Beyond the Cusp

March 8, 2016

Beware of Bidens Bearing No Peace Plan

 

United States Vice President Joe Biden is kicked off a Middle East tour Monday in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) but we all know where the trip will end and what the build-up will do for expectations for pressure to be placed on the Israelis in order to beg and grovel to get Mahmoud Abbas just to have him insult us and make broad claims of Israeli intransigence and refusal to make the needed sacrifice for peace. The reality is, and everyone in governments of Europe, the United States, United Nations and every corner of the globe is that Mahmoud Abbas cannot afford to make peace as doing so would lose him the one thing which keeps him alive and in power, the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) working intelligence and preventing any challenge or takeover by Hamas, Islamic State or any other terror group which would unseat and behead the leadership of the PA (Palestinian Authority) within days, weeks at the longest, of the Israelis pulling from Judea and Samaria (a.k.a. West Bank). Further, if Mahmoud Abbas did reach an accord and established his presumed dream of an Arab state named Palestine, or any other name, then he would have to actually provide real services to a much larger area as Israel provides most of the services in Area B and all the services in Area C which combine to make around three-quarters of the contested areas. Combine these additional government responsibilities and services with the fact that the amounts of aid received by the PA would soon dry-up as there would no longer be any conflict with Israel after such an agreement and without the conflict with the Jewish State the Europeans and United Nations would move on to some other pressing problem like forcing Israel to accept ten million Syrian refugees which Europe was refusing to accept. Without the funds the PA, now a real state, would simply become the latest failed state incapable of providing services or meeting the payroll leading to rioting and the eventual complete collapse of the state of Palestine while the exhortations by Mahmoud Abbas pleading for financial assistance in order to at least reach some form of equilibrium and functionality as without aid, Abbas might even threaten that they would need to declare war on Israel to force the world to take notice.

 

 

United Nations Headquarters and Piece of New York Skyline including the Trump Tower

United Nations Headquarters
and Piece of New York Skyline
including the Trump Tower

 

 

The announcement before Biden left Washington last week was that neither President Obama nor anybody from the administration expects the visit to produce anything concerning the peace process as Biden will be discussing military aid package for the next decade with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the military command of Israel. If past experience is any indicator of future events, which it more often than not is, then there will be no military aid without concessions for peace and the Israeli leadership will be pressed and pressed and then threatened with an end to military aid, cancelling the F-35 JSF jet fighter deal, withholding of the United States veto in the Security Council on moves for Arab statehood, thus granting Palestinian statehood using the Green Line, the 1949 Armistice Line, which the Arab League demanded never be used as a border ever. There might be threats that the United States would assist and encourage the French to go forward with their plans for final peace talks which if they failed, then the world through the Security Council and General Assembly of the United Nations in a universal accordance would establish Palestine. There may even be floated the idea that Israel not only take whatever steps required to allow the formation of an Arab state named Palestine but also be made responsible for assisting and coordinating with the new state and held as the guarantors for its successful function. Granted this sounds preposterous, but this is not as far-fetched as you might first believe. Israel had been tasked with assisting the PA Security Forces assuring their functioning in Area B before the United States took to training the Palestinian Security Forces in Jordan for urban warfare and other tactical exercises under the command of Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton who succeeded Lt. Gen. William “Kip” Ward in December 2005. Their training has been similar in nature to elite infantry training in the United States. Why such training is provided to a security force which is not responsible for military tactics, but that is what the United States feels the security forces for the PA are going to need.

 

The reason that the United States may have for the extreme training would be believing they might be required to defend an actual nation of Palestine from any threats. But what threats as the neighbors of such a state would be Israel and Jordan, neither of which would have any reason for attacking the PA state unless attacked by them first. The only real threat would be terrorist groups such as Islamic Jihad, Hamas, al-Qaeda and Islamic State. In case of any of these entities attempting to take over any PA State would also pose direct threats to both Israel and Jordan thus it would be in both neighbors’ interest to assist the defense of the PA state if such was requested or possibly even if it was not, as long as the assistance was temporary as nobody desires a reinstating of any occupation. But this training was likely at the behest of the PA leadership which then begs a different question, why would the PA desire an offensive trained security force as security militaries are usually designed to hold their own ground and not having full infantry assault training as they are not exactly going to be forging beachheads from the West Bank as the Jordan River, Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee are the closest bodies of water. Still, there has to be a reason for the PA to have their security forces trained in general combat techniques and in urban warfare in addition to anti-terror operations. The anti-terror operations has an obvious reason, they wanted to understand the methodologies of how the IDF would respond to any major terror campaigns so as to be capable of blunting IDF efforts. Urban warfare training might be applicable against any attempt by Hamas to make an overt takeover of Judea and Samaria as they had done in Gaza. Of course the PA forces in Gaza had been trained and still managed to lose the entirety of Gaza within a few days when the final push came and the PA forces proved useless.

