Beyond the Cusp

September 19, 2014

Hamas Sticking to Single ‘Must Have’ Demand or Else

 

More often than not when the time nears that any ceasefire approaches its end date, Hamas will emphasize a single ‘must have’ issue and wait until actual talks to try to pry additional concessions before reaching some agreement. Every agreement with Hamas is never actually a truce as we in the Western nations understand; it is always referred to by Hamas in its Islamic term, a Hudna. The difference between a truce, accord or peace agreement and a Hudna is easily defined but almost always ignored by those making such deals with Islamic elements. A Hudna is a temporary halt to the actual fighting while the hostilities continue as does the preparations to continue the violent struggle. Whenever the Muslims who entered into a Hudna agreement feel they are sufficiently stronger or prepared for continuing their war and feel they will be able to win outright or, if not attaining victory vanquishing their enemy, then they at least will make some gains even if it is just additional concessions. No Hudna may last longer than a decade as after ten years the Muslim forces are obliged to resume their struggle. The interesting item this time is Hamas is not calling for a sizeable prisoner release as is their usual demand. This time Hamas is demanding something which would be a permanent game changer and guarantee the next resumption of hostilities would be on a whole new level and demand a different result which would be far more severe no matter which side proved victorious, and that might be an item in question to be resolved by the resumed conflict.

 

The demand which Hamas is placing the entirety of their promise for a Hudna, a temporary, and in this case very temporary, cessation of hostilities, is the lifting of the blockade and their being permitted an international airport and sea ports. Their given reasoning is that the blockade does not permit them the ability to import building materials and to export their goods and farm produce. Their complaint that the farm produce is encountering difficulties accessing an international market has always bemused me when combined with their explanations as to why they must fire their rockets and munitions from within urban and built-up areas, often residential in nature or by schools and such because Gaza is border to border urban areas making it the most densely populated area on the planet. With such a problem with buildings border to border one must question from where the farm produce originates. This and other items were covered in an article titled, <a herf=http://wp.me/pIou8-1zI target-blank>Gaza, Hamas, Corrected Falsehoods, Frightening Realities</a>. Their claim that they have difficulty importing building materials and exporting their produce because of the Israeli arms and dual use items embargo along with the Egyptian total embargo on their Gaza Sinai border is an untruth. Israel permits relatively unfettered access for any export items including farm produce providing Hamas permits it to reach the designated crossing points into Israel. Once it crosses into Israel it is usually intended and is sent to the Palestinian areas in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) or to Jordan across the Allenby Bridge. If there were to be items intended for Europe or Asia there would likely be arrangements for it to be flown or shipped from Israel to its destination with the possible exception of those countries which do not permit direct import for items leaving from Israel. In such cases some other arrangements would need to be made and this might be best accomplished by having limited passage for export or import through Egypt which places such beyond Israeli control. The building provisions are limited because of the slight propensity for Hamas to confiscate hundreds of millions of Shekels worth of such provisions in order to construct extensive tunnels and underground bunkers and command centers sufficient to hold not only the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups’ numbers but potentially could hold almost the entire population of Gaza. Granted doing so would make easy access for the terrorist fighters to get from one rocket launching platform to another somewhat difficult, but the people would be safer than having Hamas and friends herd them into schools and other civilian structures around rocket launching position in order to produce maximum civilian casualties in Gaza for the reporters to photograph and release to the world claiming to show how heartless the Israelis are in their conducting of warfare.

 

So, if it is not for the reasons of import and export and unfettered access to building provisions such as concrete and aluminum, then why is Hamas so intent on gaining a sea port and airport? In order to place what the urgency is in gaining this access one needs to look beyond the shores of Gaza and even beyond the borders of Israel and Egypt. One need go further than Hezballah in Lebanon or Bashir al-Assad in Syria. One needs to go all the way to Qatar which already provides Hamas with funding. One need understand that Qatar does not have a significant military force and that the military they have has been rather well armed for their immediate needs and threats. Qatar could arm every citizen and they would still be unable to resist an invasion by Saudi Arabia, the closest potential threat to Qatar as the Qataris have developed close relations with Iran and this has not exactly pleased the Saudis. Still, the odds of a Saudi attack on Qatar are remote to nonexistent. This becomes more so when one realized that Qatar is also a major base for the United States and one of the home bases for the United States fleet when it is in the Persian Gulf, something that has been quite regular of late. So, since the Qatari military was already sufficiently armed one must question why Qatar would purchase eleven-billion dollars of top of the line equipment including MANPAD anti-aircraft weapons, Apache Longbow Attack Helicopters, Patriot Missile Batteries, Javelin Anti-Armor Systems, Air Refueling Tankers and associated weaponry. Qatar has also been seeking to purchase jet fighters and has been shopping with Airbus and Boeing. When one figures that Qatar has a population of 1.7 million; this produces figures that they just purchased almost six-and-a-half-billion dollars of weaponry per person. Add to this that Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani made the first official visit to Hamas-controlled Gaza by a head of state and during the visit promised four-hundred-million dollars in aid to Hamas and there comes the problem. Obviously these weapons were not purchased for Qatari defense purposes and were instead intended for Hamas to use against Israel. The only thing missing is a sea port or an airport to deliver the goods. This does not take a rocket scientist to figure out; yet, just wait and watch the world demand that Israel lift their arms embargo and threaten to embargo Israel should Israel not comply. Welcome to a world that seems to be more appropriate for items from Mad Magazine than from our news outlets which are reporting these items as real facts on the ground.    Unbelievable!

