Beyond the Cusp

March 27, 2015

Might Naftali Bennett be Responsible for Unity Government?

 

First allow me to say that I respect and really like Naftali Bennett and even agree with him to a point about broadening the scope of the Religious-Zionist party making it a stronger party with a broader base but only as far as retaining its defined perspective and within the boundaries placed by the Rabbis who guide and define the Religious-Zionism. All that said, it might be that Naftali Bennett might be responsible for the danger that Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu might turn to the Labor-Hatnua allied parties under the misnomer of Zionist Union, they should have been named as the Anti-Zionist Union, thus not having to provide influential and vital ministerial positions to the many obvious allies were the Prime Minister desiring to form a right-wing Zionist and conservative coalition. The past political performances over the years by Prime Minister Netanyahu should have given many people pause except it seems that nobody is permitted to speak of such things as they are considered political poison and an area none dare tread for fear of ostracization for going into these past tendencies. There was the reluctance when as Finance Minister in the government of Arik Sharon in the leading days before the Gaza Disengagement and many were calling for him to withdraw from the government and do whatever he could do to bring the government down through a vote of confidence by which to defeat the entire Gaza Disengagement and force new elections. He fought that call insisting that he had a larger voice by remaining in the government and at the last exit Netanyahu finally resigned from the government after Prime Minister Sharon had formed a new Party and coalition making the resignation by Netanyahu all but meaningless. When winning the elections in the 2012 elections the first party which Prime Minister Netanyahu sought to include was the Hatnua Party and rewarding Tzipi Livni with the Minister of Justice position, which is powerful enough in its own, and delegated her chief negotiator for the perpetually, never-ending peace process negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas and fiends. This appointment was incredulous and virtually unacceptable to any Zionist, let alone Religious-Zionists, but all this was taken in stride and Prime Minister Netanyahu was still rewarded with having a truly Zionist government with a coalition depending heavily on Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni, two politicians not exactly enamored Zionists when one remembers they both support the formation of a Arab Palestinian state and Ms. Livni would prove so desperate to make a deal, any deal, that she continued her negotiations even after being told to cease by Prime Minister Netanyahu though she received no sanction until Yair Lapid also took steps which forced the dissolution of the government and calling for new elections. Now we hear from Naftali Bennett himself that he is prepared to sit in the opposition should a unity government be formed by Prime Minister Netanyahu.

 

None of these events are within the ability of Naftali Bennett to change but there was a particular point where I continued to support Jewish Home and desired the best for Naftali Bennett but felt he had failed in serving in the best possible manner the Jewish Home Party and the Religious-Zionist camp of Israelis by removing from their range of choices the ability to have Naftali Bennett be the next Prime Minister and giving a true Religious-Zionist the ability to be forming the next government. This was the point when Naftali Bennett stated that he was not prepared to be made Prime Minister and was more suited at this time to be a supporting and strong force in a right wing Zionist government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu. First thing, it is the voting public which decides who is ready and best suited to form a government that best represents their needs and beliefs. By simply stating by Naftali Bennett that he was not prepared to take such a step and series of responsibilities and desired to solely support Prime Minister Netanyahu should he win and be selected to form the next government. While I respect his honesty, I am disappointed that he took his name from contention for the position of Prime Minister. This meant in the final days the position was still undecided and there was this surging of support assuring that there would be a Zionist and strong Prime Minister capable of holding their own against a hostile United States President all benefitting the sole logical choice. Without Naftali Bennett as an alternative, these people, the majority of which were Religious-Zionists, many very strongly so, had but one choice to support to prevent the leftist, post-Zionist, post-modernist, politically correct and passive, weak leaders offered by the Zionist Union cooperative alliance of Labor Party Yitzhak Hertzog and the Hatnua Party. That left them only Netanyahu, the same Netanyahu who had left them hanging as he wilted claiming there was no other choice as President Obama pressured him time and time again. So, what could have been an alternative situation?

