Beyond the Cusp

December 22, 2013

Time for Israel to Diversify her Relations in the World

After World War II the United States took steps to assure that they would be the leader of the Western World and the sole defender of Democracy. They freed the European countries from retaining large militaries probably hoping to avoid another European driven conflagration that would drag the United States into the conflict before it ended much as the two world wars had done. They even went so far as to almost completely neuter the British Navy to where they had to overcome difficulties in the 1980s to field a force to the Falkland Islands to rescue them from an Argentine attempted takeover. This arrangement worked well for quite some time especially as the United States had to remain militarily powerful as a balance against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Eventually, Israel came to depend on the United States as well, though not immediately or as early in her history as many tend to believe. The Israelis largely depended on a combination of Europeans and for a while at the start from the Soviet Union who saw Israel as a socialist ally and fellow traveler initially. The Soviet Union drifted off and sided with the Arabs who forced them to choose one side and as the Arabs had more natural resources and offered a seemingly better dependence and patronage than the Israelis as well as a much larger market for Soviet weaponry.

 

The United States led the charge after the 1956 War between Israel and Egypt over the closure of the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to Israeli shipping as well as European shipping through the Suez Canal. Technically speaking, the Israelis were invited to join with the British and French in the war with Egypt after President Nasser closed the Canal to Western shipping, something Britain and France could not live without or their markets in Asia would have become unprofitable. The British and French were supposed to attack Egypt concurrent with the Israeli attack but only Israel offensive ever came to fruition. The British and French got their reopened Suez Canal and the Israelis got their reopened port using the Red Sea at Eilat and control of the Sinai Peninsula. This was the first time that Israel held the entire Sinai Peninsula after a war with Egypt. The United States along with Israel’s so-called allies in the war, Britain and France, all joined the United Nations Security Council in demanding that Israel return every inch of the lands won, which she did without much fuss. It was not until after the Six Day War where Israel responded to the threats and massed troops on her northern and southern borders, open threats of genocidal annihilation, and the closing once again of the Straits of Tihran closing off Israeli access to Asia which after the 1956 War had been declared a casus belli for war by Egypt. Once again the Israelis, using almost the exact same battle plan, took control of the Sinai Peninsula along with the Golan Heights and after Jordan joined the attack on the second day believing the Egyptian and Syrian claims of massive victories and disbelieving Israeli requests that they not make a disastrous mistake on erroneous propaganda, Israel also took control of Judea and Samaria and all the land occupied by Jordan since the 1948 War which cemented Israeli independence. President Johnson ordered the Pentagon to assess the Israeli military capabilities and after reading the impressive report decided that Israel would make a suitable ally for the United States to balance the Soviet Union leaning Arab states.

 

Even this was not the final cementing of what has become Israeli semi-dependence on the United States for armaments and equipment parts. That came when Israel had designed their own fourth generation fighter Jet named the Lavi which many thought would compare favorably with the United States F-16. This was viewed as a potential threat to the United States almost unique ownership of fighter jet sales so the United States made an irresistible offer to Israel of supplying F-16s and F-15s with Israeli modifications and full support at a far lower price than it would have cost Israel to produce the Lavi themselves. This led over the years to the United States slowly Americanizing much of the IDF equipment including replacing indigenous weapons systems such as rifles, grenades and numerous other pieces with United States built replacements to where Israel slowly became dependent on the United States for parts and support of much IDF equipment. Israel did not, as many argue, come supplicant to the door of the United States asking for American weapon systems which is partly why the Israeli Defense Force does not field the M1A1 Abrams heavy battle tank and instead uses the very capable Merkava MKIV and MKV heavy battle tanks. Not having relied on in-house weapons systems development and domestic manufacture may end up proving very costly for Israel with an antagonistic President in the White House. Let us hope that Israel will not end up paying too high a price learning that there is no such thing as friends between nations, just temporary relations for as long as mutual benefit and convenience dictate.

