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

The current pressure on Israel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israel’s survival requires defiance of State Department pressure   

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

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

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

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

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

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel initiative”
June 17, 2024

FBI Director Chris Wray’s position on Islamic terrorism/Iran

FBI Director, Chris Wray reiterated – during his June 4, 2024 Senate testimony and April 11, 2024 House testimony – his warning of an October 7-like terrorism on the US soil:

“We have seen the threat from foreign terrorists rise to a whole another level after the October 7 [Hamas terrorism]….Increasingly concerning is the potential for a coordinated attack here in the [US] homeland, akin to the ISIS attack we saw at the Russia Concert Hall in March, 2024 [137 murdered, 180 wounded]…. 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….

“We are in an environment where the threats from international terrorism, domestic terrorism and state sponsored terrorism are all simultaneously elevated…. We are paying heightened attention to how the events abroad could directly affect and inspire people to commit violence here in the homeland….

“Our top concern stems from lone offenders inspired by the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, as they pose the most likely threat to Americans.  In recent years, there have been several events in the US that were purportedly motivated, at least in part, by the Israel-Hamas conflict….

Iran and its global proxies and partners, including Iraqi Shia militant groups, attack and plot against the US and our allies throughout the Middle East.  Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force has also provided support to terrorist organizations. And, Iran has supported Lebanese Hezbollah and other terrorist groups. Hezbollah has sent operatives to build terrorist infrastructure worldwide [including in Latin America all the way to the US-Mexico border]. The arrests of individuals in the US allegedly linked to Hezbollah’s main overseas terrorist arm, and their intelligence-collection and procurement efforts, demonstrate Hezbollah’s interest in long-term contingency planning activities here in the homeland….

“We continue to see the drug cartels [which intensely collaborate with Iran’s Ayatollahs and Hezbollah, that supply them predator unmanned aerial vehicles and tunnel construction equipment] push fentanyl and other dangerous drugs into every corner of the country, claiming countless American lives….

“Since October 7, we have seen a rogue gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies…. Our most immediate concern has been that [terrorists] will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home….”

The FBI Director Wray’s April 11 and June 4 testimonies followed his alarming testimonies on October 31, 2023 and on November 15, 2023, in the Senate and House Homeland Security Committees.

FBI Director Wray vs. Secretary of State Blinken

*FBI Director Chris Wray recognizes that the October 7, 2023 Hamas terrorism is relevant to the US homeland security, and that Israel’s war on Hamas supports the US’ war on Islamic terrorism. Unlike Director Wray, Secretary of State Blinken has assumed the role of an “honest broker,” ignoring the US-allied role of Israel and the US-enemy role of Hamas, a proxy of Iran’s Ayatollahs and a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood, the largest anti-US Sunni terrorist organization.

*FBI Director Wray considers Iran’s Ayatollahs and their Islamic terror proxies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, as a clear and present threat to the US homeland security. He is aware of their intensified collaboration with the drug cartels in Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil, as well as with Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and all other anti-US governments in Latin America, the US’ soft underbelly. In contrast, Secretary of State Blinken – true to his multilateralist UN-oriented worldview – has approached Iran’s Ayatollahs as a diplomatic challenge, opposing the options of regime change, and refraining from establishing a potent military threat hovering above the head of the Ayatollahs.

*FBI Director Wray realizes that Iran’s Ayatollahs are the chief epicenter of Hamas, Hezbollah and other components of the global anti-US Islamic terrorism, in addition to the Ayatollahs’ role as the main anti-US drug trafficker, money launderer and proliferator of advanced military systems. However, irrespective of the Ayatollahs’ rogue anti-US track record, Secretary Blinken refrains from defining Iran as a terrorist-state, viewing the Ayatollahs as partners in good-faith negotiations.

*FBI Director Chris Wray is aware that Iran’s Ayatollahs, and other anti-US Islamic terrorists, are driven by a 1,400-year-old fanatical and imperialistic ideology, which aims to bring the “infidel US” to submission. He is convinced that Islamic terrorism should be addressed by national security means, and not via gestures and concessions, which are perceived by terrorists as terror-inducing weakness. On the other hand, Secretary Blinken believes that Islamic terrorism is despair-driven, and therefore, should be addressed via substantial diplomatic and financial gestures, notwithstanding the fact that terrorists bite the hands that feed them (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs terrorize the US, which facilitated their rise to power; the Mujahideen’s terrorize the US, which helped them expel the Soviet military from Afghanistan; Libyan Islamic terrorists lynched US diplomats, notwithstanding the US-led NATO military offensive, which helped them topple Gadhafi; etc.).   

