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Experienced Counsel

President Biden is about to reembrace the Muslim Brotherhood – in the mold of the Obama/Biden Administration – in defiance of all pro-US Arab countries, which consider the Muslim Brotherhood a clear and present, existential terrorist threat.

President Biden may benefit from the following advice, provided by Sir John Jenkins, a top British specialist on the Muslim Brotherhood, political Islamism and the Middle East, and former Executive Director of the British International Institute for Strategic Studies – Middle East branch: “[The West] should resist the temptation to seek to understand the Muslim Brotherhood through our own cultural or epistemological [knowledge] categories…. [Jenkins cautions against] viewing the world through lenses ground by an exclusivist Western modernity, shaped in the distorting crucible of European nationalism….

“Islamism – to which the Muslim Brotherhood is central – like other totalizing, anti-rational and authoritarian ideologies is a profound ideological challenge to the modern Western conception of the rational state and its foundational principles….”

Engaging or Confronting the Muslim Brotherhood?

Will President Biden’s foreign policy and national security team – led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, CIA Director William Burns and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines – heed Sir Jenkins’ counsel?

Moreover, will they recognize the centrality of the Muslim Brotherhood’s track record and its core ideology, which highlight the grand design of establishing a universal, non-corrupt Islamic society; replacing Western global domination and submitting itself to Allah and the Quran, while rejecting/toppling all national (Muslim and non-Muslim) regimes via politics, violence and martyrdom?

Hence, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political and terroristic efforts to topple the regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Morocco, Jordan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, etc.

However, the Muslim Brotherhood has been very skillful in obfuscating the West through its two-pronged operation: the political screensaver and the operational (subversive and terroristic) engine. The latter determines the strategic vision and its execution, while the former facilitates diplomacy, politics and fundraising.

Yet, President Biden’s policy-makers contend that Islamic terrorism is generally driven by despair, and that the Muslim Brotherhood and its multitude of Islamic organizations are non-violent, political in nature and seeking justice, human rights and freedom.

This policy is articulated in a document, published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which reflects the State Department worldview, and was headed until recently by CIA Director William Burns.

Biden Team’s Track Record

The 2021 policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood is consistent with President Carter’s 1978/79 policy towards the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini, who was perceived as a peaceful political dissident, oppressed by the Shah of Iran. This facilitated the Ayatollahs’ rise to power, stabbed the pro-US Shah in the back, and transformed Iran into a global epicenter of anti-Western and anti-Sunni terrorism and a proliferator of non-conventional military technologies.

This worldview has led the Biden team to assume that Iran’s Ayatollahs – irrespective of their consistently ruthless track record – are credible negotiators; potential partners for peaceful-coexistence and influence-sharing with their Sunni Arab neighbors; amenable to ending domestic repression and disavowing their fanatical, megalomaniacal, religious vision. Furthermore, the Biden team assumes that waiving the US military option constitutes a prerequisite to constructive negotiation with the rogue Ayatollahs.

President Biden’s team played a key role in the initiation and formulation of the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran (JCPOA). In 2021, it aspires to rejoin the accord with some modifications.

The same team co-led the 2009 embrace of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, while abandoning the pro-US Mubarak on the grounds of the latter’s poor record in the areas of human rights and democracy.  This provided a tailwind to the Muslim Brotherhood’s subversion throughout the region – supported mostly by Turkey’s Erdogan and Qatar – and eroded US credibility and its posture of deterrence among all pro-US Arab regimes. In 2021, the Biden team seems to adhere to the same policy, serving Egyptian President Sisi notice because of human rights violations, while courting the Muslim Brotherhood.

The human rights-driven policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood was at the core of the 2011 US-led military offensive against Libya’s Qadhafi, which was actively supported by the current Biden team. It led to the disintegration of Libya, and dramatically worse violations of human rights, along with the transformation of Libya into a platform of civil wars and global Islamic terrorism.

Middle East Reality Revisited

According to Sir John Jenkins (ibid), “[The Muslim Brotherhood] continues to threaten the constitutive basis of most contemporary Muslim majority states…. Islamists are revolutionary in a fundamental sense of the word. And the history of the modern Middle East tells us that revolutions destroy. Some may still be tempted to hope that when a malign or otherwise unsatisfactory regime is overthrown the subsequent trajectory must be progressive. [Middle East] experience suggests the reverse. As Hannah Arendt said nearly 50 years ago, “The practice of violence, like all action, changes the world, but the most probable change is to a more violent world.” Authoritarianism is not weakened in such circumstances: it recurs….

“The Muslim Brotherhood, the first and foundational mass movement of mobilized Islamism, launched by Hassan Al Banna in the Egyptian provincial city of Ismailiyya in March 1928…. Al Banna may initially have conceived of Jihad as primarily one of social transformation through preaching and persuasion. But, he soon came to promote ‘fann al mawt’ – ‘the art of death.’

“He urged his followers to scorn life; claimed that ultimate martyrdom could only be attained through death in the service of the divine; articulated a doctrine of armed physical force; contemplated a frontal attack on power; and allowed the creation of a paramilitary force and violent attacks – including assassinations – against the Egyptian government…. On top of this, the writings of Sayyid Qutb – its most significant and protean ideologue – remain central to Brotherhood thinking everywhere and continue to be used to justify multiple forms of Islamist violence.

“More generally, [the Muslim Brotherhood’s] Political Islamism… rejects most existing political systems as un-Islamic. It seeks to replace the secular with a new Islamized order nationally and internationally. The Brotherhood… gives little space to the tolerance, choice and individual freedoms we claim to value. It has no commitment to democratic choice as the fundamental expression of a political community. It rejects what we consider to be the self-evident legal equality of individuals regardless of gender or religion. It is constitutively antisemitic and homophobic; its approach to education and societal cohesion is unlikely to promote inclusivity; it seeks power first….”

Will President Biden and his national security and foreign policy team leverage – or disregard – Sir Jenkins’ unique analysis of the Middle East, in general, and the Muslim Brotherhood, in particular?

Will they persist in their attempt to subordinate the intrinsically perfidious, despotic, intolerant, violent and unpredictable Middle East to noble core Western values?

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William Burns is one of the leading veterans of the State Department, representing its deeply-rooted worldview :

*Multilateralism and coalition-building over unilateral policy;
*Military restraint and supremacy of diplomacy/coercive-diplomacy;
*International law, human rights and democracy-driven policy;
*Rejection of regime-change initiatives;
*Palestinian prominence in Middle East policy;
*Viewing Islamic terrorism as despair-driven;
*Misperceiving the raging Arab Tsunami as if it were Arab Spring.

William Burns served as Deputy Secretary of State and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs during the Obama Administration. He was part of the State Department establishment, which considered Saddam Hussein a potential ally until his August 1990 invasion of Kuwait; played a key role in the 2009 embrace of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, while abandoning President Mubarak; was a major proponent of the 2011 US-led military offensive which transformed Libya into a global platform of Islamic terrorism; and was one of the early architects of the 2015 Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA), conducting secret talks in Oman.

Since 2015, William Burns has been the President of the prestigious Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which has espoused the aforementioned worldview of the State Department.

Carnegie’s “Middle East analysis” section is replete with documents, which are pro-Palestinian and critical of Israel and the last four years’ US policy in the Middle East, including the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Also, Carnegie Endowment documents feature criticism of “Israel’s shrinking democracy,” Israel’s treatment of “Palestinian activists” and “Palestinian popular resistance,” “Israel’s responsibility for the Palestinian financial crisis,” and “Gun violence in Israel’s Palestinian community.”

While criticizing pro-US Egypt and Saudi Arabia because of their human rights record, Carnegie’s documents define the Muslim Brotherhood – which has terrorized the Middle East since 1952, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Bahrain – as a legitimate political organization.

Iran

The designation of William Burns as the next Director of the CIA highlights President-elect Biden’s determination to join a renegotiated nuclear agreement (JCPOA) with Iran’s Ayatollahs, which will be wider in scope and longer in duration.

According to Burns, “We need to find a way back to an updated nuclear deal with Iran. That will not be a miracle cure for all our serious differences with the current regime in Tehran, from its regional aggression to its domestic repression. It will, however, be an essential starting point for countering its threats and eventually reducing them….”

The JCPOA represents a school of thought, which assumes that Iran’s Ayatollahs are credible negotiators, and are amenable to peaceful-coexistence and power-sharing with their Gulf neighbors. Burns assumes that Saudi-Iranian peaceful coexistence is possible due to their mutual interest in stable competition.

“A lot will depend on the prospects for Saudis and Iranians finding some basis for regional co-existence—built not on trust or the end of rivalry, but on the more cold-blooded assumption that they both have a stake in stable competition.”

Burns contends that lifting sanctions – through the JCPOA – “exposed the regime’s vulnerabilities,” since the Ayatollahs could no longer blame the US for their economic woes, stemming from corruption and mismanagement. He compared Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA to the US unilateralism that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. “Nixing the nuclear accord was a dangerous dismissiveness of diplomacy.” According to Burns, the abandonment of the nuclear accord was all coercion and no diplomacy.

A major dilemma facing the proponents of a renegotiated JCPOA: Is the Iranian leopard capable of changing spots, not just tactics?

Saudi Arabia

As opined by Burns, “we ought to support them [Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf States] against legitimate external security threats, from Iran or anyone else, and back serious political and economic modernization. [However], they need to stop acting as if they’re entitled to a blank check from us, end the catastrophic war in Yemen, stop meddling in political transitions in places such as Libya and Sudan, and manage their internal rivalries.”

