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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
May 22, 2024

*Secretary of State Antony Blinken is a true believer in the diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs. He rules out regime-change and military options, irrespective of the Ayatollahs’ 45-year-old track record of anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and proliferation of advanced military systems.  

*Currently, Blinken is pressuring Israel to negotiate another ceasefire with Hamas, disregarding the litany of previous ceasefires, which bolstered Hamas’ terror capabilities. He leans on Israel to shift from the military option to the diplomatic option, snatching Hamas from the jaws of obliteration. Such a shift would be perceived by all Middle East entities as a dramatic victory for Hamas and a major defeat for Israel, fueling more terrorism and war against Israel and all pro-US Arab countries, which already have the machetes of Islamic terrorism at their throats. It will also reduce the Arab/Moslem interest to conclude additional peace treaties with Israel, and inspire Islamic terrorism on US soil, as stated by FBI Director, Chris Wray.

According to AP: “In a pair of TV interviews, Secretary Blinken underscored that the United States believes Israeli forces should ‘get out of Gaza…,’ reiterating the longstanding U.S. opposition to the growing Israeli offensive in Rafah.…”  According to PBS: “US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli leaders in his push for a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas…. ‘We are determined to get a ceasefire…. There is a proposal on the table, and as we have said: no delays, no excuses, the time is now….’ The proposal would put a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza up for discussion….”

*Secretary of State, Antony Blinken is genuinely determined to advance the cause of peace and stability in the Middle East, but he is driven by a speculative future scenario, which is a derivative of an alternate reality, detached from Middle East reality.

*Blinken underestimates the role of the larger context of Hamas’ and Hezbollah’s terrorism, which is critically financed, supplied and trained by Iran’s Ayatollahs, who support and collaborate with anti-US regimes in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, including Latin American drug cartels in Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil.

*Irrespective of the systematically rogue anti-US track record of the Ayatollahs – since toppling the Shah of Iran in February 1979 – Blinken sticks to the diplomatic/negotiation option, which has been a bonanza for Iran’s anti-US strategy.  He refuses to recognize that the Ayatollahs are not partners for peaceful coexistence and good-faith negotiation, but a target for regime-change, which would liberate the oppressed majority of Iran, eliminate the chief threat to the survival of every pro-US Arab regime, eradicate a major hurdle on the way of more Israel-Arab peace accords, and would deprive anti-US global Islamic terrorism of its leading epicenter. A regime change would generate a robust tailwind to regional and global stability and peaceful coexistence.

*Blinken takes lightly the 17-year-long track record of Israel-Hamas confrontations, which documents that ceasefire agreements are leveraged by Hamas to bolster its Moslem Brotherhood directed terror machine.

*Blinken underrates the fact that any policy toward the Israel-Hamas war should be a derivative of the 1,400-year-old intrinsic features of Middle East reality. For instance, the absence of intra-Moslem and intra-Arab peaceful coexistence; the violent intolerance towards “infidels,” “apostates” as well as “believers”; the absence of democracy, human rights and long term compliance with agreements; shifty and unpredictable policies and violence; the tenuous nature of all Arab regimes, which ascend to – and lose – power via the “bullet” (violence), and not via the ballot; the tenuous nature of  these regimes’ policies and accords; the centrality of fanatic ideology, which transcends the Western notion of “money talks;” etc.

*In this frustrating volcanic reality of the Middle East – unlike the much more convenient and predictable State Department’s alternate reality – the most critical component of national security is posture of deterrence, rather than negotiation and peace accords, which are as tenuous as the regimes that conduct them. 

*While a bolstered posture of deterrence minimizes war and terrorism, an eroded posture of deterrence whets the appetite of rogue entities; thus, intensifying war and terrorism, regionally and globally.

*Israel’s posture of deterrence was demolished by its own October 7 debacle(!), and its military strategy since then has aimed to restore it, in order to rebound and avoid eventual destruction.

*Secretary Blinken underrates the centrality of fanatical visions and ideologies in the Middle East, and therefore assumes that constructive negotiation may take place among all parties. He ignores the fact that constructive negotiation may take place between entities, whose vision does not require the elimination of one another. Thus, peace accords were successfully negotiated between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and South Sudan, and Israel-Saudi cooperation has been exceptionally productive.

*None of these agreements were preconditioned upon the establishment of a Palestinian state! Arabs consider the Palestinians as a role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism and treachery, and therefore shower the Palestinian with embracing talk, while the actual walk ranges from indifferent-to-negative.

*These Arab countries would prefer a Middle East devoid of “an infidel” Jewish sovereignty, but the fulfillment of their national visions is not predicated upon the elimination of Israel. In fact, they consider Israel as an effective national security ally in the face of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood.  

*On the other hand, constructive negotiation cannot take place between Israel and Hamas, since the fulfillment of Hamas’ fanatical vision – as stipulated in the 1988 Hamas charter, its hate-education and mosque-incitement and Hamas’ terrorism – is preconditioned upon the elimination of the “infidel” Jewish State. The same applies to the Palestinian Authority, whose annihilationist vision is stated by the 1964 and 1959 charters of the PLO and Fatah terror organizations – 3 and 8 years before the 1967 War – which are embedded in the PA’s hate education, mosque incitement, the idolization of terrorists and systematic terrorism – calling for the elimination of Israel.

*The US State Department is advised to pay more attention to the reality of the Middle East, and abandon its systematically failing alternate reality.

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
May 7, 2024

On April 29, 2024, Secretary of State, Blinken, expressed his hopeful vision: “We continue to work… on a plan to build a just and lasting peace, a pathway to a state of the Palestinians with guarantees for Israel’s security as part of a more integrated and a more secure region… greater stability in this region and to prevent conflict from spreading….”

*However, policy-making should not be based on hope, but on reality. It should be a derivative of Middle East reality, where Iranian, Hezbollah and Palestinian (PLO and Hamas) terrorists are driven by fanatic visions and by an unwavering commitment to bring their enemies to submission. They are not driven by despair, neither by peaceful coexistence with their enemies, nor by life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In the Middle East, deeply-rooted zealot ideologies transcend “money talks.”

*Moreover, reality has documented that terrorists bite the hands that feed them, as demonstrated by Iran’s Ayatollahs (whose rise to power was critically assisted by the US), Afghanistan’s Mujahideen (whose victory over the USSR was enabled by the US), Libya’s Islamic terrorists (who gained power due to a US-led NATO military offensive against Qadhafi), the Palestinian Authority (which was imported by Israel into Judea and Samaria), Hamas (which owes much of its terrorist maneuverability to Israel’s disengagement from Gaza), etc.

