Beyond the Cusp

April 18, 2019

How American Jews Should Influence Israeli Politics

 

So, you either hate or love Bibi Netanyahu winning and likely forming a strong right-wing, Zionist, Religious coalition. There were four Jewish Congress-critters, Representatives Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey of New York, Ted Deutch of Florida, and Brad Schneider of Illinois, all Democrats, who came out strongly threatening Bibi Netanyahu against extending Israeli law to Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria. Well, that is all well and good for them to do as private citizens, but when doing so as representatives of other Americans and presuming to speak for Jews throughout the land, that is presumptuous to say the least. We are sure that in numerous leftist Synagogues there will be sermons and the usual gnashing of teeth that the Israeli people had the audacity to ignore the advice of their betters, after all, where would Israel be without American support. Well, let us address the so-called critical monetary support Israel receives from the United States once again (previous articles can be read here, here and here).

 

We will not go into the reason that America provides Israel with military aid as that can be read in any of the above articles. What need be told is the limitations on that aid money. The percentage has shifted over the years but seldom if ever dropping below three-quarters of the aid money being required to be spent on American equipment. The aid money has two main effects in theory. The first is to provide Israel with air superiority, something which has been downgraded slowly over the years to now it is closer to parity with the difference presumably made up for by the skill of the pilots, in theory. The second is to provide supplementary money for the American arms industry. Another effect, many refer to it as a side-effect, is that it makes Israel dependent upon the United States for resupply in times of crisis when Israel is between a rock and a hard place if not resupplied rapidly. President Nixon is loved in Israel for his resolute action during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Israel initially lost a great deal of equipment and used a great deal of her provisions turning the tide. This left Israel short on armor such as APCs and tanks as well as running out of the very essential bullets. From history we know that then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger advised President Nixon to force Israel to promise to give all of the former West Bank and Gaza to form a Palestinian State before resupplying her with the vitally needed equipment. If we remember well, he may have said to make them bleed. Nixon, to his eternal credit, picked up the phone, called the Secretary of Defense and ordered him to provide Israel with everything they required and to do so with the greatest of speed. The next hurdle was Europe as every ally refused to permit any resupply aircraft heading to Israel to overfly their airspace, let alone land for refueling. Portugal permitted the United States to use their airfield on one of their islands in the Atlantic Ocean and the resupply arrived helping to save the day, you might say. After this near disaster, the United States placed one of their ready supply depots inside Israel in a location which is a well-guarded secret, probably which can be found using Google. The premise for this depot is should the United States be required to respond to an emergency, they could send troops and these arms could be made ready and provided faster than attempting to bring them from the mainland. The secondary reason for this depot is that should Israel find themselves pressed for provisions; they have access to this depot which will provide for the immediate while resupply can be arranged without the urgency as in 1973 where Israel came close to the disaster of losing one war. One need remember that should Israel lose a war, it will be the last war Israel fights as after that loss, there would be no Israel.

 

Now for some facts which are often met with disbelief. The United States has not always been Israel’s close friend and military ally. In fact, after President Harry Truman went against every advisor and recognized Israel in 1948, the next thing he did was place an arms embargo across the Middle East, Israel included. For the Arabs this was not a problem as they had the support of Britain, France and the Soviet Union. Israel had as her main ally Czechoslovakia. Israel did not receive much in the way of aid from the United States until the late 1960’s and not very appreciable aid until the 1970’s (see graph below). Two items become blatantly obvious when examining the graph. First, is that aid to Israel was nonexistent through all of the 1950’s and well into the 1960’s. Second, is that United States aid to Israel has leveled out at approximately three-billion dollars annually. This fact will become more relevant later in this article. As stated before, the vast majority of this aid must be spent inside the United States. Most of the funds goes for aircraft as might be expected with the next largest amount going for aircraft parts and munitions for those very same aircraft. But the United States receives far more than these orders which benefit keeping the American manufacturing of the weapons of war remaining in business as the demands of the United States Armed Forces would be insufficient to keep all the weapons manufacturers afloat. Israeli orders may not be the largest ticket, but it is not insignificant either.

