Beyond the Cusp

April 12, 2016

Thoughts on the World on This Day

 

The negotiations between Turkey and Israel are proceeding as if running uphill through thick maple syrup. The Turkish Foreign Minister claims that the next high level meeting will end with an agreement. The Israeli negotiating team in London, England stated that these most recent negotiations showed no progress and that the impasses remain. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin recently stated matter-of-factly that there can be no rapprochement between Turkey and Israel until Israel ends the naval blockade of Gaza and ends the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands. This would appear to be a deal breaker making any return of normal relation impossible. We find this wonderful news as we believe that Israel normalizing relations with Turkey, a Muslim country which plays both ends of Islam against one another, is just one more sycophantic symptom of Israeli leaders belief they must please the whole world, even or especially their enemies. This game should become fun to watch as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is to visit Turkey this week and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is also to be in Turkey starting from Monday. The presumed leader, or at least high ranking servant of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, of Shia Islam is to visit Turkey at the same time as the presumed leader of the Sunni world visiting Turkey should provide some amusement. It should end up like a man handling his mistress while on a business trip where his wife arrived to surprise him.

 

On to Iraq and the failures of its government and the surprises when viewing exactly who is upset. The thought was that the Shiite population in Iraq with the assistance from Iran would be in a virtual; perfect world. There are a few problems with this situation which were not anticipated. The biggest problem is the really, really low oil prices. This is due to Saudi Arabia’s assault on Iran through flooding the market with low priced oil knocking the profit out of much of the world’s oil production. This low price has forced the closure of numerous fracking sites as the price of reaching the oil was too expensive even though the shipping costs were minimal. The actual aim by the Saudis was Iran and their allies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere. The American Fracking concerns were a secondary target which the Saudis are more than happy to see abandoned as they became economically unviable. If the United States were playing the game long term they would have stepped in and subsidized their oil and gas industry in order to send a message to the Saudis that the United States will be in this game and not abandon being internally provided and succumbing to the Saudi pressure forcing them from viability just so the Saudis can raise prices later and have everybody dancing to their tune. The additional fact that the Russians are also caught in the vice of the Saudi ploy was simply icing on the cake.

 

When the legacy for the Obama administration is being written it will hopefully have a few chapters which will require waiting until the complete story had played out in Iraq. President Obama was handed an Iraq which was mostly a done deal and took a concerted effort to completely erase all the hard work which had led to that point and somehow President Obama managed to mishandle and fumble that handoff within two years. Why two years? That was because it took that long for graft and greed to destroy all the hard work which had all but solved almost every issue. All that was left to do was oversee the government and make sure that they did their jobs and did not steal everything which was not nailed down. There was also the little thing called treating the people fairly. The initial problem which would have signaled there was a problem would have been the Kurdish areas as they already had a regional government which was up and working and thus had a means of voicing their displeasures. The next area one could look was the Sunni areas which also had a built in warning system, namely the Sunni Ministers who were arrested or fled the government before being arrested and subsequently tortured or murdered. Even had all these gone by undetected, even a blind man should have picked up on the increasingly violent Shiite demonstrations rising against the Iraqi government and the return of Moqtada al Sadr to prominence. The last item would have been the acceptance of the Islamist terrorist entity ISIS growing to such prominence unopposed initially by the government in Iraq as they had warnings galore that all was not well in the central Sunni areas which were the first to show displeasure and finally did turn to the Sunni terror state which proved to be a nightmare but were unable to receive any support fighting ISIS when they might have been most easily defeated from the central government leading to the middle of the country to simply fall into the arms of the Sunni Islamists.

 

Another area which the Obama government got wrong was Egypt where President Obama gladly backed the Muslim Brotherhood and was so infatuated with their rule that they completely ignored the Egyptian people who rose up against the Muslim Brotherhood whose mismanagement of the economy and infatuation to the point of obsession with applying the Sharia and doing so as quickly as possible that they missed all the warning signs. When even Turkey’s President Erdogan tells you that you are attempting too radical an approach and agenda and that they would be better served to slow their pace of incorporating the changes, then you might have a problem. Their refusal to adjust led directly to the coup by the military which then installed a temporary government while elections were held. The military showed more sympathy for the people than had the government of the Muslim Brotherhood. This led directly to the ouster and outright banning of the Islamic Muslim Brotherhood who had simply tried to do too much too fast and won itself the ire of the people.

