Most Popular

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
April 3, 2024

State Department confronts Middle East reality

*Since 1978/79, notwithstanding Iran’s anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking and proliferation of advanced military systems, the State Department has persisted in its suspension of disbelief, as reflected by the diplomatic option, which has bolstered Iran’s anti-US rogue operations, increasingly in Latin America. The diplomatic option assumes that the Ayatollahs are amenable to good faith negotiation and peaceful coexistence. It dismisses the regime-change option, and resists the option of a viable military option hovering above the head of Iran’s rogue Ayatollahs. The State Department’s detachment from Middle East reality has been underscored by the suspension of economic (and especially oil export) sanctions, which has yielded to the Ayatollahs’ anti-US rogue machine more than $100BN since February 2021.

*In 2024, the State Department pressures Israel brutally to adopts its own self-destructive policy, aborting the military option – hence the opposition to Israel’s military offensive in Rafah – and replacing it with a diplomatic option toward Hamas, which is a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood (the largest Sunni terror organization, whose vision is to bring the “infidel” West to submission) and a proxy of Iran’s Ayatollahs (whose vision is to bring “The Great American Satan” to submission).

*Since 2010, the State Department has referred to the turbulence on the Arab Street – which is still raging – as “The Arab Spring” and “March of democracy,” failing to grasp the fanatic ideologies feeding the turbulence, which has been an “Arab Tsunami,” that has been a fixture in the volcanic, intolerant, despotic, shifty, tenuous and violently unpredictable Middle East since the 7th century.

*In 2024, the State Department ignores the centrality of the 1,400-year-old fanatical, religious ideologies which are the core of the state of mind, vision, education, policy-making and terrorism of Hamas, the PLO (the Palestinian Authority) and Hezbollah, deluding itself that terrorists are driven by despair, and seek freedom and enhanced standard of living, and therefore should be dealt with by dramatic financial gestures and negotiation, and rewarded by a Palestinian state.

*Thus, the State Department ignores the 1,400-year-old Middle East reality, where terrorists bite the hand that feeds them (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Mujahideen, Saddam Hussein, the PLO, Hamas). 

*Moreover, Middle East reality – contrary to “Middle East alternate reality” – has demonstrated that gestures, concessions and appeasement are perceived as weakness, whetting terrorists’ appetites and intensify terrorism.

*The State Department has ignored the fact that the PLO (the Palestinian Authority) and Hamas share a fanatic vision (as reflected in their charters, school curriculum, mosque sermons, official media, idolization of terrorists, monthly allowances to families of terrorists and actual terrorism), which stipulates the uprooting of the “infidel” Jewish sovereignty from the “abode of Islam,” irrespective of its size, precluding a genuine peace accord with Israel.  On the other hand, Israel has been able to expand commercial and defense ties with Saudi Arabia, and conclude peace accords with Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and the Southern Sudan, since these countries are driven by non-fanatic visions, that do not require the destruction of the Jewish State.

*The State Department’s two-state-solution has played down the PLO’s and Hamas’ annihilationist vision, as well as the rogue intra-Arab track record of the Palestinian leadership. It dwells upon a speculative scenario of peaceful-coexistence – which contradicts the Palestinian track record – whereas in reality no intra-Arab and intra-Moslem peaceful-coexistence has been achieved since the 7th century.

The October 7 debacle and awakening

*The pre-October 7, 2023 Israeli policy embraced the State Department’s diplomatic option and “money talks” policy, offering Hamas generous financial and political gestures. It was seasoned by a series of ceasefires with – rather than the obliteration of – Hamas, as well as defense and retaliation, rather than offense and preemption. Just like the State Department, Israel ignored the dominance of Hamas’ deeply-entrenched ideology over financial and diplomatic benefits.

*Israel’s pre-October 7, 2023 State Department-like detachment from Middle East reality dramatically bolstered Hamas capabilities, which (on October 7) demolished Israel’s posture of deterrence, in a region where posture of deterrence is the most critical component of national security and survival.

*Since October 7, 2023, Israel has attempted – so far successfully – to restore much of its posture of deterrence.  A restoration of Israel’s posture of deterrence – in the volcanic Middle East – mandates the obliteration of Hamas, militarily and politically. Hence, the military operation in Rafah.

*Reality determines that – just like a forest fire – Hamas must be fully obliterated, lest it re-bursts in a most lethal wave of terrorism.  Middle East reality is aware that enabling Hamas to escape obliteration – as aspired by the State Department – would inspire more terrorism on the part of Hamas, Hezbollah, the PLO (the Palestinian Authority) and radical Israeli Arabs. In addition, Hamas’ survival would generate a tailwind to Islamic terrorism against every pro-US Arab regime, as well as against US installations throughout the globe and (as stated by FBI Director, Chris Wray, in the US homeland by “home grown American terrorists.”

*Also, Saudi Arabia and the six countries, which concluded peace accords with Israel, have been induced into defense and commercial ties with Israel, mostly, by Israel’s posture of deterrence in the face of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood whose machetes are at their throats. Therefore, the full restoration of Israel’s posture of deterrence is a prerequisite for the maintenance and expansion of the Israel-Arab peace process.

*Furthermore, the restoration of Israel’s posture of deterrence, which hinges on Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME), has advanced US interests by allowing the US to minimize its military presence in the region, constraining wars and terrorism, deterring anti-US regional and global entities, minimizing regional instability, and serving as a unique force-multiplier and a battle-tested laboratory for the US armed forces and defense and aerospace industries.

The bottom line

*US and Israeli national security interests behoove both countries to avoid – rather than repeat – past critical mistakes. This would be best-served by a credible military option and adherence to Middle East reality, not to alternate reality, irrespective of how convenient, peaceful and tempting alternate reality may be.

Support Appreciated

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

*The March 25, 2024 UN Security Council resolution 2728 came in the aftermath of the murder – by Hamas – of 1,300 Israelis on October 7, which is equal to 40,000 Americans murdered on a single day!

*A US abstention facilitated the passage of resolution 2728, which aims to snatch Hamas Palestinian terrorists from the jaws of obliteration, while establishing a Palestinian state. Therefore, it was enthusiastically welcome by Iran’s Ayatollahs, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

*The US abstention reflects the dominance of the cosmopolitan worldview of the State Department in the shaping of US foreign policy and national security policy, subordinating unilateral US national security action to multilateral cooperation with the inherently anti-US UN and the vacillating and terrorist-appeasing Europe.

*The State Department worldview ignores Hamas’ role as the core cause of the current war, an inspiration for Iran, al-Qaeda and ISIS-supported Islamic terrorists, who are planning Hamas-like terror assaults against all Arab regimes, the West, and especially the US, increasingly from Central America.

