Beyond the Cusp

April 10, 2019

Israel and the Golan Heights Against the World

 

President Trump’s declaration of recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights has been received warmly, politely and with a feeling it will prove a temporary United States position. We cannot argue against their logic claiming that another President will come along and rip the decision up and claim that the United States backs fully the United Nations in demanding that Israel do as she is told. Just in case the world has not figured this out yet, Israel will seldom do as instructed by the European Union, United Nations, Arab League or even the United States. Israel will act in order to assure her survival in an area where mistakes are costly because there is always someone waiting to take advantage of such situations. Weakness is an invitation to the surrounding nations that you can be defeated and forced to play by Arab rules. The problem with that is should Israel ever need to play be the Arab rules, she knows that rule number one is that the Jew is a sub-human creature which must realize is only permitted to exist by the permission of its Islamic superiors. Rule two is Islam is perfect and Judaism is a disease to be correct by the fires of Islam. The rules would only get worse from there ending in the final rule, convert to Islam or die. That is the neighborhood in which Israel resides.

 

Many people in the West, especially in the United States, tend to ask Israel why they refuse to grant the Palestinian Arabs a small state as Israel is so large and powerful. The unfortunate thing is too many people equate power with size. They see Israel as commensurate in power with the major powers such as Russia, China, United States, Germany and Great Britain. They then equate Israel in size often with the United States. In order to give people from around the world to compare the size of Israel, we have maps comparing the size of Israel with Great Britain, United States, Australia and India. These maps should immediately dispel any misconception about Israel being a large nation. It is approximately the size of New Jersey. Israel is quite tiny even compared to most of her neighbors, specifically Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey and Iran. It is only the Israeli military might which has permitted her to resist being overrun. But size is not the only reason that Israel need to retain the Golan Heights.

 

Four Maps of Great Britain, the United States, Australia, and India with to scale map of Israel super-imposed for comparison on each map depicting her actual rather than perceived size.

Exactly How Small is Israel
A Comparison Against Four
Well Known Countries

 

The Golan Heights are part of the topographic defensive barrier for Israel from attacks coming from out of the east along with the Jordan River Valley (see topographic map below). The Jordan River Valley serves as a defensive barrier from attacks from the Jordan border into Israel and is equally efficient at protecting Jordan from Israel, so it serves the safety of both nations. The Golan Heights is the opposite; it allows whichever side, Israel or Syria, of an overlooking high ground allowing viewing deeply into the other nation’s lands. When Syria held the Golan Heights they would regularly launch artillery shells onto Israeli towns, cities, Kibbutzim and farms. Syrian snipers would practice by killing Israeli farmers testing their skill. Some of the more fertile areas of Israel had to be left untilled simply because it was far too dangerous for anyone to be out in the open as targets for Syrian soldiers. After the June 1967 Six Day War, Israel liberated the Golan Heights from Syria and since then Israel has held the high ground. What may be surprising to some, Israel has not used the heights for launching artillery shells into Syrian cities, has not used the area for snipers to practice their art shooting hapless Syrians or used it for anything beyond defensive measures when the Syrian civil war wanders into Israel, often intentionally. It should be obvious now why Israel insists she must retain the Jordan Valley and especially the Golan Heights, they mean security which means peace. The moment Israel shows weakness or vulnerability, there will be another Arab attempt to destroy the Jewish State.

 

Topographic Map of Golan Heights and Jordan River Valley

Topographic Map of Golan Heights and Jordan River Valley

 

Another advantage of Israel retaining the Golan Heights is that under Israel there are wineries, farms, orchards and other agricultural activities. Unlike the purely military control and restricted use under Syria, Israel retains a military presence, as she does on all her borders, but allows for civilian use which has brought new life and greenery to the Heights and wildlife has returned making the Golan region one of the favorite places for a day visit by Israelis and tourists. For the not too faint of heart, one can approach the eastern ledge of the heights and view Damascus. Of course Israel used the heights for surveillance of the Syrian movements of all sides of the continuing war. Israel has also used the Golan Heights as a contact point for those from the Syrian war requiring medical attention. Thousands of people have been admitted for treatment in Israel. Separate locations are arranged for the separate groups where they bring the badly wounded and from where they could retrieve their people after they are treated. Often those injured require hospitalization. All of this care is provided free with the costs being covered by the government but has on occasions caused difficulties such as overcrowding in those hospitals accepting these patients. Do not fret, we will handle these inconveniences as we do those of the little things we all face daily.

