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The findings of the February 19, 2010 Gallup poll put President Obama at odds with the US public, when it comes to attitudes toward the Jewish State, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Arabs, Muslims and Islamic terrorism.

 

For example, Israel maintains its traditional spot among the five most favored nations by 67% of the US public, despite Obama’s moral-equivalence and even-handedness toward the Arab-Israeli conflict, in spite of his attempts to force Israel into sweeping concessions, and in defiance of the US “elite” media and academia. On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority is ranked – along with Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan – at the bottom of the list, favored by only 20% of the US public.

 

According to an August 10, 2009 Rasmussen poll, Israel is ranked as the third most favorable ally (70%), preceded only by Canada and Britain. The low regard toward Egypt (39%) and Saudi Arabia (23%) demonstrates that Americans remain skeptical – at least since 9/11 – of Arabs and Muslims, even when they are portrayed by the media and the Administration as supposedly moderate and pro-American. Moreover, only 21% of adult Americans expect that the US relationship with the Muslim world will improve in a year, while 25% expect that it will get worse.

 

Apparently, US public attitude towards Arabs and Muslims has hardly been impacted by President Obama’s highly-publicized outreach to Muslims, as demonstrated by his apologetic speeches at Turkey’s National Assembly (“…the Islamic faith has done so much to shape the world, including my own country…”), at Cairo University (“Islam has always been a part of America’s story…”) and at the UN (“America has acted unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others…”).

 

Historically, most Americans have been suspicious of Arabs and Islam, while identifying with Judeo-Christian values, Judaism and the Jewish State, as documented by a June 3, 2009 Gallup poll. By an overwhelming 80%:13% ratio, Americans believe that Muslims are hostile toward the USA. They subscribe to Samuel Huntington’s “War of Civilizations,” much more that Obama’s June 4, 2009 statement, made at Cairo University: “America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam.” Apparently, Obama’s efforts have failed to uproot the legacy of the Islamic threat since the early 19th century war against Muslim pirates, through the 1983 detonation of the US embassy and the truck bombing of the Marine Headquarters in Beirut, the 1998 bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, 9/11, the December 2009 Ft. Hood, Texas massacre and the Muslim terrorist attempt to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner.

 

Since, at least 9/11, most Americans have held the Palestinian Authority in disfavor, 15% support and 73% opposed, according to a March 3, 2009 Gallup poll.  A definite connection has been established between the Palestinian Authority and terrorism, pro-Saddam Hussein and Bin-Laden sentiments and anti-US sentiments. In contrast, support of Israel has remained steady at 63% with only 23% opposing.

 

Israel‘s good standing has recently been reflected on Capitol Hill. For instance, 344 House Representatives (79%) signed a November 4, 2009 letter, supporting Israel and condemning the Goldstone Report. On the other hand, only 54 House Representatives (12%) signed a January 27, 2010 letter, criticizing Israel and supporting Hamas.

 

Unlike dictatorships, which manipulate results of public opinion polls, democracies are shaped, to a large extent, by public opinion. Public opinion is especially critical in the US democracy, which features the constituent as its centerpiece.  Therefore, US legislators are more attentive to voters than are other Western legislators.  They take seriously the electoral battle cry: “We shall remember in November!” Hence, the sustained support of the Jewish State on Capitol Hill, which reflects the will of the American People, in addition to the role played by shared-values, mutual-threats and joint-interests in shaping the unique covenant between the US, the Jewish People and the Jewish State.

 

 

 

In 1948, Prime Minister Ben Gurion declared independence in defiance of demographic fatalism, which was perpetrated by Israel’s leading demographers.  He rejected their assumptions that Jews were doomed to be a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, that massive Aliya was not feasible, that the Jewish fertility rate was declining below reproduction levels and that the Arab fertility rate would remain the highest in the world, irrespective of modernity. Ben Gurion did not subordinate his vision and security concerns to demographic fatalism. Instead of retreating, he declared independence, highlighted demographic optimism and Aliya as top national priorities, coalesced a solid Jewish majority and planted the seeds which catapulted Israel to a Middle East power, highly respected for its civilian and military achievements.

 

In 2005, in capitulation to demographic fatalism, Prime Minister Sharon retreated from Palestinian terrorism, uprooting 10,000 Jews from Gaza and Samaria. Sharon abandoned his life-long ideology of defiance and subordinated long-term strategy and security concerns to doomsday demography. Thus, he facilitated the Hamas takeover of Gaza and its ripple effects:  a slackened posture of deterrence, the intensified shelling of southern Israel, the 2006 Lebanon War, the 2008 Gaza War, the Goldstone Report and exacerbated global pressure on Israel.

 

Demographic assumptions have played an increasing role in shaping Israel’s national security policy since 1992. But, what if these assumptions are dramatically wrong?! 

 

For example, since the beginning of annual Aliya in 1882 – and in contradiction to demographic projections – the Jewish population between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean has grown 238 fold, while the Arab population increased only 6 fold.  Since 1948, the Jewish population increased almost 10 fold and the Arab population expanded 3 fold.

 

Israel‘s demographers did not believe that a massive Aliya would take place in the aftermath of the 1948/9 War.  One million Jews arrived.  They projected no substantial Aliya from the Communist Bloc during the 1970s. Almost 300,000 Jews arrived.  They dismissed the possibility for a massive Aliya from the USSR, even if gates were opened.  One million Olim relocated from the Soviet Union to the Jewish Homeland during the 1990s.

 

Contrary to demographic assumptions, a rapid and drastic decline in Muslim fertility has been documented by the UN Population Division: Iran – 1.7 births per woman, Algeria – 1.8 births, Egypt – 2.5 births, Jordan – 3 births, etc. Arab fertility rate in pre-1967 Israel has declined 20 years faster than projected and Judea and Samaria Arab fertility has dropped below 4.5 births per woman, trending toward 3 births.

Precedent suggests that low fertility rates can rarely be reversed following a sustained period of significant reduction.

 

At the same time, the annual number of Jewish births has increased by 45% between 1995 (80,400) and 2008 (117,000), mostly impacted by the demographic surge within the secular sector.  The total annual Arab births, in pre-1967 Israel, has stabilized at about 39,000 during the same period, reflecting the successful Arab integration into Israel’s infrastructure of education, employment, health, trade, politics and sports.

 

An audit of the documentation of Palestinian births, deaths and migration, which is conducted by the Palestinian Ministries of Health and Education and Election Commission, as well as by Israel’s Border Police, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics and by the World Bank, reveals huge misrepresentations by the Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

 

For instance, the PCBS’ census includes about 400,000 overseas residents, who have been away for over one year, ignores high net-emigration (28,000 in 2008, 25,000 in 2007, etc.) and double-counts some 250,000 Jerusalem Arabs, who are also counted by Israel. Furthermore, a 40,000-60,000 annual actual birth gap is confirmed between PCBS numbers and the documentation conducted by the Palestinian Ministries of Health and Education.

