Beyond the Cusp

June 26, 2015

How Does Europe Define NGO in Israel and More?

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Most people read news about some NGO making some claims or making accusations and their ears perk up and they assign extra special veracity to the words that follow the announcement that such-n-such groups, an NGO, claims that… No matter what nation the NGO calls home, the NGO is considered to be independent of any political bend and especially free of the foreign policy interests of any government because NGO stands for Non-Governmental-Organization. But perhaps this is not as pure as we have been led to believe as there are numerous NGOs which it turns out are paid agents for European nations and are used as the new twenty-first-century pirates who are sent on NGO raids of other nations seeking to find or provoke a situation which can be utilized to slander another nation, and if they can hit NGO pirating gold, perhaps even something presentable to an international court or be brought for one of those oh-so political lynching before the United Nations General Assembly where condemnations are all but automatic on any charges against certain “always guilty nations” or perhaps the United Nations Human Rights Council or, even better for elevating the paying nation’s international prestige, the charges can be filed by their NGO in their highest tribunal which has already applied to and received by the United Nations to hear and adjudicate human rights and war crimes charges and the whole cycle has come home and returned on their investment.

 

The obvious target of all the available culprits where presumed human rights are abused and there is no real, fair, just and uncorrupted judiciary where minorities are regularly seized out of their homes and executed after the briefest of trials and religious apartheid exists with factions in open warfare and every other conceivable injustice occurs daily deserving the targeting of the vast resources of the European governments both individually and through their combined financial resources funneled through the European Union in the Middle East, Africa or any other political hot spot is not Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, not North Korea and not even al-Qaeda, Hamas, ISIS, Hezballah, Boko Haram, Islamic Jihad or other terrorist entity; it is, let’s all say this together, Israel. The hot issue this week whose organizers deserved receiving roughly half a million euros from French government aid was Plateforme des ONG Françaises pour la Palestine (Platform of French NGOs for Palestine) efforts to break the internationally sanctioned and legal naval blockade of Gaza under the ever so original name of ‘Freedom Flotilla III’ which is expected to arrive any time this week. Never mind that Gaza receives every ounce of legal aid and even is permitted dual use building material of which it has been estimated that possibly a significant amount well exceeding half of the cements and other materials are confiscated by Hamas for their use in building infiltration tunnels with which to attack and murder Israelis and kidnap others to hold for ransom crossing a legally recognized border committing breaches and activities aimed at civilians all of which are acts of war. If the real reason of the ‘Freedom Flotilla III’ was to get desperately needed supplies to the people in Gaza, who admittedly could use building materials which would actually go to rebuilding their homes, stores and other damaged infrastructure resulting from repeated acts of war on the part of their existing governance of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist entities firing rockets, missiles and mortars upon Israeli civilians even to include striking Israel’s two largest metropolitan areas of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv requiring a military response to prevent further breaches of the peace, all that is required is for the aid to be delivered to any Israeli sea port where it would be inspected and all nonmilitary aid would be delivered within the following two to three days overland on any of the several tons of food, medical supplies, building materials and other approved aid withholding only those items deemed to be of a military nature and legally removed from any shipment.

 

It is almost needless to point out that these flotillas are not about getting supplies to the people of Gaza as was proven by the infamous Mavi Marmara flotilla where the lead ship attempted to run the blockade in order to ambush any IDF units used to intercept them and then be able to take film and still pictures with which to smear Israeli efforts requiring excessive violence on ‘innocent aid workers and human rights activists’ and then file them to be plastered on page one of every newspaper and film at the beginning of every news broadcast across the Western World thus presenting what the desire to claim are the brutalities committed by the Israeli military in the name of the government. These attempts by terrorists to instigate a fight and have the IDF inflict what would be presented as unnecessary violence went awry when the Israelis also arrived with cameras and shot the entire interdiction to show the world the edited out assaults initiating the actions which landed a number of both IDF and instigators in the hospital and resulted in nine terrorists who had assaulted the IDF soldiers using knives, pipes, bats and eventually small arms fire which immediately escalated the incident into an international incident where eventually the evidence from all sides was aired and the world was left to judge for themselves. Every single internationally sanctioned and recognized neutral investigations found fault on both sides but laid the blame for initiating the violence fell on the terrorist elements eventually identified as belong to IHH who boarded the ship at an unofficial stop subsequent to the filmed set-off in Turkey.

