Beyond the Cusp

April 29, 2017

The Time to Prevent a New Holocaust is Now!

 

We just commemorated Holocaust Remembrance Day and there were special services where a special Kaddish may have been recited and the names of the relatives of Congregants’ families are read. If the town or city has a Holocaust Memorial, then a flower lying may also be held. There are numerous and varied commemorative activities as there are congregations and memorials. There are also many contribution drives correlated with Holocaust Remembrance Day hoping to work on people’s consciences and memories to loosen their grip on their wallets. We figure these drives are more successful than similar such attempted during other weeks of the year as their supposition is likely correct. But all these services, prayers, flower lying, listing of names and all the other means of attempting to give relevance in our time to the memory of the Holocaust such that we can prevent a reoccurrence are less likely to serve that purpose as would taking an active role in strengthening Israel and rebuking the false Arab claims of an independent peoples who are owed over twenty percent of the lands which were left for Israel. The world ignores the fact that Jordan occupies over three-fourths, which is over seventy-five percent, of the original British Mandate which was originally meant to be reserved for the Jewish State. The Arabs are currently targeting to make claims to over ninety percent of the original British Mandate in order to place the Jews in an indefensible box sitting underneath the Judean Heights where they could rain rockets down using line of sight and destroy the Jews while the world commemorates the last Holocaust and ignoring the Holocaust about to be perpetrated right before their eyes. The saddest part is that they will choose another date and have a Second Holocaust Remembrance Day complete with services, prayers, flower lying, listing of names and all the other means of attempting to give relevance and to console their souls for their lack of action when it was required.

 

Often we have called for people to awaken their fellow human beings and bring to them the reality of what the entire set of actions against Israel are all about, the removal of the Jewish State and the burying of the millions of Israeli Jews in one mass unmarked grave. All those accepting the “Two State Solution as the final closure of Arab claims, are naïve. The memories of the demands by the Arabs in the 1920’s are long forgotten and people’s knowledge of the history is shaky at best. It was the demand for an Arab state as well as any Jewish State which brought on the not so fair solution of dividing the British Mandate along the Jordan River giving the 78% east of the Jordan River to the Arabs and the 22% west of the Jordan River for the Jewish State. The Arab League represented by King Faisal accepted this compromise and all was well until time came in 1947 to declare the Jewish State. The Arabs demanded that the Jews be granted the right to reside under Arab rule in the remaining 22% of the British Mandate promising they would care for the Jews and grant them all the rights given to the Muslims. Fortunately, the Zionist Congress refused this offer knowing that what was intended was they would give the Jews exactly the rights to be Muslims, not to be Jewish. Finally, on November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution, which adopted the plan for the partition of Palestine dividing the remaining 22% of land evenly between the Arabs and the Jews because the Arabs demanded this land because they had not received their lands. This does beg the question of what does one call Jordan if not Arab Land? Well, they divided the land equally in amount and “completely fairly” as far as desert and arable lands (you be the judge with the map below). The Zionist Congress and the Provisional Israeli government accepted the partition and the Arab League refused the partition claiming that they could not accept any Jewish State demanding that all the land be under Arab rule as explained above. The patrician included making Jerusalem an International Zone protected and run by a United Nations Security Force. With Jerusalem entirely surrounded and in the center of Arab controlled lands and all access roadways completely under Arab control, anyone care to guess how long that United Nations Security Force would remain on station? We guessed maybe forty-eight hours before slipping out in the dead of night praying to get away, and the Arabs would allow them to leave and never return and Jerusalem would be under Muslim Rule and no other religion permitted any rights unlike today under Israeli rule where everyone including Christians, Jews, Muslims (Shia and Sunni) anyone else is permitted rights in Jerusalem with Jews the most restricted, but that is a different argument. Also on the map it can be noted is that nearly two-thirds of the lands reserved for the Jews are in the Negev Desert and much of the remainder of the lands are underneath Arab guns with the Arabs holding all the heights, the Judean Hills, the Golan Heights and the Galilee Ridge. Even the eastern ridge of the Galilee sits beneath and well in range of artillery or sniper fire from the Golan Heights as Jewish farmers in the Northern Galilee found out the hard way until the Six Day War where Israel took control of the Golan Heights from Syria. The reason the Arabs refused this offer became obvious on the morning of May 15, 1948, the first hours of the existence of Israel when six Arab armies from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt with additional assists from forces sent by Yemen and the Sudan plus the Palestinian Brigades under the Mufti of Jerusalem and other militias and irregulars. During this war there were orders intercepted which were determined to have come from military officers who had fought in World War II on both sides assisting the Arab forces from behind the lines. That was then, back to now.