Just like Egypt, Saudi Arabia expects to be targeted for US criticism on account of its human rights and democracy record, including the attitude toward the Muslim Brotherhood, which is determined to topple all pro-US Arab regimes, and is the largest Islamic terror organization with a litany of political affiliates throughout the globe, including the US (e.g., CAIR, ISNA, AMC).

In addition, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are reprimanded, by the incoming US Administration, for their military involvement in Libya, Sudan and Yemen, which involves fighting against Iran’s Ayatollahs (in Yemen) and Sunni Islamic terrorists (in Libya and Sudan).

Israel

In his memoir, William Burns detailed his efforts to explicitly criticize Israel, when he was the Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs during the George W. Bush administration.  Burns was a proponent for providing a clear vision for a viable Palestinian state. In June 2002, he told an Israel official that “the one thing Palestinians are more fed up with than Arafat is the Israeli occupation.”

“Our commitment to Israel’s security is deep-rooted, and its emergence as a military and economic powerhouse in the region is a remarkable story. And yet it is hard to see how Israel’s long-term security interests, let alone its future as a Jewish democracy, are served by the emergence of a one-state solution, with Arabs in the majority in the land Israel controls from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean.”

Like the State Department’s establishment, William Burns is unaware of the demographic reality west of the Jordan River, which features a dramatic Westernization of Arab demography and unprecedented Jewish demographic tailwind.

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Secretary Blinken’s January 29-31, 2023 visit to Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority was another one of his milestones, well-intentioned – but erroneous – Middle East legacies. It has backfired on vital US interests, in general, and the pursuit of regional stability and peace, in particular.

Secretary Blinken in Egypt

*A major issue raised by President El-Sisi, during his meeting with Secretary Blinken, was the volcanic turbulence in Libya, which has traumatized the region since 2011, fueling Muslim Brotherhood terrorism in Egypt and overall Islamic terrorism in Africa and Europe.

*This turbulence was triggered by a US-led NATO military offensive against the Gaddafi regime, and was masterminded, largely, by key policy-makers in the Obama-Biden Administration. They included Antony Blinken, then National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden, and were led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her close advisor and Director of Policy Planning Jake Sullivan, UN Ambassador Susan Rice and Special Assistant to President Obama Samantha Power.

*The offensive was motivated by noble values of human rights, but went astray due to an intrinsic misreading of the Middle East, in general, and Libya, in particular, where Gaddafi was not fighting innocent bystanders, but anti-US Islamic terrorists. In fact, these terrorists murdered the US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, following their US-facilitated victory over Gaddafi.

*While the aim of the offensive was to prevent a massive slaughter of non-combatant Libyans by Gaddafi, the outcome of the offensive has doomed Libya to decades of chaos, plagued by an ongoing slaughter house, which has dwarfed the worst casualty assessments made by Clinton and Blinken.

*The ill-advised offensive has transformed Libya – the soft underbelly of Europe – into one of the world’s largest platforms of anti-Western Islamic terrorists, drugs and arms traffickers.  It energized a global resurgence of Islamic terrorism, and became a home base for scores of terrorist militias and an arena of civil wars with the participation of Turkey, Qatar, Italy, Russia, Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and France.

*Secretary Blinken’s well-intentioned, but misguided, human rights-driven policy has ignored the only choice facing the US in the Middle East, where human rights have not been complied by Arab regimes: a choice between pro-US human rights violating Arab regimes, or anti-US human rights violating Arab regimes.

*The refusal to accept that reality has also led to US military, financial and diplomatic pressure on the pro-US President Sisi – as well as the pro-US Saudi Crown Prince MBS and the pro-US UAE Crown Prince MBZ – to desist from the rough-handling of Muslim Brotherhood terrorists and the Iran-supported Houthi Yemenite terrorists, which the State Department establishment considers legitimate political, religious and social entities.

*This US policy – highlighted by the eagerness to conclude another accord with Iran’s Ayatollahs, who threaten the survival of every pro-US Arab Sunni regime – has pushed Egypt, Saudi Arabia. the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain closer to China and Russia.

Secretary Blinken in Israel and the Palestinian Authority

*As frustrated as Secretary Blinken is with the rogue conduct of Iran’s Ayatollahs, and notwithstanding the recently expanded US-Israel military drills, Blinken still opposes Israel’s determination that the 43-year-old diplomatic option has dramatically failed, while significantly bolstering the Ayatollahs anti-US global rogue strategy in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

*Blinken rejects the Israeli suggestion (shared by all pro-US Arab regimes) that a credible threat to resort to regime-change and military options is the only way to abort the regional and global terroristic, conventional, ballistic and nuclear Ayatollah threats. He still assumes that the apocalyptic Ayatollahs could be induced – via a generous financial and diplomatic package – into good faith negotiation, peaceful-coexistence and to abandon their 1,400-year-old fanatic, religious and megalomaniacal vision.

*Blinken’s policy toward Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood – which pose a lethal threat to all Sunni Arab regimes – has eroded the US strategic credibility in pro-US Arab capitals, and has pushed Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – reluctantly – closer to China and Russia, militarily and commercially.

*According to the State Department spokesperson: “The Secretary will underscore the urgent need for the parties [Israel and the Palestinians] to take steps to deescalate tensions… [and] put an end to the cycle of violence that has claimed too many innocent lives….”

*Once again, Secretary Blinken resorts to the immoral moral-equivalence, failing to distinguish between PA-incited Palestinian terrorists (killed by Israel) and Israeli civilians (murdered by Palestinian terrorists). Inadvertently, moral equivalence energizes Palestinian terrorism, while aiming to constrain Israel’s counter-terrorist efforts.

*Secretary Blinken’s visit to Ramallah enhanced legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority, while the latter has enshrined, since 1993, K-12 hate-education, which has brainwashed Palestinian youth against the existence of the “infidel” Jewish State. This rogue education system has been the most authentic reflection of the Palestinian vision/aspiration – consistent with the 1959 and 1964 charters of Fatah and the PLO, which focus on the annihilation of the pre-1967 “Zionist entity.”  The PA education system has become the most effective hot house and production-line of terrorists and suicide-bombers.

*Blinken has accorded more weight to Palestinian diplomatictalk than to the Palestinian hate-walk and its induced terrorism.  He has ignored the fact that a prerequisite to meaningful negotiation and peace is the uprooting of hate-education, mosque incitement, generous monthly allowances to terrorists’ families, and the glorification of terrorists through public monuments, schools and other institutions.

*Secretary Blinken attempts to convince Israel that the establishment of a Palestinian state is a prerequisite for bolstering Middle East stability and concluding an Israel-Saudi Arabia peace treaty. However, such a proposal should be assessed against the backdrop of the systematic failure of all State Department’s proposals to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.  They failed because they ignored the Palestinian track record, the non-central role of the Palestinian issue in the Middle East, and due to the preoccupation with the Palestinian issue, which yielded a Palestinian veto power.

*In fact, Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan were successfully concluded by bypassing the Palestinian issue, and focusing on Arab – not Palestinian – interests, which are increasingly served by enhanced defense and commercial cooperation with Israel. Arabs do not cut off their noses to spite their faces.

*Blinken ignores Middle East reality, which highlights the non-centrality of the Palestinian issue (no Arab-Israel war has erupted due to the Palestinian issue) and Arab order of priorities (no Arab country has flexed its military – and hardly its financial – muscle on behalf of the Palestinians), unless one assumes that the Palestinian-embracing Arab talk supersedes the indifferent/negative Arab walk.

*Unlike Secretary Blinken, the pro-US Arab Sunni regimes are aware of the despotic, corrupt and terroristic nature of the Palestinian Authority, and the rogue nature of the proposed Palestinian state, as evidenced by the Palestinian intra-Arab track record.  Arabs perceive the Palestinians as an intra-Arab role model of subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude, who bite the hands that feed them (Egypt – in the 1950s, Syria – 1960s, Jordan – 1968-1970, Lebanon – 1970-1982 and Kuwait – in 1990).

*The Arabs are also aware of the systematic Palestinian collaboration with anti-Western rogue entities, such as Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Iran’s Ayatollahs, Saddam Hussein, Latin American and other international terrorist organizations, Muslim Brotherhood terrorists, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and North Korea.

*The bottom line is that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the river, transforming Jordan into another platform of Islamic terrorism (just like Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen), and triggering a domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula.  It would topple the pro-US Arab oil-producing regimes, undermine regional and global stability and economy and erode the US economy and geo-strategic posture, while advancing the fortunes of Russia, China, Iran’s Ayatollahs and anti-US Islamic Sunni terrorism.

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Experienced Counsel

President Biden is about to reembrace the Muslim Brotherhood – in the mold of the Obama/Biden Administration – in defiance of all pro-US Arab countries, which consider the Muslim Brotherhood a clear and present, existential terrorist threat.

President Biden may benefit from the following advice, provided by Sir John Jenkins, a top British specialist on the Muslim Brotherhood, political Islamism and the Middle East, and former Executive Director of the British International Institute for Strategic Studies – Middle East branch: “[The West] should resist the temptation to seek to understand the Muslim Brotherhood through our own cultural or epistemological [knowledge] categories…. [Jenkins cautions against] viewing the world through lenses ground by an exclusivist Western modernity, shaped in the distorting crucible of European nationalism….

“Islamism – to which the Muslim Brotherhood is central – like other totalizing, anti-rational and authoritarian ideologies is a profound ideological challenge to the modern Western conception of the rational state and its foundational principles….”

Engaging or Confronting the Muslim Brotherhood?

Will President Biden’s foreign policy and national security team – led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, CIA Director William Burns and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines – heed Sir Jenkins’ counsel?

