Beyond the Cusp

July 26, 2015

The Ninth of Av is our Tribute and Remembrance of the Temples and their Destructions

Filed under: Aliyah,Anti-Semitism,Ariel Sharon,Babylon,Bible,Bible Study,Carthage,Chief Rabbinate,Children of G0d,Chosen People,Civilization,Commandments,Covenant,Crusades,Defend Israel,Equal Responsibility,Equal Rights,Equality,Equality of Mankind,European Historic Anti Semitism,Fast Day,First Temple,Government,Halacha,Holocaust,Holy Temple,Inquisition,Intifada,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Israeli Interests,Jerusalem,Jewish,Jewish Heritage,Jewish Home,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,Jewish Temple,Jews,Judaism,Judea,Judean Hills,King David,King Solomon,Lamentations,Light unto the Nations,Meaning of Peace,Middle East,Nationalist Pressures,Nebuchadnezzar II,Old City,One State Solution,Oppression,Pogroms,Politics,Promised Land,Promised Land,Protect Citizenry,Public Service,Rabbinical Court,Rabbis,Recognize Israel,Religion,Religious Jews,Religious Pressures,Resolution,Roman Empire,Rome,San Remo Conference,Second Temple,Shoah,Song of Babylon,Support Israel,Temple,Temple Mount,Temple Mount,The Twelve Spies,Tisha B'Av,Torah,Torah Study,Tradition,Traditionalists,Two Millennia of Exile,World Opinion,World Pressures,Yeshiva,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 2:31 AM
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Please forgive me if I get preachy or seem overly sentimental but that is what even the name Jerusalem means to me. Additionally to the destruction of both Temples, the First Temple by the Babylonians and the Second Temple by the vindictive Romans who did all in their power to render unto the Jews the same dispersions that ended Carthage, and the sin of the spies and all the other calamities tied to the Ninth of Av (Tisha b’Av), I add my sister’s passing exactly a week after the ninth. This year the Ninth of Av is observed has been pushed one day to the Tenth as such sorrows must not be expressed on the Sabbath conditions permitting. The Ninth of Av has become the collection date where some liberties are suspected such that every ill and evil edict or calamity of every sort is claimed to have some reference to the Ninth of Av. Some of the horrors which fell on this fateful day include the expulsions from England on July 18, 1290 CE, expelled from France on July 22, 1306 CE, and from Spain the edict of expulsion was signed on March 31, 1492 CE, and the Jews were given exactly four months to put their affairs in order and leave the country which fell on July 31, 1492 CE, all the Ninth of Av. Then there was the sin of the Golden Calf, August 15, 1096 the start of the Crusades and the killings Jews often suffered succumbing to the blades of the Crusader knights who had not previously killed in order to desensitize them to killing such that they would not hesitate in battle and thus be killed before they served the charge of the Church. Start of World War I was August 1–2, 1914; SS commander Heinrich Himmler formally received approval from the Nazi Party for “The Final Solution” on August 2, 1941; on July 23, 1942 (Av 9, AM 5702), began the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka, all dates coincide with the Ninth of Av. Modern events which land close to the Ninth of Av were AMIA bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 and injuring 300 on July 18, 1994 and Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, also known as the “Disengagement plan”, “Gaza expulsion plan”, or Hitnatkut, August 15, 2005 both fell on Tenth of Av. Needless to add that numerous other calamities were rumored or simply had memories re-date events to bring them into line with the Ninth of Av but even without fudging dates there are probably numerous other events throughout Jewish history where lesser horrors fell on the Ninth of Av and as such individual services of these groups would include their individual commiserations.

 

The observance of the Ninth of Av itself is a fast day spent in remembrance of historic calamities, some self-imposed but most disasters thrust upon the Jewish people, some times to all or the majority of all Jews and other times to large enough communities that we all remember and mourn and others only affecting a smaller community which we all remember but the singular community bears a special lament. Any way your congregation or community grieves over the mutual and individual historic injustices, expulsions, transgression and pogroms we must also hold that hope that for all our families will soon spend the next Ninth of Av together living in our own ancient lands rebuilding the Temple for the final time and soon return to lives as Torah spells out and this time can we please remain true remembering every Ninth of Av what has stormed our people when we strayed and were dispersed as punishment for our transgressions. May your fast lay easy upon you.

 

Temple Institute concept for what building the Third Temple in modern day Jerusalem would appear like from a distance with modern buildings of Jerusalem in the background. May their vision and this concept figure become fact and fulfill our desires for unity and a single Temple and House for Hashem in our midst. May this dream be fulfilled before the next Ninth of Av so our lament will be lessened.

