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: email@example.com
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.
The seismic developments in Egypt and throughout the Arab Middle East highlight Israel’s unique contribution to vital US interests.
The significance of Israel’s strategic added-value is underlined by uncertain and shifty Arab ideologies, policies, alliances and allegiances, by the increasing vulnerability of pro-US Arab regimes, the intensifying unruly nature of Arab societies, the exacerbation of Islamic terrorism, the Iranian nuclear threat, the deepening penetration of the Arab Middle East by Russia and China, the recent erosion of the US posture of deterrence and the expected US evacuation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Israel’s reliability, capability, credibility, stability, democracy and non-conditional alliance with the USA are anomalous in the Middle East.
Egypt – a beneficiary of billions of dollars and state of the art US military systems – enhances strategic ties with North Korea, Russia and China, agitates the Horn of Africa and Sudan, consistently votes against the US at the UN and institutionalizes hate-education. A post-Mubarak regime could overtly join an anti-US axis.
Iran‘s Shah had access to the most advanced US military systems. However, the Shah was toppled; from a staunch US ally, Iran was transformed into the most effective anti-US regime in the world.
Libya‘s King Idris granted the US, in 1954, the use of Wheelus Air Base, which became the largest US Air Force base outside the USA. In 1969, Colonel Qaddafi overthrew King Idris and Wheelus serviced the Soviet Air Force.
Turkey shifted, in 2002, from a corner stone of the US and NATO posture of deterrence to a major pro-Russia supporter of the anti-US Iran-Syria axis.
Jordan –a recipient of US foreign aid – was one of only two Arab regimes which supported Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Jordan’s port of Aqaba became Saddam’s most critical route of supplies during the preparations for the 1991 US-Iraq War.
Iraq was pro-Western until the1958 anti-Western coup. However, Saddam Hussein – who ruled Iraq since 1979 – gained the confidence of the US. Therefore, he benefitted from a shared-intelligence agreement, the transfer of sensitive dual-use American technologies and $5BN loan guarantees, until his invasion of Kuwait.
Yemen was assisted by the US in its war against Aden and has benefited from US foreign aid. Still, Sana’a supported Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait and hosts anti-US Islamic terrorists, while occasionally fighting them.
Saudi Arabia depends on the US for its survival in the face of lethal regional threats. The 1991 and 2003 US Gulf Wars were largely induced by the concern of a Saddam takeover of Saudi Arabia. However, Riyad bankrolls the operations of anti-US Islamic organizations in the US and anti-US Islamic terrorists.
Israel, on the other hand, was described by the late General Alexander Haig, who was a Supreme Commander of NATO and a US Secretary of State, as “the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require even one US soldier, cannot be sunk, is the most cost-effective and battle-tested, located in a region which is critical to vital US interests. If there would not be an Israel, the US would have to deploy real aircraft carriers, along with tens of thousands of US soldiers, which would cost tens of billions of dollars annually, dragging the US unnecessarily into local, regional and global conflicts. All of which is spared by the Jewish State.”
For example, in 1970, pro-Soviet Syria invaded Jordan, threatening a domino scenario into the oil-rich Persian Gulf. The US military was preoccupied with Vietnam and could not deploy troops to Jordan. Israel was asked to mobilize its military, and the Syrian invasion was rolled back. Thus, Israel denied the USSR a major coup and spared the US a potential economic disaster, without deploying a single US soldier.
General John Keegan, a former chief of US Air Force Intelligence determined that Israel’s contribution to the US intelligence was “equal to five CIAs.”
Senator Daniel Inouye, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and former Chairman of the Intelligence Committee: “The intelligence received from Israel exceeds the intelligence received from all NATO countries combined.” He assessed that Soviet military hardware which was transferred, by Israel, to the USA (P-12 Soviet radar in 1969, Mig-21 and Mig-23 Soviet fighter aircraft in 1966 and 1989 respectively, etc.) tilted the global balance of power in favor of the USA and amounted to a mega-billion dollar bonus to the USA.
In 1981, Israel bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor, thus sparing the US a nuclear confrontation with Iraq in1991 and 2003. In 1982 and 2007, Israel demolished Soviet surface-to-air missile batteries operated by Syria and a Syrian-Iranian-North Korean nuclear reactor in Syria. The battle tactics – which were the first ever to penetrate such advanced Soviet/Russian defense systems – were shared with the US Air Force, enhancing the US military edge over Moscow.
In 2011, US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan benefit from Israel’s experience in combating Improvised Explosive Devices, car bombs and suicide bombers.
The Jewish State constitutes the most advanced battle-tested laboratory for US military systems. The F-16 jet fighter includes over 600 Israeli-induced modifications, which saved the manufacturer billions of dollars and many years of research & development. Hundreds of additional US military systems, operated by Israel, generate similar benefits, according the US defense industries a global competitive edge and expanding US export and employment.
