Beyond the Cusp

January 30, 2014

Fears About Kerry Intimidation of Netanyahu Appear Valid

There are some among us who have expressed fears that Prime Minister Netanyahu might choose to follow the exact same route blazed by the late Ariel Sharon when he formed a new party in order to facilitate the Gaza disengagement. Now we are witnessing a purely manufactured controversy revolving into a confrontation between the Prime Minister and the nationalist hardliners in the coalition. The entire flare-up was started by a planned leak from the Prime Minister’s Office that Netanyahu was about to announce a new plan which would permit any of the Israelis living in the settlements which were going to be turned over to form the Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria could simply remain in their homes and be placed under Palestinian rule. This, unsurprisingly, evoked some rash outbursts and responses from many nationalist Knesset Ministers, all of them from within the ruling coalition and some from the Likud which is the Prime Minister’s own party. The Prime Minister’s Office chose to take umbrage with only one of the dissenting Ministers, Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Jewish Home Party and the Economy and Trade Minister. What makes the choice by Prime Minister Netanyahu of Naftali Bennett curious, as Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin, and Deputy Minister Ofir Akuni, all members of Prime Minister’s Likud Party, all made similar statements of outrage and disbelief about the leaked statement from the Prime Minister’s Office and none were called out for their opposition statements.

 

When one adds the leaked information that Secretary of State Kerry has a draft of a plan which will include demands for Israel to surrender half of Jerusalem in order for the Palestinians to use as their capital city and force the Palestinians to at least state that they recognize Israel as the State for the Jewish People, this entire confrontation takes on an ominous note. It is interesting that the Israelis are going to be required to surrender all of Judea and Samaria with only those land swaps agreed to by the Palestinians while all the Palestinians are going to be required to do is state they recognize Israel as the home for the Jews, a statement they can recant ten seconds later and return to their resistance and terrorist ways, something which should be expected by any thinking person familiar with the history of the entire Arab Israeli conflict which started back in the mid to late 1800s. Perhaps the claims that the leaked plan to allow Israelis living in the settlements to remain in their homes and live under the Palestinian state was exactly as the Prime Minister’s Office claimed, to rope the Palestinians into rejecting the idea outright and demand one more time, as if nobody had heard them the first half million times, that no Jews would be permitted to reside, visit or set foot in the Palestinian controlled lands. This was supposed to make the point to whom? John Kerry? President Obama? Who? Anybody who cared about the Palestinian refusal has heard it sufficient number of times to have memorized the many different ways it has been stated by Abbas, Erekat and numerous other Palestinian spokespersons. But even if we give the Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt and agree that this was a brilliant ploy to reveal the otherwise hidden Palestinian rejectionist attitude to a Jewish presence in their state, why would they target only the leader of one of the member parties of the coalition and basically ignore the others? This leads to only one reason, to make a case for removing the Jewish Home Party from the coalition to make room for another party. It is of some interest that the Labor Party did entertain the idea of joining the coalition should the Jewish Home Party leave the coalition in order to support the continuation of the peace process. The only remaining question is would there be sufficient sized revolt by nationalist Ministers from within Likud that the coalition would still fail.

 