Temple Institute concept for what building the Third Temple in modern day Jerusalem would appear like from a distance with modern buildings of Jerusalem in the background. May their vision and this concept figure become fact and fulfill our desires for unity and a single Temple and House for Hashem in our midst. May this dream be fulfilled before the next Ninth of Av so our lament will be lessened.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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July 1, 2015

When Our Traditions All Fall and Fail Us

Filed under: 24/7 News Reporting,Abortion,Administration,Alawite,Allah,Amalekites,Amnesty,Appease Islamic Interests,Appeasement,Arab Appeasement,Arab World,Assimilation,Bashir al-Assad,Bible,Bible Study,Carl Sandburg,Charles Darwin,Charles Lindbergh,Chief Justice Roberts,China,Chinese Pressure,Christians,Church,Civilization,Class Warfare,Commandments,Commerse Clause,Conflict Avoidnce,Consequences,Corruption,Covenant,Coverup,Crime,Defend Country,Definition of Marriage,Domestic NGOs,Dr Ezekiel Emanuel,Dr Margaret Higgins Sanger,Ecology Lobby,Enforcement,Equal Responsibility,Equal Rights,Equal Treatment,Equality,Equality of Mankind,Eugenics,Europe,European Governments,European Historic Anti Semitism,European Media,European Pressure,Failed State,Five Books of Moses,Foreign Funding,Foreign NGOs,Francis Galton,Government,Hate,Health Care,Hispanic Appeasement,History,Humanist,Illegal Immigration,Immigrant,Immigration,Internal Pressures,International Politics,ISIS,Islam,Islamic Pressure,Jesus,Jewish,Jobs,Judaism,Judeo-Christian,Kurdistan,Kurds,Leftist Pressures,Libya,Magna Carta,Mainstream Media,Media,Media Bias,Mohammed,Moses,Mosque,Muslim,Muslim Expansionism,Muslim World,Nationalist Pressures,Noahic Covenant,Obama Care,Palestinian Pressures,Perfect Human Society,Planned Parenthood Federation of America,Pogroms,Politicized Findings,Politics,Pregnancy,Rebel Forces,Register to Vote,Regulations,Religion,Religious Institutions,Saudi Arabian Pressure,Seclective Reproductive Rights,Secular Interests,Slective Choice,Standards,State Department,Submission,Survival of the Fittest,Synagogue,Syria,Temple,Torah,Tradition,Traditionalists,U.S. Supreme Court,Union Interests,United Nations,United Nations Presures,United States,United States Constitution,University,US Supreme Court,Voting,War on Religion,Wealth Redistribution,Western World,World Government,World Government,World Opinion,World Peace,World Pressures — qwertster @ 2:11 AM
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Shared traditions and agreement on common goals are the glue which holds societies together. Without these familiar items as the glue there is no need to fear threats from without as the society eventually will tear itself apart from the inside. You want a current example of such a society all one need do is look to the Middle East and pick a nation which is crumbling and intertwined in a destructive civil conflict and you have your example. Syria is all too obvious as Bashir al-Assad had a view of his Alawite minority should be defended by the Druze militias acting as his personal army and all the aid he needed from Iran in arms and even soldiers as things began to go wrong. Bashir al-Assad’s father held the nation together with the glue of fear of his wrath while the son is nowhere near the fearsome leader imbuing strength and competence like his father and before one knew it he was challenged and failed. When an iron fist and the fear of it visiting your little corner of the world is all your nation has holding it together, then you better be ready to use it and use it without mercy or else you are doomed. Such nations are destined to fail from the outset as sooner or later one falls victim to the el-Duce syndrome where the people revolt against your leadership as soon as your power comes into question even if it was your alliance with one megalomaniac that collapses and the next thing you know you are strung up in the town square for a week or so. When the Soviet Union began its surprisingly rapid crumbling from the inside, a friend asked if this was real and if it was, what would be the sign to look for that would signal it was irreversible. As for if it was real, let us say I was as in shock as the next person. As for the sign signaling this truly was the end, that was the easy part so that is what I tackled using that to hedge my answer on belief. I simply told him that I would believe this was the end when Nicolae Ceaușescu fell in Rumania, and sure enough he was the last of the leaders to fall and he fell almost as hard as the European Axis leaders at the end of World War II. The other modern day examples of such failures are Saddam Hussein’s Iraq where the three main societies within have each gone their own way whether by choice, the Kurds in the north, by default, the Shia who hold the power of the governance now, and those who lost outright, the Sunni who are now caught between two enslavers, the Shia government of Iraq and the murderous hordes that are ISIS and they have nowhere to turn as neither the Kurds nor the Shia have any love left for them as they were seen as the cruel oppressors who benefitted from Saddam Hussein’s rule and are now collecting the payment for his sins. Libya is the final example where without a strong leader or the perception of such the entire society reverted back to tribal divisions and will remain each tribe to themselves against the other tribes forming and breaking alliances as it fits them without any possibility of reinstituting a central government which has reach more than twelve blocks in any direction from central Tripoli. There are even those who blame the collapse of the Roman Empire on their failure to incorporate Roman culture, rules and societal structures on those they had conquered at the fringes of their empire which eventually led to the downfall which is a concept with a share of its validity.

