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Israel Hayom

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.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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It has been suggested that the next Prime Minister of Israel will be proscribed from annexing parts of Judea and Samaria – for the next three years – due to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s personal commitment to President Trump to refrain from annexation.  This ostensible commitment was never ratified by Israel’s Legislature.

Does a personal commitment by an Israeli prime minister to a US president tie the hands of succeeding Israeli prime ministers?

Not according to the tradition of democratic societies, which aims to avoid Executive tyranny, limiting the power of presidents and prime ministers through a system of checks and balance.

For example, international accords reached by US presidents require ratification by two thirds of the Senate.  Therefore, in 2018, President Trump was able to withdraw from the 2015 Iran Nuclear Accord (JCPOA), since it was never ratified by the Senate.  Moreover, the US is not committed to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which was signed in 1999 by President Clinton, but has yet to be ratified by the Senate.

Furthermore, the 1975 assurance of President Ford to Israel’s Prime Minister Rabin “to give great weight to Israel’s position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights,” did not commit any of the succeeding presidents, since it was not ratified by the Senate. A similar fate met President Eisenhower’s 1957 non-ratified assurance issued to Israel’s Prime Minister Eshkol, which implied US willingness to deploy its military in the face of Egyptian violations of agreements in the Red Sea and the Sinai Peninsula (which triggered the 1967 War).

On June 19, 1967, in the aftermath of the Six Day War, Israel’s Prime Minister Eshkol and his Cabinet offered “to conclude peace agreements with Egypt and Syria, based on the pre-1967 lines with due consideration to Israel’s security requirements.” Egypt and Syria rebuffed Israel’s unprecedented lavish offer. However, this generous Israeli proposal did not preclude Israeli Prime Minister Begin – who was a member of the 1967 Cabinet – from applying Israeli law to the topographically and geographically overpowering Golan Heights in 1981.

Should future Israeli prime ministers be constrained by the equally- reckless proposals, submitted by four previous Israeli prime ministers, who offered a sweeping retreat from the Golan Heights? Do past Israeli careless peace proposals – which were rejected by Syria – carry more weight than Israeli law and Middle East reality, which has highlighted the erratic, unpredictable, violent and tenuous nature of the Middle East, in general, and Syria, in particular?

In the 2000/2001 Camp David and Taba Summits, Prime Minister Ehud Barak – the shortest term-serving Israeli prime minister – overwhelmed President Clinton and Yasser Arafat by offering to withdraw from 97% of Judea and Samaria, re-divide Jerusalem, transfer some parts of pre-1967 Israel to the Palestinian Authority, and negotiate a return of some Palestinian refugees. That incredible offer – which would have returned Israel back to the pre-1967 nine to fifteen-mile sliver dominated by the mountains of Judea and Samaria – was rejected by the Palestinians.

In 2008, Prime Minister Olmert’s equally reckless peace proposal was rejected by Mahmoud Abbas.

Should future Israeli prime ministers sacrifice Israel’s existential national security requirements – in the volcanic Middle East, which has yet to experience intra Arab peaceful coexistence – on the altar of past foolhardy non-ratified Israeli proposals?

Rather than refraining from the annexation of the Jordan Valley and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – which constitute Israel’s most critical line of defense and the cradle of Jewish history, religion and culture – future Israeli prime ministers are advised to follow in the footsteps of Prime Minister Begin.   Prime Minister Begin applied Israeli law to the Golan Heights in 1981, despite his own support of the aforementioned 1967 peace proposal, and in defiance of brutal pressure from President Reagan, including the suspension of a promising defense cooperation agreement. Begin’s defiance triggered short-term friction and acrimony with the US, but yielded long term appreciation for Israel’s posture of deterrence and enhanced Israel’s national security.

 

 

Israel Hayom

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.

 

 

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.

 

A realistic evaluation of the key elements which have shaped US-Israel relations, should not focus on the relatively secondary role – regionally and globally – played by the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Palestinian issue and domestic US politics.

