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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.

Support Appreciated

 

 

 

In 2020, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other pro-US Arab countries base their national security policy on issues which substantially transcend the Palestinian issue. These issues include lethal threats posed by Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Turkey’s Erdogan, the spillover of the civil wars in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, the potential implosion of all Arab countries, etc.

In 2020, these countries view Israel’s posture of deterrence as a most valuable asset in the face of the aforementioned lethal threats. They value Israel as a most productive resource to diversify their economy and enhance their standard of living.

At the same time, they consider the proposed Palestinian state a potential rogue regime, which would add fuel to the Middle East fire.  Therefore, they are expanding their defense and commercial ties with Israel in an unprecedented manner, in defiance of Palestinian protests and irrespective of the paralysis of the Palestinian issue.

In 1979 and 1994, Egypt and Jordan concluded peace accords with Israel, in order to advance their national security – not as a gesture toward Israel – regardless of Palestinian threats and protests. Notwithstanding occasional anti-Israel Jordanian talk, the Hashemite Kingdom’s walk (militarily and commercially) reflects a realization that Israel makes an irreplaceable and critical contribution to the survival of the Kingdom in the face of domestic and external clear and present threats. Against the backdrop of these threats, the establishment of the proposed Palestinian state would be the straw that breaks the Hashemite camel’s back.

Arab countries have showered Palestinians with a cuddling talk accompanied by a cold/negative walk, which has reflected Arab concern about the Palestinian systematic track record of association with rogue elements and engagement in intra-Arab subversion and terrorism.

Therefore, Arab countries have never flexed their military muscle – and barely their financial muscle – on behalf of the Palestinians.

Nor did Arab countries assist the Palestinians during the latter’s military confrontations with Israel (e.g., the 1982/83 War in Lebanon, the first and second Intifadas and the three wars in Gaza).  Never did the Arabs fight Israel on behalf of the Palestinians.

For example:

*The 1948/49 Arab-Israeli war was not launched – by Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon – on behalf the Arabs in Gaza, Judea and Samaria.  It was launched in order to advance the interests of the various Arab countries. Therefore, they did not share the spoils of the war with the Palestinians. Thus, Iraq occupied Samaria (the northern West Bank) and transferred it to Jordan, not to the Arabs of the area.  Jordan occupied Judea and the eastern part of Jerusalem and proceeded to annex these areas, in addition to Samaria, in April 1950, naming it the “West Bank.”  And, Egypt occupied Gaza and did not transfer the area to its Arab inhabitants.  In fact, both Jordan and Egypt prohibited any Palestinian national activities in their occupied areas, imposed frequent curfews, and punished and expelled violators of the prohibition. Moreover, the Arab League established the All-Palestine Government in 1948, rendered it completely impotent and transferred its headquarters from Gaza to Cairo until its dissolution in 1959.

Independent of the Palestinian issue, the 1948/49 Arab war against the newly-born Jewish State was launched in order to eradicate “the infidel Jewish State,” which was established, supposedly, in an area divinely endowed to “believers.”  However, their prime goal was to advance their particular geo-strategic postures, while undermining that of their Arab rivals.

Jordan’s Hashemite King aspired to expand his territory beyond the Jordan River toward the Mediterranean, in order to bolster his claim for intra-Arab leadership.

Iraq, which was ruled in 1948/49 by the Hashemite monarchy, collaborated with the Jordanian wing of the Hashemite family, while aiming to gain control over the 585-mile-oil pipeline from Kirkuk in Iraq to Haifa on the Mediterranean.

Egypt was not ready for the war logistically, but rivaled Jordan and Iraq for intra-Arab leadership, and therefore joined the attack on the newly-born Jewish State. It deployed troops in the Jerusalem region, in order to check the Jordanian advance.

Syria entered the war in order to conquer parts of “Southern Syria,” which extended from the Egyptian border through British Mandate Palestine and Jordan.

*Irrespective of the Palestinian issue, the 1956 Sinai War was triggered by the pan-Arab leadership aspirations of Egyptian President Nasser, who concluded a mega arms deal with Czechoslovakia, and formed a joint Egypt-Syria-Jordan military command against Israel and Arab rivals (e.g., Saudi Arabia). In the process, he nationalized the British-French owned Suez Canal, backed the Algerian uprising against France, blockaded Israel’s southern (oil) port of Eilat, enticed Gaza-based anti-Israel terrorism, and planned the occupation of parts of the Negev in southern Israel.

*Unrelated to the Palestinian issue, the 1967 preemptive Six Day War erupted due to the Soviet-supported Egyptian radical aggression: blockading the port of Eilat, violating the demilitarization of the Sinai Peninsula, reestablishing the joint anti-Israel Egypt-Syria-Jordan military command, and advancing its expansionist design (e.g., deploying troops to Yemen, in order to topple the Saudi regime). Syria shelled Israeli communities below the Golan Heights and Jordan shelled Jerusalem.

*Regardless of the Palestinian issue, the 1969/70 Egypt-Israel War of Attrition along the Gulf of Suez was an extension of the 1967 War.

*Notwithstanding the Palestinian issue, the 1973 War was launched by Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq with the aim of destroying the “infidel state” and advancing their own intra-Arab and domestic interests.

*The negative/indifferent Arab walk with regard to the Palestinian issue was demonstrated during Israel’s war against PLO bases and headquarters in Lebanon. Thus, the war was launched on June 6, 1982, the PLO was expelled from Beirut on August 30, but the Arab League did not convene until September 9, 1982….

*Arab unwillingness to shed blood on behalf of the Palestinians, and the low priority accorded to the Palestinian issue by the Arabs, were reinforced during the 1987-1992 and 2000-2003 waves of Palestinian terrorism (Intifada) against Israel, and the 2008/9, 2012 and 2014 Israel wars on Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism. These confrontations triggered a lavish pro-Palestinian Arab talk, but no Arab military involvement and minimal Arab diplomatic and financial gestures.

Erroneous assumptions produce self-destruct erroneous policies, as evidenced by the litany of Western peace proposals, which were based on the fallacious conventional wisdom that the Palestinian issue was the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict and a crown-jewel of Arab policy makers.  Will the Western foreign policy establishment learn from history by avoiding – or repeating – past errors?!

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US’ underlying assumptions on Iran

Driven by a genuine desire to rid the Middle East and the globe of terrorism and wars – and reflecting a long track record and ingrained worldview – Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Special Emissary Rob Malley and CIA Director William Burns are determined to reach a credible agreement with Iran’s Ayatollahs. They are resolute to induce the Iranian leopard to change spots, not merely tactics.