 

The audit of Palestinian and Israeli documentation exposes a 66% distortion in the current number of Judea & Samaria Arabs – 1.55 million and not 2.5 million, as claimed by the Palestinian Authority. It certifies a solid 67% Jewish majority over 98.5% of the land west of the Jordan River (without Gaza), compared with a 33% and an 8% Jewish minority in 1947 and 1900, respectively, west of the Jordan River. An 80% majority is attainable by 2035 with the proper demographic policy, highlighting Aliya, returning expatriates, etc.

 

In conclusion, demographic optimism is well-documented, while demographic fatalism is resoundingly refuted. There is a demographic problem, but it is not lethal and the demographic tailwind is Jewish. Therefore, anyone suggesting that there is a demographic machete at the throat of the Jewish State and that Jewish geography must be conceded, in order to secure Jewish demography, is either grossly mistaken or outrageously misleading.

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Prime Minister Netanyahu’s apology to Vice President Biden – for authorizing the construction of Jewish homes in Jerusalem during Biden’s visit – departs sharply from the assertive legacy of all Israeli Prime Ministers from Ben Gurion (1948) to Shamir (1992). It is consistent with the retreating Oslo state of mind, which has afflicted all Prime Ministers since 1993. This apologetic response ignores the significant “Jerusalem Divide” between the dramatically-weakened President Obama on one hand and the majority of the American People and Congress on the other hand. Moreover, it triggers further pressure by Obama, radicalizes Arab demands, undermines the future of Jerusalem as the indivisible capital of the Jewish State, and erodes Israel’s strategic posture in Washington and in the Middle East. Placating President Obama will certainly not transform his position on Iran from engagement to confrontation and will not produce a Green Light for an Israeli attack on Iran.

 

In 1949, the US Administration, Europe and the UN exerted brutal pressure on Prime Minister Ben Gurion to accept the internationalization of Jerusalem. Ben Gurion’s response was decisive, in spite of his inferior position militarily, economically, demographically, technologically, diplomatically and politically, compared with today’s Israel. Ben Gurion proclaimed Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish State, relocated government agencies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, expanded housing construction all the way to the ceasefire lines, directed a massive number of Olim (immigrants) to Jerusalem and upgraded the transportation infrastructure to the city. Ben Gurion’s determination and defiance clarified to the US that Jerusalem was non-negotiable. It accorded Jerusalem the land required for security and development for the next generation. It sent a clear message of credible deterrence and tenacity to Israel’s enemies and friends.

 

In 1967, the very powerful President Lyndon Johnson and the international community cautioned Prime Minister Eshkol against the reunification of Jerusalem and against any construction beyond the pre-1967 ceasefire lines, lest it severely undermine Israel’s global standing. Eshkol replied firmly by annexing the Old City, the eastern suburbs of Jerusalem and substantial land reserves and building the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood beyond the pre-1967 ceasefire lines. Thus, Eshkol reaffirmed the image of Israel – in Washington – as a dependable US ally on “rainy days.”

 

In 1970-1, Prime Minister Golda Meir defied the (Secretary of State) Rogers Plan, which was submitted by President Nixon at the height of his popularity. The Plan called for Israel’s retreat to the pre-1967 lines and for the transfer of Jerusalem’s Holy Basin to the auspices of the three leading religions. Defiantly, Prime Minister Meir laid the groundwork for a series of neighborhoods in Jerusalem (beyond the pre-1967 ceasefire lines): Neve’ Ya’akov, Gilo, Ramot Alon and French Hill. These neighborhoods – with over 100,000 residents – provided Jerusalem with the land required for further development. Golda’s defiance caused short-term tension between Jerusalem and Washington, but generated long-term respect toward the Jewish State.

 

Prime Ministers Begin and Shamir sent a clear message to the White House: “Jerusalem is not negotiable!”

 

That non-wavering message has been consistent with the American state of mind. For instance, twenty five towns in the United States – from Massachusetts to Oregon – bear the name of Jerusalem – Salem. It reflects the unique bonds that exist – since the 17th century Pilgrims and the Founding Fathers – between the USA and the Jewish capital, the Jewish State and Judaism.

 

The US Congress – the most authentic representation of the American People, therefore a systematic supporter of the Jewish State and equal in power to the President – has passed a series of bills and resolutions, reaffirming the role of Jerusalem, as the indivisible capital of the Jewish State and the appropriate site for the US embassy in Israel. Democrats are concerned that Obama’s assault on Jerusalem would haunt them during the November 2010 election.

 

US constituents and their representatives on Capitol Hill are aware that 3,000 years before President Obama entered the White House, and 2,770 years before the US gained its independence, King David entered Jerusalem – the Heart of the Jewish People. However, in contrast to the vast majority of Americans and their representatives on Capitol Hill, President Obama wishes to repartition Jerusalem to prohibit legal Jewish construction, while enticing wide spread illegal Arab construction in Jerusalem – the city which inspired the Founding Fathers of the USA.

 

The battle over Jerusalem requires the Jewish State to join forces with the American public and its representatives on Capitol Hill. This is the time to resurrect the 1999 Lieberman-Kyl initiative – to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem – which was co-sponsored by 84 Senators. This is the time to encourage Israel’s friends on the Hill, and especially the Chairmen of the Congressional and Senatorial campaign committees, to revisit bills and resolutions, which highlight Jerusalem’s indivisibility as the capital of Israel.

 

Securing the future of Jerusalem behooves Netanyahu to follow in the footsteps of Ben Gurion, Eshkol, Golda Meir, Begin and Shamir, displaying steadfastness and, sometimes, defiance of an American President.

 

On the other hand, submission to pressure by President Obama – who is increasingly considered a burden by Democratic legislators – would jeopardize the future of the Jewish Capital. It would also raise a severe concern: Is a government which wavers on Jerusalem capable of securing the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria? Is it capable of preempting the Iranian nuclear wrath, in defiance of the US and the world at-large if necessary?

The findings of the February 19, 2010 Gallup poll put President Obama at odds with the US public, when it comes to attitudes toward the Jewish State, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Arabs, Muslims and Islamic terrorism.

 

For example, Israel maintains its traditional spot among the five most favored nations by 67% of the US public, despite Obama’s moral-equivalence and even-handedness toward the Arab-Israeli conflict, in spite of his attempts to force Israel into sweeping concessions, and in defiance of the US “elite” media and academia. On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority is ranked – along with Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan – at the bottom of the list, favored by only 20% of the US public.

 

According to an August 10, 2009 Rasmussen poll, Israel is ranked as the third most favorable ally (70%), preceded only by Canada and Britain. The low regard toward Egypt (39%) and Saudi Arabia (23%) demonstrates that Americans remain skeptical – at least since 9/11 – of Arabs and Muslims, even when they are portrayed by the media and the Administration as supposedly moderate and pro-American. Moreover, only 21% of adult Americans expect that the US relationship with the Muslim world will improve in a year, while 25% expect that it will get worse.

 

Apparently, US public attitude towards Arabs and Muslims has hardly been impacted by President Obama’s highly-publicized outreach to Muslims, as demonstrated by his apologetic speeches at Turkey’s National Assembly (“…the Islamic faith has done so much to shape the world, including my own country…”), at Cairo University (“Islam has always been a part of America’s story…”) and at the UN (“America has acted unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others…”).

