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A new 8-minute-video: YouTube, Facebook

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Support Appreciated

 

 

 

 

Jordan’s domestic vulnerability

Jordan’s domestic upheaval involved some Arab countries, members of the royal Jordanian family and other prominent Bedouins, who were arrested and charged with an attempted regime change.

A regime-change in Jordan could transform the strategically-located country – between Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Israel – into another haven for Palestinian and Islamic terrorism. It would threaten the existence of the current regimes in Saudi Arabia, all other pro-US Gulf states and Egypt, advancing the interests of Iran’s Ayatollahs, Turkey’s Erdogan, the Muslim Brotherhood, China and Russia, while traumatizing regional stability and with dire Western and Israeli national security and economic consequences.

Jordan’s inherent political and ideological vulnerability has been fueled by intra-Bedouin fragmentation and conflicts, dating back to 1921, when the Hashemite Bedouin family was imported to Jordan – from Hejaz in western Saudi Arabia – by the British Empire, and imposed upon the indigenous Bedouins of (mostly southern) Jordan.  Furthermore, Jordan’s Bedouins are deeply divided, geographically, tribally, culturally, ideologically and religiously, with some of the southern tribes considering the Hashemites “carpetbaggers” from the Arabian Peninsula, Westernized and straying away from Islam and pan-Arabism by concluding a peace treaty with the “infidel” Jewish State.

Moreover, 70% of Jordan’s population are Palestinians, while Palestinian leaders (e.g., the PLO, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas) view Jordan as an artificial entity, the eastern (78%) part of Palestine. Hence, Palestinian active involvement in subversion and terrorism in Jordan and occasional attempts to topple the Hashemite regime, such as the civil war in September 1970 and the 1989 wave of terrorism.

Therefore, Palestinians have been involved in the Muslim Brotherhood’s political and terroristic subversion in Jordan, as they have been in the Brotherhood’s operations against the regimes of Egypt and the Gulf States.

In addition, ISIS veterans of Iraq and Syria civil wars have settled down in Jordan, and many Islamic terrorists are among the 2 million Iraqi and (mostly) Syrian refugees, who have been absorbed in northern Jordan.

This Jordanian upheaval sheds light on the following fourteen-century-old features of the Middle East:

*Family, clan and tribal loyalty supersede national loyalty;
*Political volatility, unpredictability and instability;
*Domestic and regional fragmentation;
*Transient (minority) despotic regimes susceptible to coups;
*Regimes ascend to – and lose – power through violence;
*Non-democratic regime-change;
*Kleptocracy;
*Violent intolerance (towards the “infidel” and fellow “believers”), internally and regionally, religiously, ethnically, ideologically and geographically;
*No intra-Arab peaceful-coexistence, domestically or regionally;
*No Western-style human rights and democracy (no freedom of religion, speech, press, association).

Middle East context

The current tremor in Jordan is one of the ripple effects of the Arab Tsunami, which has rampaged the Arab Street since 2010/2011. The Arab Tsunami has been fueled by centuries of internal and regional ethnic, religious and ideological violence, exacerbated by hate-education, political corruption, despotism and human rights violations.

In fact, the 2021 reality in two of the historically most powerful Arab countries – Syria and Iraq – documents the fragility of Arab regimes. The violent collapse of the political order in Syria and Iraq has set them on a chaotic course of disintegration, delivering a glaring warning to every Arab regime.

Arab leaders who were perceived to be Rock of Gibraltar-like rulers, were violently overthrown.  For example:

*Iraq’s King Faisal II was executed by the military in 1958, followed by the execution of General Qasim in 1963, and a military-Ba’athist regime, featuring Saddam Hussein, who officially assumed leadership in 1979 and was hung in 2006;

*Egypt’s King Farouk was toppled by Major General Naguib and Colonel Nasser in 1952, General Mubarak was deposed by the Muslim Brotherhood in 2012/13, which was then forced out by General Sisi in 2013;

*Libya’s King Idris was ousted by Colonel Qadhafi in 1969, who was lynched by an Islamic mob in 2011, and succeeded by a series of civil wars which still linger on;

*Iran’s Shah was violently removed by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1978/1979;

*Sudan’s military rulers were deposed by a coalition of military rebels, political activists and Islamists in 1964 and 1985, followed by a 1989 military coup by General Bashir. He was deposed by a joint military-civilian uprising in 2019, which led to a fragmented civilian leadership, supported by some military elements and opposed by Islamist organizations;

*Yemen has experienced a series of civil wars and violent regime changes since 1962;

*Tunisia’s President Bourguiba was removed, in 1987, in a bloodless coup by President Ben Ali, who fled the country during a 2011 coup, which yielded a Muslim Brotherhood government.

The scope of intra-Arab/Muslim violence is documented by the 11 million Muslims killed via wars and terrorism since 1948, of which 35,000, (0.3%) died during the Arab wars against Israel, or one out of every 315 fatalities.

Approximately 500,000 Syrians have been killed since the March 2011 eruption of the civil war, in addition to some 7 million refugees. Two million Sudanese were killed, and 4 million displaced, during the 1983-2011 genocidal civil war. 200,000 Algerians were killed during the 1991-2006 civil war. One million people were killed during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. 300,000 Iraqis were killed by Saddam Hussein, in addition to the 150,000 killed by Bin Laden’s carnage in Iraq. 200,000 Lebanese were killed in internal violence – inflamed by Palestinian terrorism – during the 1970s and 1980s.  80,000 Iranians were killed during the 1978/79 Islamic revolution and more are executed and decapitated routinely by Iran’s Ayatollahs.

The bottom line

According to Prof. Fouad Ajami, the late Director of Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins University, who was one of the leading Middle East scientists (The Arab Predicament): Middle East reality constitutes “a chronicle of illusions, despair and politics repeatedly degenerating into bloodletting.”

Thus, in the pursuit of peace, alliances and interests, well-meaning western policy-makers tend to sacrifice the perplexing Middle East reality upon the altar of convenience, oversimplification and wishful-thinking, which has fueled regional fires.

Connecting the dots of the boiling Arab Street exposes the systematic failure of well-intentioned peace negotiators, who mistake the Arab Tsunami for a liberty and democracy-driven Arab Spring. They believe that a signed agreement can override a 14-century-old shifty and devious political culture.  They ignore the fact that intra-Arab conflicts – not the Arab-Israeli conflict – have been “the Middle East conflicts,” and that the Palestinian issue has never been a core cause of regional turbulence, neither a crown-jewel of Arab policy making, nor the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Connecting dots in the Middle East reaffirms the non-Western security requirements for Israel, which must withstand the (Middle East) worst-case-scenario, not the (Western) best-case scenario. Hence, security requirements must respond to relatively-frequent and unpredictable occasions, when peace accords are abrogated. Moreover, security requirements must bolster Israel’s posture of deterrence in a region prone to transient regimes, policies and agreements.

