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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
April 3, 2024

State Department confronts Middle East reality

*Since 1978/79, notwithstanding Iran’s anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking and proliferation of advanced military systems, the State Department has persisted in its suspension of disbelief, as reflected by the diplomatic option, which has bolstered Iran’s anti-US rogue operations, increasingly in Latin America. The diplomatic option assumes that the Ayatollahs are amenable to good faith negotiation and peaceful coexistence. It dismisses the regime-change option, and resists the option of a viable military option hovering above the head of Iran’s rogue Ayatollahs. The State Department’s detachment from Middle East reality has been underscored by the suspension of economic (and especially oil export) sanctions, which has yielded to the Ayatollahs’ anti-US rogue machine more than $100BN since February 2021.

*In 2024, the State Department pressures Israel brutally to adopts its own self-destructive policy, aborting the military option – hence the opposition to Israel’s military offensive in Rafah – and replacing it with a diplomatic option toward Hamas, which is a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood (the largest Sunni terror organization, whose vision is to bring the “infidel” West to submission) and a proxy of Iran’s Ayatollahs (whose vision is to bring “The Great American Satan” to submission).

*Since 2010, the State Department has referred to the turbulence on the Arab Street – which is still raging – as “The Arab Spring” and “March of democracy,” failing to grasp the fanatic ideologies feeding the turbulence, which has been an “Arab Tsunami,” that has been a fixture in the volcanic, intolerant, despotic, shifty, tenuous and violently unpredictable Middle East since the 7th century.

*In 2024, the State Department ignores the centrality of the 1,400-year-old fanatical, religious ideologies which are the core of the state of mind, vision, education, policy-making and terrorism of Hamas, the PLO (the Palestinian Authority) and Hezbollah, deluding itself that terrorists are driven by despair, and seek freedom and enhanced standard of living, and therefore should be dealt with by dramatic financial gestures and negotiation, and rewarded by a Palestinian state.

*Thus, the State Department ignores the 1,400-year-old Middle East reality, where terrorists bite the hand that feeds them (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Mujahideen, Saddam Hussein, the PLO, Hamas). 

*Moreover, Middle East reality – contrary to “Middle East alternate reality” – has demonstrated that gestures, concessions and appeasement are perceived as weakness, whetting terrorists’ appetites and intensify terrorism.

*The State Department has ignored the fact that the PLO (the Palestinian Authority) and Hamas share a fanatic vision (as reflected in their charters, school curriculum, mosque sermons, official media, idolization of terrorists, monthly allowances to families of terrorists and actual terrorism), which stipulates the uprooting of the “infidel” Jewish sovereignty from the “abode of Islam,” irrespective of its size, precluding a genuine peace accord with Israel.  On the other hand, Israel has been able to expand commercial and defense ties with Saudi Arabia, and conclude peace accords with Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and the Southern Sudan, since these countries are driven by non-fanatic visions, that do not require the destruction of the Jewish State.

*The State Department’s two-state-solution has played down the PLO’s and Hamas’ annihilationist vision, as well as the rogue intra-Arab track record of the Palestinian leadership. It dwells upon a speculative scenario of peaceful-coexistence – which contradicts the Palestinian track record – whereas in reality no intra-Arab and intra-Moslem peaceful-coexistence has been achieved since the 7th century.

The October 7 debacle and awakening

*The pre-October 7, 2023 Israeli policy embraced the State Department’s diplomatic option and “money talks” policy, offering Hamas generous financial and political gestures. It was seasoned by a series of ceasefires with – rather than the obliteration of – Hamas, as well as defense and retaliation, rather than offense and preemption. Just like the State Department, Israel ignored the dominance of Hamas’ deeply-entrenched ideology over financial and diplomatic benefits.

*Israel’s pre-October 7, 2023 State Department-like detachment from Middle East reality dramatically bolstered Hamas capabilities, which (on October 7) demolished Israel’s posture of deterrence, in a region where posture of deterrence is the most critical component of national security and survival.

*Since October 7, 2023, Israel has attempted – so far successfully – to restore much of its posture of deterrence.  A restoration of Israel’s posture of deterrence – in the volcanic Middle East – mandates the obliteration of Hamas, militarily and politically. Hence, the military operation in Rafah.

*Reality determines that – just like a forest fire – Hamas must be fully obliterated, lest it re-bursts in a most lethal wave of terrorism.  Middle East reality is aware that enabling Hamas to escape obliteration – as aspired by the State Department – would inspire more terrorism on the part of Hamas, Hezbollah, the PLO (the Palestinian Authority) and radical Israeli Arabs. In addition, Hamas’ survival would generate a tailwind to Islamic terrorism against every pro-US Arab regime, as well as against US installations throughout the globe and (as stated by FBI Director, Chris Wray, in the US homeland by “home grown American terrorists.”

*Also, Saudi Arabia and the six countries, which concluded peace accords with Israel, have been induced into defense and commercial ties with Israel, mostly, by Israel’s posture of deterrence in the face of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood whose machetes are at their throats. Therefore, the full restoration of Israel’s posture of deterrence is a prerequisite for the maintenance and expansion of the Israel-Arab peace process.

*Furthermore, the restoration of Israel’s posture of deterrence, which hinges on Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME), has advanced US interests by allowing the US to minimize its military presence in the region, constraining wars and terrorism, deterring anti-US regional and global entities, minimizing regional instability, and serving as a unique force-multiplier and a battle-tested laboratory for the US armed forces and defense and aerospace industries.

