In Torah at Numbers Verse 22 we are told about how Balak, son of Zippor, King of Moab, sent messengers to summon Balaam, son of Beor, who told him the message from their King which was, “A nation has just come here from Egypt. They’ve spread out all over the countryside and are setting up their camp here in front of me. 6 Please come and curse these people for me, because they are too strong for me. Maybe then I’ll be able to defeat them and force them out of the country. I know that whomever you bless is blessed and whomever you curse is cursed.”
Balaam replied asking that the messengers of his King, “Spend the night here and I’ll report to you what the Lord tells me.” Hashem said to Balaam, “Don’t go with them! Don’t curse these people, because they are blessed.” Balak commanded the princes, “Go back to your own country, because the Lord has refused to let me go with you.” The messengers returned and King Balak sent them to return to entreat Balaam once again and during that night Hashem came to Balaam and said, “If these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.” So Balaam went to journey to do as the King demanded but an Angel blocked the way so Balaam’s mule refused to continue down the blocked passage. Balaam cursed the beast and the beast explained why it refused to continue and they argued; perhaps this is where the phrase ‘smart ass’ originated. Again, after a brief discussion the Angel bid Balaam continue. Balaam had King Balak prepare sacrifices in the manner as commanded by Hashem and then make his prophesies, the presumed curses the King of Moab had commissioned Balaam to pronounce over the Israelites. There were four prophesies which all were blessings, not curses, for Balaam was only able to speak the words that Hashem had given to him. My reason for the detail is that like many other Jews, I say the third of the four ‘curses’ as it blesses the house of Jacob and is known as Ma Tovu. The English Translation can be found at the end of this article.
The conference which just ended in Paris was the great idea of United States ‘Lame Duck’ President Obama and likely to be replaced in the next election French President Hollande in a joint effort to summon seventy nations, including their own, to condemn Israel and form the basis for further documents and edicts, particularly another United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution augmenting the recent UNSC Resolution 2334 which was an advisory resolution unenforceable by any means claiming that Israel has no claims beyond the Green Line unless the Arab known as Palestinians willingly allow such presence. This inverted all former resolutions which left borders up to the involved parties and made no claim as to which party owned which lands with the original resolutions placing the land as belonging to Israel but urging an Arab state be carved from the lands with Israeli permission otherwise the land belonged to Israel. The Oslo Accords altered this granting the lands denoted as Area A as belonging to the Arabs to practice semiautonomous rule. Presidents Obama and Hollande had believed the gathering would be anxious to agree to a resolution demanding Israel withdraw from all of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem allowing for an Arab nation of Palestine to be formed and this conference would also recommend that the UNSC also pass a resolution granting the Arab State of Palestine recognition and membership in the United Nations making the demand enforceable by all means necessary under Chapter Seven. This not only did not come to pass, but the conference almost immediately repudiated any thoughts of condemning Israel in such manner and within forty-eight hours the conference disbanded. Once again Hashem intervened and prevented those gathered to curse Israel before the world and withheld their tongues and forbid their cursing of the nation of Israel. The parallel had everything except any reports of angels blocking their paths and their donkey refusing to continue the journey when seeing the heavenly entity (feel free to insert your own ‘smart ass’ joke here).
The further good news is without any proclamation from Paris showing any consensus of the seventy gathered nations to present at the United Nations Security Council over the remaining few days before the inauguration brings a close to the Presidency of Barack Obama, it is quite possible that his crusade to attempt to nail Israel to within indefensible borders which she held pre-1967 Six Day War may very well be coming to an end. The problem is that a former President Obama very well will continue his quest using his former title and the aid of collaborative NGO’s is a definite probability. If he intends such actions, time will not be on his side as former President Carter can attest. Granted, Jimmy Carter can get an audience made up of reporters, even if nobody else, willing to echo and amplify his words hoping to reach any potential confederates. Like Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama could write books with fabricated and slanted reviews of events and even nonevents and title the books in similar manner as Jimmy Carters’ book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” which reveals his bias using Palestine in the title and not Israel. The one thing is his book may have been an appropriate title even if the contents were tainted with pure hatred against Israel and the Jewish People. If one is truly interested as to where the true apartheid is in the Israel-Arab conflict, all one need do is read the demands made by Mahmoud Abbas, other Palestinian leaders, Arab leaders across the Arab world about how any Arab nation carved out of Israel must be free of all Jews. One need look no further than the presenting all of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority where every Jew had to be removed and even those buried within Gaza needed to be reinterred within Israel. Where is the real apartheid when even the dead must be removed because even the corpses of a Jew are considered a contaminant by the leaders of the Palestinian Authority? Not a very difficult to figure this one out unless one has bought into the Arab initiated propaganda machine and their media acolytes amplifying their hatred disguised as news and their alternate revisionist history as fact. Let’s look into the little history story they have concocted and measure it against some well-known history by anybody who has studied ancient history or religious histories.