Connecting the dots on the stormy Arab Street highlights Israel’s unique role as the only effective, reliable, unconditional, democratic and stable ally of the USA, whose military and technological capabilities have become a unique force-multiplier for the USA without the need to station additional GIs in the region, while producing for the US taxpayers an annual-rate-of-return of a few hundred percent on the US annual investment in Israel (erroneously defined as “foreign aid”).

Support Appreciated

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Israel’s and the US’ counter-terrorism

*Islamic and Palestinian terrorism consider Israel as a critical beachhead – and a proxy – of the US in the Middle East and a significant collaborator with the pro-US Arab regimes. They perceive the war on “the infidel Jewish State” as a preview of their more significant war on “the infidel West” and their attempts to topple all pro-US Sunni Arab regimes. Therefore, Islamic and Palestinian terrorism has been engaged in intra-Arab subversion, while systematically collaborating with enemies and rivals of the US and the West (e.g., Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Ayatollah Khomeini, Latin American, European, African and Asian terror organizations, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba). The more robust is Israel’s war on terrorism, the more deterred are the terrorists in their attempts to bring the “infidel” West to submission.

*Islamic and Palestinian terrorism has terrorized Jewish communities in the Land of Israel since the late 19th century, adhering to an annihilationist vision as detailed by the Fatah and PLO charters of 1959 and 1964 (eight and three years before 1967), as well as by the hate-education system, which was installed by Mahmoud Abbas in 1993 following the signing of the Oslo Accord.

*Israel battles Palestinian terrorism (Hamas and the Palestinian Authority) and Islamic terrorism (Iran and Hezbollah), which are not preoccupied with the size – but with the eradication – of the “infidel” Jewish State from “the abode of Islam.”

*Israel and the West fight against deeply-rooted and institutional Islamic and Palestinian terrorism, that is inspired by 1,400-year-old rogue values, which are perpetrated by K-12 hate-education, mosque incitement and official and public idolization of terrorists.

*Israel and the West combat terrorism, that has astutely employed 1,400-year-old Islamic values such the “Taqiya’ ” – which promotes double-speak and dissimulation, as a means to mislead and defeat enemies –  and the “Hudna’,” which misrepresents a temporary non-binding ceasefire with “infidels” as if it were a peace treaty.

*Israel and the West confront Islamic and Palestinian terrorism, which is politically, religiously and ideologically led by despotic and rogue regimes, rejecting Western values, such as peaceful-coexistence, democracy, human rights and good-faith negotiation.

*Israel and the West face off against Palestinian and Islamic terrorism, which does not allow lavish financial and diplomatic temptations to transcend intrinsic, fanatic, rogue and annihilationist vision. Moreover, terrorists bite the hands that feed them.

*Israel and the West are not assaulted by despair-driven terrorism, but by hope-driven terrorism – the hope to bring the “infidel” to submission. The aspiration of these terrorists contradicts peaceful-coexistence.

*Israel and the West clash with terrorists, who view gestures, concessions and hesitancy as weakness, which inflames terrorism.

*Israel and the West struggle against terrorism, which is not driven by a particular Israeli or US policy, but by a fanatic vision. Thus, Islamic terrorism afflicted the US during the Clinton and Obama Democratic Administrations, as well as during the Bush and Trump Republican Administrations.

*The US State Department has embraced a “moral equivalence” between Palestinian terrorists – who systematically and deliberately hit civilians, while sometimes hitting soldiers – and Israeli soldiers, who systematically and deliberately hit terrorists, while sometimes, unintentionally, hitting civilians. It emboldens terrorism, which threatens all pro-US Arab regimes, undermining regional stability, benefiting US’ rivals and enemies, while damaging the US.

War on terrorism

*The bolstering of posture of deterrence – rather than hesitancy, restraint, containment and gestures, which inflame terrorism – is a prerequisite for defeating terrorism and advancing the peace process.

*The most effective long-term war on terrorism – operationally, diplomatically, economically and morally – is not a surgical or comprehensive reaction, but a comprehensive and disproportional preemption, targeting the gamut of terroristic infrastructures and capabilities, draining the swamp of terrorism, rather than chasing the mosquitos.

*Containment produces a short-term, false sense of security, followed by a long-term security setback. It is the terrorists’ wet dream, which does not moderate terrorism, but adrenalizes its veins, providing time to bolster its capabilities – a tailwind to terror and a headwind to counter-terrorism. It shakes the confidence in the capability to crush terrorism. Defeating terrorism mandates obliteration of capabilities, not co-existence or containment.

*Containment aims to avoid a multi-front war (Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, Hezbollah and Iran), but it erodes Israel’s posture of deterrence, which brings Israel closer to a multi-front war under much worse conditions.

*Containment erodes Israel’s posture of deterrence in the eyes of the relatively-moderate Arab countries (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, the Sudan, Jordan and Egypt), which have dramatically enhanced cooperation with Israel due to Israel’s posture of deterrence against mutual threats, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs, the “Muslim Brotherhood” and ISIS terrorists).

*Containment is also a derivative of White House’s and the State Department’s pressure, subordinating national security to diplomatic priorities.  It undermines Israel’s posture of deterrence, which plays into the hand of anti-Israel and anti-US rogue regimes. Precedents prove that Israeli defiance of US pressure yields short-term tension, but long-term strategic respect, resulting in expanded strategic cooperation.  On a rainy day, the US prefers a defiant, rather than appeasing, strategic ally.

*The 2002 comprehensive counter-terrorism Israeli offensive, and the return of Israel’s Defense Forces to the headquarters of Palestinian terrorism in the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) – and not defensive containment and surgical operations – resurrected Israel’s effective war on Palestinian terrorism, which substantially curtailed terrorists’ capabilities to proliferate terrorism in Israel, Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula.

*The containment option intensifies terrorists’ daring, feeds vacillation and the self-destructive “don’t rock the boat” mentality.  It erodes steadfastness and confidence in the capabilities to withstand the cost of terrorism, and feeds the suicidal perpetual retreat mentality.

*The addiction to containment is one of the lethal by-products of the 1993 Oslo Accord, which has produced a uniquely effective hot house of terrorism, highlighted by the importation, arming and funding of some 100,000 Palestinian terrorists from Tunisia, the Sudan, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria to Gaza, Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, who have unprecedentedly radicalized the Arab population of pre-1967 Israel, established a K-12 hate education system, launched an unparalleled wave of terrorism, and systematically violated agreements.

