Beyond the Cusp

August 30, 2014

What Palestinian Unity Government Will Yield

The universally touted ceasefire, ironed out in Cairo, approved by the United States, fashioned and agreed to by Hamas and Israel, is a disaster described as a permanent peace. The central pivotal concept centers on placing the management of the reconstruction of the Gaza infrastructure and rebuilding of homes, schools mosques and other structures to the newly formed Palestinian unity government. This merging of Hamas and Islamic Jihad into the Palestinian Authority has been perceived by the European Union, the individual European governments, the United States and the majority of the rest of the world as well as the United Nations as an empowering of Mahmoud Abbas. This is considered a great leap forward towards resolving the Israeli Palestinian problem as now Gaza has been reunited with and under the control of the Palestinian Authority, the presumed Israeli partner for peace. The assumption prevalent behind this line of thought is that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have surrendered and are the weaker components of this merging and that the Palestinian Authority will continue to proceed with Mahmoud Abbas at its head. These expectations also theorize that the secular centric political makeup from Fatah will prevail over the Islamist bend of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and their fellow jihadists both in Gaza and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). This optimistic view ignores much of recent events and historic evidence. Ignoring any possibility that their expectations and assumptions may be imperfect, the western nations led by the United States, United Nations and European union are going full speed ahead pressuring Israel to revive the peace process and assist in building the newly untied Palestinian state with Mahmoud Abbas at its head. The only problem is these Pollyannish visions are as far from reality as humanly possible.

 

Apparently everybody has decided to ignore the coup attempt, which Israeli intelligence assisted by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) prevented by arresting some ninety-three Hamas and related Islamists who were the core behind this planned taking control of the new unity government by the Islamist forces which have ruled in Gaza since the 2007 coup. The difference between the Hamas coup success in Gaza against the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas and their United States trained security forces and their recent failed attempt at a coup in the West Bank failed solely due to Israeli intervention. Remove the Shin Bet and IDF and their intelligence abilities and leave the entirety of the West Bank under Palestinian Authority control as any comprehensive peace and establishment of a Palestinian state would produce and the next Islamist coup would end Palestinian Authority rule and place the leaders from Hamas and Islamic Jihad or others into control of all the Palestinian areas, both West Bank and Gaza. The real question that needs to be resolved before the formation of any Palestinian state had to be how to prevent the Islamists from taking control of that state by force a mere months or weeks or even days or hours after its formation and the removal of Israeli forces from those areas. The solutions which have suggested such things as having United Nations or European Union troops as the inspectors and monitors responsible for preventing further violence and terrorism once the Palestinian state has been formed would be a joke if the unavoidable disaster they would cause would not be so costly for Israel. The problem is when Europeans were presumably given the task of monitoring just the Rafah crossings after the disengagement by Israel under Western pressure in August of 2005, they deserted their position within weeks, spend a few more weeks hiding in their Tel Aviv hotel rooms before fleeing back to Europe never to be seen again and immediately before the 1967 Arab Israeli war which became known as the Six Day War was preceded by the removal of all the United Nations monitors from the Sinai Peninsula simply at the request of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Why should Israel now put any faith in these very same enforcers of a peaceful compliance by any future Palestinian state considering their past dire and complete failures? None of these self-anointed paragons of virtue and keepers of the peace would ever rely on such shaky guarantees when their own safety is in the balance, so why should Israel act any differently. These insignificant concerns, at least to the Western nations according to their beliefs, are being ignored and the Israelis are chided and cast as untrusting and acting counter to those necessary to form a lasting peace. But what would such a future Palestinian state allowed to be formed as the Western and other world interests are now demanding act, especially towards Israel, Europe and its Arab neighbors, in the immediate and on into the future times?