The bottom line

*US and Israeli national security interests behoove both countries to avoid – rather than repeat – past critical mistakes. This would be best-served by a credible military option and adherence to Middle East reality, not to alternate reality, irrespective of how convenient, peaceful and tempting alternate reality may be.

Support Appreciated

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

*The March 25, 2024 UN Security Council resolution 2728 came in the aftermath of the murder – by Hamas – of 1,300 Israelis on October 7, which is equal to 40,000 Americans murdered on a single day!

*A US abstention facilitated the passage of resolution 2728, which aims to snatch Hamas Palestinian terrorists from the jaws of obliteration, while establishing a Palestinian state. Therefore, it was enthusiastically welcome by Iran’s Ayatollahs, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

*The US abstention reflects the dominance of the cosmopolitan worldview of the State Department in the shaping of US foreign policy and national security policy, subordinating unilateral US national security action to multilateral cooperation with the inherently anti-US UN and the vacillating and terrorist-appeasing Europe.

*The State Department worldview ignores Hamas’ role as the core cause of the current war, an inspiration for Iran, al-Qaeda and ISIS-supported Islamic terrorists, who are planning Hamas-like terror assaults against all Arab regimes, the West, and especially the US, increasingly from Central America.

*The military and political survival of Hamas – compliment of resolution 2728 – would be, rightly, interpreted in the Middle East as a major victory for Islamic terrorism,  and a severe blow to Israel’s posture of deterrence, which would yield an Iran-led terrorist tsunami against Israel and all pro-US Arab countries (e.g., a repeaet of the October 7 horrific terrorism, Hezbollah, Intifada’ # 3 in Judea and Samaria which could reach Tel Aviv, radical Israeli Arabs, and a domestic upheaval in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco). Moreover, an erosion of Israel’s posture of deterrence would injure the peace process with Saudi Arabia, which has been induced by Israel’s viable posture of deterrence in the face of the mutual threats of Iran and the Moslem Brotherhood.  

*According to Blinken, a key component of Security Council resolution 2728 – in addition to “a ceasefire, hostage release and increased humanitarian aid” –  is the establishment of “a clear pathway toward a Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel… long-term peace and security….”

*However, Blinken’s scenario of a peacefully-coexisting Palestinian state is based on moderate Palestinian diplomatic and media talk and speculative futurePalestinian behavior. But, Middle East reality documents a rogue Palestinian walk (especially vs. Arab countries), which stipulates that the proposed Palestinian state would add fuel, not water, to the Middle East fire. It would undermine the interests of the US and all its Arab allies, while advancing the interests of all US’ rivals and enemies.

*Contrary to Blinken’s eagerness to establish a Palestinian state, all pro-US Arab countries’ walk reflects their view of the Palestinians as a role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism and treachery.

*Blinken’s addiction to the proposed Palestinian state as a venue to peaceful coexistence overlooks the volcanic ramifications of a Palestinian state contiguous to Jordan’s explosive domestic scene: a stormy relations – including a civil war – between the pro-US Hashemite regime and the Palestinian majority; a deeply entrenched Moslem Brotherhood; 2 million Syrian refugees in northern Jordan; intensified Iranian subversion through Iraq and Syria; and deeply fragmented Bedouin community. Thus, a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into an arena of rival terrorist organizations, posing a lethal threat to all pro-US oil-producing Arab regimes in the Arabian Peninsula, jeopardizing the exportation of Persian Gulf oil and global trade, rendering a bonanza to Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Moslem Brotherhood, Russia, China and North Korea, and dealing a blow to the US economy, national and homeland security.

*Secretary Blinken, who is a role model of the State Department worldview, assumes that terrorism should be confronted diplomatically, not militarily, since it is supposedly driven by despair and not by a fanatic ideology. Notwithstanding the 1,400-year-old violently unpredictable, shifty and anti “infidel” Middle East reality (which has yet to experience intra-Moslem peaceful coexistence, and irrespective of the rogue, anti-US track record of the Ayatollahs’ and Palestinian terrorism, Blinken is convinced that dramatic diplomatic and financial gestures (“money talks”) could induce terror regimes to abandon their ideology, accept peaceful-coexistence and good-faith negotiation.

*Secretary Blinken attempts – once again – to appease rogue Middle Eastern entities, by ignoring Middle East precedents, which have documented that terrorists bite the hand that feeds them, as demonstrated by Iran’s Ayatollahs, Afghanistan’s Mujahideen, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Islamic terrorists, Palestinian terrorism, etc.

*In defiance of Middle East reality and the Moslem Brotherhood charter and track record since 1928, the State Department refuses to recognize its terroristic nature. Thus, Hamas is a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood, whose vision is to topple all national Moslem regimes, establish a universal Islamic society, with Islam as the only divinely-ordained legitimate religion, and to bring the “infidel” West to submission. Hamas is also a proxy of Iran’s Ayatollahs, whose 1,400-year-old vision mandates the destruction of “the Great American Satan.” Also, the Moslem Brotherhood and Iran’s Ayatollahs have their machetes at the throat of every pro-US Arab regime.

The bottom line

*Will the State Department’s conventional wisdom keep ignoring – or recognize – the march of facts, which has exposed the costly detachment of Foggy Bottom from Middle East reality?

*Will the State Department persists in preferring the multilateral cooperation with the UN and Europe over an independent, unilateral US national security action?

*“Those who experience wake up calls usually discover, in hindsight, that they had received plenty of warning before the poop hit the propeller, but they chose to disregard it…. Whether a wake-up call becomes a boon, or a bane, depends on what you’re willing to learn from it, and whether you’re willing to be moved by experience.” (Greg Levoy, a psychologist and an author).