The bottom line

*The 30 years since the Oslo Accord have featured unprecedented Palestinian hate-education and wave of terrorism. It has demonstrated that a retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria has boosted terrorism; that the Palestinian Authority is not committed to a peace process, but to the destruction of the Jewish State; and that terrorism requires a military, not political, solution.  A successful war on terrorism behooves a preemptive offense, not defense, containment and reaction; and that fighting in the terrorists’ own trenches is preferable to fighting in one’s own trenches.  No Israeli concessions could satisfy international pressure; and diplomatic popularity is inferior to strategic respect.  Avoiding a repeat of the critical post-Oslo errors requires a comprehensive, disproportional, decisive military campaign to uproot – not to coexist with – terroristic infrastructures.

*The historic and national security indispensability of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – which dominate the 8-15-mile sliver of pre-1967 Israel – and the necessity to frustrate Palestinian terrorism, behooves Israel to eliminate any sign of hesitancy and vacillation by expanding the Jewish presence in this most critical area.  It will intensify US and global pressure, but as documented by all Prime Ministers from Ben Gurion, through Eshkol, Golda Meir, Begin and Shamir, defiance of pressure results in the enhancement of strategic respect and cooperation.

*The Palestinian track record during the 30 years since the 1993 Oslo Accord has highlighted the violent, unpredictable and anti-US rogue nature of the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River, which would force the toppling of the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River. It would transform Jordan into an uncontrollable, chaotic state in the vein of Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, triggering a domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula (south of Jordan), which could topple the pro-US, oil-producing Arab regimes. This would reward Iran’s Ayatollahs, China and Russia, while severely undermining regional and global stability and US economic and national security interests.

Support Appreciated

 

 

 

 

 

A new 8-minute-video: YouTube, Facebook

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Support Appreciated

 

 

 

 

Jordan’s domestic vulnerability

Jordan’s domestic upheaval involved some Arab countries, members of the royal Jordanian family and other prominent Bedouins, who were arrested and charged with an attempted regime change.

A regime-change in Jordan could transform the strategically-located country – between Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Israel – into another haven for Palestinian and Islamic terrorism. It would threaten the existence of the current regimes in Saudi Arabia, all other pro-US Gulf states and Egypt, advancing the interests of Iran’s Ayatollahs, Turkey’s Erdogan, the Muslim Brotherhood, China and Russia, while traumatizing regional stability and with dire Western and Israeli national security and economic consequences.

Jordan’s inherent political and ideological vulnerability has been fueled by intra-Bedouin fragmentation and conflicts, dating back to 1921, when the Hashemite Bedouin family was imported to Jordan – from Hejaz in western Saudi Arabia – by the British Empire, and imposed upon the indigenous Bedouins of (mostly southern) Jordan.  Furthermore, Jordan’s Bedouins are deeply divided, geographically, tribally, culturally, ideologically and religiously, with some of the southern tribes considering the Hashemites “carpetbaggers” from the Arabian Peninsula, Westernized and straying away from Islam and pan-Arabism by concluding a peace treaty with the “infidel” Jewish State.

Moreover, 70% of Jordan’s population are Palestinians, while Palestinian leaders (e.g., the PLO, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas) view Jordan as an artificial entity, the eastern (78%) part of Palestine. Hence, Palestinian active involvement in subversion and terrorism in Jordan and occasional attempts to topple the Hashemite regime, such as the civil war in September 1970 and the 1989 wave of terrorism.

Therefore, Palestinians have been involved in the Muslim Brotherhood’s political and terroristic subversion in Jordan, as they have been in the Brotherhood’s operations against the regimes of Egypt and the Gulf States.

In addition, ISIS veterans of Iraq and Syria civil wars have settled down in Jordan, and many Islamic terrorists are among the 2 million Iraqi and (mostly) Syrian refugees, who have been absorbed in northern Jordan.

This Jordanian upheaval sheds light on the following fourteen-century-old features of the Middle East:

*Family, clan and tribal loyalty supersede national loyalty;
*Political volatility, unpredictability and instability;
*Domestic and regional fragmentation;
*Transient (minority) despotic regimes susceptible to coups;
*Regimes ascend to – and lose – power through violence;
*Non-democratic regime-change;
*Kleptocracy;
*Violent intolerance (towards the “infidel” and fellow “believers”), internally and regionally, religiously, ethnically, ideologically and geographically;
*No intra-Arab peaceful-coexistence, domestically or regionally;
*No Western-style human rights and democracy (no freedom of religion, speech, press, association).

Middle East context

The current tremor in Jordan is one of the ripple effects of the Arab Tsunami, which has rampaged the Arab Street since 2010/2011. The Arab Tsunami has been fueled by centuries of internal and regional ethnic, religious and ideological violence, exacerbated by hate-education, political corruption, despotism and human rights violations.

In fact, the 2021 reality in two of the historically most powerful Arab countries – Syria and Iraq – documents the fragility of Arab regimes. The violent collapse of the political order in Syria and Iraq has set them on a chaotic course of disintegration, delivering a glaring warning to every Arab regime.

Arab leaders who were perceived to be Rock of Gibraltar-like rulers, were violently overthrown.  For example:

*Iraq’s King Faisal II was executed by the military in 1958, followed by the execution of General Qasim in 1963, and a military-Ba’athist regime, featuring Saddam Hussein, who officially assumed leadership in 1979 and was hung in 2006;

*Egypt’s King Farouk was toppled by Major General Naguib and Colonel Nasser in 1952, General Mubarak was deposed by the Muslim Brotherhood in 2012/13, which was then forced out by General Sisi in 2013;

*Libya’s King Idris was ousted by Colonel Qadhafi in 1969, who was lynched by an Islamic mob in 2011, and succeeded by a series of civil wars which still linger on;

*Iran’s Shah was violently removed by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1978/1979;

*Sudan’s military rulers were deposed by a coalition of military rebels, political activists and Islamists in 1964 and 1985, followed by a 1989 military coup by General Bashir. He was deposed by a joint military-civilian uprising in 2019, which led to a fragmented civilian leadership, supported by some military elements and opposed by Islamist organizations;

*Yemen has experienced a series of civil wars and violent regime changes since 1962;

*Tunisia’s President Bourguiba was removed, in 1987, in a bloodless coup by President Ben Ali, who fled the country during a 2011 coup, which yielded a Muslim Brotherhood government.

The scope of intra-Arab/Muslim violence is documented by the 11 million Muslims killed via wars and terrorism since 1948, of which 35,000, (0.3%) died during the Arab wars against Israel, or one out of every 315 fatalities.

Approximately 500,000 Syrians have been killed since the March 2011 eruption of the civil war, in addition to some 7 million refugees. Two million Sudanese were killed, and 4 million displaced, during the 1983-2011 genocidal civil war. 200,000 Algerians were killed during the 1991-2006 civil war. One million people were killed during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. 300,000 Iraqis were killed by Saddam Hussein, in addition to the 150,000 killed by Bin Laden’s carnage in Iraq. 200,000 Lebanese were killed in internal violence – inflamed by Palestinian terrorism – during the 1970s and 1980s.  80,000 Iranians were killed during the 1978/79 Islamic revolution and more are executed and decapitated routinely by Iran’s Ayatollahs.