 

The next boondoggle was Libya and the terrorist overrunning of the Benghazi Consulate. This required the willful blindness of both the President and the Secretary of State. Of course both of these individuals were more concerned with the reelection of President Obama which largely led to their ignoring repeated pleadings for greater security and additional people in Benghazi. Then followed the dropping of the ball through a clumsy cover-up designed to put off any bad publicity by a willful media. The needless deaths of four Americans was something which screamed to be heard and was simply too great a tragedy to be swept under the rug. That did not matter as the reelection went as planned and the revelations about Benghazi slowly emerged and by that time the American people had moved on. Nothing was going to damage the administration this late in the game, but the end of Benghazi has not been heard from as it will most definitely return loud and clear should Hillary Clinton be the Democrat candidate for President this coming election cycle. The televisions will carry wall-to-wall video of Hillary before the Senate committee investigating Benghazi stating, “What difference now does it make.” That is when Benghazi might finally be felt.

 

In Israel it is everything normal all upsides down. Israel is still being accused of colonialism by the conquerors of their homeland from in the early seventh century. The Arabs were simply the last of a whole host of colonial enterprises all attempting to dislodge the Jewish People (the Israelites) from their native ground and capital city of Jerusalem. It started with the Babylonians who were felled by the Persians who gave way to the Greeks who morphed into Rome which split into the Byzantines who lost out to the Arab Muslims and now that the aboriginal peoples are returning to claim their homelands from the greatest colonialists who spread and even outdid the British and are crying foul. If anybody can find a people who are still a viable people who predate Kings Saul, David and Solomon and predate Joshua it would be quite interesting. The Arabs broke out of Arabia in the early seventh century and have been proudly declaring their intent to conquer the globe and they are calling the Jews colonials?

 

What could be more ludicrous than that? Additionally, in order to assure he has the title President for Life and to never hold another election for the “Palestinians” Abbas has now established a Kangaroo Constitutional Court to declare election are not possible because Israel did it. He has refused to hold elections knowing a snowball would last longer in Hell than he would in office if elections were held and he has a ready-made scapegoat which the European and United Nations are more than happy to blame along with him. How the Palestinian Authority refusing to hold election in the lands where they have been unfortunately granted a semi-autonomous rule can be somebody else’s fault is beyond logic, but since when did logic ever come into play if the Jews can be blamed.

 

Meanwhile Europe is in panic mode because their great plans on inviting anybody claiming to be a refugee from a conflict in the Middle East is not working out as planned. Imagine that. Who thought for a moment allowing herds of people whose standing is living in a governmental system where fair elections are the ones where they know the outcome only days in advance of the voting instead of years and the Europeans cannot understand what went wrong. Still, the Europeans continue to demand that the Israelis allow any and everybody who desire to vote and claim residence for their elections vote for their parliament, the Knesset, and cannot understand why Israel would balk at such a demand. Some people, and by this we are referring to the people who are in power and are completely unable to see what is plainly before them. Perhaps it is time to clean house Europe.

 

The American primaries are continuing and both parties are now wishing they had a viable alternative to their frontrunners. The Democrat elite are sold on Hillary because she and Bill still have the FBI files on most of them. The Republicans had seventeen candidates so have no one to blame but themselves for not straightening things out before it became Cruz or Trump or who are you kidding from Ohio where he won you know. If we had to pick the race now it would be Bernie feel the Bern Sanders against Cruz but as long as the Democrats pull the rug out from under Hillary once again thus making her honorary Charlie Brown and the Football award winner, then Bernie wins against either frontrunner of the Republicans. Yes, the Americans know he is a socialist and really do not care as he has the most experience in government yet is probably the most outsider of them all having never joined either Party. Yep, the democrats are going to nominate an Independent over the actual Democrat in the race. What next?

 

Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders

 

 

Oh, even Putin has pulled most of his troops out of Syria leaving in as many as required to protect the naval bases they have there and leaving Assad clinging to power and Iran equally hard. The Russians never were actually fighting the Islamic State and why should they as it is not their problem and the Islamic State is not so stupid as to tug on Superman’s cape or anger Putin, there is little difference except Russian revenge is swifter. That leaves Syria as the most dysfunctional nation on earth with Iraq right behind. The next after that are Pakistan, North Korea tied with Greece and Greece has a wider glimmer of hope named German Banks. The European Union is nervously awaiting the vote this fall by the British on whether to remain even loosely attached to the European Union and the Brits are really glad they continued to hold on to the Pound Sterling and only accepted Euros in trade. Meanwhile, I am sure there are politicians worth their salt in France and Germany thinking of returning to the Franc and the Mark. If they ever actually do that, the European Union is dead, done, fini!

