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The May 20, 2011 meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama highlighted the unbridgeable gap between the two.

Netanyahu cannot bridge the gap between himself and Obama, as long as the President assumes that the ethnic, religious, tribal and ideological violent power struggles on the Arab Street constitute “a story of self-determination” and “the vanguard of democracy.”

Netanyahu cannot bridge the gap between himself and Obama as long as the President’s world view is heavily influenced/shaped by his senior advisors: Valery Jarrett, who is the favorite of Muslim organizations in the US, Ambassador Susan Rice, who considers Israel part of the exploiting Western World and the Palestinians part of the exploited Third Word and Samantha Power, who is one of Israel’s harshest critics in the US. In addition, Obama considers Prof. Rashid Khalidi, who was a key PLO spokesman in the US, a luminary on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Netanyahu cannot bridge the gap between himself and Obama, as long as the President’s underlying assumption is that the Palestinian issue is the root cause of Middle East turbulence, the core cause of anti-US Islamic terrorism and the crown jewel of Arab policy-making. Obama ignores the fact that recent intra-Arab turmoil – as was the case with the intra-Arab turmoil of the last 1,400 years – has been totally independent of the Palestinian issue, of the Arab-Israeli conflict, of Israel’s policies or of Israel’s existence. In fact, the recent turmoil has clarified the secondary/marginal role played by the Palestinian issue in shaping Middle East developments in general, and Arab priorities in particular.

Netanyahu cannot bridge the gap between himself and Obama, as long as the President assumes that Israel can be secure – in the most violent and volatile region of the world – within the 1967 borders. Such borders would rob the Jewish State of its Cradle of History and would reduce its waistline to 9-15 miles (over-towered by the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria): the distance between JFK and LaGuardia airports, between the Kennedy Center and RFK Stadium, between Columbia University and Wall Street and the length of DFW airport. How can the gap be bridged when Obama does not realize the correlation between Middle East instability, uncertainty, volatility and violence on one hand, and security requirements on the other hand?! Recent seismic developments in Arab countries have intensified Israel’s security requirements, dramatically enhancing the strategic value of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria.

How can the gap be bridged when Obama considers the 1967 Lines, and not hate-education in Abu Mazen’s schools, media and mosques, the crux of the conflict?

Was Netanyahu’s criticizm of Obama’s focus on the 1967 Lines an over-reaction?

Presidents Reagan and Bush attempted to impose territorial concessions on Prime Minister Shamir. Shamir defied the pressure, expanded Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, was severely criticized, but engineered unprecedented bilateral strategic cooperation. President Nixon presented Prime Minister Golda Meir with the “Rogers Plan,” calling for a total withdrawal. Golda reacted by constructing four new Jerusalem neighborhoods, beyond the Green Line (150,000 residents). President Johnson pressured Prime Minister Eshkol against building in East Jerusalem and reuniting Jerusalem. Eshkol built beyond the Green Line and reunited the Capital of the Jewish People. The US pressured Prime Minister Ben Gurion not to declare independence, to end “occupation” in the Negev, to absorb Palestinian refugees and accept the internationalization of the whole of Jerusalem. Ben Gurion defied all demands.

The current disagreements between Netanyahu and Obama center on the Palestinian issue, which is not a major component of US-Israel relations; instead, that relationship is based on shared values, joint interests and mutual threats, which have been intensified by the intra-Arab upheaval. This upheaval underlines Israel as the only stable, credible, reliable, capable, democratic and unconditional ally of the US.

Obama’s attitude toward the Jewish State represents a minority within the Democratic Party, among all Americans and in Congress – the most authentic representative of the American people – which has supported the idea of a Jewish State since the 18th century. Congress possesses the power to initiate policies and to suspend, amend or turn around presidential policies.

Netanyahu should focus on enhanced US-Israel strategic cooperation, in the face of turbulent Middle East reality, the mounting threats to US interests, the absence of any reliable/capable Arab ally, the intensified Iranian threat, the increased Russian and Chinese profile in the Middle East and the concerns about a post-US-withdrawal eruption of an Iraqi volcano. He should propose to Congress and to the President specific bilateral projects, which expand US and Israel employment and export, while upgrading US and Israeli national security, as well as the development of energy alternatives, water technologies and homeland security.

Such projects would bolster the unique nature of US-Israel relations: A two way mutually-beneficial street.

On November 2, 2010, the US electorate decided that President Obama was detached from domestic reality, and therefore dealt the Democratic Party a devastating defeat in federal and state legislatures, as well as in gubernatorial elections. In his May 19, 2011 speech on the Middle East, the President proved himself detached from Middle East reality as well.

President Obama is determined to introduce democracy to Arab countries, in spite of their 1,400 year old systemic track record of tyranny, terror, political violence, uncertainty, volatility and treachery. He prefers the virtual reality of the “Arab Spring,” rather than contend with the Middle Eastern reality of the “Stormy Arab Winter.” Hence, he views the seismic events rocking the region as “a story of self-determination” and is convinced that “repression will not work anymore.”

Obama’s virtual reality leads him to compare the violent Arab Street to “the defiance of those patriots in Boston who refused to pay taxes to a King, or the dignity of Rosa Parks as she sat courageously in her seat.” Are the two million Egyptians who assembled at Cairo’s Tahrir Square, cheering Sheikh Kardawi, a top Moslem Brotherhood leader, following in the footsteps of Patrick Henry and Martin Luther King???

President Obama offers to relieve “a democratic Egypt” of up to $1BN in debt and to channel billions of dollars to Egypt and Tunisia, “the vanguard of this democratic wave…, (which) can set a strong example through free and fair elections, a vibrant civil society, accountable and effective democratic institutions and responsible regional leadership.” He expects the flow of aid to generate trade, entrepreneurship and a free market economy. However, he downplays the absence of an appropriate infrastructure of values and education in the Arab Middle East, which is a prerequisite for democracy and a free market economy.