The bottom line

According to Prof. Fouad Ajami, the late Director of Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins University, who was one of the leading Middle East scientists (The Arab Predicament): Middle East reality constitutes “a chronicle of illusions, despair and politics repeatedly degenerating into bloodletting.”

Thus, in the pursuit of peace, alliances and interests, well-meaning western policy-makers tend to sacrifice the perplexing Middle East reality upon the altar of convenience, oversimplification and wishful-thinking, which has fueled regional fires.

Connecting the dots of the boiling Arab Street exposes the systematic failure of well-intentioned peace negotiators, who mistake the Arab Tsunami for a liberty and democracy-driven Arab Spring. They believe that a signed agreement can override a 14-century-old shifty and devious political culture.  They ignore the fact that intra-Arab conflicts – not the Arab-Israeli conflict – have been “the Middle East conflicts,” and that the Palestinian issue has never been a core cause of regional turbulence, neither a crown-jewel of Arab policy making, nor the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Connecting dots in the Middle East reaffirms the non-Western security requirements for Israel, which must withstand the (Middle East) worst-case-scenario, not the (Western) best-case scenario. Hence, security requirements must respond to relatively-frequent and unpredictable occasions, when peace accords are abrogated. Moreover, security requirements must bolster Israel’s posture of deterrence in a region prone to transient regimes, policies and agreements.

Connecting the dots on the stormy Arab Street highlights Israel’s unique role as the only effective, reliable, unconditional, democratic and stable ally of the USA, whose military and technological capabilities have become a unique force-multiplier for the USA without the need to station additional GIs in the region, while producing for the US taxpayers an annual-rate-of-return of a few hundred percent on the US annual investment in Israel (erroneously defined as “foreign aid”).

Support Appreciated

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Saudi position

A brief expose’ of the Saudi position on the Israel-UAE and Israel-Bahrain peace treaties is provided by Salman Al-Dossary, the former editor-in-chief of the influential Saudi daily, Asharq al-Awsat, which reflects the worldview of the Saudi royal family:

“The angry [Palestinian] reaction has confirmed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was right in its sovereign decision to search for its vision of peace in the Middle East…. The feverish [Palestinian] attack on the new Bahrain-Israel peace agreement confirms not just to Bahrain, but to the rest of the Gulf that the support for the [Palestinian] cause for long decades has resulted in nothing but [Palestinian] aggression, attack and ingratitude…. There is more than one door to peace, not necessarily through the Palestinian Authority….

“In 2011, when Bahrain [a generous supporter of the Palestinians] faced the most dangerous threat [attempted coup] in its modern history… Iran stood behind that coup attempt… while the leaders of Hamas and other Palestinian components continued to strengthen their relationship with Tehran…. Not a single Palestinian demonstration in support of Bahrain took place….

“The relations with Tel Aviv… are a necessity in light of the current circumstances and the search for peace and stability….”

Current circumstances in the Middle East

While political correctness has been preoccupied and infatuated with the Palestinian issue, the recent peace agreements have shed light on the following Middle East reality:

  1. The more lethal the threats of Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey’s Erdogan to every pro-US Arab regime, the more realistic is the Arab order of priorities, which increasingly focuses on threats, that transcend the Palestinian issue and disagreements with Israel.
  2. The more acute the threat, the more critical is Israel’s posture of deterrence for the survival of the pro-US Arab regimes in the Gulf (e.g., Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain) and beyond (e.g., Jordan and Egypt).
  3. The more extensive the US military withdrawal from Central Asia and the Middle East, the more pivotal is Israel’s role as a force-multiplier for the US and its Arab allies, sparing the need to deploy more US aircraft carriers and ground troops to the Middle East, Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean.
  4. The most paramount inducement for peace accords between Israel and pro-US Arab regimes has been the Arab perception of Israel as the most effective bulwark against clear and present lethal threats.
  5. The more oil-dependent the economy of the Arab oil-producing countries, the more urgent is the need to diversify that economy, and the more attractive Israel becomes as a catalyst of economy-diversification. The Arabs aim to leverage Israel’s innovative achievements in the areas of cybersecurity, robotics, artificial intelligence, autonomous cars, healthcare, bio-tech, medical-tech, irrigation, agriculture, etc.
  6. The pro-US Arab regimes wish to leverage Israel’s positive standing among most American constituents and legislators, in order to enhance their geo-strategic cooperation with the US.
  7. The closer the Ayatollahs’, the Muslim Brotherhood’s and (potentially) Erdogan’s machetes to the throats of the pro-US Arab regimes, the more conspicuous is the Arab order of priorities, underscoring the low-ranking of the Palestinian issue.
  8. The more aware the Arabs become of the benefits derived from peaceful-coexistence with Israel, and the more imminent the lethal threats posed by Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood, the more highlighted is the inherently destructive Palestinian track record. The latter consists of the Palestinian alliance with the rogue elements in the Middle East (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs, Saddam Hussein and the Muslim Brotherhood) and beyond (e.g., Nazi Germany, the USSR, North Korea, Latin American and European terror organizations). Thus, Arabs consider the Palestinians as the role model of intra-Arab terrorism, subversion, treachery and ingratitude.
  9. The conclusion of peace accords between Israel and Arab countries spot-lights the intrinsic gap between the warm Arab talk and the cold-to-negative Arab walk on the proposed Palestinian state. Arabs employ the traditional Middle Eastern norm: on words one doesn’t pay custom.
  10. Israel’s peace accords with the UAE and Bahrain – just like Israel’s peace accords with Egypt and Jordan – draw attention to the well-documented fact that the Palestinian issue has not been the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict, is not a core cause of Middle East turbulence, nor a crown-jewel of Arab policy-making.
  11. Israel’s peace accords with Arab countries have refuted the politically-correct assumption that, supposedly, the road to Israel-Arab peace goes through the Palestinian issue, which requires, ostensibly, Israeli land concessions.
  12. Israel’s peace accords with Egypt, Jordan, the UAE and Bahrain, and the overall Arab reaction to these accords, have proven that the road to Israel-Arab peace goes through a strong, deterring Israel.
  13. Israel’s posture of deterrence has been dramatically enhanced since 1967, with its control of the Golan Heights and the over-powering mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria. A retreat from these critical topographic, geographic and historic landmarks would transform Israel from a national security asset for the US, to a national security burden.
  14. A retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria would dramatically erode Israel’s posture of deterrence in the Middle East, which is characterized by violent unpredictability, instability and the tenuous nature of Arab regimes, policies and accords. Hence, it would threaten Israel’s own existence, and deprive the US and the pro-US Arab regimes of a uniquely stabilizing force in the face of the mutual threats of Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey’s Erdogan.

