Beyond the Cusp

November 4, 2011

Is Kadima Simply Obama’s Representative in Knesset?

I find it interesting that Tzipi Livni has used her position and the whole of the Kadima Party simply to echo virtually everything which is stated by American President Barack Obama whenever he speaks out against Prime Minister Netanyahu. When Prime Minister Netanyahu announces plans to build additional housing for Jews around Jerusalem or anywhere outside the Green Line, it is a sure bet that either President Obama or somebody from his administration will admonish Prime Minister Netanyahu and within 24 hours we will hear the same criticism from Tzipi Livni or other Kadima spokesperson. This time it has become so completely obvious that one might wonder if the Democrat Party has sent advisors to Israel again to work to bring down a Netanyahu Coalition as happened when President Clinton decided he had to find a new person to deal with the last time Netanyahu was Prime Minister. Just last week, the new Secretary of Defense and former CIA Director Leon Panetta visited Israel and his entire trip seemed to be centered on the message that Prime Minister Netanyahu was causing Israel to become more isolated in the world.

Defense Secretary Panetta told reporters during his flight to Israel, “There’s not much question in my mind that they maintain that edge (militarily), but the question you have to ask, Is it enough to maintain a military edge if you’re isolating yourself in the diplomatic arena? Real security can only be achieved by both a strong diplomatic effort as well as a strong effort to project your military strength.” Secretary Panetta was later quoted saying, “It’s pretty clear that at this dramatic time in the Middle East, when there have been so many changes, that it is not a good situation for Israel to become increasingly isolated. And that’s what’s happening,”

Reacting to Prime Minister Netanyahu cutting Israeli aid to UNESCO in response to the organizations acceptance as a full member state the Palestinian Authority, the exact same action which was also taken by Canada and the United States, Kadima released a scathing denunciation on Netanyahu’s actions blaming him for making Israel a pariah nation becoming isolated from the rest of the world. Despite the Prime Minister simply taking the same actions as two of the other major democratic states which support a negotiated peace and not a de facto end run through the United Nations and its surrounding institutions, a Kadima spokesperson stated in a press release, “The government of Israel has lost a diplomatic confrontation and is punishing the state of Israel for its losses. First it fails to block the Palestinian gains and then it decides to simply give up and leave the game. It is time Netanyahu realizes that his actions punish his fellow Israelis more than they hurt anyone else. Netanyahu is forcibly isolating Israel in the international community in order to try and make excuses for his government’s failures.” That sounds almost exactly the phrasing as well as the intent of the words from President Obama’s Secretary of Defense. This is not the first time that a Kadima spokesperson, or Tzipi Livni for that matter, have sounded as if they were reading from the exact same teleprompter as had President Obama and his advisors.

There are a number of revealing facts that are quite troubling about much of the opposition to the Netanyahu coalition. The seeming constant rebukes and criticism often done simply in order to disagree by Tzipi Livni which have become expected every time Netanyahu makes a speech or whenever the ruling coalition takes a stand on an issue, especially if it is in support of Israel and opposed by the Palestinian leadership, are becoming so expected that one could predict the rebuttal before it is even spoken. But if we are now witnessing a new wrinkle where Kadima is going to become the spokespeople for the American Democrat Party, this may quickly become tedium as Kadima will quickly become as inconsequential as they will be predictable. Israel already has so many news outlets and leftist organizations which are simply pawns for European Governments’ influence through the NIF and reporters quoting leftist propaganda from other countries quoting sources such as the New York Times, Washington Post, the BBC, and even Al-Jazeera that having Kadima puppet the Democrat Party will simply add to those who have come under voluntary control of foreign interests and influences and simply render them virtually mute.

If Israel is becoming isolated from the rest of the world, it is not because of anything Israel has done, whether Netanyahu or Olmert or Peres are the ones speaking in Israel’s behalf. Much of the isolation that had come Israel’s way is directly due to the same evils that has often plagued the world and made the Jewish people targets for hatred and murderous intentions countless times throughout history. To blame Netanyahu instead of joining in Israel’s defense is a sign of great confusion and questionable behavior. Jews blaming and berating Jews has always been used by others as their permission slip for their anti-Semitic behavior. Have none of us learned our lesson yet from our long and troubled history or are we going to go to our fate once again blaming each other and aiding those who would tear us down and feed us to the manifestations of growing hatred who seek a target to blame for all their ills. When such times approach, if we Jews do not stand together and take each other’s backs, then all our backs will remain unguarded simply waiting for the stabbing pain as the knife is thrust deeply into that unguarded back. “Never Again:” were to be watchwords which would guide us and keep us from the same splintering and infighting that has preceded every previous age when we were marked for final solutions. “Never Again!”

