Beyond the Cusp

September 5, 2013

Why Doesn’t Israel Refute the Propaganda Against Her?

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I hear this question often and even more so when we report news which displays the truth that Israel treats the Arabs, including those from neighboring nations, the Palestinians and those Arabs living amongst them as citizens of Israel, with the same kindness, concern, care, and equality in all things to how they treat Israeli Jews. The most recent query came in a comment over our article  United States and Israel Charging in Opposite Directions Over Syria in which it was mentioned that Israel had given all of the necessary care including surgeries and anything else required to treat many dozens of Syrian refugees who had crossed the border including those cases where the injured person had initially been treated in Syria but as they were unable to provide the level of care necessary to save or treat their injuries so they were transferred to Israel often left with a note telling what had been performed and the diagnosis. The person’s comment was, “This is interesting. Thanks for it. I have no argument about it, but if the Israelis treat the Syrians in need of help so well, why do they treat their other neighbours, the Palestinians, so abysmally? Recently in my church, which is my city’s cathedral, there was even a photo exhibition depicting the plight of the Palestinians at the hands of Israel, in particular the West Bank settlers. I regularly receive posts on Facebook about Palestinians shot by the IDF, children among them.” So, let us take this opportunity to reflect on an answer for this query.

 

The obvious part of the answer is basic and simple; it is the nature of the news and reporting. Would anybody consider it to be informative or good reporting if an article read stating, “Nothing happened untoward today in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. There were no stones thrown, insults hurled or even something said in haste which was later regretted. Everybody got prompt and equal service at the eateries and there were no problems on any of the bus routes, even the ones through the Haredi neighborhoods. People even were smiling at each other and many went the extra step to help anybody even if their problem was of the most mundane nature. The feeling was as if a permanent state of shalom, peace, had settled over everyone and everything making life close to perfect.” Such a report would never get past the editor let alone be passed on to the copy editor, who would have put such aside believing that somebody sent such a piece as a joke and it was not seriously intended to be published. Yet, it is the absence of such articles and the plethora of articles that meet the “If it bleeds, it leads” mantra news sources are famous for following. On the other hand you can rest assured that every rock hurled, every terror act, every rough handling of provocateurs of who there is a near constant train of them coming from Europe into Israel with the singular intent of menacing IDF and police until they either are arrested or get sufficient film to splice a juicy story that fits their agenda to load onto Facebook and You-Tube. Whenever there are rockets shot from Gaza or Lebanon it makes the news if and often only if the Israelis reply with a military strike and then the article almost always leads with Israeli Defense Forces launched a strike using warplanes striking in the heavily populated Gaza City killing two and injuring four including one child. The Israeli strike was in response for rockets landing within Israel. With this as the leading pair of sentences, which action sticks in your mind? My bet is so what if rockets landed in Israel, what was the big deal? Well, if it was your house that just exploded which while not a daily occurrence, does happen and the targets of most Israeli strikes are on weapons warehouses or rocket firing squads who often take children with them when launching their rockets to prevent Israeli striking them and they do this because it works. Israel has often withdrawn their strike because of innocents being used as human shields and the Israelis take great pains to cause as few innocent victims as possible. Israel even takes out most of the explosive charges in the munitions they use to target terrorists as they drive their vehicles, even to the point that there have been cases where the terrorist leader in the back seat was killed while the driver in the front seat received minimal injuries.

 

Of course the only news sources that ever bother to cover such trivialities are the nationalistic and Zionist news sources within Israel. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the news sources from Israel which are readily accessible in the rest of the world are the leftist, anti-nationalists and post-Zionist far leftist sources which are just as critical and slanted against any actions Israel takes where either nationalist, Zionist, religious Jews or the settlers who live beyond the Green Line are concerned. These news sources also take the Palestinian side of every argument. These news outlets represent a minority of Israelis but make their profit on sales in Paris, London, Washington DC, New York and other liberal cities or anywhere they desire bashing anti-Israel news and especially Israeli news which they use to prove that anything they claim against Israel is repeated in these news sources and therefore must be true. Imagine you only read the New York Times and then had to judge whether Mitt Romney was a worthy Presidential candidate compared to President Obama. Despite the claims that the Palestinian Authority suffers from extreme poverty and lack of funds, they have more funding at their disposal than Israel. The Palestinian Authority receives million upon millions of aid money from the United Nations through UNRWA, from the European Union, the United States, every European government, numerous charities, a plethora of NGO’s, numerous foundations, and contributions from the oil rich countries of the Arabian Peninsula. On top of these funds there are the cash and weapons which are supplied to Hamas, Fatah, Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade, PFLP, al-Qaeda in the Gaza Strip and other lesser known terrorist groups which amounts to more millions in aid which is almost exclusively utilized for attacking Israel using terrorism and for the more established terror groups such as Fatah, Hamas and Hezballah in Lebanon have their own newspapers, radio and television stations and school and camp systems which indoctrinate the next generation of terrorists. Israel cannot match these efforts and the international financial support they enjoy and even the attempts Israel exerts are mostly ignored by many news outlets which add to the apparent silence of the Israeli side.