 

Israel’s regional posture of deterrence and global high tech prominence have motivated the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to conclude the August 13, 2020 peace accord with Israel. The same Israeli features have prompted the pro-US Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait, as well as Jordan and Egypt, to dramatically expand their security and commercial cooperation with Israel.

The UAE considers strategic cooperation with Israel, in general, and the peace accord, in particular, a critical added-value to its line of defense (second only to the US) against lethal threats such as Iran’s conventional and terror offensive, persistent Muslim Brotherhood terrorism, ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorism, Turkey’s operational and logistic support of the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey’s military base (5,000 soldiers) in the pro-Iran Qatar. The UAE, as well as all other pro-US Arab regimes, recognize Israel as the most effective and reliable “life insurance agent” in the region.

These rogue elements have become regional and global epicenters of Islamic terrorism and drug trafficking in Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North and Central Africa, South and Central America, with sleeper cells in the US.

Israel’s posture of deterrence and growing cooperation with all pro-US Arab regimes has spared the US the need to deploy more aircraft carriers and ground forces in the Middle East and neighboring regions.

The UAE has become a leader in the Arab battle against global Islamic terrorism (following years of UAE financing Islamic terrorism), targeting 82 Islamic terror organizations, which operate in Germany, Norway, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, the Persian Gulf, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, etc.

The UAE values Israel as a unique source of counter-terrorism intelligence, planning, training and supply of advanced counter-terrorism systems.

The UAE is the second largest economy in the Middle East, with the 7th largest proven oil reserves in the world, and very successful in transitioning its economy from an oil-based (mostly Abu-Dhabi) to a diversified economy (mostly Dubai). Therefore, the UAE regards Israel’s achievements in commercial high tech, agriculture, irrigation, medicine and health as a useful platform to bolster the diversification of the economies of its seven federated Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al Quwain.

Since the UAE and Israel share significant geo-strategic challenges and threats, the UAE is anxious to leverage Israel’s positive standing among the US population, in general, and among US Senators and House Representatives, in particular.

The official UAE announcement of the peace accord highlights the wide gap between Arab talk and Arab walk. Thus, the intangible UAE talk stipulated that the normalization of ties with Israel aims at halting the application of Israel’s law to the Jordan Valley and parts of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). However, the tangible UAE walk involves a substantial enhancement of security and commercial cooperation with Israel, notwithstanding the rough Palestinian protestation.

The UAE decision to establish official peace with Israel, while there is no progress on the Israel-Palestinian front, documents the Arab walk on the Palestinian issue, which is considered very low – and even negative – in their order of priorities.

The secondary/marginal role of the Palestinian issue on the intra-Arab agenda – irrespective of the pro-Palestinian Arab talk – was also evidenced by the 1979 Israel-Egypt and 1994 Israel-Jordan peace accords.  It was also evident by the enhancement of Israel’s geo-strategic ties with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait, in defiance of Palestinian objections and threats.

Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Israel should not suspend/expunge the decision to apply its law to the Jordan Valley and the over-powering mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria as a gesture to the UAE.  The UAE decision was not driven by philo-Israel sentiments, but by UAE national security priorities, which does not require an Israeli gesture, that devastates Israel’s own regional posture of deterrence and national security.

Moreover, the aim of the UAE-Israel peace treaty is to deter rogue regimes, minimize regional instability and enhance the national security of the UAE and all other pro-US Arab regimes.

Thus, Israel’s control of the Jordan Valley and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria constitutes a prerequisite for its effective posture of deterrence, which has played a critical role in deterring anti-US rogue elements throughout the Middle East, from Iran to the Mediterranean and North Africa.  Furthermore, it has reduced lethal threats to the pro-US Hashemite regime in Jordan and to the pro-US regimes in the Arabian Peninsula south of Jordan.

The UAE walk – not the UAE talk – suggests that the US and Israel should not base their national security policy on the philo-Palestinian Arab talk, which misrepresents Middle East reality.  Responsible policy should be based on the Arab walk, which reflects the secondary/marginal role of the Palestinian issue in the reality of the Middle East.

Moreover, responsible policy requires tenacity and decisiveness – not hesitancy and indecision- when it comes to the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, the cradle of Jewish history, culture, religion and language.

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Israel’s pre-1967 waistline was shorter than the length of DFW Airport in Texas and the distance between RFK Stadium and Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; equal to the distance between JFK and La Guardia airports and between Columbia University and Wall Street in New York City.

National security requirements in the Middle East

National security requirements are a by-product of the geo-strategic environment.  The more predictable and peaceful the environment, the lower the security requirements. The more unpredictable and non-peaceful the environment, the higher the security requirements.

Thus, Israel’s national security requirements are determined, mostly, by the 1,400-year-old tectonic Middle East reality: unpredictability, instability, highly-implosive, violent intra-Arab intolerance, no intra-Arab peaceful coexistence, systematic intra-Arab terrorism and subversion, Islam-dominated societies and minority despotic regimes, which are as tenuous as are their policies and agreements.

Realistic Middle East national security requirements must be capable of overcoming worst case scenarios of surprise offensives, not good-case-scenarios, which are rare in the Middle East.

The transition from Middle East peace to war could be as precipitous as Middle East politics (e.g., the toppling Mubarak by the Muslim Brotherhood, which was toppled by A-Sisi) and intra-Arab relations (e.g., Jordan’s support of Saddam Hussein and availing its territory for anti-Israel Palestinian terrorism).

Today’s peaceful neighbor – such as Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia – could be erratically toppled, replaced by a rogue regime with no adherence to prior agreements. Any alternative to Jordan’s Hashemite regime would radicalize the entire region. Peace accords can rarely be more durable than the regimes which negotiate them.

Israel’s 300-mile-long border with Jordan – which is as vulnerable to implosion as are all Arab countries – is the closest border to Israel’s soft belly, demographically, economically, scientifically and technologically.

Israel’s giveaway of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and the Jordan Valley would return the country back to its defenseless 7-15 mile waistline between the Mediterranean and the 2,000ft-high western mountain ridges of Samaria and Judea. The latter constitutes the “Golan Heights” towering over Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport, 80% of Israel’s population, and most of the critical national infrastructure.

Therefore, the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley are essential for Israel’s existence. They constitute the most effective tank barrier (3,000 ft above the Jordan Valley), which provides the time (50 hours) to deploy Israel’s reservists (75% of Israel Defense Forces), in response to a surprise Arab offensive.

