Beyond the Cusp

April 15, 2019

Not Bibi Again!

 

This has been the whine heard from almost everyone from the center and leftwards as well as from a fair number on the right. What is interesting is the further you get from the center, right or left, the louder the complaints become. The one nice thing about these people and their complaining is that at least we know they did not vote for Likud guaranteeing more Bibi. Of course, from the media we are about to be fed a steady stream of whining over Bibi returning as Prime Minister mixed with a dash of hope that the Attorney General will find something which sticks to Bibi long enough to charge him and then it might be bye, bye Bibi. For those in the United States, things are not much different than in Israel as the left hangs on the hope that they can use the legal system to get something on Bibi, in your case, Trump, and then be rid of them forever. Those of us with at least one foot firmly on the grounds of reality, we realize that these attempts to incriminate Trump or Bibi with some legal misdeeds is nothing more than a witch hunt which will come up empty, but that will not stop those determined to be rid of them from continuing to try again and again. But the reality of Bibi goes so much deeper.

 

We are regularly bombarded with praises heaped upon Bibi lauding him as the consummate political maneuverer and a master of the game. We are not quite so kind. If you want to get a line on why Bibi has been so successful and will soon become the longest serving Prime Minister in Israeli history, ask those whom he has all but destroyed. Currently at the top of that is Naftali Bennett whose New Right Party just missed clearing threshold. Naftali Bennett left the Likud Party taking Ayelet Shaked with him and went to Jewish Home where Bennett believed he had found his horse to ride straight to the Prime Minister’s House. Both Bennett and Shaked had worked directly for Bibi in his offices. Needless to say, Bibi took their leaving a bit personally. Two elections after Bennett and Shaked had moved to Jewish Home, a sort of miracle was in the making and Bennett actually was polling as almost even with Bibi and Likud with Jewish Home Party, formerly just a minor Religious-Zionist Party not terribly right of center. It was looking really close, until Bibi promised to treat Bennett and Shaked really nicely. What was the problem was that a center-left party was polling ahead of Likud and Jewish Home but well behind their combined totals. Bibi demanded that Bennett fall on his sword such that Bibi would defeat this upstart from the left threatening that if Bennett refused that there may very well be a left-wing government. Bennett made the fateful speech claiming not to be ready to be Prime Minister quite yet. The next morning, presto-chango, Likud was polling comfortably in the lead and Jewish Home was polling in single digits well below the day before. Bennett and Shaked got their Ministerial position, and Shaked as Justice Minister performed near miracles and will be missed from that position as her work was far from completed.

 

This was the first revenge Bibi took out on Bennett, and possibly Shaked as well, as when the next election cycle came around, Jewish Home was struggling to reach double digits, and this would not serve Bennett reaching Prime Minister. In private with only a select group of faithful who were to follow Bennett, Neftali planned to leave Jewish Home and form a new party. He would have been wished well had he done this differently, but his plan was also to rid himself from any competition from his former party. For reasons untold, every attempt to have the Central Committee meet, something important as a new Central Committee had been elected (I was somehow amongst the chosen for my town) and new leadership needed to be selected. This was not to be as it would have left some semblance of organization when Bennett and Shaked split as soon as elections were announced. The New Right, as Bennett’s party was named, shot up into double digits in the polls while Jewish Home, after losing its top two candidates, having no new leader, having a central committee now decimated as people streamed off with Bennett, all power structures pretty much destroyed with some key positions which remained held by people left behind to make sure the chaos destroyed Jewish Home (though this will be denied to the end of time), Jewish Home polled at best around ‘one.’ I personally begged two of those leaving to remain and warned they would regret leaving, but off went even friends.

 

 

Slowly, with the election growing closer, a committee of self-appointed leaders claimed they would reconstitute the party by fiat. The remains of the Central Committee protested and threatened to use their powers under the Party Constitution and this caused a surprised group who expected only slavish thanks to step back and listen. A system was worked out that nobody would be assigned any leadership without Central Committee approval, and slowly the Party was rebuilt only getting finalized with but a few days left to place a Knesset list for the elections. Jewish Home submitted their list with Rafi Peretz as their new leader, and what an improvement he will be if we can keep him long enough. Polls came and polls went and for quite a while Bennett appeared to have made a wise choice but inevitably the New Right started slipping, Jewish Home gained and with the election done Jewish Home, a party destroyed just mere months ago came in with five mandates and Bennet with his New Right failed to reach threshold and will not be in the government.

