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Track record

President Biden’s foreign policy and national security team reflects a resurgence of the State Department’s worldview. An examination of this worldview and its track record is required, in order to avoid past mistakes.

This track record consists of such critical issues as:

*In 1948, the State Department led Washington’s opposition to the recognition of the newly established Jewish State, contending that the Jewish State would be helpless against the expected Arab military assault, would be pro-Soviet, would undermine US-Arab relations,  destabilize the Middle East, threaten the US supply of oil and cause severe long-term damage to US interests.  Deputy Secretary of State, Robert Lovett, claimed: “recognizing the Jewish State prematurely would be buying a pig in a poke.”

*During the 1950s, the US courted Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, considering him a potential ally and extending non-military aid, while Egypt evolved as a key ally of the USSR, supporting anti-Western elements in Africa, intensifying anti-US sentiments among Arabs, and attempting to topple every single pro-US Arab regime.

*In 1978/79, the US betrayed the pro-US Shah of Iran, while embracing Ayatollah Khomeini – including intelligence sharing during the initial months of the Khomeini regime – under the assumption that he was controllable and seeking freedom, democracy and positive ties with the US.

*In 1980-1990, the US collaborated with Saddam Hussein, including intelligence-sharing, supply of dual use systems and extending $5bn loan guarantees. The assumption was that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This US policy was perceived by Saddam as a green light for Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, as documented by the meeting between Saddam and the US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, 8 days before  the invasion, when she asserted (reflecting the position of the State Department) that an invasion of Kuwait was an inter-Arab issue.

*During 1993-2000, the US Administration hailed Arafat as a messenger of peace, worthy of the Nobel Prize for Peace and annual US foreign aid, ignoring his annihilationist vision, as reflected by his 1959 and 1964 Fatah and PLO charters, hate-education system and intensified terrorism.

*In 2009, the US embraced the anti-US Muslim Brotherhood, ignoring its terroristic nature, and defining it as a political, secular entity. Thus, the US turned a cold shoulder toward the pro-US Mubarak, paving the road for the Muslim Brotherhood ascension to power in 2012/13, a blow to all pro-US Arab countries, which have been afflicted by Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.

*Until the eruption of the 2011 civil war in Syria, the State Department considered Bashar Assad a reformer and a potential moderate due to his background as an ophthalmologist in London, married to a British woman and President of the Syrian Internet Association. Similarly, Hafiz Assad (“the butcher from Damascus”) was regarded as a man of his word, a credible negotiator, justifying Israel’s giveaway of the strategically overpowering Golan Heights.

*In 2011, the State Department was a key engine behind the US-led NATO military offensive, which toppled Libya’s Qaddafi, notwithstanding his dismantling of Libya’s nuclear infrastructure, fervent war on Islamic terrorism, and providing the US unique counter-terror intelligence. The toppling of Qaddafi transformed Libya into a platform of civil wars and global Islamic terrorism.

*In 2011, the Washington, DC foreign policy and national security establishment welcomed the tectonic eruption of violence on the Arab Street as a march toward democracy, progress toward peaceful-coexistence, Facebook and youth revolutions – an Arab Spring.

However, a reality check demonstrates that it has been a ruthless Arab Tsunami, exposing endemic intra-Arab and intra-Muslim terrorism, subversion and violent power struggles, tribally, ethnically, religiously, ideologically, locally and regionally.

*In 2015, irrespective of Iran’s core fanatical, repressive and megalomaniacal ideology and systematic perpetration of war and terrorism, the architects of the Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA) provided Iran’s Ayatollahs with a $150bn bonanza to bolster their ballistic, terroristic regional and global expansionist machine.  They were guided by the assumption that the Ayatollahs were credible partners for negotiation, amenable to peaceful-coexistence and influence-sharing with their Arab Sunni neighbors. Moreover, the US disappointed most Iranians, by renouncing a military (regime-change) option against the ruthless and lawless regime in Tehran.  

Middle East reality

In view of the aforementioned track record – which highlights a systematic gap between Middle East reality and State Department policy – President Biden’s Middle East team may benefit from the studies of the late Prof. Elie Kedourie (London School of Economics and Political Science), an iconic Middle East historian, whose politically-incorrect books and articles have been vindicated by Middle East reality.

According to Prof. Kedourie (The Chatham House Version): “The sober assumption that Middle East instability is endemic has found little favor either in Britain or in America….

“One of the simplest and yet most effective means known to mankind of keeping in touch with reality is to contrast what people say with what they do…. Alien conventions and unfamiliar speech add to the confusion…. All too often assumptions are not tested on the pulse of experience, they remain mere abstract doctrines, and men are taken up and praised for what they say rather than for what they are….

“The language of modern English and American politics is now adopted by the whole world and – divorced from the tradition in which it has value and dignity – becomes a debased, inflated jargon, a showman’s patter by which [Middle East] tyranny is made to seem constitutional, and crookedness to look straight….

“What may one properly mean by a settlement of the Palestine problem….? This dispute has become secondary…. The dispute now lies between Israel and the Arab states…. In the wider dispute, Israel is the immediate but not the most important factor. This lies in the rivalries of the Arab states…. A solution of the Palestine problem will accomplish little even if all the Israelis were exterminated and their state destroyed.  For then would perhaps come a quarrel about the spoils and issues even more intractable, but certainly not peace….

“Tidy doctrines will not help, and simple answers will deceive.  The disorder of the Middle East is deep and endemic, and the disappearance of Israel… will neither cure or even mitigate it.  The very attempts to modernize Middle Eastern society, to make it Western or ‘democratic’ must bring about evils, which may be greater than the benefits….

“[In the Middle East], political power is traditionally capricious in the transmissions, acquired by violence and established by repression…. Political stability is chancy and precarious…. Habits of stability are unknown, and the subject has more reason to fear the displeasure of his masters…. Sedition, treason and civil war are common enough in Middle Eastern history….

“The Muslim theory of international relations recognizes two possible situations only: war on the ‘infidel’ or his subjugation to the ‘faithful.’  Peace with him de jure is hostility until he recognizes the authority of the Muslim ruler…. The comity of nations, or the sanctity of treaties, the rules of natural justice, or decent respect for the opinions of mankind, are quite alien and largely unintelligible to the Middle East…. (ibid, pp 1-12)”.

