Conventional wisdom assumes that the Palestinian Authority is amenable to peaceful-coexistence with Israel; that peaceful-coexistence is advanced by financial support of the Palestinian Authority; that a core concern for the Palestinian Authority is the land acquired by Israel in the 1967 War; and that land-for-peace (Israel’s retreat to the pre-1967 lines) is a prerequisite for Israel-Palestinian peaceful-coexistence.
Are these assumptions consistent with the Palestinian reality?
While the Palestinian ethos features religious, political, ideological, demographic and legal components, its core ingredient is a specific parcel of land, which pulls the rug out from under the “land-for-peace” assumption.
The centrality of the “1948 land” in the Palestinian ethos is underscored by the late Dr. Yuval Arnon-Ohanna, who was the head of the Mossad’s Palestinian research division and a ground-breaking researcher of the Palestinian issue (Line of Furrow and Fire). This is documented by pivotal Palestinian books, such as the six-volume Al Nakbah (“The 1948 Catastrophe”), as well as the 1959 and 1964 Fatah and PLO covenants – which are the ideological and strategic core of the Palestinian Authority – and the Palestinian educational curriculum.
These foundational documents have served as a most effective generator of Palestinian terrorism since 1948, and especially since the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords. They focus on the outcome of the failed 1948 Arab military invasion – by five Arab countries and the local Arabs – of the Jewish State.
This Arab offensive was expected by the CIA, which assessed that it would be successful, yielding the destruction of the Jewish State and a second Jewish Holocaust in less than ten years!
According to Dr. Arnon-Ohanna, the aforementioned Palestinian documents shed light on the fragmentation of the Arab society west of the Jordan River. Thus, the mountain Arabs in Judea, Samaria (West Bank) and the Galilee have demonstrated a relative cohesion, socially, ethnically, culturally, politically and historically. On the other hand, the coastal plains Arabs have exhibited a relatively feeble social structure, recently immigrating from Muslim areas, as evidenced by the names of major clans.
For example, the al Mughrabi clan immigrated from North Africa (Algeria), al Turki from Turkey, al Ajami from Iran, al Kurdi from Kurdistan, al Iraqi from Iraq, al Hindi from India, al Masri from Egypt, Masrawi from Egypt, Abu Kishk from Egypt, Haurani from Syria, Bushnak from Bosnia, Habash from Ethiopia, Yamani from Yemen, Turkmen from Turkmenistan and the Caucasus, Hawari from north Sudan, etc.
While most of the mountain Arabs remained in their homes during the 1948/49 war, most coastal plains Arabs – the lion share of whom migrated to the area during the 19th and early 20th centuries – left their homes. In fact, many of the coastal Arabs left their homes before the eruption of the war and during its initial stage, when the invading Arab military forces and the local Arabs had the upper hand.
The (mostly coastal plains) Arabs who left their homes are referred to as al-Kharj (“Outside”) and the (mostly mountain) Arabs who stayed intact are referred to as al-Dakhil (“Inside”).
The coastal/outside 1948 Arabs constitute the leadership and most of the rank and file of the PLO, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. They claim “the right of return” to the 1948 territory, which is the pre-1967 area of Israel. “Cleansing the 1948 land of the Zionist presence” is the focal point of the Palestinian ethos, as highlighted by the Palestinian school curriculum, media, religious sermons and the 1959 and 1964 Fatah and PLO covenants (eight years and three years before the 1967 war).
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the core concern of the Palestinians is not the 1967 – but the 1948 – “occupation;” not peaceful coexistence with – but without – Israel; not the size – but the elimination – of Israel.
Contrary to conventional “wisdom,” most Arabs in British Mandate Palestine – and most of the 320,000 1948 Arab refugees – were migrant workers and descendants of the 1831-1947 Muslim immigrants from Egypt, the Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, as well as from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, North Africa, Bosnia, India, Afghanistan, etc.. Britain enticed Arab immigration and blocked Jewish immigration.
Thus, between 1880 and 1919, Haifa’s Arab population surged from 6,000 to 80,000, mostly due to migrant workers. The eruption of WW2 accelerated the demand for Arab manpower by the British Mandate’s military and its civilian authorities.
Moreover, Arab migrant workers were imported by the Ottoman Empire, and then by the British Mandate, to work in major civilian and military infrastructure projects. Legal and illegal Arab migrants were, also, attracted by economic growth, which was generated by the Jewish community beginning in 1882.
