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Israeli policy-makers and public opinion molders tend to accept US Administrations as top authorities on the Middle East. They have sometimes chosen to depart sharply from their own ideology/strategy – under US Administration pressure – in spite of systematic and dramatic US policy blunders, which have undermined US interests in the Middle East and have jeopardized Israel’s existence.

 

For instance, in 1948, the US State Department, the Pentagon and the CIA were convinced that establishment of the Jewish State would trigger a war, producing a second Jewish Holocaust in less than a decade, that a Jewish State would be a strategic burden upon the US, that Arab oil producers would boycott the US and that Israel would join the Communist Bloc. In order to dissuade Ben Gurion from declaration of independence, they imposed a military embargo on the region (while Britain supplied arms to the Arabs) and threatened Ben Gurion with economic sanctions.

 

During the 1950s, President Eisenhower courted Egyptian dictator, Nasser, in an attempt to snatch him out of Soviet influence. However, accepting Nasser as the Arab leader and as a key Non-Aligned statesman, offering financial aid to construct the Aswan Dam and leaning on Israel to “end occupation of the Negev,” evacuate the entire Sinai Peninsula and internationalize parts of Jerusalem did not moderate Nasser’s subversion of pro-US Arab regimes, support of Palestinian terrorism, recognition of Communist China and moving closer to Moscow.

 

During the 1970s and 1980s, until the day of the invasion of Kuwait, the US Administration supported Saddam Hussein. It concluded an intelligence-sharing accord with Baghdad, authorized the transfer of sensitive dual use US technologies to Saddam and approved five billion dollars in loan guarantees to “The Butcher from Baghdad.” President Bush – and his National Security Advisor, Brent Scowcroft, who is a role model for National Security Advisor Jim Jones and Defense Secretary Gates and has the ear of President Obama –   assumed that “the enemy of my enemy (Iraq VS Iran) is my friend.”  However, the “enemy of my enemy” proved to be “my enemy.”

 

In 1977, President Carter – who is admired by President Obama – opposed the Begin-Sadat peace initiative. He lobbied for an international conference and focused on the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem. However, the determination of Begin and Sadat forced Carter to join their peace bandwagon, which reached its destination by bypassing the Palestinian and the Jerusalem issues.

 

In 1979, President Carter abandoned the Shah of Iran, the bulwark of US interests in the Persian Gulf.  Carter and his National Security Advisor, Brzezinski – an informal advisor to Obama – facilitated the rise of Khomeini to power, thus triggering a strategic volcano, which is still haunting vital US concerns in the Middle East.

 

During 1993-2000, President Clinton and his advisor, Rahm Emanuel – President Obama’s Chief-of-Staff – embraced the Oslo Process and Arafat as harbingers of peace and democracy. They anointed Arafat to the Most Frequent Visitor to the White House. However, never has a peace process produced as much bloodshed, terrorism, hate-education and non-compliance as has the Oslo Process. Clinton – just like Obama – contended that terrorism should be fought, primarily, through diplomatic and legal means. Hence Clinton’s meek response to a series of assaults by Islamic terrorism from 1993 (First “Twin Towers”) to 2000 (USS Cole), which led to 9/11.

 

President Bush’s “Two State Vision” – which has been adopted by President Obama – constitutes an extension of the severely-flawed White House track record in the Middle East.

 

The nature of the leadership of the proposed Palestinian state can be deduced from the profile of its potential leaders, who have become role models of inter-Arab treachery, subversion and terrorism.  The “Good Cop,” Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) – a graduate of KGB training and of Moscow University and the engineer of hate education – was expelled from Egypt (1955), Syria (1966) and Jordan (1970) for subversion. He played a key role in the PLO violent attempts to topple the government in Beirut and PLO collaboration with Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait.   

 

A Palestinian state would doom the Hashemite regime to oblivion, would constitute a tailwind to pro-Saddam terrorists in Iraq and to Islamic terrorists in Egypt, Lebanon and the Persian Gulf and would provide a foothold in the eastern flank of the Mediterranean to Iran, Russia, China and North Korea. A substantial annual net-emigration/flight, by moderate Palestinians, attests to the Palestinians’ own expectations of the proposed Palestinian state.

