Beyond the Cusp

April 1, 2018

Hamas March of Return and the Reality Behind the Affair

 

Hamas hoped they could gather as many as one-hundred-thousand Gazan and have them, read as force them, to walk in a mass to the Gaza border fence and with any luck push it over and invade Israel. Why would Hamas want them to break down the border fence? Easy, Hamas hoped to force the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) to have to shoot the invaders and Hamas hoped they might receive hundreds, or better yet thousands, of Gazans shot dead. They also hoped for thousands of injured, preferably bleeding, Gazans so they could take pictures and splash them all over the world media. Hamas even had chosen what they hoped would be their first victim of their planned sacrificial massacre. They sent this special infiltrator ahead of the rest and this individual crossed into Israel and stood to defy the IDF. The IDF met this initial Hamas operative and talked with her, that is right, a female. After hearing her out, the IDF took her into custody and returned her safely to her parents. This advance Hamas operative was a seven-year-old girl whom they hoped could be killed by the IDF and be their first, and probably most advertised to the world, victim of their attempt to infiltrate Israel by forcing crossings along the Gaza border. As far as Hamas succeeding at their goals, they failed on every front. They may have surpassed twenty-thousand but probably even fell short of that figure. Under twenty Gazans died in their mass exercise and even their inflated numbers place the injured at well short of one thousand. All of these numbers have mostly come from Hamas and European media as Israeli media was unavailable during Shabbat, which made them unavailable from sundown Friday until after sundown Saturday. Israeli commentary will likely come available today and will be available to the public. In the meanwhile, we can expect the Arab and Muslim world to attempt to play this as if it were the mass casualty event Hamas had planned. Already Turkey, Jordan and Egypt have condemned the Israeli actions as the use of “disproportionate force” and, according to Jordanian spokesman, Mohammad Momani, “excessive force against peaceful protesters who were marching to commemorate the Land Day and affirm their legitimate rights in accordance with international law and norms.” One can only guess how these nations would respond to over ten-thousand Israelis marching on their borders. I believe we all are fully aware that such a situation would result in a mass casualty event, exactly the kind Hamas desired.

 

Let us look at the entire event as dispassionately as possible. When the Arab world demands that Israel, as the occupying power, provide protection for such demonstrations, we need to answer with the truth. Israel disengaged from Gaza in August of 2005 and turned the entirety of Gaza with greenhouses intact over to the Palestinian Authority (PA). At this time Gaza became the Palestinian State, which has been touted by the world as the miracle that would prove the sincerity of the PA and the Arab’s desire for peace and to build a functioning nation. There was no blockade nor was there any examination of imports to Gaza while the PA was ruling Gaza. The immediate result of the granting independence to the Gazan population under the guidance and rule of the PA was the destruction of the greenhouses and the use of the irrigation pipes to manufacture rocket launch tubes and rockets to launch into Israel. There was an ensuing struggle between the PA and Hamas interests for control of Gaza, which devolved into total civil war and in the resulting coup; Hamas took control of Gaza sending the PA retreating back to Judea and Samaria where because of shared security responsibilities they were protected by Israeli security. In the ensuing period since the 2007 takeover of Gaza, Hamas has initiated three brief wars with Israel by launching hundreds of missiles into Israel targeting civilian locations distinct and separate from any possible military targets. Hamas has also built an entire complex of tunnels throughout Gaza linking rocket launching platforms, command and control bunkers, safe bunkers, and their main command center located in the subbasement of the Gaza Al-Shifa Hospital (image below). They place this bunker tactically so as to protect their elite leadership who hunker down below the hospital cozily safe in the knowledge that Israel will not bomb a hospital full of innocents. Hamas knows that Israel will go to great lengths not to shoot innocents which was the entire hope behind this march of the border. They were hoping that with the confusion, acrid smoke and noise of tires burning, bombs thrown over the fence, rocks also thrown at the troops and people pressing the fence while selected terrorists were assigned to climb the fence probably hoping that excitable youth would copy them and also start climbing the border fence. Hamas knew that anyone climbing the fence threatened to infiltrate Israel. So, what force did Israel use, read on.

 

Gaza Al-Shifa Hospital

Gaza Al-Shifa Hospital

 

Israel initially used tear gas and stun rounds to break up the people rushing the border. The people continued towards the border. When the rocks and explosives being thrown over the fence at the troops became a threat, the Israelis used rubber bullets. This deterred the masses, but it did not prevent the more hard core from attempting to scale the fence into Israel. When such individuals, most of which were likely terrorist agents using the demonstration as the intended cover for their infiltration, reached the point of entering Israel, those few were the ones Israel shot with live rounds. These were the less than twenty people total who died as a result of IDF action. Hamas admitted that five of those killed, Jihad Farina, Mohammed Abu Amaro, Ahmad Odeh, Saari Abu Odeh, and Musaav a-Salul, were members of Hamas’ military wing. According to International Law, every nation has the right to enforce their border. Were members of a drug cartel to attempt a new way of smuggling their drugs into the United States by hiding the couriers within a mass of people and walking the entirety at the United States border, the United States would do everything in their power to coral and prevent them from entering the nation and any who would attempt to run to infiltrate, they would be shot and killed. This was no different. Those from the mass of people who attempted to enter Israel were prevented from doing so. There was an exception to shooting the Hamas operatives who attempted to infiltrate Israel, and where we do not know her name, we do know that she was treated well and returned to her parents, as Israel does not shoot people indiscriminately, Israel only shoots when they have actual cause and threat. This is why out of around fifteen to twenty-thousand actual marchers, according to initial Israeli estimates, or if you prefer the thirty to fifty-thousand reported by other counts, gathered along the Gaza border along five separate locations (see map below), there were less than twenty deaths according to any report and anywhere from three hundred injured as initial reports claimed to the later estimates of well over a thousand injured. Let us seek an answer why the later estimates were so significantly higher than the initial estimates given by the hospital and clinics data.

