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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
October 31, 2023

The Iran-Hamas-US connection

*National Security advisor Jake Sullivan said in an October 10, 2023 White House press briefing: “Iran is complicit in this attack in a broad sense because they have provided training, they have provided capabilities, they have provided support, and they have had engagement and contact with Hamas over years and years. And all of that has played a role in contributing to what we have seen [on October 7].”

*Iran’s Ayatollahs, who have been courted and appeased by the West, are committed to bring the West – and especially “the Great American Satan” – to submission. They are the chief architects and enablers of the Israel-Hamas and Israel-Hezbollah wars, determined to escalate them into a regional pandemonium, which would undermine Western interests.

*Iran considers its military and financial support of Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists – as well as many terror entities in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America – as a means to fueling instability, toppling pro-US regimes, and severely downgrading the US’ strategic posture. Therefore, Iran has been – since the 1980s – an epicenter of global, anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking and proliferation of advanced military systems. Iran’s rogue foreign and national security policy has been matched by its rogue domestic policy, which has been replete with ruthless oppression and suppression of the population, in general, and religious and ethnic minorities and especially women, in particular.

However, irrespective of this rogue policy, the US adheres to the diplomatic option, which has bolstered the Ayatollahs’ global posture since their ascension to power in 1979. Moreover, the US’ response to sustained Iranian attacks on US installations in the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Syria has been restrained, further eroding its posture of deterrence. Furthermore, the US has lifted most sanctions against the rogue Ayatollahs and is eagerly seeking another nuclear accord with Tehran.

*The lifting of most sanctions without Congressional consent – especially on the exportation of oil and natural gas – has enabled Iran to supply Hezbollah, Hamas and additional terror organizations and drug traffickers more advanced military systems (e.g., missiles, drones, electronics and explosives) to the detriment of the US and its allies, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and Israel.

*”Iran’s oil exports have increased more than threefold over the past 3 years, a consequence of relaxed US sanctions enforcement…. US sanctions imposed in 2018 and 2019 severely constricted Iranian exports of crude oil. Exports fell well below 500,000 barrels per day from a pre-sanctions peak of 2.7 million barrels per day…. Even though negotiations to revive the nuclear agreement have failed, Iran’s oil exports continue to increase, as Washington opts not to enforce the sanctions.  As of September 2023, Iranian exports are estimated at close to 1.5 million barrels per day or higher [at the current $90 per barrel, at least $50 billion annual income].” According to Reuters, August 31, 2023, Iran exports 3.15 million barrels per day.

Iran’s narco-Jihad against the USA

*Recently, Iran’s Ayatollahs and their Hezbollah proxy have stepped up their drug trafficking, money laundering and terror activities. They have expanded collaboration with Mexico’s drug cartels (e.g., Los Zetas and Sinaloa), training them in car bombing, and smuggling the highly addictive methamphetamine across the border to the USA. This is an extension of their Latin American narco-terror operation, which is centered in the Tri-Border areas of Argentina- Paraguay-Brazil, as well as Chile-Peru-Bolivia.

*The Ayatollahs and Hezbollah leaders have concluded that narcotic trafficking may be more effective than guns in bringing the Western “infidel” to submission.

*According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Iran and Hezbollah established close collaboration with drug cartels in Mexico, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil [and the Albanian Mafia], exporting cocaine to the US and Europe, and developing the most sophisticated money laundering schemes through Lebanon.  They have managed to smuggle illegal immigrants from the Middle East into the USA, bolstering their terroristic and drug trafficking infrastructure in the USA.

*Venezuela has been an effective gateway for Iran into South, Central and North America, issuing false passports to Iranian and Hezbollah terror and drug trafficking operatives. It has also provided Iran with a business and military foothold close to the shores of “the Great American Satan.”  The heavy traffic of IranAir planes between Iran and Venezuela has not been limited to innocent passengers… 

Iran’s fanatic vision transcends Israel

*According to Dr. Yaron Friedman, a Haifa University expert on Islam and the Middle East, the driving force of Iran’s Ayatollahs is a 1,400-year-old vision, which transcends economic and diplomatic benefits and is not centered on Israel, but on the world at large, with a focus on the “infidel” West.

*The root of the Ayatollahs’ vision is the 680 AD Battle of Karbala – a supreme Islamic milestone – which featured the murder of Hussein bin Ali, the grandson of Muhammed and the third Shiite Imam, by Yazid, the Sunni Caliph. For Shiite Islam – as it is in the Middle East which cherishes history and memory – it has been a living memory, commemorated annually during Ashura processions, by Shiite communities in the Middle East, Europe and the USA, with bare-chested men flagellating their bleeding backs and chests.

*The Battle of Karbala has become a permanent call for Shiite martyrdom, sacrifice and revenge, leading to an intrinsic Sunni-Shiite conflict, religiously and militarily, which is still a major force of breeding turbulence among Muslims. The Sunni majority is convinced that the Shiite minority is trying to rule Islam and revenge the 680 AD betrayal, as almost happened from the mid-10th century to the mid-11th century, and during the 16th century, when Iran accepted Shiite Islam and became a major power.

*Since February 1979, when the Ayatollahs (assisted by the US) ascended to power in Tehran, Iran has been preoccupied with the global exportation of the Karbala-driven Islamic Shiite Revolution, aiming to topple every “apostate” (Sunni), “modern-day Yazid” regime, and bring the “infidel” West, and especially “the Great American Satan” to submission, unconditionally, peacefully, or militarily.

*The nature of Iran’s fanatic, religious, megalomaniacal, apocalyptic vision – and the 43-year-old rogue track record of the Ayatollahs – reveal that the Ayatollahs are not amenable to good faith negotiation, peaceful-coexistence, nor exchanging their 1,400-year-old vision for a financial/diplomatic bonanza.  

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
October 24, 2023

Israel – a secondary target

*According to the Paris-based think tank, Fondation pour l’Innovation Politique: “…. In 1979-2019, at least 33,769 Islamist terrorist attacks took place worldwide [not counting the civil wars’ terrorism in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen]. They caused the deaths of at least 167,096 people…. 91.2% of the victims were Muslims…. In Europe, in forty years, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland and Russia, have been hit [in addition to India, Bangladesh, Thailand, China, Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Somalia, and other parts of Asia and Africa]….”

*11 million Muslims have been killed since 1948, of which 35,000 (0.3%) were killed during Arab-Israeli wars.  Over 90% were killed by fellow Muslims.

*The fourteencenturies-old Islamic terrorism (e.g., three of the first four caliphs were murdered in the seventh century) has not been triggered by despair, neither by the US, nor by Israel. Islamic terrorism has been triggered by the megalomaniacal aspiration to force the Western “infidel” and the Arab “apostate” to submit – unconditionally, peacefully or militarily – to Islam, the only “legitimate” religion, divinely-ordained to rule the world.

Hamas’ anti-Western priority

*According to its 1988 covenant, Hamas is a branch of the anti-Western global Islamic terrorism.

*Hamas was established by the Muslim Brotherhood, whose vision is to topple all national Muslim regimes, establish a Quran-based universal society, and bring the “infidel” West to submission, peacefully or militarily.