 

This newest effort is sailing the Mediterranean Sea and is anticipated to reach Israel once these participants have soaked up sufficient sun, fun and news cycles to fully show off the representatives of Human Rights NGOs, dignitaries, recognized public figures and the seemingly required member of the Israeli Knesset for that extra pinch of presumed righteousness, then they will head for Gaza to present their ‘aid for the starving masses and for rebuilding the destruction from last year’s conflict with Israel. Most of the ships making up the ‘Freedom Flotilla III’ will obey the instructions by the Israeli patrol boats and divert to drop off aid goods at Ashod, Haifa, Tel Aviv or whichever port has been prepared to receive and process the goods as rapidly as humanly possible. If form holds true, the aid packages will include food that has not been properly refrigerated or kept dry making it almost entirely unusable and medical supplies past their usable date but Israel will transfer it into Gaza where Hamas and the governing entities will simply leave it until it has to be disposed of before these useless supplies become a health hazard. That is exactly what became of the aid from the previous ‘Freedom Flotillas’ and their showcase deliveries. To be honest, most Israelis do not wish for a fight and would be more than happy if the aid actually was received by the Gazan people and any useful provisions are a benefit to them and Israel has even liberalized their permissible aid to include the very cement, rebar, wood, sheets of aluminum and other building supplies with which Hamas, Islamic Jihad et al are rebuilding the destroyed infiltration tunnels making improvements and enlarging them as well as digging new, deeper and longer ones which will have added rails for electric rail carts to get the raiding parties to the far end ready and still rested for their assaults in southern Israel and potentially beyond, just as the captured plans described when the tunnels were found and destroyed during Operation Protective Edge last summer.

 

The assault the Israelis spoiled when they found the tunnels during the ground operations included and had in place awaiting implementation of the plans during the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur were motorcycles, manufactured IDF uniforms complete with patches and all identifying insignia, maps, weapons, ammunition, handcuffs, rope, drugs, syringes and supplies to outfit hundreds if not over a thousand infiltrators who could have committed mass murders and mass kidnappings mostly, as the plans indicated, from the neighboring towns and kibbutzim and even raid into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem which were to be carried out in much the same manner as the Mumbai, India assault where ten Pakistani terrorists landed near the Gateway to India Monument equipped with plastic explosives, grenades, hand guns, machine guns and other tools carrying out the worst and most lethal terrorist action in Indian history. The viciousness of the assault was exemplified by the horrific attack in the Chabad ‘Nariman House’ and the raid on the two of the main train stations and the international hotels as the terrorists continued murdering everybody they could on route to their eventual targets. The November 26, 2008 attack lasted four horrific and trying days before all the terrorists were killed with one, Ajmal Kasab, being captured and questioned by the Indian authorities seeking information on why one-hundred-seventy-nine people were killed and more than three-hundred were wounded . The estimated numbers who could have been murdered in a similar assault on Israel during the High Holidays with assaults planned to begin across the entirety of Israel coordinated for simultaneous explosions followed by the other operations including plans to assault numerous local synagogues and the main and largest synagogues in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and elsewhere included numbers so shocking as to be beyond belief and the confusion which could be entered into the equations with terrorists dressed as IDF soldiers giving spurious orders to a frightened public funneling them to set up terrorist locations where the people were likely to be murdered or taken hostage to be used in later negotiations which were unlikely to end with any acceptable results.

