Beyond the Cusp

May 14, 2014

Israeli Politicians and Leaders Do Us a Favor Please

Sometimes it really does appear that Israeli politicians are either stone-cold-deaf or have a tin-ear incapable of recognizing when they hear others repeating the same criticisms they so loudly pronounced to every press and social media venue available to them. One might think they would have noticed when United States Secretary of State Kerry used the excuse that current Israeli political leaders and former Prime Ministers have said what I said as the reason he should not have been criticized for his initial comments they might have taken notice. Secretary Kerry’s actual words were, “(I)f I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word to describe my firm belief that the only way in the long term to have a Jewish state and two nations and two peoples living side by side in peace and security is through a two state solution. In the long term, a unitary, binational state cannot be the democratic Jewish state that Israel deserves or the prosperous state with full rights that the Palestinian people deserve. That’s what I said, and it’s also what Prime Minister Netanyahu has said. While Justice Minister Livni, former Prime Ministers Barak and Ohlmert have all invoked the specter of apartheid to underscore the dangers of a unitary state for the future, it is a word best left out of the debate here at home.” Where I feel assured that Secretary Kerry would very probably have still used the unfortunate Apartheid slur even without any Israeli present or former politician having also used the phrase in a similar manner, the fact he could throw the, well you all said it first, excuse back in our faces makes Israel appear petty for being upset over the Apartheid slur. It sure makes it next to impossible to justify indignance and to take insult when some foreign leader or politician or some NGO issues a press release which quotes our own politicians or former IDF, Security or Intelligence Officers making the same accusations. For that reason alone Israeli politicians and other spokespeople should choose their phraseology and wording very carefully and refrain from making reckless, inflammatory, derogatory or provocative statements which will most assuredly be providing ammunition for the unending throngs of detractors to utilize in their attacks upon Israel. Certainly requesting that those who are supposed to be representing our little nation to be respectful with their choice of language when speaking about Israel, especially in forums where those who live to denigrate Israel and Israelis, cannot be such a monumental task that it is beyond reason.

 

Then there is the little problem that exists throughout the Knesset, both between the parties in the opposition and also between the parties within the coalition. First off, being in the opposition does not mean that one needs to make derogatory and inflammatory remarks to every statement made by any of the leadership within the coalition. Yes, we know that Labor Leader Isaac Herzog and Meretz Leader Zahava Gal-On are opposed to virtually anything which Prime Minister Netanyahu says, stands for or supports. We also realize that you are not too fond of Jewish Home Leader Naftali Bennett and his support for any Jewish presence beyond the Green Line. Would it be ridiculous to suggest that you allow your voting record speak for you at least once in a while instead of running to every outlet and screaming insults about every single item they say even when it is said solely in the Knesset? And what is this backbiting between Tzipi Livni and Naftali Bennett or Yair Lapid and Prime Minister Netanyahu and any number of other intra-coalition sniping which appear regularly in the media. Could we not simply keep some of the inflammatory interpersonal taunts and ridicule more private? Every last piece of dirty laundry does not need to be paraded in full view for the world to see. And on another note to those in the ruling coalition but who believe that they would make a better Prime Minister than Bibi Netanyahu; your party did not get the mandate and thus you are supposed to be in a supportive role, not a combative role. Sure, we know you believe that it was simply a travesty of justice that you were not chosen to lead the government and that you are sure as you are that the sun rises over the Judean Hills every morning that should there be an election tomorrow that you would be chosen to be Prime Minister, please wait for the election and should you get your chance, then we will know for certain what kind of Prime Minister you would make. Just because you are the leader of one of the parties within the coalition does not mean that you are an equal partner to the Prime Minister, he actually does get to lead and make some of the big decisions and you are presumably to work with him. If you have a disagreement or a better idea, try talking to him in private or at least in the setting of a committee hearing and not on the evening news, Facebook, Twitter or the front page of every newspaper. Oddly enough, despite the fact that as Israelis many of us believe we also would make a better Prime Minister, when we argue the points it is not transmitted throughout the world to be heard by every person with animosity in their hearts towards our little country of Israel. Think of what damage your tirades and all too public arguments and disagreements will have on Israel and remember that Israel comes before your pride and ego.