Convinced that Iran’s rogue conduct is not driven by an inherent, fanatic, megalomaniacal vision, Secretary Blinken is bent on limiting US policy toward Iran to diplomacy, while ruling out the military option and regime-change.

Adhering to multilateral foreign and national security policy – rather than a unilateral, independent US policy – Blinken shapes his policy toward Iran by according a significant role to vacillating Europe and the pro-Iran UN, as well as greater alignment with Russia and China.

Confident that a generous diplomatic and economic package will make the Ayatollahs regime amenable to credible negotiation, peaceful coexistence and departure from their 1,400-year-old religiously fanatic, imperialistic vision, the Biden team is resolved to take lightly the rogue track record of Iran’s Ayatollahs since the 1978/79 revolution, which overthrew the pro-US Shah, catapulted the rogue Ayatollahs to power, and transformed Iran into “The Islamic Republic,” which considers the US “The Great Satan.”

Consumed by his view of the Ayatollahs as credible partners in negotiation, Blinken has decided to accord his assessment of the Ayatollahs’ future conduct more weight than the Ayatollahs’ past conduct.

Trusting that Iran’s Ayatollahs prefer to be preoccupied with “butter” rather than “guns,” Blinken’s policy on Iran is focused on diplomatic negotiation, not military confrontation

Iran threatening the US from Latin America

Notwithstanding the aforementioned assumptions, the regime of the Ayatollahs has been systematically involved in regional and global subversion, terrorism and wars, while brainwashing their population through fanatic, anti-“infidel” (Christians, Jews, Bahais, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, etc.) and anti-“apostate” (Sunni Muslims) school curriculum, religious sermons and massive public events.

For example, Iran’s Ayatollahs closely collaborate with Hezbollah, the proxy of Iran’s Quds Force, which is the arm of the Revolutionary Guard, responsible for the exportation of the Islamic revolution.  They have intensified their surge into South and Central America, from Chile (especially with the December 2021 election of President Boric) to Mexico. They consider Latin America to be the soft underbelly of the US.

Iran and Hezbollah have established an elaborate regional and global infrastructure of terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, counterfeiting, fundraising, training, conversion to Islam, recruitment and media centers, as well as testing advanced military systems. They forged strategic alliances with anti-US regimes (e.g., Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia), breaking their international isolation, and collaborating with drug cartels and terror organizations.

Since the November 2009 Ahmadinejad visit to Venezuela, Iran has benefitted from uranium mines in Venezuela and Bolivia.

The entrenchment of Iran and Hezbollah in Latin America has undermined the US regional and global posture; intensified their global war on the US; established an income-generating platform to support terrorism and the development of advanced military and terror capabilities.  They have spread the Shiite Islamic revolution and global Jihad (“Holy War”) through a multitude of mosques, seminaries and “Islamic cultural centers;” and installed a support-platform for sleeper-cells in the US.

The US-Mexico border has been targeted by Iran and Hezbollah, with the latter being involved in kidnapping, human smuggling, extortion, as well as drug and arms trafficking. They are expanding the proliferation of drugs from Mexico to the Middle East and Europe, sharing their terroristic experience with Mexican drug cartels (e.g., car bombing, improvised explosive devices, narco-tunnels along the US border).

However, the principal safe haven for Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah, have been the lawless, corrupt and explosive tri border areas (TBA) of Argentina-Paraguay-Brazil and Chile-Peru (the world’s largest cocaine producer)-Bolivia (the world’s 3rd cocaine producer) with their substantial population of Shiite Lebanese expatriates.

According to the Small Wars Journal, “There are no fewer than 145 Iranian diplomats in Bolivia, as well as a strong Iranian military presence…. Illicit activity like narcotics and human smuggling flows between the two TBAs…. With thousands of converts to Islam and counting, Hezbollah can generate cells in Latin America more rapidly with not only continual financial assistance from Iran, but with a social network operation across the region…. Iranian and Hezbollah operatives travel around the region to fundraise, launder money, train and recruit prospective sympathizers, plot against their enemies [e.g., the US], and conduct other terrorist-related activities…. Chile’s ports are an indispensable resource as Iran is regularly taking advantage by docking its vessels….”

The Canada-based IranWire adds that “In recent years, the TBA of Argentina-Paraguay-Brazil has become the epicenter of world cocaine trafficking and narco-terrorism… with logistic support from Colombian, Mexican and Venezuelan cartels…. Hezbollah earns about $2bn annually through illegal drug trafficking in the TBA…. Hezbollah maintains links with some of the most violent cartels in Latin America, including Mexico’s Los Zetas, Columbia’s FARC [and Oficina de Envigado] and Brazil’s PCC… helping them to obtain weapons and access to international smuggling networks outside Latin America….   the most visible [Iranian media outlet] in Latin America is the 24-hour-news broadcaster HispanTV, a Spanish language arm of Islamic Republic Iran Broadcasting (IRIB)… airing in at least 16 countries….”

The bottom line

*Reality has demonstrated that the Iranian leopard will not change spots; only tactics.

*Reality has established that Iran’s Ayatollahs are driven by a fanatic, religious, megalomaniacal vision, and not by despair and eagerness to be accepted internationally.  Therefore, they are more concerned with “guns” than “butter,” and are not amenable to credible negotiation, peaceful coexistence, human rights and democracy. They should be dealt militarily rather than diplomatically.

*Reality has determined that waving the military option and regime change, while dealing with a rogue regime, amounts to concession.

*The reality of vacillating Europe and anti-US United Nations suggests that subordinating the US’ unilateral national security action to multilateralism is the best-case-scenario for Iran’s Ayatollahs.

*US policy on Iran should be based on the Ayatollahs’ objective past track record, which should not be sacrificed on the altar of the Ayatollahs’ subjective and speculative future track record.

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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.

Support Appreciated

 

 

 

In 2020, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other pro-US Arab countries base their national security policy on issues which substantially transcend the Palestinian issue. These issues include lethal threats posed by Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Turkey’s Erdogan, the spillover of the civil wars in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, the potential implosion of all Arab countries, etc.

In 2020, these countries view Israel’s posture of deterrence as a most valuable asset in the face of the aforementioned lethal threats. They value Israel as a most productive resource to diversify their economy and enhance their standard of living.

At the same time, they consider the proposed Palestinian state a potential rogue regime, which would add fuel to the Middle East fire.  Therefore, they are expanding their defense and commercial ties with Israel in an unprecedented manner, in defiance of Palestinian protests and irrespective of the paralysis of the Palestinian issue.