 

United States Israel Aid (Military)

United States Israel Aid (Military)

 

We stated that the United States gets more than just the return of their investment in Israel with orders for arms production from the United States. Probably the two most famous are the Super Sherman Tank and the rear-view mirrors on the F-16 fighter jet which the Israelis noted the pilot was unable to see if there were any enemies at his six o’clock (behind him). The more modern addition of rear-view mirrors came about when Israeli pilots complained of having a vital blind-spot. Some industrious crew chief came up with the apparently bright idea of using sport mirrors he went and purchased at an automotive supply store which led to a design engineering change which incorporated rear-view mirrors on all F-16 fighter jets (see image below). The above mentioned are merely examples as Israel also has provided numerous improvements, modification and other forms of upgrades, not all of which were adopted by the United States. The Trophy anti-missile defense system is one such example and Israel is working on modified versions for use on other vehicles in cooperation with the United States (article here). Israel also designed some other improvements for other systems including upgraded avionics and targeting systems. Israel agrees with every purchase of American weapons systems to provide full documentation of any alterations, additions or other improvements for the United States to consider whether such would be useful on their own systems. Israel most recent upgrade was the use of the Iron Dome targeting software and related requirements which has upgraded the Patriot anti-missile systems, but this is not supposed to be common knowledge.

 

F16 with After Modification Rear-view Mirrors

F16 with After Modification Rear-view Mirrors

 

Back to the American aid provided to Israel. When the aid reached the three-billion dollars, this was fairly close to the total Israeli GDP and was essential for Israeli military capabilities. Today, that aid is approximately one-percent of Israeli GDP. What is amusing is both Israelis and American Jews believe that Israel could not survive without continued military assistance as Israel is incapable of affording her own military requirements. The truth is quite different. The main reason that the United States desires to continue this aid is no different than when it was first negotiated, they do not desire Israeli competition in the lucrative field of military aircraft. Back in 1970 it was to protect the sales of the F-16 while today the reason is likely to protect the existing F-35 and more likely whatever a sixth-generation fighter aircraft system might entail. By having Israel in continued dependence on American aircraft, the United States avoids yet another aircraft competing with their own. The rising costs of military fighter aircraft forced the Europeans to jointly produce their Eurofighter Typhoon, the world’s most advance fighter, according to their advertising. Israel would be well advised to adjust their dependence upon the United States militarily as their aid could become questionable under a new administration. For that reason and for the well-paying jobs which Israel would gain, adding to her GDP, are two very good arguments for Israel to plan on becoming self-sufficient when it comes to military equipment.

 

 

Now, for those American Jews who wish to force their will and policies upon Israel, we have some basic advice. Make Aliyah and then you can help to elect a Prime Minister and a governing coalition more to your liking. This advice comes with a warning, once you have made Aliyah and are living in a nation the size of New Jersey, and not one reaching from one ocean to another ocean, your views will rapidly become more realistic and fitting to your location. Currently, any advice or demands you place upon Israel do not have any effect on your day to day lives. When you are in Israel, let us say Tel Aviv, and you look to the west and can see the Judean Hills which you currently insist must belong to some Palestinian Arab state, you get this chill down your spine if you have any sense of military strategies. The picture below pretty much defines the result of a Palestinian State along the Green Line. This and the increasing rate of conflict and terrorism are a rude awakening but it is also why Israel seems to be moving more to the right despite the warnings from the left in the United States.

 

Tel Aviv Now Before Green Line Peace and Tel Aviv the Day After Green Line Peace

Tel Aviv Now Before Green Line Peace
and
Tel Aviv the Day After Green Line Peace

 