 

Moshe Feiglin, founder of the Zehut Party, is another person whose history crossed paths with Bibi Netanyahu. Feiglin made a critical mistake, as have others before him, as he began to become popular both in the Liked and in the public eye. His popularity grew for quite a while until it began to appear as should this continue; he would be able to challenge Bibi. That was his breaking of the cardinal rule, Bibi is king and it is good to be the king. Suddenly, through things and rules which are still very hazy, the next election found Feiglin buried to a position in the mid-to-high thirties, well beyond any hope of being in the Knesset. Well, that began the slide of Feiglin in Likud and he soon realized that Bibi had buried him just as he has anyone who showed even a glimmer of being a threat to the Bibi. People need to understand something about Bibi, he does not compete with people for the top spot, he eviscerates those who approach his level of popularity at the crucial point where they would become a threat soon but before the point where they become difficult to stop. Feiglin probably came the closest but Bibi learned from his predecessor and mentor, Ariel Sharon.

 

Ariel Sharon once ruled the roost in Likud. There was this younger, more energetic upstart who was climbing towards being able to challenge Sharon for the top spot. Sharon decided to give this upstart a challenge, a challenge which had proven the death of all who previously had this position foist upon them. Bibi was made finance secretary, once upon a time a dead end Ministership which ate up Ministers and spat them out finished politically. Well, perhaps Sharon should have checked Bibi’s resume where he would have noted that MBA along with degrees in economics. Bibi took on that challenge and all but rebuilt the economic picture in Israel and Israel is still running along with all those changes paying off with dividends. The old Socialist clogging of the economic spigot have been cleared and a Capitalist system put in its place which rewards entrepreneurs, investors and those who take the risks and does not overly penalize corporations for becoming bigger and controlling certain sectors as in Israel that is simply a challenge put down for others to unseat the giant. That is part of why we are the start-up nation. Ariel Sharon eventually fell to the demands of an American President, George W. Bush, and committed the Gaza disengagement. This Gaza Disengagement is what General Gantz (please do not confuse him with General Peretz who leads Jewish Home) of the Blue White coalition with Yair Lapid, claimed he had learned valuable lessons and believed it could be wisely used elsewhere to lead to peace, namely in the Shomron. He had a plan to simply give Mahmoud Abbas most of the Shomron and tell him this would make peace between us. This would have worked just as well as it did in Gaza and that is the peace, we would have received with one difference, instead of Sderot being the target in easy range, it would have been Tel Aviv within range. Anyway, Bibi rose after Sharon was felled by a stroke and has ruled Likud ever since felling one challenger after another almost as if it were nothing.

 

The picture for the future is simple and may result in costing Israel dearly. For as long as the Likud Party remains entrenched as the preeminent party on the right, Bibi will remain Prime Minister. General Gantz probably posed as hard a challenge as anybody has since Lapid threatened and Bibi had Bennett self-destruct so he could beat Lapid. This sacrifice of Bennett was not sufficient. A couple of days before the vote this past election, Bibi announced in a very public setting, that he intends to extend civil law to all, every last one regardless of size, the Jewish settlements in the Shomron. He made the announcement repeatedly in interviews, in a photo op with the leaders of most of the Shomron communities and pretty much everywhere else including probably at breakfast to prepare for the words of the day. This was the entire pitch which Bennett was running upon and Bibi’s announcement simply cut his legs from beneath him. Bennett had siphoned off a fair amount of support extensively from the Likud, he had already taken the top two slots and another of the Jewish Home top ten along with half of the financing received by parties for the campaign while leaving the entire debt he had run up behind hampering Jewish Home, and with this one announcement Bibi had retrieved those votes right back to Likud as now there was no difference between Bibi position on the Shomron and Bennett and Bibi was more likely to be Prime Minister and Bennett was cooked. This was Bibi’s burying of Bennett and getting his revenge for Bennett taking Shaked and deserting Likud for Jewish Home. Bibi also recognized that Bennett wants to be Prime Minister and will stop at nothing to get there. Well, Bibi is Prime Minister and will stop at next to nothing to remain there, and in politics the person on top has all the advantages.

