Beyond the Cusp

January 18, 2014

There Are No Viable Peace Plans Going Forward

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There are rumors of plans and it is likely that some of these rumors and stated plans might actually be under consideration, though thus far only Secretary of State Kerry and his assembled battalion of experts and a collection of Palestinian leadership have remained completely consistent, though consistence may not exactly be helpful. The Palestinian’s united front can be told in a few sentences and starts with the complete rejection of everything Secretary Kerry has proposed. The Palestinians have been no less accommodating to anything that Israel has stated rejecting every single item Israeli leaders have suggested. The Palestinian official spokespeople have very consistent demands including the universal right of return for five million descendants of the refugees from the 1948 mostly voluntary departure of Arabs from the lands where Israel had declared their sovereignty and the combined forces of at least a half dozen Arab State’s Armies stood perched on the borders ready to launch a genocidal assault with the intent of utterly destroying every vestige that was Israel. The Mufti of Jerusalem and the commanders of the various Arab forces called on the Arabs residing within Israeli borders to depart so that they could simply slaughter every single human they encountered positive that they were not Muslims and promised them a share of the spoils taken from the defeated Jews upon their return after the glorious and inevitable victory, a victory that miraculously never came to fruition. They have also refused to neither ever recognize Israel as the Jewish State nor give up their so-called right to resistance, another word for terrorist activities. The Palestinian spokespersons also demand all of Eastern Jerusalem and every speck of dust that was lost to the Israelis by Jordan as a result of Jordan joining the Six Day War in 1967 on the second day of the fighting. And finally, though not the final demand coming from the Palestinians, they have stated their complete and total refusal to allow a single Israeli or Jew to ever set foot within their borders which would also include a complete denial of Jewish visitation to any of the dozens of holy sites such as the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, Kever Joseph, Kever Rachel, the Cave of the Patriarchs, Hevron, Shiloh and almost countless others returning to the dreadful days when these same places were so close yet denied to Jews when they were under Jordanian control. These positions are taken for two main reasons, first is that they are maximalist demands and second and probably the main reason is that they insult and demean the Jewish desire to be able to visit the places of historic importance to the Jewish people. But the intransigence and absolutist demands of the Palestinians are not news, so let’s discuss the rest of the leaked or stated plans.

 

Minister Avigdor Lieberman has put forth a plan where Israel would exchange with the Palestinians the predominantly Arab towns bordering the West Bank in exchange for the Settlement blocks of Israelis beyond the Green Line. This proposal has revealed some interesting responses from Israeli Arabs who normally are as anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-Zionist who have decried the plan claiming that under no circumstance will they stand to be traded away and placed under the governance of the Palestinian Authority. I have suspicions that this plan was not made as an actual bonafide plan but more as an offer made in order to facilitate the responses from some select people who were forced to admit their preference for living under the Jewish governance of Israel than to be handed over to the governance of the Palestinians who they constantly claim to be in such deep agreement and unity. It also has the ability to put one more item on the table to allow Secretary Kerry and his entourage to reject and reveal why it would be such a horrible plan and reveal further their desire to pry a surrender from Israeli leadership while not pressing the Palestinians for any concessions in return.

 

That reminds me of another item which has surprisingly not been given ample coverage in the mainstream media in the United States or throughout Europe or even the Israeli liberal media. Every word, flinch or reaction of any sort emanating from Israeli leadership is top of the fold front page news to be dissected and analyzed ad-nauseum as was the recent comments made in a private conversation by Israeli Defense Minister Yaalon, but the riots and degrading and insulting remarks and actions from the leadership and the residents in the Palestinian areas which are autonomous and completely under Palestinian control while the IDF is only allowed to enter these areas under certain circumstances and often requiring Palestinian permission. There have been literally riots, shoe throwing contest at pictures of Secretary of State Kerry and United States President Obama and included an interesting chant that I suspect they missed the full meaning behind the words when they chanted a challenge to Secretary Kerry deriding that he has set up offices solely in Jerusalem and appears, along with his entire support forces, afraid to set up a similar command center in Ramallah claiming that is an example of Kerry’s timidity. These riots are ignored while the media deliberates endlessly over an Israeli Minister of Defense speaking the truth which has to be obvious to any thinking honest observer. The mainstream press has even run to interview anybody who they can rely upon to point out that President Obama has been the most favorable and best friend that Israel has ever had in the White House. Please don’t make me comment on how President Obama’s friendship is tantamount to an executioner promising to sharpen the axe before executing you and expecting you to thank him and give him a tip, ahead of time of course.