In 1979 and 1994, Egypt and Jordan concluded peace accords with Israel, in order to advance their national security – not as a gesture toward Israel – regardless of Palestinian threats and protests. Notwithstanding occasional anti-Israel Jordanian talk, the Hashemite Kingdom’s walk (militarily and commercially) reflects a realization that Israel makes an irreplaceable and critical contribution to the survival of the Kingdom in the face of domestic and external clear and present threats. Against the backdrop of these threats, the establishment of the proposed Palestinian state would be the straw that breaks the Hashemite camel’s back.

Arab countries have showered Palestinians with a cuddling talk accompanied by a cold/negative walk, which has reflected Arab concern about the Palestinian systematic track record of association with rogue elements and engagement in intra-Arab subversion and terrorism.

Therefore, Arab countries have never flexed their military muscle – and barely their financial muscle – on behalf of the Palestinians.

Nor did Arab countries assist the Palestinians during the latter’s military confrontations with Israel (e.g., the 1982/83 War in Lebanon, the first and second Intifadas and the three wars in Gaza).  Never did the Arabs fight Israel on behalf of the Palestinians.

For example:

*The 1948/49 Arab-Israeli war was not launched – by Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon – on behalf the Arabs in Gaza, Judea and Samaria.  It was launched in order to advance the interests of the various Arab countries. Therefore, they did not share the spoils of the war with the Palestinians. Thus, Iraq occupied Samaria (the northern West Bank) and transferred it to Jordan, not to the Arabs of the area.  Jordan occupied Judea and the eastern part of Jerusalem and proceeded to annex these areas, in addition to Samaria, in April 1950, naming it the “West Bank.”  And, Egypt occupied Gaza and did not transfer the area to its Arab inhabitants.  In fact, both Jordan and Egypt prohibited any Palestinian national activities in their occupied areas, imposed frequent curfews, and punished and expelled violators of the prohibition. Moreover, the Arab League established the All-Palestine Government in 1948, rendered it completely impotent and transferred its headquarters from Gaza to Cairo until its dissolution in 1959.

Independent of the Palestinian issue, the 1948/49 Arab war against the newly-born Jewish State was launched in order to eradicate “the infidel Jewish State,” which was established, supposedly, in an area divinely endowed to “believers.”  However, their prime goal was to advance their particular geo-strategic postures, while undermining that of their Arab rivals.

Jordan’s Hashemite King aspired to expand his territory beyond the Jordan River toward the Mediterranean, in order to bolster his claim for intra-Arab leadership.

Iraq, which was ruled in 1948/49 by the Hashemite monarchy, collaborated with the Jordanian wing of the Hashemite family, while aiming to gain control over the 585-mile-oil pipeline from Kirkuk in Iraq to Haifa on the Mediterranean.

Egypt was not ready for the war logistically, but rivaled Jordan and Iraq for intra-Arab leadership, and therefore joined the attack on the newly-born Jewish State. It deployed troops in the Jerusalem region, in order to check the Jordanian advance.

Syria entered the war in order to conquer parts of “Southern Syria,” which extended from the Egyptian border through British Mandate Palestine and Jordan.

*Irrespective of the Palestinian issue, the 1956 Sinai War was triggered by the pan-Arab leadership aspirations of Egyptian President Nasser, who concluded a mega arms deal with Czechoslovakia, and formed a joint Egypt-Syria-Jordan military command against Israel and Arab rivals (e.g., Saudi Arabia). In the process, he nationalized the British-French owned Suez Canal, backed the Algerian uprising against France, blockaded Israel’s southern (oil) port of Eilat, enticed Gaza-based anti-Israel terrorism, and planned the occupation of parts of the Negev in southern Israel.

*Unrelated to the Palestinian issue, the 1967 preemptive Six Day War erupted due to the Soviet-supported Egyptian radical aggression: blockading the port of Eilat, violating the demilitarization of the Sinai Peninsula, reestablishing the joint anti-Israel Egypt-Syria-Jordan military command, and advancing its expansionist design (e.g., deploying troops to Yemen, in order to topple the Saudi regime). Syria shelled Israeli communities below the Golan Heights and Jordan shelled Jerusalem.

*Regardless of the Palestinian issue, the 1969/70 Egypt-Israel War of Attrition along the Gulf of Suez was an extension of the 1967 War.

*Notwithstanding the Palestinian issue, the 1973 War was launched by Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq with the aim of destroying the “infidel state” and advancing their own intra-Arab and domestic interests.

*The negative/indifferent Arab walk with regard to the Palestinian issue was demonstrated during Israel’s war against PLO bases and headquarters in Lebanon. Thus, the war was launched on June 6, 1982, the PLO was expelled from Beirut on August 30, but the Arab League did not convene until September 9, 1982….

*Arab unwillingness to shed blood on behalf of the Palestinians, and the low priority accorded to the Palestinian issue by the Arabs, were reinforced during the 1987-1992 and 2000-2003 waves of Palestinian terrorism (Intifada) against Israel, and the 2008/9, 2012 and 2014 Israel wars on Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism. These confrontations triggered a lavish pro-Palestinian Arab talk, but no Arab military involvement and minimal Arab diplomatic and financial gestures.

Erroneous assumptions produce self-destruct erroneous policies, as evidenced by the litany of Western peace proposals, which were based on the fallacious conventional wisdom that the Palestinian issue was the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict and a crown-jewel of Arab policy makers.  Will the Western foreign policy establishment learn from history by avoiding – or repeating – past errors?!

Why is the red carpet, which welcomes Palestinian leaders to Western capitals, exchanged for a shabby rug when they land in most Arab capitals?

In 2020, the widely-disseminated Arabic hashtag, “Palestine is not my cause,” reflects the growing Arab disdain toward Palestinians.

It is consistent with the policy of key Arab leaders, which facilitated the successful conclusion of the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace negotiations, by avoiding the myth of Palestinian centrality.  For example, Morocco’s King Hassan, who provided an essential tailwind to the initial stage of the peace negotiations, proclaimed: “The PLO is a cancer in the Arab body.” It is also compatible with a statement made by Egypt’s former President Sadat, a co-signer of the peace treaty: “Why would I want a Palestinian state?! A Palestinian state would enhance the Soviet standing in the region and would join the radical Arab camp.”  This position was echoed by Mubarak, Sadat’s deputy, who succeeded him as President: “Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are not concerned about the Palestinians, and Jordan does not want a Palestinian state either…nor does Israel” (No More War, E. Ben Elissar, 1995, pp 106, 209, 207).

The tangible Arab walk – rather than the placating Arab talk – on the Palestinian issue reflects Arab contempt of the Palestinian track record, as well as the peripheral role played by the Palestinian issue in shaping Middle East reality.

