Beyond the Cusp

December 17, 2013

Will Justice be Served on Lebanese Soldier for Murder of Israeli Soldier?

Israeli Defense Forces Master Sergeant Shlomi Cohen, only 31 years of age from Afula, was murdered on Sunday evening by a Lebanese soldier who fired at least a half dozen bullets into the vehicle Sergeant Cohen was driving patrolling the Israel Lebanese border. This was the second case of Lebanese soldiers firing across the border on Israeli troops within the Israeli border without any provocation. Perhaps claiming without provocation is not entirely true as Lebanon also has virtually 24/7 propaganda demonizing Israel and Jews in their television and radio programming, text books and running through every venue in their civilization. Whenever the government fails to provide services or there is a power outage it is often claimed that Israel and/or the Jews were responsible and the government cannot be blamed for they are doing everything possible. Similar hatred is taught, broadcast and invested in every part of societies throughout the Middle East and North Africa across the Arab and much of the Muslim worlds. This soldier, not really a soldier as a murderer, as there is no state of war between Lebanon and Israel; so his act was either a criminal act or an act of war. Giving the benefit of the doubt to the Lebanese government, though I am not sure they deserve such, we will see whether or not this soldier’s actions in murdering an Israeli soldier who posed absolutely no threat as he drove along the border will be given appropriate trial and punishment or will he be awarded commendations and be applauded and displayed as an exemplary figure. As this was the second incident of Lebanese soldiers firing at Israelis on the Israeli side of the border in less than a week this may be the first shots in yet another Lebanese assault against Israel.


There will be those who will attempt to lay the blame with Hezballah and thus excuse the Lebanese government of any culpability for this murder. They cannot be allowed that comfort as Hezballah currently holds the majority position as head of the ruling coalition in the Lebanese Parliament and was crucial in approving the current Prime Minister. It is safe to say that the nation of Lebanon is currently ruled by Hezballah and their allies and as such any action be it committed by a member of the Lebanese military or by a Hezballah terrorist is still an act perpetrated by the nation of Lebanon as no difference currently exists between Hezballah and the nation of Lebanon. This is an unfortunate truth which is very unlikely to change as since Hezballah decided to take over the politics of the nations of Lebanon there has been a migration out of Lebanon by the majority of Lebanese Christians who could afford to leave and live elsewhere, mostly in the United States, Canada, Australia and some throughout Europe. This migration has only served to strengthen the grip Hezballah has over the government and the institutions of power in Lebanon and has also worked to bring the effects and strife from the Syrian civil war into Lebanon where Sunni-Shiite violence has been escalating recently. Even this unrest gives no excuse for a soldier in the service of the Lebanese military to fire unprovoked on Israeli troops guarding the Israeli side of the border.


One might wish to query where were the UNIFIL forces the United Nations has placed in Lebanon to monitor south of the Litany River and along the Lebanon-Syria border in a role to prevent cross border violence and prevent Hezballah rearming after the truce ending the Second Lebanon War. The United Nations made a big deal out of doubling the number of troops assigned to UNIFIL and how this increase in personnel was going to make all the difference in the world and peace would finally settle over the Israel-Lebanon border areas. Despite the increase in troops, UNIFIL has proven worse than useless in preventing Hezballah from rearming as Hezballah now claims to be armed with ten times the number of rockets and to possess missiles with accurate guidance systems and sufficient range to hit Eilat at the southernmost tip of Israel with far larger payloads than anything they fired during the Second Lebanon War. Also right under the noses of UNIFIL, Hezballah has not only completely rebuilt their bunker systems and command and control hardware, they have greatly expanded both with some of their fortified positions installed adjacent to United Nations UNIFIL stations to the point where there are pictures of the Hezballah flag and the UNIFIL and United Nations flags waving from adjacent flagpoles as Hezballah has placed their command station immediately next to a UNIFIL command station and nobody appears to find this unusual. Then again, there have been cases of Hezballah commandeering United Nations vehicles when one of their vehicles brakes down and they require a replacement to move munitions and other supplies. Perhaps things would be more difficult for Hezballah if they did not have UNIFIL on site able to pitch in and assist when needed.