 

There is one last item that brings many of us great sadness. This is to our beloved Rabbis who we respect and look to for moral guidance and exemplary leadership. It really pains many Israelis when we read that one of the supposed pillars of our society and those who we look to for examples of piety and guidance in living by the Torah and in a righteousness manner are found to have taken bribes or acted in other manner of deceit or shame. It is bad enough when politicians disgrace themselves but when one of our Rabbis does so it causes us to feel some amount of disgrace as well. We try to live well and in a manner which any Rabbi would comment there is a righteous person but how are we to act with restraint, respect and in a righteous manner if those whose lives are supposed to define righteousness and honor act shamefully. Granted the numbers of such scandalous events are few, but even a few is more than we should need to be burdened by. Just like our political leadership, the religious leadership provided by our Rabbis reflects on the name of Israel before the world as well as it reflects on all that is Jewish. When one of our Rabbis sins in such a manner it tarnishes each of us a small amount. As bad as that is, it is incomparable to the pain we feel when we read of a Rabbi who has acted shamefully transgressing our trust and setting a poor example. Please, for the sake of those who take inspiration from your deeds, for those impressionable who are easily influenced, for those whose trust you sustain, for all who seek betterment from your actions and for the sake of Torah which you represent, act with all this and more in mind as all the great goodness performed by the many is tarnished and shamed by the thoughtless and corrupt actions of any one from amongst you. For all of us act always in a manner reflecting the best and representative of Torah and then you and we can expect the same from those you influence by your acts. Be a blessing amongst the people of Israel and Israel too will be blessed by you and by those you touch.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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April 24, 2014

Proper and Necessary Israeli Response to Abbas Threats and Hamas

Palestinian Authority Chairman has made a number of opposing and contradictory demands mixed with threats over the last few days. He has threatened to disband the Palestinian Authority once again implying that forcing Israel to take responsibility for security and maintenance of running the areas currently under Palestinian Authority control would be paralyzing and bring down Israeli governance. Apparently he must have amnesia and forgotten that Israel actually had done exactly that for the twenty-five plus years from June of 1967 through September 1993 when the Oslo Accords were ratified. Abbas, on the other hand, demands that Israel release more prisoners and enact a complete building freeze for either three months or the duration of the continued negotiations depending on which speech one quotes. What is really fascinating about this new tact taken by Abbas is that not that long ago Abbas was threatening to abandon the route of negotiating with Israel in favor of taking his pleas and demands for a Palestinian State completely on his terms and definitions to the rest of the world, the United Nations, the European Union and wherever else he believed he would find an appeasing body. Then, after private meetings with Martin Indyk, the lead facilitator from United States Secretary of State Kerry’s negotiations mediating team, Abbas saw a the light and a path with which to assault Israel coming out with this new line of attack on Israel.

 

This raises new threats and potential difficulties for the Israeli leadership which also means it provides opportunities for Israeli leadership to take bold new directions which are long overdue. The time is ripe for Prime Minister Netanyahu, preferably in a joint announcement with the other leaders of the parties in the coalition along with the members of the Prime Minister’s Security Cabinet, to take to the microphone in a nationally televised event and announce the Israeli demands of the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas to prove their actual intent to negotiate in good faith with a real intent to hammer out a lasting and fair peace. No longer should Israel be pressured to make concession after concession without any reciprocal compromises on the Palestinian side. Israel must insist that the problematic scenario of Abbas making grand speeches about his dear and precious desire to reach a peace with Israel, masking his true intentions are to collect concessions that the United States with backing from the United Nations, European Union and much of the rest of the world force from the Israelis, be revealed for the lies they truly are. By now we have more than adequately proven the Israeli desire for peace and should now test to see if the Palestinian Authority leadership also truly desires peace or if their protestations are simply a ruse to gather concessions after concession at every incarnation of the peace process. To date, Israel has basically retreated through concession after concession while under extreme duress from world opinion and demands from her presumed best friend, the United States, all the while having Abbas and the Palestinian leadership laugh at the gullible and foolish Israelis who have given away virtually the keys to the kingdom in exchange for lies and deceit from Abbas and company and before him Arafat, a master terrorist who has spread hate and violence wherever he has resided.

 

This leads to the question, what could the Israelis demand from Abbas and the Palestinian leadership that would signal their willingness to actually negotiate in good faith? The most obvious demand would be the recognition of Israel as the home for the Jewish People. Where such a demand would be sufficient to reveal the lack of good intentions from the Palestinian side, the demands should not be so modest and benign. Additionally, the Israeli leadership should also include among their demands for Abbas to prove his good intentions and validate his claims to desire a real, lasting and equitable peace by having him also recognize that Jerusalem is the Capital City of the Jewish State relinquishing the Palestinian claim to take back all of the Old City including the Temple Mount and other religious Jewish sites and utilize them as the Palestinian capital. Furthermore and for good measure so as to remove any possibility of this coming to the fore in the future as an additional demand with which to reengage in the terror war and destruction of Israel as a Jewish nation by any means necessary, the Palestinians should also renounce their claim to the “Right of Return” of their presumed five-million plus refugees, Arab victims who have been victimized by their Arab brethren who have incarcerated them into squalid refugee camps denying them the rights granted any normal people refusing them citizenship, employment, representation, or any other normal right or privilege reserved for leading a normal and productive existence simply to utilize them as pawns in the struggle to destroy Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu should stand firm on these demands and also demand in writing a framework from the Palestinian leadership defining what they perceive as a fair and mutually advantageous peace agreement. It should be fascinating to finally have in writing the exact aims and desires that supposedly exist where the Palestinians would finally agree to living in peace with Israel as everybody keeps claiming is the desired result, two nations living side by side in peace and security, one a Jewish State and the other an Arab State.

