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Irrespective of the final outcome of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it should serve as a wake-up call for Israeli and Western policy-makers and molders of public opinion.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has exposed the flawed nature of certain assumptions, which have impacted the worldview of the Western establishment – but not the worldview of most of the world – while attempting to induce/coerce Israel into adopting these assumptions.

For example:

*The illusion that most of the world subscribes to the Western worldview of a new world (and new Middle East) order, which is supposedly more stable, predictable, tolerant and trending toward peaceful-coexistence, focusing on butter rather than guns;

*The ostensible end to the era of major wars and massive ground force invasions;

*The self-destruct notion that a military posture of deterrence can be effectively-replaced by peace accords, security guarantees and generous financial and diplomatic packages. Thus, the seeds of the current predicament of Ukraine were planted in the reckless December 1994 Budapest security assurances, which were extended to Ukraine by the USA, Britain and Russia in return for Ukraine’s surrender of its most-deterring nuclear stockpile (3rd largest in the world). In 2022, these assurances are exposed in their futility.

*Ignoring the tenuous, unreliable, unpredictable, non-committal and open-ended nature of all security guarantees, even article 5 of the NATO Charter, which is supposed to be the tightest security commitment. But, article 5 states that all NATO members shall assist an attacked member “as [they] deem necessary, including the use of armed force….” As they deem necessary….

*The delusion that peace and security agreements are more important (for national security) than military capabilities and geography/topography-driven posture of deterrence.  This delusion ignores the fact that while peace accords and security guarantees are tenuous, topographic dominance (e.g., the Golan Heights and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria) and geographic depth are everlasting.

*Overlooking the fact that a gradual reduction of defense budget is interpreted by most of the globe as erosion of deterrence in a stormy world (and volatile Middle East), undermining stability and crippling national security, and therefore inducing terrorism and wars;

*The presumed superiority of the diplomatic option as a more effective negotiation tool than the military option in settling conflicts with rogue regimes, which have systematically revealed themselves as bad-faith negotiators (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs since assuming power in February, 1979);

*The alleged subordination of national ideologies and strategic visions to a cosmopolitan/universal peaceful-coexistence state of mind;

*Preferring the speculative assessments of the future track records of rogue regimes over their realistic historical track record, which highlights the centrality of rogue history in shaping their radical national vision, policy-making, school curriculum, religious sermons and media.

*The illusion that rogue conduct (e.g., subversion, terrorism and wars) is despair-driven, rather than ideology-driven.

Western policy makers have attempted to induce/coerce Israel into a withdrawal from the topographically dominant mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – in return for a peace accord and security guarantees.  However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the false sense of security, which is generated by security guarantees, which replace geographic depth and dominant topography in the highly volatile, violent, intolerant and unpredictable Middle East. The global experience has reaffirmed the centrality of the military-driven posture of deterrence in the shaping of national security.

Moreover, unlike Ukraine (the 2nd largest European country), Israel’s lack of geographic depth (a 7-15 miles sliver from the Mediterranean to the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria) provides for an extremely small margin of error. Thus, if the 1973 surprise Arab military offensive were launched against a pre-1967 Israel (without the dominant topography of the Golan Heights and Judea and Samaria and the strategic depth of the Sinai Peninsula), the Arabs would be able to annihilate the Jewish State.

Support Appreciated

 

MIDA” magazine, https://bit.ly/2NridWA

Do commitments made by a US president bind his successors? History proves that these commitments do not even bind the president who signed them.

Even when the US commitments are driven by the purest of intentions, one should recognize certain features – a derivative of the US Constitution and the power struggle between the Legislature and the Executive – which have characterized all US international agreements, pacts, memoranda of understandings and guarantees since 1776 (thoroughly researched by Hebrew University Prof. Michla Pomerance).  These inherent features are designed to subordinate the implementation (or non-implementation) of all US international commitments to the overriding US interests, as defined by the implementing president, not necessarily the president who signed the commitments.

Take for example, the feature of vagueness and non-specificity, as demonstrated by “the Deal of the Century.”  The Deal stipulates Israeli security control in the entire area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. But, who defines “control?”  Will it be President Trump and his team, or the more pro-Palestinian team of President Biden? Obviously, each team will have a different interpretation, reflecting their different worldviews and ideology, minimizing or maximizing the scope of “control,” which could render Israeli “control” highly-constrained and quite ineffective.

What constitutes “interpretation” for the promisor (USA), may be perceived as “breach” and “evasion” by the promisee (Israel).

Moreover, the list of preconditions for the establishment of a Palestinian state is subject to contradictory, subjective interpretations of the preconditions and related-compliance set by President Trump or President Biden?  The strict school of thought may insist that the Palestinians will have to become Canadians in order to comply with the preconditions (Trump), while the lenient school of thoughts may be satisfied with Palestinians remaining Palestinians (Biden).  Thus, in 1993, Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, supposedly, accepted a list of preconditions, in order to establish the Palestinian Authority in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Notwithstanding their systematic and egregious violation of the preconditions, Arafat became the most-frequent-visitor to President Clinton’s White House and was awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize for Peace. Furthermore, President Clinton, President Obama, and all Israeli Prime Ministers since 1993, vouched for the good behavior (compliance) of Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas. This facilitated the handover of Hebron to the Palestinian Authority (1997), and the transfer of the $400MN annual US foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority, notwithstanding the unprecedented wave of Palestinian hate-education and terrorism.

Then, there is the feature of non-automaticity, which stipulates that the implementation of all US agreements and guarantees is in the hands of a sitting US president, depending on the president’s worldview and assessment of US interests.

The bottom line – and the third feature of US international commitments – is that they are deliberately open-ended, in order to preserve US interests, irrespective of other interpretations and reservations by the other parties to the agreement.

Anyone who assumes that a US international commitment is carved in stone should examine the very important, yet non-specific, non-automatic and open-ended NATO treaty (article 5): “…The Parties agree than an armed attack against one or more of them shall be considered an attack against them all….Each of them… will assist the Party of Parties so attacked by taking…such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force….”

Another feature of US international commitments involves the balance of power between the US Legislature and the US Executive. Thus, the ratification of an agreement requires a 2/3 Senate majority (at least 67 Senators), which is currently an impossibility under the political climate on Capitol Hill: a 53:47 Republican Senate majority and a vehemently anti-Trump Democratic party.

As an example, in 1999 and 2000, President Clinton signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, prohibiting international nuclear testing, and the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court in the Hague. However, he did not submit the Rome Statute for Senate ratification (realizing that there was no support for ratification), and the Test Ban Treaty was also not ratified – it was defeated 48:51 in the Senate.

The open-ended nature of US international commitments, and the paramount role of US interests during the implementation phase, were demonstrated in the US defense treaty signed with New Zealand (in 1951), which was suspended in 1986 due to US considerations.  Likewise with the 1955 US-Taiwan Defense Pact, which was terminated in 1979, when President Carter decided that enhancing ties with China was much more important than abiding by a prior treaty with Taiwan.

The power of the President to suspend international treaties was reaffirmed in a November 15, 2001 Memorandum submitted by the US Justice Department: “The President has broad constitutional powers with respect to treaties, including the powers to terminate and suspend them…”

When it comes to Israel:

*In 2000, President Clinton pledged to Prime Minister Barak $800MN in emergency aid to fund Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon. However, it was never delivered, since Congress – which possesses the Power of the Purse – did not agree to fund the self-defeating withdrawal (which triggered an unprecedented wave of Palestinian terrorism).

