Beyond the Cusp

May 9, 2019

Popping the Myths of Israeli War of Independence

 

We do not care how the wars sporadically started and stopped from May 15, 1948 onward with them lasting into mid 1949 before attaining armistices. Peace would be coming later with Egypt and even later Jordan, while technically Israel is still in a state of war with the other four Arab invading nations; Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Don’t worry if you did not realize this, probably a fair number of Israelis are unaware of the fact Israel is still at war. There are likely a set of armistice agreements ending hostilities, but we were unable to find any reference to such between Israel and Iraq or Saudi Arabia. Perhaps we will have to settle with the fact they are not shooting at us currently and be happy with that. But the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-9 was not born in a vacuum, there were a series of initiatives which were rejected outright and even the United Nations sought some settlement which also failed and so much more to talk about and see how we got to where we are today, celebrating our independence which was established the nightfall before the dawn brought on the war. So, where do we begin.

 

What is difficult to believe, but just the same is true, there was a point in time when the Arab world welcomed the founding of the Jewish State and agreed over borders and everything. The year is 1920, late April to be more accurate, in beautiful San Remo, Italy where the San Remo Conference set up the preliminaries for the Mandate System. Included in this were two Mandates which are of interest to our telling, the French and British Mandates. These were set along with Italian and Spanish holdings (see map below). France was charged to form a Christian State and an Arab State while Britain was charged with establishing a Jewish State and subsequently also an Arab State. France divided their region forming Syria (Arab) and Lebanon (Christian) while Britain divided its region into Jordan (originally Transjordan and Arab) and Israel (originally referred to as Palestine and Jewish). The French attempt to make a Christian state in Lebanon was fragile from the very beginning and is close to becoming ruled by Hezballah who has military control and shares Parliamentary control. Were things to come to a head in Lebanon, the Christians would be hard pressed to mount any resistance to a complete Islamic takeover. The British never actually established a Jewish state and instead simply announced they were pulling out as of mid-May 1948 and washing their hands of whatever developed.

 

Colonial Structure Post World War I defined by Treaties from initial surrender in 1919 through the San Remo Conference setting up the Mandate System in 1922 plus Sykes-Picot redrawing of much of the Middle East

Colonial Structure Post World War I defined by Treaties from initial surrender in 1919 through the San Remo Conference setting up the Mandate System in 1922 plus Sykes-Picot redrawing of much of the Middle East

 

This is where we start our story, the British are leaving and, on their way out, they are confiscating as many weapons as they can find in Jewish towns and Kibbutzim and for expediency’s sake, they are turning these weapons over to the Arab towns which were preparing to join the war against the Jews. The evening of May 14, 1948, Jewish day begins at sundown, so for Israelis it is the next day while the remainder of the world insists on daybreak or midnight, but it is almost sundown of May 14, 1948, or 6 Iyyar, 5708 on the Hebrew Calendar. So, it is Friday, May 14, 1948 at 4 PM, a full eight hours before the official end of the British Mandate, David Ben Gurion read out Israel’s Declaration of Independence at a moving ceremony at the Tel Aviv Museum (video below). There was no shooting, no artillery, no tanks, just celebratory cheers, singing of songs and general state of joyous exhilaration from the Jewish and even some Arab towns, farms and villages. That was it, the official beginning to the Jewish State followed by recognitions which can be viewed here. The celebrations carried on into the morning, especially in Tel Aviv. The Jews and their Arab friends knew what the morning was likely to bring, so they made the most of the few hours of peace that remained.

 

 

The next morning was to bring an assault with an intent which we have found was best described so succinctly by Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League at that time, who stated, “It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades.” This was what was intended by the six Arab armies from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan which were perched on every border just awaiting the command or simply the sun to rise so they could swarm across the lands on their way to the Mediterranean Sea wiping the Jews from the land retaking the region for Allah. Their invasion routes can be seen on the map below. For weeks ahead of the morning of May 15, 1948, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini implored the Arabs who were living between the Arab forces and the Mediterranean Sea, in Israel in simple terms, to evacuate to behind the Arab lines for their safety. His claim was this would permit the Arab armies to simply slaughter every single person they came upon. There were exceptions, namely those Arab villages and towns which were to assist the Arabs by sabotaging Israeli supply and communication lines and ambushing the Israelis from behind as they faced the Arab armies advance. The Mufti promised that the Arabs could follow the armies to the sea and partake of the riches of the Jews and all the spoils of war. This was awaiting the next morning after the joyous celebratory evening and night of the Jewish People returning to their ancestral homelands after approximately a two-thousand-year absence of Jewish rule over these lands. There was great joy and few worried about the next day, but there were the select people who did exactly that as they were the ones who were to defend this precious return.