 

That leaves the question of what further use might having military operations training and general combat techniques be useful and what goals might the PA security forces, which number in the thousands of officers, be used towards? The only other target which the Arab Palestinians have ever claimed beyond driving the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea has been to overthrow the Monarchy of Jordan and allow the Arabs, who identify with the cause and quest for power of the PA against Israel, take complete control over Jordan. The main obstacle has been their lack of training and the fact that King Abdullah II’s military consists largely of tribesmen loyal to the crown which shows them preferential treatment and favor over the larger Palestinian population. This does not mean that the Palestinian people are not treated well and they do receive much support from the King and the government but the loyal tribesmen, especially those serving in the military and making up the reserve forces, serving the King in a show of gratitude. King Abdullah II has gained major support of the people from his actions when the Jordanian pilot captured by the Islamic State was tortured and executed in a barbaric manner burning him alive while trapping him in a cage and using the video as a message of superiority over Jordan and as a recruitment tool. Still, there have been those Jordanian Arab Palestinians, who have joined the Islamic State, as have peoples from all of the surrounding Arab Sunni states, but generally the population of Jordan are more sympathetic with the Arab Palestinians in Israel and desire that their military be more supportive of the fight against Israel even to the point of directly aiding the PA in any general uprisings such as the current intifada.

 

 

Jordanian Armed Forces Crest

Jordanian Armed Forces Crest

 

 

One must also remember the attempt by Yasser Arafat to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy and government in the early 1970s. The attempt to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy and take control of Jordan, something the many Bedouin tribes would oppose and who make-up the officer core due to their loyalty to the King, resulted in routing the coup attempt by Yasser Arafat. Their failure in Jordan was what forced the PLO into Lebanon where they quickly attempted a takeover of the Lebanese government resulting in Syria attempting to grab control over Lebanon taking advantage of the turmoil and confusion. This led to the Israeli intervention at the invitation of the Lebanese Christian militias. This resulted in a prolonged Israeli presence creating a buffer zone protecting the Israeli north. This interventional force did suffer a steady number of casualties from suicide bombings and other attacks which the left and the media in Israel used to apply pressure with sizeable demonstrations often by foreign financed NGOs from the left leading to Israel ending the interventional force presence. This permitted Hezballah to set-up their bunker systems and rocket launchers in the extreme south of Lebanon which eventually led to the very costly Second Lebanon War. One must also remember that Hezballah was a direct result of the PLO efforts to overthrow the Lebanese government in the mid and late 1970s.

 

The PLO was the direct progenitor of the PA which is as the PLO before it a direct arm of power projection of the Fatah movement. Any attempt to paint the PA as democratic is a farcical effort as there have been no elections, free or otherwise, since the debacle brought on by United States pressure to hold open elections which were won in large part by Hamas and not Fatah. This led directly to the Hamas flexing of their abilities and mastery and control in Gaza to oust the PA which had denied them their proper victory by basically imposing Fatah supremacy using the Presidency of Abbas. He assumed the position after Arafat’s demise as Arafat’s number two since the founding of the PLO, taking over of Arafat’s roles as leader of Fatah, the PA, PLO and presumed President for Life of any future state. The final straw for Hamas was the cancelling of Presidential election which they were sure to oust Abbas, something Abbas refused to permit as he exercised every bit of his powerful position to put a clamp on all PA and other political functions and preserve what he could.