According to a 1937 report by the British Peel Commission (featured in the ground-breaking book, Palestine Betrayed, by Prof. Efraim Karsh), “during 1922 through 1931, the increase of Arab population in the mixed-towns of Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem was 86%, 62% and 37% respectively, while in purely Arab towns such as Nablus and Hebron it was only 7% and a decrease of 2 percent in Gaza.”
Irrespective of occasional Arab emigration from British Mandate Palestine – due to intra-Arab terrorism, which has been an endemic feature in the Middle East – the substantial wave of Arab immigration from 1831-1947 triggered dramatic growth of the Arab populations in Jaffa (17 times), Haifa (12 times) and Ramla (5 times).
According to Joan Peters’ momentous book, From Time Immemorial (Harper & Row, 1984), which was written in consultation with Prof. Elie Kedourie, the “Olympus” of Middle East history and politics, “The 1931 census [documented] at least 23 different languages in use by Muslims plus an additional 28 in use by Christian Arabs – a total of 51 languages. The non-Jews in Palestine listed as their birthplaces at least 24 different countries….”
In 1917, the Arabs of Jaffa represented at least 25 nationalities, mostly Egyptians, but also Syrians, Yemenites, Persians, Afghanis, Hindus and Baluchis. The “British Palestine Exploration Fund” documented a proliferation of Egyptian neighborhoods in the Jaffa area: Abu Kebir, Sumeil, Sheikh Munis, Salame’, Fejja, etc. Hundreds of Egyptian families settled also in the inland, in Ara’ Arara’, Kafer Qassem, Taiyiba and Qalansawa.
The (1831-1840) conquest of the Land of Israel, by Egypt’s Mohammed Ali, was solidified by a flow of Egyptian and Sudanese migrants settling between Gaza in the south, Tul-Karem in the center and the Hula Valley in the north. They followed in the footsteps of thousands of Egyptian draft dodgers, who fled Egypt before 1831 and settled in Acre. In 1865, the British traveler, H.B. Tristram, documented, in The Land of Israel: a journal of travels in Palestine, Egyptian migrants in the Beit-Shean Valley, Acre, Hadera, Netanya and Jaffa.
According to the August 12, 1934 issue of the Syrian daily, La Syrie, “30,000-36,000 Syrian migrants, from the Hauran region, entered Palestine during the last few months alone.” The role-model of Hamas terrorism, Az-ed-Din el-Qassam, who terrorized Jews in British Mandate Palestine, was Syrian, as was Kaukji, the chief Arab terrorist in British Mandate Palestine during the 1930s and 1940s.
Libyan migrants settled in Gedera, south of Tel Aviv. Algerian refugees escaped the French conquest of 1830 and settled in Safed alongside Syrians and Jordanian Bedouins in Tiberias. Circassian refugees, fleeing Russian oppression (1878) and Moslems from Bosnia, Turkmenistan, and Yemen (1908) further diversified the Arab demography west of the Jordan River.
This unusual Arab/Muslim demographic diversity is evidenced by popular Israeli Arab family names, which are a derivative of their countries of origin: al-Masri (Egypt), al-Obeidi (the Sudan), al-Lubnani (Lebanon), Halabi (Syria), al-Mughrabi (Morocco), al-Djazair (Algeria), al-Yamani (Yemen), al-Afgahni (Afghanistan), al-Hindi (India), al-Hijazi (Saudi Arabia), al-Baghdadi (Iraq), Bushnak (Bosnia), Khamis (Bahrain), Turki (Turkey), etc.
Arieh Avneri, a pioneering historian of Arab and Jewish migration, documented (The Claim of Dispossession, 1980) 205,000 Moslems, Christian and Jews in 1554, 275,000 in 1800 and an unusual surge to 532,000 in 1890, resulting from accelerated Arab immigration.
In fact, Mark Twain wrote in 1869 (The Innocents Abroad) “Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, Palestine must be the prince…. The hills are barren…. The valleys are unsightly deserts…. Palestine is desolate and unlovely.”
Thus, contrary to the myth of the 1948 Arab refugees – aiming to delegitimize Israel – Arabs have not been in the Land of Israel from time immemorial; no Palestinian people was ever robbed of its land; there is no basis for an Arab “claim of return;” and most of the 320,000 Arab refugees – who were created by the 1948 Arab invasion of Israel and their own collaboration with the invasion – were recent immigrants and foreign workers (from neighboring Arab countries) in the Land of Israel.