 

Initial Invasion Routes by Arab Armies on May 15, 1948

Initial Invasion Routes by Arab Armies on May 15, 1948

 

This was, very simply put, an Arab initiated war of intended annihilation, not Israel’s War of Independence. Israeli independence came the second David Ben Gurion finished his speech. There was no war necessary. Israel had been declared and that should have been the end of everything except for the celebrations. There was no war, the Jews did not make some amphibious assault on the beaches and push the Arabs out of their nation of Palestine. There was no nation of Palestine and the Jews were already in the land with many having come in the late 1800’s and others who could trace their ancestry back to the times of Kings Saul, David and Solomon. These were the Jews who the Romans had allowed to remain and had resided in these lands for over three-thousand-years. That is an impressive family history to be able to recount, and they can do exactly that. Others returned over the centuries and had resided in these lands for hundred upon hundreds of years. Whenever the British had used the term Palestine or Palestinian, they were referring to Israel and the Jews. The Palestine Post became the Jerusalem Post, the Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra became the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra and so on with names of banks, hardware stores, plumbing businesses and so much more. The Arabs had their own reference at that time, they were referred to as Arabs or Jordanian, Syrian, Egyptian, Iraqi or whatever nation their family names implied. The first time any Arab became a Palestinian was with the birth of the PLO in 1964. Why did the Arabs decide to take the mantle of Palestinians? That is easy to figure out once you understand the history, they intended to steal the history of the Jews claiming that the Arabs were the ones called Palestinians and the Jews were called, well, they never said what the Jews were called because their intent was always to be rid of them so who cares what names they were called by, anyway, that would just confuse things. Their hope was that nobody would bother with the actual history and they could pull a fast one. Well, what timing, just as the Western World decided not to actually teach history, the Arabs bet that nobody would know history, what timing.

 

World Recognition of Israel

World Recognition of Israel

 

Well, the celebrations ended rather abruptly around dawn as the first shots fired by the advancing Arab armies starting what would be more appropriately called The Arab War of Intended Annihilation instead of the Israeli War of Independence. Israeli independence had already been established and the war was over whether Israel would continue to exist or be killed at her birthing. The other misleading tale was that Israel won this war and took over additional lands. The only way this would have been true would be if Israel had extended her rule across the Jordan River, over the Golan Heights, into Lebanon and into the Sinai Peninsula. None of these were the result. What happened instead was Israel lost control of lands which included the Golan Heights, the Shomron (Jordan controlled this renaming it the West Bank) and the Gaza Strip which Egypt took control over. These are that troubling thing called facts. When the Arabs show maps showing Israel gaining land, they use the map of the plan offered by the United Nations in the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine under United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181. This was a nonbinding resolution which suggested a division of the land into Arab and a Jewish states. The Israelis were willing to accept this partition but the Arab League refused the plan planning on the annihilation of the Jews in its stead. When a United Nations General Assembly Resolution is rejected by any of the parties involved, it is forever negated and considered void as if it had never been proposed. So, the Arab League refusal ended any application of the division and the lands reverted to the original borders which was the Jordan River and the border between the Negev Desert and the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights (see maps below). The armistice lines have become the Arab definition of what the Israeli borders should revert to now despite when they were agreed upon the Arab League insisting that these armistice lines were not to ever be interpreted or expected to be actual borders. Their intent was to deny the existence of Israel as it did not have actual borders. Now they demand a return by Israel to those armistice lines so they can have a redo on the Six Day War, another war which was intended to destroy the Jewish State which failed. During the June 1967 Six Day War, Israel liberated the lands lost in 1948-9 as well as gaining the Sinai Peninsula and some claim the Golan Heights.