 

The ‘Freedom Flotilla III’ will most likely be using a similar modus operandi of the previous ‘Freedom Flotillas’ where a single selected ship staffed with instigators and terrorists who will be attempting to force a confrontation which can be filmed to be edited later to show the violence perpetrated on innocent individuals by presumed sadistic IDF Jews against simply human rights advocates which included women and other identifiable representatives of peace organizations who have volunteered to stand on the periphery in the hopes of being mistaken for one of those attacking the IDF and receive rough treatment. What these Flotilla planners are counting on is that the Israelis will attempt to use the minimalist amount of force required to divert the ship or ships attempting to break through the naval blockade which, may we remind all, has been investigated by the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) and passed muster as being a legal and properly applied blockade meeting or exceeding all the requirements of such an operation. These reviews noted that all legal aid is delivered in a timely manner and in as pristine a condition as it arrived after an efficient and speedy inspection for contraband such as arms as certain dual use materials such as those used for the production of explosives, weapons, ammunition, other munitions, rockets and the fuel to launch them and other recognized illegal substances. The rules under international law on enforcement of a recognized blockade is to attempt to intercede with the least necessary force to persuade the ship’s captain to divert and dock at an assigned port for inspection and offloading of aid which will be delivered afterwards and the use of force may escalate as the orders are ignored and efforts continue to cross the blockade line. There is no actual requirement for the enforcing forces, be they ships, aircraft or other units to actually attempt to board the offending ship to take control and sail it to an approved port. Should a ship persist in attempts to cross a blockaded port and pose a threat of breaking the enforcement it becomes legal to simply shoot the ship out of the water by any and all means as the enforcing fleet and military power at the scene, if that is perceived as the least dangerous alternative for their personnel. The enforcement rules under international law allow for the sinking of the offending vessel and do not require less destructive measures. A good example of the amount of force permissible by a legally blockading nation would be a study of the Cuban Missile Crisis where United States President Kennedy had given orders for any Russian vessel crossing the blockading ships were to be fired upon and sunk. The United States blockading forces included numerous destroyers, cruisers, aircraft and the vessels which came the closest to actually firing on the Russian lead ship had she not turned away with little room left before action was taken, a nice way as saying actions were imminent, were two attack submarines which already had entered their firing sequence into the ships attack computers and I believe one had even loaded and flooded their tubes in preparation to fire. It may have been the sonar reporting of such act which convinced the Russian captain to divert his ship and not continue his confrontation. That was amongst the closest the Cold War adversaries faced off which could have had dire and vastly different consequences. The ‘Freedom Flotilla III’ personnel, planners and ship captains have probably studied the previous attempts to break the blockade and are counting on Israel to interdict by placing her troops in harm’s way if that is what becomes necessary to prevent the blockade from being transgressed. There is also the option to demand a cursory check of the goods and if found not to contain anything banned to allow the ship to proceed to a port in Gaza. The difficulty there is the requirement for boarding once again, always a dangerous process where the boarding party are the force most vulnerable which was made exceedingly evident during the Mavi Marmara confrontation.

 

