Beyond the Cusp

October 2, 2014

World Ready for Security Council Without United States?

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In Israel most of the hubbub has revolved around the speeches before the General Assembly by Mahmoud Abbas and his accusations and abuses heaped on Israel and the response and defenses along with counter arguments by Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu by his speech. Further, there has been commentary of those parts of the speech by President Obama, among others, which were applicable to Israel in particular and the Middle East in general. Other than Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comparison equating Hamas and ISIS, not much of the other references and activities regarding ISIS have been given comment as they have mostly been ignored or mentioned in passing for background and supporting commentary by which Israel should expect to possibly find more vocal, unrestricted, unrestrained and unqualified support along with potentials for a more sympathetic understanding of the threats and difficulties faced by Israel and her peoples. But even should these hopes and aspirations materialize or not, there may have been evidence of a potentially far more sweeping and definitive change in the future which might have far reaching detrimental results for Israel. There was evidence given of a united opposition to the efforts by the United States to address and attack ISIS without having first attained the support of the United Nations and attaining a Chapter Seven Security Council Resolution. These demands were made by Iran and Russia who backed their complaint with accusations that the United States and their allies’ attacks on ISIS and their intents to arm and train Syrian opposition rebel groups as an uninvited aggressions and assault on the independent nations of Syria and Iraq. They further pointed to the actions taken jointly by the United States and Russia to attain Security Council backing for the initiatives to remove the chemical and biological weapons stores held by Bashir Assad in Syria which prevented any attacks on Syria by the United States holding them up as an example of the correct and cooperative manner for addressing such actions and its being preferable to any unilateral actions.


An international journalist and professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, Boris Kalyagin, speaking to Pravda.Ru on 23 September stated, “Such actions must be carried out exclusively within the boundaries of international law. That means not formal unilateral ‘notification’ of strikes but the clearly expressed approval of the government of Syria or the passage of a decision by the United Nations Security Council.” Further comments from the Wall Street Journal; noted that, “Hasan Rouhani, the president of Iran, agreed and said the U.S.-led airstrikes were illegal and constituted an attack on Syria, while also condemning Islamic State militants as ‘barbarians.’” Also quoted in the same article was Bassam Abu Abdallah, director of the Damascus Center for Strategic Studies, which is close to the Syrian regime, who stated “We are witnessing the beginning of change in the U.S. position. And in politics you have to deal with reality no matter how long you resist; there is a Syrian state that has persevered and there are institutions that one can communicate with.”


The question many might be asking about now is, “How does this relate to the Security Council without the United States?” It probably would not surprise anybody to hear that Russia in a former life as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) had expressed desires to have the veto power removed from the United States as well as its permanent membership in the Security Council even at the cost of giving up its similar privileges. These expressions were usually supported by the Soviet bloc nations as well as China, the Arab and Muslim bloc nations and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) nations, all of which have misgivings about the vetoes cast by the United States which have blocked their efforts to enforce their political intrigues. One glaring example has been the attempts of the nations of the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (IOC) and other Muslim and Arab majority nations to gain sanctions, denunciations and other censures against Israel which have almost universally met with a United States veto. One outstanding exception was after the Israeli airstrike against the Iraqi Osirak Reactor on June 7, 1981, when the United States did not veto the Security Council’s denouncing the Israeli strike on another United Nations member state, something not usually successfully accomplished against Arab nations for actions and activities against Israel. The desired changes which those disgruntled with the veto powers of the five permanent members of the Security Council, whether the discontent is over their permanent representation or their ability to unilaterally vote down any motion unilaterally with their permanent veto powers, is for at a minimum to have the veto powers rescinded and more optimistically to have the permanent representation rescinded as well thus allowing for all the positions on the Security Council to be rotated allowing for complete equality in the representation to the Security Council which would result in the Security Council to be nothing more than a glorified General Assembly with the Western nations facing overwhelming opposition by the representation from the rest of the nations. Such a Security Council would result in regular denunciations of Israel and the United States rendering both nations susceptible to economic sanctions and potential interventions by the rest of the world all done under the auspices of the United Nations. Imagine the Security Council acting as an echo chamber for the Human Right Council or the General Assembly. Such would be a resounding nightmare for the so-called free world.