 

Any Palestinian state forced into existence against Israeli better judgment, which is often very different than the official government position and sometimes, as in the recent acceptance of the ceasefire with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the government may hold the better judgment while the Prime Minister finds their own path independent from the advisories and desires of the rest of the government and even the people of Israel, will likely not produce anything close to the rosy pictures painted by those governments and others pushing their ideas on Israel. Unfortunately, as we depicted in yesterday’s article, there are those amongst the Israeli political elite who have become beaten down by the constant conflicts and pressures from supposed allies who have often pressured these political leaders to take risks and trust their promises, which almost universally fell apart, and were unmet leaving Israel facing predicaments which were unnecessary, thus leaving them ready, even anxious, to just take the path offered and avoid the aspersions and internecine arguments which in the past have combined to remove their ability to stand strong with an unbendingly strong spine and superhuman spirit which they had so many times in the past prevailed with in similar pressured political conflicts. Should that thus far and blessedly unrealized Palestinian state now be finally realized, it will very probably be less than a year before any security arrangement and any monitoring force outside the IDF, the one security option uniformly rejected by every Palestinian leader including those from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and also the Palestinian Authority, the force of reason, would have been removed or ended with claims that they were no longer necessary. The reality would be they were becoming too dangerous or costly to continue and fell victim to Palestinian pressures and violent opposition. This would be the necessary precursor to the overthrow of any secular and acceptable governance put in place by any agreement which is currently being proposed and will soon be forced upon Israel. Within weeks, months at the most, after the dissolution of any security and monitoring arrangement that Islamists from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and even forces under Iranian control will take over the Palestinian state through a coup and finally the Islamist forces will have attained their dream of complete control over all of the contested regions. Once the Islamist coup replaces the secularist Palestinian government any idea of a supposed coexistence with Israel dies a hard and permanent death. While Israel would then have the “I told you so right”, that would prove to be of little consolation as Israel would be facing a foreboding and also apocalyptic threat. Any expectation of the same nations and other world organization which gave Israel the litany of guarantees and promises assuring Israeli security and safety be assured would be senseless as the complete litany of guarantors would be whistling innocently and strolling off while professing to see no evil, hear no evil, but they may start to speak some evil as they claim to perceive absolutely no real problem and continue to demand that Israel act as if no threat exists.

 

There would be emergency meetings held all complaining that they had been forced into session from Israeli paranoid alarmism and would call for renewed calm and see no reason for actions or precautions of any kind. When the eventual and unavoidable initial aggressions such as rocket launchings came from both Gaza and the entirety of the Judean hills overlooking central Israel, such as have been witnessed emanating from Gaza, the world would demand that both sides show restraint as they also ended all flights into Ben Gurion International Airport for security and safety reasons. The conflicting signals would be brushed aside claiming that Israeli alarmist complaints were unwarranted as there had been no or relatively few Israeli casualties resulting from the unaimable rockets and any threats had been intercepted by the Iron Dome systems while their interruption in air service to Israel due to the perceived potential dangers to flights into and out of Ben Gurion International Airport were temporary and were no definitive comment on the level of danger of the situation. This is the identical reaction to the terrorist threat Israel faces currently and throughout her brief history. Ever since the Israel shockingly quick victory in the Six Day War the world had taken the position that Israel is not under any dire threat from the surrounding Arab nations or their terror proxies and thus should not react in any overt manner to any threats they may pose. This has been most evidenced in most of the interactions by the United States, especially the Department of State, in every attempt to reach an agreement after every incursion into violence by Palestinian terror forces. This was again made apparent during the past fifty day on again off again intermittent mix of rockets with the corresponding Israeli counter attacks interspersed with brief ceasefires almost universally broken by Hamas or Islamic Jihad while the leadership and representatives of both the Western world and many international organizations repeatedly demanded Israel accept the next ceasefire and accept every intimation of peace for the real thing. This has been the insistence of the United Nations, European Union and most of the Western governments pressed upon Israel demanding they accept every offer of peace as truthful from the Arabs initially and the Palestinians since the Arab Israeli conflict was rewritten to give Israel the image of invincible, dominance and being impervious to any effort of the Arabs once they had substituted the Palestinians as Israel’s enemies in place of the reality of twenty-two Arab nations.