 

Bibi remains Prime Minister because he recognizes any and everyone who has that desire, that gleam in their eye, that spring in their step that says I’m on my way up, and Bibi knows how to bury them politically so deep that they no longer know which way is up. There have been those rare few who such tactics would have proven ineffective as they were already too established for premature political burial. Reuven Rivlin is one perfect example. He had ridden high in the Likud list for a fair while. Burying him would be difficult and would cost Bibi too much to even try. So, how to put him aside where he can cool down until he is no longer a threat. There is a position in the Israeli government where one basically makes speeches and represents Israel at funerals and other state functions which the Prime Minister may not choose to attend though both can be at the same event from time to time. This position is called President. Currently, Reuven Rivlin is serving as President of Israel. He is about to perform the one very political role the President is assigned, deciding which party leader to choose to attempt to form a coalition and become Prime Minister. We hear you, here comes his opportunity to get even. Absolutely not. Reuven Rivlin had two competing dreams, Prime Minister and President. This was the perfect opportunity for Bibi to cut down on the competition and also give a person he calls friend (not a position we would envy) the chance to live his dream. But not every challenger would go away as easily.

 

There are a couple of such individuals off in the wings who, should they decide to give it their all, could step into a position leading one of the existing Religious-Zionist Parties and challenge Bibi. They are probably aware that such a move would be a one-off and if their challenge falls short, then that is it for them politically. Another was Danny Danon. The main claim against him was that his English was not perfect. Not perfect is being generous, but in Israel he only needs to speak Hebrew and if he were ever Prime Minister, he could have Bibi be his translator, that would be sweet to see. As Danny Danon rose slowly through the Likud ranks and in the settlement communities as a potential champion, they need as many as can be found, his political star appeared about ready to burst to light as a star does upon reaching that critical point. This was the point where Bibi suggested he become the United Nations Ambassador from Israel. Well, that prize was just too shiny to turn down, and Danny Danon was not seen as one whose desire in life was to be Prime Minister or to become the Bibi slayer; his dream was, is and will remain to serve Israel in whatever capacity to which he is called and to fight for Israel and her people, all of her people, in whatever way is needed. So, the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations is Danny Danon. Who will be the next victim from taking the Bibi challenge? Well, none of us for a simple reason, our Hebrew is not anywhere near good enough and will never likely pass such a challenge. On the other hand, one of us has experience as a candidate with no real chance making the ballot as a third-party candidate for the United States House of Representatives. No, we will simply continue with making commentary and if called upon to serve, then we would probably serve with a proviso that we were given a trusted translator. As far as the next to step forward to take on the Bibi, there probably will not be such as Bibi has intimated that this will be his final time around, his victory lap, so to speak.

 

Still, he may be facing a new challenge from President Reuven Rivlin if the rumors are true that his first tender will be to Bibi Netanyahu as well as Gantz and Lapid of the Blue White Party, which was a very close second place vote getter being edged out thirty-six to thirty-five, and proposing that they bury their differences and join together to make a National Unity coalition in order to find a path to peace. The words “path to peace” have become a loaded phrase which Israelis equate with losing land and gaining terrorism. The last great “path to peace” was the Gaza disengagement, and we all have come to realize how well that turned out, Gaza became terror central. Should President Rivlin call to meet with both Likud and the Blue White leaders, then many Israelis will become very nervous. Such a meeting implies that the soon to be announced President Trump Deal of the Century is a known plan by Bibi, Rivlin and who knows who else, and this plan will result with another Palestinian Arab entity potentially with borders which could pose an even greater threat than Gaza has proven to pose. Such a government would only be brought into existence in order to form a government which could survive any resulting caving to allow for the Deal of the Century to come into fruition. This would not necessarily be the case with any other coalition as the potential for the Likud Party to split threatening any weaker coalition would be a definitive possibility.

 

