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*The US’ co-sponsorship of an anti-Israel UN Security Council Statement reflects the return of the State Department’s worldview to the center stage of US foreign policy-making. This was the first time, in six years, that the US enabled the UN Security Council to act against Israel.

*This is not merely a worldview, which is highly critical of Israel, as has been the case since 1948, when Foggy Bottom led the charge against the re-establishment of the Jewish State.

This worldview has systematically undermined US interests, by subordinating the unilateral, independent US national security policy (on Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestinian issue, etc.) to a multilateral common denominator with the anti-US and anti-Israel UN and international organizations, as well as the vacillating and terrorists-appeasing Europe.

*It has sacrificed Middle East reality on the altar of wishful-thinking, assuming that the establishment of a Palestinian state would fulfill Palestinian aspirations, advance the cause of peace, reduce terrorism and regional instability; thus, enhancing US interests.

*However, the reality of the Middle East and Jordan and the rogue Palestinian track record lend credence to the assumption that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, yielding traumatic ripple effects, regionally and globally:

^Replace the relatively-moderate Hashemite regime with either a rogue Palestinian regime, a Muslim Brotherhood regime, or other rogue regimes;
^Transform Jordan into a chaotic state, similar to Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, which would be leveraged by Iran’s Ayatollahs to intensify their encirclement of the pro-US Saudi regime;
^Convert Jordan into a major arena of regional and global Islamic terrorism;
^Trigger a domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula, which could topple all pro-US, oil-producing Arab regimes;
^Imperil the supply of Persian Gulf oil, which would be held hostage by anti-US entities, catapulting the price at the pump;
^Jeopardize major naval routes of global trade between Asia and Europe through the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal;
^Intensify epicenters of regional and global terrorism and drug trafficking;
^Generate a robust tailwind to US’ adversaries (Russia and China) and enemies (Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS) and a powerful headwind to US economic and national security interests.

*The State Department assumes that Palestinian terrorism – just like Islamic terrorism – is driven by despair, ignoring the fact that Palestinian terrorism has been driven (for the last 100 years) by the vision to erase the “infidel” Jewish entity from “the abode of Islam,” as stated by the charters of Fatah (1959) and the PLO (1964), 8 and 3 years before the Jewish State reunited Jerusalem and reasserted itself in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

*Aspiring for a Palestinian state, and viewing Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria as an obstacle to peace, ignores the Arab view of the Palestinians as a role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism, corruption and treachery. Moreover, the State Department has held the view that the Palestinian issue is the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict and a central to Arab interests, which has been refuted by the Abraham Accords. The latter ignored the State Department, sidestepped the Palestinian issue and therefore came to fruition.

*The State Department overlooks the centrality of the Palestinian Authority’s hate education, which has become the most effective production-line of terrorists, and the most authentic reflection of the Palestinian Authority’s worldview and vision.

*The State Department has also taken lightly the Palestinian Authority’s mosque incitement, public glorification of terrorists and monthly allowances to families of terrorists, which have documented its rogue and terroristic nature (walk), notwithstanding its peaceful diplomatic rhetoric (talk).

*The State Department’s eagerness to welcome the Palestinian issue in a “red carpet” manner – contrary to the “shabby doormat” extended to Palestinians by Arabs – and its determination to promote the establishment of a Palestinian state, along with its embrace of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood, have been interpreted by rogue regimes and organizations as weakness.

Experience suggests that weakness invites the wolves, including wolves which aim to bring “The Great Satan” to submission throughout the world as well as the US mainland.

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  1. In 1975, the US disengagement from Vietnam fulfilled the goal of the Viet Cong, thus ending the US-Vietnam conflict.

In 2021, the US disengagement from Afghanistan advances – but does not fulfill – the goal of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and therefore does not end the conflict between the US and Islamic terrorism.

In 1975, the vision and strategic goal of the Viet Cong was limited to the territory of Vietnam, consistent with an eventual peaceful-coexistence and cooperation with the resourceful US.

In 2021, the 14-century-old vision and strategic goal of Islamic terrorism is not limited to the territory of Afghanistan. It is driven by fanatic imperialism, striving to subordinate the “infidel” West – and especially “The Great US Satan” – which is perceived to be the key obstacle on the way to Islamic global domination. Islamic terrorism is determined to establish a global Islamic society, ruled by the Quran and Sharia (“divine law”), which is inconsistent with peaceful-coexistence with the “infidel” US, irrespective of its involvement in Afghanistan. In fact, it requires a decisive war against the US, including terrorism on the US mainland.

In 1975, the US was involved in a Vietnam civil war, faced with the choice of fighting in the Vietnam trenches, or disengage and spare itself a war.

In 2021, the US is fighting against an intrinsic, anti-US Islamic terrorism, faced with the choice of confronting Islamic terrorists in their own trenches (which is costly), or disengaging and gradually shifting the war to the US trenches (which is dramatically costlier).

  1. In 2021, US policy-makers are reminded that the Taliban and all rogue regimes are not impressed by – and are not willing to adopt – the Western values of human rights, democracy, international law and peaceful-coexistence.

Moreover, rogue regimes are not impressed by US diplomacy, as they are by effective US counter-terrorism and posture of deterrence.

Islamic terrorists don’t seek popularity in the international community. They seek to intimidate the international community all the way to submission, peacefully or militarily.

  1. The US retreat in the face of Islamic terrorism has severely eroded the US posture of deterrence, heating up the volcanic Arab Tsunami (mislabeled as the “Arab Spring”), which has traumatized the Arab Street since 2010. Furthermore, the erosion of the US posture of deterrence has recharged the fierceness of all rogue regimes (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs, Muslim Brotherhood affiliates from Pakistan through the Middle East and Northwest Africa, Yemen’s Houthis, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority), as well as the megalomaniacal aspirations of Turkey’s Erdogan. Thus, the US retreat has intensified existential threats to every pro-US Arab regime (e.g., Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco).

The US disengagement from Afghanistan, along with its eagerness to reenter the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran’s Ayatollahs, the enhanced ties with the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East and the US, and the US pressure exerts on Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, may drive these pro-US Arab regimes closer to China and Russia, which are major beneficiaries of the current US policy.

  1. The US retreat from Afghanistan has jeopardized the national security of India – a pro-Western bastion of democracy, stability and effective capabilities – which is facing a multitude of threats by internal and external Islamic terrorism, a nuclear Pakistan and China.
  2. The severely flawed Afghanistan-oriented assessments made by the US foreign policy and national security establishment were consistent with the systematic gap between State Department conceptions, on the one hand, and Middle East reality, on the other hand.

For example, in 1948, the State Department determined that the newly-born Jewish State would be helpless against a concerted Arab military assault, would be pro-Soviet and undermine US-Arab relations. During the 1950s, the US courted Egyptian President Nasser, who downplayed the lavish US offers, and became an ardent pro-Soviet and anti-US leader. In 1978/79, the US betrayed the pro-US Shah of Iran and embraced the Ayatollah Khomeini, assuming that he was pro-US, driven by human rights and democracy. In 1980-90, the US collaborated with Saddam Hussein, assuming that “the enemy (Iraq) of my enemy (Iran) is my friend,” naively providing a green light for his invasion of Kuwait. During 1993-2000, the US hailed Arafat as a messenger of peace, worthy of the Nobel Prize for Peace and annual US foreign aid. In 2009, the US stabbed in the back pro-US Egyptian President Mubarak and embraced the anti-US Muslim Brotherhood, which constitutes an existential threat to every pro-US Arab regime. Until the eruption of the 2011 Syrian civil war, the State Department considered Bashar Assad a reformer.  In 2011, the US led the NATO offensive against Qaddafi, which transformed Libya into a major platform of global Islamic terrorism and civil wars. In 2015, the US engineered the nuclear accord with Iran’s Ayatollahs, irrespective of their fanatical, repressive, terroristic and megalomaniacal ideology and track record, assuming that Iran’s Ayatollahs were credible partners for negotiations, amenable to peaceful-coexistence with their Arab Sunni neighbors, and renouncing their core ideology.

