Beyond the Cusp

December 2, 2014

Existential Crisis Most Likely to Bring New Elections

Filed under: Abdullah Abdullah,Absolutism,Abu Mazzen,Act of War,Administration,Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade,al-Aqsa Mosque,al-Aqsa Mosque,Amalekites,Appeasement,Appointment,Arab World,Arabs,Ariel Atias,Aryeh Deri,Avigdor Lieberman,Balanced Budget,Ballot Access,Barbarian Forces,Bashir al-Assad,Battle of Khaybar,Blood Libel,Borders,Britain,British Mandate,Budget,Cabinet,Cabinet,Caliphate,Chancellor Merkel,Civilization,Class Warfare,Coalition,Colonial Possession,Corruption,Count Ballots,Courts,Crusades,Danny Danon,Debt,Divided Jerusalem,Economy,Employment,Equal Responsibility,Equal Rights,Equal Treatment,Equality,Estonia,Eugenics,Europe,European Governments,European Union,Executive Order,Failed State,Fatah,Fatah Charter,Fayyad,Federal Reserve,Financial Crisis,Fiscal Cliff,Foreign Trade,Gaza,Germany,Golan Heights,Government,Government Control,Government Shutdown,Government Worker,Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Hussani,Green Businesses,Green Line,Haaretz,Hamas,Hamas Charter,Hate,Hatnua,Health Care,Herzog,Hevron,Hezballah,History,Holy Sites,Hunger Strike,IDF,Inquisition,Internal Pressures,Internationalist,Intifada,Iron Dome,ISIS,Islamic Jihad,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Israeli Interests,Israeli Media,Jerusalem,Jerusalem Day,Jewish Heritage,Jewish Home,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,Jews,Jordan River,Joseph’s Tomb,Judea,Judean Hills,Justice Minister,Kever Yosef,Knesset,Labor Party,Land for Peace,League of Nations,Lebanon,Leftist Pressures,Likud,Mahmoud Abbas,Mainstream Media,Meaning of Peace,Media,Mediterranean Sea,Mercaz Harav Yeshiva,Meretz,Middle East,Middle East Media Research Institute,Ministers,Ministership,Moshe Feiglin,Moshe Yaalon,Mount of Olives Cemetary,Muhammad Abu Shahala,Muslims,Nablus,Naftali Bennett,Nahariya,Nasrallah,Nationalist,Negev Desert,Netanyahu,New York Times,Old City,One State Solution,Oslo Accords,Palestinian Authority,Parliament,Parliamentary Government,Partition Plan,Peace Process,PLO,PLO Charter,Pogroms,Politicized Findings,Post-Zionist,Power,President for Life,Price Tag Crimes,Prime Minister,Prime Minister,Prisoner Release,Promised Land,Protect Citizenry,Protective Edge,Public Service,Rabbi Yosef,Ramallah,Recognize Israel,Red Lines,Refugee Camp,Refugees,Religious Jews,Response,Response to Muslim Takeover,Response to Terrorism,Right of Return,Rock Throwing,Rocket Attacks,Roman Empire,Rome,Ron Prosser,Run-Off Elections,Saeb Erekat,Samaria,San Remo Conference,Sanctions (BDS),Security,Seige of Vienna,Senate Majority Leader,Senate Minority Leader,Separation Barrier,Settlements,Shas,Shechem,Shelly Yachimovich,Siege of Vienna,Single Payer Plan,Speaker of the House,State Legislature,Statehood,Support Israel,Syria,Tel Aviv,Temple Mount,Terror,Terrorist Release,Third Intifada,Threat of War,Tribe,Tzipi Livni,United Nations,United States,Uri Ariel,Validate Elections,Vote of No Confidence,Waqf,West Bank,World Opinion,World Pressures,Yair Lapid,Yasser Arafat,Yesh Atid Party,Yisrael Beiteinu,Yuli Edelstein,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 3:40 AM
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Prime Minister Netanyahu and Prime Minister in his own mind Yair Lapid had their fateful meeting where the real Prime Minister basically laid out what would be required from Yair Lapid and his party members in order to continue the current coalition. One of the problems which have struck the coalition has been the idea by the other party leaders that they should be the Prime Minister and run the government. Yair Lapid was rumored to even have attempted to patch together his own coalition and exercise a coup of sorts and take over the government through a deal with opposition parties thus forcing a new government without having new elections. Then we have the twisted dreams of Tzipi Livni who believes that she is fated to be Prime Minister because she honestly feels she has been robbed of her opportunity to lead the nation and will likely continue to pursue this phantom reality for the rest of her political life. There is the expected leader and head of the opposition parties Yitzhak Herzog, the leader of the Labor Party, has already claimed his rightful position as Prime Minister in waiting convinced that new elections will serve as the cleansing of the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu and instead bring a liberal wave sweeping Herzog into the Prime Minister slot. He was quoted speaking of the inevitable results of new elections stating, “The Labor party will lead the bloc that will win the election and give hope and a new reality for the citizens of Israel.” Apparently these Prime Ministerial candidates holding these delusional beliefs have either not read any of the polling done or they believe, as Yitzhak Herzog stated just the other day, that the polls are meaningless as they have sampled those they know and all of the people in their circle agree that new elections will place them at the head of the next government. If I were to ask those closest to me if I would win the coming elections and get to form the next coalition government I am sure that at least one or two would play along and assure me that I was not delusional, but they would also realize I was joking. Unfortunately for Israel, these Prime Minister wannabes are not joking and believe their own propaganda that they are the next chosen one.