*Hence, the failure of all State Department’s Israel-Arab peace proposals, which centered on Palestinian interests, contrary to the successful conclusion of six Israel-Arab peace accords, which centered on Arab national interests, denying Palestinians a veto power over the peace process.

*Secretary Blinken’s hope-based vision of a Palestinian state, which would peacefully-coexist with Israel and Jordan and contribute to regional stability, is detached from the 70-year-old Palestinian intra-Arab track record, the 85-year-old interaction with enemies and rivals of the US (Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Ayatollah Khomeini, Latin American and global terrorism, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, China, the Moslem Brotherhood, etc.), and the 100-year-old anti-Jewish Palestinian terrorism.

*Contrary to Secretary Blinken, who is preoccupied with positive, convenient and speculative future scenarios and with Palestinian talk (with Western movers and shakers), all pro-US Arab leaders are preoccupied with the well-documented Palestinian intra-Arab rogue track record, which has transformed Palestinians into the role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism, ingratitude and treachery.

*Arab leaders are aware that the Palestinian track record means that the proposed Palestinian state would add fuel – not water – to the Middle East fire. In fact, Egypt does not welcome Palestinian migration from Gaza to Sinai, due to many years of Palestinian collaboration with Islamic and global terrorism, as well as the precedent of the 1950s, when Egypt-hosted-Palestinians collaborated with the Moslem Brotherhood, terrorizing their host government.

*Arab leaders are aware that the combination of the Palestinian track record, Jordan’s domestic predicament, and the intensifying Iranian subversion in Jordan, would transform a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River into the terminator of the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River.  This would mutate Jordan into a major platform of anti-US Islamic terrorism, yielding ripple effects into the Arabian Peninsula and the Sinai Desert, threatening the survival of every pro-US Arab oil producing regime, as well as Egypt. This would yield a strategic bonanza to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Moslem Brotherhood terrorists, Russia and China, while causing a critical setback to all pro-US Arab regimes, and the US’ economy, national and homeland security.  

*Contrary to Secretary Blinken, Arab policy-makers are driven by Palestinian walk, not talk. They know that, in the Middle East, on words one does not pay custom. Furthermore, Arab policy toward the proposed Palestinian state is not reflected by the Arab talk – which has warmly embraced the Palestinians since 1948 – but by the Arab walk, which has refrained – since 1948 – from any tangible initiative to advance the cause of a Palestinian state. For example, all six Israel-Arab peace accords (Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and South Sudan), and Israel’s ground-breaking cooperation with Saudi Arabia, were not preconditioned upon the establishment of a Palestinian state. In addition, the November 2024 joint summit of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation rejected a proposed resolution – by Iran, Algeria and the Palestinian Authority – to suspend all diplomatic, economic, touristic and defense cooperation with Israel. Arabs do not subordinate their own national interests on the Palestinian altar.

*US national and homeland security require a US policy in the Middle East, which is a derivative of the frustrating, violent, intolerant and unpredictable Middle East reality, not a convenient, optimistic alternate reality; a policy which seeks long term security, not short term convenience; avoiding and not repeating past critical mistakes.

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel initiative”
June 6, 2024

*Western conventional wisdom (WCW) embraced Iran’s Ayatollahs in 1979 – while stabbing of the Shah of Iran, “America’s policeman in the Gulf,” in the back – and helping them catapult from a regional rogue regime to the most effective global epicenter of anti-Western terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and proliferation of military systems in 2024, constituting a clear and present threat to US homeland security.

*WCW has also afflicted Israel’s policy toward Palestinian terrorism, catapulting Hamas from a mini-terror organization in 2005 – upon Israel’s uprooting its civilian and military presence in Gaza – to the most fortified terror-state in 2024, which perpetrated the October 7, 2023 massacre. The Westernization of Israel’s national security policy was initially reflected by the 1993 Oslo Accord, which was negotiated with PLO terrorists – who have been dedicated since 1964 to the destruction of the “infidel” Jewish entity – and by the importation of 100,000 Palestinian terrorists from Tunisia, the Sudan, Yemen and Lebanon to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

*Middle East policy should be a derivative of the unpredictably violent and despotic Middle East reality – which has never experienced intra-Arab or intra-Moslem peaceful coexistence – and not a predictable and convenient alternate reality. Itshould avoid – not repeat – past critical mistakes.

*WCW has underestimated the centrality of fanatic and religious ideology in the forging of aspirations, strategies and policies of Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Moslem Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, Yemen’s Houthis and the Palestinian Authority.  While the West believes in separation of state and church, Islam believes in the dominance of religion in policy-making, particularly peace and war.  WCW assumes that “money talks,” ignoring the supremacy of Islamic ideologies over financial inducements, and takes lightly the 1,400-year-old conviction that Islam is the only divinely-ordained legitimate religion, bringing “apostates” and Western “infidels” – especially the US – to submission.   In fact, Islamic terrorism has haunted the US since the Barbary pirates in the early 19th century, irrespective of US policy, and independent of the identity of the US President.

*WCW (and especially Secretary Blinken and National Security Advisor Sullivan) assumes that terrorists are driven by despair, and therefore should not be approached militarily, but by mega diplomatic and financial gestures.  WCW deludes itself that such gestures would induce the Ayatollahs to embrace peaceful coexistence with their Sunni neighbors, become good-faith negotiators and abandon their 1,400-year-old ideology.

However, Middle East reality considers gestures, concessions and retreats as weakness, which whets the appetite of rogue entities.

*WCW pressures Israel to adopt such a policy toward Palestinian terrorism, shifting from the military – to the diplomatic – option. It belittles the clout of the Islamic precept that ceasefire and peace negotiations (especially with “infidels”) are temporary, until an opportunity arises to overcome the enemy.

*WCW maintains that Israel must negotiate with – not obliterate – Hamas, irrespective of Hamas’ anti-Western ideology/charter, school curriculum, mosque sermons, idolization of terrorists and systematic terrorism – which mandate the elimination of Israel and the submission of the Western “infidel.”  WCW dismisses the lessons of Israel’s 17-year-systematic negotiation with Hamas, which has dramatically bolstered Hamas’ terroristic capabilities, yielding the October 7, 2023 massacre. WCW ignores the fact that constructive negotiation may take place only between entities, whose visions do not require the elimination of one another. Thus, peace accords were successfully negotiated between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and South Sudan, and Israel-Saudi cooperation has been exceptionally productive.