That is where the formation of a new party that would be populated with those Likud Ministers who support accepting whatever the Prime Minister plans to do when Kerry attempts to force a solution sometime between now and middle April and other politicians and members from other parties just as Ariel Sharon had done in order to facilitate the Gaza disengagement. If the Gaza disengagement was nothing short of a disaster, what would a disengagement from Judea and Samaria pose? As Mark Langfan has displayed with cogent maps; Israel would be vulnerable to rockets raining down on Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Netanya, and the heart of Israeli population centers and vast majority of its economic resources as well as easy range to bring down any air traffic in or out of Ben Gurion International Airport. This situation would be inevitable and come to fruition as soon as the IDF was no longer allowed a presence in Judea and Samaria and losses their intelligence network which they currently possess and have in place. Additionally, the probability that Hamas along with Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda in Gaza, Salafists and whatever other terror groups currently inhabit Gaza would replace Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. What makes this even more important is that any agreement made with the Palestinian Authority will not be honored by any Palestinian once the Palestinian Authority has been removed from power and trust that they will be removed from power within months if not weeks or days or hours after the IDF and Israelis have departed. What follows after the first rocket strikes a building in central Tel Aviv or a plane is downed while on approach to Ben Gurion Airport will be touted throughout the General Assembly as the horrific assault by the Israelis on innocent Palestinians? Whether or not the Europeans will join the rabble that is the majority of those in the General Assembly is a good question. What the reaction by United States President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary of Defense Hagel have, or should we inquire how long before they demand Israel stand down and show restraint and understand that it will take time before the Palestinians accept the wonderful peace plan and stop launching rockets and attacking Israel. How many nations will claim that obviously the Israelis, or the Jews, started the violence without any real provocation’ after all, what’s a few small rockets every now and then. We have heard these exact screams from these exactly same places whenever Israel responds to the rockets fired out of Gaza at southern Israeli communities. Why should any Israeli expect any difference when the rockets hit Tel Aviv instead of Sderot? Pray that this situation is never ever allowed to come to pass as the end results are something that should be unthinkable to any sane person.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 25, 2014

Troubling Clouds on the Israeli Horizon

Troubling Clouds on the Israeli Horizon

 

While there are some who will look upon the recent statements by a small but sufficient sized group from the party of Prime Minister Netanyahu, Likud, that they are prepared to resign from the coalition should Netanyahu make land concessions to the Palestinian Authority. Their position has also been adopted by the leadership of the Jewish Home Party and has been stated by Naftali Bennett numerous times as the peace negotiations continue under increasing pressure from United States Secretary of State Kerry and his team. Normally such threats would be sufficient to put an end to any chance of surrendering lands to the Palestinians except in the case where a final agreement had been reached and a formal treaty which also meets the requirements for Israeli security are addressed and included. Should a final agreement be reached which includes Israeli retention of the Jordan Valley; Israeli control of Jerusalem with emphasis on the Old City, Temple Mount, Kotel and other Jewish Holy Sites; requirements for the Palestinian state to be demilitarized with the IDF responsible for security; recognition of Israel as the Jewish State; and land swaps which permit Israeli retention of the majority of the mislabeled settlements. Of course it has been made extremely evident that these conditions are considered to be deal breakers by the Palestinians as their leadership, especially Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Chief Negotiators Saeb Erekat and Abed Rabbo, have made statements when each of these Israeli positions were first made public insisting that each is now a primary red line which the Palestinians cannot and will not permit thus adding the rejection of these central positions of the Palestinian Authority. None of their protestations are surprising as the real truth of the negotiations is that under the actual Oslo Accords the Palestinians were required to remove the statement calling for the eradication of Israel as the Jewish State from the Palestinian Charter and this initial and crucial demand which stands as one of the required steps for the implementation of the Oslo Accords and validation of intentions allowing for an open and balanced start to the peace process has never been implemented by the Palestinian leadership. There was the one time when there were Western witnesses at a Palestinian Parliament session who were present to assure that the Palestinian Charter would be amended as required where the Parliament voted to discuss the establishment of a committee to research a proper and acceptable rewording of that section of the Palestinian Charter at their next meeting. The next meeting and every one since have not been attended by Western representatives and no such vote has ever been taken nor any such committee established of course meaning the Charter has never been amended to remove the offensive calls for the eradication of Israel.