*Will the mounting threat of anti-US Islamic terrorism, and the volcanic Middle East reality, cause Secretary Blinken to reassess his position on Iran’s Ayatollahs, Hamas and other forms of Islamic terrorism, by avoiding rather than continuing to repeat critical mistakes, which have undermined the national security and homeland security of the US?

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
July 12, 2024

*The October 7, 2023 horrific Palestinian terrorism was committed by graduates of the hate-driven K-12 Palestinian school curriculum, which has been a most effective production-line of terrorists, since it was established in 1993 by Mahmoud Abbas. The tightly controlled Palestinian school curriculum, as well as the official Palestinian mosque sermons, constitute the most authentic reflection of the Palestinian culture, aspirations, strategy and policy.

*In contrast, the UAE school curriculum was thoroughly overhauled since the conclusion of the 2020 peace accord with Israel, highlighting peaceful coexistence, and reflecting the peace-driven vision of the UAE.

*Likewise, the substantial expansion of Saudi-Israeli defense and commercial cooperation has reflected the game-changing moderation of the Saudi school curriculum. It has been introduced by Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman in defiance of severe domestic opposition – including within the ruling family – with which the ruling families of the UAE do not have to contend. More on the Saudi school curriculum at the end of this article. 

*In contrast to the oppression of women by Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Saudi Crown Prince has also introduced a dramatic enhancement in the status of women, despite the strident opposition by the fundamentalist, puritan Wahabi establishment, whose support has been critical to the domestic legitimacy of the House of Saud.

*Middle East reality has demonstrated a direct correlation between the intensity of hate education and mosque incitement, on the one hand, and the level of violence, terrorism and hostility toward the Western and Jewish “infidels,” on the other hand. 

*The State Department’s policy toward the Palestinian Authority and Iran’s Ayatollahs has been largely based on their moderate talk – when communicating with Western movers and shakers – while taking lightly their walk, that has also been reflected by hate education and mosque incitement, which have been consistent with the 1964 Charter of the PLO (which controls the Palestinian Authority) and the 1979 Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

*While the State Department has pressured the pro-US Saudi Arabia to soften its wars on Moslem Brotherhood Sunni terrorism and Houthi Shiite terrorism – by restricting the sale of advanced military systems – it has extended annual foreign aid to the anti-US Palestinian Authority – and to UNRWA which funds much of the Palestinian hate education system – and has showered the anti-US Ayatollahs with mega billion of dollars, irrespective of the Iranian and Palestinian hate education and mosque incitement. 

*According to the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE), the 2023/24 Saudi school curriculum “shows continued progress toward moderation, openness, and peaceful development through a step-by-step process…. Negative portrayals of infidels and polytheists have been toned down and decreased in number…. All problematic examples promoting jihad and martyrdom have been removed or altered. Considerable improvements in regards to gender have been made…. Removed examples include a statement that women must obey their husbands, a prohibition to appoint women as judges, and insinuations that women are partly to blame for being harassed. The contribution of women to Saudi society is emphasized…. Significant amounts of homophobic content have been removed…. Portrayals of Israel and Zionism have progressed further. Students no longer learn content which defines Zionism as a ‘racist’ European movement that aims to expel Palestinians, or that Zionism’s ‘fundamental goal’ is to expand its borders and take over Arab lands, oil wells and Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem… or accusing Zionists of the 1969 al-Aqsa Mosque arson…. In some instances, the name ‘Palestine’ which featured across the entirety of Israeli territory, has been systematically removed… leaving the territory unnamed….  [However], the Holocaust is absent from the curriculum, and Israel is still referred to as ‘the Israeli occupation’ or ‘Israeli occupiers’ in the context of the 1948 War. Several problematic examples still appear in some textbooks….” 

*The State Department’s tolerance of Palestinian and Iranian hate education – while pressuring Saudi Arabia – has provided tailwind to anti-US Islamic terrorism, undermining the stability of all pro-US Arab regimes and the pursuit of peace. It has injured the posture of the US as a reliable ally, and could cause a setback to the US economy and national and homeland security.