In 2020, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and all other pro-US Arab regimes are preoccupied with domestic and regional epicenters of subversion, terrorism, conventional, ballistic and nuclear threats, which significantly transcend the Palestinian issue.

Irrespective of their pro-Palestinian talk, these Arab leaders are convinced that the proposed Palestinian state would add fuel to the regional fire, as evidenced by the Palestinian track record. Hence, the unprecedented expansion of their defense and civilian cooperation with Israel – in the face of mutual threats – while there is no progress on the Palestinian issue. Israel is perceived as their most effective and reliable “life insurance agent.”

These lethal threats include Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Erdogan’s imperialistic aspirations, and the regional spillover of the raging civil wars in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.  Additionally, there is domestic subversion and terrorism and the growing vulnerability of every pro-US Arab regimes. The toppling of any such regime would yield a major platform for regional and global Islamic terrorism.

While some of these threats would be intensified by the proposed Palestinian state, none of them was triggered – directly or indirectly – by the Palestinian issue.  For example:

*Islamic terrorism has traumatized the Middle East and the world since the emergence of Islam in the 7th century (Palestinian neutral).  Three of the first four Caliphs, who succeeded Muhammed were murdered: Umar ibn Abd al-Khattab (644 AD), Uthman ibn Affan (656 AD) and Ali ibn Abi Talib (661 AD). The latter ignited the still raging intra-Muslim Sunni-Shia conflict (Palestinian neutral). Anti-US Islamic terrorism – including 9/11 and the car-bombing of the US Embassies in Lebanon, Kenya and Tanzania – has been an integral feature of US history since 1776 (Palestinian neutral).

*The tectonic Arab Tsunami – superficially named “the Arab Spring” – has been raging throughout the Arab World since December 2010, threatening every Arab regime, and highlighting the 1,400-year-old fragmentation, intolerance, violence, instability, unpredictability, rise to power through violence, despotism, lack of inter-Arab peaceful-coexistence (Palestinian neutral).

*Four major civil wars – in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen – jolt the Middle East (Palestinian neutral).

*Two Gulf Wars were ignited by Iraq’s imperialistic aggression against Kuwait (Palestinian neutral).

*The 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran War reflected the inherent religious and geo-strategic conflict between the two countries (Palestinian neutral).

*The 1979-1989 civil and global war in Afghanistan is still simmering (Palestinian neutral).

*The 1979-1983 civil war in the oil rich Qatif and al-Hasa Shiite-majority regions in Saudi Arabia (Palestinian neutral).

*The 1978/79 toppling of the Shah – the US’ policeman in the Gulf – and the rise of Iran’s Ayatollahs, now the lead threat to regional and global sanity (Palestinian neutral).

*The 1979 war between South and North Yemen (Palestinian neutral).

*The 1958 Iraqi revolution, which terminated the rule of the Hashemite monarchy and elevated to power a despotic, terroristic, military regime (Palestinian neutral).

*The 1952 Egyptian revolution, which toppled the monarchy and ushered in a military regime (Palestinian neutral).

*Etc.

Thus, while conventional Western wisdom assumes that the Palestinian issue is a crown-jewel of Arab policy-making, and a core cause of Middle East turbulence, Middle East reality documents the non-centrality of the Palestinian issue and the negative role played by Palestinians in the intra-Arab context.

Moreover, while conventional Western wisdom presumes that the proposed Palestinian state would advance the cause of regional stability and peace, Middle East reality documents the potential destabilizing impact of a Palestinian state, exacerbating threats to every pro-US Arab regime and undermining vital US interests.

Please join us for uplifting, well-documented Webinars on:


The 400-Year-Old Roots of the US-Israel Kinship
Do you know that the American support for an independent Jewish State preceded the 1948 independence of Israel and the 1776 independence of the USA?
May 7, 11AM EST/ 6PM Israel time

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The Palestinian Issue – Arab Talk vs. Arab Walk

Is it a core cause of Middle East turbulence, a crown-jewel of Arab policy-making, the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict?

May 12, 11AM EST/ 6PM Israel time
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The Arab Demographic Time Bomb – Myth vs. Reality

Is Israel’s Jewish majority in jeopardy? You may be surprised…

Israel’s secular Jewish population is experiencing an unprecedented birth rate growth.

May 14, 11:00AM EST/ 6PM Israel time
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The initial two and a half years of President Trump’s national security policy have departed sharply from those of President Obama, his predecessor at the White House.

The nature of Trump’s national security policy may be assessed through the worldview of Vice President Mike Pence and the two most crucial appointments: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was a “Tea Party” leader in the US House of Representatives, and National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has been a consistent advocate of a bolstered US posture of deterrence – in the face of rogue regimes and organizations – by flexing political, economic and military muscle. In 1991, it was Bolton who led the successful US campaign to revoke “Zionism is Racism” from UN records. Both Pompeo and Bolton have been consistent critics of Obama’s national security policy.

The worldview of President Obama (and his Secretary of State, John Kerry) was shaped by the following principles:

  1. No US moral, political, economic exceptionalism;
  2. Preference of multinational – over unilateral – initiatives;
  3. Considering the UN as a key factor in shaping the global arena;
  4. Viewing non-assertive Western Europe as a role model;
  5. Embracing the worldview of the State Department establishment, which has been persistently divorced from Middle East complexity (e.g., the “Arab Spring” illusion);
  6. Adopting negotiation, reconciliation and containment as key tactics when dealing with rogue regimes (e.g., the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement);
  7. Approaching rogue Islamic entities as potential allies rather than lethal opponents and enemies (e.g., “Islam has always been a part of the American Story,” Cairo, June 4, 2009);
  8. Playing down Islamic terrorism by designating the murder of 13 Fort Hood, TX, US soldiers by radical Muslim Major Nidal Hasan, as “workplace violence” (and later on, as “combat related casualties”), prohibiting the use of the term “Islamic terrorism;”
  9. Defining the Palestinian issue as the root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict, a core cause of Middle East turbulence and a crown-jewel of Arab policy-makers;
  10. Assuming that a resolution – not management – of conflicts is a realistic option in the unpredictable, violent, intolerant, volcanic Middle East, which has never experienced long-term intra-Muslim peaceful coexistence.

