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

State Department policy

*The June 2023 banning of all Israeli research and scientific entities in East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Golan Heights from the mutually-beneficial US-Israel binational commercial research and development projects, such as BIRD, BARD and BSF, reflects the return of the State Department to the center stage of foreign policy making.

*This ban is consistent with the State Department’s systematically erroneous and counterproductive policy on critical Middle East issues, as documented by this video and this article.

For example:

*The State Department provided an essential tailwind to the Ayatollahs’ rise to power in Iran and the toppling of the Shah, who was “America’s policeman in the Gulf.” Foggy Bottom contended that the Ayatollahs would be moderate, anti-Soviet, pro-US, preoccupied with tractors and not with tanks, and refrain from the global exportation of the Islamic Revolution….

*The State Department considered Saddam Hussein as a potential ally (until the day of his 1990 invasion of Kuwait), worthy of an intelligence-sharing agreement, financial assistance, and the supply of advanced dual-use systems. It communicated to the ruthless despot that a military invasion of Kuwait would be treated as an intra-Arab matter.

*Foggy Bottom welcomed the 2010 turbulence on the Arab Street – which is still raging – as a “Facebook and youth revolution” and the “Arab Spring,” failing to realize that it has been an Arab Tsunami

*The State Department establishment has opposed the Abraham Accords because they bypassed the Palestinian issue, centering on Arab interests,. However, all of the State Department’s own peace initiatives have crashed on the rocks of Middle East reality, because they dwelt on the superficial assumption that the Palestinian issue was the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict, a crown jewel of Arab policy making and a core cause of regional turbulence.

*Since January 2021, the State Department has resumed its role as the chief foreign policy maker, as evidenced by the shift from unilateral policy making – based on an independent US national security action – to multilateral policy making, seeking a common denominator with the anti-US UN and international organizations, as well as with Europe, which has lost its will to flex a muscle against Iran’s Ayatollahs and Sunni Islamic terrorism.

*In July 2023, reflecting its multilateral policy, the US rejoined UNESCO, following the 2011 congressional suspension of the annual US contribution to the organization, and the 2018 US withdrawal from UNESCO for falsely disclaiming the 4,000-year-old Jewish roots in the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria – the cradle of Jewish history, religion, culture and language, as documented by a litany of archeological findings throughout the area.

In fact, the rejoining of UNESCO commits the US to transfer to UNESCO all its arrears, which amount to some $600mn.

Legal status of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria

The State Department claims that banning Israeli research and scientific entities in Judea and Samaria from the mutually beneficial US-Israel binational commercial research and development projects is consistent with international law. The State Department claims that international law considers Judea and Samaria an “illegal occupied” area, and that the UN Security Council Resolution 242 mandates an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.

Is it true?

*According to Prof. Eugene Rostow, a former Dean of Yale University Law School and Undersecretary of State, who co-authored the November 22, 1967 UN Security Council Resolution 242: “[Under international law], Jews have the same right to settle in the West Bank as they have in Haifa…. [According to Resolution 242], Israel is required to withdraw ‘from territories,’ not from ‘the territories,’ nor from ‘all the territories,’ but from some of the territories, which included the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Desert and the Golan Heights…. Proposed resolutions calling for withdrawal from ‘all the territories’ were defeated in the Security Council and the General Assembly…. Israel was not to be forced back to the fragile and vulnerable 8-15-mile-wide lines… but to ‘secure and recognized’ boundaries, agreed to by the parties…. In making peace with Egypt in 1979, Israel withdrew from the entire Sinai… [which amounts to] more than 90% of the territories….”

*Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, a former President of the International Court of Justice, Deputy Legal Advisor at the State Department and Prof. of International Law at Johns Hopkins University stated: “[The 1967] Israeli conquest of territory was defensive rather than aggressive… as indicated by Egypt’s prior closure of the Straits of Tiran, the blockade of the port of Eilat and the amassing of troops in Sinai… [and] Jordan-initiated hostilities against Israel…. Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem in the 1950 were unlawful…. Modification of the 1949 armistice lines [by Israel] were lawful….”

*The legal status of Judea and Samaria is embedded in the following binding internationally ratified documents:

<The November 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration, which called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people [on both sides of the Jordan River]…. Nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine….;”

<The April 24, 1920 San Remo Peace Conference of the Allied Powers Supreme Council, which incorporated the Balfour Declaration, and carved the boundaries of over 20 countries in the Middle East;

<The July 24, 1922 Mandate for Palestine, ratified by the Council of the League of Nations, and dedicated exclusively to Jewish national rights;

<The October 24, 1945 Article 80 of the UN Charter incorporated the Mandate for Palestine, which means that Jewish rights in Palestine are legal and may not be transferred;

<The November 29, 1947 General Assembly Partition Resolution was non-binding and superseded by the Mandate for Palestine.

The bottom line

*The State Department’s determination that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria constitutes “illegal occupation” has been based on mistaken and misleading interpretation of international law. This determination has yielded false expectations among rogue elements in the Middle East (e.g., Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorists and Iran’s rogue Ayatollahs), which has undermined the attempts to minimize regional instability and advance the cause of peaceful coexistence.

*The decision to punish Israel, by blackballing research institutions in Judea and Samaria – while courting the rogue Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood and the hate-education Palestinian Authority – is interpreted as an erosion of US’ regional stature by pro-US Arab regimes, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. These regimes have expanded their defense and commercial cooperation with Israel irrespective of the Palestinian issue. In additon, they have also been subjected to US pressure; they oppose the US diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs, and they are concerned about the lack of a determined US response to Iran’s aggression (which has pushed them closer to China and Russia).

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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.

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
September 15, 2023, https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/377022

*The platform of an Israel-Saudi accord is the volcanic, violent and unpredictably tenuous Middle East, not Western Europe or No. America;

*Saudi Arabia is driven by Saudi – not Palestinian – interests;

*Unlike the State Department, Saudi Arabia accords much weight to the rogue Palestinian track record in the intra-Arab arena, and therefore limits its support of the proposed Palestinian state to (mostly) talk, not to walk; *An accord with Saudi Arabia – in the shifty, tenuous Middle East – is not a major component of Israel’s national security. On the other hand, Israel’s control of the mountain ridges of Judea & Samaria is a prerequisite for Israel’s survival in the inherently turbulent, intolerantly violent Middle East, which features tenuous regimes, and therefore tenuous policies and accords.