It is not that Israelis are not listening to their counterparts in the United States, we are. It is just we tend to consider it almost as much as we react to things staring us in the face, so to speak or literally. The last Gaza war, the only reason that buildings in Tel Aviv were not struck and toppling into the streets causing thousands of deaths was simple, the Iron Dome systems which were placed between Tel Aviv and Gaza. Their near miraculous interception rate of close to ninety-percent became the miracle of that war, but eventually a way of getting past the Iron Dome systems will be found and we can only pray that Israel has the next system which will make the Iron Dome obsolete will be ready in time. Israel lives on the knife’s edge with no lack of enemies attempting to press us down and cutting Israel until there is no Israel. Living surrounded by people who desire your complete and utter destruction tends to affect the choices you make when voting. Israel is the safety net for Jews, all Jews. We were the safety net when the Arab world expelled almost all of their Jews during the 1950’s and Israel will be the safety net should Jews anywhere, yes, including America, require finding a home with minimal notice. Israel will not ask if you have any wealth or a job waiting or even an Israeli passport, only that you are a Jew needing refuge. Israel will take such Jews in with open arms and welcome them home, nothing more and nothing less. Jews who believe that tragedy cannot come to the nation in which they live are ignoring Jewish history which should have taught us that nowhere remains safe for the Jews indefinitely. Yes, even the United States has had its time where Jews were evicted from their homes when General Grant ordered the expulsion of all Jews in his military district, comprising areas of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Sure, President Lincoln countermanded that order, but by the time the orders reached Washington D.C. and were reviewed and the countermand was returned to Grant, much of the damage had been done. With the rising anti-Semitism around the world, Israel as the safe haven for the Jewish People has become more important with every passing attack upon Jews anywhere. With Jews being assaulted in New York City, once a safe haven for Jews, what more evidence is required that things are changing. To quote Frank Sinatra, sort of, If it can make it in New York, it can make it anywhere. That is as true for anti-Semitic attacks and worse as well as it worked for Frankie. What counts, Representatives Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey of New York, Ted Deutch of Florida, and Brad Schneider of Illinois, is that Israelis elected a government which will protect them and provide the decisions they find favorable. Further, if the Palestinian Authority can extend their civil law to the regions under their control under the Oslo Accords, why should Israel be prevented from the exact same actions in the regions Israel was granted control by those very same Oslo Accords. If you feel so strongly that you know better than the Israeli public and their chosen governance, then make Aliyah and form a party and run for the Knesset here on those very same ideas. We would wish you luck with your views in an Israeli election, but it is in Israel that you need be to exact the changes you desire for Israel, not in Washington D.C. We would welcome you with open arms, just come here and then you can work to make Israel in your own image. In the meantime, until you make Aliyah, allow us the privilege of electing whom we choose and have them fulfill the promises for which they received so much support. Thank you in advance for your understanding and hoped for making Aliyah so we can discuss this on equal grounds.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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December 27, 2018

Israeli Future a Look Thirty Years Hence

 

Israel is a nation at the leading edge of a swell which will crest in about twenty to thirty years and may simply continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Currently, Israel has a narrow majority of Zionist, nationalist Jews of which the majority is religious, some more and some less, but all go to Synagogue on Shabbat and observe the Day of Rest and many go to daily morning service if not evening as well. The difference is one of the most basic of statistics, birth rates. The liberal left is having less numbers of children the further left you reach in the political spectrum. Their reproductive rates have been estimated to fall between one and a half to as many as two children per child-bearing aged women where two and a quarter is the minimum required to replace their population. The religious Zionists are having an average of between four to six children per married women, well above replacement level. There are some communities within this community where nine or more children are the norm. It does not take a mathematical wizard to see where the Israeli people are heading amongst the Jewish populations. Now for the reality which nobody wants the world to know. The Muslim, mostly Arab, population has had a declining reproductive rate with it currently between three and three and a half children per married woman. There have been some who have statistically measured the demographics which see that Israel will soon have a solid and unchallengeable three-quarters majority within Israel. The only challenge is the Palestinian Arab populations in the Shomron and Gaza. As both of these populations are outside the Israeli population and have their own governance, whether it is Hamas or the Palestinian Authority both being basic dictatorships, they will not become Israelis beyond those in Eastern Jerusalem. These Arabs have been given provisional citizenship which permits them to vote in Jerusalem and neighborhood elections but they are not permitted to vote in national elections thus far. The remainder of the Palestinian Arabs of the Palestinian Authority will, at best, receive resident alien status while being granted citizenship in whatever Arab nation is willing to grant them such status or they will remain under their present governance while their region will become part of Israel with them in a semiautonomous region. Gaza is unlikely to ever be readmitted into Israel without something extremely severe occurring in which most of the population will be sent from Israel as the Gaza population support Hamas and Islamic Jihad by over 80% according to most surveys. This makes this population antagonistic and adversarial to Israel and completely hostile and unacceptable for incorporating into Israeli rule under any circumstance or political scenario.

