactics of the US armed forces, as has the flow of Israeli intelligence (worth five CIAs according to former Chief of Air Force Intelligence, General George Keegan), which exceeds the intelligence shared with the US by all NATO countries combined. Israel has been “the largest US aircraft carrier,” which does not require any American on board, deployed in a critical area for the US economy and defense. If there were not Israel in the Middle East, then the US would have to manufacture and deploy a few more real aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, in addition to several ground divisions, which would cost the US taxpayer $15-$20 BN annually.

7. The mutually-beneficial US-Israel two-way street is shaped by shared history, values and geo-strategic interests, much more than by the worldview of the State Department.

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A new 6-minute-video, https://bit.ly/3ssfqV1, November 8, 2023, Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”

1. Can/should Israel defy US pressure to act against its (Israel’s) own most critical national security interest (e.g., allowing a ceasefire in the war to obliterate the anti-Western Hamas Islamic terrorism; bolstering the Palestinian Authority despite its terror-driven policy and education system; allowing a non-Israeli security control of Gaza following the current war) while the US extends Israel a highly-appreciated(!), vital support, militarily, financially and diplomatically?

2. Israel’s defiance of US pressure has been an inherent feature of US-Israel relations since 1948. It has caused short-term frictions, while generating long-term US strategic respect toward Israel, triggering a dramatic enhancement of mutually-beneficial strategic cooperation. 

3. As expected, Israeli defiance of US pressure spared the US economic and national security setbacks, dealing major blows to enemies and rivals of the US.

Additional brief video are available in here on the following issues: Israel’s contribution to the US economy and defense; the State Department track record in the Middle East; the limits to US security guarantees; the myth of “the Arab demographic time bomb;” the impact of Israel’s control of Judea & Samaria on US interests; the 400-year-old roots of the unique US-Israel nexus, the Middle East labyrinth; Iran – a clear and present threat to the US; the anti-US Islamic terrorism; the Palestinian issue (is it a central element of the Arab-Israel conflict; Arab policy-making and Middle East turbulence?); Palestinian refugees (how many? Their origin?); etc. 

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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.

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
June 27, 2023

Notwithstanding the current tension between the Administrations of the US and Israel, and while there is an erosion in Israel’s high favorability among Americans (according to Gallup: Israel’s favorability – 68% compared to 71% in 2022; Palestinian Authority’s – 26%), the US-Israel defense and commercial cooperation keeps expanding.  This expansion responds to mutual threats and challenges, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs, Sunni Islamic terrorism, the vulnerability of all pro-US Arab regimes, and the need to bolster the US’ global, technological competitive edge. Facing these threats and challenges, the US is leveraging Israel’s unique defense and commercial capabilities, which have contributed to the US economy and defense – in dollar terms – more than the annual US “foreign aid” to Israel.   

The mutually-beneficial US-Israel partnership has been a derivative of the following factors:

1. US-Israel relations transcend the reality of international relations, in general, and US foreign relations, in particular.  US foreign relations are usually determined by the State Department establishment and the “elite” media, streaming in an up-bottom manner to the public. However, in the case of the US policy towards Israel, the direction of the policy has been determined by the general public’s state-of-mind – which has prevailed since the Early Pilgrims and the Founding Fathers – streaming in a bottom-up manner to elected officials in the House, Senate and White House.  Moreover, US elected officials are accountable to their constituents, who expect them to faithfully represent their worldview (including their pro-Israel sentiments), or “we shall remember in November.”

2. While the White House tends to adopt the State Department’s worldview – which opposed the establishment of Israel in 1948, and has criticized Israel since then – both chambers of Congress (which are the most authentic representatives of the US constituency in the 435 Districts and 50 States) welcomed the newly-established Jewish State in 1948, and have always favored enhanced US-Israel cooperation. Furthermore, the US Congress is the world’s strongest Legislature, co-equal and co-determining to the President, capable of blocking, altering and initiating policy, as demonstrated by a litany of precedents, such as:

*Congress overruled Nixon and Reagan, ending the US military involvement in Southeast Asia (1973), Angola (1976) and Nicaragua (1984);
*Congress prevailed over Nixon (1974), forcing the USSR/Russia to allow free emigration;
*Congress overrode Clinton, Obama and Trump (1996-97, 2011, 2013, 2017), imposing sanctions on Iran, Egypt and Russia;
*The Senate did not ratify the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran (JCPOA), which enabled Trump to withdraw from the accord;
*Congress substantially expanded US-Israel strategic cooperation, in defiance of the Bush/Baker opposition (1990-1992);  
*Etc.

3. The roots of Israel’s favorability among most constituents – and therefore among most legislators – are linked to the legacy of the Founding Fathers, who were inspired by Moses and the Exodus in shaping the Federalist Papers, the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Federal system (e.g., separation of powers and checks and balances). They considered the colonies and the emerging USA as “the modern day Promised Land” and “the New Israel.” Hence, the bust of Moses facing the Speaker of the House of Representatives; statues and engravings of Moses and the Tablets in the halls of the US Supreme Court; over 200 monuments of the Ten Commandments throughout the USA; and Biblical names of well over thousand sites in the US, such as Jerusalem, Salem (the original name of Jerusalem), Shiloh, Bethel, Zion, Boaz, Moab, Gilead, Pisgah, Canaan, Rehoboth, Sharon, Hebron, Bethlehem, Joshua, Hephzibah, etc. While the attachment to the legacy of the Founding Fathers is waning, it is still consequential among most constituents and legislators.