*The military and political survival of Hamas – compliment of resolution 2728 – would be, rightly, interpreted in the Middle East as a major victory for Islamic terrorism,  and a severe blow to Israel’s posture of deterrence, which would yield an Iran-led terrorist tsunami against Israel and all pro-US Arab countries (e.g., a repeaet of the October 7 horrific terrorism, Hezbollah, Intifada’ # 3 in Judea and Samaria which could reach Tel Aviv, radical Israeli Arabs, and a domestic upheaval in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco). Moreover, an erosion of Israel’s posture of deterrence would injure the peace process with Saudi Arabia, which has been induced by Israel’s viable posture of deterrence in the face of the mutual threats of Iran and the Moslem Brotherhood.  

*According to Blinken, a key component of Security Council resolution 2728 – in addition to “a ceasefire, hostage release and increased humanitarian aid” –  is the establishment of “a clear pathway toward a Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel… long-term peace and security….”

*However, Blinken’s scenario of a peacefully-coexisting Palestinian state is based on moderate Palestinian diplomatic and media talk and speculative futurePalestinian behavior. But, Middle East reality documents a rogue Palestinian walk (especially vs. Arab countries), which stipulates that the proposed Palestinian state would add fuel, not water, to the Middle East fire. It would undermine the interests of the US and all its Arab allies, while advancing the interests of all US’ rivals and enemies.

*Contrary to Blinken’s eagerness to establish a Palestinian state, all pro-US Arab countries’ walk reflects their view of the Palestinians as a role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism and treachery.

*Blinken’s addiction to the proposed Palestinian state as a venue to peaceful coexistence overlooks the volcanic ramifications of a Palestinian state contiguous to Jordan’s explosive domestic scene: a stormy relations – including a civil war – between the pro-US Hashemite regime and the Palestinian majority; a deeply entrenched Moslem Brotherhood; 2 million Syrian refugees in northern Jordan; intensified Iranian subversion through Iraq and Syria; and deeply fragmented Bedouin community. Thus, a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into an arena of rival terrorist organizations, posing a lethal threat to all pro-US oil-producing Arab regimes in the Arabian Peninsula, jeopardizing the exportation of Persian Gulf oil and global trade, rendering a bonanza to Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Moslem Brotherhood, Russia, China and North Korea, and dealing a blow to the US economy, national and homeland security.

*Secretary Blinken, who is a role model of the State Department worldview, assumes that terrorism should be confronted diplomatically, not militarily, since it is supposedly driven by despair and not by a fanatic ideology. Notwithstanding the 1,400-year-old violently unpredictable, shifty and anti “infidel” Middle East reality (which has yet to experience intra-Moslem peaceful coexistence, and irrespective of the rogue, anti-US track record of the Ayatollahs’ and Palestinian terrorism, Blinken is convinced that dramatic diplomatic and financial gestures (“money talks”) could induce terror regimes to abandon their ideology, accept peaceful-coexistence and good-faith negotiation.

*Secretary Blinken attempts – once again – to appease rogue Middle Eastern entities, by ignoring Middle East precedents, which have documented that terrorists bite the hand that feeds them, as demonstrated by Iran’s Ayatollahs, Afghanistan’s Mujahideen, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Islamic terrorists, Palestinian terrorism, etc.

*In defiance of Middle East reality and the Moslem Brotherhood charter and track record since 1928, the State Department refuses to recognize its terroristic nature. Thus, Hamas is a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood, whose vision is to topple all national Moslem regimes, establish a universal Islamic society, with Islam as the only divinely-ordained legitimate religion, and to bring the “infidel” West to submission. Hamas is also a proxy of Iran’s Ayatollahs, whose 1,400-year-old vision mandates the destruction of “the Great American Satan.” Also, the Moslem Brotherhood and Iran’s Ayatollahs have their machetes at the throat of every pro-US Arab regime.

The bottom line

*Will the State Department’s conventional wisdom keep ignoring – or recognize – the march of facts, which has exposed the costly detachment of Foggy Bottom from Middle East reality?

*Will the State Department persists in preferring the multilateral cooperation with the UN and Europe over an independent, unilateral US national security action?

*“Those who experience wake up calls usually discover, in hindsight, that they had received plenty of warning before the poop hit the propeller, but they chose to disregard it…. Whether a wake-up call becomes a boon, or a bane, depends on what you’re willing to learn from it, and whether you’re willing to be moved by experience.” (Greg Levoy, a psychologist and an author).

Support Appreciated

recent posts

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.

Support Appreciated

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
April 3, 2024

State Department confronts Middle East reality

*Since 1978/79, notwithstanding Iran’s anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking and proliferation of advanced military systems, the State Department has persisted in its suspension of disbelief, as reflected by the diplomatic option, which has bolstered Iran’s anti-US rogue operations, increasingly in Latin America. The diplomatic option assumes that the Ayatollahs are amenable to good faith negotiation and peaceful coexistence. It dismisses the regime-change option, and resists the option of a viable military option hovering above the head of Iran’s rogue Ayatollahs. The State Department’s detachment from Middle East reality has been underscored by the suspension of economic (and especially oil export) sanctions, which has yielded to the Ayatollahs’ anti-US rogue machine more than $100BN since February 2021.

*In 2024, the State Department pressures Israel brutally to adopts its own self-destructive policy, aborting the military option – hence the opposition to Israel’s military offensive in Rafah – and replacing it with a diplomatic option toward Hamas, which is a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood (the largest Sunni terror organization, whose vision is to bring the “infidel” West to submission) and a proxy of Iran’s Ayatollahs (whose vision is to bring “The Great American Satan” to submission).

*Since 2010, the State Department has referred to the turbulence on the Arab Street – which is still raging – as “The Arab Spring” and “March of democracy,” failing to grasp the fanatic ideologies feeding the turbulence, which has been an “Arab Tsunami,” that has been a fixture in the volcanic, intolerant, despotic, shifty, tenuous and violently unpredictable Middle East since the 7th century.

*In 2024, the State Department ignores the centrality of the 1,400-year-old fanatical, religious ideologies which are the core of the state of mind, vision, education, policy-making and terrorism of Hamas, the PLO (the Palestinian Authority) and Hezbollah, deluding itself that terrorists are driven by despair, and seek freedom and enhanced standard of living, and therefore should be dealt with by dramatic financial gestures and negotiation, and rewarded by a Palestinian state.

