Beyond the Cusp

March 9, 2013

Will President Obama Challenge Hamas and Other Palestinian Threats?

Mushir al-Masri, speaking as a Hamas representative from the Al-Aqsa Mosque, declared that should United States President Barack Obama visit the Temple Mount during his excursion in Israel, it will be equivalent to a declaration of war on the Arab and the Islamic world. He demanded that there should be a declared third intifada and requested Egyptian assistance in the “resistance” of such a desecration by the American President take place. Khalid al-Batash, a senior Islamic Jihad member, also called to prevent Obama from visiting the compound. And these were not the most definitive of warnings. Sheikh Akrameh Sabri, former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and current head of the higher Islamic council was quoted by AFP warning, “Any visitor is welcome to Al-Aqsa, but they should follow the regulations of the Waqf and enter through the Lions’ Gate and not through Mughrabi Gate, to ensure Muslim sovereignty. The visit shouldn’t have a political theme to it because Al-Aqsa belongs to Muslims only and it is their place of worship and we refuse that any Israeli official accompanies the visitor.” Hatem Abdel Qader, head of the Jerusalem portfolio for the Fatah movement, said that Obama’s visit should be coordinated with the Palestinian Authority and with the Jordanians.

 

With such demands and even the somewhat overt threats makes one wonder if President Obama will simply avoid making any visit to the Temple Mount and what kind of result would such produce. It can be expected that should President Obama not visit the Temple Mount at all just to assure that he does not insult Islam or the easily riled Palestinians that such will be interpreted as a slight and a surrender to Israeli pressures which obviously had advised the President not to risk a visit. Whether or not the Israelis actually gave such advice will be of no consequence, the expressions of anger and reaction to insult is all that matters. Why else do the different Palestinian groups and even individual spokespeople make contradictory statements which when taken in full cover every possible action or lack of action as insulting and offensive to Islam and the Palestinian cause. These statements, demands and counters are made such that after President Obama has returned to the United States the Palestinians can choose which demands or warnings were transgressed and have the appropriate riots and violence targeting Israelis as the responsible and guilty party. The Friday riots after services on the Temple Mount were far more violent, viscous and animated this week and included not only the usual rock throwing and riots but also included Molotov cocktails and greater numbers and severity of attacks against security personnel stationed around the Temple Mount. This should be viewed as a warning of violence to come and a preliminary riot on which to build upon at a later date.

 

There has been an increase in violence with an emphasis on attacks in Judea and Samaria that has been escalating for the past weeks. There has been a definitive rise in rock and firebomb attacks on motorists and Israeli housing and crops. Some have already referred to these increased acts of violence as the beginning of yet another intifada. It is very likely that such is actually the case and that the plan is to use President Obama’s visit and some otherwise unimportant event as the trigger for the third (some say the count is as high as six) intifada. Additionally, there will be some within the leadership of the Palestinians will also blame Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for having formed a coalition which they see as unhelpful and biased against the Palestinians. This will be the complaint no matter which parties are included within the coalition and even with Tzipi Livni, one of the most likely to offer unprecedented concessions in peace talks, being placed completely responsible for any peace talks or other dealings between Israel and the Palestinians. Prime Minister Netanyahu is likely making this decision relying of Mahmoud Abbas to refuse any offer no matter how generous that Tzipi Livni would offer. This is another reason for another intifada as starting such violence would likely scrub any possibility of restarting the peace process while such increased violence is occurring. The Palestinians also are likely counting on the rest of the world, especially the Europeans, to demand Israeli gifts and concessions in order to end the violence and entice the Palestinians back to the negotiating table and restarting the peace process. We have seen this act so many times over the years that one might be tempted to think that it would not still work. The truth is that as long as Israel is being forced to sacrifice the Europeans and much of the world will gladly demand such sacrificial acts despite knowing they will be fruitless and will not engender any advances in the peace talks. But first, will President Obama actually visit the Temple Mount and if so which gate will he use? Then comes the other point of inquiry, will he attend to the Temple Mount with security provided by Israel or by the Palestinians and depending on which, how safe should President Obama feel?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 20, 2012

Now the World Demands a Cessation of Violence and Attacks

For year after year, hundreds turned into thousands and passed into tens of thousands of rockets pouring over the Gaza border raining down on the residents of southern Israel. Initially it was limited to Sderot and a few unfortunate Kibbutzim located close to the Gaza border. Soon it reached past these unfortunates and included Ashkelon, then Ashod and Beersheba, and have most recently with this augmentation of the terrorist’s rockets the Iranian provided Fadjr rocket which has brought the range nearing the outskirts of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. All this time the United Nations, the European Union, the United States, almost all the European Governments, virtually the entire world remained silent allowing the barrages to continue unprotested with the notable exception of Canada Prime Minister Steven Harper who denounced the targeting of innocent Israeli civilians. Almost immediately after an Israeli response began to the increased daily fire rate of over one-hundred rockets and mortars per day and the introduction of guided anti-tank Kornet missiles also Iranian in origin which were used against an IDF jeep causing severe injuries and permanently blinding one IDF soldier, the world sprang into fevered action seeking to stop the violent exchanges over the Gaza-Israel border. This was not at all surprising as this has been the same order of world reactions before, during and after the last Israeli response to the attacks in the Cast Lead offensive which did result in a lull in the rocket fire for a short while. So, what was it that launched the entire globe into action to end the violence?