The substantial amplification of the mutually-beneficial US-Israel cooperation – militarily, intelligence-wise, technologically and commercially – has been driven by Israel’s operational, innovative and industrial capabilities, regional (Middle East) and global American interests as well as the rising threat of Islamic terrorism to the US homeland security.

US-Israel relations have been transformed dramatically since 1948, when the State Department, Pentagon and CIA opposed the founding of the Jewish State and prevented the delivery of military supplies to the newly-born state. They claimed that a Jewish state would join the Soviet Bloc, would be wrecked demographically by an eventual Arab majority, would be decimated by the surrounding Arab armies, and would undermine vital US interests in the Middle East. These claims have been demolished by Middle East reality.

US-Israel relations have been reshaped substantially since 1956, in the aftermath of the Sinai Campaign – which was triggered by the sustained campaign of Arab terrorism from Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula – when the US Administration brutally pressured Israel, forcing the full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Sinai.

US-Israel cooperation has been revolutionized since 1967 – before the preemptive Six Day War – when the US Administration threatened Israel, which was besieged by a newly-established Egypt-Syria-Jordan unified military command, trumpeting the mission to destroy Israel. The US warning to Israel was: “Israel will not be alone, unless it decides to go alone [preempt]….”

The 1967 Six Day War was a game-changer, leading the US to recognize Israel’s enhanced military posture of deterrence in the face of Arab threats, in general, and the Soviet Union and its Arab proxies (Egypt and Syria), in particular. For example, Israel’s 1967 victory destroyed the regional military posture of the pro-Soviet Syrian President Hafiz Assad, who constituted a clear and present threat to then pro-US Turkey as well as to Jordan’s Hashemite regime. Moreover, Israel devastated the military base of Egyptian President Nasser, whose ground forces were fighting in Yemen, attempting to surge into Saudi Arabia. Israel intercepted Nasser’s attempt to assume Pan Arab leadership from Egypt, Syria and Jordan to the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf; to topple all pro-US Arab regimes; to threaten the pro-US regime of the Shah of Iran; to ravage US interests throughout the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and the eastern Mediterranean; and, to accord the USSR a rare geo-strategic bonus.

Post-1967 Israel – controlling the Golan Heights and the mountain ridges of Judea & Samaria, which are the “Golan Heights” of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion Airport – has emerged as a unique strategic asset, producing significant dividends to the US, contrary to the pre-1967 Israel, which was deemed a strategic burden/liability.

The 1970 Syrian invasion of Jordan – while the US was preoccupied with Southeast Asia – underlined the convergence of US and Israeli strategic interests. Thus, Israel extended the strategic hand of the US in the strategically significant Middle East, by deploying its own military force to the joint Israel-Syria-Jordan frontier (on the Golan Heights), triggering a Syrian retreat without firing a single bullet, and with no US troops involved.

The 1976 Entebbe Operation exposed Israel’s unique capabilities in the areas of intelligence and counter-terrorism, which has emerged as the top threat to the homeland security of the Western World.

The 1981 Israeli bombing of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor has reinforced Israel’s regional and global posture of deterrence, sparing the US and the Free World a confrontation with a nuclearized Saddam Hussein following his 1990 occupation of Kuwait.

In 1982, the US deployed troops to Lebanon, aiming to block Israel’s campaign against PLO terrorists in Lebanon. In spite of the anti-Israel US deployment, Islamic car bombs hit the US Embassy (April 1983) and the US military barracks (October 1983) in Beirut, murdering 260 Americans, which led to the establishment of the US-Israel Joint Political Military Group in November 1983. In 1987, Israel was granted the status of A Major Non-NATO Ally.

Contrary to the superficial assumption that US-Israel strategic cooperation was relevant as long as there was a Soviet threat, the US-Israel strategic compatibility has been reinforced since the 1991 demise of the USSR. Hence, the collapse of the Soviet empire transformed the bipolar globe (the USA vs. the USSR) into a much more fractured, unpredictable, explosive, violent and dramatically uncontrollable, intolerant and unstable multipolar world, which has confronted the US with the wrath of megalomaniacal non-super power rogue regimes such as Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Iran’s Ayatollahs. While Israel had a limited role in confronting the USSR, it has become the US’s most effective ally in the face of such regional threats.