*Hamas is heavily assisted by Iran’s Ayatollahs, whose strategic goal is to oust all “apostate” (Sunni) Muslim regimes and defeat the “infidel” West, and especially “the Great American Satan.”  

Anti-US Islamic terrorism independent of Israel

*In recent years, Iran-affiliated terrorists in Yemen, Iraq and eastern Syria have challenged the US posture in the Persian Gulf by routine attacks on civilian, commercial and military sites, which are controlled by the US, and the pro-US (and “apostate”) Sunni Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, Iran has challenged the US posture in Central and South America by collaborating with Latin American drug barons, terrorists and anti-US regimes.

*This apocalyptic Islamic terrorism has targeted the USA – and has simultaneously plagued Muslims since the 7th century – independent of Israel and the nature of US policy.

*Thus, Islamic terrorism has afflicted the US, irrespective of President Carter’s facilitating the rise to power of Iran’s Ayatollahs, and regardless of the US’ diplomatic option, which has netted the Ayatollahs hundreds of billion dollars since 1979. It has assaulted the US, despite the mega-billion dollars of US assistance to the Islamic Mujahideen, which enabled the Mujahideen to end the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. It has plagued the US, in spite of the US bombing of Serbia, which yielded independence to the Muslim-dominated Bosnia and Kosovo. It has attacked the US, notwithstanding the generous US foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority. In fact, Islamic terrorism also haunted the US during the Obama and the Trump Administrations, as it did during the Clinton and Bush Administrations.

*Islamic terrorists view the US as the “enemy of Allah,” a “modern day Crusader” and the key obstacle in the way of Islam’s imperialistic vision to bring the “infidel” West to submission.

*According to the late Prof. Bernard Lewis of Princeton University, who was a leading expert on Islam, Islamic terrorists are convinced that they can absorb US retaliation, while the US will not be able to sustain painful terrorism abroad and on the mainland. Their aim is to erode the confidence of Americans in their government’s capability to defeat Islamic terrorism.

*Anti-Western Islamic terrorism has been energized by the dramatic Islamic penetration of Western Europe, which is losing its will to flex cultural and military muscles. It has also been adrenalized by the success of Islamic terrorism to force the 2021 US retreat from Afghanistan, following its forcing the 1989 Soviet retreat from Afghanistan, which impacted the disintegration of the USSR.

*The confidence of Islamic terrorists in their ability to defeat the “infidel” West has been bolstered by the overwhelming surge of Iran’s Ayatollahs – since their February 1979 rise to power – in the areas of global terrorism, drug trafficking and the proliferation of advanced military systems (including in Latin America), while the US sustains its 43-year-old diplomatic option toward Iran, eagerly seeking another accord with the Ayatollahs, and timidly responding to the Iranian bombing of US, Saudi and Emirati installations.  

The bottom line

*Islamic terrorism – which has been a Middle East fixture since the seventh century – is neither driven by the 18th-century-established US, nor by the 20th-century-established Israel. It has been driven by a 1,400-year-old fanatic, religious, imperialistic non-compromising vision.

*Islamic terrorists consider Israel a Western beachhead in “the abode of Islam,” which constrains the maneuverability of anti-Western Islamic entities. They view Israel as the role model of counter terrorism and a critical line of defense for Western societies.  An Israeli failure to defeat Islamic terrorists would provide a critical tailwind to their assault of the “infidel” West.

*In order to defeat Islamic terrorism, Western democracies – led by the US – must acknowledge its inherently apocalyptic, non-compromising vision/aspiration, which is not despair-driven, but driven by violence, intolerance, and the quest for submission and suppression.

*The assault of Islamic terrorism on the Western culture is another edition of the clash of civilizations, which is leveraged by Russia and China, in order to advance their own global aspirations.

*As such, Islamic terrorism must be confronted militarily, not diplomatically, recognizing the role of hate-education and mosque incitement (in Muslim countries as well as in Europe and the US) as a most effective production line of Islamic terrorists.

*An effective war on Islamic terrorism must be offensive rather than defensive, preemptive in the terrorists’ own trenches rather than reactive in Western trenches.

*Counter-terrorism authorities should implement an American football principle: The closer you get to your opponent’s “end zone,” the closer you are to scoring a touchdown. But, the closer you get to your own “end zone,” the closer is your opponent to scoring a touchdown.

Support appreciated

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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.  

Support Appreciated

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
October 31, 2023

The Iran-Hamas-US connection

*National Security advisor Jake Sullivan said in an October 10, 2023 White House press briefing: “Iran is complicit in this attack in a broad sense because they have provided training, they have provided capabilities, they have provided support, and they have had engagement and contact with Hamas over years and years. And all of that has played a role in contributing to what we have seen [on October 7].”

*Iran’s Ayatollahs, who have been courted and appeased by the West, are committed to bring the West – and especially “the Great American Satan” – to submission. They are the chief architects and enablers of the Israel-Hamas and Israel-Hezbollah wars, determined to escalate them into a regional pandemonium, which would undermine Western interests.

*Iran considers its military and financial support of Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists – as well as many terror entities in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America – as a means to fueling instability, toppling pro-US regimes, and severely downgrading the US’ strategic posture. Therefore, Iran has been – since the 1980s – an epicenter of global, anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking and proliferation of advanced military systems. Iran’s rogue foreign and national security policy has been matched by its rogue domestic policy, which has been replete with ruthless oppression and suppression of the population, in general, and religious and ethnic minorities and especially women, in particular.

However, irrespective of this rogue policy, the US adheres to the diplomatic option, which has bolstered the Ayatollahs’ global posture since their ascension to power in 1979. Moreover, the US’ response to sustained Iranian attacks on US installations in the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Syria has been restrained, further eroding its posture of deterrence. Furthermore, the US has lifted most sanctions against the rogue Ayatollahs and is eagerly seeking another nuclear accord with Tehran.

*The lifting of most sanctions without Congressional consent – especially on the exportation of oil and natural gas – has enabled Iran to supply Hezbollah, Hamas and additional terror organizations and drug traffickers more advanced military systems (e.g., missiles, drones, electronics and explosives) to the detriment of the US and its allies, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and Israel.

*”Iran’s oil exports have increased more than threefold over the past 3 years, a consequence of relaxed US sanctions enforcement…. US sanctions imposed in 2018 and 2019 severely constricted Iranian exports of crude oil. Exports fell well below 500,000 barrels per day from a pre-sanctions peak of 2.7 million barrels per day…. Even though negotiations to revive the nuclear agreement have failed, Iran’s oil exports continue to increase, as Washington opts not to enforce the sanctions.  As of September 2023, Iranian exports are estimated at close to 1.5 million barrels per day or higher [at the current $90 per barrel, at least $50 billion annual income].” According to Reuters, August 31, 2023, Iran exports 3.15 million barrels per day.

Iran’s narco-Jihad against the USA

*Recently, Iran’s Ayatollahs and their Hezbollah proxy have stepped up their drug trafficking, money laundering and terror activities. They have expanded collaboration with Mexico’s drug cartels (e.g., Los Zetas and Sinaloa), training them in car bombing, and smuggling the highly addictive methamphetamine across the border to the USA. This is an extension of their Latin American narco-terror operation, which is centered in the Tri-Border areas of Argentina- Paraguay-Brazil, as well as Chile-Peru-Bolivia.