This is what happened when Ariel Sharon committed to the Gaza Disengagement when he then formed a new party (Kadima) with the remnants from Likud and a number of representatives pealed off from Labor and other smaller parties allowing Sharon to remain as Prime Minister and the rest, as they say, is history. Another such disengagement, exactly what Gantz originally stated was his intention should he become Prime Minister early on, is something the majority of Israelis are dead set against, including us. Israel’s saving grace might just be the absolute refusal by Gantz and Lapid before the election to forming such a government as they really desired to replace Bibi outright. With things now settled and being the lesser party, this may no longer be such a terrible idea for them to adopt. It is remarkable how malleable formerly stated absolutes come when the alternative is sitting in the opposition, the same opposition they claimed they were ready to ride to the next election when they just know they will win outright. The other part which makes this all the more possible is the once stated admiration Bibi held for Ariel Sharon whom Bibi claimed at that time was his mentor. This looms larger now that such things are presenting themselves, even if they are but rumors as rumors sometimes have a bad habit of becoming part of reality. The most likely path forward will be for President Rivlin to collect from each party leader the person they would choose to support as Prime Minister, Bibi or Gantz. As things sit currently, Gantz would receive at most fifty-five while Bibi is expected to receive sixty with Avigdor Lieberman waiting to have Bibi agree to his demands before making him Prime Minister. So, how do things sit now? The government will be even more shaky than the former government. Last time, when Lieberman pulled from the coalition, that left Bibi with a ruling coalition of sixty-one, the minimum for a sitting government. This time Lieberman sits between Bibi and a mere sixty which would probably result in the calling for new elections soon thereafter. Somewhere, Bibi lost one critical ministerial mandate and has an even weaker position. The editorials which claimed that we may have a new election within the year are looking to have a decent chance of being correct. Things are back to being as shaky as, as.. as.. as a Fiddler on the Roof.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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January 21, 2018

The Gaza Proof on Palestinian Problem

 

People who have for years heard about the plight of the poor Palestinian Arabs under the harsh yoke of Israeli (Jew) oppression in propaganda paid for by leftists and Arab nations and groups. Billions upon billions of dollar and Euros have been spent on these campaigns. There have been further investments in the Palestinian Arabs with billion of dollars from the United States and billion of Euros from the European Union (EU) and its member nations a well as a good amount of funding from Arab nations and non EU European nations. Much, if not most of the money has gone for terrorism. Of the remaining funds, the vast majority of these presumably go for public works projects of which Mahmoud Abbas’s sons own the companies who supposedly do the work. Often the work is signed off as completed when in reality nothing was performed. The remainder is used for actual benefit of the Arabs. The Palestinian Authority (PA) uses their heavy financing for bribing cooperation from Hamas who are less well financed as the United States and the EU recognize their terrorist agenda. Still, the Hamas terrorist ruling dictatorial regime has found ways of regularly playing hard to get followed by relaxing their demands once the “desperate to unify with Gaza” Palestinian Authority offers sufficient support. We recently witnessed another fake reunion brokered by Egypt which, as expected by many who follow these events, has already began to crumble and will be dust blown into the crevasses of history soon to be forgotten. Now that Hamas has received the cash, they could stop the pretenses and soon what had appeared to be mended splits in their relationship returned to tearing the two apart. Unfortunately, all of the Hamas outstanding bills are paid and there is a terror organization on the Israeli border flush with cash and this means rockets returning to the border areas aimed at Israeli civilians. And there is the lesson of Gaza and the proof of what another Palestinian Arab state would be like.

 

Polls taken in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) of the PA Arabs on what governance they would desire and overwhelmingly they choose Hamas over the Mahmoud Abbas Kleptocracy. This was the exact situation when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President George W. Bush came up with the perfect way to prove exactly how civilized and ready to have a normative democratic state under the rule of law willing to live peacefully side-by-side with Israel. They pressed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon until he gave in and allowed the PA to rule Gaza so they could prove their competence and desire to coexist peacefully, possibly even cooperatively. The Arabs of Gaza proved what many Israelis knew, they do not want a state, they want Israel destroyed and the Jews murdered. Within two and a half years, Hamas had stirred a popular uprising and taken control of Gaza throwing most of the PA officers and near all their security officers from Gaza and, as happens with every coup, more than a few PA officials and supporters were purged from our Earth. The periodic wars with Israel initiated by Hamas rocket fire into Israel reaching levels unacceptable and the terror tunnels and everything else that goes along with a governance set very few things, terrorism, destroying the state of Israel, murdering every Jew on the planet and self-enrichment. Much of this is included in the Hamas Charter and as such is not a secret. The Arabs living under PA rule poll similarly to the polls taken in Gaza around 2002. Should Mahmoud Abbas and the PA be granted their own state it would result in the same result with one exception, Israel could not survive an intense rocket barrage from the Judean heights which overlook Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Netanya, Ariel and the bulk of Israeli population and industrial and power production. Israel is merely nine miles wide at these points.