 

China is in the midst of a quiet disaster waiting to happen as they have not met growth projections for a year and a half. They are reacting as one would expect, returning to the good old ways of managed economy with the central government reverting to their communist roots. This will simply exacerbate the problem and that will drive them further still from any capitalist economic engines and back to their five year plans. That will work exactly as it did when it drove them to try capitalism except this time it will be seen as saving them from capitalism. Somewhere along the way China came to believe that capitalism could never slow down and growth would be a constant ten percent or higher. That proved to be a tad too optimistic so they are slowly dismantling the entire effort and returning to what they know will fail, but at least they will control the failure and will blame it on capitalism and become even more draconian and this should tumble China from economic dynamo feeling a small crunch to economic basket case rushing headlong to the bottom but doing so in a controlled manner. Their controlled crash will resemble an Airbus A380 whole wings and tail rudder fell off at 35,000 feet. Anybody standing between China and rock bottom should look up and be prepared to dodge a falling giant.

 

More disjointed news next time we feel our minds slipping and have no actual subject for an entire article, Thanks for your patience.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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August 24, 2015

Governing Stagnation on Both Sides of Arab-Israeli Conflict

 

From appearances the Israeli government has decided the time has come to act decisively and end the conflict once and for all before the old guard loses its control and is pushed from power by younger and more aggressive leadership. In the past five years many of the old lions have wandered off the playing field making an appearance here and there still reliving their old rivalries and people listen if only to remember. Soon those memories will crystalize the legacies of the leadership which has ruled the roost, in some cases ruled just a bit too long and their legacies may pay for their refusal to slide quietly into the shadows only to emerge as elder statesmen who also serve a purposed. Often that purpose is to come out and save the new leadership from itself and at other times to make a bold statement which either rallies the people at a crucial point or to give a last shot hope to relive their influential days and remind all why they prefer to remember the old leaders fondly. Often if a leader had been at the head of a party so long that only the few can remember who their predecessor was, it is past time for some change. Unfortunately any leader who has survived that long at the head of a party it is often due to their suppression of those who might challenge them either though subordinating them or by destroying their credibility and squashing all opposition. This is a weakness of a Parliamentary system which has no limit on the number of years one is permitted to hold the position of Prime Minister. When anybody is permitted to hold that position indefinitely then they can ride at the top of their party over decades which stymies the younger leaders from attaining the top position and eventually forms an oligarchic echo chamber which places a stationary grasp on the reins of power preventing change or growth from below which is nearly impossible to toppled from within. This creates a catastrophic change from without leaving a vacuum at the top of the Party as the Party will eventually fall and find its support became as old and unable to adapt as that leadership had become.

 

Such systems often come about because a situation comes about which defines elections and supports a particular view for the public for as long as the condition remains unchanged. Such situations are often defined by a conflict such as the rule of Sir Winston Churchill becoming Prime Minister of England for the duration of World War II as he had proven to be the man who recognized the threat and had warned about the errors being made and thus had all the appearances of being the man destined to lead England through the war. This he did and has received mostly acclaim but has also faced some critiques far less complimentary. Still, once the war had ended England moved on and Churchill did return to hold the office of Prime Minister briefly but proved to be the man of the hour whose hour had passed. But what will happen if the situations remain static or slowly escalating but never quite boiling over? Then the man of the hour can become the man of the decade and even the indispensable man leading until the situation finally is relieved or it changes drastically thus ending the ability to continue the crisis situation as impending and thus allowing for half measures and other acts which do little to change the situation, often a dire situation, but also perpetuating a stagnation which becomes unhealthy for the nation.

 

So, what are the signs of such a leadership? There will be measures and action often taken against those who challenge the status-quo and pose a threat to bring the long challenge to a head which will demand actual solutions instead of halfway acts which only serve to kick the can down the road. This can have been observed in the Arab Palestinian leadership where even when the man at the top is replaced it is by his trusted and longtime second in command. This was exactly what occurred when Yasser Arafat died and Mahmoud Abbas became the man of the hour. Now we are watching the slow replacement of Mahmoud Abbas as he steps down from one of his myriad of leadership positions and even is permitted to all but appoint his successor, Saab Erekat. We will likely see other familiar names become more prevalent as Mahmoud Abbas slowly sinks into the sunset to enjoy his ill-gotten booty retiring to somewhere most likely in Europe or elsewhere that he believes will allow him a long retirement. The other alternative is this change has been forced upon him as younger and more aggressive segments of the society are beginning to beat the drums of change. Once that tune starts to escalate and you have held the position basically defined as President for Life, well, then your life may become chopped off such that you are replaced through a coup. After these coups come, they retain the forms of the apparatus of the former governance leaving them in place; many of the affirming ‘yes men’ remain in place as they can be counted upon to be supportive and not actually seeking ultimate power. Then the new leadership will give the ‘old guard’ a choice of early retirement or the less healthy forced retirement. The wise take the early retirement and usually retire to distant shores where they will be welcomed and granted safe keeping.