  1. The US and British track record in the Middle East was criticized by London University Prof. Elie Kedourie, who was a game-changing historian of the Middle East: “The very attempts to modernize Middle Eastern society, to make it Western must bring about evils, which may be greater than the benefits…. The Muslim theory of international relations recognizes only two possible situations: war on the ‘infidel’ or his subjugation to the ‘faithful.’ Peace with him de jure is hostility until he recognizes the authority of the Muslim ruler…. The comity of nations, or the sanctity of treaties, the rules of natural justice, or decent respect for the opinions of mankind, are quite alien and largely unintelligible to the Middle East (The Chatham House Version, pp 1-12).”
  2. In 2021, Israel would be advised to study US policy in Afghanistan and the US track record in the Middle East, accepting US proposals on the Palestinian issue and the Golan Heights with a grain of salt, subordinating the temptation for peace-in-our-time to hard core Middle East reality.
  3. In 2021, in view of the Afghanistan and Gaza experience and the Palestinian track record, Israel should resist the pressure to establish a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), lest it yields a mini-Afghanistan or a mega-Gaza on the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which dominate Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and 80% of Israel’s population and infrastructures.
  4. In 2021, against the backdrop of a gradual US withdrawal from the geo-strategically critical Middle East, and the intensifying threats to regional stability, Israel stands out as the most effective, reliable and democratic beachhead and force-multiplier for the US, and the most effective “life insurance agent” for all pro-US Arab regimes.

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Jewish Policy Center’s inFOCUS, Spring, 2023

Saudi-Iranian diplomatic relations

*Riyadh does not allow the resumption of the Saudi-Iranian diplomatic ties to befog the reality of the tenuous and shifty Middle East regimes, policies and agreements, and the inherently subversive, terroristic, anti-Sunni and imperialistic track record of Iran’s Ayatollahs.

*Saudi Arabia is cognizant of the 1,400-year-old fanatic, religious vision of the Ayatollahs, including their most critical strategic goal – since their February 1979 violent ascension to power – of exporting the Shiite Revolution and toppling all “apostate” Sunni Arab regimes, especially the House of Saud. They are aware that neither diplomatic, nor financial, short term benefits transcend the deeply-rooted, long term Ayatollahs’ anti-Sunni vision.

*Irrespective of its recent agreement with Iran – and the accompanying moderate diplomatic rhetoric – Saudi Arabia does not subscribe to the “New Middle East” and “end of interstate wars” Pollyannaish state of mind. The Saudis adhere to the 1,400-year-old reality of the unpredictably intolerant and violent inter-Arab/Muslim reality (as well as the Russia-Ukraine reality).

*This is not the first resumption of Saudi-Iranian diplomatic ties, which were previously severed in 1988 and 2016 and followed by the Ayatollahs-induced domestic and regional violence.

*The China-brokered March 2023 resumption of diplomatic ties is a derivative of Saudi Arabia’s national security interests, and its growing frustration with the US’ eroded posture as a reliable diplomatic and military protector against lethal threats.

*The resumption of Saudi-Iranian diplomatic relations constitute a major geo-strategic gain for China and a major setback for the US in a region which, until recently, was perceived as a US domain.

*The US posture of deterrence has been severely undermined by the 2015 nuclear accord (the JCPOA), the 2021 withdrawal/flight from Afghanistan, the systematic courting of three real, clear and lethal threats to the Saudi regime –  Iran’s Ayatollahs, the “Muslim Brotherhood” and Yemen’s Houthi terrorists –- while exerting diplomatic and military pressure on the pro-US Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.

*US policy has driven Saudi Arabia (as well as the UAE and Egypt) closer to China and Russia, commercially and militarily, including the potential Chinese construction of civilian nuclear power plants and a hard rock uranium mill in Saudi Arabia, which would advance Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “Vision 2030.”

Saudi “Vision 2030” 

*Effective Israel-Saudi Arabia cooperation is a derivative of Saudi Arabia’s national security and economic interests, most notably “Vision 2030.”

*The unprecedented Saudi-Israeli security, technological and commercial cooperation, and the central role played by Saudi Arabia in inducing the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan to conclude peace treaties with Israel, are driven by the Saudi assessment that Israel is an essential ally in the face of real, clear, lethal security threats, as well as a vital partner in the pursuit of economic, technological and diplomatic goals.

*The Saudi-Israel cooperation constitutes a win-win proposition.

*The Saudi-Israel cooperation is driven by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’ (MBS’) “Vision 2030.” He aspires to catapult the kingdom to a regional and global powerhouse of trade and investment, leveraging its geo-strategic position along crucial naval routes between the Far East and Europe (the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Arab Sea and the Red Sea).

*”Vision 2030″ has introduced ground-breaking cultural, social, economic, diplomatic and national security reforms and upgrades, leveraging the unique added-value of Israel’s technological and military capabilities.

*Saudi Arabia, just like the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, are preoccupied with the challenge of economic diversification, realizing that they are overly-reliant on oil and natural gas, which are exposed to price-volatility, depletion and could be replaced by emerging cleaner and more cost-effective energy. They consider Israel’s ground-breaking technologies as a most effective vehicle to diversify their economy, create more jobs in non-energy sectors, and establish a base for alternative sources of national income, while bolstering homeland and national security.

*”Vision 2030″ defies traditional Saudi religious, cultural and social norms.  Its future, as well as the future of Saudi-Israel cooperation, depend on Saudi domestic stability and the legitimacy of MBS.  The latter is determined to overcome and de-sanctify the fundamentalist Wahhabis in central and southwestern Saudi Arabia, who were perceived until recently as the Islamic authority in Saudi Arabia, and an essential ally of the House of Saud since 1744.

“Vision 2030”, the Middle East and Israel’s added-value

*MBS’ ambitious strategy is preconditioned upon reducing regional instability and minimizing domestic and regional threats.  These threats include the Ayatollahs regime of Iran, “Muslim Brotherhood” terrorists, Iran-supported domestic Shiite subversion (in the oil-rich Eastern Province), Iran-based Al Qaeda, Iran-supported Houthis in Yemen, Iran-supported Hezbollah, the proposed Palestinian state (which features a rogue intra-Arab track record), and Erdogan’ aspirations to resurrect the Ottoman Empire, which controlled large parts of the Arabian Peninsula. Currently, Erdogan maintains close security and political ties with the “Muslim Brotherhood” and the pro-Iran and pro-“Muslim Brotherhood” Qatar, while confronting Saudi Arabia in Libya, where they are both involved in a series of civil wars.

*Notwithstanding the March 2023 resumption of diplomatic ties with Iran, Saudi Arabia is aware that the Middle East resembles a volcano, which frequently releases explosive lava – domestically and regionally – in an unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2010 and is still raging on the Arab Street.

*The survival of the Saudi regime, and the implementation of “Vision 2030,” depend upon Riyadh’s ability to form an effective coalition against rogue regimes. However, Saudi Arabia is frustrated by the recent erosion of the US’ posture of deterrence, as demonstrated by the 43-year-old US addiction to the diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs; the US’ limited reaction to Iranian aggression against US and Saudi targets; the US’ embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood; and the US’ appeasement of the Ayatollahs-backed Houthi terrorists. In addition, the Saudis are alarmed by the ineffectiveness of NATO (No Action Talk Only?), European vacillation in the face of Islamic terrorism, and the vulnerability of the Arab regimes.  This geo-strategic reality has driven the Saudis (reluctantly) closer to China and Russia, militarily and commercially.

*Against this regional and global backdrop, Israel stands out as the most reliable “life insurance agent” and an essential strategic ally, irrespective of past conflicts and the Palestinian issue. The latter is considered by the Saudi Crown Prince as a secondary or tertiary issue.

*In addition, the Saudis face economic and diplomatic challenges – which could benefit from Israel’s cooperation and can-do mentality – such as economic diversification, innovative technology, agriculture, irrigation and enhanced access to advanced US military systems, which may be advanced via Israel’s stature on Capitol Hill.