Conclusion

In 2021, ten years following the eruption of the Arab Tsunami – and contrary to the expectations of the State Department – the Arab Street is still dominated by its intrinsic 1,400-year-old instability, unpredictability, violent intolerance, human rights squashing, despotism, intra-Arab and intra-Muslim wars and terrorism, and the tenuous nature of all regimes, policies and accords, while the Arab Tsunami has yet to reach its peak.

Such a policy failure is attributed – if one employs Prof. Elie Kedourie’s studies – to “successive and cumulative manifestations of illusion, misjudgment, maladroitness and failure (ibid, p. ix).”

Will President Biden’s foreign policy and national security team, dealing with Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Middle East at-large – which are epicenters of global proliferation of ballistic and nuclear technologies, as well as Islamic terrorism – learn from past critical errors by avoiding, or repeating, them?

At stake is regional and global stability, including the national security and homeland security of the USA.

A critical battle takes place among Middle East observers, researchers and policy makers in Western democracies: the reality-driven, politically-incorrect worldview vs. the wishful-thinking/oversimplification-driven, politically-correct worldview.

The reality-driven worldview recognizes the potency of the inherently frustrating domestic/regional features of intra-Arab/Muslim relations in the Middle East:

*Unpredictability
*Instability
*Complexity
*Fragmented societies
*Local rather than national allegiance
*Violent intolerance
*Terrorism and subversion
*Minority, repressive, one-bullet tenuous regimes, policy and accords
*Absence of intra-Arab/Muslim peaceful-coexistence
*Islam-driven goals and values (including the subservient “infidel”)
*Anti-Infidel hate education and religious incitement
*“On words one does not pay custom”

The reality-driven school of thought hopes for a best-case scenario, but recognizes that in the Middle East it is the bad/worst-case scenario which tends to prevail, requiring extra precaution and added security requirements in order to ensure one’s survival and advance general interests.

On the other hand, the wishful-thinking-driven worldview assumes that it is possible to seduce Middle East reality to adopt Western values, norms, fairness, common sense, reason, “live and let live” and peaceful goals, foregoing its 14- century-old underlying religious, civic, military, domestic and regional features.  The wishful-thinkers are convinced that – in return for significant gestures, enhanced standard of living, improved trade balance, peace and liberty – Middle East reality would display the moderate/best case scenario, willing to accord “infidels” long term peaceful coexistence, that they tend to deny fellow “believers.”  Thus, the eagerness of wishful-thinkers to expand peace and harmony, by oversimplifying and pacifying the explosive anti-Western Middle East, has intensified regional and global turbulence.

The wide gap between these two schools of thought has been conspicuous since the December 2010 eruption of the current wave of Middle East turbulence. The wishful-thinkers have called the unprecedented bloodshed, civil wars, domestic and global terrorism – extending from northwest Africa to the Persian Gulf – “the Arab Spring,” “Facebook and Youth Revolution” and the “March of Democracy.” In reality, it has been a tectonic Arab Tsunami, which has yet to reach its peak.  This has been the frustrating reality for those who refuse to recognize the real Middle East and appease inherently anti-Western elements; thus, eroding the Western posture of deterrence, adding more fuel to the fire.

In 1978/79, the wishful-thinkers sacrificed the Shah of Iran, who was the US’ policeman in the Persian Gulf, on the altar of the Ayatollahs. They provided a most effective tailwind to the leading anti-US terrorist regime on the globe.  They mistakenly considered Ayatollah Khomeini, then exiled in Paris, a messenger of democracy and peace, an anti-Soviet leader, a potential ally of the West, easily controlled by pro-US Iranian military leaders.

In 1990, on the eve of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the wishful-thinkers assumed that “the enemy (Saddam) of my enemy (the Ayatollahs) is my friend,” and therefore provided Saddam with vital intelligence, commercial benefits and dual-use systems. They considered Saddam’s threats to invade Kuwait an intra-Arab issue, thus paving the road for the plundering of Kuwait and the First and Second Gulf Wars.

In 2003, the demise of Saddam Hussein catapulted the US posture of deterrence, shaking the confidence of the rogue regimes in Iran, Syria and Libya (in 2004, the latter transferred its nuclear infrastructure to Tennessee). However, the wishful-thinkers decided that the Arab Middle East was ripe for Jeffersonian democracy, ignoring the reality of pro-US Arab regimes, who considered democracy a clear and present lethal threat to their own thrones. Moreover, the wishful-thinkers assumed that appeasing Islam would stabilize the region, failing to realize that gestures, retreats and appeasement are perceived as weakness by Middle East regimes, whetting the appetite of rogue regimes and hampering Western posture of deterrence.

In 2015, the wishful-thinkers assumed that Iran’s Ayatollahs were motivated by economic considerations, amenable to negotiation and peaceful gestures, and could be lured by a $150BN package. In reality, they provided a robust tailwind to the Ayatollahs’ ballistic missile program and their military expansion to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, placing their machetes at the throat of all pro-US Arab regimes.

In 2020, the wishful-thinkers still don’t accept the reality that Iran’s Ayatollahs are not partners to Western style negotiations and peaceful-coexistence, but are motivated by the fundamentals of Islam, which wishful-thinkers consider archaic and irrelevant.  The Ayatollahs consider Islam the only legitimate religion, divinely-ordained to rule the globe, while “infidels” must submit themselves peacefully or militarily. While they may sign agreements with “infidels,” they consider them non-binding, temporary truces until sufficient power is gained to overcome the “infidel” and advance their megalomaniacal goal of ruling the Persian Gulf, Middle East, Asia, Africa and the rest of the globe.

In 2020, the isolationist wishful-thinking school of thought has yet to realize that in the global village, the agenda of Shite and Sunni Islamic terrorism is not limited to the Middle East, but is global in nature.  Thus, Iran has become an epicenter of ballistic and nuclear capabilities and terrorism, which proliferate throughout the globe. Moreover, Iran’s Ayatollahs are increasingly entrenched in South and Central America (the trilateral border of Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay and the trilateral border of Chile-Bolivia-Peru), bolstering their presence in Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico, and establishing sleeper cells in the US. They plan a campaign of anti-US terrorism, which will dwarf 9/11, since they consider the US the most effective obstacle on the road to advance their global Islamic vision.