 

Meanwhile, Secretary Kerry has proposed that the Israelis will be able to monitor and counter potential terrorist activity and smuggling across the Jordan River into the Palestinian state with drones and satellites. He has claimed that this method is known to work extremely well as the United States uses this exact method to hermetically seal their southern border with Mexico from illegal immigrants entering the country for years now. There has been no discussion of whether the Palestinians will permit Israeli drones in their skies and even Israeli sensors along the Jordan River. And if Israel discovers terrorist activities and rocket launching emplacements being loaded in preparation to launch at Israel or Palestinian terrorists lying in wait with MANPADS anti-aircraft weapons on the hills overlooking Ben Gurion Airport, exactly what are the Israelis supposed to do? Will the world support the Israelis mounting an IDF incursion to prevent a disastrous catastrophe when a passenger plane is destroyed coming into land at Ben Gurion Airport? How long after the IDF sends aircraft to destroy rocket launching platforms will the Palestinians be before the United Nations General Assembly, Security Council, International Criminal Court, International Court of Justice and just about every single other international body demanding Israel be sanctioned and embargoed by the entire world. Will Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama side with Israel and lead a supportive response for allowing Israel to intercede militarily to prevent terrorist acts or will they support the rest of the world’s demanding that Israel do nothing until there has been an actual attack as no member state of the United Nations should ever take up arms against a fellow member state, they should instead petition the United Nations to intercede and protect them. And we all know how such a plea will be received but we do not know how Israel will survive such a plan once enacted. Of course why should Secretary Kerry worry about such insignificant items once he has been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his forming a peace between Israel and the Palestinians and succeeding in forming a Palestinian State. Secretary of State Kerry is peddling poison and knows it. He is the angel of death wearing a nice suit, a broad smile and a devious plan which will result in the death of Israel and a second Holocaust, but it is all in the name of peace. Such a peace I would prefer to avoid, so please my friends in the United States, keep Secretary of State Kerry at home and recall his minions who are tasked with bringing his evils to fruition. We will thank you and appreciate such friendship and find a way of repaying such kindness.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 13, 2013

Saga of Avigdor Lieberman Finally Ends

Former and reinstated Foreign Minister and MK Avigdor Lieberman finally had his long anticipated trial after over a decade and a half of legal wrangling and was found not guilty and was acquitted of all charges. There was more evidence that the entire legal persecution of Minister Lieberman was perpetrated largely for political reasons than simply the opposing political stance of the Prosecutors Office. The bringing of charges almost always were timed to coincide either with elections or during the politically charged and delicate periods immediately after an election while a coalition was being formed and ministerial positions were up for consideration and appointments. By placing MK Lieberman under charges and pending a trial at the completion of further investigations, the prosecutors placed him in a politically damaged position. Then, after a period of months, the charges were most often dropped while further investigations were being pursued and after any potential for damaging MK Lieberman’s political opportunities had passed. The one other item of not was that very often one of the charges was political turpitude which carries with it a period of suspension from holding political office.

Finally, these charges of bribery and influence peddling often pertaining to MK Lieberman’s recommendation of a particular ambassador for a new ambassadorship who it was claimed had had improper dealings with MK Liebermann which should have prevented such a recommendation from ever being considered as doing so would lead to suspicions as evidenced by the over decade and a half investigation into the affair. One would suspect if there existed any solid evidence which would have proven improper acts by either party that Lieberman would have been put on trial and likely convicted in a far shorter period of time. Taking over a decade and a half to investigate one individual’s actions over an appointment to an ambassadorial position would tend to indicate that any attempts after such an overly lengthy investigation to bring Lieberman to trial and then failing to convict would actually be more damning on the prosecutorial side than it would reflect any further suspicions of Liebermann.