Obama has chosen to ignore in his speech clear and present threats to US economic and national security interests – such as Iran’s nuclearization and Islamic terrorism – while the “Arab Roller Coaster” runs uncontrollable and Russia and China deepen their penetration of the Middle East. Furthermore, the US is about to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, which could be leveraged by rogue regimes, exacerbating regional violence, instability and uncertainty.

In February, 2010, President Obama appointed a new ambassador to Damascus – following four years of diplomatic absence – “because Assad could play a constructive role in the Middle East.” So much for Middle East realism….

Persian Gulf leaders are traumatized by the Iranian threat, by domestic upheaval and by a potential Iraqi “earthquake” in the aftermath of the US departure, irrespective of the Palestinian issue. Other Arab leaders are shaky in the face of lethal domestic turbulence, which are totally unrelated to the Palestinian issue, to the Arab-Israeli conflict or to Israel’s existence. But, Obama is convinced that “the conflict between Israelis and Arabs has cast a shadow over the region.” Like a deer caught in a headlights-look, the American president is glued to the Palestinian “screen saver.” He is convinced that the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian issue are a root cause of Middle East turbulence, the crown jewel of Arab policy-making and a core cause of anti-US Islamic terrorism. Therefore, he disregards the sweeping popularity of Bin-Laden and Saddam Hussein on the Palestinian Street, the presence of Palestinian terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, the track record of Abu Mazen in intra-Arab subversion and terrorism and the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-US hate-education and incitement in Abu Mazen-controlled education, the media and the clergy. He also disregards the unprecedented Palestinian terrorism triggered by the Oslo Accord, by the Israeli initiative to establish the Palestinian Authority and by Israel’s withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip and from 40% of Judea and Samaria.

Obama pressures the Jewish State to partition Jerusalem and to retreat to the 9-15 miles wide pre-1967 lines, in defiance of precedents which document that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has never been over the size – but over the existence – of the Jewish State. Thus, Obama radicalizes Palestinian expectations and demands, distances them from – and replacing them at – the negotiation table and signals to the Palestinians that terrorism is rewarded. Therefore, he forfeits the role of an honest broker.

President Obama’s position is at odds with the majority of the American people and most Democrats. It is out of step with most Senators and Representatives, who are empowered to initiate, bloc, suspend, amend and turn around policy. Therefore, Obama’s plan will not be implemented unless the Jewish State wastes its substantial base of American support, submitting itself to the pressure of a relatively-weak president, who is rapidly losing the “Bin Laden bonus,” and increasingly requires congressional cooperation in order to be reelected. In fact, it was the pressure by congressional Democrats, which forced Obama – against his worldview – to declare in his speech that “symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the UN in September won’t create an independent state.” In other words, the United States will not tolerate a Palestinian Tsunami in the UN in September.

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President Obama pressures Israel to adopt his initiative, which is based on the 1949 cease fire lines, including the repartitioning of Jerusalem and land swaps. He implies that Israeli rejection of his initiative would undermine US-Israel relations, while advancing Palestinian maneuvers at the UN.

However, Obama lacks the domestic backing to effectively pressure Israel, which has recently gained in bi-partisan support on Capitol Hill and among constituents, while Obama lost the “Bin Laden Bounce” and is struggling with a less-than-50% approval rating.

Obama’s power constraints are derivatives of the Federalist system, which is based on limited government with a complete separation of powers and checks and balances between Congress and the White House, Congressional “Power of the Purse” and the centrality of the constituent in a political system of bi-annual elections. Therefore, legislators are more loyal to – and fearful of – their constituents than to their party or to the president. Moreover, the loyalty to constituents constitutes a prerequisite for re-election.

Obama’s constraints in pressuring the Jewish State emanate from the unique attitude of Americans – as early as the 1620 landing of the Mayflower, as well as the Founding Fathers – to the idea of reconstructing the Jewish Commonwealth in the Land of Israel. The solid and sustained support enjoyed by Israel in the USA derives its vitality from the American people and from their representatives on Capitol Hill and in the legislatures of the 50 states more than from the president. While the president plays a major role in shaping US-Israel relations, constituents and legislators laid the foundations for this relationship and they continuously codetermine its direction, tone and substance. They can also initiate, suspend, terminate and amend policies, direct presidents and overhaul presidential policies.

The results of the November 2010 Congressional elections revealed that Obama’s policies had lost the support of most constituents.

According to a May 26, 2011 poll by CNN – which is usually critical of Israel – most Americans do not share Obama’s attitude towards Israel. 82% consider Israel an ally and a friend, compared with 72% in 2001. 67% support Israel, while only 16% support the Palestinians, compared with 60%:17% in 2009. In fact, the Palestinians (16%) are as unpopular as are Iran (15%) and North Korea (17%).

These CNN findings exceed the February, 2011 Gallup poll (68% considered Israel an ally), the April 2011 Rasmussen Report (most Americans opposed foreign aid to Arab countries but supported foreign aid to Israel) and the April 2010 Quinnipiac Polling Institute (66% expected Obama to improve treatment of Israel).

But, the “Poll of Polls” is conducted daily in Congress – a coequal branch of government – where hard-core support of the Jewish State has been bi-partisan, robust and steady. Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid and Minority Whip Congressman Steny Hoyer publicly criticized (fellow-Democrat) President Obama’s focus on the 1967 ceasefire lines. Other key Democrats – whose cooperation is critical to Obama’s reelection campaign – have clarified that they expect him to veto any anti-Israel UN resolution. Just like their constituents – most Democrats value Israel as a unique ally, whose alliance with the US is based on shared values, mutual threats and joint interests.

Will Prime Minister Netanyahu leverage this unique American support, defying pressure and solidifying Israel’s posture of deterrence in the face of an unpredictably violent Middle East, where concessions breed radicalism, terrorism and war? Or, will he succumb to the psychological warfare launched by the White House?