*WCW is enthralled with the Palestinian Authority moderate talk, concluding that a Palestinian state would be reformed, adhering to peaceful coexistence. However, all pro-Western Arab leaders are preoccupied with the Palestinian walk, which has transformed the Palestinians into a role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism and treachery: terrorizing Egypt in the 1950s, Syria in the 1960s, Jordan in 1970, Lebanon from 1970-1982 and Kuwait in 1990, while always siding with enemies and rivals of the West, such as Nazi German, the Soviet Bloc, Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Moslem Brotherhood, international terrorist organizations, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, China and Russia. They have concluded that a Palestinian state would doom the pro-Western Hashemite regime, transforming Jordan into another epicenter of global, anti-Western Islamic terrorism. This would threaten all pro-Western Arab oil-producing regimes, thus rewarding the Ayatollahs, the Moslem Brotherhood, China and Russia, and deal a dramatic blow to Western economies, homeland and national security. Therefore, Arabs have refrained from an effective walk on behalf of a Palestinian state.

*WCW has attempted to hoodwink Israel into retreat from the strategically over-towering mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – in the tectonic, intolerant and violent Middle East – to the pre-1967 9 to 15-mile-wide-sliver along the Mediterranean, in return for a peace accord, in the Middle East which features no intra-Moslem peaceful-coexistence, as well as tenuous non-democratic regimes, and therefore tenuous policies and accords. In this region, posture of deterrence (e.g., controlling the mountain ridges of Judea and Judea) – not the highly regarded peace accords – is the most crucial component of national security.  While mountain ridges are fixed components, Middle East peace accords are variables.

*WCW insistence to subordinate Middle East reality to its own alternate reality has been highlighted by the failure of all Western peace initiatives, which centered on the Palestinian issue, while the six successful Israel-Arab peace treaties centered on Arab – not Palestinian – interests.

*Additional highlights of the self-destructive nature of WCW are the critical tailwind it accorded the Ayatollahs’ 1979 toppling of the Shah of Iran; the embrace of Saddam Hussein as an ally until his 1990 invasion of Kuwait, and punishing Israel for destroying Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981; the 1994 awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the chief Palestinian terrorist, Arafat, and defining Mahmoud Abbas – the founder of Palestinian hate education, incitement and monthly allowances to families of terrorists – as a moderate.  In addition, the 2000 welcoming of Bashar Assad as a potentially moderate leader; the welcoming of the 2011 Arab Tsunami (which still haunts the Arab Street) as if it were the Arab Spring, Facebook and Youth Revolution; the 2011 toppling of Gaddafi, which transformed Libya into a major platform of anti-Western Islamic terrorism and an arena of perpetual civil war; etc.    

 *Western conventional wisdom has persisted in the attempt to subordinate Middle East reality to its own alternate reality, thus, learning from history by repeating – not avoiding – past critical mistakes, severely undermining Western national and homeland security.

*Israel should be aware of the failed Western track record in the Middle East, when assessing – skeptically – Western policy recommendations, such as the establishment of a Palestinian state, and negotiation with – rather than obliteration of – Hamas.

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
May 22, 2024

*Secretary of State Antony Blinken is a true believer in the diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs. He rules out regime-change and military options, irrespective of the Ayatollahs’ 45-year-old track record of anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and proliferation of advanced military systems.  

*Currently, Blinken is pressuring Israel to negotiate another ceasefire with Hamas, disregarding the litany of previous ceasefires, which bolstered Hamas’ terror capabilities. He leans on Israel to shift from the military option to the diplomatic option, snatching Hamas from the jaws of obliteration. Such a shift would be perceived by all Middle East entities as a dramatic victory for Hamas and a major defeat for Israel, fueling more terrorism and war against Israel and all pro-US Arab countries, which already have the machetes of Islamic terrorism at their throats. It will also reduce the Arab/Moslem interest to conclude additional peace treaties with Israel, and inspire Islamic terrorism on US soil, as stated by FBI Director, Chris Wray.

According to AP: “In a pair of TV interviews, Secretary Blinken underscored that the United States believes Israeli forces should ‘get out of Gaza…,’ reiterating the longstanding U.S. opposition to the growing Israeli offensive in Rafah.…”  According to PBS: “US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli leaders in his push for a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas…. ‘We are determined to get a ceasefire…. There is a proposal on the table, and as we have said: no delays, no excuses, the time is now….’ The proposal would put a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza up for discussion….”

*Secretary of State, Antony Blinken is genuinely determined to advance the cause of peace and stability in the Middle East, but he is driven by a speculative future scenario, which is a derivative of an alternate reality, detached from Middle East reality.

*Blinken underestimates the role of the larger context of Hamas’ and Hezbollah’s terrorism, which is critically financed, supplied and trained by Iran’s Ayatollahs, who support and collaborate with anti-US regimes in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, including Latin American drug cartels in Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil.

*Irrespective of the systematically rogue anti-US track record of the Ayatollahs – since toppling the Shah of Iran in February 1979 – Blinken sticks to the diplomatic/negotiation option, which has been a bonanza for Iran’s anti-US strategy.  He refuses to recognize that the Ayatollahs are not partners for peaceful coexistence and good-faith negotiation, but a target for regime-change, which would liberate the oppressed majority of Iran, eliminate the chief threat to the survival of every pro-US Arab regime, eradicate a major hurdle on the way of more Israel-Arab peace accords, and would deprive anti-US global Islamic terrorism of its leading epicenter. A regime change would generate a robust tailwind to regional and global stability and peaceful coexistence.

*Blinken takes lightly the 17-year-long track record of Israel-Hamas confrontations, which documents that ceasefire agreements are leveraged by Hamas to bolster its Moslem Brotherhood directed terror machine.

*Blinken underrates the fact that any policy toward the Israel-Hamas war should be a derivative of the 1,400-year-old intrinsic features of Middle East reality. For instance, the absence of intra-Moslem and intra-Arab peaceful coexistence; the violent intolerance towards “infidels,” “apostates” as well as “believers”; the absence of democracy, human rights and long term compliance with agreements; shifty and unpredictable policies and violence; the tenuous nature of all Arab regimes, which ascend to – and lose – power via the “bullet” (violence), and not via the ballot; the tenuous nature of  these regimes’ policies and accords; the centrality of fanatic ideology, which transcends the Western notion of “money talks;” etc.