 

So we will now be able to watch as Mahmoud Abbas will slowly give over his multitude of positions of power possibly holding to his leadership of the Fatah Party simply because he would then be allowed to have a security detail guarding him from any unforeseen acts of greater permanence if situations appear to be calling for his return as the new leadership does not meet expectations. Often leaders who self-terminate their hold on power get to live longer though they will face getting up each morning for the rest of their lives not being the man of the hour with all looking to them for favor and decisive leadership. Of course continued leadership demands that there be no decisive leadership, just the appearance of such. These types of situations are what likely spawned the coining of the phrase, “the more things change, the more they remain the same.” Often these apparent leaders who appear to rule because they are the one who has proven to be most understanding and decisive in addressing the problems of the hour despite the fact that the crisis never ends and only seems to remain just slightly more desperate as the months tick by. The people are placated by the sacrifice of those who are a threat to the leadership of the determined leaders while power is distributed to people the leader trusts to serve the status-quo and retaining the man of the hour as the man of the decade or even decades. These support staff are often well taken care of and every once in a while one must be sacrificed in order to allow for the man at the top to scapegoat them as the reason decisive actions were not taken when the opportunity was present and the man of the hour faced that hour. When facing that hour, that critical moment where everything hinges on the actions or lack of actions of the leadership, the one who desires longevity over all else will allow that moment to pass while a real leader who really desires to be the man of the hour and be remembered for taking that opportunity no matter the result and caution to the wind, they act. Real leaders seek to have such moments where they face the crucial test as that is what defines them.

 

Such leaders are the great ones remembered for all time. They faced the greatest test of their lives and acted. Some come through victorious and are lauded before they pass slowly into a satisfied retirement and others fail and bring ruin for which the people often must find a leader who can repair the damage. Strangely enough that can be the same person who failed but who has convinced the people that they have learned and grown as a result of their error and are also capable of presenting a clear path back. Often this requires them to succinctly define their failure and promise to make the necessary repairs no matter how painful, preferable personally painful but often also for the people and the nation, but necessary after systemic failures. Then there are the lingerers, the leaders whose greatest share of efforts are to perpetuate their importance and holding of positions of leadership. They come into prominence by presenting themselves as the solution to the biggest problems facing the party, group, community, company and even nation and they appear to have a firm grasp on the problems of the day and prove themselves as the sole person qualified to face such threats or problems competently. Such leaders are often great at defining the problem and stating a clear path to the solution and ameliorating the problem and seeing the way beyond where calmer waters prevail. These leaders will always have ready a plan which will work and they like reminding all that they are the person of this hour and after all, who are you going to trust? In most nations there is a time limit or term limitation of the service of any person to lead in a democratic form of government, be it a republic, parliamentary or some other representative governance, for a set period and not beyond. There are many ideas on how best to limit such rulers, be it two terms, a decade or whatever limitation is put forth in the constitution, charter or other delineating definition of the workings of the national governance. Omitting limitations on holding positions of power can lead to stagnation in the governance which is potentially more dangerous than having the wrong person at the helm as the wrong person somehow chosen as the leader is usually removed at the next elections if not sooner. But what if the person placed in the highest office is mainly interested in not taking any risks which might force them from power and you have a recipe for stagnation where the pressing situation is the permanence of the situation.

 

This may be the situation which has been present in the Arab-Israeli situation and there are positions galore which appear to place their greatest promise in promoting a permanent standoff where neither side desires an end to the problem because once a solution is found then their usefulness as the uncontested leader eventually ends as the situation boils over, often at home when the people have had enough of living with an apparently stagnant threat they know should have been resolved ages ago. The problem with the Arab-Israeli problem is that powers that exist beyond the problem have advantage in fomenting permanence of the problem thus retailing their importance to their often dependent side of the contest. This has been true of both sides in the Arab-Israeli problem, none of the powers that be desire a conclusive resolving of the problem thus they perpetuate the problem by limiting the more powerful side and supporting the more vulnerable side. This is further perpetuated by the Arab League because they will only accept one solution, the end of Israel as the state for the Jewish people and a place for the Arabs who are referred to not as the Arabs they are but as the Palestinians who the other Arab nations refuse to allow to live within their lands as giving them equal rights would remove their man-made unique identity which is wielded like a maul bashing and denting Israel but never delivering that final knockout as doing so would normalize the Arab Palestinians and thus allowing their return to within the Arab peoples body, something they know they must avoid as these Arabs have been transformed into a weaponized people incapable of living in peace with their neighbors. The Arab nations know that without Israel they would be facing the so-called Palestinians in their own backyards. Thus they must keep the problem static.

