Beyond the Cusp

September 7, 2016

One More Time Into the Breach

 

One of the previous times we went through this scenario we titled our article “Once More Down the Rabbit Hole”, thus the slightly different title though there may be some similarities and potentially even identical phrasing. We are looking at another attempt to force some form of meeting between high level Israeli officials and Palestinian Authority (PA) high level officials. The initial intent is to have President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu meet under the auspices of the Russians in Moscow possibly with Russian President Putin moderating. With only initial commentary and reporting the media is likely to report that everything looks promising that President Putin using the weight and international presence of the Russian Federation to possibly lead to their making headway which President Obama and the United States Presidents preceding him inability to make any measurable gains towards the mythical “two states for two peoples living in peace and security” supposed oasis in a dessert of missed opportunities. But the same old problems are already peeking from between the lines and even the letters of initial reports. Of course these reports are all puppy dogs and cuddly kittens snuggling together promising that there will this time be some headway made in finding solutions for the Arab-Israeli peace process. Please do not be sucked in by these Pollyannish reports reporting lollipops and ice cream for all. We are willing with minimal actual reports or additional information other than one small mention in a single quote to predict there will either be no meeting or Mahmoud Abbas will depart any meetings within the first eighteen hours blaming Israel for refusing to make the necessary sacrifices for peace.

 

What wording in what quote by whom, you ask. The person was President Mahmoud Abbas but we may need to provide you with some other statements and quotes before we go to President Abbas. Netanyahu’s office said in a statement, “The prime minister presented Israel’s position that he is always ready to meet with president Abbas directly and without preconditions. He is therefore reviewing the Russian president’s proposal and the timing of a possible meeting.” This does not sound all that horrific as it sets only one single condition, that there be no conditions, just a meeting as equals and proceeding from that point as equals. Somehow, in the coming weeks this statement will be transformed by those on the extreme left and right as well as some mainstream progressives into some nefarious evil set of denials of perfectly obvious dodges by the Israelis of their obvious obligations to make obvious and logical measures in order to reach a lasting peace. Further it was posted that, Netanyahu has said he is open to such a meeting together with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Further added in reports was this from PA officials who stated, “Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has agreed on a Russian proposal for him to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of a new peace push.” Abed al-Hafeez Nofal, the PA Ambassador to Moscow stated, “We told the Russian side today that president Abbas accepted the Russian initiative about the meeting of Abbas and Netanyahu with President Putin in Moscow,” So far, so good, but wait, there’s more.

 

Netanyahu, Putin, Abbas

Netanyahu, Putin, Abbas

 

Netanyahu had the audacity to claim that he is actually open to such a meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas with the meeting being together with Russian President Vladimir Putin who can assure that both sides are true to the expectations and necessary steps to make a lasting and enforceable and appreciative peace setting and secure borders which would promise peace for the foreseeable future. How absolutely sneaky of Netanyahu to agree to meet stating his desire for the meet to be without preconditions and to seek an equitable peace respecting the rights of both peoples setting secure and enforceable borders for a lasting peace. Have you caught the series of demands couched in Netanyahu’s statement? Let us list them for you, not necessarily in order, secure borders which is code for a viable Jewish State, enforceable borders which implies safety from terrorist attacks, lasting peace which implied an end to violence, appreciative which implies mutual acceptance and both sides taking steps which demands cooperation and compromise from the PA and not solely Israel surrendering everything just to meet for a few seconds so the media can take pictures. Such demands, surely Netanyahu realizes that the PA and especially Abbas can never accept such equanimity.

 

And right on cue, President Abbas ordered the usual comeback with the singular accusation against Israel, one Israel has absolutely no defense against, as Abed al-Hafeez Nofal stated, “But it is clear for us that the Israelis are evading the requirements of the meeting.” Keeping in step with the usual modus operandi, Abbas and company insisted that the meeting be scheduled for Friday of this week, September 9, 2016 while insisting Israel meet the required but unspecified known requirements to facilitate the meeting as they had already accused Israel of refusing to meet said but unspecified requirements thus placing all blame with Israel. Israel refused to meet on such short notice as they refused to make the required sacrifices for peace so how could any thinking human being fault the PA or Abbas who was willing to accept meeting with Netanyahu immediately after Israel met the preconditions known to all who follow the peace process. What were these obvious required preconditions Israel refused to meet? Well, there are numerous different such requirements which have been used in the past to make Israel the party unwilling to meet reasonable conditions for peace. One has to note that all PA demands are reasonable conditions which are well known and agreed upon and they are Israeli obligations. Why, one who is erudite might inquire. Well, because at the meetings of the Arab League, the United Nations General Assembly and other such confabs the Palestinian demands are echoed and set down as if they were the law of the universe and denying them would be tantamount to the worst sins humankind has ever committed, which of course is untrue.

