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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

“Israel Hayom”

While US recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights bolsters the national security of the Jewish State, it also yields major strategic benefits for the US.

Thus, President Trump’s endorsement of Israeli sovereignty over the strategically commanding Golan Heights – which may be reinforced by a Congressional resolution – highlights the synergy between the national security of the US and Israel.  It underlines the mutually-beneficial, two-way-street strategic coordination and cooperation between the US and Israel.

This endorsement enhances the posture of deterrence of Israel – a systematic, unwavering, effective beachhead of the US in the Middle East – and therefore extends the strategic hand of the US, without the need to deploy additional US forces to the region.

In fact, Israel’s upgraded strategic profile has been a most effective US force-multiplier in the Middle East.

For example, in 1970, pro-Soviet Syria invaded pro-US Jordan, aiming to topple the Hashemite regime and trigger an anti-US ripple effect into the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf.  It could have toppled the pro-US oil-producing regimes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrein and Oman, granting the USSR a global bonanza, and dealing a major blow to the economy and national security of the US (when the US was heavily dependent upon Persian Gulf oil), during the Vietnam quagmire, which precluded a dispatch of US troops to Jordan.

President Nixon called Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, who reinforced Israel’s military presence on the Golan Heights – the joint frontier between Israel, Syria and Jordan – delivering a clear warning to Damascus, which is located 37 miles from the Golan Heights. Israel’s posture of deterrence triggered a swift rollback of the Syrian invasion (within 48 hours), with no exchange of fire between the two military forces.

Thus, in 1970, Israel’s control of the Golan Heights – with no need for US military involvement – minimized regional violence and instability, secured the survival of key pro-US Arab regimes, prevented a major anti-US domino-effect in the Middle East with its drastic financial and military consequences, and spared the globe a potential super-powers confrontation.

In 2019, the control of the Golan Heights enables Israel to play a key role in constraining Iran’s expansion into Syria and Lebanon, restraining the flow of lava emitted by the potential Syrian volcano, securing Jordan’s Hashemite regime and removing the anti-US machetes from the throats of every pro-US regime.

In 2019, the potential contribution by Israel’s control of the Golan Heights to vital US interests, is bolstered against the backdrop of the following Middle East reality: Iran’s entrenchment in Syria and the megalomaniacal Ayatollahs, who consider the US their major hurdle on the way to regional and global domination; the 14-centuries-old Middle East unpredictability, intolerance and violence; the Arab Tsunami (erroneously branded as “Arab Spring”) which erupted in 2010 and is still raging; the historical role played by Damascus in fomenting intra-Arab and intra-Muslim confrontations, narcoterrorism (facilitating supply of heroine to the US’ inner cities) and anti-US international terrorism (e.g., PanAm-103, the US Embassy and US Marine headquarters in Beirut); the operation of a multitude of Islamic terrorist organizations in Syria; and the systematic alignment of Syria with enemies and adversaries of the US (e.g., the USSR, Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela).

In 2019, the Israeli “life insurance agent” is increasingly more critical for the survival of Jordan’s pro-US Hashemite regime, which is more vulnerable than it was in 1970. Israel’s posture of deterrence has been enhanced in value in view of the Iranian Ayatollahs’ entrenchment in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon; the potentially explosive 1.5 million Syrian refugees in northern Syria; the Palestinian majority in Jordan and its subversive track record; the high domestic profile of the subversive, terroristic Muslim Brotherhood; and the intensifying fragmentation among Jordan’s Bedouin tribes, some of which consider the Hashemite family “carpetbaggers” from the Arabian Peninsula.

Israel’s retreat from the Golan Heights would have severely eroded Israel’s posture of deterrence, transforming the Jewish State from a national security producer/asset – for the US – to a national security consumer/liability. This would have generated a tailwind to rogue Arab/Muslim regimes, taxing vital US national security interests, bringing Islamic terrorism closer to the US shores and rewarding enemies and adversaries of the US.

