Beyond the Cusp

May 30, 2019

Two Truths Most Jews Deny

 

There really are two truths which the majority of Jews will deny, but first a truth that is well known by a large number of Jews, most of which already live here in Israel. The Jews who most deny this truth, which we will soon reveal, are our American Jews who believe that they have found their promised lands and these are in America. They live in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods where everybody is comfortably living the upper-middle-class life or nicer and all appears right with their worlds. The truth they refuse to admit is that they face a larger chance of being killed in a criminal act, including terrorism, in the United States than they would be in Israel. First, everyone’s actions make people more or less safe. If you have your own security details for round the clock protection, then you have a level of safety which would never be accepted in any study. But for those of us in the everyday world know, to increase your safety, avoid those areas where crime is known to be predominant. This is as true in Israel as it is in the United States. What is interesting, when specialists make studies on both societies, Israel and America, people in Israel are more safe than people in the United States. We are afraid this is true but it was one of the facts which convinced one of us to come to Israel when the one inviting was pointing out the advantages of life in Israel.

 

The first reality which Jews around the world, including within Israel, refuse to admit oh so frequently is that it is time for Jews to make Aliyah, period. The reasons are quite obvious as you read or hear the nightly news. In America there are lunatics whose anti-Semitic inner rage sent them seeking a Synagogue as their target for murdering Jews. In the Tree of Life Synagogue located in Squirrel Hill just outside Pittsburgh and near the weekend breakfast restaurants where numerous students from Carnegie-Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh have leisurely breakfasts or brunches, Robert Gregory Bowers entered during Shabbat Services on an otherwise peaceful Saturday morning and proceeded to shoot everyone he could find and when all was finished, eleven people were killed and six innocents were injured as he searched two levels (floors) of the synagogue. But this attack was not sufficient of a wake-up call telling the Jews that there were madmen whose politics were inconsequential as what matters is they were so driven to murder Jews that their own safety did not matter, this miscreant just wanted to kill Jews and chose to do so while they were at prayers.

 

Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill Pennsylvania

Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill Pennsylvania

 

Then, just to reinforce the message, exactly six months after the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, there was another Synagogue shooting in the Chabad Synagogue in Poway, California, just north of San Diego. In this heinous crime, one woman was killed as she protected the Rabbi with her body, and three people were injured including a child and the Rabbi who lost two fingers yet finished the service before allowing them to take him to the hospital. The culprit this time was John Earnest. His victims were 60-year-old Lori Kaye who was murdered and 34-year-old man named Almog Peretz and his niece, an 8-year-old girl named Noya Dahan, who were injured in the attack as was Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein who lost one finger and another was reattached. The murdered victim, Lori Kaye, was a long-time volunteer who had great respect for Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein for whom she took a bullet meant for him.

 

Chabad of Poway Synagogue

Chabad of Poway Synagogue

 

Despite these two events so close together along with all of the news about Jews being victimized across Europe and even within the Haredi neighborhoods in the New York City metropolitan area, American Jews remain calm believing they are very safe to completely safe and they need not worry about these two incidents as they are irregularities which if digested and applied to their lives should raise their discomfort. Weekly there are stories about Jews being harassed in their public schools even in elementary schools. There are anti-Semitic acts which occur regularly across the United States with such crimes spanning the gauntlet from graffiti to anti-Semitic tropes and swastikas even to firebombs and bullets fired at Jewish Houses of Prayer. Almost every synagogue in America hires or has city provided armed guards for the High Holidays and often also for Bar Mitzvahs and Wedding Ceremonies with some even requiring such protection for their weekly Shabbat prayers services. Jewish schools and pre-schools have also felt the anti-Semitism including all of the above plus simple vandalism. Still, American Jews feel safe and accepted within their society. We have thought about this phenomenon and have reached some conclusions which may explain this apparent dichotomy.

 

The vast majority of Jews live, work, worship and find recreation living largely in neighborhoods where the income level is above average. Almost all their daily contacts are professionals who largely do not harbor anti-Semitic feelings and those who do keep such hidden for fear of losing their employment. Their exercise routines often consist of running within their neighborhood or working out at a gym, often a pricey sports club. They shop at stores in their neighborhood, get their foods from kosher stores and butcher shops and often shop at the boutique stores and name brand companies. They seldom spend time in neighborhoods where the crime is higher than average nor do they frequent places where alt-right groups frequent. Their interaction with people who openly hold anti-Semitic positions are extremely rare and, as stated above, if they do meet such a person, that person would conceal their resentment and hatred which fuels their anti-Semitism. This social isolation leads them to the conclusion that they are perfectly safe and that anti-Semitism is not a problem in the United States. Even the few Jews who do live in what might be defined as a far more coarse neighborhoods where ethnic and religious hatreds are expressed regularly, if not frequently, and seldom relate such to any friends they may have at Synagogue or through other contacts as expressing such things will lead to one being shunned as one who is portrayed as being too negative. Nobody desires to be excluded from their surroundings, thus even the Jews who see these acts against Jews and have a more intimate interaction with such feelings keep their stories close to the chest and merely share them with a small group of conservatives who are often Zionists as well thus any mention of making Aliyah is met with encouragement. Eventually, things will reach a point where ignoring the anti-Semitism which is spreading into even the halls of Congress as something which is real and need be faced and decisions made. The most logical response is not to buy more expensive security, it is to move to Israel where your security, along with every other Israeli, is the first order of the police and IDF. One could not find any better security than this.