 

All of this has not altered the grand plan of the PLO, and thus perhaps the PA, of a grander scheme and power play toppling the governances around the area and setting up their claim to be the true leaders of the Arab world. These efforts failed in the 1970s and are no closer to fruition today as Fatah is only holding on to power in the contested areas of Judea and Samaria, oddly enough, because of the efforts by Israel to keep Hamas and others from replacing them The PA would easily be toppled which would lead to a catastrophic terror war emanating from the then former PA controlled areas with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and who knows who else all perched on the southwest in Gaza and direct east in Judea and Samaria overlooking central Israeli population and industrial heart of Israel. This could lead to a far more disastrous rocket war from Hamas with their rockets all but incapable of missing vital targets in and around Tel Aviv and the central core of Israel, a heavily developed area. That is the reason that Israel has supported allowing the PA to remain in Abbas’s incapable and bumbling hands. The alternative is the devil Israel does not know and does not want to know. What they do know is that Abbas has less ability to control anything beyond incitement against Israel. Abbas is in a particularly uncomfortable position of needing to continue aggressions against Israel while making sure not to force any overt actions from Israel. Abbas is also relying on Israeli intelligence and presence in the contested areas of Judea and Samaria to prevent his being overthrown and very likely murdered even by those in the PA who believe him incompetent, or at least impotent in the face of Israel and their ‘occupation’ of the Israeli ancestral heartlands, Judea and Samaria.

 

Eventually this house of cards, which is the toothless PA, will unify, overthrow Abbas and believe they are ready and prepared to topple Israel. And on that day the contested areas will no longer be contested but in open revolt, a very temporary revolt, after which there will be imposed a one state solution and the end of incitement and the presence of the United Nations monstrosity that is UNRWA in Judea and Samaria. The truth is that the only result to the contested areas is complete and total control by Israel. Even if the world were to force the Arab state of Palestine on Israel, it would be a defenseless state, complete nonfunctional and failed state, and from the very beginnings would only devolve from there, with the ever fractious shards attempting to destroy the others and make a name by attacking Israel. Eventually Hamas or worse would emerge as the central power and this would lead to a costly and final war as Hamas or worse cannot be allowed to occupy any of the highlands overlooking central Israel. To allow such is suicide by the immediate thousand cuts made by inexpensive rockets needing no real guidance to strike at the heart of Israel. When such events do unfold, which are all but inevitable, Abbas will likely be the very first casualty and potentially at the hands of the very troops who now guard him, dying as every Caesar before has fallen. As soon as they are not paid their exorbitant salaries their loyalty will wane evaporating into the mists from whence they were born, and that will be the end of the PA. Very soon thereafter Israel will necessarily need to end the entire fiasco before it causes irreparable harm to Israeli infrastructure with attacks against her civilian populations where thousands are affected daily, and not the sparsely populated Negev regions.

 

The similar threat by Hamas and their longer range Iranian provided rocket engines and the ever larger payloads they carry deeper into the Israeli center which sparked the last Gaza War and will eventually lead to the final Gaza war which will result in the decimation of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the crippling of any other sizeable force. The entire Arab Palestinian existence is that of two failed states whose only lifeline is their threatening Israel and being paid to do so. That cannot be permitted to reach its final goal of destroying Israel and murdering the six million plus Israeli Jews. The threat will eventually become sufficiently capable or sufficiently destructive despite their lack of credible force, only credible destruction, that will ultimately cause the quick and violent end of the Arab Palestinian autonomous states, Hamas’s Gaza and Fatah’s PA in Judea and Samaria. That is the sole finality and the one out for the PA is a successful takeover of Jordan giving them the arms necessary to bring on their destruction that much faster as the use of these weapons’ systems on Israel is an overt act of aggression and declaration of war, the final war.

 

Perhaps the best Israel can do is send Biden home joining those awaiting the election with the premise that it can’t get any worse. We are aware the Russians and Iranians are doing whatever they can, knowing that for them nothing could be better than Obama.
Beyond the Cusp

 

February 27, 2016

Some Advised Israeli Future Military Adjustments from the Recesses of Our Minds

 

Yesterday we covered a less than perfect world, perfect Israeli response to establish defensible borders when given the opportunity complete with resources they could coordinate with to insure the solutions would approach perfect. Those were more fantasy though eventually Israel will be forced by security necessity to either retake or simply make the Jordan River their eastern boundary and whatever Arabs residing in Judea and Samaria will be presented with four choices. The first is to have their properties, businesses and other permanent structures and inventory they are not taking with them plus a sizeable stipend and free transit using first class transportation to any location they choose and willing to receive them. Second choice is apply and go through a series of steps in order to become Israeli citizens with full benefits and rights. Third choice is to remain with their lands, business and other holdings taking up the equivalence of foreign resident which will avail them full protections and ability to live and carry out their business but not permitted the right to vote. The advantage of such is they could apply to move to any Arab nation without having to explain their Israeli citizenship which otherwise might make such a move or visitations far more difficult. They would also be permitted to apply to other nations for citizenship despite their lack of actual residence. The fourth choice would be to demand they are Palestinians and refuse Israeli sovereignty and intend to continue the fight to liberate Palestine from the River to the Sea. These gently folk and the hierarchy and known terrorist and their families will be invited to depart Israel and never return and arrangements will necessarily be made for a nation to voluntarily receive them or perhaps they can join the Syrian refugees in Europe.