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

State Department policy

*The June 2023 banning of all Israeli research and scientific entities in East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Golan Heights from the mutually-beneficial US-Israel binational commercial research and development projects, such as BIRD, BARD and BSF, reflects the return of the State Department to the center stage of foreign policy making.

*This ban is consistent with the State Department’s systematically erroneous and counterproductive policy on critical Middle East issues, as documented by this video and this article.

For example:

*The State Department provided an essential tailwind to the Ayatollahs’ rise to power in Iran and the toppling of the Shah, who was “America’s policeman in the Gulf.” Foggy Bottom contended that the Ayatollahs would be moderate, anti-Soviet, pro-US, preoccupied with tractors and not with tanks, and refrain from the global exportation of the Islamic Revolution….

*The State Department considered Saddam Hussein as a potential ally (until the day of his 1990 invasion of Kuwait), worthy of an intelligence-sharing agreement, financial assistance, and the supply of advanced dual-use systems. It communicated to the ruthless despot that a military invasion of Kuwait would be treated as an intra-Arab matter.

*Foggy Bottom welcomed the 2010 turbulence on the Arab Street – which is still raging – as a “Facebook and youth revolution” and the “Arab Spring,” failing to realize that it has been an Arab Tsunami

*The State Department establishment has opposed the Abraham Accords because they bypassed the Palestinian issue, centering on Arab interests,. However, all of the State Department’s own peace initiatives have crashed on the rocks of Middle East reality, because they dwelt on the superficial assumption that the Palestinian issue was the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict, a crown jewel of Arab policy making and a core cause of regional turbulence.

*Since January 2021, the State Department has resumed its role as the chief foreign policy maker, as evidenced by the shift from unilateral policy making – based on an independent US national security action – to multilateral policy making, seeking a common denominator with the anti-US UN and international organizations, as well as with Europe, which has lost its will to flex a muscle against Iran’s Ayatollahs and Sunni Islamic terrorism.

*In July 2023, reflecting its multilateral policy, the US rejoined UNESCO, following the 2011 congressional suspension of the annual US contribution to the organization, and the 2018 US withdrawal from UNESCO for falsely disclaiming the 4,000-year-old Jewish roots in the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria – the cradle of Jewish history, religion, culture and language, as documented by a litany of archeological findings throughout the area.

In fact, the rejoining of UNESCO commits the US to transfer to UNESCO all its arrears, which amount to some $600mn.

Legal status of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria

The State Department claims that banning Israeli research and scientific entities in Judea and Samaria from the mutually beneficial US-Israel binational commercial research and development projects is consistent with international law. The State Department claims that international law considers Judea and Samaria an “illegal occupied” area, and that the UN Security Council Resolution 242 mandates an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.

Is it true?

*According to Prof. Eugene Rostow, a former Dean of Yale University Law School and Undersecretary of State, who co-authored the November 22, 1967 UN Security Council Resolution 242: “[Under international law], Jews have the same right to settle in the West Bank as they have in Haifa…. [According to Resolution 242], Israel is required to withdraw ‘from territories,’ not from ‘the territories,’ nor from ‘all the territories,’ but from some of the territories, which included the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Desert and the Golan Heights…. Proposed resolutions calling for withdrawal from ‘all the territories’ were defeated in the Security Council and the General Assembly…. Israel was not to be forced back to the fragile and vulnerable 8-15-mile-wide lines… but to ‘secure and recognized’ boundaries, agreed to by the parties…. In making peace with Egypt in 1979, Israel withdrew from the entire Sinai… [which amounts to] more than 90% of the territories….”

*Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, a former President of the International Court of Justice, Deputy Legal Advisor at the State Department and Prof. of International Law at Johns Hopkins University stated: “[The 1967] Israeli conquest of territory was defensive rather than aggressive… as indicated by Egypt’s prior closure of the Straits of Tiran, the blockade of the port of Eilat and the amassing of troops in Sinai… [and] Jordan-initiated hostilities against Israel…. Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem in the 1950 were unlawful…. Modification of the 1949 armistice lines [by Israel] were lawful….”

*The legal status of Judea and Samaria is embedded in the following binding internationally ratified documents:

<The November 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration, which called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people [on both sides of the Jordan River]…. Nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine….;”

<The April 24, 1920 San Remo Peace Conference of the Allied Powers Supreme Council, which incorporated the Balfour Declaration, and carved the boundaries of over 20 countries in the Middle East;

<The July 24, 1922 Mandate for Palestine, ratified by the Council of the League of Nations, and dedicated exclusively to Jewish national rights;

<The October 24, 1945 Article 80 of the UN Charter incorporated the Mandate for Palestine, which means that Jewish rights in Palestine are legal and may not be transferred;

<The November 29, 1947 General Assembly Partition Resolution was non-binding and superseded by the Mandate for Palestine.

The bottom line

*The State Department’s determination that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria constitutes “illegal occupation” has been based on mistaken and misleading interpretation of international law. This determination has yielded false expectations among rogue elements in the Middle East (e.g., Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorists and Iran’s rogue Ayatollahs), which has undermined the attempts to minimize regional instability and advance the cause of peaceful coexistence.

*The decision to punish Israel, by blackballing research institutions in Judea and Samaria – while courting the rogue Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood and the hate-education Palestinian Authority – is interpreted as an erosion of US’ regional stature by pro-US Arab regimes, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. These regimes have expanded their defense and commercial cooperation with Israel irrespective of the Palestinian issue. In additon, they have also been subjected to US pressure; they oppose the US diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs, and they are concerned about the lack of a determined US response to Iran’s aggression (which has pushed them closer to China and Russia).

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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.

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Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, reiterates his commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River.

*According to Western conventional wisdom, the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would promote the cause of peace, stabilize the Middle East and advance Western interests.