 

It was decided that despite the tentative reunification agreement announced between Hamas and Fatah that perhaps this articles last paragraph should be rewritten to take the new situation under consideration. It had spoken of a need for the various Israeli political parties to put aside their differences and present a unified position thus removing the negativity and subversions which have been present in the past and simply had to be less than helpful. Obviously, should this renewed agreement actually proceed, which is highly doubtful as Abbas will once again prove unwilling to present himself before the Palestinian people in a fair and honest election as he knows that allowing such would be the end of his privilege and position, there is even less of a chance for peace once Hamas is permitted back on the scene representing the Palestinians. Fatah, or the Palestinian Authority, whichever one prefers, there was negligible chance of any peace offer being accepted. That has been proven time and again when even the most generous offers presented by either Ehud Barak or Ehud Olmert during their respective terms as Israeli Prime Minister were rejected outright without even receiving the dignity of a counter offer. The telling item was the lack of a counter offer as that simply revealed the truth, there does not exist any offer that Israel could ever make which would be acceptable to the current Palestinian leadership as their single-minded goal is the eradication of the Jewish State and the genocidal resolution of Jews living on what they believe are Muslim lands. That being the position of the people touted by the United States, United Nations, European Union and who knows who else as being Israel’s best partners for peace, then we can expect only a renewed terror war once Hamas reenters the mix as they have proven through their launching of thousands upon thousands of rockets, mortars, anti-tank missiles and sniper fire ever since they gained control of the Gaza Strip from Abbas and the Palestinian Authority after the Israeli disengagement where thousands of Israeli citizens were torn from their homes, work places, communities, synagogues and even dug from their graves to be reinterred within Israel for fear their graves would have been violated that they are violent terrorists with no regard for Jewish life and actually even little regard for Palestinian life as proven by their dispatching suicide murderers and celebrating their actions. Despite the doubtful future actually bringing a reunification of the two Palestinian entities, one in Gaza under Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the other encompassing Judea and Samaria under the erroneous label of the West Bank ruled by the Palestinian Authority and Fatah, Israeli attempts at any negotiations or especially offering any concessions is for now on hold with the intent to formally announce all negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority dead. Once the reunification is official the Oslo Accords are beyond dead and will be beyond any means of resuscitation. Israeli needs at that point will be to gird themselves for the terror war which will have become inevitable and to set the field before the world preparing them for the inevitable violence that will soon unfold. Once the Hamas and Islamic Jihad leadership has taken control of Judea and Samaria after an election sends Abbas and his fellow kleptomaniacal political elites into disgrace and permanent retirement, then the time will soon come where even the most ardent Israel basher outside of the Islamic spheres of influence will finally see the revealing of the truth which they have denied for so long. May Israel have the will and the blessings from Hashem to survive the conflagration which is sure to follow once Hamas rules over all of the Palestinian lands. Amen.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 17, 2014

An Alternate Path to Palestinian Arab Israeli Peace

By now one would think that the world would have realized that the traditional method of forcing negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel were a dead-end making peace unattainable and another route would have been sought. Despite all the claims and blaming of Israel for the failure of these efforts, the truth indicates that it is largely due to Palestinian intransigence and refusals to compromise on even a single item that has doomed all previous efforts. The old tried and failed method of applying pressure on Israel to make ever more grand compromises and concessions only to have the Palestinians to wave all offers aside and claim that there are just a few more concessions they require from Israel before they can make peace will have the same result as have all past attempts of this method. The Palestinians rarely itemize and list their additional demands and they change them making for the appearance of change which is inevitably perceived to imply advancing towards a real and final agreement. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just because the Palestinians choose some different main point to base their rejection upon at each turn does not mean that they have had previous demands satisfied nor does it mean they have moved any closer to reaching a point of agreement. All it is a measurement of is Palestinian refusal to negotiate in good faith and instead to be implementing the standard Arab response to making peace with Israel formed at the Khartoum Conference and known as the “three no’s” which are; no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel. The Palestinians have amended the third point to no successful negotiations with Israel which they view as in keeping with the spirit and underlying themes of the Khartoum Conference.