Moreover, will they recognize the centrality of the Muslim Brotherhood’s track record and its core ideology, which highlight the grand design of establishing a universal, non-corrupt Islamic society; replacing Western global domination and submitting itself to Allah and the Quran, while rejecting/toppling all national (Muslim and non-Muslim) regimes via politics, violence and martyrdom?

Hence, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political and terroristic efforts to topple the regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Morocco, Jordan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, etc.

However, the Muslim Brotherhood has been very skillful in obfuscating the West through its two-pronged operation: the political screensaver and the operational (subversive and terroristic) engine. The latter determines the strategic vision and its execution, while the former facilitates diplomacy, politics and fundraising.

Yet, President Biden’s policy-makers contend that Islamic terrorism is generally driven by despair, and that the Muslim Brotherhood and its multitude of Islamic organizations are non-violent, political in nature and seeking justice, human rights and freedom.

This policy is articulated in a document, published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which reflects the State Department worldview, and was headed until recently by CIA Director William Burns.

Biden Team’s Track Record

The 2021 policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood is consistent with President Carter’s 1978/79 policy towards the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini, who was perceived as a peaceful political dissident, oppressed by the Shah of Iran. This facilitated the Ayatollahs’ rise to power, stabbed the pro-US Shah in the back, and transformed Iran into a global epicenter of anti-Western and anti-Sunni terrorism and a proliferator of non-conventional military technologies.

This worldview has led the Biden team to assume that Iran’s Ayatollahs – irrespective of their consistently ruthless track record – are credible negotiators; potential partners for peaceful-coexistence and influence-sharing with their Sunni Arab neighbors; amenable to ending domestic repression and disavowing their fanatical, megalomaniacal, religious vision. Furthermore, the Biden team assumes that waiving the US military option constitutes a prerequisite to constructive negotiation with the rogue Ayatollahs.

President Biden’s team played a key role in the initiation and formulation of the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran (JCPOA). In 2021, it aspires to rejoin the accord with some modifications.

The same team co-led the 2009 embrace of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, while abandoning the pro-US Mubarak on the grounds of the latter’s poor record in the areas of human rights and democracy.  This provided a tailwind to the Muslim Brotherhood’s subversion throughout the region – supported mostly by Turkey’s Erdogan and Qatar – and eroded US credibility and its posture of deterrence among all pro-US Arab regimes. In 2021, the Biden team seems to adhere to the same policy, serving Egyptian President Sisi notice because of human rights violations, while courting the Muslim Brotherhood.

The human rights-driven policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood was at the core of the 2011 US-led military offensive against Libya’s Qadhafi, which was actively supported by the current Biden team. It led to the disintegration of Libya, and dramatically worse violations of human rights, along with the transformation of Libya into a platform of civil wars and global Islamic terrorism.

Middle East Reality Revisited

According to Sir John Jenkins (ibid), “[The Muslim Brotherhood] continues to threaten the constitutive basis of most contemporary Muslim majority states…. Islamists are revolutionary in a fundamental sense of the word. And the history of the modern Middle East tells us that revolutions destroy. Some may still be tempted to hope that when a malign or otherwise unsatisfactory regime is overthrown the subsequent trajectory must be progressive. [Middle East] experience suggests the reverse. As Hannah Arendt said nearly 50 years ago, “The practice of violence, like all action, changes the world, but the most probable change is to a more violent world.” Authoritarianism is not weakened in such circumstances: it recurs….

“The Muslim Brotherhood, the first and foundational mass movement of mobilized Islamism, launched by Hassan Al Banna in the Egyptian provincial city of Ismailiyya in March 1928…. Al Banna may initially have conceived of Jihad as primarily one of social transformation through preaching and persuasion. But, he soon came to promote ‘fann al mawt’ – ‘the art of death.’

“He urged his followers to scorn life; claimed that ultimate martyrdom could only be attained through death in the service of the divine; articulated a doctrine of armed physical force; contemplated a frontal attack on power; and allowed the creation of a paramilitary force and violent attacks – including assassinations – against the Egyptian government…. On top of this, the writings of Sayyid Qutb – its most significant and protean ideologue – remain central to Brotherhood thinking everywhere and continue to be used to justify multiple forms of Islamist violence.

“More generally, [the Muslim Brotherhood’s] Political Islamism… rejects most existing political systems as un-Islamic. It seeks to replace the secular with a new Islamized order nationally and internationally. The Brotherhood… gives little space to the tolerance, choice and individual freedoms we claim to value. It has no commitment to democratic choice as the fundamental expression of a political community. It rejects what we consider to be the self-evident legal equality of individuals regardless of gender or religion. It is constitutively antisemitic and homophobic; its approach to education and societal cohesion is unlikely to promote inclusivity; it seeks power first….”

Will President Biden and his national security and foreign policy team leverage – or disregard – Sir Jenkins’ unique analysis of the Middle East, in general, and the Muslim Brotherhood, in particular?

Will they persist in their attempt to subordinate the intrinsically perfidious, despotic, intolerant, violent and unpredictable Middle East to noble core Western values?

Donations Appreciated

 

 

 

 

 

William Burns is one of the leading veterans of the State Department, representing its deeply-rooted worldview :

*Multilateralism and coalition-building over unilateral policy;
*Military restraint and supremacy of diplomacy/coercive-diplomacy;
*International law, human rights and democracy-driven policy;
*Rejection of regime-change initiatives;
*Palestinian prominence in Middle East policy;
*Viewing Islamic terrorism as despair-driven;
*Misperceiving the raging Arab Tsunami as if it were Arab Spring.

William Burns served as Deputy Secretary of State and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs during the Obama Administration. He was part of the State Department establishment, which considered Saddam Hussein a potential ally until his August 1990 invasion of Kuwait; played a key role in the 2009 embrace of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, while abandoning President Mubarak; was a major proponent of the 2011 US-led military offensive which transformed Libya into a global platform of Islamic terrorism; and was one of the early architects of the 2015 Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA), conducting secret talks in Oman.

Since 2015, William Burns has been the President of the prestigious Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which has espoused the aforementioned worldview of the State Department.

Carnegie’s “Middle East analysis” section is replete with documents, which are pro-Palestinian and critical of Israel and the last four years’ US policy in the Middle East, including the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Also, Carnegie Endowment documents feature criticism of “Israel’s shrinking democracy,” Israel’s treatment of “Palestinian activists” and “Palestinian popular resistance,” “Israel’s responsibility for the Palestinian financial crisis,” and “Gun violence in Israel’s Palestinian community.”

While criticizing pro-US Egypt and Saudi Arabia because of their human rights record, Carnegie’s documents define the Muslim Brotherhood – which has terrorized the Middle East since 1952, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Bahrain – as a legitimate political organization.

Iran

The designation of William Burns as the next Director of the CIA highlights President-elect Biden’s determination to join a renegotiated nuclear agreement (JCPOA) with Iran’s Ayatollahs, which will be wider in scope and longer in duration.

According to Burns, “We need to find a way back to an updated nuclear deal with Iran. That will not be a miracle cure for all our serious differences with the current regime in Tehran, from its regional aggression to its domestic repression. It will, however, be an essential starting point for countering its threats and eventually reducing them….”

The JCPOA represents a school of thought, which assumes that Iran’s Ayatollahs are credible negotiators, and are amenable to peaceful-coexistence and power-sharing with their Gulf neighbors. Burns assumes that Saudi-Iranian peaceful coexistence is possible due to their mutual interest in stable competition.

“A lot will depend on the prospects for Saudis and Iranians finding some basis for regional co-existence—built not on trust or the end of rivalry, but on the more cold-blooded assumption that they both have a stake in stable competition.”

Burns contends that lifting sanctions – through the JCPOA – “exposed the regime’s vulnerabilities,” since the Ayatollahs could no longer blame the US for their economic woes, stemming from corruption and mismanagement. He compared Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA to the US unilateralism that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. “Nixing the nuclear accord was a dangerous dismissiveness of diplomacy.” According to Burns, the abandonment of the nuclear accord was all coercion and no diplomacy.

A major dilemma facing the proponents of a renegotiated JCPOA: Is the Iranian leopard capable of changing spots, not just tactics?

Saudi Arabia

As opined by Burns, “we ought to support them [Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf States] against legitimate external security threats, from Iran or anyone else, and back serious political and economic modernization. [However], they need to stop acting as if they’re entitled to a blank check from us, end the catastrophic war in Yemen, stop meddling in political transitions in places such as Libya and Sudan, and manage their internal rivalries.”

Just like Egypt, Saudi Arabia expects to be targeted for US criticism on account of its human rights and democracy record, including the attitude toward the Muslim Brotherhood, which is determined to topple all pro-US Arab regimes, and is the largest Islamic terror organization with a litany of political affiliates throughout the globe, including the US (e.g., CAIR, ISNA, AMC).

In addition, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are reprimanded, by the incoming US Administration, for their military involvement in Libya, Sudan and Yemen, which involves fighting against Iran’s Ayatollahs (in Yemen) and Sunni Islamic terrorists (in Libya and Sudan).

Israel

In his memoir, William Burns detailed his efforts to explicitly criticize Israel, when he was the Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs during the George W. Bush administration.  Burns was a proponent for providing a clear vision for a viable Palestinian state. In June 2002, he told an Israel official that “the one thing Palestinians are more fed up with than Arafat is the Israeli occupation.”

“Our commitment to Israel’s security is deep-rooted, and its emergence as a military and economic powerhouse in the region is a remarkable story. And yet it is hard to see how Israel’s long-term security interests, let alone its future as a Jewish democracy, are served by the emergence of a one-state solution, with Arabs in the majority in the land Israel controls from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean.”

