Beyond the Cusp

April 14, 2015

They Have Actually Started Eating Each Other

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The differences between Hamas and Fatah have been well documented and their 2007 open warfare for the control of Gaza was simply the Super Bowl which had one merciful fact, it lasted just under one week from June 10 to June 15, 2007. The official casualty count was one-hundred-twenty Palestinian combatants and thirty-nine Palestinian civilians and two UN personnel. This was the most famous and heavily reported violence between Palestinian factions though there have been numerous breakouts of violence between different family groups, crime entities, competing terrorist groups and sometimes even violence between individuals. Most of the violence has been ignored by most of the world’s media as reporting on violent disagreements between separate Palestinians would detract from their normally presented angelic image usually used to paint the darlings of the mainstream leftist media. If Israelis had problems anywhere near the level of the animosities often overlooked between Hamas and Fatah it would lead every newscast and top every newspaper in the world. Unfortunately for the mainstream media the animosity between Hamas and Fatah and the charges Hamas levels against the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas has been such that it has demanded coverage from time to time. Just to give an idea of the extent that differences and threats between even Hamas and Fatah and the President of the Palestinian Authority just this past week Mahmoud al-Zahar, an ranking officer with Hamas, leveled challenges to the rule of Mahmoud Abbas calling his continued rule as illegitimate as he has not stood for election and thus Abbas’s term as “president” expired years ago. He further accused Abbas of “treachery” for allowing for security coordination and cooperation with the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). Zahar also equated Abbas’s name as an “embarrassment” to every Palestinian. Zahar also addressed the charge that Hamas was working to form their own Palestinian state in Gaza by presenting that Hamas would not be satisfied with a state in Gaza or in the “West Bank” (Judea and Samaria) as their intent is intent on the complete destruction of Israel. Mahmoud Al-Zahar further stated, “If we succeed in setting up a government in Gaza, autonomy, civil administration or any other framework on a portion of the land of Palestine, that does not mean that we give up on one other grain of Palestine.” Just one week earlier Al-Zahar demanded an end to the Palestinian Authority and explained that the “honeymoon period” was over as was any hope of continuing the “unity government” calling for a return to the “armed struggle.” Of course none of this was reported on the evening news throughout much of the world even including some newscasts in Israel. These little spats cannot be permitted to spoil the view that everything between the factions within the Palestinian Arab families might have even the slightest possibility of hitting a rough spot.


The truth is that rough spots is the norm between Hamas and Fatah or even Hamas and the Arab Palestinian Authority and have been that way since the elections in 2006 when Hamas won the Parliamentary elections and Abbas decided that there was no need for having an election for his spot as the President of the Arab Palestinian Authority as he had just succeeded the Late Yasser Arafat just over eighteen months earlier and extended his term until the next elections in 2009. This problem was the result of the hubris of the United States, surprise, surprise. President George W. Bush and his then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice insisted that the Palestinian Parliamentary elections of 2006 had to be open to all the parties of the Arab Palestinian Authority, both Fatah and Hamas. Somehow they missed insisting on Islamic Jihad but why quibble over degrees of disasters. Mahmoud Abbas pleaded with President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to reconsider informing that allowing for Hamas to field candidates against Fatah would result in a disaster and a Hamas victory, the only variable was the scale of the disaster. Prime Minister Sharon also demanded that this open election not be pressed as it would all but guarantee a Hamas victory which Israel pressed would be a disaster for Israel, any hopes for peace and might even result in a new war. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice remained adamant and the rest is history, Hamas won a majority in the Parliament and all elections going forward would end up cancelled after the Gaza War which led to a Hamas government in Gaza and a Fatah controlled Arab Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria (West Bank).