 

Israel is facing a threat which nobody speaks of but might be heard in the whispers if you possess a trained ear and know where to listen closest. Dependence on the United States for weapons systems, especially fighter aircraft, may be the Achilles Heel of the IDF. If the United States were to stop supplying replacement parts and maintenance for the fleets of F-16I and F-15I fighters that make up the Israeli Air Force and also cancel the planned shipments of F-35 Strike Fighters scheduled for the next two years, Israel would be behind the eight ball and needing to design or find a replacement fifth generation fighter close to overnight in order to maintain sufficient air suppression superiority. That is why the Merkava Main Battle Tanks are a blessing in so many ways as it is a fully capable modern main battle tank comparable to any other currently fielded or in production and the older models have been repurposed as personnel carriers and armored field ambulances thus providing systems necessary for the type of warfare Israel may face and supplying superior defenses when compared to other systems used by other nations, especially the armored field ambulances. Should there come an irreconcilable difference between Israel and President Obama and his Administration over possibly Israeli refusal to accept an interim deal with the Palestinians or after Israel strikes known vital Iranian nuclear sites to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapons breakout and President Obama decides to break relations with Israel in protest placing military sanctions upon the Israelis, then Israel would be facing a severe challenge simply to keep her Air Force functioning without replacement parts. The emergency such a predicament would present is beyond definition or explanation, it is simply unimaginable. The bright side is Israel, providing she survived long enough to produce replacement systems indigenously, will have learned a basic and vital lesson, never place all your eggs, especially if those eggs protect your nation, in one basket. The United States under the leadership of President Obama has made one thing evidently clear, the nations who thought that the United States was completely reliable and beyond being turned on its head by a single person, even the President, is a false belief and could prove to be fatal to those holding to that premise. The Obama Presidency has hopefully taught the Israelis a basic and vital lesson, never rely totally for your defense on any single nation, spread your vulnerabilities around even at the cost of efficiency as one can efficiency themselves out of existence. There is no such entity as an ally who will never let you down or fail you when you most need them, and that must be part of all military planning. Next time somebody offers Israel a sweet deal and promises to always be there, let us hope that Israel will not act like a school girl with a crush and believe such a story. The only friend who will never desert you is your own in-country production of vital defense systems. Oh, and on another note, they also make for a great trade item once you build the next and better system to replace them. Don’t worry, there will still be nations where you now discarded weapons are an improvement.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 2, 2012

Latest Libel Against Israel Refuted

There have been a number of articles, especially by liberal bloggers, which have accused Israel of racism due to their repatriation of illegal immigrants with their home country. Since the majority of these illegal immigrants are of African origin, the claim is Israel is a Caucasian dominated country degrading the Africans within their border, inviting the inference that Israel is striving for racial purity. But let’s look a little closer at the historical records and find the reality that exists there. The initial item is that these are people who entered the country illegally who have no official standing. Many of these people willingly admit that they are financial refugees who came to Israel in order to live in a place with more jobs and other opportunities. Where such is a laudable reason for immigrating into a country and makes it worth the effort to pursue the legalities required to relocate to such a destination, it does not excuse anyone doing so illegally by not following the legal means for immigrating. It also must be taken into consideration that Israel allowed tens, possibly hundreds, of thousands of refugees from the Sudan to remain in Israel with some having been there for over a decade. These people were treated legally under international law and provided sanctuary as they faced torture, discrimination or even death had they been returned to the Sudan which was a virtual war zone with certain groups being victims of horrific violence. Since then the southern areas of the Sudan has gained their independence as a new country, South Sudan, and it is now reasonable and safe to return these refugees to their homelands. The same is true for those who came from Eritrea and the Ivory Coast. All of those refugees from these countries have been declared safe for repatriation through legal means in the courts. Israel has even offered to give the returning refugees who willingly volunteer by a certain date some financial assistance to facilitate and ease their return to their homes.

