The US decision to comply with the law of the land – the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act – recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocating the US Embassy there, enhances the US posture of deterrence, in defiance of threats and pressure, while walking against the grain.
The relocation of the US Embassy will implement the 1995 legislation, which has enjoyed much support on, and off, Capitol Hill, but was sacrificed – until January 2017 – by the US Administration on the altar of false/faulty national security considerations. A waiver was introduced into the language of the law, as a result of pressure by then President Clinton, which was seconded by the late Prime Minister Rabin. In July, 1999, a veto-override majority of 84 Senators supported proposed legislation, which would force implementation of the legislation by eliminating the presidential waiver. But, a coalition of President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak convinced the Senators to shelve it, contending that the cause of peace must not be sacrificed on the altar of Jerusalem.However, reality has documented that they sacrificed reality and Jerusalem on the altar of wishful-thinking and a failed peace process, which collapsed during Prime Minister Barak’s tenure, accompanied by an unprecedented wave of Palestinian terrorism.
Another reminder that appeasement of rogue elements intensifies violence.
Terminating the Department of State policy which refers to the whole of Jerusalem as an international (not Israeli) city, recognizing unified Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, represent a litmus test of President-elect Donald Trump’s resolve to Make America Great Again, by defying Arab/Muslim pressure and threats, as well as overruling the politically-correct establishment of the Department of State.
Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem is, also, a litmus test of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s intent to leverage the non-conventional Trump/Pence worldview, which abhors domestic and international political-correctness, respects firmness and the defiance of odds, recognizes Israel as a unique ally in the battle against the Ayatollahs and Islamic terrorism, and is aware that US national security interests transcend the Palestinian issue.
The decision to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem will usher in the Trump era, setting President Trump apart from his predecessors, underscoring the independence of US unilateral – rather than multinational – action, distinguishing him from the US and international foreign policy establishment and setting him apart from the UN worldview, while reflecting the state-of-mind of most Americans.
While the Jewish State benefits from the robust Jewish demographic tailwind of fertility and immigration, Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is burdened with a Jewish demographic headwind of emigration, which is eroding the current 66% Jewish majority.
The growing, youthful Jewish emigration from Jerusalem is driven by the scarcity of jobs as well as costly and limited housing. It was triggered – beginning in the 1990s – by Israeli Prime Ministers, who have relegated Jerusalem to a lower national priority, in sharp contrast to preceding Prime Ministers.
Simultaneously with a litany of “O Jerusalem” boasting statements, they have demonstrated “Oy Jerusalem” feeble action, reflecting limited capability to withstand opposition, by US Presidents, to Jewish construction beyond the pre-1967 armistice line. Moreover, succumbing to US pressure has yielded more, and rougher, pressure. Thus, they have constrained the development of Jerusalem’s infrastructure of transportation, housing and employment – which constitute a prerequisite for transforming Jewish emigration into robust Jewish immigration – since it requires construction on substantial, state-owned land, available within the largely unpopulated boundaries of reunited Jerusalem, not in the limited parameters of pre-1967 Jerusalem.
The smaller the effective boundary of Jerusalem, the larger is Jewish emigration; the larger the effective boundary, the greater is the potential for Jewish immigration.
Thus, recent Prime Ministers have sacrificed the significant upgrading of Jerusalem’s infrastructure of growth on the altar of the supposed peace process with the Palestinian Authority, which seeks to annul Jerusalem’s reunification, worships suicide bombers and operates the most effective assembly line for manufacturing terrorists: a K-12 destroy-Israel-education system.
This peace process-driven policy has also led to physical and administrative disengagement from some Arab neighborhoods in reunited Jerusalem, and the construction of walls and fences, separating these neighborhoods from the rest of the city. As a result, parallel to the increasing Jewish emigration from Jerusalem, some 50,000 Arab residents of these neighborhoods – possessing Israeli ID cards – immigrated over the walls and the fences deeper into Jerusalem, lest they lose Israeli social and welfare benefits. Thus, at a time when parity has been reached between Jewish and Arab fertility rates (number of births per woman), this Israeli policy of disengagement has induced Arab immigration into Jerusalem, at a rate twice as high as the rate of Jewish emigration from Jerusalem.
In this regard, contemporary Israeli Prime Ministers have strayed away, dramatically, from their predecessors. For example, in 1950, in defiance of brutal US and global pressure to internationalize Jerusalem (which is still the policy of the US Department of State!), Prime Minister David Ben Gurion proclaimed Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish State, relocated government agencies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, settled a massive number of Olim (Jewish immigrants to Israel) in Jerusalem, upgraded the transportation infrastructure to Jerusalem, and erected new Jewish neighborhoods along Jerusalem’s cease fire lines, providing the city land reserves for long term growth. Ben Gurion’s actions spoke louder than the current bravado statements about the “indivisible Jerusalem.”
In 1967, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol adopted Ben Gurion’s statesmanship, fended off severe US and global threats, reunited Jerusalem and established the foundation of satellite Jewish neighborhoods well beyond Jerusalem’s “pre-1967 lines.”
In 1970-1, Prime Minister Golda Meir resisted heavy pressure, by the White House and the Department of State, refusing to rescind the reunification of Jerusalem and to transfer Jerusalem’s Holy Basin to the auspices of the three leading religions (these demands were embraced, in 2010, by former Prime Minister, Olmert). Defiantly, Golda Meir laid the groundwork for additional neighborhoods beyond the “pre-’67 lines”: Gilo, Ramot Alon, French Hill and Neve’ Ya’akov, significantly expanding Jerusalem’s infrastructure of growth.
Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir sustained the position of Jerusalem at the top of Israel’s national priorities, reinforcing – through construction and growth – the historical, national and religious status of reunified Jerusalem as the exclusive, non-negotiable capital of the Jewish State.