 

This crisis was brought to a head when the proposed Jewish State Law which was intended to restate and reaffirm that Israel is the home of the Jewish People as well as a democracy where every citizen is guaranteed their respective rights as citizens. To any casual observer this law would be a no brainer but instead it became the initial protest vote where both Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni threatened their voting against the Jewish State Law should it be brought to the Knesset for a vote. This led to rewording the bill in attempts to make it palatable to the few who insisted on remaining unappeasable. The reality is that both party leaders were actually more upset that the governing coalition refused to tow their line and follow their agendas and instead were following the agenda put forth by the Prime Minister and originally voted for as part and parcel of joining the coalition upon its formation. So, it now appears that Israel is about to go into another election with all the usual posturing and backstabbing starting with each party holding their disparate meetings or votes or some combination thereof in order to present their list of proposed Knesset Ministers for well past their polled expectations to receive once the election results are finalized. The expectations from current polling, something that is almost meaningless as elections have historically brought surprises and twists beyond belief, has Likud remaining the largest block of Ministerial positions and thus most likely to be chosen to form the next coalition. There are indications that the next largest party might be Jewish Home which will be a surprise to the leftist parties who are expecting the Israeli voters to cast off both Likud and Jewish Home in favor of Labor, Meretz and Yesh Atid. The polling has also indicated that Lapid’s Yesh Atid Party will only manage to win half the number of seats in the Knesset than they did in their initial and surprising success in their inaugural presentation before the voting public in the last election. These polls also depicted Tzipi Livni’s HaTnuah Party as barely making a minimal entry number of seats if even breaking the threshold required to be represented in the Knesset, let alone receive the nod to form the next government. The one hope all of those vying to be the next Prime Minister can invest their aspirations upon is that the least likely thing which was unexpected by all the pollsters, party leaders, experts and prognosticators and initially dismissed as insignificant can still resonate with the Israeli public while remaining below the radar and surging forth on election day to produce the unexpected results in the next elections completely throwing all the news outlets an unseen curve which they will be at a loss to explain. The elections may prove once again that there is no such thing as a sure bet when the voting public gets to make the decisions.