*The Ayatollahs and Hezbollah leaders have concluded that narcotic trafficking may be more effective than guns in bringing the Western “infidel” to submission.

*According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Iran and Hezbollah established close collaboration with drug cartels in Mexico, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil [and the Albanian Mafia], exporting cocaine to the US and Europe, and developing the most sophisticated money laundering schemes through Lebanon.  They have managed to smuggle illegal immigrants from the Middle East into the USA, bolstering their terroristic and drug trafficking infrastructure in the USA.

*Venezuela has been an effective gateway for Iran into South, Central and North America, issuing false passports to Iranian and Hezbollah terror and drug trafficking operatives. It has also provided Iran with a business and military foothold close to the shores of “the Great American Satan.”  The heavy traffic of IranAir planes between Iran and Venezuela has not been limited to innocent passengers… 

Iran’s fanatic vision transcends Israel

*According to Dr. Yaron Friedman, a Haifa University expert on Islam and the Middle East, the driving force of Iran’s Ayatollahs is a 1,400-year-old vision, which transcends economic and diplomatic benefits and is not centered on Israel, but on the world at large, with a focus on the “infidel” West.

*The root of the Ayatollahs’ vision is the 680 AD Battle of Karbala – a supreme Islamic milestone – which featured the murder of Hussein bin Ali, the grandson of Muhammed and the third Shiite Imam, by Yazid, the Sunni Caliph. For Shiite Islam – as it is in the Middle East which cherishes history and memory – it has been a living memory, commemorated annually during Ashura processions, by Shiite communities in the Middle East, Europe and the USA, with bare-chested men flagellating their bleeding backs and chests.

*The Battle of Karbala has become a permanent call for Shiite martyrdom, sacrifice and revenge, leading to an intrinsic Sunni-Shiite conflict, religiously and militarily, which is still a major force of breeding turbulence among Muslims. The Sunni majority is convinced that the Shiite minority is trying to rule Islam and revenge the 680 AD betrayal, as almost happened from the mid-10th century to the mid-11th century, and during the 16th century, when Iran accepted Shiite Islam and became a major power.

*Since February 1979, when the Ayatollahs (assisted by the US) ascended to power in Tehran, Iran has been preoccupied with the global exportation of the Karbala-driven Islamic Shiite Revolution, aiming to topple every “apostate” (Sunni), “modern-day Yazid” regime, and bring the “infidel” West, and especially “the Great American Satan” to submission, unconditionally, peacefully, or militarily.

*The nature of Iran’s fanatic, religious, megalomaniacal, apocalyptic vision – and the 43-year-old rogue track record of the Ayatollahs – reveal that the Ayatollahs are not amenable to good faith negotiation, peaceful-coexistence, nor exchanging their 1,400-year-old vision for a financial/diplomatic bonanza.  

Support appreciated



Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
October 24, 2023

Israel – a secondary target

*According to the Paris-based think tank, Fondation pour l’Innovation Politique: “…. In 1979-2019, at least 33,769 Islamist terrorist attacks took place worldwide [not counting the civil wars’ terrorism in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen]. They caused the deaths of at least 167,096 people…. 91.2% of the victims were Muslims…. In Europe, in forty years, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland and Russia, have been hit [in addition to India, Bangladesh, Thailand, China, Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Somalia, and other parts of Asia and Africa]….”

*11 million Muslims have been killed since 1948, of which 35,000 (0.3%) were killed during Arab-Israeli wars.  Over 90% were killed by fellow Muslims.

*The fourteencenturies-old Islamic terrorism (e.g., three of the first four caliphs were murdered in the seventh century) has not been triggered by despair, neither by the US, nor by Israel. Islamic terrorism has been triggered by the megalomaniacal aspiration to force the Western “infidel” and the Arab “apostate” to submit – unconditionally, peacefully or militarily – to Islam, the only “legitimate” religion, divinely-ordained to rule the world.

Hamas’ anti-Western priority

*According to its 1988 covenant, Hamas is a branch of the anti-Western global Islamic terrorism.

*Hamas was established by the Muslim Brotherhood, whose vision is to topple all national Muslim regimes, establish a Quran-based universal society, and bring the “infidel” West to submission, peacefully or militarily.

*Hamas is heavily assisted by Iran’s Ayatollahs, whose strategic goal is to oust all “apostate” (Sunni) Muslim regimes and defeat the “infidel” West, and especially “the Great American Satan.”  

Anti-US Islamic terrorism independent of Israel

*In recent years, Iran-affiliated terrorists in Yemen, Iraq and eastern Syria have challenged the US posture in the Persian Gulf by routine attacks on civilian, commercial and military sites, which are controlled by the US, and the pro-US (and “apostate”) Sunni Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, Iran has challenged the US posture in Central and South America by collaborating with Latin American drug barons, terrorists and anti-US regimes.

*This apocalyptic Islamic terrorism has targeted the USA – and has simultaneously plagued Muslims since the 7th century – independent of Israel and the nature of US policy.

*Thus, Islamic terrorism has afflicted the US, irrespective of President Carter’s facilitating the rise to power of Iran’s Ayatollahs, and regardless of the US’ diplomatic option, which has netted the Ayatollahs hundreds of billion dollars since 1979. It has assaulted the US, despite the mega-billion dollars of US assistance to the Islamic Mujahideen, which enabled the Mujahideen to end the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. It has plagued the US, in spite of the US bombing of Serbia, which yielded independence to the Muslim-dominated Bosnia and Kosovo. It has attacked the US, notwithstanding the generous US foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority. In fact, Islamic terrorism also haunted the US during the Obama and the Trump Administrations, as it did during the Clinton and Bush Administrations.

*Islamic terrorists view the US as the “enemy of Allah,” a “modern day Crusader” and the key obstacle in the way of Islam’s imperialistic vision to bring the “infidel” West to submission.

*According to the late Prof. Bernard Lewis of Princeton University, who was a leading expert on Islam, Islamic terrorists are convinced that they can absorb US retaliation, while the US will not be able to sustain painful terrorism abroad and on the mainland. Their aim is to erode the confidence of Americans in their government’s capability to defeat Islamic terrorism.

*Anti-Western Islamic terrorism has been energized by the dramatic Islamic penetration of Western Europe, which is losing its will to flex cultural and military muscles. It has also been adrenalized by the success of Islamic terrorism to force the 2021 US retreat from Afghanistan, following its forcing the 1989 Soviet retreat from Afghanistan, which impacted the disintegration of the USSR.

*The confidence of Islamic terrorists in their ability to defeat the “infidel” West has been bolstered by the overwhelming surge of Iran’s Ayatollahs – since their February 1979 rise to power – in the areas of global terrorism, drug trafficking and the proliferation of advanced military systems (including in Latin America), while the US sustains its 43-year-old diplomatic option toward Iran, eagerly seeking another accord with the Ayatollahs, and timidly responding to the Iranian bombing of US, Saudi and Emirati installations.  