In order to dramatically expand Jerusalem’s 66% Jewish majority, and retain the graduates of the Hebrew University (Israel’s largest university), while improving the quality of life for Jews and Arabs, Israel should embark upon a fast-track, dramatic enhancement of Jerusalem’s transportation infrastructure, which would pave the road for a flow of Israeli and international entrepreneurs and investors. For example, the largest Israeli city (2.5 times larger and more populated than Tel Aviv!) needs an airport, located in the ample, unpopulated area in eastern Jerusalem, which would be a most effective engine of growth. The only two freeways to Jerusalem from the coastal plain (#1 and #443 which stretches along the Land of the Maccabees beyond the 1967 lines) must be expanded, and a third one (#45 which was shelved by Prime Minister Sharon) should be constructed, for commercial, safety and national security reasons. The internal Begin Road should evolve into the Jerusalem Loop, which would be a game-changer for commerce and quality of life. A similar surge should apply to the infrastructure for high tech, telecommunications, electricity, water, education and housing.
Will Israeli Prime Ministers embark upon an “O Jerusalem” policy – initiated 3,000 years ago by King David – which would drastically enhance Jerusalem’s quality of life and expand its Jewish majority? Or, will they sustain the “Oy Jerusalem” policy, which could doom Jerusalem to a Jewish minority?
In order to combat Palestinian terrorism, Israel should focus on offense and not on defense, on draining the swamp (hate education) rather than chasing the individual mosquitos (terrorisits).
Hate education is the most effective production line of potential terrorists.
Draining the Palestinian swamp of hate-education would advance the interest of most Palestinians who reject terrorism, corruption and oppression, but are too weak to oppose the Palestinian Authority.
The Congressional funding of the Palestinian terrorism – which bankrolls hate education – on the one hand, and American core values on the other hand, constitutes oxymoron.
Palestinian hate education on the one hand, and peaceful coexistence on the other hand, constitutes a most egregious oxymoron.
In 1992, the Republican Whip, Senator Alan Simpson from Wyoming, who was critical of Prime Minister Shamir’s policies, told me: “How can I like Prime Minister Shamir when he resembles a non-peaceful roaring tiger? However, how can I but respect a roaring tiger?!”
Former Secretary of State Jim Baker, who was one of the crudest detractors of Shamir’s policies, respected Shamir’s ironclad commitment to deeply-rooted ideology. Therefore, he considered Shamir a trustworthy – although non-subservient – ally of the USA. Shamir was consistently guided by principles, values and history-steered vision/ideology; he was not herded – zigzagging – by pollsters and public opinion consultants.
The late Prime Minister Shamir was a role model of Jewish patriotism, optimism, principle-driven and security-based statesmanship, history-motivated tenacity, reliability, modesty, independence and endurance in face of brutal pressure.
In 1991, at the height of the bitter conflict between Prime Minster Shamir and Republican President Bush, then Republican House Whip, Newt Gingrich, asserted: “How can you expect communications between Bush, who was given the presidency, as well as the CIA and the UN ambassadorship, on a golden platter, and Shamir who has demonstrated willingness to sacrifice his life on the altar of ideology?!”
Following the 1990 meeting between Shamir and Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, George Mitchell and Bob Dole, the latter told Shamir: “The Majority Leader and I respect you – although we disagree with your policies – because you are tough!”
The short Shamir was a giant of a Prime Minister – a geo political game changer – in the areas of Aliya (Jewish immigration), economy, US-Israel strategic cooperation and defiance of pressure.
While the Jackson-Vanik Amendment opened the doors of the USSR for emigration, Shamir’s Aliya policy was chiefly responsible for the arrival in Israel of over one million Olim (Jewish immigrants) from the USSR. Shamir believed that aggressive, tenacious, pro-active Aliya policy – generating Aliya – was the prerequisite for massive Aliya waves from the USSR, Ethiopia and other countries. During the 1990s, he projected a future Aliya wave from France, resulting from anti-Semitism and Islamic migration. Former US Assistant Secretary of State, Dick Schifter, appreciated Shamir’s intense lobbying of Secretaries of State, Schultz and Baker, to stop issuing refugee certificates to Soviet Jews, thus directing them to relocate to Israel. In addition, Shamir initiated a request from the US Senate to pass a resolution – signed by all 100 Senators – expecting Moscow to direct Jewish emigrants to fly only directly to Israel and not to Rome or Vienna. Shamir’s initiatives transformed an 80% dropout rate (until 1990) to an almost 100% arrival rate, by Soviet Jews, to Israel.
Shamir orchestrated the absorption of over one million Soviet Jews and 60,000 Ethiopian Jews, by less than five million Israelis – an unprecedented human accomplishment. He considered Aliya to be the raison d’etre of the Jewish State, its moral compass, its top priority and its turbo growth engine. He was aware that Aliyah determined Israel’s posture of deterrence and the Jewish-Arab demographic balance between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.
Shamir laid down the foundations for the resurgence of Israel’s economy from a potential meltdown to one of the most fiscally-responsible economies in the world. His composure in face of lethal pressures, marathon-like (and not sprint-like) style of leadership, strategic thinking and willingness to lead through delegation of authority to experts – such as Jacob Frenkel, who was appointed by Shamir to be the Governor of the Bank of Israel – paved the road to the stabilization of Israel’s Shekel, the dramatic restraint of inflation, interest and unemployment rates and the drastic reduction of budget deficit.
Former Secretary of State George Schultz was a systematic critic of Shamir’s policy on the Arab-Israeli conflict, but rarely fails to express his utmost respect for Shamir’s integrity and perseverance. Most of Shamir’s sustained critics in Washington indicate that “we miss him now more than anytime before.”
In 1988, Texas Congressman Ted Poe, then a Federal Judge and currently a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, defined Shamir as “the sturdiest statesman in the Middle East.”
Shamir’s defiance of the US, when it came to Jewish roots in the Land of Israel and Israel’s fundamental security requirements, eroded his popularity, but enhanced respect towards him. In 1991, he preconditioned participation in the Madrid Conference upon a US commitment to avoid any reference to Land-for-Peace, to prohibit PLO participation and to inform Syria that no retreat on the Golan Heights was forthcoming. His image as a strategic partner was upgraded by his dismissal of international guarantees of Israel’s security and propositions to station foreign troops on Israel’s borders. On a rainy day, the US is not looking for a “punching bag,” but for a reliable, capable, democratic, unconditional ally, which is willing to defy even the US.