 

Historically, most Americans have been suspicious of Arabs and Islam, while identifying with Judeo-Christian values, Judaism and the Jewish State, as documented by a June 3, 2009 Gallup poll. By an overwhelming 80%:13% ratio, Americans believe that Muslims are hostile toward the USA. They subscribe to Samuel Huntington’s “War of Civilizations,” much more that Obama’s June 4, 2009 statement, made at Cairo University: “America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam.” Apparently, Obama’s efforts have failed to uproot the legacy of the Islamic threat since the early 19th century war against Muslim pirates, through the 1983 detonation of the US embassy and the truck bombing of the Marine Headquarters in Beirut, the 1998 bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, 9/11, the December 2009 Ft. Hood, Texas massacre and the Muslim terrorist attempt to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner.

 

Since, at least 9/11, most Americans have held the Palestinian Authority in disfavor, 15% support and 73% opposed, according to a March 3, 2009 Gallup poll.  A definite connection has been established between the Palestinian Authority and terrorism, pro-Saddam Hussein and Bin-Laden sentiments and anti-US sentiments. In contrast, support of Israel has remained steady at 63% with only 23% opposing.

 

Israel‘s good standing has recently been reflected on Capitol Hill. For instance, 344 House Representatives (79%) signed a November 4, 2009 letter, supporting Israel and condemning the Goldstone Report. On the other hand, only 54 House Representatives (12%) signed a January 27, 2010 letter, criticizing Israel and supporting Hamas.

 

Unlike dictatorships, which manipulate results of public opinion polls, democracies are shaped, to a large extent, by public opinion. Public opinion is especially critical in the US democracy, which features the constituent as its centerpiece.  Therefore, US legislators are more attentive to voters than are other Western legislators.  They take seriously the electoral battle cry: “We shall remember in November!” Hence, the sustained support of the Jewish State on Capitol Hill, which reflects the will of the American People, in addition to the role played by shared-values, mutual-threats and joint-interests in shaping the unique covenant between the US, the Jewish People and the Jewish State.

 

 

 

In 1948, Prime Minister Ben Gurion declared independence in defiance of demographic fatalism, which was perpetrated by Israel’s leading demographers.  He rejected their assumptions that Jews were doomed to be a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, that massive Aliya was not feasible, that the Jewish fertility rate was declining below reproduction levels and that the Arab fertility rate would remain the highest in the world, irrespective of modernity. Ben Gurion did not subordinate his vision and security concerns to demographic fatalism. Instead of retreating, he declared independence, highlighted demographic optimism and Aliya as top national priorities, coalesced a solid Jewish majority and planted the seeds which catapulted Israel to a Middle East power, highly respected for its civilian and military achievements.

 

In 2005, in capitulation to demographic fatalism, Prime Minister Sharon retreated from Palestinian terrorism, uprooting 10,000 Jews from Gaza and Samaria. Sharon abandoned his life-long ideology of defiance and subordinated long-term strategy and security concerns to doomsday demography. Thus, he facilitated the Hamas takeover of Gaza and its ripple effects:  a slackened posture of deterrence, the intensified shelling of southern Israel, the 2006 Lebanon War, the 2008 Gaza War, the Goldstone Report and exacerbated global pressure on Israel.

 

Demographic assumptions have played an increasing role in shaping Israel’s national security policy since 1992. But, what if these assumptions are dramatically wrong?! 

 

For example, since the beginning of annual Aliya in 1882 – and in contradiction to demographic projections – the Jewish population between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean has grown 238 fold, while the Arab population increased only 6 fold.  Since 1948, the Jewish population increased almost 10 fold and the Arab population expanded 3 fold.

 

Israel‘s demographers did not believe that a massive Aliya would take place in the aftermath of the 1948/9 War.  One million Jews arrived.  They projected no substantial Aliya from the Communist Bloc during the 1970s. Almost 300,000 Jews arrived.  They dismissed the possibility for a massive Aliya from the USSR, even if gates were opened.  One million Olim relocated from the Soviet Union to the Jewish Homeland during the 1990s.

 

Contrary to demographic assumptions, a rapid and drastic decline in Muslim fertility has been documented by the UN Population Division: Iran – 1.7 births per woman, Algeria – 1.8 births, Egypt – 2.5 births, Jordan – 3 births, etc. Arab fertility rate in pre-1967 Israel has declined 20 years faster than projected and Judea and Samaria Arab fertility has dropped below 4.5 births per woman, trending toward 3 births.

Precedent suggests that low fertility rates can rarely be reversed following a sustained period of significant reduction.

 

At the same time, the annual number of Jewish births has increased by 45% between 1995 (80,400) and 2008 (117,000), mostly impacted by the demographic surge within the secular sector.  The total annual Arab births, in pre-1967 Israel, has stabilized at about 39,000 during the same period, reflecting the successful Arab integration into Israel’s infrastructure of education, employment, health, trade, politics and sports.

 

An audit of the documentation of Palestinian births, deaths and migration, which is conducted by the Palestinian Ministries of Health and Education and Election Commission, as well as by Israel’s Border Police, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics and by the World Bank, reveals huge misrepresentations by the Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

 

For instance, the PCBS’ census includes about 400,000 overseas residents, who have been away for over one year, ignores high net-emigration (28,000 in 2008, 25,000 in 2007, etc.) and double-counts some 250,000 Jerusalem Arabs, who are also counted by Israel. Furthermore, a 40,000-60,000 annual actual birth gap is confirmed between PCBS numbers and the documentation conducted by the Palestinian Ministries of Health and Education.

 

The audit of Palestinian and Israeli documentation exposes a 66% distortion in the current number of Judea & Samaria Arabs – 1.55 million and not 2.5 million, as claimed by the Palestinian Authority. It certifies a solid 67% Jewish majority over 98.5% of the land west of the Jordan River (without Gaza), compared with a 33% and an 8% Jewish minority in 1947 and 1900, respectively, west of the Jordan River. An 80% majority is attainable by 2035 with the proper demographic policy, highlighting Aliya, returning expatriates, etc.

 

In conclusion, demographic optimism is well-documented, while demographic fatalism is resoundingly refuted. There is a demographic problem, but it is not lethal and the demographic tailwind is Jewish. Therefore, anyone suggesting that there is a demographic machete at the throat of the Jewish State and that Jewish geography must be conceded, in order to secure Jewish demography, is either grossly mistaken or outrageously misleading.

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The prevention of a nuclear Iran constitutes a top US national security priority. It sheds light on a special aspect of US-Israel relationship: defiance of mutual threats.

 

Iran pursues nuclear capabilities, in order to advance strategic goals, which are led by the super-goal: hegemony of the Persian Gulf and its natural resources. Those who undermine the super-goal are considered super-enemies, targeted by super-capabilities. Hence, Teheran would use its nuclear power/threat, first and foremost, to force US and NATO out of the Gulf and the Indian Ocean. It would then turn it against Iraq – its arch rival since the seventh century – and against Saudi Arabia, which is considered an apostate regime. All Gulf States are perceived by Iran as a key prize, required in order to control the flow and the price of oil and to bankroll Teheran’s megalomaniac regional and global aspirations (e.g. leading Islam’s drive to dominate the globe).