Beyond the Cusp

October 27, 2011

Israel, the Palestinians, and the Quartet = Futility

Tony Blair in his role as the Middle East Quartet spokesperson, backed up by a presumptuous delegation to act as his echo chamber, is in Jerusalem meeting with the Israelis and Palestinian Authority representatives in separate meetings in order to finesse their resumption of direct negotiations. This is one of the best of examples of a fool on a fool’s errand. Now, to set things straight, I believe that Tony Blair is most likely a relatively intelligent and dedicated man who is very capable in the political arena. The problem he faces is beyond the ability of those skills. This is the simple oversight that virtually everybody in the rest of the world refuse to admit when dealing with anything concerning Israel and the Muslim World; this is not a political problem and cannot be solved through political methods; it is a cultural and religious problem based in a historic struggle that is literally of Biblical proportions and implications. What the rest of the world needs to come to terms with is that the problems in the Middle East, starting but not ending with those concerning Israel, are not political problems. This is also why the media and Western Governments were so wrong about the outcome of the Arab Winter, aka Arab Spring. The overthrow of the dictators may have initially arose from economic hardships, hunger, and other economic and politically based situations, like everything else in the Middle East it had been transformed into a religiously inspired revolution to establish Islamic purity as only Allah and his words from the Koran as interpreted by the religious hierarchy will bring solutions to all of life’s problems. I can hear some of you who are probably saying, yea, so what should we do, Mr. Smarty Pants?

The answer as to what the whole of the world should do about the problems in the Middle East is, as expected, both simple and complex. The simple part is to realize that the rest of the outside world is, by definition, part of the problem, and unless the whole world desires to convert to Islam, live under Sharia, and bow down and pray to Mecca five times a day, there is nothing they have to offer or can do to help solve any of the problems. They do not want any outside help and will only allow us to aid them in attaining power, then will politely demand that we leave, permit us to send them any money or aid as long as we do not expect anything in return other than a deceiving smile while they take our gifts, and then they will go on their own way and implement whatever their hearts’ desire, which will usually be Sharia based, and ignore any and everything we say, ask, or do. This has been the way in the Middle East for times immemorial and the situation is not going to change now simply because some outsiders wish that there be changes. As far as many in the Muslim World and the Middle East have histories that precede the times of Western Civilizational roots, they regard them as insignificant and civilizationally immature and primitive. If you understand Islam and the Islamic view of the history of humankind, then you would understand that nothing predates Islam as Islam has been the sole religion and followers of Allah since the beginning of time. Islam honestly claims that Moses was a Muslim; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were Muslims; Noah was a Muslim (and even Jews will admit that Noah predates Judaism and was neither an Israelite or a Jew); Adam and Eve were Muslim; everybody who was a true believer had to be a Muslim; and Mohammed simply wrote the final form for the Bible which replaced the bastardized version used by Jews and Christians. So, what does this imply about the Israel and Palestinian negotiation and situation in general?

That is also simple to say but near impossible to expect those in power to be able to accept. There is nothing anybody from outside the Middle East will be able to contribute or force any solution to the problem and should just go home. Where, should we leave the Middle East to their own solution solving and only show an interest in trade, then both we and they would benefit and be happier with each other. Unfortunately, most of our leaders are unable to grasp the idea that there exist such things over which they cannot have their persuasion and are beyond their power to affect desired changes peaceably. Just walk away from the situation is not in the vocabulary of those who hold and crave power. Recognizing limitations is virtually impossible and recognizing an unsolvable situation is completely unacceptable, thus we have the never ending ineffectual, hammer on a nail attempts to force some form of recognizable progress in the Israeli Palestinian conflict. So, once again the powers that be, this time the Quartet, have sent another envoy replete with supporting experts in order to move mountains and rearrange the realities of intransigence who will but end up simply butting their heads into an immovable stone wall. So, make some popcorn and grab a soda and prepare to read of the noble futility of Tony Blair in Jerusalem; it promises to be as unamusing as it will be unproductive.

Beyond the Cusp

October 18, 2011

Palestinian Obstructions and Quartet Acquiescence

Look back over the entire history of the Quartet (Russia, United States, United Nations, and European Union) and their efforts to foster productive negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian authority and a pattern will emerge. The Quartet places a proposition for negotiations before the two parties fully expecting them to simply comply simply due to the fact that the Quartet has spoken. For some inexplicable reason, the Quartet has yet to learn that the Middle East does not operate the same as the countries and institutions making up the Quartet and are not overly impressed with the presumed credentials and importance of those issuing decrees in the name of the Quartet. This produces an immediate reaction of announcing that the proposition from the Quartet will be given due consideration. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority usually have some reservations and questions about the terms and conditions laid out by the Quartet. Then the game is on and the way it plays out can almost universally be predicted to follow the same exact routine that will result in yet another failure of the efforts of the Quartet.