 

All these things aside, what could Israel look into which would greatly enhance their defensive abilities beyond those items which are known to be being researched and tested? It is already well documented and known that the Iron Dome has proven to be beyond belief or expectations. That is an unbelievably successful system against shorter range rockets. The Arrow intercept systems are already in use but thankfully not recently tested, and we hope it remains that way. David’s Sling is another ballistic missile interceptor being tested and implemented while improvements and software upgrades are always being tested and applied. The one area which has had some questions raised recently has been the reliance of the fifth generation F-35 JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) on programming upgraded and adjustment required before and after every mission, each flight whether training or actual military mission as reported by Caroline Glick. This places the viability and even use of every single F-35 JSF for missions in jeopardy as it could be prevented from performing a mission if the United States disapproved having their top flight fighter/bomber/interceptor/air superiority jets be susceptible to the whims of the United States. What if the United States should, which seems inevitable, have another President who disapproves of Israel or even, as apparently President Obama has felt, one who actively disapproves of Israel viewing them as the problem in the Middle East and the source of all the United States problems in the area if not the world and decides to ground the entire fleet of Israeli F-35 JSF aircraft. Israel is apparently stuck with the J-35 JSF for the near future and as suggested by some should also look into designing and building their own stealth aircraft fifth generation fighter with India which both could also sell as a competitor to the other such aircraft. As suggested, the airframe from the Lavi fighter could be utilized as the skeleton for such an aircraft as it is a known viable airframe and would simply need the correct skin applied to make it fully stealthy and with Israeli avionics it would be a match to any other fifth generation fighter. But Israel needs to go beyond just fifth generation into uncharted grounds, go into uncharted grounds taking air systems into a new area and manner of usage.

 

Lavi Fighter Jet

Lavi Fighter Jet

 

 

 

Israel has been amongst the leaders in drone development with drones across the spectrum of sizes, uses, ranges and about every other variance. These need to be developed further where drones can replace manned flight systems with remotely controlled systems with some degree of autonomy such that they can fly while each aircraft monitoring the aircraft in its area of operation with it communicating with the other drones such that in a military flight the drones would not waste their supply of missiles and armaments. These drones could be flown from the ground stations in areas around the borders of Israel in purely defensive mode intercepting incoming rockets, missiles or aircraft of any nature from human flown fighter/bombers to other drones either under automated control or human piloting. Offensive flights which would cover great distances and required human intervention and flying could be controlled from other aircraft lagging a set average distance behind. This control craft could hold multiple drone control stations thus controlling an entire flight of drones for a mission. For larger missions there would be multiple control craft controlling their drones with the systems using frequencies and coding such that no two drones would receive conflicting commands. These would be drones which were replacing manned fighter/bombers. There could be another form of drones which would be basically flying munitions similar to the cruise missile only smaller and with different delivery systems with a variety of capabilities to fit every type of mission. The strangest we can imagine would be a propeller driven craft which has a large wingspan allowing high altitude flight and a long and slender profile body with slender tail fins which would guide this on its final trajectory. Once this drone reached its intended target airspace would check with certain geographic markers and orient itself properly and drop from its wide wings becoming a projectile guided steel rod about twenty feet long weighing about seventy pounds dropping from an altitude of over sixty-thousand feet aimed at an armored bunker using pure kinetic energy to destroy and penetrate virtually any bunker. Just our idea, a fantasy you might say, not that I know of such a drone or other weapon, just dreaming.