 

Resolution 181 Division, Israel on the morning of May 15, 1948, Israel after the War and losing lands of Gaza and West Bank

Resolution 181 Division,
Israel on the morning of May 15, 1948,
Israel after the War and losing lands of Gaza and West Bank

 

That is why calling the war which began the morning of May 15, 1948, the Israeli War of Independence is actually a misnomer. Israel would have had her independence even had the Arabs not attacked that morning as she had declared her independence the afternoon before. The celebrations had gone on well into the night and even until the Arabs invaded the established nation of Israel. A better name for this war might be the Arab War of Intended Annihilation of Israel or the Failed Arab War to Erase Israel. Now that war is being fought by Arab proxies of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza which might be named Hamastan. Over the years, the Arab world acquired great amounts of financial assistance from the Western nations along with the United Nations and for a while the Soviet Union into the coffers of these terror entities all with the hope of peace or an end to Israel. Many of those contributing to these entities desired the latter while all claimed otherwise simply claiming they desired for the Palestinian Arabs to have their homeland back. There never has been an Arab homeland or a nation called Palestine and the main reason that so many Arabs resided in what became Israel was due to the British in cooperation with the Arab League kept moving Arabs into the land to prevent the Jews from being able to declare their homeland. The Palestinian Arab refugee problem is largely, if not entirely, due to the Arabs heeding the Mufti and then when the fighting was over, instead of allowing them to return, something Israel was willing to allow, they placed their brothers and sisters into refugee camps and have kept them there ever since. They basically incarcerated just over six-hundred-thousand fellow Arabs in these camps. Over the ensuing decade, the Arab world expelled over eight-hundred-thousand Jews after denuding them of all assets and anything of worth which Israel took in and remarkably simply incorporated every last one into their society despite much hardship and difficulty. Israel did not incarcerate them permanently in camps to use as a political weapon against the Arab nations which expelled them, Israel accepted their fellow Jews with mixed joy and hardship but in the end, we are all living together mostly in harmony. Give Israel another fifty years and there will be no differentiating who came originally from where and there will be more Israelis like myself with a European father and an Arab national origin mother. In my case it was due to World War II as my British father fought in Burma and when injured he was treated in Bombay (Mumbai) where he met my Iraqi origins mother, and the rest is history. The majority in Israel is simply a case of opposites attract and Jews are intermarrying which will allow us to become completely reinstituted as a single people whose histories and futures are forever to be intertwined.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 5, 2014

The Lessons of Carthage, a Teaching Moment for Israel

Filed under: 1949 Armistice Line,Absolutism,Act of War,Administration,Advanced Weapions Systems,Air Strike,al-Qaeda in Gaza,Amalekites,Anti Missile System,Anti-Israel,Anti-Semitism,Anti-Zionist,Appease Islamic Interests,Appeasement,Appointment,Arab Appeasement,Arab League,Arab World,Arabs,Armed Services,Armistice,Ballot Access,Blood Libel,Bombing,Cabinet,Carthage,Ceasefire,Civilization,Code Red Warning System,Condemning Israel,Conflict Avoidnce,Defend Israel,Domestic NGOs,Elections,Europe,European Governments,European Pressure,European Union,Executive Order,Fatah,Fatah Charter,Forced Solution,Foreign Funding,Foreign NGOs,Gaza,Gaza Blockade,Government,Green Line,Hamas,Hamas Charter,Haniyeh of Hamas,Hannibal,Hate,History,IAF,IDF,IDF,Infiltration Tunnels,Inteligence Report,Internal Pressures,International Politics,Intifada,Iron Dome,Islam,Islamic Jihad,Islamic Pressure,Israel,Israeli Interests,Jewish Home,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,Jihad,Jihad,Khaled Mashaal,Kidnap Soldier,Legal Blockade,Mahmoud Abbas,Mainstream Media,Meaning of Peace,Media Bias,Media Censorship,Media Intimidation,Mediterranean Sea,Middle East,Military Intervention,Misreporting,Muslim Brotherhood,Muslim World,Muslims,Netanyahu,Numidia,Omission,One State Solution,Palestinian,Palestinian Authority,Palestinian Legislative Committee,Palestinian Pressures,Peace Process,Pillar of Defense,Pillar of Smoke,Politics,Pre-Conditions,Prime Minister,Promised Land,Punic Wars,Quintus Maximus,Rafah Crossing,Ramallah,Recognize Israel,Register to Vote,Response to Terrorism,Rock Throwing,Rocket Attacks,Rome,San Remo Conference,Sderot,Secular Interests,Smuggling Tunnels,Support Israel,Terror,Terrorist Release,Threat of War,Two State Solution,United Nations Presures,United States,United States Pressure,Validate Elections,Voting,West Bank,World Opinion,World Pressures,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 2:25 AM
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Any serious study of military history will include the Punic Wars and the lessons which should be taken from the entire series of events and their resultant outcomes and ramifications into the future. The first peculiarity of the Punic Wars is the fact that there were three wars between two of the greatest powers of their time and definitely the strongest forces around the Mediterranean Sea. The initial Punic War was fought as Rome attempted to settle islands in the Mediterranean Sea which were already part of the Carthaginian Empire which was largely based on trade with a strong emphasis on water based trade routes. This resulted in Carthage having a very powerful naval forces which was capable of placing superior numbers of ships with skillful and experienced crews against superior ships of Rome which were only defeated due to their lesser numbers and less experienced crews. Still the Romans managed to severely damage the Carthaginian naval power. Much of the First Punic War was fought in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea with negligible land based fighting except for the battles for control of Sicily which resulted in a Roman crushing land based victory. In the interim period between the first two wars, the Romans seized the opportunity of the troubles and violent conflicts within Cartage taking not only Sicily but also seizing Sardinia and Corsica.