*In 1967 – on the eve of the Six Day War – Israel became increasingly besieged by Egyptian violations of the demilitarization of the Sinai Peninsula, blockading the port of Eilat and forming the joint Egypt-Syria-Jordan anti-Israel military command.  Therefore, Prime Minister Eshkol submitted to President Johnson the assurance (Aide Memoir) from President Eisenhower, which was issued in 1957, in order to entice Israel to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula. The Eisenhower assurance implied – but did not specify – a US willingness to deploy its military in face of Egyptian violations.  The pro-Israel President Johnson invoked constitutional and congressional non-compliance, stating that Eisenhower’s Executive Commitment did not bind Eisenhower’s successors, and “it ain’t worth a solitary dime.” He added that “Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go alone,” and concluded by stating:  “I am a tall Texan, but a short president in the face of a Congress that opposes overseas military deployment.”

*In 1979 – during the final stages of the Israel-Egypt peace talks, when President Carter attempted to insert a reference to a future Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights – the Israeli team shared with Carter the September 1, 1975 assurance of President Ford  to Prime Minister Rabin, geared to induce an Israeli withdraw from the Gulf of Suez to the Mitla’ Pass in mid-Sinai: “… [The US] will give great weight to Israel’s position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights.”  President Carter’s correct response was that President Ford’s executive commitment did not bind any of Ford’s successors in the White House.

 

The aforementioned comments do not constitute a criticism of the US, but is advice to Israeli policy-makers to study precedents, and to realize the substantial vagueness and other limitations of any US presidential commitment, guarantee or assurance, and avoid – rather than repeat – past critical mistakes.

Moreover, Israel’s national security must be based on the worst – not the best – case scenario, especially in the increasingly unpredictable, turbulent political climate in the Middle East and the world at-large, including the USA.

Finally, Israel must retain the independence of national security action, including the application of its laws to the Jordan Valley, Judea and Samaria, rather than await a “green light” from Washington, DC.  This critical feature of leadership was demonstrated – in defiance of brutal US and international pressure – by Prime Ministers Ben Gurion (expanding Israel’s area by some 30% during the 1948/49 War), Eshkol (preempting an Arab war on Israel, reuniting Jerusalem and establishing the initial Israeli neighborhoods beyond the “Green Line”), Golda Meir (expanding Jewish presence beyond the “Green Line”), Begin (applying Israel’s law to the Golan Heights and bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactor) and Shamir (bolstering Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria).

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The US-engineered and brokered Israel-Lebanon (Hezbollah) maritime/gas accord includes (in section 4) US guarantees. It aims to reassure both parties, especially Israel: “The United States intends to exert its best efforts working with the Parties to help establish and maintain a positive and constructive atmosphere for conducting discussions and successfully resolving any differences as rapidly as possible.”

Is that a reassuring commitment?

Section 4 of the maritime/gas accord is a classic example of four features of all US’ international guarantees, which – as logically expected – intend to subordinate the implementation of the guarantees to the interests of the US guarantor, not the interests of the guaranteed countries:

*Non-specificity;
*Non-automaticity;
*Open-ended interpretations;
*Escape routes.

*For example, the NATO Treaty – led by the US – is perceived to be the tightest commitment by all member states to the defense of an attacked NATO country.  However, article 5 of the NATO Charter highlights the aforementioned four features:

“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them… will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area…. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.”

*Furthermore, the seeds of the current devastation of Ukraine were planted in the December 5, 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances accorded to Ukraine by the US, Britain and the USSR in return for Ukraine’s giving up its nuclear arsenal, which was the 3rd largest in the world.

According to the Budapest Memorandum: “Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time… the United States of America, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine… to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine….”

The Budapest Memorandum was exposed as a useless and misleading “screen saver” in 2014, when Russia occupied the Crimean Peninsula. Its ineffective nature was further revealed during the 2014-2022 Russia-Ukraine war in Donbas and in 2022, when Russia – again – invaded and plundered Ukraine with no implementation of the Budapest Memorandum of Security Assurances.

*Israel should be aware of the intrinsic flaws of all security guarantees, and persist in reliance only upon its own national security capabilities, rather than the mirage of international/US assurances.

*Moreover, the US constitutional balance of power stipulates that no US international commitment is binding unless ratified by a 2/3 Senate majority.

Thus, in 1999 and 2000, President Clinton signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits international nuclear testing, and the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court in the Hague. However, Clinton did not submit the Rome Statute for Senate ratification (realizing that there was no support for ratification), and the Test Ban Treaty was also not ratified – it was defeated 48:51 in the Senate.  Both are yet to be ratified….

The open-ended nature of US guarantees, and the paramount role of US interests during the implementation phase, were demonstrated by the US defense treaties, which were concluded with Taiwan (1955), South Vietnam (1973) and New Zealand (1951), but terminated by the US in 1979, 1975 and 1986, in order to advance US interests, as perceived by US presidents at the time.

*Israeli reliance on US guarantees in the context of the 2022 maritime/gas accord ignores past mistakes:

*In 2000, President Clinton pledged $800mn in emergency aid to fund Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon. It was never delivered, since Congress – and not the President – possesses the Power of the Purse, and it did not agree to fund the self-defeating Israeli withdrawal (which triggered an unprecedented wave of Palestinian terrorism).

*In 1979 – when President Carter attempted to insert into the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty a reference to a future Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights – the Israeli team shared with Carter the September 1, 1975 assurance of President Ford  to Prime Minister Rabin, required to induce an Israeli withdraw from the Gulf of Suez to the Mitla’ Pass in mid-Sinai: “… [The US] will give great weight to Israel’s position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights.”  President Carter’s correct response was that President Ford’s non-ratified executive commitment did not bind any of Ford’s successors in the White House.

*In 1967 – on the eve of the Six Day War – Israel shared with President Johnson well-documented evidence about the Egypt-Syria-Jordan planned war on Israel. Prime Minister Eshkol submitted to President Johnson the 1957 assurance (Aide Memoir) by President Eisenhower, which was a prerequisite for Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula. It implied US willingness to deploy its military in the face of Egyptian violations of commitments made to the US and Israel. President Johnson responded that Eisenhower’s non-ratified Executive Commitment did not bind Eisenhower’s successors, and “it ain’t worth a solitary dime.” He added that “I am a tall Texan, but a short president in the face of a Congress that opposes overseas military deployment.”

The bottom line

*Security agreements with the US should enhance – not reduce – Israel’s posture of deterrence and its independence of national security action.

*Security agreements with the US should advance Israel’s posture as a national security producer – which deters regional violence – rather than a national security consumer, which fuels regional violence.

*Security agreements with the US should expand Israel’s posture as a unique force-multiplier for the US – a strategic asset, not a liability.

*The 2022 maritime/gas Israel-Lebanon (Hezbollah) accord suggests that US and Israeli policy-makers are determined to learn from history by repeating – rather than avoiding – past critical mistakes, undermining their own interests.

Support Appreciated

 

 

Irrespective of the final outcome of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it should serve as a wake-up call for Israeli and Western policy-makers and molders of public opinion.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has exposed the flawed nature of certain assumptions, which have impacted the worldview of the Western establishment – but not the worldview of most of the world – while attempting to induce/coerce Israel into adopting these assumptions.

For example:

*The illusion that most of the world subscribes to the Western worldview of a new world (and new Middle East) order, which is supposedly more stable, predictable, tolerant and trending toward peaceful-coexistence, focusing on butter rather than guns;

*The ostensible end to the era of major wars and massive ground force invasions;

*The self-destruct notion that a military posture of deterrence can be effectively-replaced by peace accords, security guarantees and generous financial and diplomatic packages. Thus, the seeds of the current predicament of Ukraine were planted in the reckless December 1994 Budapest security assurances, which were extended to Ukraine by the USA, Britain and Russia in return for Ukraine’s surrender of its most-deterring nuclear stockpile (3rd largest in the world). In 2022, these assurances are exposed in their futility.