Shamir’s seven years at the helm were characterized by unprecedented expansion of US-Israel strategic cooperation – despite severe disagreements over the Palestinian issue – from the April 1988 Memorandum of Understanding through the 1990-1991 enhancement of joint exercises, intelligence and counter-terrorism cooperation, prepositioning of US military hardware in Israel, defense industrial cooperation, the upgrading of the port of Haifa for the Sixth Fleet, etc.
Contemporary challenges, domestically, internationally, commercially and militarily, behoove Israeli and American leaders to follow in the footsteps of Prime Minister Shamir’s legacy.
Jerusalem has been one of the most dramatic issues of discord between the will of the American constituent and Congress on the one hand, and State-Department-driven presidential policy on the other hand.
In contrast with most Americans, and their state and federal representatives, who cherish Jerusalem as the indivisible capital of the Jewish State, all US presidents have embraced Foggy Bottom’s denial of Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital, or even as part of Israel. Moreover, the US foreign policy bureaucracy has disavowed the 1947 non-binding UN General Assembly Partition Plan, but for one segment – Jerusalem, which the UN designated as an international city.
Israel is the only country in the world, whose (3,000 year old) capital is not recognized by the State Department and by the Presidents of the US. However, the American people consider Israel to be the second most trusted and dependable ally of the USA (following Britain), and 71% support (and 9% oppose) Jerusalem as Israel’s indivisible capital.
President Obama has gone farther than any US president in implementing the Jerusalem policy-of-denial. He is pressing for an unprecedented construction freeze in Jerusalem beyond the 1949 ceasefire lines, and is trying to eliminate any reference to “Jerusalem, Israel” in present and past official documents and communications.
On the other hand, Jerusalem has earned the affinity of the American people since the arrival of the Pilgrims in the seventeenth century, who viewed the US as “the modern day Promised Land,” establishing many towns with Biblical names, including Jerusalem. In 2012 there are, at least, 18 US towns called Jerusalem, in addition to some 32 Salems, the Biblical, initial name of Jerusalem (Shalem), meaning wholesomeness, divine and peace.
While the American affinity towards Jerusalem has cemented the unique covenant between the US and the Jewish State, the Department of State never viewed Jerusalem as part of the Jewish State. In 1949, President Truman followed Secretary of State Marshall’s policy, pressuring Israel to refrain from annexing any part of Jerusalem and to accept the internationalization of the ancient capital of the Jewish people. In 1953, President Eisenhower – inspired by Secretary of State, Dulles – opposed the relocation of Israel’s Foreign Ministry from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and prohibited official meetings in Jerusalem. In 1967, President Johnson adopted the Jerusalem policy of Secretary of State Rusk, who opposed Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence. LBJ highlighted the international status of Jerusalem, and warned Israel against the unification of – and construction in eastern – Jerusalem. In 1970, President Nixon collaborated with Secretary of State, Rogers, attempting to repartition Jerusalem and to stop Israel’s plans to construct additional neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem.
However, the presidential pressure was short-lived and ineffective due to the defiant Israeli response, which benefitted from overwhelming Congressional and public support of Jerusalem as the eternal, indivisible capital of the Jewish people.
In 1995, Congress decided to implement the will of the people, passing overwhelmingly (93:5 in the Senate and 374:37 in the House) the Jerusalem Embassy Act. It stipulated the recognition of unified Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, a presidential national security waiver, which was introduced into the bill by Senator Dole with the support of Prime Minister Rabin, has enabled Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama to avoid implementation.
In 1999, 84 Senators realized that the national security waiver was misused by the White House, and that cow-towing to Arab pressure radicalized Arab expectations and belligerence. They attempted to leverage the co-determining and co-equal power of the legislature and to eliminate the waiver provision. But, they were blocked by President Clinton and Prime Minister Barak.
In 2012, the leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties should heed the historical will of the American constituent, synchronizing the White House and the Department of State with the Jerusalem reality – Israel’s indivisible capital. Still, the success of such an initiative behooves Israeli leaders to resurrect the steadfastness and defiance, which characterized Israeli Prime Ministers from Ben Gurion (1948) through Shamir (1992).
The current seismic developments in Arab countries have removed the Middle East “screen saver,” exposing the real Middle East: top heavy on violence, fragmentation, volatility, hate-education and treachery, and low on predictability, certainty, credibility and democracy. The collapse of Arab regimes reflects the collapse of superficial assumptions, which have underlined Western policy-making and public opinion molding. The upheaval in Arab societies highlights the dramatic gap between Israel’s democracy and its Arab neighbors.
In fact, recent events in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, Libya, Syria (and you ain’t seen nothing yet…) have enhanced the craving in the Arab Street for the liberties and benefits of Israel’s democracy.
For example, Israeli ID cards have been sought by senior PLO and Hamas officials and their relatives, such as the three sisters of Ismail Haniyeh, the top leader of Hamas. They married Israeli Arabs and migrated from Gaza to Tel Sheva in Israel’s Negev. Two are already widows, but prefer to remain in the Jewish State, and the son of the third sister serves in the Israeli Defense Forces. Akrameh Sabri, the top Muslim religious leader in eastern Jerusalem, who delivers anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist sermons retains his Israeli ID card as do Hanan Ashrawi of the PLO, Muhammad Abu-Tir of Hamas, Jibril Rajoub’s wife, etc.
150,000 non-Israeli Arabs, mostly from Judea and Samaria, married Israeli Arabs and received Israeli ID cards between 1993-2003. In addition, scores of thousands of illegal Arab aliens prefer Israeli – over Palestinian – residence.
A significant wave of net-emigration – 30,000 Arabs from Judea, Samaria and Gaza annually – since 1950, was substantially reduced in 1968, as a result of access gained to Israel’s infrastructures of employment, medicine and education, and of Israeli construction of such infrastructures in these regions. The level of annual Arab emigration subsided during the peak years of Aliya (Jewish immigration to Israel), since Arabs were heavily employed in constructing the absorption infrastructure.