Where these denunciations of the efforts by the United States and allies in combating ISIS and incorporating arming and training the Syrian rebels in their attempts to change the Syrian governance which would likely remove Syria from Iranian influences have not mentioned removing the United States veto power or permanent status in the Security Council, they are being initialed by the same interests. Former attempts to remove the United States from their blocking position in the Security Council had been centered and championed by the USSR and these efforts had pretty much gone into remission after the fall of the Soviet Union. With the recent expansionist policies and efforts engineered by Russian leader Vladimir Putin and the resumption of some of the old axes of the Arab bloc nations joining with the replacement of the USSR, the Russian Federation, we may also soon witness a renewal of the efforts to change the makeup of the Security Council which would start by removing the veto powers of the permanent members and eventually the removal of any permanent membership thus removing much of what differentiates the Security Council from the other United Nation bodies. This was a warning shot over the bow of both the United States generally and President Obama in particular. The message was a simple one warning President Obama not to get too adventurous and to not strike out too independently and remember his place and the promises he has made and the predicament that President Putin had rescued him from vis-s-vis the Syrian chemical weapons Obama Red-Line fiasco, thus the mention of the cooperative efforts between Putin and Obama and their using the United Nations to address that situation before it got completely out of hand. The warning is that there is the possibility that President Obama may have misjudged the situation and this was the one opportunity he was being warned to take to return to the greater flexibility he had promised to be capable of taking after his reelection. This was also a blatant warning from President Putin to President Obama to back off and remember his place. The odds are that President Obama will heed this warning and retreat and seek to gain the cooperation of the Security Council and by such provide Iran and Syria with a say as to how the allied bombings against ISIS will be carried out and where and when such strikes will be allowed to be carried out. We might also see a retreat on training of the rebels though it is doubtful that Britain’s Prime Minister Cameron will back away from his efforts in training and arming rebel forces so easily. It is not likely that there will be any efforts immediately to seek the redefinition of the Security Council as President Putin also enjoys the ability to stymy any adventurous use of the powers of the Security Council, especially should such efforts be taken pertaining to the conflicts currently in the Ukraine and the potential for further Russian adventurism in Luxemburg or any of the other former Soviet satellite nations. This will be an interesting test of whether President Obama has grown any bolder as a result of being forced by the threat situation to act boldly and take military measures in the Middle East and especially in Iraq, even more so after he had announced that he had pulled all the American forces from Iraq and left behind a strong, vibrant and independent nation capable of taking care of its future without the need of American military presence. It will also be an indicator of what direction the Iran nuclear negotiations are likely to take, but more on that in the near future.


Beyond the Cusp


October 1, 2014

Dozen Families Face Riotous Neighbors in New Neighborhood

The Shiloach neighborhood in Jerusalem is known to its Arab residents as Silwan which they believe is their land and must remain inviolate from any Jewish presence. The twelve newest residents came thanks to a purchase through an American company, Kandel Finance and are owned by Jews. Immediately on realizing that Jews had managed to buy residences in this predominantly Arab Muslim neighborhood they began yelling foul and demanding that the residences in question were owned by Arabs and the Jews were stealing them and must be forced out. There are actual logical and understandable reasons that Arab, especially Muslim Arabs, will deny that Jews bought any lands or apartments in what are traditionally Arab neighborhoods, especially in those areas which were previously held illegally by Jordan before the June 1967 Six Day War. Under Jordanian law selling any property to Jews was punishable by death; trials for such often optional and proved unnecessary. The future for these twelve families promises to be interesting as the Shiloach (Silwan) neighborhood has been a flashpoint for anti-Semitic attacks of varying degrees of ferocity. Attacks have spanned the gauntlet from yelling epithets to shoving to assaults to rock throwing and slinging to assaults using two-by-fours with nails protruding to fireworks and Molotov cocktails being hurled at passing Jews. These twelve families are aware of the threats and challenges they can be promised to have to survive and endure but have that pioneer spirit to take life and its difficulties in stride and seeing each as another step through which they can strengthen their resolve and reinforce their spirits.