1. Since the end of WW2, about 100 million refugees from Europe, Asia and Africa have been integrated into their host countries, unlike the Palestinian Arab refugees, who have been sacrificed by their leadership on the altar of delegitimizing Israel. According to General Alexander Galloway, the UNRWA Director in Jordan, as recounted at a May 25, 1953 hearing of the Near East Senate Subcommittee: “The Arabs states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don’t give a damn whether the refugees live or die.”
2. Jordan was the only Arab country accepting the January 26, 1952 UN Resolution #413 (a 3-year-$200MN plan proposed by the UN Secretary General, Dag Hammerskjold) to integrate Palestinian refugees into their host Arab countries. UN Secretary General, Trygve Lie said on January 3, 1950: The refugees will lead an independent life in the countries which shelter them…. The refugees will no longer be maintained by an international organization….”
3. Dr. Elfan Rees, an advisor on refugees to the World Council of Churches, contended that due to Arab deception and pressure “The UN Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) is feeding the dead and non-refugees (NY Post, June 11, 1959).”
4. UNRWA was established on December 8, 1949 as a temporary, 2-3-year relief agency, but became permanent, the largest UN agency, overstaffed, featuring a $1 BN pension fund, and used as a dagger aimed at Israel.
5. UNRWA deals only with Palestinian refugees, employing 30,000 people, compared with 6,400 people employed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which deals with 60 million refugees. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees resolves/ends refugees’ status and minimizes their numbers; UNRWA perpetuates and exacerbates refugees’ status and inflates their numbers.
6. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, as stipulated by the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees: refugee status is not inherited by descendants, but UNRWA applies refugee status in perpetuity – very liberally without much scrutiny – to Arabs (including foreign laborers) who were in Palestine for only two years before the 1948 war.
7. In 2012, UNRWA employees “elected candidates affiliated with Hamas to 25 out of 27 seats on a union board that represents ten thousand UNRWA workers. UNRWA facilities were used by Hamas in 2014 to store missiles.
8. The American taxpayer funds 33% of the of the budget of UNRWA, which aborted – under Palestinian and Arab pressure – Israeli offers, in 1978 and 1986, to co-fund the resettling and job-training of Arab refugees in Gaza and Judea and Samaria.
9. Had Arab countries refrained from invading the newly-established Israel, and had Israeli Arabs refrained from collaborating with the invasion – which was driven by the Islamic doctrine that the entire Middle East was divinely and exclusively ordained to Muslims – there would not have been war in 1948-49 nor 820,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands and 320,000 Arab refugees. Had the Arabs accepted Israeli offers to resettle and job-train Arab refugees, there would not be any refugee left.
10. The Palestinian leader, Haj Amin al Husseini – touted by Mahmoud Abbas – collaborated with Nazi Germany, conducted Arab-language radio broadcasts from Berlin, planned to extend the Holocaust to Palestine and incited: “Kill the Jews wherever you find them. It will please God, history and Islam.” After 1945, he sustained this message from his Cairo headquarters. On Nov. 24, 1947, the Acting Chairman of the (Palestinian) Arab Higher Committee, Jamal Al-Husseini threatened: “Palestine shall be consumed with fire and blood if the Jews get any part of it.”
11. The Commander-in-Chief of the invading Arab Liberation Army, Fawzi el-Kaukji, a Nazi collaborator, threatened in August, 1947: “Should the UN vote the wrong way, we will initiate a total war… murder, wreck and ruin….” Kaukji was driven by Muhammad’s popular instruction in a Hadith which supplements the Quran: ”The stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say: ‘O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me; kill him!”
12. The Cyprus-based British Near East (Arab) Broadcasting reported on April 3, 1949: “The Arab Higher Committee encouraged the refugees’ flight from their homes.”
13. The first US Ambassador to Israel, James McDonald, wrote in My Mission in Israel, published in 1951, pages 174-6: “The refugees were on [Arab leaders’] hands as a result of a war, which they had begun and lost…. Most Arab governments show no real concern for the refugees….”
14. The most authentic rogue and sadistic nature of the Palestinian Authority – and a key obstacle to peaceful coexistence – is reflected by its hate-education and opposition to the resettling of Arab refugees, lest it undermine the campaign to delegitimize and dehumanize Israel.