The worldview of President Trump (Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Advisor John Bolton) is shaped by a dramatically different set of principles:

  1. Reviving US exceptionalism economically, militarily and through energy-independence;
  2. Preferring unilateral – over multilateral – US initiatives;
  3. Recognizing UN hostility toward the US and its limited impact on global affairs;
  4. Deep reservations about the national security and trade conduct of Europe (including NATO), while expanding cooperation with productive US allies, such as Israel;
  5. Departing sharply from the worldview of the State Department establishment (e.g., identifying the “Arab Tsunami”), while reflecting the worldview of “Small Town and Flyover America”;
  6. Confronting and deterring rogue regimes, as demonstrated by the withdrawal from the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement and the imposition of unprecedented sanctions on Iran;
  7. Awareness of the Ayatollahs defining the US as “the Great Satan” (since 1979!);
  8. Perceiving Sunni and Shite Islamic terrorism a clear and present, lethal threat to the US and its allies;
  9. Awareness that the Palestinian issue has never been the root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict, is not a core cause of Middle East turbulence, nor a crown-jewel of Arab policy makers;
  10. Comprehending that the real, tectonic Middle East – which has never, yet, lent itself to intra-Arab peaceful coexistence – is not ripe for Western-style conflict resolution, but rather conflict management.

Trump’s policy toward Israel is not driven, primarily, by his cogent affinity toward the Jewish State, but primarily by the drive to advance US interests.

For example, Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – and the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – advances US interests. It has sent a clear message that unlike his predecessors, since the 1995 passage of the Jerusalem Embassy Act, Trump is not deterred by Arab pressure and threats, recognizing the 3,000 year old history of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State and a core inspiration for the US Early Pilgrims and Founding Fathers. Trump has realized that retreat in the face of pressure yields further pressure, which undermines the US posture of deterrence among enemies, adversaries and allies.

Similarly, the recognition of Israel’s sovereignty on the Golan Heights reflects the realization that Israel on the Golan Heights bolsters US interests in the Middle East by constraining Iran’s Ayatollahs in Syria and Lebanon, deterring Syria (as documented in 1970, when Israeli troops on the Golan Heights forced a withdrawal of the pro-Soviet Syrian invasion of pro-US Jordan), buttressing Jordan’s Hashemite regime and additional pro-US Arab regimes, and checking Russian maneuverability in Syria.

Furthermore, Trump’s disengagement from the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement was not triggered by his support of Israel, but by his assessment of US national security and homeland security, which are directly threatened by Iran’s Ayatollahs and by the 2015 agreement, which only postpones – but does not prevent – the nuclearization of the Ayatollahs. Contrary to the JCPOA, and assisted by a series of unprecedented sanctions against Iran, Trump pursues the following Iran strategy:

  1. Denying the Ayatollahs nuclear capabilities;
  2. Preventing Iran’s development and proliferation of ballistic capabilities, which constitute a lethal threat to every pro-US Arab regime;
  3. Neutralizing the Ayatollahs’ subversive and terroristic infrastructures in the Persian Gulf, the Middle East at-large, Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America;
  4. Ending the flow of billions of dollars to the megalomaniacal Ayatollahs;
  5. Buoying the pro-US Arab regimes, which have the Ayatollahs’ machete at their throat;
  6. Advancing the US posture of deterrence;

Thus, President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary Pompeo and National Security Advisor Bolton are American patriots, who consider Israel a unique ally of the US due to its unique contribution to US national security, homeland security, defense and civilian industries. They value Israel as a significant asset, which extends the strategic hand of the US, enhancing the stability of the pro-US Arab countries. Contrary to conventional wisdom, they are aware that US-Israel relations constitute a mutually-beneficial two-way street, which yields the US a rate of return of a few hundred percent on its annual investment in Israel (erroneously defined as “foreign aid”).

 

 

 

 

Israel Hayom

US Ambassador David Friedman’s June 8 interview in the NY Times was inconsistent with the worldview of the State Department establishment, but quite consistent with Middle East reality and US national security interests.

Ambassador Friedman stated: “The absolute last thing the world needs is a failed Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan…. Israel retaining security control in the West Bank should not be an impediment…. Certainly, Israel is entitled to retain some portion of it [the West Bank]…. I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank….”

While the State Department establishment (except for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton) rejects Friedman’s assessments, its own track record in the Middle East has been systematically flawed. For example:

*During 1947-48, the State Department opposed the reestablishment of the Jewish State, contending that it would be a pro-Soviet entity, militarily overrun by the Arabs, while undermining US ties with the Arabs. In 2019, Israel is the most effective, unconditional ally of the US, whose ties with all pro-US Arab countries are unprecedented in scope and expanding.

*In the 1950s, the State Department establishment considered the radical, pro-Soviet President Nasser of Egypt – who attempted to aggressively topple every pro-US Arab regime – a potential ally of the US.

*From 1977-1979, the State Department betrayed the Shah of Iran, a critical ally of the US, courting Ayatollah Khomeini, whom it considered a warrior for democracy against a tyrant; thus, allowing the creation of a rogue, megalomaniacal regime in Teheran, intensifying regional and global Islamic terrorism, exacerbating instability, while severely injuring the US credibility among its allies.

*In July 1990, on the eve of Saddam Hussein’s August 2, 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the Department of State severely underestimated Saddam’s ruthless determination, providing a glaring green light to the invasion. A message was delivered to the Iraqi despot – who had been considered a potential ally since the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war – from Secretary Jim Baker via Ambassador April Glaspie: “The US does not intend to take sides in what it perceives as an intra-Arab border dispute…. Washington has no opinion on the disagreement between Kuwait and Iraq…. and does not intend to start an economic war against Iraq….”

*In 1993, the State Department joined the wishful-thinking party surrounding the Oslo Process and ordained Arafat – a documented arch terrorist and hate educator – for a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

*The December 2010 eruption of the still-raging Arab Tsunami was welcomed by the State Department as an “Arab Spring,” advancing the prospects of democracy on the Arab Street. The mega-million Arab refugees, the almost one million Arab fatalities and the mega-billion dollar damage document the severe detachment of the State Department from Middle East reality.

*In 2011, the US joined its European allies in the toppling of the Libyan dictator, Qaddafi – who in 2003 transferred his nuclear infrastructure to the US, and conducted a major military campaign against Islamic terrorists – which transformed Libya into the largest platform of anti-Western Islamic terrorism in Africa and beyond.

*In 2015, the State Department co-led the pro-Ayatollahs diplomatic orgy, yielding an agreement which expanded the Ayatollahs’ global terror and subversion treasury in a monumental manner, bringing the Ayatollahs’ machete closer to the neck of each pro-US Arab regime, while (under the best-case-scenario) postponing the nuclearization of the Ayatollahs by only ten years.

In 2019, at variance with the State Department establishment (except for Secretary Pompeo and National Security Advisor Bolton), Ambassador Friedman advances US interests against the backdrop of Middle East reality, rather than flirting with wishful-thinking, even-handedness and moral equivalence (between inherent aggressors and intended victims), which have systematically failed, fueling radicalism, wars and terrorism.

