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Israel Hayom

In 1993, 1995 and 2005, Israel retreated from 40% of the Judea and Samaria mountain ridges (West Bank) and the entire Gaza Strip. It transformed these regions into platforms of unprecedented Palestinian terrorism and missile launches, supported by Iran, Turkey and North Korea. Moreover, it has intensified lethal threats to all pro-US Arab regimes, bolstering their security ties with Israel, which they perceived to be the most credible “life insurance agent” in the region. As expected, gestures to rogue regimes and terrorists fuel further violence.

According to Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, former Israeli Ambassador to the US and Chief Negotiator with Syria (The Brink of Peace, 1999, pp. 164-167): “In November 1994, the peace process had seemed to be in full swing…. [But], an organized campaign began in the US against the idea of stationing US troops on the Golan Heights as ‘peace keepers’, in the event of an Israel-Syria [peace] agreement. The campaign was orchestrated by right-wing organizations and individuals in the Jewish community, with occasional participation of visitors from Israel… [such as] the former Minister for Congressional Affairs in our Washington Embassy, Yoram Ettinger…. The organizers conveyed the message that sending US troops as peacekeepers to the Golan was bad for the US [and that the Syrian armored mechanized divisions stationed between the Golan Heights and Damascus would be deployed to the border with Jordan, aiming to topple the pro-US Hashemite regime]…. The US could lose the lives of its soldiers and become entangled in a dangerous foreign arena…. That would no doubt lead to a rise in anti-Semitism in the US…. Senator Jesse Helms, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations [a friend of Bobby Jacobs] was openly critical of the Assad regime…. The Chairman of the House Committee on International Relations, Benjamin Gilman, was under pressure from voters in his own constituency…. This Congressional opposition had at least some negative impact on Assad’s motivation to move forward in his peacemaking with Israel….”

Since 1967, Israel’s control of the strategically-commanding Golan Heights – over-towering northern Israel – has constrained and monitored the Russian, Iranian, North Korean, ISIS and Turkish strategic profile in Syria.  Furthermore, the Israeli posture of deterrence has bolstered the national security of Jordan’s Hashemite regime and all other pro-US Arab regimes (hence the unprecedented cooperation between Israel and these regimes). For instance, the September 1970 pro-Soviet Syrian invasion of the pro-US Jordan was rolled back, primarily, due to Israel’s deployment of troops to the Golan Heights, 37 miles from Damascus. The Syrian invasion aimed at toppling the Hashemite regime and producing a pro-Soviet domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula, at a time when the US was heavily dependent upon Persian Gulf oil.  Thus, Israel’s control of the Golan Heights spared the US the need to deploy its own troops, in order to save its Jordanian ally, while preventing a potential super-power confrontation, and denying the USSR a geo-strategic bonanza.

The significance of Israel’s control of the Golan Heights for the national security of the US has been intensified due to the following phenomena:

*The raging civil war in Syria which erupted in 2011;
*The escalation of Iran’s involvement in Syria and Lebanon, aspiring to extend its dominance to the Mediterranean and Europe;
*The entrenchment of ISIS cells in Syria, irrespective of their recent setbacks;
*The growing involvement in Syria by Turkey’s Erdogan, who aims to resurrect the Ottoman Empire;
*The inherent Russia-Syria alliance, with Russia expanding its presence in the Mediterranean and throughout the Middle East.
*Since the 1960s, North Korea has been a leading ally of Syria, engaged in illicit military and technology cooperation, including ballistic missiles and chemical warfare. Pyongyang facilitated the construction of a Syrian nuclear reactor that was destroyed, by Israel, in 2007.

In November 2019, the explosive potential of Syria transcends the boundaries of the Middle East, triggering ripple effects throughout the globe. Since 2010, it has been exacerbated by the Arab Tsunami, which has further destabilized the inherently unpredictable and violent Syria and the Middle East. Thus, the pro-Russia, pro-Iran, pro-North Korea and anti-US Damascus – which provided safe haven to Nazi war criminals – has become a global epicenter of proliferation of anti-US global terrorism and drug trafficking.

The endemically turbulent reality of Syria, in particular, and the Middle East, in general, highlight the self-destructive nature of the attempts to get Israel off the Golan Heights, the potential damage to US interests, and the prospective setback to the survival of the pro-US Arab regimes.

An agreement concluded with Damascus can be no less tenuous than the policies of the transient, rogue regime which signs them (would you buy a used car from Assad?!).

The politically-correct assumptions that “a state of peace was the best security arrangement…. the end of occupation would eliminate the motivation to wage wars, and Syria’s record of keeping its commitments was excellent…. (ibid. page 169)” clash with reality, ignoring the rogue and non-compliant nature of Syria as demonstrated by its systematic violation of agreements, domestically and regionally.

For example, since 1953, Syria has violated all water supply agreements with Jordan (from the Yarmouk River).  Notwithstanding the official state of peace with Jordan, Syria invaded Jordan in 1970, threatened to invade again in 1980 and 1989, and periodically supports anti-Hashemite subversion and terrorism.

For 30 years (1976-2006), Syria has violated a series of international and intra-Arab commitments to evacuate Lebanon, until it was forced to withdraw by domestic and international factors.

In 1973, Syria violated the 1967 armistice agreement with Israel, as well as the 1974 Disengagement Agreement with Israel, terrorizing Israel through Palestinian and Shiite terrorists in Jordan and Lebanon.

Israel’s control of the Golan Heights, just like its control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, has bolstered Israel’s posture of deterrence, extending the strategic hand of the US, with no need for additional US soldiers.  Israel’s retreat from the Golan Heights would erode its posture of deterrence, relegating the Jewish State from a national security producer/asset to a national security consumer/liability, to the detriment of the US.

 

 

Israel Hayom

Israel Ambassador to the USA, Ron Dermer, is correct to recommend welcoming a visit to Israel by House Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) – the first two US Muslim Congresswomen – “out of respect for the US Congress and the great US-Israel alliance.”

Israel’s high respect of both chambers and both parties in the US Congress supersedes Israel’s deep reservations about the two legislators’ support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel; their identification with Palestinian and Islamic terror organizations (e.g., Muslim Brotherhood); their embrace of themes perpetrated by Palestinian hate-education, which have denied Israel’s right to exist; and their determination to weaken the 400-year-old bonds between the American people and the Jewish State, and undermine the mutually-beneficial US-Israel strategic cooperation.