 

Israel needs to go beyond what other nations go with innovation and development taking things at least one generation ahead of any of the arms of its potential adversaries. Israel has to find ways to make its skies safe from any attack, missile, mass rockets, manned aircraft or any drone attacks from single small high altitude to mass attack of large rocket armed drones. Israel should even look into man aimed rocket interceptors which can be used to intercept any threat along with self-guided interceptors as each has their use. While the self-guided missiles are fantastic, they are not as effective against low flying cruise missiles which are capable of terrain hugging trajectories and are far more difficult to hit with autonomous controlled interceptors which would be where human controlled missiles would work with higher efficiency. Israel should develop drone armor units, drone mobile artillery and drone soldier units with human control and integrated cooperation permitting every user/controller able to see at their station a composite view of the entire field of battle coordinated from ground and aircraft drones and a composite produced by a systems central processing and graphic interface which will produce a high definition representation of the entire battlefield with denoting system indicators identifying where all Israeli and friendly units are located and also where known enemy units are and where other enemy units are suspected of being located. Israel has to have the most advanced and infallible military systems and more highly developed intelligence such that no attack has a better than five percent chance of striking or invading Israeli ground, airspace or seas and waterways.

 

What is the most fascinating of truths is despite Israel having a military which could have decisively ended the Syrian civil war as soon as it started in response at any time for shelling border positions, but they refrained. When Hamas and Islamic Jihad were launching five, ten, twenty and even fifty rockets a day with some reaching close to Tel Aviv, the Israeli response was to place their limited Iron Dome intercepting over ninety percent of those falling within an Iron Dome range of coverage. When the numbers crossed one-hundred-plus rockets each day, Israel finally organized and set a line, a line much stronger than an Obama Red Line, while organizing troops which one would believe might get the attention of the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and perhaps bring an end to the rockets. The thing is that these leaders and their top supporting leadership and friends with their families and with their own families if they are even present as many were residing in safety in Qatar are all well protected in their underground bunkers or their safest command bunker in the basement of the largest hospital in Gaza City. They simply increased the number of rockets guaranteeing Israeli intervention and as soon as the first tank shell was fired into Gaza the world and its media, especially in Europe, went absolutely bonkers starting the chanting of the call for the day, “Israel is guilty of using disproportional force and had killed more in Gaza than have died in Israel.” They all but asked where were the dead Jews in every interview with Israeli officials.

 

What nation with the military capabilities of Israel would wait until over one-hundred rockets a day were being launched into their cities and surrounding areas before responding? How long would England sit still and not launch an all-out assault if Sweden was launching a dozen missiles a day every day for a month, would it take England more than two or three days before launching an air attack to end the rockets being fired at them? Any nation would, but when Israel does so after waiting beyond all imagination to respond largely because of their defensive ability to mute the effects; still the United Nations immediately, as Israel makes their first responding fire, goes into emergency sessions and denounces Israel while having ignored the rocket assaults on Israel for well over six months while it slowly escalated. The world is in a tizzy about Israel actually having the gall to protect her citizens from Arab assaults with knives, vehicles, firebombs and large rocks hurled at passing cars. The world is upset that Israel had the audacity to actually shoot at people who are stabbing everybody within reach and sometimes after ramming the sidewalk and bus stop jumping from the vehicle, one such incident using their company car from the Israeli telecom company for whom the Arab was employed, and attacking one of the people you struck with your car with a hatchet and continuing along the sidewalk attempting to chop people in the chest or neck and even after being shot continuing with the attack and after another shot still lunging at people until being shot repeatedly and still trying to lunge at people until they passed out. What was even more miraculous was immediately after the person shot stopped being a threat the person who fired the first three shots of five or six total shots striking the attacker went to apply first aid as he was also a medic. Then a Magen David Adom rushed the attacker to a hospital where they attempted to revive the attacker who died due to his wounds.

 

The question is whose responsibility is it that this man died? Was it the person who fired the critical shot? Those first three shots had not prevented him from continuing his assaults and had he stopped and surrender at that point he would likely be alive today. Somewhere during the last three shots he passed the point where he was going to survive. As it turns out, the vast majority of the recent stabbing assailants have told others including their parents of their intention of trying to murder as many Israelis in predominantly Jewish areas so as to murder Jews and that they will not stop until they are dead and they were then encouraged and told what a wonderful thing they were planning to do and family members celebrated as they know in their society they will receive honors and a stipend, a reward payment from the government due to their relative’s actions. That is the reality of the stabbing and vehicular assaults which are still being perpetrated daily in Israel though the media has ended their coverage as it is now treated by the media as normal.