*Ignoring the tenuous, unreliable, unpredictable, non-committal and open-ended nature of all security guarantees, even article 5 of the NATO Charter, which is supposed to be the tightest security commitment. But, article 5 states that all NATO members shall assist an attacked member “as [they] deem necessary, including the use of armed force….” As they deem necessary….

*The delusion that peace and security agreements are more important (for national security) than military capabilities and geography/topography-driven posture of deterrence.  This delusion ignores the fact that while peace accords and security guarantees are tenuous, topographic dominance (e.g., the Golan Heights and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria) and geographic depth are everlasting.

*Overlooking the fact that a gradual reduction of defense budget is interpreted by most of the globe as erosion of deterrence in a stormy world (and volatile Middle East), undermining stability and crippling national security, and therefore inducing terrorism and wars;

*The presumed superiority of the diplomatic option as a more effective negotiation tool than the military option in settling conflicts with rogue regimes, which have systematically revealed themselves as bad-faith negotiators (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs since assuming power in February, 1979);

*The alleged subordination of national ideologies and strategic visions to a cosmopolitan/universal peaceful-coexistence state of mind;

*Preferring the speculative assessments of the future track records of rogue regimes over their realistic historical track record, which highlights the centrality of rogue history in shaping their radical national vision, policy-making, school curriculum, religious sermons and media.

*The illusion that rogue conduct (e.g., subversion, terrorism and wars) is despair-driven, rather than ideology-driven.

Western policy makers have attempted to induce/coerce Israel into a withdrawal from the topographically dominant mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – in return for a peace accord and security guarantees.  However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the false sense of security, which is generated by security guarantees, which replace geographic depth and dominant topography in the highly volatile, violent, intolerant and unpredictable Middle East. The global experience has reaffirmed the centrality of the military-driven posture of deterrence in the shaping of national security.

Moreover, unlike Ukraine (the 2nd largest European country), Israel’s lack of geographic depth (a 7-15 miles sliver from the Mediterranean to the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria) provides for an extremely small margin of error. Thus, if the 1973 surprise Arab military offensive were launched against a pre-1967 Israel (without the dominant topography of the Golan Heights and Judea and Samaria and the strategic depth of the Sinai Peninsula), the Arabs would be able to annihilate the Jewish State.

Support Appreciated

 

MIDA” magazine, https://bit.ly/2NridWA

Do commitments made by a US president bind his successors? History proves that these commitments do not even bind the president who signed them.

Even when the US commitments are driven by the purest of intentions, one should recognize certain features – a derivative of the US Constitution and the power struggle between the Legislature and the Executive – which have characterized all US international agreements, pacts, memoranda of understandings and guarantees since 1776 (thoroughly researched by Hebrew University Prof. Michla Pomerance).  These inherent features are designed to subordinate the implementation (or non-implementation) of all US international commitments to the overriding US interests, as defined by the implementing president, not necessarily the president who signed the commitments.

Take for example, the feature of vagueness and non-specificity, as demonstrated by “the Deal of the Century.”  The Deal stipulates Israeli security control in the entire area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. But, who defines “control?”  Will it be President Trump and his team, or the more pro-Palestinian team of President Biden? Obviously, each team will have a different interpretation, reflecting their different worldviews and ideology, minimizing or maximizing the scope of “control,” which could render Israeli “control” highly-constrained and quite ineffective.

What constitutes “interpretation” for the promisor (USA), may be perceived as “breach” and “evasion” by the promisee (Israel).

Moreover, the list of preconditions for the establishment of a Palestinian state is subject to contradictory, subjective interpretations of the preconditions and related-compliance set by President Trump or President Biden?  The strict school of thought may insist that the Palestinians will have to become Canadians in order to comply with the preconditions (Trump), while the lenient school of thoughts may be satisfied with Palestinians remaining Palestinians (Biden).  Thus, in 1993, Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, supposedly, accepted a list of preconditions, in order to establish the Palestinian Authority in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Notwithstanding their systematic and egregious violation of the preconditions, Arafat became the most-frequent-visitor to President Clinton’s White House and was awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize for Peace. Furthermore, President Clinton, President Obama, and all Israeli Prime Ministers since 1993, vouched for the good behavior (compliance) of Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas. This facilitated the handover of Hebron to the Palestinian Authority (1997), and the transfer of the $400MN annual US foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority, notwithstanding the unprecedented wave of Palestinian hate-education and terrorism.

Then, there is the feature of non-automaticity, which stipulates that the implementation of all US agreements and guarantees is in the hands of a sitting US president, depending on the president’s worldview and assessment of US interests.

The bottom line – and the third feature of US international commitments – is that they are deliberately open-ended, in order to preserve US interests, irrespective of other interpretations and reservations by the other parties to the agreement.

Anyone who assumes that a US international commitment is carved in stone should examine the very important, yet non-specific, non-automatic and open-ended NATO treaty (article 5): “…The Parties agree than an armed attack against one or more of them shall be considered an attack against them all….Each of them… will assist the Party of Parties so attacked by taking…such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force….”

Another feature of US international commitments involves the balance of power between the US Legislature and the US Executive. Thus, the ratification of an agreement requires a 2/3 Senate majority (at least 67 Senators), which is currently an impossibility under the political climate on Capitol Hill: a 53:47 Republican Senate majority and a vehemently anti-Trump Democratic party.

As an example, in 1999 and 2000, President Clinton signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, prohibiting international nuclear testing, and the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court in the Hague. However, he did not submit the Rome Statute for Senate ratification (realizing that there was no support for ratification), and the Test Ban Treaty was also not ratified – it was defeated 48:51 in the Senate.

The open-ended nature of US international commitments, and the paramount role of US interests during the implementation phase, were demonstrated in the US defense treaty signed with New Zealand (in 1951), which was suspended in 1986 due to US considerations.  Likewise with the 1955 US-Taiwan Defense Pact, which was terminated in 1979, when President Carter decided that enhancing ties with China was much more important than abiding by a prior treaty with Taiwan.

The power of the President to suspend international treaties was reaffirmed in a November 15, 2001 Memorandum submitted by the US Justice Department: “The President has broad constitutional powers with respect to treaties, including the powers to terminate and suspend them…”

When it comes to Israel:

*In 2000, President Clinton pledged to Prime Minister Barak $800MN in emergency aid to fund Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon. However, it was never delivered, since Congress – which possesses the Power of the Purse – did not agree to fund the self-defeating withdrawal (which triggered an unprecedented wave of Palestinian terrorism).

*In 1967 – on the eve of the Six Day War – Israel became increasingly besieged by Egyptian violations of the demilitarization of the Sinai Peninsula, blockading the port of Eilat and forming the joint Egypt-Syria-Jordan anti-Israel military command.  Therefore, Prime Minister Eshkol submitted to President Johnson the assurance (Aide Memoir) from President Eisenhower, which was issued in 1957, in order to entice Israel to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula. The Eisenhower assurance implied – but did not specify – a US willingness to deploy its military in face of Egyptian violations.  The pro-Israel President Johnson invoked constitutional and congressional non-compliance, stating that Eisenhower’s Executive Commitment did not bind Eisenhower’s successors, and “it ain’t worth a solitary dime.” He added that “Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go alone,” and concluded by stating:  “I am a tall Texan, but a short president in the face of a Congress that opposes overseas military deployment.”