The Second Punic War included the one item almost everyone remembers, the crossing of the Alps with elephants by the Carthaginian General Hannibal. Hannibal’s victories across the northern lands leading to Rome were brilliant victory after victory for his forces defeating the Roman legions. The cost of these battles and the loss of his elephants and almost all of his siege equipment meant that Hannibal was unable to execute the coup de grâce by taking Rome itself. The eventual defeat of Hannibal’s armies came when the Roman Commander Quintus Fabius Maximus utilized a strategy of engagement without fighting. He would position his forces as if preparing to engage Hannibal who would organize his forces and attempt to engage at which point Quintus Fabius Maximus would retreat with his legions into the countryside. The main actual engagement by Quintus Maximus forces were reserved to inhibit and prevent any scrounging by Hannibal’s skirmishers denying Hannibal of the necessities to feed and resupply his troops with necessities which eventually forced Hannibal to retreat. Also forcing Hannibal to retreat home was an offensive by Rome by sea placing troops in Africa threatening Hannibal’s capital and homelands which assisted in his decision to give up his conquest of Rome after fifteen years of mostly success against Roman forces but never quite being able to score that final knockout as the Romans continued to field legion after legion as they were able to replace lost troops seemingly without end. Before peace was finally agreed Hannibal had fallen in battle leading to a void in the leadership of Carthage and a power struggle which forced their suing for peace which Rome accepted also being weary of war and the necessity for tending the homelands and the demands of the people for peace and restoration of order and infrastructure.

Then we come to the Third Punic and final Punic War. This was the most unequal engagement as Carthage not only never recovered fully from the Second Punic War and had also faced skirmishes with Numidian raiders during the intermediate years. Rome, in keeping the peace, was assigned by treaty as the enforcer for resolving any conflicts and had been favoring Numidia over Carthage which alienated the people of Carthage. Rome also desired to avoid any potential for conflict in the future and when it became obvious that Carthage was again building military capabilities, Rome started making increasingly difficult demands under threat of war. The final demand was for the Carthaginians to destroy Carthage the city and move it inland and away from the coast ending their naval capabilities. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back and Carthage refused and Rome had their war to end all Carthage wars. Rome defeated Carthage after a three year siege of the city of Carthage before finally breaching the city walls. The reputed result according to some descriptions from poetic history described the ruins or the city of Carthage was there was no stone or brick left standing upon another and the lands surrounding the city for miles was salted and unable to be productive for the future. Needless to say, the destruction of Carthage was complete and Carthage remained silent through the rest of history and is a suburb of Tunis, Tunisia.