 

Many American Jews likely are not even concerned about the rampant anti-Semitism spreading across Europe. Part of the reason why is because to admit this would upset the apple cart upon which their lives are balanced. Further, they enjoy taking trips to Europe and would be put out if their favorite European vacation region became unavailable. As most European vacation areas are guarded with better than average security and police presence, their vacations are fairly safe until the unthinkable happens. The European Jews are beginning to catch on to the rising rate of the problem and many have already started arriving here in Israel. Each year the number of European Jews making Aliyah increases bit by bit. This is slowly draining the Jewish population of Europe away which will sooner or later result in a flood as the last ones to successfully escape Europe make their way to the welcoming Israeli shores. But even across Europe, the majority of Jews are still in denial about the growing problem and even the source. Ask many European Jews and virtually all American Jews from whence does the growing anti-Semitism arise and they will claim from right wing Nazi-like individuals and they will deny that there is another source. They will identify that Islam and the influx of “refugees” has worsened the problem and that there is a massive wave of anti-Semitism roiling on the far left. Their refusal to accept these realities is basically because to do so would upset their entire worldview. One can only hope and pray that these disillusioned Jews awaken and smell the coffee before it becomes too late. The German Jews who had largely assimilated also kept telling themselves that, “It cannot happen here. Germany is the most advanced, cultured, educated and socially advanced nation on earth. They would not mean us; they mean those other Jews.” If you are one thinking in this manner, bad news, you are so very wrong and we can only pray for your awakening to come before it becomes too late.

 

The other disbelief is held by mostly Israeli Jews including, unfortunately, Prime Minister Netanyahu and many in the Knesset. This is a two-part fallacy which starts with the United States will always be our friend and ally just like they have always been and continues, anyway, the Arabs of the Sunni states are becoming friendly and accepting our existence as the Jewish State. As far as the United States always having been Israel’s friend, other than President Truman voting to accept the Israeli declaration of independence of May 15, 1948, the United States immediately thereafter placed an arms embargo on the entire Middle East, which, as the Arabs were being provided for by the Soviet Union, this meant any potential for providing arms to the nascent state of Israel was made impossible. We cover the entirety of this subject in our articles “America can be a Fickle Friend,” “Time for Israel to Help Trump and America,” as well as in “The United States Will Distance From Israel.” With this out of the way, let us address the so-called new Arab friendship effort. For us, this new friendly warmth coming from the Sunni Arab world such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf Emirates plus Kuwait is, at best, disingenuous. One might say that they have an ulterior motive which has nothing to do with our being accepted finally as their neighbor despite our being a Jewish entity. This is not the puppy love as it is being treated in much of Israel, especially by the political elite. This is good old solid we are afraid of the after-school bully threatening us in the playgrounds better known as the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea and even into the Red Sea. This bully which has the Arabs in the regions around Israel is the Persian Shiites of Iran who have been testing missiles with significant ranges and quite likely working on and building nuclear warheads to fit atop those missiles. This is what is driving these Sunni Arab neighbors of Israel closer to the Jewish State, survival, not acceptance.

 

If anyone for even a single moment believes that the Wahabis strain of Islam has accepted the Jewish State or that Jordan which has amongst the highest levels of anti-Semitism in the world or that Egypt was softening towards Israel, they have another think coming. Egypt has a number of reasons to be cuddling up to Israel of which Iran is but one. Egypt also has a serious problem with terrorists setting up camps within the Sinai Peninsula in the mountainous regions which are difficult to patrol. Egypt needs Israel to assist them in preventing Hamas from interacting and providing the provisions of war and terror into the Sinai Peninsula as well as on occasion allowing Israel to attack some of these groups when they attack Israel or assist Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Egypt also benefits from Israeli intelligence which has often tipped the Egyptian military with timely information about terrorist plots against Egypt. Meanwhile, Jordan is cautiously approaching Israel though they continue to pretend that whatever new charge against the Jews or restriction which the Jordanian Waqf can bring preventing Jews from ascending to the Temple Mount or other restrictions for Jewish use of the Temple Mount, visiting the Jewish holy sights in Hevron and other areas without difficulties is simply enforcing the status quo. The problem is that the status quo is anything but static. We have discussed this status quo situation in our articles “Temple Mount Status-Quo Not so Static Though.” “Temple Mount Is Not and Never Has Been at Status-Quo,” “Temple Mount Status-Quo Must Go” and “History of Jerusalem and Status Quo Incompatible.” Right now, the King of Jordan is worried about retaining his crown and position as the Arabs in Jordan are restless. He also fears Iran and even more so with them perched in Syria along his northern border.