The backing of the ‘Freedom Flotilla III’ by the French government using one of their nationally supported and funded NGOs is indicative of a problem which Israel had some serious problems and is where any discussion about this situation of European governments, amongst others, directly or indirectly through NGOs whose main purpose is a form of money laundering where they receive funding directly from governments who may even have requested the funding be funneled directly to another NGO where the initial recipient of the funds uses a percentage or set handling fee to pay for their services and then they pass the funds along wither through another middle NGO or directly to the intended NGO all pending the amount of separation desired by the donating government where they pay for each level of separation. Where this system is sufficiently deceitful and underhanded manner for a government to mount subversive efforts to undermine the independence or functioning of another government they wish to target through using NGOs which are officially registered with the originating government, in Israel there is a second and far more sinister route being used, the support and funding, largely through the NGO the New Israel Fund (NIF) which in turn doles the funds for different activities and functioning of other NGOs operating within Israel. The devious part is that these majority or even completely foreign funded NGOs, some by outside individuals and others by the European Union or European governments as well as Arab and Muslim governments are registered as Israeli NGOs despite their almost entirely foreign funding sources. The Israel Parliament, the Knesset, has passed a series of bills to attempt to address this situation. These legislations have included such requirements that any NGO receiving a majority of their funding from outside Israel be required to register as a foreign NGO which would eliminate some of the tax exemptions, the requirement for all NGOs to report all foreign funding including funds from other NGOs which receive the majority of their funding from outside Israel, an attempt to make foreign funds granted to NGOs to taxation and a number of other requirements many of which the very nations funding these ‘Israeli’ NGOs themselves have enacted which would even go so far as to exile any NGO from their registry forcing them to register under the nation or one of the nations paying their funding requirements which, needless to point to, prevents Israel from returning the favor in kind by subverting NGOs operating in Europe under European registry. Every one of these legislations have been denounced by people on the left of the political scale as the NGOs most likely to be affected are the most liberal and often anti-Israel NGOs that operate as Israeli NGOs. These protestations have caused each of these laws to be nullified by the Israeli Supreme Court often claiming that they are discriminatory despite their being applicable to all NGOs operating in Israel and specifically to those registering as being Israeli NGOs operating licensed by the Israeli governing body which oversees NGOs, an overseeing body which has been hampered from taking any actions against these anti-Israel, anti-Zionist NGOs who perform the bidding of their paymasters from outside Israel still enjoying the apparent approval of the Israeli government. The actions of the Israel Supreme Court are not surprising as they have performed the actions of a blocking stone placed around the neck of every piece of legislation passed by the Knesset which the Supreme Court has set themselves up as an override proof veto machine and nowhere have they been more active than against nationalist and Zionist interests such as the problem with the foreign funded anti-Israel NGOs and also another major problem, the repatriation of illegal immigrants to their home nation even to include those that the United Nations and European Union have registered as facing no oppressions or even arrest and trial should they be returned to their nation of origin. The infiltrator problem, what the illegal immigrants have been named, has caused widespread lawlessness for many neighborhoods in southern Tel Aviv and other less well-off neighborhoods. When efforts have been made to expand the territory being invaded and potentially inflicted with this problem the wealthier neighborhoods have no difficulty in receiving law enforcement fast and expediently.

 

There was one effort which many found amusing as a member of the Knesset brought a number of these illegal immigrant families to enjoy some recreation at one of the public swimming pools in a wealthier Tel Aviv neighborhood. The people monitoring who were allowed to enter this ‘public swimming pool and recreation area’ made every effort to prevent the entry of these ‘other outsiders’ but were eventually forced to permit their entry. Within minutes of their entering this public area the most affluent found the atmosphere so threatened that they made a hasty retreat before being put in a position of sharing their environs with those such as these people who had been unfairly thrust into their formerly perceived protected public area. Such grandstanding only succeeded in making some ripples in the news over the ensuing week and then everything returned to normal and the criminal elements were still ignored and the residents of the afflicted neighborhoods almost require escort just to do their grocery shopping and going out after sunset is unthinkable, such is the reality the Supreme Court is forcing on these unfortunate people who have sufficient problems just making ends meet and who deserve better security in their neighborhoods but even law enforcement has been timid in imposing the law in such neighborhoods as they cannot be on every street corner, or so we have been informed.

 

Reform is going to be required on many fronts but Israel is a young nation still ironing out some of her deficiencies and rough spots. Israel is still on their first republic unlike some in Europe who have worked their way through five republics within their last two to three centuries or had coups which led to consequences for the entirety of Europe and beyond. For a relative newcomer to the world’s stage and facing probably one of the roughest of neighborhoods to make their debut and against all odds she remains standing and not about to throw in the towel no matter how many NGOs of foreign funding antagonize her soldiers and protest her duly elected government attempting to use bullying tactics as described in such playbooks as Rules for Radicals, the Communist Manifesto, Che Guevara’s A Revolutionary Life and many others. Books not read or not considered enlightened enough include the worldviews from Hobbes, John Locke, Adam Smith, David Hume, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Denis Diderot, Immanuel Kant, George Berkeley, John Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham, Montesquieu with his separation of powers concept, and even Gulliver’s Travels author Jonathan Swift. The ‘Age of Reason’ which was also known as the Enlightenment brought a whole new manner of government where the common man was respected and was a capable individual who had learned much from the greatest of all teachers, the hardships and challenges of everyday survival from which we get this well-known phrase thanks to Friedrich Nietzsche (and an aside to Conan for making it known by the masses), “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Let us hope that the ‘Freedom Flotilla III’ and all the incidents she may cause in the coming days only make us, all of us, stronger.