The 2010 eruption of the Arab Tsunami, which is still raging, has further exposed the similarity of US-Israel strategic challenges and threats, leveraging Israel’s 70-year old do-or-die military and intelligence experience. The Arab Tsunami threatens the existence of all pro-US Arab regimes from North Africa (e.g., Morocco), through Egypt and Jordan to the Persian Gulf (e.g., Saudi Arabia) and down to the Indian Ocean (e.g., Oman).

In 2019, the US and Israel share identical national and homeland security concerns in the Middle East and beyond: the megalomaniacal vision of Iran’s Ayatollahs (who consider the US as the major hurdle on the road to domination of the Persian Gulf), the clear and present threat of Sunni and Shiite Islamic terrorism, and the critical security requirements of all highly vulnerable pro-US Arab regimes.

Contrary to the State Department establishment’s traditional claim that the US must choose between strategic cooperation with Israel or Saudi Arabia – as long as the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian issues remain unsolved – Israel’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and the other Arab Gulf states has surged unprecedentedly, irrespective of the Palestinian issue. In fact, US-Israel and US-Arab relations complement – not contradict – one another.

The pro-US Arab countries have realized that when smothered by lethal sandstorms (e.g., the Ayatollahs, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood), drivers must not be sidetracked by the tumbleweeds on the road (the Palestinian issue).

US interests in the Middle East and beyond are well-served by a strategically constrained Syria. Historically, Syria has been a tectonic, volatile platform of violent, intolerant and unpredictable Arab/Islamic regional aspirations of grandeur, totally unrelated to Israel’s existence and policies.

During the modern era, Syria has been a major arena of anti-US hate-education and incitement, Islamic and international terrorism (e.g., the blowing up of the US Embassy and Marines Headquarters in Beirut and PanAm-103), narco-terrorism (featuring ties with Latin American drug cartels), a mega-billion dollar counterfeiting of $100 bills and the abuse of human rights.

Syria represents a clear, present and lethal threat to all pro-US Arab regimes. It has been a systematic violator of agreements (with Lebanon, Turkey, the Arab League, the US and Israel), advancing the geo-strategic interests of the Ayatollahs of Iran, Russia and China, benefitting from North Korean conventional and non-conventional military technologies and hardware (chemical, biological and nuclear), while maintaining close ties with anti-US Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

A withdrawal of Israel’s military from the mountain ridges of the 500sqm Golan Heights – located 34 miles from Damascus – would severely injure Israel’s posture of deterrence, reducing its capabilities to extend the strategic hand of the US; thus, making Syria dramatically more explosive.

While Syria is currently preoccupied with domestic upheaval, its potential destabilizing regional and global ripple effects should be assessed in view of the inherent Middle East volatility. It should also be observed against the background of Syria’s multi-century key role in the tumultuous fourteen-century Islamic history. It should also be examined against the backdrop of its current deep strategic ties with Russia, the megalomaniacal Ayatollahs of Iran, and transnational ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood and additional Islamic terror organizations, which aim to erase the current borders among Arab states.

Syria’s imperialistic aspirations and potential explosive regional impact, under an Alawite or a Sunni regime (the French Mandate designated an Alawite State in 1920), transcend the narrow context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. They are a derivative of the unique role played by Syria (a-Sham) – the home of the early Caliphs – in Islamic history. Therefore, the current Syrian powder keg has drawn an unprecedented number of Islamic terror organizations and Jihad (Holy War)-driven fighters/terrorists from the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia.

An Israeli retreat from the Golan Heights would not quench – but inflame – Damascus’ long-term historical aspirations to solidify control of Syria, reclaim Greater Syria (including Jordan, Lebanon and Israel) and dominate the Arab World, which entails the toppling of all pro-US Arab regimes.