 

The reasons for Israel retaining the Golan Heights are simple. They are security, excellent wines, fruit orchards, grazing for herds, and with the heights in Israeli hands, there will not be any further conflict between Israel and Syria. Further, Israel holding the Golan Heights prevents the encroachment by Iran who is already establishing a presence in southwestern Syria with the IRGC and other forces including the presence of Iranian missiles and the missile launchers. Israel needs the Golan Heights in order to have early warning of any launch from these Iranian missiles. This is without even considering the possibility that Bashir ‘the butcher’ al-Assad deciding that he could bolster his position in the Arab world by launching attacks on Israel and using the ensuing violence as proof that the Israelis are aiding the anti-Assad forces and it is an Arab obligation to assist al-Assad against the anti-Assad forces and Israel. But even al-Assad is not reckless as to attack Israel while she holds the Golan Heights. This is the importance of the Golan Heights. Holding the Golan Heights by Israel makes the chances of a new war all but nil. Israel retaining the Golan Heights means peace.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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December 24, 2018

The Syria Connection

 

One hears rumors of deals and arrangements being touted which predicated the United States departure from Syria. One can only pray that these are valid statements but should plan as if those words were never heard. Does anybody in their right mind believe that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is really going to end his murdering of the Kurdish population in Syria? How many actually are able to convince themselves that once the United States has departed that Bashir al-Assad will not simply begin to slaughter not only the fighters who still oppose him in the eastern parts of the nation but will also choose a genocidal approach to the civilian populations in these regions slaughtering millions of innocents for the crime of being Sunni Muslims or Kurds. There was one promise already kept, but whether the promise was made to United States President Donald Trump or to Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is unclear. The good news is that Russian President Vladimir Putin did lean on Lebanon regarding the Hezballah tunnels dug under the border and into Israel plus warned them to take steps to assure the border with Israel remains quiet. This also serves Russian influences and interests that there does not open up warring between Lebanon based Hezballah and Israel as such a war is bound to spill into Syria even if just to prevent arms from reaching Hezballah from Iran through Damascus, the route usually taken, though of late Iran has begun using Beirut International Airport to transport guidance system upgrades to the massive Hezballah rocket inventory making them deadly accurate missiles instead of launch and pray rockets with marginal accuracy.

 

The problem is that either President Trump has not learned that in the Middle East falsehoods are a way of life and actually demanded of the followers of Islam if that lie furthers the goals of Islam. The American President is accustomed to making deals with people whose word is their bond and such does not exist throughout most of the Middle East, Israel being the exception. This has caused Israel many serious problems when dealing with the Palestinian Authority (PA) as they would often make a promise which they had no intention of ever honoring as that would be counter to their interests, and as they are Muslim, their interests when dealing with Jews is an imperative that they gain specifically when they lie. The PA has not kept virtually everything they have ever agreed upon with the greatest and most obvious lie being that they rewrote their charter removing calls to totally destroy Israel and kill all the Jews. To the credit of the PA, when Washington DC sent State Department monitors to determine if the PA was to alter their charter, they had a vote to form a committee to look into having a committee which would consider making the prescribed alterations. The State Department monitors returned to Washington DC reporting that the PA was indeed going to make the changes required, and that settled that argument. Of course, that committee saw no reason to form another committee to decide if the changes should be made, as obviously they never intended to alter one letter of their charter and nobody in the Western World can understand their charter as it is written in the apparently untranslatable Arabic. We can expect the same for any and all guarantees given to President Trump as conditions under which the United States military could leave the region-claiming job done in the defeating of the Islamic State.