*However – just like its policy toward Iran’s Ayatollahs – Western conventional wisdom overlooks the rogue intra-Arab Palestinian track record in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait, the despotic and corrupt nature of the Palestinian Authority and its abhorrent hate-education, and the impact of such a track record upon the rogue nature of the proposed Palestinian state.  The West takes lightly the adverse impact of such a rogue state upon the Middle East, the survival of pro-Western Arab regimes (e.g., Jordan and the Arabian Peninsula entities) and vital Western interests.

*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Arabs are aware of the Palestinian track record – just as they are aware of the Ayatollahs’ track record – and are certain that the proposed Palestinian state would resemble the non-controllable, lawless and terroristic Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya much more than the moderate United Arab Emirates. Therefore, they have limited their support of Palestinians to a very positive talk, while conducting a lukewarm-to-negative walk.

*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Arabs have never flexed their military muscle (and hardly their financial and diplomatic muscle) on behalf of Palestinians. For example, no Arab-Israel war was ever launched on behalf of Palestinians, and no Palestinian war on Israel was ever assisted by Arab military.

*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Arabs have experienced the Palestinian trait of brutally-biting the (Arab) hand that feeds them: Egypt in the early 1950s, Syria in the 1960s, Jordan in 1968-1970, Lebanon in 1970-1982, Kuwait in 1990.

*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, which considers the Palestinian issue as a primary/central concern in the Middle East, the Arab conduct reflects the conviction (notwithstanding the pro-Palestinian Arab rhetoric) 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 Middle East turbulence.

*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom and expectations, Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan did not precondition their peace treaties with Israel upon the establishment of a Palestinian state.

*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, which assumes that the Palestinian issue is central to Arab policy-making, Israel-Arab peace accords have been based on primary Arab interests – such as the lethal threats of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood terrorism, the need to diversify their economies and Israel’s effective posture of deterrence – which do not include the Palestinian issue.

*Contrary to all Western peace proposals (other than the Abraham Accords), which failed due to their preoccupation with the Palestinian issue, the six successful Israel-Arab peace treaties bypassed the Palestinian issue, denied the Palestinians a veto power, and were preoccupied with primary Arab national security interests, not with the Palestinian issue.

*While Western conventional wisdom assumes that the Palestinians – as well as Iran’s Ayatollahs – are amenable to peaceful-coexistence, democracy and good faith negotiation, Arabs recognize Palestinians as a role-model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism, betrayal and ingratitude.

*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Arabs accord much prominence to Palestinian collaboration with rogue, despotic anti-Western entities, such as Nazi Germany, the USSR and the Soviet Bloc, Iran’s Ayatollahs, Saddam Hussein, Asian, African, European and Latin American terror organizations, the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists, Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea.

*Western conventional wisdom pressures Israel to sacrifice Middle East reality on the altar of wishful-thinking and oversimplification.

*Western conventional wisdom expects Israel to follow in the footsteps of the pro-Palestinian Arab talk, while taking lightly the Arab walk and Middle East reality.

*Western conventional wisdom urges Israel to ignore the 120-year-long anti-Jewish Palestinian terrorism, hate-education and mosque incitement, notwithstanding dramatic Israeli concessions (e.g., the 1993 Oslo Accord and the 2005 Gaza Disengagement, which were followed – as expected – by waves of terrorism and hate-education).  While the West assumes that Palestinians are preoccupied with the size of the Jewish State, the Palestinian track record has documented that they are preoccupied with the uprooting of the Jewish State from “the abode of Islam.”

*While Western governments accord Palestinian leaders Red Carpet receptions, Arabs welcome Palestinian leaders with Shabby Doormat receptions (if at all…).

*Western policy in the Middle East – as reflected by Western policy toward Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Palestinian issue – has been systematically wrong.  For example, providing a critical tailwind to the Ayatollahs’ rise to power in Iran; embracing Saddam Hussein until the 1990 invasion of Kuwait; heralding Arafat as a messenger of peace; toppling Gaddafi, which transformed Libya into a platform of anti-Western Islamic terrorism and civil wars; welcoming the volcanic eruption on the Arab Street as an “Arab Spring” and “Facebook Revolution,” etc..

*Will Western conventional wisdom adjust itself to the Middle East and Palestinian reality, or will it persist in its suspension of disbelief?  Sustaining the Western suspension of disbelief will add fuel to the Middle East fire, intensify threats to pro-Western Arab regimes, and further undermine commercial and national security Western interests.

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The August 2022 Israeli war on Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists serves as a wake up call for Israeli and Western policy makers and public opinion molders, who are determined to observe/assess the volcanic and treacherous Middle East through the accommodating and relatively-peaceful Western lenses.

For example:

*The August 2022 war on Palestinian terrorism is a wake up call to the Israeli and Western “Palestine-Firsters.” Once again, Arab countries showered the Palestinians with an embracing-talk, but refrained from a supportive walk, militarily, financially or politically. Hence, the 2022 Arab walk was consistent with the Arab conduct during all previous military clashes between Israel and Palestinian terrorism: the First and Second Intifada of 1987-1993 and 2000-2005, the 1982-85 war against the PLO in Lebanon, and the four wars against the Gaza-based Hamas terrorists in 2008-9, 2012, 2014 and 2021.

*During the last few days, I participated in several TV panel-discussions with experts from Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. All of them concurred with my perspective on the non-centrality of the Palestinian issue in Middle East affairs, displaying indifference or hostility toward the Palestinians. They echoed the Arab image of Palestinians as a role-model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism and ingratitude, as documented by the Palestinian intra-Arab track record.

*In contrast to Western conventional wisdom, Arab policy makers are convinced that the proposed Palestinian state would be a pro-Iran, pro-Russia and pro-China rogue/terrorist entity, fueling domestic and regional turbulence, and intensifying the existing threats to the survival of every pro-US Arab regime.

*The August 2022 war against the Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism is a wake up call to Israeli and Western policy-makers and public opinion molders, who have adhered to the convenient, but illusive, worldview of a diplomacy-based “New World Order” and a “New Middle East.”