 

The proposed Palestinian state on one hand, and Middle East stability and US and Israel national security on the other hand, constitute a classic oxymoron. A Palestinian state would add fuel – and not water – to the fire of terrorism and Middle East turbulence. The promotion of “The Two State Solution” proves that the US and Israeli policy-makers are determined to learn from history by repeating – rather than by avoiding – past dramatic blunders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The public debate on the future of Judea and Samaria is top heavy with sound bites, but very low on serious examination of national security implications. Conventional wisdom suggests that ballistic missiles and advanced military technologies have undermined the importance of ground barriers, such as the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria. Is that true?

 

The US – which has the most sophisticated military power – operates more than 100 overseas military bases and installations, which control significant ground and waterways. Notwithstanding the nuclear and ballistic threats, the US recognizes the fact that all wars have been conventional. Hence, the critical role played by ground forces and ground barriers.

 

The October 2003 issue of the US Army’s The Land Warfare Papers highlights the vital importance of ground forces and ground barriers: “During the Afghan campaign of 2002 [and Iraq’s war of 2003], precision air strikes were critical, but they neither annihilated opposition nor finished the enemy…In the 1999 Kosovo conflict, the air war created the conditions for negotiation, but it was the ground forces that created stability….In 1995, in Serbia, the threat of airpower did not significantly deter Serbia. It took the ground forces to create the conditions for the Dayton Accords. In 1991, months of strike operations did not achieve a decision [in the Gulf War]. The four day ground war led to Iraqi surrender…. [In 1989, in Panama], the surrender of Noriega was the result of soldiers on the ground…. Ground forces can both destroy and occupy… sustain land dominance and achieve a lasting decision… Remote precision strikes will not achieve such capabilities….” Marine Corp General, J.N. Mattis, Commander of the US Joint Forces Command, reiterated the aforementioned conclusions in his August 14, 2008 Memorandum.

 

Missiles destroy, but ground forces occupy and bring enemies to submission. Thousands of missiles would devastate Tel Aviv, but a few hundred Arab tanks in Israel’s coastal plain would doom the Jewish State. Such an observation underlined assessments, made by US Generals, on the indispensability of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria. For instance, Lt. General Tom Kelly, Chief of Operations in the 1991 Gulf War: “I could not defend this land [Israel] without that terrain [Judea and Samaria]… The West Bank Mountains, and especially their five approaches, are the critical terrain. If an enemy secures those passes, Jerusalem and Israel become uncovered. Without the West Bank, Israel is only 8 miles wide at its narrowest point. That makes it indefensible….”

 

On June 29, 1967, General Earl Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, submitted to President Johnson a document on “The Minimum Requirements for Israel’s Defense.” According to Wheeler, the historical, geographic, topographic, political and military reality of the Middle East behooves Israel to control the mountain ridges of Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights. In fact, the dramatic technological upgrading of Arab military forces, since 1967, has made surprise offensive (e.g. 1973) swifter, ballistic missiles significantly more destructive and precise, population centers and IDF bases more vulnerable and the deployment of reservists (75% of Israel’s military force!) much slower and problematic. Hence, the dramatically increasing importance of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria in blocking and delaying a surprise invasion, providing Israel’s reservists with more time for deployment (Without reservists, Israel would be lethally inferior to invading Arab forces).

 

100 US retired Generals and Admirals signed a public advertisement in October 1988, contending that Israel should not withdraw from Judea and Samaria – which could not be demilitarized effectively – lest it fails to provide security to its people. The late Admiral “Bud” Nance defined Judea and Samaria’s eastern mountain ridge (3,000 foot steep slope), dominating the Jordan Valley, as “the most effective tank barrier” and the western mountain ridge (2,000 foot moderate slope), over-towering Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as “a dream platform for invasion to the narrow coastal plain.”

 

How vulnerable is pre-1967 Israel, which is dominated by Judea and Samaria topography, which is surrounded by a most violent, unstable, unpredictable and unreliable neighborhood, which has not experienced intra-Arab comprehensive peace or intra-Arab compliance with most agreements for the last 1,400 years, which has never tolerated wishful-thinking?

 

The width of the 8-16 mile sliver along the Mediterranean equals 1/90 of the width of Texas, the length of DFW Airport, the distance between JFK and La Guardia airports, between Wall Street and Columbia University and between the Pentagon and Mount Vernon, a round trip between RFK Stadium and Kennedy Center and less than the width of Miami, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

 

During the 1995 Bosnia conflict, the US Army declared a 16 mile “Killing Zone,” in order to secure the personal security of its soldiers. Would Israel’s 8-16 mile pre-1967 waistline suffice to secure the national security of the people of the Jewish State?