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 14, 2014

Egyptian President Sisi Takes the Lead as Obama Follows

President Obama made clear by his speech laying out his grand plan to address the threats from ISIS that he would once again be leading from behind, probably far behind and virtually out of site. Stepping up to take the lead was Egyptian President Sisi who schooled United States Secretary of State John Kerry during the Secretary’s visit to Egypt in his tour to gather backers to follow from the lead for President Obama to stand behind. Secretary Kerry has presumably secured the backing of ten Arab governments including Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and six Gulf States, amongst them Saudi Arabia and Qatar, despite their current disagreements. There has even been some tentative support for fighting ISIS from European governments. Britain has previously said it is sending arms to Kurdish fighters who are battling the group, and is supporting American airstrikes with surveillance and intelligence and the French have offered to also provide air support in Iraq but has expectedly stated total refusal to assist with operations in any form in Syria. It remains to be seen what effect the latest beheading of David Haines, a forty-four-year-old father of two from Scotland who was working for the French aid agency ACTED, will have on the European governments now that a European has followed the two American victims of ISIS and their loathsome Islamist extremist practices.

Egyptian President Sisi discussed with Secretary Kerry that any gathered coalition of nations which has been assembled to deal with the threats posed by ISIS and their spread across Syria and Iraq and now potentially threatening Lebanon that the mission should be expanded to include others of the numerous Islamist terror entities in the Middle East and across North Africa, in particular the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis terrorists who have taken to the Sinai and have murdered a number of Egyptian forces as well as possibly having bombed the Egyptian pipeline which provided Jordan and Israel vital energy needs. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis was unfortunately the only other group which Egyptian President Sisi named but it can be hoped that should the targeting be broadened, as he intimated was desirable, as long as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis was one of the additional targets, would also include such Islamist terrorist groups as Boko Haram as well as, dare we dream, Hamas, Hezballah, Islamic Jihad and even the Muslim Brotherhood along with the remains of al-Qaeda in all its disparate splinter groups across the Middle East and North Africa, the Taliban, the terrorists in the Kashmir, tribal areas of Pakistan, those operating in Yemen, Somalia, and even the groups being formed in the Western world. That, of course, would be way too much to ask, especially of President Obama who appears incapable of addressing even one single threat from abroad, let alone the plethora of Islamic groups who have resorted to violence and the sword following the laws exactly as written in the Koran and the Hadiths. There exists at least a half dozen tribal warlords causing insecurity and perpetrating violent attacks while ignoring the completely impotent government in the former nation of Libya. These same warlords and terrorists fighting within Libya have also been known to attempt and too often succeed in transferring weapons and weapons systems to Hamas and Hezballah since the United States led NATO from behind in toppling Moammar Kaddafi.

I’ll not be holding my breath as I am fully aware that President Obama only spoke of a grand plan so as to remove ISIS and their beheading off the front pages so he could tee off without a care once again. Whenever President Obama will be queried over the progress being realized and what comes next in his grand plan he will respond that he had laid out a plan that was comprehensive and that he let it be known from the very outset that the wearing down and degrade of ISIS and their ability to take and hold areas and pose a threat to the areas of the Middle East and that the plan will take a good many years to reach fruition and the media and people need to show determination and patience as results will be made even if they are not initially apparent and seen by all. Obama will claim that everything is right on track as he had promised and that everything that can and needs to be done is being addressed and we just need to stay the course. “Stay the course”, why does that sound so familiar?

It is often bemusing to me how the politicians, especially those who have the fortune of sitting in the White House, if given sufficient time will begin to sound just like their predecessors as if there is a playbook of acceptable phrases to be used in certain situations. Maybe we should be at least thankful that the phrase “Peace in our time” has been so completely devastated by its most infamous use that it now is relegated to political cartoons and comedians. I still sometime lean forward fully expecting somebody to use that phrase just because it is so well known and politicians have been known for saying the ridiculous as well as reusing worn to death phrases when they end up speaking without an actual script on the teleprompter in front of them. Fortunately, I am among those who have no difficulty and great empathy for President Obama and his dependence on a script on a teleprompter in front of him. Having run for office I get to realize the necessity at times to have such a script before you, such as when taping a spot for release or making a short video for use in the coverage of the campaign when asked for a spot by the network. Still, I preferred the forum of debates, especially those where the audience, the voters, got to ask the questions as that put me on an even playing field against my opponents who spent almost five-million-dollars each on their campaigns against my pittance by comparison.