15. The next 6-minute-video will provide documentation on “Palestinian refugees – who are they?”
Please share with your e-mail pals; more data: www.theettingerreport.com
YouTube 6-minute-video on-line seminar on US-Israel relations and the Mideast:
#1 The two-way-street, mutually-beneficial US-Israel: http://bit.ly/16FP01N
#2 The Jewish-Arab demographic balance: http://bit.ly/1I60R9h
#3 The US-Israel strategic partnership: http://bit.ly/1RniWWB
#4 The 400-year-old foundations of the US-Israel covenant: http://bit.ly/1TRiJes
#5 Is the Palestinian issue a crown-jewel of the Arabs? http://bit.ly/1T8Ob83
#6 Is the Palest’n issue the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict? http://bit.ly/1LW4hKD
#7 The precariousness of Israel’s narrow waistline: http://bit.ly/1YDNIdJ
#8 America, be wary of a Palestinian state: http://bit.ly/1nRDOYD
#9 Palestinian terrorism – Lone Wolves or institutional? http://bit.ly/1ZgzjnX
#10 Has the Palestinian issue triggered anti-US terrorism? http://bit.ly/1T5WK2S
#11 The myth of Palestinian Arab refugees Exposed: http://bit.ly/1ToRung
#12 The number of 1948 Arab refugees misrepresented: http://bit.ly/1svQbMp
#13 Palestinian refugees – whose responsibility? http://bit.ly/1Ul0NXH
#14 Palestinian Arab refugees – who are they? http://bit.ly/1sgCCAV
#15 Jewish refugees from Arab countries: http://bit.ly/1TFUYSI
#16 Protected-Christians in Arab lands: http://bit.ly/1RyqkZ5
The truth about the circumstances and numbers of the 1948 Arab refugees has been sacrificed – by the UN, Arab regimes, the “elite” Western media and most Western Foreign Offices – on the altar of Arab-appeasement and Israel-bashing.
For instance, the Palestinian Arab leadership collaborated with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, seeking Nazi support to settle “the Jewish problem” in British Mandate Palestine in accordance with the practice used in Europe. Thus, the top Palestinian Arab leader, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, incited his people in a March 1, 1944 Arabic broadcast on the Nazi Berlin Radio – consistent with anti-Jewish Arab terrorism during the 1920s and 1930s – “Kill the Jews wherever you find them. It would please God, history and religion.”
On January 9, 2013, Mahmoud Abbas honored the Nazi collaborator: “We pledge to continue on the path of the [suicide bombers]…. We must remember the Grand Mufti of Palestine, Haj Amin Al-Husseini….” In 2016, Hitler’s Mein Kemp and the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion feature prominently in Mahmoud Abbas’ hate-education and incitement systems.
In addition, there were 90 million Chinese refugees during the 1937-1945 war against Japan; 15 million Hindu, Sikh and Muslim refugees during the 1947 creation of India and Pakistan; 12 million German refugees from Poland and Czechoslovakia following WW2; 9 million Korean refugees during the 1950-1953 war; 7 million Syrian refugees caused by the current civil war; 5 million Sudanese refugees; 3 million Polish refugees following the 1939 USSR occupation; 3 million refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia following the 1975 US withdrawal; 3 million refugees from Afghanistan; 2 millionGreek and Turkish refugees from the 1919-1922 war; 1 million Libyan refugees since 2011; 800,000 Yemenite refugees from Saudi Arabia in 1990; and over 500,000 Christian refugees from Lebanon.
The UN has highlighted/twisted the story of the 320,000 1948/49 Palestinian Arab refugees – singling them out for perpetuity unlike all other refugees – as a means to de-legitimize Israel. But, the UN has ignored the 300,000 Palestinian refugees from Kuwait, 200,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria and the 50,000 Palestinian refugees from Iraq.
In 1948, expecting an Arab assault on the reconstructed Jewish State, the British High Commissioner, Alan Cunningham, urged Arab and Jewish minorities to evacuate mixed towns. The Arabs complied – many of them returned to their countries of origin – but the Jews remained.
The London Economist wrote on October 2, 1948: “The most potent factor [triggering the Arab flight] was the Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit…and that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades….” It was reaffirmed by Syria’s Prime Minister, Khaled al-Azam, who admitted, in his 1973 memoirs: “We brought destruction upon the  refugees, by calling on them to leave their homes.”