In 2019, contrary to the State Department, Ambassador Friedman recognizes the secondary/tertiary role of the Palestinian issue in feeding regional turbulence and shaping US-Arab and Israel-Arab relations, as evidenced by the dominant regional developments (e.g., the threats of the Ayatollahs, Sunni terrorism, inter and intra-Arab upheavals) and the deepening ties between Israel and every pro-US Arab country, while there is no movement on the Palestinian issue. Moreover, the Ambassador is aware of the subversive and terroristic Palestinian track record in Egypt (early 1950s), Syria (1966), Jordan (1968-1970), Lebanon (1970-1982) and Kuwait (1990), which has been engraved in the Arab memory, hence the unbridgeable gap between the Arab walk and the Arab talk on the Palestinian issue.

In 2019, unlike the State Department, Ambassador Friedman realizes the destructive impact of a potential Palestinian state upon the inherently unstable, unpredictable, intolerant and violent Middle East; fueling Islamic terrorism in the Middle East and beyond; threatening the survival of the pro-US Hashemite regime (and the devastating ripple effects into the Arabian Peninsula); undermining US interests in the Middle East, while advancing the interests of Russia, China and possibly Iran, providing them with land, air and sea bases.

In 2019, in contradiction to the State Department, Ambassador Friedman is aware that Israel’s control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria is a prerequisite for Israel’s effective posture of deterrence, which is perceived by Jordan, Saudi Arabia and additional pro-US Arab regimes as the most effective life insurance policy in the face of clear, present and lethal threats posed by the Ayatollahs, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Furthermore, the Ambassador is aware that Israel’s withdrawal from the mountain ridges would transform the Jewish State from a national security asset of the US to a national security liability/burden upon the US, depriving the US of a unique beachhead, which constitutes the largest US aircraft carrier with no US soldiers on board, and a most productive battle-tested laboratory, producing for the US a several hundred percent annual rate-of-return on its annual investment in Israel.

“The Middle East and North Africa have a well-deserved reputation for being a region plagued by war and conflict.  Every decade since the end of WW2 has seen at least one interstate conflict; it has also witnessed 25 types of intrastate war, including insurgencies, civil wars and protracted terrorism.  In the same timeframe, 2.3 million citizens have died as a result of political violence – 40% of the global total of battle-related deaths, although the region accounts for 5% of the world’s population…. 25 of these [intrastate] conflicts have claimed 1.5 million victims – 64% of the region’s total war deaths…. ” (Florence Gaub, Deputy Director, European Union Institute for Security Studies, October, 2017).

Middle East inter and intra-Arab/Muslim conflicts – some of them 1,400 year old – have been largely intractable, defying Western conventional wisdom, which has been dominated by the well-meaning pursuit of peaceful-coexistence, conflict-resolution, democracy and improved standard of living.

According to Dr. Daniel Pipes and Prof. Gunnar Heinsohn, some 11 million Muslims have been killed in wars from 1948-2007, only 35,000 of them in Arab-Israel wars – 0.3%!

Middle East inter and intra-Arab/Muslim conflicts – which preceded the 1948 establishment of Israel – have exposed the oversimplification of conventional Western wisdom, which has approached the Arab-Israeli conflict as if it were “the Middle East conflict.”

Perry Cammack and Michele Dunne of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace stated: “More than any other region in the world, the Middle East is defined not by commercial ties, diplomatic interaction, or regional organizations, but by hard power and military might…. The Middle East suffers from a lack of both regional dispute-resolution mechanisms and diplomatic protocols that might reduce the scope for regional conflict…. In the last six years alone, Arab states and Iran have intervened militarily in four Arab countries (Syria, Yemen, Libya and Bahrain)…. Massive violations of international humanitarian law have become commonplace… including indiscriminate bombing of urban civilian populations, ethnic cleansing and civilian displacement on a grand scale, widespread sexual violence, use of chemical weapons, denial of humanitarian access and use of starvation as a weapon, and the bombing of hospitals and schools….”

Middle East inter and intra-Arab/Muslim conflicts – which ravaged the area well before the 1967 Six Day War – have demonstrated that the Palestinian issue has never been a core cause of regional turbulence, nor a crown-jewel of Arab policy-makers, nor the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Thus, Toronto Ryerson University’s Dr. Murtaza Haider wrote: “Since the end of WW2… the Muslim world has fallen into one violent conflict after another, involving mostly Muslims. In the 1980s, the Iran-Iraq war left millions dead…. While intra-Muslim violence is claiming victims all over Pakistan, the violence against non-Muslims, including Hindus and Christians, often brings together Muslims of different stripes….”

The following are some of the inter and intra-Arab/Muslim Middle East conflicts, most of which have dwarfed the Arab-Israeli conflict as far as their impact on the (in)stability of all Arab/Muslim countries, the region and the globe:

Sunni Islam (85%) vs. Shite Islam (15%) has traumatized the Middle East since the 7th century; Shite Iran vs. Sunni-ruled Iraq (e.g., 1980-1988); Shite Iran vs. Sunni Saudi Arabia, directly and via proxies in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and Sudan; Shite Iran vs. Sunni-ruled Bahrain; Shite Iran vs. Sunni United Arab Emirates; civil wars in Libya, Syria (6 million refugees and 600,000 fatalities), Iraq (4 million refugees and 400,000 fatalities) , Yemen (3 million refugees and 70,000 fatalities in the last two years) and Sudan (3 million refugees and 400,000 fatalities); recent civil conflicts/wars in Iran (80,000 killed during the 1978-79 revolution), Saudi Arabia (e.g., 1979-1983 in the Qatif and al-Hasa Shite-majority eastern regions), Bahrain (2011), Lebanon, Jordan (20,000 killed in 1970-71), Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria (200,000 killed from 1991-2006); Iraq-Kurdish (200,000 killed by Saddam Hussein), Iran-Kurdish, Syria-Kurdish and Turkey-Kurdish conflicts; Iraq vs. Kuwait (e.g., 1990); etc..

Inter and intra-Arab/Muslim conflicts set the pursuit of Middle East peaceful-coexistence in a realistic geo-strategic context, which has been inherently war-ridden, terroristic, subversive, one-bullet tenuous regime, tenuous policies and agreements, intolerant, violent and devoid of civil liberties.

In 2019, the Arab Tsunami – superficially defined as the Arab Spring – which erupted in 2010, is alive and kicking, posing a clear, present and lethal threat to every pro-US Arab regime.

In 2019, the more turbulent the Middle East, the less attainable is durable peaceful-coexistence, and therefore the higher the threshold for national security requirements.