Support Appreciated

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
April 10, 2024

The State Department has adhered to the diplomatic option toward Iran, rewarding the Ayatollahs with a financial and diplomatic bonanza, waiving and softening economic sanctions. However, FBI Director Chris Wray has concluded that Iran and its Islamic terrorist proxies are set to hit the US mainland. Iran is leveraging its cooperation with US criminal organizations and with Latin American drug cartels in the areas of terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking and money laundering.

Addressing cadets at the West Point US Military Academy, Wray stated: “The ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans inside the US to a whole another level…. Although we cannot discount the possibility of another coordinated 9/11-style attack by a foreign terrorist organization, our most immediate concern has been that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home….”

In his testimony at the House Committee on Homeland Security, Director Wray stated: “As the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, the Iranians [who collaborate with all Latin American drug cartels] have directly, or by hiring criminals, mounted assassination attempts against dissidents and high ranking current and former US officials, including right here on American soil…. Hezbollah, Iran’s primary strategic partner, has tried to seed operatives, establish infrastructure and engage in spying here domestically… planning future operations in the US….

“In a year when the terrorism threat was already elevated, the ongoing [Israel-Hamas] war has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the US to a whole other level…. Since October 7, we’ve seen a rogue gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies. Hezbollah [which trains Latin American drug traffickers in the areas of car bombing and IEDs] threatened to attack US interests in the Middle East. Al-Qaeda issued its most specific call to attack the US….

“Our most immediate concern is that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home. That includes homegrown violent extremists inspired by a foreign terrorist organization…. We cannot discount the possibility that Hamas or another foreign terrorist organization may exploit the current conflict to conduct attacks here, on our own soil….”

In his testimony at the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Wray highlighted the central role of Iran’s Ayatollahs in the intensified anti-US Islamic terrorism: “Nations such as the PRC, Russia and Iran are becoming more aggressive and more capable than ever before. These nations seek to undermine our core democratic, economic and scientific institutions….[They] conduct sophisticated intelligence operations using coercion, subversion, malign influence, cyber and economic espionage, traditional spying and non-traditional human intelligence collection.  They pose a continuous threat to US national security and our economy by targeting strategic technologies, industries, sectors and critical infrastructure…. [Iran’s collaboration with US criminal organizations] should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with both the scope of Iran’s penetration of the Western hemisphere and its association with TCOs (Transnational Criminal Organizations) at every level.  Understanding both the nature of this new combination requires some knowledge of TCOs, the security apparatus of the Iranian state and their links….”

Col. (ret.) Robert Killebrew of the Center for a New American Security sheds light on the connection between Iran’s Ayatollahs, Hezbollah and Latin American anti-US terrorism and drug trafficking: “That Iran has relationships with TCOs [e.g., MS-13] with deep ties inside the US is a fact…. Hostility toward the US is fundamental to the ideological outlook of Iran’s ruling theocracy, which considers itself at war with the US…. The Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas [aimed to undermine the US posture in Latin America], which includes states like Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua, has forged close military ties with Iran…. Along with senior members of the Venezuelan government, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard is involved in the illicit narcotics trade… training of local forces and in illicit drug trade that weakens the US at home….

“Reports of Iranian activity in South and Central America continue to roll in, along with Hezbollah’s hefty fund-raising and training activities in South America…. The coordinated US response to the growing presence of Iranian agents in Central and South America has been tepid at best…. Despite the presence of the armed forces of a hostile state (Iran) to our south, and clear evidence that those forces will use TCOs to attack targets inside the US, the possibility of converted action against the cartels and, by implication, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, remains elusive….”

The bottom line:

*There is a direct connection between the US homeland security, on the one hand, and Iran’s Ayatollahs’ anti-US fanatic and imperialistic ideology, their oppression of women and ethnic and religious minorities in Iran, and their role as the leading regional and global epicenter of anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and proliferation of advance weaponry, on the other hand.

*As documented since their February 1979 rise to power, Iran’s Ayatollahs’ fanatic, religious and imperialistic vision – which aims to bring “The Great American Satan” to submission – transcends any financial and diplomatic bonanza extended by the US.

*While Hamas and Hezbollah constitute a threat to all pro-US Arab regimes, intensify the volcanic nature of the Middle East, and undermine the national and homeland security of the US, it is Iran which is the generator of these terror organizations. Disabling the Iranian generator is a prerequisite for minimizing the wrath of Islamic terrorism.

*The 45-year-old track record of the US diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs – which has bolstered the anti-US capabilities of the Ayatollahs, while undermining US interests – requires a reassessment and a shift to the regime-change option.

Support Appreciated

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
April 3, 2024

State Department confronts Middle East reality

*Since 1978/79, notwithstanding Iran’s anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking and proliferation of advanced military systems, the State Department has persisted in its suspension of disbelief, as reflected by the diplomatic option, which has bolstered Iran’s anti-US rogue operations, increasingly in Latin America. The diplomatic option assumes that the Ayatollahs are amenable to good faith negotiation and peaceful coexistence. It dismisses the regime-change option, and resists the option of a viable military option hovering above the head of Iran’s rogue Ayatollahs. The State Department’s detachment from Middle East reality has been underscored by the suspension of economic (and especially oil export) sanctions, which has yielded to the Ayatollahs’ anti-US rogue machine more than $100BN since February 2021.