Like the State Department’s establishment, William Burns is unaware of the demographic reality west of the Jordan River, which features a dramatic Westernization of Arab demography and unprecedented Jewish demographic tailwind.

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Happy New Year Top Heavy on Good Health!

Worldview and track record

Jake Sullivan’s worldview and track record (e.g., Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Dartmouth College, State Department, key advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President-Elect Joe Biden) highlight:

*Attachment to Europe’s culture, history and geo-strategic thinking;
*Multilateralism through expanded national security collaboration with Europe, the UN and international alliances and organizations, rather than unilateralism;
*Democracy and human rights-driven foreign policy [however, in the Middle East, Arab regimes do not lend themselves to human rights and consider democracy an existential threat];
*The reassertion of the State Department worldview [despite its systematic blunders in the Middle East];
*The restructuring of the defense budget by expanding “civilian tools” and reducing “military tools” of national security [in a stormy world, which requires an enhanced, not reduced, US posture of deterrence].
*The shared worldview and track record of Antony Blinken (Secretary of State-designate) and Jake Sullivan may constitute the ideological backbone of President-elect Joe Biden’s foreign and national security policy-making.

Iran

Jake Sullivan played a key role in negotiating the 2015 Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA). He opposes a regime-change policy, believing that Iran’s Ayatollahs are amenable to negotiation and peaceful-coexistence. Therefore, he will ditch the current policy of financial and military pressure, attempting to rejoin the accord – while expanding its duration and scope – which he believes would restore trust and cooperation with the international community.

The JCPOA was rejected by all pro-US Arab states as articulated on December 28, 2020 by the Riyadh-based Arab News: “We should focus on the original end of the nuclear deal, which is turning Iran into a normal state that does not pose a threat to the security and safety of the international community. It is impossible to accept a deal that prevents Iran from threatening global security and peace for 15 years [which is the duration of the JCPOA], and then allow it to resume the threat. There are no reformists in Iran, capable of persuading the regime to be more open to the West. The JCPOA was not sufficiently reviewed as far as its impact on Iran’s belligerence, internationally and regionally. The Ayatollahs took immediate advantage of the JCPOA to support their [rogue] proxies and allies in the region, boost their missile program, purchase weapons, and strengthen their vast domestic repressive apparatuses….”

In fact, the JCPOA (a model of multilateralism) has not diverted Iran’s Ayatollahs from their fanatic, megalomaniacal strategic goal to control the Persian Gulf, Middle East, the Muslim World and beyond.  The JCPOA has generated a financial and political tailwind to the Ayatollahs’ dominant stature in the region, unchallenged by the US, and posing an existential threat to all US Arab allies. It has bolstered Iran’s systematic subversion, terrorism and wars in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America, aiming to weaken the “Great US Satan,” while emerging as a nuclear power in 10-15 years, or less, following 2015.

Saudi Arabia

Jake Sullivan lumps together the pro-US Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman and Egypt’s General Muhammed Al Sisi with arch rivals of the US, such as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, China’s Xi Gi Ping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan.

He criticizes Saudi violations of human rights and lack of democracy,  while playing down, or avoiding, criticism of Iran’s hate-education and ruthless repression of its population, including hanging and stoning dissidents, gay people and adulterous women, in addition to the oppression of religious and ethnic minorities, such as Arabs, Azerbaijanis Turks, Kurds, Baluchis, Baha’is, Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians.

Sullivan flirts with the idea of a potential peaceful coexistence and stature-sharing between the Shite Ayatollahs and the Sunni Arab states.

Sullivan opposes the Saudi-led war against Yemen’s Houthis and the Iranian contingency in Yemen – which use Yemen as a stepping ground to bomb Saudi Arabia – on account of the high civilian Yemenite death toll and denial of human rights.

He sidesteps Middle Eastern Arab reality, which is still dominated by 1,400 year-old Islamic precepts and geo-strategic features, does not lend itself to Western democracy and human rights, and where the choice is between pro-US or anti-US human rights violating Arab regimes.

Sullivan may recommend the suspension of the supply of advanced US military systems to Saudi Arabia, as a means to pressure Riyadh, which may force the Saudis to seek similar systems from Russia, China or Europe.

Egypt

The pro-US President Sisi is troubled by Sullivan’s human rights criticism of Egypt, while classifying the Muslim Brotherhood – which is the largest Islamic terrorist group with multitude of political branches, some of them in the US – as a largely secular political organization. Sullivan has ignored/under-estimated the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist threat, regionally and globally.

In 2009, he supported President Obama’s decision to court the anti-US Muslim Brotherhood – which has terrorized Egypt since 1952 – during Obama’s visit to Cairo, while turning his back on the pro-US authoritarian President Mubarak.  This eroded US reliability among allies, fueled violence in Egypt, which led to the 2011 toppling of Mubarak and the 2012-2013 rule by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Just like Saudi Arabia, a US antagonistic policy toward Egypt may push General Sisi toward Russia, which has maintained commercial and military contacts with Egypt since the 1950s.

Libya.

Sullivan played a pivotal role in shaping the 2011 US-led NATO military offensive against Qadhafi, which was aimed at stopping Qadhafi’s ruthless war on his domestic opponents. However, the offensive disintegrated Libya and triggered civil wars, which have drawn foreign involvement, such as Turkey, Russia, Qatar, France, Italy, UAE and Greece.  Libya became a major platform of Islamic terrorism, haunting North, West and Central Africa, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Europe. Moreover, the US-led offensive terminated the regime of Qadhafi, who was transformed (since 2003) from a ruthless supporter of – to a ruthless warrior against – Islamic terrorism. Until the ill-advised 2011 offensive, Qadhafi provided the US with invaluable intelligence on global terrorism, and transferred his nuclear infrastructure to the US.

Israel

Sullivan subscribes to the erroneous assumptions that the Palestinian issue is a major issue on the Arab agenda, a core cause of regional turbulence and the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict.   He may undervalue the wider, regional and global features of the US-Israel connection – which are significantly more relevant to the region and the US than the Palestinian issue –  such as Israel’s force-multiplier contribution to the US in the form of bolstering pro-US Arab regimes, and in the face of the Ayatollahs’ and Muslim Brotherhood’s proliferation of anti-US Islamic terrorism throughout the globe, the potential threat of Turkey’s Erdogan and the US-Israel joint pursuit of game-changing commercial and defense technologies.

Israel-Arab peace accords

Will Sullivan conclude the proper lessons from the litany of failed Israel-Palestinian peace initiatives, which focused on the Palestinian issue, according the Palestinians a veto power over peace?

Is Sullivan aware of the Arab opposition to the proposed Palestinian state, which all pro-US Arab regimes consider added-fuel to the Middle East fire?

Is Sullivan aware of the intrinsic Palestinian strategic goal, which does not tolerate Jewish sovereignty west of the Jordan River, as reflected by the Palestinian Authority school curriculum and the systematic Palestinian track record?

Will Sullivan adopt the approach of bypassing the Palestinian issue, and focusing on Israel-Arab and US interests, which produced the recent peace and normalization accords between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, thus further expanding the circle of Israel-Arab peace?

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Dr. Albert Ellis, one of the world’s top psychologists, suggests that the study of past track records is an essential undertaking for an effective assessment of the future: “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.”

This suggestion is also applicable to the assessment of policy formulation by the next US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who will be the most influential foreign and national security policy-maker in President-elect Joe Biden’s Administration.

Blinken’s close ties with Biden, dating back to Biden’s chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, make him, potentially, as influential as were Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Jim Baker during the presidency of Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush respectively.

Israel policy.  Blinken opposes Israel’s annexation of – and expanded Jewish presence in – any part of Judea and Samaria, as well as in Jerusalem beyond the 1949 ceasefire lines. He considers Israeli dramatic land concessions to be a prerequisite for peace.  He supports the establishment of a Palestinian state in Gaza and the pre-1967 Jordan-occupied-Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem. However, according to Blinken, “US aid to Israel is beyond debate and should never be used as leverage to influence Israel’s policies toward Palestinians…. It’s in the US interest that Israel has the means to secure itself…. Israel’s security is challenged on a daily basis. Israel faces existential threats every single day.”

Palestinian policy. Blinken assumes that a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and East Jerusalem would serve justice and would spare Israel a demographic calamity. He ignores the well-documented demographic reality, which exposes the myth of the Arab demographic timebomb. He approaches the Palestinian issue from the human rights angle, notwithstanding the Palestinian track record as a role model for anti-Jewish hate-education and incitement, 100-year-old anti-Jewish terrorism and intra-Arab terrorism and treachery. Irrespective of Middle East reality, he believes in the centrality of the Palestinian issue on the Arab agenda and the pursuit of Israel-Arab peace.

Blinken aims to restore annual financial aid to the Palestinian Authority (which was suspended due to the PA’s financial support of families of terrorists and the systematic heralding of terrorists), as well as the annual financial transfer to UNRWA (which was suspended due to its funding of the PA’s hate education). Also, he will reopen the PLO office in Washington, DC and the US Consulate in Jerusalem (in-charge of Palestinian affairs).

Libya policy. Blinken believes that the introduction of human rights and democracy to the Arab World would constitute a most effective foundation of peaceful coexistence. In 2011, as the National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden, along with Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama, he urged a US/NATO military offensive against Qadhafi, in order to stop “Qadhafi’s human rights violations and slaughter of his own people.” The war on the arch human rights violator, Qadhafi, evolved Libya into a major platform of arch human rights violating Islamic terrorists, which is still haunting Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Europe and Africa. The war on Qadhafi – and his eventual lynching by Islamic terrorists – ignored his transformation (since 2003!) from a ruthless supporter of terrorism into a ruthless warrior against Islamic terrorism in north, central and western Africa, who provided the US with invaluable intelligence on global terrorism, and transferred his nuclear infrastructure to the US.