 

Obviously the peace process has continued despite the complete lack of good faith from the very beginning by the Palestinian representatives and leaders. The talks have had as much success as has the demand for an amended charter. The most evident change since the Oslo Accords has been the successful propaganda campaign maligning Israel and convincing much of the world that it has been Israel’s lack of efforts to cooperate and meet the Palestinians half way that has prevented a lasting peace providing security for both sides and ending the conflict. This view which has produced the recent calls from Europe to boycott Israel should the peace talks end without a peace agreement. The European threat simply assumes that should no peace be attained through these negotiations that it has to be an Israeli shortcoming and fault and the Palestinians are automatically not held responsible. With such a threat one might ask why there is no similar demand that the Palestinians also be required to reach an agreement with Israel. Obviously the European Union believes that the Palestinians are only capable of being in agreement with an evenhanded peace and that Israel, and only Israel, is capable of rejecting an agreement. This completely ignores the history of the Israeli/Arab state of war. The European Union is completely ignoring the Arab side which was worded very succinctly in Khartoum shortly after the Six Day War with the approval of the “Three No’s”; no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel. The invention of an Arab peoples who were indigenous to the area including Israel and had been present in these lands for many thousands of years and predating any claim which the Israelis have made, despite the Arab insistence that there is no record or evidence that the Jewish people had ever resided in Jerusalem or the surrounding lands throughout all of history, was contrived in order to invalidate any Israeli or Jewish claims to the lands, predate and subsume Jewish history replacing the Jews including Abraham and Moses with Muslim versions of Abraham and Moses (and Jesus as they once again did this past Christmas) in an attempt to void any Jewish validity in claiming the area as their ancient homelands.

 

There was a second reason for the invention of a Palestinian Arab people and that was to use them as a replacement for the whole of the Arab world thus making Israel into the invincible armed presence against the weak and defenseless Palestinians rather than little Israel pitted against the entirety of the Arab and much of the Muslim world. This invention was further enhanced by claiming a history which if inspected bears a suspicious similarity to the history of the Jews with one major exception, the Jews were forced from the lands in the first two centuries of the Gregorian Calendar by the Romans and the Palestinians were supposedly dispossessed by the colonizing Jews who invaded their lands and forced them out in 1948. In order for the claims of the Palestinians to be accepted at face value one has to ignore almost four thousand years of history and many of the agreements, treaties, commission and declarations, especially numerous ones convened at the close of World War I. But there is an easier way to find the truth behind the entire argument being wages against Israel using deceit, lies, subterfuge and a reliance on anti-Semitism. Take the time and research recent history of the last century of Judea and Samaria, renamed the West Bank by Jordon in order to strip the lands of their obvious ties to the Jewish people. The lands were original ruled by the Ottoman Empire which left the area almost devoid of population. For a description of the lands in 1867 one simply needs to read Mark Twain accounting of his visiting Israel where he wrote his impressions in “Innocents Abroad” recounting his trip to Europe and the Holy Land. A short excerpt will give on a general idea of what he found as he wrote this description, “….. A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent mournful expanse…. a desolation…. we never saw a human being on the whole route…. hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.” Mark Twain described Jerusalem writing, “A fast walker could go outside the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely around the city in an hour. I do not know how else to make one understand how small it is.” The modern state of Israel came into being in 1948 and was immediately set upon by as many as half a dozen Arab nations’ armies. The ensuing war continued in various stages of activity until peace was declared in 1949 and the Armistice Lines were drawn. At the insistence of the Arab leaders these Armistice Lines, today referred to as the Green Line, were never to be considered to signify borders as if this were to be permitted then Israel would have official borders and thus be a recognized nation state among the nations of the world. The Armistice Lines left with Egypt possessing Gaza, Syria possessing the Golan Heights and Jordan possessing Judea and Samaria. Egypt never annexed the Gaza Strip and refused to take them while accepting the return of the entirety of the Sinai Peninsula when Egypt and Israel reached a peace accord ending their state of war which began in 1948 and finally ended on March 26, 1979. The treaty was arranged by Egyptian President Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Begin and was signed in Washington DC. After the armistice in 1949, Jordan did annex Judea and Samaria and renamed them the West Bank in order to solidify their claims and in the hope of erasing the historic names which were considered to be Jewish. Israel and Jordan also reached a peace agreement on October 26, 1994. This treaty was arranged and signed by Jordanian King Hussein and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Jordan refused to take back Judea and Samaria ceding them to Israel only to renege on that claiming to have instead given the Jordanian claim to the area to the Palestinian people. The main problem with this presentation of the lands by Jordan is that Jordan illegally held the lands and while Jordan did claim they had annexed them, only two nations, Britain and Pakistan, ever recognized the Jordanian claim. Even the rest of the Arab League never recognized the Jordanian claim on Judea and Samaria. Since Jordan was an occupying power when they claimed rule over Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, to who did the lands actually belong? The answer refers back to the Churchill White Papers and the Peel Commission. These agreements along with the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Conference and in the Treaty of Sevres are the major documents concerning the British Mandate and the applicable divisions and uses for these lands and are all recognized officially to this day as they were ratified subsequently with the formation of the United Nations under Article 80 of the United Nations Charter. The only problem is that nobody appears to care about their promises and treaties and prefer to abide by fanciful falsities which they find more convenient than actually enforcing international treaties and accords.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 12, 2014