Upon receiving cautious tones and intents to go through the initial plans of the Quartet by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the members of the Quartet place pressures on Israel, in a few instances make a slight adjustment, and fairly quickly get Israeli agreement with the Quartet’s proposition. This usually has the Quartet’s initial proposition remaining basically the same and does not alter the wording or require the imposition of conditional imperatives, often called preconditions. Then the Quartet turns to the Palestinian authority. Just as they had with Israel, the Quartet once again insists the offer is fair, balanced and in the interest of both parties thus should be accepted. The Palestinian Authority always responds with a list of demands. These demands are usually requirements that the Israelis must accept or meet in order for the Palestinians to consider holding talks. This latest time it was the requirements that Israel cease all building within areas the Palestinian Authority expects belong to them including all of Judea, Samaria, and most of Jerusalem and its suburbs and especially including the Old city and Temple Mount. Note: This demand to freeze building was initiated originally by American President Barack Obama and had never even entered the Palestinian Authority thinking until he made that demand early in his mishandling of the entire Israel-Palestinian Conflict. The Palestinian authority also demands that Israel also recognize the 1967 Lines (1949 Armistice Lines) as the recognized borders from which initial debate must begin (This too is another President Obama invention). In the past, the Palestinians have even gone as far as to demand that the European Union guarantee to support their bid for statehood in the United Nations as a condition for them to agree to the wishes of the Quartet.

Next, the Quartet will attempt to arrange some form of meeting in a neutral environment in order to work through the initial impediments and make plans for an actual beginning of negotiations. This is usually acceptable to the Israelis without any problems. Unfortunately, the same is not true of the Palestinian Authority. They refuse to meet in any manner directly with the Israelis until the already stated conditions have been met. The Quartet, realizing they have struck a brick wall that proved impenetrable in their initial efforts, modifies their meeting usually to holding meetings with each side separately but in the same location. This has actually worked on occasion, but often more likely is a Palestinian demand that the two sides be met with at different locations if it is to be held in the Middle East, such as if Jerusalem is chosen they will demand they be met in Ramallah, and if someplace outside the Middle East, like say Paris, New York, or the Hague, then they demand different times, usually days or weeks apart. This removes any easy way to shuffle between the two envoys and work through any difficulties or problems during one meeting and ends up pushing the setting of the meetings into an interminable set of delays and more meetings. Should that rarity of an actual meeting ever be arranged, you would be safe in placing your money on there being one or, at the most, two meetings before the Palestinian Authority representatives storm out of the meetings and demand a whole new set of conditions to be met in order to continue. Thus, end of discussions. Even if, through some miracle, the meetings actually appear to be making headway and problems and differences are being resolved, you can bet the house that at the last moment when it appears that all has been negotiated to precise and intricate delicacies meeting every demand voiced by both sides, like was always the case with Yasser Arafat, the Palestinians will throw a tantrum replete with throwing the papers into the air with or without, pending on their mood, tearing them up first and indignantly strut out of the negotiations refusing to even recognize anybody, let alone speak, just as Arafat did with Secretary of State Madeline Albright chasing after him pleading him to return, and end that round of negotiations. The Palestinians usually will complain that they had been left no alternative as the “Right of Return” for anywhere from four to seven million refugees into Israel proper was left out of the agreement thus making it impossible for them to sign.

Now, one might ask why the Palestinian Authority would play such games. That is easier to answer than most other queries on the Middle East when Israel is concerned. To break it down to the most basic reasons, it is simply to move the goal posts for Israel further down the field forcing more concessions each time. When the negotiations seem to be bearing fruit and an agreement is almost tasted, then the Palestinians will make a push for one or two more final concessions, usually something new which had not been demanded before. Israel, almost desperate to put this entire insanity behind them, will usually grant the demands or make some very conciliatory offer in return. Once the Palestinians have agreement on the new concessions, then the time has come to end the negotiations. Storming out with their hard won new concessions in hand, the Palestinians will demand that the starting point of the next discussions and negotiations begin at the point that includes these final concessions. And as is said, rinse, repeat. By this ploy the Palestinians, one negotiating session at a time, constantly move the negotiations closer and closer to their ultimate desired end, no more Israel. This has been their end game stated untold numbers of times, but only in Arabic, and then only in safe confines where they know the Western Press will not translate their words and report them to the world. There is one reference to the great plan once Israel has been forced back behind the 1949 Armistice Lines that was caught and translated by MEMRI which can be viewed here. After that, I have nothing else to add, let that speak for itself.

Beyond the Cusp

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