Beyond the Cusp

October 6, 2013

Why the Israel Palestinian Peace Talks Fail

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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

 

June 24, 2013

I Can’t Believe They Gave a Righteous Ruling

We often hear Americans complaining about the liberal leanings of their judicial system, especially the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals, sometimes referred to as the Ninth Circus. Israel knows the problem of liberal judges and courts, especially the Supreme Court under former Presidents of the Supreme Court Aharon Barak and Dorit Beinisch. But there are those blessed exceptions and we had a ruling providing example of such over the weekend. A Jerusalem Court heard a case against a young man who had been charged with attacking an Arab and for praying on the Temple Mount. You would never guess which was considered the more serious of crimes by the police; it was a Jew having the audacity to pray on the holiest place in all of Israel at the center of the Israeli capital city of Jerusalem. The judge heard the youth’s version of events which included that he simply defended himself by kicking the Arab youth who had kicked him repeatedly and returned to prayer as soon as the other youth retreated. The Judge dismissed the assault charges, reprimanded the police for their handling of the case in such an untimely manner so as to intentionally keep the young man locked up over the Sabbath and then made a ruling which is only the second of its kind and may be the first signs of the application of sanity at least in the Jerusalem Courts. The police had ordered the youth be banned from the Temple Mount for fifteen days and were seeking for the court to further ban him from entering the Old City areas of Jerusalem for sixty days which would have placed even the Kotel and Western Wall as off limits. The court’s ruling stated that although Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount was a thorny political issue that requires deep study, it was certainly not a crime thus preventing Jews from praying there was a restriction of their freedom to worship, guaranteed in Israel’s Declaration of Independence and the Knesset’s Basic Laws, echoing a similar ruling regarding Jewish prayer on the Mount was made several months ago.

 

The Honenu Organization provided the young man with legal counsel as they often will provide for Jews falsely accused of crimes in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria especially in matters concerning the rights of Jews which police and enforcement personnel often use arrest as a means of denying full exercise of these rights by Jews presumably for their protection and to avoid raising the ire of resident Arabs. The court commented as part of their ruling that the police had not made similar arrests of Arab women who had caused a riot on the Temple Mount recently, nor had they sought to have them banned from the Old City for sixty days and that this man was entitled to similar treatment under the law. Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Honenu attorney who represented the youth, was quoted declaring that this was a good decision and “a very important one, and I hope police will study it carefully and internalize it. The right to pray in this country is not just for Women of the Wall, but also for Jews who would like to see the Temple rebuilt. The upshot of this decision is that it is not a crime to pray on the Temple Mount, and police attempts to stop prayers is what is against the law.” May his words become truth in the land.

 

This will probably not be the last we will hear of such cases and it is very likely that there will be more such cases of Jews being intimidated by the police on the Temple Mount in an all-out effort to appease the Waqf and the Muslims who claim the entirety of the Temple Mount is theirs and only their holy site and that Jews should not even be permitted to enter the area they call the courtyard of the Al-Aksa Mosque. It is usually the case that any religious Jews, or even Jews who wear a Kippah, attempt to enter the Temple Mount they are made to pass through an almost humiliating body search and are escorted by Israeli police and a Waqf representative to assure that they do not pray or act in any manner emotionally thus soiling Muslim holy grounds. Yet visitors to the Temple Mount will regularly witness Arabs playing soccer, holding picnics, and performing a variety of irreligious activities on the presumably ever so holy Muslim grounds. The entire litany of claims put forward by the Muslim Waqf is solely intended to restrict to the point of forbidding Jews access to the holiest site in all of Judaism and not simply out of respect for their Mosque. We can expect that at some point, probably immediately after Arab rioting on the Temple Mount in claimed response to Jewish desecrations committed by their presence, and even worse their praying, near the Muslim holy places which they often claim is an attempt by the Israelis to destroy these buildings. This is often used by Mahmoud Abbas as an instant disturbance which detracts from anything else pushing it from being front page news. Abbas’s next rallying cry to have all good Muslims come and protect their precious al-Aqsa Mosque from Jewish criminal acts aimed at its destruction will produce the same rioting replete with rock and Molotov cocktails being hurled at police and sometimes at worshippers below the Temple Mount at the Kotel. This will be used by political allies on the left to complain and demand that order be restored and the evil and nefarious religious Jews be prevented from inflaming Arab sensitivities with their dangerous insistence on visiting the Temple Mount and, G0d forbid, even insisting on praying there. Then politicians looking to calm the uproar will pass some temporary restriction on visitation to the Temple Mount to be placed solely on Jews, the Arabs would not dream of any action which would prevent tourists from visiting the Temple Mount to whom the Arab merchants sell trinkets. In a short time after this action is taken there will be a challenge made to repeal the edict and before it makes its way into the courts, the edict is rescinded and visitations are resumed until the next false protestation is manufactured and reported on as being of a grass-roots and spontaneous origins.