The bottom line

*Islamic terrorism – which has been a Middle East fixture since the seventh century – is neither driven by the 18th-century-established US, nor by the 20th-century-established Israel. It has been driven by a 1,400-year-old fanatic, religious, imperialistic non-compromising vision.

*Islamic terrorists consider Israel a Western beachhead in “the abode of Islam,” which constrains the maneuverability of anti-Western Islamic entities. They view Israel as the role model of counter terrorism and a critical line of defense for Western societies.  An Israeli failure to defeat Islamic terrorists would provide a critical tailwind to their assault of the “infidel” West.

*In order to defeat Islamic terrorism, Western democracies – led by the US – must acknowledge its inherently apocalyptic, non-compromising vision/aspiration, which is not despair-driven, but driven by violence, intolerance, and the quest for submission and suppression.

*The assault of Islamic terrorism on the Western culture is another edition of the clash of civilizations, which is leveraged by Russia and China, in order to advance their own global aspirations.

*As such, Islamic terrorism must be confronted militarily, not diplomatically, recognizing the role of hate-education and mosque incitement (in Muslim countries as well as in Europe and the US) as a most effective production line of Islamic terrorists.

*An effective war on Islamic terrorism must be offensive rather than defensive, preemptive in the terrorists’ own trenches rather than reactive in Western trenches.

*Counter-terrorism authorities should implement an American football principle: The closer you get to your opponent’s “end zone,” the closer you are to scoring a touchdown. But, the closer you get to your own “end zone,” the closer is your opponent to scoring a touchdown.

Support appreciated

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
July 26, 2023

The British “Cambridge Middle East and North Africa Forum” reported that “On January 11, 2023, Iran’s naval commander announced that before the end of 2023, Iran would station warships in the Panama Canal [which facilitates 5% of the global maritime trade].”  

According to the December 1823 Monroe Doctrine, any intervention by a foreign power in the political affairs of the American continent could be viewed as a potentially hostile act against the US. However, in November 2013, then Secretary of State John Kerry told the Organization of the American States that “the era of the Monroe Doctrine is over.”

Is Iran’s dramatic and rogue re-entrenchment in Latin America underscoring the relevance/irrelevance of the Monroe Doctrine? Does it vindicate John Kerry’s assessment?

Latin America and the Ayatollahs’ anti-US strategy

*Since the February 1979 eruption of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Ayatollahs have leveraged the US diplomatic option (toward Iran’s Ayatollahs) and the accompanying mega-billion dollar benefit (to Iran’s Ayatollahs) as a major engine, bolstering their anti-US rogue policy, regionally and globally.

*The threat posed to the US by Iran’s Ayatollahs is not limited to the survival of the pro-US Arab regimes in the Middle East and the stability of Central Asia, Europe and North and West Africa. The threat extends to Latin America up to the US-Mexico border. The Ayatollahs poke the US in the eye in a most vulnerable geo-strategic area, which directly impacts the US homeland.    

*Iran’s penetration of Latin America – the backyard of the US and its soft belly – has been a top national security priority of the Ayatollahs since assuming power in February 1979. The Ayatollahs’ re-entrenchment in Latin America has been assisted by their Hezbollah proxy, driven by their 1,400-year-old mega imperialistic goal (toppling all “apostate” Sunni regimes and bringing the “infidel” West to submission), which requires overcoming the mega hurdle (“the Great American Satan”), the development of mega military capabilities (conventional, ballistic and nuclear) and the adoption of an apocalyptic state of mind.

*Iran’s penetration of Latin America has been based on the anti-U.S. agenda of most Latin American governments, which has transcended the striking ideological and religious differences between the anti-US, socialist, secular Latin American governments and the fanatic Shiite Ayatollahs. The overriding joint aim has been to erode the strategic stature of the US in its own backyard, and subsequently (as far as the Ayatollahs are concerned) in the US homeland, through a network of sleeper cells.

*Iran’s penetration of Latin America has been a hydra-like multi-faceted structure, focusing on the lawless tri-border-areas of Argentina-Paraguay-Brazil and Chile-Peru-Bolivia, as well as Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua and all other anti-US governments. It involves a growing collaboration with all regional terror organizations, the leading drug cartels of Mexico, Columbia, Brazil and Bolivia, global money launderers and every anti-US government in Latin America. Moreover, the Ayatollahs have established terror-training camps in Latin America, as well as sophisticated media facilities and cultural/proselytizing centers. They have exported to the region ballistic technologies, predator unmanned aerial vehicles and tunnel construction equipment.     

Latin America and the Ayatollahs’ anti-US tactics

*According to the Cambridge MENAF (ibid), the Brazilian navy reported that two Iranian warships have been granted permission to dock in Brazil. Experts speculate that the vessels could reach the Panama Canal as early as mid-February 2024. The presence of Iranian warships in the Panama Canal threatens not only Western security, but the safety and reliability of one of the world’s key trade routes.  

“The gradual permeation of Iranian influence across Latin America over the past 40 years is a significant phenomenon, which has paved the way for this recent strategic move by Teheran. Attention is concentrated toward Iran’s criminal and terrorist network [in Latin America] via Hezbollah operations….”

*Wikileaks cables claim that Secret US diplomatic reports alleged that Iranian engineers have visited Venezuela searching for uranium deposits…. in exchange for assistance in their own nuclear programs. The Chile-based bnAmericas reported that “Iranian experts with knowledge of the most uranium-rich areas in Venezuela are allegedly extracting the mineral under the guise of mining and tractor assembly companies…. Planes are prohibited from flying over the location of the plant…. The Iranian state-owned Impasco, which has a gold mining concession in Venezuela, is linked to Iran’s nuclear program. Its Venezuela mine is located in one of the most uranium-rich areas, which has no-fly restrictions….”     

*According to the June 2022 Iran-Venezuela 20-year-agreement (military, oil, economy), Iran received the title over one million hectares of Venezuelan land, which could be employed for the testing of advanced Iranian ballistic systems. Similar agreements were signed by Iran with Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia.  

*Venezuela has issued fraudulent passports, national IDs and birth certificates to Iranian officials and terrorists, avoiding international sanctions and blunting counter-terrorism measures. The Iran-Venezuela air traffic has grown significantly, although tourism activity has been marginal….

*Since the early 1980s, Iran’s Ayatollahs have leveraged the networking of Hezbollah terrorists in the very large and successful Lebanese communities in Latin America (and West Africa). Hezbollah’s narcotrafficking, money laundering, crime and terror infrastructure have yielded billions of dollars to both Hezbollah and Iran. The US Department of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimates that Hezbollah earns about $2bn annually through illegal drug trafficking and weapon proliferation in the Tri Border Area of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, expanding ties with the most violent drug cartels in Latin America, including Mexico’s Los Zetas, Colombia’s FARC and Brazil’s PCC, impacting drug trafficking, crime and terror in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Iran has intensified its Hezbollah-assisted intelligence missions against US and Israeli targets in Latin America and beyond. Hezbollah has leveraged its stronghold, the Bekaa Valley, in Lebanon, which is one of the largest opium and hashish producing areas in the world.  