*In this frustrating volcanic reality of the Middle East – unlike the much more convenient and predictable State Department’s alternate reality – the most critical component of national security is posture of deterrence, rather than negotiation and peace accords, which are as tenuous as the regimes that conduct them. 

*While a bolstered posture of deterrence minimizes war and terrorism, an eroded posture of deterrence whets the appetite of rogue entities; thus, intensifying war and terrorism, regionally and globally.

*Israel’s posture of deterrence was demolished by its own October 7 debacle(!), and its military strategy since then has aimed to restore it, in order to rebound and avoid eventual destruction.

*Secretary Blinken underrates the centrality of fanatical visions and ideologies in the Middle East, and therefore assumes that constructive negotiation may take place among all parties. He ignores the fact that constructive negotiation may take place between entities, whose vision does not require the elimination of one another. Thus, peace accords were successfully negotiated between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and South Sudan, and Israel-Saudi cooperation has been exceptionally productive.

*None of these agreements were preconditioned upon the establishment of a Palestinian state! Arabs consider the Palestinians as a role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism and treachery, and therefore shower the Palestinian with embracing talk, while the actual walk ranges from indifferent-to-negative.

*These Arab countries would prefer a Middle East devoid of “an infidel” Jewish sovereignty, but the fulfillment of their national visions is not predicated upon the elimination of Israel. In fact, they consider Israel as an effective national security ally in the face of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood.  

*On the other hand, constructive negotiation cannot take place between Israel and Hamas, since the fulfillment of Hamas’ fanatical vision – as stipulated in the 1988 Hamas charter, its hate-education and mosque-incitement and Hamas’ terrorism – is preconditioned upon the elimination of the “infidel” Jewish State. The same applies to the Palestinian Authority, whose annihilationist vision is stated by the 1964 and 1959 charters of the PLO and Fatah terror organizations – 3 and 8 years before the 1967 War – which are embedded in the PA’s hate education, mosque incitement, the idolization of terrorists and systematic terrorism – calling for the elimination of Israel.

*The US State Department is advised to pay more attention to the reality of the Middle East, and abandon its systematically failing alternate reality.

Support Appreciated

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
May 7, 2024

On April 29, 2024, Secretary of State, Blinken, expressed his hopeful vision: “We continue to work… on a plan to build a just and lasting peace, a pathway to a state of the Palestinians with guarantees for Israel’s security as part of a more integrated and a more secure region… greater stability in this region and to prevent conflict from spreading….”

*However, policy-making should not be based on hope, but on reality. It should be a derivative of Middle East reality, where Iranian, Hezbollah and Palestinian (PLO and Hamas) terrorists are driven by fanatic visions and by an unwavering commitment to bring their enemies to submission. They are not driven by despair, neither by peaceful coexistence with their enemies, nor by life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In the Middle East, deeply-rooted zealot ideologies transcend “money talks.”

*Moreover, reality has documented that terrorists bite the hands that feed them, as demonstrated by Iran’s Ayatollahs (whose rise to power was critically assisted by the US), Afghanistan’s Mujahideen (whose victory over the USSR was enabled by the US), Libya’s Islamic terrorists (who gained power due to a US-led NATO military offensive against Qadhafi), the Palestinian Authority (which was imported by Israel into Judea and Samaria), Hamas (which owes much of its terrorist maneuverability to Israel’s disengagement from Gaza), etc.

*Hence, the failure of all State Department’s Israel-Arab peace proposals, which centered on Palestinian interests, contrary to the successful conclusion of six Israel-Arab peace accords, which centered on Arab national interests, denying Palestinians a veto power over the peace process.

*Secretary Blinken’s hope-based vision of a Palestinian state, which would peacefully-coexist with Israel and Jordan and contribute to regional stability, is detached from the 70-year-old Palestinian intra-Arab track record, the 85-year-old interaction with enemies and rivals of the US (Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Ayatollah Khomeini, Latin American and global terrorism, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, China, the Moslem Brotherhood, etc.), and the 100-year-old anti-Jewish Palestinian terrorism.

*Contrary to Secretary Blinken, who is preoccupied with positive, convenient and speculative future scenarios and with Palestinian talk (with Western movers and shakers), all pro-US Arab leaders are preoccupied with the well-documented Palestinian intra-Arab rogue track record, which has transformed Palestinians into the role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism, ingratitude and treachery.

*Arab leaders are aware that the Palestinian track record means that the proposed Palestinian state would add fuel – not water – to the Middle East fire. In fact, Egypt does not welcome Palestinian migration from Gaza to Sinai, due to many years of Palestinian collaboration with Islamic and global terrorism, as well as the precedent of the 1950s, when Egypt-hosted-Palestinians collaborated with the Moslem Brotherhood, terrorizing their host government.

*Arab leaders are aware that the combination of the Palestinian track record, Jordan’s domestic predicament, and the intensifying Iranian subversion in Jordan, would transform a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River into the terminator of the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River.  This would mutate Jordan into a major platform of anti-US Islamic terrorism, yielding ripple effects into the Arabian Peninsula and the Sinai Desert, threatening the survival of every pro-US Arab oil producing regime, as well as Egypt. This would yield a strategic bonanza to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Moslem Brotherhood terrorists, Russia and China, while causing a critical setback to all pro-US Arab regimes, and the US’ economy, national and homeland security.  

*Contrary to Secretary Blinken, Arab policy-makers are driven by Palestinian walk, not talk. They know that, in the Middle East, on words one does not pay custom. Furthermore, Arab policy toward the proposed Palestinian state is not reflected by the Arab talk – which has warmly embraced the Palestinians since 1948 – but by the Arab walk, which has refrained – since 1948 – from any tangible initiative to advance the cause of a Palestinian state. For example, all six Israel-Arab peace accords (Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and South Sudan), and Israel’s ground-breaking cooperation with Saudi Arabia, were not preconditioned upon the establishment of a Palestinian state. In addition, the November 2024 joint summit of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation rejected a proposed resolution – by Iran, Algeria and the Palestinian Authority – to suspend all diplomatic, economic, touristic and defense cooperation with Israel. Arabs do not subordinate their own national interests on the Palestinian altar.

*US national and homeland security require a US policy in the Middle East, which is a derivative of the frustrating, violent, intolerant and unpredictable Middle East reality, not a convenient, optimistic alternate reality; a policy which seeks long term security, not short term convenience; avoiding and not repeating past critical mistakes.