In 1987, Country Western star, George Strait, warned against the temptation of wishful-thinking: “I got some ocean front property in Arizona… if you’ll buy that, I’ll throw the Golden Gate in free.”

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US policy in the Middle East

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Middle East reality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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Track record

President Biden’s foreign policy and national security team reflects a resurgence of the State Department’s worldview. An examination of this worldview and its track record is required, in order to avoid past mistakes.

This track record consists of such critical issues as:

*In 1948, the State Department led Washington’s opposition to the recognition of the newly established Jewish State, contending that the Jewish State would be helpless against the expected Arab military assault, would be pro-Soviet, would undermine US-Arab relations,  destabilize the Middle East, threaten the US supply of oil and cause severe long-term damage to US interests.  Deputy Secretary of State, Robert Lovett, claimed: “recognizing the Jewish State prematurely would be buying a pig in a poke.”

*During the 1950s, the US courted Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, considering him a potential ally and extending non-military aid, while Egypt evolved as a key ally of the USSR, supporting anti-Western elements in Africa, intensifying anti-US sentiments among Arabs, and attempting to topple every single pro-US Arab regime.

*In 1978/79, the US betrayed the pro-US Shah of Iran, while embracing Ayatollah Khomeini – including intelligence sharing during the initial months of the Khomeini regime – under the assumption that he was controllable and seeking freedom, democracy and positive ties with the US.

*In 1980-1990, the US collaborated with Saddam Hussein, including intelligence-sharing, supply of dual use systems and extending $5bn loan guarantees. The assumption was that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This US policy was perceived by Saddam as a green light for Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, as documented by the meeting between Saddam and the US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, 8 days before  the invasion, when she asserted (reflecting the position of the State Department) that an invasion of Kuwait was an inter-Arab issue.

*During 1993-2000, the US Administration hailed Arafat as a messenger of peace, worthy of the Nobel Prize for Peace and annual US foreign aid, ignoring his annihilationist vision, as reflected by his 1959 and 1964 Fatah and PLO charters, hate-education system and intensified terrorism.

*In 2009, the US embraced the anti-US Muslim Brotherhood, ignoring its terroristic nature, and defining it as a political, secular entity. Thus, the US turned a cold shoulder toward the pro-US Mubarak, paving the road for the Muslim Brotherhood ascension to power in 2012/13, a blow to all pro-US Arab countries, which have been afflicted by Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.

*Until the eruption of the 2011 civil war in Syria, the State Department considered Bashar Assad a reformer and a potential moderate due to his background as an ophthalmologist in London, married to a British woman and President of the Syrian Internet Association. Similarly, Hafiz Assad (“the butcher from Damascus”) was regarded as a man of his word, a credible negotiator, justifying Israel’s giveaway of the strategically overpowering Golan Heights.

*In 2011, the State Department was a key engine behind the US-led NATO military offensive, which toppled Libya’s Qaddafi, notwithstanding his dismantling of Libya’s nuclear infrastructure, fervent war on Islamic terrorism, and providing the US unique counter-terror intelligence. The toppling of Qaddafi transformed Libya into a platform of civil wars and global Islamic terrorism.

*In 2011, the Washington, DC foreign policy and national security establishment welcomed the tectonic eruption of violence on the Arab Street as a march toward democracy, progress toward peaceful-coexistence, Facebook and youth revolutions – an Arab Spring.

However, a reality check demonstrates that it has been a ruthless Arab Tsunami, exposing endemic intra-Arab and intra-Muslim terrorism, subversion and violent power struggles, tribally, ethnically, religiously, ideologically, locally and regionally.

*In 2015, irrespective of Iran’s core fanatical, repressive and megalomaniacal ideology and systematic perpetration of war and terrorism, the architects of the Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA) provided Iran’s Ayatollahs with a $150bn bonanza to bolster their ballistic, terroristic regional and global expansionist machine.  They were guided by the assumption that the Ayatollahs were credible partners for negotiation, amenable to peaceful-coexistence and influence-sharing with their Arab Sunni neighbors. Moreover, the US disappointed most Iranians, by renouncing a military (regime-change) option against the ruthless and lawless regime in Tehran.  

Middle East reality

In view of the aforementioned track record – which highlights a systematic gap between Middle East reality and State Department policy – President Biden’s Middle East team may benefit from the studies of the late Prof. Elie Kedourie (London School of Economics and Political Science), an iconic Middle East historian, whose politically-incorrect books and articles have been vindicated by Middle East reality.

According to Prof. Kedourie (The Chatham House Version): “The sober assumption that Middle East instability is endemic has found little favor either in Britain or in America….

“One of the simplest and yet most effective means known to mankind of keeping in touch with reality is to contrast what people say with what they do…. Alien conventions and unfamiliar speech add to the confusion…. All too often assumptions are not tested on the pulse of experience, they remain mere abstract doctrines, and men are taken up and praised for what they say rather than for what they are….

“The language of modern English and American politics is now adopted by the whole world and – divorced from the tradition in which it has value and dignity – becomes a debased, inflated jargon, a showman’s patter by which [Middle East] tyranny is made to seem constitutional, and crookedness to look straight….

“What may one properly mean by a settlement of the Palestine problem….? This dispute has become secondary…. The dispute now lies between Israel and the Arab states…. In the wider dispute, Israel is the immediate but not the most important factor. This lies in the rivalries of the Arab states…. A solution of the Palestine problem will accomplish little even if all the Israelis were exterminated and their state destroyed.  For then would perhaps come a quarrel about the spoils and issues even more intractable, but certainly not peace….

“Tidy doctrines will not help, and simple answers will deceive.  The disorder of the Middle East is deep and endemic, and the disappearance of Israel… will neither cure or even mitigate it.  The very attempts to modernize Middle Eastern society, to make it Western or ‘democratic’ must bring about evils, which may be greater than the benefits….

“[In the Middle East], political power is traditionally capricious in the transmissions, acquired by violence and established by repression…. Political stability is chancy and precarious…. Habits of stability are unknown, and the subject has more reason to fear the displeasure of his masters…. Sedition, treason and civil war are common enough in Middle Eastern history….

“The Muslim theory of international relations recognizes two possible situations only: war on the ‘infidel’ or his subjugation to the ‘faithful.’  Peace with him de jure is hostility until he recognizes the authority of the Muslim ruler…. The comity of nations, or the sanctity of treaties, the rules of natural justice, or decent respect for the opinions of mankind, are quite alien and largely unintelligible to the Middle East…. (ibid, pp 1-12)”.