4. The dramatic, demographic transformation of the US through waves of immigration from Latin America, Africa and Asia has eroded the attachment to the legacy of the Founding Fathers. For example, in 1990, there were 20 million Americans, who were foreign born; the number surged to 45 million in 2023. This dramatic demographic transformation has yielded cultural, ideological and political transformation, increasingly distancing the US population from the legacy of the Founding Fathers, adversely impacting the appreciation of Israel; thus, facilitating presidential pressure on Israel.

5. Presidential pressure on Israel – which has been fended off on many critical occasions – has been a frequent feature of US-Israel relations since 1948, when Truman and then Eisenhower attempted to force Israel to withdraw from areas within its pre-1967 boundaries, including the whole of West Jerusalem.  Presidential pressure on Israel, as currently exercised by the Biden Administration, clouds US-Israel relations whenever the State Department dominates foreign policy making, irrespective of its systematic failure in the Middle East at-large. The aim of the current pressure is:

*To prevent a large scale Israeli military operation, intended to obliterate the infrastructure of Palestinian terrorism, which is also a potential threat to every pro-US Arab regime;
*To forestall an independent Israeli military assault on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, which is a clear and present danger to the “Great American Satan” and every pro-US Arab regime;
*To induce Israel to retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), and facilitate the establishment of a Palestinian state, while ignoring the volcanic nature of the Middle East and the rogue Palestinian intra-Arab track record, as well as the lethal impact (of the proposed Palestinian state) on the pro-US Hashemite regime in Jordan, and the devastating ripple effect on the oil-producing, pro-US Arab regimes, as well as on the US economy and national security.

However, simultaneously with 75 years of presidential pressure on Israel, the mutually-beneficial US-Israel strategic cooperation has surged to a startling level.

6. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the US does not extend foreign aid to Israel, but makes an annual investment in Israel, which yields to the US taxpayer an annual Return-on-Investment of several hundred percent. For example, Israel has served as the cost-effective, battle-tested laboratory of the US defense and aerospace industries, sharing with them operational lessons, which have been integrated as upgrades into the US products; thus, sparing the US mega-billion-dollars of research and development, enhancing US competitiveness in the global market, which results in mega-billion-dollar exports, and expanding the employment base. The US commercial industries benefit in a similar way through some 250 research and development centers in Israel, owned by US high-tech giants, and leveraging Israel’s brainpower for the benefit of the US commercial industries. The Israeli battle-tested laboratory has also contributed to the battle tactics of the US armed forces, as has the flow of Israeli intelligence (worth five CIAs according to former Chief of Air Force Intelligence, General George Keegan), which exceeds the intelligence shared with the US by all NATO countries combined. Israel has been “the largest US aircraft carrier,” which does not require any American on board, deployed in a critical area for the US economy and defense. If there were not Israel in the Middle East, then the US would have to manufacture and deploy a few more real aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, in addition to several ground divisions, which would cost the US taxpayer $15-$20 BN annually.

7. The mutually-beneficial US-Israel two-way street is shaped by shared history, values and geo-strategic interests, much more than by the worldview of the State Department.

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The state of Israel’s high-tech


Challenged by a unique environment – top heavy on terrorism and war, but low on natural resources and rainfall – Israel has bolstered its do-or-die state of mind, with defiance of odds, risk-taking, frontier, pioneering, optimism, patriotism, can-do and out-of-the-box mentality. This has yielded a robust flow of game-changing commercial, defense and dual-use technologies.

These game-changing technologies include the world’s smallest (0.99mm) pill-size video medical camera, MobilEye AI car safety, Waze navigation, the Pressure Bandage, the “Arrow”, “Iron Dome” and “David Sling” missile defense systems, land-sea-air UAVs and mini, small and mid-size space vehicles. Also, the cherry tomato, drip irrigation system, SupPlant autonomous irrigation system, solar water heaters, Intel’s microprocessors, Microsoft’s anti-virus and Windows XP and NT, the USB flash drive Disk-on-Key, Firewall against malware and the ICQ instant messenger. In addition, there are the Israeli developed Watergen water from thin air, GrainPro Cocoons for African grain farmers, biological pest control, Laser keyboard, Voice-over Internet protocol, Face ID, Babylon computer translation, WeCU airport security, Rewalk for paraplegics, OrCam for the visually-impaired, etc.  

These Israeli developed technologies have been shared with the US, in particular, and the world, in general, enhancing global standard of living, communications, medicine, health, agriculture, irrigation, software technologies, cyber security, national security and homeland security.

Israel is one of the leading global high-tech hubs along with the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Boston, Austin, Raleigh, Durham, Bangalore, Stockholm, Helsinki and London.


Some 400 foreign corporations – mostly from the US – have established research and development centers in Israel, leveraging its brain power and challenging experiences.  For example, John Deere and Monsanto agricultural tech; General Electric, Johnson & Johnson and Philips medical tech; Pfizer, Bayer and Merck pharmaceuticals; Texas Instruments, Intel, Applied materials, AMD, Marvell, Nvidia and Qualcomm semiconductors; General Motors, Ford Motor, Honda, Mercedes Benz and Skoda automotive; Microsoft, Oracle, McAfee, Autodesk and PTC software; Sony, Siemens, Samsung and LG electronics; AT&T telecommunications, Vonage and Fujitsu communications; IBM, HP and Dell computer tech; eBay, Google, Facebook, Yahoo and PayPal internet; Intuit, Citigroup, Mastercard, Visa and Barclays financial services; Motorola and Nokia telecom; Xerox and Hewlett Packard information tech;, PepsiCo food processing, Mitsubishi international trade, CA Technologies business-to-business, Sears retail, ASML photolithography, etc.  