 

That is the one thing which I believe makes much of the world angered by Israel and turned to scorn and ridicule her is that as the Jewish State, Israel attempts to be better in their treatment and assistance to others, to honestly make a difference where it counts in the world and make it a better place by the actions of each and every individual Israeli. If Israel is capable of lifting up souls one at a time, then that is what she will endeavor to accomplish. Israel has a soul and a heart and these fill her with hope over fate, light over darkness, helping over pitying. This is evident in Israeli assistance to those suffering from a natural disaster such as was in Haiti, the Philippines, Japan and recently Nepal. Many Nepalese were perplexed by the Israeli response both to their needs and to locating every single Israeli known to be in Nepal. They noted we sent search and rescue along with medical teams to places even the Nepalese government does not visit. Israel continued the search even when there was but one Israeli not yet accounted for and then refused to leave after hearing of his death but instead mounted an expedition to locate, retrieve and bring his body home to be interred where his loved ones could know he rested, his mortality rested. It did not escape the Nepalese people that there were nations with hundreds and even thousands of people in Nepal who sent nobody to assist their own people, let alone the people of Nepal yet Israel tracked down and located every Israeli including the retrieval of the one fatality’s body and aided the people of Nepal remaining even after every Israeli had been accounted for; remaining plus sending a second team to relieve the initial assistance sent in order to provide until the emergency had ended and Nepal was as healthy and back on her feet as possible after such a disaster. Israel had the first operating fully equipped and staffed hospital in Haiti, built and equipped a clinic in a remote village where no such care was available and trained the villagers how to use the most useful equipment and eventually left the clinic and equipment in place and had even interested some medical personnel including some physicians to set up practices in the clinic. Israel had the most wonderful and beautiful of programs I have ever encountered anywhere with their Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) which is a non-profit organization based in Israel but reaching out to the world wherever there is a need leading to their being known worldwide for their commitment to saving lives by improving the quality of cardiac care for children from developing countries and creating centers of medical competence in these countries. They not only help finance and build departments in hospitals and entire hospitals where none exist and train the physicians in cardiac care for children leaving behind a self-sufficient group who is fully capable of providing the care to the people locally. Until such care is available locally they fly children from all nations, and they mean all nations even if to have that child cared for in Israel but the government does not recognize or particularly like Israel, they fly the family to a neutral nation and then to Israel without stamping their passport, provide the cardiac care and recovery and return them through the same neutral nation all because life is precious. You want a one phrase for Israel, try every single life matters. That is the basis for so much Israel does even in ways that are difficult to explain, but rest assured that all life is precious is still included in what Israel does and it shows quietly in her actions.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 28, 2013

Of Likud and Republican; A Problem Shared

They say that misery loves company and should that be true then members of America’s Republican Party and Israel’s Likud Party have plenty of company. Both of these political parties have had a split from in their membership and both sides blame the other for any election misgivings and shortfalls. What makes things even closer between the two is in both cases the split pits political purists who hold tightly to high political standard that might be best described as the pure essence of their party in theory while the other faction claims to be practical realists who hold that high political morality is great in theory but practice demands that the party must be more open to a wider group and that compromise is paramount. In both parties the purists claim that they have been ignored and that they have not had a candidate who holds fast to their strict definitions of belief while the realists blame the purists for forcing the party too far from the center and costing them the so-called swing voters which are necessary in national elections.