*In 2024, the State Department pressures Israel brutally to adopts its own self-destructive policy, aborting the military option – hence the opposition to Israel’s military offensive in Rafah – and replacing it with a diplomatic option toward Hamas, which is a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood (the largest Sunni terror organization, whose vision is to bring the “infidel” West to submission) and a proxy of Iran’s Ayatollahs (whose vision is to bring “The Great American Satan” to submission).

*Since 2010, the State Department has referred to the turbulence on the Arab Street – which is still raging – as “The Arab Spring” and “March of democracy,” failing to grasp the fanatic ideologies feeding the turbulence, which has been an “Arab Tsunami,” that has been a fixture in the volcanic, intolerant, despotic, shifty, tenuous and violently unpredictable Middle East since the 7th century.

*In 2024, the State Department ignores the centrality of the 1,400-year-old fanatical, religious ideologies which are the core of the state of mind, vision, education, policy-making and terrorism of Hamas, the PLO (the Palestinian Authority) and Hezbollah, deluding itself that terrorists are driven by despair, and seek freedom and enhanced standard of living, and therefore should be dealt with by dramatic financial gestures and negotiation, and rewarded by a Palestinian state.

*Thus, the State Department ignores the 1,400-year-old Middle East reality, where terrorists bite the hand that feeds them (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Mujahideen, Saddam Hussein, the PLO, Hamas). 

*Moreover, Middle East reality – contrary to “Middle East alternate reality” – has demonstrated that gestures, concessions and appeasement are perceived as weakness, whetting terrorists’ appetites and intensify terrorism.

*The State Department has ignored the fact that the PLO (the Palestinian Authority) and Hamas share a fanatic vision (as reflected in their charters, school curriculum, mosque sermons, official media, idolization of terrorists, monthly allowances to families of terrorists and actual terrorism), which stipulates the uprooting of the “infidel” Jewish sovereignty from the “abode of Islam,” irrespective of its size, precluding a genuine peace accord with Israel.  On the other hand, Israel has been able to expand commercial and defense ties with Saudi Arabia, and conclude peace accords with Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and the Southern Sudan, since these countries are driven by non-fanatic visions, that do not require the destruction of the Jewish State.

*The State Department’s two-state-solution has played down the PLO’s and Hamas’ annihilationist vision, as well as the rogue intra-Arab track record of the Palestinian leadership. It dwells upon a speculative scenario of peaceful-coexistence – which contradicts the Palestinian track record – whereas in reality no intra-Arab and intra-Moslem peaceful-coexistence has been achieved since the 7th century.

The October 7 debacle and awakening

*The pre-October 7, 2023 Israeli policy embraced the State Department’s diplomatic option and “money talks” policy, offering Hamas generous financial and political gestures. It was seasoned by a series of ceasefires with – rather than the obliteration of – Hamas, as well as defense and retaliation, rather than offense and preemption. Just like the State Department, Israel ignored the dominance of Hamas’ deeply-entrenched ideology over financial and diplomatic benefits.

*Israel’s pre-October 7, 2023 State Department-like detachment from Middle East reality dramatically bolstered Hamas capabilities, which (on October 7) demolished Israel’s posture of deterrence, in a region where posture of deterrence is the most critical component of national security and survival.

*Since October 7, 2023, Israel has attempted – so far successfully – to restore much of its posture of deterrence.  A restoration of Israel’s posture of deterrence – in the volcanic Middle East – mandates the obliteration of Hamas, militarily and politically. Hence, the military operation in Rafah.

*Reality determines that – just like a forest fire – Hamas must be fully obliterated, lest it re-bursts in a most lethal wave of terrorism.  Middle East reality is aware that enabling Hamas to escape obliteration – as aspired by the State Department – would inspire more terrorism on the part of Hamas, Hezbollah, the PLO (the Palestinian Authority) and radical Israeli Arabs. In addition, Hamas’ survival would generate a tailwind to Islamic terrorism against every pro-US Arab regime, as well as against US installations throughout the globe and (as stated by FBI Director, Chris Wray, in the US homeland by “home grown American terrorists.”

*Also, Saudi Arabia and the six countries, which concluded peace accords with Israel, have been induced into defense and commercial ties with Israel, mostly, by Israel’s posture of deterrence in the face of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood whose machetes are at their throats. Therefore, the full restoration of Israel’s posture of deterrence is a prerequisite for the maintenance and expansion of the Israel-Arab peace process.

*Furthermore, the restoration of Israel’s posture of deterrence, which hinges on Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME), has advanced US interests by allowing the US to minimize its military presence in the region, constraining wars and terrorism, deterring anti-US regional and global entities, minimizing regional instability, and serving as a unique force-multiplier and a battle-tested laboratory for the US armed forces and defense and aerospace industries.

The bottom line

*US and Israeli national security interests behoove both countries to avoid – rather than repeat – past critical mistakes. This would be best-served by a credible military option and adherence to Middle East reality, not to alternate reality, irrespective of how convenient, peaceful and tempting alternate reality may be.

Support Appreciated

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

*The March 25, 2024 UN Security Council resolution 2728 came in the aftermath of the murder – by Hamas – of 1,300 Israelis on October 7, which is equal to 40,000 Americans murdered on a single day!

*A US abstention facilitated the passage of resolution 2728, which aims to snatch Hamas Palestinian terrorists from the jaws of obliteration, while establishing a Palestinian state. Therefore, it was enthusiastically welcome by Iran’s Ayatollahs, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

*The US abstention reflects the dominance of the cosmopolitan worldview of the State Department in the shaping of US foreign policy and national security policy, subordinating unilateral US national security action to multilateral cooperation with the inherently anti-US UN and the vacillating and terrorist-appeasing Europe.