Just like Iran’s Ayatollahs, so would any future ruler of Syria – Alawite or Sunni – view the US presence in the Middle East as the major obstacle on the way of reaching its megalomaniacal strategic goal, considering Israel to be a most effective and inhibiting US outpost. Hence, Syria’s deep strategic alliance with Russia – since 1966 – which has provided a tailwind to Moscow’s influence in the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, the Horn of Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. For example, Russia’s only naval base in the Mediterranean is in Tartus, Syria.

In 1970, the militarily superior USSR-supported Syria invaded the militarily inferior US-supported Jordan, which was involved in a civil war against Palestinian terrorists, while the US was bogged down in Southeast Asia, severely constrained as far as extending additional deployment of its troops. Attempting to avoid a confrontation with the USSR, the US requested Israel to mobilize the Israel Defense Forces to the joint Israel-Syria-Jordan frontier. Israel’s prompt mobilization triggered an immediate Syrian withdrawal from Jordan, bolstering Israel’s and the US’ posture of deterrence, injuring the geo-strategic posture of both Syria and the USSR, sparing the US a mega-billion dollar mobilization and a bruising public debate, while assisting the US with Israel’s own manpower, military bases and supply lines.

The Israeli deployment may have ensured the survival of the pro-US Hashemite regime, preventing a Syrian occupation of Jordan, with a potential spillover into the militarily much weaker pro-US Saudi Arabia and the pro-US Gulf States, which would have accorded Moscow a dramatic gain, while dealing the US a major economic and geo-strategic setback.

A Golan-less Israel would be unable to provide the US with such a cost-effective, dramatic benefit.

The inherent unpredictability, volatility and violence in the Middle East suggests that similar scenarios could plague the region in the future – especially in view of Jordan’s growing vulnerability to external and domestic upheaval – requiring the enhancement of US-Israel strategic coordination. However, without the Golan Heights – which dominates northern Israel and the joint Syria-Jordan-Israel border – Israel would be transformed from a unique national security producer, and a regional enforcer for the US, to another national security consumer.

On June 29, 1967, General Earl Wheeler, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, submitted to President Lyndon Johnson a map of Israel’s minimum security requirements. The map was based on the General’s own assessment of US interests, Middle East reality and Israel’s security requirements – the map included Israel’s control of the Golan Heights.

www.TheEttingerReport.com, https://bit.ly/2qBg5Ab, April 17, 2018

The US bombing of Syria could resurrect the US’ posture of deterrence and evolve into a geo-strategic game-changer in Syria, the Middle East and throughout the globe, provided that President Trump learns from – rather than repeats – critical errors committed by his predecessors in their battle against Islamic terrorism.

Trump’s predecessors assumed that their counter-terrorism mission could be accomplished through a series of limited, immediate and tactical operations, bringing the troops back home ASAP. However, contrary to their expectations, their well-intentioned actions undermined their comprehensive, long-term, sustained and strategic mission to clip the wings of Islamic terrorism and enhance homeland security. While they won certain battles, they failed to clip the wings of Islamic terrorism and did not win the overall war.

For example, on August 20, 1998, President Clinton declared victory following the US bombing of a few terrorist bases and a deadly nerve agent VX processing plant in Afghanistan and the Sudan, in retaliation for the August 7 truck-bombings of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 persons. However, resting on the laurels of the tactical bombings, and failing to intensify a long-term offensive against Islamic terrorism, exacerbated the latter’s assault on the US. It led to the October 12, 2000 suicide-vessel bombing of the USS Cole (killing 17 sailors) and the September 11, 2001 suicide-aircraft bombing of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, killing 2,996 persons, injuring some 6,000.

On May 1, 2003, President George W. Bush declared that major combat operations in Iraq ended with the US and its allies prevailing. A large “Mission Accomplished” banner provided a backdrop to Bush’s speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln. On June 5, Bush told US troops in Afghanistan: “America sent you on a mission to remove a grave threat and to liberate an oppressed people, and that mission has been accomplished.” In 2018, both Afghanistan and Iraq are major global platforms for Islamic terrorism, which is increasingly afflicting larger parts of the globe.