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Fact: In 1950, the US Administration pressured Israel to refrain from Jewish construction in Jerusalem and from declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel – Prime Minister Ben Gurion built, relocated government agencies and thousands of immigrants to Jerusalem and declared Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish State. In 1967, the US Administration pressured against annexation of East Jerusalem – Prime Minister Eshkol annexed, reunited Jerusalem, and built the formidable Ramat Eshkol neighborhood. In 1970, the US Administration pressured Israel to relinquish control over parts of Jerusalem – Prime Minister Golda Meir constructed the neighborhoods of Gilo, Ramot and Neveh Yaakov (current population over 100,000!). The US Administration pressured, Israel constructed, Jerusalem expanded and the Jewish State earned strategic respect.

 

Fact: In 1948, the US Department of State, Pentagon and CIA pressured Ben Gurion to avoid a declaration of independence. In 1961, President Kennedy pressured to stop the construction of Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona. In 1967, President Johnson pressured against pre-empting the Egypt-Syria-Jordan military offensive. In 1977, President Carter pressured Prime Minister Begin to abstain from direct negotiation with President Sadat and participate – instead – in an international conference, focusing on the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem. In 1981, President Reagan pressured Prime Minister Begin against bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactor. Defiance of pressure entails short-term cost but enhances long-term national security. Submission to pressure exacerbates pressure. Fending off pressure is required, in order to attain strategic goals. Avoiding pressure – through concessions – leads to departure from strategic goals.

 

Fact: US public and Congressional support of Israel is robust. “The Rasmussen Report” documents a 70% support (Aug. 10, 2009) and “Gallup” ranks Israel as the fourth-favored ally (March 3, 2009). 71 Senators signed an August 10, 2009 letter calling upon President Obama to shift pressure from Israel to Arab countries. The Democratic Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, Howard Berman, called upon Obama to end his preoccupation with settlements. The Democratic Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer, resents Obama’s opposition to Jewish construction in East Jerusalem. The strongest (Democratic) Senator, Daniel Inouye, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, is the most effective supporter of the US-Israel connection since 1948. Obama cannot get his legislative agenda without Inouye’s support. While Congress has reservations about Israel’s settlements policy, Congress opposes sanctions against Israel.

 

Fact: Following the 1991 Gulf War, Israel asked for emergency assistance, which Bush/Baker rejected, Congress supported and Israel received $650MN in cash and $700MN in military systems. In 1990, Bush/Baker attempted to cut 5% of the foreign aid to Israel because of Israel’s settlement activities. Congress opposed the cut and the initiative was rescinded. The Legislature and the Executive are equal-in-power and fully independent of each other. The US Congress has been a systematic bastion of support of the Jewish State since before 1948.

 

Fact: President Obama has been transformed from a coattail President to an anchor-chained President, taking a dive from a 65% approval rating in January to less than 50% in September, the sharpest decline in recent decades, other than President Ford’s (due to his pardon of Nixon). Thus, Democratic House candidates/members are experiencing the lowest ebb in two years, while Republicans enjoy a systematic edge. Obama is confronted by an effective Blue Dog Democratic opposition.

 

Fact: President Obama exercises psychological pressure against Israel. He cannot exert an effective tangible pressure. He was not elected to uproot Jewish settlements and prevent Jewish construction in Jerusalem. His political future – and that of Democratic legislators – does not depend on these issues. The Arab-Israeli conflict is not among Obama’s top priorities, and his position on Israel is not compatible with most Democrats. Obama needs the support of Israel’s friends on Capitol Hill, in order to advance his primary domestic and national security/international agendas.

Israeli policy-makers and public opinion molders tend to accept US Administrations as top authorities on the Middle East. They have sometimes chosen to depart sharply from their own ideology/strategy – under US Administration pressure – in spite of systematic and dramatic US policy blunders, which have undermined US interests in the Middle East and have jeopardized Israel’s existence.

 

For instance, in 1948, the US State Department, the Pentagon and the CIA were convinced that establishment of the Jewish State would trigger a war, producing a second Jewish Holocaust in less than a decade, that a Jewish State would be a strategic burden upon the US, that Arab oil producers would boycott the US and that Israel would join the Communist Bloc. In order to dissuade Ben Gurion from declaration of independence, they imposed a military embargo on the region (while Britain supplied arms to the Arabs) and threatened Ben Gurion with economic sanctions.