Israel’s control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights made it possible to fend off the surprise Egypt-Syria-Jordan offensive of 1973 and avoid annihilation.

The centrality of ground forces and ground barriers

According to the US Army Institute of Land Warfare’s Enduring Relevance of Land Power: “Land forces [are] the cornerstone of deterrence…. Precision air strikes [are] critical, but they neither annihilate opposition nor finish the enemy…. The air war creates the conditions for negotiations, but it is the ground forces that create the stability…. In 1995 Bosnia, the airpower threat did not deter Serbia.… In 1991, five weeks of strike operations did not achieve decision.  The four-day ground war led to Iraqi surrender….”

General (ret.) Al Gray, former Commandant, US Marine Corps: “….Missiles fly over any terrain feature, but they don’t negate the strategic significance of territorial depth. The key threat to Israel will remain the invasion and occupation by armored forces.  Military success requires more than a few hundred missiles.  To defeat Israel would require the Arabs to deploy armor, infantry and artillery into Israel and destroy the IDF on the ground.  That was true in 1948, 1967 and 1973, and it remains true in the era of modern missiles….”

The central role of ground forces was demonstrated during the India-Pakistan, Iran-Iraq, NATO-Libya, NATO-Serbia, Ethiopia-Eritrea, Egypt-Yemen, Morocco-Mauritania, US-Afghanistan and US-Iraq wars.  The limits to sophisticated missiles and air bombing have been reaffirmed in Israel’s wars against terror organizations in Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Gaza (Hamas).

The centrality of ground forces suggests the centrality of ground barriers, geographically and topographically.  Hence, the US military bases and installations in dozens of countries, along with 170,000 US military personnel.

The more advanced the Arab military, the faster a surprise attack and the more essential are Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley. Moreover, the high tech military of today may become the low tech tomorrow, but the high ground of today will always remain the high ground.

US experts on Israel’s national security requirements

Admiral (ret.) Bud Nance, former Chief-of-Staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “If Israel were to move out of the Golan Heights, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, it would increase instability and the possibility of war, increase the necessity to preempt in war, and the possibility that nuclear weapons would be used to prevent an Israeli loss, and increase the possibility that the US would have to become involved in a war…. The entire state of Israel – including the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights – is smaller than the gunnery range at Nellis Air Force Base….A modern tank can traverse [Israel’s waistline] in about 15 minutes….”

Donald Rumsfeld while serving as Defense Secretary: “If you have a country that’s a sliver and you can see three sides of it from a high hotel building [in Tel Aviv], you’ve got to be careful what you give away and to whom you give it…. There is no question but that the Palestinian Authority have been involved with terrorists activities, so that makes it a difficult interlocutor. My feeling about the so-called occupied territories is that there was a war, Israel urged neighboring countries not to get involved in it once it started, but they all jumped in, and they lost a lot of real estate, because Israel prevailed….”

Lt. General (ret.) Tom Kelly, Chief of Operations in the 1991 Gulf War: “I cannot defend this land [Israel] without that terrain [West Bank]…. The West Bank mountains, and especially their five approaches, are the critical terrain.  If an enemy secures those passes, Jerusalem and Israel become uncovered.  Without the West Bank, Israel is only 8-mile-wide at its narrowest point.  That makes it indefensible…. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 7, 1991).

100 retired Generals and Admirals (October 1988, Washington Times): “….Israel should not withdraw from the West Bank lest it fail to provide security to its people. It is impossible to demilitarize the West Bank effectively….”

Former President G.W. Bush: “….For a Texan, a first visit to Israel is an eye-opener.  At the narrowest point, it’s only 8 miles from the Mediterranean to the old Armistice line; that’s less than from the top to the bottom of Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport. The whole of pre-1967 Israel is only about six times the size of the King Ranch….”

Israel’s defensible borders

The Jordan Valley and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria have bolstered Israel’s posture of deterrence, transforming Israel’s borders from war-enticing (until 1967) to war-restraining.

It has also enhanced Israel’s stature as a force-multiplier for the US and the pro-US Arab countries.

Israel’s retreat from the Jordan Valley and the high ground of Judea and Samaria would pose a severe risk to Israel’s survival, adding fuel to the Middle East fire and undermining regional stability and US interests.

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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 1993, 1995 and 2005, Israel retreated from 40% of the Judea and Samaria mountain ridges (West Bank) and the entire Gaza Strip. It transformed these regions into platforms of unprecedented Palestinian terrorism and missile launches, supported by Iran, Turkey and North Korea. Moreover, it has intensified lethal threats to all pro-US Arab regimes, bolstering their security ties with Israel, which they perceived to be the most credible “life insurance agent” in the region. As expected, gestures to rogue regimes and terrorists fuel further violence.

According to Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, former Israeli Ambassador to the US and Chief Negotiator with Syria (The Brink of Peace, 1999, pp. 164-167): “In November 1994, the peace process had seemed to be in full swing…. [But], an organized campaign began in the US against the idea of stationing US troops on the Golan Heights as ‘peace keepers’, in the event of an Israel-Syria [peace] agreement. The campaign was orchestrated by right-wing organizations and individuals in the Jewish community, with occasional participation of visitors from Israel… [such as] the former Minister for Congressional Affairs in our Washington Embassy, Yoram Ettinger…. The organizers conveyed the message that sending US troops as peacekeepers to the Golan was bad for the US [and that the Syrian armored mechanized divisions stationed between the Golan Heights and Damascus would be deployed to the border with Jordan, aiming to topple the pro-US Hashemite regime]…. The US could lose the lives of its soldiers and become entangled in a dangerous foreign arena…. That would no doubt lead to a rise in anti-Semitism in the US…. Senator Jesse Helms, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations [a friend of Bobby Jacobs] was openly critical of the Assad regime…. The Chairman of the House Committee on International Relations, Benjamin Gilman, was under pressure from voters in his own constituency…. This Congressional opposition had at least some negative impact on Assad’s motivation to move forward in his peacemaking with Israel….”

Since 1967, Israel’s control of the strategically-commanding Golan Heights – over-towering northern Israel – has constrained and monitored the Russian, Iranian, North Korean, ISIS and Turkish strategic profile in Syria.  Furthermore, the Israeli posture of deterrence has bolstered the national security of Jordan’s Hashemite regime and all other pro-US Arab regimes (hence the unprecedented cooperation between Israel and these regimes). For instance, the September 1970 pro-Soviet Syrian invasion of the pro-US Jordan was rolled back, primarily, due to Israel’s deployment of troops to the Golan Heights, 37 miles from Damascus. The Syrian invasion aimed at toppling the Hashemite regime and producing a pro-Soviet domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula, at a time when the US was heavily dependent upon Persian Gulf oil.  Thus, Israel’s control of the Golan Heights spared the US the need to deploy its own troops, in order to save its Jordanian ally, while preventing a potential super-power confrontation, and denying the USSR a geo-strategic bonanza.