The bottom line

The track record of the Ayatollahs, including the surge of their rogue presence in Latin America, documents the self-destructive nature of the diplomatic option toward Iran – which has served as a most effective tailwind of the Ayatollahs’ anti US agenda – and the self-defeating assumptions that the Ayatollahs are amenable to good-faith negotiation, peaceful-coexistence with their Sunni Arab neighbors and the abandonment of their 1,400-year-old fanatical imperialistic vision.

Jewish Policy Center’s inFOCUS, Spring, 2023

Saudi-Iranian diplomatic relations

*Riyadh does not allow the resumption of the Saudi-Iranian diplomatic ties to befog the reality of the tenuous and shifty Middle East regimes, policies and agreements, and the inherently subversive, terroristic, anti-Sunni and imperialistic track record of Iran’s Ayatollahs.

*Saudi Arabia is cognizant of the 1,400-year-old fanatic, religious vision of the Ayatollahs, including their most critical strategic goal – since their February 1979 violent ascension to power – of exporting the Shiite Revolution and toppling all “apostate” Sunni Arab regimes, especially the House of Saud. They are aware that neither diplomatic, nor financial, short term benefits transcend the deeply-rooted, long term Ayatollahs’ anti-Sunni vision.

*Irrespective of its recent agreement with Iran – and the accompanying moderate diplomatic rhetoric – Saudi Arabia does not subscribe to the “New Middle East” and “end of interstate wars” Pollyannaish state of mind. The Saudis adhere to the 1,400-year-old reality of the unpredictably intolerant and violent inter-Arab/Muslim reality (as well as the Russia-Ukraine reality).

*This is not the first resumption of Saudi-Iranian diplomatic ties, which were previously severed in 1988 and 2016 and followed by the Ayatollahs-induced domestic and regional violence.

*The China-brokered March 2023 resumption of diplomatic ties is a derivative of Saudi Arabia’s national security interests, and its growing frustration with the US’ eroded posture as a reliable diplomatic and military protector against lethal threats.

*The resumption of Saudi-Iranian diplomatic relations constitute a major geo-strategic gain for China and a major setback for the US in a region which, until recently, was perceived as a US domain.

*The US posture of deterrence has been severely undermined by the 2015 nuclear accord (the JCPOA), the 2021 withdrawal/flight from Afghanistan, the systematic courting of three real, clear and lethal threats to the Saudi regime –  Iran’s Ayatollahs, the “Muslim Brotherhood” and Yemen’s Houthi terrorists –- while exerting diplomatic and military pressure on the pro-US Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.

*US policy has driven Saudi Arabia (as well as the UAE and Egypt) closer to China and Russia, commercially and militarily, including the potential Chinese construction of civilian nuclear power plants and a hard rock uranium mill in Saudi Arabia, which would advance Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “Vision 2030.”

Saudi “Vision 2030” 

*Effective Israel-Saudi Arabia cooperation is a derivative of Saudi Arabia’s national security and economic interests, most notably “Vision 2030.”

*The unprecedented Saudi-Israeli security, technological and commercial cooperation, and the central role played by Saudi Arabia in inducing the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan to conclude peace treaties with Israel, are driven by the Saudi assessment that Israel is an essential ally in the face of real, clear, lethal security threats, as well as a vital partner in the pursuit of economic, technological and diplomatic goals.

*The Saudi-Israel cooperation constitutes a win-win proposition.

*The Saudi-Israel cooperation is driven by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’ (MBS’) “Vision 2030.” He aspires to catapult the kingdom to a regional and global powerhouse of trade and investment, leveraging its geo-strategic position along crucial naval routes between the Far East and Europe (the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Arab Sea and the Red Sea).

*”Vision 2030″ has introduced ground-breaking cultural, social, economic, diplomatic and national security reforms and upgrades, leveraging the unique added-value of Israel’s technological and military capabilities.

*Saudi Arabia, just like the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, are preoccupied with the challenge of economic diversification, realizing that they are overly-reliant on oil and natural gas, which are exposed to price-volatility, depletion and could be replaced by emerging cleaner and more cost-effective energy. They consider Israel’s ground-breaking technologies as a most effective vehicle to diversify their economy, create more jobs in non-energy sectors, and establish a base for alternative sources of national income, while bolstering homeland and national security.

*”Vision 2030″ defies traditional Saudi religious, cultural and social norms.  Its future, as well as the future of Saudi-Israel cooperation, depend on Saudi domestic stability and the legitimacy of MBS.  The latter is determined to overcome and de-sanctify the fundamentalist Wahhabis in central and southwestern Saudi Arabia, who were perceived until recently as the Islamic authority in Saudi Arabia, and an essential ally of the House of Saud since 1744.

“Vision 2030”, the Middle East and Israel’s added-value

*MBS’ ambitious strategy is preconditioned upon reducing regional instability and minimizing domestic and regional threats.  These threats include the Ayatollahs regime of Iran, “Muslim Brotherhood” terrorists, Iran-supported domestic Shiite subversion (in the oil-rich Eastern Province), Iran-based Al Qaeda, Iran-supported Houthis in Yemen, Iran-supported Hezbollah, the proposed Palestinian state (which features a rogue intra-Arab track record), and Erdogan’ aspirations to resurrect the Ottoman Empire, which controlled large parts of the Arabian Peninsula. Currently, Erdogan maintains close security and political ties with the “Muslim Brotherhood” and the pro-Iran and pro-“Muslim Brotherhood” Qatar, while confronting Saudi Arabia in Libya, where they are both involved in a series of civil wars.

*Notwithstanding the March 2023 resumption of diplomatic ties with Iran, Saudi Arabia is aware that the Middle East resembles a volcano, which frequently releases explosive lava – domestically and regionally – in an unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2010 and is still raging on the Arab Street.

*The survival of the Saudi regime, and the implementation of “Vision 2030,” depend upon Riyadh’s ability to form an effective coalition against rogue regimes. However, Saudi Arabia is frustrated by the recent erosion of the US’ posture of deterrence, as demonstrated by the 43-year-old US addiction to the diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs; the US’ limited reaction to Iranian aggression against US and Saudi targets; the US’ embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood; and the US’ appeasement of the Ayatollahs-backed Houthi terrorists. In addition, the Saudis are alarmed by the ineffectiveness of NATO (No Action Talk Only?), European vacillation in the face of Islamic terrorism, and the vulnerability of the Arab regimes.  This geo-strategic reality has driven the Saudis (reluctantly) closer to China and Russia, militarily and commercially.

*Against this regional and global backdrop, Israel stands out as the most reliable “life insurance agent” and an essential strategic ally, irrespective of past conflicts and the Palestinian issue. The latter is considered by the Saudi Crown Prince as a secondary or tertiary issue.

*In addition, the Saudis face economic and diplomatic challenges – which could benefit from Israel’s cooperation and can-do mentality – such as economic diversification, innovative technology, agriculture, irrigation and enhanced access to advanced US military systems, which may be advanced via Israel’s stature on Capitol Hill.