 

The Jewish State constitutes a non-Gulf basin target for Iran; not a primary target. Moreover, Israel is expected to retaliate in a traumatic manner, which would paralyze much of Iran’s military and civilian infrastructures. Therefore, Iran would not sacrifice its super-goal (forcing the US out of the Gulf and subjugating the Gulf States) on the altar of a secondary-goal (obliterating the Jewish State).

 

For the US and Israel, the preferred option – against Iran – is preemption rather than retaliation. Recent precedents suggest that the two countries benefit from leveraging each other’s unique experience, as well as from bold unilateral military action against rogue threats.

 

In September 2007, Israel’s air force destroyed a Syrian-North Korean nuclear plant, extending US’ strategic arm. It provided the US with vital information on Russian air defense systems, which are also employed by Iran. It bolstered US posture of deterrence and refuted the claim that US-Israel relations have been shaped by political expediency. In 1981, Israel destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor, providing the US with a conventional option in 1991 and 2003, preventing a mega-billion dollar mega-casualties nuclear war. In 1970, while the US was bogged down in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Israel forced the rollback of a pro-Soviet Syrian invasion of pro-US Jordan. It prevented a pro-Soviet “Domino Effect” into the Persian Gulf, which would have shattered US economy. In 2009, Israel shares with the US its battle-tested experience in combating Palestinian and Hizballah terrorism, which are the role model of anti-US Islamic terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. US GIs benefit from Israel’s battle tactics against car bombs, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and homicide bombing. An Israel-like ally in the Persian Gulf would have spared the need to dispatch US troops to Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

 

Former Secretary of State and NATO Commander, General (ret.) Al Haig, refers to the Jewish State as the largest cost-effective, combat-experienced US aircraft carrier that does not require US personnel, cannot be sunk and is located in a most critical region for US national security interests.

 

While the US has been Israel’s indispensable ally, Israel’s battle experience has been integrated into the US defense industry. For example, the F-16 includes over 600 Israeli modifications, sparing the US a mega-billion dollar and a multi-year research & development budget. A litany of state-of-the-art US military systems have been upgraded in a similar manner, enhancing US national and homeland security and expanding US employment and exports.

 

Iran’s nuclear threat is a symptom of endemic Middle East violent unpredictability and Moslem hostility toward western democracies. It calls for an upgraded US-Israel win-win relationship, which requires a strong Israel, which is a national security producer. A weak Israel, pushed into a 9-15 mile sliver along the Mediterranean, pressured to concede the mountain ridges of Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights, relying on foreign troops and guarantees would become a national security consumer. It would be a burden rather than an asset to the US in a bad neighborhood, which is crucial for vital US interests.

 

Iran would benefit from an ineffective Israel. However, the US would have to deploy to the eastern flank of the Mediterranean real aircraft carriers and tens of thousands of US servicemen, costing scores of billions of dollars annually, denied the benefits of Israel – the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require a single US personnel.

 

The bubble of demographic fatalism is bursting, according to the most recent data, published by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS).  The data should be leveraged by the new Israeli government, in order to formulate a demographic policy, aimed at increasing the current 67% Jewish majority west of the Jordan River (without Gaza). The policy would uproot demographic fatalism and advance demographic optimism, thus energizing Aliya, Israel’s economy, overseas investments, diplomacy, national security, posture of deterrence and minimizing Jewish-Arab tension, which is fed by demographic fear.

 

According to the ICBS, Israel’s Jewish society is getting younger and the Arab society is getting older.  The number of annual Jewish births increased by 45% between 1995 (80,400) and 2008 (117,000), as a result of Aliya from the USSR, the shift by the “Soviet Olim” from a typical Russian rate of 1 birth per woman to a typical Israeli rate of 2-3 births, the rising secular Jewish rate and the sustained high orthodox and ultra-orthodox rate. The number of annual Arab births has stabilized – since 1995 – around 39,000, reflecting a most successful integration by Israeli Arabs into Israel’s infrastructures of education, health, human services, commerce, finance, culture, sports and politics. The fertility gap is down from 6 births per woman in 1969 to 0.7 births in 2009, and the proportion of Jewish births has grown from 69% (of total births) in 1995 and 74% in 2007 to 75% in 2008. 

 

The downward trend typifies, also, the Arabs in Judea and Samaria due to large scale emigration, entrenched family planning, reduction of teen pregnancy, rapid urbanization, expanded education especially among women, record divorce rate and higher median marriage age. 

 

The Westernization of Arab fertility rate (3.5 births per woman in pre-1967 Israel and 4 births in Judea and Samaria), is apparent throughout most of the Arab and Moslem world.  For instance, the 2008 map of the UN Population Division documents an average fertility rate of 2-4 births, compared with over 4 births 30 years ago (http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/worldfertility2007/TFRmaps.htm).

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Even Yemen, the flagship of robust Arab demography, is adopting family planning.  In February 2009 it approved a new law, setting the minimum age for marriage at 17 for boys and girls, prohibiting marriage without the consent of the woman and benefiting divorced women.

 

The Jewish demographic tailwind, in Israel, behooves the new government to introduce a demographic roadmap, which would increase the Jewish majority, while respecting the rights of the Arab minority:

 

1.  Reverting Aliya to the top of the order of national priorities, as expected from the Jewish State and as required by economic and security challenges.  The global economic meltdown, and the rise in anti-Semitism, should be leveraged, in order to increase Aliya from the former USSR, USA, Europe, Latin America, South Africa, etc.

 

2.  The conversion of some 250,000 Olim from the former USSR – in accordance with Jewish Laws – should be expedited.

 

3.  Jewish immigration to – instead of emigration from – Jerusalem would be facilitated by the availability of jobs and lower-cost housing, which would be created by entrepreneurs, attracted by a drastic enhancement of Jerusalem’s infrastructures (airport, fast railroad, Loop, additional freeway, industrial and residential zones).

 

4.  Enticing the return of expatriates and reducing the number of quality emigrants, by improving education, research and development infrastructures.

 

5.  Expanding high school and academic programs for prospective Olim.

 

6.  Significant development of infrastructures in the Galilee and in the Negev, triggering emigration from the Greater Tel Aviv area, which would yield economic, environmental and demographic benefits.

 

7.  Synchronizing industrial and educational 9:00-5:00 schedule, which would facilitate raising children and obtaining employment.

 

8.  The establishment of a global Jewish foundation, which would support Jewish fertility worldwide, in view of high assimilation, low fertility rates among non-Israeli Jews and Holocaust-driven demographic challenges.

 

In 1949, Ben Gurion considered demography as a top priority, in order to salvage the Jewish State, thus transferring to his successors a foundation for a long-term robust Jewish majority.  In 2009, the new government will enjoy an impressive critical mass of demography, military, economy and technology.  Will it resurrect the Ben Gurion legacy and buttress the future of the Jewish State, by reinforcing Jewish majority?