Eulogy for Former Prime Minister Ariel “Arik” Sharon

Ariel “Arik” Sharon was the man at the focal-point of Israeli history from the fight for independence and the founding of the State of Israel to her defender throughout her wars often serving as the mainstay against disastrous potentials turning them into miraculous victories. Unfortunately, Arik Sharon will be remembered enough for his shortcomings as he will for his laudable victories both on the field of battle and within government service in the Knesset and as Minister of Defense and Prime Minister. Israel’s enemies will forever point to the assault on the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in 1982 by Christian ‘Phalanges’ militias taking revenge for the assaults and murders of Christians by Palestinian terrorists. Arik Sharon was cleared of direct responsibility for these attacks but will always suffer from suspicions that he could have taken steps to either prevent or severely curtail the resulting slaughter. Arik Sharon will also be remembered by many ardent Zionists as the man behind the destructions of the Sinai settlements when Israel traded the entire Sinai Peninsula for a potentially worthless treaty which may result in not being worth the paper it is printed on as well as the driving force behind the most disastrous political decision made throughout Israeli history, the disengagement from the Gaza Strip which resulted in allowing a Hamas governed terrorist entity that trains and launches endless attacks on Israelis living in the southern half of the country.

 

Where these detractions from what would otherwise be one of the most laudable men in the modern history of Israel will forever be noted in the written history, for the period of mourning for a man who served the nation and her people to the best of his formidable ability we should forgive his transgressions and pay homage and give thanks for all that the man known as the Bulldozer gave selflessly to the absolute best of his abilities. As a military commander and soldier he never showed any sign of weakness or indecision. No task he was assigned was ever too difficult as he surmounted every challenge in his path by plowing straight ahead as a bulldozer smashing all in his path. Arik Sharon was not one to shrink from challenges and was ever the bold leader needed at some of the darkest times of great challenge from the fight for independence through facing the terror threats and assaults by foreign armies. When confusion ruled the day, Arik Sharon would point his troops in the direction of the threats and always gave the same order, go forward, straight to the goal and let nothing stand to deny you your victory, and that was exactly what the troops under his command would do, executing somewhat out of fear of falling short and having to face Sharon and explain as well as because they had been well trained and had the confidence in themselves and in General Sharon.

 

For the time being, let us all praise the greatness as a protector of Eretz Yisroel and her people that was Arik Sharon and put aside any differences we may have had with the man who Israel could always rely upon on the field of battle. Admire a commander of troops for whom retreat was simply not moving forward as rapidly as he would have liked but never would it mean giving lands needing to pay for that same piece of ground twice. We should honor the man for whom everything could be settled with a good dose of boldness and determination, a trait he exalted on the battlefield and also brought to politics. It can be said simply that Arik Sharon did not take prisoners and could always be depended upon to advance never resting on his laurels. Let us remember Arik Sharon as a man of action who after a long service where remaining complacent was never a consideration faded slowly away allowing time for a nation to carefully consider his merits and deficiencies and hopefully the vast majority will side that Arik Sharon was a laudable man of convictions and proud in service of his country and its people. Eretz Yisroel owes him thanks for honest service in deed and thought, may he be accepted with grace, blessings, and Psalms of appreciation in Heaven.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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