Sadly, contrary to the well-intentioned Blinken worldview, in the real Middle East, the choice is between pro-Western – or anti-Western – non-democratic anti human rights regimes.

“Arab Springpolicy. The Libya policy was reflective of the worldview of key foreign policy and national security players – including Blinken – who formulated the US Middle East policy during the 2010/2011 volcanic eruption of violence, including terrorism, from Morocco in northwest Africa through Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula to Bahrain in the Persian Gulf.  Blinken assessed the brutal confrontations on the Arab Street – which has been an intrinsic feature of the Arab World since the 7th century – through the prism of human rights. He overlooked the complexity of these confrontations (among non-democratic, violent elements) and underestimated the dominant role of Islamic terrorism and inherent intra-Arab domestic and regional brutal power struggles. Along with most of the Western foreign policy establishment, Blinken referred to this wave of violence, which still haunts the Arab Street, as the “Arab Spring,” “youth revolution” and “march for democracy;” while, in fact, it has been a tectonic Arab Tsunami all along.

Saudi Arabia policy.  A reassessment of US policy toward Saudi Arabia, and putting on notice Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman (whom he considers “impulsive and reckless”), are expected due to Blinken’s focus on human rights, while underestimating the impact on the intensified anti-Western Shite and Muslim Brotherhood Sunni terrorism, which aim to topple all pro-US and relatively-moderate Arab regimes, establish a pan-Islamic state, and proliferate Islamic terrorism globally.  Blinken may precondition the sale of advanced weaponry to Saudi Arabia upon improved human rights (which would increase Chinese, Russian and European military sales to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf). In addition, Blinken opposes the Saudi involvement in the civil war in Yemen, which has become a most active Iranian beachhead against Saudi Arabia aiming to topple the Saudi regime.  He, also, objects to the Saudi aggressive policy toward Qatar, which is a strategic ally of Iran’s Ayatollahs and Turkey’s Erdogan and a chief financier of Muslim Brotherhood terrorists – three major threats to the House of Saud.

Egypt policy. In 2009, Blinken supported the human rights-centered US policy toward Egypt, courting the Muslim Brotherhood terroristic opposition, which led to its 2012-2013 rise to power, while toppling the pro-US President Mubarak (similar to President Carter’s policy, which betrayed the Shah of Iran, providing a tailwind to the rise of Iran’s Ayatollahs). Blinken’s pledge to renew US emphasis on human rights violations in Egypt was expressed via November 19 and 20, 2020 Tweets, protesting the arrest of three Egyptian human rights activists. However, Middle East reality suggests that, notwithstanding his honorable intentions, Blinken’s only choice is between a pro-US and an anti-US non-democratic Egypt.

Iran policy.  Driven by his globalist, multilateralist, joint leadership world view (contrary to unilateral US national security action), Blinken was closely involved in the formulation of the game-changing 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran. Therefore, Blinken will reenter the accord, seeking a stronger and longer-lasting agreement, playing down Iranian human rights violations, lifting as many sanctions as possible, which will yield a robust tailwind to Iran’s economy (as documented by the 2015 precedent), bolstering Iran’s efforts to topple all pro-Western Arab regimes and expand its terror network in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, South and Central America.

Will Antony Blinken learn from past errors by repeating – or avoiding them?

Will Blinken adjust his policy recommendations to Middle East reality, or is he determined to export “cancel-culture” to the Middle East, with the well-intentioned aim to introduce human rights, democracy and peaceful-coexistence into the ruthlessly entrenched Middle East culture?

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Will the next US Administration sustain the realization that the clear and present threat of the transnational Muslim Brotherhood to every moderate Arab regime in the Middle East and North Africa (second only to the threat posed by Iran’s Ayatollahs) has been a key incentive for the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to conclude the US-backed peace accords with Israel?

Will the next US Administration acknowledge the role played by Muslim Brotherhood subversion and terrorism in Saudi Arabia’s decision to expand security and commercial cooperation with Israel?

According to Prof. Albert Hourani, a leading Middle East historian, Oxford University’s St. Anthony’s College (A History of the Arab Peoples, pp. 445-446), the following are the tenets of the Muslim Brotherhood: “A total rejection of all forms of society except the wholly Islamic one…. The true Islamic society…was the one which accepted the sovereign authority of God [Allah]…which regarded the Quran as the source of all guidance for human life…. All other societies were societies of jahiliyya (ignorance of religious truth), whether they were communist, capitalist, nationalist, [followers of] false religions, or claimed to be Muslim but did not obey the Sharia…. The leadership of Western man in the human world is coming to an end…because the Western order has played its part, and no longer possesses that stock of values which gave it its predominance…. The turn of Islam has come….”

The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest Islamic terror organization in the world – supported mostly by Turkey’s Erdogan, Iran’s Ayatollahs and Qatar – with political branches throughout the globe (including in the USA), aiming to rid the Arab world of Western “infidel” influence (which drew the current map of the Middle East), topple existing Arab regimes in a subversive and revolutionary manner, Islamize Arab societies, establish a “divinely-ordained” pan-Islamic regime and spread Islam through violence/terrorism, as well as via political and organizational involvement (e.g., the Freedom and Justice Party in Libya, the ruling Ennahdha Party in Tunisia, the Justice and Development Party in Morocco, the recently dissolved Islamic Action Front in Jordan, the Islamic Constitutional Movement in Kuwait, Jamaat-e-Islami in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and the Welfare Party of India).

The Muslim Brotherhood maintains that the only legitimate rule is Islam-based rule.  Moreover, Arab regimes, which are not based on the Sharia (the precepts of Islam) are apostates and therefore, targets for Jihad (martyrdom for Islam).

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 in Egypt by Hassan Al-Banna, and participated in the offensive against the British-backed monarchy. However, since the toppling of the monarchy in 1952, the Muslim Brotherhood – assisted by Palestinian leaders – has been engaged in domestic, regional and global Jihad (terrorism) against all secular Arab regimes (e.g., Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain), as prescribed by the teachings of Sayyid Qutb (who was hanged in Egypt in 1966), inspiring a multitude of Islamic terror organizations such as Al Qaeda and Hamas, while condemning Arab corruption and inequality and providing social and charity services.

In 1949, the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmoud Nuqrashi; in 1954, the Muslim Brotherhood failed in its attempt to murder Egyptian President Nasser; but, in 1981, its offshoot, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, murdered Egyptian President Sadat. The Islamic Jihad merged with Al Qaeda (the perpetrators of September 11, 2001!), terrorized US and Israeli targets, and formed a political party (the Freedom and Justice Party) during the 2011-2013 Muslim Brotherhood rule of Egypt, which was supported by the US Administration. In 2020, the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist and political branches – bearing innocent titles – seek to subvert, terrorize and topple every moderate, pro-US Arab regime, proliferating all over the globe, including South, Central and North America.

According to Professor Fouad Ajami, one of the leading experts on Arab politics and Director of Middle East Studies, Johns Hopkins University (The Arab Predicament, Cambridge University Press, 1992), the Muslim Brotherhood espouses: “The struggle of the Prophet [Muhammed], the integrity of Islam, the need for sacrifice, the clash between the world of Islam and the Jews, who will never abandon their belief that they are God’s chosen people (p. 134).”

Professor Albert Hourani (ibid., pp. 445-446) adds: “Those who accepted [the Muslim Brotherhood] program would form a vanguard of dedicated fighters, using every means, including Jihad… to destroy all worship of false gods and remove all the obstacles which prevented men from accepting Islam. The struggle should aim at creating a universal Muslim society in which there were no distinctions of race, and one which was worldwide.  The Western age is finished…. Only Islam offered hope to the world…. [The Muslim Brotherhood] were prepared for violence and martyrdom.”

Will the next US Administration demonstrate realism and recognize the threat of Islamic terrorism to global stability, including US homeland security?

Will the next US Administration sustain the current US support of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and additional Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa in their battle against the lethal threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood?

Will the next US Administration persist in the financial and military pressure of Iran’s Ayatollahs, who have been a critical epicenter of global proliferation of Islamic terrorism (including to South and Central America) and a major supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood?

Will the next US Administration codify the repudiation of Islamic terrorism by outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood and its political and social offshoots such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Society of North America?

 

 

 

Western misreading yields devastating consequences

The Libyan turmoil is, mostly, the outcome of the 2011 reckless toppling of the Qaddafi regime by a US-led NATO offensive.  The offensive was launched despite the fact that the ruthless Qaddafi had become a fervent warrior against Islamic terrorism in Libya, North and Central Africa.  Moreover, the offensive was initiated in spite of Qaddafi’s dismantling of the Libyan nuclear, chemical, biological and long-range ballistic missile infrastructures.

The stated goal of the US-led NATO onslaught was to stop the Libyan civil war, minimize the loss of civilian lives and promote democracy and peace, as was stated during the 2003 war against Saddam Hussein…. However, the authority vacuum created by the demise of the Qaddafi regime has intensified the intrinsic fragmentation and disintegration of Libya, tribally, geographically, ideologically and religiously.

The demise of Qaddafi yielded systematic eruptions of volcanic civil wars in Libya, intensified by a heightened presence of Islamic terror organizations, which operate globally, from Central Asia, through the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Latin America, with sleeper cells in the US.