 

This reference was an unobtrusive and subtle reference of the presumed “that the Israelis are evading the requirements of the meeting.” This statement was not followed up upon and there has been no formalization of exactly what Israeli requirements have been left unfulfilled. We can hazard a guess if you would like. One favorite is for Israel to remove all the settlements in order to prepare the lands for the Palestinian state. There is one trio of words which require defining before this “requirement” can be discussed, and those are “all the settlements” which most of the world believes are the Israeli towns, cities, factories, businesses, universities, schools and hospital clinics from beyond the Green Line. Even such as that definition goes well beyond International Law and also beyond any stipulations of the Oslo Accords but that is not the end of this little set of words. One need understand that the PA and much of the Arab World and Muslim World define not only Jews residing beyond the Green Line, the 1949 Armistice Lines as settlements but also all of Jerusalem, Netanya, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Ashdod, Beer Sheva, Eilat, Tiberius, Ma’alot and Nahariya. Basically they believe any Jews residing, as their chanted slogan states, “from the River to the Sea” meaning all the lands from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea should be vacated and turned over to them before any meeting and then there can be a discussion on whether the Jews will be sent to the United States or annihilated. The complete surrender of Israel is the only acceptable end for negotiations and the PA sees no reason to actually argue over details as they prefer to simply demand the final result in some vagaries and then claim Israel is not meeting their obligations.

 

The hidden secret which has been reported but always gets lost somewhere between the written page and the memories of those reading the articles is that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) Movement was initially the Arab World boycott of Israel plus the “Three No’s” decided upon in the Khartoum Resolution of 1967. These were; no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel. Subsequently the PA with the assistance financially of the United Nations, the European Union, United States, European governments and NGOs expanded these concepts folding theme into a package they called the BDS Movement. This went hand in hand with their claims of Apartheid Israel and that Israel was blocking any hope of peace by refusing to meet their obligations. Mahmoud Abbas also declared, with the assistance of an Imam, that all the lands of the British Mandate were WAQF lands, holy Islamic lands which can never be passed on to non-Muslims and that Muslims under Islamic law and Sharia are required to regain the territory and eradicate the nonbelievers who stole this Islamic Waqf. According to this ruling by Abbas and accepted by the Arab World if a Jew were to take a bag of sand from the beach near Akko and return with the sand to the United States then a squad of terrorists would need be dispatched to retrieve this sand in order to make the land whole once more. This is the fanaticism Israel faces where the PA and much of the leftist progressive political world are perfectly content with granting the PA everything they demand including the end of Israel and her people.

 

Much of Europe is starting their long walk down the primrose path paved with good intentions which includes making the new refugees feel secure and in a familiar surroundings. It matters not that the indigenous population is facing attacks especially against women and girls including young girls as young as nine and ten. There are rape gangs and even rape clubs where they force non-Islamic, and even those Muslims who refuse to wear the protection clothing (Burkas), women into sex through many and varied means which once any one of them gets their way with the young girl she is soon thereafter gang raped and after that any Islamic man can use her for their own pleasure. The sole reason such has not become a common practice in Israel is because of the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) whose members likely include a brother or a cousin or even a parent or uncle or aunt who is able to take their firearm with them, some are encouraged in doing so, and would probably end this horrific situation. Zero tolerance for raping young girls or other such crimes has to be the order of the day every day and such molestations and indignities cannot be permitted to stand. Just because it is a part of Islamic culture being practiced by the thousands of young Islamic men who have been infiltrating Europe as well as the United States and Canada does not mean that their host nations need to permit such barbarity. The enforcement of rape and molestation charges would be an excellent first step in teaching the Muslims what their initial steps towards assimilation will be. If assimilation is not in their repertoire, then either they need an object lesson placing this desire at the head of their “to do list” or repatriating them with wherever they migrated from would be in order. This is not an impossible task and would solve a number of problems all at once.