Upgrading the current mutually-beneficial US-Israel strategic cooperation is required in light of the aforementioned benefits, and in response to the turmoil in Egypt and its potential regional ripple effects, while the US lowers its military profile in the region. For example:
*Upgrading the port facilities of Ashdod for use by the Sixth Fleet; *Pre-positioning, in Israel, US homeland security systems, combat aircraft, missiles, tanks and armed personnel carriers, which would expedite US missions to preserve pro-US Arab regimes;
*Constructing, in Israel, US military facilities;
*Establishing a bi-national defense industrial cooperation fund, leveraging each country’s competitive edge.
Enhancement of US-Israel strategic ties is natural and imperative in light of Israel’s capabilities and the unique US-Israel common denominator: shared-values, joint-interests and mutual-threats.
The dramatic developments in Tunisia and Egypt – and the potential regional destabilizing ripple effects which could dwarf the Egyptian upheaval – have a dramatic impact on the state of national and regional security, and therefore have dramatic consequences upon national and regional security requirements.
The lower the stability and life-expectancy of Middle East regimes, the shiftier their ideology, policy and commitments, the higher the volatility of domestic and regional affairs, the higher the security threshold and requirements.
Moreover, President Obama’s policy of engagement, the announced evacuation of Iraq and Afghanistan are perceived by Arab/Muslim regimes as a policy of retreat, undermining the US posture of deterrence. In 2002/2003 the White House projected an assertive posture in the Middle East, in the battle against terrorism and in global affairs at-large. In 2011, the White House projects a relatively timid posture. The more uncertain the US global posture, the more eroded the US posture of deterrence, the more adrenalized are rogue regimes, the more acute is the threat of war and terrorism and the higher the security requirements.
Security requirements are peaking as a result of the long-term (and possibly immediate-term) potential of the Egyptian turmoil. It could traumatize northern Africa, the Horn of Africa, the eastern flank of the Mediterranean, the Middle East in general and pro-US Arab regimes (e.g. Jordan) in particular, threatening vital US interests, undermining Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and emboldening enemies of the Big and the Small “Satan,” the USA and the Jewish State.
Key US military officials expressed their assessments of Israel’s security requirements in general and of the unique role played by the Judea & Samaria mountain ridges. For instance, Lt. General (ret.) Tom Kelly, Chief of Operations in the 1991 Gulf War: “I cannot defend this land (Israel) without that terrain (West Bank)…The West Bank mountains, and especially their 5 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.”
The late Admiral Bud Nance: “I believe if Israel were to move out of the Golan Heights and the West Bank, it would increase instability and the possibility of war, increase the necessity to preempt in war, and the possibility that nuclear weapons would be used to prevent an Israeli loss, and increase the possibility that the US would have to become involved in a war.”
General (ret.) Al Gray, former Commandant, US Marine Corps: “Missiles fly over any terrain feature, but they don’t negate the strategic significance of territorial depth. The key threat to Israel will remain the invasion and occupation by armored forces. Military success requires more than a few hundred missiles. To defeat Israel would require the Arabs to deploy armor, infantry and artillery into Israel and destroy the IDF on the ground. That was true in 1948, 1967 and 1973, and it remains true in the era of modern missiles.”
The Judea & Samaria mountain ridges constitute the most effective tank obstacle (a 3,000ft steep slope over-towering the Jordan Valley, 40 miles away from Tel Aviv and pre-1967 Israel) and a dream platform of invasion to 9-15 miles wide pre-1967 Israel (a 2,000ft moderate slope) in the most conflict-ridden, unpredictable and treacherous neighborhood in the world. Israel’s control of the Judea & Samaria mountain ridges provides Israel with the time, which is required to mobilize its active reservists (75% of the military force!) in face of a surprise offensive mounted by a few Arab countries.
The pre-1967 width of the Jewish State is equal to the distance between JFK and La Guardia airports, to distance between RFK Stadium and the Kennedy Center, the length of Dallas-Fort Worth airport, to the width of Washington, DC, San Francisco and Miami and to the distance between Wall Street and Columbia University. The pre-1967 sliver along the Mediterranean is less than the distance between downtown London and Heathrow Airport, equal to a roundtrip distance between Albert hall and the Tower of London and to the distance between Bois du Boulogne and La Place de la Bastille.
The Judea & Samaria mountain ridges constitute the “Golan Heights” of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport and the entire pre-1967 coastal plain of the Jewish State, the core of its population and infrastructures.
The Tunisian turmoil – and its potential ripple effects – reaffirm the critical significance of the Judea and Samaria mountain ridges to the national security and survival of the Jewish State.