Israeli Arabs vehemently oppose any settlement – such as an exchange of land between Israel and the Palestinian Authority – which would transform them into Palestinian subjects, denying them Israeli citizenship.
A sizeable number of Jerusalem Arabs prefer to remain under Israel’s sovereignty, according to a January 12, 2011 public opinion poll conducted by “The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion” headed by Nabil Kukali of Beit Sakhur. The poll was commissioned and supervised by the Princeton-based “Pechter Middle East Polls” (www.pechterpolls.com) and the NY-based Council on Foreign Relations.
Since 1967, Jerusalem Arabs – within Israel’s municipal lines – have been permanent Israeli residents and Israeli ID card holders. Therefore, they freely work and travel throughout Israel and benefit from Israel’s healthcare programs, retirement plans, social security, unemployment, disability and child allowances, and they can vote in Jerusalem’s municipal election.
According to the January 2011 poll, which was conducted by Palestinians in Arab neighborhoods far from any Jewish presence, 40% of Jerusalem Arabs would relocate to an area inside Israel if their current neighborhood were to be transferred to the Palestinian Authority. Only 27% would relocate to the Palestinian Authority if their neighborhood were to become an internationally recognized part of Israel. 39% assume that most people in their neighborhood prefer Israeli citizenship, and only 31% assume that most people in their neighborhood prefer Palestinian citizenship. 35% prefer to be Israeli citizens and only 30% prefer Palestinian citizenship.
One can assume that is the pollsters would have added the cultural “fear factor” – of Palestinian terrorist retribution – the number of Jerusalem Arabs preferring Israeli citizenship would have been higher.
What do the Arabs of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza know about Abu Mazen’s Palestinian Authority that Western policy-makers and public opinion molders do not know?! When will Western policy-makers and public opinion molders remove the Abu Mazen “screen saver” and confront the real Abu Mazen?!
Since Oslo, 1993, the case of the Jewish State has highlighted Israel’s pursuit of peace and security, while downplaying the right/deed of the Jewish People to its historical homeland. A resounding rebuke of David Ben Gurion, the Laborite Founding Father of the Jewish State and its first Prime Minister, who stated: “He who abandons his past, forfeits his future” (“Notes on Zionism,” pp. 1-5, 1947).
The claim of national sovereignty, and the level of steadfastness in face of adversity, are derivatives of the attachment to the territorial-cradle of history and national security requirements.
Nations which highlight their non-conditional attachment to their territorial cradle of history (irrespective of diplomatic, security and economic considerations) enhance steadfastness and gain strategic respect. On the other hand, nations which consider their cradle of history a negotiable-real-estate may gain short-lived popularity, but undermine their attachment to the land, lose long-term strategic respect and erode their own posture of deterrence. A nation which negotiates away its cradle of history is giving away its future.
Prof. (emeritus) Menasheh Har-El, a leading expert on the history and geography of the Land of Israel, a recipient of the “Israel Prize” and author of 13 books, documents national Jewish roots in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem as early as the 13th century BC: 2,000 years before the appearance of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula, 3,200 years before Arabs from Egypt, Syria and Lebanon migrated to the Land of Israel and 3,350 years before the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
According to Professor Har-El’s 55 years of research, the Jews were the first to coalesce the various regions of Canaan into a unified country. They settled in the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria rather than along the coastal plain, introducing agricultural innovations into barren, rugged mountains, developing irrigation systems, establishing stone and metal shops, ushering advanced architecture and construction, building roads from the Mediterranean to Jerusalem, which became the crown jewel of the Jewish People.
On the other hand, Har-El notes, Jerusalem was severely neglected during the Islamic rule of the area, overshadowed by the town of Ramlah (half way between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem), which was the provincial Muslim capital. The Muslim attitude toward Jerusalem – the Capital of the Jewish People since 1,000BC – reflected the negligible priority accorded by Islam toward the Land of Israel, which was devastated by Muslim rule. In 1867, Mark Twain attested to the state of the area in Innocents Abroad: “…Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, Palestine must be the prince…It is a hopeless, dreary, heart-broken land…Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes…Palestine is desolate and unlovely….”
The 1949-1967 Jordanian occupation of East Jerusalem sustained the Muslim attitude toward Jerusalem. Jordan oppressed Jerusalem’s Christian community, which was reduced from 25,000 in 1949 to 10,000 in 1967. The Hashemites coerced Jerusalem’s church schools to teach the Quran and prevented Christian expansion. Jordan defiled and vandalized over 50 Jewish synagogues, using some as cowsheds, stables or public latrines. Over 75% of the tombstones at the holiest Jewish cemetery, on Mount Olive, were ripped out and used for pavements and public urinals.
Jerusalem was never a capital of any Arab entity. It was not mentioned in the 1964 PLO’s Covenant. However, Jerusalem is highlighted in each synagogue, each Jewish prayer and holiday and during every Jewish wedding and other Jewish rituals. Jerusalem is a pillar of Judaism, but it is not included among the five pillars of Islam. Jerusalem – and its synonym, Zion – are mentioned 821 times in the Bible (“Old Testament”), but not even once in the Quran. Muhammed never set foot in Jerusalem or in the Land of Israel. In contrast to Jews, Muslims pray toward Mecca and Medina and not toward Jerusalem and there is no Muslim pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but to Mecca.
The territorial cradle of history constitutes the foundation of national moral high-ground. As essential as is the topographic high-ground (e.g., the over-towering mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria) to national security, the moral high-ground is significantly more critical to national survival. The devotion to the Land of Israel in general – and Jerusalem in particular – has played a critical role in preserving the Jewish People!
Official Palestinian demographic numbers are highly-inflated, as documented by a study, which has audited the Palestinian data since 2004:
*500,000 overseas residents, who have been away for over a year, are included in the Palestinian 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 daily due to births.
*Over 150,000 Arabs, who married Israeli Arabs are similarly doubly-counted. The number expands daily due to births.