My most treasured memory of that traumatic experience was after a question about support for the death penalty where both my liberal leaning opponents made definitive, strong statements describing in detail their unwavering opposition. Then came my turn and I spoke of the very few cases where there is no possibility to rehabilitate people who were beyond any definition of anything but evil and that needed to be permanently removed from society as anything else left the possibility, which no matter how slight was still a possibility that they would be released. I gave a few names from famous cases, not all of which resulted in death penalty being applied. During rebuttal both my opponents modified their unwavering opposition to mostly unwavering opposition accepting that there might be rare incidents where such was possibly a consideration. I barely resisted laughing hysterically; I just jumped up and screamed really? Well, I did so in my mind while remaining reserved, austere and without anything more overt than a small smirk of satisfaction. In my rebuttal I thanked in name both of my opponents for validating my position and coming around and seeing the light. Now if only the politicians could come around and see the darkness that is spreading over our planet and realize that it must be cut down and eradicated now or the price will only get higher and higher, and it has been high enough already. We only need to start adding up the cost, Madrid, New York, London, Mumbai, Bali, Washington D.C., Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Belsan and on and on. Just one question followed by the answer. What was the first high profile newsworthy terrorist strike on United States soil and how many were killed and name of the most prominent victim?

Answer: The attack took place on June 5, 1968, in Los Angeles, California, in the Ambassador Hotel’s Embassy Room ballroom just after midnight. This was the scene of the Democrat candidate for President who had just won two more primaries. Senator and Presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy was gunned down by Sirhan Sirhan who in interrogations repeatedly confessed that he was a Palestinian and was defending the Palestinians from this supporter of Israel and he had murdered Senator Robert Kennedy for political reasons and for the cause of the Palestinians. This was not emphasized and virtually untold by the media. It remains such a secret that most people I tell of this immediately demand proof and claim they will need to look this up. At least some have had the rare ability to thank me for giving them the information once they validate the information.

Beyond the Cusp

September 8, 2014

Palestinians Prove Statehood Not the Target, Israel Is!

The mantra from much of the world and most emphatically from the Western, Muslim and Arab worlds is that whatever offer Israel presents to the Palestinians, it is insufficient and thus must be rejected. Part of the Palestinian demands is for the right of return for the refugees which are still unsettled from the war lost by the Arab forces from more than six nations in an attempt to wipe Israel from existence immediately after her founding. Resulting from this war and the ensuing decade of sporadic violence against the Jewish populations across the Arab world forced almost two million total refugees from their homes, businesses, lives and history resulting in their influx to Israel. These refugees were of comparable numbers with approximately seven-hundred-thousand Arab Palestinian refugees and eight-hundred-fifty-thousand Jewish refugees from across the Arab world who were forced from their homes and dispossessed of their wealth and properties as well as the hundreds of thousands of European Jewish refugees who were survivors of World War II and all of its persecutions as well as many Jews who were rejected from their homes in a number of places throughout Europe. The basic truth is that a comparable number of Jews were forced into exile as Arabs fled or were dispossessed during the war against the founding of Israel which spanned 1948 and 1949 before a ceasefire was reached and an Armistice Line produced which has since been known as the Green Line. The difference is that the Arab refugees were forced into camps and prohibited from citizenship, right to own property, right to work in all but the most menial of professions and basically shunned socially and politically by their Arab brethren while the entirety of the Jewish refugees were accepted into Israeli society and their children and their children’s children makeup about half of the Israeli population. It also bears noting that the Arabs who chose to remain in Israel are today citizens of Israel with full rights to vote, hold office, serve as judges, physicians, lawyers, or any profession of their choice and may reside and own property same as any Israeli Jew, their lives are legally as equals.

Egyptian president General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has this past week offered Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas to cede 160 square kilometers of land in the Sinai Peninsula bordering Gaza at the Rafah junction, which is equal to five times the size of Gaza, to place the refugees and relent on the demands for right of return thus making the return to the Green Line as demarking the border with Israel acceptable. This land offered by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi would be in addition to the lands of Gaza and Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and to be used solely for the resettlement of the refugees permitting them to begin a normal form of life. It was reported that Mahmoud Abbas refused the offer without stopping to blink his eyes. Immediately and completely out of hand Abbas refused to consider, debate or even offer some counter-proposal to President al-Sisi’s generous offer and providing a viable end to the otherwise inexorable standoff between the Palestinians and Israel. This offer had the approval and acceptance by Israel, the United States and one may assume the European Union as well if approached would have also approved. Abbas simply refused without even the hint of an explanation. So, what ever could be the reasoning which forced Abbas to once again discard and reject a generous offer which would have given the Palestinians lands almost twice that of even the most generous offer Israel could ever grant, that being a complete withdrawal to the Green Line and dividing Jerusalem.