 

November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly partition of Palestine dividing the remaining 22% of land evenly between the Arabs and the Jews

November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly
partition of Palestine dividing the remaining 22%
of land evenly between the Arabs and the Jews

 

These Arabs demanding a Two State Solution are the same Arabs who fought with the Palestinian Brigades under the Mufti of Jerusalem, the man who assisted the Nazis during World War II spending most of the war in Berlin meeting with the high brass of the Nazi command and some credit with pressing for the final solution to the “Jewish problem” and pleading that the Nazis carry out the same when they would take control of the Middle East and beyond. Their leaders have stated that the Two State Solution is not the end; it is but one-step towards their attaining their final solution. Their use of those words is no accident of language as they have explained numerous times. Their efforts and claims will never end until there is no Jewish State and no Jew permitted to live on Palestinian Arab lands. All the lands are Palestinian Arab Lands according to the Arab leadership and must be cleansed as they take what they claim is theirs and a place where no Jew has ever lived. They discount the existence of the First Temple, the Second Temple and all of Jewish history and the history of the Bible claiming that the people of the Bible were Arab Palestinians who have lived here anywhere from five to nine thousand years. A little trip back to reality and we realize that during the British Mandate the Palestinians were the Jews according to the British and when they referred to the Jews they used the world Palestinians while when referring to the Arabs they called them Arabs. The idea of Palestinians actually meaning Arabs was actually in 1964 when Yasser Arafat initiated the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization), with the assistance of the KGB in Moscow, and they declared their intent to liberate all of the rest of the Palestinian lands. As Judea and Samaria, the areas the Arab Palestinians currently claim, were illegally occupied by Jordan as they held half of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, the PLO made no claims to these lands whatsoever. Their claim was they would drive the Jews from the remainder of Arab lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, as noted in Article 24 of the PLO Charter before it was altered after the Six Day War to include Gaza and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). Their target then was Israel and their intent was that once they had driven the Jews from the lands, they would then turn these lands over to Jordan and then all would be happy. This declaration had nothing to do with the “Occupation” or “Settlers” as this was June 2, 1964, three years and three days before the start of the Six Day War when during the days of June 5-10, 1967, the Israelis responded initially to an imminent threatened attack by Syria and Egypt and then an actual unprovoked assault out of Judea and Samaria and across the entirety of Jerusalem by Jordan; Israel repulsed these attacks and liberated Gaza, Judea and Samaria and took the areas that included the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. So the basis for the whole idea of the Two State Solution is to simply finish negating the safety Israel took in measure by taking the remainder of lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, in simpler worlds, retook and liberated the lands which were originally denoted as belonging to the Jews to build their homeland according to all solutions as determined at San Remo Conference and numerous following conferences, treaties and agreements. Does anyone believe after the initial determination at the founding of the PLO, the precursor for the Palestinian Authority (PA) and every other Arab Palestinian effort including the Gaza independence and coup by Hamas which allows Gaza to fire rockets into Israel while the PA claims innocence as if an unrelated group, that once they are granted their demanded state that will be the end and there is no means by which the PLO will return to their original declaration of driving the Jews from the remainder of Arab lands? The next important map is below which we ask that you take close note of the shaded area in the center of map inside the trapezoid and then understand that along the Green Line the heights above sea level rise from less than five hundred feet to well over a thousand feet (noted in the cutaway below with the rise actually being more dramatic than shown).

 

Cutaway View of Tactical Advantage and Necessity of the Jordan Valley and Judean Hills for Defending Coastal Plains and Israel Alongside the Mediterranean Sea

Cutaway View of Tactical Advantage and Necessity
of the Jordan Valley and Judean Hills for Defending
Coastal Plains and Israel Alongside the Mediterranean Sea

 

 

The Real Truth About Israel in Stark Relief and Graphically Displayed

The Real Truth About Israel in Stark Relief and Graphically Displayed

 