*In 1979 – during the final stages of the Israel-Egypt peace talks, when President Carter attempted to insert a reference to a future Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights – the Israeli team shared with Carter the September 1, 1975 assurance of President Ford  to Prime Minister Rabin, geared to induce an Israeli withdraw from the Gulf of Suez to the Mitla’ Pass in mid-Sinai: “… [The US] will give great weight to Israel’s position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights.”  President Carter’s correct response was that President Ford’s executive commitment did not bind any of Ford’s successors in the White House.

 

The aforementioned comments do not constitute a criticism of the US, but is advice to Israeli policy-makers to study precedents, and to realize the substantial vagueness and other limitations of any US presidential commitment, guarantee or assurance, and avoid – rather than repeat – past critical mistakes.

Moreover, Israel’s national security must be based on the worst – not the best – case scenario, especially in the increasingly unpredictable, turbulent political climate in the Middle East and the world at-large, including the USA.

Finally, Israel must retain the independence of national security action, including the application of its laws to the Jordan Valley, Judea and Samaria, rather than await a “green light” from Washington, DC.  This critical feature of leadership was demonstrated – in defiance of brutal US and international pressure – by Prime Ministers Ben Gurion (expanding Israel’s area by some 30% during the 1948/49 War), Eshkol (preempting an Arab war on Israel, reuniting Jerusalem and establishing the initial Israeli neighborhoods beyond the “Green Line”), Golda Meir (expanding Jewish presence beyond the “Green Line”), Begin (applying Israel’s law to the Golan Heights and bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactor) and Shamir (bolstering Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria).

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Constructive Defense Pact

A constructive US-Israel defense pact should be based on shared values and shared strategic interests, expanding the two-way-street, win-win US-Israel strategic cooperation.

An effective US-Israel defense pact should enhance Israel’s self-reliance and independence, rather than Israel’s dependence upon the US.

A useful US-Israel defense pact should bolster and leverage Israel’s posture of deterrence at the geographic junction of the Mediterranean-Europe-Africa-Asia, which is a focal point of global terrorism, the proliferation of ballistic and nuclear technologies and unpredictable tectonic military eruptions. Israel’s role is doubly critical at a time when Europe’s posture of deterrence is rapidly collapsing.

A beneficial US-Israel defense pact should further extend the strategic hand of the US – through Israel’s proven capabilities – without additional US aircraft carriers and troops in the Middle East.

A worthwhile US-Israel defense pact should underscore the role of Israel as the most cost-effective, battle-tested laboratory of US defense industries, upgrading US military performance, research and development, production, export and employment. The unique Israeli battle experience has benefitted US military operations by enhancing the formulation of US battle tactics and maneuverability.

The primary aim of a constructive US-Israel defense pact is not to defend Israel, but to face mutual threats and challenges such as the conventional and non-conventional threats of Iran’s Ayatollahs, global Islamic Sunni terrorism, the emergence of additional rogue regimes in the Middle East, lethal threats to every pro-US Arab regime, the violent unpredictability and unreliability of the Middle East, the need to maintain a military and commercial technological edge, etc.

An effective US-Israel defense pact must not constrain Israel’s freedom of unilateral, self-defense military action against clear and present threats, which has bolstered Israel’s posture of deterrence, and therefore transformed the Jewish State into a most reliable beachhead of the US. Tying Israel’s military hands would erode Israel’s posture of deterrence; thus shrinking its contribution to US interests.

For instance, the 1981 and the 2007 Israeli bombings of Iraq’s and Syria’s nuclear reactors – in defiance of US opposition – saved the globe from the wrath of nuclearized Saddam Hussein and Assad, sparing the US a nuclear confrontation in the 1991 Gulf War. Israel’s 1967 preemptive war against a unified Arab offensive was opposed by the US, but devastated the pro-Soviet Egyptian leader, Nasser, who strove to topple the pro-US Arab Gulf regimes. It deprived the USSR of a rare bonanza, while sparing the US a devastating blow, at a time when the US was largely dependent upon Persian Gulf oil.

Defense pacts do not stifle unilateral military actions, as documented by the NATO Treaty which stipulates (Article 4): “The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.”

The aim of a valuable US-Israel defense pact is to confront threats and challenges in the larger regional and global context, not the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian issue, which have never been core causes of regional turbulence, and – irrespective of the Arab talk – have never been a top priority of the Arab walk.

The aim of a compelling US-Israel defense pact must never involve US troops on Israel’s borders, nor determination of Israel’s future borders, nor any reference to Israeli withdrawals from the strategic high-ground of the Judea and Samaria mountain ridges (the cradle of Jewish history). Such a retreat would downgrade Israel from a strategic asset to a strategic liability.

A mutually-beneficial US-Israel defense pact should focus on:

*A substantial enhancement – qualitatively and quantitatively – of the prepositioned US military stockpiles in Israel (expediting deployment to conflict areas; benefitting from Israeli security and maintenance; and available to – and replenished by – Israel upon eruption of wars);
*Upgrading intelligence-sharing, benefitting from Israel’s unique network of intelligence;
*Boosting counter-terrorism and special operation cooperation;
*Expanding joint military exercises;
*Providing Israel with access to more sophisticated military systems, in order to test them under battle conditions, while sustaining Israel’s qualitative military edge.
*Improving the Haifa and Ashdod port facilities in order to accommodate the US 6th Fleet and its aircraft carrier. They are closer than European ports to conflict areas, providing the US navy with a more effective platform of maneuvers, maintenance and repair;
*The establishment of a series of bilateral funds in the mode of the successful bilateral BIRD Foundation, which is limited to non-defense industries. They will stimulate the joint development and manufacturing of advanced military systems by compatible US and Israeli defense contractors and startups (leveraging Israel’s do-or-die state of mind and ground-breaking innovations) in the areas of space and space satellites, aerospace, missile defense, cyber defense, artificial intelligence, command-control-communications-computers, unmanned systems and robotics, electro-optics.

Open-ended aspects of Defense Pacts

Productive US-Israel relations – and Israel’s own national security – behoove Israel to reject the deployment of US troops on its borders.

Moreover, no treaty should be perceived as automatic US military involvement on behalf of Israel.  All US treaties are open-ended, subject to the US Constitution, which endows US presidents with the authority to avoid full implementation of treaties/guarantees.

For example, a November 15, 2001 Department of Justice memo to the White House determined that the US President has the Constitutional discretionary authority to terminate, or suspend, unilaterally, fully or partly, the 1972 USA-USSR ABM Treaty without seeking coordination with Congress, whenever the president determines that it is in the national interest to do so.

In 1985 and 1986, President Reagan unilaterally suspended security commitments to New Zealand, and terminated the Treaty of Friendship with Nicaragua.  In 1979, President Carter unilaterally terminated the mutual defense treaty with Taiwan upon the establishment of diplomatic relations with China.

Escape routes are also provided by Article 5 of NATO Treaty: “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them shall be considered an attack against them all…. Each of them…shall assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith…such action as it deems necessary [my emphasis], including the use of armed forces [an option, but not mandatory….].”

According to Hebrew University Prof. Michla Pomerance; “A treaty can never entail more than a contingent and tentative promise to use force in the future…. American defense commitments… are generally characterized by vagueness, non-specificity and the explicit denial of any automatic obligation to use force… to keep the US options open and its absolute discretion intact in deciding whether, and how, to redeem its promise…. What constitutes ‘interpretation’ for the promisor may well be seen as ‘breach’ by the promise…. A president’s decision to execute – or not to execute – an international commitment depends on his own – not the promisee’s – assessment…. Every US international commitment allows for future non-implementation, consistent with US interests and the US Constitution….”