 

Nine Mile Wide Israeli Waist

Nine Mile Wide Israeli Waist

 

Let us discuss the eleven-year history between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and the actual reasons the media gave insufficient and inadequate coverage and where they concentrated their animus every action taken by Israel. Let us play a game called what if you lived there, what would your nation do. The there we are asking about could be south of the Falafel Restaurant on Hertzl St, in Hofit, Israel a short distance west of the northwestern end of Gaza. Let us take the first two months which eventually lead to an Israeli incursion and then we will discuss the after incursion events and why they could make Israeli leaders in a democracy wary of resorting to an intervention. The first week of this two-month period was not too abnormal for you and your friends in your neighborhood as the usual one rocket a month struck just south of town. The difference was that near every community was hit with a rocket, or at least another twenty or so. The next week is much the same, except that this has doubled the number of rockets you receive each month, but this week there were thirty other rockets. When a rocket lands in the center of town the next week, no fatalities and only a few people treated for shock and damage to a parking lot; you are too busy thanking Hashem that nobody was actually hurt. This time, escaping your knowledge as you were avoiding the news, over one-hundred rockets were fired into communities surrounding Gaza, mostly the northern half. By this time, many mayors and town councils are petitioning the government in writing and even in person from the larger communities such as Sderot where there was a concentration of rockets fired this week, a full one fourth landed within their area. So, with such a provocation your country would have responded with more than simple words. Thusfar, the only reaction from then Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has been to address the media that his office is handling this as best is possible considering the situation. This was supposed to calm the population and it does, at least where the rockets are not falling.

 

Week three is much as was week two and the same for week four except there were twice as many total rockets. The new month, a five-week month even, and now two hundred rockets fall each day resulting in protestations from the government and finally direct contact and demands from Jerusalem to the Hamas Gaza government. The result, Hamas took the warnings well and again doubled the numbers of rockets and now over a half-dozen are falling in your general area. Week six and another doubling then week seven it doubles again then week eight and there are over two-hundred rockets fired from Gaza into Israel with a couple of dozen longer range rockets hitting Ashkelon and Ashdod. The warnings coming from Jerusalem have become terse and border threatening. Week nine and there are over a thousand rockets a day and some are striking the southern parts of Tel Aviv and the entire Tel Aviv population is up in arms. Tel Aviv can mean all the difference in an election and when they scream the government listens. Finally, the IDF is given orders to end the rocket fire from out of Gaza. This let loose the hounds on both sides and the number of rockets coming out of Gaza seem to multiple as they use up their entire stockpile of short-range rockets which means your town is next to uncountable and much of the population has left to live with relatives and citizens in northern Israel are opening their homes to any from around Gaza or wherever the rockets strike so they can both be and feel safe.

 

How many rockets would other nations tolerate before retaliating and ending the danger to its citizens? Let us see what we might guess might be the response. Mongolia fires five rockets into Russia and we would guess half of Mongolia would be wastelands under Russian military rule and the Mongolian government and military leadership stood against walls and shot. Mongolia decided it is time to target China as it has been a few centuries and the end result would be much the same as Russia except more violent. What if in a foolish rage, Mexico fired seven rockets into Texas? This might be one time that the country would not have an opportunity to act; Texas might take care of Mexico all by themselves. Pick a nation and the story would be much the same. Even South Korea acts against North Korea when fired upon unless the United States intervenes. What happened when the Iranian backed Houthis fired one missile at Riyadh, the Saudis launched a full-on air assault on the missile’s launch location immediately afterwards. There is not a single nation with military capabilities which would not respond when hundreds of missiles are launched into their territory daily with the singular exception of Israel. This is due to the singular fact that the Israelis know that one of Hamas’s main tactics is to launch from heavily populated areas, hide behind civilians and do all they can to maximize civilian casualties. Israel actually takes the civilian casualties of the civilians in Gaza into account as well as the Israelis. For the sake of the people of Gaza that the Israelis do not simply attack at the first rocket as Hamas fires at least one and sometimes as many as five to ten each month when they have sufficient stores.