The drive to defeat the Jews and remove them from what the Muslim and Arab worlds consider their lands given them through conquest by Allah will not end as long as Israel exists. The Arabs in Lebanon under Hezballah are claiming the Galilee as presumably their sacred trust which Israel has stolen and to which the Jews have no rightful claim. We should not feel alone in this as the Arabs and Muslims still claim that the Christians illegally removed the rightful Islamic forces from all of Andalusia and they will reconquer these stolen lands in time. Oh, you have never heard of Andalusia? Well let us draw you a map of Andalusia next to another map you might find easier to recognize (see map below). There are claims to be made in Eastern Europe one of which you might recall which was a conflict where Kosovo was decided by NATO forces not to be a part of Croatia or Slovakia but its own nation and was to be Islamic so its name was changed and is now Kosova. If you had to look back, don’t feel bad as you likely had company, as the change was not quite as shocking or drastic as one might have expected, but then it might say something about the original claim of Kosovo not being actually part of any Christian nation. There are areas in India and Pakistan and India currently are clashing and have been for decades over who gets what parts of what was formerly Kashmir (I think I had a sweater from there once). Then there is the fighting in the Philippines where the Island of Mindanao is claimed by Islamic forces which carry out strikes in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, as well as on the island of Mindanao itself. There are the Boko Haram terror forces (yellow area in referenced map further below) who are claiming more and more lands in central Nigeria and along with forces from the Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia are striking into the entirety of areas often referred to as the African Transition Zone (shaded area in referenced map further below). And there are the wars being fought currently against Israel. Many people believe mistakenly that Israel has only the Palestinian Arabs as a problem and that is limited to the PA and Hamas (read on please).

 

Andalusia Compared to Portugal and Spain

Andalusia Compared to Portugal and Spain

 

 

African Transition Zone

African Transition Zone

 

Well, partnering with Hamas there is also Islamic Jihad, and some IRGC forces sent by Iran as well as various other groups, small bands and clan forces all of which contribute to the war out of Gaza and provide Hamas with other entities who they can claim launched unapproved rocket or sniper attacks despite nothing actually happening in Gaza (aka Hamastan) which they have not allowed even if through passivity. Then there are units from al-Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Islamic State and smaller groups throughout the PA semi-autonomous regions. Many of these, especially Hamas, desire taking over from the PA and know if they removed Mahmoud Abbas from power forcing elections that Hamas would likely win handily. It is this threat which has Mahmoud Abbas allowing the IDF to operate within Area A, despite it being against the Oslo Accords, because their operations prevent numerous Hamas and other entities strikes both against Israel, which would force him to explain and possibly actually act, as well as against his person and other PA resources which saves his risking his security forces starting a revolution fighting against Hamas. Imagine his having to explain why PA Security Forces were shooting other Arabs. Abbas would have a revolt demanding his head on a pole and that would cause inter-Arab fighting on a scale which might have the world demanding that Israel step in and protect Abbas and assist the PA Security Forces. Imagine what a mess would result from such. Also, Israel has that little problem in Lebanon called Hezballah. Here there is another little secret. Hezballah now also commands the Lebanese Army which means all the weapons given to the Lebanese Army by the Russians and the Americans (Article covering this problem with inclusive list of American hardware and weapons systems), including Abrams Main Battle Tanks and various aircraft, are now available to Hezballah should they press for another war with Israel. This would mean any Hezballah war with Israel has now become a Lebanese war with Israel. This would not be much of a stretch as Israel and Lebanon currently are at war with a shaky armistice which any Hezballah incursion would easily cause that armistice to be considered broken. Israel is also still at war with a few other Arab nations stemming from the Arab League declaring war on Israel in May of 1948. These nations include but may not be considered a complete list; Syria (what’s left of it), Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Sudan, Algeria, Libya (also what’s left of it), Yemen, Pakistan, Morocco and Cuba (yes, Cuba). Iran also has declared a war on Israel but thus far, attacks have yet to be detected. Also there are numerous smaller groups supporting Hezballah such as Amal and Jammoul plus whatever aid in armaments and personnel including trainers and strategists which are provided from Iran often coming through Damascus, Syria, another Iranian ally relying heavily on Iran as well as Russia to survive. Iran has provided Hezballah with over one-hundred-fifty-thousand rockets and missiles of various sizes, ranges and warhead capabilities many of which are capable of striking anywhere in Israel and possibly into Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. This is the entirety of the Arab-Israeli conflict which the world tends to ignore but which Israel must remain vigilant and prepared for any and all possible contingencies.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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February 21, 2017

The Sliding Scale of International Law

 