Still, it will be telling over the upcoming weeks to see what will be the fate of the Lebanese soldier who murdered Master Sergeant Shlomi Cohen in cold blood as he has turned himself in to the Lebanese military personnel and confessed, or was it boasted, of his deed in the murderous act of war. If he is simply reprimanded and allowed to remain a member of the Lebanese military and given yet more chances to murder and commit acts of war then we will all know how far the fact that a terrorist groups, Hezballah, controls the Lebanese government and by such its military has permeated these structures. It may very well become evident that for much of what once was a wonderfully and beautiful country has become nothing more than a tool for the Hezballah terrorist forces and another viscously hateful border where the Israeli forces will need to be on a virtual war footing 24/7 similar to the state of the Golan Heights border with Syria. This will be a telling incident with very important ramifications.


Beyond the Cusp


December 16, 2013

Secretary Kerry Receives Surprises in Israel Other than Just Snow Upon Snow

Filed under: 1949 Armistice Line,1967 Borders,1967 War,Act of War,Administration,Amalekites,Anti-Israel,Anti-Semitism,Anti-Zionist,Appease Islamic Interests,Appeasement,Appointment,Arabist,Arabs,Blood Libel,Borders,Boycott,Civilization,Colonial Possession,Condemning Israel,Conflict Avoidnce,Divestment,Divided Jerusalem,Durban,Durban II,Durban III,Egypt,Europe,European Governments,European Pressure,European Union,Forced Solution,Gaza,Green Line,Hamas,Hate,Hezballah,History,International Politics,Intifada,Iran,Islam,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Jerusalem,Jewish Heritage,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,John Kerry,Jordan,Jordan River,Jordan Valley,Judea,Judean Hills,Khartoum Conference,King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein,Kotel,Land for Peace,Lebanon,Mahmoud Abbas,Meaning of Peace,Mediterranean Sea,Mortar Attacks,Murder Israelis,Muslim Brotherhood,Muslims,Negev Desert,Netanyahu,Nuclear Weapons,Old City,One State Solution,Oslo Accords,Palestinian,Palestinian Authority,Partition Plan,Peace Process,Politics,Pre-Conditions,President Obama,Prime Minister,Prisoner Release,Promised Land,Refugees,Right of Return,Rocket Attacks,Samaria,Sanctions (BDS),Secretary of State,Security,Six Day War,Smuggling Tunnels,Statehood,Support Israel,Syria,Taqiyya,Temple Mount,Terror,Terrorist Release,Three No's,Two State Solution,UN Human Rights Council,UNIFIL,United Nations,United Nations’ World Conference Against Racism,United States,War of Independence,West Bank,Western Wall,World Opinion,World Pressures,World Without Zionism or America,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 4:33 AM
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It appears that Secretary of State John Kerry is receiving signs telling him that all his plans and the thoughts, principles, facts and situational awareness he has been relying on are all completely backwards and wrong concerning the Middle East in general and the Palestinian-Israeli situation in particular. Even the weather was sending a message that his presence is not at all helpful as after arriving for the second visit in less than a week, Secretary Kerry had barely enough time to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem and then go to Ramallah and meet with Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas and then beat a path directly out of town leaving his further meetings with Netanyahu and his visit to Jordan to incorporate King Abdullah II into the alliance to pressure for a solution with Israel, instead heading on to Viet Nam before a winter storm of great ferocity stranded him in Israel. The weather dropped as much as a meter of snow in the eastern highlands of Israel and the Palestinian Territories with rain causing floods across the western lowlands and southern Negev region. Some, myself included, might have looked at the weather, coming as it did, ending a high pressure forced peace at any cost sacrificing anything that resisted standing in the way of implementing Secretary Kerry’s and President Obama’s perfect solution forcing Israel into concessions beyond those her leadership is comfortable making as a message for Kerry and Obama from on High.


Thus far there has been very little commentary on the reactions, demands and suggestions coming from Prime Minister Netanyahu other than the one point that Israel will not accept having her security guaranteed in any way, shape, or manner by third party troops be they from the United States, Europe or Timbuktu. There has been mention that the United States not only understands the Israeli insistence on having troops guarding the Jordan River Valley which is also the eastern border for the Palestinian state should one ever be formed and that is where weapons would be imported to use against Israel much as items came across the Egypt-Gaza border through smuggling tunnels such as rockets and mortars of which thousands upon thousands have rained down on Israeli citizens living in the south and Hamas and other terror units in Gaza have recently shown the ability to reach the outskirts of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Imagine the carnage if the same range of rockets were to be launched from Judea and Samaria (West Bank) easily striking the heartland of Israel where the vast majority of her citizens and industry are located. Israel has had the experience of allowing third parties to monitor and guarantee their safety when the Europeans took over inspections of items entering Gaza across the Egyptian border crossing what was referred to as the Philadelphia Corridor. The European monitors ran away within two weeks immediately after Hamas terrorists looked at them angrily and gave them threatening nasty looks. They hid in their hotels in Tel Aviv for a few weeks before leaving for home to never be seen again.