In fact, the worldview of these two legislators departs sharply from the vast majority of the legislators on Capitol Hill, as well as in the US State Legislatures, 27 of which have already adopted anti-BDS legislation. It was evident on July 23, 2019, when the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly (398:17) passed the anti-BDS House Resolution 246.

Thus, Israel displays tolerance of criticism and respect towards Congress, which has systematically enhanced the unique US ties with the Jewish State and the two-way-street US-Israel cooperation – sometimes in defiance of US Presidents – long before the 1948 establishment of Israel and the 1951 establishment of AIPAC.  For example, in 1891 – six years before the first Zionist Congress and 57 years before the establishment of the Jewish State – the bipartisan House and Senate leadership joined some 400 Supreme Court Justices, Governors, mayors, university presidents, newspaper editors, clergy, and leading businessmen, signing the Blackstone Memorial, which called for the establishment of a Jewish State in the Land of Israel.

In addition, Israel is aware of the co-equal, co-determining muscle of the US Legislature, as displayed by coercing the Executive to end US military involvement in Southeast Asia, Angola and Nicaragua, overriding the Administration when forcing the USSR/Russia to allow free emigration, end the support for South Africa’s Apartheid Regime, etc.

Israel realizes that tolerating criticism does not reflect vacillation, but open-mindedness and an opportunity to highlight critical data, as was the case in prior visits of US legislators known for their criticism of Israel.

For example, Senator William Fulbright (AK-D, 1945-1975), the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee (a heavy-weight compared to these two freshmen Congresswomen), stated on June 9, 1967: “They [Israel] know they have control of the Senate politically, and therefore whatever the Secretary [of State] tells them, they can laugh at him….”  Senator Fulbright advocated economic pressure on Israel as a means to force a retreat to the pre-1967 lines.

Senator Chuck Percy (IL-R, 1967-1985), as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, supported President Ford’s and Secretary of State Kissinger’s reassessment of their Middle East policy (opposed by 76 Senators), including the use of foreign aid and withheld arms sales as a means to force an Israeli withdrawal from parts of the Sinai Peninsula.  Senator Percy considered Yasser Arafat “a moderate leader” (during the early 1980s), while criticizing Israel’s supposed “intransigence,” contending that close US-Israel ties undermine US-Arab relations.

At the same time, leading US legislators known for their criticism of Israel have demonstrated open-mindedness, always welcoming visits – to their Capitol Hill office – by Israeli leaders and diplomats, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who paid frequent visits to many Capitol Hill offices before becoming Israel’s top Executive (e.g., 8th term Senator Pat Leahy from Vermont, the senior Democrat on the Appropriations Committee).

Moreover, Senator Bob Dole (KS-R, 1961-1997) and his top staffers held many meetings with Israelis, irrespective of the Senator’s full identification with Secretary of State Jim Baker’s tough criticism and pressure of Israel; his call for a 5% cut in foreign aid to Israel; his close ties with Saddam Hussein, whom he considered an ally of the US (until the day of the August, 1990 invasion of Kuwait); and contending that Israel was partly responsible for the 1990 murder of Colonel Higgins by Hezbollah terrorists.

Obviously, a respectful attitude, by Israel, toward the US public and its representatives on Capitol Hill requires Israel to provide a well-documented profile of the two Congresswomen’s Palestinian interlocutors (the Palestinian Authority): hate-educators in K-12 and in the mosques; subversion and terrorism against Arab regimes; long-lasting ties with anti-US elements in the Middle East and beyond; posing a clear and present threat to every pro-US Arab regime and the US itself.

 

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(Hebrew edition in “Israel Hayom,” Israel’s largest circulation daily)

During your first official visit to Washington, DC, you’ll have to choose between two options:

*Blurring your deeply-rooted, assertive Israeli positions on the future of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), which would be welcome by the Biden Administration, yielding to short-term political convenience and popularity inside the beltway;

or

*Tenaciously advocating your deeply-rooted, principle-driven positions, which would underscore a profound disagreement with the Biden Administration and the “elite” US media, while granting you and Israel long-term strategic respect, as demonstrated by some of your predecessors.

For example, the late Prime Minister Shamir honed the second option, bluntly introduced his assertive Israeli positions on Judea and Samaria, rebuffed heavy US pressure – including a mudslinging campaign by President Bush and Secretary of State Baker – suffered a popularity setback, but produced unprecedented expansion of US-Israel strategic cooperation. When it comes to facing the intensified threats of rogue regimes and Islamic terrorism, the US prefers principle-driven, reliable, patriotic, pressure-defying partners, irrespective of disagreements on the Palestinian issue.

Assuming that you shall not budge on the historical and national security centrality of Judea and Samaria, it behooves you to highlight the following matters during your meetings with President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, National Security Advisor Sullivan, Secretary of Defense Austin and Congressional leaders (especially the members of the Appropriations Committees):

  1. The 1,400-year-old track record of the stormy, unpredictable, violent and anti-“infidel” Middle East, which has yet to experience intra-Arab peaceful-coexistence, along with the 100-year-old Palestinian track record (including the systematic collaboration with anti-US entities, hate-education and anti-Arab and anti-Jewish terrorism) demonstrates that the proposed Palestinian state would be a Mini-Afghanistan or a Mega-Gaza on the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria.

It would dominate 80% of Israel’s population and infrastructures in the 9-15-mile sliver between Judea and Samaria and the Mediterranean, which is shorter than the distance between RFK Stadium and the Kennedy Center.

Thus, a Palestinian state would pose a clear and present existential threat to Israel; and therefore, Israel’s control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria is a prerequisite for its survival.

  1. The proposed Palestinian state would undermine US interests, as concluded from the Palestinian intra-Arab track record, which has transformed the Palestinians into a role-model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism and ingratitude. Arabs are aware that a Palestinian state would add fuel to the Middle East fire, teaming up with their enemies (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey’s Erdogan) and providing a strategic foothold to Russia and China. Consequently, Arabs shower Palestinians with favorable talk, but with cold and negative walk.

Hence, during the October, 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty ceremony, Jordan’s military leaders asserted to their Israeli colleagues that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, and lead, subsequently, to the toppling of all pro-US Arab Peninsula regimes.