*A 390,000 Arab net-emigration from Judea & Samaria is excluded from the Palestinian census, notwithstanding the annual net-emigration since 1950. For example, 15,466 in 2022, 26,357 – 2019, 15,173 – 2017 and 24,244 – 2014, as documented by Israel’s Population and Migration Authority (exits and entries) in all the land, air and sea 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 3.02 births in 2021, as documented by the CIA World Factbook. It reflects the sweeping urbanization, growing enrollment of women in higher education, rising marriage age and the use of contraceptives.
*The number of Arab deaths in Judea & Samaria has been under-reported (since the days of the British Mandate) for political and financial reasons.
*The aforementioned data documents 1.4 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria, when deducting the aforementioned documented-data from the official Palestinian number (3 million).
In 2023: a 69% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel. In 1947 and 1897: a 39% and 9% Jewish minority. In 2023, a 69% Jewish majority benefiting from fertility tailwind and net-immigration. Arab fertility is Westernized, and Arab net-emigration from Judea and Samaria. No Arab demographic time bomb. A Jewish demographic momentum.
More data in this article and this short video.
Jewish Policy Center’s inFOCUS, Spring, 2023
Saudi-Iranian diplomatic relations
*Riyadh does not allow the resumption of the Saudi-Iranian diplomatic ties to befog the reality of the tenuous and shifty Middle East regimes, policies and agreements, and the inherently subversive, terroristic, anti-Sunni and imperialistic track record of Iran’s Ayatollahs.
*Saudi Arabia is cognizant of the 1,400-year-old fanatic, religious vision of the Ayatollahs, including their most critical strategic goal – since their February 1979 violent ascension to power – of exporting the Shiite Revolution and toppling all “apostate” Sunni Arab regimes, especially the House of Saud. They are aware that neither diplomatic, nor financial, short term benefits transcend the deeply-rooted, long term Ayatollahs’ anti-Sunni vision.
*Irrespective of its recent agreement with Iran – and the accompanying moderate diplomatic rhetoric – Saudi Arabia does not subscribe to the “New Middle East” and “end of interstate wars” Pollyannaish state of mind. The Saudis adhere to the 1,400-year-old reality of the unpredictably intolerant and violent inter-Arab/Muslim reality (as well as the Russia-Ukraine reality).
*This is not the first resumption of Saudi-Iranian diplomatic ties, which were previously severed in 1988 and 2016 and followed by the Ayatollahs-induced domestic and regional violence.
*The China-brokered March 2023 resumption of diplomatic ties is a derivative of Saudi Arabia’s national security interests, and its growing frustration with the US’ eroded posture as a reliable diplomatic and military protector against lethal threats.
*The resumption of Saudi-Iranian diplomatic relations constitute a major geo-strategic gain for China and a major setback for the US in a region which, until recently, was perceived as a US domain.
*The US posture of deterrence has been severely undermined by the 2015 nuclear accord (the JCPOA), the 2021 withdrawal/flight from Afghanistan, the systematic courting of three real, clear and lethal threats to the Saudi regime – Iran’s Ayatollahs, the “Muslim Brotherhood” and Yemen’s Houthi terrorists –- while exerting diplomatic and military pressure on the pro-US Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.
*US policy has driven Saudi Arabia (as well as the UAE and Egypt) closer to China and Russia, commercially and militarily, including the potential Chinese construction of civilian nuclear power plants and a hard rock uranium mill in Saudi Arabia, which would advance Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “Vision 2030.”
Saudi “Vision 2030”
*Effective Israel-Saudi Arabia cooperation is a derivative of Saudi Arabia’s national security and economic interests, most notably “Vision 2030.”
*The unprecedented Saudi-Israeli security, technological and commercial cooperation, and the central role played by Saudi Arabia in inducing the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan to conclude peace treaties with Israel, are driven by the Saudi assessment that Israel is an essential ally in the face of real, clear, lethal security threats, as well as a vital partner in the pursuit of economic, technological and diplomatic goals.
*The Saudi-Israel cooperation constitutes a win-win proposition.
*The Saudi-Israel cooperation is driven by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’ (MBS’) “Vision 2030.” He aspires to catapult the kingdom to a regional and global powerhouse of trade and investment, leveraging its geo-strategic position along crucial naval routes between the Far East and Europe (the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Arab Sea and the Red Sea).
*”Vision 2030″ has introduced ground-breaking cultural, social, economic, diplomatic and national security reforms and upgrades, leveraging the unique added-value of Israel’s technological and military capabilities.
*Saudi Arabia, just like the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, are preoccupied with the challenge of economic diversification, realizing that they are overly-reliant on oil and natural gas, which are exposed to price-volatility, depletion and could be replaced by emerging cleaner and more cost-effective energy. They consider Israel’s ground-breaking technologies as a most effective vehicle to diversify their economy, create more jobs in non-energy sectors, and establish a base for alternative sources of national income, while bolstering homeland and national security.
*”Vision 2030″ defies traditional Saudi religious, cultural and social norms. Its future, as well as the future of Saudi-Israel cooperation, depend on Saudi domestic stability and the legitimacy of MBS. The latter is determined to overcome and de-sanctify the fundamentalist Wahhabis in central and southwestern Saudi Arabia, who were perceived until recently as the Islamic authority in Saudi Arabia, and an essential ally of the House of Saud since 1744.
“Vision 2030”, the Middle East and Israel’s added-value
*MBS’ ambitious strategy is preconditioned upon reducing regional instability and minimizing domestic and regional threats. These threats include the Ayatollahs regime of Iran, “Muslim Brotherhood” terrorists, Iran-supported domestic Shiite subversion (in the oil-rich Eastern Province), Iran-based Al Qaeda, Iran-supported Houthis in Yemen, Iran-supported Hezbollah, the proposed Palestinian state (which features a rogue intra-Arab track record), and Erdogan’ aspirations to resurrect the Ottoman Empire, which controlled large parts of the Arabian Peninsula. Currently, Erdogan maintains close security and political ties with the “Muslim Brotherhood” and the pro-Iran and pro-“Muslim Brotherhood” Qatar, while confronting Saudi Arabia in Libya, where they are both involved in a series of civil wars.