In conclusion, a constructive US-Israel defense pact should be dedicated to the enhancement of mutually-beneficial, win-win, two-way-street cooperation in the face of regional and global mutual threats, not by the reintroduction of one-way-street relations.  Moreover, it should not include any reference to Israel’s withdrawal from critical high ground – which is irreversible – in return for a US military commitment, which is – by definition – reversible.

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?

Video#36:http://bit.ly/2mpQc6g; Entire mini-seminar: http://bit.ly/1ze66dS

1. US-Israel defense cooperation should be driven by the enhancement of the mutually-beneficial, win-win, two-way-street ties, not by the re-introduction of one-way-street relations, which would burden the US and increasing the dependency of Israel upon the US. The proposal to extend, to Israel, US security guarantees – including a defense pact and a peacekeeping force – in exchange for Israel’s retreat from the historically and militarily critical, dominant mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, ignores the inherently ineffective track record of such (open-ended) US guarantees, the provisions of the US Constitution, which enables US presidents to avoid full implementation of the guarantees, and the US public opposition – especially since the military involvement in Vietnam and then Iraq and Afghanistan – to the stationing of US troops abroad.

2. According to a November 15, 2001 Department of Justice memo to the White House National Security Council, irrespective of international law and consistent with the US Constitution, the President has the constitutional, discretionary authority to terminate, or suspend, unilaterally, fully or partly, the 1972 USA-USSR ABM Treaty – the  limitation of anti-ballistic missile systems – without seeking coordination with Congress, and certainly not with the USSR, whenever the President determines that it is in the national interest to do so.

3. In 1979, President Carter unilaterally terminated/abrogated the Mutual Defense Treaty with Taiwan, upon the establishment of diplomatic relations with China. Such a presidential prerogative was also asserted by Presidents Madison, McKinley, Wilson, Coolidge, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and recently by Carter and Reagan.  Thus, in 1986, Reagan suspended the ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand, US) Pact security obligations to New Zealand, and in 1985, he terminated the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation with Nicaragua.

4. The London Economist wrote on March 9, 2015: “Article 5 [of the NATO Treaty] stipulates that the response [to aggression against a member state] may include armed force, but it does not mandate it. All that NATO actually promises is to take ‘such action as it deems necessary’ to restore and maintain security. That could be anything from nuclear war to a stiff diplomatic protest…. The Baltics argue that an attack on them would mean an all-out East-West confrontation…. But Article 5 does not specify such a response…. Many eastern NATO members worry, since it is hard to imagine a US president risking nuclear war to defend a tiny country half a world away…. What might count locally as an intolerable assault on the Baltic States’ sovereignty may not be seen in NATO headquarters as an ‘armed attack’…. All the strength of the world’s mightiest military alliance will not amount to much if its members cannot agree when an aggressor has actually stepped over the line….” 

5.
According to Hebrew University Prof. of international relations, Michla Pomerance: “A treaty can never entail more than a contingent and tentative promise to use force in the future; execution of the promise requires further specific authorization by Congress.  Otherwise, the treaty-makers – the President and 2/3 of the Senate – would be unconstitutionally usurping the war-making powers of Congress (the 1973 War Powers Act, which passed over a presidential veto)…. Past American defense commitments… are generally characterized by vagueness, non-specificity and the explicit denial of any automatic obligation to use force… to keep the US options open and its absolute discretion intact in deciding whether, and how, to redeem its promise….

6. In 1967, President Johnson invoked constitutional and congressional non-compliance with the 1957 Eisenhower’s-Dulles’ assurances to Israel, in response to Egyptian violations of the ceasefire and demilitarization accords.  Johnson said: “I’m a tall Texan, but without Congress, I’m a short president.”

7.  “Any commitment must be interpreted and applied by the President. And, the line between interpretation and breach, evasion and non-execution may be thin indeed.  What constitutes ‘interpretation’ for the promisor may well be seen as ‘breach’ by the promisee. Evasion by means of interpretation would not be a difficult task.  Recent legislative restrictions on presidential war-making could readily be cited as additional justification for non-execution or evasion…. The violation of international law by the US president is not proscribed by the Constitution…. A president’s decision to execute – or not to execute – an international commitment depends on his own – not the promisee’s – assessment of the domestic and international political and military environment. Every US international commitment allows for future non-implementation, consistent with US interests and the US Constitution.”
8. Against the backdrop of the US Constitution and past US security guarantees and defense pacts, it is clear that US security guarantees, with or without troops on Israel’s borders – in exchange for Israel’s withdrawal from the dominant mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – would create a short-term false sense of peace and security, while dramatically eroding Israel’s posture of deterrence in the Middle East, transforming Israel’s image in the US from a role-model of strategic ally to a feeble dependent, undermining US-Israel relations, injuring US reliability and power-projection, and therefore fueling Middle East turbulence, damaging US interests and causing another setback to the cause of peace. 

9. The next video will highlight the systematic blunders of the Department of State, Foggy Bottom.

 

Video#35 http://bit.ly/2m1qxN1; Entire mini-seminar: http://bit.ly/1ze66dS
 
1. US and/or international guarantees – including peacekeeping forces on Israel’s borders with Arab entities – have been proposed as a means to convince Israel to retreat from the historically and militarily critical and irreplaceable mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, contending that Israel’s national security would be guaranteed by US and/or international guarantees and forces on its border in the most violently intolerant and unpredictable region in the world.

2. While Israel’s retreat is Israeli-controlled, precise, certain and irreversible, the political and military viability of these guarantees and their potential benefits are top-heavy on escape routes, uncontrolled by Israel, imprecise, uncertain, open to various interpretations, doubtful, reversible and subject to multitude of changing circumstances, which are sometimes uncontrollable by the guarantor.
3. Notre Dame University Prof. of international relations, Alan Dowty, conducted a thorough study of “the role of great power guarantees in international peace agreements,”  concluding that: “The effectiveness of a guarantee depends upon the willingness of the guarantor to react to a  threat, and upon his ability to react with sufficient force…. [For instance,] fear of disrupting American relations with Arab states was a factor in the 1967 US decision not to force open the Red Sea Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships [contrary to the US commitment in 1957, in return for a full Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula]…. The effectiveness of a commitment depends on the underlying interests and capabilities of the guarantor, [not the guaranteed!]….”
4. According to Prof. Dowty, “Great Powers’ guarantees are generally effective only when their own dominant or strategic position is involved.  In general, the credibility of their promises and commitments is continuously vitiated by inadequate power, lack of means or sustained interest, multiple and conflicting interests, changes in relative might, changes in international alignments, rapprochement between former rivals, the breakup of guaranteeing coalitions, or by changes of government in the guaranteeing state.  No international guarantee is more stable than the international and internal combinations that produced it…. Guarantees are by no means universally reliable even after they have been promulgated by formal or informal means [guarantees, alliances, defense pacts and peace accords]….The frequency with which weak states reject offers of protection is striking and shows that guarantees are not unambiguous blessings….”
5.  Prof. Dowty concludes that “in the past, nations seeking to evade their commitments to support another state’s independence and territorial integrity have never failed to find the means of doing so. Either commitment had changed, or the commitment was reinterpreted, or the failure of others to act was cited as excuse, or prior commitments were invoked, or failure of the guaranteed state to heed the guarantor’s advice was held to release the latter from its commitment.  Or, the commitment was simply ignored. The question of who will guarantee the guarantor remains unresolved.”
6. US peacekeepers would be targeted by terrorists – such as Hezbollah, which murdered 300 Marines in 1983 in Beirut – who are proxies of anti-US rogue regimes – such as Iran – intimidating Washington, constraining the US capability to respond to provocations elsewhere (e.g., the Persian Gulf), and extort political concessions by targeting US servicemen, while preserving the element of deniability. 
7. Against the backdrop of the US public reaction to US military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Lebanon, another peacekeeping undertaking would not be politically/militarily sustainable, leading to a prompt withdrawal in response to casualties and/or hostage-taking.  