Support Appreciated

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
December 28, 2023

*The Western attempt to distinguish between Hamas terrorists and the majority of Gaza Arabs defies Middle East reality, which documents that Hamas terrorists and most Gaza Arabs are interwoven with each other, socially, educationally, culturally, ideologically, and religiously.

*Moreover, Middle East reality highlights Hamas as a terror state (Gaza and potentially the West Bank), not as merely a terror organization.

*Therefore, most of the Arabs in Gaza enthusiastically celebrated the October 7, 2023 Hamas ISIS-like slaughter, rape, torture and mutilation of (mostly) civilians, heralding it as role model of sacrifice and heroism in the service of a Holy Islamic War and a demonstration of national liberation fortitude.

*The fact that the Arab population of Gaza lends itself to terrorism was underscored by a June 29, 1967 memorandum, submitted to the US Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara by General Earle G. Wheeler, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff. The memorandum presented a map of Israel’s minimal security requirements, including Gaza, which “serves as a salient for introduction of Arab subversion and terrorism, and its retention would be to Israel’s military advantage…. It has served as a training area for [Palestinian terrorists]…. Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Israel would reduce the hostile border by a factor of five and eliminate a source for raids and training of [terrorists]….”   

*The terroristic potential of the population of Gaza has been leveraged since 1947 by the Muslim Brotherhood – the largest Sunni terror organization, which established Hamas in 1988 – when it established Gaza as one of its five centers in British Mandate Palestine (Haifa, Jaffa, Nablus, Jerusalem and Gaza). The Gaza branch collaborated closely with the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, the birth place of the Muslim Brotherhood. Initially, Hamas’ popularity was limited to the Gaza middle class, such as the religious establishment, lawyers and businessmen. However, since the 1990s, Hamas has increasingly evolved into a focal point of social, ideological and religious cohesion with the Gaza population at-large.

*The appeal of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Gaza branch, Hamas, has surged dramatically since 1993, through the K-12 hate-education system, Friday incitement in the mosques and the official and public idolization of terrorism, which were instituted by Mahmoud Abbas through the Oslo Accord. Initially, it benefitted the Palestinian Authority – headed by Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas – but rapidly catapulted Hamas into unprecedented popularity, as an integral element of the Gaza culture, a role model for the Gaza youth.

*Realizing the high-level identification of Gaza Arabs with Hamas – and the evolution of Hamas from a terror organization into a terror state – the Palestinian Authority has refrained from holding election since 2005, in order to avoid a Hamas landslide victory. Furthermore, after the October 7 massacre Hamas has surged to its highest popularity among Arabs in Judea and Samaria (West Bank).

*The Western attempt to subordinate the complex, frustrating, costly and inconvenient Middle East reality to its own alternative and convenient Middle East, has led to the assumption that Hamas terrorists and the majority of Gaza Arabs are disjointed culturally and ideologically.

*However, Middle East reality features Hamas as an entity, which is consistent with the worldview, values, education and ideology of most Gazan parents, who send their children to Hamas run schools, participate in Friday services in Hamas run mosques, and enthusiastically cheer Hamas’ ISIS-like terroristic operations.

*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Hamas is not a terror organization in the mold of Peru’s Shining Path, Italy’s Red Brigade, France’s Action Direct and multitude of other terror organizations, which represent a fringe of their societies, terrorizing the government and its educational, cultural and religious institutions.  Hamas is the terrorist state of Gaza, representing Gaza’s educational, cultural and religious institutions, enjoying the moral support of most Gazans.  In many respects, Hamas benefits from more popular support than enjoyed by Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Syria’s Bashar Assad and Iran’s Ayatollahs.

*Western policy based on the erroneous assumption that Hamas and Gaza Arabs are disjointed from one another, inadvertently plays into the hands of Hamas, yielding a robust tailwind to terrorism and a powerful headwind to counter-terrorism. 

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
December 5, 2023

“Those who experience wake up calls usually discover, in hindsight, that they had received plenty of warning before the poop hit the propeller, but they chose to disregard it…. Whether a wake up call becomes a boon, or a bane, depends on what you’re willing to learn from it, and whether you’re willing to be moved by experience.” (Greg Levoy, a psychologist and an author).

The US-Israel mutual threat of Islamic terrorism

Israel’s war against Hezbollah and Hamas is a wakeup call, highlighting the shared US-Israel war against Islamic terrorism. The latter considers Israel a US geo-strategic beachhead in the Middle East, that should be uprooted as a critical step toward the defeat of the Western “infidel.”

For example:   

*Hezbollah and Hamas are critical proxies of Iran, which funds, trains and supplies advanced ballistic and engineering hardware, aiming to realize its 1,400-year-old vision of toppling all “apostate” (Sunni) regimes, export the Islamic Shiite Revolution globally, and bring “the Great American Satan” to submission.

*Hamas was established in 1988 by the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been dedicated since 1928 to the toppling of all national Islamic regimes, replacing them with a universal Islamic society, establishing Islam as the only, divinely-ordained, legitimate religion on earth, defeating the “infidel” Western culture and bringing down “the Great American Satan.”

*Securing a boon, rather than a bane, requires the uprooting of Hamas’ terroristic, political and educational infrastructure, which would deter anti-US Islamic terrorism. On the other hand, the survival of Hamas would adrenalize the veins of anti-US Islamic terrorists in the Middle East and beyond, afflicting the US with a bane.

Israel’s war highlights Iran’s terrorist nature  

*Heeding the October 7, 2023 wakeup call should trigger a US reassessment of its 44-year-old diplomatic option toward Iran, which has facilitated Iran’s lead role – operationally and financially – in the transformation of Hezbollah and Hamas (as well as a multitude of additional Islamic and non-Islamic terror organizations) into a most effective anti-US global terrorist network. The US diplomatic option has also bolstered the evolution of Iran into the leading regional and global epicenter of anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and proliferation of advanced military systems.

*An effective wake up call, requires experience-based rather than wishful thinking-based policy making, reassessing the impact of lifted sanctions – especially Iranian oil export – on the supply of advanced Iranian missiles and other military systems to Hezbollah and Hamas.  Thus, Iranian oil exports surged from 500,000 barrels per day (under the sanctions) to 2.5-3 million barrels per day, which has provided the Ayatollahs with some $100bn in additional income, that was dedicated, mostly, to anti-US rogue activities in the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, North, East and Central Africa and Latin America. 