The Tunisian turmoil is a reminder of the nature of Israel’s neighborhood, the Middle East – the role model of domestic and global terrorism, volatility, instability, unpredictable violence, intra-Arab treachery, tenuous compliance with commitments, short-lived intra-Arab agreements, shifting alliances internally and externally, uncertainty, oppressive totalitarianism and divisiveness. Israel’s high security threshold, and extremely slim margin of error, are determined by such regional phenomena.
The more violent and the less predictable the region, the higher the security requirements. Moreover, the prime test of a Middle East peace accord is not its conclusion, but its capability to withstand the worst-case Middle East scenarios, such as an abrupt violation by a concerted unpredictable attack. For example, would the slim 9-15 miles waistline of pre-1967 Israel be able to fend off a 1973 Yom Kippur-like offensive?!
The Tunisian turmoil constitutes a prelude to potentially stormy 2011-12, fueled by a series of aging Arab rulers on their way out, a retreating US, increasingly assertive Russia, China and North Korea, bolder Muslim terrorist organizations and explosive disenchantment among oppressed Arab/Muslim masses.
Thus, the approaching departure of the aging/ailing President Mubarak could produce a pro-US regime, but it could also yield a radical Islamic takeover, followed by volcanic eruptions in the Middle East at-large, in the eastern Mediterranean, Horn of Africa, the Red Sea, Sudan, North Africa, devastating Western interests, providing a tailwind to terrorism and radical regimes and consuming the Israel-Egypt peace treaty.
The scheduled US retreat from Iraq, its expected evacuation of Afghanistan and the switch of US policy from confrontation to engagement with rogue regimes, are perceived by US rivals and enemies as an extension of the US retreats from Iran (1979), Lebanon (1983) and Somali (1993), adrenalyzing radical and subversive veins. The retreat from Iraq could trigger a lava-effect, threatening the survival of pro-Western regimes in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and the UAE, but benefitting Iran, Syria and regional terrorism.
Turkey’s about-face from a Western-oriented policy to Islam-driven policy has transformed the former leader of the Muslim World from a stability-generating ally to an unrest-perpetrating opponent of Western democracies. It has undermined regional stability, advancing Russian, Iranian and overall Islamic ambitions at the expense of vital US interests.
Middle East turbulence could force the Hashemite regime in Jordan to abandon its pro-Western policy and its peace treaty with Israel. For instance, regional constrains forced King Hussein to collaborate with Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Regional pressures led Jordan’s King Abdullah and King Hussein to join the wars on Israel in 1948/9 and in 1967 and 1973 respectively. During 1968-1970, King Hussein provided its arch-enemy, the PLO, with logistical and operational bases for anti-Israel terrorism. How would Israel’s border with Jordan be impacted by a radicalized Iraq and/or Egypt?! How would it be affected by the toppling of Jordan’s Hashemite regime?!
Mideast precedents – and sober assessments of Middle East reality – behoove the Jewish State to base its policy on realistic Mideast scenarios and not on lethal wishful thinking. The Mideast requires (especially) Israel to maintain a high security threshold, which secures its most vulnerable eastern border: the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which constitute the “Golan Heights” of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the most effective tank obstacle in the region (3,000ft steep slope dominating the Jordan Valley in the east), a dream platform for invading the 9-15 miles sliver along the Mediterranean Sea (2,000ft moderate slope over-towering 80% of Israel’s population and infrastructures in the west).
Official Palestinian demographic numbers are highly-inflated, as documented by a study, which has audited the Palestinian data since 2004:
*500,000 overseas residents, who have been away for over a year, are included in the Palestinian 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 daily due to births.
*Over 150,000 Arabs, who married Israeli Arabs are similarly doubly-counted. The number expands daily due to births.
*A 390,000 Arab net-emigration from Judea & Samaria is excluded from the Palestinian census, notwithstanding the annual net-emigration since 1950. For example, 15,466 in 2022, 26,357 – 2019, 15,173 – 2017 and 24,244 – 2014, as documented by Israel’s Population and Migration Authority (exits and entries) in all the land, air and sea 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 3.02 births in 2021, as documented by the CIA World Factbook. It reflects the sweeping urbanization, growing enrollment of women in higher education, rising marriage age and the use of contraceptives.
*The number of Arab deaths in Judea & Samaria has been under-reported (since the days of the British Mandate) for political and financial reasons.
*The aforementioned data documents 1.4 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria, when deducting the aforementioned documented-data from the official Palestinian number (3 million).
In 2023: a 69% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel. In 1947 and 1897: a 39% and 9% Jewish minority. In 2023, a 69% Jewish majority benefiting from fertility tailwind and net-immigration. Arab fertility is Westernized, and Arab net-emigration from Judea and Samaria. No Arab demographic time bomb. A Jewish demographic momentum.