  1. There is no foundation for the contention that Israel’s retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – which are the cradle of Jewish history, religion and culture – is required in order to sustain Israel’s Jewish majority. In reality, there is unprecedented Jewish demographic momentum, while Arab demography – throughout the Middle East – has Westernized dramatically. The Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel benefits from a robust tailwind of fertility and migration.
  2. Israel’s control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights, bolsters its posture of deterrence, which has daunted rogue regimes, reduced regional instability, enhanced the national security of all pro-US Arab regimes, and has advanced Israel’s role as a unique force-multiplier for the US. An Israeli retreat from Judea and Samaria would transform Israel from a strategic asset – to a strategic liability – for the US.
  3. As the US reduces its military presence in the Middle East – which is a global epicenter of oil production, global trade (Asia-Africa), international Islamic terrorism and proliferation of non-conventional military technologies – Israel’s posture of deterrence becomes increasingly critical for the pro-US Arab countries (e.g., Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan), who consider Israel to be the most reliable “life insurance agent” in the region.

Contrary to NATO, South Korea and Japan, Israel’s defense does not require the presence of US troops on its soil.

  1. Sustaining Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge is a mutual interest for the US and Israel, which serves as the most cost-effective battle-tested laboratory for the US defense industries and armed forces. Thus, Israel’s use of hundreds of US military systems has yielded thousands of lessons (operation, maintenance and repairs), which have been integrated, by the US manufacturers, into the next generation of the military systems, saving the US many years of research and development, increasing US exports and expanding the US employment base – a mega billion dollar bonanza for the US. At the same time, the US armed forces have benefitted from Israel’s military intelligence and battle experience, as well as joint training maneuvers with Israel’s defense forces, which has improved the US formulation of battle tactics.

Prime Minister Bennett, your visit to Washington, is an opportunity to demonstrate your adherence to your deeply-rooted strong Israeli positions, rejecting the ill-advised appeals and temptations to sacrifice Israel’s national security on the altar of convenience and popularity.

Yours truly,

Yoram Ettinger, expert on US-Israel relations and Middle East affairs

Support Appreciated

 

 

 

 

 

Israel Hayom

In 1993, 1995 and 2005, Israel retreated from 40% of the Judea and Samaria mountain ridges (West Bank) and the entire Gaza Strip. It transformed these regions into platforms of unprecedented Palestinian terrorism and missile launches, supported by Iran, Turkey and North Korea. Moreover, it has intensified lethal threats to all pro-US Arab regimes, bolstering their security ties with Israel, which they perceived to be the most credible “life insurance agent” in the region. As expected, gestures to rogue regimes and terrorists fuel further violence.

According to Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, former Israeli Ambassador to the US and Chief Negotiator with Syria (The Brink of Peace, 1999, pp. 164-167): “In November 1994, the peace process had seemed to be in full swing…. [But], an organized campaign began in the US against the idea of stationing US troops on the Golan Heights as ‘peace keepers’, in the event of an Israel-Syria [peace] agreement. The campaign was orchestrated by right-wing organizations and individuals in the Jewish community, with occasional participation of visitors from Israel… [such as] the former Minister for Congressional Affairs in our Washington Embassy, Yoram Ettinger…. The organizers conveyed the message that sending US troops as peacekeepers to the Golan was bad for the US [and that the Syrian armored mechanized divisions stationed between the Golan Heights and Damascus would be deployed to the border with Jordan, aiming to topple the pro-US Hashemite regime]…. The US could lose the lives of its soldiers and become entangled in a dangerous foreign arena…. That would no doubt lead to a rise in anti-Semitism in the US…. Senator Jesse Helms, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations [a friend of Bobby Jacobs] was openly critical of the Assad regime…. The Chairman of the House Committee on International Relations, Benjamin Gilman, was under pressure from voters in his own constituency…. This Congressional opposition had at least some negative impact on Assad’s motivation to move forward in his peacemaking with Israel….”

Since 1967, Israel’s control of the strategically-commanding Golan Heights – over-towering northern Israel – has constrained and monitored the Russian, Iranian, North Korean, ISIS and Turkish strategic profile in Syria.  Furthermore, the Israeli posture of deterrence has bolstered the national security of Jordan’s Hashemite regime and all other pro-US Arab regimes (hence the unprecedented cooperation between Israel and these regimes). For instance, the September 1970 pro-Soviet Syrian invasion of the pro-US Jordan was rolled back, primarily, due to Israel’s deployment of troops to the Golan Heights, 37 miles from Damascus. The Syrian invasion aimed at toppling the Hashemite regime and producing a pro-Soviet domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula, at a time when the US was heavily dependent upon Persian Gulf oil.  Thus, Israel’s control of the Golan Heights spared the US the need to deploy its own troops, in order to save its Jordanian ally, while preventing a potential super-power confrontation, and denying the USSR a geo-strategic bonanza.

The significance of Israel’s control of the Golan Heights for the national security of the US has been intensified due to the following phenomena:

*The raging civil war in Syria which erupted in 2011;
*The escalation of Iran’s involvement in Syria and Lebanon, aspiring to extend its dominance to the Mediterranean and Europe;
*The entrenchment of ISIS cells in Syria, irrespective of their recent setbacks;
*The growing involvement in Syria by Turkey’s Erdogan, who aims to resurrect the Ottoman Empire;
*The inherent Russia-Syria alliance, with Russia expanding its presence in the Mediterranean and throughout the Middle East.
*Since the 1960s, North Korea has been a leading ally of Syria, engaged in illicit military and technology cooperation, including ballistic missiles and chemical warfare. Pyongyang facilitated the construction of a Syrian nuclear reactor that was destroyed, by Israel, in 2007.

In November 2019, the explosive potential of Syria transcends the boundaries of the Middle East, triggering ripple effects throughout the globe. Since 2010, it has been exacerbated by the Arab Tsunami, which has further destabilized the inherently unpredictable and violent Syria and the Middle East. Thus, the pro-Russia, pro-Iran, pro-North Korea and anti-US Damascus – which provided safe haven to Nazi war criminals – has become a global epicenter of proliferation of anti-US global terrorism and drug trafficking.