Conclusion

In 2021, ten years following the eruption of the Arab Tsunami – and contrary to the expectations of the State Department – the Arab Street is still dominated by its intrinsic 1,400-year-old instability, unpredictability, violent intolerance, human rights squashing, despotism, intra-Arab and intra-Muslim wars and terrorism, and the tenuous nature of all regimes, policies and accords, while the Arab Tsunami has yet to reach its peak.

Such a policy failure is attributed – if one employs Prof. Elie Kedourie’s studies – to “successive and cumulative manifestations of illusion, misjudgment, maladroitness and failure (ibid, p. ix).”

Will President Biden’s foreign policy and national security team, dealing with Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Middle East at-large – which are epicenters of global proliferation of ballistic and nuclear technologies, as well as Islamic terrorism – learn from past critical errors by avoiding, or repeating, them?

At stake is regional and global stability, including the national security and homeland security of the USA.

A critical battle takes place among Middle East observers, researchers and policy makers in Western democracies: the reality-driven, politically-incorrect worldview vs. the wishful-thinking/oversimplification-driven, politically-correct worldview.

The reality-driven worldview recognizes the potency of the inherently frustrating domestic/regional features of intra-Arab/Muslim relations in the Middle East:

*Unpredictability
*Instability
*Complexity
*Fragmented societies
*Local rather than national allegiance
*Violent intolerance
*Terrorism and subversion
*Minority, repressive, one-bullet tenuous regimes, policy and accords
*Absence of intra-Arab/Muslim peaceful-coexistence
*Islam-driven goals and values (including the subservient “infidel”)
*Anti-Infidel hate education and religious incitement
*“On words one does not pay custom”

The reality-driven school of thought hopes for a best-case scenario, but recognizes that in the Middle East it is the bad/worst-case scenario which tends to prevail, requiring extra precaution and added security requirements in order to ensure one’s survival and advance general interests.

On the other hand, the wishful-thinking-driven worldview assumes that it is possible to seduce Middle East reality to adopt Western values, norms, fairness, common sense, reason, “live and let live” and peaceful goals, foregoing its 14- century-old underlying religious, civic, military, domestic and regional features.  The wishful-thinkers are convinced that – in return for significant gestures, enhanced standard of living, improved trade balance, peace and liberty – Middle East reality would display the moderate/best case scenario, willing to accord “infidels” long term peaceful coexistence, that they tend to deny fellow “believers.”  Thus, the eagerness of wishful-thinkers to expand peace and harmony, by oversimplifying and pacifying the explosive anti-Western Middle East, has intensified regional and global turbulence.

The wide gap between these two schools of thought has been conspicuous since the December 2010 eruption of the current wave of Middle East turbulence. The wishful-thinkers have called the unprecedented bloodshed, civil wars, domestic and global terrorism – extending from northwest Africa to the Persian Gulf – “the Arab Spring,” “Facebook and Youth Revolution” and the “March of Democracy.” In reality, it has been a tectonic Arab Tsunami, which has yet to reach its peak.  This has been the frustrating reality for those who refuse to recognize the real Middle East and appease inherently anti-Western elements; thus, eroding the Western posture of deterrence, adding more fuel to the fire.

In 1978/79, the wishful-thinkers sacrificed the Shah of Iran, who was the US’ policeman in the Persian Gulf, on the altar of the Ayatollahs. They provided a most effective tailwind to the leading anti-US terrorist regime on the globe.  They mistakenly considered Ayatollah Khomeini, then exiled in Paris, a messenger of democracy and peace, an anti-Soviet leader, a potential ally of the West, easily controlled by pro-US Iranian military leaders.

In 1990, on the eve of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the wishful-thinkers assumed that “the enemy (Saddam) of my enemy (the Ayatollahs) is my friend,” and therefore provided Saddam with vital intelligence, commercial benefits and dual-use systems. They considered Saddam’s threats to invade Kuwait an intra-Arab issue, thus paving the road for the plundering of Kuwait and the First and Second Gulf Wars.

In 2003, the demise of Saddam Hussein catapulted the US posture of deterrence, shaking the confidence of the rogue regimes in Iran, Syria and Libya (in 2004, the latter transferred its nuclear infrastructure to Tennessee). However, the wishful-thinkers decided that the Arab Middle East was ripe for Jeffersonian democracy, ignoring the reality of pro-US Arab regimes, who considered democracy a clear and present lethal threat to their own thrones. Moreover, the wishful-thinkers assumed that appeasing Islam would stabilize the region, failing to realize that gestures, retreats and appeasement are perceived as weakness by Middle East regimes, whetting the appetite of rogue regimes and hampering Western posture of deterrence.

In 2015, the wishful-thinkers assumed that Iran’s Ayatollahs were motivated by economic considerations, amenable to negotiation and peaceful gestures, and could be lured by a $150BN package. In reality, they provided a robust tailwind to the Ayatollahs’ ballistic missile program and their military expansion to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, placing their machetes at the throat of all pro-US Arab regimes.

In 2020, the wishful-thinkers still don’t accept the reality that Iran’s Ayatollahs are not partners to Western style negotiations and peaceful-coexistence, but are motivated by the fundamentals of Islam, which wishful-thinkers consider archaic and irrelevant.  The Ayatollahs consider Islam the only legitimate religion, divinely-ordained to rule the globe, while “infidels” must submit themselves peacefully or militarily. While they may sign agreements with “infidels,” they consider them non-binding, temporary truces until sufficient power is gained to overcome the “infidel” and advance their megalomaniacal goal of ruling the Persian Gulf, Middle East, Asia, Africa and the rest of the globe.

In 2020, the isolationist wishful-thinking school of thought has yet to realize that in the global village, the agenda of Shite and Sunni Islamic terrorism is not limited to the Middle East, but is global in nature.  Thus, Iran has become an epicenter of ballistic and nuclear capabilities and terrorism, which proliferate throughout the globe. Moreover, Iran’s Ayatollahs are increasingly entrenched in South and Central America (the trilateral border of Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay and the trilateral border of Chile-Bolivia-Peru), bolstering their presence in Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico, and establishing sleeper cells in the US. They plan a campaign of anti-US terrorism, which will dwarf 9/11, since they consider the US the most effective obstacle on the road to advance their global Islamic vision.