The May 20, 2011 meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama highlighted the unbridgeable gap between the two.

Netanyahu cannot bridge the gap between himself and Obama, as long as the President assumes that the ethnic, religious, tribal and ideological violent power struggles on the Arab Street constitute “a story of self-determination” and “the vanguard of democracy.”

Netanyahu cannot bridge the gap between himself and Obama as long as the President’s world view is heavily influenced/shaped by his senior advisors: Valery Jarrett, who is the favorite of Muslim organizations in the US, Ambassador Susan Rice, who considers Israel part of the exploiting Western World and the Palestinians part of the exploited Third Word and Samantha Power, who is one of Israel’s harshest critics in the US. In addition, Obama considers Prof. Rashid Khalidi, who was a key PLO spokesman in the US, a luminary on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Netanyahu cannot bridge the gap between himself and Obama, as long as the President’s underlying assumption is that the Palestinian issue is the root cause of Middle East turbulence, the core cause of anti-US Islamic terrorism and the crown jewel of Arab policy-making. Obama ignores the fact that recent intra-Arab turmoil – as was the case with the intra-Arab turmoil of the last 1,400 years – has been totally independent of the Palestinian issue, of the Arab-Israeli conflict, of Israel’s policies or of Israel’s existence. In fact, the recent turmoil has clarified the secondary/marginal role played by the Palestinian issue in shaping Middle East developments in general, and Arab priorities in particular.

Netanyahu cannot bridge the gap between himself and Obama, as long as the President assumes that Israel can be secure – in the most violent and volatile region of the world – within the 1967 borders. Such borders would rob the Jewish State of its Cradle of History and would reduce its waistline to 9-15 miles (over-towered by the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria): the distance between JFK and LaGuardia airports, between the Kennedy Center and RFK Stadium, between Columbia University and Wall Street and the length of DFW airport. How can the gap be bridged when Obama does not realize the correlation between Middle East instability, uncertainty, volatility and violence on one hand, and security requirements on the other hand?! Recent seismic developments in Arab countries have intensified Israel’s security requirements, dramatically enhancing the strategic value of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria.

How can the gap be bridged when Obama considers the 1967 Lines, and not hate-education in Abu Mazen’s schools, media and mosques, the crux of the conflict?

Was Netanyahu’s criticizm of Obama’s focus on the 1967 Lines an over-reaction?

Presidents Reagan and Bush attempted to impose territorial concessions on Prime Minister Shamir. Shamir defied the pressure, expanded Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, was severely criticized, but engineered unprecedented bilateral strategic cooperation. President Nixon presented Prime Minister Golda Meir with the “Rogers Plan,” calling for a total withdrawal. Golda reacted by constructing four new Jerusalem neighborhoods, beyond the Green Line (150,000 residents). President Johnson pressured Prime Minister Eshkol against building in East Jerusalem and reuniting Jerusalem. Eshkol built beyond the Green Line and reunited the Capital of the Jewish People. The US pressured Prime Minister Ben Gurion not to declare independence, to end “occupation” in the Negev, to absorb Palestinian refugees and accept the internationalization of the whole of Jerusalem. Ben Gurion defied all demands.

The current disagreements between Netanyahu and Obama center on the Palestinian issue, which is not a major component of US-Israel relations; instead, that relationship is based on shared values, joint interests and mutual threats, which have been intensified by the intra-Arab upheaval. This upheaval underlines Israel as the only stable, credible, reliable, capable, democratic and unconditional ally of the US.

Obama’s attitude toward the Jewish State represents a minority within the Democratic Party, among all Americans and in Congress – the most authentic representative of the American people – which has supported the idea of a Jewish State since the 18th century. Congress possesses the power to initiate policies and to suspend, amend or turn around presidential policies.

Netanyahu should focus on enhanced US-Israel strategic cooperation, in the face of turbulent Middle East reality, the mounting threats to US interests, the absence of any reliable/capable Arab ally, the intensified Iranian threat, the increased Russian and Chinese profile in the Middle East and the concerns about a post-US-withdrawal eruption of an Iraqi volcano. He should propose to Congress and to the President specific bilateral projects, which expand US and Israel employment and export, while upgrading US and Israeli national security, as well as the development of energy alternatives, water technologies and homeland security.

Such projects would bolster the unique nature of US-Israel relations: A two way mutually-beneficial street.

On November 2, 2010, the US electorate decided that President Obama was detached from domestic reality, and therefore dealt the Democratic Party a devastating defeat in federal and state legislatures, as well as in gubernatorial elections. In his May 19, 2011 speech on the Middle East, the President proved himself detached from Middle East reality as well.

President Obama is determined to introduce democracy to Arab countries, in spite of their 1,400 year old systemic track record of tyranny, terror, political violence, uncertainty, volatility and treachery. He prefers the virtual reality of the “Arab Spring,” rather than contend with the Middle Eastern reality of the “Stormy Arab Winter.” Hence, he views the seismic events rocking the region as “a story of self-determination” and is convinced that “repression will not work anymore.”

Obama’s virtual reality leads him to compare the violent Arab Street to “the defiance of those patriots in Boston who refused to pay taxes to a King, or the dignity of Rosa Parks as she sat courageously in her seat.” Are the two million Egyptians who assembled at Cairo’s Tahrir Square, cheering Sheikh Kardawi, a top Moslem Brotherhood leader, following in the footsteps of Patrick Henry and Martin Luther King???

President Obama offers to relieve “a democratic Egypt” of up to $1BN in debt and to channel billions of dollars to Egypt and Tunisia, “the vanguard of this democratic wave…, (which) can set a strong example through free and fair elections, a vibrant civil society, accountable and effective democratic institutions and responsible regional leadership.” He expects the flow of aid to generate trade, entrepreneurship and a free market economy. However, he downplays the absence of an appropriate infrastructure of values and education in the Arab Middle East, which is a prerequisite for democracy and a free market economy.

