Beyond the Cusp

March 14, 2017

America and Judaism Share One Great Concept

 

Most nations and religions trace themselves to some great person who was responsible for their greatness and in some form or another deify that individual. For nations the examples are legion. Rome traced to the two children raised by a she wolf, Romulus and Remus, China was unified by a leader who was born of a dragon which brought him to China where he unified the separate kingdoms forging a great power, England has King Arthur and the Camelot myth and so on it goes. Christianity gave us Jesus, Islam gave us Mohammed, Buddhism gave us Buddha, Taoism came from Tao and so forth with each religion traced to a person who is raised above other men and in some way deified or immortalized. What follows will likely not sit us well with many readers but is presented for thought and not as any claim that the two seminal foundings were directly related beyond their emphasis on the sanctity of the human spirit and its enabling by the Creator, by Hashem.

 

But with the United States there was no one individual though George Washington is regarded as the father of the nation nobody would claim that he founded or singularly established the country. His greatest feat was giving up power when he could have continued as President until his death thus establishing the temporary power of the office instead of making it into a form of elected monarchy. The American idea was the world of the Founding Fathers, a group where though many people may choose one they prefer, none is more vital to the forging of the United States than the others. Sure we credit Thomas Jefferson with writing the Declaration of Independence but this only came about because John Adams deferred and chose him because he was a talented writer and an amiable person where, as John Adams is credited with stating in persuading Thomas Jefferson claiming when Jefferson claimed Adams was the stronger writer and better at expressing himself claimed that was why he could not be its author because he was far too disliked and anything he wrote would be torn apart by many of the others. James Madison is credited with crafting the initial wording of the constitution but again it became the work of all the signatories in some means or another. The United States is not traceable to a single person but instead to singular ideals expressed in that Declaration of Independence and a form of governance delineated in that Constitution and those are the two pillars upon which America rests.

 

Judaism is similar in that there were great people but no individual can be credited with establishing the religion. Granted when Hashem altered Avram’s name making it Avraham and Sari became Sarah, this would be the seminal point where the Covenant would be made and circumcision the sign of the contract which was to be undertaken by every male; yet the religion itself is transferred through one’s mother and not the father. To be a Jew one is required to have come from a Jewish mother. But Avraham received the Covenant with Hashem; he did not codify Judaism and did not write the Torah. Torah was transcribed by Moses which was why he is referred to as the lawgiver. But Moses transcribed Torah and led the Israelites from Egypt which is told in Torah in Exodus and retold in Deuteronomy. Moses went to great lengths to refute any deification including assuring that he would have no burial location which would be known so as to refute any worship giving all due credit to Hashem. Joshua was the leader of the Israelites when they conquered the Promised Land. Hashem kind of left out that after leaving Egypt the Israelites were going to have to conquer the Promised Lands but that was the way of forming a nation and claiming your place among nations in those early days of humankind. There also were numerous Judges and Prophets who ruled the Israelites but none were greater than the others in reflection and thus none were ever made to be more than wise and knowledgeable men. King Saul was the first Israelite king and was deficient in many ways but did preserve the nation passing it to King David more by default than any other means as the battle which claimed Saul’s son and heir to the throne also threw Saul into such grief that he took his own life, not the most glorious of endings. From King David the throne passed to King Solomon. King Solomon was regarded as one of the wisest of men but also had great failings chief amongst them were the inadequacy of his children who brought great harm upon the Israelites or Hebrews.

 

Torah the Founding Document of Judaism with Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights Founding Documents of the United States of America

Torah the Founding Document of Judaism
with Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights
Founding Documents of the United States of America

 