In the United States the Republican Party has had a group from which has been defined as the Tea Party Republicans but might be best defined as Constitutionalists and Libertarians. These Constitutional purists hold strongly to individual freedoms as defined by the Founding Fathers in their letters, writings and the founding documents of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Their claim is that there are a multitude of voters who believe the same way as they do and that many of these voters are even more stridently defined and are willing to stay home on Election Day rather than vote for a candidate they feel is too compromised on their issues. The realists claim that the dogmatic purity is too restrictive and denies the party the support of middle of the political spectrum voters. The realists claim that the Republican Party needs to position their candidates just slightly more conservative than the Democrat’s candidate as this will position their candidate to pick up the centrist voters as well as the strident conservatives of all stripes as who else would such people vote for, the Democrat or some third party candidate? They claim to run a stridently conservative candidate would leave the party with high political morals but no vote totals and they doubt that third party candidates actually take that many votes away due to their reference to put forward a compromise candidate. The biggest disagreement between these two groups in the Republican camp is where their recent candidates for the Presidency stood on the issues, especially in the last two elections where they lost to the Democrat Party candidate, Barrack Obama. In both cases the purists claimed that both John McCain and Mitt Romney were members of the realist camp while the realists claimed that due to catering to the purists these two candidates appeared too far to the conservative and libertarian end of the political spectrum. Both sides claim that the candidates were chosen and ran as if they were the epitome of the other side’s idea of the perfect candidate. Obviously both sides cannot be correct.

In Israel, the Likud Party has had an even rougher time despite currently being the party in power. All one has to do to see the convulsions which have wrought through the Likud body politic is to review some of the up and coming and established Likud Party leaders over the last decade or so. It was from the Likud Party that Kadima was born when the realists’ extremes of the party felt they could no longer accomplish their desired policies and remain within the Likud Party. It was a Likud elected Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, who divided the Likud Party by taking a fair number of the leadership and merging them with other opportunists from Labor and other parties to form a new party they named Kadima. Those who split and joined Likud claimed that their moderate views were not welcomed in Likud and that they really had little choice. Some of those who left Likud with Ariel Sharon, among others, were Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, Shaul Mofaz, Meir Sheetrit, Gideon Ezra, Avraham Hirschson, Ruhama Avraham, Majalli Wahabi, Roni Bar-On and Omri Sharon. The main reasons for the divide was over whether Israel should carry out the disengagement plan and simply remove all Israeli presence from the Gaza Strip and turn the entire area over to the Palestinian Authority as a test case to give the Palestinians an opportunity to govern and prove their capabilities. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon carried out the disengagement and a short while later Hamas took control over the Gaza Strip in a violent coup which led directly to the rain of rockets and other terrorist attacks emanating from the areas Israel had vacated.

Despite the obvious failure of the disengagement as far as Israel is concerned and, oddly enough, as far as the Palestinian Authority was concerned, there is still a strong worldwide push to force another disengagement from Judea and Samaria turning the entire area over to the Palestinian Authority assuming that this time will work out better. What makes the push for finding a peace in which much if not almost all of the areas of Judea and Samaria, also known to the Arabs as the West Bank, is turned over to the Palestinian Authority is once again the issue that is splitting Likud onto two camps, one is the Zionist Camp which purports that Israel should simply annex the entirety of Judea and Samaria and set a method by which the Palestinians could apply and qualify as citizens in Israel while the other camp are the so-called realists who hold that the Palestinians cannot be granted citizenship in Israel for any number of reasons among which include the “demographic bomb which states that in thirty to fifty years the Palestinians will outnumber the Jews in Israel simply through natural reproductive growth, or the idea that Israel will find themselves in even a worse position where the rest of the world will impose a solution on Israel where they will lose everything and therefore a compromise must be found. Currently, the Likud led coalition is headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu who is working towards finding a path to making a treaty with the Palestinians where, according to rumors, Israel would retain the major Jewish settlement blocks which amounts to around fifteen percent of the lands of Judea and Samaria and the Palestinians would be allowed to form their state in the remaining eighty-five percent. This would entail the Israelis absorbing between sixty and eighty thousand Jewish Settlement refugees from the towns and farms that would be ceded to the Palestinians. As the lands of Judea and Samaria are a large portion of the traditional ancient Jewish-Israelite-Hebrews historic and biblical homeland, there are many who feel that relenting on these areas to be sinful and sacrilegious, tantamount to treason against the true faith of Judaism. One should be able to see that giving up lands whose name is Judea might be a serious compromise for a people and religion denoted by the name of Judaism.

