Beyond the Cusp

March 18, 2014

Two Diametrically Contrasted Meetings

In the past half a month President Obama has held meetings in the Oval Office with the leaders of both parties to the Middle East peace talks. These two meetings probably could not have had different agendas or more opposite styles and content. The proof of this fact will be made evident in the coming weeks as Secretary of State Kerry continues to attempt to bring the two sides together reaching a framework towards a final peace agreement. Secretary Kerry’s task was not well served by his boss as President Obama’s treatment and demeanor was likely anything but fair, impartial or equal regarding the two men he met with in these two meetings. What we need to investigate in the coming weeks and will try to predict here are the aftereffects of President Obama’s actions done in the vacuum of his mind which is quite separated from the truths of the real world. Secretary Kerry should be, if he is not already, extremely displeased with the disservice done to him and all of his efforts to mold an agreement between two opposing and unyielding sides.


The first of the two Obama hosted meetings was with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. The demeanor for this meeting was conveyed even before Prime Minister Netanyahu had left Israel in an article written by Jeffrey Goldberg of Bloomberg News where President Obama laid out his views on the ongoing peace talks and what was necessary for them to bear fruit. Reading the article was distressing enough, I can only imagine how excruciating doing the interview would have been had I been replaced for Jeffrey Goldberg. Fortunately for Mr. Goldberg, he is one of the President’s last remaining stalwarts in whose eyes the President can do no wrong, especially if it is compromising the Jewish state. For those concerned for my stability after reading the article spawned from this interview, rest assured I settled for numerous commentaries which quoted the interview article and spared myself the direct aggravation. The gist of President Obama’s meanderings in fantasyland, which is where he stores his reality of the Middle East, he had claimed to have gleaned and discerned that all that was necessary for peace was Israel to finally see reality as clearly as he has and make the sacrifices necessary to meet the reasonable, polite requests of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Why Netanyahu was so unreasonable after Abbas had agreed to recognize Israel as the home for the Jewish People and made all the other concessions appeared to mystify the President. Oh, but if it was only so.


What was interesting was that after the article hit print and before President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu initially met and hopefully at least shook hands, Mahmoud Abbas had convened an appropriate venue with some Palestinian youths and the ever ready and willing press and once again announced his firm commitment to never ever under any circumstances, pressures or other efforts would he recognize Israel as the state for the Jewish People nor would he ever compromise on the universal “Right of Return” for the five-million plus Palestinian refugees into Israel proper and to their receipt of full compensation for their hardships. Chairman Abbas also had other equally accepting and accommodating statements all of which likely do not echo or even exist in President Obama’s little world he inhabits with elves and woodland creatures that speak with him and praise his glory. The meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu went according to the now familiar route initially but then came an unexpected change. After President Obama had berated Prime Minister Netanyahu, very politely but still condescending, and where the Prime Minister had previously attempted to explain reality to the always delusional President, there came no real retorts, contradiction or other protestations. Reportedly, the Prime Minister simply smiled knowingly, thanked the President, requested he be equally as receptive when meeting Chairman Abbas when they were to meet a week hence and left politely and on easy, if not good, terms. The feeling I got from the descriptions was it was similar to the Principle of a school leaving a meeting with the rowdiest and most troublesome student who always had a raft of excuses for his behavior and simply patted the undisciplined child’s head and walked away knowing that school would let out in the very near future and this child would graduate and no longer be his problem. It was as if Prime Minister Netanyahu has simply resigned to the fact that President Obama is beyond hope when it comes to Israel and that all that is left is to wait for this evil nightmare to end.