What is less known by many is that the Jews were the remnants of the Israelites. The kingdom ruled by Kings Saul, David, Solomon and so forth broke into two kingdoms with the northern Kingdom called Israel and the southern Kingdom named for its larger tribe, Judah, named Judea. Israel consisted of ten tribes and their priests and was conquered by the Assyrians and never actually heard from until modern times. These became known as the ten lost tribe of the Jews but were really the ten lost tribes of Israel. Jews are the remainder of the tribes of Benjamin and Judea and the Priestly classes, tribes, of the Levites and Kohanim. These two tribes basically merged into the entity of Judea and the people were the Judeans, obviously. With time people grew lazy and did not care to actually say Judeans so it eventually shortened to simply Jews. Judea traced back to Judah and Benjamin to Benjamin, two of the sons of Jacob. One need remember that when Judaism relates to Avraham it is almost always referenced as Avraham, Isaak and Jacob as these were the Patriarchs buried in Hevron in the cave bought by Avraham in which to bury Sarah. Still the story of the Jews hinges greatly on Jacob’s twelve sons but one was responsible for the survival of the entire family, Joseph. This was one of the more unusual stories amongst many unusual stories. Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers but because of this act he was in the right place at the right time to become a favored one of Pharaoh and was placed as Chancellor over Egypt second only in power to Pharaoh himself. He managed resources of food saving Egypt from a great famine and saved his family as well. This led to the eventual enslaving of his family which was then brought forth by Hashem through the vessels which were Moses with Aaron. As is said, the rest is history except in this case it is more accurate to say the rest is the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament and then history as that story has had a rebirth which was foretold in the Bible with the formation in a single day of the nation of modern Israel in its ancient homelands, though that is still being contested the eventual forming of Israel will include its ancient lands even if that takes a thousand years.

 

Judaism and the United States owe their formations to many individuals with none more vital than the rest and neither would exist if not for all of these great people all of whom were guided by principles and forces beyond their comprehension. Did these people know they were a part of something far greater than themselves, of course they did. But each group had the guidance of great people when required the most and both claim that Hashem is an integral part of their formation as a nation. Neither deifies any individual and instead when they use the term Creator their reference is to the Creator of all things as told in Genesis and both Judaism and the United States of America claim to owe their creation to that very same Creator and both claim the view that mankind was imbued and “endowed by that Creator with unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These principles are found throughout the laws and preaching in Judaism and were carried forth in Christianity and found their place in the Declaration of Independence where they were once again ensconced in the human mind and established repeatedly but most forcefully in Torah and thus made available for Thomas Jefferson to include in his declaration.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

June 14, 2015

What Could Accusations of Apartheid & Genocide Provoke?

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The accusations which originate largely from Western nations, the NGOs they finance and echoed by every human rights group as well as the United Nations General Assembly, the United States State Department and its highest superior, President Barack Obama, plus the European Union and the many Arab nations and organizations are that Israel has an Apartheid society which denies Arab Palestinians there rights within Israel’s recognized sovereign territory as well as within the contested regions. Many also echo and hold fast to claims of ethnic cleansing of Arab Palestinians and even of committing genocidal persecutions against the Arab Palestinians despite all the evidence, facts, proofs and investigations which have universally proven that no such acts are in any way, shape or form a part of Israeli governance or programs and interactions with the Arab Palestinians. The claim that the Arab Palestinians not only were excluded from voting in the recent Israeli elections are absolutely ridiculous as the Arab Palestinians are not Israeli citizens nor are the for the largest part even under Israeli civil or even military control and only have their two main areas, Area A and Area B.

 

Those Areas under Arab Palestinian civil and largely security control are seldom entered by any Israeli security without first informing and receiving permission from the Arab Palestinian Authority with the sole exception of an actual pursuit of a terror suspect, and I am using the word ‘suspect’ in a very loose manner as the ‘suspect’ was witnessed performing the violent criminal assault, taking security personnel into Area B which Israeli security are permitted to enter to enforce laws in conjunction with the Arab Palestinian Authority under the Oslo Accords. The reason the Arab Palestinians have not voted since 2006 has to do with Mahmoud Abbas refusing repeatedly first in 2009 and again in 2012 and most recently last year after the formation of the unity governance agreement between Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and whatever other entities were to be included in the new and improved all-encompassing and unifying all the Arab factions into a single government unifying Gaza with their areas in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and by the agreement there were to be elections within months of the agreement. Abbas knows that should there be an election and no matter how many Gazan might refuse to back Hamas or Islamic Jihad, they are equally unlikely to support him and the vast majority of his own Fatah and Arab Palestinian Authority subjects would vote for Haniyeh from Hamas instead. Abbas realizes that as soon as he loses power and is no longer protected by the security force currently assigned to keep him alive, that his life would not be worth a single Agora let alone a Shekel and that his sole hope for survival after any elections would be to be in Tel Aviv when the final counts are delivered. That is why the Arab Palestinians have not been permitted to vote in an election for almost a decade.