According to PitchBook Financial Data, In 2022, Israel ($506 per capita) was second to Singapore ($695) in attracting venture capital investment per capita (including Warren Buffett’s Berkshire-Hathaway), compared to the US ($357), Switzerland ($273), Finland ($232), the UK ($190), the UAE ($168), Sweden ($157), Canada ($117) and France ($104).

And, according to Deloitte, “Israel is the world leader for the number of start-ups per capita.”

Israel leads the world in its research and development manpower per capita: 140 Israelis (per 10,000) and 85 Americans (per 10,000) are ahead of the rest of the world. 

Israel is second to the US in terms of scientific publications per capita.

Israel’s high-tech sector has played a key role in the transformation of Israel into a unique force and dollar-multiplier for the US. It has provided to the US game-changing commercial and defense technologies, which have enhanced the US economy and defense, bolstering its global technological edge.

Israel’s high-tech competitive edge

Israel’s high-tech workforce benefits from an annual flow of Jewish immigrants (Aliyah), who are trained in Israel, the US, Russia, Europe, Latin America and Australia, who join the Israeli graduates from institutions of higher learning.

Israel’s high-tech workforce absorbs veterans of the elite high-tech units of the Israel Defense Force, many of them scouted by the military among 10th and 11th graders, who are at the top of their class.

Israel’s military service trains high school graduates to make life and death decisions, be quick on their feet, innovate and improvise.

Israel’s commercial and military high-tech benefits from the intense, speedy and informal interaction and integrated synergy among the research, academic, military, commercial and defense sectors.

Israel’s robust demography – which leads the Free World with three births per Jewish woman and an unprecedented momentum of secular fertility – provides a tailwind for Israel’s economy.

According to the World Bank, 5.4% of Israel’s GDP is dedicated to research and development, the highest in the world, ahead of South Korea (4.81%), Sweden (3.53%), Belgium (3.48%), the US (3.45%), Japan (3.26%), Austria (3.20%), Switzerland (3.15%), Germany (3.14%), Denmark (2.96%), the OECD (2.96%), Finland (2.94%), Iceland (2.47%), France (2.35%), the Netherlands (2.9%), Norway (2.28%), Slovenia (2.15%), the Czeck Republic (1.9%), Singapore 1.89%), Australia (1.83%), the UK (1.71%) and Canada (1.7%).


Israel’s economy has surged dramatically in 1988-2022:

<From 4.4 million to 9.5 million people;
<From life expectancy of 75 to 82;
<From $37 billion to $490 billion GDP;
<From $8,000 to $52,000 GDP per capita;
<From $6 billion to $200 billion foreign exchange reserves;
<From 155% to 61% government debt to GDP ratio;
<From $10 billion to $160 billion exports;
<From 70,000 to 350,000 students in Israel’s colleges and universities.


Against the backdrop of the aforementioned information, Israel constitutes a unique case, which benefits from the law of increasing returns.  Israel’s ongoing wars against terrorism and conventional military forces have been bumps on the road to unprecedented growth.

According to George Gilderthe author of The Israel Test and a high-tech guru: “Israel is the global master of microchip design, network algorithms and medical instruments…water recycling and desalinization…missile defense, robotic warfare, and UAVs…. US defense and prosperity increasingly depend on the ever-growing economic and technological power of Israel. If we stand together, we can deter or defeat any foe…. We need Israel as much as it needs us.

A new 8-minute-video: YouTube, Facebook

Synopsis:

*The State Department assumes that generous diplomatic and financial gestures could induce the violently volatile Middle East to embrace peaceful-coexistence, good-faith negotiation, democracy and human rights.  However, this policy has generated tailwinds to rogue entities and headwinds to the US and its Arab allies.

*Since 1979, the State Department has espoused the diplomatic option toward Iran, assuming that the Ayatollahs are amenable to moderation. However, the diplomatic option has bolstered the Ayatollahs’ anti-US rogue strategy, posing a lethal threat to every pro-US Arab regime, undermining the US posture in Latin America, and letting down most Iranians, who aspire for a regime-change in Tehran.  

*In 2010, the State Department welcomed the turbulence on the Arab Street as “the Arab Spring,” “Facebook and youth revolution” and a “March for peace and democracy.” However, it has been another tectonic Arab Tsunami, not an Arab Spring.

*The State Department extends to Palestinian leaders red carpet reception, contrary to the shabby doormat extended to Palestinians by all pro-US Arab leaders. Arabs are aware of the intra-Arab and anti-US rogue Palestinian track record.

*All of the State Department’s Israel-Arab peace proposals were frustrated by Middle Eastern reality, because they were Palestinian-centered. However, Middle East reality has never perceived the Palestinian issue to be the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict, a core cause of regional turbulence, nor a crown-jewel of Arab policy makers.

*Enjoy the video.

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A new 8-minute-video: YouTube, Facebook

Synopsis:

*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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A new 7-minute-video:  YouTube, Facebook

*In 1948, Israel was misconstrued by the State Department as a burden upon the US.

*In 1948, Israel was misconstrued by the State Department as a burden upon the US.

*Since 1967, Israel has emerged as a formidable force-multiplier for the US, economically and militarily.

*The June 1967 Israeli military victory spared the US an enormous economic and defense setback, denying the USSR a dramatic geo-strategic bonanza.

*In 1970, Israel forced a pull-back of the pro-Soviet Syrian invasion of pro-US Jordan, which could have toppled all pro-US Arab regimes.