 

The same need go for the PA and its population. They need be absorbed as part of Israel and the Israelis should run their schools which must include learning the Hebrew language, learning Jewish and Israelite history, the basic concepts and commandments from within Torah. The younger Arabs as they reached adulthood would need to join their parents in taking the Assimilation testing before being placed on the route for becoming an Israeli citizen with full political rights as well as the other human rights. Those who are incapable of or do not desire learning such history and Hebrew could instead remain in Israel living as a registered alien. This would permit their having voting rights only in Areas A and B but not in national elections. As is required by International Law they would be granted full human rights, the religious right to worship as they pleased but not proselytize or other subversive anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli actions. They would have no voting rights outside Areas A and B as, by Mandate laws which the United Nations accepted in Article 80 of the United Nations Charter, while they are to be granted all civil and human rights, Israel is not required to provide them with political rights or actual citizenship unless the Israeli government so chooses. Any action of terrorism would result in the immediate deportation of any individual convicted of such an act after they served their prison terms. Those committing terrorist acts would forfeit their non-resident alien status and become persona non grata never permitted to return within Israeli borders for the indeterminate future. As Abbas and the rest of the PA and Hamas have all stated they would continue the fight to eradicate the Jews even if Israel surrendered everything but the Tel Aviv metropolitan area then those choosing active terrorism would be returned to their nation of origin or if none could be discerned, they would be unceremoniously dumped across the Syria border and never permitted to return to Israel. But as far as the Russian peace plan, if any meetings do actually come to fruition, it will likely be the shortest peace on record, Hashem willing. When one side will only accept a total and complete surrender of one nation, that nations cannot agree to such terms and the world should not expect Israel to accept such terms. There has been anything but progress towards peace since May 15, 1948, and there is nothing in our current situation which implies that progress is at all possible that might offer even the slightest glimmer of hope. That is exactly what will result from the incidents we have witnessed and we can have little else, especially not hope, but such is the situation which has been exactly as we now see. The future will be promising should a miracle from Hashem strike the entirety of the PA leadership as they open. Anything less and only a miracle will provide and fulfill the needed hopes.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 25, 2016

Replacing the Two State Paradigm

 

The death of the whole concept of a two states living side-by-side in peace, security and viability is finally fading as the realism that the Arab Palestinians can never be placated. Their demand that they get all or the war continues until the Jews run away or are annihilated has finally begun to wear even the two state supporters into a state of exhaustion from attempting to twist and ignore the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) leadership’s constant demands for more. The chanting by their supporters of the line they were fed calling out, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine must be free,” leaving no Israel simply made support more and more problematic. Sure, the young, the foolish and of course the anti-Semites thought that chant was a great idea as it either never occurred to them or they invited the mass slaughter of another six-million plus Jews at the altar of the inexorable march of Islam across the face of the earth. The fact is that the eventual chant would become, “From One Sea to Another Shore, We Want the World and a Little More,” and would be their referring to the United States and Canada on their way to conquering South America last. The old adage that, “What Starts with the Jews, Never Ends with the Jews,” implying that once any power decides to exert energies seeking a final solution to the “Jewish Problem,” these efforts soon widen to include far more than just the Jews, nor will it end with the Roma or the Evangelical Christians or any other opposing people until all have been cleansed. For proof of this just visit the original home of Islam, Saudi Arabia, and check out the laws concerning any religion or philosophy other than that proscribed by Islam, particularly Sunni Islam and then the Medina Quran over the Mecca Quran (Explained here) which strictly protect Islam as the only religion by which a nation can be ruled, period. There you might be introduced to the concept of the Islamic Waqf which defines any lands ever conquered by Islamic forces must forever remain under Islamic rule or face continuous efforts by force of arms or political pressures to be surrendered once more to Islam and held as such for all time.

 

Surrender is a term used to define Islam as their prayers are a sign that they have surrendered their will, their spirit, their body and mind to Allah and have no will independent from the traditions and interpretations of the Quran. This renders the Imams as the deciders of Islamic life and which verses of the Quran are to be applied. Sometime early in Islam, some say by Mohammad on his death bed but most scholars relent on that claim and tend to agree that this particular Surah 2:106: which is called the Abrogation Surah which makes the Medina verses of the Quran superior and replacing those Meccan verses that contradict or alter (see Arabic and translation below).

 

Surah Al-Baqarah [2:106]

Quran Surah Al-Baqarah [2-106]

 

None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?