In defiance of the architects of the assault on Qaddafi, Libya has joined Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Yemen as a leading epicenter of international Islamic terrorism. The Libyan pandemonium has stimulated Islamic terrorism in Europe, as well as in neighboring Egypt, the Sudan, Chad, Niger, Algeria and Tunisia, in addition to Morocco, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria.

Contrary to the expectations by the US and NATO national security establishments, there has been substantial military and financial intervention by foreign countries, which conduct proxy wars in post-Qaddafi Libya.  Thus, Turkey, Qatar, Italy and the UN support Prime Minister al-Sarraj’s Tripoli-centered Government of National Accord (which controls some parts of Western Libya), while Russia, France, Greece, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan back General Haftar’s Benghazi and Tobruk-based Libyan National Army (which controls most of Libya, especially the eastern and southern areas and most of the oil and natural gas fields and refineries).

Foreign involvement in Libya

The mounting foreign involvement reflects the geo-strategic potential of Libya, economically and militarily.  For instance, Libya is a 680,000 square-mile-country (2.6 times the area of Texas!), located between the Mediterranean and Central Africa, possessing a 1,000 mile-long-coast along the Mediterranean, between Egypt and Tunisia and across from Turkey, Crete, Greece, Malta, Italy and Sicily.  Libya’s oil and natural gas reserves rank 8th and 21st respectively in the world, which has attracted major energy companies, such as Italy’s ENI (since 1959) and France’s Total (since 1954).

Turkey’s Erdogan considers Libya an effective springboard to assert his national security independence; to defy the US, NATO, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the international community; to bolster his military and energy footprint in the Mediterranean basin; to gain natural gas, oil and construction opportunities; and to advance his grand vision: the reestablishment of the Ottoman Empire.

Russia seeks to expand its air and ground military presence in the Mediterranean region and Africa; it sends a determined message to the US, NATO and allies of the US in the Middle East and Africa; it aims to neutralize Erdogan’s megalomaniacal ambitions; it pursues oil deals; and it wishes to enhance its position during future international negotiations on the fate of Libya.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia consider Libya – and Turkey’s and Qatar’s involvement in Libya – a threatening tailwind for the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Islamic terrorist organization, and a clear and present lethal threat to every pro-US Arab regime. Their wish to neutralize Erdogan, whom they consider a top lethal threat to the Arab World, along with Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt and Libya have always shared adversarial relations: economically poor, demographically large (100 million people) and militarily strong Egypt versus economically endowed, demographically meagre (7 million people) and militarily weak Libya.  Therefore, an Egyptian military intervention in eastern Libya – leveraging tribal ties – has always been a viable option, in order to secure the western border of Egypt, resume suspended oil projects in Libya, and enhance Egypt’s geo-strategic stature. Also, Egypt is concerned about the adverse effect of the Libyan chaos on its war against Muslim Brotherhood terrorism, which has been a domestic fixture since the 1928 establishment of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Moreover, Cairo is increasingly concerned about Turkey’s deepening engagement in Libya – on top of its military presence in Qatar, Somali and the Sudan – due to Erdogan’s close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, while demonstrating hostility toward the Sisi regime, which toppled an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood regime.

The real Middle East vs. Western conventional wisdom

The Libya mayhem, which erupted during the initial stage of the “Arab Spring,” has exposed a major Western misperception of the Middle East.  Hence, the West has sacrificed the reality of “the Arab Tsunami” on the altar of an imagined “Arab Spring” – touting “From Lawlessness to Democracy and Peace” – while the Arab countries have rejected civic liberties and intra-Arab peaceful-coexistence.

The Libyan turmoil, which has raged since February 2011, encapsulates many of the 1,400-year-old explosive features of the Middle East, which have impacted the entire world.

For example:

*Rarity of national identity/loyalty (e.g., Tripolitania western Libya vs. Cyrenaica in the east vs. Fezzan in the southwest);

*Fragmented societies underline local-over-national allegiance (e.g., a 9-tribe-coalition in the Benghazi region, fighting other tribes, while fighting among themselves);

*Violent intolerance religiously, geographically, ideologically, culturally, economically;

*Absence of intra-Arab and intra-Muslim peaceful-coexistence, domestically and regionally, including pan-Arabism vs. pan-Islamism;

*Minority, repressive, tenuous regimes, policies and accords (e.g., Libya’s King Idris deposed in 1969, Qaddafi executed in 2011, succeeded by two warring non-democratic regimes);

*One-bullet-regimes seizing power via the military;

*Centrality of subversion and terrorism, domestically and regionally;

*Shifty allegiance, alliances and policies;

*Intense complexity, instability and unpredictability;

*Domination of fundamental Islamic precepts (e.g., the subservient “infidel”);

Has the Western debacle in Libya awaken the Western national security establishment to Middle East reality?

Will the costly Libyan lesson free the West from submission to the utopian “Arab Spring” state of mind, when confronting the litany of tectonic eruptions, which will be triggered by the Arab Tsunami, with regional and global ripple effects?

Will the Libyan chaos advance Western comprehension of the need for extra geographic-topographic security, required by the sole and small “infidel” democracy in the Middle East?

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The suggestion that the application of the Israeli law to the Jordan Valley and parts of Judea and Samaria would severely undermine Israeli interests, jeopardize Israel’s peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt and Israel’s overall ties with Arab countries, is divorced from the Israeli track record and Middle East reality.

Israel’s track record

The resurgence of the Jewish State from the ashes of WW2 to global prominence, technologically, scientifically, medically, agriculturally, economically, diplomatically and militarily – despite systematic adverse global pressure and Arab wars and terrorism – has demonstrated that there are no free lunches for independent nations, especially in the Middle East.

For example, in 1948, Prime Minister Ben Gurion, Israel’s Founding Father, did not wait for a green light from the White House, in order to declare independence. He was aware that a declaration of independence would trigger a costly Arab military invasion. The CIA estimated that it could amount to “a second Holocaust.” However, Ben Gurion concluded that achieving a supreme goal was preconditioned upon the willingness to pay a supreme cost. Indeed, the war against the Arab invasion consumed 1% (6,000) of the Jewish population (600,000). Fending off the Arab invasion, Israel expanded its borders by 30%, and would not retreat to the suicidal 1947 lines, despite brutal global (including US) pressure. The pressure on Israel dissipated, but Israel’s buttressed borders were preserved.

In June 1967, Prime Minister Eshkol preempted a planned Egypt-Syria-Jordan joint offensive, in defiance of a strong red light from the White House (“Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go alone”), and despite prominent Israelis who preferred the venue of negotiation and mediation, and predicted a resounding Israeli defeat on the battlefield. Eshkol was aware that Israel’s existence, in the violently intolerant and unpredictable Middle East, required a firm posture of deterrence, which could entail heavy cost. In the aftermath of the war, Eshkol reunited Jerusalem and renewed Jewish presence beyond the 1949/1967 indefensible Green Line, in spite of a very heavy US and global pressure. While the pressure on Israel has subsided, the Jewish presence in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem has surged to 700,000.

In June 1981, Prime Minister Begin ordered the destruction of Iraq’s nuclear reactor, notwithstanding the menacing red light from the White House and the opposition by the Mossad, the IDF Intelligence and additional Israeli defense authorities.  The naysayers were certain that an Israeli attack had a very slim chance of success. They feared that this would trigger a global Islamic assault on Israel; it would produce a European boycott of Israel, would create an irreparable rift with the USA and would doom Israel, economically and diplomatically. Begin decided that sparing Israel a traumatic nuclear assault justified even a traumatic cost.  While the pessimistic assessments crashed on the rocks of reality, the Iraqi nuclear threat was terminated.

In December 1981, Begin applied Israeli law to the Golan Heights, disregarding the brutal US opposition, which included the suspension of a US-Israel strategic accord and the supply of advanced military systems.  While the heavy US sanctions were replaced by an unprecedented US-Israel strategic cooperation, the Golan Heights have become an integral part of the Jewish State.

The aforementioned Israeli Prime Ministers defied international pressure, and therefore were burdened with a short-term loss of global popularity. However, they earned long-term respect for their willingness to defy the odds at severe cost.  Thus, they bolstered Israel’s posture of deterrence, which has played a key role in enhancing Israel’s national security and Israel’s regional/global standing, including its unprecedented military and commercial cooperation with all pro-US Arab countries.

Middle East reality (Israel-Arab relations)

Conventional wisdom is that an Israeli application of its law to the Jordan Valley and parts of Judea and Samaria would threaten the Israel-Jordan and Israel-Egypt peace treaties, and could abort the burgeoning relations between Israel and all Arab Gulf States. Such a school of thought underestimates key Arab national security priorities, which have always transcended the Palestinian issue. It ignores the significant role played by Israel’s posture of deterrence in the national security strategy of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.

For example, the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty reflects Jordanian national security priorities, rather than a Jordanian reconciliation with the existence of an “infidel” Jewish State in the “abode of Islam.”

Just like all Arab regimes – and especially since the eruption of the still raging Arab Tsunami in 2010 – the pro-US regime in Amman is highly vulnerable, domestically and regionally.

Irrespective of its pro-Palestinian rhetoric, Jordan’s actions – since 1949 when it occupied Judea and Samaria, while prohibiting Palestinian political activity – have represented the overall Arab view of the Palestinians as a role model of intra-Arab subversion and terrorism.

Jordan’s Hashemite regime considers the proposed Palestinian state a clear and present lethal threat.  At the same time, it considers Israel’s posture of deterrence as its most effective line of defense against lethal threats, domestically (subversion by Palestinians, Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and hostile southern Bedouin) and externally (Iran’s Ayatollahs, Iraq and Syria).