*The State Department worldview ignores Hamas’ role as the core cause of the current war, an inspiration for Iran, al-Qaeda and ISIS-supported Islamic terrorists, who are planning Hamas-like terror assaults against all Arab regimes, the West, and especially the US, increasingly from Central America.

*The military and political survival of Hamas – compliment of resolution 2728 – would be, rightly, interpreted in the Middle East as a major victory for Islamic terrorism,  and a severe blow to Israel’s posture of deterrence, which would yield an Iran-led terrorist tsunami against Israel and all pro-US Arab countries (e.g., a repeaet of the October 7 horrific terrorism, Hezbollah, Intifada’ # 3 in Judea and Samaria which could reach Tel Aviv, radical Israeli Arabs, and a domestic upheaval in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco). Moreover, an erosion of Israel’s posture of deterrence would injure the peace process with Saudi Arabia, which has been induced by Israel’s viable posture of deterrence in the face of the mutual threats of Iran and the Moslem Brotherhood.  

*According to Blinken, a key component of Security Council resolution 2728 – in addition to “a ceasefire, hostage release and increased humanitarian aid” –  is the establishment of “a clear pathway toward a Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel… long-term peace and security….”

*However, Blinken’s scenario of a peacefully-coexisting Palestinian state is based on moderate Palestinian diplomatic and media talk and speculative futurePalestinian behavior. But, Middle East reality documents a rogue Palestinian walk (especially vs. Arab countries), which stipulates that the proposed Palestinian state would add fuel, not water, to the Middle East fire. It would undermine the interests of the US and all its Arab allies, while advancing the interests of all US’ rivals and enemies.

*Contrary to Blinken’s eagerness to establish a Palestinian state, all pro-US Arab countries’ walk reflects their view of the Palestinians as a role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism and treachery.

*Blinken’s addiction to the proposed Palestinian state as a venue to peaceful coexistence overlooks the volcanic ramifications of a Palestinian state contiguous to Jordan’s explosive domestic scene: a stormy relations – including a civil war – between the pro-US Hashemite regime and the Palestinian majority; a deeply entrenched Moslem Brotherhood; 2 million Syrian refugees in northern Jordan; intensified Iranian subversion through Iraq and Syria; and deeply fragmented Bedouin community. Thus, a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into an arena of rival terrorist organizations, posing a lethal threat to all pro-US oil-producing Arab regimes in the Arabian Peninsula, jeopardizing the exportation of Persian Gulf oil and global trade, rendering a bonanza to Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Moslem Brotherhood, Russia, China and North Korea, and dealing a blow to the US economy, national and homeland security.

*Secretary Blinken, who is a role model of the State Department worldview, assumes that terrorism should be confronted diplomatically, not militarily, since it is supposedly driven by despair and not by a fanatic ideology. Notwithstanding the 1,400-year-old violently unpredictable, shifty and anti “infidel” Middle East reality (which has yet to experience intra-Moslem peaceful coexistence, and irrespective of the rogue, anti-US track record of the Ayatollahs’ and Palestinian terrorism, Blinken is convinced that dramatic diplomatic and financial gestures (“money talks”) could induce terror regimes to abandon their ideology, accept peaceful-coexistence and good-faith negotiation.

*Secretary Blinken attempts – once again – to appease rogue Middle Eastern entities, by ignoring Middle East precedents, which have documented that terrorists bite the hand that feeds them, as demonstrated by Iran’s Ayatollahs, Afghanistan’s Mujahideen, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Islamic terrorists, Palestinian terrorism, etc.

*In defiance of Middle East reality and the Moslem Brotherhood charter and track record since 1928, the State Department refuses to recognize its terroristic nature. Thus, Hamas is a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood, whose vision is to topple all national Moslem regimes, establish a universal Islamic society, with Islam as the only divinely-ordained legitimate religion, and to bring the “infidel” West to submission. Hamas is also a proxy of Iran’s Ayatollahs, whose 1,400-year-old vision mandates the destruction of “the Great American Satan.” Also, the Moslem Brotherhood and Iran’s Ayatollahs have their machetes at the throat of every pro-US Arab regime.

The bottom line

*Will the State Department’s conventional wisdom keep ignoring – or recognize – the march of facts, which has exposed the costly detachment of Foggy Bottom from Middle East reality?

*Will the State Department persists in preferring the multilateral cooperation with the UN and Europe over an independent, unilateral US national security action?

*“Those who experience wake up calls usually discover, in hindsight, that they had received plenty of warning before the poop hit the propeller, but they chose to disregard it…. Whether a wake-up call becomes a boon, or a bane, depends on what you’re willing to learn from it, and whether you’re willing to be moved by experience.” (Greg Levoy, a psychologist and an author).

Support Appreciated

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
February 21, 2024

*FBI Director Christopher A. Wray visited Israel on February 14, 2024, during the Israel-Hamas and Israel-Hezbollah wars, meeting with leaders of the Mossad, Israel’s Secret Service, and Israel’s National Police in order to benefit from Israel’s unique urban and tunnel warfare experience and battle tactics in the war against Islamic terrorists, who are advancing the vision of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood.

*Director Wray considers Israel’s as the most effective battle-tested laboratory of the US armed forces, law enforcement agencies and defense industries.