Support Appreciated 

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

The current pressure on Israel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israel’s survival requires defiance of State Department pressure   

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

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

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

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

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

Support Appreciated

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel initiative”
June 17, 2024

FBI Director Chris Wray’s position on Islamic terrorism/Iran

FBI Director, Chris Wray reiterated – during his June 4, 2024 Senate testimony and April 11, 2024 House testimony – his warning of an October 7-like terrorism on the US soil:

“We have seen the threat from foreign terrorists rise to a whole another level after the October 7 [Hamas terrorism]….Increasingly concerning is the potential for a coordinated attack here in the [US] homeland, akin to the ISIS attack we saw at the Russia Concert Hall in March, 2024 [137 murdered, 180 wounded]…. 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….

“We are in an environment where the threats from international terrorism, domestic terrorism and state sponsored terrorism are all simultaneously elevated…. We are paying heightened attention to how the events abroad could directly affect and inspire people to commit violence here in the homeland….

“Our top concern stems from lone offenders inspired by the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, as they pose the most likely threat to Americans.  In recent years, there have been several events in the US that were purportedly motivated, at least in part, by the Israel-Hamas conflict….

Iran and its global proxies and partners, including Iraqi Shia militant groups, attack and plot against the US and our allies throughout the Middle East.  Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force has also provided support to terrorist organizations. And, Iran has supported Lebanese Hezbollah and other terrorist groups. Hezbollah has sent operatives to build terrorist infrastructure worldwide [including in Latin America all the way to the US-Mexico border]. The arrests of individuals in the US allegedly linked to Hezbollah’s main overseas terrorist arm, and their intelligence-collection and procurement efforts, demonstrate Hezbollah’s interest in long-term contingency planning activities here in the homeland….

“We continue to see the drug cartels [which intensely collaborate with Iran’s Ayatollahs and Hezbollah, that supply them predator unmanned aerial vehicles and tunnel construction equipment] push fentanyl and other dangerous drugs into every corner of the country, claiming countless American lives….

“Since October 7, we have seen a rogue gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies…. Our most immediate concern has been that [terrorists] will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home….”

The FBI Director Wray’s April 11 and June 4 testimonies followed his alarming testimonies on October 31, 2023 and on November 15, 2023, in the Senate and House Homeland Security Committees.

FBI Director Wray vs. Secretary of State Blinken

*FBI Director Chris Wray recognizes that the October 7, 2023 Hamas terrorism is relevant to the US homeland security, and that Israel’s war on Hamas supports the US’ war on Islamic terrorism. Unlike Director Wray, Secretary of State Blinken has assumed the role of an “honest broker,” ignoring the US-allied role of Israel and the US-enemy role of Hamas, a proxy of Iran’s Ayatollahs and a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood, the largest anti-US Sunni terrorist organization.

*FBI Director Wray considers Iran’s Ayatollahs and their Islamic terror proxies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, as a clear and present threat to the US homeland security. He is aware of their intensified collaboration with the drug cartels in Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil, as well as with Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and all other anti-US governments in Latin America, the US’ soft underbelly. In contrast, Secretary of State Blinken – true to his multilateralist UN-oriented worldview – has approached Iran’s Ayatollahs as a diplomatic challenge, opposing the options of regime change, and refraining from establishing a potent military threat hovering above the head of the Ayatollahs.

*FBI Director Wray realizes that Iran’s Ayatollahs are the chief epicenter of Hamas, Hezbollah and other components of the global anti-US Islamic terrorism, in addition to the Ayatollahs’ role as the main anti-US drug trafficker, money launderer and proliferator of advanced military systems. However, irrespective of the Ayatollahs’ rogue anti-US track record, Secretary Blinken refrains from defining Iran as a terrorist-state, viewing the Ayatollahs as partners in good-faith negotiations.

*FBI Director Chris Wray is aware that Iran’s Ayatollahs, and other anti-US Islamic terrorists, are driven by a 1,400-year-old fanatical and imperialistic ideology, which aims to bring the “infidel US” to submission. He is convinced that Islamic terrorism should be addressed by national security means, and not via gestures and concessions, which are perceived by terrorists as terror-inducing weakness. On the other hand, Secretary Blinken believes that Islamic terrorism is despair-driven, and therefore, should be addressed via substantial diplomatic and financial gestures, notwithstanding the fact that terrorists bite the hands that feed them (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs terrorize the US, which facilitated their rise to power; the Mujahideen’s terrorize the US, which helped them expel the Soviet military from Afghanistan; Libyan Islamic terrorists lynched US diplomats, notwithstanding the US-led NATO military offensive, which helped them topple Gadhafi; etc.).   