*The 1981 Israeli destruction of Iraq’s nuclear reactor prevented a potential nuclear confrontation during the 1991 Gulf War.

*The 2007 Israeli destruction of the Syria-North Korea nuclear reactor, averted a potential nuclearized civil war in Syria.

*Etc.

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 YouTube, Facebook

*The US does not extend foreign aid to Israel. Rather, the US makes an annual investment in Israel, which yields to the American taxpayer an annual R-O-I (Return-On-Investment) of several hundred percent.

*Israel serves as the battle-tested, cost-effective laboratory of the US defense and aerospace industries and the US armed forces.

*Over 200 US high tech giants have established research and development centers in Israel, leveraging Israel’s brainpower.

*The US would have to establish five CIAs in order to procure the intelligence provided by Israel.

*Israel is the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require American soldiers on board, sparing the US $15bn annually.

Irrespective of the final outcome of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it should serve as a wake-up call for Israeli and Western policy-makers and molders of public opinion.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has exposed the flawed nature of certain assumptions, which have impacted the worldview of the Western establishment – but not the worldview of most of the world – while attempting to induce/coerce Israel into adopting these assumptions.

For example:

*The illusion that most of the world subscribes to the Western worldview of a new world (and new Middle East) order, which is supposedly more stable, predictable, tolerant and trending toward peaceful-coexistence, focusing on butter rather than guns;

*The ostensible end to the era of major wars and massive ground force invasions;

*The self-destruct notion that a military posture of deterrence can be effectively-replaced by peace accords, security guarantees and generous financial and diplomatic packages. Thus, the seeds of the current predicament of Ukraine were planted in the reckless December 1994 Budapest security assurances, which were extended to Ukraine by the USA, Britain and Russia in return for Ukraine’s surrender of its most-deterring nuclear stockpile (3rd largest in the world). In 2022, these assurances are exposed in their futility.

*Ignoring the tenuous, unreliable, unpredictable, non-committal and open-ended nature of all security guarantees, even article 5 of the NATO Charter, which is supposed to be the tightest security commitment. But, article 5 states that all NATO members shall assist an attacked member “as [they] deem necessary, including the use of armed force….” As they deem necessary….

*The delusion that peace and security agreements are more important (for national security) than military capabilities and geography/topography-driven posture of deterrence.  This delusion ignores the fact that while peace accords and security guarantees are tenuous, topographic dominance (e.g., the Golan Heights and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria) and geographic depth are everlasting.

*Overlooking the fact that a gradual reduction of defense budget is interpreted by most of the globe as erosion of deterrence in a stormy world (and volatile Middle East), undermining stability and crippling national security, and therefore inducing terrorism and wars;

*The presumed superiority of the diplomatic option as a more effective negotiation tool than the military option in settling conflicts with rogue regimes, which have systematically revealed themselves as bad-faith negotiators (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs since assuming power in February, 1979);

*The alleged subordination of national ideologies and strategic visions to a cosmopolitan/universal peaceful-coexistence state of mind;

*Preferring the speculative assessments of the future track records of rogue regimes over their realistic historical track record, which highlights the centrality of rogue history in shaping their radical national vision, policy-making, school curriculum, religious sermons and media.

*The illusion that rogue conduct (e.g., subversion, terrorism and wars) is despair-driven, rather than ideology-driven.

Western policy makers have attempted to induce/coerce Israel into a withdrawal from the topographically dominant mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – in return for a peace accord and security guarantees.  However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the false sense of security, which is generated by security guarantees, which replace geographic depth and dominant topography in the highly volatile, violent, intolerant and unpredictable Middle East. The global experience has reaffirmed the centrality of the military-driven posture of deterrence in the shaping of national security.

Moreover, unlike Ukraine (the 2nd largest European country), Israel’s lack of geographic depth (a 7-15 miles sliver from the Mediterranean to the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria) provides for an extremely small margin of error. Thus, if the 1973 surprise Arab military offensive were launched against a pre-1967 Israel (without the dominant topography of the Golan Heights and Judea and Samaria and the strategic depth of the Sinai Peninsula), the Arabs would be able to annihilate the Jewish State.

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The US diplomatic option toward Iran is self-destructive

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Palestinian state – is it consistent with US interests?

A Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would cause the demise of the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into a platform of anti-US Islamic terrorism with ripple effects into the Arabian Peninsula, threatening all pro-US, oil producing Arab regimes, a bonanza to US enemies and rivals and a setback to the US.
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Can/should Israel defy US pressure?

Israel’s defiance of US pressure has been an inherent feature of US-Israel relations since 1948. It has caused short-term frictions, while generating long-term US strategic respect toward Israel, triggering a dramatic enhancement of mutually-beneficial strategic cooperation. Israeli defiance of US pressure spared the US economic and national security setbacks, dealing major blows to enemies and rivals of the US.
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State Department’s systematic failures in the Middle East

The State Department’s Middle East policy has been systematically wrong, at least, since 1948, on issues relating to Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Israel.

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Demography

Demographic optimism IN, demographic pessimism OUT

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
October 2, 2023

The suggestion that Israel should retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) is based, partly, on the assumption that the Jewish majority is exposed to an “Arab demographic time bomb,” which would explode if Israel were to apply its law to Judea and Samaria.

However, Israel’s Jewish majority is not vulnerable to an “Arab demographic time bomb,” but benefits from demographic momentum, fertility-wise and migration-wise.