The goal of promoting the myth of the 1948 Arab refugees – which fails the reality test – was disclosed by Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Muhammad Salah al-Din Bey (the Egyptian daily Al Misri, Oct. 11, 1949): “In demanding the return of the Palestinian refugees, the intention is to exterminate the Jewish State.”
#12 The number of 1948 Arab refugees misrepresented: http://bit.ly/1svQbMp
7. The Commander-in-Chief of the Arab Liberation Army, Fawzi el-Kaukji, a notorious Nazi collaborator, threatened in August, 1947 threatened: “Should the UN vote the wrong way, we will initiate a total war… murder, wreck and ruin everything….” On Nov. 24, 1947, the Acting Chairman of the (Palestinian) Arab Higher Committee, Jamal Al-Husseini, threatened: “Palestine shall be consumed with fire and blood if the Jews get any part of it.”
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
October 2, 2023
The suggestion that Israel should retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) is based, partly, on the assumption that the Jewish majority is exposed to an “Arab demographic time bomb,” which would explode if Israel were to apply its law to Judea and Samaria.
However, Israel’s Jewish majority is not vulnerable to an “Arab demographic time bomb,” but benefits from demographic momentum, fertility-wise and migration-wise.
Arab demography artificially inflated
This erroneous assumption is based on the official Palestinian numbers, which are embraced and reverberated by the global community – with no due-diligence auditing – ignoring a 1.6-million-person artificial inflation of the reported number of Arabs in Judea and Samaria.
*The official Palestinian census includes 500,000 residents, who have been away for over a year, while international standards require their elimination from the census (until they return for, at least, 90 days). This number was documented by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (325,000 in 1997), Election Commission (400,000 in 2005) and the Ministry of Interior, increasing systematically through births.
*The Palestinian census ignores the net-emigration of 390,000 since the first 1997 census, as documented by Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority, which supervises Israel’s international passages.
*375,000 Jerusalem Arabs and more than 150,000 (mostly) Judea and Samaria Arabs, who married Israeli Arabs are doubly-counted (by Israel and the Palestinian Authority). This number increases systematically through births.
*A September 2006 World Bank report documented a 32% artificial inflation of the number of births. At the same time, death has been substantially underreported as evidenced by the 2007 Palestinian census, which included Arabs born in 1845….
*The aforementioned data indicates an artificial inflation of 1.6 million in the Palestinian census of Judea and Samria Arabs: 1.4 million – not 3 million – Arabs.
Arab demography Westernized
Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Arab demography has been westernized dramatically in recent years, from a fertility rate of 9 births per woman west of the Jordan River during the 1960s to 2.85 births in 2021 in pre-1967 Israel and 3.02 in Judea and Samaria.
The westernization of Arab demography has been a result of sweeping urbanization. From a 70%-rural-population in Judea and Samaria in 1967, to a 77%-urban-population in 2022. In addition, almost all girls complete high school, resulting in the expanded integration of women in employment and academia, as well as an increase in wedding age (from 15 to 24-year-old). Moreover, there has been an expansion of the use of contraceptives (70% of women in the Palestinian Authority) and a shorter fertility cycle (25 through 45 in 2022 compared to 16 through 55 during the 1960s).
Demographic westernization has occurred in the entire Moslem World, other than the Sub-Saharah countries: In 2022, Jordan – 2.9 births per woman, Iran – 1.9, Saudi Arabia – 1.9, Morocco – 2.27, Iraq – 3.17, Egypt 2.76, Yemen – 2.91, the UAE – 1.62, etc.
Jewish demographic momentum
Israel’s Jewish demography features a fertility momentum – especially in the secular sector – simultaneously with a moderate decline in the ultra-orthodox sector. In fact, Jewish fertility (3.13 births per woman) is higher than any Arab country, other than Iraq’s (3.17). The OECD’s average fertility rate is 1.61 births per woman.
In 2022, the number of Jewish births (137,566) was 71% higher than in 1995 (80,400), while the number of Arab births (43,417) was 19% higher than in 1995 (36,500).
Contrary to most global societies, Israel enjoys a positive correlation between the level of fertility, on the one hand, and the level of education, income, urbanization and (the rise of) wedding age on the other hand.
The growth of Jewish fertility reflects a high level of patriotism, optimism, attachment to roots, communal responsibility, frontier mentality, high regard for raising children and the decline in the number of abortions.
The Jewish population is growing younger, while the Arab population is growing older.