 

With Israeli population mostly defined as those who already have citizenship and those who may immigrate into Israel from abroad. Much of the Jewish population outside of Israel is highly unlikely to make Aliyah and come home to Israel. Israel has placed impediments against illegal immigration or any influx of refugees from Syria or the other disasters referred to as nations currently in the Middle East and North Africa, such as are streaming into Europe. There are some advantages to having adversarial nations on every border as it forces one to have the IDF guarding every border. The one border which had proven problematic was the long border along the Sinai Peninsula and the Israeli Negev Desert. Israel suffered such an influx from several African nations which Israel has been unable to deport thanks to threats from the European Union and its several nations, the United Nations and their interference forcing any nation willing to take these illegal immigrants through threats to cancel their agreements with Israel. This minority population will eventually leave by one means or another. Since their influx, Israel has, wait for it, built, yes, you know what is coming, a border wall which cut the numbers significantly. Israel then made this border wall even higher and it cut the numbers to zero. That problem addressed, Israel is in control of their borders and thus the population.

 

Stretch of the Israel-Egypt Border Fence

Stretch of the Israel-Egypt Border Fence

 

There is a currently sizable sector of the religious community which is largely not Zionist in their beliefs believing that the Messiach is necessary to form the final Jewish state, the Haredi. They are the current king-makers as their numbers of ministers, as they vote pretty much as a block though that is slowly crumbling at the edges, so to speak, but they still are often the deciding block which decides which party is capable of making a majority coalition. Their population numbers is also increasing due to their high birth rate but their percentage is still not increasing as the religious Zionist percentage is increasing even faster. The mathematical projections show the religious Zionists allied with the nationalist conservatives will have a near majority needing less numbers, if any, of other smaller interest-specific parties such as the Haredi Parties, there are two, or the Yisrael Beiteinu Party which represents largely Russian Jews but has been losing mandates in recent elections. In time, providing the religious Zionist groups can solidify putting aside their often-petty differences and some based on a small group of larger than life egos, then such a party will soon be able to replace the Likud as the largest party. Polls taken recently show that the left leaning parties, unless they receive boosts from retired generals and former Mossad commanders which they often woo immediately before election with promises of high positions in their list for Knesset Ministers. Without such a boost, the Zionist Union is perched to lose a number, potentially significant number, of mandates in the upcoming elections. Meanwhile, the religious Zionist Parties appear to be ready for gains, as does Likud. There is one thing which we must tell about Israeli elections and politics, it is extremely energetic which makes a poll taken in the morning out of touch by late afternoon, not to mention the change which can take place in a few days or a week. There is one item for which we need to thank President Trump, the media has become far more suspect and their slant is now readily identifiable by the majority of the population. This has been evidenced by serious changes in subscription rates within Israel.

 

But we are attempting to predict the future in twenty to thirty years. Then Israel will be even more Jewish than she is today. Israel will be more conservative, more religious, more Zionist, more nationalist and still a technological marvel as Israel will continue to be the start-up nation. It will still, unfortunately, be facing the same problems with the threats from the Islamic and Arab world not to mention that there will be opposition to the fact that Israel is such a success and Jewish being a bother to many in Europe plus the world will also have changed. The direction of many of the problems and the future of the world’s nations is in many cases problematic and in so many others in flux. The United States is in the center of a political civil war being fought largely on social media and the ballot box. One can only pray that the American civil war remains as civil as it currently exists and not turn to violence or one side winning an election and then altering the laws of governance permanently altering the future of the nation. In Europe, they are being tested by the large influx, much larger than expected, of people from the Islamic world. This is causing a culture clash of monstrous proportions exampled by the Ramadan with Muslims attacking cars in Birmingham, England early last June (video below). These confrontations as well as the tax riots in Paris and across France are all signs that within Europe the civilization is tearing itself apart. They make future predictions about Europe, especially Western Europe, far more problematic than here in Israel. The United States will be more readily predicted by the 2024 elections completely independent of whether or not President Trump is reelected as whomever the Democrats might run against him would likely not even remain in the Democrat Party by 2024 as that party is in flux apparently moving well to the left. The world is a very unpredictable and vacillating place where the only thing which is constant is change, a saying which has numerous variations and an equal number of claims of authorship.