The Shiloach (Silwan) neighborhood had contested ownership of the majority of residences and lands similarly to much of the areas in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) resulting from the occupation of the lands by Jordan resulting from their attacks during the 1948-9 Arab war of elimination to drive the Jews into the sea and destroy Israel, an effort it is claimed they lost only because some of the state of Israel remained in Jewish hands when an armistice was set. At the end of the fighting Egypt occupied Gaza and Jordan, and occupied Judea and Samaria which they gave the title of West Bank to remove the obviously Jewish denotations. Both Egypt and Jordan forced the Jews off of the occupied areas taking their properties, homes, apartments and other possessions by force and threat of death and then granting these assets to Jordanian Arabs. After the 1967 Six Day War Israel liberated these lands from Jordan and Egypt and when making peace with both nations, Egypt and Jordan surrendered their formerly occupied lands to Israel and relented any claim. Despite Egypt and Jordan relenting their claims granting the lands back to Israel, the Arabs did not return any of the confiscated properties to their former Jewish owners and when Jews bought back any of these properties the Arabs would claim they were stolen and challenge the Jewish ownership in the courts often preventing the new Jewish owners from taking possession of their properties for years. Even larger problems have developed when Arab landlords sell properties to Jews, often the landlord lives outside Israel and Jordan, not just outside the West Bank. These landlords often do not inform their tenants of the new owners or the tenants were advised but simply refused to believe they have any obligation to the new owners. This has also led to long court battles and growing frustrations. What has made these court battles even more threatening has been the propensity of the Israeli courts to decide that the Arab claims were valid and supercede the new Jewish owner’s claims returning the property to the Arab claiming he had not sold the property. This has led to a cottage industry where Arabs, either the actual owner or a counterfeit pretending to have ownership sells a property and then when the Jewish owner tries to take ownership there comes the challenge in the courts which often takes years and the Jewish defendant has at best a fifty-fifty proposition in retaining their newly purchased property instead of the Arabs retaining ownership and the money paid for the sale. When the Jewish purchaser loses these cases, they still have a remaining mortgage owed to the loaning institution which becomes an unsecured loan which leads to the possibility of a change in the interest rates, always to a higher rate. That leaves the former prospective Jewish owner of a property with no property and still a mortgage to pay on that property which was rewarded to its former owner. One of the reasons that the Arabs have for fighting in courts claiming that they had not sold the properties is because, just as when the lands were under Jordanian occupation, selling of property to Jews was punishable by death. This law is still applied by the Palestinian Authority over lands under their control in Area A and often enforced in vigilante fashion in predominantly Arab areas in the rest of former Jordanian controlled lands and even has started to become a problem within Green Line Israel in Arab neighborhoods.

The heart of the matter might have one asking why would a Jew or anybody with an ounce of common sense ever take such risks and take on such a struggle with such a large amount of doubt and possibility to be indebted for much of the rest of their life and impoverished should they have their ownership challenged and lose in a liberal court system that tends to support any Arab claim? Believe it or not, the answer is easy even if it may be a bit difficult to understand or believe. It is considered a blessing and an imperative to settle the entirety of the lands with some believing that settling the lands of Eretz Yisroel is required for the coming of the Messiah. What there is no argument is that settling the lands is definitely a mitzvah. Whether it actually is a mitzvah denoted in Jewish holy books and writings which include at the least; Torah, Nevi’im, Ketuvim, Mishnah, Gemara, Talmud, and Kabbalah, is and has been a debatable subject. Actually, whether it is actually a blessing or a commandment is unimportant as it is only important that those intending to buy lands believe they are performing mitzvahs.

This is simply another facet of the conflict in which the Arabs are contesting whether Jews will be permitted to own properties and rule their own country in an area formerly part of Arab Muslim lands which according to the Quran, or at least what many Arabs and Muslims believe, makes the lands inviolate and permanently to remain Arab and Muslim lands. This form of this conflict is less known than the more obvious forms which include terrorist acts and the Israeli responses to terrorism and organized, aggressive attacks by terrorist fighters using rockets, explosives and the other tools of war in open conflicts as the two month open warfare which threatens to become open warfare in the near future as Hamas is threatening to restart rocket barrages of Israel if Israel refuses any of their demands in negotiations such as an open and unencumbered seaport and airport through which they would be permitted to import weapons without any limitations or restrictions. The different forms of Arab and Muslim resistance to the existence of Israel has gone through changes from warfare by neighboring Arab Muslim nations which met with various levels of failure to remove the Jewish State to the multi-facetted resistance which uses open warfare, Lawfare in the courts (Israeli courts thus far which has given the Arabs and Muslims numerous victories), through international demonstrations and the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), terrorisms, rioting, public relations assaults using productions often with the aid of European leftist agitators who excel in making and editing videos for upload to social media and with which to charge IDF and Police with abuse again in Israeli and IDF trials with varying successes, and numerous other methods. There are also numerous new methods that may develop with time, some sublimely devious and some grotesquely violent, and everything in between.