The claims that the Arabs resided in the lands which were presumably reserved for the Jewish State was a claim the British found convenient as they exercised efforts to assure that the numbers of Arabs in the British Mandate west of the Jordan River always exceeded the number of Jews. The British imported Arabs while restricting the number of Jews allowed to enter in order to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state. This cost millions of Jews their lives when during the lead up to World War II the Jews of Europe were blocked by the British to a mere seventy-five-thousand a year immigrating and the British managed to not even meet that meager number almost every year. This resulted in Israel being founded with near the same numbers of Jews and Arabs within her borders. This resulted in many Arab villages deciding to fight as allies to the Islamic Arab forces from half a dozen Arab nations attacking Israel at her birth resulting in many of these villages being vacated and sent beyond the front lines as the vulnerability of the Jews to these attacks left them without a better option. The claims that the Arabs resided in these lands for many thousands of years, some have claimed five while others as many as nine, is completely unsubstantiated by the historic records. On the other side, Jews residing in the lands and in Jerusalem, including the Jewish section of the Old City, Hebron and virtually every major city was recorded in every census taken by the British and the Ottomans before them. The Arabs, on the other hand, did not leave the Arabian Peninsula in any numbers until after the year 600 after which they made quick conquest of the entirety of the Middle East followed by Northern Africa and into Spain (Andalusia). This conquest was one of the greatest colonizational conquests in history only rivaled later by Spain and Britain. (For a record of the separate conquests starting with the lands taken by Mohammad and after his passing the following Muslim leaders see map below) Muhammad conquered most of the Arabian Peninsula; at least its main population centers of Mecca and Medina and never saw Jerusalem in his entire life. It was not until at least a quarter of a century before the Islamic forces claimed Jerusalem and proceeded to take the rest of the former Jewish lands. The Crusades were the Christian response to being pushed from Jerusalem and the Holy Lands and continued for quite some time with Jerusalem and other major cities such as Nazareth, Akko and Bethlehem changed hands between the Muslims and Christians numerous times. This did not go well for the Muslims or Christians as these conquests alternated. The one consistency was that the Jews suffered with every change of conquest as they were always regarded as having aided the other side and thus as untrustworthy. Jewish writings from these times, the few which survived, reported mostly that the Jews did all in their power to melt into the scenery and be as unobtrusive as humanly possible. Their survival depended on their giving an image as being as weak and unassuming as possible completely unable of posing a threat to anybody. The Islamic history does not record many defeats as Islam is predicated on the supremacy of Allah and as such also his warriors. Their rapid conquest of large areas fed this supposition as they had no real idea that the Roman Empires collapse and the weakness of the Byzantine Empire and lack of any united force beyond the Nile River was instead interpreted as the supremacy of Islam.
The most interesting concept from these conquests was the idea of what was the third holiest city in all Islam. As they surged from the Arabian Peninsula the initial third most important city became Damascus and Bagdad then Toledo and Barcelona and eventually Constantinople which when they finally breached its walls and took the city they renamed Istanbul. What is interesting is that Jerusalem was such a minor city that it paled in importance initially to Damascus except for the fact that it was of such importance to the Jews and Christians which made it worthy of great efforts to take and keep. Holding Jerusalem was important only in that it denied the Jews and Christians of their holy city. When Islam went through a period where the Muslim rulers in Arabia were at odds with the northern Islamic holdings and denied them permission to enter the Arabian Peninsula the Muslims decided that the Haj could be satisfied by going to Damascus, not Jerusalem. One northern Calif did attempt to use Jerusalem, but he quickly realized the fact that Jerusalem was an uncomfortable city with an awful climate and part way through the summer he moved everybody back to Damascus and wrote off any ideas of using Jerusalem as a holy place in Islam. The mosques built on the Temple Mount were placed there in order to overshadow the Christian churches and make the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple presumably impossible. Other than denying Jerusalem to the Jews and Christians, Jerusalem served no other importance in Islam. When Muslims in much of Israel and Jordan pray five times each day they turn themselves toward Mecca placing their derrieres toward Jerusalem, more a sign of disrespect than honor.
The reality of President Obama and his campaign to injure Israel appears to be far more than a simple dispute between him and Prime Minister Netanyahu. If that is the entire root of his apparent desire to injure Israel at every turn, then he is a more petty and disrespectful person than I would like to believe. Odd as it may seem, I would rather President Obama to desire to make a gift of all Israel to Islam as he believes Israel, wrongfully, to be a European colony. This proves he has never spent any time within Israel and watching the people, the Jews. The Synagogue I attend is a mixture of Jews from all over the areas with over half coming originally from areas under Islamic control while others are from Eastern Europe and some from Western Europe and a few from the United States and a couple from Africa, possibly Ethiopia. We are a mixed group and yet are more about our common Judaism and our shared faith and love for Hashem, but President Obama believes we are all European conquerors because of the dreams he uses as his inspiration in life, the dreams from his father, just like his book title he presumably wrote. It really is a shame that President Obama had this misconception about Israel as we have pointed out before, many of the nations, the numerous Arab and even European nations, really would rather not take any Jews; even any that may have had ancestors residing in those nations. Further, many younger Israelis have parents who are from opposite ends of the world. My parents are a perfect example, as my father was from London and ancestors traced to Russia while my mother was raised in Mumbai and trace her family to Iraq. Which nation would I be forced to return to or would I have to return to the United States? Yes, it gets confusing once one actually attempts to figure out what to do with the Jews in Israel. How about what they decided in Paris, allow the Jews to take care of themselves and do so in all of the lands guaranteed them by Article 80 of the United Nations Charter and all that includes the lands west of the Jordan River. Just what the world agreed upon originally including King Feisal representing the Arab League. For the mean time, at least Paris has passed and Israel spared by Hashem and the guiding hand which this time was used gently. It would be nice to keep it that way.
Beyond the Cusp
How great are your tents, O Jacob,
Your dwelling places, O Israel!
As for me, through Your abundant grace,
I enter your house to worship with awe in Your sacred place.
O Lord, I love the House where you dwell,
And the place where your glory tabernacles.
I shall prostrate myself and bow;
I shall kneel before the Lord my Maker.
To You, Eternal One, goes my prayer:
May this be a time of your favor.
In Your abundant love, O God,
Answer me with the Truth of Your salvation.