 

 

Well, there really is not much to add beyond that the future does appear bright for Israel. The one item which is an unknown will be the numbers of Jews making Aliyah and coming home to Eretz Yisroel. That is a pleasant variable to have to be the main variable for the future. We realize that many of those Jews will be more liberal than the direction which Israel is moving. These Jews will also very possibly have decided to return home because of the changing situations in the world where anti-Semitism is on the rise and in all too many instances taking on some very violent confrontations. This is even occurring in some of the neighborhoods in and around New York City, even in some which are major Jewish areas. This has been a greater difficulty for the Jews in Europe where in France the numbers leaving for other shores has been increasing every year for the last decade. Numbers of Jews have stated their intent to depart Britain should the Labor Party place Jeremy Corbyn into the Prime Minister’s 10 Downing Street address. The future for Jews living outside of Israel is another problematic situation which is in flux and too often in a very wrong direction. Such experiences will have definitive effects upon those who are victimized and their congregations and neighborhoods. That will also have an influence on their political outlook upon arriving in Israel. They will all be welcomed and Israel will try to accommodate them as quickly and comfortably as possible. This too could lead to a significant increase in the Jewish population of Israel as not even half of the world’s Jewish population resides in Israel. There are approximately fourteen and two-thirds million Jews in the world and between six and a half and seven million in Israel making it 44.5% of the world’s Jews currently residing in Israel. The best projections claim that in thirty years the number of Jews making Aliyah will provide Israel with a twenty to thirty percent increase in the Jewish population, which is something we will have to wait and see as it occurs. Outside and unpredictable events and conditions will weigh heavily on what the actual numbers will become. But the predictions we have made will likely stand with whatever influx should occur. Coming to Israel can have a profound effect on many people as it did myself, and I pray it was for the better.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 13, 2018

How Will the Arab-Israeli Conflict Finally End?

 

There has never been a conflict which ended while both parties were still capable of continuing the fight, neither side has achieved their ultimate goal and neither side has decided the fight is no longer viable militarily, monetarily, politically or publically supported. The Arab-Israeli conflict will not be any different. There will not be any peace agreement no matter the publicity about how it solves the differences in a means which is amicable for both sides. The reason for this comes down to the basic and mutually opposed, antithetical and the sides are inimical. The root of the problem is not territorial which has been how all attempts have been based for settling the differences. The differences are religious as well as political and social. The Arab side is based partially on the Quran and further on their self-conceived belief that they are undefeatable. The Israeli side is based on the Biblical promise that there would come a time when the Jewish People would be gathered by Hashem returning to the lands promised to Avraham in Genesis. What the central problem boils down to is the Jews believe that they are to return to their biblical homeland while the Arabs believe that they are superior in all things military and cannot be defeated and thus no lands which they have held be permitted to be occupied by another people. So the Jews have this Zionist belief that their return to Israel is a promise from Hashem and thus cannot be prevented and once returned will last through the coming of the Moshiach while the Arabs believe that the existence of Israel is an affront to them as a people and against the Quranic promise that they will never lose lands once they have implanted Islam on that land. The simplest explanation is the Jews believe in Israel as permanent and the Arabs believe Israel must be destroyed and obviously, these are incompatible and mutually opposed.

 

What needs to be understood is that these same Arab nations forced out their Jews between 1948 and 1972, most before 1960 (see map below). This is the problem as it exists and will continue to exist until one side proves victorious in their desire and the other side accepts that reality. If the Arabs permit peace with the existence of Israel, then peace is possible. As the Arabs have already made very clear, that will never happen and they will continue to pursue the destruction of Israel and the death of the Jews until the end of time. That brings us to the Arab version of peace where Israel has been exterminated and millions of Jews have fallen before the marauding victorious Arab armies, charred remains of a nuclear holocaust or corralled into camps to be exterminated or converted to Islam. Israel will simply take whatever measures she needs to keep Israelis alive and protected which means that there is no solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the world should simply walk away and leave us to one another. Obviously, only one side will get their way when all is said and done. The next question is one which requires some thought and hopefully the world can find an answer. Why is the outcome of this conflict seemingly so important to the world that a nation about the size of the state of New Jersey, a rather small nation as far as square kilometers are concerned, yet Israel is an obsession for the United Nations, European Union, and much of the rest of the world and, lastly, the United States. Does anybody have any ideas as to why this little nation of Israel takes center stage for so much of the world? There is a simple reason which the leaders of the world understand and some are taking what would appear to be a counterintuitive position. According to doctrines written in numerous societies’ compendiums from ancient histories from the beginning of writing including stories even older which were passed down through oral rote memory up to some of the most recent philosophical political theorems have equated the existence of the Jewish People and their final permanence in the Promised Lands with the survival of human civilization. The Jewish Bible told of the eventual return of the Jews to their lands as was also reported in other ancient histories. In the Bible, the return of the Jews would be a permanent return and within a short period of time, all the Jews would return to their promised lands.