Yoram’s interview on the USA nationally-syndicated “Secure Freedom Radio” with Frank Gaffney, founder and Executive Chairman of the Washington, DC-based Center for Security Policy:

https://simplecast.com/s/67aa12e1

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Demography

Demographic optimism IN, demographic pessimism OUT

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
October 2, 2023

The suggestion that Israel should retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) is based, partly, on the assumption that the Jewish majority is exposed to an “Arab demographic time bomb,” which would explode if Israel were to apply its law to Judea and Samaria.

However, Israel’s Jewish majority is not vulnerable to an “Arab demographic time bomb,” but benefits from demographic momentum, fertility-wise and migration-wise.

Arab demography artificially inflated

This erroneous assumption is based on the official Palestinian numbers, which are embraced and reverberated by the global community – with no due-diligence auditing – ignoring a 1.6-million-person artificial inflation of the reported number of Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

For instance:

*The official Palestinian census includes 500,000 residents, who have been away for over a year, while international standards require their elimination from the census (until they return for, at least, 90 days).  This number was documented by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (325,000 in 1997), Election Commission (400,000 in 2005) and the Ministry of Interior, increasing systematically through births.

*The Palestinian census ignores the net-emigration of 390,000 since the first 1997 census, as documented by Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority, which supervises Israel’s international passages.

*375,000 Jerusalem Arabs and more than 150,000 (mostly) Judea and Samaria Arabs, who married Israeli Arabs are doubly-counted (by Israel and the Palestinian Authority). This number increases systematically through births.

*A September 2006 World Bank report documented a 32% artificial inflation of the number of births.  At the same time, death has been substantially underreported as evidenced by the 2007 Palestinian census, which included Arabs born in 1845….   

*The aforementioned data indicates an artificial inflation of 1.6 million in the Palestinian census of Judea and Samria Arabs: 1.4 million – not 3 million – Arabs.

Arab demography Westernized

Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Arab demography has been westernized dramatically in recent years, from a fertility rate of 9 births per woman west of the Jordan River during the 1960s to 2.85 births in 2021 in pre-1967 Israel and 3.02 in Judea and Samaria.

The westernization of Arab demography has been a result of sweeping urbanization. From a 70%-rural-population in Judea and Samaria in 1967, to a 77%-urban-population in 2022.  In addition, almost all girls complete high school, resulting in the expanded integration of women in employment and academia, as well as an increase in wedding age (from 15 to 24-year-old).  Moreover, there has been an expansion of the use of contraceptives (70% of women in the Palestinian Authority) and a shorter fertility cycle (25 through 45 in 2022 compared to 16 through 55 during the 1960s).

Demographic westernization has occurred in the entire Moslem World, other than the Sub-Saharah countries: In 2022, Jordan – 2.9 births per woman, Iran – 1.9, Saudi Arabia – 1.9, Morocco – 2.27, Iraq – 3.17, Egypt 2.76, Yemen – 2.91, the UAE – 1.62, etc.

Jewish demographic momentum

Israel’s Jewish demography features a fertility momentum – especially in the secular sector – simultaneously with a moderate decline in the ultra-orthodox sector. In fact, Jewish fertility (3.13 births per woman) is higher than any Arab country, other than Iraq’s (3.17). The OECD’s average fertility rate is 1.61 births per woman.

In 2022, the number of Jewish births (137,566) was 71% higher than in 1995 (80,400), while the number of Arab births (43,417) was 19% higher than in 1995 (36,500).

Contrary to most global societies, Israel enjoys a positive correlation between the level of fertility, on the one hand, and the level of education, income, urbanization and (the rise of) wedding age on the other hand.

The growth of Jewish fertility reflects a high level of patriotism, optimism, attachment to roots, communal responsibility, frontier mentality, high regard for raising children and the decline in the number of abortions.

The Jewish population is growing younger, while the Arab population is growing older.

Until the 1990s, there was a demographic race between Arab births and Jewish immigration.  Since the 1990s, the race is between Jewish and Arab births, while net-migration provides a robust boost to Jewish demography.

The Jewish demographic momentum has been bolstered by an annual Aliyah (Jewish immigration) – which has been the most critical engine of Israel’s economic, educational, technological and military growth – simultaneously with the declining scope of annual emigration.  From an additional 14,200 emigrants in 1990 to 10,800 in 2020, while the overall population has doubled itself since 1990. A substantial decline in emigration has taken place since the 2007/2008 global economic meltdown, which has underscored the relative stability and growth of Israel’s economy.

In 2023, there has been an increase in Aliyah. This highlights a potential of 500,000 Olim (Jewish immigrants) in five years – from Europe, the former USSR, Latin and North America – should the Israeli government resurrect the pro-active Aliyah policy, which defined Israel from 1948-1992.

The bottom line

In 1897, upon convening the First Zionist Congress, there was a 9% Jewish minority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel.

In 1948, upon the establishment of the Jewish State, there was a 39% Jewish minority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel.

In 2022, there was a 69% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel (7.5 million Jews, 2 million Arabs in pre-1967 Israel and 1.4 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria), benefiting from a tailwind of fertility and net-migration.

Those who claim that the Jewish majority – in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel – is threatened by an Arab demographic time bomb are either dramatically mistaken, or outrageously misleading.

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Iran

Diplomatic option toward Iran is self-destructive

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

*The US State Department’s diplomatic option has facilitated the transformation of Iran from “the American policeman of the Gulf” to “the largest anti-American venomous octopus in the world,” stretching its rogue arms from the Persian Gulf through Africa to Latin America and the US-Mexico border, which it perceives as the soft underbelly of the US.

*The diplomatic option – including a frail US response to sustained Iranian attacks on US installations in the Persian Gulf region – has aggravated Middle East instability, threatening the survival of every pro-US Arab regime, and is inducing anti-US global Islamic terrorism.  This is severely eroding US posture of deterrence, benefitting Russia, China and mostly Iran, while undermining US national and homeland security. 

*The diplomatic option has suspended most economic sanctions – without Congressional consent – surging Iran’s oil export from 500,000 barrels per day to 2-3 million barrels per day, increasing Iran’s national income by some $100bn, mostly dedicated to bolster Iran’s anti-US rogue operations, increasingly in Latin America, the US’ backyard.

*The diplomatic option has consistently overlooked the decisive power of the Ayatollahs’ imperialistic ideology, and its determination to export the anti-US Islamic Shiite Revolution. Consequently, the State Department has deluded itself into believing that an astounding financial and diplomatic bonanza would induce Iran’s Ayatollahs to accept peaceful coexistence with their pro-US Arab Sunni neighbors, become good-faith negotiators, and abandon their 1,400-year-old religious, fanatic vision, which is enshrined in their Constitution, K-12 school curriculum, Friday mosque sermons and official media.