 

The United Nations, particularly their human rights divisions, have built a multi-trillion dollar a year business around the Arab-Israeli conflict and thus have a financial reason to perpetuate the situation. They use a similar method as does the Arab League, checking Israeli use of power to prevent a resolution while granting the Arab Palestinians with immunity while blaming Israel for the terrorism and all other situations perpetuated by those outside powers with the greatest influence. The Europeans have also taken a decisive side but also the more difficult side. They have realized that they, in a moment of moral weakness, they temporarily did a moral act, they allowed for the Jews to reconstitute their homelands and now they wish to erase their moment of decency. The Europeans, and the Arabs and Muslims and almost everywhere that Jews resided prefer that the Jews be subjugated. This is not possible if the Jews have a refuge where they rule the lands, Israel. When the Jews were spread across the world in small communities shared amongst the world the world received the benefit of the Jewish inventiveness and work ethic and they served the purpose in each nation under the control of their ‘betters’ who had been empowered by G0d to rule the Jews who were a fallen people no longer deserving of Hashem’s love. The return of Israel and the empowered Jew puts to a lie the forsaken argument and places the Jews on an even relationship with the other nations. How can a world predicated on the Jew as weak and dependent on the protections provided by the ‘others’ who were their betters now have a strong military and the capability of self-determinations and self-rule? This was something which was not to be permitted and thus it became necessary to clip the wings of the Jewish state and even erase it should the opportunity present itself. Be aware that if the European nations had the military advantage and could destroy Israel through use of arms without their own nations facing grievous losses we would be witnessing a new Crusades to return Jerusalem and the Holy Lands to their proper shared control with Islam and Christianity sharing the spoils of a destroyed and burning Israel and the subjugation once again of the Jews. That is but one of the meanings of “Never Again.”

 

Still, Israel is partly to blame for her situation as she has allowed these outside forces to have sway over her and allowed their neutering of Israel’s right to control her borders. Israel had not fully shaken off the yoke of slavery before the nations of the world. Israeli leadership reflects the state of mind of all too many of the people who still believe that they must gain the favor of others. They have yet to realize that such is a fool’s game played at the risk of their homelands. Israel has the might, the right and the International Law all on her side to once and for all end the Arab ‘Palestinian’ false claims against her and to enforce her borders, her legal and recognized by treaties and Charter of the United Nations to at the very least the lands, all of the lands, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Further, since the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria are actually Jordanian, Syrian, Lebanese, Egyptian, Iraqi, Yemeni and also Saudi Arabian roots and have taken up arms against Israel then Israel has the right as a nation to evict these peoples unless they pledge legally their subservience to Israeli rule and swear they will no longer lift up arms against the State of Israel. Those who hold positions of power within the Fatah, Palestinian Authority, PLO, PLC, PNC, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or any other terrorist or separatist movement making claim against Israel are to be given status as persona non grata and exiled from the State of Israel, given airfare and movement of their personal property and, if Israel wishes to clean its collective conscience for this act, a remittance to cover some of their costs for separation from their position of prominence which had allowed them to steal billions of dollars over the years from the very people they claimed to represent. End of the Arab-Israeli conflict unless and until one or more of Israel’s neighbors decides they wish to annihilate the Jews and destroy Israel again. Then, this time, should any of Israel’s neighbors decide to wage war, then Israel should respond and not stop their advance until the other side surrendered and accepted Israeli terms for peace. This time Israel should dictate the terms of the cessation of hostilities and ignore the calls by the rest of the world leaders especially by those claiming to be the best of friends Israel has ever had. Then when the adversary who initiated this war had offered complete surrender and agreement with the Israeli dictated terms including the new boundaries as losing a war, even against Israel, has to hold the potential for loss of lands or all the world is doing is resetting the conditions which existed at the start of the last war to give the adversaries of Israel the same opportunity time after time to destroy Israel and never have to pay for their failures in an offensive war. That is not how it works for any other nation and should not be the way it works for Israel as a country. If the world decides they desire to remove Israel from the United Nations, Israel should send each nation supporting such a move a thank you card and use the monies saved to give her people a small tax break. Then Israel needs to remove every last United Nations minder from within her border, dissolve every United Nations recognized NGO which does not drop all ties with the United Nations and resolve to never again cooperate with any United Nations’ probe, study or other pursuit without first being granted permission from the government as the United Nations should then be treated as they have proven themselves to be, a foreign party interested largely in the destruction of Israel by any means.