8. A US peacekeeping force on Israel’s borders would, inadvertently, shield terrorists by constraining Israel’s capabilities to preempt – and react to – Arab terrorism and aggression. It would also deny the US the benefits of Israel’s military operations, which are not coordinated with the US, such as the bombing of Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981, which spared the US a nuclear confrontation in 1991. 

9. The stationing of US peacekeepers on Israel’s borders would demolish Israel’s posture of deterrence and US public and congressional support of Israel, which would be transformed from a country defending itself and a strategic asset, extending the strategic hand of the US, to an American dependent and liability, relying on US soldiers. Most Americans support military aid to Israel, but not sending troops to protect Israel.  

10. A tenuous US military force on Israel’s borders – in exchange for Israel’s withdrawal from the dominant mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – would have a short life expectancy, undermining US-Israel relations, further eroding US reliability and posture of deterrence, dramatically limiting Israel’s power-projection, which would exacerbate regional instability and injure US interests, causing another setback to the cause of peace.


11. US-Israel defense cooperation should be driven by the enhancement of the mutually-beneficial, win-win, two-way-street ties, not by the re-introduction of one-way-street relations, which would burden the US and increasing the dependency of Israel upon the US.


12. The next video will highlight the constitutional constraints on US security guarantees.

 

 Video#34 http://bit.ly/2kWV8OS; Entire mini-seminar: http://bit.ly/1ze66dS  
1. Israel is urged to concede the historically and militarily most critical mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, in return for a US, or a multinational, peacekeeping force, as well as US security guarantees or defense pact.

2. In order to be effective, defense pacts, and security guarantees – including peacekeeping monitoring or combat forces – must be reliable, durable, specific and politically/militarily sustainable. It must serve the interests of the foreign entity, which dispatches the force, lest it be ignored or summarily withdrawn. 


3. However, the litany of US commitments, guarantees and defense pacts are characterized by four critical attributes – escape routes – designed to shield US interests in a way which undermines the effectiveness of the commitments: 1. non-specificity, vagueness and ambiguity, facilitating non-implementation; 2. Non-automaticity, facilitating delay, suspension and non-implementation; 3. Non-implementation if it is deemed harmful to US interests; 4. Subordination to the US Constitution, including the limits of presidential power.  

4. For example, the NATO treaty – the tightest US defense pact – as ratified by the US Senate, commits the US to consider steps on behalf of an attacked NATO member, “as it deems necessary.” Moreover, in 1954, President Eisenhower signed a defense treaty with Taiwan, but in 1979, President Carter annulled the treaty unilaterally, with the support of Congress and the Supreme Court.

5. The May 25, 1950 Tripartite Declaration, by the US, Britain and France, included a commitment to maintain a military balance between Israel and the Arab states.  However, on October 18, 1955, Secretary of State Dulles refused Israel’s request to buy military systems – to offset Soviet Bloc arm shipments to Egypt – insisting that the facts were still obscure.  In 1957, President Eisenhower issued an executive agreement – to compensate for Israel’s full withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula – committing US troops should Egypt violate the ceasefire and Sinai’s demilitarization.  But, in 1967, President Johnson claimed that “[the commitment] ain’t worth a solitary dime,” while the UN peacekeepers fled upon the Egyptian invasion of the Sinai, the blockade of Israel’s port of Eilat, and the establishment of intra-Arab military force to annihilate Israel.  In 1975, President Ford sent a letter to Prime Minister Rabin, stating that the US “will give great weight to Israel’s position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights.” But, in 1979, President Carter contended that Ford’s letter hardly committed Ford, but certainly none of the succeeding presidents.

6. In an April 1975 AIPAC Conference speech, the late Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson dismissed security guarantees as harmful delusion: “Detente did not save Cambodia and it will not save Vietnam, despite the fact that we and the Soviets are co-guarantors of the Paris Accords. And that is something to keep in mind when one hears that we and the Soviets should play the international guarantee game in the Middle East.”

7. According to Prof. Noah Pelcovits, Political Science, UCLA: “[In the context of security arrangements] there is only one chance in three that the protector will come to the aid of its ally in wartime, and then only at the discretion of the protector…. What counts is the protector’s perception of self-interestotherwise… the commitment is not honored….”

8. Prof. Michla Pomerance, International Relations, Hebrew University, stated that US defense commitments, including the NATO Treaty, “are uniformly characterized by vagueness, non-specificity… and the explicit denial of any automatic obligation to use force…. [in] accordance with the desire of the US, as promisor, to keep its options open…. Evasion by means of interpretation would not be a difficult task….”

9. The stationing of foreign peacekeeping troops on Israel’s border would cripple Israel’s defense capabilities, requiring Israel to seek prior approval in preempting or countering belligerence, which would also strain US-Israel ties. At the same time, appearing to have enabled Israel to act freely, would damage US-Arab ties.

 

10. The assumption that inherently tenuous, intangible, open-ended and reversible US security commitments constitute an effective compensation for critical Israeli land, tangible, irreversible concessions – such as a retreat from the strategically and historically critical mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – reflects detachment from the Washington constitutional labyrinth and recent precedents, engendering a false sense of security, thus compromising the existence of the Jewish state, transforming Israel from a robust national security producing asset to a frail national security consuming liability, undermining US interests and US-Israel relations.
 

11. The next video will expand on the inherent non-reliability of US and international security guarantees.

latest videos

Play Video

The legacy of Moses and the Abolitionist movement

The Abolitionist movement was inspired by the Bibilical Exodus, which liberated the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt to liberty in the Land of Israel. Martin Luther King integrated verses from the Biblical Jewish prophetes in his speeches. Harriet Tubman, one of the leaders of the Underground Railroad was called “Mama Moses.”
Play Video

US-Israel kinship 3: The Hebrew language embrace by the US intelligentsia

The early pilgrims accorded a special stature to Hebrew, the original language of the Bible, which they admired. The intelligentsia of the colonies spoke Hebrew, Presidents of the early colleges and universities were well-versed in Hebrew and some of seaks if these educational institutions (e.g., Yale University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College) highlighted Hebrew terms.
Play Video

The US-Israel kinship 2: the US Founding Fathers, Moses and the Bible

The US Founding Fathers were inspired by the legacy of Moses in their formulation of the US civic system, including separation of powers and checks and balances. For example, the Biblical Jubilee served as a role model of liberty; hence, the engraving of the essence of the Jubilee on the Liberty Bell: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof (Leviticus 25:10).” The bust of Moses faces the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the statues and engraving of Moses and the Ten Commandments feature in the halls of the US Supreme Court.
Play Video

Israel’s control of the mountain ridges of Judea & Samaria advances US interests

Since 1967, Israel has controlled the mountain ridges of Judea & Samaria, which has transformed Israel from a non-deterring, terror and war inducing country to a stronger, war and regional terror-deterring country. Thus, Israel has become a critical line of defense for the pro-US Hashemite regime in Jordan. Israel’s enhanced posture of deterrence extends the strategic hand of the US with no need to deploy additional US soldiers.