What is International Law? Well, that all depends on any number of varying particulars. The Geneva Conventions are considered by the average person as being universally applied International Law. That is not true. The Geneva Conventions only apply to the member nations. Any nation which has not signed onto the Geneva Conventions does not need abide by them. The Geneva Conventions are more of a gentleman’s agreement where thugs do not abide by them. We could call them the Marquis of Queensberry Rules for warfare. They apply to the nations who have agreed so as long as you are fighting another signatory it is as if you were fighting in the ring with rounds and a referee enforcing the rules. But if you are fighting a nation which has not signed the rules you are in an alley having a street fight where there are no rules. The problem is the nations who have signed the Geneva Conventions are required to fight by those rules no matter who the enemies are and whether they are signatories or not so the signatories fighting a war against another nation who is not a signatory is hamstrung while the other side can act however they please. This was evidenced in World War II as none of the Axis Powers (Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperialist Japan) were signatories and thus could treat prisoners of war as they desired including torture, summary executions, taking particular prisoners and treating them differently as the Nazis did with Polish and Russian prisoners and often with any British or American prisoners found to be Jews or considered troublesome such as those who had a habit of escaping and being recaptured. The movie The Great Escape was based on real events and mass escape during World War II where a large number of the men who were recaptured were simply machine gunned down in cold blood. The Japanese were equally brutal as the movie Bridge Over the River Kwai which was more loosely based on actual events and what was done to Alec Guinness’s character was just a simplified version of how the Japanese tortured prisoners but they were far more sadistic than any film could depict including beheadings and shooting squads as well as simple starvation and confinement in a metal box in the heat of the equatorial jungle. The United States and Britain were both signatories to the Geneva Conventions and as such had a code to follow in their treatment of prisoners. Many Japanese who knew how their side treated prisoners were told the Americans and British would be just as brutal which was part of why they refused to be taken and those who did fall prisoner were shocked when they were fed well and not subjected to torture. What are interesting are the claims by the Palestinians that they have rights under the Geneva Conventions as they are neither a nation nor a signatory thus the Geneva Conventions have absolutely no application nor grant them any rights whatsoever. That is just one modern example of attempting to use International Law for benefit under false pretenses.

 

Probably one of the most basic and often overlooked forms of International Law are treaties. Any treaties signed by two or more nations have the full weight of International Law. The missile and nuclear warhead treaties such as Salt and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty are forms of International Law and are enforceable with consequences for any violations, complete with rules for enforcement and other ramifications and schedules for execution. The treaties which ended the two great world wars are still applicable today though some of the treaties from World War II superseded those from World War I such as the border definitions for Germany and France and Germany and Poland. The treaties at the end of World War I has some of the deepest ramification of any set of treaties in history as it redefined the entirety of the Balkans and eastern Europe with the breakup of the Austria-Hungarian Empire and the delineating the borders of nations carved from all of the lands from the Ottoman Empire and also lands from the retreat of the Caliphate with the exception of the lands reclaimed by Spain, Portugal and, in a sense, France. The Allied Powers (France, Britain, Italy, Russia, Japan, Poland and the United States) met in a series of Conferences, Treaties and Mandates to setup new nations across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Many of these nations were setup with little consideration for stability, or directly to cause instability. This was called the Sykes-Picot Agreement after the two men, one the Foreign Secretary of Britain the other the Foreign Secretary of France. Another agreement came from the San Remo Conference which formalized the Balfour Declaration and set up the Mandate System and was further included in the Treaty of Sèvres as we have discussed numerous times here at BTC.

 

sykes-picot-map nation order

 

The United Nations through the Security Council can also make enforceable International Law through what are called Chapter Seven Resolutions. The serious nature of the consequences of such resolutions is partially why the five permanent members (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) have veto power as these would be the primary nations who would be required to enforce such a resolution. The United Nations Security Council also has Chapter Six Resolutions which carry slightly greater weight as any resolution out of the General Assembly but both are simply advisories. The major difference between these types of resolutions is if any single party to a General Assembly Resolution refuses to agree then all parties are released from the resolution and things continue as if that resolution had never been issued. These are different from resolutions which condemn a single nation which are largely statements of discontent or condemnation which in the General Assembly often are brought against Israel more than any other nation simply because the Arab and Muslim nations with their allied nations from the developing world, most belong to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) will pass any resolution brought before the General Assembly which targets Israel and similarly against the United States, an even somewhat rarer than those against Israel as too many nations receive largess from the United States and are intelligent enough not to push their luck while attacking Israel carries less risk.

 

That brings us back to the varying sliding scale of International Law and its application. When one looks into International Law and its applications in the past century there becomes one very clear problem, why is a nation the size of Israel been targeted with so many denunciations of being across the boundaries of International Law? Israel has been accused of genocide, collective punishment, targeting civilians intentionally, war crimes, crimes against humanity, occupation and just about anything you can think of, Israel has likely been accused of wrong-doing. What makes this all the more confusing is the guilt of some of the nations which have received exactly the opposite from Israel, aid in times of distress or natural catastrophe, yet virtually no censoring by the United Nations General Assembly for their transgressions. That list includes such nations as North Korea, Iran, Libya, Algeria, Cuba, China, Myanmar (Burma), Pakistan and even Syria. Then there are those nations which are seldom censored which are as expected such as Canada, Italy, Poland, and other nations which are seldom in the news. The true test of whether or not a nation actually receives sanctions, which are presumably applied worldwide, or if nations are brought before the international courts system such as the International Criminal Court or the International Court of Justice or any special courts setup to judge genocides or other special situations, as such measures are a sign that there has been a unforgivable transgression of International Law or against humanity.