 

Israel needs a leader, a real leader who can withstand the slings and arrows of outrageous opportunists (forgive me Shakespeare) and exercise her dominion over her lands on her actual and defined borders under the San Remo Conference and all concomitant treaties which would leave defined from within the British Mandate and presumably enforceable by the British Crown all the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea on her eastern and western boundaries, the Blue Line with Lebanon to the north and the Negev, Sinai border as recognized by Egypt and Israel by peace treaty, and leaving Gaza for all those Arabs desiring of retaining the separatist definitions of being an Arab Palestinian. Those remaining Arabs residing east of the 1949 Armistice Lines and not currently holders of an Israel citizenship identifying documents will be permitted to remain within Israeli borders and retain those lands on which they have proper and recognized deed and will be permitted to apply for Israeli citizenship after a period of five years in which no family member was involved in any act of terrorism or felonious criminal activities. Once so approved an oath of allegiance to the State of Israel and the showing of a meaningful knowledge of Israeli history will be required in order to become a full citizen of the State of Israel. Those desiring not to travel such a route may remain as resident aliens and will be treated with respect to land ownership over that which they have recognized deeds and remain within the law and not posing any threat to the State of Israel. Should they be found to be aiding or committing of terrorism or other violent felonious acts they may face exile from the lands of Israel in lieu of a prison term. Should they accept exile their return within Israel will result in their being incarcerated to serve the full sentence of which they were adjudicated to serve. These are the powers all other states possess and how other nations end defensive wars taken against them from without and how they treat similar threats from within. Israel is not asking for anything beyond her rights as an equal amongst nations. Israel is demanding to be seen, treated and respected as an equal amongst nations and those who desire to demean and subjugate or destroy Israel or her Jewish flavor can expect similar in return from Israel. Israel is prepared to receive in kind as she gives and give in kind as she receives from each and every nation no more and no less. This is the promise any true leader of Israel and her people deserve and a growing number of her people are beginning to demand. Such a leader will be found and elected to prove up to such an immense challenge and should they fail then another should be sought. It will take a person with an unbendable will and a knowledge of where Israel is and where she deserves to be and have the plan to achieve exactly that and the willingness to face the slings and arrows of outrageous oppositions from both without and within. Of the two the forces from within will prove the undoing of many and will take a true leader in every sense of the title. This will be the kind of leader who sets their sights on this lofty goal, moves ever more determined to achieve that high set goal and once the job completed and the results cemented will simply retire to their farm in the Galilee or their herds in the Judean Hills or their winery overlooking the Kinneret, or their solar farm in the Negev Desert. That will also be a true leader who will be remembered as were the greats of Biblical fame.

 

 

Retirement locations one can call their blissful home, their Farm in the Galilee or their Herds in the Judean Hills or their Winery overlooking the Kinneret, or their Solar Farm in the Negev Desert or their Simple Chalet Overlooking a Scenic Expanse of Rolling Hills or Expanse of Desert or Lush Plains Dotted by Farms and Grazing Lands or Whatever Scenery One Desires as All are Available Within Israel.

Retirement locations one can call their blissful home, their Farm in the Galilee or their Herds in the Judean Hills or their Winery overlooking the Kinneret, or their Solar Farm in the Negev Desert or their Simple Chalet Overlooking a Scenic Expanse of Rolling Hills or Expanse of Desert or Lush Plains Dotted by Farms and Grazing Lands or Whatever Scenery One Desires as All are Available Within Israel.

 

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 22, 2015

Palestinian Authority and Where Did the Euros, Dollars, and Pounds All Go?

 

The Arabs are blaming Israel and the occupation and colonial oppressive rule for their money woes. Initially their audit by Tariq Dana, a senior research fellow at Birzeit University, as reported in the Arab Palestinian Authority (APA) news service, Ma’an News Agency, reported that the APA suffers from deeply ingrained corruption. But perhaps the APA is not entirely to blame as after all the APA was birthed from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which itself suffered from the very same deeply ingrained corruption. Of course it almost goes without saying that the PLO passed their tradition and systemic deeply ingrained corruption on into the very similar structure adopted in the whole flesh by the APA. According to the report, the APA corruption is, in effect, a self-enforcing system dependent upon the graft and deceit formed through what the report named, “patron-clientelism” which pretty much mimics what in the Western nations is called crony capitalism except that there is little to any capitalism in the APA ruled areas. The report claimed that all this ingrained corruption which will be near impossible to weed out as it is simply the way things get done, will get done and always have gotten done ever since during the management by the PLO used a system, “during the 1980s, the PLO leadership used the Sumud (steadfastness) Fund…which was formally channeled through the Palestinian-Jordanian joint committee…to award their supporters and exclude others.”