*Notwithstanding the March 2023 resumption of diplomatic ties with Iran, Saudi Arabia is aware that the Middle East resembles a volcano, which frequently releases explosive lava – domestically and regionally – in an unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2010 and is still raging on the Arab Street.
*The survival of the Saudi regime, and the implementation of “Vision 2030,” depend upon Riyadh’s ability to form an effective coalition against rogue regimes. However, Saudi Arabia is frustrated by the recent erosion of the US’ posture of deterrence, as demonstrated by the 43-year-old US addiction to the diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs; the US’ limited reaction to Iranian aggression against US and Saudi targets; the US’ embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood; and the US’ appeasement of the Ayatollahs-backed Houthi terrorists. In addition, the Saudis are alarmed by the ineffectiveness of NATO (No Action Talk Only?), European vacillation in the face of Islamic terrorism, and the vulnerability of the Arab regimes. This geo-strategic reality has driven the Saudis (reluctantly) closer to China and Russia, militarily and commercially.
*Against this regional and global backdrop, Israel stands out as the most reliable “life insurance agent” and an essential strategic ally, irrespective of past conflicts and the Palestinian issue. The latter is considered by the Saudi Crown Prince as a secondary or tertiary issue.
*In addition, the Saudis face economic and diplomatic challenges – which could benefit from Israel’s cooperation and can-do mentality – such as economic diversification, innovative technology, agriculture, irrigation and enhanced access to advanced US military systems, which may be advanced via Israel’s stature on Capitol Hill.
*The Saudi interest in expanding military, training, intelligence, counter-terrorism and commercial cooperation with Israel has been a byproduct of its high regard for Israel’s posture of deterrence and muscle-flexing in the face of Iran’s Ayatollahs (in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran itself); and Israel’s systematic war on Palestinian and Islamic terrorism. Furthermore, the Saudis respect Israel’s occasional defiance of US pressure, including Israel’s high-profiled opposition to the 2015 JCPOA and Israel’s 1981 and 2007 bombing of Iraq’s and Syria’s nuclear reactors, which spared the Saudis (and the US) the devastating wrath of a nuclear Saddam Hussein and a nuclear Assad.
*A deterring and defiant Israel is a cardinal force-multiplier for Saudi Arabia (as it is for the US). On the other hand, an appeasing and retreating Israel would be irrelevant to Saudi Arabia’s national security (as it would be for the US).
*On a rainy day, MBS (just like the US) prefers a deterring and defiant Israel on his side.
Saudi interests and the Palestinian issue
*As documented by the aforementioned data, Saudi Arabia’s top national security priorities transcend – and are independent of – the Palestinian issue.
*The expanding Saudi-Israel cooperation, and the key role played by Riyadh in accomplishing the Abraham Accords, have contradicted the Western conventional wisdom. The latter assumes that the Palestinian issue is central to Arab policy makers, and that the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict is preconditioned upon substantial Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, including the establishment of a Palestinian state.
*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, MBS is aware that the Palestinian issue is not the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict, neither a crown-jewel of Arab policy-making, nor a core cause of regional turbulence.
*Independent of the pro-Palestinian Saudi talk, Riyadh (just like the Arabs in general) has demonstrated an indifferent-to-negative walk toward the Palestinians. Arabs know that – in the Middle East – one does not pay custom on words. Therefore, the Arabs have never flexed a military (and barely financial and diplomatic) muscle on behalf of the Palestinians. They have acted in accordance with their own – not Palestinian – interests, and certainly not in accordance with Western misperceptions of the Middle East.
*Unlike the Western establishment, MBS accords critical weight to the Palestinian intra-Arab track record, which is top heavy on subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude. For instance, the Saudis don’t forget and don’t forgive the Palestinian collaboration with Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which was the most generous Arab host for Palestinians. The Saudis are also cognizant of the deeply-rooted Palestinian collaboration with Islamic, Asian, African, European and Latin American terror organizations, including “Muslim Brotherhood” terrorists and Iran’s Ayatollahs (whose machetes are at the throat of the House of Saud), North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela. The Saudis are convinced that the proposed Palestinian state cannot be different than the Palestinian rogue track record, which would add fuel to the Middle East fire, threatening the relatively-moderate Arab regimes.
Saudi Arabia and the Abraham Accords
*Saudi Arabia has served as the primary engine behind Israel’s peace treaties with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan, and has forged unprecedented defense and commercial cooperation with Israel, consistent with the Saudi order of national priorities.
*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, the Saudis do not sacrifice Middle East reality and their national security interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue.
*The success of the Saudi-supported Abraham Accords was a result of avoiding the systematic mistakes committed by Western policy makers, which produced a litany of failed Israeli-Arab peace proposals, centered on the Palestinian issue. Learning from prior mistakes, the Abraham accords focused on Arab interests, bypassing the Palestinian issue, avoiding a Palestinian veto.
*Therefore, the durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the interests of the respective Arab countries, and not on the Palestinian issue, which is not a top priority for any Arab country.
*The durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the stability of Saudi Arabia and the Arab countries which signed the Abraham Accords. Their stability is threatened by the volcanic nature of the unstable, highly-fragmented, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic and tenuous Middle East.
*The tenuous nature of most Arab/Muslim regimes in the Middle East yields tenuous policies and tenuous accords. For example, in addition to the Arab Tsunami of 2010 (which is still raging on the Arab Street), non-ballot regime-change occurred (with a dramatic change of policy) in Egypt (2013, 2012, 1952), Iran (1979, 1953), Iraq (2003, 1968, 1963-twice, 1958), Libya (2011, 1969) and Yemen (a civil war since the ’90s, 1990, 1962), etc.
*Bearing in mind the intra-Arab Palestinian track record, regional instability, the national security of Saudi Arabia, the Abraham Accords and US interests would be severely undermined by the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. It would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River; transform Jordan into a chaotic state in the vein of the uncontrollable Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; and produce another platform of regional and global Islamic terrorism, which would be leveraged by Iran’s Ayatollahs, in order to tighten their encirclement of Saudi Arabia. This would trigger a domino scenario, which would threaten every pro-US Arab oil-producing country in the Arabian Peninsula, jeopardizing the supply of Persian Gulf oil; threaten global trade; and yield a robust tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China and a major headwind to the US and its Arab Sunni allies, headed by Saudi Arabia.