Obama has chosen to ignore in his speech clear and present threats to US economic and national security interests – such as Iran’s nuclearization and Islamic terrorism – while the “Arab Roller Coaster” runs uncontrollable and Russia and China deepen their penetration of the Middle East. Furthermore, the US is about to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, which could be leveraged by rogue regimes, exacerbating regional violence, instability and uncertainty.

In February, 2010, President Obama appointed a new ambassador to Damascus – following four years of diplomatic absence – “because Assad could play a constructive role in the Middle East.” So much for Middle East realism….

Persian Gulf leaders are traumatized by the Iranian threat, by domestic upheaval and by a potential Iraqi “earthquake” in the aftermath of the US departure, irrespective of the Palestinian issue. Other Arab leaders are shaky in the face of lethal domestic turbulence, which are totally unrelated to the Palestinian issue, to the Arab-Israeli conflict or to Israel’s existence. But, Obama is convinced that “the conflict between Israelis and Arabs has cast a shadow over the region.” Like a deer caught in a headlights-look, the American president is glued to the Palestinian “screen saver.” He is convinced that the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian issue are a root cause of Middle East turbulence, the crown jewel of Arab policy-making and a core cause of anti-US Islamic terrorism. Therefore, he disregards the sweeping popularity of Bin-Laden and Saddam Hussein on the Palestinian Street, the presence of Palestinian terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, the track record of Abu Mazen in intra-Arab subversion and terrorism and the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-US hate-education and incitement in Abu Mazen-controlled education, the media and the clergy. He also disregards the unprecedented Palestinian terrorism triggered by the Oslo Accord, by the Israeli initiative to establish the Palestinian Authority and by Israel’s withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip and from 40% of Judea and Samaria.

Obama pressures the Jewish State to partition Jerusalem and to retreat to the 9-15 miles wide pre-1967 lines, in defiance of precedents which document that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has never been over the size – but over the existence – of the Jewish State. Thus, Obama radicalizes Palestinian expectations and demands, distances them from – and replacing them at – the negotiation table and signals to the Palestinians that terrorism is rewarded. Therefore, he forfeits the role of an honest broker.

President Obama’s position is at odds with the majority of the American people and most Democrats. It is out of step with most Senators and Representatives, who are empowered to initiate, bloc, suspend, amend and turn around policy. Therefore, Obama’s plan will not be implemented unless the Jewish State wastes its substantial base of American support, submitting itself to the pressure of a relatively-weak president, who is rapidly losing the “Bin Laden bonus,” and increasingly requires congressional cooperation in order to be reelected. In fact, it was the pressure by congressional Democrats, which forced Obama – against his worldview – to declare in his speech that “symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the UN in September won’t create an independent state.” In other words, the United States will not tolerate a Palestinian Tsunami in the UN in September.

President Obama intends to leverage the elimination of Bin Laden and intensify pressure on Israel. However, the capability of an American President to exert pressure in the international arena is a derivative of his domestic clout, especially when it comes to pressuring the Jewish State. Most Americans consider the Jewish State not only an international issue, but also a domestic issue, related to the Judeo-Christian foundations of the USA, enjoying an inherent bi-partisan high-level public and congressional support.

On May 20, 2011, Prime Minister Netanyahu will meet with President Obama, whose frail popularity constitutes a burden upon Democratic incumbents and candidates as we approach the November 2012 election. The President struggles to gain public support for his legislative agenda and for his reelection campaign, in spite of the overwhelming support of his authorization to eliminate Bin Laden (80%).

On May 20, Netanyahu will meet a president who seeks enhanced cooperation with Congress, lest he become a lame-duck president failing to be reelected in 2012. However, most legislators oppose pressure on the Jewish State, whose solid support is a rare bipartisan common denominator during an era of heated polarization on Capitol Hill. Obama will try to pressure Netanyahu, but will not sacrifice his key goal – a second term – on the altar of the Palestinian issue. Obama is familiar with Tip O’Neill’s assertion that “All politics is local.” He has learned from his predecessors that external success usually does not rid presidents of domestic woes.

For instance, Bush 41st surged from 39% to 85% popularity following the 1991 Gulf War. Bush also benefitted from the dismantling of the USSR and the fall of the Berlin Wall – significantly more dramatic developments than the elimination of Bin Laden. Therefore, major Democratic candidates were deterred from challenging Bush in November 1992, which paved the road for the relatively unknown Governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton. In contrast to Bush, who was preoccupied with foreign and national security issues, Clinton adhered to the advice of James Carville and Paul Begala: “It’s the economy, stupid!” As constituents turned their attention back to economic and health problems, Bush’s Gulf War “bonus” gradually dissipated. On election day President Bush reverted to his real political popularity – 38% – and Clinton won.

Presidents Wilson and FDR were heroes of WW1and WW2 – dramatically more notable events than the slaying of Bin Laden – but they lost Democratic majorities in both congressional chambers in the 1918 and 1946 elections. Bush 43rd gained a 35% popularity bonus following 9/11 and the 2003 apprehension of Saddam Hussein, but he barely won in 2004 (51%:48%). His role in the economic meltdown triggered GOP election devastation in November 2008.

The killing of Bin Laden has accorded President Obama an extremely slim, soft and short-term bonus. The counter-terrorism global milestone is unrelated to the long-term issues haunting Obama at home: unemployment, the price of gasoline, the deficit, the national debt, taxation, the mortgage and pension funds crises, declining housing values, the threat of inflation and recession, potential insolvency of states and municipalities, health reform, etc.