 

This is where the case we are most concerned with here at BTC, in case one had not noticed, Israel becomes interesting. There have been exceedingly few cases compared to the number of accusations spewed before the world media, which is more than accommodating when it comes to denouncing Israel, that have been brought before the world courts. The one case we can think of off the top was about the so-called Apartheid Wall, the anti-terror wall which Israel put in place to end the Second Intifada and especially to end the waves of suicide bombings. Before the wall, which is largely a barrier made up of fences and only used walls where sniper fire was a potential problem such as in cities, there were multiple suicide bombings weekly, or so it seemed much of the time, and after the construction of the wall that number dropped to zero. Terrorism also dropped off and the barrier brought an end to the Second Intifada in conjunction with an IDF operation in Judea and Samaria to clear out much of the terrorist infrastructure and restore an IDF presence which served to provide intelligence and as a preventive influence against further terror. The General Assembly voted at the urging of the Palestinian Authority observer to request from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) a ruling on the legality of the wall with the hope of gaining a ruling which would lead to its dismantling such that the terrorist operations would not be hindered by the barrier. The barrier was cleared but that was just the initial good news for Israel. In addition to being cleared of any wrongdoing, there was an advisory opinion issued as a cautionary warning by Egyptian Judge, Justice El Araby, from the ICJ and who sat in judgement as part of the panel which heard the case from the United Nations General Assembly in 2003 on the legality of the security barrier erected by Israel. The Honorable Justice El Araby warned the UNGA and others that filing further ran some risks, as he stated,

 

“The international legal status of the Palestinian Territory (paras. 70-71 of the Advisory Opinion), in my view, merits more comprehensive treatment. A historical survey is relevant to the question posed by the General Assembly, for it serves as the background to understanding the legal status of the Palestinian Territory on the one hand and underlines the special and continuing responsibility of the General Assembly on the other. This may appear as academic, without relevance to the present events. The present is however determined by the accumulation of past events and no reasonable and fair concern for the future can possibly disregard a firm grasp of past events. In particular, when on more than one occasion, the rule of law was consistently side-stepped. The point of departure, or one can say in legal jargon, the critical date, is the League of Nations Mandate which was entrusted to Great Britain.”

 

This has been one of the reasons that the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Arab World, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and others such as the European Union and many individual European and other nations or even individuals have never challenged the claim to all the lands west of the Jordan River as being meant for anything other than Israel, the Homelands for the Jewish People, they know what the actual treaties, conferences and agreements all state clearly, the land belongs to Israel and by agreement and International Law only the Jewish People have full political rights while the others who reside in the area must be guaranteed civil rights, property rights, equality under the law, religious rights but not political rights. The agreements simply state that only the Jewish People and those they willingly extend such rights may exercise political rights. Everybody is to be granted civil rights, religious rights, property rights, and equal treatment under the law. That is the International Law as delineated by numerous treaties, conferences, agreements and is exactly what Justice El Araby, the Egyptian Judge on the ICJ, was warning the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab World about, Israel holds all the cards and other than receiving written and signed treaty with Israel, there is no legal means that the Arabs can claim even a single inch of the lands west of the Jordan River. Should they challenge such claiming anything under International Law as backing their claims, including, may we add, United Nations Security Council Chapter Sic Resolution 2334 which President Obama presented as his parting gift to the Palestinian Arabs and Mahmoud Abbas along with Iran all hoping that would cripple Israel, they will lose because Israel has every right to the lands and the best the Arabs can hope to gain, something they already have, is to live in peace under Israeli rule.