 

As for the Apartheid claims, there exist approximately 1,688,600 Arab citizens of Israel which make up around 20.7% of the total population with 6,119,000 Jews making up 75.0% of which the Haredi make up 9.9% of the population numbering 750,000 and others which include Christians, Baha’I, Buddhists, Hindus and others numbering 349,700 making up 4.3% of the total population and all get to vote in Israeli election, hold office in the government, hold jobs, own businesses, own land, ride on busses and trains taking any seat they desire and any discrimination which may exist in any direction is illegal and would be investigated and adjudicated in the courts in which there are Arabs serving as judges at all levels. Probably the best two examples are Haneen Zoabi, an Arab Christian who claims to be a Palestinian and demands that Israel be replaced by Palestine and that the Jews including her fellow Ministers in the Knesset owe her thanks for her permitting them to live in her lands, and Ahmad Tibi, who served as a political advisor to Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat from 1993 to 1999 before returning to live in Israel and became a Minister in the Knesset despite his position in what can only be described as an adversarial organization as a close confidant with its founder and leader until his death, as well as Masud Ghnaim, Yousef Jabareen, Ayman Odeh, Osama Saadi, Aida Touma-Suleiman, Abd al-Hakim Hajj Yahya, Jamal Zahalka, and Zouheir Bahloul who were all part of the Arab Group which was made up of various Arab, Druze, Bedouin and other mostly minority representatives which coalition gained thirteen seats making them one of the top three groups or parties in the current Israeli government. So much for the canard that Israel denies Arabs and non-Jews the vote.

 

Now we come to the most egregious of the lies against Israel claiming the Israelis are committing ethnic cleansing or genocidal actions against the Arab Palestinians. All one need do is compare their population from one year to the next and the lie is revealed. The Arab Palestinians who are presumed to have lost their homeland to the Israeli colonizers despite their so-called ‘nation’ never ever existed nor has it ever fought the Israelis except through terrorist actions which often required IDF actions to prevent further slaughters of Israelis amongst whom Arabs, Bedouins, and Druze have suffered loss of loved ones and family members including children to these indiscriminating terrorist attacks. The main detracting and near impossible to quantify as the Arab Palestinian leadership from Fatah in Judea and Samaria denies there is any problem as also do Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza when approached on the subject of Arab Palestinians emigrating if they can find the money and the favorable situation where they are able to get out from under the despotic grasp of their governance which goes to extremes to prevent attempts to emigrate to a better life. Be these situations as they may, the graph below depicts the growth of the Arab Palestinians’ population from 2006 to 2015 depicting an increase from three-and-a-half-millions persons to four-and-a-half-million persons; a total increase of one-million persons in just nine years.

 

Graph of Palestinian population 2006 to 2015 in millions of people

Graph of Palestinian population 2006 to 2015 in millions of people

 

 

The only thing that matters once these accusations have been put to being the lies that they are is to understand the reasons behind driving these accusations, exactly what they should be viewed for being and what effects they will pose and situations they might engender even if such is actually the opposite of what they are seeking. A glaring example was made this week though the actual decision was completely off by one-hundred-eighty-degrees from the conclusion the media and world took from the decision of the United States Supreme Court. The world mistakenly took the decision to indicate that the United States does not recognize Western Jerusalem as being within the Green Line or despite that having decided that all of Jerusalem should belong to someone other than Israel and probably to the Arab Palestinians though none of that was in the actual decision. The decision handed down by the Supreme Court in their six to thee decision was that the Congress does not have the power to force an agency, in this case the State Department, to recognize and issue documents against their policy. The Supreme Court did not identify what policy leaving the decision to be a formidable and potentially sweeping decision granting greater power for the Presidency and the Cabinet agencies who now can understand themselves to be free of any Congressional oversight or subjected to directives from the Congress. This gives the Executive Branch a huge amount of added powers which may require another case to visit this decision and further define their stand thus focusing when and where these newly found authority and override ability for Executive Branch Agencies and the President himself. Ignored by the Europeans and President Obama were a few facts about Jerusalem and why Israeli Jews and hopefully other Jews will fight to retain all of Jerusalem, Especially the Old City and Temple Mount. Jerusalem is the beloved of Jews everywhere, Jews pray facing Jerusalem, the Passover Seder ends saying, “next year in Jerusalem,” and finally Psalm 137 which is also known as the Song of Babylon is all about Jerusalem and her importance which all should weigh heavily before attempting to take her from us again, the translation, as best as it can be to the Hebrew, can be seen below,

 

137:1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
137:2 Upon the willows in the midst thereof we hanged up our harps.
137:3 For there they that led us captive asked of us words of song, and our tormentors asked of us mirth: ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion.’
137:4 How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?
137:5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
137:6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy.
137:7 Remember, O the Lord, against the children of Edom the day of Jerusalem; who said: ‘Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.’
137:8 O daughter of Babylon, that art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that repayeth thee as thou hast served us.
137:9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the rock.