They have been infatuated with the application of Western scenarios of peaceful-coexistence, human rights, democracy and a “Marshall Plan-like” enticements to Middle Eastern rogue entities.  But, these noble and tempting Western values are dramatically superseded by religion, history, ideology and ethnicity in shaping the 1,400-year-old violent, intolerant, unpredictable, frustrating and inconvenient intra-Arab Middle East reality.

In fact, the unprecedented financial and strategic benefits showered upon the Palestinians by the 1993 Oslo Accord and the 2005 uprooting of Israel from Gaza yielded – as expected – unprecedented waves of terrorism, which has been driven by the vision to eradicate Jewish sovereignty in “the abode of Islam.”  Similarly, the mega-billion-dollar financial bonanza accorded to Iran’s Ayatollahs by the 2015 JCPOA yielded – as expected – an unprecedented beefing-up of the Ayatollahs’ regional and global anti-US rogue conduct, aimed at bringing to submission “the Great American Satan.”

*The August 2022 Israeli war on Palestinian terrorism demonstrated that Israel’s policy of diplomacy – coupled with a periodical major military reaction to Palestinian terrorism – yielded a dramatically stronger Palestinian terrorism, with thousands of missiles covering most of Israel, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Preemption facilitated the August 2022 elimination of most top Islamic Jihad terrorists. Preemption – and not reaction – should guide Israel’s war on Palestinian terrorism, destroying – preemptively – the storage of missiles and other lethal systems, as well as all manufacturing and smuggling facilities of such systems. Preemptive elimination – and not reaction – should be executed against the leaders of Palestinian terrorism, preempting their systematic and deliberate targeting of civilians.

*The August 2022 Israel war on the Iran-supported Palestinian terrorists (which include Hamas and Islamic Jihad) highlights the fact that the Iranian threat to regional and global stability is not limited to nuclear, but includes the threat of Iran-supported subversion and terrorism in the Persian Gulf, the Middle East at-large, central Asia, Africa and Latin America from southern Chile to the US-Mexico border.

*The August 2022 war was a battle between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists, who – just like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood – are not driven by despair and frustration. They are driven by the vision of establishing a universal Islamic society, which mandates the toppling of all national Muslim regimes, and bringing the West (especially the US) to submission.

They view the Jewish State as an effective outpost of the West in “the abode of Islam,” which plays a central role in global trade, oil production and the battle against anti-Western Islamic terrorism.

*The August 2022 war has highlighted Israel’s posture of deterrence in the face of terrorist groups (e.g., the anti-US Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and Palestinian terrorists) and rogue regimes (e.g., the anti-US Iran’s Ayatollahs), which pose a clear and present lethal threat to all pro-US Arab regimes, such as Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman.

Moreover, Israel’s posture of deterrence was not enhanced because of its peace accords with a growing number of Arab countries.  Arab countries concluded peace accords with Israel because of Israel’s enhanced posture of deterrence.

*The military, intelligence and technological capabilities demonstrated by Israel during the August 2022 war on Palestinian terrorism, have reinforced its role as an effective force-multiplier for the US in a critical region (between Europe-Asia-Africa and the Mediterranean-Red Sea-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf), which has been an epicenter of anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking and the proliferation of advanced military systems throughout the globe, including Central and South America.

*The August 2022 military clash between Israel and the Iran-supported Palestinian terrorists demonstrated the advantage/necessity of preemptive military initiatives against rogue entities, especially when the diplomatic option fails to advance the cause of peaceful-coexistence, while bolstering the capabilities of the rogue entities.

For instance, the diplomatic option has dominated US policy toward Iran’s Ayatollahs since their ascension to power in February 1979. It has provided a vigorous tailwind to the Ayatollahs anti-US strategy and a robust headwind to all pro-US Arab regimes and to the national security and homeland security of the US.

*Will US policy-makers adhere to their own conventional wisdom or to the track record of their policy? Will they stick by their Western-oriented diplomatic option, or switch to the Middle East-oriented regime-change and military preemption options? While the latter entails some cost, it would be dwarfed by the cost of facing a nuclear Iran!

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Western red carpet vs. Arab shabby rug…

The two-state solution

President Biden underscored his strong commitment to a negotiated two-state solution as the best path to reach a just and lasting resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

“US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington backed a two-state solution to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Would a Palestinian state resolve or exacerbate the Israel-Palestinian conflict?

Would a Palestinian state enhance or erode Middle East stability?

Would a focus on the Palestinian issue bolster or cripple the expansion of the Israel-Arab peace process?

Would a Palestinian state advance or undermine US interests?

The “two-state solution” policy is based on the following assumptions:

*The unresolved Palestinian issue is crucial for the Arab countries and the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict;

*The proposed Palestinian state would adhere to peaceful-coexistence with the Jewish State, and would not join the ranks of rogue regimes;

*Land-for-peace is a prerequisite for the resolution of the Palestinian issue, requiring an Israeli retreat from land (the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria), which is the cradle of Jewish history and pivotal to Israel’s national security;

*A dramatic Israeli territorial concession, buttressed by a game-changing international financial package, would entice the Palestinians to abandon the goal to eliminate the Jewish State;

*The Palestinians are amenable to a permanent (not tactical) peaceful-coexistence with the Jewish State;

Are such assumptions consistent, or inconsistent, with the Palestinian track record?

Western red carpet vs. Arab shabby rug

Western governments are preoccupied with contemporary Palestinian diplomacy, according Palestinians red-carpet receptions. They prefer to speculate on future positive Palestinian behavior, rather than be preoccupied with the rogue intra-Arab Palestinian track record. They court the Palestinians, while pressuring Israel.

On the other hand, the history-driven Arabs – who neither forget nor forgive – are mindful of the Palestinian track record, and therefore accord Palestinians shabby rug receptions.  The Arabs have concluded that a Palestinian state would add fuel to the Middle East fire, while valuing Israel as a potent force against rogue entities such as Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood. Thus, they have expanded commercial and security cooperation with Israel, and refrain from flexing military or substantial financial muscles on behalf of the Palestinians.

In fact, no Arab-Israeli war erupted due to – or on behalf of – the Palestinians, and no Arab countries intervened militarily in Israel’s wars against Palestinian terrorism in Lebanon, Judea and Samaria and Gaza.