On June 29, 1967, the late General Earl Wheeler, then the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, handed President Johnson a map of Israel’s minimal security requirements, which included the Golan Heights and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria.  General Wheeler was aware that Israel’s sovereignty on the Golan Heights secures Israel’s survival, while advancing vital US interests in the tectonic Middle East.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

“Israel Hayom”

While US recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights bolsters the national security of the Jewish State, it also yields major strategic benefits for the US.

Thus, President Trump’s endorsement of Israeli sovereignty over the strategically commanding Golan Heights – which may be reinforced by a Congressional resolution – highlights the synergy between the national security of the US and Israel.  It underlines the mutually-beneficial, two-way-street strategic coordination and cooperation between the US and Israel.

This endorsement enhances the posture of deterrence of Israel – a systematic, unwavering, effective beachhead of the US in the Middle East – and therefore extends the strategic hand of the US, without the need to deploy additional US forces to the region.

In fact, Israel’s upgraded strategic profile has been a most effective US force-multiplier in the Middle East.

For example, in 1970, pro-Soviet Syria invaded pro-US Jordan, aiming to topple the Hashemite regime and trigger an anti-US ripple effect into the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf.  It could have toppled the pro-US oil-producing regimes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrein and Oman, granting the USSR a global bonanza, and dealing a major blow to the economy and national security of the US (when the US was heavily dependent upon Persian Gulf oil), during the Vietnam quagmire, which precluded a dispatch of US troops to Jordan.

President Nixon called Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, who reinforced Israel’s military presence on the Golan Heights – the joint frontier between Israel, Syria and Jordan – delivering a clear warning to Damascus, which is located 37 miles from the Golan Heights. Israel’s posture of deterrence triggered a swift rollback of the Syrian invasion (within 48 hours), with no exchange of fire between the two military forces.

Thus, in 1970, Israel’s control of the Golan Heights – with no need for US military involvement – minimized regional violence and instability, secured the survival of key pro-US Arab regimes, prevented a major anti-US domino-effect in the Middle East with its drastic financial and military consequences, and spared the globe a potential super-powers confrontation.

In 2019, the control of the Golan Heights enables Israel to play a key role in constraining Iran’s expansion into Syria and Lebanon, restraining the flow of lava emitted by the potential Syrian volcano, securing Jordan’s Hashemite regime and removing the anti-US machetes from the throats of every pro-US regime.

In 2019, the potential contribution by Israel’s control of the Golan Heights to vital US interests, is bolstered against the backdrop of the following Middle East reality: Iran’s entrenchment in Syria and the megalomaniacal Ayatollahs, who consider the US their major hurdle on the way to regional and global domination; the 14-centuries-old Middle East unpredictability, intolerance and violence; the Arab Tsunami (erroneously branded as “Arab Spring”) which erupted in 2010 and is still raging; the historical role played by Damascus in fomenting intra-Arab and intra-Muslim confrontations, narcoterrorism (facilitating supply of heroine to the US’ inner cities) and anti-US international terrorism (e.g., PanAm-103, the US Embassy and US Marine headquarters in Beirut); the operation of a multitude of Islamic terrorist organizations in Syria; and the systematic alignment of Syria with enemies and adversaries of the US (e.g., the USSR, Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela).

In 2019, the Israeli “life insurance agent” is increasingly more critical for the survival of Jordan’s pro-US Hashemite regime, which is more vulnerable than it was in 1970. Israel’s posture of deterrence has been enhanced in value in view of the Iranian Ayatollahs’ entrenchment in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon; the potentially explosive 1.5 million Syrian refugees in northern Syria; the Palestinian majority in Jordan and its subversive track record; the high domestic profile of the subversive, terroristic Muslim Brotherhood; and the intensifying fragmentation among Jordan’s Bedouin tribes, some of which consider the Hashemite family “carpetbaggers” from the Arabian Peninsula.