Until the 1990s, there was a demographic race between Arab births and Jewish immigration. Since the 1990s, the race is between Jewish and Arab births, while net-migration provides a robust boost to Jewish demography.
The Jewish demographic momentum has been bolstered by an annual Aliyah (Jewish immigration) – which has been the most critical engine of Israel’s economic, educational, technological and military growth – simultaneously with the declining scope of annual emigration. From an additional 14,200 emigrants in 1990 to 10,800 in 2020, while the overall population has doubled itself since 1990. A substantial decline in emigration has taken place since the 2007/2008 global economic meltdown, which has underscored the relative stability and growth of Israel’s economy.
In 2023, there has been an increase in Aliyah. This highlights a potential of 500,000 Olim (Jewish immigrants) in five years – from Europe, the former USSR, Latin and North America – should the Israeli government resurrect the pro-active Aliyah policy, which defined Israel from 1948-1992.
The bottom line
In 1897, upon convening the First Zionist Congress, there was a 9% Jewish minority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel.
In 1948, upon the establishment of the Jewish State, there was a 39% Jewish minority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel.
In 2022, there was a 69% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel (7.5 million Jews, 2 million Arabs in pre-1967 Israel and 1.4 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria), benefiting from a tailwind of fertility and net-migration.
Those who claim that the Jewish majority – in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel – is threatened by an Arab demographic time bomb are either dramatically mistaken, or outrageously misleading.
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
October 31, 2023
The Iran-Hamas-US connection
*National Security advisor Jake Sullivan said in an October 10, 2023 White House press briefing: “Iran is complicit in this attack in a broad sense because they have provided training, they have provided capabilities, they have provided support, and they have had engagement and contact with Hamas over years and years. And all of that has played a role in contributing to what we have seen [on October 7].”
*Iran’s Ayatollahs, who have been courted and appeased by the West, are committed to bring the West – and especially “the Great American Satan” – to submission. They are the chief architects and enablers of the Israel-Hamas and Israel-Hezbollah wars, determined to escalate them into a regional pandemonium, which would undermine Western interests.
*Iran considers its military and financial support of Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists – as well as many terror entities in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America – as a means to fueling instability, toppling pro-US regimes, and severely downgrading the US’ strategic posture. Therefore, Iran has been – since the 1980s – an epicenter of global, anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking and proliferation of advanced military systems. Iran’s rogue foreign and national security policy has been matched by its rogue domestic policy, which has been replete with ruthless oppression and suppression of the population, in general, and religious and ethnic minorities and especially women, in particular.
However, irrespective of this rogue policy, the US adheres to the diplomatic option, which has bolstered the Ayatollahs’ global posture since their ascension to power in 1979. Moreover, the US’ response to sustained Iranian attacks on US installations in the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Syria has been restrained, further eroding its posture of deterrence. Furthermore, the US has lifted most sanctions against the rogue Ayatollahs and is eagerly seeking another nuclear accord with Tehran.
*The lifting of most sanctions without Congressional consent – especially on the exportation of oil and natural gas – has enabled Iran to supply Hezbollah, Hamas and additional terror organizations and drug traffickers more advanced military systems (e.g., missiles, drones, electronics and explosives) to the detriment of the US and its allies, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and Israel.
*”Iran’s oil exports have increased more than threefold over the past 3 years, a consequence of relaxed US sanctions enforcement…. US sanctions imposed in 2018 and 2019 severely constricted Iranian exports of crude oil. Exports fell well below 500,000 barrels per day from a pre-sanctions peak of 2.7 million barrels per day…. Even though negotiations to revive the nuclear agreement have failed, Iran’s oil exports continue to increase, as Washington opts not to enforce the sanctions. As of September 2023, Iranian exports are estimated at close to 1.5 million barrels per day or higher [at the current $90 per barrel, at least $50 billion annual income].” According to Reuters, August 31, 2023, Iran exports 3.15 million barrels per day.
Iran’s narco-Jihad against the USA
*Recently, Iran’s Ayatollahs and their Hezbollah proxy have stepped up their drug trafficking, money laundering and terror activities. They have expanded collaboration with Mexico’s drug cartels (e.g., Los Zetas and Sinaloa), training them in car bombing, and smuggling the highly addictive methamphetamine across the border to the USA. This is an extension of their Latin American narco-terror operation, which is centered in the Tri-Border areas of Argentina- Paraguay-Brazil, as well as Chile-Peru-Bolivia.