 

In the report Dana noted that, “After the Oslo Accords, the patron-client regime was unsurprisingly inherited by the (A)PA and constituted the backbone of its institutional base.” It was mentioned that the corruption was “associated with the personalized and unaccountable style of governance of late PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian political leadership.” Using the first audit of the APA back in 1997, because, after all, every organization waits for four years after their inception to submit to a formal audit as why find out what is wrong at the start when maybe it could be repaired, found nearly forty percent of the APA budget, equaling around three-hundred-twenty-six-million dollars, was misappropriated. Dana continued pointing out that there is a continued system of corruption which has been strengthened through a massive public sector of “over 165,000 civil servants who are fully dependent on salaries guaranteed by international aid to the (A)PA.” The report further pointed to another problem area spawning from, Dana explained, “The dysfunction of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and the complete absence of legislative monitoring of the governmental budget have freed the presidency and the executive from institutional checks-and-balances and public accountability.”

 

 

Yasser Arafat takes oath to be the greatest of all when it came to setting up a culture of deeply ingrained corruption as head of the PLO. When the PLO was granted authenticity as the (A)PA, Yasser Arafat brought that culture of deeply ingrained corruption with him. Upon the death of Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, his faithful second in command all these years, proved to be no slouch when it came to continuing the culture of deeply ingrained corruption. Now the world continues, especially the Europeans, contributing the billions of Euros, Dollars, and Pounds we can never ask as to where they all have gone. We know, but must never speak or the whole house of cards will fall and all will be wearing the blame.

Yasser Arafat takes oath to be the greatest of all when it came to setting up a culture of deeply ingrained corruption as head of the PLO. When the PLO was granted authenticity as the (A)PA, Yasser Arafat brought that culture of deeply ingrained corruption with him. Upon the death of Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, his faithful second in command all these years, proved to be no slouch when it came to continuing the culture of deeply ingrained corruption. Now the world continues, especially the Europeans, contributing the billions of Euros, Dollars, and Pounds we can never ask as to where they all have gone. We know, but must never speak or the whole house of cards will fall and all will be wearing the blame.

 

 

The report went into an area which seemed unusual for an audit but proved interesting to read, at least more interesting than any of the numbers and other banalities. The report cited an explanation that the APA public sector may be massive and corrupt, but it also is very fickle for employees. It gave the following example, “If employees express criticism of (A)PA policies, they are likely to be forced into early retirement, denied salary payments, or arbitrarily removed from their posts. They may also face a series of punitive measures, including denial of promotion or transfer to distant areas.” Special mention went to the Ministry of Local Government which is an interesting way by which the APA uses money distributed to those recognizes mukhtars, tribe heads and heads of influential families allowing them to speak on behalf of those who they control thus extending further the propagation of the corrupt hierarchical system.

 

But the best part of the entire report are the conclusions as to who is to blame and from where this deeply ingrained corruption was imposed upon the APA and the PLO likely before them. Yes, you guessed it, Israel. The only way to explain this stretch is to quote the report as given in the article. According to the report the APA corruption “played into the hands of the Israeli government, whose intention in signing the Oslo accords was to create a client state that they could continue to control through the rents distributed to the (A)PA via international donors, coupled with a strategy of territorial fragmentation and containment.” Even worse, “Israel has repeatedly contributed to and exploited corruption in the (A)PA. It has done so in order to place the blame on the Palestinians for their economic ills and to distract attention from the devastating impact of its colonial policies on Palestinian social and economic development.” And further, even if the corruption was not any base for the economic problems, the report concludes, “Although corruption within the (A)PA is undoubtedly harmful economically, it is worth noting that its effects are a distant second to the impact of systemic Israeli destruction of the Palestinian economy.”