Arab demography artificially inflated

This erroneous assumption is based on the official Palestinian numbers, which are embraced and reverberated by the global community – with no due-diligence auditing – ignoring a 1.6-million-person artificial inflation of the reported number of Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

For instance:

*The official Palestinian census includes 500,000 residents, who have been away for over a year, while international standards require their elimination from the census (until they return for, at least, 90 days).  This number was documented by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (325,000 in 1997), Election Commission (400,000 in 2005) and the Ministry of Interior, increasing systematically through births.

*The Palestinian census ignores the net-emigration of 390,000 since the first 1997 census, as documented by Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority, which supervises Israel’s international passages.

*375,000 Jerusalem Arabs and more than 150,000 (mostly) Judea and Samaria Arabs, who married Israeli Arabs are doubly-counted (by Israel and the Palestinian Authority). This number increases systematically through births.

*A September 2006 World Bank report documented a 32% artificial inflation of the number of births.  At the same time, death has been substantially underreported as evidenced by the 2007 Palestinian census, which included Arabs born in 1845….   

*The aforementioned data indicates an artificial inflation of 1.6 million in the Palestinian census of Judea and Samria Arabs: 1.4 million – not 3 million – Arabs.

Arab demography Westernized

Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Arab demography has been westernized dramatically in recent years, from a fertility rate of 9 births per woman west of the Jordan River during the 1960s to 2.85 births in 2021 in pre-1967 Israel and 3.02 in Judea and Samaria.

The westernization of Arab demography has been a result of sweeping urbanization. From a 70%-rural-population in Judea and Samaria in 1967, to a 77%-urban-population in 2022.  In addition, almost all girls complete high school, resulting in the expanded integration of women in employment and academia, as well as an increase in wedding age (from 15 to 24-year-old).  Moreover, there has been an expansion of the use of contraceptives (70% of women in the Palestinian Authority) and a shorter fertility cycle (25 through 45 in 2022 compared to 16 through 55 during the 1960s).

Demographic westernization has occurred in the entire Moslem World, other than the Sub-Saharah countries: In 2022, Jordan – 2.9 births per woman, Iran – 1.9, Saudi Arabia – 1.9, Morocco – 2.27, Iraq – 3.17, Egypt 2.76, Yemen – 2.91, the UAE – 1.62, etc.

Jewish demographic momentum

Israel’s Jewish demography features a fertility momentum – especially in the secular sector – simultaneously with a moderate decline in the ultra-orthodox sector. In fact, Jewish fertility (3.13 births per woman) is higher than any Arab country, other than Iraq’s (3.17). The OECD’s average fertility rate is 1.61 births per woman.

In 2022, the number of Jewish births (137,566) was 71% higher than in 1995 (80,400), while the number of Arab births (43,417) was 19% higher than in 1995 (36,500).

Contrary to most global societies, Israel enjoys a positive correlation between the level of fertility, on the one hand, and the level of education, income, urbanization and (the rise of) wedding age on the other hand.

The growth of Jewish fertility reflects a high level of patriotism, optimism, attachment to roots, communal responsibility, frontier mentality, high regard for raising children and the decline in the number of abortions.

The Jewish population is growing younger, while the Arab population is growing older.

Until the 1990s, there was a demographic race between Arab births and Jewish immigration.  Since the 1990s, the race is between Jewish and Arab births, while net-migration provides a robust boost to Jewish demography.

The Jewish demographic momentum has been bolstered by an annual Aliyah (Jewish immigration) – which has been the most critical engine of Israel’s economic, educational, technological and military growth – simultaneously with the declining scope of annual emigration.  From an additional 14,200 emigrants in 1990 to 10,800 in 2020, while the overall population has doubled itself since 1990. A substantial decline in emigration has taken place since the 2007/2008 global economic meltdown, which has underscored the relative stability and growth of Israel’s economy.

In 2023, there has been an increase in Aliyah. This highlights a potential of 500,000 Olim (Jewish immigrants) in five years – from Europe, the former USSR, Latin and North America – should the Israeli government resurrect the pro-active Aliyah policy, which defined Israel from 1948-1992.

The bottom line

In 1897, upon convening the First Zionist Congress, there was a 9% Jewish minority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel.

In 1948, upon the establishment of the Jewish State, there was a 39% Jewish minority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel.

In 2022, there was a 69% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel (7.5 million Jews, 2 million Arabs in pre-1967 Israel and 1.4 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria), benefiting from a tailwind of fertility and net-migration.

Those who claim that the Jewish majority – in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel – is threatened by an Arab demographic time bomb are either dramatically mistaken, or outrageously misleading.

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Iran

Diplomatic option toward Iran is self-destructive

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
December 19, 2023

*The US State Department’s diplomatic option has facilitated the transformation of Iran from “the American policeman of the Gulf” to “the largest anti-American venomous octopus in the world,” stretching its rogue arms from the Persian Gulf through Africa to Latin America and the US-Mexico border, which it perceives as the soft underbelly of the US.

*The diplomatic option – including a frail US response to sustained Iranian attacks on US installations in the Persian Gulf region – has aggravated Middle East instability, threatening the survival of every pro-US Arab regime, and is inducing anti-US global Islamic terrorism.  This is severely eroding US posture of deterrence, benefitting Russia, China and mostly Iran, while undermining US national and homeland security. 

*The diplomatic option has suspended most economic sanctions – without Congressional consent – surging Iran’s oil export from 500,000 barrels per day to 2-3 million barrels per day, increasing Iran’s national income by some $100bn, mostly dedicated to bolster Iran’s anti-US rogue operations, increasingly in Latin America, the US’ backyard.

