Beyond the Cusp

May 31, 2015

Please Name With Whom Israel is to Negotiate?

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Israel is consistently demanded upon to negotiate an end to the occupation and allow for an Arab Palestinian nation to be defined with the borders to be established along the 1949 Armistice lines with mutually agreed upon exchanges of lands. The question is with whom should Israel negotiate? Mahmoud Abbas refuses to sit with any Israeli delegations approved by the governing coalition though he gladly meets with members of the opposition who hold little power or with anti-Israel and anti-Zionist Jewish NGOs mostly from the United States, Europe and some from within Israel who are mostly if not completely subsidized by European NGOs or even the European Union or individual European national governments. These sit downs often are held in Ramallah and with a large map of what Mahmoud Abbas demands are the actual borders of Palestine which depicts all of Israel including the beaches of Tel Aviv and Nahariya with not even the slimmest segment of Israel left standing. One might inquire as to how Mahmoud Abbas plans on determining the government for anything which results in becoming the Arab state. Will he finally hold elections which would appear to be a normal result of the forming of a new nation? But Abbas has refused to hold elections totally skipping the scheduled 2009 election cycle out of fears that he would be voted from office. He is now in the tenth year of a four year term, which many would probably claim is very telling as to his actual legitimate power. Abbas has declared himself, for all intents and purposes, President for life, and that might not be too much longer should he actually agree to borders and the founding of the state he claims to desire above life itself, which very well might be the price he could pay. Israel would not have anything to do with his sudden demise as there are those from within Hamas, Islamic Jihad, ISIS and even his own Fatah Party, PLO and Palestinian Authority who would permanently remove him from office. It is interesting that Mahmoud Abbas holds those final three leading posts plus now signs documents as President of Palestine. The world has never known a man with so many titles who wields so little power and controls perhaps the few blocks of his fortified office complex. The one truism which should be made known, especially to the Europeans and United States President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry, is that Mahmoud Abbas is a man whose power ranges from the tip of his right hand to the tip of his left hand whenever he stands with his arms extended, and that is the largest area he can claim to control. Abbas is in no position to sign anything which would have any meaning ten minutes after it was signed, if it stood that long.

 

What makes matters even worse is that the leadership of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the other two main power brokers for the time being, have all abdicated their positions to Mahmoud Abbas officially despite retaining every ounce of control they held before the unification of the Arab Palestinian leadership. They claim they are still waiting for the promised elections, the elections which Abbas will never hold unless he has guarantees that he will retain his position whether deserved or not. Do not be too terribly surprised if President Obama with the backing of the European Union and European governments give Abbas a promise that he will be the only person permitted to run for President of any country if he would only reach an agreement and that write in votes will not be considered valid and still he would fear losing. Abbas, with good reason, has become a quivering mass of righteous paranoia which is fully justified after the executions carried out by Hamas at the end of Operation Protective Edge were largely actions utilized on without actual charges or trial simply going from arrest to execution with great efficiency ridding Gaza of numerous opponents and especially members of Fatah or other entities which might have loyalty to Abbas. Mahmoud Abbas got another dose of reality when a diplomatic team was dispatched to Gaza with the intended assignment to gather the name of the Hamas employees who had yet to be included on the paymaster’s roles and thus had not been receiving their paychecks and were less than thrilled over this situation but the team felt so under threat that they cut short their five day assignment after less than twenty-four hours and they never took a step out of their highly guarded hotel suite except to beat a hasty retreat to Ramallah without getting a single name of those Hamas employees. This might seem senseless that Hamas and Islamic Jihad would prevent the Arab Palestinian Authority to garner the names of their own people so they could be included on the payrolls and receive their wages but the reality is Hamas and Islamic Jihad are pushing for the Arab Palestinian Authority to collapse so they can pick up the pieces and be able to force the Europeans to deal through them and thus remove them from any terrorist roles and grant them political power and acceptance as the new chiefs for Israel to reach compromises and eventually reach a peace agreement. This would not be a huge step for most of Europe’s governments and political bodies and NGOs have, unofficially if not outright, removed Hamas from their terror roles and some even Islamic Jihad while the United Nations is set to recognize and legitimize the Palestinian Rights Center (PRC) which is a front group through which Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood operate and granting them full NGO status and all the legitimization which goes along with such. An extensive report on the PRC the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center released concludes that the group is closely affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood as well that several of its members are terrorists who have fled to Great Britain. Such recognition would confer “full access to UN facilities and participation in debates in New York, Geneva, and Vienna, and, perhaps most significantly, global legitimacy,” as well as all other benefits which are granted with being awarded “official UN badges.”