The George W. Bush Administration overthrew Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and purged members of Saddam’s Sunni Baath Party from the civilian and military sectors, which catapulted Iraq’s Shiite majority to domination, incentivized former Sunni government officials and military personnel to join Sunni terrorism, exacerbated Sunni-Shite violence, and provided an unprecedented springboard to the Shiite Ayatollahs’ aspirations to control Iraq as a critical bridge to Syria, Lebanon and the Mediterranean, as a prelude to an Iranian domination of the Middle East and the Muslim World.

In 2012, President Obama was determined to topple Libya’s ruthless Qaddafi regime, by leading a concerted bombing campaign by NATO forces. The effective bombing was initiated, irrespective of the fact that Qaddafi had been engaged in the dismantling of Libya’s nuclear, chemical and ballistic missile infrastructure since December 2003, as certified by US and international inspectors. Moreover, the vicious Libyan dictator was consumed with an intense battle against anti-US Islamic Sunni terror organizations and provided the US with vital counter-terrorism intelligence. The execution of Qaddafi, by his domestic terror-driven opponents, transformed Libya – the 4th largest country in Africa – into a leading and chaotic platform for international Islamic terrorism.

Will President Trump learn – and refrain – from the critical errors of his predecessors?

Will Trump focus on the primary – rather than secondary – source of clear and present threats to the national security and homeland security of the US, the Free World and the pro-US Arab countries?

While one must not underestimate the savagery of Assad, the Butcher of Damascus, its regional and global destabilizing impact is dwarfed by the impact of the ferociously tectonic Ayatollahs, a minority regime which has repressed the Iranian people since 1979.

The Shite Ayatollahs have played a key role – next to Russia – in sustaining the Alawite (branch of Shite Islam) Assad regime, investing some $10BN, annually, in the form of credit lines, oil and military assistance, including the funding of some Russian military systems and the maintenance of Hezbollah terrorists.

In fact, regional chaos – Syrian style – has fueled the Ayatollas’ rise to regional prominence. Their expanding presence in Iraq and Syria has adrenalized their megalomaniacal aspirations, which aim at uprooting the US presence in the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Ocean and the entire Middle East.

Moreover, the unprecedentedly effective regional profile of the Ayatollahs brings their machete closer to the throat of every pro-US Arab regime such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait and Oman, fueling subversion and terrorism, and providing anti-US Islamic terror organizations with easier access to chemical and biological weaponry and ballistic capabilities.

Furthermore, the considerable entrenchment of the Ayatollahs in Iraq and Syria has been accompanied by the Ayatollahs’ upgraded destabilization and anti-US presence – directly and through terror elements – in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Central and Latin America and the USA.

The increasingly global village, and the unprecedented global proliferation of Islamic terrorism, have eliminated the option of isolation. The US and its allies are faced with the choice of confronting the Ayatollahs and Islamic Sunni terrorism in the trenches of the Middle East or at homeland. One may assess such a dilemma against the background of an old American football rule: The closer you get to the end zone of the other team, the closer you are to scoring a touchdown; however, the closer you get to your own end zone, the closer the other team is to scoring a touchdown.

 

 

 

 

 

Israel Hayom”

Israel’s unique contribution to US’ national security and US defense industries was reaffirmed on February 10, 2018, by Israel’s effective military operation against Syrian-based Iranian-Syrian surface-to-air missile batteries, early-warning radar stations, a launching-base of unmanned aerial vehicles and a command-control bunker.