So, what does the future likely hold for these two parties and their respective nations? First off, in the Likud the future is relatively clear in that the younger members of the party such as Danny Danon and Moshe Feiglin who are strident Zionists and favor Israel retaining all of Judea and Samaria and offering the Palestinians who wish to remain and become Israeli citizens a methodology and plan to do so and for those Palestinians who would prefer to leave and live in the Arab world be given fair compensation for all of their properties and an additional payment to facilitate making their transition easier. This shifting towards a stronger nationalistic outlook also matches one of the trends within the Israeli population along with trending towards the populations as a whole becoming more religious. There is a real, visceral, tangible revitalization of Judaism taking place within Israel that is growing healthily in accord with nationalism. The window that we hear being bandied about as a limited time remaining in which forming a Palestinian state being possible is very probably an accurate assessment but for reason different than those stated. The problem is not that the two sides are growing more strident in their positions and thus reaching a compromise will soon become impossible as it is that a growing number of Israelis are beginning to realize that the Palestinians will never live peaceably even should they be granted their own state but will continue to use terror and pleadings to the world, especially Europe, to return all of the lands to them and remove Israel from the map. It really should not be a huge surprise as this has been the message shouted loud and clear from Palestinian society and the Arab World at large since before Israel was founded and it has never changed. The Israelis hear it constantly on Palestinian radio and television broadcasts, read it in Palestinian newspapers, journals, magazines, and their children’s textbooks, and it is evident on their maps which show all of the land as Palestine with no mention of Israel whatsoever. Likud will eventually become an almost purely Zionist Party as will other Israeli political parties and that will not be a contended position in elections. Likud also supports capitalism, free trade with other nations, smaller government, privatization of government run services and companies, and less regulations and restriction on business in general. Their main competitors in the political realm are all socialists of different stripes.

The Republican Party’s future is not quite as easily determined as there is not the generational split anywhere near as obvious as it is for Israel’s Likud Party. The Tea Party segments of the Republican Party are a growing sector which is still flushing out its organizational structure and thus will gain some more voice and strength in the immediate future. The challenge for the Tea Party members will be maintaining their higher than average level of involvement which is often found when a movement is in its early stages and still growing. There have been signs in some elections where the Tea Party has surprised the establishment and pollsters by winning what were termed upsets such as Bridenstine against Sullivan in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Ted Cruz in Texas, among others. The problem with predicting the future of political parties in the United States over doing so in Israel is an obvious one, size matters and the United States has size over Israel in every manner you care to measure with the exception as both nations have a similar number of Jewish citizens, for now. When one speaks of the Republican Party, there is a huge difference as you look at different locations. An example which makes this point is that if one compares a Democrat elected to the United States House of Representatives from Texas or Wyoming to a Republican elected to the same august body from Maryland or Massachusetts, one would likely find that the Democrat would be considered the more conservative of the two. That is why it is impossible to form an exact definitive description for a member of any political party in the United States and especially for the two main parties, the Democrats and the Republicans. Politics in the United States is a lot like real estate, what matters a lot is location, location, location. Still, the Republican Party will likely face a reformation of sorts over the next decade or two and a good prediction would safely contend that Republican candidates will become more aligned with the founding declarations of individualism, freedom, and less reliance on government. They will push for reforms that lessen the reach and purview of the federal government and push for empowerment of the individual states and even to local city and county governments. Any contributions from the Federal Government will be in the form of block grants and there will be less stringent restrictions on their use. Whether this resonates with the public remains to be seen but there is a high likelihood that should some of the over-bloated Federal Government programs, even some of the newest among them, become financially untenable that rather than allow for Federal taxes to rise close to if not over fifty percent, the people of both parties will demand somebody take a carving knife to the Federal budget and the programs it supports. This will be the result more of necessity than anything else but it is surprising how frugal people can become when their ability to survive is on the line. But, as we have said before, time will tell.