 

Before one starts to believe that things could not become even more bleak, there are a number of other developments which are peeking just over the horizon. Perhaps the more sinister and having the most dire long range ramifications is the threat to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Imagine a threat to Hamas and Islamic Jihad making the identical claim of being weak willed and not faithful or sufficiently devout in their manner and representation of Allah and having diverted from the true path. This challenge has been made by the only groups who might be believable when accusing Hamas and Islamic Jihad of temerity in purpose and inadequate devotion to the cause of Sharia and furthering Islam, ISIS. We have all likely seen reports which claim that ISIS has made inroads in the Sinai Peninsula and were taking control of much of the area closest to the Israeli border and ignored the fact that such positioning also brought ISIS close to the Egyptian border with Gaza and the heart of Hamas and Islamic Jihad power bases. This places ISIS in the perfect position to infiltrate Gaza in small numbers which would fairly soon become sufficient numbers to cause Hamas and Islamic Jihad great amounts of difficulty if not topple them both absorbing those who showed sufficient zeal for the ISIS cause while dispatching the leadership and others found wanting in spirit or purity mostly be depositing their bodies and heads separately. This might place Israel directly in the ISIS crosshairs or perhaps this would simply be the first stage to taking over the entirety of the Arab Palestinian cause and also making inroads to supplant the Arab Palestinian Authority including Mahmoud Abbas and also finding all of Fatah and PLO members to be wanting in their devotion and dedication to Sharia and Allah as these groups are nationalist secular or mildly Islamic and nowhere near the levels of self-proclaimed devotion and purity of spirit shown by ISIS, by their own proclamations, of course.

 

Such a turn of events would place Israel in a heavily compromised position, or that is what one would believe. What needs to remain in our consideration of the likelihood that ISIS would take control in Ramallah and replace Fatah, the PLO and the Arab Palestinian Authority are forgetting that the IDF and Shin-Bet operate an advanced and capable intelligence gathering network which was evident when preventing a Hamas coup through a general uprising such that in the confusion they could readily replace Mahmoud Abbas by whatever means were required and replacing the entirety of Fatah and the PLO from the upper echelons of the Arab Palestinian Authority. One could rightfully assume that any inroads made by ISIS would also cross the paths of the Israeli intelligence gathering infrastructure and their moves would be carefully monitored until the most critical moment and just before they struck their targets they would find themselves being welcomed to the Israel direct information gathering committee which operates from places unmentioned where discreet methods are employed to extract and glean any pertinent and necessary information which might have ramifications for Israel. ISIS taking the place of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza would not be in the better interests of Israel but there would appear to be little which could be done unless the Egyptians cared to assist in preventing such an event. The problem with this is that Egypt has just as much distaste for Hamas as it does ISIS and thus they may not care which evil takes its place in Gaza. All would come down to what the value of the people in Gaza had as far as Egypt is concerned. Where one might not see the connection immediately, allow us to give a hint on the one overriding reason which may give Egypt reason to act; there are numerous families who have Egyptian backgrounds and originated in Egypt and have large and numerous extended families who remain in Egypt and we all know how important clan ties can be, especially when members of one’s tribal group or even more severe, one’s relative from their clan faces an existential threat such as ISIS, the pressure placed on the government because of such ties could be overwhelming and Egyptian President Sisi may see the situation as an unavoidable necessity to intervene. The next question is whether President Sisi might request, through back channels and discreetly of course, for any assistance and intelligence Israel might desire to provide, especially to further the two nations’ unofficial relations and to have a card to play in the future. The truth is that it would be a dangerous development to have ISIS take a foothold anywhere in the region and their presence in the Sinai Peninsula must be unnerving for President Sisi and a concern for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Sometimes necessity makes for the strangest bedfellows and this is even more the case in the Middle East. Who would believe that Turkey and Saudi Arabia would be working together in Syria while at the same time as Saudi Arabia is working with Egypt in Yemen and Egypt with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States would be working with a silent partner in Israel against Iran who is working with Iraq, southern Iraq, Syria, less and less of Syria daily, and Hezballah in Lebanon as well as securing a naval port for the Russians with an assist likely to be provided by Hezballah. Iran will also need to protect as much of the Alawite areas as necessary which will require transferring some of the IRGC assisting against ISIS in Iraq and station them to fight ISIS in the areas Iran deems of military value, such as the roads from Damascus into the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon where Hezballah keeps many of its rockets stored.