*Thus, the State Department ignores the 1,400-year-old Middle East reality, where terrorists bite the hand that feeds them (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Mujahideen, Saddam Hussein, the PLO, Hamas). 

*Moreover, Middle East reality – contrary to “Middle East alternate reality” – has demonstrated that gestures, concessions and appeasement are perceived as weakness, whetting terrorists’ appetites and intensify terrorism.

*The State Department has ignored the fact that the PLO (the Palestinian Authority) and Hamas share a fanatic vision (as reflected in their charters, school curriculum, mosque sermons, official media, idolization of terrorists, monthly allowances to families of terrorists and actual terrorism), which stipulates the uprooting of the “infidel” Jewish sovereignty from the “abode of Islam,” irrespective of its size, precluding a genuine peace accord with Israel.  On the other hand, Israel has been able to expand commercial and defense ties with Saudi Arabia, and conclude peace accords with Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and the Southern Sudan, since these countries are driven by non-fanatic visions, that do not require the destruction of the Jewish State.

*The State Department’s two-state-solution has played down the PLO’s and Hamas’ annihilationist vision, as well as the rogue intra-Arab track record of the Palestinian leadership. It dwells upon a speculative scenario of peaceful-coexistence – which contradicts the Palestinian track record – whereas in reality no intra-Arab and intra-Moslem peaceful-coexistence has been achieved since the 7th century.

The October 7 debacle and awakening

*The pre-October 7, 2023 Israeli policy embraced the State Department’s diplomatic option and “money talks” policy, offering Hamas generous financial and political gestures. It was seasoned by a series of ceasefires with – rather than the obliteration of – Hamas, as well as defense and retaliation, rather than offense and preemption. Just like the State Department, Israel ignored the dominance of Hamas’ deeply-entrenched ideology over financial and diplomatic benefits.

*Israel’s pre-October 7, 2023 State Department-like detachment from Middle East reality dramatically bolstered Hamas capabilities, which (on October 7) demolished Israel’s posture of deterrence, in a region where posture of deterrence is the most critical component of national security and survival.

*Since October 7, 2023, Israel has attempted – so far successfully – to restore much of its posture of deterrence.  A restoration of Israel’s posture of deterrence – in the volcanic Middle East – mandates the obliteration of Hamas, militarily and politically. Hence, the military operation in Rafah.

*Reality determines that – just like a forest fire – Hamas must be fully obliterated, lest it re-bursts in a most lethal wave of terrorism.  Middle East reality is aware that enabling Hamas to escape obliteration – as aspired by the State Department – would inspire more terrorism on the part of Hamas, Hezbollah, the PLO (the Palestinian Authority) and radical Israeli Arabs. In addition, Hamas’ survival would generate a tailwind to Islamic terrorism against every pro-US Arab regime, as well as against US installations throughout the globe and (as stated by FBI Director, Chris Wray, in the US homeland by “home grown American terrorists.”

*Also, Saudi Arabia and the six countries, which concluded peace accords with Israel, have been induced into defense and commercial ties with Israel, mostly, by Israel’s posture of deterrence in the face of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood whose machetes are at their throats. Therefore, the full restoration of Israel’s posture of deterrence is a prerequisite for the maintenance and expansion of the Israel-Arab peace process.

*Furthermore, the restoration of Israel’s posture of deterrence, which hinges on Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME), has advanced US interests by allowing the US to minimize its military presence in the region, constraining wars and terrorism, deterring anti-US regional and global entities, minimizing regional instability, and serving as a unique force-multiplier and a battle-tested laboratory for the US armed forces and defense and aerospace industries.

The bottom line

*US and Israeli national security interests behoove both countries to avoid – rather than repeat – past critical mistakes. This would be best-served by a credible military option and adherence to Middle East reality, not to alternate reality, irrespective of how convenient, peaceful and tempting alternate reality may be.

Support Appreciated

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

*The March 25, 2024 UN Security Council resolution 2728 came in the aftermath of the murder – by Hamas – of 1,300 Israelis on October 7, which is equal to 40,000 Americans murdered on a single day!

*A US abstention facilitated the passage of resolution 2728, which aims to snatch Hamas Palestinian terrorists from the jaws of obliteration, while establishing a Palestinian state. Therefore, it was enthusiastically welcome by Iran’s Ayatollahs, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

*The US abstention reflects the dominance of the cosmopolitan worldview of the State Department in the shaping of US foreign policy and national security policy, subordinating unilateral US national security action to multilateral cooperation with the inherently anti-US UN and the vacillating and terrorist-appeasing Europe.

*The State Department worldview ignores Hamas’ role as the core cause of the current war, an inspiration for Iran, al-Qaeda and ISIS-supported Islamic terrorists, who are planning Hamas-like terror assaults against all Arab regimes, the West, and especially the US, increasingly from Central America.

*The military and political survival of Hamas – compliment of resolution 2728 – would be, rightly, interpreted in the Middle East as a major victory for Islamic terrorism,  and a severe blow to Israel’s posture of deterrence, which would yield an Iran-led terrorist tsunami against Israel and all pro-US Arab countries (e.g., a repeaet of the October 7 horrific terrorism, Hezbollah, Intifada’ # 3 in Judea and Samaria which could reach Tel Aviv, radical Israeli Arabs, and a domestic upheaval in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco). Moreover, an erosion of Israel’s posture of deterrence would injure the peace process with Saudi Arabia, which has been induced by Israel’s viable posture of deterrence in the face of the mutual threats of Iran and the Moslem Brotherhood.  

*According to Blinken, a key component of Security Council resolution 2728 – in addition to “a ceasefire, hostage release and increased humanitarian aid” –  is the establishment of “a clear pathway toward a Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel… long-term peace and security….”

*However, Blinken’s scenario of a peacefully-coexisting Palestinian state is based on moderate Palestinian diplomatic and media talk and speculative futurePalestinian behavior. But, Middle East reality documents a rogue Palestinian walk (especially vs. Arab countries), which stipulates that the proposed Palestinian state would add fuel, not water, to the Middle East fire. It would undermine the interests of the US and all its Arab allies, while advancing the interests of all US’ rivals and enemies.

*Contrary to Blinken’s eagerness to establish a Palestinian state, all pro-US Arab countries’ walk reflects their view of the Palestinians as a role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism and treachery.