 

Of course new elections are not yet guaranteed as it will take a vote in the Knesset to dissolve the parliament and hold elections and there is the possibility that Yair Lapid will return to the fold and swallow his pride for the good of the coalition and by such an action garner some new supporters which always is a desired result for any politician. Lapid was given five acts he must agree to if he desires to avoid new elections. These were to stop attacking the coalition and especially to end his criticisms of the building plans in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Israeli relations with the United States. Next he was to transfer the six billion shekels to the defense budget as promised for their development of Iron Dome systems and armored personnel carriers. Third was to release the funding for the IDF relocation to the new Negev as was agreed upon by coalition agreements, something Lapid was blocking going so far as to have frozen this funding taking what he referred to as a principled stand. Fourth was for him to support the final version of the Jewish State Law. Finally he would be required to surrender and shelve the zero percent VAT relief bill he had been pushing for very determinedly. This final demand is expected to be the last straw and the one Lapid will refuse to meet thus likely forcing new elections.

 

One reading the polls would expect that Lapid would find it easier to remain in the current coalition where his Yesh Atid Party enjoys nineteen seats in the Knesset, a far cry better than the nine seats which many polls have indicated he would receive from new elections. The guessing here believes that Yesh Atid would probably suffer an even bigger embarrassment and only manage six or maybe seven seats and be on its way to extinction unless Yair Lapid could find a path back to the promises and apparent ideals he initially presented as the guiding essentials set forth in the last election. Those who suspected that much of the Zionist and nationalist line that Minister Lapid had professed was more ruse than ideological foundation as it was presented. These suspicions proved to be valid as once in the government Yair Lapid appeared to inexorably veer to the left and discard much of his nationalist agenda and instead attempt to inject his liberal slant into policy even at the expense of manipulating the budget which he had promised certain arrangements and allocations which he in the end did not deliver on. And this may only be the tip of the iceberg of potential changes which might be produced by holding new elections. The largest changes are always the ways in which the factions and parties arrange their own coalitions’ makeup. The most evident breakup has already taken place in which the one-time marriage of Likud with Yisrael Beiteinu which will also mean that Avigdor Lieberman will be leading his own party rather than being second on the combined ticket with Bibi Netanyahu taking the top slot. Netanyahu is probably expected by most to continue to take the top slot on any Likud ticket but that may not be as guaranteed as one might believe. There will be a credible challenge to Netanyahu in the voting for the Likud ticket as Danny Danon is expected to give Netanyahu a challenge from the right and even more nationalistic Zionist side of the party. We could potentially see a Likud ticket with a new face at the helm which may signal a changing of the guard within Likud even should Danny Danon fall short in his challenge. Danon is definitely one of the future leaders in Likud and the time is rapidly approaching for these new leaders to step forth. Other than the breakup of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu, there may be other alterations to more parties and combinations than could be readily covered in this article and are best left for after the parties have all filed and made public their intents. Then there will be the leadership challenges in parties other than Likud. We have to wait and see if the somewhat controversial leader of Jewish Home, Naftali Bennett, remains the top man on their ticket and whether they will continue with their current makeup or if some factions might go it on their own. Then there may be a contest for the leadership position of the Haredi parties, largely concerning in Shas and whether the more liberal and left leaning Arye Deri remains in the number one slot or if Eli Yishai or Ariel Atias will make a successful challenge from the more nationalist and right leaning side of the party. With the passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef there can now be a true contest for the leadership of the Shas Party. Labor just recently had a change in leadership with Yitzhak Herzog taking the top spot replacing Shelly Yachimovitch. After all is said and done the next government may very well have a similar outward appearance to the current coalition but within there will be some changes, just how many and how far this difference proves to be remains to be seen. If Likud has a new person topping their ticket, such a change could excite the electorate or perhaps the shock of Bibi Netanyahu being replaced will be too much for the Israeli public. Then there are some polls which have shown Jewish Home Party actually replacing Likud as the leader in the Knesset and thus very likely making their first name on their Knesset list the next Prime Minister. It still remains to be seen if that name will continue to be Naftali Bennett. And then again, there is still hope for yours truly as, after all, those I have talked to still hold out hope for me to be picked to form the next government, and why not? Talk about strange happenings, that would take the cake.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 6, 2013