*Director Wray is aware of the Ayatollahs’ and Hezbollas’ growing entrenchment in Mexico, along the US-Mexico border and throughout Latin America. In fact, since the early 1980s, Iran’s Ayatollahs and Hezbollah have entrenched themselves in Latin America, bolstering collaboration with the drug cartels of Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil, all Latin American terror organizations, and each anti-US Latin American government. They supply the drug cartels underground tunnel construction equipment, and train them in the areas of car bombs and Improvised Explosive Devices. In addition, they have leveraged the convoys of illegal aliens from Guatemala to the US-Mexico border, smuggling terrorists and drug traffickers into the US.

*Islamic terrorism has targeted the US since the early 19th century irrespective of US policy and independent of the identity of the US President.  Thus, Islamic terrorism afflicted the US during the presidencies of both Trump and Obama, G.W. Bush and Clinton, Reagan and Carter.

*Hamas is a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood – the largest Sunni terror organization with religious, educational and welfare branches – whose charter aims to topple all national Islamic regimes, establish a universal Islamic society, bring the Western “infidel” – and especially the USA – to submission, and establish Islam as the only legitimate and divinely-ordained religion.

*Hamas and Hezbollah are proxies of Iran’s Ayatollahs, whose Constitution highlights a megalomaniacal vision, which stipulates the toppling of all “apostate” (Sunni) regimes, asserting itself globally – beyond the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, all the way to Latin America – and bringing the “infidel” West, and especially “The Great American Satan” to submission.

*Since February 1979, when it toppled the Shah of Iran, the Ayatollahs’ regime has transformed Iran from “The American Policeman of the Gulf” to the leading anti-US epicenter of global terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and the proliferation of advanced military systems.

*Israel’s war against Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism has bolstered the US’ defense against Islamic terrorism.

*On November 15, 2023, Director Christopher Wray testified at the House Committee on Homeland Security:

“The war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the US to a whole other level…. Since October 7th, we’ve seen a rogue gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies. Hezbollah threatened to attack US interests in the Middle East. Al-Qaida issued specific calls to attack the US. Al-Qaida called on jihadists to attack Americans and Jewish people everywhere. ISIS urged its followers to target Jewish communities in the US and Europe.

“Our most immediate concern is that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home. That includes homegrown violent extremists inspired by a foreign terrorist organization and domestic violent extremists…. We cannot discount the possibility that Hamas or another foreign terrorist organization may exploit the current conflict to conduct attacks on our own soil…. But it’s not just Hamas. As the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, Iran has directly, or by hiring criminals, mounted assassination attempts against dissidents and high-ranking current and former U.S. officials, including right here on American soil. Hezbollah, Iran’s primary strategic partner, has a history of raising money and seeking to obtain weapons here in the US…. Hezbollah has tried to seed operatives, establish infrastructure, and engage in spying here domestically, raising our concern that there may be contingency planning for future operations in the United States….”

*The bottom line is that FBI Director, Christopher Wray, is driven by Middle East reality, not by alternative, less frustrating, but self-destructive reality. Therefore, he does not subscribe to the diplomatic option in the battle against Islamic terrorism, and does not propose to negotiate with – and make financial and diplomatic concessions to – terrorists. He does not expect Iran to accept peaceful coexistence with its pro-US Sunni Arab regimes, conduct good faith negotiation, or abandon its 1,400-year-old fanatic vision. Director Wray attempts to defeat Iran-controlled Islamic terrorists. He does not expect Israel to slow down its war on Hamas, which is a proxy of Iran. Just like Saudi Arabia and all other pro-US Arab countries, Director Wray is aware that the obliteration of Hamas, militarily, politically and educationally, will bolster the posture of deterrence of both Israel and the USA, reducing terror assaults on pro-US Arab countries (e.g., Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco) and in the US mainland.

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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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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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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.

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
October 16, 2023

Hamas’ anti-Western strategy

*Hamas was established in 1988, as a spin-off of the Muslim Brotherhood, as were ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Islamic Jihad, Boko Haram and scores of additional terror entities. The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest Sunni terror organization, haunting all pro-US Arab regimes, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, Africa, Europe and the USA. Its strategic goal is to topple all national Muslim regimes, bring the Western “infidel” to submission, and establish a universal Muslim society.  

*Hamas, just like the Muslim Brotherhood, considers Israel as “an infidel” entity in “the abode of Islam,” a US beachhead in the Middle East and a deterring ally of all pro-US Arab regimes.

*The 1988 Hamas charter highlights the Quran as its constitution, Jihad as its path, and martyrdom as its loftiest tactic.  It urges the “believers” to kill Jews, as specified in Article 7 of the charter, quoting one of the Prophet Muhammad’s Hadiths (verbal teachings): “When the Jew will hide behind stones and trees, the stones and trees will say: O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him….”

*Hamas is assisted, militarily and financially, by Iran’s Ayatollahs (as well as by Qatar and Turkey), who – just like the Muslim Brotherhood – perceive the war against the “illegitimate” Jewish State as a preview of their war on “the apostate” pro-US Arab regimes and “the infidel” West, with a focus on “the Great American Satan.”

*Hamas and other Islamic and Palestinian terrorist organizations have collaborated with enemies and rivals of the US and the West, such as Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Iran’s Ayatollahs, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and terror organizations in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.

Western attitude toward Hamas

*The more constrained is Israel’s posture of deterrence and war on Hamas, the more emboldened is anti-Western terrorism. On the other hand, the more robust is Israel’s posture of deterrence and its war on Hamas terrorism, the more deterred are Islamic terrorism to assault the West.