In 1987, Country Western star, George Strait, warned against the temptation of wishful-thinking: “I got some ocean front property in Arizona… if you’ll buy that, I’ll throw the Golden Gate in free.”

Israel Hayom

In 1993, 1995 and 2005, Israel retreated from 40% of the Judea and Samaria mountain ridges (West Bank) and the entire Gaza Strip. It transformed these regions into platforms of unprecedented Palestinian terrorism and missile launches, supported by Iran, Turkey and North Korea. Moreover, it has intensified lethal threats to all pro-US Arab regimes, bolstering their security ties with Israel, which they perceived to be the most credible “life insurance agent” in the region. As expected, gestures to rogue regimes and terrorists fuel further violence.

According to Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, former Israeli Ambassador to the US and Chief Negotiator with Syria (The Brink of Peace, 1999, pp. 164-167): “In November 1994, the peace process had seemed to be in full swing…. [But], an organized campaign began in the US against the idea of stationing US troops on the Golan Heights as ‘peace keepers’, in the event of an Israel-Syria [peace] agreement. The campaign was orchestrated by right-wing organizations and individuals in the Jewish community, with occasional participation of visitors from Israel… [such as] the former Minister for Congressional Affairs in our Washington Embassy, Yoram Ettinger…. The organizers conveyed the message that sending US troops as peacekeepers to the Golan was bad for the US [and that the Syrian armored mechanized divisions stationed between the Golan Heights and Damascus would be deployed to the border with Jordan, aiming to topple the pro-US Hashemite regime]…. The US could lose the lives of its soldiers and become entangled in a dangerous foreign arena…. That would no doubt lead to a rise in anti-Semitism in the US…. Senator Jesse Helms, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations [a friend of Bobby Jacobs] was openly critical of the Assad regime…. The Chairman of the House Committee on International Relations, Benjamin Gilman, was under pressure from voters in his own constituency…. This Congressional opposition had at least some negative impact on Assad’s motivation to move forward in his peacemaking with Israel….”

Since 1967, Israel’s control of the strategically-commanding Golan Heights – over-towering northern Israel – has constrained and monitored the Russian, Iranian, North Korean, ISIS and Turkish strategic profile in Syria.  Furthermore, the Israeli posture of deterrence has bolstered the national security of Jordan’s Hashemite regime and all other pro-US Arab regimes (hence the unprecedented cooperation between Israel and these regimes). For instance, the September 1970 pro-Soviet Syrian invasion of the pro-US Jordan was rolled back, primarily, due to Israel’s deployment of troops to the Golan Heights, 37 miles from Damascus. The Syrian invasion aimed at toppling the Hashemite regime and producing a pro-Soviet domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula, at a time when the US was heavily dependent upon Persian Gulf oil.  Thus, Israel’s control of the Golan Heights spared the US the need to deploy its own troops, in order to save its Jordanian ally, while preventing a potential super-power confrontation, and denying the USSR a geo-strategic bonanza.

The significance of Israel’s control of the Golan Heights for the national security of the US has been intensified due to the following phenomena:

*The raging civil war in Syria which erupted in 2011;
*The escalation of Iran’s involvement in Syria and Lebanon, aspiring to extend its dominance to the Mediterranean and Europe;
*The entrenchment of ISIS cells in Syria, irrespective of their recent setbacks;
*The growing involvement in Syria by Turkey’s Erdogan, who aims to resurrect the Ottoman Empire;
*The inherent Russia-Syria alliance, with Russia expanding its presence in the Mediterranean and throughout the Middle East.
*Since the 1960s, North Korea has been a leading ally of Syria, engaged in illicit military and technology cooperation, including ballistic missiles and chemical warfare. Pyongyang facilitated the construction of a Syrian nuclear reactor that was destroyed, by Israel, in 2007.

In November 2019, the explosive potential of Syria transcends the boundaries of the Middle East, triggering ripple effects throughout the globe. Since 2010, it has been exacerbated by the Arab Tsunami, which has further destabilized the inherently unpredictable and violent Syria and the Middle East. Thus, the pro-Russia, pro-Iran, pro-North Korea and anti-US Damascus – which provided safe haven to Nazi war criminals – has become a global epicenter of proliferation of anti-US global terrorism and drug trafficking.

The endemically turbulent reality of Syria, in particular, and the Middle East, in general, highlight the self-destructive nature of the attempts to get Israel off the Golan Heights, the potential damage to US interests, and the prospective setback to the survival of the pro-US Arab regimes.

An agreement concluded with Damascus can be no less tenuous than the policies of the transient, rogue regime which signs them (would you buy a used car from Assad?!).

The politically-correct assumptions that “a state of peace was the best security arrangement…. the end of occupation would eliminate the motivation to wage wars, and Syria’s record of keeping its commitments was excellent…. (ibid. page 169)” clash with reality, ignoring the rogue and non-compliant nature of Syria as demonstrated by its systematic violation of agreements, domestically and regionally.

For example, since 1953, Syria has violated all water supply agreements with Jordan (from the Yarmouk River).  Notwithstanding the official state of peace with Jordan, Syria invaded Jordan in 1970, threatened to invade again in 1980 and 1989, and periodically supports anti-Hashemite subversion and terrorism.

For 30 years (1976-2006), Syria has violated a series of international and intra-Arab commitments to evacuate Lebanon, until it was forced to withdraw by domestic and international factors.

In 1973, Syria violated the 1967 armistice agreement with Israel, as well as the 1974 Disengagement Agreement with Israel, terrorizing Israel through Palestinian and Shiite terrorists in Jordan and Lebanon.

Israel’s control of the Golan Heights, just like its control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, has bolstered Israel’s posture of deterrence, extending the strategic hand of the US, with no need for additional US soldiers.  Israel’s retreat from the Golan Heights would erode its posture of deterrence, relegating the Jewish State from a national security producer/asset to a national security consumer/liability, to the detriment of the US.

 

 

In 2019, the inherently unpredictable and violent Middle East has driven all pro-US Arab regimes – which face domestic and external lethal threats – to expand their strategic cooperation with Israel.