The endemically turbulent reality of Syria, in particular, and the Middle East, in general, highlight the self-destructive nature of the attempts to get Israel off the Golan Heights, the potential damage to US interests, and the prospective setback to the survival of the pro-US Arab regimes.

An agreement concluded with Damascus can be no less tenuous than the policies of the transient, rogue regime which signs them (would you buy a used car from Assad?!).

The politically-correct assumptions that “a state of peace was the best security arrangement…. the end of occupation would eliminate the motivation to wage wars, and Syria’s record of keeping its commitments was excellent…. (ibid. page 169)” clash with reality, ignoring the rogue and non-compliant nature of Syria as demonstrated by its systematic violation of agreements, domestically and regionally.

For example, since 1953, Syria has violated all water supply agreements with Jordan (from the Yarmouk River).  Notwithstanding the official state of peace with Jordan, Syria invaded Jordan in 1970, threatened to invade again in 1980 and 1989, and periodically supports anti-Hashemite subversion and terrorism.

For 30 years (1976-2006), Syria has violated a series of international and intra-Arab commitments to evacuate Lebanon, until it was forced to withdraw by domestic and international factors.

In 1973, Syria violated the 1967 armistice agreement with Israel, as well as the 1974 Disengagement Agreement with Israel, terrorizing Israel through Palestinian and Shiite terrorists in Jordan and Lebanon.

Israel’s control of the Golan Heights, just like its control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, has bolstered Israel’s posture of deterrence, extending the strategic hand of the US, with no need for additional US soldiers.  Israel’s retreat from the Golan Heights would erode its posture of deterrence, relegating the Jewish State from a national security producer/asset to a national security consumer/liability, to the detriment of the US.

 

 

Israel Hayom

Israel Ambassador to the USA, Ron Dermer, is correct to recommend welcoming a visit to Israel by House Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) – the first two US Muslim Congresswomen – “out of respect for the US Congress and the great US-Israel alliance.”

Israel’s high respect of both chambers and both parties in the US Congress supersedes Israel’s deep reservations about the two legislators’ support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel; their identification with Palestinian and Islamic terror organizations (e.g., Muslim Brotherhood); their embrace of themes perpetrated by Palestinian hate-education, which have denied Israel’s right to exist; and their determination to weaken the 400-year-old bonds between the American people and the Jewish State, and undermine the mutually-beneficial US-Israel strategic cooperation.

In fact, the worldview of these two legislators departs sharply from the vast majority of the legislators on Capitol Hill, as well as in the US State Legislatures, 27 of which have already adopted anti-BDS legislation. It was evident on July 23, 2019, when the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly (398:17) passed the anti-BDS House Resolution 246.

Thus, Israel displays tolerance of criticism and respect towards Congress, which has systematically enhanced the unique US ties with the Jewish State and the two-way-street US-Israel cooperation – sometimes in defiance of US Presidents – long before the 1948 establishment of Israel and the 1951 establishment of AIPAC.  For example, in 1891 – six years before the first Zionist Congress and 57 years before the establishment of the Jewish State – the bipartisan House and Senate leadership joined some 400 Supreme Court Justices, Governors, mayors, university presidents, newspaper editors, clergy, and leading businessmen, signing the Blackstone Memorial, which called for the establishment of a Jewish State in the Land of Israel.

In addition, Israel is aware of the co-equal, co-determining muscle of the US Legislature, as displayed by coercing the Executive to end US military involvement in Southeast Asia, Angola and Nicaragua, overriding the Administration when forcing the USSR/Russia to allow free emigration, end the support for South Africa’s Apartheid Regime, etc.

Israel realizes that tolerating criticism does not reflect vacillation, but open-mindedness and an opportunity to highlight critical data, as was the case in prior visits of US legislators known for their criticism of Israel.

For example, Senator William Fulbright (AK-D, 1945-1975), the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee (a heavy-weight compared to these two freshmen Congresswomen), stated on June 9, 1967: “They [Israel] know they have control of the Senate politically, and therefore whatever the Secretary [of State] tells them, they can laugh at him….”  Senator Fulbright advocated economic pressure on Israel as a means to force a retreat to the pre-1967 lines.

Senator Chuck Percy (IL-R, 1967-1985), as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, supported President Ford’s and Secretary of State Kissinger’s reassessment of their Middle East policy (opposed by 76 Senators), including the use of foreign aid and withheld arms sales as a means to force an Israeli withdrawal from parts of the Sinai Peninsula.  Senator Percy considered Yasser Arafat “a moderate leader” (during the early 1980s), while criticizing Israel’s supposed “intransigence,” contending that close US-Israel ties undermine US-Arab relations.

At the same time, leading US legislators known for their criticism of Israel have demonstrated open-mindedness, always welcoming visits – to their Capitol Hill office – by Israeli leaders and diplomats, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who paid frequent visits to many Capitol Hill offices before becoming Israel’s top Executive (e.g., 8th term Senator Pat Leahy from Vermont, the senior Democrat on the Appropriations Committee).

Moreover, Senator Bob Dole (KS-R, 1961-1997) and his top staffers held many meetings with Israelis, irrespective of the Senator’s full identification with Secretary of State Jim Baker’s tough criticism and pressure of Israel; his call for a 5% cut in foreign aid to Israel; his close ties with Saddam Hussein, whom he considered an ally of the US (until the day of the August, 1990 invasion of Kuwait); and contending that Israel was partly responsible for the 1990 murder of Colonel Higgins by Hezbollah terrorists.

Obviously, a respectful attitude, by Israel, toward the US public and its representatives on Capitol Hill requires Israel to provide a well-documented profile of the two Congresswomen’s Palestinian interlocutors (the Palestinian Authority): hate-educators in K-12 and in the mosques; subversion and terrorism against Arab regimes; long-lasting ties with anti-US elements in the Middle East and beyond; posing a clear and present threat to every pro-US Arab regime and the US itself.

 

Israel Hayom

US Ambassador David Friedman’s June 8 interview in the NY Times was inconsistent with the worldview of the State Department establishment, but quite consistent with Middle East reality and US national security interests.

Ambassador Friedman stated: “The absolute last thing the world needs is a failed Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan…. Israel retaining security control in the West Bank should not be an impediment…. Certainly, Israel is entitled to retain some portion of it [the West Bank]…. I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank….”