 

Still, the President reacted in such a manner as to imply that the Supreme Court was granting a validation on the content of the subject matter within this case and not simply the limitation on the Congress preserving authority for the President and the rest of the Executive Branch. The rest of the world went almost dizzy with glee taking this misconception and running with it claiming it implied that the Arab Palestinians had the rights to all of Jerusalem, and not Israel. Mahmoud Abbas, Saeb Erekat and Jibril Rajoub were feeling the strong vibrations as the Europeans reacted one after the other as the news of the decision and the misleading narrative made its way across Europe and then the Middle East.

 

With the Europeans leading the world in the belief that now all of Jerusalem is up for negotiations and that, as some in high places had previously whispered, all of Jerusalem could end up in Arab Palestinian hands and not just up to the Green Line or some other demarcation, there was glee giving the Arab Palestinian leadership renewed hope that they were definitely winning the battle for the hearts and minds of the world and their goal for the state of Palestine replacing all of Israel was now, more than ever, a reality which was within their grasp. Abbas and company were now assured that all they needed to do was wait and continue financing and directing the BDS movement and apply shaming force against the weak western leaders just like CEO Stephane Richard who recently made a large stir claiming that as CEO of Orange, he wished he could cut all ties and not do business with Israel as he made almost no money from their partnership with Partner Communications Company Ltd. The implication of the problem being two-fold, Orange CEO Richard had succumbed to the BDS demands and intimidation giving the BDS organizers a huge increase in their intimidation war against the world trading and recognizing Israel forcing them instead to promote the Arab Palestine regardless of the consequences and that Orange was conned or otherwise fooled as the Israelis (read Jews) had swindled him and taken unfair advantages thus forming a contract which gave Israel (again read Jews) the service virtually for free or barely paying for the service. The charge of fraudulent dealings when money is at stake finds its origins as one of the earliest of charges leveled against Jews. This was the theme in Shakespeare when he wrote the play The Merchant of Venice where one of the main characters was the Jewish money-lender, Shylock, who adds a dark and ominous condition that the loan must be repaid in three months or Shylock will exact a pound of flesh. In the end when the loan was not paid Shylock is told by the judge he can have the pound of flesh as long as he doesn’t draw blood, as it is against the law to shed a Christian’s blood. The rest leaves Shylock a broken man forced to even abandon his faith and adopt Christianity. There were shades of the accusation of Orange being the victim of the sly dealings as those with Shylock in the Orange franchise to the Israeli company Partner Communications.

 

The Arab Palestinians and the Arab League nations which assist with the BDS financing which is oddly done completely through cash in hand payments thus avoiding any large and traceable bank accounts or the image of a large organized juggernaut which it is with international tendrils reaching to the corners of the Earth and four continents, especially on numerous major university campuses and gaining footholds in countless more. The cash is delivered using the Arab Palestinian Authority, or Palestine, embassies, consulates, representative offices and other arranged meetings where organizers, activists and other people in leadership or permanent positions will take turns flying even into Israel to get their funds directly from Ramallah if there is no other means through the institutions established on every continent to supply the needed cash. It is estimated that there are literally hundreds of millions and potentially a great deal more invested in making the BDS movement appear spontaneous and a grass roots movement with little if any organizations when in fact there is an international web of tangled and overlapping organizers, activists, agitators, transportation dispatchers, treasurers who often are responsible for tens of millions to be paid to others often monthly. These activities are paid for mostly with the Western funds provided the Arab Palestinians Authority through direct funding of the Authority by Europeans and the United States as well as funds siphoned from UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) which is United Nations funded and directly funded again largely by the United States, Canada and Europe. The BDS will likely be hitting the campuses again next year and attempting to spread their seminal event and climax of their anti-Israel vilifications, Israel Apartheid Week (though some campuses have been known to continue events through an entire month and often there are threats made against Jewish students, especially any thought to be sympathetic towards Israel or religious and practicing Jews. These BDS organized extravaganzas often spin off anti-Semitic actions, with Jewish students often being fearful about crossing the campus, even to get to their classes, due to the difficulties they can face from those agitators who are paid to start and fuel the arguments and confrontations with Jews and any pro-Israel individuals.