*However, as expected, the mega-billion-dollar bonanza yielded by the diplomatic option (e.g., the 2015 JCPOA and the current suspension of economic sanctions) has bolstered its global terroristic network, advancing its vision to topple all pro-US Sunni regimes, and bring the “infidel” West to submission, especially the “The Great American Satan,” while egregiously oppressing and suppressing Iranian women and religious and ethnic minorities.  

*The State Department’s diplomatic option was initiated in 1978/1979, stabbing in the back the pro-US Shah of Iran, and contending that Ayatollah Khomeini was anti-Communist and therefore potentially pro-Western and a stabilizing element geopolitically, “…holding a Gandhi-like positionpreoccupied with tractors, not tanks….”

*Has the diplomatic option dumped the Monroe Doctrine?! In 2023, Iran’s Ayatollahs invest mega billions of dollars in fueling civil wars, terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering throughout the Middle East, Africa and especially in Latin America. There, they collaborate – along with Hezbollah terrorists – with the drug cartels of Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil, and train terror organizations. They cooperate with all anti-US governments (especially Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia), testing ballistic missiles, and supplying predator drones, attack boats, anti-ship missiles, and equipment for the construction of underground tunnels along the US-Mexico border, which smuggle drugs and illegal Middle East terrorists into the US.

*The bottom line is: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me!  After 44 years of being fooled by the Ayatollahs, critically undermining the strategic posture of the US and its allies, it is time to reassess the diplomatic option, and consider other options, such as regime-change and a credible military threat hovering above the head of the Ayatollahs.  

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Judea & Samaria

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

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

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

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

For instance:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jerusalem

United Jerusalem – a shared US-Israel legacy and interest

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

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

United Jerusalem and the US law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Jerusalem and the legacy of the Founding Fathers

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

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

The Jerusalem reality and US interests

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

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

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

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

Jerusalem and Israel’s defiance of US pressure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jewish Holidays

Chanukah guide for the perplexed, 2023

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

More on Jewish holidays: SmashwordsAmazon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Golan

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

Islamic Terrorism

US and Israel facing the mutual threat of Islamic terrorism

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
February 21, 2024

*FBI Director Christopher A. Wray visited Israel on February 14, 2024, during the Israel-Hamas and Israel-Hezbollah wars, meeting with leaders of the Mossad, Israel’s Secret Service, and Israel’s National Police in order to benefit from Israel’s unique urban and tunnel warfare experience and battle tactics in the war against Islamic terrorists, who are advancing the vision of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood.

*Director Wray considers Israel’s as the most effective battle-tested laboratory of the US armed forces, law enforcement agencies and defense industries.

*Director Wray is aware of the Ayatollahs’ and Hezbollas’ growing entrenchment in Mexico, along the US-Mexico border and throughout Latin America. In fact, since the early 1980s, Iran’s Ayatollahs and Hezbollah have entrenched themselves in Latin America, bolstering collaboration with the drug cartels of Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil, all Latin American terror organizations, and each anti-US Latin American government. They supply the drug cartels underground tunnel construction equipment, and train them in the areas of car bombs and Improvised Explosive Devices. In addition, they have leveraged the convoys of illegal aliens from Guatemala to the US-Mexico border, smuggling terrorists and drug traffickers into the US.

*Islamic terrorism has targeted the US since the early 19th century irrespective of US policy and independent of the identity of the US President.  Thus, Islamic terrorism afflicted the US during the presidencies of both Trump and Obama, G.W. Bush and Clinton, Reagan and Carter.

*Hamas is a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood – the largest Sunni terror organization with religious, educational and welfare branches – whose charter aims to topple all national Islamic regimes, establish a universal Islamic society, bring the Western “infidel” – and especially the USA – to submission, and establish Islam as the only legitimate and divinely-ordained religion.

*Hamas and Hezbollah are proxies of Iran’s Ayatollahs, whose Constitution highlights a megalomaniacal vision, which stipulates the toppling of all “apostate” (Sunni) regimes, asserting itself globally – beyond the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, all the way to Latin America – and bringing the “infidel” West, and especially “The Great American Satan” to submission.

*Since February 1979, when it toppled the Shah of Iran, the Ayatollahs’ regime has transformed Iran from “The American Policeman of the Gulf” to the leading anti-US epicenter of global terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and the proliferation of advanced military systems.

*Israel’s war against Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism has bolstered the US’ defense against Islamic terrorism.

*On November 15, 2023, Director Christopher Wray testified at the House Committee on Homeland Security:

“The war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the US to a whole other level…. Since October 7th, we’ve seen a rogue gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies. Hezbollah threatened to attack US interests in the Middle East. Al-Qaida issued specific calls to attack the US. Al-Qaida called on jihadists to attack Americans and Jewish people everywhere. ISIS urged its followers to target Jewish communities in the US and Europe.

“Our most immediate concern is that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home. That includes homegrown violent extremists inspired by a foreign terrorist organization and domestic violent extremists…. We cannot discount the possibility that Hamas or another foreign terrorist organization may exploit the current conflict to conduct attacks on our own soil…. But it’s not just Hamas. As the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, Iran has directly, or by hiring criminals, mounted assassination attempts against dissidents and high-ranking current and former U.S. officials, including right here on American soil. Hezbollah, Iran’s primary strategic partner, has a history of raising money and seeking to obtain weapons here in the US…. Hezbollah has tried to seed operatives, establish infrastructure, and engage in spying here domestically, raising our concern that there may be contingency planning for future operations in the United States….”

*The bottom line is that FBI Director, Christopher Wray, is driven by Middle East reality, not by alternative, less frustrating, but self-destructive reality. Therefore, he does not subscribe to the diplomatic option in the battle against Islamic terrorism, and does not propose to negotiate with – and make financial and diplomatic concessions to – terrorists. He does not expect Iran to accept peaceful coexistence with its pro-US Sunni Arab regimes, conduct good faith negotiation, or abandon its 1,400-year-old fanatic vision. Director Wray attempts to defeat Iran-controlled Islamic terrorists. He does not expect Israel to slow down its war on Hamas, which is a proxy of Iran. Just like Saudi Arabia and all other pro-US Arab countries, Director Wray is aware that the obliteration of Hamas, militarily, politically and educationally, will bolster the posture of deterrence of both Israel and the USA, reducing terror assaults on pro-US Arab countries (e.g., Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco) and in the US mainland.

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