Is Liebermann squeaky clean and completely above any suspicions? Very likely not but if evidence cannot be gathered in a more timely manner, the case grows cold and becomes ever more difficult to prove and result in conviction. That alone may be a large part for the not guilty verdict. Still, there would appear to be more to investigate of the prosecutors as they wasted time, funds, resources and the respect of their officers for which one would be led to believe that somebody needs to be held accountable. Should it necessarily be Attorney General Weinstein who is investigated is for a court to decide. The one thing that the people of Israel should be assured of is that any investigation into why this entire circus took place and wasted so much of the government’s time will use time more efficiently than Attorney General Weinstein’s office managed in prosecuting, or should we say persecuting, Foreign Minister Lieberman.

Beyond the Cusp

March 24, 2013

Netanyahu Apology to Turkey

The last action by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu topping off United States President Obama’s visit was facilitated by the President who made the phone call to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and gave an introductory preface for Netanyahu’s apology over the Mavi Marmara interception during which IDF Naval commandos came under attack by IHH terrorists causing a firefight which resulted in nine IHH members deaths, eight of which were Turkish citizens and one was an American citizen. Prime Minister Netanyahu made his apology and promised to make compensatory payments to the next of kin of those who died during the confrontation. The entire confrontation was an effort by the IHH group with the cooperation of members of the Turkish government to break the internationally recognized naval blockade by Israel on ships wishing to carry cargo in or out of the Gaza Strip in order to prevent the transfer of arms or terrorists with Hamas and the other terrorist groups operating in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli blockade is recognized and has been determined to be legal and meeting all the requirements imposed by international law and has been approved by the United Nations. The blockade requires that ships unload their Gaza Strip bound cargoes at an Israeli port where the contents are examined for contraband and all which is not on the prohibited list of goods are then transferred into the Gaza Strip via recognized land crossing along with the regular daily shipments of aid provided by Israel.

The Mavi Marmara was the sole ship from the flotilla which refused to divert to the Israeli port and instead attempted to break the blockade. The goods on the other ships was inspected and transferred into the Gaza Strip where it sat until removed as the out of date foodstuffs and medicines were of no interest to Hamas or the people residing in the Gaza Strip as they receive sufficient supplies of fresh food and medical supplies as part of the support provided via Israeli truck transfers. The Mavi Marmara contained no supplies whatsoever and was solely intended to force a confrontation for the sake of propaganda against Israel and providing news footage which would show the IDF forces as being needlessly violent and using undue force against the IHH mercenaries who were to be portrayed as innocent, nonviolent human rights activists. Their plan was foiled as footage of the confrontation revealed the violence which was unleashed upon the Israeli soldiers as they rappelled onto the Mavi Marmara’s decks. They were set upon by terrorists wielding baseball bats, iron rods, knives and swords. The Israeli commandos were armed with paintball guns filled with pepper-ball ammunition and were forced to turn to their sidearms in self-defense. The result of the attacks was nine IHH members died and several IDF soldiers were hospitalized with at least one permanently disabled. The IHH members were recorded claiming their desire to either break the blockade or die as shahids, martyrs. There were miscalculations and planning errors made by the Israeli commanders who apparently thought that the flotilla was a protest stand and not a military operation intent on confrontation and possibly killing the IDF soldiers. The Mavi Marmara did not carry aid of any sort and was being utilized purely for the confrontation with intent on causing as much violence as they potentially were able. As to which side was at greater fault is dependent upon the person asked and needless to point out is that the Turkish government and many leaders blame Israel for using disproportional force and murdering the nine IHH members and the Israelis point to the film of the confrontation which shows the overt and potentially lethal force unleashed on the IDF soldiers as they boarded the Mavi Marmara and claims their actions were purely self-defense and completely legal.