Israel could be said just fought the Third Gaza War against and answering to Hamas aggressions. The First Gaza War from December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009 was also referred to as Operation Cast Lead in Israel and as the Gaza Massacre in the Arab world and by Hamas as the Battle of al-Furqan. The war was preceded by steadily increasing rocket fire into southern Israel reaching the major cities of Beersheba and Ashdod for the first time during the conflict. The war ended with an agreement partially arranged with outside assistance which included the United States. The Second Gaza War from November 14, 2012 to November 21, 2012 was called Operation Pillar of Defense (Pillar of Cloud is the literal translation) by Israel. The initial launch of the war was in response to the launch of over 100 rockets at Israel from within Gaza during a 24-hour period along with an ambush of an Israeli Jeep on the Israeli side of the Gaza fence. In both of these wars Israel was determined to have gained through military success and resulting from their military victory the Israelis gained a period of quiet from the rocket fire from within Gaza. The victory for Hamas was in media reports and propaganda war damaging Israel’s reputation across the globe. The main difference between the two sides is most stark when you understand what their respective goals are and what they are willing to sacrifice in order to attain those goals. Israel simply desires peace and quiet and an end to rockets launched into their civilian areas and attempts on infiltrations in order to murder and kidnap Israelis, either civilian or military personnel, with the kidnappings to be used to trade for the release of terrorists held in Israeli prisons with emphasis on the release of those whose crimes included the largest numbers of Israelis murdered, almost universally the Israeli casualties are civilians from these attacks which are almost never launched against the IDF. Hamas desires media coverage which paints Israel as monsters that kill indiscriminately and are willing to place as many Gazan civilians in compromised locations in order to maximize the numbers of Gazans injured and killed so that the media has pictures to transmit to the world and they complement these with press releases claiming Israelis target only civilians. The Hamas accusations ring hollow and are closer to projection of their acts onto the Israelis than it is valid and truthful but the media is largely glad to paint Israel in the worst light possible. Further, media in Gaza are subjected to censoring by Hamas minders and often threaten journalists who report damaging truths sometimes ejecting them and placing them on a ban lists never permitted to report from within Gaza in the future.

The recent conflict which actually could reignite at any moment as no peace has been signed and the two sides agreed ceasefire has recently been extended for an additional thirty days until the end of October in order that a peace can be negotiated, theoretically. The reason that such is highly unlikely is because the two sides have only been able to agree to meet towards the end of October and past performance has not indicated any great degree of agreement or cooperation between the two sides. Eventually an agreement will hopefully be reached and signed at a ceremony probably held on the East Lawn of the White House, with President Obama looming over the proceedings grinning like the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland and Vice President Biden wandering around trying to decide where best to stand, while the two parties, who are to sign the agreement, taking positions as far apart as possible without appearing too obvious, eyeing each other warily wondering whether the signing can be pulled off before a disagreement or wrong move is misinterpreted and the entire signing blows up into a shouting match with both sides accusing the other of perfidy and subversion. In the present Hamas threatens repeatedly to return to firing rockets if Israel continues to refuse to meet their every demand, but at least they utilize differing intervals which makes it less predictable and removes any chance for overwhelming boredom. This also is why there are many who hold doubts as to whether the ceasefire can ever lead to an actual armistice or will we wake overly early one morning in the darkness to the sound of the Code Red sirens and the raining of rockets upon our cities renewed. We can ponder on our way to the shelters, as long as it does not interfere with our hopefully quick enough haste as we all have a varying amount of time but all of them measured in seconds, whether the resumption was something an Israeli leader or IDF commander made to the press or did Hamas’s leaders Mashal or Haniyeh just have indigestion during the night and really did not wish to suffer alone. Such a situation is just one more reason that the Israeli leadership, both the military and the politicians though it is difficult to know which should garner the majority of the blame, could and should have taken the lessons of the Punic Wars and the additional carnage, deaths, and destruction heaped on the Roman populace all because their politicians and military leaders were unwilling to take the reins and saddle up and finish what had been started once and for all as they eventually were forced to do after two additional, unnecessary and extremely destructive wars.