 

If such failure of the Roman Empire came from the fraying at its edges of the application of a singular set of societal norms, then we are today witnessing the death throes of the United States as their common heritage and societal norms are currently under assault in the courts where laws are being fortified in defiance of the traditional culture ripping things apart in such a manner as to make the separate, even disparate, parts of the society unglued from each other which may lead to the collapse of that society. The latest and possibly second most destructive tear just was handed down by the Supreme Court with their universal acceptance of same-sex marriage as the law of the land. The real culprit which will eventually topple the United States and potentially all of Western society is multiculturalism which stands that one must honor all others and their customs and no universal set of shared standards can be allowed to stand unassailable by the many and varied lesser cultures within the society. There was a time not that long ago where gun ownership was near universal in the United States and now in most of the major cities gun ownership is not only shunned but illegal which has led to rampant crime as now the criminals do not need a firearm to make them equal to any victim they choose as all they need is two other fellow miscreants to forcibly take anybody’s money by force of numbers, though there are those who prefer not sharing who simply use a weapon, not even necessarily a gun. Then there are those cultures which are forced into remission and made to hide their identity or to regress into enclaves where their numbers provide protection. The day is coming and coming rapidly to the United States shores and is awash over Europe which is pushing the Jews out of society despite the Jews having mostly adopted what was sold to them as the societal norms. The Jews have been consistently seen to be on the leading edge of every trend which came along and was considered enlightened. They were among those marching for civil rights for blacks in the fifties and sixties and have remained supporters of equality of the races through to the current times. They have been at the forefront of the march for gay acceptance and even same-sex marriage. Now that the Jews are the ones being shunned from the college campuses, and trust that which enthralls the masses in the colleges today will be the mainstays of the society ten to twenty years hence; there are already signs that there is sufficient an undercurrent in American subcultures which already hold anti-Semitic feelings which are now slowly emerging from what many would claim were the same centers from which Jew hatreds grew in Europe in the rise of the Nazis. One of the things people seem to forget was the rise of the Nazis had two epicenters and the college campuses were just as important if not more so than the reemergence amongst the rest of the areas blamed for this resurgence of Jew hatred as the ideological leaders more often came from the ivory halls of academia which was also one of the first places that the Jews were banned, from either attending or teaching in the universities. How much longer before such purges strike Western nations’ colleges and universities. It already happens on many campuses for a period every year during the heights of Israel Apartheid Week or during pro-Palestinian celebrations which have started to resemble the pogroms of Russia and the Inquisitions and other cleansings in Europe where the Jews were singled out for exclusion from the society often simply by their being expelled with only the possessions they had packed in a suitcase or two readied ahead of the pitchforks and angry mobs wielding them and other times by simply removing them permanently often burning them at the stake and other methods the crown would demand during their frenzied assault on the other, the Jew.

 

When that befalls western culture once again it will have started in the exact same place but with a slightly different target, the unfitness of the unborn. The undertaking has traditionally been referred to as Eugenics Movement. The idea of eugenics reaches back at least as far as Plato who called for the formation of a guardian race of selective breeding of those who were of superior mind and body, the mating of the cream of humanity to produce a master race. Sound familiar? Francis Galton, the half-cousin Charles Darwin, had taken his relative’s work on evolution and the survival of the fittest and applied it to be used within the human populations to breed the perfect human being and for the removal of those who were inferior. He coined the word Eugenics and eventually it became a course of study in the universities leading to a movement started around a core of its most ardent and adamant proponents and the rest is history. What is less well known is that the forefront of the Eugenics movement formed in the United States and its acceptance was so universal that it was from the United States that the most strident proponents of eugenics emerged. Such names at the front in founding the eugenics movement in their day and up to today are the poet Carl Sandburg, the aviator Charles Lindbergh, the mother of Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger, the Perfect Human Society and an interesting proponent in current times, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel who was instrumental in the drafting of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), or Obamacare. People might be shocked to be informed that Planned Parenthood has not always been the equal provider of alternatives for those who either desire preventive methods to avoid pregnancies or alternatives to carrying, their terms to birth of the child, a fetal mass to its conclusive child bearing as it would cause the mother undue mental stresses and interfere directly with their pursuits in life, it originally was used to sterilize those seen as unfit to have children thus forcing a eugenics program which was, as it is today, centered in minority neighborhoods. Providing you desire to seek the reality that is Planned Parenthood all one need to do is to research Margaret Sanger and her relationship with what we would today refer to as black genocide, it is not a pretty picture. There comes now another eugenics styled movement and this time the target will be traditions, the very traditions which were the glue of Western culture and society for the last two millennia.