*Why would Saudi Arabia and the Arab regimes of the Abraham Accords precondition their critical ties with Israel upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, which they view as a rogue element? Why would they sacrifice their national security and economic interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue? Why would they cut off their noses to spite their faces?
The well-documented fact that Arabs have never flexed a military muscle (and hardly a significant financial and diplomatic muscles) on behalf of the Palestinians, provides a resounding answer!
Israel-Saudi cooperation and Israel’s national security interests
*Notwithstanding the importance of Israel’s cooperation with Saudi Arabia, it takes a back seat to Israel’s critical need to safeguard/control the geographic cradle of its history, religion and culture, which coincides with its minimal security requirements in the volcanic Middle East: the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (West Bank), which dominate the 8-15-mile-sliver of pre-1967 Israel.
*The tenuously unpredictable Middle East reality defines peace accords as variable components of national security, unlike topography and geography (e.g., the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights) which are fixed components of Israel’s minimal security requirements in the non-Western-like Middle East. Israel’s fixed components of national security have dramatically enhanced its posture of deterrence. They transformed the Jewish State into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.
*An Israel-Saudi Arabia peace treaty would be rendered impractical if it required Israel to concede the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which would relegate Israel from a terror and war-deterring force multiplier for the US to a terror and war-inducing burden upon the US.
*Contrary to the Western (mis)perception of Israel-Arab peace treaties as pillars of national security, the unpredictably-violent Middle East features a 1,400-year-old reality of transient (non-democratic, one-bullet, not one-ballot) Arab regimes, policies and accords. Thus, as desirable as Israel-Arab peace treaties are, they must not entail the sacrifice of Israel’s most critical national security feature: the permanent topography of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which dominate 80% of Israel’s population and infrastructure.
*In June and December of 1981, Israel bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor and applied its law to the Golan Heights, in defiance of the Western foreign policy establishment. The latter warned that such actions would force Egypt to abandon its 1979 peace treaty with Israel. However, Egypt adhered to its national security priorities, sustaining the peace treaty. Routinely, Western policy makers warn that construction in Jerusalem (beyond the “Green Line”) and in Judea and Samaria would trigger a terroristic volcano and push the Arabs away from their peace treaties with Israel.
*None of the warnings materialized, since Arabs act in accordance with their own interests; not in accordance with Western misperceptions and the rogue Palestinian agenda.
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).”
More in Amazon, Smashwords
The goal of Passover’s liberty was not the subjugation of the Egyptian people, but the defeat of the tyrannical Pharaoh and the veneration of liberty throughout the globe, including in Egypt.
Moses received the Torah – which includes 50 gates of wisdom – 50 days following the Exodus, as celebrated by the Shavou’ot/Pentecost Holiday, 50 days following Passover. Moreover, there are 50 States in the United States, whose Hebrew name is “The States of the Covenant” (Artzot Habreet -ארצות הברית).
Passover aims at coalescing the fabrics of the Jewish family and the Jewish people, commemorating and strengthening Jewish roots, and refreshing and enhancing core values such as faith, humility, education, optimism, defiance of odds and can-do mentality, which are prerequisites to a free and vibrant society.
Passover is an annual reminder that liberty must not be taken for granted.
Jerusalem has been the exclusive capital of the Jewish people since King David established it as his capital, 3,000 years ago.
More: Jewish Holidays Guide for the Perplexed – Amazon, Smashwords
A new 8-minute-video: YouTube, Facebook
*Israel’s control of the topographically-dominant mountain ridges of the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria has enhanced Israel’s posture of deterrence, constraining regional violence, transforming Israel into a unique force-multiplier for the US.
*Top Jordanian military officers warned that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into a non-controllable terrorist heaven, generating an anti-US domino scenario in the Arabian Peninsula.
*Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria has eliminated much of the threat (to Jordan) of Judea and Samaria-based Palestinian terrorism.
*Israel’s posture of deterrence emboldens Jordan in the face of domestic and regional threats, sparing the US the need to deploy its own troops, in order to avoid an economic and national security setback.
*The proposed Palestinian state would become the Palestinian straw that would break the pro-US Hashemite back.
*The Palestinian track record of the last 100 years suggests that the proposed Palestinian state would be a rogue entity, adding fuel to the Middle East fire, undermining US interests.
Israel’s and the US’ counter-terrorism
*Islamic and Palestinian terrorism consider Israel as a critical beachhead – and a proxy – of the US in the Middle East and a significant collaborator with the pro-US Arab regimes. They perceive the war on “the infidel Jewish State” as a preview of their more significant war on “the infidel West” and their attempts to topple all pro-US Sunni Arab regimes. Therefore, Islamic and Palestinian terrorism has been engaged in intra-Arab subversion, while systematically collaborating with enemies and rivals of the US and the West (e.g., Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Ayatollah Khomeini, Latin American, European, African and Asian terror organizations, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba). The more robust is Israel’s war on terrorism, the more deterred are the terrorists in their attempts to bring the “infidel” West to submission.
*Islamic and Palestinian terrorism has terrorized Jewish communities in the Land of Israel since the late 19th century, adhering to an annihilationist vision as detailed by the Fatah and PLO charters of 1959 and 1964 (eight and three years before 1967), as well as by the hate-education system, which was installed by Mahmoud Abbas in 1993 following the signing of the Oslo Accord.
*Israel battles Palestinian terrorism (Hamas and the Palestinian Authority) and Islamic terrorism (Iran and Hezbollah), which are not preoccupied with the size – but with the eradication – of the “infidel” Jewish State from “the abode of Islam.”
*Israel and the West fight against deeply-rooted and institutional Islamic and Palestinian terrorism, that is inspired by 1,400-year-old rogue values, which are perpetrated by K-12 hate-education, mosque incitement and official and public idolization of terrorists.