 

So, this is the vast majority of the news presented to the world but there is much more to the slanting against Israel and why Israel seems inept in answering the charges which come from all quarters. Another problem is that the NGOs (non-governmental organizations) which are solely dedicated to slandering, defaming, denouncing and out-and-out lying about Israel number in the hundreds and are backed by virtually every European government, the European Union, George Soros, the Arab League, the Arab nations, Oil Monies, Leftist foundations, and extreme leftist political entities and the hundreds of millions of Euros, Dollars, and virtually any other coinage such that they have more money than they could ever even imagine spending. The Israeli government does not have the funding to even begin to fight this fight especially since the Israeli government spends a higher percentage of their funds on aid to other nations who have suffered a disaster than any other nation with the possible exception of the United States. Two excellent examples of the true heart of the Israelis can be documented by telling of their actions in response to two of the most recent disasters, the Haiti earthquake and the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plants disaster all at one time. In the Haiti earthquake the Israelis had some of the initial responders and had erected a fully functioning hospital complete with delivery rooms, surgical suits, and virtually any specialty one could require even including psychological counseling before the United States had set up their initial field treatment centers and a week before the United States hospital ship was on scene. Another miracle was the number of trained search and rescue teams many with trained K-9 units which were also among the first and were praised by other teams as performing miracles. The Israelis also provided generators and adopted and completely rebuilt a Haitian school and orphanage in the year following the earthquake. One of the other miracle stories resulting from the aid Israel provided was the story of dancer George Exantus who after being rescued had his leg amputated. He was taken to Israel where he was fitted with state-of-the-art prosthetic leg and given rehab and returned to his dream life as a dancer.

 

The triple disaster in Japan when the nuclear complex had several nuclear reactors threatening to radiate large areas in northern Japan after they were swamped due to the tsunami which was caused by a severe earthquake, was a disaster virtually unequalled in history. The Israelis were again amongst the first responders in Japan. The Israelis brought with them an entire prefab medical clinic along with all the necessary equipment and staff as well as an electrical generator to power the facility. When after spending months treating people for a variety of injuries including radiation exposure, the Israelis returned to Israel leaving behind the entire clinic, generator and leaving it fully equipped for the Japanese to continue to provide aid for their people who had suffered a terrible disaster. Israel has been one of the first on the scene of numerous natural disasters but there is one last effort which deserves mention. To read numerous stories about this revolutionary program just search for “Israeli Save a Child’s Heart” and bring some tissues. The program is called SACH which stands for “Save a Child’s Heart” and has two main visions for service. The first is to treat any child needful of heart surgery in Israel even arranging transport through a third country for the Arab children from nations who have such relations with Israel that the child and parents would be put to death should Israel be stamped as a destination on their Visa or Passport. The Israelis have treated numerous Palestinian children with this program as well and invest most of their efforts and charity in places where the children with heart defects or disease would have little if any possibility for survival. They bring the child, parents and even entire families in appropriate situation and provide free care and follow-up treatments giving the child a chance for a normal life. This program also assists in setting up children’s cardiac care centers in hospitals in countries where no such care exists and train physicians in the procedures used in treating cardiac problems and disease in children. All of this is done as charity under the Jewish concept of being a light unto the nations and setting an example of how man can act when doing his best free from hate or judgementalism.