While Israel lost one F-16 combat plane, its air force demonstrated exceptional capabilities in the areas of intelligence, electronic warfare – especially radar jamming – firepower capabilities, precision, maneuverability, penetration of missile batteries, early-identification and destruction of advanced unmanned aerial vehicles and their mobile controller, etc.
Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) are analyzing the lessons of this recent operation, most of which will be shared, promptly, with the US – the manufacturer and provider of most of the systems operated by the IDF – as has been the case with a multitude of Israel’s military operations and wars. For example, much of the battle-tactics formulation in the US Army Headquarters in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas has been based on the Israeli battlefield experience.
The February 10, 2018 Israeli Air Force operation against Syrian-Iranian military targets has reinforced the legacy of the late Senator Daniel Inouye, who was the Chairman of the full Appropriations Committee and its Defense Subcommittee. Senator Inouye considered Israel a moral ally of the US, as well as the most effective battle-tested laboratory of the US military and defense industries – a primary outpost, in a critical region, sparing the US billions of dollars, which would be required to deploy additional US military forces to the area.
Senator Daniel Inouye, who was also the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, contended that the flow of Israeli intelligence to the US exceeded – quantitatively and qualitatively – the flow of intelligence from all NATO members combined.
Chairman Inouye maintained that Israel’s battle experience – shared with the US – enhanced US national security, yielding billions of dollars to the US treasury.
For instance, the shared-lessons of the June 1982 Israeli destruction of 19 Syrian-operated advanced Soviet surface-to-air missile batteries and 97 Soviet combat planes, saved the US’ defense industries 10-20 years of research and development, enhanced the competitiveness of US military systems in the global market, increased US exports and expanded US employment. Moreover, the lessons of the Israeli military operation upgraded the capabilities of the US Air Force and the US’ posture of deterrence, exposed the vulnerabilities of advanced Soviet military systems – which were deemed impregnable until then – undermined the regional and global Soviet strategic stature, tilted the global balance of power in favor of the US and prevented the loss of many American lives.
When visiting the General Dynamics plant (currently, Lockheed-Martin) in Ft. Worth, Texas, which manufactures the F-16 and F-35, I was told by the plant manager that the US manufacturer was privy to an almost daily flow of operational, maintenance and repair lessons drawn by Israel’s Air Force, which generated over 600 upgrades, “worth mega-billion of dollars.” Common sense suggests that similar mega-benefits are afforded to McDonnell-Douglas, in St. Louis, Missouri, the manufacturer of the F-15, which is also operated by the Israeli Air Force.
In Dallas, Texas, a retired US combat pilot suggested to me that “a most productive time for US combat pilots are joint-exercises with Israeli pilots.” Responding to my doubts – since Israeli pilots fly US-made planes and are not smarter than US pilots – the US combat pilot elaborated: “Israeli pilots fly, routinely, within range of the enemies’ radar and missiles, and therefore always fly under a do-or-die state of mind, which results in more daring and creative maneuvers, stretching the capabilities of the US plane much more than done by US pilots.”
The February 10, 2018 Israeli Air Force operation highlighted the US-Israel mutually-beneficial, two-way-street, featuring Israel’s unique contributions to US national security and defense industries. It provided additional evidence of the exceptionally high rate-of-return on the annual US investment in Israel, which is erroneously defined as “foreign aid.” Israel is neither foreign to the US, nor is it a supplicant; it has been an unconditional, productive junior partner of the US in the liberty-driven battle against rogue regimes.

Irrespective of Israel, Free World inaction in the face of non-conventional military systems in the hands of rogue regimes – such as Assad, or worse yet the Muslim Brotherhood or Al Qaeda – aggravates the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and beyond; transforms tactical threats to strategic threats; adrenalizes Iran’s megalomaniac aspirations and pursuit of nuclear capabilities; poses a lethal threat to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing, pro-US Arab countries; makes chemical and biological weaponry easily accessible to the growing number of anti-US Islamic terrorists and emboldens the scores of terrorist sleeper cells on the US mainland. Therefore, non-conventional military systems in Syria, constitutes a clear and present danger to vital US economic and national security interests.

However, when you sow the wind, expect the whirlwind.  A policy of misconceptions, inconsistency and ambiguity has provided a tailwind to the Arab Tsunami, while intensifying public ambivalence about the increasingly anti-US, fragmented, shifty, unpredictable, treacherous, violently intolerant and chaotic Arab Street.

For instance, upon entering the White House in 2009, President Obama initiated a policy of multi-nationalism (shaped by Samantha Power, a personal friend and one of Obama’s mentors on foreign policy), considering the UN to be the quarterback of international relations, while disavowing American exceptionalism and leadership, apologizing for past US unilateral actions and preferring to lead from behind.  As expected, but contrary to Obama’s policy expectations, the US was deserted by the international community – especially by NATO – when faced with the Syrian challenge. 