 

The scissors that cut the pages into confetti will be forged by multiculturalism where no culture is to be preferred because we are blinding ourselves to such observations and the axe which will sever the binding making the job of the scissors even easier will be the axe taken to the Judeo-Christian culture and in particular to cut the binding of that book which professes that there are such things as good and evil, there is such a concept as right and wrong, that a life lived with proper restraints is life to be pursued, the book that once graced nearly every house and every hotel room across the United States and now a book scorned as old, out of fashion and obsolete, but the Bible is that book which we could learn where our new follies will lead, they will lead to the same place they have always led, ruination and the destruction of all that made the Western World strong. Choosing to lose ourselves in a culture of any culture of the moment is the culture we desire to raise up, but we cannot raise up debauchery and the damnation of human life as equal to the pursuit of a good life spent rejoicing in the gift that life provides and not seeking some manner of faith which demands of us surrender or die, such is a choice without a choice. We need return to our former ideals which permit those whose cultures differ to continue such practice in their private times and spaces such as their homes and houses of worship, but also we demanded they accept our cultural rules when in public. The Western culture allowed for certain irregularities such as special religious clothing being worn in public and even providing areas for prayer permitting such did not interfere with the performance of one’s job and was committed off the clock and on the individual’s own time as the whole cannot be forced to pay them for their private time spent praying and not producing things of mutual gain as that is what working at a job is, producing things for mutual gains, a cooperative effort and a central pillar of our traditional society.

 

Schools were a place where we learned about our mutual culture and were able to master those basic tenets which supported the society, and where we learned how to think and not so much exactly what to think though guidelines were imposed and what was out of bounds was ingrained. We even learned to cooperate through sports where we also learned the easy joys of winning and even more importantly how to cope with losing and thus with failure. The best amongst us learned that failure was not the end but rather a stop where we reassessed our priorities and assumptions making changes where we found things in error or lacking altogether and then proceeded on towards our ultimate goal. Further we learned, were we that fortunate, lucky even, that failures come in the thousands and that success comes only to those willing to fail and fail repeatedly and learning from each failure where we diverted from our goals and how to get back on track. Are there ideas whose failure is guaranteed and where one can never fully achieve the goal? Yes. We can never make a machine which is 100% efficient as in all things there is that degree of wasted effort, effort which does not contribute to the completion and realization of the goal. In a machine that goal is the product such as a generator making electricity; we use water, steam, explosive fuels all to drive the generator to make electricity but there are losses to friction and pushing the generator against the resistive magnetic forces induced in the coils which does not directly produce the electricity but which must be overcome. The same is true in life. Sleep is something our bodies must submit to or we will eventually collapse and possibly die. Still, it is sometimes in our dreams that the spark bursts forth solving some vexing problem which assists the project to completion. Such is an exception and even that spark was not the only dream we enjoyed or endured, and there were the periods of sleep which were used as a dedicated means of repairing and preparing the body for the next day. Another item which obviously diverts us from achieving goals but may be necessary in order to reach our goals are the failures along the way. Lessor peoples will allow failures to prevent them from trying and just surrender to their failures. That is not an intricate part of our society until recently when we found ways of rewarding those who become mired in failure.

 

Another casualty in our modern society is the loosening of the moral structure. In the lives of the vast majority of the population, and to a limited extent to all of the population not restricted to an asylum (do we even have asylums any longer to care for the elderly and the comatose?) as we all wear clothing though some wear far less than others; we all eat and sleep as nature insists on these; and we all live and let live because if large segments of the society, and it need not be more than ten to twenty percent of a society, take to being belligerent and resorting to murdering those who they fear or refuse to submit; then the society will fracture and it will soon become a free-for-all with every faction against the rest; see Libya, Syria or Iraq for current examples. What many do not realize is this is rapidly becoming the definition of Western culture. The society of the Western World has become unmoored and without an anchor with which to tie off and provide immovability, permanence and the Western World has rapidly been cranking the centerboard retrieving it from below the boat allowing the winds to blow us as they may while our ability to steer the boat has failed without the centerboard. That centerboard was western Judeo-Christian ethics and the anchor was the ideal of hard work will produce and provide for one and one’s family and charity would take care of the few who for reasons often beyond their control are unable to find a place within our society. We did not used to change our society such that everybody’s quirks or the beliefs of those coming to our shores being used as a cudgel with which to beat and force us to alter our religious and social structures which we have held dear fashioning our societal norms around and have worked just fine for us and is tried and true. Therein lies the current problem, we in the West have doubted our own culture while allowing another culture whose adherents have little doubt that it is superior to all the Western World has ever known and that the Western World must be cowed and beaten into submission, and that is termed our surrendering to Allah. Do not mistake Allah for the same as G0d in our Judeo-Christian society as Hashem does not demand surrender but instead reason, trust and faith. The easiest manner to present a difference is to look at the lineage of belief. In Judeo-Christian ethics the line of faith flows through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob while Islam and Allah follow the lineage of belief through Abraham, Ishmael and Mohammad. Perhaps this is as good a place to stop before I get into deeper troubles and this is way more sufficient amount to chew of for one day. With any luck I’ll get into this stranger side of my reasoning after a decent period of rest. Thank you all for reading this far and may your life be blessed only with those failings which aid you in your journeys and make you a stronger and better you, even if others spend some time confused at what you are trying to say, and boy have I spent time on that bus.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 31, 2015

Please Name With Whom Israel is to Negotiate?