Why the Israel Palestinian Peace Talks Fail

Filed under: 1949 Armistice Line,1967 Borders,2016 Elections,24/7 News Reporting,Absolutism,Abu Mazzen,Administration,Advanced Weapions Systems,Air Support,Al Nusra Front,Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade,al-Qaeda,Alawite,Amalekites,Anti Missile System,Anti-Capitalists,Anti-Colonialist,Anti-Israel,Anti-Semitism,Anti-Zionist,Apartheid,Appeasement,Appointment,Arab Winter,Arab World,Arabs,Armed Services,Ayatollah Khomenei,Balfour Declaration,Bashir al-Assad,Basic Laws,Bethlehem,Bipartisan Support,Bloggers,Blood Libel,Bombing,Borders,Building Freeze,Building Freeze,Cairo,Calaphate,Caliphate,Checkpoints,Civilization,Colonial Possession,Condemning Israel,Consequences,Core Beliefs,Covert Actions,Defend Israel,Defend Palestinians,Democracy,Disengagement,Divestment,Divided Jerusalem,Domestic NGOs,Druze,Egypt,Ehud Olmert,Elections,Enlightenment,Equal Responsibility,Equal Rights,Equal Treatment,Equality,Executive Order,Extreme Leftist,Extreme Right,Fatah,Fatah Charter,Fayyad,Feminism,Flotilla,Forced Solution,Foreign Funding,Foreign NGOs,Foreign Policy,General Assembly,Golan Heights,Golan Heights,Government,Green Line,Hamas,Hamas Charter,Hate,History,Holocaust,Hostages,Human Rights,IAEA,IAF,IDF,IDF,Inspections,Inteligence Report,International Atomic Energy Agency,International Politics,Intifada,Islam,Islam,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Jerusalem,Jewish Heritage,Jewish Home,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,Jewish Temple,Jews,Jordan River,Jordan Valley,Joseph’s Tomb,Joshua,Judea,Judean Hills,Kadima,Knesset,Kotel,Land for Peace,League of Nations,Machpelah,Mahmoud Abbas,Mainstream Media,Media,Media Bias,Media Censorship,Middle East,Military,Military Advisors,Military Aid,Military Base,Military Coup,Military Intervention,Military Option,Ministers,Misreporting,Mount of Olives Cemetary,Murder Israelis,Muslim Brotherhood,Muslim Brotherhood,Muslim World,Muslims,Myth,Nablus,Naqba,Nasser Judeh,Netanyahu,New Media,Nissan Slomiansky,No Fly Zone,OIC,Old City,Organization of Islamic Cooperation,Oslo Accords,Pakistan,Palestinian,Palestinian Authority,Palestinian Legislative Committee,Palestinian Security Force,Parental Choice,Parliament,Parliamentary Government,Partition Plan,Peace Process,Permanenet Members,PFLP,Philippines,Plesner Committee,PLO,Politics,Popular Resistance Committees,Post-Zionist,PRC,Pre-Conditions,President Obama,Price Tag Crimes,Prime Minister,Prime Minister,Prisoner Release,Prisoners,Promised Land,Promised Land,Proportional Representation,Protect Citizenry,Public Service,Rabbi Melamed,Ramallah,Rebel Forces,Recognize Israel,Refugee Camp,Refugees,Religious Jews,Response to Terrorism,Right of Return,Roadmap,Rock Throwing,Rocket Attacks,Samaria,San Remo Conference,Sanctions (BDS),Sderot,Security Council,Separation Barrier,Settlements,Shaul Mofaz,Sheba Farms,Shechem,Shelly Yachimovich,Shoah,Sinai,Sinai Peninsula,Social Networking,Soldiers,Statehood,Suicide Bomber,Support Israel,Supreme Court,Syria,Tel Aviv,Temple Mount,Temple Mount,Ten Lost Tribes,Terror,Terrorist Release,Third Intifada,Tomb of Rachel,Tomb of the Patriarchs,Transjordan,Troop Withdrawal,Two State Solution,Tzipi Hotovely,Tzipi Livni,Tzipi Livni,United Nations,United States,United States Pressure,Waqf,West Bank,Western Wall,Western World,Window for Peace,World Opinion,World Pressures,Yom Kippur War,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 5:07 AM
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This is not an article on why the current peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority will most likely fail but about why all of these negotiations have and will forever fail. The common perception is that all that is necessary for there to be peace is for the Israelis to make sufficient sacrifices and surrender sufficient land for there to be peace. The mantra we hear over and over to the point it has become almost a chant that the world leaders recite whenever the Israelis and Palestinian Authority leaders meet is “Land for Peace.” There is actually no amount of land that Israel can surrender which will result in peace or even an agreement with the Palestinians. The simple truth is that there is only one result which the Palestinians are willing to accept, the complete annihilation of the Jewish State to be replaced by an Islamic Sharia State completely free of any Jewish, Christian or any non-Muslim religious group allowed to reside within. There will be protests with this claim which are fully expected.