 

They would be granted all rights with one glaring exception, the right to political power or even to vote as all political power was vested for the Jews and only the Jews and those they decide to grant such rights. Israel, counter to the claims of too many ignorant and deceiving people, has granted full political rights to those Arabs who remained within the areas she was capable of holding after the Arab assault of intended genocide against the Jews in 1948-9 when half a dozen Arab armies and numerous militias and other units attacked Israel the morning of her inception. All the remaining Arabs, the Muslims, the Christians, the Baha’I, the Buddhists, everybody residing within Israel legally once the fighting ended were granted full citizenship and full civil, religious, legal, and political rights. Jordan extended similar to the Arabs in Judea and Samaria which they renamed West Bank as Judea and Samaria sounded too Jewish, and Egypt controlled Gaza but never annexed it or gave the residents there any rights leaving them under military occupation. There was no outcry for Palestinian rights or for the founding of any Arab Palestine while Egypt and Jordan held the lands, only after the Six Day War in June of 1967 and Israel liberating these lands did the world become obsessed. After the Six Day War Jordan reneged on her offer of citizenship and even stripped citizenship from the Jordanians which had been forced or given land and moved into Judea and Samaria making them people without a country and this was the birth of the Palestinian demands for their own nation. The claim that Israel had invaded and stolen Arab Palestinian lands was born three years earlier in 1964 with Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Liberation Organization except it was not Judea and Samaria that Israel had stolen but Israel herself was the lands claimed by Arafat. The PLO and their claims to Palestine was initially a direct challenge to Israel claiming that Israel was an illegitimate entity born atop of sacred Arab lands and that the Jews were to be exterminated if they refused to leave. After the Six Day War a readjustment was made and they now claimed all the lands west of the Jordan River, the twenty-two percent of the British Mandate which was not Jordan, this is what they claim must be given to them, not just Judea and Samaria and make no mistake. Their problem is simply, International Law actually backs the Jewish claim, it, for once, backs Israel. For once the rules actually are not stacked against Israel, though all the denunciations and referendums and resolutions and they amount to little more than noise because in the end there is only the written agreements of the nations of the world, and those all support Israel as the home for the Jewish People, just as an Egyptian Judge sitting on one of the highest courts in the world has admonished the Arabs to take note. Sometimes the noise is but an attempt to hide the truth, sometimes the truth wins out in the end. International Law, remarkable, isn’t it?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 3, 2016

Weeds in the MENA Garden

 

 

If one were to ask the European Union, the United States, the United Nations and the world media who is responsible for the unrest throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) the resounding echoes would continue to scream Israel for likely the rest of eternity, but is that an honest assessment or simply a knee jerk automatic programed response spurred by anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic hatreds? The easiest way to tell would be to take a quick whirl around the MENA nations and see what the truth is. Let us start our excursion at the western edge and head to the east and see what we will see.

 

A map of MENA nations is almost up to date and is only missing the Sudan, and as the Sudan was split after years of tribal and religious violence, South Sudan; and some go so far as to include Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Eretria, and Somalia.

A map of MENA nations is almost up to date and is only missing the Sudan, and as the Sudan was split after years of tribal and religious violence, South Sudan; and some go so far as to include Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Eretria, and Somalia.

 

Coming into the North of Africa from the Atlantic Ocean the first country we would visit would be Western Sahara where we would find Morocco has occupied Western Sahara since 1975 in violation of resolutions by the United Nations Security Council and International Court of Justice ruling. Any efforts to dislodge Morocco from Western Sahara have been blocked directly by the United States whose full support of the Moroccan occupation shows no sign of relenting. The conflict reemerged as the “Independence Intifada” in 2005 which has remained as depicted in map below. Despite numerous efforts to defuse the situation the standoff remains.

 

Occupied Western Sahara  by Morocco Shaded Area  and Western Sahara Unshaded

Occupied Western Sahara
by Morocco Shaded Area
and Western Sahara Unshaded

 

Continuing on from the Morocco-Western Sahara conflict we next visit Mauritania which has had a rocky recent history including two military coups, the first was in 2005 followed eventually by elections for a new president in 2007 followed by the second coup in 2008. General Abdul Aziz took power after the coup but found the nation had few supporters amongst them predominantly were Morocco, Libya and Iran while the United States and European nations rejected the legitimacy of the coup continuing to refer to Abdallahi as the legitimate president of Mauritania. After the resignation of Abdallahi there were elections which allowed Abdel Aziz to become the civilian president. In February 2011 there were waves of unrest as the Arab Spring spread to Mauritania demanding President Mohamed Abdel Aziz institute political, economic, and legal reforms. The unrest culminated in April of 2012 as thousands of people in Mauritania attended demonstrations in the capital calling for President Mohamed Abdel Aziz to resign. Currently the nation is under military rule with the legal system based on Islam and Sharia.