 

Hopefully, once the next generation of leadership takes the reins of power all of this nonsense will be dispensed with. Fortunately the next generation in Israel is not as tepid towards all things religiously Jewish and are willing to stand against the world. They appear to have much of the spark of those who stood against the British and then held on to the precious lands against all odds in the miracle that was the Jewish survival and even victories in 1948-9. This was the same spark that was at the heart of the 1967 Six Day War and the Entebbe Operation freeing the hostages. These too were modern miracles for which we owe the credit to both the men who were the instruments of the miracles and the L0rd for working His miracles through these events. But there appears to be a crisis of faith within the halls of the Israeli government which came about as if there were an infection weakening the resolve of men. Some would call this virus by a name, and that name would be Oslo. That is the same virus which caused the needless deaths of over two thousand innocents. If forced to identify the point where this infection was injected into the Israeli leadership, it would have to be the decision by Moshe Dayan to surrender the control over the Temple Mount to the Muslim Waqf simply in order to placate the Jordanians and the Muslim World rather than declaring, as he very well should have, that the Temple Mount has returned to its proper and original owners, to the rule of those who had built it more than two thousand years ago. This is the sin which infects the leadership in Israel today and what must be eradicated before it does additional harm. It was this idea and viewpoint which was recently celebrated as an intricate part of a gala birthday party. It is this infection which has yet to blemish the next generation, may they come to power before succumbing to this deadly virus.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 18, 2013

Israel is Our Only True Sanctuary

The pattern is as old as Jewish history itself. The prototypical mold was cast from our days in Egypt. When our family first came to Egypt times were uncertain and difficult but soon resolved and placed us in positions of power, respect, and acceptance. The initial years, decades even, were years of plenty where we reaped the rewards of our acceptance thus being allowed the fruits of our labors. Things began to change with a new Pharaoh who no longer remembered the times and qualities of our previous service to the people and leaders of Egypt, to the former Pharaoh. Then everything changed bringing upon us years of bitterness, of slavery, of persecutions, and of suffering under evil edicts. All of these were the results from suspicions and false charges of our having loyalties which may have influenced us to revolt and raise our hand against Egypt. The fact that there had been little or no indication of such even being discussed, being suggested, or any evidence that we meant anything but to serve the good of Egypt which had become our home was of absolutely no consequence. But the misgivings arose and we came under suspicions and thus were placed under the yoke of slavery and suffered the bitterness of unfounded jealous hatreds against us. This was the very first epoch of our being separated and exiled from our true homelands and placed in the original Diaspora. This was to be the same sequence that was to become our history for every time we were to suffer the yoke of foreign rule which could be referred to as the “Cycle of Egypt”.

Babylon was an enemy from the very outset. There were times at the start in which the Jewish nation had peaceable and mutually advantageous relations as our nation was of sufficient power that the kings of Babylon feared a war between our nations. It should be noted that when we possessed such strength we chose not to attack or take up arms against those neighboring nations and tribes and simply chose to live on our lands enjoying peace, security and the wealth of our toils and serving the L0rd our G0d. When we turned from the path of righteousness, our strength sapped and our defenses failed, the neighboring Babylonians wasted little time before setting out to conquer our lands. Again we were in exile suffering the bitterness of being forced from our lands. When the Persian conquest defeated the Babylonians many of us returned to our lands and we enjoyed a period of peace and security despite being a part of the Persian Empire and thus under their rule. Initially the Persian rulers allowed us a fair amount of autonomy but that eventually evaporated eventually leading to Haman and the threat of annihilation simply for being what we were, Jews. We faced persecution under the Greek Empire after an initial period where we were granted some autonomy. The final occupation was the current one, which we have the opportunity to bring to an end, which began with the great dispersion inflicted upon us by Rome in an attempt to dissolve and destroy our very existence as a people, removing the Jews from all of history.

After the fall of Rome the Jewish people were no longer a single community as we had been intentionally dispersed to every corner of the empire, intentionally separated into small and insignificant communities intended to die within a generation or two. The saving grace was Torah which kept our identity viable and with time tied our dispersed communities together in a loose confederation which has lasted through to modern times. During this Diaspora we faced the “Cycle of Egypt” continuously with some of our dispersed far-flung communities under persecution even if most of our communities lived lives of serenity and marginal independence. The communities of Jews found themselves in the near two-thousand-year exile repeatedly having to flee from one place to another sometimes even finding necessity to flee entire countries as royal edicts demanded our departing under pain of death. Often we found at the end of such persecution driven resettlements that our new homeland received us willingly and with acceptance. Unfortunately these favorable conditions would always deteriorate until we found ourselves once again fleeing for our lives, often literally. Our lives became a continuous string of desperate times where the fulfillment of the final curses depicted in Leviticus 26:37-8, which reads

“And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; the sound of a shaken leaf shall cause them to flee; they shall flee as though fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when no one pursues. They shall stumble over one another, as it were before a sword, when no one pursues; and you shall have no power to stand before your enemies. You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.”