*Blinken’s addiction to the proposed Palestinian state as a venue to peaceful coexistence overlooks the volcanic ramifications of a Palestinian state contiguous to Jordan’s explosive domestic scene: a stormy relations – including a civil war – between the pro-US Hashemite regime and the Palestinian majority; a deeply entrenched Moslem Brotherhood; 2 million Syrian refugees in northern Jordan; intensified Iranian subversion through Iraq and Syria; and deeply fragmented Bedouin community. Thus, a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into an arena of rival terrorist organizations, posing a lethal threat to all pro-US oil-producing Arab regimes in the Arabian Peninsula, jeopardizing the exportation of Persian Gulf oil and global trade, rendering a bonanza to Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Moslem Brotherhood, Russia, China and North Korea, and dealing a blow to the US economy, national and homeland security.

*Secretary Blinken, who is a role model of the State Department worldview, assumes that terrorism should be confronted diplomatically, not militarily, since it is supposedly driven by despair and not by a fanatic ideology. Notwithstanding the 1,400-year-old violently unpredictable, shifty and anti “infidel” Middle East reality (which has yet to experience intra-Moslem peaceful coexistence, and irrespective of the rogue, anti-US track record of the Ayatollahs’ and Palestinian terrorism, Blinken is convinced that dramatic diplomatic and financial gestures (“money talks”) could induce terror regimes to abandon their ideology, accept peaceful-coexistence and good-faith negotiation.

*Secretary Blinken attempts – once again – to appease rogue Middle Eastern entities, by ignoring Middle East precedents, which have documented that terrorists bite the hand that feeds them, as demonstrated by Iran’s Ayatollahs, Afghanistan’s Mujahideen, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Islamic terrorists, Palestinian terrorism, etc.

*In defiance of Middle East reality and the Moslem Brotherhood charter and track record since 1928, the State Department refuses to recognize its terroristic nature. Thus, Hamas is a branch of the Moslem Brotherhood, whose vision is to topple all national Moslem regimes, establish a universal Islamic society, with Islam as the only divinely-ordained legitimate religion, and to bring the “infidel” West to submission. Hamas is also a proxy of Iran’s Ayatollahs, whose 1,400-year-old vision mandates the destruction of “the Great American Satan.” Also, the Moslem Brotherhood and Iran’s Ayatollahs have their machetes at the throat of every pro-US Arab regime.

The bottom line

*Will the State Department’s conventional wisdom keep ignoring – or recognize – the march of facts, which has exposed the costly detachment of Foggy Bottom from Middle East reality?

*Will the State Department persists in preferring the multilateral cooperation with the UN and Europe over an independent, unilateral US national security action?

*“Those who experience wake up calls usually discover, in hindsight, that they had received plenty of warning before the poop hit the propeller, but they chose to disregard it…. Whether a wake-up call becomes a boon, or a bane, depends on what you’re willing to learn from it, and whether you’re willing to be moved by experience.” (Greg Levoy, a psychologist and an author).

Support Appreciated

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
March 5, 2024

Demographic reality contradicts conventional wisdom

*The number of annual Jewish births in Israel surged by 69% from 1995 (80,400) to 2023 (135,639), compared to a 17% increase of annual Arab births in Israel during the same period (from 36,500 to 42,815), as reported by the February 2024 Monthly Bulletin of Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS).

*The 2023 Jewish births (135,639) were 76% of total births (178,454), compared to 69% in 1995.

*In 2024 (based on the 2022 data), the Jewish fertility rate (3.03 births per woman) is higher than the Arab fertility rate (2.75), as it has been since 2016. It is higher than the fertility rates in all Muslim countries other than Iraq and the sub-Sahara Muslim countries.

*In 1969, Israel’s and Judea and Samaria’s (West Bank’s) Arab fertility rate was 6 births higher than the Jewish fertility rate. In 2015, both fertility rates were at 3.13 births per woman, reflecting the dramatic Westernization of Arab demography in Judea and Samaria and pre-1967 Israel, triggered by Arab modernity, urbanization, the enhanced social status of Arab women, older wedding age (24), expanded participation of Arab women in higher-education and the job market, a shorter reproductive time (25-45 rather than 16-55) and the increased use of contraceptives. 

*In 2023, there were 43,353 Israeli Jewish deaths, compared to 31,575 in 1996, a 37% increase, compared to a 43% increase in 2022 (while the size of the population almost doubled!), which reflects a society growing younger. In 2023, there were 6,108 Israeli Arab deaths, compared to 3,089 in 1996, a 98% increase, which reflects a society growing older.  

*In 2023, the number of Israeli Jewish deaths was 32% of Jewish births, compared to 40% in 1995 – an expression of a society growing younger. In 2023, the number of Israeli Arab deaths was 14.3% of Arab births, compared to 8% in 1995 – a symptom of a society growing older.

*Israel’s robust Jewish fertility rate is attributed to high-level optimism, patriotism, attachment to Jewish roots, frontier mentality, communal solidarity, high regard for raising children, and a declining number of abortions (34% decline since 1990, while the policy on abortion is liberal).

*In 2024, there is a potential wave of Aliyah (Jewish immigration) of some 500,000 Olim (Jewish immigrants) from the Ukraine, Russia, other former Soviet republics, West Europe, Argentina, the USA, etc., awaiting the Israeli government recognition of Aliyah as a top national priority (as it was until 1992), resuming a pro-active Aliyah policy. 

*Contrary to conventional wisdom, Israel’s Jewish emigration has declined since 1990, where there was an addition of 14,200 to the number of Israelis staying outside Israel for over a year. In recent years, the annual addition of emigrants has declined to an average of 7,000, while the overall population of Israel doubled itself from almost 5 million to almost 10 million. Thus, in 2020, there was an unusually high addition of 10,800 (probably due to  COVID-19 related travel restrictions), and in 2021 there was an addition of merely 1,400 (due to COVID-19).

*In 2024, contrary to conventional wisdom, Israel’s Jewish demographic momentum since the 1990s is due largely to the rise of fertility in the secular sector, while the ultra-orthodox sector (which has the highest fertility rate) has experienced a moderate decline in fertility rate (since the 1990s due to a gradual integration into the job market and academia), and the modern orthodox’ fertility rate has been stable. Israeli Jewish women are unique in experiencing a direct correlation between a rise of fertility rate, on the one hand, and a rise in urbanization, education and level of income, on the other hand.

*In 2024, Israel is the only Western democracy endowed with a relatively high fertility rate (almost twice as high as in the OECD), that facilitates further economic growth, which is not dependent upon migrant labor.  Moreover, Israel’s thriving demography provides for bolstered national security (larger classes of military recruits), economy, technology and a more confident foreign policy.

*In 2024, the Western establishment persists in reverberating official Palestinian demographic numbers without due-diligence (auditing), ignoring the 100% artificial inflation: inclusion of overseas residents, double-counting of Jerusalem Arabs and Israeli Arabs married to Judea and Samaria Arabs, ignoring the significant net-emigration, inflated births – and deflated deaths – data (as documented below).