While the State Department establishment (except for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton) rejects Friedman’s assessments, its own track record in the Middle East has been systematically flawed. For example:

*During 1947-48, the State Department opposed the reestablishment of the Jewish State, contending that it would be a pro-Soviet entity, militarily overrun by the Arabs, while undermining US ties with the Arabs. In 2019, Israel is the most effective, unconditional ally of the US, whose ties with all pro-US Arab countries are unprecedented in scope and expanding.

*In the 1950s, the State Department establishment considered the radical, pro-Soviet President Nasser of Egypt – who attempted to aggressively topple every pro-US Arab regime – a potential ally of the US.

*From 1977-1979, the State Department betrayed the Shah of Iran, a critical ally of the US, courting Ayatollah Khomeini, whom it considered a warrior for democracy against a tyrant; thus, allowing the creation of a rogue, megalomaniacal regime in Teheran, intensifying regional and global Islamic terrorism, exacerbating instability, while severely injuring the US credibility among its allies.

*In July 1990, on the eve of Saddam Hussein’s August 2, 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the Department of State severely underestimated Saddam’s ruthless determination, providing a glaring green light to the invasion. A message was delivered to the Iraqi despot – who had been considered a potential ally since the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war – from Secretary Jim Baker via Ambassador April Glaspie: “The US does not intend to take sides in what it perceives as an intra-Arab border dispute…. Washington has no opinion on the disagreement between Kuwait and Iraq…. and does not intend to start an economic war against Iraq….”

*In 1993, the State Department joined the wishful-thinking party surrounding the Oslo Process and ordained Arafat – a documented arch terrorist and hate educator – for a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

*The December 2010 eruption of the still-raging Arab Tsunami was welcomed by the State Department as an “Arab Spring,” advancing the prospects of democracy on the Arab Street. The mega-million Arab refugees, the almost one million Arab fatalities and the mega-billion dollar damage document the severe detachment of the State Department from Middle East reality.

*In 2011, the US joined its European allies in the toppling of the Libyan dictator, Qaddafi – who in 2003 transferred his nuclear infrastructure to the US, and conducted a major military campaign against Islamic terrorists – which transformed Libya into the largest platform of anti-Western Islamic terrorism in Africa and beyond.

*In 2015, the State Department co-led the pro-Ayatollahs diplomatic orgy, yielding an agreement which expanded the Ayatollahs’ global terror and subversion treasury in a monumental manner, bringing the Ayatollahs’ machete closer to the neck of each pro-US Arab regime, while (under the best-case-scenario) postponing the nuclearization of the Ayatollahs by only ten years.

In 2019, at variance with the State Department establishment (except for Secretary Pompeo and National Security Advisor Bolton), Ambassador Friedman advances US interests against the backdrop of Middle East reality, rather than flirting with wishful-thinking, even-handedness and moral equivalence (between inherent aggressors and intended victims), which have systematically failed, fueling radicalism, wars and terrorism.

In 2019, contrary to the State Department, Ambassador Friedman recognizes the secondary/tertiary role of the Palestinian issue in feeding regional turbulence and shaping US-Arab and Israel-Arab relations, as evidenced by the dominant regional developments (e.g., the threats of the Ayatollahs, Sunni terrorism, inter and intra-Arab upheavals) and the deepening ties between Israel and every pro-US Arab country, while there is no movement on the Palestinian issue. Moreover, the Ambassador is aware of the subversive and terroristic Palestinian track record in Egypt (early 1950s), Syria (1966), Jordan (1968-1970), Lebanon (1970-1982) and Kuwait (1990), which has been engraved in the Arab memory, hence the unbridgeable gap between the Arab walk and the Arab talk on the Palestinian issue.

In 2019, unlike the State Department, Ambassador Friedman realizes the destructive impact of a potential Palestinian state upon the inherently unstable, unpredictable, intolerant and violent Middle East; fueling Islamic terrorism in the Middle East and beyond; threatening the survival of the pro-US Hashemite regime (and the devastating ripple effects into the Arabian Peninsula); undermining US interests in the Middle East, while advancing the interests of Russia, China and possibly Iran, providing them with land, air and sea bases.

In 2019, in contradiction to the State Department, Ambassador Friedman is aware that Israel’s control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria is a prerequisite for Israel’s effective posture of deterrence, which is perceived by Jordan, Saudi Arabia and additional pro-US Arab regimes as the most effective life insurance policy in the face of clear, present and lethal threats posed by the Ayatollahs, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Furthermore, the Ambassador is aware that Israel’s withdrawal from the mountain ridges would transform the Jewish State from a national security asset of the US to a national security liability/burden upon the US, depriving the US of a unique beachhead, which constitutes the largest US aircraft carrier with no US soldiers on board, and a most productive battle-tested laboratory, producing for the US a several hundred percent annual rate-of-return on its annual investment in Israel.

Israel Hayom

Defensible borders’ key feature, in the Middle East, must be the capability to confront the shifty, volcanic and violent reality of the region, which has been top heavy on worst-case scenarios, highlighting clear and present lethal threats.

Realistically, Israel’s defensible borders should not be based on well-meaning, peaceful coexistence (best-case) scenarios – cushioned by eloquent statements, agreements, assurances and guarantees – which have been detached from the blustery Middle East inter-Arab and inter-Muslim reality since the 7th century.

Defensible borders are not based on a state-of-peace; defensible borders, in the Middle East, should be able to overcome an abrupt military violation of a state-of-peace.

The most critical feature/test of defensible borders in the Middle East is their capability to fend off realistic (worst-case) scenarios.

The most critical goal of defensible borders is long-term survival/security in the turbulent, unpredictable Middle East, rather than advancing (pertinent) peace accords in a region, which has yet to experience long-term, inter-Arab peaceful coexistence.

Defensible borders must be drawn on the basis of Middle East reality, which accentuates the inherent tenuous nature of Arab/Islamic regimes, and therefore the unstable nature of their policies and accords, including peace agreements.  The latter can rarely be more durable than the regimes which conclude them.

Israel’s defensible borders must provide for an effective response to – or better yet, deter – conventional and non-conventional attacks, as well as assaults by regular military forces and terror organizations.

Israel’s defensible borders reflect the realization that military high-tech today may be military low-tech tomorrow, but high-ground today will be high-ground tomorrow, playing a most crucial role in delaying potential invasions, providing time for the deployment of reservists, which constitute 75% of Israel’s Defense Forces.