*The Saudi interest in expanding military, training, intelligence, counter-terrorism and commercial cooperation with Israel has been a byproduct of its high regard for Israel’s posture of deterrence and muscle-flexing in the face of Iran’s Ayatollahs (in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran itself); and Israel’s systematic war on Palestinian and Islamic terrorism.  Furthermore, the Saudis respect Israel’s occasional defiance of US pressure, including Israel’s high-profiled opposition to the 2015 JCPOA and Israel’s 1981 and 2007 bombing of Iraq’s and Syria’s nuclear reactors, which spared the Saudis (and the US) the devastating wrath of a nuclear Saddam Hussein and a nuclear Assad.

*A deterring and defiant Israel is a cardinal force-multiplier for Saudi Arabia (as it is for the US). On the other hand, an appeasing and retreating Israel would be irrelevant to Saudi Arabia’s national security (as it would be for the US).

*On a rainy day, MBS (just like the US) prefers a deterring and defiant Israel on his side.

Saudi interests and the Palestinian issue

*As documented by the aforementioned data, Saudi Arabia’s top national security priorities transcend – and are independent of – the Palestinian issue.

*The expanding Saudi-Israel cooperation, and the key role played by Riyadh in accomplishing the Abraham Accords, have contradicted the Western conventional wisdom.  The latter assumes that the Palestinian issue is central to Arab policy makers, and that the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict is preconditioned upon substantial Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, including the establishment of a Palestinian state.

*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, MBS is aware that the Palestinian issue is not the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict, neither a crown-jewel of Arab policy-making, nor a core cause of regional turbulence.

*Independent of the pro-Palestinian Saudi talk, Riyadh (just like the Arabs in general) has demonstrated an indifferent-to-negative walk toward the Palestinians.  Arabs know that – in the Middle East – one does not pay custom on words. Therefore, the Arabs have never flexed a military (and barely financial and diplomatic) muscle on behalf of the Palestinians. They have acted in accordance with their own – not Palestinian – interests, and certainly not in accordance with Western misperceptions of the Middle East.

*Unlike the Western establishment, MBS accords critical weight to the Palestinian intra-Arab track record, which is top heavy on subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude. For instance, the Saudis don’t forget and don’t forgive the Palestinian collaboration with Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which was the most generous Arab host for Palestinians. The Saudis are also cognizant of the deeply-rooted Palestinian collaboration with Islamic, Asian, African, European and Latin American terror organizations, including “Muslim Brotherhood” terrorists and Iran’s Ayatollahs (whose machetes are at the throat of the House of Saud), North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela.  The Saudis are convinced that the proposed Palestinian state cannot be different than the Palestinian rogue track record, which would add fuel to the Middle East fire, threatening the relatively-moderate Arab regimes.

Saudi Arabia and the Abraham Accords

*Saudi Arabia has served as the primary engine behind Israel’s peace treaties with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan, and has forged unprecedented defense and commercial cooperation with Israel, consistent with the Saudi order of national priorities.

*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, the Saudis do not sacrifice Middle East reality and their national security interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue.

*The success of the Saudi-supported Abraham Accords was a result of avoiding the systematic mistakes committed by Western policy makers, which produced a litany of failed Israeli-Arab peace proposals, centered on the Palestinian issue. Learning from prior mistakes, the Abraham accords focused on Arab interests, bypassing the Palestinian issue, avoiding a Palestinian veto.

*Therefore, the durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the interests of the respective Arab countries, and not on the Palestinian issue, which is not a top priority for any Arab country.

*The durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the stability of Saudi Arabia and the Arab countries which signed the Abraham Accords. Their stability is threatened by the volcanic nature of the unstable, highly-fragmented, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic and tenuous Middle East.

*The tenuous nature of most Arab/Muslim regimes in the Middle East yields tenuous policies and tenuous accords. For example, in addition to the Arab Tsunami of 2010 (which is still raging on the Arab Street), non-ballot regime-change occurred (with a dramatic change of policy) in Egypt (2013, 2012, 1952), Iran (1979, 1953), Iraq (2003, 1968, 1963-twice, 1958), Libya (2011, 1969) and Yemen (a civil war since the ’90s, 1990, 1962), etc.

*Bearing in mind the intra-Arab Palestinian track record, regional instability, the national security of Saudi Arabia, the Abraham Accords and US interests would be severely undermined by the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. It would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River; transform Jordan into a chaotic state in the vein of the uncontrollable Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; and produce another platform of regional and global Islamic terrorism, which would be leveraged by Iran’s Ayatollahs, in order to tighten their encirclement of Saudi Arabia. This would trigger a domino scenario, which would threaten every pro-US Arab oil-producing country in the Arabian Peninsula, jeopardizing the supply of Persian Gulf oil; threaten global trade; and yield a robust tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China and a major headwind to the US and its Arab Sunni allies, headed by Saudi Arabia.

*Why would Saudi Arabia and the Arab regimes of the Abraham Accords precondition their critical ties with Israel upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, which they view as a rogue element? Why would they sacrifice their national security and economic interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue? Why would they cut off their noses to spite their faces?

The well-documented fact that Arabs have never flexed a military muscle (and hardly a significant financial and diplomatic muscles) on behalf of the Palestinians, provides a resounding answer!

Israel-Saudi cooperation and Israel’s national security interests

*Notwithstanding the importance of Israel’s cooperation with Saudi Arabia, it takes a back seat to Israel’s critical need to safeguard/control the geographic cradle of its history, religion and culture, which coincides with its minimal security requirements in the volcanic Middle East: the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (West Bank), which dominate the 8-15-mile-sliver of pre-1967 Israel.

*The tenuously unpredictable Middle East reality defines peace accords as variable components of national security, unlike topography and geography (e.g., the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights) which are fixed components of Israel’s minimal security requirements in the non-Western-like Middle East. Israel’s fixed components of national security have dramatically enhanced its posture of deterrence. They transformed the Jewish State into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.

*An Israel-Saudi Arabia peace treaty would be rendered impractical if it required Israel to concede the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which would relegate Israel from a terror and war-deterring force multiplier for the US to a terror and war-inducing burden upon the US.

*Contrary to the Western (mis)perception of Israel-Arab peace treaties as pillars of national security, the unpredictably-violent Middle East features a 1,400-year-old reality of transient (non-democratic, one-bullet, not one-ballot) Arab regimes, policies and accords. Thus, as desirable as Israel-Arab peace treaties are, they must not entail the sacrifice of Israel’s most critical national security feature: the permanent topography of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which dominate 80% of Israel’s population and infrastructure.

*In June and December of 1981, Israel bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor and applied its law to the Golan Heights, in defiance of the Western foreign policy establishment.  The latter warned that such actions would force Egypt to abandon its 1979 peace treaty with Israel. However, Egypt adhered to its national security priorities, sustaining the peace treaty. Routinely, Western policy makers warn that construction in Jerusalem (beyond the “Green Line”) and in Judea and Samaria would trigger a terroristic volcano and push the Arabs away from their peace treaties with Israel.

*None of the warnings materialized, since Arabs act in accordance with their own interests; not in accordance with Western misperceptions and the rogue Palestinian agenda.

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*The US’ co-sponsorship of an anti-Israel UN Security Council Statement reflects the return of the State Department’s worldview to the center stage of US foreign policy-making. This was the first time, in six years, that the US enabled the UN Security Council to act against Israel.

*This is not merely a worldview, which is highly critical of Israel, as has been the case since 1948, when Foggy Bottom led the charge against the re-establishment of the Jewish State.

This worldview has systematically undermined US interests, by subordinating the unilateral, independent US national security policy (on Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestinian issue, etc.) to a multilateral common denominator with the anti-US and anti-Israel UN and international organizations, as well as the vacillating and terrorists-appeasing Europe.