 

Rockets, stabbings, vehicles, hatchets, firebombs, rocks and a governance which encourages its own citizen to attack their neighboring nation promising to pay a reward stipend for as long as they are able. The governance uses their social media, entertainment, television, radio, schools, religious services, and even name streets, parks, schools, soccer fields, auditoriums, parades, youth facilities, swimming pools, summer camps and virtually everything they can with the names of the greatest terrorists who murdered the most innocent people. If the United States were facing fifteen, twenty, thirty or more attacks and ten or more fatalities weekly from a Native American Reserve that reserve would be subsumed by the United States Marines within a week if that was what it would take. The world would not even raise a whisper against that act. Israel reacts similarly and the leaders of the United Nations and European Union go apoplectic gasping for breaths, enraged, spiting fire and denunciations, and calling for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s and Defense Minister Ya’alon’s heads on a pike. Then they would decide the penalty Israel would need to pay to soothe the anger from those self-same leaders who instigated the attack as they felt slighted as they did not get to lop off the heads themselves. Yet they are the leaders whose hands must never be soiled nor have the truth affect as those are the rules of the United Nations and all of its loyal followers, NGOs, Agencies and Human Rights Groups. Anyone else desiring to pile on Israel as no amount of detestations, cruel accusations, and just pure make-believe, lies and grand rakes of woe which originate from projection and anti-Zionism, anti-Israeli, or anti-Semitism one may prove to suffer from.

 

These attacks Israel appears to be woefully unprepared to respond to or perhaps they respond but nobody listens and it seldom if ever gets reported. Israeli restraint is the least recognized, most overlooked, unappreciated, disregarded, completely discounted and demeaned as a mirage as Israel eventually acts and that is the only item that matters. The media understands that nobody expects the Arabs, especially Hezballah, Hamas, Fatah, al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Islamic Jihad, al-Qassam Brigades or any Arab force attacking Israelis even if they are Arabs with Israeli citizenship, to behave in a modern developed world sense of way as they are from a society deserving of liberal pity while the Jews are reviled for their surviving and regaining their ancestral homelands so the world will carve piece by piece every square inch of her land granting any other claim which depletes Israel of her lands. The surrender of Gaza was the initial get the foot in the door scenario, Forcing Israel back within the Green Line or as close as possible a line as half of Jerusalem with the Temple Mount and the rest of the old city and all the other almost beyond numbers of Holy Sites which will be coopted as Mosques, destroyed or directed by UNESCO to be a Muslim Holy Site thus removing any Jewish claim will be next. If that works, then the next will be the Bedouin claim to the Negev Region and on and on. The whole future and what it will be is plain to see unless you are one of the too numerous blinkered Ministers of the Knesset who mostly refuse to see or are on the other side. As was said way back in 1546 by John Heywood, which still holds true today;

 

None are so blind as those who are too blind to see.

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 1, 2016

Blessings We Have Found in Israel

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Israel gets some bad public relations if one depends on the news, editorials, talk radio and just about any mass media, even movies and other entertainment. Living in Israel very quickly dispels all the lies. Are there a few choice people who might make one take a less than superb view, but such are rare and even they warm with time. Needless to say, not knowing or speaking the language causes some difficulties but there is almost always somebody there to lend a translating hand. There was the time we were at a McDonalds and the woman at the counter spoke no English and two what had to be young High School age girls came in and realizing the communication problem immediately became our translators without being asked. Generally there are those who willingly offer to give directions to whatever place you need to find in ten minutes to make the appointment and it is your first time in the city and you got off the bus where you thought was the closest stop. That time we only missed by one or two stops and had to walk about a mile or so, you get used to walking in Israel because so much living is city center style European life, an initial system shock after life in the outer suburbs in the United States.

 

Our friends, acquaintances and relatives are quite surprised when we relate the ease and general atmosphere in Israel. When we tell them that we have found Israel more accommodating and generally having a softer and more easy and comforting nature they tend to express great surprise. One might expect that in Israel life would have an edge on it with the constant threats from virtually any direction and the added unpleasant surprise with the Iranian nuclear threat and President Obama and his team’s animosities and threats thrown at Israel but they would be quite wrong. Probably the best description we could give as a true barometer of Israel and Israelis would be to take everything ever attributed to Israel and her people by the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Human Rights Commission or virtually any other United Nations agency etcetera and take it all and place the initials of the United Nations in front of them but in small letters and then read the entirety as one word. An easy example would be if some United Nations commission claimed Israelis harbored a genocidal hatred then all one need do is take the two words and place the letter un in front giving you ungenocidal and unhatred and you would produce an honest appraisal. Sure it would take ignoring your spellcheck and do some translations where ungenocidal would become accepting of others people who are different and unhatred would become lovers making the entire accusation translate into accepting and caring for peoples who differ from Jews and accepting, caring and considerate of people who are of any other stereotypical, racial, religious or nationality different from Israeli or Jewish. A closer inspection of Israeli actions around the world will better exemplify this example.