The substantial US-Israel strategic common denominator, the growing role of Israel as a unique geo-strategic ally of the US, and the enhanced mutually-beneficial nature of US-Israel and Israel-Arab cooperation, have been a by-product of the following critical developments:

*The recent Iranian offensive as demonstrated by the June 2019 attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, and the May 2019 assaults on vessels in the Persian Gulf port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates;

*The mushrooming anti-US, pro-Muslim Brotherhood, imperialistic Turkish military buildup in Iraq, Syria, Qatar and Somalia (the largest since the 1922 demise of the Ottoman Empire);

*The proliferation of Shiite (Iran-related) and Sunni (Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc.) terrorism and subversion;

*The Iranian military, terroristic and subversive entrenchment in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, the Al-Hasa oil region in Saudi Arabia, etc.

*The intensified regional, military profile of Erdogan’s anti-US Turkey, which pursues imperialistic aspirations, while charging the batteries of Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.

*The transformation of the “Arab Spring” illusion of democracy into the “Arab Tsunami” reality of despotic regimes, as evidenced by the intensification of intra-Arab/Muslim and inter-Arab/Muslim conflicts, which threaten every pro-US Arab regime.

*Israel’s systematic track record of democracy, unconditional alliance with the US, military and commercial effectiveness, game-changing technological innovation and second-to-none optimism, patriotism and attachment to roots.

The precarious state of the Middle East, and the top challenges facing pro-US Arab regimes – all of whom resoundingly opposed the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, in particular, and President Obama’s Middle East policy, in general – were articulated on June 18, 2019 by the Arab League Secretary General and former Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit: “The crisis with Iran and Turkey has aggravated to the point that holding a dialogue with them has become futile…. We see today the threats Iran and its wings are posing to Arab and global security as regards safety of global navigation and commercial routs…. Iran considers the Arab region an open ‘terra nullius’ [‘nobody’s land’ available for occupation] for its own expansion, and gives itself the right to interfere [via subversion and terrorism] in the crises of some Arab countries [e.g., Iraq, Syria, Yemen]…. Turkey seeks to promote its own ideologies and political Islam, giving itself the right to [invade/access] neighboring countries [Iraq, Syria, Qatar and Somalia] on the pretext of protecting its own national security, without any consideration to other countries’ sovereignty. Both Turkey and Iran see ongoing crises in the region as a chance for more expansion….”

According to the June 18, 2019 Saudi daily, A-Sharq al-Awsat, which reflects the worldview of the House of Saud, the US has approved Israel’s systematic bombings of Iranian military sites in Syria – in defiance of the Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile operated by Syria – considering the Israeli raids an effective tool to constrain the Ayatollahs’ regional expansion. Attesting to Israel’s rising geo-strategic role, Iran’s military presence in Syria will be featured during next week’s unprecedented meeting, in Jerusalem, between the national security advisors of the US, Russia and Israel.

Contrary to conventional Western wisdom, the growing concern about Iran’s Ayatollahs and other critical regional challenges, increasingly overshadow the Palestinian issue, as was evidenced in the February 2019 Warsaw-hosted 60 country summit on Iran with no Palestinian presence.  Furthermore, Israel’s relations with all pro-US Arab countries have improved substantially, irrespective of the paralysis on the Palestinian front.

According to the Atlantic Magazine, the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, “like many Arab leaders, has tired of the Palestinians,” while considering Israel a key member in the regional alliance against the “triangle of evil,” which consists of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Sunni terrorist organizations.

In the words of Jamal al-Suwaidi, the founder of the United Arab Emirates Center for Strategic Studies: “The Palestinian cause is no longer at the forefront of Arab interests…. It has sharply lost priority in light of the challenges, threats and problems that face countries of the region.”

In fact, the Arab attitude toward the Palestinians has been consistent since 1949 – when Jordan and Egypt occupied Judea & Samaria and Gaza and did not transfer the regions to the Palestinians; during 1982/83 – no Arab support when Israel devastated PLO terror headquarters in Lebanon, expelling the PLO leadership from Beirut; and 1991 – no Arab outcry when Kuwait expelled some 300,000 PLO-affiliated Palestinians in response to Palestinian collaboration with Saddam Hussein’s destruction of Kuwait; through 2008, 2012 and 2014 – no Arab support during Israel’s wars against Palestinian terrorism in Gaza.

According to The Guardian, intelligence, counter-terrorism, military and commercial cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain has been routine since the mid-1990s, switching to a higher gear in recent years – a reflection of intensified lethal threats, on the one hand, and Israel’s posture of deterrence and reliable capabilities, on the other hand.

Hence, Israel’s existence in the Middle East has extended the strategic hand of the US, bolstering the national and homeland security of US’ Arab allies in the Persian Gulf and throughout the Middle East, producing an effective headwind to Iran’s megalomaniacal aspirations, and enhancing the war on Islamic terrorism. This has spared the need to expand US military bases in the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean and the Middle East at-large, and the necessity to dispatch additional US military divisions and aircraft carriers to the region, which would cost the US taxpayer mega-billion dollars annually.

 

 

“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.

Please watch – and consider recommending/sharing – my online video seminar (forty 6-minute-videos) on the following topics:
1. US-Israel ties
Israel’s contributions, 400-year-old foundations, Congress – the co-equal ally, State Dep’t blunders) and more;
2.Jewish-Arab Demographics
3. The Palestinian issue
Core causeof turbulence? Arab crown-jewel?Terrorism root cause? Cruxof conflict? And more;
4. Palestinian terrorism
6.Palestinian refugees
7. Jewish refugees
8. Christian repression
10. Anti-US terrorism
11. Iran’s Ayatollas
12. Israeli settlements
13. Israel’s economy
14. The real Middle East
15. Israel’s pre-1967 borders
The precariousness of Israel’s pre-1967 borders;
16. International and US security guarantees

Can Israel rely on US/international security guaranteesand/or peacekeepers?

“Israel Hayom”

All US (Israel-Arab) peace initiatives, initiated by Democratic and Republican Presidents, aimed at advancing the cause of peace, while enhancing the US strategic stature. However, all failed on both accounts.

The well-intentioned US peace initiatives were doomed to failure by the tendency to downplay the complex intra-Arab/Muslim Middle East reality, since they conflicted with the eagerness to advance peace ASAP, wishful-thinking and oversimplification.