*It has sacrificed Middle East reality on the altar of wishful-thinking, assuming that the establishment of a Palestinian state would fulfill Palestinian aspirations, advance the cause of peace, reduce terrorism and regional instability; thus, enhancing US interests.

*However, the reality of the Middle East and Jordan and the rogue Palestinian track record lend credence to the assumption that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, yielding traumatic ripple effects, regionally and globally:

^Replace the relatively-moderate Hashemite regime with either a rogue Palestinian regime, a Muslim Brotherhood regime, or other rogue regimes;
^Transform Jordan into a chaotic state, similar to Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, which would be leveraged by Iran’s Ayatollahs to intensify their encirclement of the pro-US Saudi regime;
^Convert Jordan into a major arena of regional and global Islamic terrorism;
^Trigger a domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula, which could topple all pro-US, oil-producing Arab regimes;
^Imperil the supply of Persian Gulf oil, which would be held hostage by anti-US entities, catapulting the price at the pump;
^Jeopardize major naval routes of global trade between Asia and Europe through the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal;
^Intensify epicenters of regional and global terrorism and drug trafficking;
^Generate a robust tailwind to US’ adversaries (Russia and China) and enemies (Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS) and a powerful headwind to US economic and national security interests.

*The State Department assumes that Palestinian terrorism – just like Islamic terrorism – is driven by despair, ignoring the fact that Palestinian terrorism has been driven (for the last 100 years) by the vision to erase the “infidel” Jewish entity from “the abode of Islam,” as stated by the charters of Fatah (1959) and the PLO (1964), 8 and 3 years before the Jewish State reunited Jerusalem and reasserted itself in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

*Aspiring for a Palestinian state, and viewing Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria as an obstacle to peace, ignores the Arab view of the Palestinians as a role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism, corruption and treachery. Moreover, the State Department has held the view that the Palestinian issue is the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict and a central to Arab interests, which has been refuted by the Abraham Accords. The latter ignored the State Department, sidestepped the Palestinian issue and therefore came to fruition.

*The State Department overlooks the centrality of the Palestinian Authority’s hate education, which has become the most effective production-line of terrorists, and the most authentic reflection of the Palestinian Authority’s worldview and vision.

*The State Department has also taken lightly the Palestinian Authority’s mosque incitement, public glorification of terrorists and monthly allowances to families of terrorists, which have documented its rogue and terroristic nature (walk), notwithstanding its peaceful diplomatic rhetoric (talk).

*The State Department’s eagerness to welcome the Palestinian issue in a “red carpet” manner – contrary to the “shabby doormat” extended to Palestinians by Arabs – and its determination to promote the establishment of a Palestinian state, along with its embrace of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood, have been interpreted by rogue regimes and organizations as weakness.

Experience suggests that weakness invites the wolves, including wolves which aim to bring “The Great Satan” to submission throughout the world as well as the US mainland.

Support Appreciated

 

  1. In 1975, the US disengagement from Vietnam fulfilled the goal of the Viet Cong, thus ending the US-Vietnam conflict.

In 2021, the US disengagement from Afghanistan advances – but does not fulfill – the goal of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and therefore does not end the conflict between the US and Islamic terrorism.

In 1975, the vision and strategic goal of the Viet Cong was limited to the territory of Vietnam, consistent with an eventual peaceful-coexistence and cooperation with the resourceful US.

In 2021, the 14-century-old vision and strategic goal of Islamic terrorism is not limited to the territory of Afghanistan. It is driven by fanatic imperialism, striving to subordinate the “infidel” West – and especially “The Great US Satan” – which is perceived to be the key obstacle on the way to Islamic global domination. Islamic terrorism is determined to establish a global Islamic society, ruled by the Quran and Sharia (“divine law”), which is inconsistent with peaceful-coexistence with the “infidel” US, irrespective of its involvement in Afghanistan. In fact, it requires a decisive war against the US, including terrorism on the US mainland.

In 1975, the US was involved in a Vietnam civil war, faced with the choice of fighting in the Vietnam trenches, or disengage and spare itself a war.

In 2021, the US is fighting against an intrinsic, anti-US Islamic terrorism, faced with the choice of confronting Islamic terrorists in their own trenches (which is costly), or disengaging and gradually shifting the war to the US trenches (which is dramatically costlier).

  1. In 2021, US policy-makers are reminded that the Taliban and all rogue regimes are not impressed by – and are not willing to adopt – the Western values of human rights, democracy, international law and peaceful-coexistence.

Moreover, rogue regimes are not impressed by US diplomacy, as they are by effective US counter-terrorism and posture of deterrence.

Islamic terrorists don’t seek popularity in the international community. They seek to intimidate the international community all the way to submission, peacefully or militarily.

  1. The US retreat in the face of Islamic terrorism has severely eroded the US posture of deterrence, heating up the volcanic Arab Tsunami (mislabeled as the “Arab Spring”), which has traumatized the Arab Street since 2010. Furthermore, the erosion of the US posture of deterrence has recharged the fierceness of all rogue regimes (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs, Muslim Brotherhood affiliates from Pakistan through the Middle East and Northwest Africa, Yemen’s Houthis, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority), as well as the megalomaniacal aspirations of Turkey’s Erdogan. Thus, the US retreat has intensified existential threats to every pro-US Arab regime (e.g., Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco).

The US disengagement from Afghanistan, along with its eagerness to reenter the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran’s Ayatollahs, the enhanced ties with the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East and the US, and the US pressure exerts on Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, may drive these pro-US Arab regimes closer to China and Russia, which are major beneficiaries of the current US policy.

  1. The US retreat from Afghanistan has jeopardized the national security of India – a pro-Western bastion of democracy, stability and effective capabilities – which is facing a multitude of threats by internal and external Islamic terrorism, a nuclear Pakistan and China.
  2. The severely flawed Afghanistan-oriented assessments made by the US foreign policy and national security establishment were consistent with the systematic gap between State Department conceptions, on the one hand, and Middle East reality, on the other hand.

For example, in 1948, the State Department determined that the newly-born Jewish State would be helpless against a concerted Arab military assault, would be pro-Soviet and undermine US-Arab relations. During the 1950s, the US courted Egyptian President Nasser, who downplayed the lavish US offers, and became an ardent pro-Soviet and anti-US leader. In 1978/79, the US betrayed the pro-US Shah of Iran and embraced the Ayatollah Khomeini, assuming that he was pro-US, driven by human rights and democracy. In 1980-90, the US collaborated with Saddam Hussein, assuming that “the enemy (Iraq) of my enemy (Iran) is my friend,” naively providing a green light for his invasion of Kuwait. During 1993-2000, the US hailed Arafat as a messenger of peace, worthy of the Nobel Prize for Peace and annual US foreign aid. In 2009, the US stabbed in the back pro-US Egyptian President Mubarak and embraced the anti-US Muslim Brotherhood, which constitutes an existential threat to every pro-US Arab regime. Until the eruption of the 2011 Syrian civil war, the State Department considered Bashar Assad a reformer.  In 2011, the US led the NATO offensive against Qaddafi, which transformed Libya into a major platform of global Islamic terrorism and civil wars. In 2015, the US engineered the nuclear accord with Iran’s Ayatollahs, irrespective of their fanatical, repressive, terroristic and megalomaniacal ideology and track record, assuming that Iran’s Ayatollahs were credible partners for negotiations, amenable to peaceful-coexistence with their Arab Sunni neighbors, and renouncing their core ideology.