There was unity, well as close to unity as is possible in Israel, as over 80% of Israelis in most polls desired, many demanded, the retaking of Gaza and putting an end once and for all with Hamas and Islamic Jihad ending the raining of rockets and wars fought every two or three years. The military was tasked with drawing up sets of plans and their relative cost, projected losses, estimates of Gazan deaths, time frame for length of each scenario and whatever other particulars the Prime Minister and his inner cabinet (war cabinet) had requested or desired. The leadership of the IDF had whomever is tasked with such planning to give them their estimates and the other particulars and also a briefing on the overall strategies and conceivable ramifications likely including reactions by the United Nations, United States, European Union and the rest of the alphabet of NGOs, alliances, compacts and even individual countries and gave them a short time frame, as it is expected by the Command level officers that such plans and their respective costs and eventualities have all been worked out and hashed and rehashed a million times adjusting them to the most recent intelligence and thus all that was required was the summation briefing to be prepared. This all happened in relative quiet and without alarming the public and the briefing for the Prime Minister and his Inner Cabinet was held and everything was probably ignored as I doubt that Prime Minister Netanyahu ever actually desired or would permit the retaking of Gaza as such would cause him extreme discomfort wherever he would travel after Israel did such an, as the rest of the world believes, unthinkable act of cruelty, wretchedness and inhuman brutality. The exercise of having the IDF command work up the briefing was to be able to use that as a balm to soothe the anger and grating disbelief when the backlash came from a public that is sick to death of the repeated wars and the incessant rockets raining down in ever increasing numbers and over increasing range culminating in timeframes measured more in months than years in a crescendo of thousand rockets per week before the leadership finally releases the IDF to take the offensive and silence the rockets at least temporarily. The decision reached was that the cost in lives, equipment, world image, reputation, perception and treasure was too great to bear. The cost analysis considered by the Israeli leadership very probably did not do a cost comparison which included on the ledgers in favor of ending this revolving door of off and on wars the cost of the future wars which if the government continues to balk from responsibility and retake Gaza will continue endlessly at ever shorter intervals of calm and have costs of which eventually will come the cost we cannot bear, the end of Israel under a rain of rockets no amount of Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow 1, 2, 3 or whatever and any other defensive systems. Sometimes the only real defense is a completed offense and if it makes Israel unpopular and denounced, at least we will remain alive which comes before what the idiots around the world think.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad et al refuse to take the responsibility for bringing devastation down on Gaza, making the lives of innocent Gazans horridly difficult. The only crime one can hold the Gazan civilians responsible for was electing Hamas to govern their lives. They may refuse any accusation that they knowingly elected a leadership which would bring these wars down upon them with all the destruction and misery they entail, but because they continue to allow the Hamas government to rule and have not taken any actions to demand new governance they have brought this upon themselves. Where that may sound cruel, it is not as cruel as the actions of the Gazans erupting with joy whenever Hamas realizes and murders Jews to feed the overarching and wanton desire of both Hamas and the rest of the terrorists as well as the majority of Gazans to murder Jews. For Hamas this desire goes further and aims at all of the Jews wherever they reside in their desire to eradicate them starting with Israel and then to continue on that path even if it costs the lives of every civilian who has not picked up a weapon and joined Hamas or Islamic Jihad. The responsibility is as Prime Minister Netanyahu has attempted to explain to a world which does not care to listen; it is the fault of Hamas and the rest of the rocket firing terrorist entities which control Gaza by threat of death. This was demonstrated perfectly and clearly after the first lengthy ceasefire was agreed upon when Hamas executed dozens of Gazans without any trial and without making or proving any charges simply claiming that these were Gazans guilty of not supporting Hamas by collaborating with Israel. Does anybody in the world, let alone in Gaza, honestly believe that the approximately dozen members from Fatah actually were guilty of collaborating with Israel? These were victims of Hamas chosen because they chose to side with Abbas and were no more guilty of whatever crime Hamas claimed than are the Hamas members who are arrested and at times executed in the West Bank in Ramallah by Abbas and Fatah which he commands. There can never be fair and open elections as long as the only candidates running must be vetted and approved by terrorist organizations which includes the West Bank as much as it does Gaza. The last elections which were held under international supervision had Hamas receiving the majority of the votes while Fatah, or the Palestinian Authority, coming in a distant second. This was part of the reasons for the eventual coup by Hamas taking control over Gaza from the Palestinian Authority after Mahmoud Abbas blocked election for the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority as he knew he would lose the election to Haniyeh and Hamas would take control and never relent and all future elections would result in larger Hamas victories. The same situation exists currently and simply because of the conflict Hamas brought down on Gaza. Where the destruction in Gaza should and would cost Hamas votes, Hamas controls Gaza and would control the vote counting, thus they win. In the West Bank Hamas is favored easily over Fatah as Hamas is now viewed as strong and Abbas as weak as he appeared to make statements which were seemingly controlled out of Washington DC and he appeared swayed by the United States and their pressures. This is partly true as his government depends on the billions of dollars they receive every year which originates in the United States though much of it takes circuitous routes to reach the Palestinian Authority while Hamas receives only indirect monies from the United States and will continue receiving these funds as they are actually diverted from UNRWA by Hamas. This is the unfortunate truth and we can expect that before any elections are held for the leadership of the Palestinian Authority either Hamas will be disallowed the right to have a candidate or Abbas will have retired to the French Riviera living comfortably on the billions he has stashed away and having a great view of the Mediterranean, something he has been denied seeing from his office in Ramallah. Just for truth in reporting, Haniyeh is a multi-millionaire and Mashal is a multi-billionaire; and who says terrorism doesn’t pay.

Beyond the Cusp

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