The intra-Arab Palestinian track record has been a role-model of subversion, terrorism and ingratitude. In the mid-1950s and mid-1960s, they were involved in terrorism in Egypt and Syria; in 1970, they triggered a civil war in Jordan, attempting to topple the pro-US Hashemite regime; and in the 1970s, they were involved in terrorism and a series of civil wars in Lebanon.  In 1990, they collaborated with – and publicly praised – Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, which was the most generous Arab host of 400,000 Palestinians, including Mahmoud Abbas and Arafat and their families. Hence, the expulsion of most Palestinians from Kuwait in the aftermath of the First Gulf War.

Notwithstanding Jordan’s Hashemite regime talk on behalf of Palestinians, Jordan’s military and security forces are aware that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the Hashemite regime east of the River, triggering ripple effects which could topple all pro-US regimes in the Arabian Peninsula, adversely impacting the global oil market and US national security.

In addition, the Palestinian track record features systematic close ties with enemies and adversaries of the US, such as Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, international terrorist organizations, Iran’s Ayatollahs, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, China and Russia.

Land-for-peace or land-for-terror?

The 1993 Oslo Accord showered the Palestinians with unprecedented authority, which was not accorded to them by Jordan or Egypt, when the two countries occupied Judea, Samaria and Gaza. It established a five-year-venue to a Palestinian state. However, instead of land-for-peace, the relocation of the PLO headquarters from Tunisia, Lebanon, Sudan and Yemen to Judea, Samaria, Gaza and East Jerusalem introduced the concept of land-for-terror and land-for-hate-education.

Moreover, the 2005 Israeli uprooting of its civilian and military presence from Gaza has triggered four Hamas wars and a systematic wave of unprecedented Hamas terrorism.

Furthermore, in November 1947, the UN recommended the partitioning of the area west of the Jordan River between Jewish and Arab states, in violation of Article 80 of the 1945 UN Charter and the September 1922 League of Nations, which were committed to establishing a Jewish National Home in the entire area. The local Arabs and the surrounding Arab states rejected the 1947 Partition Plan and launched a war to annihilate the Jewish State.

In July 1937, the British Peel Commission recommended the establishment of a Jewish state over 18% – and an Arab state over 75% – of the area west of the Jordan River. The plan was rejected by the Arabs, who escalated terrorism.

Palestinian vision documented by education curriculum

Notwithstanding Palestinian diplomatic and public relations statements, the most authentic reflection of the Palestinian worldview, vision and territorial goal has been Mahmoud Abbas’ K-12 education curriculum, which has become (since 1993) a most effective multiplier of terrorism, suicide bombing and anti-Jewish, anti-Israel and anti-peace fanaticism.

The 2020-2021 school textbooks of the Palestinian Authority highlight antisemitism, repudiation of Jewish history, dehumanization of Jews and the Jewish State, rejection of peaceful-coexistence with Israel, inciting to martyrdom and Jihad (“holy war”) “in the service of Allah,” heralding suicide bombers and terrorism in general, glorification of women-terrorists as role models, and promoting geographic maps with Israel replaced by an Arab Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

Peaceful-coexistence with Israel?

On the eve of the September 13, 1993 signing of the Oslo Accord on the White House lawn, Arafat told the Jordanian TV that the accord was an interim agreement, consistent with the PLO’s June 1974 Phased Plan. The latter legitimized the establishment of a Palestinian beachhead on any part of British Mandate Palestine, as a step to eliminate the Jewish State and takeover the whole of Palestine.

Mahmoud Abbas and Arafat reiterated the Palestinian Phased Plan on August 14, 2009November 16, 1998January 30, 1996 and May 10, 1994, drawing inspiration from Mohammed’s Hudaybiyya Treaty – a major precept of traditional and contemporary Islam and Arab policy-making.

The Hudaybiyya Treaty was concluded between Mohammed and his Mecca enemies in 628 AD.  However, while the treaty was perceived by Mecca as a permanent peace, Mohammed considered it as a truce (not a final peace) and a means (not a goal) to achieve the Islamic imperialistic goal. Thus, Mohammed was able to regroup, breach the treaty and overwhelm the misled and tricked enemy. It has become a tactical role model for Muslim leaders, especially when confronting the “infidel.”

Contemporarily, the Palestinian vision was codified by the charters of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah and PLO in 1959 and 1964 – before Israel regained control of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), East Jerusalem and Gaza – highlighting the goal “to liberate the whole of Palestine.” In other words, the core issue has always been the annihilation – not the size – of the Jewish State, which is deemed illegitimate in “the abode of Islam.”

The Palestinian vision is not driven by despair, but by a pre-1967 commitment “to liberate Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”

The Palestinian issue and expanding the Israel-Arab peace process

The “Palestine Firsters” – who believe in the centrality of the Palestinian issue in the Middle East – introduced a litany of peace initiatives, which were crashed against the rocks of Middle East reality.

At the same time, Israel concluded a series of peace accords with Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan, which bypassed the Palestinian issue, avoided the trap of a Palestinian veto and focused on Arab – not Palestinian – interests.

In conclusion

A wide gap exists between the Palestinian track record, on the one hand, and Washington’s well-intentioned two-state-policy, on the other hand.

Contrary to the expectations of Washington’s policy-makers, Middle East reality documents that a Palestinian state would add a rogue regime to the stormy region, intensify terrorism and war, inflame regional instability, exacerbate the Israel-Palestinian conflict, undermine the expansion of the Israel-Arab peace process, generate tailwind to rogue entities and cripple US interests.

An Israeli retreat to the pre-1967 8-15-mile sliver along the Mediterranean, dominated by the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, would obliterate Israel’s posture of deterrence, and would transform Israel from a unique force-multiplier – to a strategic liability – for the US, depriving the US of “the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require a single American on board.”