 

I can hear the protestations already that the Palestinian Authority has been accepting and good to the Christians in their midst as claimed by those very same Christians who place the blame for their troubles with the Israelis where it belongs. The reason that the Christians leaders from within the Palestinian areas in Judea, Samaria and Benyamin have little choice in expressing their preferences; as if they do not blame Israel for their every woe, then the Muslims will lose vindictive destructions upon Christian businesses, churches, homes and people even higher degree than they currently inflict. Explain why in all of North Africa and the Middle East, an area almost exclusively under Islamic rule, everywhere in every location with but one exception the numbers of Christians have been decreasing for decades upon decades. The sole exception where the numbers of Christians has been steadily on the increase is Israel where freedom of religion is a treasured value which is held in high esteem. The Muslim lands are not so generous with their acceptance of those who even follow a branch of Islam which is different from that of the governing preference, let alone any religion other than Islam. If you wish to see what the treatment the Christians would receive under Palestinian rule if they spoke the truth all one need do is look to Egypt at the treatment of the Christians by the Muslim Brotherhood since they were removed from power. There have been days where as many as fifty churches have been completely looted of anything worth taking before being burned to the ground. Also, Christian owned businesses which have also been torched along with Christian homes, all of which have burned solely as the result of Muslim anger and perceived insult resultant to President Morsi being removed. The Christians were victimized and blamed for his removal despite the protests of literally tens of millions of Egyptians against his actions which excluded all except his cohorts within the Muslim Brotherhood. The Christians who used to make up approximately three quarters of the population in Bethlehem before the Palestinian Authority was gifted security and political control over the birth place of Jesus but now only a remnant making up less than ten percent still reside in this holies of holy cities in Christendom. The only part which Israel played in this entire procession of events was to gift control to the Palestinian as a result of the tragic Oslo Accords.

 