There was a new wrinkle this past week when violence flared in Judea and Samaria between different segments of the Arab Palestinian Authority, of different Fatah factions. The latest flare-up has broken out in two locations, Jenin, once the location of a false massacre that to this day is still used to attempt to besmirch the IDF despite the fact that even the United Nations, not exactly the best friend when it comes to defending Israel, investigated the battle and found that for all intents and purposes the casualties were virtually all combatants and the numbers were minimal and nowhere near the numbers claimed by Palestinian spokespersons or numerous international NGOs, and Nablus, historically named Shechem since the times of ancient Israel of nearly three-thousand years ago. Both Jenin and Nablus are within Area A which places them under complete Arab Palestinian Authority control which includes both civil and security. The laws in these two cities and surrounding areas is made by the Arab Palestinian Authority Parliament and is enforced completely by the Arab Palestinian Authority Security Forces personnel. All of this was spelled out and stipulated part and parcel in the 1993 Oslo Accords and was intended to allow the Arabs to prove they were capable of self-rule and managing their own areas, the results of this have been mixed at best. The violence which broke out this week was not a sign that things are going neither well in Jenin nor in Nablus. Let us take the two locations separately.


Jenin has been a powder-keg as the refugee camp there has been the home of numerous different terrorist squads and crime within the camp has been a running problem as the refugees are denied employment and are prime candidates to join terrorist squads or turn to crime as any manner of escape from the camps is highly desirable. The fact that there are Arab Palestinian refugee camps within Judea and Samaria as well as within Gaza is virtually beyond belief. These Arabs are living in what can only be described as government provided apartment buildings similar in design to the government housing in the inner cities in the United States, permanent structures made of concrete forms and fully furnished just as any other apartment building except that these apartment buildings hold Palestinians denoted as refugees living amongst Palestinians in a Palestinian governed area. Should the world decide tomorrow to end the farce which is the Palestinian refugee permanent and festering situation where if either of your parents were refugees then you will grow up as a refugee and your children and their children yet to be born will also be refugees. The violence, which was reported in some news media given the kind of coverage where it was not a leading story, broke out on Friday between members of the Fatah Party, possibly from their “military wing” the al-Aqsa’s Military Brigades, and Arab Palestinian Authority Security Forces, the “military and police forces” of the Arab Palestinian Authority which is made up mostly if not entirely by Fatah members in central Jenin near the refugee camp. This was simply the latest in a series of firefights between the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades forces and the Arab Palestinian Authority forces. One such incident resulted in the Arab Palestinian Authority Security Force Headquarters being engulfed in a hail of bullets where fortunately and miraculously nobody was injured.


The amazing thing is the Fatah and the Arab Palestinian Authority both have Mahmoud Abbas as their leader. Abbas is the Chairman of the Fatah Party and the President of the Arab Palestinian Authority, so this pitted armed men from one side under Mahmoud Abbas shooting and engaged with armed men on the other side under Mahmoud Abbas, and this is a normalcy within their society with its dualities often drawn to separate the so-called refugees from the rest of the population. The next day, Saturday, in the Balata “Refugee Camp” in Nablus, the car of a leading Fatah activists, Fayiz Arafat, was set on fire. Several days before his vehicle was burnt, he was the target of an apparent assassination attempt which the local people placed the blame on the Arab Palestinian Authority Security officers. These shootings have been escalating under the radar for quite some time and only recently have they spilled out of control and thus started to be reported in some reports within the communities, both refugee and normative Arab Palestinians. These outbursts of violence have been escalating with their having been two main sources leading up to these escalations, coup attempts by Hamas and the influx of ISIS supporters starting to form cells which are then seen as rivals leading to their targeting by the long-standing forces from within Fatah, some of which also serve in the Arab Palestinian Authority Security Forces. Last year there was being formed a larger force by Hamas operatives for the purpose of launching a coup against Fatah and taking over the Arab Palestinian Authority in a similar escalation which resulted in Gaza being run by Hamas outside of the Arab Palestinian Authority control and rule. The Hamas growing threat was detected by Israeli forces who arrested the leaders of the cell and the cell collapsed fragmenting without its leadership.