 

When Haiti was struck by that devastating earthquake, the Israelis were amongst the first to have responders on the ground evaluating any special needs. Israel had the first field hospital which was equipped with X-ray equipment, a gynecological unit, a neonatal unit, burn center, surgical rooms, prosthetics and physical therapy, emergency room, and virtually every department and specialists which was on the ground and set up within six days of the earthquake. This hospital remained on the ground even after the search and rescue units had stood down. Israel also opened clinics in areas where urgent care not requiring the abilities of a full hospital were present and when the Israelis left Haiti a number of these clinics remained completely equipped with diagnostic, monitoring and other equipment and Israel had trained people in the area such as orphanage, school or other personnel who would be capable of offering care after the Israelis had left.

 

When Typhoon Haiyan spread destruction throughout much of the Philippines, Israel arrived with an one-hundred-forty-eight person team, including search, rescue and medical services and a fully functioning field hospital with one-hundred tons of aid. Making rescue and aid assistance even more difficult was when the typhoon struck, the region was still reeling from the Bohol earthquake in October before. One of the more interesting reports on the Israeli presence at the time was on television news where an on the scenes reporter had been directed to a small village not on one of the main Islands by the Philippine government when she requested assistance in reaching the “most remote village” to report on how they were coping with the aftermath of the storm. Imagine her surprise to find a clinic operated by Israelis already set up and operating while training the local villagers on how to treat people for emergency aid and familiarizing them with the equipment which the Israelis would leave behind as well as the clinic itself with one Israeli aid worker to remain behind and work for the next six months or so with the villagers to assure that they have received whatever training might arise.

 

When Nepal recently had their massive earthquake, once again Israel was amongst the first to respond and the operation was much like the one in Haiti with one exception which was remarkable; Israel took care to the most remote of places, some of which had rarely if ever seen support even from the Nepalese government where Israel set up satellite care units often referred to as clinic in a backpack, though we would hate to have to carry such a backpack, they are quite heavy (pictured below). These remote aid clinics provided urgent and critical care close to the, and often on the, mountain slopes treating climbers and vacation goers as well as native Nepalese citizens. They also operated as a remote triage for when victims were stabilized and given what treatment was available at the clinic and once the patients were stabilized for transport having them taken to the main Israeli or other field hospital.

 

 

The Israeli and Nepalese medical staff who operated the IsraAID mobile clinic in the village of Tar, ten hours northeast of Kathmandu. (Photo credit: Melanie Lidman/Times of Israel)

The Israeli and Nepalese medical staff who operated the IsraAID mobile clinic in the village of Tar, ten hours northeast of Kathmandu. (Photo credit: Melanie Lidman/Times of Israel)

 

 

Israel has sent aid groups to other areas struck by natural calamities with teams having gone to Japan after their earthquake and tsunami disaster, Myanmar after the tsunami, Turkey after they suffered an earthquake and offered assistance to the United States after hurricane Katrina swamped New Orleans and destroyed entire fishing towns along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and reportedly one of a very remote few to offer assistance to the United States. When one considers the Save a Child’s Heart program and how it saves children of all ages who have debilitating if not life-threatening heart problems as well as setting up entire departments in hospitals around the world and training their staff and physicians on how to diagnose and treat these children including training the heart surgeons on how to perform these sensitive and vital surgeries, Israel leaves all the equipment the staff was trained on with the hospital.

 

And the Israelis you meet, see, work with and just generally run across are some of the most patient people and really do try to help in their own manner. They may sometimes have difficulty in expressing things in English but many are actually happy and anxious to use their English and respond well when one states the words in the correct syntax as that is important to them. Sentence structure in Hebrew is different than in English and thus literal word for word translations quite often makes for what at first one takes as Yoda speak from Star Wars, perhaps it was direct translation of Hebrew to English that was the basic transference used to make Yoda syntax. Our Hebrew is embarrassingly inadequate to even make a scheduled appointment and get the day of the week correct not to mention the time as some places use a twenty-four hour clock which reminds all of military times.