Israel’s retreat from the Golan Heights would have severely eroded Israel’s posture of deterrence, transforming the Jewish State from a national security producer/asset – for the US – to a national security consumer/liability. This would have generated a tailwind to rogue Arab/Muslim regimes, taxing vital US national security interests, bringing Islamic terrorism closer to the US shores and rewarding enemies and adversaries of the US.

On June 29, 1967, the late General Earl Wheeler, then the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, handed President Johnson a map of Israel’s minimal security requirements, which included the Golan Heights and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria.  General Wheeler was aware that Israel’s sovereignty on the Golan Heights secures Israel’s survival, while advancing vital US interests in the tectonic Middle East.

 

Oman’s unique geo-strategic location has enticed China’s recent $10BN investment in an industrial park at Oman’s southern port of Duqm on the northern Indian Ocean/Arabian Sea.  Moreover, the Port of Rotterdam – the largest port in Europe – has played a key role in the impressive expansion of Oman’s Port of Sohar, located near the Strait of Hormuz and one of the fastest growing ports in the world. Furthermore, Denmark’s Maersk, the largest shipping company in the world, has played a major role in the development of Oman’s largest port, Salalah, which is situated near Yemen on the northern Indian Ocean.

Oman adheres to the moderate Ibadiyyah branch of Islam, and is ruled by the effective, but ailing, 78-year-old Sultan Qaboos, who is diversifying the economy, attracting foreign investment and moderating internal tribal rivalry, which could haunt the country upon his departure. Homeland security-driven attempts are being made to reduce the number of foreign laborers, who account for about 40% of Oman’s 4.8MN population.

Oman is located at the strategically critical Strait of Hurmuz, which is the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean (the Gulf of Oman/Indian Ocean), the route of 20% of the global petroleum.

Oman is sandwiched between Iran’s megalomaniacal Ayatollahs (21 nautical miles apart), Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – which are threatened by the Ayatollahs’ subversion, terrorism and conventional military – and the volcanic Yemen, which is a major platform of Islamic terrorism, extending the Ayatollahs’ reach in their attempt to topple the House of Saud.

The more volatile, unpredictable, unstable, violent, intolerant Sunni and Shite terror-ridden is the Middle East, and the closer is the Ayatollahs’ machete to the throats of the Persian Gulf Arab regimes, the closer are Oman and all other relatively-moderate Arab countries to Israel. They consider Israel the most effective military and counter-terrorism “life insurance agent” in the region, as well as a source of ground-breaking experience and technologies in the areas of agriculture, irrigation, medicine, health, education, welfare, communal organization, etc..

Irrespective of the Palestinian issue, Oman – just like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt and all other pro-US Arab countries – is preoccupied with domestic and regional threats and challenges, which supersede the Palestinian issue, and therefore provide tailwinds to enhanced national security, homeland security and commercial ties with Israel.

According to a November 24, 2018 opinion article by Salman Aldosary, the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, a leading Saudi daily, reflecting the worldview of the House of Saud, the Saudi national security priorities are: confronting destabilizing elements (code name for the Ayatollahs, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood); solidifying strategic coordination – against the Ayatollahs – with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Mauritania; consolidating a Saudi prominent role in the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East and the G-20. No reference was made to the Palestinian issue.

The low regional priority of the Palestinian issue was articulated on November 25, 2018 by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who listed the Middle East’s main problems: “Naturally, at the top of the list he put Saudi Arabia’s blockade of his family’s kingdom.  Next were the bloody wars in Yemen and Syria, the chaos in Libya and the political unrest in Lebanon…. Missing was the Palestinian issue….

“Al Thani wasn’t the only one to downgrade the Palestinian issue.  Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League, also began his talk by listing possible reasons why the Middle East is still broken, saying it could be the Iran-Iraq War, Iraq’s 1990 occupation of Kuwait, 9/11 or the American invasion of Iraq. According to Gheit, it was ‘the so called Arab Spring that caused the destruction of the Arab World…. Along with Iran’s encroachment on the Arab states. The Palestinian issue was still one of the two problems haunting the region and that without a settlement the turmoil in the region will continue….’ Listening to other representatives of Arab League member states who either ignored, or downplayed, the Palestinian issue, Gheit’s words sounded like lip-service….