The breakout of firefights between Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade forces and the Arab Palestinian Authority Security Forces is a surprising development. The supporters of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades forces lay all of the blame for instigating this situation by pressing their efforts against Fatah Activists Fayiz Arafat as part and parcel of their attempts to also take control over the Balata Refugee Camp wresting it from its local control and enforcement by the Fatah forces. This is not as far-fetched as it may at first appear as there has been any number of these situations recently. Some of the violence has occurred before but then mostly as isolated incidents. There was also the arrest and breakup of an ISIS cell in Hevron earlier this month and more such threats promise to appear as ISIS has gained strength by garnering recruits from both Fatah members and Hamas members plus anyone who have lost their faith in the faction’s ability to deliver on its promises of destroying Israel and instead seek out ISIS who have a record of being the stronger force capable of delivering on their promises for actions in place of words though we have seen little reservations. Should these differences continue to fracture the Arab society and place each group at the other groups’ throats with the violence constantly ramping upward becoming more serious, eventually destroying any hopes of the entire Arab community. Turning to ISIS will simply represent the Arab society proving that their intent was never to form their own state but solely to destroy the Jewish State of Israel. Such irreconcilable truth being exhibited will only serve to refute even their most ardent supporters’ claims that their intentions are of a limited nature and not having the complete destruction of Israel as their lifelong goal. Turning to ISIS will signal the end of the ability of even the Europeans and the lunatic fringe extreme leftists from denying the claim that the aims of the Palestinian society is destruction of Israel and not the construction of their own state.


Beyond the Cusp


September 12, 2013

Peace Process on a Rough Road as Palestinians Complain and Make Demands

A number of Palestinian spokespeople have been complaining recently that the Israelis are not working with their side in the negotiations and they are demanding greater American pressures be put on the Israelis to grant the Palestinians the concessions they feel they are entitled to receive. At the same time they are refusing to make any compromises and insist that they have given enough already after all they agreed to talk and now the Israelis need to reward their willingness to hold negotiations. The Palestinians leadership is still protesting the planned Israeli construction in places which previously both sides had agreed would be parts of the lands which the Israelis would retain and despite having known of the plans to build before they entered negotiations. This feigned surprise and shock at the Israeli announcements to build is aimed at demanding that the United States force the Israelis to enact a complete building freeze immediately and an end to any building whatsoever in and lands the Palestinians claim are theirs. The Palestinians were offered a building freeze by the Israelis and refused that demanding prisoner releases instead and now that they have arranged the prisoner releases they are demanding a building freeze as well.


Meanwhile, the Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Muhammad Hussein has declared that the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount is under attack by Jews who during the High Holy Days have been permitted to pray on the Temple Mount. He has added that the religious Jews and the settlers are rioting on the Temple Mount and have been throwing rocks at the Muslim preventing them from entering their Mosques to pray and injuring their children among others. This series of false complaints has come while the reality on the Temple Mount has been rioting Muslim teens and young adults attack and throwing rocks at the security police and Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount. These are regular events which are executed in order to force the authorities to forbid any Jews from ascending onto the Temple Mount, the holiest place for Jews, during most Jewish holidays. The Muslims have learned to play the system well as they complain about Jews throwing rocks and assaulting and rioting on the Temple Mount while in reality they are the ones who are rioting and attacking the Jews who enter the holy area. By complaining and at the same time causing riots and rock attack which can be backed by new photographers who take their pictures from a distance and then the lead in many European new reports quotes the Palestinian complaints and lies of Jews attacking Muslims along with deep in the article a couple of sentences, often buried on a continuing page, spilling the truth with their pictures in which it is difficult to discern who is attacking whom. Along with the Palestinian verbal complaints about Jewish violence they also have decried that the Jews are attempting through mysterious ways to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque in order to make room for the building of the Jewish Temple in its place.  Meanwhile, the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades has declared war on the Jews giving a “green light” to terrorist attacks targeting Israelis beginning on Friday. Their reason was stated, “The invasion of the compound by hordes of settlers, and the harm to (Muslim) worshipers, with no intervention from the international community.” This is simply an addition on the call for international forces to pressure the Israelis into granting even more concessions as part of the negotiations in return for which the Palestinians promise to continue to negotiate.