 

I’m glad you asked. Let us go back to the evening before Naftali Bennett issued that fateful commentary where he described how he did not yet feel he had sufficient whatever to be the next Prime Minister of Israel and would merely desire to play a supportive roll behind Prime Minister Netanyahu should Netanyahu be tapped to form the next governing coalition. Well, color me enthused to support Jewish Home. This meant that coming down the home stretch the only person voters desiring a strongly Zionist governance were faced with the somewhat of a wet noodle who had frozen building unofficially in deference to President Obama, had repeatedly stated his support for the formation of an Arab state named Palestine cut out of the heartland, the ancient and holy heartland of Israel. This resulted in damaging the Jewish Home Party more than anything else, even the announcing the placement of a well-known soccer player who, as it turns out, might have been actively supported by the council of Rabbis who should have been given much earlier notice and perhaps they might have assisted in facilitating the placement thus having it not have created any controversy. That was more a problem of appearance and lack of sufficient planning before the announcement of his placing amongst the candidate lists. But the announcement that the leader of one of what is aspiring to become a major force and potentially head of a ruling coalition in the future stating he was not sufficiently seasoned and not yet ready to be Prime Minister basically took a lot of potential voters from supporting Jewish Home. Anybody wishing to vote for a strong right-wing government and not overly comfortable with Benyamin Netanyahu could not now support Jewish Home if Naftali Bennett was not making himself relevant to be Prime Minister and was only ready to play a supporting role behind Prime Minister Netanyahu, where could they turn? This may have sent those who are mainstream Jewish Home voters in any normal election cycle to either seek one of the other Religious-Zionist parties or vote for Likud and the selection of Benyamin Netanyahu as that was where Naftali Bennett was already promising to commit his Knesset seats to support. Why vote for Jewish Home who would only work to promote Netanyahu if they could simply vote for Netanyahu and cut out the middleman which is exactly what Bennett had relegated his position for. This was made even more dire when at the closing hours the cry went out for all Zionists and conservatives to rally around and make sure that the person selected to form the next government was not those who the efforts of President Obama and his meddling interference were pushing for victory, but was the only other choice, Netanyahu for Prime Minister. The choice should have been between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett.

 

Had the alternate choice of Naftali Bennett been available there could, dare I say would, have been those who came out later in the day answering the call and voted for Netanyahu when they would have preferred somebody other than Bibi as well but not the leftist Zionist Union as the selected party so they bit the bullet and voted Likud. Additionally, there were very likely a good number Jewish Home supporters who when answering the call to vote to assure that Israel would have a strong and Zionist government which fully represents the conservative, right-wing, Zionist governance, one that Netanyahu promised would stand and prevent the formation of an Arab state of Palestine despite any pressures from Europe, the United States, the United Nations or anywhere else, a promise made by Netanyahu personally, would have preferred to have voted for an alternative candidate but were left only with the choice of Netanyahu as Naftali Bennett has stated he will only support Netanyahu as he was unprepared to be Prime Minister. This brought forth the votes required to thrust the Likud to win in an unprecedented fashion claiming thirty mandates and it can be easily guessed that a percentage of these voters would have voted Jewish Home intending to place Naftali Bennett as the one tapped to form the coalition knowing that then Likud Ministers, including Benyamin Netanyahu, would be in a solidly Religious-Zionist, right-wing, nationalist government coalition. As far as Naftali Bennett’s admission that he was not prepared to lead the nation of Israel, allow me to wax about those who also were not prepared to lead the people of Israel. There was Moses who when facing the burning bush and was addressed by G0d to go tell Pharos to “Let my people go that they may serve me,” replied that he was unworthy, unprepared, not the man to lead and take such an important role. We thank the L0rd that Moses was set straight and given the power to lead the people from bondage, give them the laws and deliver them to the doorstep of the Promised Lands. Not that bad for one who was not prepared or worthy to lead. David may have stepped to the fore to fight Goliath but not until after a number of days of taunting by this overgrown Philistine, but he did not feel prepared to be the King and even hid from Saul and his family not trusting that he was the chosen to lead the people of Israel. Samson denied his Heavenly callings and yet, in the end, brought the house down on the enemies of the people of Israel. Jonah went to great lengths to run from his tasks as he too felt he was not the man of the hour, but he was brought to perform those deeds for which he was chosen. We probably do not have the complete list by far of those who shirked their calling simply because they did not believe themselves ready to fulfill some destiny but missed their crucial role leaving it for somebody who we likely now treasure for answering the call. Now we have Netanyahu who has already backed away from his promise for no Arab state being formed under his watch. What next, the formation of a unity government with Buji and Tzipi? Will there be additional things we were told were impossible as Prime Minister Netanyahu had seen the light and was now a true Zionist and would defend Israel from the pressures from the outside world and if, or when, so, what will the next shoe falling be the sign of that betrayal? Is this because nobody else was ready, willing or able to be Prime Minister except those who are willing to fold before President Obama, the European Union and assorted European leaders? Next election cycle, if there is one, please if you are still not prepared to be Prime Minister, then please allow a new leader of the Party climb to the fore and be ready for us to support to be Prime Minister so we will not be left wondering what kind of government will result, somebody who is supportive of the Religious-Zionist ethics and positions through and through, somebody we will not fear what they might compromise next and we will support them and hopefully place them in as the one tapped to form a government that will support and serve the ideals we cherish.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 18, 2013