 

The BDS assaults are but one front Israel and her supporters are facing. There is a serious drive by many, if not most, of the European nations which outwardly talk of their relations, trade, good relations, appreciations and open friendship they keep and respect with Israel while behind the scenes they are spending billions each culminating when added to individual and NGO expenditures funds in the tens of trillions annually all for efforts to delegitimize, isolate and disestablish Israel. One of these efforts executed with the assistance of the Arab League is to place measures for United Nations to debate in the General Assembly and occasionally it is sent to the Security Council for action where often the United State is forced to use their veto the measure calling for the United Nations to rescind their authorization establishing Israel, which assisted, they claim validated, the formation of Israel and without such Israel would be dissolved as it would no longer have legal authority to exist.

 

This is where some of the new blood in high positions in the Prime Minister Cabinet with this new and hopefully powerfully nationalistic, Zionist and as politically incorrect as possible making them willing to talk religion and Torah and Bible and the a one-thousand-year history right here in Judea and Samaria and the Galilee and the Negev all before the year zero on the calendar prevalent throughout Western society, the Gregorian calendar. That’s correct, over a thousand years before there even existed the Gregorian or Christian calendar or the Islamic calendar. When the Buddha and Confucius were teaching their revelations and philosophy we were building the Second Temple, that’s correct, the Second Temple which we built after our exile in Babylonia. The Five Books of Moses, Torah is its actual name and it is an accurate history of the Jewish people’s lives after Abraham left his home and traveled to the place that Hashem would show him. The history does not end there as the remainder of the Old Testament as Christians refer to it and simply the Bible to us. The Bible covers the history from when Moses has handed the position of leader to Joshua who led them into Israel and he was in turn followed by successions of Judges and Kings with numerous Prophets strewn in as the need became necessary, which was to say frequently. The stories of the Bible were actual events which, if the anthropologists were to be honest, would have proven the Jews and Israel’s rights to the lands here, especially Judea and Samaria. Not long ago at the dig site where it was believed that the giant Goliath was born they found a somewhat oversized bowl or mug which had engraved in it the name Goliath. This find was claimed to be of absolutely no proof of the story about the fight between David and Goliath had not been proven and the utensil was not even guaranteed evidence that the name Goliath was used at that time or any other excuse you can think of including multiple universes. Sometimes it seems like wherever one looks there is some reason that something which obviously confirms Jewish claims from the Bible, Torah or whatever that there will be skeptics not only dismissing the find but also making some comment about how Jews are always trying to make everything about them. I’m really sorry to have to point this out but except for three or four cities, Jericho, Jerusalem, Akko and Shechem the rest of the places found in Judea and Samaria as well as the Galilee and Negev, these finds are likely from the history of the Jews even if the remnants are smacked hard into the bedrock as many of our places were planted right onto that bedrock. The seemingly never-ending, persistent and ugly reality of many of these denials simply comes from the modern age’s determinations that claim science has proven so much, we will soon have so much figured out and formulated that there will be no room for the existence of spiritual and omnipotent deities. Their truth claims that they can be sure there was no progenitor who caused our universe formation and that science will provide the answers. I have found that the more you know, the more you realize that you do not know. If that is not true then you are not seeking all the answers. But the real reason that the finds here are often minimized is because it does not serve supporting the Arab Palestinians as they are the leftist cause-celeb and that makes everything in their favor to be considered perfect and their every claim and complaint obviously valid and must be tended to immediately, and especially if it might assist with the destruction of Israel.

 