 

 

Just as the world at large is experiencing an unprecedented collapse of demography, the UN Population Division reports a sharp decline of fertility rates (number of births per woman) in Muslim and Arab countries, excluding Afghanistan and Yemen.

 

The myth of “doubling population every 20 years” has been shattered against the cliffs of demography. The director-general of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, stated, during a UNESCO conference on “Population: From Explosion to Implosion,” that “there is an abrupt slowdown in the rate of growth… also in many countries where women have only limited access to education and employment… There is not the slightest reason to assume that the decline in fertility will miraculously stop just at replacement level (2.1 births per woman)… Before 2000, the young always outnumbered their elders; for some years now it has been the other way around.”

 

THE collapse of fertility rates in Muslim countries is a derivative of modernization and Westernization, rapid urbanization and internal security concerns by dictators fearing the consequences of the widening gap between population growth and economic growth. As a result, the UN Population Division has reduced its 2050 population projections by 25 percent, from 12 billion to 9 billion, possibly shrinking to 7.4 billion.

 

 

 

For instance, the fertility rate in Iran – the flagship of radical Islam – has declined from nine births per woman, 30 years ago, to 1.8 births in 2007. The Muslim religious establishment has also played a key role in decreasing fertility rates in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, from eight and seven births per woman 30 years ago, to less than four and less than 2.5 respectively in 2007.

Jordan, which is demographically close to Judea and Samaria, and Syria have demonstrated a diminished fertility rate: from eight, 30 years ago, to less than 3.5 in2007. A substantial dive of fertility rates in Muslim countries – trending toward two births per woman – is documented by the PopulationResourceCenter in Washington, DC.

 

Demographic precedents suggest only a very slight probability of resurrecting high fertility rates following a sustained period of significant reduction.

 

The Bennett Zimmerman-led American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG) has documented a similar demographic trend among the Arab population of Judea and Samaria (currently four births per woman, and trending downward).

The decline in fertility and population growth rates has resulted from escalating emigration (which has characterized the region since 1950), accelerated urbanization (70% rural in 1967 and 60% urban in 2008), the expansion of education infrastructure, especially among women, the entrenchment of career mentality; the increase of median-marriage-age, an all-time high divorce rate, the contraction of teenage pregnancy and the UNRWA/PA-led family planning campaign.

 

The sharp lowering of fertility rate among “Green Line” (pre-1967 Israel) Arabs, from nine births per woman in 1969 to 3.5 in 2007, has been the outcome of their successful integration into Israel’s education, employment, commerce, health, banking, cultural, political and sports infrastructures. The annual number of Arab births stabilized at approximately 39,000 between 1995-2007. The Arab fertility rate converges swiftly toward the Jewish fertility rate (2.8 births per woman).

 

ON the other hand, Israel‘s Jewish demography has been non-normative as far as the impact of education and income levels on the level of fertility rates is concerned. The annual number of Jewish births (including among those immigrants from the former USSR who have yet to be recognized as Jews by the rabbinate) rose by 40% between 1995-2007.

The number of Jewish births has increased from 69% of total births in 1995 to 74% in 2006 and 75% in 2007. The secular sector – and particularly the immigrants from the former Soviet Union – has been by and large responsible for such an impressive rise. The Jewish demographic tailwind is bolstered by the (highly under-utilized) potential of immigration – which has increased due to the global economic collapse – from the former USSR, the US, West Europe, Latin America, South Africa, etc.

Recent demographic trends bode well for the solid, long-term Jewish majority of 67% within the “Green Line” and in Judea and Samaria, compared with a 33% and 8% Jewish minority in 1947 and 1900 respectively between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.

 

Israel‘s policy-makers and public opinion-molders should base their assessments on thoroughly-documented demographic optimism and not on baseless demographic fatalism, in order to avoid erroneous assumptions, which yield erroneous and self-destructive policy decisions.

 

Prime Minister Barak has claimed that Assad is an honorable man. Barak has given the public a false sense of security in order to facilitate a total withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

Defying a series of water agreements signed with Jordan starting in 1953, Syria has diverted 50 percent of the Jordanian share supplied by the Yarmuk River. Damascus has used its control of the ‘Yarmuk faucet’ to undermine Jordan’s stability and to force change in Jordanian policy toward Iran, Iraq, the Moslem Brotherhood, and Israel.

Formal peace did not prevent a Syrian invasion of Jordan in 1970 and threats of invasion in 1980 and 1989. In fact, Assad has attempted to topple the Hashemite regime – via subversive activities – since 1970. But Assad is an honorable man…

Syria concluded three major security protocols with Turkey in 1987, 1992, and 1993, in addition to several less comprehensive agreements. Assad violated all of them. In the agreements, Syria promised to expel the PKK Kurdish terrorists from its territory and Syrian-controlled Lebanon in return for additional water from the Euphrates.

Syrian support of the PKK has persisted, and more than 20,000 Turks have been killed since the mid-1980s. But, Assad is an honorable man…

In 1978, Syria and Iraq concluded a series of agreements, both military and nonmilitary. But in 1979 they were on the verge of a war ignited by Assad’s alleged involvement in an attempted coup in Baghdad.

Syrian and Iraqi militias have been engaged in a war by proxy on Lebanese soil since the 1975 Syrian invasion of Lebanon. That year Assad cut drastically the water quota of the Euphrates committed to Iraq. But Assad is an honorable man…

ASSAD considers peace agreements a temporary tactical means, advancing permanent strategic goals: Greater Syria and regional domination. He has cooperated with Iran, Sudan, Libya, North Korea, and other terror entities to achieve these goals.

While he has identified, rhetorically, with inter-Arab covenants of unity, Assad has supported the Popular Fronts for the Liberation of Bahrain, Oman, and the Arabian Peninsula. But, Assad is an honorable man…

The subjugation of Lebanon, the ‘Western Province,’ has been exacerbated despite Syria’s signing the three Arab Summit Resolutions (1978, 1982, and 1989) calling for the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon. In October 1990 Assad reinforced his military units in Lebanon, conducting a massive massacre of Christian strongholds there.

International agreements, inter-Arab commitments, and basic codes of human rights were brutally violated. But Assad is an honorable man…

In 1973 Assad launched a surprise attack on Israel, violating the cease-fire agreement of 1967. In 1975 he violated the 1974 Disengagement Agreement with Israel, igniting a wave of anti-Israel terrorism, operating from northern Jordan. In 1977 he abrogated the 1976 Red Line Agreement with Israel (in Lebanon).

Assad’s operational support of anti-Israel Hizbullah terrorism violates the 1974 Disengagement Agreement and the 1993 (Operation Accountability) understanding. But, Assad is an honorable man…

Would it be logical to assume that Assad – a leader of international terrorism, a ruthless abuser of human rights, the ferocious occupier of Lebanon, a chief heroin trafficker and a systematic violator of agreements – is credible? Would it be logical to assume that Assad would accord to the Jewish state that reliability which he has denied his Arab and Moslem neighbors?

Assad sticks by agreements only when they serve his interests or when he feels threatened. In October 1998 he expelled Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the anti-Turkish PKK terrorists, from Syria, in response to Turkish military deployment on his border. In 1970, Syria withdrew from Jordan in the face of a full Israeli military mobilization.