Israel’s defensible borders should be war-restraining (a bolstered posture of deterrence) rather than war-enticing (a slackened posture of deterrence).

Israel’s defensible borders should enhance its status as a national security producer, rather than a national security consumer; a geo-strategic asset – not a liability – of the US and the pro-US Arab regimes; thus, extending the strategic hand of the US, while minimizing the number of US troops in the region.

Israel’s defensible borders generate a tailwind to its determination to avoid reliance on non-Israeli soldiers – a critical component of US-Israel cooperation, and a prerequisite for Israel’s survival and stature in the Middle East.

A reference to the indefensibility of the pre-1967 borders – “something of a memory of Auschwitz” – was made by the late Abba Eban, who was one of Israel’s leading doves, in a November 5, 1969 interview with the German weekly, Der Spiegel: “The map will never be the same as on June 4, 1967. For us, this is a matter of security and principles. The June [1967] map is for us equivalent to insecurity and danger.  I do not exaggerate when I say that it has for us something of a memory of Auschwitz. We shudder when we think of what would have awaited us in the circumstances of June, 1967, if we had been defeated; with Syrians on the [Golan Heights] mountain and us in the valley, with the Jordanian military in sight of the [Mediterranean] sea, with the Egyptians in Gaza. This is a situation which will never be repeated in history….”

The critical role played by the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria [the “Golan Heights” of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport and most of Israel’s population, transportation and industrial infrastructures] in forging defensible borders was documented on July 29, 1991 (Congressional Record – Senate) by the late US Navy Admiral James Wilson “Bud” Nance, who served as Staff Director of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee (“Forcing Israel to give up land for peace is wrong”):

“The West Bank is the prime strategic defensive real estate in the area.  Without the West Bank, most of the major population and industrial centers of Israel are easily within artillery [and terrorism] range…. [The West Bank] is a natural barrier to any attack on Israel from the east.  The Judean mountains and Samarian Ridge that run down the north-south axis of the West Bank afford complete domination of the area…. Any attacking army would have to climb from the lowest point on earth (the Dead Sea) to the 3,000 ft elevation of the West Bank Mountains…. With the West Bank, the Israelis have one of the world’s best natural tank and armored vehicle traps…. The western slopes fall gently down to the heart of Israel [a dream platform of terrorism and invasion]….

“Without the West Bank, Israel is only 9 miles across at its center close to Tel Aviv…. This is scarcely more than the distance from the Pentagon to Mount Vernon [and between JFK to La Guardia airports, and the length of DFW Airport].  A modern tank can traverse this distance in about 15 minutes…. With the West Bank, Israel is approximately 40 miles across at its mid-point…. In this thin strip, we have 2/3 of Israel’s Jewish population and ¾ of their industry…. If Israel were to move out of the Golan Heights, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, it would (1) increase the instability in the area; (2) increase the possibility of war; (3) increase the necessity for Israel to preempt in war; (4) increase the possibility nuclear weapons would have to be used to prevent an Israeli loss; (5) and increase the possibility of US involvement in a war in the area…. It is not in the US’ best interest to have Israel leave the disputed areas….”

On June 29, 1967, General Earl Wheeler, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, submitted to President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, a memorandum on Israel’s minimum territorial security requirements:

“Control of the high ground [in the West Bank]… would provide Israel with a militarily defensible border…. The high ground running north-south through the middle of West Jordan overlooks Israel’s narrow midsection and offers a route for a thrust to the [Mediterranean] sea which would split Israel in two parts…. [The West Bank is] an area where launching of saboteurs and terrorists into Israel was relatively easy…. Israel must hold the commanding terrain east of the boundary of June 4, 1967 [the Golan Heights] which overlooks the Galilee area….extending from the border of Lebanon to the border of Jordan…. Occupation of the [Gaza] Strip by Israel would reduce the hostile border by a factor of five and eliminate a source for raids and training of [terrorists]….”

The 2019 global and Middle East reality is much more explosive, threatening and tenuous than it was in 1967, including the unprecedented proliferation of Islamic terror organizations, equipped with conventional and non-conventional military systems, which has intensified lethal threats to each relatively-moderate Arab regime (e.g., Egypt and Jordan).

In 2019, the world and the Middle East face turbulent multi-polarization – intensified by the unprecedented proliferation of military hardware among rogue regimes and terror groups – rather than the relatively-manageable bi-polar world of 1967.  This has dramatically destabilized the world, thus enhancing the critical importance of defensible borders, especially in the Middle East, which has been a role model of instability, unpredictability and temporary regimes/policies/accords.

“Israel Hayom”

While US recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights bolsters the national security of the Jewish State, it also yields major strategic benefits for the US.

Thus, President Trump’s endorsement of Israeli sovereignty over the strategically commanding Golan Heights – which may be reinforced by a Congressional resolution – highlights the synergy between the national security of the US and Israel.  It underlines the mutually-beneficial, two-way-street strategic coordination and cooperation between the US and Israel.

This endorsement enhances the posture of deterrence of Israel – a systematic, unwavering, effective beachhead of the US in the Middle East – and therefore extends the strategic hand of the US, without the need to deploy additional US forces to the region.

In fact, Israel’s upgraded strategic profile has been a most effective US force-multiplier in the Middle East.

For example, in 1970, pro-Soviet Syria invaded pro-US Jordan, aiming to topple the Hashemite regime and trigger an anti-US ripple effect into the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf.  It could have toppled the pro-US oil-producing regimes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrein and Oman, granting the USSR a global bonanza, and dealing a major blow to the economy and national security of the US (when the US was heavily dependent upon Persian Gulf oil), during the Vietnam quagmire, which precluded a dispatch of US troops to Jordan.

President Nixon called Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, who reinforced Israel’s military presence on the Golan Heights – the joint frontier between Israel, Syria and Jordan – delivering a clear warning to Damascus, which is located 37 miles from the Golan Heights. Israel’s posture of deterrence triggered a swift rollback of the Syrian invasion (within 48 hours), with no exchange of fire between the two military forces.

Thus, in 1970, Israel’s control of the Golan Heights – with no need for US military involvement – minimized regional violence and instability, secured the survival of key pro-US Arab regimes, prevented a major anti-US domino-effect in the Middle East with its drastic financial and military consequences, and spared the globe a potential super-powers confrontation.