 

During the 1950s, President Eisenhower courted Egyptian dictator, Nasser, in an attempt to snatch him out of Soviet influence. However, accepting Nasser as the Arab leader and as a key Non-Aligned statesman, offering financial aid to construct the Aswan Dam and leaning on Israel to “end occupation of the Negev,” evacuate the entire Sinai Peninsula and internationalize parts of Jerusalem did not moderate Nasser’s subversion of pro-US Arab regimes, support of Palestinian terrorism, recognition of Communist China and moving closer to Moscow.

 

During the 1970s and 1980s, until the day of the invasion of Kuwait, the US Administration supported Saddam Hussein. It concluded an intelligence-sharing accord with Baghdad, authorized the transfer of sensitive dual use US technologies to Saddam and approved five billion dollars in loan guarantees to “The Butcher from Baghdad.” President Bush – and his National Security Advisor, Brent Scowcroft, who is a role model for National Security Advisor Jim Jones and Defense Secretary Gates and has the ear of President Obama –   assumed that “the enemy of my enemy (Iraq VS Iran) is my friend.”  However, the “enemy of my enemy” proved to be “my enemy.”

 

In 1977, President Carter – who is admired by President Obama – opposed the Begin-Sadat peace initiative. He lobbied for an international conference and focused on the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem. However, the determination of Begin and Sadat forced Carter to join their peace bandwagon, which reached its destination by bypassing the Palestinian and the Jerusalem issues.

 

In 1979, President Carter abandoned the Shah of Iran, the bulwark of US interests in the Persian Gulf.  Carter and his National Security Advisor, Brzezinski – an informal advisor to Obama – facilitated the rise of Khomeini to power, thus triggering a strategic volcano, which is still haunting vital US concerns in the Middle East.

 

During 1993-2000, President Clinton and his advisor, Rahm Emanuel – President Obama’s Chief-of-Staff – embraced the Oslo Process and Arafat as harbingers of peace and democracy. They anointed Arafat to the Most Frequent Visitor to the White House. However, never has a peace process produced as much bloodshed, terrorism, hate-education and non-compliance as has the Oslo Process. Clinton – just like Obama – contended that terrorism should be fought, primarily, through diplomatic and legal means. Hence Clinton’s meek response to a series of assaults by Islamic terrorism from 1993 (First “Twin Towers”) to 2000 (USS Cole), which led to 9/11.

 

President Bush’s “Two State Vision” – which has been adopted by President Obama – constitutes an extension of the severely-flawed White House track record in the Middle East.

 

The nature of the leadership of the proposed Palestinian state can be deduced from the profile of its potential leaders, who have become role models of inter-Arab treachery, subversion and terrorism.  The “Good Cop,” Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) – a graduate of KGB training and of Moscow University and the engineer of hate education – was expelled from Egypt (1955), Syria (1966) and Jordan (1970) for subversion. He played a key role in the PLO violent attempts to topple the government in Beirut and PLO collaboration with Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait.   

 

A Palestinian state would doom the Hashemite regime to oblivion, would constitute a tailwind to pro-Saddam terrorists in Iraq and to Islamic terrorists in Egypt, Lebanon and the Persian Gulf and would provide a foothold in the eastern flank of the Mediterranean to Iran, Russia, China and North Korea. A substantial annual net-emigration/flight, by moderate Palestinians, attests to the Palestinians’ own expectations of the proposed Palestinian state.

 

The proposed Palestinian state on one hand, and Middle East stability and US and Israel national security on the other hand, constitute a classic oxymoron. A Palestinian state would add fuel – and not water – to the fire of terrorism and Middle East turbulence. The promotion of “The Two State Solution” proves that the US and Israeli policy-makers are determined to learn from history by repeating – rather than by avoiding – past dramatic blunders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The public debate on the future of Judea and Samaria is top heavy with sound bites, but very low on serious examination of national security implications. Conventional wisdom suggests that ballistic missiles and advanced military technologies have undermined the importance of ground barriers, such as the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria. Is that true?

 

The US – which has the most sophisticated military power – operates more than 100 overseas military bases and installations, which control significant ground and waterways. Notwithstanding the nuclear and ballistic threats, the US recognizes the fact that all wars have been conventional. Hence, the critical role played by ground forces and ground barriers.