That is an easy question to answer but difficult to prove as even claiming the truth labels one as paranoid and exaggerating the problem as identified. Those who point to the truth are told that they are overreacting as the world is acting to put all the violence to an end and find an agreement that will lead to a permanent peace. So, what is this claim that only the most daft would propose? My bet is you have already figured that out, it is that the world really cannot stomach Israel defending itself against the Palestinian terror offensives. As long as it is Israel, perceived to imply Jews, that are being attacked and absorbing casualties, deaths, and injuries including crippling and permanently debilitating injuries, then the world simply continues as if all is well with maybe the occasional declaration which remains unenforced just to toss the Israeli government a bone. As soon as the tables are turned somewhat and the attacks are also now originating from Israel and the Palestinians are screaming demanding something be done, the world erupts into action with leaders of countries and virtually every NGO rushing and demanding a stop to all violence, when they actually mean all Israeli (Jewish) use of force.

I know, how can I make such a claim? Well, I can go past just because and five examples. We can look at the response to terrorist attacks, suicide bombings and car bombs originating from Judea and Samaria (West Bank) on Israel striking civilians in restaurants, attending services, in nightclubs, and setting up ambushes on roadways which triggered the offensive Israel called Operation Defensive Shield. Almost as soon as the IDF entered Judea and Samaria the world exploded in condemnations and virtually every news service began repeating every Palestinian claim without any fact checks while reporting IDF and Israeli reports with cautionary advisories such as “IDF claims that” or “Israeli sources claim.” When the Palestinians reported about a massacre in Jenin they were carried as fact. To this day one can find references to the Jenin massacre where supposedly thousands of innocent Palestinians were supposedly slaughtered by the IDF. Even despite a United Nations investigation into the events in Jenin reported that there had been no massacre, the number of Palestinians killed was fifty-two with the majority likely being combatants or directly due to the explosive traps set by the Palestinian terrorists in many of the homes and buildings while Israeli casualties were twenty-three IDF soldiers. Despite the United Nations report and the fact that the report received virtually no coverage as it came many months after the whole Operation Defensive Shield had ended, the world still believes the propaganda, especially in the Arab and Muslim worlds where any exaggeration of claim that slanders Jews is automatically accepted as fact.

There was the reaction to the Cast Lead campaign in Gaza that resulted in the derogatory and biased Goldstone Report. When months later Judge Goldstone repudiated his own report and the methods employed in the reaching of the report’s conclusions. His revealing that the members of his team were chosen after they signed an affidavit revealing they had reached a conclusion before they had even researched any facts and were predisposed to condemn Israel no matter the facts revealed. He was pilloried and nearly destroyed by the world press when he came clean about their report’s lack of truth and preconceived conclusions. Then there was the Second Lebanon War which was also roundly deplored and it was stated that Israel was overreacting.

Now we are watching the same reactions to the Israeli actions. The fact that some in the West have reacted finally backing that Israel has a right to self-defense has been very refreshing but still has a troubling side. Thus far that has been the reaction but those supporters have already announced their point of turning on Israeli self-defense. Apparently, there is a limit to how far Israel will be allowed to go and receive the support of much of Europe and possibly their other current support with the exception, which I must note again, of Prime Minister Steven Harper of Canada, thank you PM Harper, you are a pillar of righteous strength among the leaders of nations. The tripping point where Israel’s support evaporates is when the IDF begins any form of ground campaign. Despite the truth that the IDF is the most restrictive military with the strictest ROE (Rules of Engagement) on the planet meant to do as much as is doable to prevent innocent casualties to the point of even suspending all activities despite such a step allows terrorists to escape retribution as the lives of innocents are considered valuable to the people and leadership of Israel, including Palestinians. Don’t believe me, listen to the gentleman we linked to yesterday reporting on the IDF to the United Nations, Col. Richard Kemp (ret.) a career soldier of the British Military. Despite this known fact, a deep dark secret as far as the media and most of the world’s leadership, but a well-known fact that is purposely ignored, the world feels the necessity to place limits on the Israeli use of force in her defense. These leaders are aware that this limitation they will attempt to use will hamper the Israelis ability to actually completely finish the eradication of the ability of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda in Gaza, the PRC, the Salafists and whatever other terrorist forces I failed to mention to continue to attack the Israeli people who have suffered near ceaseless violence day and night seemingly as far back as one can remember. They intend to prevent Israel from utilizing the same degree of military force as was applied by the United States and her allies after the 911 attacks which began with airstrikes just as have the Israelis and proceeded on to ground invasions with the intent to change the governance of the nations from which a threat was thought to be present. This was the actual range of force applied in both Afghanistan and Iraq and was also applied to parts of Pakistan where it was the cooperation of the Pakistani military which applied the ground forces used to attack targets. Despite the fact that the United States and her NATO allies utilized everything at their disposal to remove threats, such is considered a luxury to be denied to Israel in the defense of her people. Will this limit be applied as threatened? We may unfortunately find out if Hamas and their fellow terrorist entities refuse to stop the launching of the rockets onto the civilian population of Israel. My real hope is that not only will a land invasion prove unnecessary but that the future holds peace and quiet for both Israelis and Palestinians and the whole world, for that matter. Pollyannish? Very much so, but a hope worth holding on to despite all the realities which make such thoughts seem so ridiculous.

Beyond the Cusp

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