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan insisted that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu make a formal apology and pay compensation to the families of the nine dead IHH members. Prime Minister Netanyahu refused to apologize and held fast to that position until he finally capitulated to President Obama’s demands onboard Air Force One under the coxing of United States President Obama. Even with the apology and offer of payment to the families, Prime Minister Netanyahu had not entirely surrendered and Prime Minister Erdogan had also compromised by accepting a phone call apology instead of a formal apology. The apology by Prime Minister Netanyahu has caused a fair amount of controversy in Israel with the divide along the lines one might expect with a few exceptions. Former Foreign Minister Lieberman made the first and likely most boisterous condemnation claiming that Israel should not be seen to grovel over defending herself. Minister of the Knesset Chetboun also objected claiming that the apology conveyed a message to IDF soldiers that the government does not have their backs in such situations and confrontations when facing violent terrorists. Meanwhile, Tzipi Livni and Shelly Yachimovich both supported Prime Minister Netanyahu making the apology claiming that good relations with Turkey outweigh pride and was the expedient thing to do. The question is whether or not the apology will return relations between Israel and Turkey to be as they were before the Mavi Marmara incident or if the relations have deteriorated too far already and if so why and at whose initiative?

There will be many who will propose that things between Turkey and Israel are on the mend and will point mainly to trade or anything else that they can show which supports such a claim. Tourism might even revive with time but the real signs that relations are improved would be on the political and military relations. Since the Mavi Marmara confrontation, Israel and Turkey have not had any further joint military exercises with Turkey insisting Israel not be included in what had previously been joint exercises the two nations and the United States and NATO. Those who will use trade as their proof are pointing to one aspect of Turkish-Israeli relations which had not suffered any real measurable amount as that was one area which remained healthy except for the military sectors. Most of the military trade between Israel and Turkey consisted of Israeli systems traded to Turkey which were curtailed as part of the freeze which had set in. The break began when Turkey cancelled all outstanding orders for Israeli military systems. Should this sector of trade resume it may be a sign of a return to healthy and friendly relations.

Turkey is currently in a state of siege with half a million Syrian refugees and a full blown civil war on their southern border. Adding to this is the undeniable fact that Iraq has sided with Iran and has been facilitating the Iranian supplying of Syrian dictator Bashir Assad’s forces including sending IRGC troops to fight against the rebels. They are also going to need to deal with what is essentially a Kurdish state on their eastern borders. Turkey will bear watching in the immediate future to discern which direction Prime Minister Erdogan will lead his country. Should he continue in the path he has been following the world will watch as Turkey slides closer to the Muslim world and discards their secular history returning to their Islamic past. Erdogan has wisely moved slowly initially, almost unperceptively, undoing everything that was built through the changes brought be Kemal Atatürk. We had discussed the trend towards Islamist principles and their trending away from Western culture and warned of the growing threat Turkey was going to pose for NATO on January 15, 2010, in an article titled <a href=http://beyondthecusp.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/the-turkey-problem-for-nato/>The Turkey Problem for NATO</a> and earlier noted the slide towards Islam as part of an article titled <a href=http://beyondthecusp.wordpress.com/2007/06/21/is-turkey-at-the-tipping-point/>Is Turkey at the Tipping Point?</a> back on June 21, 2007. Unfortunately most of the Western nations have blithely been ignoring all the signs right before their eyes and continue to ploy Turkey with arms and favorable treatment. But then again, if the recent deals made to arm Egypt and Saudi Arabia is any sign, the Western nations are blithely ignoring every warning sign. It is due to this limitation in foresight that it will be claimed that Israel and Turkey are friends once more and anything which can be attributed to that end will be applauded and touted as a great achievement. Hopefully, at least some in the Israeli leadership will not be blinded to the truth and will advise a cautionary approach in relations and trust towards Turkey. A little caution is always advisable and even more so when dealing with new friend, or as in this case a renewed friend. Israel should not be too quick to forget the bad blood that has come between them and Turkey or to forget and forgive that the Turkish government supported and assisted the IHH terrorists with their flotilla. Israel should not believe that they had no knowledge of the planned violence by the IHH members even though this will be exactly what the world will demand of Israel.

Beyond the Cusp

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