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Hamas and war on terrorism

  1. All pro-US Arab regimes – such as Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Morocco and Sudan – have refrained from tangible support of Hamas, which is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The latter constitutes an existential threat to each pro-US Arab regime, aiming to topple every Muslim/Arab regime, in order to establish a universal Islamic society through political, social and terroristic means. Eventually, it aspires to bring non-Muslims, and especially Western democracies, to submission.
  2. The pro-US Arab regimes are aware that Hamas is a proxy of Iran’s Shiite terrorism, even though it is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood Sunni terrorism, heavily assisted by Turkey’s Erdogan, who aspires to reestablish the Ottoman Empire throughout the Middle East and beyond.
  3. Hamas’ patrons – Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood – are epicenters of regional and global Islamic terrorism, drug trafficking and proliferation of ballistic and nuclear technologies. They pose a major threat to the production and supply of oil and orderly global trade (e.g., Asia-Europe naval trade), and fuel instability in the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and Europe. They threaten the national security, homeland security and economy of the US and other Western democracies.
  4. Israel’s systematic war against Hamas terrorism – as well as against Hezbollah – constrains the maneuverability of Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey’s Erdogan. Pressuring Israel to limit/stop its offensive against Hamas terrorists energizes Hamas and other anti-Western terrorists, undermining the Free World’s war on Islamic terrorism.

Arabs stance on Palestinian terrorism

  1. Notwithstanding the pro-Palestinian Arab talk, no Arab regime has flexed military or financial muscle on behalf of Hamas, consistent with the Arab conduct during the 2008/9, 2012 and 2014 Israel-Hamas wars, the 1987-1992 and 2000-2003 Palestinian Intifadas and the 1982-83 Israel-PLO war in Lebanon.

Since 1948, the Arabs have emanated pro-Palestinian talk – which has captured the attention of Western media and policy makers – while avoiding the pro-Palestinian walk. Thus, no Arab war against Israel was ever launched on behalf of the Palestinians.

  1. The absence of tangible Arab support of the current Hamas war on Israel reflects the consistent Arab view of the Palestinian Authority (PLO) and Hamas as role models of intra-Arab terrorism, subversion and ingratitude. This Arab view has been in response to Palestinian terrorism in Egypt (1950s), Syria (1960s), Jordan (1968-70 and 1980s), Lebanon (1970s and 1980s) and Kuwait (assisting Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion).

In the history-driven Middle East, memory is long: Palestinian intra-Arab treachery is not forgotten, nor forgiven.

Root cause of Palestinian terrorism

  1. While Westerners observe the Gaza War through political and diplomatic lenses, and attribute terrorism to political and economic despair and deprivation, Hamas is driven by a fanatical, deeply-rooted religious vision. Thus, the current wave of Palestinian terrorism has been accompanied by calls to resurrect the 7th century Muhammed’s massacre of the Jewish tribes in the Arabian Peninsula, and to free Jaffa, Lydda, Ramleh and Acre (in pre-1967 Israel!). On May 15, Palestinians commemorated the “Nakba” – the catastrophe of Israel’s establishment.

Moreover, Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Fatah were established in 1964 and 1959, in order to “liberate” pre-1967 Israel, not “the West Bank” and East Jerusalem, as documented by Mahmoud Abbas’ hate-education curriculum.

Islam divides the world into the “abode of Islam” and those who have yet to accept – or be subordinated to – Islam as the sole legitimate religion, or be eliminated. Thus, Hamas defines Israel as an illegitimate “infidel” sovereignty in the “abode of Islam,” which must be uprooted or brought to submission.

  1. As documented by anti-Jewish Palestinian terrorism since the 19th century, anti-Israel Palestinian terrorism preceded the establishment of Israel and the Six Days War.

The root cause of Palestinian terrorism is not the size – but the existence – of the Jewish State. Palestinian terrorism is driven by Israel’s existence, irrespective of Israel’s policies. For example, in 1993 (Oslo) and 2005 (disengagement from Gaza), in a self-destruct attempt to create a “new Middle East,” Israel provided the Palestinians with unprecedented self-rule and a venue to independence.  However, as expected in the real Middle East, and based on the Arab experience with Palestinians, these critical Israeli policies yielded unprecedented waves of Palestinian hate education, incitement and terrorism.

  1. Palestinian terrorism is part and parcel of Arab/Islamic terrorism, which has dominated Middle East reality since the 7th century, when three of the first four caliphs, who succeeded Muhammed, were murdered. Palestinian terrorism and Arab/Islamic terrorism have mostly targeted Arabs/Muslims. Is it logical to assume that the “infidel” Jew or Christian will be treated more moderately?!
  2. There is no moral equivalence between Western-style democracies, which combat terrorism, and inadvertently hit civilians, on the one hand, and terrorists who systematically and deliberately target civilians, while abusing their own civilians as human shield, in order to increase civilian casualties, on the other hand.
  3. The prerequisites for a successful battle against Arab/Islamic terrorism are the bolstering of one’s power-of-deterrence – in one of the most violently unpredictable and terror-driven regions of the world – accompanied by a realism-based policy, while avoiding appeasement and the delusion that Middle East rogue entities welcome Western norms, such as peaceful-coexistence, compliance with agreements, human rights and democracy.

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It has been suggested that the next Prime Minister of Israel will be proscribed from annexing parts of Judea and Samaria – for the next three years – due to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s personal commitment to President Trump to refrain from annexation.  This ostensible commitment was never ratified by Israel’s Legislature.

Does a personal commitment by an Israeli prime minister to a US president tie the hands of succeeding Israeli prime ministers?

Not according to the tradition of democratic societies, which aims to avoid Executive tyranny, limiting the power of presidents and prime ministers through a system of checks and balance.

For example, international accords reached by US presidents require ratification by two thirds of the Senate.  Therefore, in 2018, President Trump was able to withdraw from the 2015 Iran Nuclear Accord (JCPOA), since it was never ratified by the Senate.  Moreover, the US is not committed to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which was signed in 1999 by President Clinton, but has yet to be ratified by the Senate.

Furthermore, the 1975 assurance of President Ford to Israel’s Prime Minister Rabin “to give great weight to Israel’s position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights,” did not commit any of the succeeding presidents, since it was not ratified by the Senate. A similar fate met President Eisenhower’s 1957 non-ratified assurance issued to Israel’s Prime Minister Eshkol, which implied US willingness to deploy its military in the face of Egyptian violations of agreements in the Red Sea and the Sinai Peninsula (which triggered the 1967 War).