Ridding humanity of Bin Laden deserves much praise, but its impact on Obama’s domestic clout is minimal, and it does not provide the President with a public or congressional mandate to pressure the Jewish State. Will Prime Minister Netanyahu leverage public and Capitol Hill support and fend off pressure attempts by President Obama, who has been transformed from a coattail-president to an anchor-chained president? Will Netanyahu leverage the seismic developments in Arab lands – which have exposed the marginal role played by the Palestinian issue in shaping the Middle East agenda – and focus on the need to enhance strategic cooperation between the USA and the Jewish State, in order to face the mounting threats in the Middle East?

Secretaries of State, Schultz and Baker did not agree with Prime Minister Shamir’s worldview, but they respected his principle-driven tenacity. Upon concluding a meeting with then Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, George Mitchell and Bob Dole, the latter told Shamir: “Irrespective of our disagreement with your policy, we respect you, because you’re tough.” 

The international arena does not respect Israeli prime ministers who seek popularity rather than respect, transforming Red Lines to Pink Lines, in order to avoid confrontation. The world does not appreciate prime ministers who subordinate long-term vision and conviction to short-term diplomatic and political convenience.

In contrast to the legacy of Prime Ministers Ben Gurion, Eshkol, Golda Meir, Begin and Shamir, Israel’s current public diplomacy reflects frail conviction, while expressing empathy for claims made by Israel’s enemies. It tolerates simplistic Western assumptions about the Arab-Israeli conflict and downplays Israel’s contribution to the national security of the USA. Israel has hardly leveraged the current Arab turmoil that underscores the tenuous/violent nature of Israel’s enemies and the inherent obstacles to intra-Arab peace (let alone to Israel-Arab peace). Israel has failed to emphasize the uniquely high threshold of security requirements of the Jewish State in the most dangerous neighborhood in the world and the special role played by Israel as an outpost of Western democracies and a sole beacon of democracy.  

In contrast with the Arabs who highlight their “rights,” Israel highlights security-requirements, while minimizing well-documented and unique ancient roots. While Israeli leaders pride themselves on their “pragmatism” and willingness to distance themselves from historical roots, they, in fact, undermine Israel’s global legitimacy. The Jewish State ignores the lesson of King Solomon’s Trial: He who agrees “to split the difference” forfeits his rights to everything.

Since 1993, the Jewish State has downplayed its moral high ground, embracing moral-equivalence.  Therefore, it has legitimized the Palestinian Authority as a supposed partner for peace negotiations, despite Abu Mazen’s track record: establishing Palestinian hate-education, Holocaust denial, coordinating PLO relations with ruthless Communist regimes, co-planning of the Munich Massacre, perpetrating subversion in Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon and collaborating with Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait.  Moreover, Israel has adopted the “Land-for-Peace” state of mind, in spite of the fact that the conflict has always been over the existence – and not the size – of the Jewish State.  Since 1993, land conceded to the Palestinian Authority has been transformed into a platform of hate education and terrorism, fueling the conflict.

The current seismic events in the Arab World beg for an Israeli public diplomacy offensive.  Such events should remove the “Middle East Screen Saver,” exposing the region as the role model of instability, ethnic-religious-tribal-geographic fragmentation, terrorism, violence as a norm of settling political disputes, hate culture, one-man one-revolution regimes, tenuous regimes-accords-alliances, treachery, volatility, unpredictability and uncertainty.  The deeper the uncertainty and the violence, the higher the Israeli security requirements, the more critical become the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights of Jerusalem and of the 15 miles wide pre-1967 Israel. Israel stands out as the only stable, reliable, capable, democratic and unconditional ally of the USA.

The intra-Arab upheaval also removes the “Palestinian Screen Saver,” revealing the Middle East order of priorities.  Hence, the Palestinian issue is not the root cause of regional turbulence, not the crown-jewel of Arab policy-making, not the core cause of anti-Western Islamic terrorism and not the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  Regardless, Israel persists in subordinating its vision, policy, security requirements and public diplomacy to simplistic misperceptions, which are resoundingly refuted on the Arab Street in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Syria, etc.

But, like a deer caught in a headlights-look, Israel is glued to the “Palestinian Screen Saver.”  On the other hand, Arab leaders shower Palestinians with rhetoric but not with resources. They do not shed blood on behalf of the Palestinian issue. Furthermore, they consider the Palestinians a subversive element, based on PLO violence in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait.  What do Arabs know about the PLO that Israel refuses to share with the world?!

Israel has refrained from presenting the threat posed – to vital American and Western interests – by the proposed Palestinian state: death sentence to the pro-US Hashemite regime; a tailwind to anti-US terrorism in Iraq and throughout the region; enhanced access by Russia, China, North Korea, and possibly Iran, to the eastern flank of the Mediterranean; rewarding a regime which drives Christians out of Bethlehem; an additional anti-US vote at the UN, and an added fuel to the Middle East inferno.

The late General Alexander Haig, who was the Supreme Commander of NATO and US Secretary of State defined Israel as “the largest American aircraft carrier, which does not require a single US soldier, cannot be sunk, most cost-effective and battle-tested, deployed in a critical area for vital US economic and national security interests, sparing the US $20BN annually, which would be required to deploy real aircraft carriers.”

Will Israel’s public diplomacy leverage the aforementioned significant data, shifting to a determined, lucid, defiant, politically-incorrect and principle-driven tactic, or will it persist in its hesitant, ambiguous, popularity-driven and apologetic tactic, which intensifies pressure and threats, undermines security, distances itself from peace and brings war closer?

The 19th century violence on the European Street signaled the arrival of the Spring of Nations: national cohesion, liberty and rebellion against tyranny.

In contrast, the 2011 Middle East upheaval exposes the Arab Street: No “spring” and no “nations,” but the exacerbation of tribal-ethnic-religious-geographic loyalties, splits and power struggles, the intensification of domestic and intra-Arab fragmentation, the escalation of intolerance, violence and hate-culture, the absence of stability, the deepening of uncertainty, exposing the tenuous nature of Arab regimes, the ruthless submission of democracy-seeking elements and the perpetuation of ruthless tyrannies.