*Heeding the wakeup call should alert the US to the 40-year-old collaboration of Iran’s Ayatollahs and Hezbollah with the drug cartels of Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil, Latin American terror organizations, and every anti-US government in South and Central America (up to the US-Mexico border), which is the US’ geo-strategic soft underbelly. This collaboration includes the training of terrorists and the supply of predator unmanned aerial vehicles and tunnel construction equipment. 

The Palestinian wake up call

*The October 7 wake up call should lead to a reassessment of the US State Department policy on the Palestinian issue, subordinating conventional wisdom to the march of facts. Hence, while the State Department has been eager to establish a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), pro-US Arabs have showered the Palestinians with embracing talk, but indifferent-to-negative walk, refraining from tangible steps toward the establishment of a Palestinian state.

*While Foggy Bottom’s policy has been driven by a moderate Palestinian diplomatic talk and future, subjective and speculative State Department  scenarios of Palestinian compliance and peaceful coexistence, the policy of the pro-US Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and Oman has been driven by the rogue Palestinian track record in the intra-Arab and global context.

*For instance, the systematic Palestinian betrayal of – and violence against – their Arab hosts, such as Egypt (1950s), Syria (1960s), Jordan (1968-70), Lebanon (1970-1982) and Kuwait (1990). Also, Palestinian collaboration with rogue entities, such as Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Ayatollah Khomeini, Saddam Hussein, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and Palestinian training camps – in Lebanon, Sudan and Yemen – for terror organizations from Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia.  

*Contrary to Foggy Bottom, the pro-US Arab regimes have concluded that the rogue Palestinian track record (in addition to the Palestinian hate education, mosque incitement and monthly allowances to families of terrorists) suggests that a rogue Palestinian state would add fuel to the Middle East fire, threatening to consume the Hashemite regime in Jordan and other all pro-US Arab regimes.

*The October 7 wakeup call should clarify to the State Department the reason that the pro-US Arabs extend a shabby-doormat-welcome to Palestinian leaders, contrary to the red-carpet-welcome extended by Foggy Bottom.

The bottom line

Whether the aforementioned October 7, 2023 wakeup call shall be a boon or a bane depends on the US State Department’s own decision. Will its policy remain driven by agreeable conventional wisdom, or will it shift to an experience-based policy, irrespective of the disagreeable, violent, shattering, and frustrating reality?

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
November 14, 2023

The difference between the US’ and the Arab approach

*President Joe Biden’s and Secretary of State Tony Blinken’s enthusiasm for a Palestinian state reflects the traditional worldview of the State Department, which has been systematically wrong on key Middle East issues.

*Upon learning of the emerging 1993 Oslo Accord, Jordan’s King Hussein told the Head of Israel’s Mossad, Shabtai Shavit: “Establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank would be tantamount to death-sentencing the [pro-US] Hashemite regime.” Jordan’s top military command reiterated King Hussein’s warning to their Israeli colleagues during the October 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty ceremony.

*Moreover, the Arab attitude toward the Palestinians was documented by the November 11, 2023, Saudi-hosted joint summit of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The pro-Western Muslim countries (led by Saudi Arabia and the six Arab countries, which concluded peace treaties with Israel) torpedoed a Palestinian-Iranian resolution, which aimed to suspend diplomatic, economic, touristic and military ties with Israel.

*Unlike US policy makers, Arab leaders approach Palestinians with an embracing talk, but with an indifferent-to-negative walk, refraining from taking tangible steps toward the establishment of a Palestinian state.

*While US policy makers extend a red-carpet reception to Palestinian officials, Arab leaders welcome them with a shabby-doormat.

Why don’t Arabs share the US’ eagerness for a Palestinian state?  

*Contrary to US policy makers, Arabs leaders base their attitude toward the Palestinians on the rogue Palestinian intra-Arab track record – not on a speculative future track record – which demonstrates that the Palestinians bite the hands that feed them.

<In the early 1950s, the Palestinian leadership collaborated with the Muslim Brotherhood, terrorizing Egypt, their host country.

<In the mid-1960s, the Palestinian leadership once again terrorized Syria, their host country.

<In 1968-70, the Palestinian leadership triggered a civil war in Jordan, attempting to topple their host Hashemite regime.

<In 1970-82, the Palestinian leadership instigated a series of civil wars in Lebanon, aiming to take over their host country.

<In 1990, the Palestinian leadership collaborated with Saddam Hussein’s invasion and plunder of Kuwait, which was for decades the most generous Arab host of 400,000 Palestinians.

*Arab reservations about the Palestinians are reinforced by the systematic Palestinian collaboration with radical entities, such as Nazi Germany (Mein Kampf is still a best seller in the Palestinian Authority), the Soviet Bloc, Iran’s Ayatollahs, Saddam Hussein, Muslim Brotherhood terrorists, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and terror organizations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Latin America.

*According to the late Dr. Albert Ellis, who was a world renowned  psychologist: “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.”

*Arab leaders consider the Palestinians as a role model of subversion, terror and treachery, viewing the proposed Palestinian state as a clear and present threat to regional stability and their own regime.

*Would US policy makers buy a used car from anyone with such a rogue track record?!

*Arab leaders are aware of the ripple effects of the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River:

>Toppling the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the Jordan River;
>Transforming Jordan into an uncontrollable state, an epicenter of anti-US regional and global Islamic terrorism in the vein of Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, which would be leveraged by Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, and possibly ISIS, intensifying the threat to the neighboring Saudi Arabia;
>A domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula, threatening every pro-US, oil-producing Arab country, which would adversely impact global trade and the supply/price of oil (Persian Gulf oil – 48% of proven oil reserves);
>A bonanza for Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, Russia and China and a severe setback to the US economy, homeland and national security.

*Unlike US policy makers, Arab leaders are aware that Palestinian terrorism is not driven by despair, but by a fanatic vision, whose attainment is preconditioned upon the uprooting of the Jewish state (“Western Palestine”) and the Hashemite regime (“Eastern Palestine”).

*Contrary to US policy makers – who believe that an enhanced standard of living, an extended life expectancy and peaceful coexistence transcend ideology – Arab leaders are aware of the dominant role played by historic, religious, ethnic and sometimes apocalyptic vision/aspiration in the conduct of radical Middle East entities, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, as evidenced by their school curriculum and daily conduct. 

*During the current Israel war against Hamas’ Islamic terrorism – just like all previous Israeli wars against Palestinian terrorism – no Arab country flexed its military and financial muscles on behalf of the Palestinians.