On June 19, 1967, in the aftermath of the Six Day War, Israel’s Prime Minister Eshkol and his Cabinet offered “to conclude peace agreements with Egypt and Syria, based on the pre-1967 lines with due consideration to Israel’s security requirements.” Egypt and Syria rebuffed Israel’s unprecedented lavish offer. However, this generous Israeli proposal did not preclude Israeli Prime Minister Begin – who was a member of the 1967 Cabinet – from applying Israeli law to the topographically and geographically overpowering Golan Heights in 1981.

Should future Israeli prime ministers be constrained by the equally- reckless proposals, submitted by four previous Israeli prime ministers, who offered a sweeping retreat from the Golan Heights? Do past Israeli careless peace proposals – which were rejected by Syria – carry more weight than Israeli law and Middle East reality, which has highlighted the erratic, unpredictable, violent and tenuous nature of the Middle East, in general, and Syria, in particular?

In the 2000/2001 Camp David and Taba Summits, Prime Minister Ehud Barak – the shortest term-serving Israeli prime minister – overwhelmed President Clinton and Yasser Arafat by offering to withdraw from 97% of Judea and Samaria, re-divide Jerusalem, transfer some parts of pre-1967 Israel to the Palestinian Authority, and negotiate a return of some Palestinian refugees. That incredible offer – which would have returned Israel back to the pre-1967 nine to fifteen-mile sliver dominated by the mountains of Judea and Samaria – was rejected by the Palestinians.

In 2008, Prime Minister Olmert’s equally reckless peace proposal was rejected by Mahmoud Abbas.

Should future Israeli prime ministers sacrifice Israel’s existential national security requirements – in the volcanic Middle East, which has yet to experience intra Arab peaceful coexistence – on the altar of past foolhardy non-ratified Israeli proposals?

Rather than refraining from the annexation of the Jordan Valley and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – which constitute Israel’s most critical line of defense and the cradle of Jewish history, religion and culture – future Israeli prime ministers are advised to follow in the footsteps of Prime Minister Begin.   Prime Minister Begin applied Israeli law to the Golan Heights in 1981, despite his own support of the aforementioned 1967 peace proposal, and in defiance of brutal pressure from President Reagan, including the suspension of a promising defense cooperation agreement. Begin’s defiance triggered short-term friction and acrimony with the US, but yielded long term appreciation for Israel’s posture of deterrence and enhanced Israel’s national security.

 

 

Conventional wisdom assumes that the Palestinian Authority is amenable to peaceful-coexistence with Israel; that peaceful-coexistence is advanced by financial support of the Palestinian Authority; that a core concern for the Palestinian Authority is the land acquired by Israel in the 1967 War; and that land-for-peace (Israel’s retreat to the pre-1967 lines) is a prerequisite for Israel-Palestinian peaceful-coexistence.

Are these assumptions consistent with the Palestinian reality?

While the Palestinian ethos features religious, political, ideological, demographic and legal components, its core ingredient is a specific parcel of land, which pulls the rug out from under the “land-for-peace” assumption.

The centrality of the “1948 land” in the Palestinian ethos is underscored by the late Dr. Yuval Arnon-Ohanna, who was the head of the Mossad’s Palestinian research division and a ground-breaking researcher of the Palestinian issue (Line of Furrow and Fire). This is documented by pivotal Palestinian books, such as the six-volume Al Nakbah (“The 1948 Catastrophe”), as well as the 1959 and 1964 Fatah and PLO covenants – which are the ideological and strategic core of the Palestinian Authority – and the Palestinian educational curriculum.

These foundational documents have served as a most effective generator of Palestinian terrorism since 1948, and especially since the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords.  They focus on the outcome of the failed 1948 Arab military invasion – by five Arab countries and the local Arabs – of the Jewish State.

This Arab offensive was expected by the CIA, which assessed that it would be successful, yielding the destruction of the Jewish State and a second Jewish Holocaust in less than ten years!

According to Dr. Arnon-Ohanna, the aforementioned Palestinian documents shed light on the fragmentation of the Arab society west of the Jordan River.  Thus, the mountain Arabs in Judea, Samaria (West Bank) and the Galilee have demonstrated a relative cohesion, socially, ethnically, culturally, politically and historically.  On the other hand, the coastal plains Arabs have exhibited a relatively feeble social structure, recently immigrating from Muslim areas, as evidenced by the names of major clans.

For example, the al Mughrabi clan immigrated from North Africa (Algeria), al Turki from Turkey, al Ajami from Iran, al Kurdi from Kurdistan, al Iraqi from Iraq, al Hindi from India, al Masri from Egypt, Masrawi from Egypt, Abu Kishk from Egypt, Haurani from Syria, Bushnak from Bosnia, Habash from Ethiopia, Yamani from Yemen, Turkmen from Turkmenistan and the Caucasus, Hawari from north Sudan, etc.

While most of the mountain Arabs remained in their homes during the 1948/49 war, most coastal plains Arabs – the lion share of whom migrated to the area during the 19th and early 20th centuries – left their homes. In fact, many of the coastal Arabs left their homes before the eruption of the war and during its initial stage, when the invading Arab military forces and the local Arabs had the upper hand.

The (mostly coastal plains) Arabs who left their homes are referred to as al-Kharj (“Outside”) and the (mostly mountain) Arabs who stayed intact are referred to as al-Dakhil (“Inside”).

The coastal/outside 1948 Arabs constitute the leadership and most of the rank and file of the PLO, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. They claim “the right of return” to the 1948 territory, which is the pre-1967 area of Israel.  “Cleansing the 1948 land of the Zionist presence” is the focal point of the Palestinian ethos, as highlighted by the Palestinian school curriculum, media, religious sermons and the 1959 and 1964 Fatah and PLO covenants (eight years and three years before the 1967 war).

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the core concern of the Palestinians is not the 1967 – but the 1948 – “occupation;” not peaceful coexistence with – but without – Israel; not the size – but the elimination – of Israel.