This will eventually pressure Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama to lean on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to allow the negotiating team to grant the Palestinians some form of concessions in order to satisfy their blood lust and insistence on receiving something for nothing, the most common and repeated tactic they have been using from even before the Oslo Accords and more so since. On another front many of those who work as the Palestinian negotiating team both at the actual talks and those responsible for propaganda and media manipulations have been agitating that the negotiations have reached a breaking point and unless the Israelis are forced to be more reasonable and grant some of the Palestinian demands they will be forced to refuse to hold further negotiations. This is also part of their usual and longstanding tactic when in negotiations. They threaten to walk away and this in turn usually results in the United States mediators, President, and whoever else is part of the responsible group for the negotiations to enter the talks on the side and pry additional concessions from the Israelis. When the Palestinians believe they have wrung sufficient concessions they return to negotiations and refusing to make any concessions to the Israelis. This will continue for some weeks until the Palestinians feel they can demand more concessions without needing to offer anything in return. This entire fiasco will repeat until the Israelis finally have had enough and refuse to grant any more free concessions which is when the Palestinian walk away from the Negotiations claiming that they had warned the world all along about the obstinate Israelis who refuse to negotiate in good faith which gets covered on front pages of European and American liberal mainstream media outlets and then we wait until the next time there is a call for negotiations. When the next call for negotiations comes around the Palestinian demand that the starting point be the last position reached and that every concession ever made by Israeli negotiators is included as the base beginning. It is by this ever slow creeping taking without ever honestly negotiating that has changed the baseline from Israel retaining defensible borders, all of Jerusalem and Area C while the Palestinians retained Area A and they negotiated over Area B and Israel was perceived to retain the entire Jordan Valley. Those lines have long since disappeared and now the debate is whether or not the Palestinians will be generous enough to allow any of the settlement blocks to remain as part of Israel while they are given equal lands to compensate. Should this trend allowed and even anxiously applauded by much of the world continue by 2050 Israel will be negotiating to try and retain all of Tel Aviv and the world will see nothing untoward about such a progressive result.


Beyond the Cusp


June 30, 2012

Middle East Boiling Over Could Grant One Promise

The changes throughout the Middle East continue as things roil over and the predictions of the press and politicians in the West slowly are revealed to be nothing but errors and misjudgments. There are a select few who are still insisting on bending, twisting, contorting, and transmuting the evidential facts emanating from the Middle East in such a manner as to make it all fit their expectations. Some of the worst offenders of truth are members of the White House and advise President Obama. Let us take a look at some of the most egregious mutations of truth being presented as fact and reality. The most amusing among these has been the persistence of the idea that Kofi Annan can bring an end to the carnage occurring in Syria through meetings held outside of Syria with panels made up of people and leaders who are not Syrian. The latest twist or turn in this saga will be a meeting in Geneva consisting of Foreign Ministers from countries of presumably powerful nations as well as some from nations who may have an interest or reside in the area surrounding Syria. While this meeting of great minds will include people representing Russia, the United States among others, it at least had the foresight and wisdom not to include Israel in the discussion. Oh, one last point; Syrian President Assad has already stated his rejection for any compromise or suggestion which may be forthcoming from this conclave.


Another item that would be amusing, was it not so serious a misreading of actual events and egregious misinterpretation of stated words and intentions which could only be the result of pure flights of fancy, would be Secretary of State Clinton’s view of events in Egypt. Much of this has to do with the reactions and statements made by Secretary of State Clinton as well as other members of President Obama’s staff and Cabinet. All of these mischaracterizations have to do with the newly elected Egyptian President and other election results and actions over the future for governance of Egypt. Egyptian President Morsi gave a speech celebrating his election victory and setting the tone for the future of Egypt under his leadership. Among the statements made in a relatively lengthy speech, these little nuggets were in the translations, “The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal,” and “Today we can establish Sharia law because our nation will acquire well-being only with Islam and Sharia. The Muslim Brothers and the Freedom and Justice Party will be the conductors of these goals.” Secretary of State Clinton has reacted to the election and statements of President Morsi with signs of approval and expressing an expectation that future governance in Egypt will be of a liberal and agreeable nature and everything points towards a bright future for Egypt and relations between the United States and the Morsi government. Somebody must have gotten a bad translation or possibly the translation of his speech has yet to cross Madam Secretary’s desk.