 

Hezballah brings us to the final subject. This coming week, and even if this is a secret presently it will be fully evidenced as the week unfolds, Israel is running a full participation, country-wide defense in case of war scenario. This will include Israelis entering their shelters as if under rocket attack and every other contingency. The common prospect behind this according to some postulations is to ready the public for a potential conflict with Hamas and Islamic Jihad this summer. Close but no cigar. The real threat will be Hezballah who will need to make large points with the Lebanese after placing them in peril of attack by ISIS. The reasoning goes beyond just satiating the Lebanese hunger for another war with Israel as the last one proved to be so much fun, but Hezballah also will need to make headlines across the Western World which will supercede any news off of the front pages as Iran takes whatever steps are required in Syria to get Assad out and to solidify those areas which Iran considers vital for their desire which include an operative airport in Damascus through which to supply Hezballah, a safe port for the Russians to utilize in the Mediterranean Sea which is Latakia, Syria. And finally they also would desire to retain some of the natural resources such as mining operations and also have a staging area with direct access to the Golan Heights for wither Hezballah to utilize for an assault on Israel or for the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps or Pasdaran Persian: سپاه پاسداران انقلاب اسلامی) to have a launch facility to strike Israel or even to assault the Golan Heights. This all means that Iran will require another Hezballah war with Israel to divert attentions from their actions, which will be ruthless and potentially cataclysmic as well as to divert attention from the Iranian dash to produce a number of nuclear warheads and the final preparations for their launch at select targets. Thus Iran will require approximately six to ten weeks of conflict. With the known supplies of rockets and a fair number of larger missiles provided by Iran, Hezballah would be capable of launching over a thousand rockets daily for the entire six weeks and approximately eight-hundred rockets launched daily for ten weeks. Should any higher quantity be required they would need to utilize any Syrian rockets remaining under Iranian control or for Iran to provide a fair number of additional rockets which is why Iran requires the Damascus airport as they are unable to resupply Hezballah through Beirut probably because the Bekaa Valley lies along the Syrian border and the Alawite areas, how convenient. This leaves one with a serious question, what will be the Israeli reaction to a war with Hezballah. As Hamas has also threatened a confrontation this summer with Israel, it is entirely plausible that Israel will desire to keep any confrontation from escalating and to decisively end the conflict leaving little doubt as to who won. Thus any confrontation between Israel and Hezballah will result in Israel striking hard and fast swallowing up the lands south of the Litany River and then sweeping up the eastern banks of the Litani River through the heart of the Bekaa Valley taking out the training grounds, provisions, reserves and bases Hezballah has throughout that region. Any violence from Hamas should also be responded to with great prejudice and force of arms with nothing held back. With the growing challenges and rising threats throughout the areas of the Middle East, Northern Africa and the Horn of Africa, it is starting to appear that the whole area has lost their minds, possibly the whole world even. Then there is the continuing threat with Russia menacingly eying the old regions of her power before the fall of the Soviet Union and China literally building new islands and placing oil rigs and military airbases and other facilities in the South China Sea in order to widen her area of control and claim islands which are also claimed by her neighbors but China is the eight-hundred pound gorilla who can basically do whatever she desires unless the United States takes a stand against her, and that is seeming less and less a possibility as the islands grow. Furthermore, most of Europe is also looking at civil unrest in the near future as the growing immigrant population feels stronger and denied an equal opportunity to get a job and live an equal life. Add that they also desire to start a religious war forcing their religion on those they views as a people who have forsaken religion. Then there is violence threatening to break out full force both on the United States college campuses during the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic and anti-America demonstrations and potentially within many cities possibly escalating and spilling throughout the city, especially if the police are restrained and ill–equipped as was the case in Baltimore and has had continuing ramifications, especially in western Baltimore where the police have basically been chased from the streets. Similar situations are possible throughout the country, especially in the twelve largest cities. One would be hard pressed to find an area on the globe where there are no threats.