 

The conclusion that the systemic deeply ingrained corruption being caused by Israel must be caused by the Israel Electric Company (IEC) charging the APA for the electricity provided to the areas under their autonomy where the IEC provides electricity for the Palestinian electric provider. The only problem is that the electricity provider is government owned by the APA and they have fallen years behind in their payments. Actually, records show that the Arab Palestinian electric company has not paid for the electricity they have received for at least the past decade, if ever. Further, when the Israeli government has attempted to divert tax monies due the APA to cover their overdue electric bill the European Union and numerous European governments, NGOs and European financed Israeli NGOs go into apoplectic shock decrying the possible end of the world being upon the earth as the APA is being held to normal rules and forced to actually pay for the electricity they have already consumed. The IEC gave notice to the APA that if they made no effort to mitigate their outstanding balance then the IEC would be left with no alternative but to cut off the power provided by the Israeli company. You would have thought that the IEC had threatened to steal all their children’s toys or some other diabolical horrific act by the reactions from all quarters starting with the United Nations, United States State Department and the European Union among other NGOs and nations from every continent reacting with shock and amazement that the Israeli government would permit this private company from cutting power to a group who had not made any effort for over a decade to pay for the electricity they had consumed. The Israeli government instead of turning a deaf ear to the whiners from the world over instead threatened the IEC and then cajoled them and twisted their corporate arms pressing them to continue to provide electricity to the APA free of charge.

 

If anyone believes that the APA in Judea and Samaria are not meeting their obligations, they have nothing on Hamas and friends in Gaza. Israel provides Gaza with most of its potable water and over half of its electricity and receives no payments for these provisions. Additionally, Israel sends a full trainload of tractor trailer rigs with full loads across the border crossing every single day, even on the Sabbath and, believe it or not, even every day last summer including during the Operation Protective Edge. The Israelis continued to transport tons of food and medical supplies every day during the weeks of war with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the other terrorist groups every single day despite the fighting. Israel also continued to provide electricity and water as if nothing was different and in complete disregard for the state of war. Why would Israel do something so completely counterintuitive? Oddly enough the reason you would receive from the Israeli government, the IDF or any official in the Israeli government would be that while the people of Gaza elected Hamas to be their government the people cannot be held responsible for that same government they elected and anyways, Israel is not at war with the people of Gaza, just the terrorist groups which conduct rocket attacks and other violent acts against Israelis. Does any of this make one iota of sense? Of course not. Why would the Israeli government do such a thing? Fear of what the world would think and that somebody in Europe, especially in Brussels at the headquarters of the European Union might throw a hissy fit and say mean and nasty things about Israel and that would hurt Bibi’s feelings and we know we must not hurt Bibi’s feelings or that of anybody in Europe, Judea, Samaria, Gaza or at the next meeting of the Arab League or the United Nations Human Rights Council. It sure is not to receive any credit for doing what is right and humane even when it works in direct contradiction to the good of Israel and her people.

 

What can we deduce from all of this? Well, first thing is if the APA has some systemic financial difficulties, it must not be ascribed to the APA as they are the ones who must never be held responsible. Well, if it cannot be the APA, who can we as the powers of the world blame? Well, the United States claims, “not us,” the European Union says, “don’t look at us,” while the United Nations disputes their complicity and the Arab League suggest, “Let’s blame Israel, they did it,” and the others all look knowingly at each other nodding and they all blame Israel. How can Israel fight the world powers, the world media, especially the mainstream media and leftist media and fight the combined power of every United Nations organization, the world’s majority of NGOs and a general sense of anti-Semitism which holds the Jewish Nation as the scapegoat for all the ills of the world? The fight is an uphill fight and it is about to take a particularly nasty turn when Israel goes from being blamed for any and all opposition to the current Iran Nuclear Deal reached between Iran and the P5+1 and soon after Iran turns nuclear then Israel will likely be blamed for not opposing Iran with sufficient stridency and for not taking the necessary steps to prevent Iran from acquiring the necessary tools and abilities to produce nuclear weapons. Then the world will look to Israel and demand what they plan to do about the Iranian nuclear weapons and then demand to know when Israel plans to act. The realty comes down to Israel is demanded to stand down and not act and then blamed when nothing was done. Israel is pushed to act to repair a grand mistake made by other nations and then condemned for acting. It is the old situation of, and we will use blasted for a better and more familiar term; blasted if they do and blasted if they don’t, can’t win for losing. Take it as you wish but the thing the world had best understand, Iran needs Israel as the monster behind the Iranian governments every unsolved problem, that position does not transfer as well to the United States or Europe, so Israel has an upside down insurance policy; in it is the safety which Iran can blame for all its ills while Iran has little use for the Great Satan when the little Satan will do and once the United States is rendered muted as the great Satan then Europe becomes the next Great Satan. Anyway, Israel is well practiced at taking the blame in stride and will depend on being blamed as everyone else tries to explain why they were targeted. Must be wonderful to be any of you.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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