*The Ayatollahs and Hezbollah leaders have concluded that narcotic trafficking may be more effective than guns in bringing the Western “infidel” to submission.
*According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Iran and Hezbollah established close collaboration with drug cartels in Mexico, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil [and the Albanian Mafia], exporting cocaine to the US and Europe, and developing the most sophisticated money laundering schemes through Lebanon. They have managed to smuggle illegal immigrants from the Middle East into the USA, bolstering their terroristic and drug trafficking infrastructure in the USA.
*Venezuela has been an effective gateway for Iran into South, Central and North America, issuing false passports to Iranian and Hezbollah terror and drug trafficking operatives. It has also provided Iran with a business and military foothold close to the shores of “the Great American Satan.” The heavy traffic of IranAir planes between Iran and Venezuela has not been limited to innocent passengers…
Iran’s fanatic vision transcends Israel
*According to Dr. Yaron Friedman, a Haifa University expert on Islam and the Middle East, the driving force of Iran’s Ayatollahs is a 1,400-year-old vision, which transcends economic and diplomatic benefits and is not centered on Israel, but on the world at large, with a focus on the “infidel” West.
*The root of the Ayatollahs’ vision is the 680 AD Battle of Karbala – a supreme Islamic milestone – which featured the murder of Hussein bin Ali, the grandson of Muhammed and the third Shiite Imam, by Yazid, the Sunni Caliph. For Shiite Islam – as it is in the Middle East which cherishes history and memory – it has been a living memory, commemorated annually during Ashura processions, by Shiite communities in the Middle East, Europe and the USA, with bare-chested men flagellating their bleeding backs and chests.
*The Battle of Karbala has become a permanent call for Shiite martyrdom, sacrifice and revenge, leading to an intrinsic Sunni-Shiite conflict, religiously and militarily, which is still a major force of breeding turbulence among Muslims. The Sunni majority is convinced that the Shiite minority is trying to rule Islam and revenge the 680 AD betrayal, as almost happened from the mid-10th century to the mid-11th century, and during the 16th century, when Iran accepted Shiite Islam and became a major power.
*Since February 1979, when the Ayatollahs (assisted by the US) ascended to power in Tehran, Iran has been preoccupied with the global exportation of the Karbala-driven Islamic Shiite Revolution, aiming to topple every “apostate” (Sunni), “modern-day Yazid” regime, and bring the “infidel” West, and especially “the Great American Satan” to submission, unconditionally, peacefully, or militarily.
*The nature of Iran’s fanatic, religious, megalomaniacal, apocalyptic vision – and the 43-year-old rogue track record of the Ayatollahs – reveal that the Ayatollahs are not amenable to good faith negotiation, peaceful-coexistence, nor exchanging their 1,400-year-old vision for a financial/diplomatic bonanza.
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.
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).”
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
November 29, 2023
1. According to Israel’s Founding Father, David Ben Gurion: Chanukah commemorates “the struggle of the Maccabees, which was one of the most dramatic clashes of civilizations in human history, not merely a political-military struggle against foreign oppression…. Unlike many peoples, the meager Jewish people did not assimilate. The Jewish people prevailed, won, sustained and enhanced their independence and unique civilization…. It was the spirit of the people, rather than the failed spirit of the establishment, which enabled the Hasmoneans to overcome one of the most magnificent spiritual, political and military challenges in Jewish history….” (Uniqueness and Destiny, pp 20-22, David Ben Gurion, IDF Publishing, 1953).
2. A Jewish national liberation holiday. Chanukah (evening of December 7 – December 15, 2023) is the only Jewish holiday that commemorates an ancient national liberation struggle in the Land of Israel, unlike the national liberation holidays, Passover, Sukkot/Tabernacles and Shavu’ot/Pentecost, which commemorate the liberation from slavery in Egypt to independence in the land of Israel, and unlike Purim, which commemorates liberation from a Persian attempt to annihilate the Jewish people.
3. Chanukah and the Land of Israel. When ordered by Emperor Antiochus IV Epiphanes of the Seleucid region to end the Jewish “occupation” of Jerusalem, Jaffa, Gaza, Gezer and Akron, Shimon the Maccabee responded: “We have not occupied a foreign land…. We have liberated the land of our forefathers from foreign occupation (Book of Maccabees A: 15:33).”