*Contrary to the State Department, which assumes that the proposed Palestinian state would advance the cause of peace, Arab leaders do not subordinate reality to wishful-thinking, and do not sacrifice their interests on the altar of Palestinian interests. Theyare convinced that a Palestinian state would pose a lethal threat to their own regimes and to the US economy, homeland and national security.

*The proposed Palestinian state, on the one hand, and US values and national security interests, on the other hand, constitute a classic oxymoron.

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
October 16, 2023

Hamas’ anti-Western strategy

*Hamas was established in 1988, as a spin-off of the Muslim Brotherhood, as were ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Islamic Jihad, Boko Haram and scores of additional terror entities. The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest Sunni terror organization, haunting all pro-US Arab regimes, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, Africa, Europe and the USA. Its strategic goal is to topple all national Muslim regimes, bring the Western “infidel” to submission, and establish a universal Muslim society.  

*Hamas, just like the Muslim Brotherhood, considers Israel as “an infidel” entity in “the abode of Islam,” a US beachhead in the Middle East and a deterring ally of all pro-US Arab regimes.

*The 1988 Hamas charter highlights the Quran as its constitution, Jihad as its path, and martyrdom as its loftiest tactic.  It urges the “believers” to kill Jews, as specified in Article 7 of the charter, quoting one of the Prophet Muhammad’s Hadiths (verbal teachings): “When the Jew will hide behind stones and trees, the stones and trees will say: O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him….”

*Hamas is assisted, militarily and financially, by Iran’s Ayatollahs (as well as by Qatar and Turkey), who – just like the Muslim Brotherhood – perceive the war against the “illegitimate” Jewish State as a preview of their war on “the apostate” pro-US Arab regimes and “the infidel” West, with a focus on “the Great American Satan.”

*Hamas and other Islamic and Palestinian terrorist organizations have collaborated with enemies and rivals of the US and the West, such as Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Iran’s Ayatollahs, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and terror organizations in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.

Western attitude toward Hamas

*The more constrained is Israel’s posture of deterrence and war on Hamas, the more emboldened is anti-Western terrorism. On the other hand, the more robust is Israel’s posture of deterrence and its war on Hamas terrorism, the more deterred are Islamic terrorism to assault the West.

*Furthermore, it was Israel’s sturdy posture of deterrence, which induced six Arab countries to conclude peace accords with Jerusalem and enticed Saudi Arabia to substantially expand defense and commercial cooperation with Israel.

*While the rogue, anti-US conduct of Iran’s Ayatollahs has intensified dramatically since their ascension to power in February 1979, and the posture of Muslim Brotherhood-related organizations has been dramatically enhanced in Europe and the USA, government in the West have taken lightly the fanatic vision and the apocalyptic nature of Islamic terrorism, deluding itself that these terrorists are driven by despair, not by deeply-entrenched ideology.

*Notwithstanding the systematically anti-Western rogue track record of Hamas and Iran’s Ayatollahs since 1988 and 1979, the West has gone through suspension of disbelief. The West has assumed that grand financial and diplomatic gestures could induce these rogue entities to abandon their 1,400-year-old violently intolerant Islamic vision and embrace good-faith negotiation and peaceful-coexistence. However, there is ample documentation that terrorist Muslim regimes do not sacrifice their fanatical vision on the altar of their own enrichment and improved standard of living of their population.

*Western policy makers and public opinion molders brush off the well-documented fact that Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran’s Ayatollahs and other Islamic terrorists consider the following precepts of Islam as their own pillar of fire:

<Islam is the only legitimate religion, divinely ordained to rule;
<The abode of the “infidel” must submit itself to the abode of the “believers” unconditionally, peacefully, or militarily;
<Jihad must be conducted on behalf of Allah, guaranteeing each warrior 72 virgins in paradise;
<Terrorism aims to terrify the “infidel,” causing submission to Islam;
<Accords with “infidels” are non-binding and constitute a temporary ceasefire (Hudna), to be abrogated once the “believers” regain sufficient fire power;
<Double-speak and dissimulation (Taqiyyah) are legitimate tactics aimed at misleading and overcoming the “infidel.”

*Anti-US and anti-Israel Islamic terrorism is not driven by US or Israeli policy. In fact, Islamic terrorism has been an intrinsic feature of the Middle East since the 7th century, murdering many more Muslims than non-Muslims. Islamic terrorism has been driven by the existence of the “infidel” US and Israel, irrespective of their policy. For example, anti-US Islamic terrorism afflicted the US during the Administrations of President Obama (e.g., the November 9, 2009 Ft. Hood massacre and the December 2, 2015 San Bernardino massacre) and President Trump (e.g., the October 31, 2017 NYC massacre and the December 6, 2019 Pensacola massacre).

*Western policy makers have been in denial of the fact that terrorists bite the hand that feeds them, interpreting Western gestures as weakness.  This was demonstrated by the “9/11” terrorism (irrespective of the US’ assisting the Mujahideen’s war against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan), as well as by the November 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran and the 50 Americans who were held hostage for 444 days (irrespective of the US’ game-changing tailwind to the Ayatollahs rise to power). It was also evidenced by the 258 US fatalities in the 1983 car-bombing of the US Embassy and Marines Headquarters in Beirut (irrespective of the rough US pressure on Israel during its war on the PLO) and the 1998 car-bombing of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (irrespective of President Clinton’s brutal pressure of Israel and warm embrace of Arafat), etc.

*Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran’s Ayatollahs derive much energy by the fact that some Western policy makers and media outlets have applied the immoral moral equivalence to Hamas terrorists – who systematically and deliberately hit civilians, sometime killing soldiers – and Israeli soldiers, who systematically and deliberately target only Hamas terrorists, sometimes unintentionally killing Gaza civilians, who are held hostage by Hamas terrorists and abused as human shields.

*Constraining Israel’s war on Hamas amounts to ignoring the aforementioned facts. It would amount to repeating, rather than avoiding past costly mistakes, which would add fuel to the Middle East fire at the expense of Israel, pro-US Arab regimes, the US and other Western democracies.

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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
October 12, 2023

No common-sense-observer of the volcanic Middle East and Islamic terrorism, in general, and Hamas/Palestinian terrorism, in particular, should be shocked by the October 2023 Hamas’ atrocities, which are not driven by the size of Israel and its policy, but by the aim to uproot the “infidel” Jewish State from the “abode of Islam.”

Ignoring the nature of Hamas

*Significant elements in Israeli, the US and Western policy-making and national security and the intelligence establishment have been in denial of the nature of Palestinian terrorism, as the Western establishment has been in denial of the megalomaniacally rogue nature of Iran’s Ayatollahs regime since its ascension to power in February, 1979.