Filed under: 1949 Armistice Line,1967 Borders,Administration,Advanced Weapions Systems,Africa,al-Qaeda,Alawite,Amalekites,Anti Missile System,Anti-Israel,Anti-Semitism,Anti-Zionist,Apocalypse,Appease Islamic Interests,Appeasement,Arab Appeasement,Arab Authority,Arab League,Arab Spring,Arab Winter,Arab World,Arms Transfer,Asia,Assimilation,Barrel Bombs,Bashir al-Assad,Battle of Khaybar,Binding Resolution,Blue Water Navy,Border Patrol,Breakout Point,Britain,British Mandate,Calaphate,Caliphate,Catholic,Catholic Churh,Chemical Weapons,China,Chinese Military,Chinese Pressure,Chlorine Gas,Church,Civil War,Civilization,Clan,Conflict Avoidnce,Covert Actions,Coverup,Damascus,Department of Defense,Dhimmi,Domestic NGOs,Drone Strikes,Earthquake,Egypt,Egyptian Border Guards,Egyptian Military,Elections,EMP Device,Equality,Europe,European Council,European Governments,European Historic Anti Semitism,European Pressure,European Union,European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs,Executive Order,Fatwa,Federica Mogherini,Forced Solution,Foreign Funding,Foreign NGOs,Former Soviet Republic,Gaza,Golan Heights,Government,Great Britain,Green Line,Hamas,Hamas Charter,Hezballah,History,Holocaust,Holy Cities,HUMINT,ICBM,Illegal Immigration,Inteligence Report,Internal Pressures,International Politics,Intifada,Intifada,Iran,Iranian Military,Iranian Pressure,Iraq,Iraqi Military,IRGC,Iron Dome,ISIS,ISIS in Gaza,ISIS in Judea and Samaria,Islam,Islam,Islamic Jihad,Islamic Jihad,Islamic Pressure,Islamic State,Islamist,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Israeli Interests,Jerusalem,Jewish Heritage,Jewish Home,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,Jews,Jihad,Jordanian Pressure,Judea,Judean Hills,Kathmandu,Leftist Pressures,Liberate Occupied Lands,Mahmoud Abbas,Mainland China,Media,Mediterranean Sea,Middle East,Military Aid,Military Coup,Military Intervention,Military Option,Murder Israelis,Muslim Brotherhood,Muslim Expansionism,Muslim World,Nationalist Pressures,Nepal,Nonjudicial Assassination,North Korean Threat,Nuclear Program,Nuclear Proliferation,Nuclear Sites,Nuclear Weapons,Nuclear Weapons,Oslo Accords,Ottoman Empire,P5+1,Palestinian,Palestinian Authority,Palestinian Pressures,Peace Process,PLO,Plutonium Production,Pogroms,Politicized Findings,Politics,Pope,PRC,President Sisi,President Vladimir Putin,Promised Land,Protective Edge,Ramallah,Rebel Forces,Refugees,Resolution,Response to Muslim Takeover,Response to Terrorism,Russia,Russian Military,Russian Pressure,Samaria,Sanctions,Sarin Gas,Saudi Arabian Pressure,Saudi Military,Secular Interests,Sharia Law,Shiite,Shoah,Six Day War,South China Sea,Special Forces,Spying,Statehood,Sunni,Synagogue,Syria,Syrian Military,Taqiyya,Temple,Temple Mount,Terror,Third Intifada,Threat of War,Tibet Occupation,Training Capacity,Tribe,Troop Withdrawal,Turkish Military,Ukraine,Ukrainian Military,United Nations,United Nations Presures,United States,United States Pressure,Upgraded Military Capabilities,Uranium Enrichment,Victims,Vlad the Invader,Weapons of Mass Destruction,West Bank,WMD,World Opinion,World Pressures,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 2:43 AM
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Israel is consistently demanded upon to negotiate an end to the occupation and allow for an Arab Palestinian nation to be defined with the borders to be established along the 1949 Armistice lines with mutually agreed upon exchanges of lands. The question is with whom should Israel negotiate? Mahmoud Abbas refuses to sit with any Israeli delegations approved by the governing coalition though he gladly meets with members of the opposition who hold little power or with anti-Israel and anti-Zionist Jewish NGOs mostly from the United States, Europe and some from within Israel who are mostly if not completely subsidized by European NGOs or even the European Union or individual European national governments. These sit downs often are held in Ramallah and with a large map of what Mahmoud Abbas demands are the actual borders of Palestine which depicts all of Israel including the beaches of Tel Aviv and Nahariya with not even the slimmest segment of Israel left standing. One might inquire as to how Mahmoud Abbas plans on determining the government for anything which results in becoming the Arab state. Will he finally hold elections which would appear to be a normal result of the forming of a new nation? But Abbas has refused to hold elections totally skipping the scheduled 2009 election cycle out of fears that he would be voted from office. He is now in the tenth year of a four year term, which many would probably claim is very telling as to his actual legitimate power. Abbas has declared himself, for all intents and purposes, President for life, and that might not be too much longer should he actually agree to borders and the founding of the state he claims to desire above life itself, which very well might be the price he could pay. Israel would not have anything to do with his sudden demise as there are those from within Hamas, Islamic Jihad, ISIS and even his own Fatah Party, PLO and Palestinian Authority who would permanently remove him from office. It is interesting that Mahmoud Abbas holds those final three leading posts plus now signs documents as President of Palestine. The world has never known a man with so many titles who wields so little power and controls perhaps the few blocks of his fortified office complex. The one truism which should be made known, especially to the Europeans and United States President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry, is that Mahmoud Abbas is a man whose power ranges from the tip of his right hand to the tip of his left hand whenever he stands with his arms extended, and that is the largest area he can claim to control. Abbas is in no position to sign anything which would have any meaning ten minutes after it was signed, if it stood that long.