More data in this article and this short video.
Jewish Policy Center’s inFOCUS, Spring, 2023
Saudi-Iranian diplomatic relations
*Riyadh does not allow the resumption of the Saudi-Iranian diplomatic ties to befog the reality of the tenuous and shifty Middle East regimes, policies and agreements, and the inherently subversive, terroristic, anti-Sunni and imperialistic track record of Iran’s Ayatollahs.
*Saudi Arabia is cognizant of the 1,400-year-old fanatic, religious vision of the Ayatollahs, including their most critical strategic goal – since their February 1979 violent ascension to power – of exporting the Shiite Revolution and toppling all “apostate” Sunni Arab regimes, especially the House of Saud. They are aware that neither diplomatic, nor financial, short term benefits transcend the deeply-rooted, long term Ayatollahs’ anti-Sunni vision.
*Irrespective of its recent agreement with Iran – and the accompanying moderate diplomatic rhetoric – Saudi Arabia does not subscribe to the “New Middle East” and “end of interstate wars” Pollyannaish state of mind. The Saudis adhere to the 1,400-year-old reality of the unpredictably intolerant and violent inter-Arab/Muslim reality (as well as the Russia-Ukraine reality).
*This is not the first resumption of Saudi-Iranian diplomatic ties, which were previously severed in 1988 and 2016 and followed by the Ayatollahs-induced domestic and regional violence.
*The China-brokered March 2023 resumption of diplomatic ties is a derivative of Saudi Arabia’s national security interests, and its growing frustration with the US’ eroded posture as a reliable diplomatic and military protector against lethal threats.
*The resumption of Saudi-Iranian diplomatic relations constitute a major geo-strategic gain for China and a major setback for the US in a region which, until recently, was perceived as a US domain.
*The US posture of deterrence has been severely undermined by the 2015 nuclear accord (the JCPOA), the 2021 withdrawal/flight from Afghanistan, the systematic courting of three real, clear and lethal threats to the Saudi regime – Iran’s Ayatollahs, the “Muslim Brotherhood” and Yemen’s Houthi terrorists –- while exerting diplomatic and military pressure on the pro-US Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.
*US policy has driven Saudi Arabia (as well as the UAE and Egypt) closer to China and Russia, commercially and militarily, including the potential Chinese construction of civilian nuclear power plants and a hard rock uranium mill in Saudi Arabia, which would advance Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “Vision 2030.”
Saudi “Vision 2030”
*Effective Israel-Saudi Arabia cooperation is a derivative of Saudi Arabia’s national security and economic interests, most notably “Vision 2030.”
*The unprecedented Saudi-Israeli security, technological and commercial cooperation, and the central role played by Saudi Arabia in inducing the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan to conclude peace treaties with Israel, are driven by the Saudi assessment that Israel is an essential ally in the face of real, clear, lethal security threats, as well as a vital partner in the pursuit of economic, technological and diplomatic goals.
*The Saudi-Israel cooperation constitutes a win-win proposition.
*The Saudi-Israel cooperation is driven by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’ (MBS’) “Vision 2030.” He aspires to catapult the kingdom to a regional and global powerhouse of trade and investment, leveraging its geo-strategic position along crucial naval routes between the Far East and Europe (the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Arab Sea and the Red Sea).
*”Vision 2030″ has introduced ground-breaking cultural, social, economic, diplomatic and national security reforms and upgrades, leveraging the unique added-value of Israel’s technological and military capabilities.
*Saudi Arabia, just like the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, are preoccupied with the challenge of economic diversification, realizing that they are overly-reliant on oil and natural gas, which are exposed to price-volatility, depletion and could be replaced by emerging cleaner and more cost-effective energy. They consider Israel’s ground-breaking technologies as a most effective vehicle to diversify their economy, create more jobs in non-energy sectors, and establish a base for alternative sources of national income, while bolstering homeland and national security.
*”Vision 2030″ defies traditional Saudi religious, cultural and social norms. Its future, as well as the future of Saudi-Israel cooperation, depend on Saudi domestic stability and the legitimacy of MBS. The latter is determined to overcome and de-sanctify the fundamentalist Wahhabis in central and southwestern Saudi Arabia, who were perceived until recently as the Islamic authority in Saudi Arabia, and an essential ally of the House of Saud since 1744.