 

There are others who have simply decided they prefer to take their chances ignoring the law and remaining in Israel. Almost all, if not every one, of these refugees passed through Egypt among other nations such as Sudan, Algeria, Libya, Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya, Nigeria, and likely others, on their way to reaching Israel. This begs a question, Why did these people refuse to choose any of these other places to flee as they were obviously closer to their start point and took less effort than crossing their entirety in order to reach Israel? I can answer why they refused to stop or even loiter in Egypt, they would have been shot on sight. Despite this truth, nobody is condemning these countries for their inhospitable treatment of these refugees, only Israel is the mean, evil country. You don’t believe me about the shooting them on sight? Well, search news stories for “shoot refugees Israel” and one of the first page articles you will find is titled >a href=http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1946861,00.html target=blank>Dangers Await Africans Seeking Asylum in Israel.</a> Reading the article will exemplify the difference between the two countries, Egypt and Israel. One cares for the refugees and the other eliminates the refugees. Yet, Israel is condemned for repatriation of refugees once the situation in their homelands have changed and become safe for their return while Egyptian border military shoot the refugees dead on sight. Which, if you were a refugee, would you prefer, death at the hands of an Egyptian Guard or being returned home when the international community and the courts deem the situation is safe? I know my preference is life.

 

While we are speaking on refugees being returned to their place of origin, are these illegal African refugees the sole immigrants Israel has ever sent back? Oddly enough, the answer is no. When Israel was accepting hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union it was necessary to send some of the refugees back to the Soviet Union. Despite the liberal terms and definition of who was legitimately a Jew, there were a fair number of refugees sent by the Soviets who were not Jewish by any calculations. Many of these refugees even admitted that the Soviets had sent them to Israel simply to be rid of them. This resulted in the eventual return of some of the Soviet refugees and nobody in the world made a peep about those repatriations. Why the big outpouring and crying now and the silence back then? And what about the other side of the coin? Israel has accepted African Jews from South Africa and has and currently is engaged in a large operation bringing thousands of Ethiopian Jews home to Israel as well as hundreds of near destitute Jews from southern India home to Israel. I guess bringing people of color to Israel is not mentioned as it does not fit the story line of mean white European Israel. This poses the question of whether these people condemning Israel on this narrowly defined story while ignoring tons of other real stories also ignore that nearly half of the Jewish population in Israel are not Ashkenazi Jews but are Sephardic Jews with Spanish, North African, and Middle East heritage. But I guess that has to be discounted as it does not fit the story of Israel the mean European Jewish State. Perhaps the reasoning is that those who are being brought into Israel at great government expense from Ethiopia and India and anywhere Jews are found do not count as they are Jews.

 

It does get ever so tiring hearing all these half truths and outright lies all made in order to claim one thing, Israel bad, Jews bad. Somebody will say that defaming Israel is completely different from hating Jews and that they know many good Jews. The problem with this denial is simply this; have you taken any other country to task similarly or is it only Israel (or the United States) with which you find fault. Is it only the Jewish State which transgresses the norms you hold dear and the rest of the world live exemplary lives.  When your sole target is Israel you do not have a political or social problem with Israel or Israeli actions, you have a problem with the Jewish State and only because Israel is the international representative of the Jews which raises your ire. Ignoring the fact that most of the countries bordering Israel and who reside in the neighborhood have radically more oppressive policies and treat foreigners with violence and contempt while Israel is the modern nation which operates under the rule of law and makes honest efforts to do that which is honorable and correct makes no difference, it is still Israel that cannot meet your standards. It boggles the mind to think about what would happen if for one week Israel actually acted in a manner as that which she has constantly been accused of acting and more like her neighboring countries would act against any Israeli in their midst. Exactly what would the world say then? Well, what would they say once they picked their jaws off the floor where they dropped in total surprise and amazement? Don’t worry yourself, Israel and her people after five thousand years of being the civilized people on the block and are not about to go carnal on their enemies now, though sometimes one wonders.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 9, 2011

How Ominous Are the Results of Round 1 of the Egyptian Elections?