Beyond the Cusp

September 17, 2012

The Real Reason for the Latest Quantitative Easing, QE3

With the usual lack of explanation, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke coldly announced to the Press that the Federal Reserve was going to enact another round of Quantitative Easing, QE3. What this has meant in the past is that the Federal Reserve buys up a set amount of Government Debt which places ready cash in the hands of the Federal Government. What makes this so wrong is that in order for the Federal Reserve to buy these debts is that they have the Federal Treasury print the money that is necessary to buy up the debt. As stated, in both of the previous Quantitative Easings, QE1 and QE2, the Federal Reserve set an upper limit to the amount of debt they were going to acquire, and needless to say, they did buy the maximum they had set. This time it is being done somewhat differently. This time the Federal Reserve has announced that it will be buying mortgages and has stated their willingness to buy whatever amount of these debts as it will take to reach the desired effects. Nobody has even ventured a guess on how much debt will be involved. There is no upper limit which makes this not only unprecedented, it makes this truly frightening. Just imagine what it might mean if over a short period of time an unprecedented amount of dollars are suddenly pumped into the money supply and near unlimited amounts of credit are made available at rates next to no interests. The potential for massive inflation once this newly created money gets into the economy and starts to join and pump up circulation and inflation will become our main concern. Since this new money will likely sit initially and not enter circulation quickly, the negative effects will not be felt in the immediate future. What these Quantitative Easings are setting up is massive inflation kicking in as soon as the economy returns to a fair degree of health. This inflation will in turn wipe out much of the early gains made by the economy for much of the middle class as prices will begin to jump while salaries will lag behind.

But why at this time have the Federal Reserve Board decided to implement another round of Quantitative Easing without placing a ceiling on the amount? The answer is relatively obvious, it will give a momentary surge to the economy which will likely last two or three months which puts the consequences to this bald faced move to improve the image of the President concerning the economy as the easy credit will spark purchases. This is a sacrifice of the future of the American economy for a short turn sprint to just past the election for the benefit of President Obama’s reelection bid. This along with the continued ridiculously low interest rates will give the economy a burst like adding nitrous to the family car’s intake and just like the nitrous will burn out the family car’s engine, this will also burn out the economy down the road. This is not a surprise as both parties have done many of the same maneuvers in order to better their chances for reelection. We can expect another favorite to be used even more in the stretch to November, the release of supplies of gasoline from the National Petroleum Reserve in order to keep fuel prices as low as possible, placing another claim evidencing the good stewardship by the President. Despite all of these maneuvers to give the appearance of a bright future with lower fuel prices, easy credit with low interest rates and a quick spurt in the economy right before the election, the payment will come due by the end of the next year. The only way to counter the injected money from having deleterious effects on the future economy is to implement programs or interest rates which result in removing the excess funds from the money supply. This can be done most efficiently by either raising interest rates or raising taxes in order to bleed off the revenues injected into the system by the Federal Reserve. Ben Bernanke most certainly is aware of this reality but is playing politics with our futures. His actions are as contemptible as they are disingenuous. The one item that must be restated is that this Quantitative Easing has been made open ended with no upper limit and is being used to purchase the most toxic debt possible, Freddie and Fannie mortgages which were bought from banks and lending institutions who were allowed to unload bad debt they were forced to loan by Government regulations and threats of legal actions if they had refused to make bad risk mortgage loans. This ends up placing this most toxic of debt squarely on the shoulders of the American taxpayer who will be left to cover these defaults in the end.

Beyond the Cusp

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