This brings us to the current times. The Shoah was the latest end result of the “Cycle of Egypt” which began with our fleeing the pogroms and persecutions in Czarist Russia, a state of persecution which carried over to the Communist rule which followed the Czars. Many of the Jewish people fled westward from Russia back into Eastern Europe with large numbers choosing to reside in the first areas where they found an accepting community. This placed a very large population of Jews in Poland and also increases of Jews also residing in Germany. My father’s family was among those who fled Czarist persecution and my great-great-grandfather made a wise decision and continued to flee westward through Poland, Germany, Belgium and France eventually stopping in London. Still, my family lost members to the ravages of World War II as one of my uncles died flying over Europe with the British Air Force. My mother’s family being Sephardic was spared from the curses which befell European Jews but faced their own persecutions which afflicted the Jews of the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Iran during the same time period. Both sides of my family have been extremely reluctant in discussing the particulars even among family members such that I was never a recipient of their experiences or educated as to the hardships they survived.

After World War II the world changed drastically for the Jewish people as Israel was restored making it possible for Jews to once again live in their own homeland under self-rule. With the reestablishing of the country of Israel the Jewish people have a safe haven where they can defend themselves as an independent nation and people. Despite the facts which depict Israel as a nation under continuous siege, Jews still have an advantage in Israel which had been denied them for much of the past two millennia, the option of self-defense. This has caused some uneasiness for those who are more comfortable with the idea of the Jewish people as a small minority living within their states completely defenseless against their persecutors whenever and wherever they arise. The concept of Jews with tanks, fighter jets, naval ships, missiles and all kinds of combat arms securing their lands and fellow Jews from attempted persecution and annihilation is a concept which many appear to prefer to deny the Jewish State which is exemplified by their condemnations of any use of force by Israel in the defense of her people. There are many who oppose allowing the Jewish State to defend itself and wish to deny Israel’s right to exist, yet the same people also wish to expel the Jews from within their countries as well. Where these haters are powerless to dissolve Israel by edict, it is only their hatreds for the Jews residing outside of Israel where they deleterious desires can be actualized and it is these desires that need be addressed.

With the formation of the State of Israel in May 1948, we saw the dispossession of their Jewish populations by numerous Arab and Muslim nations over the next decade. Those Arab and Muslim nations who did not forcibly expel their Jews often did make the lives of their Jews difficult. There were the occasional pogroms, riots, confiscations of property and vandalizing of businesses, homes, synagogues and schools which belonged to or were operated by Jews. Some of these countries went to the radical ends by making being Jewish a crime punishable by death such as in Saudi Arabia. Europe experienced a guilt driven reprieve from its long, consistent history of recurrent, sporadic anti-Semitism after having their conscience assaulted by the revelation of the horrors of the Holocaust. Unfortunately, this suspension of Jew hatred was more of a suppression than an elimination which is now rapidly coming to an end. Once again as the European economies hit difficult times there are some in the masses who are turning to an old hatred on which to place the blame for their difficulties. The destruction and defacement of Jewish cemeteries, synagogues, schools, businesses and other easily identifiable places has become more prevalent with time. There have been actual physical attacks on Jews wearing readily identifiable clothing and items. The demonstrations against Israel have become larger and more hateful. The levels of hatreds and attacks have culminated in the assassination of a Rabbi, his two young sons and the daughter of the administrator at the Ozar Hatorah Yeshiva in Toulouse, France. Adding to the sickening reality of this horrid incident was the fact that anti-Semitic acts greatly increased following this hateful act. Adding to the ever growing problems and hatefulness in Europe has been the fact that the United States also has had an increase in acts against its Jews and those places and buildings which can be identified as Jewish. The acts in the United States may not currently rival those in Europe, but they appear to have a similarity to the situation in Europe of about a decade ago. Should these trends continue to increase and grow then the return to Israel of the world’s Jews may become a reality sooner than any expected when Israel was founded in May of 1948. This may be a sad reason behind forcing the return to Israel of the Jewish people but it may become result in a blessing upon its completion. For all that we can know these realities which may result in driving the Jewish people to return to their homeland and the Promised Land could be the result of a hidden hand forcing history to mold to a greater plan. It is said that there are no consequences and all things will play out as they are intended. Time will tell.

Beyond the Cusp

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