“On the stage and behind the scenes [at the MED 2018 Conference] there seemed much more appetite for normalization with Israel.  Oman’s Foreign Minister said it quite clearly when he called on the Arab world to come to terms with the reality that Israel is a fact of life in the region…. Even Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Zarif seemed to realize that this wasn’t a venue for Israel-bashing….”

Why don’t Arabs, in general, and Persian Gulf Arabs, in particular, share the conventional Western high regard of the Palestinians? Persian Gulf Arabs do not forget, nor do they forgive, the PLO-led Palestinian grand-betrayal of Kuwait, which was a most hospitable and generous host of some 400,000 Palestinians, all of them allies of Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas.  In August 1990, the PLO participated in the planning and execution of Saddam Hussein’s invasion and plunder of Kuwait, which was consistent with the Palestinian subversion and terrorism in Egypt (mid-1950s), Syria (1966), Jordan (1970) and Lebanon (1970-1982). Hence, the expulsion of almost all Palestinians from Kuwait upon the liberation of the sheikdom by the US military.

The national security policy of Oman and the other Arab Gulf states has highlighted the fact that – contrary to Western conventional wisdom – realpolitik does not consider the Palestinian issue a core cause of Middle East turbulence, nor a crown jewel of Arab policy-makers, nor the root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

 

 

Western conventional wisdom has systematically failed in assessing Middle East developments.