King Abdullah II is aware of the key role played by Israel’s posture of deterrence in forcing a retreat of the 1970 Syrian invasion of Jordan, when the US was unable to extend military help.

Jordan considers Israel a unique source of intelligence and counter-terrorism assistance. Israel supplies water to the 1.5 million refugees from Syria, provides Jordan with commercial access to the port of Haifa and price-discounted offshore natural gas. Moreover, Israel is the most effective lobby for Jordan in Washington, DC.  In addition, Israel has accorded Jordan a prominent inter-Islamic plum: the custodian of Jerusalem’s Moslem and Christian holy sites.

Is King Abdullah II expected to cut off his nose to spite his face?!

Saudi Arabia and the other Arab Gulf States, as well as Egypt, regard Israel as a most reliable and effective ally in the face of mutual threats, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Turkey’s Erdogan and potential tectonic spillovers from Iraq and Syria.

This Saudi-Israel congruence of national security interests eclipses the role played by the Palestinian issue in Riyadh’s order of national priorities. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia appreciates the Israeli technological and potential scientific contribution to its effort to diversify their oil-dependent economy.

In fact, Riyadh considers the proposed Palestinian state a potential rogue regime, siding with its arch enemies. Hence, the effective Saudi opposition (contrary to its rhetoric) to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Thus, the national security concerns of the pro-US Arab countries is advanced by a reinforced Israeli posture of deterrence.  On the other hand, a hesitant, appeasing and retreating Israel, which sacrifices its independence of national security action on the altar of overseas green lights, whets the appetite of terrorists and rogue regimes, which threatens the national security of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and all other pro-US Arab countries; thus, undermining vital US interests.

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In 2019, the inherently unpredictable and violent Middle East has driven all pro-US Arab regimes – which face domestic and external lethal threats – to expand their strategic cooperation with Israel.

The substantial US-Israel strategic common denominator, the growing role of Israel as a unique geo-strategic ally of the US, and the enhanced mutually-beneficial nature of US-Israel and Israel-Arab cooperation, have been a by-product of the following critical developments:

*The recent Iranian offensive as demonstrated by the June 2019 attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, and the May 2019 assaults on vessels in the Persian Gulf port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates;

*The mushrooming anti-US, pro-Muslim Brotherhood, imperialistic Turkish military buildup in Iraq, Syria, Qatar and Somalia (the largest since the 1922 demise of the Ottoman Empire);

*The proliferation of Shiite (Iran-related) and Sunni (Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc.) terrorism and subversion;

*The Iranian military, terroristic and subversive entrenchment in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, the Al-Hasa oil region in Saudi Arabia, etc.

*The intensified regional, military profile of Erdogan’s anti-US Turkey, which pursues imperialistic aspirations, while charging the batteries of Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.

*The transformation of the “Arab Spring” illusion of democracy into the “Arab Tsunami” reality of despotic regimes, as evidenced by the intensification of intra-Arab/Muslim and inter-Arab/Muslim conflicts, which threaten every pro-US Arab regime.

*Israel’s systematic track record of democracy, unconditional alliance with the US, military and commercial effectiveness, game-changing technological innovation and second-to-none optimism, patriotism and attachment to roots.

The precarious state of the Middle East, and the top challenges facing pro-US Arab regimes – all of whom resoundingly opposed the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, in particular, and President Obama’s Middle East policy, in general – were articulated on June 18, 2019 by the Arab League Secretary General and former Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit: “The crisis with Iran and Turkey has aggravated to the point that holding a dialogue with them has become futile…. We see today the threats Iran and its wings are posing to Arab and global security as regards safety of global navigation and commercial routs…. Iran considers the Arab region an open ‘terra nullius’ [‘nobody’s land’ available for occupation] for its own expansion, and gives itself the right to interfere [via subversion and terrorism] in the crises of some Arab countries [e.g., Iraq, Syria, Yemen]…. Turkey seeks to promote its own ideologies and political Islam, giving itself the right to [invade/access] neighboring countries [Iraq, Syria, Qatar and Somalia] on the pretext of protecting its own national security, without any consideration to other countries’ sovereignty. Both Turkey and Iran see ongoing crises in the region as a chance for more expansion….”

According to the June 18, 2019 Saudi daily, A-Sharq al-Awsat, which reflects the worldview of the House of Saud, the US has approved Israel’s systematic bombings of Iranian military sites in Syria – in defiance of the Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile operated by Syria – considering the Israeli raids an effective tool to constrain the Ayatollahs’ regional expansion. Attesting to Israel’s rising geo-strategic role, Iran’s military presence in Syria will be featured during next week’s unprecedented meeting, in Jerusalem, between the national security advisors of the US, Russia and Israel.

Contrary to conventional Western wisdom, the growing concern about Iran’s Ayatollahs and other critical regional challenges, increasingly overshadow the Palestinian issue, as was evidenced in the February 2019 Warsaw-hosted 60 country summit on Iran with no Palestinian presence.  Furthermore, Israel’s relations with all pro-US Arab countries have improved substantially, irrespective of the paralysis on the Palestinian front.

According to the Atlantic Magazine, the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, “like many Arab leaders, has tired of the Palestinians,” while considering Israel a key member in the regional alliance against the “triangle of evil,” which consists of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Sunni terrorist organizations.

In the words of Jamal al-Suwaidi, the founder of the United Arab Emirates Center for Strategic Studies: “The Palestinian cause is no longer at the forefront of Arab interests…. It has sharply lost priority in light of the challenges, threats and problems that face countries of the region.”

In fact, the Arab attitude toward the Palestinians has been consistent since 1949 – when Jordan and Egypt occupied Judea & Samaria and Gaza and did not transfer the regions to the Palestinians; during 1982/83 – no Arab support when Israel devastated PLO terror headquarters in Lebanon, expelling the PLO leadership from Beirut; and 1991 – no Arab outcry when Kuwait expelled some 300,000 PLO-affiliated Palestinians in response to Palestinian collaboration with Saddam Hussein’s destruction of Kuwait; through 2008, 2012 and 2014 – no Arab support during Israel’s wars against Palestinian terrorism in Gaza.

According to The Guardian, intelligence, counter-terrorism, military and commercial cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain has been routine since the mid-1990s, switching to a higher gear in recent years – a reflection of intensified lethal threats, on the one hand, and Israel’s posture of deterrence and reliable capabilities, on the other hand.

Hence, Israel’s existence in the Middle East has extended the strategic hand of the US, bolstering the national and homeland security of US’ Arab allies in the Persian Gulf and throughout the Middle East, producing an effective headwind to Iran’s megalomaniacal aspirations, and enhancing the war on Islamic terrorism. This has spared the need to expand US military bases in the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean and the Middle East at-large, and the necessity to dispatch additional US military divisions and aircraft carriers to the region, which would cost the US taxpayer mega-billion dollars annually.

 

 

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SCHEDULE LECTURES & INTERVIEWS

Demography

2024 artificially inflated Palestinian demography

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
March 25, 2024

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

*500,000 Arabs, who have been away for over a year, are included in the 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 steadily due to births.

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

*A 413,000 net-emigration (since the 1997 first Palestinian census) is ignored by the Palestinian census, overlooking the annual net-emigration since 1950. A 23,445 net-emigration in 2022 and a 20,000 annual average in recent years have been documented by Israel’s Population and Migration Authority in all 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 2.9 births in 2022 (In Jordan – similar to Judea & Samaria), reflecting the sweeping urbanization, a growing female enrollment in higher education, rising marriage age and the rising use of contraceptives.

*The number of deaths is under-reported for political and financial reasons.

*The aforementioned artificial inflation of 1.7 million documents a population of 1.55 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria, not the official 3.25 million. In 2024: a 69% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel, benefitting from a tailwind of fertility and net-immigration, while Arab demography is westernized. In 1947 and 1897: a 39% and 9% Jewish minority.
No Arab demographic time bomb; but, a Jewish demographic momentum. More data in these articles and this short video.

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Iran

Can Israel afford NOT to defy State Department pressure?

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
July 2, 2024

The current pressure on Israel

*Since Israel’s establishment in 1948 – which was ferociously opposed by the State Department, and tenaciously realized by Israel’s defiant Founding Father, David Ben Gurion – The State Department has systematically pressured Israel to act against its own assessment of its own national security requirements.  In fact, in most cases, Israel’s compliance with State Department pressure undermined the US’ own interests, while a defiant Israel spared a major setback to the US’ own interests.

*Since the horrific Hamas terrorism of October 7, 2023, the State Department – which subscribes to a worldview, contending that terrorism is driven by despair, and therefore should be confronted diplomatically and financially, not militarily – has intensified the pressure on Israel to refrain from militarily preempting Hezbollah, the chief proxy of Iran’s Ayatollahs.

*In addition, the State Department has pressured Israel to switch from fighting – to negotiating with – Hamas, a proxy of Iran’s Ayatollahs and a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood, which is the largest Sunni terror organization in the world.  The pressure has been exerted, notwithstanding Hezbollah’s and Hamas’ commitment to fanatic, Islamic anti-US ideologies – which transcend financial and diplomatic benefits – mandating the toppling of all pro-US Arab regimes, bringing the “infidel” West, and especially “the great American Satan” to submission. Moreover, Hezbollah’s and Hamas’ ideologies are committed to the uprooting of the “infidel” Jewish state – which is deemed by them as the Middle East beachhead of the US – as evidenced in Hezbollah’s and Hamas’ school curriculum, mosque sermons and systematic regional and global terrorism, which extends to Latin America and the US homeland.