*Will the mounting threat of anti-US Islamic terrorism, and the volcanic Middle East reality, cause Secretary Blinken to reassess his position on Iran’s Ayatollahs, Hamas and other forms of Islamic terrorism, by avoiding rather than continuing to repeat critical mistakes, which have undermined the national security and homeland security of the US?

Support Appreciated

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel initiative”
June 6, 2024

*Western conventional wisdom (WCW) embraced Iran’s Ayatollahs in 1979 – while stabbing of the Shah of Iran, “America’s policeman in the Gulf,” in the back – and helping them catapult from a regional rogue regime to the most effective global epicenter of anti-Western terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and proliferation of military systems in 2024, constituting a clear and present threat to US homeland security.

*WCW has also afflicted Israel’s policy toward Palestinian terrorism, catapulting Hamas from a mini-terror organization in 2005 – upon Israel’s uprooting its civilian and military presence in Gaza – to the most fortified terror-state in 2024, which perpetrated the October 7, 2023 massacre. The Westernization of Israel’s national security policy was initially reflected by the 1993 Oslo Accord, which was negotiated with PLO terrorists – who have been dedicated since 1964 to the destruction of the “infidel” Jewish entity – and by the importation of 100,000 Palestinian terrorists from Tunisia, the Sudan, Yemen and Lebanon to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

*Middle East policy should be a derivative of the unpredictably violent and despotic Middle East reality – which has never experienced intra-Arab or intra-Moslem peaceful coexistence – and not a predictable and convenient alternate reality. Itshould avoid – not repeat – past critical mistakes.

*WCW has underestimated the centrality of fanatic and religious ideology in the forging of aspirations, strategies and policies of Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Moslem Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, Yemen’s Houthis and the Palestinian Authority.  While the West believes in separation of state and church, Islam believes in the dominance of religion in policy-making, particularly peace and war.  WCW assumes that “money talks,” ignoring the supremacy of Islamic ideologies over financial inducements, and takes lightly the 1,400-year-old conviction that Islam is the only divinely-ordained legitimate religion, bringing “apostates” and Western “infidels” – especially the US – to submission.   In fact, Islamic terrorism has haunted the US since the Barbary pirates in the early 19th century, irrespective of US policy, and independent of the identity of the US President.

*WCW (and especially Secretary Blinken and National Security Advisor Sullivan) assumes that terrorists are driven by despair, and therefore should not be approached militarily, but by mega diplomatic and financial gestures.  WCW deludes itself that such gestures would induce the Ayatollahs to embrace peaceful coexistence with their Sunni neighbors, become good-faith negotiators and abandon their 1,400-year-old ideology.

However, Middle East reality considers gestures, concessions and retreats as weakness, which whets the appetite of rogue entities.

*WCW pressures Israel to adopt such a policy toward Palestinian terrorism, shifting from the military – to the diplomatic – option. It belittles the clout of the Islamic precept that ceasefire and peace negotiations (especially with “infidels”) are temporary, until an opportunity arises to overcome the enemy.

*WCW maintains that Israel must negotiate with – not obliterate – Hamas, irrespective of Hamas’ anti-Western ideology/charter, school curriculum, mosque sermons, idolization of terrorists and systematic terrorism – which mandate the elimination of Israel and the submission of the Western “infidel.”  WCW dismisses the lessons of Israel’s 17-year-systematic negotiation with Hamas, which has dramatically bolstered Hamas’ terroristic capabilities, yielding the October 7, 2023 massacre. WCW ignores the fact that constructive negotiation may take place only between entities, whose visions do not require the elimination of one another. Thus, peace accords were successfully negotiated between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and South Sudan, and Israel-Saudi cooperation has been exceptionally productive.