*Furthermore, it was Israel’s sturdy posture of deterrence, which induced six Arab countries to conclude peace accords with Jerusalem and enticed Saudi Arabia to substantially expand defense and commercial cooperation with Israel.

*While the rogue, anti-US conduct of Iran’s Ayatollahs has intensified dramatically since their ascension to power in February 1979, and the posture of Muslim Brotherhood-related organizations has been dramatically enhanced in Europe and the USA, government in the West have taken lightly the fanatic vision and the apocalyptic nature of Islamic terrorism, deluding itself that these terrorists are driven by despair, not by deeply-entrenched ideology.

*Notwithstanding the systematically anti-Western rogue track record of Hamas and Iran’s Ayatollahs since 1988 and 1979, the West has gone through suspension of disbelief. The West has assumed that grand financial and diplomatic gestures could induce these rogue entities to abandon their 1,400-year-old violently intolerant Islamic vision and embrace good-faith negotiation and peaceful-coexistence. However, there is ample documentation that terrorist Muslim regimes do not sacrifice their fanatical vision on the altar of their own enrichment and improved standard of living of their population.

*Western policy makers and public opinion molders brush off the well-documented fact that Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran’s Ayatollahs and other Islamic terrorists consider the following precepts of Islam as their own pillar of fire:

<Islam is the only legitimate religion, divinely ordained to rule;
<The abode of the “infidel” must submit itself to the abode of the “believers” unconditionally, peacefully, or militarily;
<Jihad must be conducted on behalf of Allah, guaranteeing each warrior 72 virgins in paradise;
<Terrorism aims to terrify the “infidel,” causing submission to Islam;
<Accords with “infidels” are non-binding and constitute a temporary ceasefire (Hudna), to be abrogated once the “believers” regain sufficient fire power;
<Double-speak and dissimulation (Taqiyyah) are legitimate tactics aimed at misleading and overcoming the “infidel.”

*Anti-US and anti-Israel Islamic terrorism is not driven by US or Israeli policy. In fact, Islamic terrorism has been an intrinsic feature of the Middle East since the 7th century, murdering many more Muslims than non-Muslims. Islamic terrorism has been driven by the existence of the “infidel” US and Israel, irrespective of their policy. For example, anti-US Islamic terrorism afflicted the US during the Administrations of President Obama (e.g., the November 9, 2009 Ft. Hood massacre and the December 2, 2015 San Bernardino massacre) and President Trump (e.g., the October 31, 2017 NYC massacre and the December 6, 2019 Pensacola massacre).

*Western policy makers have been in denial of the fact that terrorists bite the hand that feeds them, interpreting Western gestures as weakness.  This was demonstrated by the “9/11” terrorism (irrespective of the US’ assisting the Mujahideen’s war against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan), as well as by the November 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran and the 50 Americans who were held hostage for 444 days (irrespective of the US’ game-changing tailwind to the Ayatollahs rise to power). It was also evidenced by the 258 US fatalities in the 1983 car-bombing of the US Embassy and Marines Headquarters in Beirut (irrespective of the rough US pressure on Israel during its war on the PLO) and the 1998 car-bombing of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (irrespective of President Clinton’s brutal pressure of Israel and warm embrace of Arafat), etc.

*Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran’s Ayatollahs derive much energy by the fact that some Western policy makers and media outlets have applied the immoral moral equivalence to Hamas terrorists – who systematically and deliberately hit civilians, sometime killing soldiers – and Israeli soldiers, who systematically and deliberately target only Hamas terrorists, sometimes unintentionally killing Gaza civilians, who are held hostage by Hamas terrorists and abused as human shields.

*Constraining Israel’s war on Hamas amounts to ignoring the aforementioned facts. It would amount to repeating, rather than avoiding past costly mistakes, which would add fuel to the Middle East fire at the expense of Israel, pro-US Arab regimes, the US and other Western democracies.

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latest videos

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Welcome to the rebranded EttingerReport website

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The US diplomatic option toward Iran is self-destructive

The US diplomatic option induced the transformation of Iran from “the American policeman of the Gulf” to “the largest anti-American venomous octopus in the world.”
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Palestinian state – is it consistent with US interests?

A Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would cause the demise of the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into a platform of anti-US Islamic terrorism with ripple effects into the Arabian Peninsula, threatening all pro-US, oil producing Arab regimes, a bonanza to US enemies and rivals and a setback to the US.
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Can/should Israel defy US pressure?

Israel’s defiance of US pressure has been an inherent feature of US-Israel relations since 1948. It has caused short-term frictions, while generating long-term US strategic respect toward Israel, triggering a dramatic enhancement of mutually-beneficial strategic cooperation. Israeli defiance of US pressure spared the US economic and national security setbacks, dealing major blows to enemies and rivals of the US.

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SCHEDULE LECTURES & INTERVIEWS

Demography

2024 artificially inflated Palestinian demography

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

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

*500,000 Arabs, who have been away for over a year, are included in the census, contrary to international regulations. 325,000 were included in the 1997 census, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, and 400,000 in 2005, according to the Palestinian Election Commission. The number grows steadily due to births.

*350,000 East Jerusalem Arabs are doubly-counted – by Israel and by the Palestinian Authority. The number grows steadily due to births.

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

*A 413,000 net-emigration (since the 1997 first Palestinian census) is ignored by the Palestinian census, overlooking the annual net-emigration since 1950. A 23,445 net-emigration in 2022 and a 20,000 annual average in recent years have been documented by Israel’s Population and Migration Authority in all international passages.  