 

This result has its best chance of becoming reality with the coming announcement by Mahmoud Abbas which will reach its pinnacle at the opening ceremonies for the United Nations General Assembly this coming September when he makes his official request that the Security Council pass a binding Chapter Seven Resolution setting a date for all Israeli civilians and IDF and security forces to be removed back behind the Green Line, the 1949 Armistice Lines allowing for the birth of the Palestinian state. His argument will be that the unity government has made the formation of Palestine in its totality including both the West Bank and Gaza. He will demand that free passage between Gaza and the West Bank be guaranteed. The great hope that such is finally possible is based on the support that the United States has given to the Palestinians and the apparent animosity between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the attempts by Secretary of State Kerry to force Israel to surrender to the Palestinian demands during the recent peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority during Secretary Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy. The added impetus may have been provided by the attempted persuasion by the United States for Qatar and Turkey, chief allies and supporters of Hamas, to replace Egypt in the recent diplomatic efforts to end the Hamas and Islamic Jihad war with Israel. Even Egypt was opposed to this idea yet the Americans continued until finally Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel succeeded in resisting these efforts and reached an agreement which Hamas had little choice but to accept as they had suffered damage which they could no longer afford to continue their conflict with Israel. Should this call for a Palestinian state come to fruition, then the clock will have started in an inexorable countdown to an Islamist adversary perched on the Israeli borders. This would lead to the inevitable final war which would either bring the end of Israel or returning the conflict to between Israel and some form of Arab or Muslim entities, most likely some coalition of Islamist forces. Even if all of the Sunni Arab nations were to reach an arranged peace or coexistence with Israel, this would still leave Hezballah out of Lebanon, Syria for as long as Bashir Assad can retain power and Iran determined to eradicate Israel. These forces could also include Iraq or at least the Shiite southern Iraq should that beleaguered nations split into a Kurdish nation in the north, a Shiite nation in the south possibly being absorbed by Iran and a Sunni state in the center possibly ruled by ISIS. Perhaps part of the reason that Iran has supported the Sunni terror forces of the Muslim Brotherhood spawned Hamas is due to its loss of a stable Syrian allied state and an unpreoccupied Hezballah which is entangled in the Syrian civil war while Hamas offered to ally with Iran against Israel by willingly offering to threaten and attack Israel should Israel decide to attack the Iranian nuclear program. Either way, Hamas has been augmented in their abilities which were evidenced by their increased range of rockets in the recent conflict. This would be multiplied should they also control the West Bank as well as Gaza and this would be an existential threat which Israel could not allow. Still, this is simply one of the scenarios which Israel faces which would force her into a literal fight for her survival, a survival upon which the fate of the Jewish people rests.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 20, 2014

Hamas Jihad to Destroy Abbas and Rule Palestinian People

By now everybody has probably read a number of articles which have stated that Hamas was the force behind the kidnapping of three Israeli teens on their way home from their respective Yeshivas. For Hamas, being singled out for the blame, or the credit as they view the situation, was exactly what they desired as it will give them opportunities on three fronts. The first front is, of course, the kidnapping hurts Israel and makes the Israeli government, security organizations and the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) all appear to be incompetent. Furthermore, as the search takes longer and longer and the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn, G0d forbid, into months, the IDF will appear to be less effective while also angering Palestinians whose lives will inevitably suffer and be ripped from their normalcy. The second front is it makes Hamas appear to be stronger and better able to gain the release of the terrorists and security prisoners from Israeli incarceration. It places Hamas front and center before the eyes of the Palestinians giving them hope that there is a force which is fighting to further the Palestinian hopes of establishing their own nation, be that nation beside Israel or preferably, as many of them view it, in place of Israel with the Jews washed from the lands they covet. Lastly, by holding the high ground in the struggles against Israel, Hamas forces Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to choose who to placate with the words and statements desired by Israel, the United States and the Europeans. Abbas is forced into that position as he must do everything within his power to keep the funding of the Palestinian Authority. As Abbas speaks the soothing words meant to keep the funding and the Western government’s pressures on the Israelis to make concessions in exchange for another round of useless talks, Hamas points to Abbas’s words translating them into Arabic and asking the big question to the Palestinian people, who do you want as your leaders, the weak and pathetic Abbas and Fatah who are the weaker horse always pleading and saying things that are pleasant in the ears of Israel and the Western governments or do you really want Hamas which is the strong horse who has taken the children of the reviled Jews and is forcing them to beg for their children and who stand firmly in opposition to those Western nations who actually support Israel and are not the friend of the Palestinian people.