The 19th century Spring of Nations was energized by waves of enthusiastic optimism. On the other hand, the 2011 delusion of the Spring of Nations is exposed by the impotence, despair and frustration of pro-democracy Arab activists, who are forced to emigrate rather than be persecuted.

The expectation for a near-term Arab Spring of Nations is detached from Middle East reality, could produce another victory of wishful-thinking over experience, already leads to a delusion-based policy and risks a lethal boomerang caused by delusional yearning.

In February, 2010, President Obama appointed a new ambassador to Damascus – following four years of diplomatic absence – “because Assad could play a constructive role in the Middle East.”  In July 2000, Western policy-makers and public opinion molders cheered the prospect of Spring in Damascus upon the succession of Hafiz Assad by his son, Bashar Assad. They were not alarmed by Bashar’s 97% victory in two elections. They assumed that as an eye doctor, who interned in London, who is fluent in English and French, who was the chairman of the Syria Internet Association, and married to a London-educated wife who advocates women rights, he must be a moderate. They sacrificed documented facts – about the Assad family, the ruling Alawite minority, the Damascus vision and the centrality of the strategic cooperation between Syria and Iran – on the altar of the yearning of peace with Syria. The current turmoil in Syria exposes Western oversimplification and the authentic merciless nature of this Syrian despot.

In February 2011, President Obama and Secretary Clinton hastily proclaimed the ushering of democracy into Arab lands and the reincarnation of the spirit of MLK and Ghandi in the streets of Tunisia and Egypt. However, their expectations are thwarted by the thousands of moderate Tunisians who are escaping to the Italian Mediterranean island of Lampedusa and by the horrific campaign of killings, murder, torture, hate and corruption, which has accompanied recent volcanic eruptions in Arab countries.

In 1993, upon signing the Oslo Accord, the New Middle East visionaries announced Spring in Ramallah, the supremacy of standard-of-living over ideological and military considerations, the age of no-wars and the irrelevance of borders and military forces. But, the conduct of the Palestinian Authority (epitomized by hate-education), the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the intensification of Islamic terrorism, the Iranian threat, the proliferation of advanced missiles, the murder of Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri, the wars in Lebanon and Gaza and the current Middle East upheaval, crashed the superficial New Middle East and Spring in Ramallah visions. However, in order to sustain the “peace process,” Israeli and Western “elites” have ignored the unprecedented Arafat and Abu Mazen-initiated hate-education and terrorism.

In January 2005, they were further encouraged by Abu Mazen’s rise to the chairmanship of the Palestinian Authority. They would not be diverted from the pursuit of their visions by Abu Mazen’s track record: Introducing hate-education into Palestinian schools, mosques and media, subversion against Arab regimes, holocaust denial, enrollment in KGB and Muslim Brotherhood schooling, the embracing of ruthless Soviet Bloc Communist regimes, centrality in the 1972 Munich Massacre and the recent accord with Hamas.

The 1989 dismantling of the USSR and the fall of the Berlin Wall triggered a Spring of Nations hope and a New World Order concept, which was swiftly transformed into a New World Disorder. While the Spring of Nations introduced democracy into Eastern Europe, it could not advance the cause of liberty in Arab lands. 1,400 years of Muslim-Arab tyranny, guided by an imperialistic, intolerant and violent religion, which embraces terrorism and tolerates “female circumcision” (genital mutilation), constitutes too high a hurdle for the Spring of Nations. The British Empire attempted to democratize Arab countries – but failed, due to the lack of essential infrastructure of democratic values and education in Arab lands.

The turmoil in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman and Syria (and you ain’t seen nothing yet…), coupled with the expected US evacuation from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iranian threat and the inherent non-reliability of international or Western guarantees and forces do not usher in Spring; they do usher in lethal geo-political twisters and floods, which require the retaining – and not the giveaway – of critical Israeli security assets.

The current seismic developments in Arab countries have removed the Middle East “screen saver,” exposing the real Middle East: top heavy on violence, fragmentation, volatility, hate-education and treachery, and low on predictability, certainty, credibility and democracy. The collapse of Arab regimes reflects the collapse of superficial assumptions, which have underlined Western policy-making and public opinion molding. The upheaval in Arab societies highlights the dramatic gap between Israel’s democracy and its Arab neighbors.

In fact, recent events in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, Libya, Syria (and you ain’t seen nothing yet…) have enhanced the craving in the Arab Street for the liberties and benefits of Israel’s democracy.

For example, Israeli ID cards have been sought by senior PLO and Hamas officials and their relatives, such as the three sisters of Ismail Haniyeh, the top leader of Hamas. They married Israeli Arabs and migrated from Gaza to Tel Sheva in Israel’s Negev. Two are already widows, but prefer to remain in the Jewish State, and the son of the third sister serves in the Israeli Defense Forces. Akrameh Sabri, the top Muslim religious leader in eastern Jerusalem, who delivers anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist sermons retains his Israeli ID card as do Hanan Ashrawi of the PLO, Muhammad Abu-Tir of Hamas, Jibril Rajoub’s wife, etc.

150,000 non-Israeli Arabs, mostly from Judea and Samaria, married Israeli Arabs and received Israeli ID cards between 1993-2003. In addition, scores of thousands of illegal Arab aliens prefer Israeli – over Palestinian – residence.

A significant wave of net-emigration – 30,000 Arabs from Judea, Samaria and Gaza annually – since 1950, was substantially reduced in 1968, as a result of access gained to Israel’s infrastructures of employment, medicine and education, and of Israeli construction of such infrastructures in these regions. The level of annual Arab emigration subsided during the peak years of Aliya (Jewish immigration to Israel), since Arabs were heavily employed in constructing the absorption infrastructure.

Israeli Arabs vehemently oppose any settlement – such as an exchange of land between Israel and the Palestinian Authority – which would transform them into Palestinian subjects, denying them Israeli citizenship.