 

The October 2003 issue of the US Army’s The Land Warfare Papers highlights the vital importance of ground forces and ground barriers: “During the Afghan campaign of 2002 [and Iraq’s war of 2003], precision air strikes were critical, but they neither annihilated opposition nor finished the enemy…In the 1999 Kosovo conflict, the air war created the conditions for negotiation, but it was the ground forces that created stability….In 1995, in Serbia, the threat of airpower did not significantly deter Serbia. It took the ground forces to create the conditions for the Dayton Accords. In 1991, months of strike operations did not achieve a decision [in the Gulf War]. The four day ground war led to Iraqi surrender…. [In 1989, in Panama], the surrender of Noriega was the result of soldiers on the ground…. Ground forces can both destroy and occupy… sustain land dominance and achieve a lasting decision… Remote precision strikes will not achieve such capabilities….” Marine Corp General, J.N. Mattis, Commander of the US Joint Forces Command, reiterated the aforementioned conclusions in his August 14, 2008 Memorandum.

 

Missiles destroy, but ground forces occupy and bring enemies to submission. Thousands of missiles would devastate Tel Aviv, but a few hundred Arab tanks in Israel’s coastal plain would doom the Jewish State. Such an observation underlined assessments, made by US Generals, on the indispensability of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria. For instance, Lt. General Tom Kelly, Chief of Operations in the 1991 Gulf War: “I could not defend this land [Israel] without that terrain [Judea and Samaria]… The West Bank Mountains, and especially their five approaches, are the critical terrain. If an enemy secures those passes, Jerusalem and Israel become uncovered. Without the West Bank, Israel is only 8 miles wide at its narrowest point. That makes it indefensible….”

 

On June 29, 1967, General Earl Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, submitted to President Johnson a document on “The Minimum Requirements for Israel’s Defense.” According to Wheeler, the historical, geographic, topographic, political and military reality of the Middle East behooves Israel to control the mountain ridges of Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights. In fact, the dramatic technological upgrading of Arab military forces, since 1967, has made surprise offensive (e.g. 1973) swifter, ballistic missiles significantly more destructive and precise, population centers and IDF bases more vulnerable and the deployment of reservists (75% of Israel’s military force!) much slower and problematic. Hence, the dramatically increasing importance of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria in blocking and delaying a surprise invasion, providing Israel’s reservists with more time for deployment (Without reservists, Israel would be lethally inferior to invading Arab forces).

 

100 US retired Generals and Admirals signed a public advertisement in October 1988, contending that Israel should not withdraw from Judea and Samaria – which could not be demilitarized effectively – lest it fails to provide security to its people. The late Admiral “Bud” Nance defined Judea and Samaria’s eastern mountain ridge (3,000 foot steep slope), dominating the Jordan Valley, as “the most effective tank barrier” and the western mountain ridge (2,000 foot moderate slope), over-towering Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as “a dream platform for invasion to the narrow coastal plain.”

 

How vulnerable is pre-1967 Israel, which is dominated by Judea and Samaria topography, which is surrounded by a most violent, unstable, unpredictable and unreliable neighborhood, which has not experienced intra-Arab comprehensive peace or intra-Arab compliance with most agreements for the last 1,400 years, which has never tolerated wishful-thinking?

 

The width of the 8-16 mile sliver along the Mediterranean equals 1/90 of the width of Texas, the length of DFW Airport, the distance between JFK and La Guardia airports, between Wall Street and Columbia University and between the Pentagon and Mount Vernon, a round trip between RFK Stadium and Kennedy Center and less than the width of Miami, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

 

During the 1995 Bosnia conflict, the US Army declared a 16 mile “Killing Zone,” in order to secure the personal security of its soldiers. Would Israel’s 8-16 mile pre-1967 waistline suffice to secure the national security of the people of the Jewish State?

Demographic scare campaigns have always been conducted against Zionist leaders. Demographobia – the illogical fear of Arab demography – has become a central element shaping Israel’s national security policy, even though it is groundless. Thus, all projections claiming that Jews are doomed to become a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean have been crashed at the rocks of reality.  From a minority of 8% and 33% in 1900 and 1947 respectively, Jews have become a solid majority of 67% (without Gaza), benefiting from a demographic tailwind, which could expand the Jewish majority.

 

In March 1898, the world renowned Jewish historian and demographer, Shimon Dubnov, submitted to Theodore Herzl a projection, which was aimed to defeat the idea of reconstructing the Jewish Commonwealth in the Land of Israel.  According to Dubnov, “The establishment of a substantial Jewish community in the Land of Israel is a messianic dream…. In 2000, there will be only 500,000 Jews in Palestine.”  But, in 2000 there were five million Jews west of the Jordan River!