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latest videos

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Welcome to the rebranded EttingerReport website

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The US diplomatic option toward Iran is self-destructive

The US diplomatic option induced the transformation of Iran from “the American policeman of the Gulf” to “the largest anti-American venomous octopus in the world.”
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Palestinian state – is it consistent with US interests?

A Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would cause the demise of the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into a platform of anti-US Islamic terrorism with ripple effects into the Arabian Peninsula, threatening all pro-US, oil producing Arab regimes, a bonanza to US enemies and rivals and a setback to the US.
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Can/should Israel defy US pressure?

Israel’s defiance of US pressure has been an inherent feature of US-Israel relations since 1948. It has caused short-term frictions, while generating long-term US strategic respect toward Israel, triggering a dramatic enhancement of mutually-beneficial strategic cooperation. Israeli defiance of US pressure spared the US economic and national security setbacks, dealing major blows to enemies and rivals of the US.

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SCHEDULE LECTURES & INTERVIEWS

Demography

2024 artificially inflated Palestinian demography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Iran

FBI Director Chris Wray: Iranian terrorism on US soil

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
April 10, 2024

The State Department has adhered to the diplomatic option toward Iran, rewarding the Ayatollahs with a financial and diplomatic bonanza, waiving and softening economic sanctions. However, FBI Director Chris Wray has concluded that Iran and its Islamic terrorist proxies are set to hit the US mainland. Iran is leveraging its cooperation with US criminal organizations and with Latin American drug cartels in the areas of terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking and money laundering.

Addressing cadets at the West Point US Military Academy, Wray stated: “The ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans inside the US to a whole another level…. Although we cannot discount the possibility of another coordinated 9/11-style attack by a foreign terrorist organization, our most immediate concern has been that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home….”

In his testimony at the House Committee on Homeland Security, Director Wray stated: “As the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, the Iranians [who collaborate with all Latin American drug cartels] have directly, or by hiring criminals, mounted assassination attempts against dissidents and high ranking current and former US officials, including right here on American soil…. Hezbollah, Iran’s primary strategic partner, has tried to seed operatives, establish infrastructure and engage in spying here domestically… planning future operations in the US….

“In a year when the terrorism threat was already elevated, the ongoing [Israel-Hamas] war has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the US to a whole other level…. Since October 7, we’ve seen a rogue gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies. Hezbollah [which trains Latin American drug traffickers in the areas of car bombing and IEDs] threatened to attack US interests in the Middle East. Al-Qaeda issued its most specific call to attack the US….

“Our most immediate concern is that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home. That includes homegrown violent extremists inspired by a foreign terrorist organization…. We cannot discount the possibility that Hamas or another foreign terrorist organization may exploit the current conflict to conduct attacks here, on our own soil….”

In his testimony at the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Wray highlighted the central role of Iran’s Ayatollahs in the intensified anti-US Islamic terrorism: “Nations such as the PRC, Russia and Iran are becoming more aggressive and more capable than ever before. These nations seek to undermine our core democratic, economic and scientific institutions….[They] conduct sophisticated intelligence operations using coercion, subversion, malign influence, cyber and economic espionage, traditional spying and non-traditional human intelligence collection.  They pose a continuous threat to US national security and our economy by targeting strategic technologies, industries, sectors and critical infrastructure…. [Iran’s collaboration with US criminal organizations] should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with both the scope of Iran’s penetration of the Western hemisphere and its association with TCOs (Transnational Criminal Organizations) at every level.  Understanding both the nature of this new combination requires some knowledge of TCOs, the security apparatus of the Iranian state and their links….”

Col. (ret.) Robert Killebrew of the Center for a New American Security sheds light on the connection between Iran’s Ayatollahs, Hezbollah and Latin American anti-US terrorism and drug trafficking: “That Iran has relationships with TCOs [e.g., MS-13] with deep ties inside the US is a fact…. Hostility toward the US is fundamental to the ideological outlook of Iran’s ruling theocracy, which considers itself at war with the US…. The Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas [aimed to undermine the US posture in Latin America], which includes states like Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua, has forged close military ties with Iran…. Along with senior members of the Venezuelan government, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard is involved in the illicit narcotics trade… training of local forces and in illicit drug trade that weakens the US at home….

“Reports of Iranian activity in South and Central America continue to roll in, along with Hezbollah’s hefty fund-raising and training activities in South America…. The coordinated US response to the growing presence of Iranian agents in Central and South America has been tepid at best…. Despite the presence of the armed forces of a hostile state (Iran) to our south, and clear evidence that those forces will use TCOs to attack targets inside the US, the possibility of converted action against the cartels and, by implication, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, remains elusive….”

The bottom line:

*There is a direct connection between the US homeland security, on the one hand, and Iran’s Ayatollahs’ anti-US fanatic and imperialistic ideology, their oppression of women and ethnic and religious minorities in Iran, and their role as the leading regional and global epicenter of anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and proliferation of advance weaponry, on the other hand.

*As documented since their February 1979 rise to power, Iran’s Ayatollahs’ fanatic, religious and imperialistic vision – which aims to bring “The Great American Satan” to submission – transcends any financial and diplomatic bonanza extended by the US.

*While Hamas and Hezbollah constitute a threat to all pro-US Arab regimes, intensify the volcanic nature of the Middle East, and undermine the national and homeland security of the US, it is Iran which is the generator of these terror organizations. Disabling the Iranian generator is a prerequisite for minimizing the wrath of Islamic terrorism.

*The 45-year-old track record of the US diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs – which has bolstered the anti-US capabilities of the Ayatollahs, while undermining US interests – requires a reassessment and a shift to the regime-change option.

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Judea & Samaria

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

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

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

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

For instance:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jerusalem

United Jerusalem – a shared US-Israel legacy and interest

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

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

United Jerusalem and the US law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Jerusalem and the legacy of the Founding Fathers

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

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

The Jerusalem reality and US interests

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

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

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

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

Jerusalem and Israel’s defiance of US pressure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jewish Holidays

Chanukah guide for the perplexed, 2023

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

More on Jewish holidays: SmashwordsAmazon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Golan

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

Islamic Terrorism

FBI Director Chris Wray: Iranian terrorism on US soil