“Vision 2030”, the Middle East and Israel’s added-value
*MBS’ ambitious strategy is preconditioned upon reducing regional instability and minimizing domestic and regional threats. These threats include the Ayatollahs regime of Iran, “Muslim Brotherhood” terrorists, Iran-supported domestic Shiite subversion (in the oil-rich Eastern Province), Iran-based Al Qaeda, Iran-supported Houthis in Yemen, Iran-supported Hezbollah, the proposed Palestinian state (which features a rogue intra-Arab track record), and Erdogan’ aspirations to resurrect the Ottoman Empire, which controlled large parts of the Arabian Peninsula. Currently, Erdogan maintains close security and political ties with the “Muslim Brotherhood” and the pro-Iran and pro-“Muslim Brotherhood” Qatar, while confronting Saudi Arabia in Libya, where they are both involved in a series of civil wars.
*Notwithstanding the March 2023 resumption of diplomatic ties with Iran, Saudi Arabia is aware that the Middle East resembles a volcano, which frequently releases explosive lava – domestically and regionally – in an unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2010 and is still raging on the Arab Street.
*The survival of the Saudi regime, and the implementation of “Vision 2030,” depend upon Riyadh’s ability to form an effective coalition against rogue regimes. However, Saudi Arabia is frustrated by the recent erosion of the US’ posture of deterrence, as demonstrated by the 43-year-old US addiction to the diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs; the US’ limited reaction to Iranian aggression against US and Saudi targets; the US’ embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood; and the US’ appeasement of the Ayatollahs-backed Houthi terrorists. In addition, the Saudis are alarmed by the ineffectiveness of NATO (No Action Talk Only?), European vacillation in the face of Islamic terrorism, and the vulnerability of the Arab regimes. This geo-strategic reality has driven the Saudis (reluctantly) closer to China and Russia, militarily and commercially.
*Against this regional and global backdrop, Israel stands out as the most reliable “life insurance agent” and an essential strategic ally, irrespective of past conflicts and the Palestinian issue. The latter is considered by the Saudi Crown Prince as a secondary or tertiary issue.
*In addition, the Saudis face economic and diplomatic challenges – which could benefit from Israel’s cooperation and can-do mentality – such as economic diversification, innovative technology, agriculture, irrigation and enhanced access to advanced US military systems, which may be advanced via Israel’s stature on Capitol Hill.
*The Saudi interest in expanding military, training, intelligence, counter-terrorism and commercial cooperation with Israel has been a byproduct of its high regard for Israel’s posture of deterrence and muscle-flexing in the face of Iran’s Ayatollahs (in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran itself); and Israel’s systematic war on Palestinian and Islamic terrorism. Furthermore, the Saudis respect Israel’s occasional defiance of US pressure, including Israel’s high-profiled opposition to the 2015 JCPOA and Israel’s 1981 and 2007 bombing of Iraq’s and Syria’s nuclear reactors, which spared the Saudis (and the US) the devastating wrath of a nuclear Saddam Hussein and a nuclear Assad.
*A deterring and defiant Israel is a cardinal force-multiplier for Saudi Arabia (as it is for the US). On the other hand, an appeasing and retreating Israel would be irrelevant to Saudi Arabia’s national security (as it would be for the US).
*On a rainy day, MBS (just like the US) prefers a deterring and defiant Israel on his side.
Saudi interests and the Palestinian issue
*As documented by the aforementioned data, Saudi Arabia’s top national security priorities transcend – and are independent of – the Palestinian issue.
*The expanding Saudi-Israel cooperation, and the key role played by Riyadh in accomplishing the Abraham Accords, have contradicted the Western conventional wisdom. The latter assumes that the Palestinian issue is central to Arab policy makers, and that the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict is preconditioned upon substantial Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, including the establishment of a Palestinian state.
*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, MBS is aware that the Palestinian issue is not the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict, neither a crown-jewel of Arab policy-making, nor a core cause of regional turbulence.
*Independent of the pro-Palestinian Saudi talk, Riyadh (just like the Arabs in general) has demonstrated an indifferent-to-negative walk toward the Palestinians. Arabs know that – in the Middle East – one does not pay custom on words. Therefore, the Arabs have never flexed a military (and barely financial and diplomatic) muscle on behalf of the Palestinians. They have acted in accordance with their own – not Palestinian – interests, and certainly not in accordance with Western misperceptions of the Middle East.
*Unlike the Western establishment, MBS accords critical weight to the Palestinian intra-Arab track record, which is top heavy on subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude. For instance, the Saudis don’t forget and don’t forgive the Palestinian collaboration with Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which was the most generous Arab host for Palestinians. The Saudis are also cognizant of the deeply-rooted Palestinian collaboration with Islamic, Asian, African, European and Latin American terror organizations, including “Muslim Brotherhood” terrorists and Iran’s Ayatollahs (whose machetes are at the throat of the House of Saud), North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela. The Saudis are convinced that the proposed Palestinian state cannot be different than the Palestinian rogue track record, which would add fuel to the Middle East fire, threatening the relatively-moderate Arab regimes.