There are a number of horrific results from the continuing tragedy called the Oslo Accords. Perhaps the greatest of these has been the requirement on the Israelis to placate those who cannot be placated. We can boil down the Israeli needs to a single item which would be sufficient to destroy any possibility for peace. This one item is probably not one the majority of people would even be able to name, let alone be high on their list as Israel is often chastised for making too many demands and not showing a willingness to do what is necessary to reach a peace agreement. This one item has absolutely nothing to do with the settlements or Israeli towns and businesses that are in areas liberated from Jordanian illegal occupation as a result of the June 1967 War. It does not have anything to do with whether or not Israel will be allowed to retain the eastern half of Jerusalem which they have already made an integral part of Israel placing all of Jerusalem under Israeli political and security rule. This one item is not in reference to Israel being permitted to keep some defensive positions and monitoring stations in the Jordan Valley just west of the Jordan River as an early warning system to detect any attack approaching from over Jordanian space. The one item Israel insists the Palestinians meet is to recognize that Israel exists as the state for the Jewish People. The recognition that Israel is the reestablishment of the ancient Jewish homeland is about as basic an understanding of the real reason the world agreed upon when they setup the British Mandate with the stated intent to establish a homeland for the Jewish people. This was voted upon and established international intent for the creation of a state for the Jews before 1920 which is decades ahead of the horrors of the Holocaust. The claim often made that Israel was established as a guilt offering by a world shocked by the horrors of the Holocaust is so easily proved false it is remarkable that it has survived. The Balfour declaration came in 1917 and by 1920 the entire League of Nations had made the Balfour Declaration an international treaty recognized by the world. There have been numerous conferences and accords made all before World War II and the Nazi horrors which echoed and restated support for the establishment of a Jewish State in the Jewish ancient homelands. So, requiring the Palestinians to simply recognize that Israel is and was established as a state for the Jewish People is far from asking the impossible, yet this is the one point above all others which the Palestinians and rest of the Muslim World refuse to grant. Until the Muslim World can recognize that Israel is the state for the Jews, which is even mentioned in the Quran, there can be no peace and that is as simple as it gets. If the world really wishes to find a path to peace between the Jews and the Muslim World they need to require the Muslim World recognize that the Jews have rights to a homeland and that homeland is located as stated in the Old Testament, the Christian Bible and the Islamic Quran on the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea and includes all of Jerusalem, and only after this has been established should they demand that Israel give even more lands to the Palestinian authority.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 21, 2013

Is Netanyahu About to Pull an Ariel Sharon?

Filed under: 1949 Armistice Line,1967 Borders,Administration,Amalekites,Ambassador Samantha Power,Anti-Israel,Anti-Semitism,Anti-Zionist,Appeasement,Appointment,Arabist,Arabs,Bayit Yehudi Party,Blood Libel,Borders,Building Freeze,Building Freeze,Cabinet,Chuck Hagel,Civilization,Condemning Israel,Condoleezza Rice,Defend Israel,Demolitions,Disengagement,Divided Jerusalem,Domestic NGOs,Elections,European Union,Executive Order,Fatah,Foreign Funding,Foreign NGOs,Gaza,George W. Bush,Government,Green Line,Hamas,Hate,History,International Politics,Islam,Islam,Islamic State,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Jerusalem,Jewish Heritage,Jewish Home,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,Jews,John Kerry,Judea,Judean Hills,Kotel,Labor Party,Mahmoud Abbas,Myth,Naftali Bennett,Netanyahu,Old City,Palestinian,Palestinian Authority,Palestinian Legislative Committee,Partition Plan,Peace Process,Politics,Pre-Conditions,President Obama,Prime Minister,Prisoner Release,Promised Land,Response to Terrorism,Rocket Attacks,Russian Pressure,Saeb Erekat,Samaria,Secretary of Defense,Secretary of State,Settlements,Shas,Shelly Yachimovich,Statehood,Support Israel,Susan Rice,Tel Aviv,Temple Mount,Terrorist Release,Third Intifada,Tzipi Livni,United Nations Ambassador Rice,United States,United States Pressure,West Bank,Western Wall,World Opinion,World Pressures,Yair Lapid,Yesh Atid Party,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 5:11 AM
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Since the very first day after Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu accepted as the first party into his current coalition the Hatnuah Party and placed its leader Tzipi Livni as the new government’s Minister of Justice and placed Ms. Livni as the lead negotiator of the Israeli negotiations team with the Palestinians, I have had a creeping suspicion that Netanyahu was going to fall on his sword in order to satisfy President Obama and allow anything to be bargained away if it produced a treaty. What made things even worse, Netanyahu announced that she would have complete freedom and full latitude to do whatever she believed was necessary to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians in the model of the two state solution. The presumed safety catch that would limit anything that Minister of the Knesset Livni may eventually give away was presumably that there would have to be a Knesset vote to ratify any potential treaty and then if particular lands given away met the criteria, then there would also be a referendum of the Israeli people to decide whether or not any treaty would be accepted and ratified. But even here there are some suspicions and recent events and announcements have only served to deepen my qualms that all is not well in Jerusalem.