Israeli tanks and artillery on the Golan Heights, less than 60 kilometers from Damascus, have kept Assad constrained on that front. A determined Israeli military response stopped Syrian-supported terror in 1975 and the 1977 violation of the Red Line Agreement in Lebanon. But, Assad is an honorable man…

Continued overlooking of Assad’s violation of commitments would add to a false sense of short-term security. It may facilitate quick conclusion of an agreement with Syria. But it would jeopardize the long-term survival of Israel and the pursuit of a durable peace.

Involving US troops in an Israeli-Syrian peace agreement is not just a suggestion floating somewhere between Jerusalem and Washington.
Congressman Lee Hamilton, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, recently indicated that a US survey is already underway to determine the specific locations of a US peacekeeping force on the Golan. The survey’s underlying assumption is that Israel will evacuate the whole Golan.

Assad’s military potential and his record of brutality and unpredictability, the brief life-span of hundreds of Mideast agreements and the violently abrupt nature of their abrogation make Israel’s risks in evacuating the Golan substantial.
An American force would supposedly constitute an essential reassuring component.
But to bolster a potentially vulnerable accord, a US presence on the Golan must be durable, and politically/militarily sustainable. Moreover, it must be compatible with US interests, lest it be summarily withdrawn.

Is the deployment of US peacekeepers (monitoring or combat, unilateral or multinational) consistent with such requirements?

Unlike US observers in Sinai (22,000 square miles of empty desert) US personnel on the Golan (450 sqm) would be situated about 25 miles from two of the most notorious training/operational centers of international terrorism and narco-terrorism: Damascus and the Syrian-controlled Beka’a Valley (“Medellin East.”).

They would be stationed in a neighborhood the size of a small US congressional district, populated by well-armed Afghan, Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Abu Nidal, Jibril, Habash, Hawatmeh, PLO, PKK, Japanese Red Army, Latin American, West European and Southeast Asian terrorists.

Moreover, these terrorists are proxies of hostile radical regimes (Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, etc.). They would enable their patron regimes to intimidate Washington, constrain its ability to respond to provocations elsewhere (e.g. the Gulf area), and extort political concessions by targeting US servicemen. The states sponsoring the terrorists would, meanwhile, preserve the element of deniability.

A truly effective US combat force is precluded – even theoretically – by the diminished overall size of the US military. One may predict, then, a possible withdrawal of the peacekeepers in face of hostage-taking and casualties.
Such a withdrawal would be perceived as another retreat (following Beirut, Somalia and Haiti), further eroding the US posture of deterrence and shrinking public support for essential overseas military involvement.

WHILE ON the Golan, the US presence would constrain Israel by forcing it to coordinate preemptive and reactive operations with the US, inadvertently shielding terrorists. It would also deny the US the benefits from Israel’s “unauthorized actions” (e.g. the 1981 bombing of Iraq’s nuclear reactor).

Requiring Israel to seek prior approval in countering belligerence would strain US relations with Israel. At the same time, appearing to have enabled Israel to act freely, would damage US- Arab ties.

However, as demonstrated by the precedent of the 1982/83 US episode in Lebanon, and evidenced by Mideast complexities, one can expect the relationship between the US and both sides, essential to the achievement of a genuine peace, to be undermined.
In addition, a US presence at a stormy junction bordering Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and numerous terrorist groups, could draw the US unwillingly into inter-Arab and Arab-Israel disputes. It would certainly deepen the involvement of Russia (which has resumed strategic cooperation with Syria), France (which still views Lebanon as a French auxiliary), and other powers, further exacerbating global and regional tensions.

A Washington power broker recently agreed that the question of a complete withdrawal from the Golan should be decided by Israeli voters. But the fate of US peacekeepers and their implications for US national security should be debated by the American public and the appropriate congressional committees, independent of Israel’s stance on the Golan.

Keeping in mind the American public reaction to the US military involvement in Lebanon and Somalia and recognizing the likely pitfalls of a US force on the Golan, such an undertaking would probably not be politically/militarily sustainable.
A political arrangement predicated upon such a tenuous component would ultimately imperil regional stability, threaten US interests and jeopardize the quest for long-term peace in the Middle East.

Memo: American troops on the Golan? That’s a decision for US public opinion, not Israel.

The recent scolding of United Jewish Appeal officials by top members of the Labor Party is part of what some say is a concerted effort to reduce the organized US Jewish community to its “proper” political size.

It may also reflect an attempt to undermine the credibility of the current leadership and enhance the stock of those who have always been “politically correct.”

These suspicions explain Prime Minister Rabin’s blunt reprimand of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee in August 1992.

The echoes of that widely publicized rebuke – directed at one of the most respected lobbying organizations in Washington – still reverberate in the corridors of the administration, Capitol Hill and the Jewish organizations. It has seriously impaired AIPAC’s ability to advance Israel’s concerns in the US.

After 44 years of starring on the team shaping US-Israel relations, American Jewish politicos have been largely sidelined. They are hardly consulted on critical decisions which impact on ties between Jerusalem and Washington.

They are deterred from initiating new legislation and projects designed to expand cooperation between two countries. Moreover, they’ve been urged to keep a low political profile (in the bilateral context), “lest it upset the direct line of communications between the two administrations.”

Unlike the attitude emanating from Jerusalem, President Bill Clinton has held US Jewish activists in high political esteem, appointing an unprecedentedly large number of Jews to executive positions.

He is aware of their centrality in the domestic political scene, their unique role in his 1992 victory and their potential impact on the future of critical legislation (e.g, crime, health care, deficit reduction, unemployment). He is also aware of their crucial role in his effort to retain a working Democratic majority in both Houses in the 1994 election, and of their importance to his own 1996 reelection bid.

Some 60 percent of early (1992) campaign funds in Democratic congressional races was raised from Jewish sources, as was 50 percent of the financing of Harris Wofford’s 1991 senatorial campaign, which exposed George Bush’s vulnerability and became the turning point in the 1992 presidential election.

THE GULF war shed light on the role of the Jewish community, even in the shaping of US foreign policy.

Thus, it was Jewish lobbying on and off Capitol Hill – in concert with the administration – which played a key role in forging a comfortable bipartisan congressional majority for “Desert Storm.”
Jewish political involvement also contributed to the shaping of public and media support and to the moderation of antiwar protests before and during the war.
A similar effort (though narrower in scope) was launched by the Jewish community when it was drafted by president Ronald Reagan to promote his highly controversial “Star Wars” (SDI) initiative on the Hill.

On the other hand, Jewish hesitancy (resulting from conflicting signals out of Jerusalem! ) during the decisive stages of the 1991/2 campaign for loan guarantees played into the hands of president Bush and weakened the stance of Israel’s friends in Congress.

Internationally, Russia, other CIS Republics, China, East Europe, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and other countries have viewed US Jewish organizations as a preferred political target audience. In fact, they have adopted a US Jewry-driven policy toward Israel.

They assume that improved ties with Israel plays well in Jewish circles in the US, which may be willing to use their political clout in order to eliminate restrictive US policies or to extend foreign aid.