 

Then there is a tight knit group of what are referred to as Anglos, basically English speakers, and we have events, trips, sightseeing, Torah, Talmud and Bible classes for men and women and we have found our level of social activities is vastly more active and on a level of friendliness equal to our best of times and friends back in the United States. Another thing which leads to such is that Israel is a rather small nation, approximately the size of New Jersey, though that is misleading as the southern two-fifths, or forty-percent, of Israel is made up of the Negev Desert which is rather sparsely populated. Where New Jersey has a population of nine-million, Israel’s population is just over eight-million. Of course there are some groups who pretty much stick to their own group of like-minded and religious viewpoints such as the Haredi. In much of Israel where there is a mix of Arab and Jewish populations there is no evident difference in the treatment and the interactions are natural and as normal as humanly possible. In the area we reside there are Arab and Muslim stores and employees in larger stores or other places of employment are seamless as to their fitting into the society as a whole. At the regional hospital there are Muslim and Arab nurses, physicians, technicians and all positions and everything functions, as we said, seamlessly. The street signs are all written in Hebrew, Arabic, and English with some towns sporting French or Spanish or Russian, though we have yet to see one which had more than four languages and usually just the three required languages. What is always amusing is when a store has its name actually an English name but the letters on their sign is in Hebrew. What gets confusing is that when you read some of these signs you try to think what the prefixes and suffixes are as Hebrew has many words result only in a letter prefix or suffix. Some examples of prefixes are the ‘v’ which means ‘and’ along with an ‘h’ which means ‘the’ while the suffixes often give one the gender of the word as well as if it is singular or plural or includes the speaker or listener in the plural group and so on. Over half of learning Hebrew are the prefixes and the gender and singular versus plural of the words. Someday we will get a reliable translation program for our phones, or should we call them what the phones have become, life assistants and general applications from pictures to recordings, getting e-mail, surf the Web, record our every move and change of mood on Facebook, well, not quite, and most important movie or still camera and recorder.

 

Basically, virtually everything UNcomplimentary about Israel are UNtrue. Contrary to popular belief they are not contrarians. Israelis are like all peoples, there are the great, the good and the we wish they were nicer types. Many fall all over themselves attempting to make our lives as stress free as possible which had to be stressing on them. Of course it might be that as the ancient Hebrew scholars made a point of hammering into our stories and writings, people will only treat you as well as you treat them and life can be like a mirror to one’s soul which is revealed by ones actions when it appears nobody is watching, because, as we are taught in Judaism and is likely taught though with a slight difference, there is always somebody watching us from on High and nothing escapes that view as our innermost thoughts to our most expressed emotions. We can also count that such observations tell whether we’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake. Still, there is something else which permeates through the society at large. There is an air of optimism and hopefulness. You feel a vigor for living life and finding meanings where other places simply ignore and accept things as is. In Israel there is this striving to be better as a people and as individuals. There is also a level of acceptance which makes one more comfortable simply being themselves as all will be just fine in the end. There are more young children than we were used to in the United States. This too adds to the optimism as a society with declining populations is what is destroying Europe right before our eyes. They are dancing their last dance in Europe and if things continue as has been the scenario we in Israel will become all the more isolated and an Island of freedom and democracy in a sea of misfortune. There is still hope for Europe but only if they turn their ship of state around and rediscover what gave them the impetus to live life to the fullest and explore the world, that spark of life which made passing their ideas and ideals on to the next generation, something difficult to do when there are so few children born to the indigenous Europeans. Israel will only grow stronger as the Jews of Europe make their final decision and that plague may soon prove to be a prophesy for the United States though that need not be their future written in stone. The United States has a far better opportunity to reverse the slipping trend before the slope becomes too steep and wet for any traction and down becomes the only direction. We are both glad we have come to Israel and Israel has proven to be a wellspring of optimism and life, a future of light and enlightenment, more than a completion as it is an opportunity to grow with such splendor and a kaleidoscope of choices each colored so vividly and vibrant. It is really hope eternal or as close as we have seen on Earth. It is great to be at home, the home which was destined and a good, no, great home it is and will grow from there. Needless to say, but we do not expect the United Nations to understand as they are the people of ‘UN’ and that sums them up in total.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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