 

Jews forced from Arab World Between 1948 and 1972

Jews forced from Arab World Between 1948 and 1972

 

Many have claimed that this is impossible as such a complete return would virtually double the population of Israel. Well, if that were true it would be wonderful. First a little bit of Jewish history in relation to their former returns, the exodus from Egypt and their return after Cyrus the great freed the Jewish People from Babylonian occupation and granted them semiautonomous rule. Historians have estimated that somewhere from twenty to thirty-five percent of the Jews left Egypt with the remainder deciding that a life under Egyptian rule to be preferable to the responsibilities of freedom and these Jews disappeared into the stretching of time. The end of the Babylonian Exile resulted in twenty to thirty-five percent of the Jews returning to the Promised Lands to build the Second Temple while the remainder were dazzled by the advance Persian civilization and remained with the Persians and these Jews disappeared into the stretching of time. The current return to the Promised Lands will result in double the response of the former returns from exile thus the Jewish People can expect forty to seventy percent of the total numbers of Jews returning. This would result in a mere twenty percent to a maximum of forty to forty-five percent of the European and American Jews returning to Israel with the rest disappearing into the stretching of time. Disappearing into the stretching of time can also be used to describe what happened to the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel which were the Northern Kingdom of Israel which fell first with the Kingdom of Judea which included the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Basically we are using that phrase to describe the tribes and peoples of the Jews who disappeared from the known collection of the Jewish People. What has been amazing has been that numbers of these tribes have reemerged and proven their lineage and have been reincorporated into modern Israel. The return of these lost tribes has added much variety of peoples to the population which will serve the Jewish People as we face our future.

 

There are those who continue to claim that soon there will be thousands, possibly tens or hundreds of thousands of Jews returning to Israel very soon placing an economic strain as well as making the housing situation dire until sufficient housing can be built. Many claim that such an influx will require extensive use of lands in the south in the Negev Desert. Currently there are approximately seven and three-quarter million Jews outside of Israel. Almost five and three-quarter million reside in the United States, another half million in France, just over a third million in Canada and just over a quarter million in Britain. Currently the majority of the Jews coming to Israel are from France, the Ukraine and Russia. Looking at this and one will notice that of the three nations from which the majority of Jews making Aliyah, only one is amongst the four largest populations of Jews outside of Israel. The Jewish population in the United States, as well as Canada to some extent, lives in insular communities where much of their neighborhoods all belong the same synagogue or ones of similar denomination, Reform, Conservative and Orthodox. The Orthodox Jews are probably in the most tightly knit communities.

 

World Religious Population Distributions

World Religious Population Distributions

 

Due to their tightly knit communities and their use of private Yeshiva schooling, their children marry within the community. With Conservative and Reform, and other smaller offshoots of Judaism outside the Orthodox communities, often use the public schools and reside in more mixed neighborhoods, there is a higher rate of their children marrying outside their community. The Conservative and Reform Jews make up the majority of Jews in the United States and with the intermarriage rate reaching almost seventy percent of their children, how much longer will their children and grandchildren continue to follow Judaism? Many of these intermarried children choose to try to raise their children in both Judaism and Christianity. This leads to confusion and due to peer pressure and the basic Christian dominance in American society, the Christianity wins out in most cases and these children are even more likely to intermarry and simply leave the Jewish faith completely. There is something which could alter the adopted non-Jewish identity some of these Jews will adopt. It is the same thing which has occurred to Jews over history many of the times when they become overly assimilated. It happened in Persia with Hamas, it happened in Germany with Hitler and the Nazis and it could even happen in the United States. What happens is the steep rise in anti-Semitism which looks at the grandparents or even further back and decide who is Jewish by this determination. This makes many Jews who had adopted to leave Judaism suddenly returned to their Jewish roots not by any choice of their own.