 

The final front that maligns Israel comes from a surprising source, other religious institutions and religious denominations. There are many sources of anti-Zionist, anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic sources which are of a religious nature. Some come from a front one would expect, Islamic Mosques and countries provide a fertile religiously originated source of efforts maligning Israel. What many find surprising is the extent to which Christian religious sources also malign Israel. The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center is a Christian liberation theology organization based in Jerusalem that supports extreme anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, and anti-Israel propaganda and markets their poisonous viewpoint around the world to any Christian church which will grant them an open ear. The Presbyterian Church USA has debated joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement numerous times and many of its member congregations have divested their investments from anything connected in any manner to Israel. The same can be said of at least one synod of numerous Protestant Churches in the United States and worldwide. There are some sects of Catholic organizations which also disparage Israel under the calling of supporting the Palestinian cause. On this front the Israeli government and the majority of Jews refuse to even engage as to do such would actually be against Judaism’s tenet of not interfering in other religions. Judaism’s idea of a perfect world would surprise most people. In such a world the Jewish people would live in their beloved Israel spanning from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea living under the covenant contained in Torah attempting to live an exemplary life while the rest of the world went on living and attending their business. There is no mention in Judaism commanding proselytizing others and are only advised to tell those who ask and only those who ask. True to that concept this would be a great place to end.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 6, 2013

How Israeli Leaders Should Solve the Peace Negotiation

With the appointment by President Obama of Samantha Power to replace Susan Rice as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations; the Israeli leadership has been put on notice that they no longer have a friend in the leadership of the United States. There is no reason for anybody who supports Israel to be comfortable with this appointment. Ms. Samantha Power has been quoted responding on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that it may necessitate using armed military forces, “a mammoth protection force” and an “external intervention”, to impose a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. This was to be implemented even if it would result in “alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import…or investing…billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel’s military, but actually investing in the new State of Palestine.” Where Samantha Power has not actually called directly for the use of troops to force Israel to remit their control and forcefully remove all Jewish influences from the West Bank in order to fully complete founding of a Palestinian state, this has been the heavily implied and many have taken the collective body of her commentary on this subject and concluded she would be supportive of such a policy and be pleased with such an outcome. This appointment of Samantha Power as United Nations Ambassador is a perfect complement to having John Kerry as Secretary of State and tasking him to mold a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by any means necessary. It has been made perfectly clear that President Obama and his entire Administration favors the formation of a Palestinian State utilizing all of the West Bank as the basis for the State’s borders with Eastern Jerusalem, including the entirety of the Old City and Temple Mount, to serve as the Capital City for said State. The recent moves, appointments, press releases and comments by President Obama and members of the foreign policy departments of his Administration with the new changes made for his second term should give the Israeli leadership sufficient warning that they will need to take actions to resolve the impasse with the Palestinians using whatever political force and capital necessary.

 

There will be those who will support Samantha Power explaining that she is not anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist or anti-Israel but simply stands up for the Palestinians’ rights to their own State and respect for their human rights. Ms. Power is a well-respected human rights activist and a leader in that movement. As such she takes the ‘human rights record’ of Israel as a habitual offender as factual. This goes a long way to explaining why after the United States had withdrawn most of its diplomatic participation from the noxious United Nations’ World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, better known as Durban I, Ms. Power remained to participate in the discussions. This was the conference which transformed from a conference to discuss and address problems relating to racism, xenophobia, and hatred but almost immediately broke down and wallowed in the fetid swamps of anti-Zionist, anti-Israel anti-Semitic blood libels and hatreds while ignoring every other human rights ills anywhere else in the world. The conference was chaired by Samantha Power’s friend Mary Robinson who had no difficulty allowing the laser focus on the purported human rights violations by Israel on the Palestinians, Arabs, and all non-Jews worldwide. With her background and track record displaying such a deep seated disdain and contempt for the State of Israel, how is it going to be possible for the United States to continue to support the Israelis in the United Nations Security Council when a United States veto is politically desired, or even convince Israeli leadership that the United States still presents a credible supporter? The new reality taking shape in President Obama’s second term administration should give Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his coalition pause and question exactly what steps Israel needs to initiate to avoid being overrun by an adjusted, pro-Palestinian United States Middle East policy.