 

The disbelievers, pagans, Christians and especially Jews must be forced to surrender to the Islamic forces and to Allah after their defeat or put to the sword, which is a simple euphemism for murdered or put to death. Believers need to have already surrendered to Allah and thus to Islam which in the end becomes surrender and obey their Imam. This is one reason that Western nations need monitor what the lessons, sermons, preaching, beliefs and interpretations of the Quran are as it is in the final end the Imams who define Islam. This was the reason the Egyptian President Sisi stood before the Imams of Al-Azhar University (pictured below).

 

Al-Azhar University

Al-Azhar University

 

The final nail in the coffin, which lowered and all threw dirt as their sign that there could be no compromise, was a few weeks, maybe a month ago, when the Fatah, PLO and even PA all, without a single word of correction from Mahmoud Abbas, the ruling potentate over all things out of Ramallah declared all of their claimed Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea as an Islamic Waqf which meant literally that even a Jew taking sand from the beach in Nehariya, Israel, or anywhere else in Israel, onto a plane and leaving would technically require their being hunted down so those few grains of sand could complete their Islamic Waqf. Abbas has permitted and thus accepted what they had claimed amongst themselves and finally it has been translated by one of the major sources of such translations, Palestinian Media Watch, who recorded and translated a Ramadan Broadcast of PA State Television Broadcast. The presenter, Najeh Bakirat, is listed as the director of this PA TV program and also appears on the show as one of the presenters and was once amongst the officers in Fatah and was assigned his current posting as a director of PA-TV. As defined above, PMW also stated that a Waqf is an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law which may not be permitted to be transgressed, especially by an infidel and even more offensively, by Jews who are seen as descendants of apes and pigs.

 


PA TV Ramadan lesson teaches that Islam prohibits Israel’s right to exist: “Holy Palestine is a waqf… It is forbidden to relinquish a single grain of its soil”
Head of the Waqf’s Al-Aqsa Academy of Heritage and Antiquities Najeh Bakirat: “Every grain of soil in Palestine (i.e., including all of Israel) is ours. The status of Hebron is part of the status of Palestine, as it is an integral part of the Palestinian land, like the status of Nazareth in our eyes, and Acre, Haifa, and Jaffa (i.e., all are cities in Israel). Every grain of soil in Palestine is part of the blessed Palestine, the holy Palestine which is a waqf. Therefore it is forbidden to relinquish a single grain of its soil.”

 

 

This marks the absolute end to any chance for a compromise as this announcement has ended all room for there to be but one state and all that is left to determine is whether the state will be another Islamic State or remain the Jewish State, as was the original plan when the British Mandate was adopted and the Zionist Congress agreed to the partition with lands east of the Jordan belonging to the Arab State of Transjordan (later renamed simply Jordan) and the lands west of the Jordan River for the Jewish State. This was the original plans as set forth under the League of Nations and enforceable under Article 80 in the United Nations Charter and as such inviolable even by the Security Council and definitively by the General assembly. This makes all recognition of any Arab or “Palestinian” state an inconceivable notion. Every attempted recognition of such a state when challenged in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would unquestionably and close to immediately be refuted and rescinded as there is but one state approved by world recognition and that would be Israel as the State for the Jews.

 

So, what is a viable, logical, actionable and workable solution, the bi-national state incorporated over time with an incentive plan for Arabs, particularly those prescribing to Islamic supremacy, to leave to reside outside of the Jewish State, outside their loathed Zionist Entity. The first reality would be the changing of the current school systems run by UNRWA or the PA to Israeli run schools under the same administration as are the schools within Israel. Further, the controlling administration of the schools would come under review and if the current system of teachers and administrators once reviewed are found to be incapable of teaching the provided syllabus provided every school, those found to be inadequate would necessarily be replaced. The administrating would be exactly the same as currently exists within Israel. Religious academies, which would include Madrassas, would all be held to including a core set of programs and this would end the argument that religious schools need not teach secular programs or other required and necessary lessons which all public schools are required to teach for graduation. The universities and colleges would also be regulated and their curriculum monitored to assure that they were not teaching courses which included subversive or anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli, Anti-Zionist, Anti-Christian, Anti-Muslim or any other negative education villainizing or disparaging any religion, race, ethnicity, physically challenged, mentally challenged, sexual orientation, gender or age group. This does not require one to ignore, omit, alter or otherwise curtail the teaching of a religion’s holy books in any manner or to change the wordings or definitions even when such appears to go against the previous restrictions though it would be prudent to teach to hate the act, the sin and to love the person; and that it is one’s responsibility not to change but to enlighten them of the words in scripture without belittling or threatening them in any way. These areas must be handled with tact and often if one is unsure they should take an approach of caution. It is important for a multicultural and multi-ethnic society with peoples from varied origins and numerous religions, even if Judaism remains the dominant religion of influence on the laws and mood of the majority of the society and the religion given greater though not undue influence on the society.