Westernization of Arab demography

*A dramatic Westernization of the Arab fertility rate in Israel and in Judea and Samaria features a shift from 9 births per woman in the 1960s to 3 births in 2022 (2.75 in pre-1967 Israel). It reflects the shift from a 70% rural Arab society in 1967 to a 77% urban society in 2024, in general, and the rising status of women, their wedding age (from 15 years old to 24), the substantial use of contraceptives (70% of Arab women in Judea and Samaria) and the shrinking of the reproductive period (from 16-55 to 24-45).

*The median age of Judea and Samaria Arabs is 22 years old, compared to 18 years old in 2005.

*The Westernization of fertility rates has characterized all Muslim countries, other than the sub-Sahara region: Jordan (which is usually similar to Judea and Samaria Arabs) – 2.9 births per woman, Iran – 1.9, Saudi Arabia – 1.89, Morocco – 2.27, Iraq – 3.17, Egypt – 2.76, Yemen – 2.91, United Arab Emirates – 1.62, etc.

*The number of Arab deaths in Judea and Samaria has been systematically under-reported (for political power of clans and financial reasons), as documented by various studies since the British Mandate. For example, a recent Palestinian population census included Arabs who were born in 1845….

*The demographic and policy-making establishment of Israel and the West refrains from auditing the official Palestinian data, and therefore it does not report the following well-documented Palestinian departure from a credible census:

<500,000 overseas residents, who have been away for over a year, are included in the Palestinian population census. However, internationally accepted procedures stipulate only a de-facto count. It was 325,000, as stated by the Head of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in the aftermath of the first Palestinian census of 1997; increasing to 400,000 in 2005, as documented by the Palestinian Election Commission. The number grows daily due to overseas births.

<375,000 East Jerusalem Arabs, who possess Israeli ID cards, are doubly-counted. They are included in the Israeli census as well as in the Palestinian census. The number grows daily due to births.

<Over 150,000 Arabs from Gaza and (mostly) from Judea and Samaria, who married Israeli Arabs and received Israeli ID cards, are doubly-counted counted by Israel and by the Palestinian Authority. The number expands daily because of births.

<413,000 Arab emigrants from Judea and Samaria – since the first 1997 Palestinian census – are not excluded from the population census of the Palestinian Authority. The latter ignores the 20,000 annual net-emigration in recent years of mostly-young-Arabs from Judea and Samaria. Net-emigration has been a systemic feature of the area, at least, since the Jordanian occupation in 1950. For example, 23,445 in 2023, 15,466 in 2022, 28,000 in 2021, 26,357 in 2019, 15,173 in 2017 and 16,393 in 2015, as documented by Israel’s Immigration and Population Authority, which records all Jewish and Arab exists and entries via all of Israel’s 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. While the Palestinian Authority claimed an 8% increase in the number of births, the World Bank detected a 24% decrease.

*The aforementioned data documents 1.55 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria, when deducting the aforementioned documented-data (1.7 million) from the official Palestinian number (3.25 million).

The bottom line

*In 2024, in contrast to conventional demographic wisdom, Israel’s Jewish majority in the combined areas of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the pre-1967 Israel is not threatened by a potential “Arab demographic time bomb.” In fact, the Jewish majority in these combined areas benefits from a robust demographic tailwind of fertility rate and net-immigration.  

*The US derives substantial benefits from Israel’s demographic viability. It has enhanced Israel’s strategic capabilities and posture of deterrence, which have transformed Israel into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.

*In 1897, there was a 9% Jewish minority in the combined area of pre-1967 Israel, Judea and Samaria, expanding to a 39% minority in 1947. In 2024, there is a 69% Jewish majority (8mn Jews, 2mn Israeli Arabs and 1.55mn Arabs in Judea and Samaria), benefitting from a robust demographic tailwind of births and net-immigration.

Support Appreciated

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.

Support Appreciated

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
February 8, 2024

Prof. Bernard Lewis, who was a leading authority on Islam and the Middle East, shed light on a cardinal aspect of the frustrating, complicated and inconvenient reality of the Middle East: “If the fighters in the war for Islam are fighting for God, it follows that their opponents are fighting against God…. In the classical Islamic view, the world is divided into two: the House of Islam… and the House of Unbelief, which it is the duty of Muslims ultimately to bring to Islam…. The struggle between these rival systems has now lasted for some 14 centuries…. America has become the archenemy, the incarnation of evil, the diabolic opponent of all that is good… of Islam….”

*Western conventional wisdom has been based on the assumptions that Middle East violence is despair-driven; that radical Middle East dictators can be induced to subordinate their radical ideologies to dramatic financial benefits (“money talks”); and that significant gestures and concessions could motivate rogue Middle East leaders to embrace peaceful coexistence, compliance with agreements, adoption of human rights and democracy, to depart from fanatic ideologies, and to join the “multilateral/cosmopolitan club.”

*In order to advance its well-intentioned assumptions, Western conventional wisdom has consistently overlooked the 1,400-year-old shifty, unpredictable, violent, totalitarian, intolerant, anti-“infidel” (Islam vs. the West), anti-“apostate” (Shiite vs. Sunni), fragmented, volcanic and frustrating nature of Middle East (intra-Arab and intra-Moslem) reality. It has also overlooked the supremacy of fanatical ideologies over financial benefits in shaping the policy of Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Moslem Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, as reflected in their (K-12) school curriculum, mosque sermons and constitutions/charters.

*Western appeasement of Shiite, Sunni and Palestinian terrorism has ignored the well-documented fact, that terrorists bite the hands that feed them, as demonstrated by the Mujahideen (who were assisted by the US to drive the USSR out of Afghanistan and proceeded to carry out 9/11), Iran’s Ayatollahs (who were critically assisted by the US to topple the Shah of Iran and proceeded to become the lead  anti-US terrorist and drug trafficker) and the Palestinian leadership (which was hosted by Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait and proceeded to subvert and terrorize them).

*In defiance of Western conventional wisdom, the inherent hostility toward the “infidel” West, and especially “the Great American Satan,” has been a dominant feature of fundamental Arab and Islamic education, culture and politics, fomenting epicenters of global anti-US terrorism.

*Notwithstanding Western conventional wisdom-driven gestures, Islamic terrorism has haunted the US since the Barbary pirates in the beginning of the 19th century, irrespective of US policy, and independent of the identity of the US President. Thus, it afflicted the US during Presidents Trump (e.g., the Hudson River Park terrorism murdering 8), Obama (e.g., the Orlando terrorism murdering 49), G.W. Bush (9/11 murdering 2,977), Clinton (e.g., the car-bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania murdering 300), Reagan (e.g., the blowing-up of PanAm-103 murdering 257), etc.