Saudi Arabia and the Abraham Accords
*Saudi Arabia has served as the primary engine behind Israel’s peace treaties with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan, and has forged unprecedented defense and commercial cooperation with Israel, consistent with the Saudi order of national priorities.
*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, the Saudis do not sacrifice Middle East reality and their national security interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue.
*The success of the Saudi-supported Abraham Accords was a result of avoiding the systematic mistakes committed by Western policy makers, which produced a litany of failed Israeli-Arab peace proposals, centered on the Palestinian issue. Learning from prior mistakes, the Abraham accords focused on Arab interests, bypassing the Palestinian issue, avoiding a Palestinian veto.
*Therefore, the durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the interests of the respective Arab countries, and not on the Palestinian issue, which is not a top priority for any Arab country.
*The durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the stability of Saudi Arabia and the Arab countries which signed the Abraham Accords. Their stability is threatened by the volcanic nature of the unstable, highly-fragmented, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic and tenuous Middle East.
*The tenuous nature of most Arab/Muslim regimes in the Middle East yields tenuous policies and tenuous accords. For example, in addition to the Arab Tsunami of 2010 (which is still raging on the Arab Street), non-ballot regime-change occurred (with a dramatic change of policy) in Egypt (2013, 2012, 1952), Iran (1979, 1953), Iraq (2003, 1968, 1963-twice, 1958), Libya (2011, 1969) and Yemen (a civil war since the ’90s, 1990, 1962), etc.
*Bearing in mind the intra-Arab Palestinian track record, regional instability, the national security of Saudi Arabia, the Abraham Accords and US interests would be severely undermined by the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. It would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River; transform Jordan into a chaotic state in the vein of the uncontrollable Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; and produce another platform of regional and global Islamic terrorism, which would be leveraged by Iran’s Ayatollahs, in order to tighten their encirclement of Saudi Arabia. This would trigger a domino scenario, which would threaten every pro-US Arab oil-producing country in the Arabian Peninsula, jeopardizing the supply of Persian Gulf oil; threaten global trade; and yield a robust tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China and a major headwind to the US and its Arab Sunni allies, headed by Saudi Arabia.
*Why would Saudi Arabia and the Arab regimes of the Abraham Accords precondition their critical ties with Israel upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, which they view as a rogue element? Why would they sacrifice their national security and economic interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue? Why would they cut off their noses to spite their faces?
The well-documented fact that Arabs have never flexed a military muscle (and hardly a significant financial and diplomatic muscles) on behalf of the Palestinians, provides a resounding answer!
Israel-Saudi cooperation and Israel’s national security interests
*Notwithstanding the importance of Israel’s cooperation with Saudi Arabia, it takes a back seat to Israel’s critical need to safeguard/control the geographic cradle of its history, religion and culture, which coincides with its minimal security requirements in the volcanic Middle East: the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (West Bank), which dominate the 8-15-mile-sliver of pre-1967 Israel.
*The tenuously unpredictable Middle East reality defines peace accords as variable components of national security, unlike topography and geography (e.g., the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights) which are fixed components of Israel’s minimal security requirements in the non-Western-like Middle East. Israel’s fixed components of national security have dramatically enhanced its posture of deterrence. They transformed the Jewish State into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.
*An Israel-Saudi Arabia peace treaty would be rendered impractical if it required Israel to concede the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which would relegate Israel from a terror and war-deterring force multiplier for the US to a terror and war-inducing burden upon the US.
*Contrary to the Western (mis)perception of Israel-Arab peace treaties as pillars of national security, the unpredictably-violent Middle East features a 1,400-year-old reality of transient (non-democratic, one-bullet, not one-ballot) Arab regimes, policies and accords. Thus, as desirable as Israel-Arab peace treaties are, they must not entail the sacrifice of Israel’s most critical national security feature: the permanent topography of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which dominate 80% of Israel’s population and infrastructure.
*In June and December of 1981, Israel bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor and applied its law to the Golan Heights, in defiance of the Western foreign policy establishment. The latter warned that such actions would force Egypt to abandon its 1979 peace treaty with Israel. However, Egypt adhered to its national security priorities, sustaining the peace treaty. Routinely, Western policy makers warn that construction in Jerusalem (beyond the “Green Line”) and in Judea and Samaria would trigger a terroristic volcano and push the Arabs away from their peace treaties with Israel.
*None of the warnings materialized, since Arabs act in accordance with their own interests; not in accordance with Western misperceptions and the rogue Palestinian agenda.