 

That takes us to whether or not the Islamic State has indeed been defeated. That would depend on one’s definition of defeated. The Islamic State lost virtually all of the territory it once held, had its declared capital city taken and has been reduced to sparse groups scattered over many square miles of territory all of whom have melted back into the population, often in the very villages they left to fight with the Islamic State. Such a dispersed group would be next to impossible to hunt down and the effort would make such more and more difficult as time progressed as many of these people would be torn from their communities leading to resentment and making more terrorists. So, was the Islamic State defeated? Well, yes, as much as such can be the case as the remainder has vanished into the countryside and in small towns and villages. The remnants if they were to gather to attempt another power seizure, they would become a simple target which could be eliminated using aircraft from the fleet in the Arabian Gulf or Mediterranean Sea as soon as they were identified. Will the Islamic State ever return and become a new menace? Probably not, or at least not in the same form with the same leadership and it would only take the name Islamic State because there is a history to be found in the ruins of the Islamic State. President Trump was basically correct in reporting that the Islamic State had been defeated, but his move to pull the troops may prove to have been premature.

 

Reports have stated that this was a decision made by the President and only the President. Security Adviser John Bolton argued against pulling the troops out claiming it was premature. Secretary of Defense James Mattis was in so much agreement with Bolton that he tendered his resignation claiming that the President should have somebody supportive of his decision rather than himself who was vehemently opposed to this move. The leadership of the Democrat Party stated that what the President did with pulling the United States military troops from Syria was a form of deserting America’s post in the troubled region. Yes, you read that correctly, the Democrat Party is now in favor of a military campaign half way around the globe to eradicate every last person who ever had any cordial relations with the Islamic State. These are the same people who scream as if somebody murdered their pet puppy any time Israel is forced to act against Hamas, a terrorist group on the immediate border from Gaza yet bemoan the removal of United States military which was fighting terrorists extremely far removed from the American borders. That, our friends, is hypocrisy. But nobody ever honestly claimed that the United States had no double standards when it comes to Israel. Every nation, or virtually every country, holds contrary expectations of Israel which are far and away more restrictive and bordering on making it dangerous to the point of allowing Israel to face destruction while applauding any other nation taking steps for protection from terrorists even if the threat was thousands of miles distant; for example, the United States and Islamic State for whom the United States sent troops to the far side of the planet.

 

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis

 

The first and near immediate consequence of the United States pulling her troops from the region will produce will be Iran establishing a direct route across Iraq and into Syria and Lebanon with the equipment headed for Lebanon and will be utilized by Hezballah. The IRGC will become more active vis-à-vis the Israeli border with more regularly stray bullets just happening to strike somewhere along the Golan Heights and even rockets will stray into the Golan Heights all of which will make soldiering on this front more demanding. Bashir al-Assad will take the American troop withdrawal as a signal that he will be free to do as he pleases while he completes his retaking of Syria. The human rights abuses are simply going to become a major part of the coming Syrian despotic regime returning to power. Assad will definitively punish those peoples he feels were disloyal or critical of his rule. This will include the Kurds and the Sunni Arabs in large part as their Alawite Shiite leader purifies their nation. Once the perceived enemies of the Syrian despot have been cowed, then everything will return to an eerie form of normalcy. Such will take time as the people are going to have to rebuild their lives and their homes in all too many instances. Bashir al-Assad has proven to be at least as great a destroyer of worlds and has exceeded his father’s totals and Bashir is not yet near to the completion of his transformation of his nation and its population. Additionally, Turkey’s Erdoğan will be serving al-Assad by sweeping through and killing the Kurds in the north of Syria while disarming any he allows to remain. We may be on the verge of witnessing the murder systematically of millions of Kurds. In far too many cases, the military troops have been hand picked selected for their proven loyalty and their brutal oppression they are willing to inflict often on innocent persons. The anti-Kurd animosity is very apparent in both the sweeping away of described terror cells and the brutal treatment of all of those who are not them. The Kurds are also facing murderous troops in northern Iraq as the Iraqi militias, the Iraqi military and the IRGC from Iran are sweeping Kurdish territories seeking to kill anyone who ever had even the slightest connection to Kurdish Militias. This sweep may even include what is left of the Yazidis who escaped the Islamic State slaughterhouse by the skin of their teeth. Life outside of Israel in the Middle East can be horrific to the point one simply gets trampled by one despot after another. The United States departure from this region will have detrimental effects, but these will be nothing when compared to what will occur once the United States pulls their support for Israel and no longer provides cover in the Security Council. That is something which is already in the pipes and coming before you know it. Before that day arrives, Israel will require a new and kindly friend who has a permanent veto.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 3, 2017

Should Israel Ally with Saudi Arabia Over Iran?