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SCHEDULE LECTURES & INTERVIEWS

Demography

2023 Inflated Palestinian Demography

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

*500,000 overseas residents, who have been away for over a year, are included in the Palestinian 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 daily due to births.

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

*A 390,000 Arab net-emigration from Judea & Samaria is excluded from the Palestinian census, notwithstanding the annual net-emigration since 1950.   For example, 15,466 in 2022, 26,357 – 2019, 15,173 – 2017 and 24,244 – 2014, as documented by Israel’s Population and Migration Authority (exits and entries) in all the land, air and sea 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 3.02 births in 2021, as documented by the CIA World Factbook. It reflects the sweeping urbanization, growing enrollment of women in higher education, rising marriage age and the use of contraceptives.

*The number of Arab deaths in Judea & Samaria has been under-reported (since the days of the British Mandate) for political and financial reasons.

*The aforementioned data documents 1.4 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria, when deducting the aforementioned documented-data from the official Palestinian number (3 million).

In 2023: a 69% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel. In 1947 and 1897: a 39% and 9% Jewish minority. In 2023, a 69% Jewish majority benefiting from fertility tailwind and net-immigration.  Arab fertility is Westernized, and Arab net-emigration from Judea and Samaria.  No Arab demographic time bomb. A Jewish demographic momentum.

    More data in this article and this short video.
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Iran

Iran’s Ayatollahs poke the US in the eye

(more information available here by)

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
July 26, 2023

The British “Cambridge Middle East and North Africa Forum” reported that “On January 11, 2023, Iran’s naval commander announced that before the end of 2023, Iran would station warships in the Panama Canal [which facilitates 5% of the global maritime trade].”  

According to the December 1823 Monroe Doctrine, any intervention by a foreign power in the political affairs of the American continent could be viewed as a potentially hostile act against the US. However, in November 2013, then Secretary of State John Kerry told the Organization of the American States that “the era of the Monroe Doctrine is over.”

Is Iran’s dramatic and rogue re-entrenchment in Latin America underscoring the relevance/irrelevance of the Monroe Doctrine? Does it vindicate John Kerry’s assessment?

Latin America and the Ayatollahs’ anti-US strategy

*Since the February 1979 eruption of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Ayatollahs have leveraged the US diplomatic option (toward Iran’s Ayatollahs) and the accompanying mega-billion dollar benefit (to Iran’s Ayatollahs) as a major engine, bolstering their anti-US rogue policy, regionally and globally.

*The threat posed to the US by Iran’s Ayatollahs is not limited to the survival of the pro-US Arab regimes in the Middle East and the stability of Central Asia, Europe and North and West Africa. The threat extends to Latin America up to the US-Mexico border. The Ayatollahs poke the US in the eye in a most vulnerable geo-strategic area, which directly impacts the US homeland.    

*Iran’s penetration of Latin America – the backyard of the US and its soft belly – has been a top national security priority of the Ayatollahs since assuming power in February 1979. The Ayatollahs’ re-entrenchment in Latin America has been assisted by their Hezbollah proxy, driven by their 1,400-year-old mega imperialistic goal (toppling all “apostate” Sunni regimes and bringing the “infidel” West to submission), which requires overcoming the mega hurdle (“the Great American Satan”), the development of mega military capabilities (conventional, ballistic and nuclear) and the adoption of an apocalyptic state of mind.

*Iran’s penetration of Latin America has been based on the anti-U.S. agenda of most Latin American governments, which has transcended the striking ideological and religious differences between the anti-US, socialist, secular Latin American governments and the fanatic Shiite Ayatollahs. The overriding joint aim has been to erode the strategic stature of the US in its own backyard, and subsequently (as far as the Ayatollahs are concerned) in the US homeland, through a network of sleeper cells.

*Iran’s penetration of Latin America has been a hydra-like multi-faceted structure, focusing on the lawless tri-border-areas of Argentina-Paraguay-Brazil and Chile-Peru-Bolivia, as well as Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua and all other anti-US governments. It involves a growing collaboration with all regional terror organizations, the leading drug cartels of Mexico, Columbia, Brazil and Bolivia, global money launderers and every anti-US government in Latin America. Moreover, the Ayatollahs have established terror-training camps in Latin America, as well as sophisticated media facilities and cultural/proselytizing centers. They have exported to the region ballistic technologies, predator unmanned aerial vehicles and tunnel construction equipment.     

Latin America and the Ayatollahs’ anti-US tactics

*According to the Cambridge MENAF (ibid), the Brazilian navy reported that two Iranian warships have been granted permission to dock in Brazil. Experts speculate that the vessels could reach the Panama Canal as early as mid-February 2024. The presence of Iranian warships in the Panama Canal threatens not only Western security, but the safety and reliability of one of the world’s key trade routes.  

“The gradual permeation of Iranian influence across Latin America over the past 40 years is a significant phenomenon, which has paved the way for this recent strategic move by Teheran. Attention is concentrated toward Iran’s criminal and terrorist network [in Latin America] via Hezbollah operations….”

*Wikileaks cables claim that Secret US diplomatic reports alleged that Iranian engineers have visited Venezuela searching for uranium deposits…. in exchange for assistance in their own nuclear programs. The Chile-based bnAmericas reported that “Iranian experts with knowledge of the most uranium-rich areas in Venezuela are allegedly extracting the mineral under the guise of mining and tractor assembly companies…. Planes are prohibited from flying over the location of the plant…. The Iranian state-owned Impasco, which has a gold mining concession in Venezuela, is linked to Iran’s nuclear program. Its Venezuela mine is located in one of the most uranium-rich areas, which has no-fly restrictions….”     

*According to the June 2022 Iran-Venezuela 20-year-agreement (military, oil, economy), Iran received the title over one million hectares of Venezuelan land, which could be employed for the testing of advanced Iranian ballistic systems. Similar agreements were signed by Iran with Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia.  

*Venezuela has issued fraudulent passports, national IDs and birth certificates to Iranian officials and terrorists, avoiding international sanctions and blunting counter-terrorism measures. The Iran-Venezuela air traffic has grown significantly, although tourism activity has been marginal….

*Since the early 1980s, Iran’s Ayatollahs have leveraged the networking of Hezbollah terrorists in the very large and successful Lebanese communities in Latin America (and West Africa). Hezbollah’s narcotrafficking, money laundering, crime and terror infrastructure have yielded billions of dollars to both Hezbollah and Iran. The US Department of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimates that Hezbollah earns about $2bn annually through illegal drug trafficking and weapon proliferation in the Tri Border Area of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, expanding ties with the most violent drug cartels in Latin America, including Mexico’s Los Zetas, Colombia’s FARC and Brazil’s PCC, impacting drug trafficking, crime and terror in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Iran has intensified its Hezbollah-assisted intelligence missions against US and Israeli targets in Latin America and beyond. Hezbollah has leveraged its stronghold, the Bekaa Valley, in Lebanon, which is one of the largest opium and hashish producing areas in the world.  

The bottom line

The track record of the Ayatollahs, including the surge of their rogue presence in Latin America, documents the self-destructive nature of the diplomatic option toward Iran – which has served as a most effective tailwind of the Ayatollahs’ anti US agenda – and the self-defeating assumptions that the Ayatollahs are amenable to good-faith negotiation, peaceful-coexistence with their Sunni Arab neighbors and the abandonment of their 1,400-year-old fanatical imperialistic vision.