 

This abduction of the three teens, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel, was planned not just for the political gains and reaffirmation of the Hamas pedigree as a terrorist organization during the run-up to the Palestinian elections for new leadership of the newly established unity government, but should Hamas continue to be able to hold these three teens on through the elections they will easily win outright control of the legislature and likely replace Abbas with Ismail Haniyeh, the current crowned Prime Minister of Gaza where Hamas took control in a coup which removed the vast majority of Fatah and Palestinian Authority security forces and leadership in the Gaza region. And that acknowledgement brings us to what Hamas is likely to do should Chairman Abbas decide to nullify the unity agreement and again cancel the elections, or at the least the elections for his position. Hamas very probably would try to repeat their revolution similarly to what they did to establish their unquestioned rule over Gaza. The odds are that Hamas would rout the Palestinian Security Forces as it is very likely that many from the security forces would go over to the side of Hamas thus destroying morale, unit cohesion as platoons and companies would require merging in order to make up for the defecting units, and contribute to confusion and disarray in the leadership positions making for an easier Hamas victory. Everything Hamas is doing goes towards weakening Mahmoud Abbas preparing to replace him with Hamas backed leadership and also simply poking Israel in the eye making a situation where they potentially could trade these teens for prisoners. This would give Hamas the added advantage of the loyalty and support from those they were able to free from prison.

 

Expect that Abbas will move to dissolve the unity pack attempting to put the blame squarely on the shoulders of Hamas claiming they broke the understood and agreed upon legal restraints and expectations of Hamas complying with the agreements between the Palestinian Authority and the Israelis. Hamas has given their answer, they refuse to play nice or to accept any of the presumed rules governing the playground and further, they will continue to assault, abduct, destroy and generally terrorize Israel and oppose Israel flaunting their abilities in the face of an IDF manhunt. This will give Hamas, or so they think, the introduction and general acceptance with the majority of Palestinians residing in Judea and Samaria (misnamed West Bank) allowing for the expression of what will appear to be a general acceptance and backing for Hamas to take the power away from Abbas and provide the brave leadership that they contrasted against the weak and pathetic pandering committed by Mahmoud Abbas during this Hamas induced crisis. It may even turn out that Hamas is satisfied with running their own little enclave in Gaza and does not desire to take on the additional burden of dealing with the West Bank and the Palestinians Authority. So, we can definitely expect the unity government of the Palestinians to collapse leaving only one question, who will end up in charge in the West Bank? My money would be on Hamas should any sectarian violence begin between Fatah and Hamas.

 

In the end, there is only one thing a civilized person could desire from this Palestinian intra-governmental dispute over who will provide the leadership going forward; that is the release of the three innocent school-age boys from their horrific ordeal as rapidly as believed. We wish them G0d’s protection and G0d’s speed in returning to their families and their studies. We pray for their welfare and safe return of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel into the loving embraces of their mothers and happy hugs given by their fathers. May the families spend this Sabbath together with renewed faith and celebratory hearts.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 29, 2014