 

There will most certainly be some who profess to be pro-Israel and pro-Zionist who will claim that Ms. Power’s promotion gives Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu the perfect opportunity to finally prove that Israel truly wishes for peace. They will point out that should Netanyahu make some unilateral compromises that then President Obama along with Secretary Kerry and Ambassador Power would work with him to bring Palestinian President Abbas to the negotiation’s table and the Two State Solution would finally be achieved. One group which is suspected to take such a position would be J Street. Backing them in the media one might expect that Tom Friedman of the New York Times and Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic would pen flowing and glowing editorials exclaiming that a Palestinian-Israeli peace is at hand if Prime Minister Netanyahu would just grab the opportunity that would bring Secretary Kerry and Ambassador Power to Israel’s side and force Palestinian President Abbas to finally negotiate honestly yielding a resultant Two State Solution with peace and security guaranteed for both peoples. Unfortunately, such optimism ignores the one truth which nobody seems willing to identify; the truth that President Abbas cannot make peace. The Palestinian population, especially those under thirty years of age, has been raised on a visceral hatred for Israelis and Jews. They have been finely tuned to accept only a one Palestinian State solution in which the Jews are either second class Dhimmis or killed. Should Abbas ever sign a peace treaty with Israel which does not include a complete Israeli surrender his life would be forfeit in less time than Egyptian President Sadat lived after making peace before being assassinated by one of his military guard. Further, as long as the world continues to demand that Israel and Israel alone must continuously make unilateral sacrifices and surrender territory and other negotiation points, why would Abbas ever make any move towards negotiating a real peace as all he needs to do is agree to appear once every few years before the media cameras with the Israeli Prime Minister, whomever it may be, and then refuse to return to negotiate and wait for the world to force Israel to surrender everything piecemeal one unilateral concession at a time.

 

There is another path that would actually be productive and make Abbas and the Palestinians anxious and truly eager to negotiate and make a real and possibly lasting peace. This path demands that Israel make unilateral moves but not giving anything, especially land, to the Palestinians to bribe them to come and negotiate but to take concessions they might desire from the Palestinians, especially territory. Perhaps the first step Prime Minister Netanyahu might take to signal with a minor move would be to replace the Muslim Waqf from their supervisory role over the Temple Mount and limit their jurisdiction to the actual Islamic buildings while placing the Israeli Antiquities Authority to supervise the everyday activities and visitation to the Temple Mount. The Israeli Antiquities Authority could be tasked to form a Temple Mount Security Force in conjunction with the Shin Bet and new rules would need to be enacted allowing freedom to pray and freedom to wear religious symbols and universal access for all peoples of all religions to the Temple Mount with allowances made for major religious holy days. This would end the odious limitations currently enforced which limit prayers or other actions deemed to be of a suspected religious nature forbidden to all except Muslims. This condemnable religious stranglehold by Islam and the Waqf has been tolerated and accepted as equal religious rights under the current arrangement. Cancelling this oppressive and hateful arrangement would bring a fresh and liberating transformation to a place that is of primary religious importance to three of the world’s major religions and should never have been allowed to be restricted such that only one sole religion had rights to these holy grounds.

 

Should this reassignment of responsibility over policing the Temple Mount and granting equality to all to visit, pray and enjoy these hallowed grounds and religious shrines not get President Abbas and the rest of the Palestinian leadership’s undivided attention, then Israel should take a second step towards further limiting what Israel would be willing to consider to be negotiable. Annexing permanently a half dozen of the major and closest to the Green Line Jewish residential communities and the industrial, commercial, educational areas etc. would hopefully awaken the Palestinian leadership to realize that the rules have changed and they can negotiate in good faith or find Israel eventually annexing Area C and whatever locations in Area B or even Area A that are desired. Eventually Israel could inform the Palestinian leadership that Israel has annexed all the areas Israel wishes to retain as part of Israel and they have two choices, either form a demilitarized state on what remains or if they still refuse to negotiate then Israel will consider the remaining areas to be under Israeli security control while allowing it to be a semi-autonomous area within which the Palestinians living there have limited self-rule but they will not be granted Israeli citizenship. Meanwhile, whenever Israel annexed lands they would grant the Palestinians residing within a temporary status placing them on a path towards full Israeli citizenship. They would receive new identification cards which would be different from Israeli or Palestinian identification cards currently in use. They would be eligible for full citizenship in five years provided they did not support, participate, harbor, commit or allow the occurrence of any terror related activities. It has become obvious that as long as Israel is forced to give concessions there will be no peace so perhaps it is time to attempt a new approach where Israel no longer surrenders in small unilateral steps but rather takes a positive step establishing a new pro-Israel fact on the ground one annexation at a time. When you are running out of carrots and it has become obvious that carrots are not working, then it is time to try a few sticks and save whatever remaining carrots you have for when the other side truly and honestly desires to negotiate a permanent peace with security and tranquility for both peoples living side-by-side or together in the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 19, 2011