*A 32% artificial inflation of Palestinian births was documented by the World Bank (page 8, item 6) in a 2006 audit.

*The Judea & Samaria Arab fertility rate has been westernized: from 9 births per woman in the 1960s to 2.9 births in 2022 (In Jordan – similar to Judea & Samaria), reflecting the sweeping urbanization, a growing female enrollment in higher education, rising marriage age and the rising use of contraceptives.

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

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

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Iran

FBI Director Chris Wray: Iranian terrorism on US soil

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
April 10, 2024

The State Department has adhered to the diplomatic option toward Iran, rewarding the Ayatollahs with a financial and diplomatic bonanza, waiving and softening economic sanctions. However, FBI Director Chris Wray has concluded that Iran and its Islamic terrorist proxies are set to hit the US mainland. Iran is leveraging its cooperation with US criminal organizations and with Latin American drug cartels in the areas of terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking and money laundering.

Addressing cadets at the West Point US Military Academy, Wray stated: “The ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans inside the US to a whole another level…. Although we cannot discount the possibility of another coordinated 9/11-style attack by a foreign terrorist organization, our most immediate concern has been that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home….”

In his testimony at the House Committee on Homeland Security, Director Wray stated: “As the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, the Iranians [who collaborate with all Latin American drug cartels] have directly, or by hiring criminals, mounted assassination attempts against dissidents and high ranking current and former US officials, including right here on American soil…. Hezbollah, Iran’s primary strategic partner, has tried to seed operatives, establish infrastructure and engage in spying here domestically… planning future operations in the US….

“In a year when the terrorism threat was already elevated, the ongoing [Israel-Hamas] war has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the US to a whole other level…. Since October 7, we’ve seen a rogue gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies. Hezbollah [which trains Latin American drug traffickers in the areas of car bombing and IEDs] threatened to attack US interests in the Middle East. Al-Qaeda issued its most specific call to attack the US….

“Our most immediate concern is that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home. That includes homegrown violent extremists inspired by a foreign terrorist organization…. We cannot discount the possibility that Hamas or another foreign terrorist organization may exploit the current conflict to conduct attacks here, on our own soil….”

In his testimony at the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Wray highlighted the central role of Iran’s Ayatollahs in the intensified anti-US Islamic terrorism: “Nations such as the PRC, Russia and Iran are becoming more aggressive and more capable than ever before. These nations seek to undermine our core democratic, economic and scientific institutions….[They] conduct sophisticated intelligence operations using coercion, subversion, malign influence, cyber and economic espionage, traditional spying and non-traditional human intelligence collection.  They pose a continuous threat to US national security and our economy by targeting strategic technologies, industries, sectors and critical infrastructure…. [Iran’s collaboration with US criminal organizations] should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with both the scope of Iran’s penetration of the Western hemisphere and its association with TCOs (Transnational Criminal Organizations) at every level.  Understanding both the nature of this new combination requires some knowledge of TCOs, the security apparatus of the Iranian state and their links….”

Col. (ret.) Robert Killebrew of the Center for a New American Security sheds light on the connection between Iran’s Ayatollahs, Hezbollah and Latin American anti-US terrorism and drug trafficking: “That Iran has relationships with TCOs [e.g., MS-13] with deep ties inside the US is a fact…. Hostility toward the US is fundamental to the ideological outlook of Iran’s ruling theocracy, which considers itself at war with the US…. The Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas [aimed to undermine the US posture in Latin America], which includes states like Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua, has forged close military ties with Iran…. Along with senior members of the Venezuelan government, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard is involved in the illicit narcotics trade… training of local forces and in illicit drug trade that weakens the US at home….

“Reports of Iranian activity in South and Central America continue to roll in, along with Hezbollah’s hefty fund-raising and training activities in South America…. The coordinated US response to the growing presence of Iranian agents in Central and South America has been tepid at best…. Despite the presence of the armed forces of a hostile state (Iran) to our south, and clear evidence that those forces will use TCOs to attack targets inside the US, the possibility of converted action against the cartels and, by implication, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, remains elusive….”

The bottom line:

*There is a direct connection between the US homeland security, on the one hand, and Iran’s Ayatollahs’ anti-US fanatic and imperialistic ideology, their oppression of women and ethnic and religious minorities in Iran, and their role as the leading regional and global epicenter of anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and proliferation of advance weaponry, on the other hand.

*As documented since their February 1979 rise to power, Iran’s Ayatollahs’ fanatic, religious and imperialistic vision – which aims to bring “The Great American Satan” to submission – transcends any financial and diplomatic bonanza extended by the US.

*While Hamas and Hezbollah constitute a threat to all pro-US Arab regimes, intensify the volcanic nature of the Middle East, and undermine the national and homeland security of the US, it is Iran which is the generator of these terror organizations. Disabling the Iranian generator is a prerequisite for minimizing the wrath of Islamic terrorism.

*The 45-year-old track record of the US diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs – which has bolstered the anti-US capabilities of the Ayatollahs, while undermining US interests – requires a reassessment and a shift to the regime-change option.

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Judea & Samaria

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

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

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

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

For instance:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jerusalem

United Jerusalem – a shared US-Israel legacy and interest

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

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

United Jerusalem and the US law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Jerusalem and the legacy of the Founding Fathers

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

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

The Jerusalem reality and US interests

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

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

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

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

Jerusalem and Israel’s defiance of US pressure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jewish Holidays

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

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

Islamic Terrorism

FBI Director Chris Wray: Iranian terrorism on US soil