 

But Saudi Arabia is the biggest of the fish caught in this conundrum. Saudi Arabia is fully aware that Iran is desirous of their oil fields which are along the Saudi northeastern border which is close to Iran. They also are aware that Iran would love to take over Mecca and Medina, the two holy cities of Islam dating back to the start and before the Arabian forces climbed out of the Arabian Peninsula intent on taking over all the lands they would be capable of conquering. Saudi Arabia is also the big fish in the Gulf States pool with some of the other Gulf states having deep pockets as their resources other than oil. Where the Saudi Royal Family has shown mixed signals but still tending towards a thaw in relations for expediency has made overtures with Israel. Still, with the Houthi Rebels along their southern border and the Iranian special units assisting and the Houthis launching a missile every so often, even to include some at Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital city, the Saudis have a great deal of Iran on their borders. This is probably why the majority of the communications originate with Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are also the ones who stand to lose the most should Iran begin to attack the Sunni states in the region in order to take over Islam simply by taking the Saudi oil fields along with the cities of Mecca and Medina then being able to claim that Iran is the protector of the two holy cities of Islam. It is the guardianship of Mecca and Medina upon which the Saudi Royal family rests their right to rule and be the foremost influence within Islam even to rival Egypt and Al-Azhar University, the most prestigious Islamic University where leading Imams are trained and sent all over the world to spearhead the spread of Islam. Iran faces an uphill battle to become the leader of the Islamic world as they practice a minor form of Islam consisting of about ten percent of all Muslims. Iran feels that if they can take the Saudi Oil Fields and the Two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, then they might be able to convert masses of Muslims to Shiite Islam and take over the Islamic world. For mounting a successful attack to capture those two targets, in order to simplify that attacks on Mecca and Medina, Iran would best be served by mounting the attack from the south and north simultaneously. The pincer from the south would originate in Yemen while the northern pincer would be required to originate in southern Jordan. This is another fear for the Jordanian Monarch.

 

Iran also holds the world hostage to two threats Iran posses to maritime traffic in the world. The one most well known are the Straights of Hormuz through which almost one third of the world oil supplies move. Additionally, through Yemen, Iran also has tactical control over the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait which controls the southern exit from the Red Sea. Closing this second waterway to shipping would paralyze Europe as it would effectively close the Suez Canal and would prevent all Israeli shipping from Eilat on to Asia. According to international law, cutting off Israeli shipping from exiting the Red Sea is a casus belli for war and is a direct attack on Israel. Such would also be the same for Egypt with the Suez Canal. So, a quick look around and the main countries facing Iranian aggressions are Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf States. This is just an introduction to the threats Iran poses currently to the world. It goes far beyond the chess match being played currently which could strike a point which ends up misinterpreted by either the United States or by Iran at which point the standoff could turn hot and cause a chain reaction which nobody needs. The one item that the world can believe was the threat by Iran that should they be attacked by anyone, then their first retaliation will not be against their attacker, not even if it is the United State (Great Satan) but rather Iran would immediately attack Israel (Little Satan). Why would Iran attack Israel first, simply, because after an attack on Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia or the American fleet, there probably would not be enough of Iran left to attack Israel plus Iran is convinced that nobody would attack Iran no matter what they might do when attacking Israel. Iran is currently assured that none of the European nations would attack Iran no matter what they did short of attacking Europe. Should the Iranians drop a nuclear warhead in the center of the American fleet sinking virtually every ship, the Europeans would possibly send wreaths to the United States and exclaim how they mourn with the Americans but due to treaty obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), they were powerless to act, so sorry. The world is facing trouble and all that most of the world appears ready to do is surrender, throw up their arms, wail unmercifully and then blame Israel for the entire situation. Israel and Israelis and their politicians need to understand that the warm feelings they feel coming from the Sunni Arabs is driven by fear of the Shiite Arabs of Iran and once that problem becomes resolved, then back to the regularly scheduled antagonistic low-level warfare through sponsoring terrorists against Israel, Sunni terrorists such as the Palestinian Authority or Hamas in Gaza.

 

Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait

Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait

 

One might say that these are the pressure points of the World, the points where even a minimal amount of pressure produces the maximum effect and currently both can have pressure applied by the Iranian regime. The current Iranian threat level is high with few specific regions where Iran has and is posing threats to the well being of the world. Currently there is a threat of war breaking out and should such a war break out, we are all but guaranteed that Israel will be one of the first targets to feel the Iranian threats with Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Hezballah all poised and ready to pounce upon the Jewish State. The only guarantee over the next Middle East conflict is, that no matter who else will be concerned, Israel will be one of the first targets struck by Iran through her proxy terror groups deployed where they can do the most harm armed with the weapons required to pose such threats. Iran can always use these groups to dial up the tensions and violence in the region even if merely to distract attention away from Iran herself.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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