US peace initiatives were the casualties of the inherent conflict between Western eagerness for quick-fix and short-term convenience, on the one hand, and the long-term and complicated nature of the intricate reality and national security, on the other hand.

US peace initiatives were frustrated by the tectonic forces which have shaped the well-documented intra-Arab/Muslim labyrinth since the birth of Islam in the 7th century: explosive unpredictability, violence, intolerance (religiously, ethnically, politically and socially), absence of peaceful-coexistence domestically and regionally, minority/rogue regimes, disregard of civil liberties, brutal domestic fragmentation (tribally, ideologically and religiously) and the tenuous/provisional nature of regimes, policies and agreements.

Moreover, the US peace initiatives were further derailed by the politically-correct assumptions that the Arab-Israeli conflict has been “The Middle East Conflict” and that the Palestinian issue has been the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict, a core-cause of Middle East turbulence and a crown-jewel of Arab policy-making.

Such assumptions have been dashed against the rocks of Middle East reality, as highlighted by the 2010 eruption of the still-raging Arab Tsunami (erroneously named “the Arab Spring”), which has been totally unrelated to the dramatically less significant Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian issue.

Furthermore, the preoccupation with the Palestinian issue – at a time when the Middle East and the US are confronted with significantly more pivotal national and homeland security challenges/threats – has damaged the US posture of deterrence and its regional and global standing.

All US peace initiatives attempted to force Israel into making major concessions to the Arab/Palestinian side, thus rewarding systematic Arab aggression, which encouraged further aggression. These initiatives exhibited the self-defeating moral equivalence between (Arab) aggressors and the intended (Israeli) victim; between the most effective, unconditional strategic ally of the US (Israel), and a close ally of enemies and rivals of the US, such as Nazi Germany, the USSR, the Ayatollahs, Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela (the Palestinians); and between the role model of counter-terrorism (Israel) and a role model and a major training ground of anti-US terrorists and a shrine of hate-education (the Palestinians).

The subversive and terroristic track record of the Palestinians, and their closest allies, sheds light on the inherent contradiction between the need to minimize Middle East instability and violence, on the one hand, and the attempt to establish a Palestinian state, on the other hand.

US peace initiatives have forced the Palestinians, in particular, and the Arabs, in general, to outflank the (“infidel”) US from the maximalist/radical side, thus further intensifying conflict and disagreements.

Contrary to the well-meant goal of the US peace initiatives, this added fuel – not water – to the fire, exacerbated instability and undermined US diplomatic and geo-strategic posture and interests. One may note that in spite of the US presidential recognition of the PLO, its support for the idea of a Palestinian state and sustained pressure on Israel to freeze Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), the US has been systematically terrorized by Shite and Sunni Islamic terrorism.

While all US (Israel-Arab) peace initiatives have failed (e.g., the 1970 Rogers Plan, the 1973-75 Kissinger initiatives, the 1982 Reagan Plan, the 1989-92 Bush/Baker initiatives, the Clinton initiatives, the G.W. Bush initiatives and the Obama/Kerry initiatives), Middle East reality has highlighted the indispensable role of the US as a facilitator – not initiator – of peace initiatives, which were launched directly between Israel and Arab entities.  Thus, it was the critical US support of the Israel-Egypt and Israel-Jordan initiated peace processes – during their intermediary and mature stages – which propelled them to fruition.

Furthermore, the cardinal US role in facilitating and coalescing Israel’s enhanced cooperation with pro-US Arab regimes in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula – which has not been preconditioned upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians – has projected a realistic US policy in the Middle East. It has been a policy which recognizes the order of regional and global priorities, highlighting the intensified lethal threats of Iran’s Ayatollahs and Sunni Islamic terrorism to the US’ homeland and national security, as well as to every pro-US Arab regime in the region, none of which is related, directly or indirectly, to the Palestinian issue.

Will the US benefit from the lessons of its many well-intentioned (Israel-Arab) peace initiatives by avoiding past errors?!

Will the US leverage its peace-making experience by focusing on its game-changing, constructive role as a facilitator, rather than an initiator?!

Will US policy-makers adhere to the life-saving advice, shared with drivers in West Texas: When smothered by lethal sandstorms (the Arab Tsunami…), don’t get preoccupied with the tumbleweeds on the road (the Palestinian issue…)?!

 