Beyond the Cusp

September 30, 2014

Is a Bloodbath Rapidly Approaching?

During most attacks and even murders perpetrated by Muslims, the perpetrator often shouts Islamic phrases and insults mixed with Quranic verses while stabbing, shooting or even beheading their victims. There are the same claims from authorities and Islamic leadership with statements released by authorities claiming the act had nothing to do with Islam and that immediate precautions are to be taken to secure Islamic neighborhoods and Mosques due to the fear of revenge attacks against Muslims. The authorities give admonitions that any violence against Muslims will be treated with the utmost seriousness. Then we are reminded that, and I quote, “Islam is the religion of peace.” Then, on the other side of the coin, often when figures are released depicting increased violence against Jews and anti-Semitism the statement is almost always accompanied by claims that there has also been a concurrent increase in violence against Muslims as if one excuses the other. All of this is probably not being done in order to show equality and equal treatment of all segments of society, even those which apparently are in need of special note whenever there might be the possibility that they might feel opposed in the slightest way. These actions treating Muslims with special kid gloves whenever an extremist Islamist acts as extremist Islamist tend to act are not having the intended effects. Actually they are having exactly the opposite effects than what I hope they are intended, namely to diminish any latent and gathering resentments and anger which eventually will cause a backlash that will be beyond any ability of the authorities to prevent or even bring to a stop once it begins.


It appears that the undertow builds towards a breaking point; it appears that the Europeans in numerous countries are experiencing it at a much higher level than in the United States or Canada. In England there has been a group of Christian youths who wear the Crusader’s Cross and patrol the bus, tubes (subways for the Americans) and other public transit on the routes which pass through Muslim neighborhoods, especially those which claim they enforce Sharia, and escort single women protecting them from any violence or harm. This is a laudable reaction to what had started to become a real problem but for every one taking the route of making a difference through positive actions, how many are simply not finding a constructive release and a seething is building inside? How long before such people explode in violent acts which will only serve to increase the animosities and friction between the two cultures. Such explosions when they are singular acts eventually fade except that eventually one such act will occur during a period of heightened emotions and sensitivities and lead to a domino effect which eventually explodes into a massive assault and breakdown of civility and law enforcement. The damage and other results of such a riotous explosion of violence pitting two communities against one another will result in heightened animosity and raw nerves which may never heal and simply lead to a constant and building violence erupting between the two communities eventually leading to a total collapse requiring the imposition of martial law before order can be restored. The question comes is what happens if the men and women in the military instead of reestablishing order break their ranks and instead act as individuals each joining their respected community which will add military weaponry to the violence and making it a war for the heart and soul of that nation. And the terrifying possibility is once such open warfare begins in one nation it then poses the possibility of spreading across the entire continent or even be the spark which, like the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, will be the spark which ignites the next global war with the division being down religious lines.


Such an explosion should be feared by every sane and rational people. How this eventuality can be avoided is something that people should start pondering and take the necessary actions and soon. The cultural differences are producing a growing emotional violence which will not remain suppressed forever and the government officials are in denial and refuse to recognize the stresses and strains which are about to tear the fabric of their societies apart, shattering the calm and pitting one side of the society against the other. For this to be avoided a path must be found to support and invigorate the reputed majority of Muslims who desire for Islam to truly be the religion of peace and desire for Islam to live in balance and peace with the other religions and even the atheists and to live and let live to take charge of their religion. If while on the path to empower the peace loving Muslims who are reputed to desire to coexist, even to the point of putting the rainbow coexiston their vehicle without fear of retribution, that their numbers are insignificant and that the Islamists extremists are a sizeable segment of the total and they are supported even if not joined by an even larger and frightfully significant percentage of the body of the Islamic faith, then we will know that there is no possibility for a reformation and transformation to bring Islam into the modern age where religions are no longer universally set on spreading their faith to all nonbelievers, even by the sword. The sooner the truth of the beliefs of the vast majority of the one to one and a half billion Muslims with whom we share the planet, the sooner we can understand what this struggle will require if we wish to retain out pluralistic multicultural world and honestly believe it is worth saving.


Beyond the Cusp


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