 

Heading across the southern end the picture in Mali, Niger and Chad is the constant internal strife between Christian governments and Islamic uprisings with much of the major horrific attacks conducted by the terrorist group Boko Haram which literally means Western education is forbidden. Boko Haram follows Saudi Wahhabism and has pledged their loyalty to the Islamic State. Along the north there has been steady unrest in Algeria and especially Libya since the NATO backed coup where President Obama declared that the United States was leading from behind in the ouster of and eventual execution (murder) of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. In Libya the nation is in fractious rule of numerous terror groups and tribal armies with some having declared alliance with the Islamic State. In the south east there is the Sudan which bled in the south especially in the Darfur area. Eventually the Sudan was force to divide allowing South Sudan to become independent. In October of 2015, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir issued a decree establishing twenty-eight states in place of the ten constitutionally established states. The decree established the new states largely along ethnic lines. He took it to the parliament for approval as a constitutional amendment in November and the South Sudanese parliament empowered President Kiir to create new states.

 

This brings us to Egypt where the recent history has played out live and large in the Western media. The Arab Spring riots led to the removal of President and military strongman Mubarak. The elections were held fairly soon after Mubarak was forced to step down largely by the United States backing of the Muslim Brotherhood. These elections overwhelmingly approved Muslim Brotherhood candidate Morsi to the presidency and a large Muslim Brotherhood majority in the parliament. Within the year new rioting broke out protesting the implementation of Sharia despite warnings from Turkish President Erdogan to the Morsi government to slow their radical changes or face resistance. This led to the military removing Morsi and arresting him for election fraud. New election instated former General of the Army Sisi as President though he still had an Islamist and presumed Muslim Brotherhood controlled parliament. The Obama administration refused to recognize Sisi and demanded that Morsi be reinstated; a request which was roundly ignored. Unrest still exists between Egypt and the United States which will be resolved by the Presidential election this November in the United States. As to what either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump might choose to do is a complete mystery at the present time as neither has addressed foreign policy beyond Hillary’s claim to deep knowledge claiming her time as a Senator of New York and a stint as Secretary of State under President Obama which included the Benghazi, Libya fiasco amongst other miscues and Trump claiming to have conducted business deals with numerous foreign governments and met many world leaders though particulars remain largely unconfirmed. Egypt has also faced unrest largely from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State where both are vying for control of the Sinai from where they would presumably unseat Sisi and retake the presidency. Hamas in Gaza was seen as providing assistance to these and some Iranian backed groups in the Sinai thus earning themselves a complete sea and land embargo enforced by Egypt from their waters and land borders with Gaza. The Egyptian blockade is often ignored with the large amount of attention paid to the Israeli “blockade” which is actually an inspection of goods before allowing their delivery to Gaza usually within one or two days done to assure that weapons are not being imported by Hamas and the other terror groups which rule Gaza. Egypt too is a work in progress.

 

We will return to Israel subsequently but meanwhile on to Lebanon where the terror groups Hezballah runs the government with an opposition often afraid to act to remove the terror group as previous attempts have resulted in untimely deaths. Lebanon cannot be addressed without discussing Syria and the state of war which has more facets than hewn crystals. The main three forces are Syrian dictator Bashir al Assad who has retreated to the Alawite tribal areas along the Mediterranean coast and Lebanese border. Assad is backed by Iran and their proxy, Hezballah, out of Lebanon. These are the Shiite forces which also receive tactical support largely in the form of air strikes by the Russians who are protecting their port area along the Mediterranean coast. Inland there are Sunni groups, oft referred to as terror groups, supported largely by Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Finally there are the forces of the Islamic State which stretch into Iraq where they face the Iraqi Army backed by Iran who uses mostly IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps) placing Iran at either end of the Islamic State. The Islamic State has been largely self-financed though there have been rumored support from Qatar. There is another group in northern Iraq and extending into northeastern Syria which is controlled by Kurdish Militias which are opposed strongly by Turkey. The Kurdish forces were at one time rumored to be receiving training by Israeli trainers on a clandestine mission though many have refuted that this was just a means of explaining the Kurdish forces resilience and holding their own against Islamist forces considered to be better equipped.

 

This takes us to the Saudi Peninsula and Jordan which we can count as a single unit of the GCC (Gulf Coordination Council) which is a group backed mostly by Saudi Arabia which includes Kuwait and the Gulf States and to a lesser extent, Jordan. Saudi Arabia has a close working relationship with the Egyptian government of President Sisi who are jointly facing terror groups including those supported or aligned with Islamic State as well as Iranian backed terrorists and the Houthi Tribes in the Yemen civil war, a front where Iran backed and Saudi Arabian backed forces are in direct confrontation. The United States has opposed and presumably attempted to prevent, though with little success, arms shipments to the Houthis by Iran and also opposed the bombing sorties from Saudi Arabia with equal lack of success and the belligerents continue to fight on. In the southernmost areas of Yemen, the prized areas which overlook the narrow passage from the Red Sea into the Arabian Sea, called Bab el-Mandeb Strait are a group of fighters originally claiming alliance with al-Qaeda but recently changing their alliance to presumably the Islamic State. These groups have benefited directly from Saudi raids as has the currently recognized Hadi-led government.