 

What makes matters even worse is that the leadership of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the other two main power brokers for the time being, have all abdicated their positions to Mahmoud Abbas officially despite retaining every ounce of control they held before the unification of the Arab Palestinian leadership. They claim they are still waiting for the promised elections, the elections which Abbas will never hold unless he has guarantees that he will retain his position whether deserved or not. Do not be too terribly surprised if President Obama with the backing of the European Union and European governments give Abbas a promise that he will be the only person permitted to run for President of any country if he would only reach an agreement and that write in votes will not be considered valid and still he would fear losing. Abbas, with good reason, has become a quivering mass of righteous paranoia which is fully justified after the executions carried out by Hamas at the end of Operation Protective Edge were largely actions utilized on without actual charges or trial simply going from arrest to execution with great efficiency ridding Gaza of numerous opponents and especially members of Fatah or other entities which might have loyalty to Abbas. Mahmoud Abbas got another dose of reality when a diplomatic team was dispatched to Gaza with the intended assignment to gather the name of the Hamas employees who had yet to be included on the paymaster’s roles and thus had not been receiving their paychecks and were less than thrilled over this situation but the team felt so under threat that they cut short their five day assignment after less than twenty-four hours and they never took a step out of their highly guarded hotel suite except to beat a hasty retreat to Ramallah without getting a single name of those Hamas employees. This might seem senseless that Hamas and Islamic Jihad would prevent the Arab Palestinian Authority to garner the names of their own people so they could be included on the payrolls and receive their wages but the reality is Hamas and Islamic Jihad are pushing for the Arab Palestinian Authority to collapse so they can pick up the pieces and be able to force the Europeans to deal through them and thus remove them from any terrorist roles and grant them political power and acceptance as the new chiefs for Israel to reach compromises and eventually reach a peace agreement. This would not be a huge step for most of Europe’s governments and political bodies and NGOs have, unofficially if not outright, removed Hamas from their terror roles and some even Islamic Jihad while the United Nations is set to recognize and legitimize the Palestinian Rights Center (PRC) which is a front group through which Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood operate and granting them full NGO status and all the legitimization which goes along with such. An extensive report on the PRC the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center released concludes that the group is closely affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood as well that several of its members are terrorists who have fled to Great Britain. Such recognition would confer “full access to UN facilities and participation in debates in New York, Geneva, and Vienna, and, perhaps most significantly, global legitimacy,” as well as all other benefits which are granted with being awarded “official UN badges.”

 

Before one starts to believe that things could not become even more bleak, there are a number of other developments which are peeking just over the horizon. Perhaps the more sinister and having the most dire long range ramifications is the threat to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Imagine a threat to Hamas and Islamic Jihad making the identical claim of being weak willed and not faithful or sufficiently devout in their manner and representation of Allah and having diverted from the true path. This challenge has been made by the only groups who might be believable when accusing Hamas and Islamic Jihad of temerity in purpose and inadequate devotion to the cause of Sharia and furthering Islam, ISIS. We have all likely seen reports which claim that ISIS has made inroads in the Sinai Peninsula and were taking control of much of the area closest to the Israeli border and ignored the fact that such positioning also brought ISIS close to the Egyptian border with Gaza and the heart of Hamas and Islamic Jihad power bases. This places ISIS in the perfect position to infiltrate Gaza in small numbers which would fairly soon become sufficient numbers to cause Hamas and Islamic Jihad great amounts of difficulty if not topple them both absorbing those who showed sufficient zeal for the ISIS cause while dispatching the leadership and others found wanting in spirit or purity mostly be depositing their bodies and heads separately. This might place Israel directly in the ISIS crosshairs or perhaps this would simply be the first stage to taking over the entirety of the Arab Palestinian cause and also making inroads to supplant the Arab Palestinian Authority including Mahmoud Abbas and also finding all of Fatah and PLO members to be wanting in their devotion and dedication to Sharia and Allah as these groups are nationalist secular or mildly Islamic and nowhere near the levels of self-proclaimed devotion and purity of spirit shown by ISIS, by their own proclamations, of course.