President Obama, for reasons that bode poorly for Israel according to those of us with suspicious minds and memories of past actions, saw no reason to give any interviews casting doubts and aspersions of the soon to visit Chairman of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. Chairman Abbas was met with the cordiality of an old friend, a friend who was the first person contacted by the newly sworn in President Obama upon entering the Oval Office immediately after his initial swearing in ceremony in January of 2009, even before calling any actual head of state of any nation be they friend or foe. The fact of that phone call should have sent a chill down the spine of every supporter of Israel and been the sounding of a loud klaxon warning of ill tidings, a rough road ahead and challenges that would crush a lesser spirit to any Zionist or lover of Israel. In the initial press conference before they dove into their meeting President Obama, hemming and hawing aside, spoke hesitantly but warmly seeming to have chosen his words with care to what end we can only presume. I got the feeling that the President was attempting to sound optimistic while not appearing to favor Chairman Abbas’s side of the negotiations or giving too much grist for the mills of the media. Then came Chairman Abbas’s time to speak and he chose not to speak in English and instead spoke what I gather was Arabic, a point that is interesting as Chairman Abbas is perfectly able to speak almost perfectly fluent English and usually chooses to speak in Arabic when he is selecting his phrases carefully and to have hidden meanings which convey underlying thoughts to the Arab world that are not conveyed when the translation is given by his translator. There are often phrases which have dual meaning or imply something completely different from their literal translation which allows Chairman Abbas to later claim that he did not mean or actually state what somebody quotes from the translation and purport that the meaning was lost in the translation which was for some unknown reason not exact or precise enough. He has utilized this tactic regularly and is something that should arouse suspicions immediately when he refuses to speak in English as there is always an angle in his double entendres.


As far as what was exchanged between President Obama and Chairman Abbas is up for conjecture but should become readily obvious as the peace talks go forward and we hear of supposed promises given Chairman Abbas. The problem is whether the promises claimed by the good chairman were actually offered or are simply imaginings of his wildest desires is something that the world will never know with absolute certainty. One reason for this is there is very little that President Obama would be hesitant to grant to the Palestinians no matter how deep the resulting wound would be to the Israelis. We know this from the first year of President Obama’s Presidency and the lack of evidence of any real change of heart. Right from the start President Obama made obvious that he knew for sure what the problem was that prevented peace in the Middle East and he set right to work to correct the injustices committed by every leader before him. The first move was to demand that Israel initiate a building freeze, preferably permanently. Eventually President Obama accepted a ten month building freeze by the Israelis and Prime Minister Netanyahu obliged despite the move almost collapsing his ruling coalition, yet somehow he persevered. Did the building freeze lead to the guaranteed peace as expected by President Obama? Well, it did bring Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Abbas together long enough to shake hands and then there was no contact, no exchange of points, no negotiations, absolutely no contact for almost nine months, and then Chairman Abbas contacted President Obama demanding that he pressure the Israelis into making the building freeze permanent until an actual peace had been finalized. For some unfathomable reason, OK, for some obvious reason Prime Minister Netanyahu refused to extend the building freeze. President Obama still forged ahead undaunted and insisted that the borders between Israel and any future Palestinian State be based on the 1967 Lines, in reality the 1949 Armistice Lines that the Arab League refuse to recognize and demanded never ever be construed to act as a border in fact or negotiation. President Obama was not finished and continued in his indomitable manner stating that the capital for any future Palestinian State had to be all of East Jerusalem which would include all of the Old City including the Temple Mount and the Kotel including the Western Wall. By the end of President Obama’s first term virtually any of the Palestinians wildest dreams, items they would have never initiated on their own, had been brought to the fore and presented as the new starting parameters for future negotiations and the Palestinians had taken every demand made of Israel by President Obama and molded them into their new Red Line minimal demands that Israel would now be obligated to surrender hence forth and forever going forward.