*WCW is enthralled with the Palestinian Authority moderate talk, concluding that a Palestinian state would be reformed, adhering to peaceful coexistence. However, all pro-Western Arab leaders are preoccupied with the Palestinian walk, which has transformed the Palestinians into a role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism and treachery: terrorizing Egypt in the 1950s, Syria in the 1960s, Jordan in 1970, Lebanon from 1970-1982 and Kuwait in 1990, while always siding with enemies and rivals of the West, such as Nazi German, the Soviet Bloc, Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Moslem Brotherhood, international terrorist organizations, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, China and Russia. They have concluded that a Palestinian state would doom the pro-Western Hashemite regime, transforming Jordan into another epicenter of global, anti-Western Islamic terrorism. This would threaten all pro-Western Arab oil-producing regimes, thus rewarding the Ayatollahs, the Moslem Brotherhood, China and Russia, and deal a dramatic blow to Western economies, homeland and national security. Therefore, Arabs have refrained from an effective walk on behalf of a Palestinian state.

*WCW has attempted to hoodwink Israel into retreat from the strategically over-towering mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – in the tectonic, intolerant and violent Middle East – to the pre-1967 9 to 15-mile-wide-sliver along the Mediterranean, in return for a peace accord, in the Middle East which features no intra-Moslem peaceful-coexistence, as well as tenuous non-democratic regimes, and therefore tenuous policies and accords. In this region, posture of deterrence (e.g., controlling the mountain ridges of Judea and Judea) – not the highly regarded peace accords – is the most crucial component of national security.  While mountain ridges are fixed components, Middle East peace accords are variables.

*WCW insistence to subordinate Middle East reality to its own alternate reality has been highlighted by the failure of all Western peace initiatives, which centered on the Palestinian issue, while the six successful Israel-Arab peace treaties centered on Arab – not Palestinian – interests.

*Additional highlights of the self-destructive nature of WCW are the critical tailwind it accorded the Ayatollahs’ 1979 toppling of the Shah of Iran; the embrace of Saddam Hussein as an ally until his 1990 invasion of Kuwait, and punishing Israel for destroying Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981; the 1994 awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the chief Palestinian terrorist, Arafat, and defining Mahmoud Abbas – the founder of Palestinian hate education, incitement and monthly allowances to families of terrorists – as a moderate.  In addition, the 2000 welcoming of Bashar Assad as a potentially moderate leader; the welcoming of the 2011 Arab Tsunami (which still haunts the Arab Street) as if it were the Arab Spring, Facebook and Youth Revolution; the 2011 toppling of Gaddafi, which transformed Libya into a major platform of anti-Western Islamic terrorism and an arena of perpetual civil war; etc.    

 *Western conventional wisdom has persisted in the attempt to subordinate Middle East reality to its own alternate reality, thus, learning from history by repeating – not avoiding – past critical mistakes, severely undermining Western national and homeland security.

*Israel should be aware of the failed Western track record in the Middle East, when assessing – skeptically – Western policy recommendations, such as the establishment of a Palestinian state, and negotiation with – rather than obliteration of – Hamas.

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
May 22, 2024

*Secretary of State Antony Blinken is a true believer in the diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs. He rules out regime-change and military options, irrespective of the Ayatollahs’ 45-year-old track record of anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and proliferation of advanced military systems.  

*Currently, Blinken is pressuring Israel to negotiate another ceasefire with Hamas, disregarding the litany of previous ceasefires, which bolstered Hamas’ terror capabilities. He leans on Israel to shift from the military option to the diplomatic option, snatching Hamas from the jaws of obliteration. Such a shift would be perceived by all Middle East entities as a dramatic victory for Hamas and a major defeat for Israel, fueling more terrorism and war against Israel and all pro-US Arab countries, which already have the machetes of Islamic terrorism at their throats. It will also reduce the Arab/Moslem interest to conclude additional peace treaties with Israel, and inspire Islamic terrorism on US soil, as stated by FBI Director, Chris Wray.

According to AP: “In a pair of TV interviews, Secretary Blinken underscored that the United States believes Israeli forces should ‘get out of Gaza…,’ reiterating the longstanding U.S. opposition to the growing Israeli offensive in Rafah.…”  According to PBS: “US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli leaders in his push for a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas…. ‘We are determined to get a ceasefire…. There is a proposal on the table, and as we have said: no delays, no excuses, the time is now….’ The proposal would put a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza up for discussion….”

*Secretary of State, Antony Blinken is genuinely determined to advance the cause of peace and stability in the Middle East, but he is driven by a speculative future scenario, which is a derivative of an alternate reality, detached from Middle East reality.

*Blinken underestimates the role of the larger context of Hamas’ and Hezbollah’s terrorism, which is critically financed, supplied and trained by Iran’s Ayatollahs, who support and collaborate with anti-US regimes in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, including Latin American drug cartels in Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil.