In 2019, the control of the Golan Heights enables Israel to play a key role in constraining Iran’s expansion into Syria and Lebanon, restraining the flow of lava emitted by the potential Syrian volcano, securing Jordan’s Hashemite regime and removing the anti-US machetes from the throats of every pro-US regime.

In 2019, the potential contribution by Israel’s control of the Golan Heights to vital US interests, is bolstered against the backdrop of the following Middle East reality: Iran’s entrenchment in Syria and the megalomaniacal Ayatollahs, who consider the US their major hurdle on the way to regional and global domination; the 14-centuries-old Middle East unpredictability, intolerance and violence; the Arab Tsunami (erroneously branded as “Arab Spring”) which erupted in 2010 and is still raging; the historical role played by Damascus in fomenting intra-Arab and intra-Muslim confrontations, narcoterrorism (facilitating supply of heroine to the US’ inner cities) and anti-US international terrorism (e.g., PanAm-103, the US Embassy and US Marine headquarters in Beirut); the operation of a multitude of Islamic terrorist organizations in Syria; and the systematic alignment of Syria with enemies and adversaries of the US (e.g., the USSR, Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela).

In 2019, the Israeli “life insurance agent” is increasingly more critical for the survival of Jordan’s pro-US Hashemite regime, which is more vulnerable than it was in 1970. Israel’s posture of deterrence has been enhanced in value in view of the Iranian Ayatollahs’ entrenchment in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon; the potentially explosive 1.5 million Syrian refugees in northern Syria; the Palestinian majority in Jordan and its subversive track record; the high domestic profile of the subversive, terroristic Muslim Brotherhood; and the intensifying fragmentation among Jordan’s Bedouin tribes, some of which consider the Hashemite family “carpetbaggers” from the Arabian Peninsula.

Israel’s retreat from the Golan Heights would have severely eroded Israel’s posture of deterrence, transforming the Jewish State from a national security producer/asset – for the US – to a national security consumer/liability. This would have generated a tailwind to rogue Arab/Muslim regimes, taxing vital US national security interests, bringing Islamic terrorism closer to the US shores and rewarding enemies and adversaries of the US.

On June 29, 1967, the late General Earl Wheeler, then the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, handed President Johnson a map of Israel’s minimal security requirements, which included the Golan Heights and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria.  General Wheeler was aware that Israel’s sovereignty on the Golan Heights secures Israel’s survival, while advancing vital US interests in the tectonic Middle East.

 

BREAKING DEFENSE the online defense magazine,  https://bit.ly/2xrfwfI

Israel faces increasingly tight restrictions on its Foreign Military Financing (FMF) from the U.S., as Breaking Defense readers know. In the past, when the US provided Israeli with grants under the FMF program, Israel could convert 25 percent of the aid from dollars into shekels to buy Israeli products and support local R&D. The new 10-year FMF agreement signed in 2017 decrees that that will gradually drop to zero. In this commentary, former minister for congressional affairs at Israel’s Embassy here, Yoram Ettinger, argues that America gets a great deal in return for the aid and assistance it provides Israel. Read on! The Editor.

“Israel Hayom”

All US (Israel-Arab) peace initiatives, initiated by Democratic and Republican Presidents, aimed at advancing the cause of peace, while enhancing the US strategic stature. However, all failed on both accounts.

The well-intentioned US peace initiatives were doomed to failure by the tendency to downplay the complex intra-Arab/Muslim Middle East reality, since they conflicted with the eagerness to advance peace ASAP, wishful-thinking and oversimplification.

US peace initiatives were the casualties of the inherent conflict between Western eagerness for quick-fix and short-term convenience, on the one hand, and the long-term and complicated nature of the intricate reality and national security, on the other hand.

US peace initiatives were frustrated by the tectonic forces which have shaped the well-documented intra-Arab/Muslim labyrinth since the birth of Islam in the 7th century: explosive unpredictability, violence, intolerance (religiously, ethnically, politically and socially), absence of peaceful-coexistence domestically and regionally, minority/rogue regimes, disregard of civil liberties, brutal domestic fragmentation (tribally, ideologically and religiously) and the tenuous/provisional nature of regimes, policies and agreements.

Moreover, the US peace initiatives were further derailed by the politically-correct assumptions that the Arab-Israeli conflict has been “The Middle East Conflict” and that the Palestinian issue has been the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict, a core-cause of Middle East turbulence and a crown-jewel of Arab policy-making.

Such assumptions have been dashed against the rocks of Middle East reality, as highlighted by the 2010 eruption of the still-raging Arab Tsunami (erroneously named “the Arab Spring”), which has been totally unrelated to the dramatically less significant Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian issue.

Furthermore, the preoccupation with the Palestinian issue – at a time when the Middle East and the US are confronted with significantly more pivotal national and homeland security challenges/threats – has damaged the US posture of deterrence and its regional and global standing.

All US peace initiatives attempted to force Israel into making major concessions to the Arab/Palestinian side, thus rewarding systematic Arab aggression, which encouraged further aggression. These initiatives exhibited the self-defeating moral equivalence between (Arab) aggressors and the intended (Israeli) victim; between the most effective, unconditional strategic ally of the US (Israel), and a close ally of enemies and rivals of the US, such as Nazi Germany, the USSR, the Ayatollahs, Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela (the Palestinians); and between the role model of counter-terrorism (Israel) and a role model and a major training ground of anti-US terrorists and a shrine of hate-education (the Palestinians).

The subversive and terroristic track record of the Palestinians, and their closest allies, sheds light on the inherent contradiction between the need to minimize Middle East instability and violence, on the one hand, and the attempt to establish a Palestinian state, on the other hand.

US peace initiatives have forced the Palestinians, in particular, and the Arabs, in general, to outflank the (“infidel”) US from the maximalist/radical side, thus further intensifying conflict and disagreements.

Contrary to the well-meant goal of the US peace initiatives, this added fuel – not water – to the fire, exacerbated instability and undermined US diplomatic and geo-strategic posture and interests. One may note that in spite of the US presidential recognition of the PLO, its support for the idea of a Palestinian state and sustained pressure on Israel to freeze Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), the US has been systematically terrorized by Shite and Sunni Islamic terrorism.