There have also been numerous other circumstances where United Nations, NATO and other institutions placed monitors or troops tasked to prevent terrorist groups from arming themselves or reinforcing areas with bunkers and other military structures always leaving immediately whenever the reason for their presence actually required them to actually perform their duties. This was made evidently clear when international troops deserted the Sinai Peninsula without delay when requested to remove themselves by Egyptian President Nasser so that, as he explained, the Egyptians could drive the Jews into the sea. There is the glaring lack of success repeating in Lebanon where a UNIFIL force that was doubled in strength by the United Nations managed to allow Hezballah to import ten times the numbers of rockets than they had in their arsenal before the Second Lebanon War. If it was not for the strikes on Syrian transfers of weapons to Hezballah in Lebanon as well as destroying a Russian shipment of arms on the docks which were also intended for Hezballah, then Hezballah would be currently armed with chemical weapons, superior antitank missiles, antiship missiles and antiaircraft missiles. The world is aware that Israel was the source of these strikes as the Syrians were informed unofficially through leaks to the press from President Obama’s Administration which were then published informing Syria and the world from where the strikes originated and by what means they were carried out.


Secretary Kerry came last week with General John Allen in tow to discuss plans that would address Israeli concerns over security once the two state solution is enacted and the Palestinian State has been formed. Israeli leaders and military brass met and discussed the plans and there was apparently progress made and a tentative plan may have been reached, at least sufficient agreements were attained to give a picture of what any final deal would entail. Many presumed experts on the Palestinian Israeli peace negotiations would have claimed that with a high degree of agreement between Secretary Kerry, General Allen, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israeli civilian and military leaders and the staff accompanying Secretary Kerry that a deal was all but guaranteed as the Palestinians would certainly work to find a path to peace as these experts claim that the Palestinians truly hunger for peace and it is only because the Israelis refuse to be reasonable that there has been no peace yet. Well, Secretary Kerry went plan in hand to Ramallah last week to discuss an almost completed agreement which only needed the Palestinians to agree and maybe work out a few minor differences and the peace plan of the millennia would have been molded. That is where there was a slight problem. Chairman Abbas not only refused to agree to a single point of Secretary Kerry’s presentation but went on to inform Secretary Kerry in no uncertain terms that the only peace proposal that Abbas would accept had to include the complete surrender of every inch of the so-called occupied lands, Jerusalem as the Palestinian Capital City, all Jews removed from any lands belonging to the Palestinians, no Israeli presence along the Jordan River, the complete “Right of Return” for over five million Arab refugees who fled the Israeli war in 1948 and the release of every single Palestinian freedom fighter currently held in Israeli prisons on false terrorism charges. This set Secretary Kerry back on his heels but Chairman Abbas was not yet finished. Immediately after Secretary Kerry left Mahmoud Abbas held a press conference where he denounced the entire plan that had been presented to him and reiterated the litany of demands upon which he refused to waiver insisting that peace would only be attained on his terms and if it results in the eradication of the Jewish state. What is befuddling is the reason Secretary Kerry returned at all and did not instead simply write off Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas as not even the slightest interested in any compromise or reaching anything resembling a workable peace with Israel. It should have been completely and unambiguously clear that Abbas is demanding the complete destruction of Israel as a state for the Jewish People and will accept nothing less.