 

It would also be necessary to enact a law which would deport all members of a family who included any members involved in terrorism. This would include those planning, financing, producing weapons, explosives, rockets, munitions or storing same and anyone caught performing an attack of a terrorist nature despite their religion. This would include Jews, Muslims, Christians or any other or no religion as when it comes to the law there can be no exceptions. Even government employees and even Minister of the Knesset would not be exempt if they partook in terrorist activities. The current residents of the PA and all PA citizens would initially be granted resident alien status and would be required to apply and go through an approved set of courses and prove proficiency in knowledge deemed required of any citizen which should be equivalent to the knowledge of government and Israeli and Jewish history to give them a fundamental understanding of the Jews attachment to these lands and their difficulties both in Christian, Islamic and other societies.

 

Finally, there would be an incentive program to buy at over market price any properties, business assets not taken with those availing themselves of the buy-out and an added incentive plus arranged transportation to any nation to which any resident of the PA or even Israelis regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or other considerations. The added incentive will be proportional to expected costs of resettlement and weighed within reason and would have a set price which would be considered higher than the mean or average of resettlement costs. Needless to mention is this would make moving to a nation where prices are more reasonable would make the bonus go much further than say moving to Germany or the United States, especially the state of Hawaii. This program would last a defined amount of time, perhaps a decade and after that you make out the best you are able. There would necessarily be other requirements and restrictions likely prove required as deficiencies become apparent but this would be a start, hopefully a good start.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

 

January 16, 2016

Israel and the Jews

 

Allow us to revisit some of the items we have had in articles and draw them together here in one article. This will not be a rehashing of the legal matters, treaties, conventions and other documents and agreements. This is about the Jewish People and the Land of Eretz Yisroel and there are effects which can be observed often only through experiencing and seeing the changes and other effects between the Jewish people and Israel, the land itself. The first thing is that Israel in modern times attracts Jew for any number of reasons. There are two main groups which sometimes cross over and merge for some Jews. There are Jews who feel this strange pull that can only be fulfilled by making Aliyah and return there to their ancestral home which is exactly how many Jews explain there coming to Israel. For some it is the commandment to settle the land which commands the Jewish people to sojourn and commit their only expansive conquest taking the lands promised to Abraham, Izsak and Yaakov in Genesis in the Bible, the Old Testament, the Jewish Bible. Some come to Israel to escape anti-Semitism as Israel is the sole nation which promises to take whatever necessary actions to protect Jews from persecution.

 

Despite the actions of the world to tie Israel’s hands by court threats, protests world-wide, coordinated violence from the Arabs both within Israel and from the areas of Judea and Samaria which have been granted autonomy where their government rewards families whose members attack and murder Jews with higher rewards for more Israelis murdered or mutilated for life. This is what drives the suicide bombers as they know their family will receive a greater salary for life called a pension for a martyr of the cause of freedom, which means literally that they died in the attack, often due to being a walking human bomb, making their family honored and given a pension which is often higher than most Arabs make even those working for their government. This pension, blood money, is an incentive for Arabs who find they are poor and have little hope of providing for the family, often a wife and more than four children that the only way an Arab may decide that a suicide assault on the Jews is their only hope for their family. There have been Arabs from the autonomous region, who have charged at IDF soldiers at a checkpoint with a knife in their hand hoping to be caught and not shot so they can be sent to an Israeli prison as, and some have confessed this, their life would drastically improve where he would have better food and general conditions. Some attacks are carried out by the younger males in a family who know that they will receive next to nothing as an inheritance and for a farming family that is close to a condemnation to poverty and helplessness and they believe their only hope is to kill Israelis so their family will receive a pension should they be martyred and a salary should they be caught and imprisoned.