 

Such a turn of events would place Israel in a heavily compromised position, or that is what one would believe. What needs to remain in our consideration of the likelihood that ISIS would take control in Ramallah and replace Fatah, the PLO and the Arab Palestinian Authority are forgetting that the IDF and Shin-Bet operate an advanced and capable intelligence gathering network which was evident when preventing a Hamas coup through a general uprising such that in the confusion they could readily replace Mahmoud Abbas by whatever means were required and replacing the entirety of Fatah and the PLO from the upper echelons of the Arab Palestinian Authority. One could rightfully assume that any inroads made by ISIS would also cross the paths of the Israeli intelligence gathering infrastructure and their moves would be carefully monitored until the most critical moment and just before they struck their targets they would find themselves being welcomed to the Israel direct information gathering committee which operates from places unmentioned where discreet methods are employed to extract and glean any pertinent and necessary information which might have ramifications for Israel. ISIS taking the place of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza would not be in the better interests of Israel but there would appear to be little which could be done unless the Egyptians cared to assist in preventing such an event. The problem with this is that Egypt has just as much distaste for Hamas as it does ISIS and thus they may not care which evil takes its place in Gaza. All would come down to what the value of the people in Gaza had as far as Egypt is concerned. Where one might not see the connection immediately, allow us to give a hint on the one overriding reason which may give Egypt reason to act; there are numerous families who have Egyptian backgrounds and originated in Egypt and have large and numerous extended families who remain in Egypt and we all know how important clan ties can be, especially when members of one’s tribal group or even more severe, one’s relative from their clan faces an existential threat such as ISIS, the pressure placed on the government because of such ties could be overwhelming and Egyptian President Sisi may see the situation as an unavoidable necessity to intervene. The next question is whether President Sisi might request, through back channels and discreetly of course, for any assistance and intelligence Israel might desire to provide, especially to further the two nations’ unofficial relations and to have a card to play in the future. The truth is that it would be a dangerous development to have ISIS take a foothold anywhere in the region and their presence in the Sinai Peninsula must be unnerving for President Sisi and a concern for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Sometimes necessity makes for the strangest bedfellows and this is even more the case in the Middle East. Who would believe that Turkey and Saudi Arabia would be working together in Syria while at the same time as Saudi Arabia is working with Egypt in Yemen and Egypt with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States would be working with a silent partner in Israel against Iran who is working with Iraq, southern Iraq, Syria, less and less of Syria daily, and Hezballah in Lebanon as well as securing a naval port for the Russians with an assist likely to be provided by Hezballah. Iran will also need to protect as much of the Alawite areas as necessary which will require transferring some of the IRGC assisting against ISIS in Iraq and station them to fight ISIS in the areas Iran deems of military value, such as the roads from Damascus into the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon where Hezballah keeps many of its rockets stored.

 