 

So, now that we imagined that possibility and you realize that Israel takes weeks of provocation, let us discuss what the media sells the world, even some of the Israeli media as we have extreme left leaning reporters and editorialists here just as left as the NYT. When the first sortie is flown by the Israeli Air Force (AIF) the media lights up with headlines about Israel bombs Gaza and not until the, most often, next to the last or there abouts paragraph do you read that it was in response to Hamas rocket fire into Israel. They always say Hamas rocket fire so that it sounds like Hamas fired one rocket and Israel bombed twenty locations. Eventually, in the reporting over the next few days, once the average reader is tired of reading the same story day-in and day-out, the media will finally tell that Israel faced two months of ever increasing rockets fired into their civilian areas and once they hit Tel Aviv Israel reacted. Afterwards, when reporting on such events the media returns to the singular use of rocket and always second so it sounds as if Hamas fired in defense, not Israel. These incursions are as short as feasible as Israel tries not to maximize the damage done. The bombings by the IAF are military types of targets. When you read that Israel bombed a blacksmith shop and the owner cries, “about why did they bomb my store, now I and my family will go hunger,” know that he was making rocket parts for Hamas. This even goes for when Israel attacks schools, something done with IDF ground forces so as to minimize damage, it is because it is also being used as a weapons storage as the UNWRA supervisor admitted. Israel attempts to minimize civilian casualties but Hamas desires maximizing civilian casualties even to the point of disarming terrorists who died in battle and then taking pictures of what is claimed to be a slaughtered civilian as their fighters wear exactly the same clothing as the civilians. Hamas leaders take pride that their children, women and elderly are used as human shields openly declaring, as in the video below, “Saying to the Zionist enemy: ‘We desire death like you desire life.’” Their children are taught this in their schools and in the UNWRA schools as well as being taught a poisonous hatred for Jews particularly and all those who do not follow Islam.

 

 

The Middle East is the most anti-Semitic region on earth; further 93% of Palestinians are holding anti-Semitic beliefs, most a pure and unadulterated hatred. As stated above, the anti-Semitic propaganda is taught as curriculum in their schools, preached in their Mosques and ubiquitous in their society with those unwilling to die when called for immediately murdered in front of everyone else as an example. This teaching of hatred and genocide against the Jews is not limited to Gaza, the Arabs residing in the PA ruled lands hear the same from their teachers and Imams as witnessed in the video below. Should the Arabs currently residing in the areas ruled by the PA be granted the state Mahmoud claims they desire, they will assist Hamas in a coup taking over these lands as well. Once Hamas has taken over their area, then Tel Aviv and the surrounding region will be under the range of even the smallest rockets with a ten mile range as Israel is a mere nine miles wide at her waist.

 

 

This is the problem Israel would face within a few years, if not months or days, after Hamas replaced the PA and proceeded to continue their war just as they have in Gaza except now Tel Aviv can be fired at directly. Europe is fully behind allowing for Palestinian Arab takeover of the entirety of Judea and Samaria all the way to the Green Line. Such a state would result in rockets fired along line of sight into downtown Tel Aviv and place aircraft taking off from Ben Gurion International Airport also within direct line of sight as they taxi along the runways and taxiways. Israel would be cut in half with a huge swath across the middle before Israel could react. Hamas taking control of these areas would result in the Hamas dream, the depopulation of the State of Israel and an end to the Zionist dreams. That is why there was an article titled An appeal to Alan Dershowitz – Renounce two-statism! Alan Dershowitz had been a great voice for Israel but his continuing to push the dead and buried two-state solution. One can only hope that Mr. Dershowitz at least read one if not both of these articles and learns the error of his ways. One can only hope he learns as his voice is written into the NYT as the near sole voice backing Israel in that publication. Change need come and the reality of today is required and not repeating an old story even rejected by the PA even before the Oslo Accords were signed in September 1993. Actually, as we have pointed out repeatedly, Yasser Arafat, and after him Mahmoud Abbas, have rejected every last offer no matter how generous even those which included half of Jerusalem, acceptance of refugees and lands in 90% or more of the area within the Green Line saving Israel in the process. Please tell us we do not need post this picture yet again to prove the point.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 30, 2014

Fears About Kerry Intimidation of Netanyahu Appear Valid

There are some among us who have expressed fears that Prime Minister Netanyahu might choose to follow the exact same route blazed by the late Ariel Sharon when he formed a new party in order to facilitate the Gaza disengagement. Now we are witnessing a purely manufactured controversy revolving into a confrontation between the Prime Minister and the nationalist hardliners in the coalition. The entire flare-up was started by a planned leak from the Prime Minister’s Office that Netanyahu was about to announce a new plan which would permit any of the Israelis living in the settlements which were going to be turned over to form the Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria could simply remain in their homes and be placed under Palestinian rule. This, unsurprisingly, evoked some rash outbursts and responses from many nationalist Knesset Ministers, all of them from within the ruling coalition and some from the Likud which is the Prime Minister’s own party. The Prime Minister’s Office chose to take umbrage with only one of the dissenting Ministers, Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Jewish Home Party and the Economy and Trade Minister. What makes the choice by Prime Minister Netanyahu of Naftali Bennett curious, as Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin, and Deputy Minister Ofir Akuni, all members of Prime Minister’s Likud Party, all made similar statements of outrage and disbelief about the leaked statement from the Prime Minister’s Office and none were called out for their opposition statements.