*The Saudi interest in expanding military, training, intelligence, counter-terrorism and commercial cooperation with Israel has been a byproduct of its high regard for Israel’s posture of deterrence and muscle-flexing in the face of Iran’s Ayatollahs (in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran itself); and Israel’s systematic war on Palestinian and Islamic terrorism.  Furthermore, the Saudis respect Israel’s occasional defiance of US pressure, including Israel’s high-profiled opposition to the 2015 JCPOA and Israel’s 1981 and 2007 bombing of Iraq’s and Syria’s nuclear reactors, which spared the Saudis (and the US) the devastating wrath of a nuclear Saddam Hussein and a nuclear Assad.

*A deterring and defiant Israel is a cardinal force-multiplier for Saudi Arabia (as it is for the US). On the other hand, an appeasing and retreating Israel would be irrelevant to Saudi Arabia’s national security (as it would be for the US).

*On a rainy day, MBS (just like the US) prefers a deterring and defiant Israel on his side.

Saudi interests and the Palestinian issue

*As documented by the aforementioned data, Saudi Arabia’s top national security priorities transcend – and are independent of – the Palestinian issue.

*The expanding Saudi-Israel cooperation, and the key role played by Riyadh in accomplishing the Abraham Accords, have contradicted the Western conventional wisdom.  The latter assumes that the Palestinian issue is central to Arab policy makers, and that the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict is preconditioned upon substantial Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, including the establishment of a Palestinian state.

*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, MBS is aware that the Palestinian issue is not the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict, neither a crown-jewel of Arab policy-making, nor a core cause of regional turbulence.

*Independent of the pro-Palestinian Saudi talk, Riyadh (just like the Arabs in general) has demonstrated an indifferent-to-negative walk toward the Palestinians.  Arabs know that – in the Middle East – one does not pay custom on words. Therefore, the Arabs have never flexed a military (and barely financial and diplomatic) muscle on behalf of the Palestinians. They have acted in accordance with their own – not Palestinian – interests, and certainly not in accordance with Western misperceptions of the Middle East.

*Unlike the Western establishment, MBS accords critical weight to the Palestinian intra-Arab track record, which is top heavy on subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude. For instance, the Saudis don’t forget and don’t forgive the Palestinian collaboration with Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which was the most generous Arab host for Palestinians. The Saudis are also cognizant of the deeply-rooted Palestinian collaboration with Islamic, Asian, African, European and Latin American terror organizations, including “Muslim Brotherhood” terrorists and Iran’s Ayatollahs (whose machetes are at the throat of the House of Saud), North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela.  The Saudis are convinced that the proposed Palestinian state cannot be different than the Palestinian rogue track record, which would add fuel to the Middle East fire, threatening the relatively-moderate Arab regimes.

Saudi Arabia and the Abraham Accords

*Saudi Arabia has served as the primary engine behind Israel’s peace treaties with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan, and has forged unprecedented defense and commercial cooperation with Israel, consistent with the Saudi order of national priorities.

*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, the Saudis do not sacrifice Middle East reality and their national security interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue.

*The success of the Saudi-supported Abraham Accords was a result of avoiding the systematic mistakes committed by Western policy makers, which produced a litany of failed Israeli-Arab peace proposals, centered on the Palestinian issue. Learning from prior mistakes, the Abraham accords focused on Arab interests, bypassing the Palestinian issue, avoiding a Palestinian veto.

*Therefore, the durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the interests of the respective Arab countries, and not on the Palestinian issue, which is not a top priority for any Arab country.

*The durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the stability of Saudi Arabia and the Arab countries which signed the Abraham Accords. Their stability is threatened by the volcanic nature of the unstable, highly-fragmented, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic and tenuous Middle East.

*The tenuous nature of most Arab/Muslim regimes in the Middle East yields tenuous policies and tenuous accords. For example, in addition to the Arab Tsunami of 2010 (which is still raging on the Arab Street), non-ballot regime-change occurred (with a dramatic change of policy) in Egypt (2013, 2012, 1952), Iran (1979, 1953), Iraq (2003, 1968, 1963-twice, 1958), Libya (2011, 1969) and Yemen (a civil war since the ’90s, 1990, 1962), etc.

*Bearing in mind the intra-Arab Palestinian track record, regional instability, the national security of Saudi Arabia, the Abraham Accords and US interests would be severely undermined by the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. It would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River; transform Jordan into a chaotic state in the vein of the uncontrollable Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; and produce another platform of regional and global Islamic terrorism, which would be leveraged by Iran’s Ayatollahs, in order to tighten their encirclement of Saudi Arabia. This would trigger a domino scenario, which would threaten every pro-US Arab oil-producing country in the Arabian Peninsula, jeopardizing the supply of Persian Gulf oil; threaten global trade; and yield a robust tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China and a major headwind to the US and its Arab Sunni allies, headed by Saudi Arabia.

*Why would Saudi Arabia and the Arab regimes of the Abraham Accords precondition their critical ties with Israel upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, which they view as a rogue element? Why would they sacrifice their national security and economic interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue? Why would they cut off their noses to spite their faces?

The well-documented fact that Arabs have never flexed a military muscle (and hardly a significant financial and diplomatic muscles) on behalf of the Palestinians, provides a resounding answer!

Israel-Saudi cooperation and Israel’s national security interests

*Notwithstanding the importance of Israel’s cooperation with Saudi Arabia, it takes a back seat to Israel’s critical need to safeguard/control the geographic cradle of its history, religion and culture, which coincides with its minimal security requirements in the volcanic Middle East: the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (West Bank), which dominate the 8-15-mile-sliver of pre-1967 Israel.

*The tenuously unpredictable Middle East reality defines peace accords as variable components of national security, unlike topography and geography (e.g., the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights) which are fixed components of Israel’s minimal security requirements in the non-Western-like Middle East. Israel’s fixed components of national security have dramatically enhanced its posture of deterrence. They transformed the Jewish State into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.

*An Israel-Saudi Arabia peace treaty would be rendered impractical if it required Israel to concede the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which would relegate Israel from a terror and war-deterring force multiplier for the US to a terror and war-inducing burden upon the US.

*Contrary to the Western (mis)perception of Israel-Arab peace treaties as pillars of national security, the unpredictably-violent Middle East features a 1,400-year-old reality of transient (non-democratic, one-bullet, not one-ballot) Arab regimes, policies and accords. Thus, as desirable as Israel-Arab peace treaties are, they must not entail the sacrifice of Israel’s most critical national security feature: the permanent topography of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which dominate 80% of Israel’s population and infrastructure.

*In June and December of 1981, Israel bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor and applied its law to the Golan Heights, in defiance of the Western foreign policy establishment.  The latter warned that such actions would force Egypt to abandon its 1979 peace treaty with Israel. However, Egypt adhered to its national security priorities, sustaining the peace treaty. Routinely, Western policy makers warn that construction in Jerusalem (beyond the “Green Line”) and in Judea and Samaria would trigger a terroristic volcano and push the Arabs away from their peace treaties with Israel.

*None of the warnings materialized, since Arabs act in accordance with their own interests; not in accordance with Western misperceptions and the rogue Palestinian agenda.