There is reasoning behind the insidious plotting to destroy Israel and replace it with what the world knows will be a failed state because the world would rather have a failed Arab State than a functioning and successful Jewish State. The desire is to destroy the Jewish State and by destroying Israel they believe, and probably rightfully, that they will have destroyed the Jews themselves. They will suffer the few thousand remnants in their enclaves or they may even hunt down the last person with a Jew anywhere in their last seven generations as the blessings are passed forward seven generations. The hate that we survived that first and best chance to wipe Israel from the map infuriates so many Europeans that the hatred makes for strange bedfellows. When British officers from World War II join together with Nazis from World War II and attempt to wipe the Jewish State from the world’s stage before her opening curtain has even completely opened, then you know there is a real hatred out in the world. The anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism are two sides of that old coin known all too well, anti-Semitism. It really is that simple. There is a reason behind the claims that Israel is using ethnic cleansing to purge the Arab Palestinians and that Israel is resorting to genocide against the Arab Palestinian People, and they call them a people by leaving off Arab and inventing something which is a lie and a deceit and as that is their initial truth, then all that follows is simply something to prop up that lie. The ethnic cleansing and genocide claims are made because even the most ardent anti-Semite desiring to swim in Jewish blood when Israel had bled to death knows that such will not be the result of this charade. They are completely aware that they are playing with millions of lives and their attitude is simply cavalier as they could not care less how many they send to their deaths if it simply wounds Israel severely and made her pay. They are aware that eventually the Arabs Palestinians will believe their propaganda about how weak they have made Israel and how this is the time to strike, and strike the Arab Palestinians will and initially they will gain advantage but in the end they will most likely be slaughtered. My dearest hope is that only the most ardent Arab Palestinian anti-Semitic, anti-Zionistic, anti-Israel haters will end up paying the price for hate, there is always a price eventually coming due for hatred and this one promises to be a very costly price. When that day arrives the Europeans will be ready for one of two alternatives, the first is their celebration on the real ethnic cleansing of six-million plus Jews or the regret and finger-pointing calling out Israel as having finally been made guilty of the ethnic cleansing and genocidal deaths of the proud Arab Palestinians who were killed because Israel used disproportional force, because Israel refused to die to satisfy their blood-lust, to allow them their final solution. We need to tell them and those whom they influence that Israel refuses to just roll over and die, Israel refuses to go gently into that dark night, Israel will bask in the morning after’s sun and tend our wounds but we will not go gently into the dying light of the night.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 25, 2013

The Israel I Learned in Bible Class in my Youth

Over the years we covered the stories in the Old Testament, also called the Jewish Bible, and were taught many stories about the ancient Hebrews and Israelites as they were known depending on which period of ancient Jewish history you are talking about. There were also the biblical figures whose nationality was left unstated or other than one of the ancient names used by the earliest Jews. One well known example being Noah who while being a believer and obedient follower of G0d was not Jewish as he predates Abraham who is the father of the Jewish religion. We were also taught that in many ways the real originator of Judaism as we know it today was Moses who is referred to as the law-giver as he gave the Jews the Ten Commandments and the Torah in which are contained the laws which Jews are to observe. What fascinated me were the stories of the Israelites once they had settled in the Promised Lands and their struggles and how they seemed to be constantly falling away from following their Commandments only to face hardships which often took the form of outside civilizations invading their lands and how when facing defeat or other hardships they would find their way back to following the path laid out for them by G0d through His Laws. As with any young boy, I was always most interested in their battles and the tactics and maneuvers they used to repel or defend against these invaders.

 

There was one feature of almost all of these battles which strikes me as being of paramount importance to modern times and the problems concerning Israel and the constant demands that they surrender lands to the Arabs, Bedouins, Palestinians or whomever. The one constant in these battles were the Judean Hills which the ancient Israelites used to great advantage as it seemed that everybody who invaded used chariots and heavily armored infantry while the Israelites utilized archers, slingers, and mostly light infantry. When your strength is mobility and speed and the other army uses brute force and heavy equipment, then you pick the worst terrain you can find in which to confront them. The other tactical weapon the ancient Israelites would use was to try fight holding the invaders off and not directly engaging them until the seasons of rain were upon the lands making chariots next to useless. Apparently their lands had a tendency to become swamp-like which made the use of even horses difficult and often defeated every advantage the invaders normally enjoyed.

 

Then there was the most famous stronghold, Jerusalem. Jerusalem was a great walled city that had the most wonderful secret that enabled it to hold out against sieges, a culvert that was dug, concealed underground, which brought fresh spring waters into the city supplying the one absolute necessity, water. This not only provided drinking water but water for all purposes and apparently Jerusalem had enormous stores of grains and foods kept by the Priests within the Temple complex. Jerusalem also had tunnels that allowed raids to be loosed on any siege force which would come seemingly out of nowhere, strike, and disappear almost as fast as they had appeared never leaving any traceable signs. It is little wonder that Jerusalem was not conquered as frequently as most other cities. Add to the mystique that is the history of Jerusalem the fascinating tale of how King David as a warrior led a small band into the city by the very channel which supplied water to conquer the prize that became the eternal Capital City for the Jewish People from that day forward. Jerusalem was far more than just the Capital City and fortress of last resort, Jerusalem was the cultural and religious center of the Israelites. It was the central hub that wed the twelve tribes into one peoples. This was where three times every year every Jew would make their pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the three Jewish pilgrimage holidays, Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. Much of Jewish life, customs, and religious observance in the ancient times revolved around the Temple in Jerusalem. There are many of the six-hundred-thirteen commandments which are at the core of Jewish belief which pertain solely to the Temple and the rituals which must be carried out in the holy place. Some pertain to daily, weekly, or monthly observances and others to particular services attached to certain holidays. Until the Jews are permitted to erect the Third Temple these commandments go unfulfilled.