 

There have been whispers that there may be a plan taking shape between Israel and Saudi Arabia to try and prevent the obvious moves by Iran to establish themselves as the hegemonic superpower of the Middle East. This has much to do with the Shiite Crescent we have spoken of at length which Iran has put together using the southern three-quarters of Iraq, Lebanon and the soon to be reconstituted Syria of Bashir al-Assad connecting Lebanon with Hezballah into the mix. When one adds Qatar and Yemen where Iran backed Houthis are winning against Saudi Arabian efforts, one can see immediately that Iran has all but surrounded Saudi Arabia against whom Iran has often claimed they desired the Saudi Arabian oil fields as well as taking control over the Holy Cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina which are also part of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian efforts in Yemen had early support from Egypt but President Sisi has enough troubles of his own and pulled out of the efforts in Yemen and began to work more favorably with Turkey and President Erdoğan.

 

An aside, one can only hope that Sisi has since reconsidered any siding with President Erdoğan as such could end up being an ill thought out plan with President Erdoğan appearing to have hegemonic dreams of his own and also having proven not exactly unopposed to siding with Iran when it suits his needs. This could prove particularly dangerous should President Erdoğan promise assistance in the Sinai Peninsula as his offer may have ulterior motives. Additional reasons for Saudi Arabian Royal Family concerns may be tied to the apparent exit by the United States from Syrian and Iraqi support for the Kurdish forces leaving them vulnerable to Iranian allies as well as Turkey’s President Erdoğan, the man who assured President Trump that abandoning the Kurds was necessary unless the United States was ready to support their declaring themselves independent, something both the State Department and Pentagon opposed. The exit by President Trump has left the Saudi Royal family nervous and seeking another power to ally with in order to pose a more formidable opposition force against Iran. This will be double should Turkey actually agree to ally themselves with the resurgent Shiite forces of Iran. That could prove tricky as Turkey is three-quarters Sunni, but then Iran has allied with Sunni Hamas and is wooing Sunni Fatah and PLO all in their effort to also encircle Israel. One can only wonder how long before Iran offers Egypt assistance with their troubles in the Sinai Peninsula as this would give them their final front with Israel and Saudi Arabia plus a direct route for arming Hamas. Iran may also pose a threat to Jordan as Jordan also borders Israel and Saudi Arabia.

 

One last reason for Saudi Arabia to desire allying with Israel is the obvious case that Israel is considered a nuclear armed nation and Iran is a borderline, if not already, nuclear armed state who will likely turn recognized nuclear within the next two to three years. This usually brings up the old story about how Saudi Arabia financed the Pakistani nuclear program and the two nations have an unspoken agreement that Pakistan was to provide Saudi Arabia with plans and as many as a dozen nuclear warheads upon a request from the Saudi Royal Family. That agreement, assuming that it ever existed, may fall upon the old adage of, “What have you done for me lately?” Time has passed and things have changed which means the people who made that long ago agreements have left the scene and the people who replaced them may not be as eager to provide the requested assistance. Probably the most that the Saudi Royal Family should expect might be the schematics and plans for the manufacture of nuclear weaponry and not the actual weapons and as the Pakistanis have very likely long since developed more advanced nuclear weapons including thermonuclear weapons all without Saudi Arabian assistance which probably makes the Pakistani government feel far less indebted to the Saudi Arabian Royal Family for their initial financing of the Pakistani crash effort to respond to the development of nuclear weapons by India. The Saudi Arabian Royal family likely already has checked and realized that their former agreement with Pakistan no longer holds water or nuclear warheads or possibly even the plans for a nuclear warhead or other device. This very probably has not made the Saudi Arabian leaders feel any more secure about the Iranian looming threats.