Judea & Samaria

Israel-Saudi accord and Israel’s control of Judea & Samaria (video)

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
September 15, 2023, https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/377022

*The platform of an Israel-Saudi accord is the volcanic, violent and unpredictably tenuous Middle East, not Western Europe or No. America;

*Saudi Arabia is driven by Saudi – not Palestinian – interests;

*Unlike the State Department, Saudi Arabia accords much weight to the rogue Palestinian track record in the intra-Arab arena, and therefore limits its support of the proposed Palestinian state to (mostly) talk, not to walk; *An accord with Saudi Arabia – in the shifty, tenuous Middle East – is not a major component of Israel’s national security. On the other hand, Israel’s control of the mountain ridges of Judea & Samaria is a prerequisite for Israel’s survival in the inherently turbulent, intolerantly violent Middle East, which features tenuous regimes, and therefore tenuous policies and accords.

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

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) Guide for the Perplexed, 2023

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
Based on ancient Jewish Sages, September 20, 2023

More on Jewish holidays: Smashwords, Amazon    

1. Soul searching. Yom Kippur is observed on the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tishrei(September 25, 2023). It is called the Super Sabbath (Shabbat Shabbaton in Hebrew), concluding 10 days of soul-searching and spiritual self-awareness and self-enhancement, which begins on Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the Jewish year.

According to Leviticus 23:26-32: “The Lord said to Moses, that the tenth day of the seventh month [Tishrei] is the Day of Atonement…. Do not do any work on that day…. This is a lasting ordinance for generations to come….”

Yom Kippur commemorates the day of divine forgiveness for the sin of worshipping the golden calf idol. It cautions against the temptation to sacrifice spiritual values on the altar of materialism and convenience.

2. Social responsibility. Asking forgiveness of fellow human-beings is a major feature of Yom Kippur, transferring human behavior from acrimony and vindictiveness to forgiveness and peaceful coexistence. It is consistent with the philosophy of Hillel the Elder, a leading 1st century BCE Jewish Sage: “The essence of the Torah is: do not do unto your fellow person that which is hateful to you; the rest [of the Torah] is commentary.” 

3. No ill-speaking. According to Judaism, the tongue can be a lethal weapon, and therefore, ill-speaking of other people (“evil tongue” in Hebrew) may not be forgiven.  Yom Kippur is a reminder that words are controllable while inside one’s mouth, but they become uncontrollable once they are uttered out.

4. Behavioral enhancement. Yom Kippur highlights magnanimity, humility, genuine-repentance, compassion, consideration, forgiveness, responsibility, optimism and faith.  It recognizes one’s fallibilities, emphasizes learning from one’s mistakes, minimizing future missteps, elevating morality and enhancing family and community cohesion.

Criminals and sinners are invited to participate in Yom Kippur services.

5. Fasting is a key feature of Yom Kippur, reducing material pleasure, in order to focus on one’s soul-searching, and enhancing empathy with the needy. The Hebrew spelling of fasting [צומ] is the root of the Hebrew word for reducing/focusing ((צמצומ.

There are six annual Jewish fasting days: (a) the 10th day of the month of Tishrei is Yom Kippur; (b) the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tevet commemorates the beginning of the 586-589 BCE siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar; (c) the 17th day of the month of Tammuz commemorates the 586 BCE and 69 CE breaching of Jerusalem’s walls by the Babylonian and Roman Empires, as well as the breaking of the Tablets by Moses upon confronting the golden calf lapse of faith; (d) the 9th day of the month of Av is the most calamitous day in Jewish history, commemorating the destruction of the 1st (586 BCE) and 2nd (70 CE) Jerusalem Temples by the Babylonian and Roman Empires and the ensuing exile; the Ten Spies’ bankruptcy of faith; the crushing of the 132-135 CE Bar Kokhbah Revolt by the Roman Emperor Adrianus (600,000 Jewish fatalities); the pogroms of the First Crusade (1096-1099) in Germany, France, Italy and Britain; the expulsion of the Jews from Britain (1290) and Spain (1492); the eruption of the First World War (1914); and the beginning of the 1942 deportation of Warsaw Ghetto Jews to the Treblinka extermination camp; (e) the 3rd day of the month of Tishrei commemorates the murder of the Jewish Governor of Jerusalem, Gedalyah Ben Achikam, by another Jew, Yishmael Ben Netanyah (586 BCE); (f) The 13th day of the month of Adar is the Fast of Queen Esther – one day before the Purim holiday, commemorating Queen Esther’s three-day-fast prior to her appeal to the Persian King Ahasuerus to refrain from exterminating the Jews (around 480 BCE).

6. Kippur. The Hebrew word Kippur [כיפור] means atonement/repentance – a derivative of the Biblical word Kaporet [כפורת], which was the dome/cover of the Holy Ark in the Sanctuary, and the word Kopher [כופר], which was the cover/dome of Noah’s Ark and the Holy Altar in the Jerusalem Temple. 

Yom Kippur resembles a spiritual cover/dome, which separates between spiritualism and materialism/mundane. The Kippah [ [כיפהis the skullcap – a spiritual dome – which covers one’s head during prayers. 

7. Venus/Noga. The astrological sign of Tishrei is Libra (♎), which symbolizes the scales of justice, truth, optimism, humility and tolerance. Libra is ruled by the planet Venus (Noga in Hebrew – נגה– which is the name of my oldest granddaughter). Venus/Noga represents divine light and compassion.  

8.  Shofar. Yom Kippur is concluded by blowing theShofar (a ritual ram’s horn), which represents a moral-wakeup-call, optimism, determination, humility, and peace-through-strength.

The Hebrew word Shofar שופר]] means “to enhance,” “top quality,” glory and spiritual pleasure [שפר, שופרא].

The blowing of the Shofar commemorates the saving of Isaac by a ram’s horns; the receipt of the (second) Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai; the re-entry to the Land of Israel and the conquest of Jericho by Joshua; as well as Gideon’s victory over the much larger Midianite military.

9. Jonah. The Biblical Scroll of Jonah – which is the fifth book in The Twelve Prophets – is read on Yom Kippur, underscoring the four universal pillars of Yom Kippur: repentance, prayer/faith, justice, and forgiveness.

The Prophet Jonah (“dove” in Hebrew), son of Amitai (“truth” in Hebrew and the name of my – so far – youngest grandson) sailed to a faraway land and transformed a sinful society into a pious society; thus, displaying social responsibility.

10. Parents. A Memorial Candle in memory of one’s parents is lit on Yom Kippur, reaffirming “Honor thy father and mother,” providing an opportunity to ask forgiveness of one’s parent(s).

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Golan

US interests and Israel’s control of Judea & Samaria (West Bank)

A new 8-minute-video: YouTube, Facebook

Synopsis:

*Israel’s control of the topographically-dominant mountain ridges of the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria has enhanced Israel’s posture of deterrence, constraining regional violence, transforming Israel into a unique force-multiplier for the US.

*Top Jordanian military officers warned that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into a non-controllable terrorist heaven, generating an anti-US domino scenario in the Arabian Peninsula.

*Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria has eliminated much of the threat (to Jordan) of Judea and Samaria-based Palestinian terrorism.

*Israel’s posture of deterrence emboldens Jordan in the face of domestic and regional threats, sparing the US the need to deploy its own troops, in order to avoid an economic and national security setback.

*The proposed Palestinian state would become the Palestinian straw that would break the pro-US Hashemite back.

*The Palestinian track record of the last 100 years suggests that the proposed Palestinian state would be a rogue entity, adding fuel to the Middle East fire, undermining US interests.

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Islamic Terrorism

Iran’s Ayatollahs poke the US in the eye