  1. The US and British track record in the Middle East was criticized by London University Prof. Elie Kedourie, who was a game-changing historian of the Middle East: “The very attempts to modernize Middle Eastern society, to make it Western must bring about evils, which may be greater than the benefits…. The Muslim theory of international relations recognizes only two possible situations: war on the ‘infidel’ or his subjugation to the ‘faithful.’ Peace with him de jure is hostility until he recognizes the authority of the Muslim ruler…. The comity of nations, or the sanctity of treaties, the rules of natural justice, or decent respect for the opinions of mankind, are quite alien and largely unintelligible to the Middle East (The Chatham House Version, pp 1-12).”
  2. In 2021, Israel would be advised to study US policy in Afghanistan and the US track record in the Middle East, accepting US proposals on the Palestinian issue and the Golan Heights with a grain of salt, subordinating the temptation for peace-in-our-time to hard core Middle East reality.
  3. In 2021, in view of the Afghanistan and Gaza experience and the Palestinian track record, Israel should resist the pressure to establish a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), lest it yields a mini-Afghanistan or a mega-Gaza on the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which dominate Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and 80% of Israel’s population and infrastructures.
  4. In 2021, against the backdrop of a gradual US withdrawal from the geo-strategically critical Middle East, and the intensifying threats to regional stability, Israel stands out as the most effective, reliable and democratic beachhead and force-multiplier for the US, and the most effective “life insurance agent” for all pro-US Arab regimes.

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1. September 11 was the zenith of anti-US Islamic terrorism, which has afflicted the US since the 18th century. At that time, the Barbary Muslim pirates routinely assaulted US merchant ships, triggering the 1801-1805 US Navy and Marines offensive against the Barbary headquarters in Tripoli.

The following are recent examples of the sustained anti-US Islamic terrorism: three US Navy sailors were murdered in December 2019 by an Islamic terrorist in Pensacola, FL; eight people were murdered in October 2017 by an Islamic terrorist in Lower Manhattan, NY; 49 people were murdered in June 2016 by an Islamic terrorist in Orlando, FL; 14 people were murdered in December 2015 by Islamic terrorists in San Bernardino, CA; 13 US soldiers were murdered in November 2009 by a Muslim terrorist in Ft. Hood, TX; etc.

Thus, Islamic terrorism has haunted the US irrespective of US policy and independent of US-Israel relations: during Presidents Trump and Obama; during President Clinton’s pressure on Israel and embrace of the Palestinians (e.g., 300 people murdered when the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were demolished by two Islamic car bombs in August 1998); seven days following President Reagan’s recognition of the PLO (257 passengers murdered when PanAm-103 was blown up over Scotland in December 1988); despite President Carter’s critical support of Iran’s Ayatollahs’ toppling of the pro-US Shah of Iran (63 US personnel were held hostage for 444 days after Iran’s Ayatollahs seized the US Embassy in Teheran, from November 1979 through January 1981); etc.

  1. September 11 underscores the determination of Islamic terror regimes (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban, Al Qaeda) to engage the US in their battle to bring the West to submission, irrespective of the US’ intent to disengage from the Middle East. These regimes view a potential US disengagement and isolationism as a symptom of Western battle-fatigue and erosion of posture of deterrence, energizing them to shift the battle gradually away from their own turf to Western turf.
  2. September 11 implemented a central theme of the school curriculum of Islamic/Arab regimes (e.g., Iran and the Palestinian Authority), which highlights the 1,400 year old central Islamic precepts of “holy war” (Jihad) and “martyrdom” (Shuhada’) as prime commitments to Islam/Allah, guaranteeing each martyr 72 virgins in paradise.

Western policy-makers, who do not shake hands with hate-mongers in their own society, appease and reward the hate-educating regimes of Iran and the Palestinian Authority, while being aware that education is the most authentic reflection of one’s vision and worldview.

  1. September 11 reinforced the fact that Islamic terrorism is not driven by despair, but by a 14-century-old vision of intolerance, supremacy, repression and global imperialism, which considers Islam as the only legitimate religion, divinely-ordained to bring “infidels” – especially the US – to submission, peacefully or militarily.
  2. September 11 was a compelling vindication of Prof. Bernard Lewis’ observation: “If the fighters in the war for Islam are fighting for God, it follows that their opponents are fighting against God…. In the classical Islamic view, to which many Muslims are beginning to return, the world is divided into two: the House of Islam… and the House of Unbelief, which it is the duty of Muslims ultimately to bring to Islam…. The struggle between these rival systems has now lasted for some 14 centuries…. America has become the archenemy, the incarnation of evil, the diabolic opponent of all that is good… of Islam….”
  3. September 11 was a startling reminder that since the early 7th century, when Islam was introduced in Mecca, it has employed Jihad-driven offensive (not defensive) military (not peaceful) means to take over the entire Arabian Peninsula, expand throughout the Middle East and Turkey, surge to northwest Africa and Spain and establish itself in parts of Asia and Africa.

Most Arab/Muslim regimes rise/lose power through violence, subversion and terrorism, as recently demonstrated by the civil wars in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Since the 7th century, Islam has employed domestic, regional and global violence against “infidels” and mostly against other “believers.”

  1. September 11 was a wakeup call for Western democracies, which tend to underestimate the critical weight of the Quran and Sharia (“divine law”) in setting the strategy and tactics (including Taquiyya – diplomatic dissimulation) of many Muslim regimes, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey’s Erdogan, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
  2. September 11 alerted the West that concessions to rogue regimes add fuel – not water – to the fire of terrorism.
  3. September 11 signaled to Westerners, who are determined to export democracy, human rights and peaceful-coexistence to rogue nations in the Middle East, that Middle East regimes tend to reject such Western norms and institutions. According to Prof. Elie Kedourie, “any such project as bringing democracy to the Arab Middle East [resembles] trying to make water run uphill.”
  4. September 11 highlighted the US-Israel strategic and ideological synergy in the face of rogue regimes, which view the US as “The Great Satan” and Israel as “The Small Satan.” Israel is considered a force-multiplier for the US (e.g., counter-terrorism operations and intelligence, battle experience and an effective and democratic outpost), a reliable line of defense for pro-US Arab regimes (e.g., Jordan and Gulf States), and an innovative ally in the co-development of the most advanced military and commercial technologies.

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Hamas and war on terrorism

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

Arabs stance on Palestinian terrorism

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

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

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

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

Root cause of Palestinian terrorism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2021 Middle East

While US policy in the Middle East focuses on multilateralism, human rights, democracy and international law, the stormy Middle East displays deeply-rooted domestic and regional Shiite (mostly Iran) and Sunni (mostly Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS) repression, terrorism and warfare, as well as imperial aspirations by Iran’s Ayatollahs and Turkey’s Erdogan.

The explosive state of the Middle East has highlighted the vulnerability and the actual/potential disintegration of Arab entities, which have always revered local/tribal – much more than national – loyalty.

This state of affairs emphasizes Western misinterpretation of the unpredictable, violently intolerant, highly fragmented, despotic and dis-functional Middle East, which has systematically frustrated benevolent Western efforts to introduce democracy, tolerance, stability and peaceful-coexistence into the Middle East.

In 2021, the well-armed Middle East is raging with a litany of armed conflicts, domestic and anti-Western terrorism and other forms of violence, which have yielded over 500,000 fatalities and close to 10 million refugees since 2011.

It features Iran (domestic repression and military and terroristic involvement in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, the Arabian Peninsula, the Horn of Africa, Central Asia, Latin America and Europe), Turkey (the key supporter of the transcontinental Muslim Brotherhood terrorism, and militarily involved in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Horn of Africa and the Persian Gulf); as well as Libya (internationalized civil war and global Islamic terrorism), Egypt (war on Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS terrorism) and Jordan (war on Muslim Brotherhood terrorism and explosive domestic conflicts).  In addition, there are Lebanon (Islamic terrorism and low scale civil war), Syria (internationalized civil war and Islamic terrorism), Iraq (Islamic terrorism and internationalized civil war, while considering Kuwait its own Province 19), Yemen (internationalized civil war and Islamic terrorism), Qatar (financial supporter of Muslim Brotherhood terrorism and closely aligned with Iran and Turkey), Saudi Arabia (war on Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and Shiite terrorism, as well as war on Iran-supported Yemen-Houthi terrorism), the UAE and Bahrain (war on Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and Shiite terrorism), etc.