For example, in 1978, conventional wisdom turned its back on the Shah of Iran – who was the USA Policeman of the Gulf –providing a tailwind to Ayatollah Khomeini, who transformed Iran into the most critical, clear and present threat to regional and global stability, as well as the homeland security of the USA and Europe. In 1981 and 2007, conventional wisdom aggressively criticized Israel for bombing of the nuclear reactors of Iraq and Syria. Until Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, conventional wisdom considered the ruthless Iraqi dictator an ally of the USA, worthy of intelligence-sharing, dual-use systems and multi-billion-dollar loan guarantees.
In 1994, conventional wisdom awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Arafat, a role model of hate education, terrorism and intra-Arab treachery.  In 2010, conventional wisdom misread the volcanic eruption of the anti-Western Arab Tsunami as the Arab Spring, a Facebook and Youth Revolution. In 2012, conventional wisdom turned its back on Egyptian President Mubarak, welcoming the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest Islamic terrorist group in the world.
In 2018, Western conventional wisdom embraces Mahmoud Abbas as a moderate, in comparison to Hamas, highlighting Abbas’ talk, rather than focusing on his walk: intra-Arab subversion, the terror-oriented K-12 education system, generous monthly subsidies to terrorists and their families, and maintaining close ties with enemies and adversaries of the USA.
Western conventional wisdom, on the one hand, and Middle East reality, on the other hand, have constituted a classic oxymoron.
In defiance of Western conventional wisdom, Arab policy-makers are aware of the irrelevance of the Palestinian issue to the turbulence, which has plagued the Middle East since the 7th century, as well as the current (2010-2018) seismic developments, which traumatize every Arab regime from Northwestern Africa to the Persian Gulf and from Syria and Lebanon to Yemen and the Sudan.
Moreover, in contrast to Western conventional wisdom, Arab policy-makers do not consider the Palestinians a crown-jewel, but recognize their intra-Arab subversive, terroristic and unreliable/treacherous track record.
Hence the flood of pro-Palestinian Arab talk, which has never been supported by the Arab walk.
Consequently, every Arab regime – and especially Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Jordan and Egypt– are not preoccupied with the Palestinian issue, but with the immediate and lethal threats of the Ayatollahs and Islamic terrorism, which could topple them and transform their countries into Iraqi, Syrian, Libyan, Yemeni look-alike traumatic arenas.
For example, from 1979-1989, during the civil war in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia demonstrated its order of national security priorities, investing $1BN annually in the struggle of the Afghan rebels against the Soviet-backed regime in Kabul. This was ten times as much as the annual Saudi foreign aid to the PLO – $100MN.
Moreover, the Palestinian Authority was not among the top ten recipients of the $33BN foreign aid from Riyadh from 2007-2017: Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Niger, Mauritania, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Jordan and Tunisia.
While the total Saudi foreign aid from 1985-2015 was $130BN – according to the Dubai-based daily, Gulf News – Saudi annual foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority was $100MN-$200MN, reflecting the inferior weight of the Palestinian issue in the Saudi order of national priorities.
According to Reuters News Agency, Saudi Arabia assigned to Egypt a $23BN aid package, reflecting the joint Cairo-Riyadh front against a common enemy: Muslim Brotherhood terrorists. The Toronto-based Geopolitical Monitor reported that a $12BN package was extended to Egypt by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait, in addition to the $8BN Saudi investment in the Egyptian economy.
While the Palestinian Authority claims that Saudi Arabia has failed to fulfill its commitment to the its limited foreign aid package, Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV reported that Yemen supersedes the Palestinians in the eyes of Riyadh, which has provided the Aden-based regime of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi with $8.2BN aid in the battle against the Sanaa’-based Iran-supported Houthis.
The Palestinians have also taken a backseat to Jordan, when it comes to Saudi national priorities, as documented by the Saudi-Jordanian Coordination Council, which is unlocking billions of dollars to the Hashemite regime.
The relative marginalization of the Palestinians – who benefit from a $100MN-$200MN annual Saudi foreign aid package (whenever it is not suspended by Riyadh) – is gleaned through the CNBC December 18, 2017 report on the House of Saud purchasing a rare Leonardo da Vinci painting for $450MN, an exquisite palace in France for $300MN and a royal yacht for $500MN.
The expanded strategic and economic ties between Israel and the pro-US Arab countries have been a derivative of the Arab order of national security priorities. They have recognized Israel’s unique added-value – militarily and commercially – in their battle for survival against domestic and regional threats and challenges.
Furthermore, the pro-US Arab policy-makers do not forget, nor forgive, Palestinian subversion, in collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood, in Egypt during the early 1950s and in collaboration with Islamic terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula in 2018; the murder of Syrian intelligence officers in 1966; the terroristic attempt to topple their host Hashemite regime in 1970; the triggering of a series of civil wars in Lebanon during the 1970s; and the back-stabbing of the most hospitable Kuwaiti regime, through their collaboration with Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion and the plunder of the Emirate.
Therefore, there was overall Arab sympathy with Kuwait’s 1991 expulsion of some 300,000 Palestinians; and the 2006 expulsion of more than 50,000 pro-Saddam Palestinians from Iraq following the execution of the Iraqi dictator.
Therefore, the Arab countries were reluctant to act, effectively, on behalf of the Palestinians – militarily, economically or diplomatically – during the Israel-Palestinian wars in Lebanon and Gaza, and during the 1st and 2nd Intifada.
In defiance of Western conventional wisdom, Arab policy-makers have been increasingly aware that overcoming the mounting threats to their survival, mandates adherence to reality, which has underlined the secondary/tertiary – and treacherous – role played by the Palestinians in setting the Middle East agenda.

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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

Can Israel afford NOT to defy State Department pressure?

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

The current pressure on Israel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israel’s survival requires defiance of State Department pressure   

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

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

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

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

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

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Judea & Samaria

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

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

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

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

For instance:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jerusalem

United Jerusalem – a shared US-Israel legacy and interest

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

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

United Jerusalem and the US law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Jerusalem and the legacy of the Founding Fathers

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

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

The Jerusalem reality and US interests

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

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

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

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

Jerusalem and Israel’s defiance of US pressure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jewish Holidays

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

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

More on Jewish holidays: Smashwords, Amazon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Golan

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

Islamic Terrorism

Can Israel afford NOT to defy State Department pressure?