United States Picks Between Wrong Sides in Syria

President Obama’s Administration reached a decision to, in theory, begin to send small arms directly. This is being sold as the United States will begin to send arms to the rebels in Syria. This implies that the United States was not arming the rebels before this decision. If only they were that discerning in their decision making. What this is actually announcing is that with Turkey now falling into chaos with riots in every major city across the nation, the United States has lost their go between which had allowed them to funnel arms to the Syrian rebels, mostly originating out of Libya, through Turkey while being able to pretend in the domestic news to appear to not being at all involved in the Syrian Civil War. The question the American public needs to decide is has their country chosen the right side to support. The obvious answer is they have not but the reality is that there was no correct side to choose. All that is being chosen in Syria is which terror groups will lead the Islamic world for the immediate future in any future engagements with the rest of the world. Perhaps some inspection and tracing the history behind this decision will make things more understandable.

 

Perhaps the first item would be to attempt to discern who gets the credit or blame for deciding to support the rebels in Syria. The first item we need to state is that, like or hate the choice, President Obama really did not have much of a choice in which side to support. He chose whether or not to support a side in the Syrian Civil War, but the side was chosen all the way back in 1953 and possibly even earlier. It was that year the United States backed Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlavi in the 28 Mordad coup, date of the coup in the Persian calendar, with Operation Boot under the title of the TPAJAX Project during the end of the Truman Presidency, replacing the democratically elected government in Iran which was proposing to ally with the Soviet Union. Needless to point out that this alignment and access to the oil fields were the driving motivations for the United States and no altruistic reasons were present. This was purely a case of we will put our man in for the oil and to spite our adversary, the Soviet Union. Perhaps it was attempting to make amends for the previous devious actions that inspired President Carter to back the revolt which brought the Ayatollah Ali Khomeini to power establishing an Islamic religious regime which remains in power today under the second Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The miscalculation by President Carter was quickly made evident as the new leadership in Iran chose to ally with the Soviet Union soon after coming to power. Perhaps there was just a bit of schadenfreude felt by the Iranians and Soviets from these turns of events. This resulted in the current alignment with Russia aligned with the Shiites and Iran and the United States aligned with the Sunnis and Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Hopefully that is sufficient historical reference.

 

The current excuse for a Civil War in Syria has in all actuality become a power struggle for preeminence of the Muslim world between its two main groups, the Sunnis and the Shiites. The Alawite Ruler of Syria, President Bashir al-Assad, is backed predominantly by Iran which has provided him with troops from the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) and Hezbollah terrorist troops from Lebanon, another satellite of the Iranians. These are the Shiite Islamic forces in Syria. The rebels originally consisted of one side representing secular interest and the other representing Islamist interests. The secular rebel forces have basically been all but removed from the conflict and have virtually no hope of prevailing in the conflict. That leaves the Islamist forces which consist of two camps, those with the Jabhat al-Nusra Front which has declared their alliance with Ayman al-Zawahiri and al-Qaeda and those supported by the Muslim Brotherhood. The challenge in this is to find which side consists of the good sides, or at least the less bad side. President Bashir al-Assad has utilized intimidation, torture, rape, and other equally abhorrent instruments of oppression to retain his hold on power and his two supporting groups are equally renowned for cruelty and ends justify the means reasoning. This does not necessarily make the rebels any more benign. There is not much that needs to be said about al-Qaeda beyond World Trade Center terror strike and the horrors of a fateful day in September 2001 and their compatriots in the conflict, the Muslim Brotherhood, are not the choir boys who have, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, “…an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam.” In truth they are exactly the opposite but somehow possibly still preferable to al-Qaeda as long as one ignores such aligned subgroups such as Hamas. So, this pretty much defines the adversaries from which President Obama has now presumably chosen one side to support. Perhaps he simply chose the side which was not supported by the Russians, but one might hope that such a decision was made with deeper concerns that just that.