*9/11 underscored the determination of Islamic terror regimes to engage the US in their battle to bring the “infidel” West to submission, irrespective of the US’ intent to disengage from Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East at-large. These rogue regimes view the US’ disengagement, isolationism and gestures as symptoms of Western battle-fatigue and the erosion of a posture of deterrence, which intensifies terrorism and shifts the battle gradually to the US mainland (e.g., Iran’s and Hezbollah’s sleeper cells in the US and collaboration with Latin American terror organizations and drug cartels).

*Islamic terrorism is not driven by despair, but rather by the imperialistic vision of Islam as the only legitimate religion, divinely-ordained to bring “apostates” and “infidels” – especially the US – to submission, peacefully or militarily.

*The following examples demonstrate the unbridgeable gap between Western conventional wisdom (WCW) and Middle East reality:

<While WCW believes in the separation of state and church and secular policy making, Islam believes in the dominance of religion in domestic and foreign policy-making, civic life, justice, law and order, education, culture, peace, war and geo-strategy.

<While WCW is preoccupied with the present and the future, the Middle East is preoccupied with the past 1,400 years as a base for future undertaking. For instance, WCW shapes its positive attitude toward the proposed Palestinian state according to future, speculative scenarios (e.g., peaceful coexistence), but the Arabs shape their indifferent-to-negative attitude toward the proposed Palestinian state according to the subversive and terroristic Palestinian track record in the intra-Arab sphere.

<While WCW underscores give-and-take, Islam is determined to bring the adversary/enemy (especially the “apostate” and “infidel”) to submission, peacefully or militarily, employing dissimulation, in order to mislead naïve opponents.

<While WCW refers to the Arab-Israeli conflict as “the Middle East conflict,” 11 million Muslims have been killed since 1948, of which 35,000 – 0.3% – were related to Arab-Israel wars.

<While WCW assumes that the Palestinian issue is the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict, a crown-jewel of Arab policy makers and a core cause of Middle East turbulence, no Arab-Israeli war was every triggered by the Palestinian issue.  No Arab country has ever flexed a military muscle, or a substantial financial muscle on behalf of the Palestinians.  No Israel-Palestinian war has ever expanded into a regional war, and no major Middle East turbulence has ever erupted due to the Palestinian issue.

<While WCW has focused on the Arab talk, which embraces the proposed Palestinian state, the Arab walk refrains from advancing the cause of a Palestinian state. It is consistent with Aa dominant Middle East motto: on words one does not pay custom.

<While WCW assumes that ceasefire agreements advance the cause of peace, and peace accords end hostilities and the state of war, Islam considers ceasefires (especially with “infidels”) as an opportunity to regroup for the next phase of a perpetual war until submission of the enemy.  Peace accords are viewed (especially with “infidels”) as temporary ceasefires, serving the cause of the Moslem party, to be abrogated upon amassing sufficient power to bring adversaries to submission.

*The self-destructive nature of WCW (e.g., the 45-year-old diplomatic option toward Iran in defiance of Iran’s rogue track record) is exposed by the march of Middle East facts.

*The attempt to subordinate Middle East reality to WCW, was compared by Prof. Elie Kedourie – who was a leading historian of the Middle East – to trying to make water run uphill.

Support Appreciated

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
February 2, 2024

*For the last 45 years, the US has attempted to pacify the anti-US Iran’s Ayatollahs, via dramatic financial and diplomatic gestures, to advance the cause of human rights and democracy in Iran, and to promote peaceful coexistence between Iran and its Sunni Arab neighbors. In fact, the 45-year-old US diplomatic option toward the Ayatollahs, has downplayed the centrality of the Ayatollahs’ ideology and their track record, assuming that “money talks.”  The US expected that dramatic financial and diplomatic gestures would induce the Ayatollahs to abandon their 1,400-year-old fanatical vision and become a constructive member of the global community.

However, as expected, Iran’s Ayatollahs would not allow financial and diplomatic temptations to transcend their imperialistic violent ideology. Moreover, they have leveraged the lavish US gestures, intensifying domestic oppression and persecution, and boosting their determination to humiliate and defeat “the Great American Satan,” expanding anti-US global terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and the proliferation of advanced weaponry, increasingly in Latin America from Chile’ to the US-Mexico border.

Furthermore, the US’ eagerness to conclude another agreement with the anti-US Iran, the courting of the anti-US Moslem Brotherhood (the largest Sunni terror organization), and delisting the anti-US Houthis from the terror list, while pressuring the pro-US Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, has pushed these countries closer to China and Russia, militarily and commercially.

*In 2024, the US State Department promotes the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River, contending that it would peacefully coexist with Israel.

However, all pro-US Arab regimes have systematically limited their support of the proposed Palestinian state to an embracing talk, while displaying a lukewarm-to-negative walk.    

Furthermore, the State Department has downplayed the Palestinian track record and ideology, basing its policy on subjective and speculative future scenarios and diplomatic Palestinian statements.  But, the pro-US Arab regimes have focused on the subversive and terroristic intra-Arab Palestinian track record in Egypt (1950s), Syria (1960s), Jordan (1968-70), Lebanon (1970-1982) and Kuwait (1990).  These pro-US Arab regimes recognize the despotic, corrupt and terroristic nature of the Palestinian leadership, and its global track record (e.g., collaboration with Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Iran’s Ayatollahs, No. Korea and Venezuela and training international terrorists).

These Arab regimes have concluded that such a rogue track record would shape the nature of the proposed Palestinian state, which would further destabilize the region, providing Iran, Russia and China with an expanded foothold in the Middle East.  

Unlike the State Department, they are aware that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into major platform of Islamic terrorism, threatening every pro-US, oil-producing Arab regime, which would yield a bonanza to Iran, Russia and China and a major blow to global trade and the US economy and national security.

*In 2011, Secretary Blinken (then, National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden) and National Security Advisor Sullivan (then Director of the State Department Policy Planning) played a key role in the US-led NATO military offensive against Qadhafi, aiming to halt severe violations of human rights.

As expected, the US initiative yielded volcanic turbulence in Libya, which has traumatized the region since 2011, fueling Islamic terrorism in Europe, Egypt, North and Central Africa and throughout the Middle East, transforming Libya – the soft underbelly of Europe – into a blustery platform of global Islamic terrorism, drug trafficking, egregious violations of human rights, and a series of civil wars with the participation of Turkey, Qatar, Italy, Russia, Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and France.