I guess the first thing necessary in this article are the actual final tallies of the first round of elections in Egypt. Egypt’s parliamentary elections results placed the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party winning 36.6 percent of the vote in the top spot and the Salafist Al-Nour Party followed right behind in second place winning 24.4 percent while the Egyptian Bloc Coalition of secular, democratic and socialist parties receiving a mere 13.4 percent coming in third. This placing third by those not supporting the Islamist Sharia or fundamentalist Islam with garnering less than one in seven of the votes cast and the two ardent Islamists and Sharia supporting parties taking over three of every five votes garnering a solid majority does not bode well for Egyptians who are members of the Copt and other non-Muslim minorities in the immediate future. As bleak a picture these results paint for those who had held out hope that the Egyptian elections would usher in a period of enlightened governance, this was actually the best news we can expect from the complete cycle of the Egyptian elections. This was but the first of three stages of voting and consisted of the major cities such as Cairo and Alexandria. The second round will include those living in the Nile Valley and the third is when the rural and Sinai Peninsula peoples will vote. Furthermore, this was simply the first stage of the two stages of voting in the major cities part with the second round coming in early December.

What makes these results such a depressing omen of what is to come is that if the secular and non-Islamists had any chance of gaining a fair and influential numbers of seats giving them even the smallest semblance of a voice in the future of Egypt, it was these elections in the major cities where they had their best hope. The Nile Valley Egyptians are more aligned with the Islamist segment of the population and are generally less educated than the Egyptians from the major cities. And if that bodes poorly, the rural western sectors of Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula have populations with the highest illiteracy rate and are far more supportive of Sharia and the doctrines of Islam than any other segment of the Egyptian population. My best guess is that out of the total 508 seats in the Parliament, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and various independent candidates belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood will garner somewhere around 55% to 60% of the total, the Salafist Al-Nour Party will take 33% to 35% of the seats leaving a mere 5% to, at the most optimistic, 15% of the seats and not be able to influence any motion or program which the religious parties will enact. It is possible that initially the new Egyptian Parliament might not jump full into enacting Sharia all at once but will take a measured approach in order to continue to prolong foreign aid monies filling their coffers as Western governments will continue to believe their overtly optimistic results despite any evidence to the contrary. Eventually, such a relationship is guaranteed to fail once the truth becomes undeniable.

The Egyptian election along with the elections in Tunisia and the revelation of the identity of the Libyan rebels, we are getting an honest picture of how the Arab Spring is not turning out exactly as the Western media painted up through a few months ago. Those who were ridiculed for doubting the optimism of the media and most of our politicians, not to mention those like us here at Beyond the Cusp who chose to refer to these uprisings as the Arab Winter, are now being vindicated, which is of little consolation. Most of us wished we would be proven wrong and the Arab and Muslim worlds were actually going to join the world that resulted from the reformations that have molded the West. Unfortunately, the Arab and Muslim worlds have not experienced any version of a reformation thus has not had the awakening that led the Western world into the age of enlightenment. The one warning we should take from the results of these elections is that the time has come to truthfully analyze exactly where the separate societies stand and what will be necessary to preserve, and eventually spread the enlightenment. To not see the threat that the changes in the Middle East and Northern Africa pose to our way of life will result in a loss of the lifestyle we have developed and become accustomed. Of course, there will be those with the tinted glasses who will scream accusations at those who claim that these developments pose a threat to our way of life as the events are placing forces inimical to the basic principles of our way of life and the underpinnings of our freedoms. Unfortunately, the majority of our media and political class appear to continue to refuse to admit their errors but instead insist that those pointing out the differences between Western societies and Islamic societies are simple bigots and haters. By remaining in ignorant refusal, our leaders are more likely to pass laws silencing those speaking out against their surreal and erroneous world-view. Even against such idiocy, we must continue to speak out with the same clarity and tenacity of a Winston Churchill as he warned those stuck in a fantasy world what wickedness was on their doorstep. Time grows short.

Beyond the Cusp

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