Hezballah brings us to the final subject. This coming week, and even if this is a secret presently it will be fully evidenced as the week unfolds, Israel is running a full participation, country-wide defense in case of war scenario. This will include Israelis entering their shelters as if under rocket attack and every other contingency. The common prospect behind this according to some postulations is to ready the public for a potential conflict with Hamas and Islamic Jihad this summer. Close but no cigar. The real threat will be Hezballah who will need to make large points with the Lebanese after placing them in peril of attack by ISIS. The reasoning goes beyond just satiating the Lebanese hunger for another war with Israel as the last one proved to be so much fun, but Hezballah also will need to make headlines across the Western World which will supercede any news off of the front pages as Iran takes whatever steps are required in Syria to get Assad out and to solidify those areas which Iran considers vital for their desire which include an operative airport in Damascus through which to supply Hezballah, a safe port for the Russians to utilize in the Mediterranean Sea which is Latakia, Syria. And finally they also would desire to retain some of the natural resources such as mining operations and also have a staging area with direct access to the Golan Heights for wither Hezballah to utilize for an assault on Israel or for the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps or Pasdaran Persian: سپاه پاسداران انقلاب اسلامی) to have a launch facility to strike Israel or even to assault the Golan Heights. This all means that Iran will require another Hezballah war with Israel to divert attentions from their actions, which will be ruthless and potentially cataclysmic as well as to divert attention from the Iranian dash to produce a number of nuclear warheads and the final preparations for their launch at select targets. Thus Iran will require approximately six to ten weeks of conflict. With the known supplies of rockets and a fair number of larger missiles provided by Iran, Hezballah would be capable of launching over a thousand rockets daily for the entire six weeks and approximately eight-hundred rockets launched daily for ten weeks. Should any higher quantity be required they would need to utilize any Syrian rockets remaining under Iranian control or for Iran to provide a fair number of additional rockets which is why Iran requires the Damascus airport as they are unable to resupply Hezballah through Beirut probably because the Bekaa Valley lies along the Syrian border and the Alawite areas, how convenient. This leaves one with a serious question, what will be the Israeli reaction to a war with Hezballah. As Hamas has also threatened a confrontation this summer with Israel, it is entirely plausible that Israel will desire to keep any confrontation from escalating and to decisively end the conflict leaving little doubt as to who won. Thus any confrontation between Israel and Hezballah will result in Israel striking hard and fast swallowing up the lands south of the Litany River and then sweeping up the eastern banks of the Litani River through the heart of the Bekaa Valley taking out the training grounds, provisions, reserves and bases Hezballah has throughout that region. Any violence from Hamas should also be responded to with great prejudice and force of arms with nothing held back. With the growing challenges and rising threats throughout the areas of the Middle East, Northern Africa and the Horn of Africa, it is starting to appear that the whole area has lost their minds, possibly the whole world even. Then there is the continuing threat with Russia menacingly eying the old regions of her power before the fall of the Soviet Union and China literally building new islands and placing oil rigs and military airbases and other facilities in the South China Sea in order to widen her area of control and claim islands which are also claimed by her neighbors but China is the eight-hundred pound gorilla who can basically do whatever she desires unless the United States takes a stand against her, and that is seeming less and less a possibility as the islands grow. Furthermore, most of Europe is also looking at civil unrest in the near future as the growing immigrant population feels stronger and denied an equal opportunity to get a job and live an equal life. Add that they also desire to start a religious war forcing their religion on those they views as a people who have forsaken religion. Then there is violence threatening to break out full force both on the United States college campuses during the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic and anti-America demonstrations and potentially within many cities possibly escalating and spilling throughout the city, especially if the police are restrained and ill–equipped as was the case in Baltimore and has had continuing ramifications, especially in western Baltimore where the police have basically been chased from the streets. Similar situations are possible throughout the country, especially in the twelve largest cities. One would be hard pressed to find an area on the globe where there are no threats.

 

Even Kathmandu is still recovering from the series of earthquakes which struck there not that long ago. Will Shangri-La be next? Just because it is mythical might not except even Shangri-La from the ravages of societies gone mad. Maybe only the quiet places in our minds where we can concentrate on the peace and love in our hearts can the world be healed as we heal one soul at a time. But with the Churches, Synagogues, Temples and other religious houses all nearly empty even on the holiest of days, what hope will the world have against true and fanatical believers, especially those who cannot be tempted with baubles and glitter that shines at us in every store window beckoning us to worship consumerism. The hectic pace of modern life with so little time that one simply must collapse for those brief moments between the scheduled meeting, workout, night-school, and the children’s activities. Who has time for anything more? But unless we take the time to refresh our consciences and recharge our moral compasses society will continue spinning further and further out of control. What is it we seek with our frenetic paced lives; do we even know any more? Listen to the quiet little voice in the back recesses of your mind, it is still there, trust me. It will tell you secrets that you once knew but soon got squeezed from your life. I know the crippling schedule for those working two jobs, both full-time. The requirement that you take some time to recharge yourself does not disappear just because, it remains and eventually it will come screaming to the fore and demand you stop and take a deep breath. Sigh in from the mouth and let it out so slowly from the nostrils that you barely tickle the air. Again only deeper and with a more measured exhale. This is the easiest way to slow your pace and make you see reason. After you have done this at the end of each day or at lunch or whenever you can schedule your take a breath for sanity, then that voice can finally be heard and its message is simple, you know not every answer. Sure the news and science and everything you read tells how there is so little left that science does not know that is the lie told to make you forget. The little voice remembers and knows the bliss one can feel when we know that there is reason and value in life. Whatever manner of faith you are comfortable in, that is possibly just the recharging you need. It is just once or twice a week unless you desire more once you return and feel the encompassing warmth, love, acceptance, understanding and all those emotions and assurances which were missing in your life, there is a place where they can be found. We all want the world to be a better place but we seem lost in figuring out how. All each of us can do is our own part. Own, a strange word as it is in this case where it has so much meaning. There is our own part; the part assigned us even if that assignment comes from within us. There is the part in the world we own, we are responsible for and we get to structure it just how we desire others to know our part. Part from the business of life and take a moment with which we part from the fast paced caffeinated life and take a lemonade break on a hot day and you can part from the world and just enjoy the moment. We can take part in displaying that we have found the answer and then you can play the part which you know is what is really important. But the most important part is when you realize that the only real thing you can do to repair society and the world is make your little area, your part clean, warm and with its own sparkle and once you have done your part, then you can invite others to slow down and remember that they too can have a part in the world which they can be proud of and eventually the individual parts reach a point where they can change one small part of the world and from there who knows what they can part, maybe the Red Sea and again we can cross and be received. Just remember that the more we learn about the world the more we often realize how little we know, it is as if each answer spawns ten questions, and that’s what keeps scientists employed.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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