So, what could the two leaders, President Obama and Chairman Abbas have possibly talked about during their tête-à-tête? The greatest fear that grips the hearts of those who love Israel is that Chairman Abbas and President Obama got into a mutual stroking exercise with each attempting to outdo the other at inventing new demands which could be made of Israel. Who could imagine what these two might hatch together that will become the newest parameter forced onto the peace process making it even more slanted against Israeli existence as the home of the Jewish People. The one thing I was able to glean from the press presentation by Chairman Abbas was his claim that the Palestinians had recognized Israel in 1988 and 1993. Where that statement is truthful, it is also couching a lie. That recognition is the very same recognition that the Palestinians, the Arab world and the Muslim world have always contended was their recognition of Israel, namely that Israel could continue to exist with the Jewish People permitted to live within as long as they accepted their status as Dhimmi under Islamic rulers. Israel as a democratic styled state where the Jews would be permitted to have self-rule is unacceptable to the Muslims, the Arabs and the Palestinians. That is the entire argument based around the right of return of the refugees from both 1948 and 1967 along with their children and their children’s children and their children’s children’s children and so forth in perpetuity. The normal definition under International Law for refugee has been rejected by the Palestinians and the Arab and Muslim worlds which is why their refugees are not under the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and instead are under United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) which has its own unique definition for refugee. Any normative refugee loses their status once they take up residence in another nation, get employment in another nation and are not able to pass their status on to the next generation; their children are citizens of whatever nation they may be born within. Palestinian refugees are refugees even if they take on citizenship of another nation and are not only able to but are obliged to pass that refugee status on to the next generation and every generation afterwards in perpetuity. This is why the original approximately 700,000 refugees, the vast majority or which voluntarily fled their homes at the behest of the invading Arab armies and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini, a personal friend of Adolph Hitler and the entire Nazi hierarchy, as they were told that once the invading armies of over a half dozen Arab nations had crushed and destroyed the Jews and their infidel state, they could return and take the spoils of the vanquished Jews. Somehow Israel refused to die but did lose the lands of Gaza, Judea and Samaria with Egypt retaining control over Gaza and Judea and Samaria being held by Jordan who renamed them the West Bank to hide their Jewish roots. When Jordan annexed those lands only the British and Pakistanis recognized their claim and even the Arab League refused to recognize their claim. So, if Jordan did not legally hold Judea and Samaria because they had gained these areas in an offensive war, from whom did they steal and occupy the area, Palestine or Israel? (Hint, throughout recorded history, and likely even before that, only one of the two names was that of an actual nation.)


The one item that Prime Minister Netanyahu has actually insisted upon, and even Tzipi Livni is in complete agreement on, is that the Palestinians must be insisted upon to recognize Israel as the state for the Jewish People and have the right to hold a Jewish nationality forever into the future. The reason that this demand is made is because the Israeli leadership insists that any peace agreement reached will have to be the end of the contesting between the Israelis and the Arab world. There must not be any hope or chance that there be future claims insisting that the so-called Palestinian refugees be permitted to return into Israel and possibly, if not likely, change the demographics such that Israel would simply become a binational state, or worse, another Arab state where the Jews would no longer control their destiny. The Palestinian argument has been that Judaism is a religion and that there is no such thing as a Jewish People thus there cannot be a Jewish State as there are no states anywhere in the world which are based on a religious belief. Of course that ignores the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Republics of Pakistan and the Islamic State of Afghanistan. So, the statement that the Palestinians have recognized Israel is only partially true as they have only admitted that a state or nation may have the name Israel but have at the same time refused to allow any state thusly named to be Jewish and only recognize it if it is Islamic and Arab with the Jews, if at all permitted, to be permitted to live there as Dhimmi as long as such serves and pleases their Arab Islamic masters. Should at any time the ideas be pressed that they convert to Islam or face the sword, then the Jewish People would no longer be accepted living within the Islamic dominated state of Israel. The refusal to recognize Israel as the state for the Jewish People would result in the termination of the Palestinian refugees’ demands to be permitted to reclaim their lost homes resulting from the Arab invasion to destroy Israel when Israel was first established. Their claim does not hold any real legal standing under International Law for a myriad of reasons of which principally that they lost their homes resulting from a war of aggression where they sided with the aggressors which, by International Law, negates any claims they may have had to lands within the areas lost from such an aggression. There are also reasons stemming from numerous treaties, conferences, legal legislative declarations, accords, mandates and commissions entered into by the victorious allied powers of World War I which pertained to the lands surrendered by the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.