 

During the 1940s, Professor Roberto Bacchi, the founder of the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, flooded David Ben Gurion with projections that Jews would become a minority by 1966.  He contended that in 2001 there would be – under the most optimistic scenario – only 2.3 million Jews, constituting a 34% minority between the River and the Mediterranean.  But, in 2001 there were five million Jews – a 60% majority!

 

In 1967, Prime Minister Levy Eshkol was advised by Israel’s demographic establishment to roll back to the 1949 lines, lest there be an Arab majority by 1987.  But, in 1987 Jews maintained a 60% majority, in spite of an unprecedented rise in the Arab population growth rate, triggered by a remarkable decline in infant mortality, an impressive increase in life expectancy and a substantial reduction in emigration, enabled by the access to the Jewish infrastructures of health and employment.

 

Prof. Bacchi did not believe that a massive Jewish Aliya (immigration) would take place in the aftermath of the 1948/9 War.  One million Jews arrived following the war.  During the early 1970s, he projected no substantial Aliya from Eastern Europe and from the USSR, because Western Jews could but would not migrate; while Eastern Jews wanted to – but could not – migrate. Almost 300,000 Jews arrived!  During the 1980s, Bacchi’s followers in Israel’s academia dismissed the possibility for a wave of Aliya from the USSR, even if gates might be opened.  One million Jews relocated from the Soviet Union to the Jewish Homeland!

 

In defiance of fatalistic projections and irrespective of the absence of demographic policy, in 2009 there is a robust 67% Jewish majority west of the Jordan River, excluding Gaza.  According to the UN Population Division, the average Muslim fertility rate – in the world, including Judea, Samaria and Gaza – has taken a dive to 2-4 births per woman, as a result of modernization, urbanization and family planning.  Arab emigration from Judea and Samaria has escalated, while Jewish fertility has grown steadily.  The number of annual Jewish births has increased by 45% from 1995 (80,400) to 2008 (117,000), while the number of annual Arab births during the same period – in pre 1967 Israel – has stabilized at 39,000. 

 

An 80% Jewish majority in Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel is attainable in light of the current demographic trend, bolstered with the implementation of a long overdue demographic policy.  Such a policy would highlight Aliya, returning of expatriates, migration from the Greater Tel Aviv area to the periphery (by upgrading Galilee and Negev infrastructures), equalization of working and studying hours, etc.

 

The upward trending Jewish demography has critical national security implications. It defies demographic fatalism and its policy derivatives. Well-documented Demographic optimism should be accorded due consideration by Israel’s leadership and by Israel’s friends.

 

 

 

 

 Simultaneously with the collapse of the global economy – and away from media attention – there has been an unprecedented collapse of Muslim demography in the world at-large and between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean in particular.  Such a demographic development directly impacts critical policy considerations, which determine the future of the Jewish State.  Overlooking that development, and its implications, undermines the national security of the Jewish State.

 

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/Westernization, rapid urbanization and internal security concern 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% 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 9 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 8 and 7 births per woman 30 years ago, to less than 4 and less than 2.5 in 2007 respectively. Jordan – which is demographically close to Judea and Samaria – and Syria have demonstrated a diminished fertility rates from 8, 30 years ago, to less than 3.5 in 2007.  A substantial dive of fertility rates in Muslim countries – trending toward 2 births per woman – is documented by the Population Resource Center in Washington, DC.  And, according to demographic precedents, there is 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 4 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 teen-age-pregnancy and the UNRWA/PA-led family planning campaign.

 

The sharp lowering of fertility rate among “Green Line” (pre-1967 Israel) Arabs, from 9 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. The annual number of Jewish births (including the Olim/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 Olim 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 Aliya/immigration – which has increased due to the global economic collapse – from the former USSR, USA, West Europe, Latin America, South Africa, etc.

 

Recent demographic trends bode well for the solid, long-term Jewish majority of 67% in 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. 

Israel‘s Center and Right have been afflicted with faintheartedness, perpetrated by Israel’s “Prophets of Demographic Doom.” They accepted – without any examination – that Jews were supposedly doomed to become a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.  Therefore, they concluded that irrespective of critical historical and security considerations, Israel should giveaway Jewish geography (Judea & Samaria), in order to security Jewish demography.  But, what if the pathological fear of Palestinian demography is grossly mistaken and misled?!