In response, Obama reasserted America’s power projection, announcing a forthcoming unilateral US military operation against Syria, which (unlike a declaration of war) does not require Congressional authorization.  Nevertheless, Obama swiftly mellowed the threat to Syria, passing the buck to Congress and putting any military operation on hold.  Furthermore, he has subordinated America’s independence of national security action to a multinational initiative by Russia, the core supporter of Assad, the lead obstacle to effective sanctions on Iran, the key supplier of advanced missiles to Iran and Syria and the chief adversary of the US in the UN Security Council, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Thus, the US is collaborating with a Russian ploy to advance the delusional option of international inspection – and not obliterationof non-conventional weaponry, which has failed in North Korea and Iran, undermining critical US interests.

On September 6, 2013, Samantha Power, the US Ambassador to the UN, stated: “we thought perhaps a shared evidentiary base could convince Russia or Iran – itself a victim of Saddam Hussein’s monstrous chemical weapons attacks in 1987-1988 – to cast loose a regime that was gassing its people.”  Power’s assumption was resoundingly refuted by Ali Akbar Velayati, a national security adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “An Attack on Syria is considered an attack on Iran and Iran’s allies.” It was equally demolished by Russia bolstering military reinforcement to both Syria and Iran.

Secretaries of State, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton were members of a tiny group of US legislators that believed – until the recent atrocities in Syria – that Bashar Assad was a generous, constructive leader, a reformer and a man of his word. Kerry was a frequent flyer to Damascus, dining with Assad and his wife, considering Hafez and Bashar Assad partners for peace. 

On September 3, 2013, Kerry assured Senator Johnson (R-WI) that “the Syrian opposition has increasingly become more defined by its moderation.” And in the House hearings, he told Congressman McCaul (R-TX) that “there is real moderate opposition that exists” and that it is “getting stronger.”  Just like earlier references to the imploding Arab Street as “the Facebook revolution” and “transition to democracy,” so has Kerry subordinated the grim reality of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda-dominated Syrian opposition to an oversimplified vision of the Middle East.  Thus, while Assad’s goals are confined to the boundaries of Syria, the mission of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda transcends Syria, sweeping Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the “Abode of Islam,” as a prelude to the grand assault on the “Abode of the Infidel.”  Both the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda are anti-US, Islamic supremacists, Shariah-driven, anti-democracy, violently intolerant of fellow-Muslims and the “infidel” and pursue their imperialistic vision via conventional and terroristic means.  

In Syria – just like all other Arab countries – the weaker the traditional autocratic-military regime, the stronger the transnational Islamic terrorism becomes. However, John Brennan, the CIA Director and Obama’s mentor on international terrorism, does not recognize the existence of Islamic or Jihadist terrorism. On August 6, 2009, John Brennan presented his worldview, stating: “The President does not describe this [challenge of Islamic terrorism] as a ‘war on terrorism….’ Nor does President Obama see this challenge as a fight against Jihadists….  Jihad meaning to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal ….”

The attainment of worthy US national security goals – such as a surgical obliteration of the Syrian infrastructure of chemical weapons – does not require boots on the ground.  It requires realism, clarity, determination and consistency.



 

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Demography

Demographic optimism IN, demographic pessimism OUT

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

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

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

Arab demography artificially inflated

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

For instance:

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

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

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

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

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

Arab demography Westernized

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

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

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

Jewish demographic momentum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The bottom line

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

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

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

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

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Iran

Diplomatic option toward Iran is self-destructive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Judea & Samaria

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

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

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

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

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

Jerusalem

United Jerusalem – a shared US-Israel legacy and interest

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

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

United Jerusalem and the US law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Jerusalem and the legacy of the Founding Fathers

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

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

The Jerusalem reality and US interests

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

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

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

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

Jerusalem and Israel’s defiance of US pressure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jewish Holidays

Chanukah guide for the perplexed, 2023

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

More on Jewish holidays: SmashwordsAmazon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Golan

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

A new 8-minute-video: YouTube, Facebook

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Islamic Terrorism

Hamas – Palestinians: disjointed or interwoven?