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Israel’s and the US’ counter-terrorism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

War on terrorism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The bottom line

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

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

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

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan believe that the expansion of the Abraham Accords, the enhancement of Israel-Saudi defense and commercial cooperation and the conclusion of an Israel-Saudi Arabia peace accord are preconditioned upon major Israeli concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

Is such a belief consistent with Middle East reality?

Arab interests

*The signing of the Abraham Accords, and the role played by Saudi Arabia as a critical engine of the accords, were driven by the national security, economic and diplomatic interests of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan.

*The Arab interest in peace accords with Israel was not triggered by the realization that the Jewish State was genuinely seeking peaceful-coexistence, nor by a departure from the fundamental tenets of Islam. It was motivated by the assessment that critical concerns of the respective Arab countries would be effectively-served by Israel’s advanced military (Qualitative Military Edge), technological and diplomatic capabilities in the face of mutual and lethal enemies, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs and Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.

*Saudi Arabia and the six Arab peace partners of Israel (including Egypt and Jordan) are aware that the Middle East resembles a volcano, which occasionally releases explosive lava – domestically and/or regionally – in an unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the 1,400-year-old stormy intra-Arab/Muslim relations, and recently demonstrated by the Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2011 and still rages.

They wish to minimize the impact of rogue regimes, and therefore are apprehensive about the nature of the proposed Palestinian state, in view of the rogue Palestinian inter-Arab track record, which has transformed Palestinians into an intra-Arab role model of subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude.

*They are anxious about the erosion of the US posture of deterrence, which is their most critical component of national security, and alarmed about the 43-year-old US diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs, which has bolstered the Ayatollahs’ terroristic, drug trafficking and ballistic capabilities. They are also concerned about the US’ embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Sunni terrorist entity with religious, educational, welfare and political branches. And, they are aware of the ineffectiveness of NATO (No Action Talk Only?), the European vacillation, and the vulnerability of all other Arab countries.

Israel’s role

*Saudi Arabia and the Arab partners to peace accords with Israel feel the machetes of the Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood at their throats. They consider Israel as the most reliable “life insurance agent” in the region.  They view Israel as the most effective US force-multiplier in the Middle East, and appreciate Israel’s proven posture of deterrence; flexing its military muscles against Iran’s Ayatollahs in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran itself and against Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorism. They respect Israel’s unique counter-terrorism intelligence and training capabilities, and its game-changing military and counter-terrorism battle tactics and technologies.

*The Arab view of Israel as a reliable partner on “a rainy day” has been bolstered by Israel’s willingness to defy US pressure, when it comes to Israel’s most critical national security and historic credos (e.g., Iran, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria).  In addition, Saudi Arabia and Israel’s peace-partners aim to leverage Israel’s good-standing among most Americans – and therefore among most Senators and House Representatives – as a venue to enhance their military, commercial and diplomatic ties with the US.

*Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are preoccupied with the challenge of economic diversification, realizing that they are overly-reliant on oil and natural gas, which are exposed to price-volatility, depletion and could be replaced by emerging cleaner and more cost-effective energy.

Thus, they consider Israel’s ground-breaking technologies as a most effective vehicle to diversify their economy, create more jobs in non-energy sectors, and establish a base for alternative sources of national income, while bolstering homeland and national security.

*The Abraham Accords – as well as Israel’s peace accords with Egypt and Jordan – and the unprecedented expansion of defense and commercial cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel, demonstrate that critical Arab national security interests may supersede fundamental tenets of Islam, such as the 1,400-year-old rejection of any “infidel” sovereignty in “the abode of Islam.”  Moreover, critical national security interests may lead to a dramatic moderation of the (Arab) education system, which is the most authentic reflection of one’s vision and policies.

Thus, contrary to the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates has uprooted hate-education curriculum, replacing it with pro-Israel/Jewish curriculum.

Abraham Accords’ durability

*The success of the Abraham Accords was a result of avoiding the systematic mistakes committed by the US State Department. The latter has produced a litany of failed peace proposals, centered on the Palestinian issue, while the Abraham accords bypassed the Palestinian issue, avoiding a Palestinian veto, and focusing on Arab interests. Therefore, the durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the interests of the respective Arab countries, and not on the Palestinian issue, which is not a top priority for any Arab country.

*The durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the stability of the individual Arab countries and the Middle East at-large.

*The Abraham Accord have yielded initial and unprecedented signs of moderation, modernity and peaceful coexistence, which requires the US to support the respective pro-US Arab regimes, rather than pressuring them (e.g., Saudi Arabia and the UAE).

*However, one should not ignore the grave threats to the durability of the accords, posed by the volcanic nature of the unstable, highly-fragmented, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic and tenuous Middle East (as related to intra-Arab relations!).  These inherent threats would be dramatically alleviated by a resolute US support.

*A major threat to the Abraham Accord is the tenuous nature of most Arab regimes in the Middle East, which yields tenuous policies and tenuous accords. For example, in addition to the Arab Tsunami of 2010 (which is still raging on the Arab Street), non-ballot regime-change occurred (with a dramatic change of policy) in Egypt (2013, 2012, 1952), Iran (1979, 1953), Iraq (2003, 1968, 1963-twice, 1958), Libya (2011, 1969), Yemen (a civil war since the ’90s, 1990, 1962), etc.

*Regional stability, the Abraham Accords and US interests would be undermined by the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River (bearing in mind the intra-Arab Palestinian track record). It would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River; transforming Jordan into another platform of regional and global Islamic terrorism, similar to Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; triggering a domino scenario, which would threaten every pro-US Arab oil-producing country in the Arabian Peninsula; yielding a robust tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China and a major headwind to the US.

*While Middle East reality defines policies and accords as variable components of national security, the topography and geography of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Golan Heights are fixed components of Israel’s minimal security requirements in the reality of the non-Western Middle East. Israel’s fixed components of national security have secured its survival, and have dramatically enhanced its posture of deterrence. They transformed the Jewish State into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.

*The more durable the Abraham Accords and the more robust Israel’s posture of deterrence, the more stable the pro-US Arab regimes and the Middle East at-large; the more deterred are anti-US rogue regimes; the less potent are Middle Eastern epicenters of anti-US terrorism and drug trafficking; the more bolstered is the US global posture and the weaker is the posture of the US’ enemies and adversaries.

*Would the Arab regimes of the Abraham Accords precondition their critical ties with Israel upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, which they view as a rogue element? Would they sacrifice their national security and economic interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue? Would they cut off their nose to spite their face?

The fact that these Arab regimes concluded the Abraham Accords without preconditioning it upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, and that they limit their support of the Palestinians to talk, rather than walk, provides an answer to these three questions.

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

Secretary Blinken in Egypt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Secretary Blinken in Israel and the Palestinian Authority

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The US-engineered and guaranteed Israel-Lebanon maritime/gas accord is supposed to follow in the footsteps of the Israel-Arab peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco, reducing regional terrorism and instability, inducing moderation and enhancing US interests.  Does it?

Hezbollah and Lebanon

*The Shiite Hezbollah – Iran’s proxy and globally recognized terrorist organization – is a dominant player in the increasingly imploding, failed-state, Lebanon, politically, militarily, socially, educationally, religiously and journalistically.