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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The goal of Passover’s liberty was not the subjugation of the Egyptian people, but the defeat of the tyrannical Pharaoh and the veneration of liberty throughout the globe, including in Egypt.
Moses received the Torah – which includes 50 gates of wisdom – 50 days following the Exodus, as celebrated by the Shavou’ot/Pentecost Holiday, 50 days following Passover. Moreover, there are 50 States in the United States, whose Hebrew name is “The States of the Covenant” (Artzot Habreet -ארצות הברית).
Passover aims at coalescing the fabrics of the Jewish family and the Jewish people, commemorating and strengthening Jewish roots, and refreshing and enhancing core values such as faith, humility, education, optimism, defiance of odds and can-do mentality, which are prerequisites to a free and vibrant society.
Passover is an annual reminder that liberty must not be taken for granted.
Jerusalem has been the exclusive capital of the Jewish people since King David established it as his capital, 3,000 years ago.
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*Israel’s control of the topographically-dominant mountain ridges of the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria has enhanced Israel’s posture of deterrence, constraining regional violence, transforming Israel into a unique force-multiplier for the US.
*Top Jordanian military officers warned that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into a non-controllable terrorist heaven, generating an anti-US domino scenario in the Arabian Peninsula.
*Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria has eliminated much of the threat (to Jordan) of Judea and Samaria-based Palestinian terrorism.
*Israel’s posture of deterrence emboldens Jordan in the face of domestic and regional threats, sparing the US the need to deploy its own troops, in order to avoid an economic and national security setback.
*The proposed Palestinian state would become the Palestinian straw that would break the pro-US Hashemite back.
*The Palestinian track record of the last 100 years suggests that the proposed Palestinian state would be a rogue entity, adding fuel to the Middle East fire, undermining US interests.
Israel’s and the US’ counter-terrorism
*Islamic and Palestinian terrorism consider Israel as a critical beachhead – and a proxy – of the US in the Middle East and a significant collaborator with the pro-US Arab regimes. They perceive the war on “the infidel Jewish State” as a preview of their more significant war on “the infidel West” and their attempts to topple all pro-US Sunni Arab regimes. Therefore, Islamic and Palestinian terrorism has been engaged in intra-Arab subversion, while systematically collaborating with enemies and rivals of the US and the West (e.g., Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Ayatollah Khomeini, Latin American, European, African and Asian terror organizations, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba). The more robust is Israel’s war on terrorism, the more deterred are the terrorists in their attempts to bring the “infidel” West to submission.
*Islamic and Palestinian terrorism has terrorized Jewish communities in the Land of Israel since the late 19th century, adhering to an annihilationist vision as detailed by the Fatah and PLO charters of 1959 and 1964 (eight and three years before 1967), as well as by the hate-education system, which was installed by Mahmoud Abbas in 1993 following the signing of the Oslo Accord.
*Israel battles Palestinian terrorism (Hamas and the Palestinian Authority) and Islamic terrorism (Iran and Hezbollah), which are not preoccupied with the size – but with the eradication – of the “infidel” Jewish State from “the abode of Islam.”
*Israel and the West fight against deeply-rooted and institutional Islamic and Palestinian terrorism, that is inspired by 1,400-year-old rogue values, which are perpetrated by K-12 hate-education, mosque incitement and official and public idolization of terrorists.
*Israel and the West combat terrorism, that has astutely employed 1,400-year-old Islamic values such the “Taqiya’ ” – which promotes double-speak and dissimulation, as a means to mislead and defeat enemies – and the “Hudna’,” which misrepresents a temporary non-binding ceasefire with “infidels” as if it were a peace treaty.
*Israel and the West confront Islamic and Palestinian terrorism, which is politically, religiously and ideologically led by despotic and rogue regimes, rejecting Western values, such as peaceful-coexistence, democracy, human rights and good-faith negotiation.
*Israel and the West face off against Palestinian and Islamic terrorism, which does not allow lavish financial and diplomatic temptations to transcend intrinsic, fanatic, rogue and annihilationist vision. Moreover, terrorists bite the hands that feed them.
*Israel and the West are not assaulted by despair-driven terrorism, but by hope-driven terrorism – the hope to bring the “infidel” to submission. The aspiration of these terrorists contradicts peaceful-coexistence.
*Israel and the West clash with terrorists, who view gestures, concessions and hesitancy as weakness, which inflames terrorism.
*Israel and the West struggle against terrorism, which is not driven by a particular Israeli or US policy, but by a fanatic vision. Thus, Islamic terrorism afflicted the US during the Clinton and Obama Democratic Administrations, as well as during the Bush and Trump Republican Administrations.