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
December 28, 2023

*The Western attempt to distinguish between Hamas terrorists and the majority of Gaza Arabs defies Middle East reality, which documents that Hamas terrorists and most Gaza Arabs are interwoven with each other, socially, educationally, culturally, ideologically, and religiously.

*Moreover, Middle East reality highlights Hamas as a terror state (Gaza and potentially the West Bank), not as merely a terror organization.

*Therefore, most of the Arabs in Gaza enthusiastically celebrated the October 7, 2023 Hamas ISIS-like slaughter, rape, torture and mutilation of (mostly) civilians, heralding it as role model of sacrifice and heroism in the service of a Holy Islamic War and a demonstration of national liberation fortitude.

*The fact that the Arab population of Gaza lends itself to terrorism was underscored by a June 29, 1967 memorandum, submitted to the US Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara by General Earle G. Wheeler, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff. The memorandum presented a map of Israel’s minimal security requirements, including Gaza, which “serves as a salient for introduction of Arab subversion and terrorism, and its retention would be to Israel’s military advantage…. It has served as a training area for [Palestinian terrorists]…. Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Israel would reduce the hostile border by a factor of five and eliminate a source for raids and training of [terrorists]….”   

*The terroristic potential of the population of Gaza has been leveraged since 1947 by the Muslim Brotherhood – the largest Sunni terror organization, which established Hamas in 1988 – when it established Gaza as one of its five centers in British Mandate Palestine (Haifa, Jaffa, Nablus, Jerusalem and Gaza). The Gaza branch collaborated closely with the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, the birth place of the Muslim Brotherhood. Initially, Hamas’ popularity was limited to the Gaza middle class, such as the religious establishment, lawyers and businessmen. However, since the 1990s, Hamas has increasingly evolved into a focal point of social, ideological and religious cohesion with the Gaza population at-large.

*The appeal of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Gaza branch, Hamas, has surged dramatically since 1993, through the K-12 hate-education system, Friday incitement in the mosques and the official and public idolization of terrorism, which were instituted by Mahmoud Abbas through the Oslo Accord. Initially, it benefitted the Palestinian Authority – headed by Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas – but rapidly catapulted Hamas into unprecedented popularity, as an integral element of the Gaza culture, a role model for the Gaza youth.

*Realizing the high-level identification of Gaza Arabs with Hamas – and the evolution of Hamas from a terror organization into a terror state – the Palestinian Authority has refrained from holding election since 2005, in order to avoid a Hamas landslide victory. Furthermore, after the October 7 massacre Hamas has surged to its highest popularity among Arabs in Judea and Samaria (West Bank).

*The Western attempt to subordinate the complex, frustrating, costly and inconvenient Middle East reality to its own alternative and convenient Middle East, has led to the assumption that Hamas terrorists and the majority of Gaza Arabs are disjointed culturally and ideologically.

*However, Middle East reality features Hamas as an entity, which is consistent with the worldview, values, education and ideology of most Gazan parents, who send their children to Hamas run schools, participate in Friday services in Hamas run mosques, and enthusiastically cheer Hamas’ ISIS-like terroristic operations.

*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Hamas is not a terror organization in the mold of Peru’s Shining Path, Italy’s Red Brigade, France’s Action Direct and multitude of other terror organizations, which represent a fringe of their societies, terrorizing the government and its educational, cultural and religious institutions.  Hamas is the terrorist state of Gaza, representing Gaza’s educational, cultural and religious institutions, enjoying the moral support of most Gazans.  In many respects, Hamas benefits from more popular support than enjoyed by Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Syria’s Bashar Assad and Iran’s Ayatollahs.

*Western policy based on the erroneous assumption that Hamas and Gaza Arabs are disjointed from one another, inadvertently plays into the hands of Hamas, yielding a robust tailwind to terrorism and a powerful headwind to counter-terrorism. 

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