The significance of Israel’s control of the Golan Heights for the national security of the US has been intensified due to the following phenomena:

*The raging civil war in Syria which erupted in 2011;
*The escalation of Iran’s involvement in Syria and Lebanon, aspiring to extend its dominance to the Mediterranean and Europe;
*The entrenchment of ISIS cells in Syria, irrespective of their recent setbacks;
*The growing involvement in Syria by Turkey’s Erdogan, who aims to resurrect the Ottoman Empire;
*The inherent Russia-Syria alliance, with Russia expanding its presence in the Mediterranean and throughout the Middle East.
*Since the 1960s, North Korea has been a leading ally of Syria, engaged in illicit military and technology cooperation, including ballistic missiles and chemical warfare. Pyongyang facilitated the construction of a Syrian nuclear reactor that was destroyed, by Israel, in 2007.

In November 2019, the explosive potential of Syria transcends the boundaries of the Middle East, triggering ripple effects throughout the globe. Since 2010, it has been exacerbated by the Arab Tsunami, which has further destabilized the inherently unpredictable and violent Syria and the Middle East. Thus, the pro-Russia, pro-Iran, pro-North Korea and anti-US Damascus – which provided safe haven to Nazi war criminals – has become a global epicenter of proliferation of anti-US global terrorism and drug trafficking.

The endemically turbulent reality of Syria, in particular, and the Middle East, in general, highlight the self-destructive nature of the attempts to get Israel off the Golan Heights, the potential damage to US interests, and the prospective setback to the survival of the pro-US Arab regimes.

An agreement concluded with Damascus can be no less tenuous than the policies of the transient, rogue regime which signs them (would you buy a used car from Assad?!).

The politically-correct assumptions that “a state of peace was the best security arrangement…. the end of occupation would eliminate the motivation to wage wars, and Syria’s record of keeping its commitments was excellent…. (ibid. page 169)” clash with reality, ignoring the rogue and non-compliant nature of Syria as demonstrated by its systematic violation of agreements, domestically and regionally.

For example, since 1953, Syria has violated all water supply agreements with Jordan (from the Yarmouk River).  Notwithstanding the official state of peace with Jordan, Syria invaded Jordan in 1970, threatened to invade again in 1980 and 1989, and periodically supports anti-Hashemite subversion and terrorism.

For 30 years (1976-2006), Syria has violated a series of international and intra-Arab commitments to evacuate Lebanon, until it was forced to withdraw by domestic and international factors.

In 1973, Syria violated the 1967 armistice agreement with Israel, as well as the 1974 Disengagement Agreement with Israel, terrorizing Israel through Palestinian and Shiite terrorists in Jordan and Lebanon.

Israel’s control of the Golan Heights, just like its control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, has bolstered Israel’s posture of deterrence, extending the strategic hand of the US, with no need for additional US soldiers.  Israel’s retreat from the Golan Heights would erode its posture of deterrence, relegating the Jewish State from a national security producer/asset to a national security consumer/liability, to the detriment of the US.

 

 

The US position on the future of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) should be based on US interests in the context of a violent, volcanic, uncontrollable and unpredictable Middle East, where agreements are as tenuous as are the regimes which conclude them.

On September 18, 1970, the pro-USSR Syrian military invaded Jordan in an attempt to topple the pro-US Hashemite regime, which would destabilize the regional balance. The invasion was rolled back on September 23, largely, due to Israel’s deployment of its military, and Israel’s deterring posture on the Golan Heights and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria. Thus, Israel’s posture of deterrence spared the US the need to deploy its own troops (while it was bogged down in the Vietnam quagmire), in order to secure its Jordanian ally, and prevent a devastating ripple effect into Saudi Arabia and all other pro-US Arab Gulf States (at a time when the US was heavily dependent upon Persian Gulf oil).

Israel’s control of the mountains of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley – as well as the Golan Heights – dramatically catapulted its regional position from violence-inducing weakness to violence-deterring strength, reducing regional violence and threats to all pro-US Arab regimes.

Israel’s control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – the cradle of Jewish history – has transformed the Jewish State from a supplicant and national security consumer to a strategic ally of the US and national security producer.  In the words of the late General Alexander Haig (former Supreme Commander of NATO and US Secretary of State), Israel has become the largest US aircraft carrier with no US boots on board, yielding the US a few hundred percent rate of return on its annual investment in Israel.

Israel’s control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (3,000 ft. above the Jordan Valley and 2,000 ft. above the coastal plain) has considerably bolstered the national security of the pro-US and highly vulnerable Hashemite regime in Jordan. It has transformed Israel into Jordan’s most security-generating neighbor. Israel systematically combats anti-Israel and anti-Hashemite Palestinian terrorists west of the Jordan River, sharing with Jordan vital intelligence on Palestinian and Islamic terrorists in Jordan, and deterring potential assaults on Jordan by rogue organizations and regimes in the north (Syria) and east (Iraq/Iran).  Moreover, Saudi Arabia and all other pro-US Arab Gulf States have unprecedentedly expanded their military, intelligence, counter-terrorism and commercial cooperation with Israel, realizing the added-value of Israel’s deterrence in face of the real and clear lethal threats posed by Iran’s Ayatollahs, Islamic Sunni terrorism (e.g., the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS) and Turkey’s Erdogan.

On the other hand, an Israeli retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, would transform Jordan’s western border (the proposed Palestinian state) into a deadly threat to the Hashemite regime.  It would be the straw that would break the back of the Hashemite regime, transforming pro-US Jordan into a Libya/Yemen/Iraq/Syria-like platform of anti-US Islamic terrorism, according Iran’s Ayatollahs an opportunity to extend their reach toward the Mediterranean.

The toppling of the Hashemite regime – and its substitution by a Palestinian, “Muslim Brotherhood” or any other rogue regime – would intensify Islamic terrorism in Iraq and Syria, and would generate tailwind to the systematic attempts to topple the pro-US Arab regimes in Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni Arab oil states, as well as Egypt, with their dramatically adverse impact on the state of Western national security and economy (e.g., disruption of the supply – and a surge in the price – of oil).

Thus, in October 1994, during the Israel-Jordan peace treaty ceremony, top Jordanian military officers shared a crucial message with their Israeli counterparts: “In view of the subversive, terroristic and treacherous Palestinian track record in their relations with Arab states, a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the Hashemite regime east of the River, boding disaster for Saudi Arabia and all other Arab states south of Jordan and possibly Egypt.” This assessment was a derivative of Jordan’s inherently fragile domestic scene, exacerbated by intensifying external Islamic/Arab threats:

*70% of Jordan’s population are Palestinians.  Most Palestinian leaders (e.g., the PLO, Palestinian Authority and Hamas) consider Jordan an artificial entity, claiming title to the whole of British Mandate Palestine, from the Mediterranean to the Iraqi border, of which Jordan is 78%.  Hence, the ongoing battle of the Jordanian secret service against Palestinian terrorism and subversion.