The reason has been understood and has been stated regularly in Arabic by Abbas as well as his predecessor, Yasser Arafat. The reason was the sole and announced reason that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded upon in 1964, a full three years before the Six Day War in June of 1967 and thus before Israel controlled any lands beyond the Green Line or her borders with Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt. The PLO Charter called for the liberation of all of Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea also calling for the destruction of Israel. The Palestinian Arab refugees have been kept in refugee camps and under refugee status with their own United Nations organization, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), taking responsibility for their care and setting the rules by which somebody is to be considered a Palestinian refugee with rights to return to their homes in Israel. This places the Palestinian Arab refugees as a separate entity to the whole of humanity’s refugees who are adjudicated and cared for by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) whose mission statement demands that this agency take all measures necessary to incorporate the refugees under their care into the national population within which they are located. The UNHRC recognized only those who were displaced and realized refugee status at the time of inception and cannot be transferred to their children or their children’s children or any other relative, thus any refugee group which comes under the normal care of the United Nations can last no longer than a single generation. UNRWA has a completely different set of rules and objectives. UNRWA not only permits the passing of refugee status from one generation to the next but also includes and others who may become a member of the household such as a spouse upon marriage. When a Palestinian refugee marries, even if they wed somebody who is not only not a Palestinian refugee, and not even a Palestinian, and not even Arab but, for example, they marry a French Canadian, then that French Canadian and their immediate family are now admissible as Palestinian refugees. Between this and simple reproduction the original Palestinian Refugees now number over five-million. And even if a Palestinian Refugee or their prodigy were to leave the refugee camps and take up residence with citizenship in another country, say San Diego, California in the United States, they retain their refugee status under UNRWA as well their children and their children’s children into perpetuity. Another remarkable trait of these Palestinian refugees is that every last single one of the families left their homes which were within Israeli Green Line and none fled from Judea, Samaria or Gaza. These refugees cannot be permitted to be normalized and relieved of their refugee status in any manner except by being accepted as Israeli citizens as a part of any agreement Abbas might consider, an effect which would alter Israel into simply another Palestinian Arab state and the Jewish People would no longer have their homelands. That is the reason behind the refusal of al-Sisi’s generous and logical offer for a solution to the refugee situation. Since his offer did not include the destruction of Israel as the Jewish homelands, it was completely unacceptable as the end result of the formation of the PLO instituted in order to bring about the end of Israel and her Jews throughout its metamorphosis to Fatah, the Palestinian Authority, and now, according to Abbas, the State of Palestine. Very simple, any solution that would be acceptable to Abbas and the Palestinian leadership can be summed up as follows; To Know Israel leads to No Peace but to Know Peace only if it Produces No Israel.

The aims have not altered one iota from 1964 when the PLO first demanded the purging and purification of all of Palestine from its Jewish presence. There is no difference in the view of reaching a peace with Israel between the PLO, Fatah, Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, ISIS, IRAN, Hezballah and still much of the so-called Arab Street. And furthermore, they mostly agree with Hamas in the call for the eradication of the Jewish People wherever they may reside on the entirety of planet Earth. Where Abbas and Fatah, the PLO and, for as long as Abbas can avoid elections, the Palestinian Authority desire an Arab State in place of Israel and spanning from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea with an elected governance and a secular governance, Hamas desires the same state for the Palestinian Arab also called Palestine but under Sharia exactly the same as ISIS (now referring to themselves as IS though their claim to Caliphate is weak and debatable) and as ISIS desires spreading Sharia across the globe, so does Hamas and their ally Islamic Jihad and their parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. It may start with Israel and the Jews, but it will not end there and eventually Hamas, ISIS, Fatah, Boko Haram, Islamic Jihad, Hezballah, al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda, Wahhabis, Iran, Turkey, Qatar, and numerous other terrorist entities and Arab and Muslim nations will, after eradicating the Jews of Israel, spread their hatred and Sharia into Africa, across Europe, sweeping through Southeast Asia, spreading over South America and eventually, if not sooner, into the United States and Canada. Their desire and aim is no different than any of the other forces which made their vain attempts to conquer the known world and must be prevented from attaining their goal the exact same way. The one truth that must be stressed in the hopes that it is not realized in its potentially worst case scenario, they must be met with greater strength of arms and dedicated warfare to annihilate their chance to achieve even a limited form of their goals just as every other tyrant with delusions of world conquest before them. The longer this battle is postponed, the more costly in blood and treasure the conflict demand be borne. That has been true every time in the past and will prove just as valid in the twenty-first century.

Beyond the Cusp

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