Overlooking the political significance of US Jewry can be at the expense of major Israeli interests. It defies political reality in the US, it ignores the constitutional role of lobbying and the separation of powers, which may reflect badly on Israel’s attitude toward Congress.

Reactivating the “American Jewish political player” has become vital in view of the growing vulnerability of foreign aid.

Another factor that enhances the importance of a strong American Jewish community is the proliferation of conventional and non-conventional weapons in the Middle East, continued inter-Moslem conflicts, unstable regimes and a rising tide of Islamic fanaticism and terrorism.

Finally, a politically well-connected Jewish community is indispensable in the effort to resist pressure to establish a Palestinian state, forsake the settlements, withdraw to the ’67 lines, re-divide Jerusalem and accept the legitimacy of the PLO’s “right of return.”

Any Israeli government should recognize that.

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Demography

2024 artificially inflated Palestinian demography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Iran

US-Israel vs. Iran: acumen

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
April 24, 2024

*Israel is grateful to the US and its Arab allies for their support in the face of Iran’s ballistic offensive against Israel.

*At the same time, Israel’s war against the Ayatollahs – who constitute a clear and present lethal threat to the pro-US Arab regimes, as well as a potent threat to the US’ homeland security – enhances the national security and homeland security of the US and its Arab allies.

*In fact, FBI Director, Chris Wray, highlighted the Iranian threat during his hearings at the House and Senate Committees on Homeland Security. Wray stated that the October 7, 2023 horrific Hamas terrorism is inspiring Iran-supported anti-US Islamic terrorists to attack US targets throughout the globe, including on the US homeland.

*The Middle East considers Israel as the US’ main beachhead and force-multiplier, and as a role-model of countering-terrorism in a region, which is critical to global trade and to the supply of oil and natural gas, as well as a global epicenter of anti-US terrorism and drug trafficking. Anti-US rogue entities assume that hitting Israel injures the US strategic posture in the Middle East and beyond.

*Since the early 1980s, Iran and Hezbollah have operated in Latin America – which they view as the soft underbelly of the US – along with the drug cartels of Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil, Latin American terror organizations and all anti-US Latin American governments. Moreover, they’ve intensified their presence along the US-Mexico border and on US soil, in order to advance the vision of Iran’s Ayatollahs: bringing “The Great American Satan” to submission.

*The Ayatollahs are also determined to topple the pro-US Sunni Arab regimes in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco. 

*Recently, the Ayatollahs have intensified their attempts to topple Jordan’s pro-US Hashemite regime, which would complete the encircling of Saudi Arabia by Iran and its proxies (in Yemen, Iraq and Syria), and radically aggravate lethal threats to Israel. The Ayatollahs activate their terror-proxies in Jordan-bordering Iraq and Syria, as well as the terror potential among the 2 million Syrian refugees in northern Jordan.  In addition, the Ayatollahs have forged ties with the subversive infrastructure of the Jordan-based Moslem Brotherhood, and leverage the fragmentation among Jordan’s Bedouin tribes, and the history of confrontations between the Hashemite regime and its Palestinian majority. 

*The dramatic catapulting of Iran’s Ayatollahs to a dramatic regional and global prominence – since their February ascension to power – has been largely a derivative of the US State Department’s policy.  This policy has adhered to the diplomatic option, opposing the regime-change option, irrespective of the Ayatollahs’ systematic anti-US track record of regional and global terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and proliferation of advanced military technologies. It is based on an alternate reality, whereby a financial and diplomatic bonanza could induce the Ayatollahs to accept peaceful coexistence, become good faith negotiators and abandon their 1,400-year-old vision.

*While the US attempts to deter Iran’s Ayatollahs (“Don’t”), the State Department has waived and softened economic sanctions on Iran, which has rewarded Tehran with well over $100bn, which have been mostly channeled to the Ayatollahs’ anti-US policy.

*Simultaneously, the State Department is pressuring Israel to limit its independent military actions against Iran, to replace the military option toward Hamas with the diplomatic option, and to facilitate the establishment of a Palestinian state. The State Department aims to impose on Israel its own alternate reality, ignoring the volcanic, violently unpredictable Middle East reality; thus, eroding Israel’s posture of deterrence, which would yield a robust tailwind to terrorism and wars, posing a Iranian-Palestinian death sentence to the pro-US Hashemite regime in Jordan, transforming Jordan into a platform of Islamic terrorism, which would constitute a lethal threat to Saudi Arabia and all other pro-US Arab regimes.

*In the face of pressure Israel should prefer long-term national security over short-term convenience.

*For instance, during the several Israel-Hamas wars of the last 17 years, effective US pressure snatched Hamas from the jaws of defeat. It dramatically bolstered Hamas capabilities, facilitating the October 7, 2024 massacre of 1,200 Israeli civilians (equal to 40,000 American civilians). On the other hand, Israel’s repelling of the 1981 US brutal pressure, and bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactor, in defiance of US (realized) threats to withhold the supply of combat aircraft and suspend defense cooperation agreements, freed pro-US Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman from a lethal Iraqi nuclear threat, and spared the US in 1991 a potential nuclear confrontation with Iraq.

*Since 1948, Israel fended off a series of US pressures, which would have corroded Israel’s posture of deterrence, denying the US the largest American aircraft carrier, which does not require a single American on board.

For example:

*Spurning US pressure to refrain from the 1967 preemptive war, which decimated the Egyptian military, when the pro-Soviet Egypt was about to topple the pro-US, oil-producing Arab regimes of the Arabian Peninsula (at a time when the US was heavily dependent on Gulf oil).

*Fending off US pressure to rescind the 1981 application of the Israeli law to – and retreat from – the Golan Heights, which has bolstered Israel’s capabilities to constrain the military maneuverability of Iran and Syria and emerge as an effective line of defense of Jordan’s pro-US Hashemite regime and the Arab Gulf States.

*Rebuffing US pressure to end the 1949 ”occupation” of West Jerusalem, the Western Galilee and major parts of the coastal plain and the Negev, which would have transformed Israel into a strategic burden, fully dependent upon active US military personnel for protection.

*The track record of US pressure demonstrates that succumbing to pressure injures Israel’s national security, while defying pressure safeguards Israel’s national security and advances vital US interests.

*During the 1991 First Gulf War, the US pressured Israel to avoid reacting to Iraq’s Scud missiles. Prime Minister Shamir acceded, because it was, primarily, a US war against Saddam Hussein and for the liberation of Kuwait. In 2024, the US pressures Israel to avoid a significant military preemption against Iran’s Ayatollahs, despite the fact that – unlike 1991 – this is, primarily, Israel’s war against Iran’s Ayatollahs.

The bottom line

*Middle East reality, in particular, and military precedents, in general, behoove Israel to shun military reaction, containment and surgical offensive, and preempt enemies (irrespective of US pressure), which are driven by deeply-rooted fanatic ideologies, that focus on the existencenot the size – of the Jewish State.

*Moreover, the cost of today’s preemption would be dwarfed by the cost of reacting to a significantly-upgraded, and possibly nuclear, Iran.