There are a few items we have been given a glimpse of by statements and other venues that will likely be proven in the forthcoming negotiations. We know that Chairman Abbas has placed great significance on Israel releasing the final set of prisoners which were agreed upon as an Israeli concession to bribe Mahmoud Abbas to even sit and talk for nine months. That was one-hundred-six prisoners for two-hundred-seventy-two days of talks; that is a mere 2.72 days of negotiations for each terrorist murderer released from Israeli prisons. That does appear to be a very steep price, especially when considering what the Palestinians had to give in return, nothing, absolutely nothing. The really unamusing item was that from the very first day of the negotiations all we heard from Chairman Abbas was incessant whining over his not also being given another building freeze. It did not matter that when Abbas was presented with choices which included at a minimum a building freeze or the prisoner release, he chose the prisoner release and was informed at that time that Israel would continue to build in the areas where Israel intended to retain the lands through land swaps. Abbas accepted this arrangement and then instantly demanded that Israel also initiate a building freeze because he was Chairman Abbas and that entitles him to anything and everything he desires because he says so. Chairman Abbas stated clearly going into the meetings in Washington with President Obama that he would not make the mistake again and that he would only agree to any extension of the peace talks if and only if Israel agreed to further releases of terrorist prisoners including Marwan Barghouti, an arch terrorist planner who is serving multiple life sentences for the murders of numerous Israeli civilians including women and children of every persuasion including Jews, Druze, Christian, Muslims and others as long as they were Israelis, and a total and comprehensive Israeli building freeze. What other demands Abbas is likely to demand is anybody’s guess. What would Abbas be willing to give in return? Come-on now, you’re joking, right? Abbas does not give, he takes.


Abbas does not believe that the Palestinians owe anybody anything but firmly believes that the world owes him everything and anything he desires. He has mismanaged the Palestinian territories to the tune of a 4.8 billion dollar deficit and claims the reason is that he has not been able to collect taxes from the Jews living in Area C of Judea and Samaria. Never mind that Area C is under Israeli security and governance while Area A is under Palestinian security and governance while Area B is under Palestinian governance and mutual Israeli and Palestinian security. Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are permitted to collect taxes from the Palestinians living in Areas A and B while those living in Area C pay taxes to Israel. There are absolutely no Jews residing in Area A and very few within Area B while there are Palestinians living within Area C which includes areas of Jerusalem. There are other debts owed by the Palestinian Authority which are not included in that 4.8 billion dollar amount and that is an exorbitant amount to the Israeli Electric Company and unpaid charges to numerous petrol stations throughout Judea and Samaria. Abbas knows that should Israel shut off the electricity for nonpayment or the petrol stations refuse to give fuel to Authority vehicles that all Abbas would need do is complain that Israel has shut off the electricity or refused to fuel their vehicles and the entire world would go into panic mode and come down on Israel forcing her to give away these services simply because the world demands such. Abbas believes that his permitting negotiations that he has absolutely no intention of compromising any single item and will walk away from as soon as he has garnered whatever concessions he can pry from Israel with the able assistance of the rest of the world entitles him to be bribed and honored as if he has actually accomplished some noteworthy and great feat. Therein lies the secret on how to forge a real and actual peace between the Arabs and Israel, deny Abbas any aid, preferential treatment, world tours with accommodations in the finest hotels and restaurants all free of charge, flattery and other spoils until he actually takes concrete steps to make a lasting and working peace. Why would Abbas make peace when by doing so the Palestinians would no longer receive trillions of dollars from foolish governments around the world, especially those in Europe who despite financial troubles still finance Abbas as if he were a messiah, and he is treated with dignity, respect and lauded with the finest accommodations, travel and food where he insists on other nations to grant him treasure so he can continue to live the lifestyle he has become accustomed to. Abbas realizes that all of this ends once peace is attained, thus there will never be peace as long as the gravy train continues. Why give up the life of splendor when if peace is made he will actually need to rule a nation which means picking up the trash, actually developing a workable tax base, establishing industries, maintaining roads and utilities, and paying the bills or losing the electricity and fuel he currently gets for free and takes for granted. Ruling a nation takes work, accepting bribes to negotiate in bad faith and refusing to agree to anything is easy. Until Abbas is brought down to earth and made accountable he will continue to live off of those who are for too willing to pay his way as long as he continues to work to destroy Israel. And do not get that wrong, his sole desire in life beyond even being treated as if he were royalty is to destroy Israel and be acclaimed throughout many areas of this world for having committed a second Holocaust. That is the individual the world holds up as a man of peace and that is the sorriest circumstance of all.  