 

Before we theorize on the future and what we believe are the signs we will need to be on the lookout for and where such paths lead, perhaps we should review some of the most pertinent facts from the Gaza disengagement fiasco and what the steps were the last time such events transpired. The first item was that the President of the United States was George W. Bush who was perceived to be a good friend of Israel and one who, while not perfect, at least was not going out of his way to destroy and compromise Israel. The Secretary of State was Condoleezza Rice, who despite her misconceptions and misgivings such as believing the Palestinians were being persecuted in a similar manner to the Black Americans during the Jim Crow era; despite her idiosyncrasies, Secretary Rice honestly thought she was working towards a good end and really pursued peace and a better future for all, both the Palestinians and the Israelis; and despite their intents, the Bush Administration fell into a number of traps which doomed their efforts we can claim with some assurance as to its validity that they had honest and good intentions. Their first misstep was their decision to force Prime Minister Ariel Sharon into disengaging all Israeli presence from the Gaza Strip and turning it over to Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians presumably so that the Palestinian leadership could demonstrate their abilities to rule and manage their own areas and live at peace alongside the Israelis. The thought was that once the Palestinian leadership had proved to administrate the Gaza Strip while preventing any terrorist attacks on Israelis or their territories, then the final formation of a Palestinian State could proceed without any further problems.

 

The next set of problems followed rapidly one on top of the next. President Bush gave Prime Minister Sharon guarantees that after Israel had released their control over the border areas between Egypt and Gaza, also known as the Philadelphia Corridor, that the European Union monitors and real-time remote video monitoring by Israeli security experts would prevent the movement of weaponry into Gaza as well as monitoring the passage of people interdicting any suspected terrorists. Soon thereafter it was time for the Palestinian government to hold elections. Big mistake number two was cued up as Secretary of State Rice insisted, with the backing of President Bush, that all factions be permitted to field candidates for the Palestinian Parliament, of course including Hamas. Despite warnings from Israel, Mahmoud Abbas, and numerous Middle East experts who warned that allowing Hamas to field candidates would guarantee that Hamas would take the majority of the seats and rise to unseat Fatah as the majority in the Palestinian Authority, the elections were held allowing Hamas candidates who won a majority of the seats as the Palestinians voted for anybody but Fatah as they perceived that Hamas would not commit fraud anywhere near the levels which had been rampant to date in the Palestinian Authority. The Hamas victory scared the living daylights out of Abbas who feeling certain that Hamas would also replace him as President and Chairman of the Palestinian Authority forcing him to cancel elections for these offices in order to preserve his positions. The Americans saw no problem with this as the overwhelming Hamas sweep in the Palestinian parliamentary elections had shaken their trust that they understood the Palestinian’s moods and proclivities. Soon the worst of the disasters that followed one after another came to fruition as Hamas executed a violent coup and took complete control over the Gaza Strip forcing Fatah and their portion of the Palestinian Authority from Gaza to Judea and Samaria, the West Bank. With Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip, the European Union monitors made a quick retreat from their posts back to their hotels in Israel never to return to their posts after which the Hamas personnel who took control of the Rafah Crossing destroyed the video monitoring equipment. This forced Israel to rely on the good graces of Egypt to monitor the Egypt-Gaza interchange which fortunately was more successful than one might have originally expected. As it turned out, the Egyptians had issues with Hamas as Hamas was directly tied to the Muslim Brotherhood which gave Egyptian President Mubarak reasons to be suspicious and to actually monitor the border.