*The diplomatic option has consistently overlooked the decisive power of the Ayatollahs’ imperialistic ideology, and its determination to export the anti-US Islamic Shiite Revolution. Consequently, the State Department has deluded itself into believing that an astounding financial and diplomatic bonanza would induce Iran’s Ayatollahs to accept peaceful coexistence with their pro-US Arab Sunni neighbors, become good-faith negotiators, and abandon their 1,400-year-old religious, fanatic vision, which is enshrined in their Constitution, K-12 school curriculum, Friday mosque sermons and official media.

*However, as expected, the mega-billion-dollar bonanza yielded by the diplomatic option (e.g., the 2015 JCPOA and the current suspension of economic sanctions) has bolstered its global terroristic network, advancing its vision to topple all pro-US Sunni regimes, and bring the “infidel” West to submission, especially the “The Great American Satan,” while egregiously oppressing and suppressing Iranian women and religious and ethnic minorities.  

*The State Department’s diplomatic option was initiated in 1978/1979, stabbing in the back the pro-US Shah of Iran, and contending that Ayatollah Khomeini was anti-Communist and therefore potentially pro-Western and a stabilizing element geopolitically, “…holding a Gandhi-like positionpreoccupied with tractors, not tanks….”

*Has the diplomatic option dumped the Monroe Doctrine?! In 2023, Iran’s Ayatollahs invest mega billions of dollars in fueling civil wars, terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering throughout the Middle East, Africa and especially in Latin America. There, they collaborate – along with Hezbollah terrorists – with the drug cartels of Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil, and train terror organizations. They cooperate with all anti-US governments (especially Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia), testing ballistic missiles, and supplying predator drones, attack boats, anti-ship missiles, and equipment for the construction of underground tunnels along the US-Mexico border, which smuggle drugs and illegal Middle East terrorists into the US.

*The bottom line is: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me!  After 44 years of being fooled by the Ayatollahs, critically undermining the strategic posture of the US and its allies, it is time to reassess the diplomatic option, and consider other options, such as regime-change and a credible military threat hovering above the head of the Ayatollahs.  

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Judea & Samaria

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
February 27, 2024

Secretary of State Antony Blinken represents conventional wisdom when claiming that “It’s been longstanding US policy… that new settlements are… inconsistent with international law.”

However, conventional wisdom is frequently demolished by the march of facts

For instance:

*According to Prof. Eugene Rostow, who was the co-author of the November 22, 1967 UN Security Council Resolution 242, served as Undersecretary of State and was the Dean of Yale University Law School: “Jews have the same right to settle in the West Bank as they have in Haifa.”

*According to UN Resolution 242, Israel is required to withdraw from territories, not the territories, nor from all the territories, but some of the territories, which included Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights.  Moreover, according to Prof. Rostow, “resolutions calling for withdrawal from all the territories were defeated in the Security Council and the General Assembly…. Israel was not to be forced back to the fragile and vulnerable [9-15 mile-wide] lines… but to secure and recognized boundaries, agreed to by the parties…. In making peace with Egypt in 1979, Israel withdrew from the entire Sinai… [which amounts to] more than 90% of the territories occupied in 1967….”

*Former President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, stated: “Between Israel, acting defensively in 1948 and 1967 (according to Article 52 of the UN Charter), on the one hand, and her Arab neighbors, acting aggressively in 1948 and 1967, on the other, Israel has better title in the territory of what was [British Mandate] Palestine…. It follows that modifications of the 1949 armistice lines among those States within former Palestinian territory are lawful…. [The 1967] Israeli conquest of territory was defensive rather than aggressive… [as] indicated by Egypt’s prior closure of the Straits of Tiran, blockade of the Israeli port of Eilat, and the amassing of [Egyptian] troops in Sinai, coupled with its ejection of the UN Emergency Force…[and] Jordan’s initiated hostilities against Israel…. The 1948 Arab invasion of the nascent State of Israel further demonstrated that Egypt’s seizure of the Gaza Strip, and Jordan’s seizure and subsequent annexation of the West Bank and the old city of Jerusalem, were unlawful….” 

*The legal status of Judea and Samaria is embedded in the following 4 authoritative, binding, internationally-ratified documents, which recognize the area for what it has been: the cradle of Jewish history, culture, language, aspirations and religion.

(I) The November 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration, issued by Britain, calling for “the establishment in Palestine (a synonym to the Land of Israel) of a national home for the Jewish people….”
(II) The April 24, 1920 resolution, by the post-First World War San Remo Peace Conference of the Allied Powers Supreme Council, entrusted both sides of the Jordan River to the British Mandate for Palestine, for the reestablishment of the Jewish Commonwealth: “the Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the [Balfour] declaration originally made on November 2, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” It was one of over 20 Mandates (trusteeships) established following WW1, responsible for the boundaries of most Arab countries.
(III) The July 24, 1922 Mandate for Palestine was ratified by the Council of the League of Nations, entrusted Britain to establish a Jewish state in the entire area west of the Jordan River, as demonstrated by its 6th article: “[to] encourage… close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands….” The Mandate was dedicated exclusively to Jewish national rights, while guaranteeing the civic rights of all other religious and ethnic groups. On July 23, 1923, the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Lausanne, which included the Mandate for Palestine.  
(IV) The October 24, 1945 Article 80 of the UN Charter incorporated the Mandate for Palestine into the UN Charter.  Accordingly, the UN or any other entity cannot transfer Jewish rights in Palestine – including immigration and settlement – to any other party. According to Article 80 of the UN Charter and the Mandate for Palestine, the 1967 war of self-defense returned Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria to its legal owner, the Jewish state.  Legally and geo-strategically the rules of “belligerent occupation” do not apply Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria, since they are not “foreign territory,” and Jordan did not have a legitimate title over the West Bank.  Moreover, the rules of “belligerent occupation” do not apply in view of the 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty. The 1950-67 Jordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria violated international law and was recognized only by Britain and Pakistan.