Beyond the Cusp


December 7, 2013

Eulogy for Nelson Mandela

Eulogies can be purely complimentary telling only the great and commendable acts, leaning towards humorous where some of the more quaint and amusing events are recounted usually only with those closest friends or it can be honest praising the praiseworthy while also noting those items less desirable from the person’s life, this will be an honest Eulogy for Nelson Mandela. Nobody can take away from the fact that Nelson Mandela was the right man in the right place at the right time speaking the right words for equal rights and an end to the persecution and dehumanizing effects of Apartheid in South Africa. Nelson Mandela was not the only leader or even the preeminent leader of the cause but will always remain the most noteworthy and inspirational speakers and the man credited for leading the fight against injustice. Nelson Mandela will also be remembered for his continuing to speak out against those places, people and governments from which he perceived injustice and persecution. Likely one of the singular stands that will reflect most honorable was his choice to call for calm, eschewing violence and vengeance, and taking an angry people in a constructive direction using the energies to establish constructive ends rather than destructive ends. Whether Nelson Mandela’s actions as President of South Africa and the path he placed South Africa upon after Apartheid will be measured by historians further in the future when an objective and honest assessment is possible as such a perspective would be difficult to record as an official history now so close after his passing.


There was another side of Nelson Mandela, the politician, who saw Communism as the only true answer to uneven wealth distribution and the system which gave the poor and formerly oppressed any chance at equality within society. It was this view which led Nelson Mandela to see Apartheid wherever he witnessed poverty, especially if the poverty was mostly found in an oppressed peoples within the society. This view led Nelson Mandela to praise Fidel Castro and declare that Communist Cuba had achieved the “systematic eradication of racism”. He also laid a wreath on the grave of Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Iranian revolution, and to warmly greeting his successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stating, “We are indebted to the Islamic Revolution”. Nelson Mandela praised Yasser Arafat upon his passing claiming that Arafat was an “outstanding freedom fighter”. Nelson Mandela was a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause which lead to his referring to Israel as an Apartheid state where racism is practiced and the Palestinians in the occupied lands were oppressed and persecuted. Seated next to Yasser Arafat in Gaza in 1999 Nelson Mandela proclaimed, “All men and women with vision choose peace rather than confrontation, except in cases where we cannot proceed, where we cannot move forward. Then if the only alternative is violence, we will use violence”.


The greatest detractor to claiming Nelson Mandela worthy of universal acclaim as being nearly a saint on Earth was his blind distrust of Capitalism which he viewed as another form of Apartheid. It was through this lens that he referred to the United States as a flawed nation and to declare that Israel was an Apartheid state every bit as bad and oppressive as was South Africa. This denouncing of Israel was probably the single strongest witness giving support and affirmation to the campaign against Israel and the often repeated denunciation of Israel as practicing Apartheid. It was this view of an Apartheid Israel that allowed for Nelson Mandela to condone and support Palestinian terror attacks claiming that this was their sole recourse to right the wrongs perpetrated against them. Nelson Mandela never saw, or refused to take accounting of the fact that Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Druze and every race of peoples living in Israel have equal rights and that there are Arab Muslims serving in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, and serving as judges in courts which stand to adjudicate every Israel citizen equally, and there are Muslims and every other faith and peoples working as doctors, lawyers, and every professions side by side with the Jews of Israel with total equality. All religions are permitted to be practices in Israel and every religion is free to build a place to practice their religion be it a Synagogue, Church, Mosque, Temple or other structure. But when you view the world seeking out inequality and are firm in your belief that the main cause of any inequality is because of Apartheid, then you see and bear witness to Apartheid almost everywhere you look. It is unlikely that any streets, bridges, buildings, schools, parks or other honorable titled objects will ever be dedicated to Nelson Mandela in Israel, at least not any time soon. All in all, Nelson Mandela will remain the man who liberated South Africa from Apartheid and for that reason alone the man who was Nelson Mandela will be remembered favorably and receive the honors of which he is due. No person is perfect but some rise above their detractions to greatness in their remembrance and Nelson Mandela was most certainly such a man.


Beyond the Cusp


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