A sizeable number of Jerusalem Arabs prefer to remain under Israel’s sovereignty, according to a January 12, 2011 public opinion poll conducted by “The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion” headed by Nabil Kukali of Beit Sakhur. The poll was commissioned and supervised by the Princeton-based “Pechter Middle East Polls” (www.pechterpolls.com) and the NY-based Council on Foreign Relations.

 

Since 1967, Jerusalem Arabs – within Israel’s municipal lines – have been permanent Israeli residents and Israeli ID card holders. Therefore, they freely work and travel throughout Israel and benefit from Israel’s healthcare programs, retirement plans, social security, unemployment, disability and child allowances, and they can vote in Jerusalem’s municipal election.

 

According to the January 2011 poll, which was conducted by Palestinians in Arab neighborhoods far from any Jewish presence, 40% of Jerusalem Arabs would relocate to an area inside Israel if their current neighborhood were to be transferred to the Palestinian Authority. Only 27% would relocate to the Palestinian Authority if their neighborhood were to become an internationally recognized part of Israel. 39% assume that most people in their neighborhood prefer Israeli citizenship, and only 31% assume that most people in their neighborhood prefer Palestinian citizenship. 35% prefer to be Israeli citizens and only 30% prefer Palestinian citizenship.

 

One can assume that is the pollsters would have added the cultural “fear factor” – of Palestinian terrorist retribution – the number of Jerusalem Arabs preferring Israeli citizenship would have been higher.

 

What do the Arabs of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza know about Abu Mazen’s Palestinian Authority that Western policy-makers and public opinion molders do not know?! When will Western policy-makers and public opinion molders remove the Abu Mazen “screen saver” and confront the real Abu Mazen?!

The March 11, 2011 heinous stabbing to death of a Jewish family – while asleep on the eve of the Sabbath – including a three month old baby, a three year old toddler, an eleven year old child and their parents was carried out by graduates of Abu Mazen’s (Mahmoud Abbas’) hate-education This slaughter was not an anomalous phenomenon.  

The slaughter was a derivative of the infrastructure of hate-education and incitement via school text books, Abu Mazen-controlled media and Abu Mazen-controlled mosques.  It was installed in 1994 by Abu Mazen, then Arafat’s deputy, and perpetuated, since 2005, by Abu Mazen, the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority.  It is an extension of Palestinian incitement and terrorism, introduced by Haj Amin al-Husseini in the 1920s, and 1,400 years of Arab/Muslim hate-mongering and terrorism toward each other, but mostly against “the infidel.”  

While speaking softly, Abu Mazen carries a horrendous stick of hate-education, which is largely funded by US foreign aid (over $2BN since 2007).  Since 1994, he has brainwashed Palestinian youth, producing manufacturing lines of hundreds of thousands of potential terrorists/suicide bombers.

One’s education is the most authentic reflection of one’s values, ideology, vision, goals and character.

According to Prof. Efraim Karsh, Head of the Middle East and Mediterranean Studies program at King’s College in London (Palestine Betrayed, Yale University Press, 2010, pp. 255-6), “For all their drastically different personalities and political styles, Arafat and [Mahmoud] Abbas are warp and woof of the same fabric: dogmatic PLO veterans who have never eschewed their commitment to Israel’s destruction and who have viewed the ‘peace process’ as the continuation by other means of their lifelong war…He [Mahmoud Abbas] described the proclamation of  Israel as an unprecedented historic injustice and vowed his unwavering refusal to ever accept this injustice…[There is] no fundamental difference between the ultimate goals of Hamas and the PLO vis-…-vis Israel: neither accepts the Jewish state’s right to exist and both are committed to its eventual destruction….”

On August 13, 2009, Abu Mazen – who enrolled in KGB courses and coordinated PLO ties with the Communist Bloc – ratified the resolutions of Fatah’s 6th General Conference, which state (article 19):”The struggle shall not end until the Zionist entity is eliminated and Palestine is liberated.”

Holocaust denial is promoted by Abu Mazen’s school text books, such as Modern World History for tenth graders (p.83). Prof. Karsh notes that Abu Mazen’s doctoral dissertation, submitted at the Moscow University, and published in 1984 in Amman, “endeavored to prove…the existence of a close ideological and political association between Zionism and Nazism…[that] fewer than a million Jews had been killed in the Holocaust, and that the Zionist movement played a role in their slaughter.”  Hence, Mein Kampf and the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion are best sellers in the Palestinian Authority.

Abu Mazen’s school textbooks reaffirm the founding document of the PLO, the Palestinian Covenant. It was compiled in June, 1964, aiming at the pre-1967 Israel. Two thirds of the Covenant is dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish State, as a prerequisite for the attainment of Palestinian goals. 

Abu Mazen and Salam Fayyad pay condolence visits – and authorize the transfer of monthly allowances – to families of suicide bombers.  In February, 2011, they named a soccer tournament in honor of Wafa Idris, a suicide bomber.  On January 16, 2010, they named a major square in El Bireh (in addition to two schools and a summer camp) in honor of Dalal Mughrabi, who commanded the March 11, 1978 massacre of 38 bus passengers on Israel’s coastal road. 

The school text books of Abu Mazen – who supervised the 1972 Munich Massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and the March 1973 murder of two US ambassadors in Sudan – idolize suicide-bombing, fuel anti-Semitism and repudiate Israel’s right to exist.  For example, fifth grade Our Beautiful Language (pp. 26, 31, 32, 36, 70), tenth grade Grammar (pp. 30, 146) and Islamic Education (pp. 42-4, 48, 50) and tenth grade Modern World History (p.64).

On October 12, 2010, Abu Mazen’s official TV channel heralded the terrorists who murdered six Israeli civilians in 1975 (Kfar Yuval) and 1980 (Misgav Am).  On January 29, 2010, Abu Mazen’s official TV channel broadcast the weekly sermon, referring to Jews as “the enemies of Allah and humanity, modern day Nazis, who must be annihilated.”