*The 1949 4th Geneva Convention prohibits the forced transfer of populations to areas previously occupied by a legitimate sovereign power. However, Israel has not forced Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria, and Jordan’s sovereignty there was never legal.

*The November 29, 1947 UN General Assembly Partition Resolution 181 was a recommendation, lacking legal stature, superseded by the Mandate for Palestine. The 1949 Armistice (non-peace) Agreements between Israel and its neighbors delineated “non-territorial boundaries.”   

*The term “Palestine” was a Greek and then a Roman attempt (following the 135 CE Jewish rebellion) to eradicate Jews and Judaism from human memory. It substituted “Israel, Judea and Samaria” with “Palaestina,” a derivative of the Philistines, an arch enemy of the Jewish people, whose origin was not in Arabia, but in the Greek Aegian islands.    

*The aforementioned march of facts demonstrates that Secretary Blinken’s conventional wisdom on the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria is based on gross misperceptions and misrepresentations, which fuels infidelity to law, undermining the pursuit of peace.

*More on the legality of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria in this article by George Mason University Law School Prof. Eugene Kontrovich.

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Jerusalem

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

Chanukah guide for the perplexed, 2023

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
November 29, 2023

More on Jewish holidays: SmashwordsAmazon

1. According to Israel’s Founding Father, David Ben Gurion: Chanukah commemorates “the struggle of the Maccabees, which was one of the most dramatic clashes of civilizations in human history, not merely a political-military struggle against foreign oppression…. Unlike many peoples, the meager Jewish people did not assimilate.  The Jewish people prevailed, won, sustained and enhanced their independence and unique civilization…. It was the spirit of the people, rather than the failed spirit of the establishment, which enabled the Hasmoneans to overcome one of the most magnificent spiritual, political and military challenges in Jewish history….” (Uniqueness and Destiny, pp 20-22, David Ben Gurion, IDF Publishing, 1953).

2. A Jewish national liberation holiday.  Chanukah (evening of December 7 – December 15, 2023) is the only Jewish holiday that commemorates an ancient national liberation struggle in the Land of Israel, unlike the national liberation holidays, Passover, Sukkot/Tabernacles and Shavu’ot/Pentecost, which commemorate the liberation from slavery in Egypt to independence in the land of Israel, and unlike Purim, which commemorates liberation from a Persian attempt to annihilate the Jewish people.

3. Chanukah and the Land of Israel.  When ordered by Emperor Antiochus IV Epiphanes of the Seleucid region to end the Jewish “occupation” of Jerusalem, Jaffa, Gaza, Gezer and Akron, Shimon the Maccabee responded: “We have not occupied a foreign land…. We have liberated the land of our forefathers from foreign occupation (Book of Maccabees A: 15:33).”

Chanukah highlights the centrality of the Land of Israel in the formation of Jewish history, religion, culture and language. The mountain ridges of Judea and Southern Samaria (the West Bank) were the platform for the Maccabean military battles: Mitzpah (the burial site of the Prophet Samuel, overlooking Jerusalem), Beth El (the site of the Ark of the Covenant and Judah the Maccabee’s initial headquarters), Beth Horon (Judah’s victory over Seron), Hadashah (Judah’s victory over Nicanor), Beth Zur (Judah’s victory over Lysias), Ma’aleh Levona (Judah’s victory over Apolonius), Adora’yim (a Maccabean fortress), Eleazar (named after Mattityahu’s youngest Maccabee son), Beit Zachariya (Judah’s first defeat), Ba’al Hatzor (where Judah was defeated and killed), Te’qoah, Mikhmash and Gophnah (bases of Shimon and Yonatan), the Judean Desert, etc.

4. Historical context  Chanukah is narrated in the four Books of the MaccabeesThe Scroll of Antiochus and The Wars of the Jews.

In 323 BCE, following the death of Alexander the Great (Alexander III) who held Judaism in high esteem, the Greek Empire was split into three independent and rival mini-empires: Greece, Seleucid/Syria and Ptolemaic/Egypt.

In 175 BCE, the Seleucid/Syrian Emperor Antiochus (IV) Epiphanes claimed the Land of Israel. He suspected that the Jews were allies of his Ptolemaic/Egyptian enemy.  The Seleucid emperor was known for eccentric behavior, hence his name, Epiphanes, which means “divine manifestation.”  He aimed to exterminate Judaism and convert Jews to Hellenism. In 169 BCE, he devastated Jerusalem, attempting to decimate the Jewish population, and outlaw the practice of Judaism.

In 166/7 BCE, a Jewish rebellion was led by the non-establishment Hasmonean (Maccabee) family from the rural town of Modi’in, half-way between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean.  The rebellion was headed by Mattityahu, the priest, and his five sons, Yochanan, Judah, Shimon, Yonatan and Eleazar, who fought the Seleucid occupier and restored Jewish independence.  The Hasmonean dynasty was replete with external and internal wars and lasted until 37 BCE, when Herod the Great (a proxy of Rome) defeated Antigonus II Mattathias.

5. The reputation of Jews as superb warriors was reaffirmed by the success of the Maccabees on the battlefield. In fact, they were frequently hired as mercenaries by Egypt, Syria, Carthage, Rome and other global and regional powers.