*Led by noble intentions, the State Department has systematically attempted to subordinate the 1,400-year-old tempestuous, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic, highly fragmented, shifty and non-peaceful inter-Moslem and inter-Arab relations to Western values, such as peaceful-coexistence, democracy and human rights. The creation of an alternative, new Middle East has been underscored by Foggy Bottom’s reference to the ongoing turbulence on the Arab Street as “The Arab Spring,” rather than “The Arab Tsunami,” which is still raging from Northwest Africa to Iran (e.g., 10 million refugees since 2011; 11 million Muslims killed since 1948, of which 35,000  – 0.3% – were related to the Arab-Israel wars).

*Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan may consider the following advise by Prof. P.J. Vatikiotis, who was a leading Middle East historian at the School of Oriental and African studies, University of London (Arab and Regional Politics in the Middle East):

“For the foreseeable future, inter-Arab differences and conflicts will continue…. This is a feature of the area that will remain more or less a constant. The question of American options is one that must first of all be resolved on the basis of this fundamental reality: inter-Arab relations cannot be placed on a spectrum of linear development, moving from hell to paradise or vice versa.  Rather, their course is partly cyclical, partly jerkily spiral, and always resting occasionally at some grey area…. Arrangements are still made with rulers and regimes open to sedition and coups.  This condition in itself renders relations between Arab states, as well as between them and external powers, especially difficult….(ibid, pp. 77-115)”

Support Appreciated

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
December 5, 2023

“Those who experience wake up calls usually discover, in hindsight, that they had received plenty of warning before the poop hit the propeller, but they chose to disregard it…. Whether a wake up call becomes a boon, or a bane, depends on what you’re willing to learn from it, and whether you’re willing to be moved by experience.” (Greg Levoy, a psychologist and an author).

The US-Israel mutual threat of Islamic terrorism

Israel’s war against Hezbollah and Hamas is a wakeup call, highlighting the shared US-Israel war against Islamic terrorism. The latter considers Israel a US geo-strategic beachhead in the Middle East, that should be uprooted as a critical step toward the defeat of the Western “infidel.”

For example:   

*Hezbollah and Hamas are critical proxies of Iran, which funds, trains and supplies advanced ballistic and engineering hardware, aiming to realize its 1,400-year-old vision of toppling all “apostate” (Sunni) regimes, export the Islamic Shiite Revolution globally, and bring “the Great American Satan” to submission.

*Hamas was established in 1988 by the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been dedicated since 1928 to the toppling of all national Islamic regimes, replacing them with a universal Islamic society, establishing Islam as the only, divinely-ordained, legitimate religion on earth, defeating the “infidel” Western culture and bringing down “the Great American Satan.”

*Securing a boon, rather than a bane, requires the uprooting of Hamas’ terroristic, political and educational infrastructure, which would deter anti-US Islamic terrorism. On the other hand, the survival of Hamas would adrenalize the veins of anti-US Islamic terrorists in the Middle East and beyond, afflicting the US with a bane.

Israel’s war highlights Iran’s terrorist nature  

*Heeding the October 7, 2023 wakeup call should trigger a US reassessment of its 44-year-old diplomatic option toward Iran, which has facilitated Iran’s lead role – operationally and financially – in the transformation of Hezbollah and Hamas (as well as a multitude of additional Islamic and non-Islamic terror organizations) into a most effective anti-US global terrorist network. The US diplomatic option has also bolstered the evolution of Iran into the leading regional and global epicenter of anti-US terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and proliferation of advanced military systems.

*An effective wake up call, requires experience-based rather than wishful thinking-based policy making, reassessing the impact of lifted sanctions – especially Iranian oil export – on the supply of advanced Iranian missiles and other military systems to Hezbollah and Hamas.  Thus, Iranian oil exports surged from 500,000 barrels per day (under the sanctions) to 2.5-3 million barrels per day, which has provided the Ayatollahs with some $100bn in additional income, that was dedicated, mostly, to anti-US rogue activities in the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, North, East and Central Africa and Latin America. 

*Heeding the wakeup call should alert the US to the 40-year-old collaboration of Iran’s Ayatollahs and Hezbollah with the drug cartels of Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil, Latin American terror organizations, and every anti-US government in South and Central America (up to the US-Mexico border), which is the US’ geo-strategic soft underbelly. This collaboration includes the training of terrorists and the supply of predator unmanned aerial vehicles and tunnel construction equipment. 

The Palestinian wake up call

*The October 7 wake up call should lead to a reassessment of the US State Department policy on the Palestinian issue, subordinating conventional wisdom to the march of facts. Hence, while the State Department has been eager to establish a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), pro-US Arabs have showered the Palestinians with embracing talk, but indifferent-to-negative walk, refraining from tangible steps toward the establishment of a Palestinian state.

*While Foggy Bottom’s policy has been driven by a moderate Palestinian diplomatic talk and future, subjective and speculative State Department  scenarios of Palestinian compliance and peaceful coexistence, the policy of the pro-US Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and Oman has been driven by the rogue Palestinian track record in the intra-Arab and global context.

*For instance, the systematic Palestinian betrayal of – and violence against – their Arab hosts, such as Egypt (1950s), Syria (1960s), Jordan (1968-70), Lebanon (1970-1982) and Kuwait (1990). Also, Palestinian collaboration with rogue entities, such as Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Ayatollah Khomeini, Saddam Hussein, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and Palestinian training camps – in Lebanon, Sudan and Yemen – for terror organizations from Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia.  

*Contrary to Foggy Bottom, the pro-US Arab regimes have concluded that the rogue Palestinian track record (in addition to the Palestinian hate education, mosque incitement and monthly allowances to families of terrorists) suggests that a rogue Palestinian state would add fuel to the Middle East fire, threatening to consume the Hashemite regime in Jordan and other all pro-US Arab regimes.

*The October 7 wakeup call should clarify to the State Department the reason that the pro-US Arabs extend a shabby-doormat-welcome to Palestinian leaders, contrary to the red-carpet-welcome extended by Foggy Bottom.

The bottom line

Whether the aforementioned October 7, 2023 wakeup call shall be a boon or a bane depends on the US State Department’s own decision. Will its policy remain driven by agreeable conventional wisdom, or will it shift to an experience-based policy, irrespective of the disagreeable, violent, shattering, and frustrating reality?

   Support Appreciated

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
October 12, 2023

No common-sense-observer of the volcanic Middle East and Islamic terrorism, in general, and Hamas/Palestinian terrorism, in particular, should be shocked by the October 2023 Hamas’ atrocities, which are not driven by the size of Israel and its policy, but by the aim to uproot the “infidel” Jewish State from the “abode of Islam.”