*Irrespective of the systematically rogue anti-US track record of the Ayatollahs – since toppling the Shah of Iran in February 1979 – Blinken sticks to the diplomatic/negotiation option, which has been a bonanza for Iran’s anti-US strategy.  He refuses to recognize that the Ayatollahs are not partners for peaceful coexistence and good-faith negotiation, but a target for regime-change, which would liberate the oppressed majority of Iran, eliminate the chief threat to the survival of every pro-US Arab regime, eradicate a major hurdle on the way of more Israel-Arab peace accords, and would deprive anti-US global Islamic terrorism of its leading epicenter. A regime change would generate a robust tailwind to regional and global stability and peaceful coexistence.

*Blinken takes lightly the 17-year-long track record of Israel-Hamas confrontations, which documents that ceasefire agreements are leveraged by Hamas to bolster its Moslem Brotherhood directed terror machine.

*Blinken underrates the fact that any policy toward the Israel-Hamas war should be a derivative of the 1,400-year-old intrinsic features of Middle East reality. For instance, the absence of intra-Moslem and intra-Arab peaceful coexistence; the violent intolerance towards “infidels,” “apostates” as well as “believers”; the absence of democracy, human rights and long term compliance with agreements; shifty and unpredictable policies and violence; the tenuous nature of all Arab regimes, which ascend to – and lose – power via the “bullet” (violence), and not via the ballot; the tenuous nature of  these regimes’ policies and accords; the centrality of fanatic ideology, which transcends the Western notion of “money talks;” etc.

*In this frustrating volcanic reality of the Middle East – unlike the much more convenient and predictable State Department’s alternate reality – the most critical component of national security is posture of deterrence, rather than negotiation and peace accords, which are as tenuous as the regimes that conduct them. 

*While a bolstered posture of deterrence minimizes war and terrorism, an eroded posture of deterrence whets the appetite of rogue entities; thus, intensifying war and terrorism, regionally and globally.

*Israel’s posture of deterrence was demolished by its own October 7 debacle(!), and its military strategy since then has aimed to restore it, in order to rebound and avoid eventual destruction.

*Secretary Blinken underrates the centrality of fanatical visions and ideologies in the Middle East, and therefore assumes that constructive negotiation may take place among all parties. He ignores the fact that constructive negotiation may take place between entities, whose vision does not require the elimination of one another. Thus, peace accords were successfully negotiated between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and South Sudan, and Israel-Saudi cooperation has been exceptionally productive.

*None of these agreements were preconditioned upon the establishment of a Palestinian state! Arabs consider the Palestinians as a role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism and treachery, and therefore shower the Palestinian with embracing talk, while the actual walk ranges from indifferent-to-negative.

*These Arab countries would prefer a Middle East devoid of “an infidel” Jewish sovereignty, but the fulfillment of their national visions is not predicated upon the elimination of Israel. In fact, they consider Israel as an effective national security ally in the face of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood.  

*On the other hand, constructive negotiation cannot take place between Israel and Hamas, since the fulfillment of Hamas’ fanatical vision – as stipulated in the 1988 Hamas charter, its hate-education and mosque-incitement and Hamas’ terrorism – is preconditioned upon the elimination of the “infidel” Jewish State. The same applies to the Palestinian Authority, whose annihilationist vision is stated by the 1964 and 1959 charters of the PLO and Fatah terror organizations – 3 and 8 years before the 1967 War – which are embedded in the PA’s hate education, mosque incitement, the idolization of terrorists and systematic terrorism – calling for the elimination of Israel.

*The US State Department is advised to pay more attention to the reality of the Middle East, and abandon its systematically failing alternate reality.

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
May 7, 2024

On April 29, 2024, Secretary of State, Blinken, expressed his hopeful vision: “We continue to work… on a plan to build a just and lasting peace, a pathway to a state of the Palestinians with guarantees for Israel’s security as part of a more integrated and a more secure region… greater stability in this region and to prevent conflict from spreading….”

*However, policy-making should not be based on hope, but on reality. It should be a derivative of Middle East reality, where Iranian, Hezbollah and Palestinian (PLO and Hamas) terrorists are driven by fanatic visions and by an unwavering commitment to bring their enemies to submission. They are not driven by despair, neither by peaceful coexistence with their enemies, nor by life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In the Middle East, deeply-rooted zealot ideologies transcend “money talks.”