*They have eagerly attempted to pacify Hamas. However, they failed to realize the pivotal role of the 1,400-year-old fanatic, anti-Western ideology of Hamas, which views Israel as the beachhead of the “infidel” Western culture in the Middle East.  

*Their eagerness to advance the cause of peace has led them to sacrifice the frustratingly complex Middle East reality on the altar of a convenient, virtual reality, as was the case in the Israeli-initiated (and Western embraced) 1993 Oslo Accord and the 2005 Gaza Disengagement, which catapulted Palestinian terrorism to unprecedented intensity, paving the road to the 2023 atrocities of Hamas.

*They have based their approach to Hamas – as the Western policy has approached Iran’s Ayatollahs – on the assumption that generous financial benefits would induce Hamas to alter its order of priorities, and prefer standard of living considerations over its core, zealot ideology. They believed that dramatic economic gestures could lead Hamas to eventually comply with agreements, accept a reality of a manageable low-intensity conflict, or even peaceful-coexistence with Israel.

The centrality of the Hamas covenant

*The apocalyptic, Iran-supported Hamas terror entity, was established in 1988 by the anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Sunni terror organization, committed – since 1928 – to the toppling of all national Muslim regimes; and the establishment of a universal Muslim society, while bringing the West – and especially “the great American Satan” to submission.

*Hamas is one of many political, religious, educational and terroristic Muslim Brotherhood spin-offs, such as Islamic Jihad, ISIS, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram. These were established throughout the Middle East, Africa, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, Europe and the USA.

*The 1988 Hamas covenant, which was posted by the Yale University Law School, presents the vision and nature of Hamas, as highlighted by  Hamas’ K-12 education system, Hamas’ Friday sermons and official events and monuments:

“…. The slogan of the Islamic resistance movement: Allah is its target, the Prophet [Muhammad] is its model, the Koran its constitution…. Jihad is its path, and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes….

“The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] is one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization – the largest Islamic movement in modern times….

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it….

“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight [kill] the Jews. When the Jew will hide behind stones and trees, the stones and trees will say: O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him….

“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad…. The Jihad for the liberation of Palestine is an individual duty…. the Palestinian problem is a religious problem…. I swear by the holder of Mohammed’s soul that I would like to invade and be killed for the sake of Allah, then invade and be killed, and then invade again and be killed….

“Freemasons, Rotary Clubs and others are nothing more than cells of saboteurs…. The day Islam is in control of guiding the affairs of life, these organizations, hostile to humanity and Islam, will be obliterated…. Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam….” 

The strategic blunder

*Key elements in Israeli, US and Western policy-making and national security and intelligence establishment have ignored the following decisive feature of the Middle East.  The uprooting of the Jewish State is not a prerequisite for the attainment of the vision of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and South Sudan; hence, their peace accords with Israel, and the unprecedented Israel-Saudi defense and commercial cooperation. On the other hand, the uprooting of the Jewish State is a prerequisite for the attainment of the Palestinian vision, as documented by the Palestinian (PA and Hamas) school curriculum – which has become the most effective production line of terrorists – the 1959, 1964 and 1988 covenants of Fatah, the PLO and Hamas, the public idolization of terrorists, monthly allowances to families of terrorists and the 100-year-Palestinian track record of terrorism against Arab countries and Israel.

*These key Israeli and Western personalities approached Hamas as a potential partner to negotiation, rather than a ruthless, fanatic, non-compromising terror entity, and therefore a target for liquidation. They would not accept the fact that gestures toward Hamas were construed – by Hamas – as weakness, hence, intensifying terrorism.

*They underestimated the apocalyptic nature of Hamas (just like Hezbollah and Iran’s Ayatollahs), which has enabled Hamas to absorb severe military blows, and leverages the numerus cease fires, concluded with Israel, in order to upgrade terror capabilities, which are not driven by despair, but by the hope/aspiration to uproot the “infidel” Jewish State.

*They have been influenced by the “Oslo school of thought,” as articulated by Shimon Peres, the chief architect of the 1993 Oslo Accord in his book, The New Middle East, which promotes virtual Middle East over Middle East reality.  For example:

“The international political setting is no longer conducive to wars (page 80) ….

“We must focus on this new Middle East reality… and not wander among memories of victories in long-gone wars – wars that will never be fought again (p. 85) …

“All things-considered, any war entered into now will be unnecessary one (p. 52) ….

“We must strive for fewer weapons and more faith.  Soft, open political boundaries will make it easier to reach an agreement and help withstand stormy times (p. 173) ….”

*The “Oslo school of thought” has severely eroded Israel’s posture of deterrence – which has played the key role in forging the six peace accords – while ushering in an unprecedented wave of terrorism, culminating with the current 2023 Hamas atrocities. It has led Israel to prefer defense and reaction to – rather than offense and preemption of – terrorism, and to chasing “mosquitos,” rather than draining the “swamp.”

The bottom line

*The failure to read the crystal-clear writing on the wall led to the 2023 failure to avert the Hamas atrocities.

*Will the Israeli, US and Western policy makers and national security and intelligence establishment conclude the common-sense lesson of the Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism, and read the 60-font-writing on the wall of the proposed Palestinian state on the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which would dominate Jerusalem and the 8-15-mile waistline of Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport and 80% of Israel’s population and infrastructure?

*Moreover, will US policy makers and congressional leaders read the 60-font-writing on the wall of the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River, which would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the Jordan River, transforming Jordan into another epicenter of anti-US Islamic terrorism, with its domino scenario into all pro-US Arab oil-producing countries, which would yield a strategic bonanza to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China, while dealing a blow to the US’ economy and national and homeland security?  

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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.

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Demography

2024 artificially inflated Palestinian demography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Iran

FBI Director Chris Wray defies the State Department on Iran

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FBI Director Wray vs. Secretary of State Blinken

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

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

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

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

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

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Judea & Samaria

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

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

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

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

For instance:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jerusalem

United Jerusalem – a shared US-Israel legacy and interest

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

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

United Jerusalem and the US law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Jerusalem and the legacy of the Founding Fathers

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

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

The Jerusalem reality and US interests

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

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

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

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

Jerusalem and Israel’s defiance of US pressure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jewish Holidays

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

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

More on Jewish holidays: Smashwords, Amazon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

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FBI Director Chris Wray defies the State Department on Iran