6. The significance of Chanukah. Chanukah celebrates the Maccabean-led national liberation by conducting in-house family education and lighting candles for 8 days in commemoration of the re-inauguration of Jerusalem’s Jewish Temple and its Menorah (candelabra).

The Hebrew words Chanukah (חנוכה), inauguration (חנוכ) and education ((חנוך possess the same root.

7. As was prophesized by the Prophet Hagai in 520 BCE, the re-inauguration of the Temple took place on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, which is the month of miracles, such as the post-flood appearance of Noah’s rainbow, the completion of the construction of the Holy Ark by Moses, the laying of the foundations of the Second Temple by Nehemiah, etc.

In 1777, Chanukah candles were lit during the most critical battle at Valley Forge, which solidified the victory of George Washington’s Continental Army over the British monarchy.

The 25th Hebrew word in Genesis is “light,” and the 25th stop during the Exodus was Hashmona (the same Hebrew spelling as Hasmonean-Maccabees).

The first day of Chanukah is celebrated when daylight hours are equal to darkness hours – and when moonlight is hardly noticed – ushering in brighter days.

8. Chanukah highlights the defeat of darkness, disbelief, forgetfulness and pessimism by the spirit of light, faith, commemoration and optimism over.

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Golan

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

Islamic Terrorism

US and Israel facing the mutual threat of Islamic terrorism

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
February 21, 2024

*FBI Director Christopher A. Wray visited Israel on February 14, 2024, during the Israel-Hamas and Israel-Hezbollah wars, meeting with leaders of the Mossad, Israel’s Secret Service, and Israel’s National Police in order to benefit from Israel’s unique urban and tunnel warfare experience and battle tactics in the war against Islamic terrorists, who are advancing the vision of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood.

*Director Wray considers Israel’s as the most effective battle-tested laboratory of the US armed forces, law enforcement agencies and defense industries.

*Director Wray is aware of the Ayatollahs’ and Hezbollas’ growing entrenchment in Mexico, along the US-Mexico border and throughout Latin America. In fact, since the early 1980s, Iran’s Ayatollahs and Hezbollah have entrenched themselves in Latin America, bolstering collaboration with the drug cartels of Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil, all Latin American terror organizations, and each anti-US Latin American government. They supply the drug cartels underground tunnel construction equipment, and train them in the areas of car bombs and Improvised Explosive Devices. In addition, they have leveraged the convoys of illegal aliens from Guatemala to the US-Mexico border, smuggling terrorists and drug traffickers into the US.

*Islamic terrorism has targeted the US since the early 19th century irrespective of US policy and independent of the identity of the US President.  Thus, Islamic terrorism afflicted the US during the presidencies of both Trump and Obama, G.W. Bush and Clinton, Reagan and Carter.

*Hamas is a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood – the largest Sunni terror organization with religious, educational and welfare branches – whose charter aims to topple all national Islamic regimes, establish a universal Islamic society, bring the Western “infidel” – and especially the USA – to submission, and establish Islam as the only legitimate and divinely-ordained religion.

*Hamas and Hezbollah are proxies of Iran’s Ayatollahs, whose Constitution highlights a megalomaniacal vision, which stipulates the toppling of all “apostate” (Sunni) regimes, asserting itself globally – beyond the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, all the way to Latin America – and bringing the “infidel” West, and especially “The Great American Satan” to submission.

*Since February 1979, when it toppled the Shah of Iran, the Ayatollahs’ regime has transformed Iran from “The American Policeman of the Gulf” to the leading anti-US epicenter of global terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and the proliferation of advanced military systems.

*Israel’s war against Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism has bolstered the US’ defense against Islamic terrorism.

*On November 15, 2023, Director Christopher Wray testified at the House Committee on Homeland Security:

“The war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the US to a whole other level…. Since October 7th, we’ve seen a rogue gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies. Hezbollah threatened to attack US interests in the Middle East. Al-Qaida issued specific calls to attack the US. Al-Qaida called on jihadists to attack Americans and Jewish people everywhere. ISIS urged its followers to target Jewish communities in the US and Europe.

“Our most immediate concern is that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home. That includes homegrown violent extremists inspired by a foreign terrorist organization and domestic violent extremists…. We cannot discount the possibility that Hamas or another foreign terrorist organization may exploit the current conflict to conduct attacks on our own soil…. But it’s not just Hamas. As the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, Iran has directly, or by hiring criminals, mounted assassination attempts against dissidents and high-ranking current and former U.S. officials, including right here on American soil. Hezbollah, Iran’s primary strategic partner, has a history of raising money and seeking to obtain weapons here in the US…. Hezbollah has tried to seed operatives, establish infrastructure, and engage in spying here domestically, raising our concern that there may be contingency planning for future operations in the United States….”

*The bottom line is that FBI Director, Christopher Wray, is driven by Middle East reality, not by alternative, less frustrating, but self-destructive reality. Therefore, he does not subscribe to the diplomatic option in the battle against Islamic terrorism, and does not propose to negotiate with – and make financial and diplomatic concessions to – terrorists. He does not expect Iran to accept peaceful coexistence with its pro-US Sunni Arab regimes, conduct good faith negotiation, or abandon its 1,400-year-old fanatic vision. Director Wray attempts to defeat Iran-controlled Islamic terrorists. He does not expect Israel to slow down its war on Hamas, which is a proxy of Iran. Just like Saudi Arabia and all other pro-US Arab countries, Director Wray is aware that the obliteration of Hamas, militarily, politically and educationally, will bolster the posture of deterrence of both Israel and the USA, reducing terror assaults on pro-US Arab countries (e.g., Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco) and in the US mainland.

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