Israel’s Coming Bad Week at the United Nations

It will be at best a very rough week for Israeli interests and at worst a complete and humiliating disaster this coming week at the United Nations. The two most anticipated events in New York this week will be the Durban III Conference celebrating the ten year anniversary of the original Durban World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and the Palestinian petitioning for recognition as a member nation joining the United Nations which they have said they will submit on Friday. With such a full schedule with such portents of disaster, supporters of Israel must be wondering what else could possibly go wrong, well, go wrong beyond the distinct possibility of massive celebrations should the Palestinian State be recognized and granted membership which could turn into violent attacks against the Jews living in Judea and Samaria, or massive riots that begin with the full intent of making Israelis pay for any decision that denies the Palestinian State recognition for full member nation status, even should such be resultant from actions such as the United States using their veto if such petition is filed with the Security Council. The one seemingly guaranteed result will be some upgrade for the Palestinians in their status with regards to the United Nations as it is fairly certain that the General Assembly will vote to grant them similar status as that given to the Vatican City.

Taking these events in their chronological order, the first event on the schedule this week will be the Durban III Conference. Where the conference itself will revisit and once again extend the life of the spirit of the first Durban Conference which was held August 31 to September 7, 2001, in Durban, South Africa. The original conference was taken over by anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic influences and resulted in Israel and the United States to walk-out of the conference denouncing the entire proceedings. The United States, Canada, France, Israel and numerous other countries have announced their intent to boycott the Durban III conference siting the single-minded hatred of Israel that has solely occupied the discussions, resolutions and every function to the point of absurdity while ignoring any problems anywhere else in the world. By Durban definition, Israel, and by association, Jews, are the singular source of all racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance existing in the world today. Where this is a slightly different version and combination of many of the oldest libels, the singularity with which over one hundred nations of the world have joined in tacit support of such hatred is frightening and an unprecedented foreboding. Durban III would suffice to make any week a really evil omen for Israel and her supporters, but it is simply the introductory blow Israel will need to endure this week.

Should everything go as tentatively scheduled, the week will end with the Palestinian petition of the Security Council to be recommended for full membership as a nation in the United Nations pending approval by the General Assembly. Even if denied recommendation, the Palestinian representatives still intend to apply to the General Assembly to at a minimum be granted non-member nation status by the General Assembly. This second proposition is fully expected at this time to be a virtually guarantee for approval. Where this recognition is a non-binding resolution and does not carry the same weight as would any recognition given by the Security Council, this would still provide the Palestinians with a springboard they could utilize to press for further recognitions from other nations and pressure Israel with a more established fact or could sue for recognition and the assistance in forcing the point against Israel. Once the Palestinian has the recognition by sufficient countries of the General Assembly they can then parlay this into something more permanent without necessitating further negotiations with the Israelis. Such a path would eventually reach a critical point where the choices would be for one side to back down and seek a mutually negotiated resolution or risk violence that risks an all or nothing solution.

This will be an eventful week, if nothing more. More likely is that where the Durban III Conference will result in exactly what everybody expects and will have no real consequential influence on the future. I think everybody already realized that the Jews and Israel have their detractors and those who would celebrate their eradication from our world. The Durban III Conference is not changing this reality; it is simply giving it a brief voice that has already faded from its initial occurrence at the first Durban Conference in 2001 which was quickly relegated to distant memory with the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001. The successive Durban Conferences are but empty echoes of an initial shouted claim that was drowned by the crashing of the planes less than a week later. On the other hand, the Palestinian machinations are simply the beginning of potentially a new phase in the long-running aspirations of the Arab and Muslim worlds to eradicate Israel from the map. Where Durban is the reminder of the hatred that has continued throughout the ages, the Palestinians are the latest actuation of that hatred and the tip of the spear currently yielded in the current waves of anti-Semitism.

Beyond the Cusp

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