 

When one adds the leaked information that Secretary of State Kerry has a draft of a plan which will include demands for Israel to surrender half of Jerusalem in order for the Palestinians to use as their capital city and force the Palestinians to at least state that they recognize Israel as the State for the Jewish People, this entire confrontation takes on an ominous note. It is interesting that the Israelis are going to be required to surrender all of Judea and Samaria with only those land swaps agreed to by the Palestinians while all the Palestinians are going to be required to do is state they recognize Israel as the home for the Jews, a statement they can recant ten seconds later and return to their resistance and terrorist ways, something which should be expected by any thinking person familiar with the history of the entire Arab Israeli conflict which started back in the mid to late 1800s. Perhaps the claims that the leaked plan to allow Israelis living in the settlements to remain in their homes and live under the Palestinian state was exactly as the Prime Minister’s Office claimed, to rope the Palestinians into rejecting the idea outright and demand one more time, as if nobody had heard them the first half million times, that no Jews would be permitted to reside, visit or set foot in the Palestinian controlled lands. This was supposed to make the point to whom? John Kerry? President Obama? Who? Anybody who cared about the Palestinian refusal has heard it sufficient number of times to have memorized the many different ways it has been stated by Abbas, Erekat and numerous other Palestinian spokespersons. But even if we give the Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt and agree that this was a brilliant ploy to reveal the otherwise hidden Palestinian rejectionist attitude to a Jewish presence in their state, why would they target only the leader of one of the member parties of the coalition and basically ignore the others? This leads to only one reason, to make a case for removing the Jewish Home Party from the coalition to make room for another party. It is of some interest that the Labor Party did entertain the idea of joining the coalition should the Jewish Home Party leave the coalition in order to support the continuation of the peace process. The only remaining question is would there be sufficient sized revolt by nationalist Ministers from within Likud that the coalition would still fail.

 

That is where the formation of a new party that would be populated with those Likud Ministers who support accepting whatever the Prime Minister plans to do when Kerry attempts to force a solution sometime between now and middle April and other politicians and members from other parties just as Ariel Sharon had done in order to facilitate the Gaza disengagement. If the Gaza disengagement was nothing short of a disaster, what would a disengagement from Judea and Samaria pose? As Mark Langfan has displayed with cogent maps; Israel would be vulnerable to rockets raining down on Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Netanya, and the heart of Israeli population centers and vast majority of its economic resources as well as easy range to bring down any air traffic in or out of Ben Gurion International Airport. This situation would be inevitable and come to fruition as soon as the IDF was no longer allowed a presence in Judea and Samaria and losses their intelligence network which they currently possess and have in place. Additionally, the probability that Hamas along with Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda in Gaza, Salafists and whatever other terror groups currently inhabit Gaza would replace Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. What makes this even more important is that any agreement made with the Palestinian Authority will not be honored by any Palestinian once the Palestinian Authority has been removed from power and trust that they will be removed from power within months if not weeks or days or hours after the IDF and Israelis have departed. What follows after the first rocket strikes a building in central Tel Aviv or a plane is downed while on approach to Ben Gurion Airport will be touted throughout the General Assembly as the horrific assault by the Israelis on innocent Palestinians? Whether or not the Europeans will join the rabble that is the majority of those in the General Assembly is a good question. What the reaction by United States President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary of Defense Hagel have, or should we inquire how long before they demand Israel stand down and show restraint and understand that it will take time before the Palestinians accept the wonderful peace plan and stop launching rockets and attacking Israel. How many nations will claim that obviously the Israelis, or the Jews, started the violence without any real provocation’ after all, what’s a few small rockets every now and then. We have heard these exact screams from these exactly same places whenever Israel responds to the rockets fired out of Gaza at southern Israeli communities. Why should any Israeli expect any difference when the rockets hit Tel Aviv instead of Sderot? Pray that this situation is never ever allowed to come to pass as the end results are something that should be unthinkable to any sane person.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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