*A well-entrenched presence of the Muslim Brotherhood (the largest Islamic Sunni terrorist organization with “human rights” subsidiaries such as CAIR) aims to replace the Hashemite regime, violently, with a Muslim Caliphate.

*Some ISIS veterans of the Syria and Iraq civil wars consider Jordan their home.

*Jordan’s Bedouins (who control the military and homeland security establishments) are deeply fragmented, geographically, tribally and ideologically. Southern (indigenous) Bedouin tribes have displayed tenuous loyalty to the throne, considering the Hashemites “carpetbaggers” from the Arabian Peninsula.

Based on the Palestinian intra-Arab and global rogue track record and the Palestinian Authority hate-education, Israel’s retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria would yield another anti-US rogue regime. It would further destabilize the inherently violent, intolerant, unpredictable, unstable and despotic Middle East, providing Russia and possibly Iran naval, air and land rights, and accelerating the flight of Christians from the Bethlehem area.

Ignoring the volcanic Middle East reality, the unique benefits derived from Israel’s control of the Judea and Samaria mountain ridges, and the significant damage which would be caused by the proposed Palestinian state, would resemble a person cutting off his/her nose to spite his/her face.

Israel’s control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria highlights the synergy between the national security of the US and Israel, emphasizing Israel’s military and commercial contribution as the most effective US force-multiplier in the Middle East and beyond.

 

 

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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

FBI Director Chris Wray defies the State Department on Iran

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel initiative”
June 17, 2024

FBI Director Chris Wray’s position on Islamic terrorism/Iran

FBI Director, Chris Wray reiterated – during his June 4, 2024 Senate testimony and April 11, 2024 House testimony – his warning of an October 7-like terrorism on the US soil:

“We have seen the threat from foreign terrorists rise to a whole another level after the October 7 [Hamas terrorism]….Increasingly concerning is the potential for a coordinated attack here in the [US] homeland, akin to the ISIS attack we saw at the Russia Concert Hall in March, 2024 [137 murdered, 180 wounded]…. Nations such as the PRC, Russia and Iran are becoming more aggressive and more capable than ever before.  These nations seek to undermine our core democratic, economic and scientific institutions….

“We are in an environment where the threats from international terrorism, domestic terrorism and state sponsored terrorism are all simultaneously elevated…. We are paying heightened attention to how the events abroad could directly affect and inspire people to commit violence here in the homeland….

“Our top concern stems from lone offenders inspired by the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, as they pose the most likely threat to Americans.  In recent years, there have been several events in the US that were purportedly motivated, at least in part, by the Israel-Hamas conflict….

Iran and its global proxies and partners, including Iraqi Shia militant groups, attack and plot against the US and our allies throughout the Middle East.  Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force has also provided support to terrorist organizations. And, Iran has supported Lebanese Hezbollah and other terrorist groups. Hezbollah has sent operatives to build terrorist infrastructure worldwide [including in Latin America all the way to the US-Mexico border]. The arrests of individuals in the US allegedly linked to Hezbollah’s main overseas terrorist arm, and their intelligence-collection and procurement efforts, demonstrate Hezbollah’s interest in long-term contingency planning activities here in the homeland….

“We continue to see the drug cartels [which intensely collaborate with Iran’s Ayatollahs and Hezbollah, that supply them predator unmanned aerial vehicles and tunnel construction equipment] push fentanyl and other dangerous drugs into every corner of the country, claiming countless American lives….

“Since October 7, we have seen a rogue gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies…. Our most immediate concern has been that [terrorists] will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home….”

The FBI Director Wray’s April 11 and June 4 testimonies followed his alarming testimonies on October 31, 2023 and on November 15, 2023, in the Senate and House Homeland Security Committees.

FBI Director Wray vs. Secretary of State Blinken

*FBI Director Chris Wray recognizes that the October 7, 2023 Hamas terrorism is relevant to the US homeland security, and that Israel’s war on Hamas supports the US’ war on Islamic terrorism. Unlike Director Wray, Secretary of State Blinken has assumed the role of an “honest broker,” ignoring the US-allied role of Israel and the US-enemy role of Hamas, a proxy of Iran’s Ayatollahs and a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood, the largest anti-US Sunni terrorist organization.

*FBI Director Wray considers Iran’s Ayatollahs and their Islamic terror proxies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, as a clear and present threat to the US homeland security. He is aware of their intensified collaboration with the drug cartels in Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil, as well as with Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and all other anti-US governments in Latin America, the US’ soft underbelly. In contrast, Secretary of State Blinken – true to his multilateralist UN-oriented worldview – has approached Iran’s Ayatollahs as a diplomatic challenge, opposing the options of regime change, and refraining from establishing a potent military threat hovering above the head of the Ayatollahs.

*FBI Director Wray realizes that Iran’s Ayatollahs are the chief epicenter of Hamas, Hezbollah and other components of the global anti-US Islamic terrorism, in addition to the Ayatollahs’ role as the main anti-US drug trafficker, money launderer and proliferator of advanced military systems. However, irrespective of the Ayatollahs’ rogue anti-US track record, Secretary Blinken refrains from defining Iran as a terrorist-state, viewing the Ayatollahs as partners in good-faith negotiations.

*FBI Director Chris Wray is aware that Iran’s Ayatollahs, and other anti-US Islamic terrorists, are driven by a 1,400-year-old fanatical and imperialistic ideology, which aims to bring the “infidel US” to submission. He is convinced that Islamic terrorism should be addressed by national security means, and not via gestures and concessions, which are perceived by terrorists as terror-inducing weakness. On the other hand, Secretary Blinken believes that Islamic terrorism is despair-driven, and therefore, should be addressed via substantial diplomatic and financial gestures, notwithstanding the fact that terrorists bite the hands that feed them (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs terrorize the US, which facilitated their rise to power; the Mujahideen’s terrorize the US, which helped them expel the Soviet military from Afghanistan; Libyan Islamic terrorists lynched US diplomats, notwithstanding the US-led NATO military offensive, which helped them topple Gadhafi; etc.).   

*Will the mounting threat of anti-US Islamic terrorism, and the volcanic Middle East reality, cause Secretary Blinken to reassess his position on Iran’s Ayatollahs, Hamas and other forms of Islamic terrorism, by avoiding rather than continuing to repeat critical mistakes, which have undermined the national security and homeland security of the US?

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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

FBI Director Chris Wray defies the State Department on Iran