Chanukah highlights the centrality of the Land of Israel in the formation of Jewish history, religion, culture and language. The mountain ridges of Judea and Southern Samaria (the West Bank) were the platform for the Maccabean military battles: Mitzpah (the burial site of the Prophet Samuel, overlooking Jerusalem), Beth El (the site of the Ark of the Covenant and Judah the Maccabee’s initial headquarters), Beth Horon (Judah’s victory over Seron), Hadashah (Judah’s victory over Nicanor), Beth Zur (Judah’s victory over Lysias), Ma’aleh Levona (Judah’s victory over Apolonius), Adora’yim (a Maccabean fortress), Eleazar (named after Mattityahu’s youngest Maccabee son), Beit Zachariya (Judah’s first defeat), Ba’al Hatzor (where Judah was defeated and killed), Te’qoah, Mikhmash and Gophnah (bases of Shimon and Yonatan), the Judean Desert, etc.
In 323 BCE, following the death of Alexander the Great (Alexander III) who held Judaism in high esteem, the Greek Empire was split into three independent and rival mini-empires: Greece, Seleucid/Syria and Ptolemaic/Egypt.
In 175 BCE, the Seleucid/Syrian Emperor Antiochus (IV) Epiphanes claimed the Land of Israel. He suspected that the Jews were allies of his Ptolemaic/Egyptian enemy. The Seleucid emperor was known for eccentric behavior, hence his name, Epiphanes, which means “divine manifestation.” He aimed to exterminate Judaism and convert Jews to Hellenism. In 169 BCE, he devastated Jerusalem, attempting to decimate the Jewish population, and outlaw the practice of Judaism.
In 166/7 BCE, a Jewish rebellion was led by the non-establishment Hasmonean (Maccabee) family from the rural town of Modi’in, half-way between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean. The rebellion was headed by Mattityahu, the priest, and his five sons, Yochanan, Judah, Shimon, Yonatan and Eleazar, who fought the Seleucid occupier and restored Jewish independence. The Hasmonean dynasty was replete with external and internal wars and lasted until 37 BCE, when Herod the Great (a proxy of Rome) defeated Antigonus II Mattathias.
5. The reputation of Jews as superb warriors was reaffirmed by the success of the Maccabees on the battlefield. In fact, they were frequently hired as mercenaries by Egypt, Syria, Carthage, Rome and other global and regional powers.
6. The significance of Chanukah. Chanukah celebrates the Maccabean-led national liberation by conducting in-house family education and lighting candles for 8 days in commemoration of the re-inauguration of Jerusalem’s Jewish Temple and its Menorah (candelabra).
The Hebrew words Chanukah (חנוכה), inauguration (חנוכ) and education ((חנוך possess the same root.
7. As was prophesized by the Prophet Hagai in 520 BCE, the re-inauguration of the Temple took place on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, which is the month of miracles, such as the post-flood appearance of Noah’s rainbow, the completion of the construction of the Holy Ark by Moses, the laying of the foundations of the Second Temple by Nehemiah, etc.
In 1777, Chanukah candles were lit during the most critical battle at Valley Forge, which solidified the victory of George Washington’s Continental Army over the British monarchy.
The 25th Hebrew word in Genesis is “light,” and the 25th stop during the Exodus was Hashmona (the same Hebrew spelling as Hasmonean-Maccabees).
The first day of Chanukah is celebrated when daylight hours are equal to darkness hours – and when moonlight is hardly noticed – ushering in brighter days.
8. Chanukah highlights the defeat of darkness, disbelief, forgetfulness and pessimism by the spirit of light, faith, commemoration and optimism over.
*Israel’s control of the topographically-dominant mountain ridges of the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria has enhanced Israel’s posture of deterrence, constraining regional violence, transforming Israel into a unique force-multiplier for the US.
*Top Jordanian military officers warned that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into a non-controllable terrorist heaven, generating an anti-US domino scenario in the Arabian Peninsula.
*Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria has eliminated much of the threat (to Jordan) of Judea and Samaria-based Palestinian terrorism.
*Israel’s posture of deterrence emboldens Jordan in the face of domestic and regional threats, sparing the US the need to deploy its own troops, in order to avoid an economic and national security setback.
*The proposed Palestinian state would become the Palestinian straw that would break the pro-US Hashemite back.
*The Palestinian track record of the last 100 years suggests that the proposed Palestinian state would be a rogue entity, adding fuel to the Middle East fire, undermining US interests.