While all US (Israel-Arab) peace initiatives have failed (e.g., the 1970 Rogers Plan, the 1973-75 Kissinger initiatives, the 1982 Reagan Plan, the 1989-92 Bush/Baker initiatives, the Clinton initiatives, the G.W. Bush initiatives and the Obama/Kerry initiatives), Middle East reality has highlighted the indispensable role of the US as a facilitator – not initiator – of peace initiatives, which were launched directly between Israel and Arab entities.  Thus, it was the critical US support of the Israel-Egypt and Israel-Jordan initiated peace processes – during their intermediary and mature stages – which propelled them to fruition.

Furthermore, the cardinal US role in facilitating and coalescing Israel’s enhanced cooperation with pro-US Arab regimes in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula – which has not been preconditioned upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians – has projected a realistic US policy in the Middle East. It has been a policy which recognizes the order of regional and global priorities, highlighting the intensified lethal threats of Iran’s Ayatollahs and Sunni Islamic terrorism to the US’ homeland and national security, as well as to every pro-US Arab regime in the region, none of which is related, directly or indirectly, to the Palestinian issue.

Will the US benefit from the lessons of its many well-intentioned (Israel-Arab) peace initiatives by avoiding past errors?!

Will the US leverage its peace-making experience by focusing on its game-changing, constructive role as a facilitator, rather than an initiator?!

Will US policy-makers adhere to the life-saving advice, shared with drivers in West Texas: When smothered by lethal sandstorms (the Arab Tsunami…), don’t get preoccupied with the tumbleweeds on the road (the Palestinian issue…)?!

 

“Israel Hayom”

The UN Human Rights Council (HRC), on the one hand, and human rights, on the other hand, constitute a classic oxymoron, as underlined by the country-membership of the Council.

Moreover, since its establishment in 2006, and just like its predecessor, the UN Commission on Human Rights, the HRC has been dominated by non-democratic regimes, which have been hostile to the US.

For example, the anti-US, pro-Ayatollahs member-state Venezuela has robbed its opposition-led legislature of any effective power, jailing political opponents and prosecuting civilians in military courts. The Democratic Republic of Congo is ruled by a ruthless president who is holding on to power beyond the constitutionally mandated two-term limit, repressing, silencing and murdering opponents. Pakistan features a proliferation of military courts with death sentences for members of the opposition, unaccountability for human rights violations, the absence of a free press, no tolerance of religious minorities and women’s rights and is fertile ground for anti-US Islamic terrorism. In Afghanistan, neither the government nor the Taliban opposition adheres to human rights, which has resulted in a massive toll of murders and executions, many of them carried out by government-supported illegal gangs. Another member of the HRC, Burundi, which has been accused by the HRC, itself, of crimes against humanity and refuses to cooperate with the HRC investigation. Burundi is ruled by a president, whose term has been extended beyond constitutional limits, and whose security organs have followed a routine of kidnapping, torture, arbitrary arrests, executions and the “disappearance” of citizens. The repressive Cuban regime has sustained arbitrary arrests of opposition leaders, human rights leaders and free press activists.

Other member-states of the HRC – despite their non-democratic regimes and questionable-to-horrendous track records on human rights – are Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, Ivory Coast, Angola, Iraq, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Tunisia, Qatar, China, etc.

The US withdrawal from the HRC exposed the reality of the latter, which leveraged the US participation to legitimize anti-US regimes, undermining US interests throughout the globe, while advancing the interests of US rivals and enemies.

The US withdrawal has sent a message to the UN, and other entities which have benefitted from US commercial and military support. They realize that US participation in – and support of – global initiatives should not be taken for granted, but will be preconditioned upon pro-US conduct.

Such a policy is consistent with the US departure from the non-ratified 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Nuclear Agreement), which rewarded the anti-US Ayatollahs with immediate, tangible, sweeping benefits in return for verbal, intangible gestures, while the Ayatollahs’ machete is at the throat of Saudi Arabia and all other pro-US Arab regimes, entrenching their foothold in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. The US departure from the 2015 Nuclear Agreement and the HRC bolsters confidence among US allies and deters rogue regimes, thus reducing the scope of global instability and violence.

US policy toward the HRC – which has been an authentic reflection of the UN at large – sends a message to the UN, raising somber doubts about the future of US financial support for that organization, unless the UN deviates from its modus operandi, which has provided tailwinds to anti-US rogue regimes and organizations, while benefitting from the hospitality and financial generosity of the US. Thus, the UN may forfeit part, or all, US foreign aid, which amounts to 20% of its annual budget, including 25% of UNRWA’s budget, which has funded visceral hate-education and glorification of terrorists.

In 2008, the HRC reflected the deeply-rooted worldview of its key members, by appointing Richard Falk – known for his systematic contempt for US policy – to a 6-year term as a Special Rapporteur. The appointment was approved by a consensus of the 47 members of the HRC. In 2008, Falk accused the US government of a cover-up concerning 9/11, including the supposed implication of neoconservatives in the attack. In 2013, in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon terrorism, Falk wrote in the Foreign Policy Journal: “Those to whom evil is done, do evil in return…. How many canaries will have to die before we awaken from our geopolitical fantasy of global domination?”

The track record of the Human Rights Council, on the one hand, and the national security and homeland security of the US, on the other hand, constitute an oxymoron. Hence, quitting the HRC enhances the interests of the US and the Free World.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Demography

Demographic optimism IN, demographic pessimism OUT

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

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

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

Arab demography artificially inflated

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

For instance:

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

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

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

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

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

Arab demography Westernized

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

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

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

Jewish demographic momentum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The bottom line

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

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

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

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

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Iran

Diplomatic option toward Iran is self-destructive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Judea & Samaria

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

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

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

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

For instance:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jerusalem

United Jerusalem – a shared US-Israel legacy and interest

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

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

United Jerusalem and the US law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Jerusalem and the legacy of the Founding Fathers

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

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

The Jerusalem reality and US interests

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

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

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

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

Jerusalem and Israel’s defiance of US pressure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jewish Holidays

Chanukah guide for the perplexed, 2023

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

More on Jewish holidays: SmashwordsAmazon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Golan

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

Islamic Terrorism

US and Israel facing the mutual threat of Islamic terrorism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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