Obama, Kerry and Israeli Leftists Attempt to Crash Coalition

It was initially unlikely that the Obama administration thought it necessary to attempt to change the ruling coalition government in Israel as the administration’s push to restart the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians was met with Israeli cooperation across the boards. Predictably, the peace talks lost their presumed initial momentum as the Palestinians began refusing every Israeli attempt to reach any compromise where both sides would give some to reach a middle area of agreement. Mahmoud Abbas began stating repeatedly that there would be no agreement unless his every demand was recognized and enacted and that he also be granted the power to unilaterally reject any Israel provision with which he was not comfortable. This trend eventually reached its logical and unavoidable conclusion with Abbas and other Palestinian spokespersons insisting that Israel retreat completely back to the Green Line, surrender all of East Jerusalem, accept the influx of over five-million Arab refugees into Israel granting them immediate citizenship, full compensation to these very same refugees as well as those who did not choose to return, and adamantly refused to recognize Israel as the home of the Jewish People or to declare any agreement as the end of their struggle to liberate all of Palestine. Further exacerbation of the situation occurred as Palestinians also revealed they were remaining in the talks solely and only until the last groups of terrorist murderers were freed from prison by Israel. When some Israelis, particularly Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, gave voice to their observations that the talks had broken down, the Obama administration started to ramp up efforts to pressure the Israelis to bend further and basically fall on their swords for peace.

 

The initial taking of affront by the United States State Department and the administration was at Moshe Ya’alon’s comment referring to Secretary of State Kerry as being “Obsessive and Messianic” to which the State Department demanded an immediate and public apology. As the ensuing weeks passed and the commentary from the Palestinians became increasingly adversarial to reaching any compromise with their call that their only desire was for the peace process to allow further releases of terrorists by Israel there were some Ministers in the Knesset who began questioning the logic of continuing with the final release as such would only serve to terminate the talks and set up the next series of demands for Israeli concessions. They felt that since releasing the terrorists would result in a Palestinian refusal to continue talking that there was no pressing need to actually release the last group. This was the point where things went off the rails and into some foreign land where logic does not hold rule and everything becomes the fault of Israel.

 

The initial turning was signaled when the State Department came out and dropped their support for the Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the home of the Jewish People and now referred to this demand from the Israelis as an unnecessary demand giving the fact that the United States so recognized Israel and that should be sufficient. The reasoning behind the demand for Israel to be recognized as the home of the Jewish People is to disallow the return of the over five million descendants of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 War launched by Arab armies to annihilate Israel into Israel changing the nation’s demographic to a majority Arab and Muslim state. The situation only deteriorated from there and the demands from Washington have gotten more shrill. This is the same sequence the world has watched time and again as the peace negotiations break down and in an effort to “save” the negotiations there is excessive pressure placed on Israel to concede more and more. This is the exact process that has brought the negotiations to the point where Jerusalem is even being discussed instead of recognizing that it is the Israeli capital city and has been annexed from before the Oslo Accords and was never to be placed within the definition of debatable negotiations.

 

Now, as Israel has actually refused to free the final set of murderous terrorist masters from her prisons, we will witness the blame Israel for the failure voices screaming from all quarters and the demands that Israeli leadership has squandered their best hope for peace, every negotiations becomes the Israeli best hope for peace until the next negotiations, and the insistence that Israel find new and more accommodating leadership. The chorus will be joined by the Israeli leftists and those parties who are currently not in the governing coalition as they will see this as their opportunity to take hold of the lead in Israel and enact those policies that the world is clamoring for Israel to take. This was the case when Ehud Olmert was elected to be Prime Minister and yet even with the politically correct leadership the Israeli offers for peace were refused by the Palestinians. This should have proven where the tripwire is that where the negotiations stumble each and every time, but the world can only blame Israel. We can now expect there to be pressures placed on the Israeli government to make new and more extensive concessions in order to lure the Palestinians back to the talks. It is revolting that every time that the world decides to push for renewed peace talks that Israel has to make concessions to entice the Palestinians to allow negotiations but that there are never, or seldom, any concessions given the Israelis. Where is the eventual reciprocation that Israel is constantly promised? I realize that may seem a silly question, but would any other nation continue with talks if every time they meet they are forced to surrender further? Of course not. Also, if every rendition of peace talks requires Israelis to surrender more using the final position of the last talks as the basis for the new talks, why would the Palestinian ever agree to a settlement when they are constantly rewarded for their intransigence? Perhaps the time will come when the Israelis will stand up and say, no more, and demand that the Palestinians make some concessions to prove they are finally serious about making peace.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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