There have been those who upon coming to the realization that the Palestinian leadership will only accept the destruction of the Jewish state ask why Abbas believes that he will ever get such an unreasonable demand. The answer starts with the Khartoum Declaration and the three no’s; No peace with Israel, No negotiations with Israel, No recognition of Israel. This was the agreed position of the Arab world after the humiliation of their loss in the Six Day War. Subsequently, the Arab nations realized that as long as the world was presented with the Arab-Israeli conflict that the world would side with Israel as the underdogs. The massive size of the Arab world compared to Israel imparted visions of David versus Goliath with the Israeli David against the massively larger and more armed Arab Goliath. It was this revelation which demanded that the Arabs find a weak and sympathy garnering representation which when placed next to Israel appeared weak and defenseless against the might and power of the Israeli Defense Forces war machine. Thus the Palestinians became the Arab’s face and the Arab-Israeli conflict was rebranded as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with Apartheid massively powerful and intransigent Israel oppressing the poor, downtrodden, weak, helpless Palestinians upon who the world could only have sympathy and feel they were helping the oppressed underdog and saving the weak from the mean and oppressive Jews. The actual battle lines had not changed one iota. The proof of that is the constant drumbeat out of Iran of “Death to Israel”, the “A World Without Zionism and America” conferences in Iran, the Durban Conferences where the world with a few exceptions piled hatred and bile upon Israel and only Israel, the United Nations Human Rights Council which is required at the start of every session to discuss and condemn the Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians where any and every accusation is heard and applauded and sympathized and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement among so many others which exists solely to heap damnation upon Israel and only Israel as if there were no other ills in the world. It has even been stated by respected statesmen that if only Israel were to be abolished then every wrongdoing and ill in this world would automatically be resolved and there would be perfect harmony throughout the world. If you honestly believe that then you have my sympathy as it must be rather impossible surviving day to day without any ability to reason and integrate facts that you independently verified. Of course if you are relying on others to spoon feed you what you accept as fact, well, that explains much.


Beyond the Cusp


June 7, 2013

When the Going Gets Rough the UN Goes Running

The United Nations is once again displaying remarkable consistency. The Syrian border with Israel heated up even further today and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) peacekeepers began running. Actually the governments who sent their troops to be peacekeepers ordered them to start running; running straight home. The UNDOF troops had been monitoring a basically silent border since 1974 until the recent events actually might have required them to perform peacekeeping. This should not come as a surprise as this is basically what United Nations peacekeepers are renowned for doing in the face of violence. In their defense the initial decision by the Austrian government to withdraw their 380 peacekeepers came after clashes in which two UN peacekeepers were slightly injured. The Austrian government official statement stated, “The Austrian army’s participation in the UNDOF mission can no longer be maintained for military reasons.” Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann and his deputy Michael Spindelegger said in a joint statement. “Freedom of movement in the area de facto no longer exists. The uncontrolled and immediate danger to Austrian soldiers has risen to an unacceptable level” This was the final death knell for the UNDOF mission as it followed the reduction of the troop numbers to 900 after the March withdrawal by Croatia which followed following similar moves by Canada and Japan.


This situation is not honestly much of a surprise as United Nations peacekeepers that have been stationed on Israeli borders have a history of either ineffectiveness or departing at the earliest signs of violence or immediately after the leader of the Arab nation bordering Israel requests they get out of the way of their attacking militaries. This was the case in 1967 when Egyptian and Syrian troops massed on Israel’s borders. Avoiding trouble and turning a blind eye to Hezballah activities has been the apparent mission directive of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). In all honesty United Nations efforts as peacekeepers have left much to be desired throughout their history but only when deployed. The other side of this unseemly coin is that in many instances where United Nations peacekeepers would have actually been useful and have saved innocent lives they have been reticent in sending them in in a timely manner. The genocides in Rwanda and Darfur are prime examples of too little too late if at all. The only thing less effective of this world depending on the United Nations to be a place where peace is kept by the cooperation of the member nations through reason and negotiations as the means for solving problems would be a world where even the ineffectual United Nations did not exist thus removing any recourse other than the historic means, open warfare at even the slightest of provocations. Unfortunately, the one accomplishment of the United Nations that has prevented far more world carnage is about to become violate, the prevention of the general proliferation of nuclear weaponry. Once that principal accomplishment is dashed and nuclear weapons become generally available to any country or other entity with sufficient funds and desire, then when the world enters another period of heightened tensions, any resultant conflict would contain a level of threat for an unacceptable conflagration of unimaginable destruction. I pray that such a future is avoidable but judging from human history where no weapon no matter how horrible has not only been used to end one war but more often than not became the principle weapon used in the next war. Some claim this is due to progress while others contend such progress will eventually result in the end of the human race and potentially an almost immeasurable percentage of life on the planet. May such a consequence be avoided though the current state of the world is not exactly promising when the organization responsible for mitigating such threats, the United Nations, refuses to have its peacekeeping forces remain in place running from even the slightest raised level of violence.


Beyond the Cusp


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