 

Jews native born to Israel, Sabras (Hebrew: צבר‎), is the name of a cactus Opuntia cactus (pictured below, known in Israel as “tsabar” (צבר) and as the fruit of the Sabra cactus has a hard and thorns outside and its fruit is sweet, soft, juicy and did I mention sweet. That description is really fitting in describing many original Israel born native Jews, some of which are my family. A few native families have resided in Israel since the early and mid-1800s while others have their family’s tree going back beyond and to before the 135CE and earlier 70CE Roman destruction of the Holy Temple and dispersal of the Jews from their land. This was executed in the hope that would destroy the Jewish people as they would no longer be attached to the land. This had worked just as they had done to the remnants of Carthage and possibly numerous other civilizations which we never knew as they did disappear from the face of the Earth. Some have family records which show their families having returned to Eretz Yisroel from the Babylonian Exile when Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered the Babylonian Empire on his way to establishing the Persian Empire, one of the largest and most storied in all history. Cyrus the Great gave the Jews his blessings to return and rebuild the Holy Temple and serve Hashem as directed by Torah. Some Israeli families arrived from Europe after the calamities of the Shoah and World War II. An equal or potentially greater number were expunged and forced from the Arab and Muslim nations of MENA (Middle East and North Africa) as well as Iran through edict, pogroms or legal restrictions making life next to or actually impossible. In most cases all property and wealth was confiscated and in the worst instances, forced out with one suitcase per person and those were inspected and anything of worth was removed.

 

 

Sabra Cactus with Fruit and Flowers

Sabra Cactus with
Fruit and Flowers

 

 

When they claim that the Jews of Israel return to their real homeland they are actually there. When the demand is for the Jews return to the lands where they arrived from, do they include the approximate half of Israelis whose former nation was throughout the Islamic world. Further, look at Europe with the European Union and their labelling of products from parts of Israel and the numbers of Jews literally fleeing European nations such as France, Sweden and others as well as the clincher, the unapologetic denunciations of Israel in every manner such that these are so egregious as they can only be described and blatantly anti-Semitic coming from the Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom. Her inflammatory accusations and denunciation along with her prejudging determinations which would be ruinous for Israel and against every agreement, convention, treaty, Mandate and other legal arrangements and pronouncement or still to be determined through formal negotiations and not the decree of some other nation not involved or even mentioned as a party to the situation are simply over the top. An example of her adamant refusal to take any moderation of her views is easily displayed in this recent debate in the Swedish Parliament where a member demanded of her an explanation of her extremist views shown below.

 

The lands of Israel have been conquered by nearly every empire which showed out of the Middle East, Europe and even from the Mongols from Asia and Egypt from Africa. The only empire to ever get production from the lands of Israel, which did not include simply ruling over and taxing Jews working the lands, were the Egyptians. There are those who claim the lands which today make up the nation of Israel, even if one were to concede Israel all the lands except Gaza from the Jordan River west to the Mediterranean Sea, were originally inhabited by a group of peoples, numerous tribes and city states, known as the Canaanites. This was a valid point in the times of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but by the time the Israelites left Egypt this was no longer the case as the Egyptians collected taxes and provided protection against the Hittites who resided further north possible within what is today Turkey, and from any other invaders. As the Exodus from Egypt was a revolt against Egypt, there would be a natural series of events that a group who had been originally welcomed and over time and a change in the lineage of the Pharaoh that they had been enslaved as had much of the Egyptian people who revolted with a shove and assist from Hashem who arranged ten incentives to persuade Pharaoh to allow the Israelite nation to leave and have their own homeland. The lands the Israelites took forty years later, give or take a few months, was land which belonged to the Egyptians and it was the tribal chiefs and some Egyptians that were defeated over some time and finally the lands were solidified by King David and King Solomon with a fair bit to spare. This marked the end of Israelite expansive designs. Here are some maps of the areas in question.

 

 

Left side map depicts the division of the Promised Land amongst the tribes and right side map compares the modern promised land from the Jordan west to the Mediterranean Sea compared to the maximum of area during King David’s and King Solomon’s reigns.