Hezbollah has dramatically bolstered its capabilities and clout since its establishment in 1982 – by Iran’s Shiite Ayatollahs – as a vehicle to export the Shiite Islamic Revolution, extend the Ayatollahs’ reach from the Persian Gulf, through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the eastern Mediterranean, and undermine the US strategic posture in the Middle East.  Hezbollah has collaborated with Iran’s Ayatollahs in the Middle East, West Africa and throughout Latin America, all the way to the US-Mexico border. It has gained substantial sway due to its major contribution to the survival of the Assad regime.  Hezbollah has benefited from the Ayatollahs’ financial support, combat training, and the supply of precise missiles and predator unmanned aerial vehicles.

*Hezbollah’s dominant role in Lebanon’s decision-making has led the pro-US Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to ostracize Lebanon and suspend financial aid to Beirut, lest it bolsters Hezbollah’s stature.

Israel’s maritime accord vs. Israel-Arab peace treaties

*Israel’s peace treaties with the relatively-stable, pro-US, anti-Iran and anti-terrorist Sunni Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco, with the blessing of Saudi Arabia, which generated a critical impetus to the Abraham Accords. Their policy and vision do not extend beyond their own national boundaries.

On the other hand, the maritime/gas accord was concluded with the uncontrollable Lebanon, which is afflicted by intrinsic religious, ethnic and political fragmentation, that has been leveraged by the violently domineering, anti-US, pro-Iran Hezbollah, a major arm of Islamic terrorism in the Middle East, west Africa and Latin America. Hezbollah is dedicated to advancing the fanatic vision of a universal Shiite Moslem society, through the exportation of the Ayatollahs’ Shiite Islamic Revolution, toppling all Sunni (“apostate” and “heretic”) Sunni regimes, transforming the Republic of Lebanon into the Islamic Republic of Lebanon, a province of a universal Shiite Islamic entity, and bringing the “infidel” West (especially “the Great American Satan) to submission.

*The Abraham Accords were signed with regimes, which have accepted peaceful-coexistence with Israel and are focused on domestic stability, including economic growth.

Nonetheless, the maritime/gas accord was concluded with a country, dominated by Hezbollah, which perceives peaceful-coexistence with the Jewish state and its Sunni Arab neighbors an anathema to its fanatic vision, and has made it clear – since establishment – that its ideology supersedes financial and diplomatic benefits.

The conventional Western wisdom that Hezbollah will choose economic benefits over ideology should be assessed against the backdrop of the track record of Iran’s Ayatollahs and their adherence to their core ideology irrespective of the mega-billion-dollars of Western gifts, showered upon them by the US and the West since 1979. In addition, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have exhibited faithfulness to hate-education, incitement and terrorism, notwithstanding the unprecedented geographic, diplomatic and financial concessions made by Israel, the US and the world at-large.

*The Abraham Accords were concluded with Arab regimes, which consider Israel as a most effective military and technological ally in the face of lethal threats and in their pursuit of economic diversification.

While these Arab regimes are not fully-reconciled to the existence of an “infidel” Jewish sovereignty in the “abode of Islam” (the Middle East), they do not consider it a top priority, realizing the potential Israeli contribution to their survival. Moreover, some of them (especially the UAE) are moderating their education curriculum and policy toward Israel, rethinking Islam’s fundamental view of the Jewish people and the Jewish State.

On the other hand, Hezbollah and their masters in Tehran, consider Israel as a loathsome entity, religiously and strategically, to be uprooted, in order to advance their fanatic, religious, megalomaniacal vision.

They recognize the Jewish State as the most effective beachhead of “The Great American Satan,” culturally and strategically, and a powerful ally of the “apostate” Sunni Arab regimes.

*All Israel-Arab peace treaties resulted from a deep appreciation, by the Arab partners, of Israel’s military, technological and diplomatic capabilities, including its military defiance of Iran and Hezbollah, and its ability to fend off US pressure, which have demonstrated Israel’s willingness to assume short-term setbacks, in order to benefit from long-term national security benefits. The pro-US Arab regimes consider Israel’s posture of deterrence as a key component of their own national security.

On the other hand, the maritime/gas accord, was brokered by the US under the assumption that an Israeli giveaway of the entire area in dispute (330 square miles of economic water and 10 square kilometers of sovereign water) would avert a Hezbollah threat to launch an attack of missiles and predator unmanned vehicles.  In other words, a sweeping capitulation, rather than confrontation and preemption of a terrorist threat.

*The maritime/gas accord – which reflects the State Department worldview that concessions made to terrorists could induce moderation – has eroded Israel’s posture of deterrence, which has transformed Israel (since 1967) into the most productive force-multiplier for the US, and a desirable ally of the pro-US Arab regimes, in the face of lethal threats.

The bottom line

*The US architects of the maritime/gas accord and their Israeli partners overlook the fact that terrorists bite the hands that feed them. For example, the Mujahideen defeated the Soviets in Afghanistan due to US support, and were quick to launch a major terror offensive against the US in the Middle East and in the US itself. Furthermore, Iran’s Ayatollahs seized power in Iran due to US support, and then became the lead epicenter of global anti-US terrorism. Moreover, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas responded to unprecedented Israeli gestures in 1993 (the Oslo Accord) and 2005 (the disengagement from Gaza) with unprecedented hate-education, incitement and terrorism.

*The US architects and their Israeli partners have ignored the fact that concessions to terrorists – just like any other rogue entity – whets their appetite and intensifies terrorism.

*The maritime/gas accord represents a victory of Western conventional wisdom over Middle East reality, sacrificing long-term national security on the altar of short-term gratification, which plays into the hands of rogue entities (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority), undermining the homeland and national security of Western democracies (e.g., the US, Europe and Israel).

*At a time, when most Iranians, and especially Iranian women, are rising against the repressive regime of the Ayatollahs, demanding regime-change, the US-engineered maritime/gas accord bolsters the Ayatollahs’ geo-strategic posture, while repeating the critically erroneous policy of 2009, when the US ignored the popular uprising in Iran, allowing the Ayatollahs to butcher its unarmed citizens.

*The US-engineered maritime/gas accord provides a tailwind to the Ayatollahs and their Hezbollah proxy, while ruling out active support of the regime-change movement in Iran; waiving an essential US military option (which is the only way to test the Ayatollahs’ intentions); sustaining the self-destructive diplomatic option (which has bolstered the Ayatollahs’ fortunes since their ascension to power in February 1979); assuming that the Ayatollahs are potentially good-faith negotiators; and viewing the Ayatollahs as if they were amenable to peaceful-coexistence, abandoning their 1,400-year-old fanatic, imperialistic vision, in return for another financial and diplomatic bonanza, which is currently offered – by the US – to Tehran.

*Against the backdrop of the aforementioned data, the US-engineered maritime/gas accord, is an extension of the well-intentioned US policy in the Middle East, which has been at odds with Middle East reality, intensifying regional terrorism and instability and eroding US posture and interests.

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SCHEDULE LECTURES & INTERVIEWS

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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