Fundamentals of inter-Arab relations

The geo-strategic background of the aforementioned domestic and regional wars and terrorism is analyzed by Prof. P.J. Vatikiotis, who was a leading Middle East historian at the School of Oriental and African studies, University of London (Arab and Regional Politics in the Middle East):

“Many Arab states are the fragmented successors of the Ottoman Empire, and subsequently of the British and French dominions in the Middle East.  As such, they are riddled with obsessive and violent nationalism, and governed by unstable individuals or groups who invariably achieved power by force. Today, the survival of most of these rulers depends on… a tight and ruthless internal control of the armed forces, the security apparatus and the bureaucracy….

“Even without the Arab-Israel conflict, the Arab Middle East would have been a conflict-ridden and conflict-generating area. The aspirations and pretensions of Arab nationalism, with its visions of Pan-Arabism and Arab unity, would have clashed – as they did – with the interests of the several Arab states…. The lid on that cauldron was kept down by the presence of the new European hegemonies, Britain and France.  Their withdrawal, or eviction, ushered in a new era of unstable, conflict-ridden inter-Arab relations…. Several of these Arab states contain within their territories large ethnic, tribal and sectarian minorities, which are, in most cases, economically deprived and politically underprivileged….

“That there can be instances of a convergence of interests among a number of Arab states over a particular issue, and therefore a common policy, cannot be denied…. [However] they must be seen in their proper perspective, not as the manifestation of an ideological or other phantasmagoric monolith…. Pan-Arabism and its variant of Arab unity are, for the time being, dead issues….

“[The Middle East Arab leaders and societies] are committed to a different scale of values, virtues and ethics, regardless of the imported [Western] secular rationalizations they may adumbrate for the commitment….

“The fundamental perception of a major confrontation between the Islamic and non-Islamic worlds aside, the Arab Middle East will continue to suffer the dissonance and conflict of local rivalries and differences between its several states, rulers, communities and factions as much in the Maghreb [Northwest Africa], as in the Fertile Crescent, the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt and the Gulf….

“The present political map of the Middle East may not be a permanent one….

“Arrangements are still made with rulers and regimes open to sedition and coups.  This condition in itself renders relations between Arab states, as well as between them and external powers, especially difficult.  Arab power remains vulnerable, though difficult to assess, and its potential effectiveness unpredictable….

“In the Arab Middle East, inter-Arab relations remain a labyrinth of intricate and often irreconcilable elements. In the past, as a rule, divisions, difference, and local conflicts were contained within and under an imperial arrangement.  Today, in the absence of such an arrangement, local states which can dispose of wealth can generate more deadly conflict, dangerous not only to the region’s stability, but also to that of the rest of the world….”

Advice to the US

Upon introducing the Biden Administration’s Middle East policy, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan may consider the following advise by Prof. Vatikiotis:

“For the foreseeable future, inter-Arab differences and conflicts will continue…. This is a feature of the area that will remain more or less a constant. The question of American options is one that must first of all be resolved on the basis of this fundamental reality: inter-Arab relations cannot be placed on a spectrum of linear development, moving from hell to paradise or vice versa.  Rather, their course is partly cyclical, partly jerkily spiral, and always resting occasionally at some grey area. American choices must be made on the assumption that what the Arabs want or desire is not always – if ever – what Americans desire.  In fact, the two desires may be diametrically opposed and radically different…. (ibid, pp. 77-115)”

P.S.

The location of the Middle East – between Europe, Asia and Africa and between the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Arab Sea and Persian Gulf – its oil and natural gas resources, and its role as an epicenter in the proliferation of global anti-Western Islamic terrorism, have made the Middle East critical to the national security and economy of the US and the Free World.

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Jordan’s domestic vulnerability

Jordan’s domestic upheaval involved some Arab countries, members of the royal Jordanian family and other prominent Bedouins, who were arrested and charged with an attempted regime change.

A regime-change in Jordan could transform the strategically-located country – between Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Israel – into another haven for Palestinian and Islamic terrorism. It would threaten the existence of the current regimes in Saudi Arabia, all other pro-US Gulf states and Egypt, advancing the interests of Iran’s Ayatollahs, Turkey’s Erdogan, the Muslim Brotherhood, China and Russia, while traumatizing regional stability and with dire Western and Israeli national security and economic consequences.

Jordan’s inherent political and ideological vulnerability has been fueled by intra-Bedouin fragmentation and conflicts, dating back to 1921, when the Hashemite Bedouin family was imported to Jordan – from Hejaz in western Saudi Arabia – by the British Empire, and imposed upon the indigenous Bedouins of (mostly southern) Jordan.  Furthermore, Jordan’s Bedouins are deeply divided, geographically, tribally, culturally, ideologically and religiously, with some of the southern tribes considering the Hashemites “carpetbaggers” from the Arabian Peninsula, Westernized and straying away from Islam and pan-Arabism by concluding a peace treaty with the “infidel” Jewish State.

Moreover, 70% of Jordan’s population are Palestinians, while Palestinian leaders (e.g., the PLO, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas) view Jordan as an artificial entity, the eastern (78%) part of Palestine. Hence, Palestinian active involvement in subversion and terrorism in Jordan and occasional attempts to topple the Hashemite regime, such as the civil war in September 1970 and the 1989 wave of terrorism.

Therefore, Palestinians have been involved in the Muslim Brotherhood’s political and terroristic subversion in Jordan, as they have been in the Brotherhood’s operations against the regimes of Egypt and the Gulf States.

In addition, ISIS veterans of Iraq and Syria civil wars have settled down in Jordan, and many Islamic terrorists are among the 2 million Iraqi and (mostly) Syrian refugees, who have been absorbed in northern Jordan.

This Jordanian upheaval sheds light on the following fourteen-century-old features of the Middle East:

*Family, clan and tribal loyalty supersede national loyalty;
*Political volatility, unpredictability and instability;
*Domestic and regional fragmentation;
*Transient (minority) despotic regimes susceptible to coups;
*Regimes ascend to – and lose – power through violence;
*Non-democratic regime-change;
*Kleptocracy;
*Violent intolerance (towards the “infidel” and fellow “believers”), internally and regionally, religiously, ethnically, ideologically and geographically;
*No intra-Arab peaceful-coexistence, domestically or regionally;
*No Western-style human rights and democracy (no freedom of religion, speech, press, association).

Middle East context

The current tremor in Jordan is one of the ripple effects of the Arab Tsunami, which has rampaged the Arab Street since 2010/2011. The Arab Tsunami has been fueled by centuries of internal and regional ethnic, religious and ideological violence, exacerbated by hate-education, political corruption, despotism and human rights violations.

In fact, the 2021 reality in two of the historically most powerful Arab countries – Syria and Iraq – documents the fragility of Arab regimes. The violent collapse of the political order in Syria and Iraq has set them on a chaotic course of disintegration, delivering a glaring warning to every Arab regime.

Arab leaders who were perceived to be Rock of Gibraltar-like rulers, were violently overthrown.  For example:

*Iraq’s King Faisal II was executed by the military in 1958, followed by the execution of General Qasim in 1963, and a military-Ba’athist regime, featuring Saddam Hussein, who officially assumed leadership in 1979 and was hung in 2006;

*Egypt’s King Farouk was toppled by Major General Naguib and Colonel Nasser in 1952, General Mubarak was deposed by the Muslim Brotherhood in 2012/13, which was then forced out by General Sisi in 2013;

*Libya’s King Idris was ousted by Colonel Qadhafi in 1969, who was lynched by an Islamic mob in 2011, and succeeded by a series of civil wars which still linger on;

*Iran’s Shah was violently removed by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1978/1979;

*Sudan’s military rulers were deposed by a coalition of military rebels, political activists and Islamists in 1964 and 1985, followed by a 1989 military coup by General Bashir. He was deposed by a joint military-civilian uprising in 2019, which led to a fragmented civilian leadership, supported by some military elements and opposed by Islamist organizations;

*Yemen has experienced a series of civil wars and violent regime changes since 1962;

*Tunisia’s President Bourguiba was removed, in 1987, in a bloodless coup by President Ben Ali, who fled the country during a 2011 coup, which yielded a Muslim Brotherhood government.