 

 

Eventually the land fell to the Babylonians who forced the Israelites into exile working them in Babylon. What is interesting is that the records show next to no Babylonians remaining in the Promised Land more than likely because it refused to produce a decent crop or provide grazing lands. The Persians having some knowledge about the Hebrews and the Promised Land had those Israelite who desired to return to their lands to do so and required only a tax be paid each year. This arrangement worked for a while and the Persian Empire finally fell to the Greeks led by the Macedonian Alexander the Great. The land was again worked by the Israelites but rifts politically had split the lands with the norther ten tribes taking the name of Israelite with them and the southern kingdom was largely made up by the tribe of Judah along with the considerably smaller Benjamin. These were called Judea and had control of Jerusalem and the Temple. The northern tribes were conquered by the Assyrian Greeks and were dispersed throughout their holding and eventually went their separate ways becoming the ten lost tribes of Israel, literally. Judea fell eventually as well but remained in the lands. The Romans replaced the Greeks and from this point forward the life of the lands of Judea and their people who were called Judeans which eventually shortened to Jew.

 

The next part of the lives of the Judean, Jews, was related by a former MK Yaakov Katz in an editorial 407,118: The up to date number of Jews in Judea and Samaria, not counting Jerusalem. In the article he gave a description of what is a Jew which I hope to never forget as it was very relevant to Jewish history, our history. He said that the way to define a Jew is to define us by what others destroyed in order to eradicate the Jewish People, a depravity which has a way too often horrific number of repetitions throughout human history. The Egyptian by restricting us through slavery kept us from our Promised Lands yet we did not simply accept their gods, their idols or leaders who claimed they were gods. The Babylonians destroyed the Holy Temple hoping that would dishearten us and we would assimilate and they would be done with us. Then the Romans dispersed us such that we were scattered with only a few families in any one location which the Romans had done to others to destroy their cohesion and family. This, the Romans hoped would put an end to the Jews. Eventually, after many centuries it was the Catholic and, in turn, other Christians who forced conversion and removed us from our Torah and normal prayers hoping this would end the Jewish problem. Finally we would face the Nazis who decided they would simply annihilate the Jews and finally solve the Jewish Problem. So, if we learned anything, it is that we are defined as Jews by all of our enemies starting with the Egyptians through the Nazis and we find a Jew is the Promised lands of Eretz Yisroel from the covenant made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. A Jew is the Holy Temple, may it be built in our lifetime. We find a Jew is community and one another as then we have a support group with whom we are more able to remember our commandments and perform mitzvahs and observe the Sabbath. The Jew is nothing without Torah and finally the Jew celebrates life. So, what is a Jew? A Jew is the Promised Land as we were made for each other as well as we are enriched by the Holy Temple which allows for certain Commandments to be fulfilled as they require the Holy Temple and we are to complete the Commandments but those remain unfulfilled. Our need for community becomes evident when after the Roman dispersal we quickly gathered where and how we could and made our little communities where we observed our customs which with time were adapted to the world around us. A Jew without Torah is a Jew unstuck and disconnected from the commandments and mitzvoth which was part of the reason that the greatest of the Rabbis wrote commentary and put the oral law into writings. And finally, a Jew is all about the celebration of life and the great gifts that Hashem has shared with us. What is a Jew in the fewest words possible? I will give it a try. A Jew is the land of Israel with the Temple in Jerusalem and community to be a part of with Torah and celebrating life, Torah, Mitzvoth, and Hashem.

 

All the empires, the Babylonian, Egyptian, Persian, Greek, Assyrian, Roman, the various Islamic and Christian conquerors, the Ottomans and the British all could not make the land bloom; but bloom they finally have done. But that works both ways. The Jews make the land and the land completes the Jew.

 

Coming home to Eretz Yisroel was the most wondrous thing in my life and has lifted burdens from me in ways I find impossible to quantify, let alone to define. For the first time I feel accepted to an extent which surpassed even Colorado in the 1970s and I thought that was heaven yet that barely compares with the coming to Israel. I often need to go look out the window to once again impress on me that I truly am home. The people I meet are mostly willing to go out of their way to help and their efforts mostly are beyond belief as they put up with us not having learned to speak Hebrew. We have found a couple of closely defined niches where we can speak freely and not fear being told to never return. As I explain, we have finally found the Jews we had searched for in the United States and they are all mostly here. I have likely been exposed and learned more about being a Jew here in the last couple of years and the rate of learning is only increasing daily. There are so many people making sure I get things correct that my biggest hope is that I remember one third and I will be far wiser than I was upon our arrival. How would I sum up Israel and the Jews in the fewest words possible? Mutual Fulfillment.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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