 

Israel’s “Prophets of Demographic Doom” have accepted, as a Gospel, the numbers and projections published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), although such data have been refuted annually by the documentation of births, deaths, immigration and eligible voters by the Palestinian Ministries of Health and Education, the Palestinian Election Commission, Israel’s Border Police and Jordan’s Bureau of Statistics. The “Prophets of Doom” did not scrutinize the data base of the PCBS numbers for Judea & Samaria and Gaza (the 1997 census).  They did not know that the PCBS numbers for 1998-2006 constitute significantly-flawed projections and not tangible numbers.  They overlooked the inclusion, by the PCBS, of some 400,000 overseas residents, in contrast with global demographic standards, which include only de-facto residents. They ignored the double-count of about 250,000 Jerusalem Arabs and additional 105,000 Israeli ID card carrying Palestinians, who are counted as “Green Line Arabs” as well as “West Bank Arabs”. They were unaware that PCBS numbers included a projection of a 300,000 person net-immigration since 1998, while in fact a 100,000 person net-emigration has occurred, with an average annual net-emigration of over 10,000 since 1950.  They embraced the PCBS numbers – blindly – in spite of the fact that the PCBS assumed a population growth rate twice as high as Afghanistan, Somalia, Eritrea and Niger, which lead the globe in that category. The “Prophets of Demographic Doom” never mentioned such gross errors in their writings or lectures.  If they were aware of such errors by the PCBS, but chose not to report it, then it would be doubly concerning.

 

However, Israel’s Center and Right did not bother to question the “Demographic Doomsday Prophecies.”  They were trapped by refuted PCBS numbers, plagued by Demographobia (illogical fear of demography) and therefore subscribed to the illusory equation: A retreat from Jewish geography (Judea & Samaria) is a prerequisite for securing Jewish demography.

 

The PCBS number of Judea & Samaria Arabs has been inflated by 70% (1.5MN and not 2.5MN), and the total for J & S and Gaza is beefed-up by over 50% (2.6MN and not 4MN). But, Israel’s Center and Right are smothered by demographic fatalism.

 

One of the symptoms for the westernization of Israel’s Arabs has been the decline of their fertility rate.  Thus, the Arab-Jewish fertility gap has declined from 6 children per woman in the 1960s to 0.9 in 2006.  For the first time, the Jerusalem Arab-Jewish fertility rates have converged at 3.9 children per woman in 2006.  While the number of annual “Green Line” Arab births has stagnated during 1995-2006 (around 39,000), the number of annual Jewish births has increased by 36% from 80,400 (1995) to 109,000 (2006).  But, Israel’s Center and Right are addicted to the “Geography-for-Demography” delusion. 

 

In contrast to the “Prophets of Doom”, the Jewish majority west of the Jordan River is long-term and robust – 67% without Gaza and 60% with Gaza since the 1960s, compared with a 33% minority in 1947 and an 8% minority in 1900.  Since 1882 – the launching of annual Aliya (Jewish immigration) to Israel – the Jewish population west of the River has grown 164 times, while the Arab population has grown 6 times.  Since 1949, the Jewish population has expanded 9 folds, while the Arab population has expanded 3 folds.  But, Israel’s Center and Right prefer hysterical demography over historical demography. 

 

The grossly erroneous path of the “Prophets of Doom” – based on inaccurate PCBS data – is exacerbated upon applying the 2000-2025 projections made by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS).  These projections have been refuted annually and substantially by the ICBS’ own documentation. For instance, the decline of “Green Line” Arab fertility rate (3.6 children per woman in 2006) is 20 year faster than ICBS projections, while the Jewish fertility rate (2.75 per woman in 2006) has been higher – annually – than the best case ICBS scenario.  Since its inception, the ICBS has under-projected Jewish fertility rate, over-projected Arab fertility rate, under-rated the weight of Arab emigration and heavily under-stated the scope of potential Aliya (e.g. discounted the possibility of a substantial Aliya from the USSR in the 1970s and in the 1990s).

 

Israel‘s “Prophets of Demographic Doom” are wrong: There is a demographic problem, but there is NO demographic machete over Israel’s neck, and the demographic momentum/trend has been Jewish!  Would Israel’s Center and Right, and Israel’s allies abroad, recognize the facts, or would they perpetuate their subservience to dramatically mistaken and misleading information, which would yield equally erroneous policy decision?!

 

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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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