 

Today the President of the United States Barack Obama is considered not exactly a trusted friend to Israel and some of the members of his Administration are equally not to be trusted by Israel. Some of those who cause both politicians and residents in Israel the most qualms would include Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power and some might add Vice President Biden though his record is not as adverse as others are. As anyone who has been watching the news out of Israel and the Palestinian areas has noted, the negotiations have been reinstated but at considerable cost to the Israelis who were cajoled and pressed into releasing over the period of the negotiations up to one-hundred-four terrorists who were serving life sentences, some multiple life sentences, and had much Israeli blood on their hands in order to entice and give proper cover for Mahmoud Abbas to agree to negotiate. Of course Israel only received the privilege of holding talks for their unprecedented concessions. Even with such a sacrifice by the Israelis in releasing many terrorists whom they had refused to release numerous times before, this momentous gesture was challenged by the Palestinian leadership who demanded even more. They demanded that the borders for their state be debated from the standpoint that they were to be assumed to be starting on the 1949 Armistice Lines and included every inch of the contested areas of Judea and Samaria plus they insisted they include all of Eastern Jerusalem including all of the Old City and Temple Mount. Israel refused to grant such a request but it has been leaked that Secretary of State Kerry assured Abbas that he would steer any discussion over borders in a direction that would meet his demand. Then, almost immediately after the first meeting when the Israelis announced their intention to build housing in parts of Jerusalem and the surrounding Israeli towns which the Palestinians claim is on their lands the Palestinians threatened to terminate the negotiations unless the Israelis instituted a building freeze immediately and were prevented from realizing such plans. This fortunately blew up in their faces as Secretary Kerry, to his credit, announced that the Palestinians had been offered a building freeze but had chosen the prisoner release instead and that they had been informed that such an announcement of the building was coming within the near future and they had not objected at that time. This squelched their threat to end the negotiations.

 

The negotiations are supposed to be held in complete silence with nothing to be released to the press or announced in any other manner. Thus far that criterion has unfortunately held. The first sign that trouble is on the horizon came this week when Shelly Yachimovich announced that the Labor Party is ready, willing and very able if not anxious to replace Bayit Yehudi and Naftali Bennett in order to assure that any treaty will be enacted without any difficulties. Here are some of the signs that we need to look for in the coming months of this presumably nine-month series of negotiations which are to produce a workable treaty. There will be meetings out of which there will be no announcements or release to the press held by Prime Minister Netanyahu with his inner cabinet, the same people who voted to allow the release of the hundred plus terrorists. Lead negotiator Tzipi Livni will be noticeable at each of these meetings and may even appear to have a spring in her step and a bright smile that refuses to droop. Eventually there will be disagreements which at some point will lead to a rearrangement of the makeup of the coalition. We will begin to hear rumors that Naftali Bennett and his Bayit Yehudi are being marginalized and may soon be replaced in the coalition. At the same time it is possible that Yair Lapid and the Yesh Atid Party may also be mentioned as inhibiting certain objectives and may join Bennett in being replaced in the coalition. The new coalition will replace these two Zionist parties with Shas and Labor both of whom will willingly and enthusiastically approve virtually any peace agreement hammered out by Tzipi Livni and Saeb Erekat.

 

Many people would claim that this would not make any difference as any peace treaty if it requires surrender of any sizeable amount of territories must face a referendum of the people and the Israelis would never allow Jerusalem to be divided or for all of the lands beyond the Green Line to be forfeited to the Palestinians. The problem here is the wording as I have been led to understand is rather vague on which lands being forfeit would require a referendum by the people. The last item which will signal an imminent disaster will be the start of a debate in the United States over providing peacekeeping troops to be placed in the new Palestinian State to prevent terrorist attacks and keep everything quiet between the new Palestinian State and Israel. Needless to point out that the American peacekeepers will provide little protection and instead simply provide the terrorists a plethora of targets until they are pulled due to overwhelming demands by the Americans themselves as their ire is raised over mounting casualties. Once we get to the point that there are debates in the United States over providing peacekeepers the only salvation which Israelis may pray for is either the American public raising a holy eruption of indignation that prevents President Obama from following through with his promise to provide peacekeepers or for Heavenly intervention. My prayers will be for Heavenly intervention.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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