 

So, what might produce a way around this impasse? Since it should have become evident that there does not exist any combination of concessions or offers that the Israelis could ever propose that would be acceptable to the Palestinians, why not try to approach the whole peace process from the other side, request that the Palestinians provide terms that they would accept and would be willing to offer Israel and work from that end. Of course this approach would require something that had only been in evidence by its absence up to now, honesty and a rational means of judging and endorsing any offers, expectations and efforts concerning all parties involved. It is not helpful in reaching a peace agreement to always blame Israel for every impasse or collapse of the talks and if any blame is aimed at the Palestinians side, always equivocating and adding reasons that Israeli actions were most likely the real cause simply allows the Palestinian intransigence to become set in stone and unmovable. The honesty would be applied upon receiving the conditions and concessions proposed by the Palestinians of the Israelis, and then having the mediating nation’s representatives review and consider whether or not such terms would be even remotely acceptable if demanded of their country in similar negotiations. This could easily be accomplished by simply asking themselves one question and, the difficult part by all appearances, answer if they would even deem to consider, let alone actually accept, the proposed offer if an adversary were to offer them in a theoretical peace negotiation with their country.

 

Follows is a partial list of some of the poison pills which the Palestinians might include in their peace proposals, assuming they would even deign to offer anything and not simply demand that Israel be tasked with making the offers as it is far easier to just say no than it is to draw up an agreement at the risk that the other side might accept them and then be stuck with a resolution by their own hand. The most obvious is one they use repeatedly to end negotiations in the past is the “right of return” for over five-million Arab refugees and their descendants some of which three generations removed from the original refugee. One might recognize the term right of return as the exact phrase and system by which Israel by which Jews to return to their native lands of Israel in what is referred to as making Aliyah. This is one of many terms and historical facts about the Jewish heritage and claims to these lands which the Palestinians have woven their own version out of whole cloth and which much of the world accepts blindly knowing full well they are fabrications and a totally false narrative. Another demand which would be difficult to accept would be the redividing of Jerusalem and retuning all of the Old City including all of the Jewish Holy Sites to Palestinian control which would mean that the Temple Mount and the Western Wall would once again be denied visitation for Jews just as was the case when these areas were under Jordanian control. The Jordanians also guaranteed universal religious rights to visit the Holy Sites for Jews and Christians causing the long years of thirst and hunger for visitation rights where people of both faiths suffered with only a few sparse and individual moments where visitation by non-Muslims was ever permitted by Jordan. The Palestinian promises would be equally empty of any true intent to allow non-Muslims rights to visit their holy areas within the lands they control. The surrender of half of Jerusalem with the high probability of losing the capability for visitation to the Temple Mount and other Holy Sites having actually been offered by the Israelis under the deal proffered by Prime Minister Olmert should be a solid indication that Israel is willing to make very serious and even damaging concessions in order to attain a lasting and real peace.

 

The same was evidenced by the releasing of over seventy-five terrorist murderers and terror planning masters as demanded by the Palestinians during these past negotiations and the sole reason Israel withheld the final release was due to additional demands made by the Palestinians concurrent with threats to blow-up the talks as soon as the final group was released. Almost all of the terrorists released by Israel were serving life sentences or multiple life sentences for their horrific and horrendous acts of murderous terrorism against innocent civilians including women, children, seniors and even in some cases infants. Another demand recently added by the Palestinians about a year ago, which has not received general circulation or even notice, was the rights to hold military exercises with any nation or nations and the hosting of such exercises without any limit on the forces participating as well as unlimited rights to raise and arm a military force to any potential deemed necessary. This demand was expressed as a reaction to the Israeli request that any Palestinian state be demilitarized with their security from any outside attack provided by the Israelis upon any request from the Palestinians. The Palestinians claimed that the sole reason they would require a military and such protection would be from belligerence coming from Israel. Another item which Israel has demanded and been informed by the Palestinians and is completely out of the question is that any agreement be the final and complete end of any disagreements and be considered to end all demands from wither party on the other. The Palestinians demand that they be permitted further grievances and the continued right to continue their resistance to the occupation of the remainder of Palestine. They claim it is their right to continue terror attacks for as long as the state of Israel exists and that they will only end their resistance when all of Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea has been liberated and cleansed of its Jews. This is not a complete list of the grievances perceived and claimed by the Palestinians but should get the point across that the main argument and complaint the Palestinian demand must be addressed is the fact that Israel exists. Placing the onerous responsibility of producing a final and lasting peace agreement on the Palestinians would reveal their complete intransigence, belief in blood libels, and their litany of unappeasable demands which can only be satisfied with the complete eradication of the Jewish State and the casting of Israeli Jews to the corners of the world back into the Diaspora, just as was inflicted by the Romans almost two-thousand years ago and with the identical intent as today’s Palestinians, the annihilation of Judaism as a faith, peoples, and nation from the face of the earth. When this tack also fails and proves absolutely that the Palestinians do not desire peace but the destruction of Israel, then the world must be prepared to accept the One State Solution with the leadership of the Palestinians made to return to their exile as they returned under false pretenses and thus should not be permitted to remain to continue to sew unrest and hatreds.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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