*Moreover, reality has documented that terrorists bite the hands that feed them, as demonstrated by Iran’s Ayatollahs (whose rise to power was critically assisted by the US), Afghanistan’s Mujahideen (whose victory over the USSR was enabled by the US), Libya’s Islamic terrorists (who gained power due to a US-led NATO military offensive against Qadhafi), the Palestinian Authority (which was imported by Israel into Judea and Samaria), Hamas (which owes much of its terrorist maneuverability to Israel’s disengagement from Gaza), etc.

*Hence, the failure of all State Department’s Israel-Arab peace proposals, which centered on Palestinian interests, contrary to the successful conclusion of six Israel-Arab peace accords, which centered on Arab national interests, denying Palestinians a veto power over the peace process.

*Secretary Blinken’s hope-based vision of a Palestinian state, which would peacefully-coexist with Israel and Jordan and contribute to regional stability, is detached from the 70-year-old Palestinian intra-Arab track record, the 85-year-old interaction with enemies and rivals of the US (Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Ayatollah Khomeini, Latin American and global terrorism, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, China, the Moslem Brotherhood, etc.), and the 100-year-old anti-Jewish Palestinian terrorism.

*Contrary to Secretary Blinken, who is preoccupied with positive, convenient and speculative future scenarios and with Palestinian talk (with Western movers and shakers), all pro-US Arab leaders are preoccupied with the well-documented Palestinian intra-Arab rogue track record, which has transformed Palestinians into the role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism, ingratitude and treachery.

*Arab leaders are aware that the Palestinian track record means that the proposed Palestinian state would add fuel – not water – to the Middle East fire. In fact, Egypt does not welcome Palestinian migration from Gaza to Sinai, due to many years of Palestinian collaboration with Islamic and global terrorism, as well as the precedent of the 1950s, when Egypt-hosted-Palestinians collaborated with the Moslem Brotherhood, terrorizing their host government.

*Arab leaders are aware that the combination of the Palestinian track record, Jordan’s domestic predicament, and the intensifying Iranian subversion in Jordan, would transform a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River into the terminator of the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River.  This would mutate Jordan into a major platform of anti-US Islamic terrorism, yielding ripple effects into the Arabian Peninsula and the Sinai Desert, threatening the survival of every pro-US Arab oil producing regime, as well as Egypt. This would yield a strategic bonanza to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Moslem Brotherhood terrorists, Russia and China, while causing a critical setback to all pro-US Arab regimes, and the US’ economy, national and homeland security.  

*Contrary to Secretary Blinken, Arab policy-makers are driven by Palestinian walk, not talk. They know that, in the Middle East, on words one does not pay custom. Furthermore, Arab policy toward the proposed Palestinian state is not reflected by the Arab talk – which has warmly embraced the Palestinians since 1948 – but by the Arab walk, which has refrained – since 1948 – from any tangible initiative to advance the cause of a Palestinian state. For example, all six Israel-Arab peace accords (Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and South Sudan), and Israel’s ground-breaking cooperation with Saudi Arabia, were not preconditioned upon the establishment of a Palestinian state. In addition, the November 2024 joint summit of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation rejected a proposed resolution – by Iran, Algeria and the Palestinian Authority – to suspend all diplomatic, economic, touristic and defense cooperation with Israel. Arabs do not subordinate their own national interests on the Palestinian altar.

*US national and homeland security require a US policy in the Middle East, which is a derivative of the frustrating, violent, intolerant and unpredictable Middle East reality, not a convenient, optimistic alternate reality; a policy which seeks long term security, not short term convenience; avoiding and not repeating past critical mistakes.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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Demography

2024 artificially inflated Palestinian demography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Iran

Can Israel afford NOT to defy State Department pressure?

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

The current pressure on Israel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israel’s survival requires defiance of State Department pressure   

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

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

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

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

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

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Judea & Samaria

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

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

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

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

For instance:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jerusalem

United Jerusalem – a shared US-Israel legacy and interest

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

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

United Jerusalem and the US law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Jerusalem and the legacy of the Founding Fathers

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

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

The Jerusalem reality and US interests

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

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

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

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

Jerusalem and Israel’s defiance of US pressure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jewish Holidays

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

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

More on Jewish holidays: Smashwords, Amazon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Golan

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

Islamic Terrorism

Can Israel afford NOT to defy State Department pressure?