 

There is one story which I found particularly unusual and it has to do with the initial conquest of the lands from the Canaanites at the beginning of Israelite history after the Exodus from slavery in ancient Egypt, and it pertains to right before they received their last instructions from Moses, as he would not cross the Jordan with them, and before Joshua as Moses’s successor led them against the walled fortress of Jericho. Two of the Tribes of Israelites, Dan and Rueben, who were made up of herders found the lands east of the Jordan River to be favorable for grazing their herds and approached Moses with a request to settle these lands. Moses was less than receptive to their request and admonished them for attempting to forgo their obligation to conquer the lands as commanded and instead leave all of the warfare to the other tribes to go alone. They replied that not only would they assist with the conquering of the Promised Lands but that they would take the lead in every battle and not take up their flocks until every tribe had received their lands. They asked only that they be allowed to build pens to hold their flocks and a defendable city to hold their women and children in safety. This too enraged Moses who reprimanded them for their placing the safety and security of their flocks ahead of that of their women and children. After Moses had sufficiently cowed them he allowed for them to proceed and reminded them of their promise and had them restate their intent to make honest on their promise to the other tribes.

 

What does all of this have to do with modern times? Well, the Israelites of today have not requested to have those lands the tribes of Dan and Rueben settled east of the Jordan River despite these lands being well described in the historical record of the early Jewish tribes, the Bible. The debate the world has forced upon the Jews is for them to sacrifice some of the lands where much of their most important events throughout their history took place. The world is demanding that the Jews surrender half of the city which has been at the heart of their world for over three-thousand years. The Jewish tribes had a civilization centered around Jerusalem before either Confucius or Buddha was preaching their philosophies and religious beliefs. There are demands that Israel allow the descendants of the Arabs who were displaced largely due to their own fleeing the oncoming warfare under the promise given them by the Mufti of Jerusalem that once the Jews had been eradicated they would be allowed to take from the spoils and have possession of all the land. Something of a miracle came to pass and Israel survived and even could be said to have thrived. Despite the constant claims for these Arab refugees who have been imprisoned by their brethren, nobody has bothered to demand restitution or the return to their lands of the over three-quarters of a million Jews who were forced through persecutions to flee much of the Arab and Muslim world after the formation of Israel. The majority of these Jews made what could be called a second exodus to Israel where they were welcomed and absorbed into the society and not placed in squalid camps for the next sixty-five plus years. What was nothing more than an exchange of populations similar to numerous other such exchanges that have taken place through recent history, this one is treated as something different, something other than ordinary. Nobody is demanding that restitution be made or a return forced for the Hindus and Buddhists who migrated in one direction and the Muslims who migrated in the other direction when India and Pakistan became separate entities. Similar comparisons can be made with the lands that were taken from Germany after the World War and presented to France and Poland. Furthermore, when after the War of Israeli Independence when Jordan claimed the areas of Judea and Samaria and renamed them the West Bank and made the Jews depart from lands they owned and gave the Arabs citizenship and divided the Jewish lands presenting them to those who were owed favor, the entire world including the Arab and Muslim nations with the exception of Britain and Pakistan refused to recognize the Jordanian claims. Here is a question, who exactly did the world believe that land belonged to that they refused to recognize the Jordanian annexation? There were no such peoples invented as of yet called Palestinians as when people referred to Palestinians at that time and before 1948 they meant the Jews living under the British rule. The British even had a Palestine Brigade fighting in the Sinai and North Africa during World War II which was made up entirely of Jews from the British Mandate Lands. There were no Arabs as they mostly fought on the side of the German Nazis during World War II and hated the British. So, the lands that the Jordanians called the West Bank and the rest of history called Judea and Samaria should belong to whoever was believed to have been the rightful owners while the world condemned and refused to recognize Jordanian ownership. A small hint, they believed it rightfully belonged to Israel, surprise.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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