Ignoring the nature of Hamas

*Significant elements in Israeli, the US and Western policy-making and national security and the intelligence establishment have been in denial of the nature of Palestinian terrorism, as the Western establishment has been in denial of the megalomaniacally rogue nature of Iran’s Ayatollahs regime since its ascension to power in February, 1979.

*They have eagerly attempted to pacify Hamas. However, they failed to realize the pivotal role of the 1,400-year-old fanatic, anti-Western ideology of Hamas, which views Israel as the beachhead of the “infidel” Western culture in the Middle East.  

*Their eagerness to advance the cause of peace has led them to sacrifice the frustratingly complex Middle East reality on the altar of a convenient, virtual reality, as was the case in the Israeli-initiated (and Western embraced) 1993 Oslo Accord and the 2005 Gaza Disengagement, which catapulted Palestinian terrorism to unprecedented intensity, paving the road to the 2023 atrocities of Hamas.

*They have based their approach to Hamas – as the Western policy has approached Iran’s Ayatollahs – on the assumption that generous financial benefits would induce Hamas to alter its order of priorities, and prefer standard of living considerations over its core, zealot ideology. They believed that dramatic economic gestures could lead Hamas to eventually comply with agreements, accept a reality of a manageable low-intensity conflict, or even peaceful-coexistence with Israel.

The centrality of the Hamas covenant

*The apocalyptic, Iran-supported Hamas terror entity, was established in 1988 by the anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Sunni terror organization, committed – since 1928 – to the toppling of all national Muslim regimes; and the establishment of a universal Muslim society, while bringing the West – and especially “the great American Satan” to submission.

*Hamas is one of many political, religious, educational and terroristic Muslim Brotherhood spin-offs, such as Islamic Jihad, ISIS, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram. These were established throughout the Middle East, Africa, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, Europe and the USA.

*The 1988 Hamas covenant, which was posted by the Yale University Law School, presents the vision and nature of Hamas, as highlighted by  Hamas’ K-12 education system, Hamas’ Friday sermons and official events and monuments:

“…. The slogan of the Islamic resistance movement: Allah is its target, the Prophet [Muhammad] is its model, the Koran its constitution…. Jihad is its path, and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes….

“The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] is one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization – the largest Islamic movement in modern times….

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it….

“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight [kill] the Jews. When the Jew will hide behind stones and trees, the stones and trees will say: O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him….

“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad…. The Jihad for the liberation of Palestine is an individual duty…. the Palestinian problem is a religious problem…. I swear by the holder of Mohammed’s soul that I would like to invade and be killed for the sake of Allah, then invade and be killed, and then invade again and be killed….

“Freemasons, Rotary Clubs and others are nothing more than cells of saboteurs…. The day Islam is in control of guiding the affairs of life, these organizations, hostile to humanity and Islam, will be obliterated…. Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam….” 

The strategic blunder

*Key elements in Israeli, US and Western policy-making and national security and intelligence establishment have ignored the following decisive feature of the Middle East.  The uprooting of the Jewish State is not a prerequisite for the attainment of the vision of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and South Sudan; hence, their peace accords with Israel, and the unprecedented Israel-Saudi defense and commercial cooperation. On the other hand, the uprooting of the Jewish State is a prerequisite for the attainment of the Palestinian vision, as documented by the Palestinian (PA and Hamas) school curriculum – which has become the most effective production line of terrorists – the 1959, 1964 and 1988 covenants of Fatah, the PLO and Hamas, the public idolization of terrorists, monthly allowances to families of terrorists and the 100-year-Palestinian track record of terrorism against Arab countries and Israel.

*These key Israeli and Western personalities approached Hamas as a potential partner to negotiation, rather than a ruthless, fanatic, non-compromising terror entity, and therefore a target for liquidation. They would not accept the fact that gestures toward Hamas were construed – by Hamas – as weakness, hence, intensifying terrorism.

*They underestimated the apocalyptic nature of Hamas (just like Hezbollah and Iran’s Ayatollahs), which has enabled Hamas to absorb severe military blows, and leverages the numerus cease fires, concluded with Israel, in order to upgrade terror capabilities, which are not driven by despair, but by the hope/aspiration to uproot the “infidel” Jewish State.

*They have been influenced by the “Oslo school of thought,” as articulated by Shimon Peres, the chief architect of the 1993 Oslo Accord in his book, The New Middle East, which promotes virtual Middle East over Middle East reality.  For example:

“The international political setting is no longer conducive to wars (page 80) ….

“We must focus on this new Middle East reality… and not wander among memories of victories in long-gone wars – wars that will never be fought again (p. 85) …

“All things-considered, any war entered into now will be unnecessary one (p. 52) ….

“We must strive for fewer weapons and more faith.  Soft, open political boundaries will make it easier to reach an agreement and help withstand stormy times (p. 173) ….”

*The “Oslo school of thought” has severely eroded Israel’s posture of deterrence – which has played the key role in forging the six peace accords – while ushering in an unprecedented wave of terrorism, culminating with the current 2023 Hamas atrocities. It has led Israel to prefer defense and reaction to – rather than offense and preemption of – terrorism, and to chasing “mosquitos,” rather than draining the “swamp.”

The bottom line

*The failure to read the crystal-clear writing on the wall led to the 2023 failure to avert the Hamas atrocities.

*Will the Israeli, US and Western policy makers and national security and intelligence establishment conclude the common-sense lesson of the Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism, and read the 60-font-writing on the wall of the proposed Palestinian state on the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which would dominate Jerusalem and the 8-15-mile waistline of Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport and 80% of Israel’s population and infrastructure?

*Moreover, will US policy makers and congressional leaders read the 60-font-writing on the wall of the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River, which would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the Jordan River, transforming Jordan into another epicenter of anti-US Islamic terrorism, with its domino scenario into all pro-US Arab oil-producing countries, which would yield a strategic bonanza to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China, while dealing a blow to the US’ economy and national and homeland security?  

Support Appreciated

latest videos

Play Video

Welcome to the rebranded EttingerReport website

Play Video

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.”
Play Video

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.
Play Video

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.

Newsletter

SCHEDULE LECTURES & INTERVIEWS

Demography

2024 artificially inflated Palestinian demography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Support Appreciated

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.

Support Appreciated

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.

Support Appreciated

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).”

Support Appreciated

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Support Appreciated

Golan

Secretary Blinken on settlements – vindicated by facts?

Islamic Terrorism

FBI Director Chris Wray: Iranian terrorism on US soil