*A precondition for cooling off the regional and global impact of the volcanic Middle East reality, and for reducing the threat of Islamic terrorism on the US soil, and for ending oppression of women and ethnic and religious minorities in Iran is changing – not negotiating with – the regime in Iran.

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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

Passover Guide for the Perplexed 2024

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
April 18, 2024

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1. Passover (April 22-30, 2024) is a Jewish national liberation holiday, highlighting the Exodus, the Parting of the Sea, the Ten Commandments, the 40-year-wandering in the desert, and the reentry to the Land of Israel 3,600 years ago.

2. The Abolitionist and human rights movements were spurred by the Passover Exodus. For example,  in 1850, Harriet Tubman, who was one of the leaders of the “Underground Railroad” – an Exodus of Afro-American slaves to freedom – was known as “Mama Moses.” Moreover, on December 11, 1964, upon accepting the Nobel Prize, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “The Bible tells the thrilling story of how Moses stood in Pharaoh’s court centuries ago and cried, ‘Let my people go!’” Furthermore, Paul Robeson and Louis Armstrong leveraged the liberty theme of Passover through the lyrics: “When Israel was in Egypt’s land, let my people go! Oppressed so hard they could not stand, let my people go! Go down Moses, way down in Egypt’s land; tell old Pharaoh to let my people go….!” 

3. The US Founding Fathers were inspired by the Exodus, in particular, and the Mosaic legacy, in general, shaping the Federalist system, including the concepts of (anti-monarchy) limited government, separation of powers among three co-equal branches of government, featuring Congress, as the most powerful legislature in the world. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense – “the cement of the 1776 Revolution” – referred to King George III as “the hardened, sullen-tempered Pharaoh of England.” And, the Early Pilgrims considered their 10-week-sail in the Atlantic ocean as “the modern day Parting of the Sea,” and their destination as “the modern day Promised Land” and “the New Israel.”  

4. The US Founding Fathers deemed it appropriate to engrave the essence of the Biblical role model of liberty (the Passover-related Jubilee) on the Liberty Bell: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof (Leviticus, 25:10).”    The Jubilee is commemorated every 50 years, and the Liberty Bell was installed in 1751 upon the 50th anniversary of William Penn’s Charter of Privileges.  

  • Moreover, there are 50 States in the United States, whose Hebrew name is “The States of the Covenant” (Artzot Habreet -ארצות הברית ). Also, the Exodus is mentioned 50 times in the Five Books of Moses; Moses received (on Mount Sinai) the Torah – which includes 50 gates of wisdom – 50 days following the Exodus, as celebrated by the Shavou’ot/Pentecost Holiday, 50 days following Passover.
  • 5. According to Heinrich Heine, the 19th century German poet, “Since the Exodus, freedom has always spoken with a Hebrew accent.”  
  • 6. According to the late Prof. Yehudah Elitzur, one of Israel’s pioneers of Biblical research, the Exodus took place in the second half of the 15th century BCE, during the reign of Egypt’s Amenhotep II. Accordingly, the 40-year-national coalescing of the Jewish people – while wandering in the desert – took place when Egypt was ruled by Thutmose IV. Then, Joshua conquered Canaan when Egypt was ruled by Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV, who were preoccupied with domestic affairs to the extent that they refrained from expansionist ventures. Moreover, as documented by letters which were discovered in Tel el Amarna, the capital city of ancient Egypt, the 14th century BCE Pharaoh, Amenhotep IV, was informed by the rulers of Jerusalem, Samaria and other parts of Canaan, about a military offensive launched by the “Habirus” (Hebrews and other Semitic tribes), which corresponded to the timing of Joshua’s offensive against the same rulers. Amenhotep IV was a determined reformer, who introduced monotheism, possibly influenced by the ground-breaking and game-changing legacy of Moses and the Exodus.  

7. Passover aims at coalescing the fabrics of the Jewish family and the Jewish people, commemorating and strengthening Jewish roots, and enhancing core values such as faith, humility, education, defiance of odds, can-do mentality, optimism, and patriotism, which are prerequisites to a free and vibrant society.

8. Passover highlights the unique resilience, which has surged the Jewish people to new heights (for the benefit of all of humanity) following a multitude of crises such as: the 722 BCE destruction and exile of the Kingdom of Israel by Assyria, the 586 BCE destruction of the First Temple by Babylon, the 70 AD destruction of the Second Temple by Rome, the 135 crushing of the Bar Kochba’ rebellion against Rome, the 484, 1736 and 1865 pogroms of the Jews in Persia, the 627 massacre of the Jewish tribe of Quraysh by Muhammed, the 873 pogroms by Byzantine, the 1096 First Crusade’s pogroms, the 1141 pogroms in Moslem-ruled Andalusia, the 1147 Second Crusade’s pogroms, the 1189  Third Crusade, the 1198 forced Islamization of Jews in Yemen, the 1248 pogroms in Baghdad, the 1290 expulsion of England’s Jews, the 1306 expulsion of France’s Jews, the 1492 expulsion of Spain’s Jews, the 1496 expulsion of Portugal’s Jews, the 1648 pogroms of Ukraine’s Jews, the 1881 pogroms of Russia’s and Ukraine’s Jews, the 1903 pogroms in Russia, the 1919 pogroms in Ukraine, the 1929 Arab terror in Hebron, the 1938 Kristallnacht pogroms in Germany and Austria, the January 20, 1942 Wannsee Nazi Conference which presented “the Final Solution of the Jewish Question.”     

9. Passover highlights the central role of women in Jewish history.  For instance, Yocheved, Moses’ mother, hid Moses and then breastfed him at the palace of Pharaoh, posing as a nursemaid.  Miriam, Moses’ older sister, was her brother’s keeper.  Batyah, the daughter of Pharaoh, saved and adopted Moses (Numbers 2:1-10).  Shifrah and Pou’ah, two Jewish midwives, risked their lives, sparing the lives of Jewish male babies, in violation of Pharaoh’s command (Numbers 1:15-19).  Tziporah, a daughter of Jethro and Moses’ wife, saved the life of Moses and set him back on the Jewish course (Numbers, 4:24-27). They followed in the footsteps of Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel, the Matriarchs (who engineered, in many respects, the roadmap of the Patriarchs), and inspired future leaders such as Deborah (the Prophetess, Judge and military commander), Hannah (Samuel’s mother), Yael (who killed Sisera, the Canaanite General) and Queen Esther, the heroine of Purim and one of the seven Biblical Jewish Prophetesses (Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Huldah and Esther).

  1. 10. Passover is the first of the three Jewish pilgrimages to Jerusalem, followed by Shavou’ot (Pentecost), which commemorates the receipt of the Ten Commandments, and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), which was named after Sukkota – the first stop in the Exodus.
  2. 11. Jerusalem is mentioned three times in the annual story of Passover (Haggadah), which is concluded by the vow: “Next Year in the reconstructed Jerusalem!”
  3. United Jerusalem has been the exclusive capital of the Jewish people since King David established it as his capital, 3,000 years ago.

More: Jewish Holidays Guide for the Perplexed – Amazon, Smashwords

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