 

So, Saudi Arabia is facing the reality of the Pakistan deal having gone south, the United States pulling out of every hot spot in the Middle East, Egypt sliding away from the Saudi Royals and inching towards Turkey, feeling the Iranian noose tightening around their necks thus the Saudis are seeking someone, anyone to come and take some of the problem off their shoulders knowing that this time the United States has been caught flat-footed needing a friend badly. Israel is facing much the same problems, as are the Saudi leaders, and likely just as desirous of friends and allies upon which to depend coming to their side immediately. The difference is that Israel has been here before and her faith in Hashem has always provided exactly what the Israelis required. The proof was centered and has given Israel much to think and mull over. The Israelis have faced such a threat before and survived despite all odds. This still leaves much to consider before it is too late.

 

This forced the hand of the Saudi Government to act and seek new directions and friendships. Still, now that we have the time, what should Israel do in order to survive any Iranian threats, something which must be viewed as if being under a microscope? The idea to ally with Saudi Arabia has way too many holes to actually hold much promise. Israel must weigh exactly why they should enter into any relationship, especially with a nation which is still in a state of war with Israel. The Saudi Arabian peninsula has numerous oil fields and a means of gathering the Jews closer together. Israel is dependent on Hashem and need no other protections as Hashem made a promise and will be true to his words. Still, the Israelis will be alone facing a regional super power possibly after Saudi Arabia has been eliminated as one to be reckoned with leaving Israel feeling very vulnerable. Should Israel manage to be in such a position the United States would need to provide assistance though manpower would not necessarily be required. Israel might feel that the current case of threat requires her to rely on another and to seek to find such a nation. Israel has always stood by herself and honestly does not require any additional assistance to face down Iran. Starting to rely on people whom until recently sought her destruction would not be the most prudent of acts.

 

Saudi Arabian and Iranian Maneuvers in Middle East

Saudi Arabian and Iranian Maneuvers in Middle East

 

The leaders of the Arab world now seeking to ally with Israel would turn away the instant the threat has passed. Further, forming an anti-Iran alliance would result in placing Israeli Defense Force soldiers under foreign command. That would be nothing short of suicidal. Israel has an ally in this situation, and that ally is Hashem, just as she has always had. Yes, Israel might be wise to enter into a coalition which would strengthen her position, but should also be careful not to be used simply to strengthen their position leaving Israel with insufficient forces retained for her own defense. Israel has the capacity to defend herself and protect her borders and adding in her ability to launch in kind any strike likely to originate from Iran including nuclear. Israel would, inevitably when push comes to shove, have only herself to defend her people, as none of the Arab world would permit any of their soldiers to fight to protect Jews no matter the situation. Israel must contend with protecting Israel by herself with her own forces and their stamina to go the distance. Israel will have no others on which to defend her when Iran turns her attention to Israel. The sole responsibility for protecting the Israeli people falls to Israel. We do not see Arab forces rushing to our aid in a time of need, but can realize that many would be rushing to join our enemies in the efforts to defeat us.

 

This is part of why Israel must join those who refused Saudi Arabia’s invitation to join forces to fight Iran. One can readily see that the Saudi Arabian leadership would lead the sacrifice of everybody else’s troops before losing a single one of theirs. That is a bad deal, period. Israel should commit to her reliance in Hashem as she has always committed to doing when troubles brewed internally or externally. This next test Israel is facing will be one which tests her faith and at some point, it will take measure of the Jewish People and their collective faith in the Almighty. Should Israel pass this test, then we will know that we are prepared as a People to receive the Messiah and that the time is approaching where the Messiah will finally come to establish the Heavenly Kingdom here on Earth and peace will rule the world over for a very long period. We may very well be on the threshold of the ultimate deliverance of mankind, their final deliverance. We must be prepared for such an eventuality as we need be readied for such a monumental event. The last of our brethren who will be returning to Eretz Yisroel will be gathered to Israel by Hashem and the Messianic Age will be upon all of us with a Heavenly ruler whom we had best not disappoint.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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