*The State Department pressures Israel into another round of negotiation with Iran-controlled Hezbollah and Hamas, despite the fact that all previous agreements were violated, intensifying terrorism, transforming these two terror entities into the most fortified above-ground and under-ground terror states in the world, and paving the road to the October 7 massacre and the current Iran-orchestrated Hamas and Hezbollah wars on Israel.

More examples of State Department ill-advised pressure on Israel:

*In 2006, Israel bowed to State Department pressure, allowing the participation of Hamas in the Palestinian Authority election, which catapulted Hamas to unprecedented political stature in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. 

*In 2006, Israel complied with State Department pressure (assisted by Israeli clones of Foggy Bottom), ending its war against Hezbollah through UN Security Council Resolution 1701, rather than through the obliteration of Hezbollah’s military infrastructure. It solidified Hezbollah’s dominance in Lebanon and bolstered its role as a regional and global epicenter of terrorism and drug trafficking in the service of Iran’s Ayatollahs, as demonstrated by Hezbollah’s expanded foothold on US soil, and growing terror collaboration with the drug cartels of Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil.

*In 2000, the State Department offered an $800 MN inducement (which was never realized) for Israel’s intent to evacuate South Lebanon, which elevated Hezbollah into a dominant stature in Lebanon, and ushered in a 150,000 missile strong Hezbollah terror machine, fortified by a most advanced underground tunnel network, which may exceed Hamas’ tunnel complex.

*Since the 1993 establishment of the PLO-controlled Palestinian Authority, the State Department has promoted annual foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority, while pressuring Israel to facilitate the establishment of a Palestinian state. This policy has been pursued irrespective of the core Palestinian ideology and its rogue daily conduct – which mandate the annihilation of Israel – as evidenced by the 1964 PLO charter, Palestinian hate education, mosque sermons, monthly allowances to families of terrorists and the Palestinian intra-Arab terrorism. Foggy Bottom ignores the potential impact of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan river: toppling the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the river, transforming Jordan into an epicenter of anti-US Islamic terrorism and destabilizing the pro-US Arabian Peninsula regimes – a setback to Western economy and national and homeland security.

*In 1981, the State Department pressured (and punished) Israel against bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactor.  Israel defied the pressure, which spared the US a potential nuclear confrontation in 1991, and snatched the pro-US Arab oil-producing regimes from the jaws of the anti-US Saddam Hussein.

*In 1973, the State Department pressured Israel, successfully, against preempting Egypt and Syria. Israel’s defiance of this pressure would have spared the region the costly war of October 1973.

*In 1967, the State Department pressured Israel against preempting Egypt and Syria.  Israel defied the pressure, devastated Egypt’s military force, which was involved in an attempt to topple all pro-US Arab oil-producing regimes, at a time when the US was heavily dependent upon Persian Gulf oil. Israel’s defiance spared the US a dramatic national security and economic blow.

Israel’s survival requires defiance of State Department pressure   

*Israeli compliance with State Department pressure would snatch Hamas from the jaws of obliteration and would be perceived – in the Middle East – as a dramatic victory for Islamic terrorism. It would escalate the lethal threat (from the Moslem Brotherhood and Iran’s Ayatollahs) to every pro-US Arab regime, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan, and to US homeland security (as recently stated by the FBI Director).

*Israeli capitulation to State Department pressure would devastate Israel’s posture of deterrence – in the volcanic Middle East, where one’s posture of deterrence is a prerequisite for one’s survival – which could induce an Iranian ballistic missile offensive against Israel and an Iran-supported terror offensive by Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestinian Authority and radical Israeli Arabs. 

*Israel’s succumbing to State Department pressure would reduce/eliminate the inducement of moderate-Arab regimes to expand normalization/peace with Israel, which was initiated by their high respect for Israel’s posture of deterrence, in the face of the mutual threats by Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood, and against the backdrop of the slackened US and Western posture of deterrence.  

*Refraining from the obliteration of Hamas’ military infrastructure and Hezbollah’s terrorist presence in South Lebanon would preclude the return of most Israeli evacuees (150,000 – equal to 5 million evacuees in the US) to their homes in the areas adjacent to Gaza and Lebanon.

*Both the US’ and Israel’s national security benefit from Israel’s defiance of State Department pressure, which highlights Israeli preference of long term national security over short term diplomatic convenience.

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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

Shavou’ot (Pentecost) guide for the perplexed, 2024

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
June 9, 2024

More on Jewish holidays: Smashwords, Amazon

1. Shavou’ot (June 11-12, 2024) and the Land of Israel

*Shavou’ot commemorates the receipt of the Torah (the Five Books of Moses). It is one of the three liberty-driven Jewish pilgrimages to Jerusalem:  Passover, Shavou’ot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (Tabernacles). It documents the critical linkage between Judaism, the Land of Israel and the Jewish people. These pilgrimages constitute central milestones in the formation of Jewish history and the 4,000-year-old Jewish roots in the Land of Israel.

*Shavou’ot is an historical, national, agricultural and a spiritual extension of Passover. Passover highlights the physical liberty from slavery in Egypt; Shavou’ot highlights spiritual liberty, embracing the values of the Five Books of Moses, the Ten Commandments and The Ethics of our Fathers (Pirkey Avot). Therefore, the eve of Shavou’ot is dedicated to an all-night study of Jewish values.

*Shavou’ot is also called the Holiday of the Harvest (Bikoorim in Hebrew), since it concludes the harvesting season, which starts during Passover.

*Shavou’ot commemorates the 40 years of the Exodus, which entailed tough challenges on the road to the Land of Israel, forging the state-of-mind of the Jewish people and the Jewish State. 

*Shavou’ot means “weeks” in Hebrew and its root is identical to the root of the Hebrew word for “vows” (שבע), which is the same word for “seven.” It documents the seven weeks between Passover (the Exodus) and Shavou’ot.

*Shavou’ot highlights the prerequisites for a secure Land of Israel: the willingness to sustain blood, sweat and tears; faith and principle-driven tenacity in the face of severe odds; the steeper the hurdle, the more critical is the mission; crises are opportunities in disguise.

2. Shavou’ot’s impact on the formation of the US

*The holiday of Shavou’ot commemorates the legacy of Moses, which had a significant impact on the Early Pilgrims and the Founding Fathers, and the formation of the US culture, civic life, the federal system (e.g., the Separation of Powers), the US Revolution, The Federalist Papers, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. 

  • *The Liberty Bell and the Abolitionist Movement were inspired by the Biblical concept of Jubilee – the role model of Biblical liberty – which is a cardinal component of the Mosaic legacy. The essence of the Jubilee is engraved on the Liberty Bell: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land and unto all the inhabitants thereof (Leviticus 25:10).”
  • *The Liberty Bell was installed in Philadelphia in 1752, 50years following William Penn’s Charter of Privileges, and eventually inspiring the 50 States in the union. According to the Biblical Jubilee, all slaves must be released, and land must be returned to the original proprietors every 50 years. Shavou’ot is celebrated 50 days following Passover, and Pentecost – a derivative of the Greek word for 50 – is celebrated 50 days following Easter.  According to Judaism, there are 50 gates of wisdom, studied during the 50 days between Passover and Shavou’ot.
  • 3. The Scroll of Ruth (Honor thy mother in-law…)
  • Shavou’ot spotlights the Scroll of Ruth, the first of the five Biblical scrolls, which are studied during five Jewish holidays: Ruth (Shavou’ot), Song of Songs (Passover), Ecclesiastes (Sukkot/Tabernacles), Book of Lamentations (the Ninth day of Av), Esther (Purim).
  • *Ruth was a Moabite Princess, who joined the Jewish people, and became the great grandmother of King David. She was a role model of loyalty to her Jewish mother in-law. Ruth is exemplary of humility, gratitude, responsibility, reliability, faith, optimism and respect of fellow human beings. Ruth stuck by her mother-in-law, Naomi, during Naomi’s roughest time, when she lost her husband, Elimelech (a President of the Tribe of Judah), two sons and property.
  • *The stature of Ruth reflects the centrality of Biblical women: the four Matriarchs: Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel; Yocheved, Miriam and Tziporah, the mother, older sister and the wife of Moses; Deborah the Prophetess, Judge and military leader; Hannah, the mother of Samuel the Prophet; Queen Esther and Yael, who delivered the Jewish people from potential oblivion; etc.  
  • The Scroll of Ruth took place in the Judean Desert (in Judea and Samaria), the cradle of Jewish history, religion, culture, language and ethnicity.

4. The Ethics of the Fathers  (Pirkey Avot in Hebrew)

It is customary to study – from Passover through Shavou’ot – the six brief chapters of The Ethics of the Fathers, one of the 63 tractates of the Mishnah (the Oral Torah) – a compilation of common-sense values, ethical and moral teachings, which underline key inter-personal relationships. For example:

“Who is respected? He who respects other persons!”
“Who is a wise person? He who learns from all other persons!”
“Who is wealthy? He who is satisfied with his own share!”
“Who is a hero? He who controls his urge!”
“Talk sparsely and walk plenty;”
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”
“Don’t be consumed with the flask, but with its content.”
“Conditional love is tenuous; unconditional love is eternal.”
“Treat every person politely.”
“Jealousy, lust and the obsession with fame warp one’s mind.”

5. Jubilee/Constitution. Shavou’ot has seven names: The holiday of the Jubilee; the holiday of the harvest; the holiday of the giving of the Torah; Shavou’ot; the holiday of offerings; the Rally and the Assembly (Constitution).

More on Shavou’ot and additional Jewish holidays: Smashwords, Amazon

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Golan

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

Islamic Terrorism

Can Israel afford NOT to defy State Department pressure?