www.TheEttingerReport.com, May 7, 2018, https://bit.ly/2roRHCm

A 6-minute video on the Ayatollas’ threat to the US: https://bit.ly/2zNDmUX

A 6-minute video on the Ayatollahs’ anti-US curriculum: https://bit.ly/2EuJwJm

  1. The tyrannical Ayatollah regime – oppressing Iran’s majority – is driven by a megalomaniacal ideology, clearly reflected by its K-12 curriculum, brainwashing Iran’s youth for full commitment to the “divine battle” against the US, “the Great Satan,” the “infidel” Sunni Muslims, Christians, Jews, Baha’is, Kurds, Azerbaijanis, etc.
  2. The Ayatollahs’ super-ideology – the leading sponsors of Islamic terrorism – is the commitment to global supremacy of Shite Islam through Jihad (“Holy War”), which is the permanent state of relations between “the believers” and the “apostates” and the “illegitimate infidels.” Hence, agreements with infidels are tenuous and non-binding. The Ayatollahs’ super-ideology is bolstered by a sacred allegiance to the fulfillment of the 2,600 year old Persian-Iranian regional and global imperialistic aspiration.
  3. The Ayatollahs’ super-geo-strategic goal, which supersedes economic and social matters, is the domination of the Persian Gulf, the Middle East and beyond, irrespective of the Palestinian issue.
  4. The Ayatollahs’ super-hurdle/enemy is the USA, “the Great Satan.” Irrespective of the Ayatollahs’ anti-Israel rant, the Jewish State is their second-rate target, since it does not play a major role in determining the future of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula.  In fact, the Ayatollahs’ machetes are at the throat of each pro-US Arab regime in the Persian Gulf region.
  5. The Ayatollahs pursue super-capabilities (in collaboration with North Korea, Pakistan, Venezuela, etc.) – ballistic and nuclear – in order to deter and defeat the super-enemy/hurdle and advance the super-goal, in adherence to their super-ideology. The Ayatollahs’ pursuit of super-capabilities has accelerated the proliferation of conventional and non-conventional military systems in the Middle East and beyond, adding fuel to global instability and violence.
  6. The Ayatollahs’ super-tactic, while communicating with the West, has been the Taqiyya: Islam-sanctioned dissimulation, deception and concealment of inconvenient data, aimed at protecting “believers” from “hostile” elements via illusive agreements. President Rouhani demonstrated his Taqiyya proficiency during his 2002 negotiation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, stating: “We are not pursuing nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons….”
  7. The Ayatollahs’ advanced ballistic capabilities and terrorist network are sufficient to deal a major blow to the US national and homeland security, as well as economy – possibly forcing the US and NATO out of the Persian Gulf – by toppling the pro-US Arab “apostate” regimes in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain (Iran’s “province #14”), the UAE, Kuwait and Oman. Furthermore, the Ayatollahs’ advanced non-nuclear capabilities could solidify the expansion from Iran through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon and the Mediterranean; dominate the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula along with the critical straits of Hormuz (Persian Gulf) and Bab al-Mandeb (Red Sea); intensify global Islamic terrorism; exacerbate political and military subversion in Africa, Asia and Latin America; enhance the Ayatollahs’ impact on the flow and price of oil, which would bankroll Teheran’s megalomaniac regional and global aspirations.
  8. The Ayatollahs’ nuclear capabilities may be required to extract further dramatic concessions from the US and NATO and rollback their military presence to their Western bases.
  9. Against the backdrop of the Ayatollahs’ track record, tactics and goals, the architects of the July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) have failed to realize that peaceful-coexistence and compliance with agreements, on the one hand, and the nature of the Ayatollahs, on the other hand, constitutes a classic oxymoron. Moreover, leopards don’t change spots, only tactics. Therefore, they failed to include in the JCPOA the following elementary-preconditions to the Ayatollahs’ abundant economic benefits, which are required in order to transform the nature of the Ayatollahs and reach a constructive agreement:
    *A permanent commitment to refrain from the development – or acquisition – of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction (including ballistic missiles);
    *The transfer of the complete research, development and production infrastructure of weapons of mass destruction to the USA (following in the footsteps of the December 2003 Libyan precedent);
    *Terminating and dismantling all agencies and units involved in subversive, terrorist and military operations outside Iran;
    *Uprooting the Ayatollahs’ K-12 hate-education and other forms of incitement (in mosques, media, etc.) against “apostates” and “infidels,” which have shaped the worldview of an increasing number of Iranians.  This has, also, carved the roadmap to the attainment of the Ayatollahs’ super-goals, and has served as the production-line of soldiers, willing to sacrifice their lives on the altar of such goals.
  10. The term “effective sanctions” against Iran, on the one hand, and global political reality, on the other hand, constitutes another oxymoron, playing into the hands of the Ayatollahs. The sanction-option will not divert the Ayatollahs from pursuing their megalomaniacal, principle-driven super-goal. It will not transform them into a peaceful-coexisting entity. Moreover, Russia and China (which consider the US an arch-rival), and some countries in Asia, Latin America and Europe, cannot be expected to implement anti-Ayatollahs sanctions in accordance with the US. At the same time, international deliberations over sanctions have provided the Ayatollahs more time to advance (and acquire) additional ballistic and nuclear technologies
  11. Forty years of US economic sanctions against North Korea – which does not harbor Iran-like megalomaniacal aspirations – have failed to topple the regime or prevent its nuclearization. Fifty years of sanctions against Cuba have, also, reaffirmed the constraints of sanctions against rogue regimes, which subject their people to ruthless dictatorships and ideological brainwashing.
  12. Preemption/prevention – and not deterrence or retaliation – may be the only effective means to spare the US and the globe the devastating cost of a mega-military confrontation against the Ayatollahs.
  13. An effective preemption should not be limited to critical nuclear facilities, but should simultaneously devastate Iran’s missile and air defense capabilities, thus minimizing the scope of Iran’s potential retaliation.
  14. An effective preemption must not involve the occupation of Iran, thus distinguishing itself from Iraq’s 1980 invasion of Iran, which coalesced all Iranians against a threat to their sovereignty.
  15. An effective preemption would provide a tailwind to the substantial domestic opposition, which was disillusioned by the lack of Western support in 2009. A credible threat to topple the regime, and not diplomatic engagement and appeasement – perceived by the Ayatollahs as battle fatigue and retreat – is required to uproot the Ayatollahs’ core ideology and policy.
  16. The cost of military preemption would be dwarfed by the cost of a confrontation with a ballistic and/or nuclear Iran. The Ayatollahs regime which sacrificed 500,000 of its own children in order to clear minefields, during the 1980-1988 war against Iraq, is capable of pursuing its megalomaniacal goal, irrespective of the cost.
  17. The elimination of the Ayatollahs’ clear and present threat to the national and homeland security of the US, the pro-US Arab regimes, the Middle East at-large, including Israel, NATO countries and the rest of the globe, constitutes a most crucial test for the leader of the Free World: the USA.

*Will the USA avoid the devastating pitfalls of the JCPOA (please see item #8)?”

*Will the USA approach the Ayatollahs realistically, insisting upon a thorough transformation of the Ayatollahs’ domestic, regional and global nature?
*Will the US and the Free World be willing to demonstrate their willingness to pay a price – if necessary – for sparing themselves the terrorism, conventional and nuclear wrath of the Ayatollahs?

*Will the USA sacrifice wishful-thinking, oversimplification and short-term gratification on the altar of realism, complexity and long-term homeland and national security?

latest videos

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Welcome to the rebranded EttingerReport website

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The US diplomatic option toward Iran is self-destructive

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

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

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

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Demography

2024 artificially inflated Palestinian demography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Iran

FBI Director Chris Wray: Iranian terrorism on US soil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The bottom line:

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

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

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

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

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Judea & Samaria

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

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

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

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

For instance:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jerusalem

United Jerusalem – a shared US-Israel legacy and interest

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

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

United Jerusalem and the US law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Jerusalem and the legacy of the Founding Fathers

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

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

The Jerusalem reality and US interests

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

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

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

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

Jerusalem and Israel’s defiance of US pressure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jewish Holidays

Chanukah guide for the perplexed, 2023

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

More on Jewish holidays: SmashwordsAmazon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Golan

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

Islamic Terrorism

FBI Director Chris Wray: Iranian terrorism on US soil