The scope of intra-Arab/Muslim violence is documented by the 11 million Muslims killed via wars and terrorism since 1948, of which 35,000, (0.3%) died during the Arab wars against Israel, or one out of every 315 fatalities.

Approximately 500,000 Syrians have been killed since the March 2011 eruption of the civil war, in addition to some 7 million refugees. Two million Sudanese were killed, and 4 million displaced, during the 1983-2011 genocidal civil war. 200,000 Algerians were killed during the 1991-2006 civil war. One million people were killed during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. 300,000 Iraqis were killed by Saddam Hussein, in addition to the 150,000 killed by Bin Laden’s carnage in Iraq. 200,000 Lebanese were killed in internal violence – inflamed by Palestinian terrorism – during the 1970s and 1980s.  80,000 Iranians were killed during the 1978/79 Islamic revolution and more are executed and decapitated routinely by Iran’s Ayatollahs.

The bottom line

According to Prof. Fouad Ajami, the late Director of Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins University, who was one of the leading Middle East scientists (The Arab Predicament): Middle East reality constitutes “a chronicle of illusions, despair and politics repeatedly degenerating into bloodletting.”

Thus, in the pursuit of peace, alliances and interests, well-meaning western policy-makers tend to sacrifice the perplexing Middle East reality upon the altar of convenience, oversimplification and wishful-thinking, which has fueled regional fires.

Connecting the dots of the boiling Arab Street exposes the systematic failure of well-intentioned peace negotiators, who mistake the Arab Tsunami for a liberty and democracy-driven Arab Spring. They believe that a signed agreement can override a 14-century-old shifty and devious political culture.  They ignore the fact that intra-Arab conflicts – not the Arab-Israeli conflict – have been “the Middle East conflicts,” and that the Palestinian issue has never been a core cause of regional turbulence, neither a crown-jewel of Arab policy making, nor the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Connecting dots in the Middle East reaffirms the non-Western security requirements for Israel, which must withstand the (Middle East) worst-case-scenario, not the (Western) best-case scenario. Hence, security requirements must respond to relatively-frequent and unpredictable occasions, when peace accords are abrogated. Moreover, security requirements must bolster Israel’s posture of deterrence in a region prone to transient regimes, policies and agreements.

Connecting the dots on the stormy Arab Street highlights Israel’s unique role as the only effective, reliable, unconditional, democratic and stable ally of the USA, whose military and technological capabilities have become a unique force-multiplier for the USA without the need to station additional GIs in the region, while producing for the US taxpayers an annual-rate-of-return of a few hundred percent on the US annual investment in Israel (erroneously defined as “foreign aid”).

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The Iran-Turkey threat

The stormy Arab Street has raged since the eruption of the 2011 Arab Tsunami (otherwise known as “the Arab Spring”). It has intensified existential threats – domestically and regionally – to all Arab regimes.

In 2021, Iran’s Ayatollahs and Turkey’s Erdogan – two religiously driven imperialistic regimes – pose the main existential threat to every relatively-moderate Arab regime. They incite domestic conflicts and violence, and leverage the inherent intra-Arab fragmentation, rivalries, intolerance, wars and terrorism, which have precluded an effective Arab front in the face of Iran and Turkey.

In 2021, the Shiite Ayatollahs and Sunni Erdogan – with the financial backing of Qatar – support the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, militarily and financially. The Brotherhood is the largest Islamic terrorist organization, which attempts to topple all Arab regimes (e.g., Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain) – using political and terroristic tools – as a step toward establishing a universal pan-Islamic society, which would overpower the West.

In 2021, contrary to the assumption that Iran’s Ayatollahs may consider abandoning their megalomaniacal vision, and may peacefully coexist and share power with their Sunni Arab neighbors, Teheran is actively exporting the Islamic revolution to every Arab country – via subversion and terrorism – as they have done in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

In 2021, Iran’s Ayatollahs are taking advantage of their successful cooperation with the Shiite Houthis in the civil war in Yemen, in order to destabilize Saudi Arabia, aiming to topple the Saudi regime and all other Arab Sunni regimes in the Arabian Peninsula.

While Iran and Turkey pursue two conflicting long-term visions – an imperialistic Shiite empire and the reestablishment of the Sunni Ottoman Empire – they are collaborating in the quest of their joint short-term goal to topple every pro-US Arab regime. Advancing this goal would further exacerbate the turbulence in the critical area between Europe, Asia and Africa and between the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, with grave military and economic global consequences, including the proliferation of anti-US Islamic terrorism.

Islamic terrorism targets the US

The US has been systematically targeted by Islamic terrorism, which has been an intrinsic feature of the Middle East since the seventh century, driven by fanatical anti-“infidel” and anti-Western ideology.

Islamic terrorism has focused on the US since the Tripoli Barbary Muslim pirates in the 18th century, independent of US policy, in general, and US policy towards Israel, in particular.

Islamic terrorism has zeroed-in on the US irrespective of the Arab-Israeli conflict, well-intentioned US peace initiatives, frequent pressure on Israel by US Presidents, generous US foreign aid to Arab (including Palestinian) regimes, and occasional US gestures toward the Palestinians, as demonstrated by the following recent examples:

*In March 1973, Palestinian terrorists murdered the US Ambassador to the Sudan, Cleo Noel, and Charge’ d’Affaires, Curtis Moore, notwithstanding President Nixon’s and Secretary of State Rogers’ pressure for Israeli concessions to the Arabs.

*In June 1976, Palestinian terrorists murdered US Ambassador to Lebanon, Francis Meloy, and Economic Counselor, Robert Waring, despite President Ford’s and Secretary of State Kissinger’s pressure on Israel for concessions to the Arabs.

*In November 1979, Iran’s revolutionaries seized the US Embassy and took 63 Americans hostage for 444 days, in spite of President Carter’s support of Ayatollah Khomeini and betrayal of the Shah during the initial stage of the Islamic revolution.

*In April and October, 1983, the Iran-supported Islamic Jihad – in cooperation with Palestinian terrorists – car-bombed the US Embassy and the US Marine Corps Headquarters in Beirut, murdering 36 and 242 Americans respectively, regardless of the on-going US-PLO dialogue (from 1981 through the December 1988, US recognition of the PLO) and President Reagan’s brutal pressure on Israel to refrain from retaliating against PLO strongholds in Lebanon).

*In December 1988, PanAm-103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland by a Libyan-placed bomb, murdering 259 people, seven days after US recognition of the PLO on December 14.

*In February 1993, al-Qaeda car-bombed the NY World Trade Center, murdering six people and causing $500mn in damage.

*In June 1996, Iran-supported Hezbollah car-bombed the US military housing compound of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, murdering 19 US GIs, while President Clinton embraced Yasser Arafat.

*In August 1998, two al-Qaeda bombs blasted the US Embassy in Kenya and Tanzania, murdering some 300 people (12 Americans), while President Clinton was brutally pressuring Israel for concessions to the Palestinians.

*In October 2000, al Qaeda terrorists bombed the USS Cole destroyer in the port of Aden, Yemen, murdering 17 sailors, while the US and Israel offered unprecedented Israeli concessions to the Palestinians.

*On September 11, 2001, al Qaeda terrorists crashed two airliners into the Twin Towers and an additional plane into the Pentagon, murdering 3,025 (mostly) Americans.

*In October 2003, Palestinian terrorists attacked a US diplomatic convoy in Gaza, on their way to interview Palestinian candidates for Fulbright scholarships to study in the US. Three security guards were murdered.

*In November 2009, al-Qaeda-connected US Army Major, Nidal Hasan, murdered 13 US soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas.

*In May 2010, an Islamic terrorist, Faisal Shahzad, tried and failed to ignite a bomb in Times Square.

*In September 2012, Islamic terrorists – who were assisted by the US in their successful attempt to topple the Qadhafi regime in 2011 – assaulted the US Consulate and the CIA compound in Benghazi, Libya, murdering four Americans.