Hate-education is the root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which has always been over the existence – and not over the size – of the Jewish State.  Hate education on one hand, and peace negotiation on the other hand, constitute an oxymoron.

Japan and Germany were transformed from hateful – to peaceful – countries by uprooting regimes of hate-education; not merely by condemning hate-education. To ignore the centrality of hate-education, is to reward and fuel terrorism at the expense of peace and Western democratic values.

If you wish to write to the people of Itamar to express your condolences: itamar@shechem.org

 At the end of 1989, Israel’s top Foreign Office bureaucrats argued that Israel was, ostensibly, losing ground in the USA, due to the end of the Cold War, a supposed New World Order and Prime Minister Shamir’s dismissal of “land-for-peace.”  Therefore, they proposed that, in order to secure relations with the US, Israel should cede land to the Palestinians.

 

However, their assumptions were resoundingly refuted.  Israel’s strategic posture was upgraded as a derivative of the New World Disorder and a series of mutual threats, such as Islamic terrorism, Iran, ballistic missiles, rogue Arab regimes – exacerbated Middle East volatility, violence and uncertainty. US-Israel strategic cooperation expanded significantly, in spite of deep disagreements over the Palestinian issue and in defiance of President Bush and Secretary of State Baker.

 

In 2011, despite the 1989 lessons and the 2011 seismic upheaval in Arab countries, Jerusalem again considers ceding land to the Palestinians, in order to sustain strategic cooperation with the USA, under the false assumptions that US –Israel relations evolve around the Palestinian issue, that Israel-in-retreat is respected by Americans, and that Israel’s strategic standing in the US is undergoing erosion. 

 

Thus, Gallup’s annual (February 2011) poll on American attitudes toward foreign countries highlights Israel as a favorite American ally.  Israel (68%) ranks among the seven most popular countries, which include Canada, Britain, Germany, Japan, India and France, ahead of South Korea and dramatically ahead of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt (37%, 50% and 40% respectively).  The Palestinian Authority (19%)  is at the bottom of the list, along with Iran and North Korea.

 

Currently, Israel benefits from a public opinion tailwind, merely one percent behind its 1991 all time record popularity.  Israel’s image as a credible, reliable, capable, stable, democratic, non-conditional ally of the USA is bolstered against the backdrop of the current turmoil in Arab lands, which clarify that the Palestinian issue is not the core cause of the Middle East turbulence, is not the crown jewel of Arab policy-making and is not favored by the American People and Congress.

 

Anyone claiming that Israel is losing ground in the USA, and that in order to rebound Israel must introduce more concessions to the Arabs, is either dramatically mistaken, outrageously misleading or seeking an alibi for vacillation in face of pressure by a relatively-weak American president.

 

A positive image of the Jewish State, and a negative image of Arab countries, has dominated the state of mind of the American constituency, which is the key axis of the US political system, holding an effective stick over the head of American legislators and presidents. 

 

According to the February 25, 2011 Rasmussen Report, one of the top three US pollsters, most constituents would stop foreign aid to Arab countries, but support foreign aid to the Jewish State.  61% do not expect the current Middle East upheaval to advance democracy or peace in Arab countries.

 

The most realistic expression of Israel’s robust standing in the US is reflected by the most authentic representatives of the American People: the Legislature. Congress is equal in power to the Executive, representing the attitudes of the American constituent on domestic, external and national security issues.  Hence, 75% of the 435 House Representatives and 80% of the 100 Senators – Republicans and Democrats alike – tend to support the Jewish State through legislation and resolutions, sometimes in defiance of the White House.

 

The gap between the world view of President Obama and most constituents was exposed in November 2010, when Democrats suffered – due to Obama’s plummeting popularity – the most devastating political defeat since World War 2.  That gap also reflects the attitude toward Israel, which constitutes a rare bi-partisan common denominator, earning a higher level of support (68%) than Obama (47%).

 

The American constituent does not consider the Jewish State a conventional foreign policy issue, but also a domestic issue, closely identified with the moral Judeo-Christian foundations of the USA.  Moreover, unlike Obama, most constituents regard President Reagan as a role model of values and view the Jewish State as the “Ronald Reagan of the Middle East,” representing their basic values: respect toward religion and tradition, patriotism, security-oriented, anti-UN, anti-terrorism and suspicion toward Arab and Muslim regimes.

 

The solid foundation of shared US-Israel values, the recent volcanic eruptions in the Middle East and Israel’s strategic capabilities and reliability, have transformed the US into a sustained bastion of support of the Jewish State, notwithstanding problematic attitudes by some presidents, criticism by the “elite” media and hostility toward Israel on some US campuses.

 

This is not the time for vacillation and painful concessions; this is the time to enhance US-Israel strategic relations and demonstrate pain-killing steadfastness. 

 

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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

FBI Director Chris Wray defies the State Department on Iran

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

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

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

“We have seen the threat from foreign terrorists rise to a whole another level after the October 7 [Hamas terrorism]….Increasingly concerning is the potential for a coordinated attack here in the [US] homeland, akin to the ISIS attack we saw at the Russia Concert Hall in March, 2024 [137 murdered, 180 wounded]…. Nations such as the PRC, Russia and Iran are becoming more aggressive and more capable than ever before.  These nations seek to undermine our core democratic, economic and scientific institutions….

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

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

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

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

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

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

FBI Director Wray vs. Secretary of State Blinken

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

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

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

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

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

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Judea & Samaria

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

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

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

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

For instance:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jerusalem

United Jerusalem – a shared US-Israel legacy and interest

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

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

United Jerusalem and the US law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Jerusalem and the legacy of the Founding Fathers

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

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

The Jerusalem reality and US interests

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

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

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

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

Jerusalem and Israel’s defiance of US pressure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jewish Holidays

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

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

More on Jewish holidays: Smashwords, Amazon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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