 

Yemen Battle Map

Yemen Battle Map

 

Lastly let us finally look at Israel. On the Golan Heights IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) have returned fire when fired upon by intention and otherwise has unofficial drop points for wounded individuals, civilian and combatant though no difference is noted, wounded and in need of treatment. IDF soldiers take these wounded and treat them in their field facility with the more serious cases transferred to Israeli hospitals for treatment. After treatment the individuals once sufficiently recovered are returned from whence they came at same drop points. All sides can view the individual drop points and all points are respected by other fighting factions in an unarranged agreement as all sides use this treatment method and no one side wishes to risk being cut-off from Israeli treatment and have to rely on whatever resources they have available. We have no information as to whether any Iranian forces have received treatment from the Israelis though if placed in civilian clothing they would receive the same treatment as any other individual. The Israeli border with Lebanon is currently quiet as Hezballah has sufficient on their plate with forces in the Syrian conflict and rumored even to have some fighting with IRGC or Houthis in Yemen. Intelligence believed to be accurate estimated that Hezballah has stores of rockets of varying size and capable of striking Tel Aviv, Bathsheva and even Ashkelon as well as guided missiles from Iran capable of striking anywhere in Israel including the southernmost port city of Eilat carrying warhead as large as two kilos and potentially five or ten up to one-hundred kilos warheads on their short and medium ranged rockets of which they possess as many as one-hundred-seventy-five-thousand. On their larger missiles they have warheads of as much as seven-hundred-fifty kilos on modified Zilzal-2 with a four-hundred km range and which they possess an estimated one thousand. Their Fateh-110 missile has a range three-hundred km range striking at Mach 3.5 carrying a four to seven-hundred kg warhead of which Hezballah possess more than twenty-thousand and lastly there is the Shaheen-II two stage missile which has a range of two-thousand km making able to strike anywhere in Israel and into Egypt. Each missile is capable of flight altitude of up to three-hundred km, is GPS guided, and varies a one-thousand plus kg warhead making it potentially capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and retaining it guidance hardware. It is doubtful that Iran has, let alone provided Hezballah with a deliverable nuclear warhead. Such is not far from the horizon for Iran but their providing Hezballah with such a weapon is doubtful.

 

The remaining fronts for Israel are with Jordan and Egypt which are both peaceful and with the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Judea and Samaria as well as with Hamas and ally Islamic Jihad and other terror and criminal groups in Gaza. The front with the PA is largely one where there are terror strikes which can be planned by Abbas and the his PLO terror groups or the less planned but instigated through calls for violence from PA figures, PLO figures or any of a litany of groups most of which are either headed by Mahmoud Abbas or are willful practitioners at his beck and call. The most recent round were stabbings carried out largely by Palestinian Arab and some Israeli Arab youths as well as car rammings along with rock and Molotov cocktail throwing with rioting which are carried out routinely by PA controlled terror groups, the Tamini family instigators who work closely with European Union and other European NGOs whose main aims are to cause any violent response by Israel which is filmed and the instigation causing the defensive act is edited and with careful editing and juxtaposition of stock footage, prerecorded footage or actual footage with any questionable instigations by the Arabs edited over or out completely compiled into the final product which is then transmitted throughout European news agencies within a matter of a couple of hours and they run with it unedited as if it were an actual news story followed by their governments and the European union then condemning Israel for use of disproportional force or the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Gaza front is another area where Iran attempts with some success to smuggle arms mostly containing rocket motors and rocket parts and technology. Funding for Hamas comes from UNRWA as well as from the PA making the European Union, United States, United Nations and individual European nations as well as numerous Arab countries direct or indirect financiers of Hamas terrorism and rocket attacks as well as Arab instigations and propaganda which permeates their entire society from their media to the schools, summer camps soccer leagues and every aspect of childhood and raising the children to hate Jews as well as Israel. The Hamas Charter calls not only for the annihilation of Israel but of Jews worldwide. Similar language is found in Islamic Jihad and Hezballah pamphlets and charters or constitutions. The hatred goes well beyond Israel and includes Jews everywhere as well as Western culture and societies. Hamas and their allies as well as Hezballah desire a world caliphate under Sharia and openly claim so. The main difference is whether the caliphate would be Shiite or Sunni, for the rest of us that is a minor comfort.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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