Moving right along, we come to the futile meetings between the P5+1 and Iran over the nuclear issue. The fact that anybody still holds out hope that these negotiations will serve any purpose other than fill time in until Iran completes their efforts to place nuclear warheads upon their ballistic missiles and use them against Israel, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and/or even the United States is purely delusional. And placing the Foreign Minister of the European Union Catherine Ashton as the lead person in the negotiations was likely one of the great personnel errors of all time. Firstly, she is not a member of any of the governments of the countries represented in the negotiations. Secondly, she is a complete anti-Zionist and is enamored with the Arab and Muslim causes. Thirdly, she is another multiculturalist banner waving proponent who appears to find favor in any culture which deplores and condemns western civilization. And finally she has spoken in such glowing and admirable terms when referring to the chief Iranian negotiator that one would be forgiven if they believe that she is enamored with him much like a school girl’s crush. Yet, despite all that has occurred, the leaders of the West, President Obama in particular, still act under the perception that progress is being achieved and a solution is right around the corner. This is despite their having turned numerous similarly promising corners only to find another long stretch of dessert road to travel. Charlie Brown is more likely to finally realize that Lucy will pull the ball away just before he kicks landing him on his backside long before any of these leaders realize that Iran is Lucy playing them for Charlie Brown and Iran has an endless supply of footballs.


I promised at least one bright side, so here it goes. This concerns the difficulties between Israel and the Palestinians and the rest of the world. The Palestinian Authority leadership under Mahmoud Abbas has escalated their threats and posturing demanding a complete and unilateral concession on every possible issue by Israel or numerous threats will be unleashed. This past week Abbas and his associates placed the demand that Israel withdraw from all the lands liberated during the 1967 War including all of East Jerusalem including the entire Old City, establish a Palestinian State on this surrendered land with Jerusalem as the Capital, release all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli detention, and accommodate the acceptance of all the refugees resultant from the displacement of Arabs from the 1948 War into Israel with full restitution of all properties they claim and full Israeli citizenship or else the Palestinians will initiate a third Intifada. These overt threats came less than a week after Hamas and related allied terror groups fired over one-hundred-fifty rockets and mortars into southern Israel in just under one week. This included one barrage of approximately twenty rockets within one hour. Meanwhile, newly elected Egyptian President Morsi sat nodding in agreement on a stage during an introductory speech given by an Imam while he declared that the new Caliphate, the United States of Arabs would soon be founded with al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its Capital. Add in statements out of Iran and from Hezballah in Lebanon with the possibility of an attack out of Syria resulting from the unrest plaguing that nation, the belligerence that has replaced the once harmonious relations between Turkey and Israel and one inevitability arises, the probability of an armed conflict between Israel and some combination of aggressors likely including Egypt, Hamas, PRC Gaza, Palestinian Authority, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade from Judea and Samaria, Iran in coordination with Hezballah in Lebanon, and even possibly Turkey who may demand the full support as obligated by treaty from all NATO members. Should some form of open warfare be unavoidable in the near future and Israel manage to repel the attackers, one should expect that when the fighting ends that Israel will claim as her borders the very farthest of the front lines with all the lands west of the Jordan River as a minimal start. If Israel is, Heaven forbid, forced into another war in order to continue to exist, the world should brace themselves for Israel choosing whatever favorable borders she desires from the point where her enemies accept defeat and agree to forever end their violence and desires to destroy the Jewish State or the Jewish People. There will be no more questions over Israeli right to Judea, Samaria, all of Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, even possibly up to the Litani River in Lebanon. My prayers are whatever the next conflict to break out in the Middle East, no matter who is involved and whether Israel is attacked or it is between two or more countries none of which are Israel, that the rest of the world can manage not to be dragged, pulled, coerced or forced to join the conflict. Unfortunately, if I had to make a bet, my bet would be the next conflict in the Middle East will be between Iran and the countries of the GCC, namely Saudi Arabia and the other oil kingdoms which neighbor her. That conflict could very rapidly escalate into a world consuming conflagration. That would be simply horrendous and tumultuous situation, to say the least.



Beyond the Cusp


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