*The US State Department has embraced a “moral equivalence” between Palestinian terrorists – who systematically and deliberately hit civilians, while sometimes hitting soldiers – and Israeli soldiers, who systematically and deliberately hit terrorists, while sometimes, unintentionally, hitting civilians. It emboldens terrorism, which threatens all pro-US Arab regimes, undermining regional stability, benefiting US’ rivals and enemies, while damaging the US.
War on terrorism
*The bolstering of posture of deterrence – rather than hesitancy, restraint, containment and gestures, which inflame terrorism – is a prerequisite for defeating terrorism and advancing the peace process.
*The most effective long-term war on terrorism – operationally, diplomatically, economically and morally – is not a surgical or comprehensive reaction, but a comprehensive and disproportional preemption, targeting the gamut of terroristic infrastructures and capabilities, draining the swamp of terrorism, rather than chasing the mosquitos.
*Containment produces a short-term, false sense of security, followed by a long-term security setback. It is the terrorists’ wet dream, which does not moderate terrorism, but adrenalizes its veins, providing time to bolster its capabilities – a tailwind to terror and a headwind to counter-terrorism. It shakes the confidence in the capability to crush terrorism. Defeating terrorism mandates obliteration of capabilities, not co-existence or containment.
*Containment aims to avoid a multi-front war (Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, Hezbollah and Iran), but it erodes Israel’s posture of deterrence, which brings Israel closer to a multi-front war under much worse conditions.
*Containment erodes Israel’s posture of deterrence in the eyes of the relatively-moderate Arab countries (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, the Sudan, Jordan and Egypt), which have dramatically enhanced cooperation with Israel due to Israel’s posture of deterrence against mutual threats, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs, the “Muslim Brotherhood” and ISIS terrorists).
*Containment is also a derivative of White House’s and the State Department’s pressure, subordinating national security to diplomatic priorities. It undermines Israel’s posture of deterrence, which plays into the hand of anti-Israel and anti-US rogue regimes. Precedents prove that Israeli defiance of US pressure yields short-term tension, but long-term strategic respect, resulting in expanded strategic cooperation. On a rainy day, the US prefers a defiant, rather than appeasing, strategic ally.
*The 2002 comprehensive counter-terrorism Israeli offensive, and the return of Israel’s Defense Forces to the headquarters of Palestinian terrorism in the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) – and not defensive containment and surgical operations – resurrected Israel’s effective war on Palestinian terrorism, which substantially curtailed terrorists’ capabilities to proliferate terrorism in Israel, Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula.
*The containment option intensifies terrorists’ daring, feeds vacillation and the self-destructive “don’t rock the boat” mentality. It erodes steadfastness and confidence in the capabilities to withstand the cost of terrorism, and feeds the suicidal perpetual retreat mentality.
*The addiction to containment is one of the lethal by-products of the 1993 Oslo Accord, which has produced a uniquely effective hot house of terrorism, highlighted by the importation, arming and funding of some 100,000 Palestinian terrorists from Tunisia, the Sudan, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria to Gaza, Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, who have unprecedentedly radicalized the Arab population of pre-1967 Israel, established a K-12 hate education system, launched an unparalleled wave of terrorism, and systematically violated agreements.
The bottom line
*The 30 years since the Oslo Accord have featured unprecedented Palestinian hate-education and wave of terrorism. It has demonstrated that a retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria has boosted terrorism; that the Palestinian Authority is not committed to a peace process, but to the destruction of the Jewish State; and that terrorism requires a military, not political, solution. A successful war on terrorism behooves a preemptive offense, not defense, containment and reaction; and that fighting in the terrorists’ own trenches is preferable to fighting in one’s own trenches. No Israeli concessions could satisfy international pressure; and diplomatic popularity is inferior to strategic respect. Avoiding a repeat of the critical post-Oslo errors requires a comprehensive, disproportional, decisive military campaign to uproot – not to coexist with – terroristic infrastructures.
*The historic and national security indispensability of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – which dominate the 8-15-mile sliver of pre-1967 Israel – and the necessity to frustrate Palestinian terrorism, behooves Israel to eliminate any sign of hesitancy and vacillation by expanding the Jewish presence in this most critical area. It will intensify US and global pressure, but as documented by all Prime Ministers from Ben Gurion, through Eshkol, Golda Meir, Begin and Shamir, defiance of pressure results in the enhancement of strategic respect and cooperation.
*The Palestinian track record during the 30 years since the 1993 Oslo Accord has highlighted the violent, unpredictable and anti-US rogue nature of the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River, which would force the toppling of the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River. It would transform Jordan into an uncontrollable, chaotic state in the vein of Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, triggering a domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula (south of Jordan), which could topple the pro-US, oil-producing Arab regimes. This would reward Iran’s Ayatollahs, China and Russia, while severely undermining regional and global stability and US economic and national security interests.