 

Even Kathmandu is still recovering from the series of earthquakes which struck there not that long ago. Will Shangri-La be next? Just because it is mythical might not except even Shangri-La from the ravages of societies gone mad. Maybe only the quiet places in our minds where we can concentrate on the peace and love in our hearts can the world be healed as we heal one soul at a time. But with the Churches, Synagogues, Temples and other religious houses all nearly empty even on the holiest of days, what hope will the world have against true and fanatical believers, especially those who cannot be tempted with baubles and glitter that shines at us in every store window beckoning us to worship consumerism. The hectic pace of modern life with so little time that one simply must collapse for those brief moments between the scheduled meeting, workout, night-school, and the children’s activities. Who has time for anything more? But unless we take the time to refresh our consciences and recharge our moral compasses society will continue spinning further and further out of control. What is it we seek with our frenetic paced lives; do we even know any more? Listen to the quiet little voice in the back recesses of your mind, it is still there, trust me. It will tell you secrets that you once knew but soon got squeezed from your life. I know the crippling schedule for those working two jobs, both full-time. The requirement that you take some time to recharge yourself does not disappear just because, it remains and eventually it will come screaming to the fore and demand you stop and take a deep breath. Sigh in from the mouth and let it out so slowly from the nostrils that you barely tickle the air. Again only deeper and with a more measured exhale. This is the easiest way to slow your pace and make you see reason. After you have done this at the end of each day or at lunch or whenever you can schedule your take a breath for sanity, then that voice can finally be heard and its message is simple, you know not every answer. Sure the news and science and everything you read tells how there is so little left that science does not know that is the lie told to make you forget. The little voice remembers and knows the bliss one can feel when we know that there is reason and value in life. Whatever manner of faith you are comfortable in, that is possibly just the recharging you need. It is just once or twice a week unless you desire more once you return and feel the encompassing warmth, love, acceptance, understanding and all those emotions and assurances which were missing in your life, there is a place where they can be found. We all want the world to be a better place but we seem lost in figuring out how. All each of us can do is our own part. Own, a strange word as it is in this case where it has so much meaning. There is our own part; the part assigned us even if that assignment comes from within us. There is the part in the world we own, we are responsible for and we get to structure it just how we desire others to know our part. Part from the business of life and take a moment with which we part from the fast paced caffeinated life and take a lemonade break on a hot day and you can part from the world and just enjoy the moment. We can take part in displaying that we have found the answer and then you can play the part which you know is what is really important. But the most important part is when you realize that the only real thing you can do to repair society and the world is make your little area, your part clean, warm and with its own sparkle and once you have done your part, then you can invite others to slow down and remember that they too can have a part in the world which they can be proud of and eventually the individual parts reach a point where they can change one small part of the world and from there who knows what they can part, maybe the Red Sea and again we can cross and be received. Just remember that the more we learn about the world the more we often realize how little we know, it is as if each answer spawns ten questions, and that’s what keeps scientists employed.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Source: Please Name With Whom Israel is to Negotiate? […]

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    Pingback by Please Name With Whom Israel is to Negotiate? — May 31, 2015 @ 2:43 PM | Reply


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