 

The more recent of the historical examples is the easier one to describe. The German Jews were well accepted in their society and it was in Germany where Reform Judaism was born. This led to a split of the Jewish population with the Reform Jews often being the most assimilated amongst the Jewish population. There were Jews teaching in Universities and schools, as judges and lawyers, as doctors, technicians, physicists, chemists, tailors, actors, directors, writers and every other field of endeavor. They lived in mixed neighborhoods and some lived in neighborhoods apart (mostly the Orthodox). When the Nazis began to rise to power, the most assimilated Jews felt safe as they were proper Germans and Hitler meant those other Jews, the ones who lived apart and dressed in peculiar clothing and practiced a different life than the average German. Many claimed that the statements and anti-Semitism was simply an election ploy to garner votes, not something the government of Germany would ever allow to happen, after all, the Jews were amongst the highest percentage of those who fought for Germany in the Big War (World War I) and were proven real Germans. They were very much as the modern Jews in the United States are today; they denied the rise in anti-Semitism and continued on with their denial right onto the trains to the Concentration Camps.

 

Before we made Aliyah, we belonged to a Conservative Synagogue and these Jews mostly resided in an oval of our city which was anchored by our Conservative Synagogue at one pole and the reform Synagogue at the other pole. One could almost apply the formula for drawing an oval and they would incorporate well over ninety percent of the Jews in our little city. We were outliers as we resided miles outside these neighborhoods where our house was probably the only Jewish house within five to ten miles. Where we did not witness much if any outright anti-Semitism, we did hear some anti-Semitic thoughts which were part of the general beliefs and came out in idle conversations. As the area was predominantly Christian, the majority supported Israel but there were some very wrongheaded beliefs about whom and what Jews were. If you had asked these people if they were anti-Semitic they would deny even the wisp of a possibility, yet there were things they believed about Jews which were less than honest. One example was that Jews were wealthy and stuck to living with their own. Where we could not refute the living amongst their own, we easily refuted the wealth canard, as we would ask that they explain why we lived in their moderately priced neighborhood which was far from upper-middle-class, but was comfortable with older homes and white picket fences everywhere. Could these people be turned against the Jews of America, not all or even many of them but the Nazis were a minority with all the guns.

 

It does not take a majority of the people to turn an entire society into darkness, it just takes an overtly active minority of a mere fifteen to twenty-five percent with weapons and willingness to use violence and fifty percent who would start being complacent and before they could realize that things had become beyond their control, it would be too late to prevent the inevitable. The actual vote received by the Nazi Party received was thirty-seven and two-fifths percent of the popular votes. We can figure that some of these votes were made by people who were not hardcore Nazis but voted for them to remain safe as their neighborhood had so many Nazi flags in their lawns that to vote otherwise might prove to make them suspect. We need to remember that the Nazis were not exactly adverse to the use of violence, and that can persuade people to vote differently. For those who will claim that such things could never happen in the United States, then how would they explain the Philadelphia Black Panther intimidation at a voting station intimidation threats (see video below). Then there has been the use of the FBI and Justice Department as weapons against the Trump campaign during the last election which included a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant sought and received using knowingly tainted evidence. The misconduct and weaponizing of the government is still being pealed back and who knows how many layers this onion will end up having and who else will tumble out before everything is done including possible foreign intervention against Trump from Russia and even some European allies. America is not a sacred and saintly as our sanitized school history taught us back in school, so never say that it cannot happen here.

 

 

We hope the United States continued in perpetuity as the protector of liberty and freedom for the world. We have seen one item which Israel should take to heart, that the United States is not and should never be believed to be the protector for the nation of Israel. President Obama allowing the passage of a Security Council resolution which placed almost everything beyond the Green Line as forbidden for Israelis to reside should have served as a wake-up call to the leaders of Israel from this time into the future. This would make the Palestinian Authority demand that no Jews be permitted on the lands they claim enforced by the United Nations under a Security Council resolution. This introduced a new day where support of Israel has become a partisan position where much, if not a large majority, of the Democrat Party will refuse to protect Israel without Israel meeting demands for sacrificing to the Arabs, something which would become such a threat that Israel would become difficult to defend. This is the new reality as things now appear. And the majority of non-Orthodox Jews support the Democrat Party blindly believing that it supports everything they support, and that may be valid as a measurable number of these same Jews do not actively support or care about Israel.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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