 

So, President Obama has chosen to back the al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood in their attempt to be the preeminent guiding force in Islam while the Russians are supporting the Iranian sponsored terrorist out of Lebanon, oppressive dictator of Syria and the terror specialists out of Iran, the IRGC. The problem is deciding which side is populated with people who deserve the support of the nation which claims to be the bastion of freedom and human rights in the world. Truthfully, the reasoning behind President Obama backing the rebels is more realistically stated as backing Saudi Arabian and Egyptian interests and opposing Iranian interests, not to mention opposing Russian attempts to rise to power over the Middle East. As mentioned before, the sides were chosen far before the Civil War broke out in Syria and goes back to two fateful choices in Iran, the 1953 coup that brought the Shah to power to prevent Soviet Union preeminence in Iran and the 1979 coup that placed the Ayatollahs into power who then chose to join the Soviet Union block of nations despite the attempts by President Carter to make amends for the perfidy under the administration of President Truman. Now all that remain is to have one side prove out victorious and gain, for the moment, the leadership of the Muslim world. Will it be the Shiites with their Russian allies or the Sunni with their American allies? Why does it matter? That is the problematic part of the equation. Which side of this conflict would present the higher likelihood to bring peace to the Middle East? The Sunni Muslim Brotherhood has benefitted greatly from the Arab Winter which was initially represented as the rise of democracy in the Arab and Muslim world but really has simply changed the prearranged winners in every election from some nationalist dictator to some Islamist dictatorial party such as the Peace and Justice Party in Egypt which is nothing more than the Muslim Brotherhood political influence. The Sunni Muslim Brotherhood has risen to power across Northern Africa in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya all with backing and praise from the United States. Those changes in leadership were of no consequence to the power structures as the dictators were Sunnis as are the Islamists who have replaced them. Syria is the first place where the Sunni and Shiite both have a serious shot at controlling Syria. Syria is vitally important to Iran as it represents a critical nation in the Shiite Crescent which currently exists starting in Iran and the Persian Gulf and proceeding through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea. Saudi Arabia has the most interest in neutering of Iran and breaking their control through the heart of the Middle East would be an impressive first step. If, on the other hand, the Shiites prevail and retain their control over Syria, the potential for the Shiites to continue their slow spread across the Middle East and, more importantly, the greater oil fields in the center of the Middle East, Iran will continue to spread its strangling tentacles across the Muslim world. Iran had made an attempt at expanding during the Arab Winter revolution in Bahrain in direct opposition to the Bahraini Monarchy, Saudi Arabia. The Shiites were repulsed by heavy Saudi Arabian troops which were sent across the causeway which connects Saudi Arabia with the island nation of Bahrain. This was the second part of the Sunni-Shiite contest for preeminence in the Middle East after the Shiite taking control over Iraq after the United States war to remove Saddam Hussein. Syria will be the deciding battle. Should the Shiites and Iran prove successful the spread of the Iranian influence is likely to continue while should the Sunnis and the Saudi Arabian-Egyptian alliance will present a more stable future.

 

So, what does this mean we should look for in the future that might signal a change in the status quo? Should the Sunni win out in Syria there will be relative quiet, is the Middle East ever really completely tranquil, and the first sign of trouble coming would be the overthrow of the Saudi Arabian monarchy by either the Wahhabi or the Muslim Brotherhood. This would soon result in the final contest to begin for who will lead the Muslim forces in any eventual contest. Should the Shiites prove victorious in Syria their next target appears to be Turkey followed by Jordan. After Turkey and Jordan, choosing their next target will be problematic as their preference would appear to be Saudi Arabia and their satellite nations they provide protection for such as Bahrain, Kuwait, the Emirates, Qatar and Omar or Egypt in order to begin a march across Northern Africa. Iran is being patient with their slow and inexorable march to gain the preeminent position at the head of the Muslim world. But the first stop of this creeping revolution is in Syria. The worst result that could result in Syria would be actual Russian or American troops intervening in the Syrian Civil War. Should either of these nations transit from arming their chosen side to actual boots on the ground or even fighters in the skies, the other will be obliged to also enter the war. Where that leads is unimaginable and something to be avoided at all costs. The critical point of no return will come when one side appears poised to prevail and defeat the other side and the United States or Russia will have to either accept defeat of their surrogate or intervene. Intervention should be avoided but I seriously doubt that either President Obama or President Putin is capable of accepting defeat. That means that the only end to Syria may be decided across the entire planet and that should scare any reasonable person greatly. This does not bode to end well or even to end any other way than a devastating conflagration.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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