*In December 2015, two Islamic terrorists murdered 14 Americans at the San Bernardino, California Inland Regional Center.

*In June 2016, an Islamic terrorist murdered 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

*In October 2017, an Islamic terrorist drove a pickup truck into cyclists and runners in Lower Manhattan, murdering eight people.

*In December 2019, an Islamic terrorist murdered three US Navy sailors on the Navy Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.

The bottom line

*Underestimating the inherent anti-“infidel” and anti-Western nature of Islamic terrorism, and disregarding the central role played by the  imperialistic and anti-Western vision of Iran’s Ayatollahs and Turkey’s Erdogan – as well as the pan-Islamic and anti-Western strategic goal of the Muslim Brotherhood – would severely undermine the existence of all pro-US Arab regimes, while crippling the national security and economy of the US.

*The close operational, research and industrial US-Israel cooperation has leveraged Israel’s daily experience in the battle against Islamic terrorism. It has provided the US with a unique cost-effective, battle-tested counter-terrorism laboratory, generating critical intelligence, battle tactics, cutting-edge technologies and advanced equipment – a unique force multiplier, sparing American lives and mega billion dollars.

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US policy in the Middle East

Since the 7th century, the Middle East has been one of the most tempestuous epicenters of domestic, regional and global wars and terrorism. The Middle East has frustrated US policy-makers, whose genuine attempts to promote peaceful-coexistence, human rights, democracy and international law have – too often – fueled social and political disintegration, repression, domestic and regional wars and global terrorism.

For example, in 1978/79, the US intent to advance the cause of human rights and democracy in Iran, led to the embrace of Ayatollah Khomeini (an old religious leader in exile….) and betrayal of the Shah, providing the tailwind for the transformation of Iran from the American Policeman of the Gulf to the worst enemy of the US and all its Arab allies, a major proliferator of terrorism, wars and ballistic capabilities.

In 1990, the US considered Saddam Hussein an ally (the enemy of my enemy is my friend….), unintentionally providing a “green light” to his invasion of Kuwait (during Saddam’s meeting with US Ambassador April Glaspie).

In 2003, the US toppled Saddam Hussein, crushed Iraq’s Sunni dominance of Iraq and empowered the Iran-backed Shiites, which unleashed a ferocious civil war and intensified Islamic terrorism.

In 2009, the US spurned the pro-US President Mubarak and courted Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood – aiming to advance the cause of human rights and democracy – which catapulted the Brotherhood to power in 2012/13, and energized their attempts to terrorize and topple every pro-US Arab regimes.

In 2011, the US-led NATO military offensive against Qadhafi, which was intended to halt severe violations of human rights, transformed Libya into a blustery platform of civil wars, Islamic terrorism and egregious violation of human rights.

In 2011, the US welcomed the fiery eruption of violence on the Arab street as if it were an “Arab Spring,” March of Democracy and Facebook and Youth Revolution. Thus, the failure to identify the de facto “Arab Tsunami” spurred rogue Arab elements towards domestic upheaval in pro-US Arab countries.

The 2015 Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA) was intended to pacify Iran’s Ayatollahs and promote peaceful coexistence and influence-sharing between Shiite Iran and the Sunni Arab Gulf states. Instead, it accorded legitimacy and $150bn to the Ayatollahs’ domestic repression, regional wars (in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon), global terrorism, ballistic capabilities, and the promotion of the Ayatollas’ fanatical-megalomaniacal vision of dominating the Gulf, the Middle East, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Horn of Africa and the rest of the globe, posing a clear and present threat to all pro-US Arab countries and the global order. For Iran’s Ayatollahs, the US is “The Great Satan,” which must be humiliated and defeated, in order to realize the megalomaniacal vision. Hence, the routine Ayatollahs-controlled mob chanting: “Death to America.”

In 2021, the US is putting Saudi Arabia on notice – including the suspension of arms sales – because of human rights violations and the lack of democracy, and due to the Saudi military involvement in Yemen’s civil war and its impact on Yemen’s humanitarian crisis. However, US pressure on Saudi Arabia, concurrently with revoking the designation of the Iran-backed Yemenite Shiite Houthis as terrorists, and the warming up to Iran’s Ayatollahs (who were not put on notice….), have emboldened the Houthis. Thus, the Houthis have stepped up their deliberate and systematic launching of missiles and “suicide drones” at Saudi civilian centers and oil facilities. Moreover, it has bolstered Iran’s attempts to topple the Sunni Saudi regime through Iran’s military involvement in the Yemen civil war, which erupted in 2015, following a long series of civil wars: 2009-2015, 1979, 1962-1970, etc.

For Shiite Iran it is another battle in the 1,400-year-old Sunni-Shia war.

Middle East reality

The aforementioned milestones of US policy in the Middle East, have highlighted the significant gap between Western conventional wisdom and Middle East reality, while exposing the following 1,400-year-old features of the stormy, unpredictable, highly-fragmented, violently intolerant Middle East:

*Middle East reality, on the one hand, and political stability and peaceful coexistence, on the other hand, constitute an oxymoron.

*The relatively-ancient local clan/tribal, ethnic, religious, cultural, geographic, ideological identities/loyalties supersede the relatively-new national identity and the rule of national law (e.g., Tripolitania in western Libya vs. Cyrenaica in the east vs. Fezzan in the southwest; a 9-tribe coalition in Benghazi, Libya is fighting other tribes, while fighting among themselves).

*Despotic regimes with limited legitimacy (representing a minority of the population), ascend to – and lose – power through violence.

*Relatively-transient regimes – highly susceptible to coups – yield tenuous policies, shifty fleeting alliances and ephemeral agreements (e.g., Libya until and since 1969, Libya until and since 2003, Iran until and since 1979, Turkey until and since 2003, Egypt until and since 2012 and then since 2013).

*Western democratic institutions (e.g., free elections, one man one vote, civil liberties, the rule of law, religious tolerance) are foreign to Middle East reality and its inherent political disorder.

*Against the backdrop of the repeated collapse of political order in Arab societies (e.g., Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen), and in view of the systematic failure of US and international peace initiatives, the expectation of peaceful-coexistence among all/most Arab/Muslim communities, which have been fighting each other for centuries through war and terrorism, is unrealistic in the short and medium run, if at all attainable in the explosive Middle East.

*A humongous gap exists between the well-meaning US desire for a peaceful and just Middle East, on the one hand, and that which the turbulent Middle East system can deliver. Contrary to Western policy makers, Arab leaders have a long historical memory. They don’t forget and don’t forgive….

According to Prof. Elie Kedourie (London School of Economics, the iconic game-changing Middle East historian): “Any such project as bringing democracy to the Arab Middle East was trying to make water run uphill.”

Conclusion

  1. Against the backdrop of the tectonic Middle East reality – which has yet to reach its boiling point – in view of the impact of the Middle East on US economic and national security interests, and realizing the US desire to minimize its military presence in the region, Israel is the most reliable, capable and democratic ally in the Middle East and the world.
  2. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Arab-Israeli conflict has never been “The Middle East Conflict,” and the Palestinian issue is not the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is neither a central concern for the Arabs, nor a core cause of regional turbulence.
  3. The unpredictable, erratic, unstable, tenuous, violent, 1,400 year old Middle East reality – which has yet to experience intra-Arab and intra-Muslim peaceful coexistence – determines Israel’s minimal security requirements, which must withstand the Middle East-(bad)-case scenario, not a Western-(good)-case scenario.
  4. A secured Israel advances US interests, deterring aggression against Israel and pro-US, relatively-moderate Arab regimes; thus, stabilizing the region. On the other hand, a vulnerable Israel would undermine US interests, whetting the appetite of rogue regimes, fueling regional instability, wars and terrorism, and benefitting rivals and enemies of the US.

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SCHEDULE LECTURES & INTERVIEWS

Demography

2024 artificially inflated Palestinian demography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Iran

FBI Director Chris Wray 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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