*Israel and the West combat terrorism, that has astutely employed 1,400-year-old Islamic values such the “Taqiya’ ” – which promotes double-speak and dissimulation, as a means to mislead and defeat enemies – and the “Hudna’,” which misrepresents a temporary non-binding ceasefire with “infidels” as if it were a peace treaty.
*Israel and the West confront Islamic and Palestinian terrorism, which is politically, religiously and ideologically led by despotic and rogue regimes, rejecting Western values, such as peaceful-coexistence, democracy, human rights and good-faith negotiation.
*Israel and the West face off against Palestinian and Islamic terrorism, which does not allow lavish financial and diplomatic temptations to transcend intrinsic, fanatic, rogue and annihilationist vision. Moreover, terrorists bite the hands that feed them.
*Israel and the West are not assaulted by despair-driven terrorism, but by hope-driven terrorism – the hope to bring the “infidel” to submission. The aspiration of these terrorists contradicts peaceful-coexistence.
*Israel and the West clash with terrorists, who view gestures, concessions and hesitancy as weakness, which inflames terrorism.
*Israel and the West struggle against terrorism, which is not driven by a particular Israeli or US policy, but by a fanatic vision. Thus, Islamic terrorism afflicted the US during the Clinton and Obama Democratic Administrations, as well as during the Bush and Trump Republican Administrations.
*The US State Department has embraced a “moral equivalence” between Palestinian terrorists – who systematically and deliberately hit civilians, while sometimes hitting soldiers – and Israeli soldiers, who systematically and deliberately hit terrorists, while sometimes, unintentionally, hitting civilians. It emboldens terrorism, which threatens all pro-US Arab regimes, undermining regional stability, benefiting US’ rivals and enemies, while damaging the US.
War on terrorism
*The bolstering of posture of deterrence – rather than hesitancy, restraint, containment and gestures, which inflame terrorism – is a prerequisite for defeating terrorism and advancing the peace process.
*The most effective long-term war on terrorism – operationally, diplomatically, economically and morally – is not a surgical or comprehensive reaction, but a comprehensive and disproportional preemption, targeting the gamut of terroristic infrastructures and capabilities, draining the swamp of terrorism, rather than chasing the mosquitos.
*Containment produces a short-term, false sense of security, followed by a long-term security setback. It is the terrorists’ wet dream, which does not moderate terrorism, but adrenalizes its veins, providing time to bolster its capabilities – a tailwind to terror and a headwind to counter-terrorism. It shakes the confidence in the capability to crush terrorism. Defeating terrorism mandates obliteration of capabilities, not co-existence or containment.
*Containment aims to avoid a multi-front war (Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, Hezbollah and Iran), but it erodes Israel’s posture of deterrence, which brings Israel closer to a multi-front war under much worse conditions.
*Containment erodes Israel’s posture of deterrence in the eyes of the relatively-moderate Arab countries (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, the Sudan, Jordan and Egypt), which have dramatically enhanced cooperation with Israel due to Israel’s posture of deterrence against mutual threats, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs, the “Muslim Brotherhood” and ISIS terrorists).
*Containment is also a derivative of White House’s and the State Department’s pressure, subordinating national security to diplomatic priorities. It undermines Israel’s posture of deterrence, which plays into the hand of anti-Israel and anti-US rogue regimes. Precedents prove that Israeli defiance of US pressure yields short-term tension, but long-term strategic respect, resulting in expanded strategic cooperation. On a rainy day, the US prefers a defiant, rather than appeasing, strategic ally.
*The 2002 comprehensive counter-terrorism Israeli offensive, and the return of Israel’s Defense Forces to the headquarters of Palestinian terrorism in the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) – and not defensive containment and surgical operations – resurrected Israel’s effective war on Palestinian terrorism, which substantially curtailed terrorists’ capabilities to proliferate terrorism in Israel, Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula.
*The containment option intensifies terrorists’ daring, feeds vacillation and the self-destructive “don’t rock the boat” mentality. It erodes steadfastness and confidence in the capabilities to withstand the cost of terrorism, and feeds the suicidal perpetual retreat mentality.
*The addiction to containment is one of the lethal by-products of the 1993 Oslo Accord, which has produced a uniquely effective hot house of terrorism, highlighted by the importation, arming and funding of some 100,000 Palestinian terrorists from Tunisia, the Sudan, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria to Gaza, Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, who have unprecedentedly radicalized the Arab population of pre-1967 Israel, established a K-12 hate education system, launched an unparalleled wave of terrorism, and systematically violated agreements.
The bottom line
*The 30 years since the Oslo Accord have featured unprecedented Palestinian hate-education and wave of terrorism. It has demonstrated that a retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria has boosted terrorism; that the Palestinian Authority is not committed to a peace process, but to the destruction of the Jewish State; and that terrorism requires a military, not political, solution. A successful war on terrorism behooves a preemptive offense, not defense, containment and reaction; and that fighting in the terrorists’ own trenches is preferable to fighting in one’s own trenches. No Israeli concessions could satisfy international pressure; and diplomatic popularity is inferior to strategic respect. Avoiding a repeat of the critical post-Oslo errors requires a comprehensive, disproportional, decisive military campaign to uproot – not to coexist with – terroristic infrastructures.
*The historic and national security indispensability of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – which dominate the 8-15-mile sliver of pre-1967 Israel – and the necessity to frustrate Palestinian terrorism, behooves Israel to eliminate any sign of hesitancy and vacillation by expanding the Jewish presence in this most critical area. It will intensify US and global pressure, but as documented by all Prime Ministers from Ben Gurion, through Eshkol, Golda Meir, Begin and Shamir, defiance of pressure results in the enhancement of strategic respect and cooperation.
*The Palestinian track record during the 30 years since the 1993 Oslo Accord has highlighted the violent, unpredictable and anti-US rogue nature of the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River, which would force the toppling of the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River. It would transform Jordan into an uncontrollable, chaotic state in the vein of Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, triggering a domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula (south of Jordan), which could topple the pro-US, oil-producing Arab regimes. This would reward Iran’s Ayatollahs, China and Russia, while severely undermining regional and global stability and US economic and national security interests.