 

Gaza Fence Assault Areas

Gaza Fence Assault Areas

 

The obvious answer is that Hamas later asked that anybody who was injured, including bruises or welts caused by rubber bullets or coughing from tear gas to report their injuries. These would include all who had any injury, real or imagined. Hamas can play games with injury numbers as injuries heal and therefore, injuries cannot be investigated a month or two down the line. Injuries do not always require medical treatment as injuries come in an infinite variety of severity. We can believe that the hospitals initially reported the number of people they treated for injuries, and that is one total. We could understandably even triple that number and believe it is a realistic number. Some are trying to multiply the initial hospital numbers five fold and more and these numbers should be viewed with a great deal of skepticism. Is it an actual injury if you were bumped and slightly bruised by other marchers? And even if such is so, is that the fault of the IDF? Those treated for welts and contusions caused by rubber bullets are IDF caused injuries. These people likely reached the fence and attempted to climb the fence or push the fence over. This resulted in being shot with rubber bullets and those who persisted after such a severe warning were the few who suffered a potentially worse fate. Hamas simply collected whatever numbers they could conceivably count as injured from their efforts knowing it is the one number they could enlarge without consequences and nobody could prove them lying. Let us now explain the final point, why Hamas did not bother to exaggerate the numbers who were killed, and this you will just love.

Do you remember the so-called Jenin Massacre? Remember the reported number of Palestinians killed started around twenty-five and within hours, they reached over one-hundred. By the next morning, the number of dead reached into the hundreds and some even reached as high as a thousand and even more. Then there was the Jenin investigation for potential war crime charges against the IDF troops and their commanders. The United Nations investigators found that the IDF numbers were the accurate estimates with a total of fifty-three dead (forty-eight militants and five civilians). Where the Palestinian and Arab estimates ran into difficulty when the audits are done by investigative agencies, they count death certificates and actual gravesites leading to hard data and realistic numbers. Hamas, and likely the entirety of the Palestinian terror groups, including the PLO, Fatah, the PA, Islamic Jihad and the rest, know that they must report actual deaths as exaggeration will not stand up to scrutiny which results in their appearing to be liars and thus making all their reported numbers suspect. Casualties can be reported in larger numbers when they are injuries, as injury can be defined to include everything from serious wounds requiring surgery to a simple scratch or bruise. So, the number of those killed will be somewhere between fifteen and twenty and the number of injured will be whatever number people decide to assign to the conflict. The problem is not over as Hamas has declared there to be extended protest until Nakba Day which comes in mid-May, with the promise of especially intense weekly demonstrations on Fridays. Expect grand protests with additional violence and threats on Israeli soil and peoples with these demonstrations as they continue and particularly those of Friday afternoon after prayers and the Imam delivery of particularly inflammatory sermons for the occasion.

 

 

The United Nations Security Council has declared a closed-door session as requested by Kuwait, as Jordan, Egypt, Arab League and Turkey accuse Israel of using disproportionate force against Palestinian demonstrators. There will be the usual denunciations of Israel for defending their sovereign territory. There is never an emergency closed-door United Nations Security Council session called by the other members when border guards shoot and kill drug and human smugglers crossing the southern or any other border. There is no emergency closed-door United Nations Security Council session called by the other members when illegal immigrants heading for the United States are shot crossing the Guatemala-Mexico border by Mexican border guards as Mexico takes their border very seriously. China is never investigated for shooting North Koreans escaping the totalitarian oppressions under Kim Jong-un in a closed-door session by the United Nations Security Council called by the other nations. There is only one nation which is investigated for protecting the inviolability of their sovereign border. It is only Israel who is placed under the microscope of international scrutiny, where even the most mundane acts are made out to be crimes against all of humanity and cause for continuous investigations. When Israel defends her border, investigations are demanded, when Israel imprisons terrorists who use vehicles to intentionally run-down civilians, the world demands investigations for Israel treating simple vehicular accidents as criminal events, when Israel responds to thousands of rockets by defeating the terror armies who launched the projectiles into her civilian areas she is investigated. One could almost believe that Israel would be investigated for holding election should the world dislike the resulting coalition seeking to replace the government with one more pliable and easily persuaded to take steps which might endanger the existence of the Jewish State. Perhaps even stating such is dangerous as it might give the world another idea on how to manipulate and strangle Israel leading to her final defeat and destruction. Europe would support such an end, the Arab and Muslim World would largely celebrate such an end and work to bring such about while the American people and the few nations who remember the great and timely assistances received from the tiny little Jewish enclave when natural disasters struck or the agricultural technologies and medical technologies provided by IsraAID and Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) asking only that these receiving the Israeli provided aid take the knowledge and use it to advance their nations and its health. There is no charges and no payment demanded as the smiles of those assisted is sufficient payment. The result of the United Nations Security Council closed-door session on Gaza will ignore the one truth which appears to have escaped the world, Gaza is actually the real Palestinian nation as Israel no longer occupies any of that land and had surrendered all claim to Gaza. Israel gave Gaza to the PA and Hamas took it in a coup and now rules in partnership with Islamic Jihad. Perhaps the United Nations Security Council will discuss the responsibility of Hamas to allow the reconstruction rather than use the concrete to build tunnels infiltrating Israel. Perhaps the United Nations Security Council will investigate why there is no economic development in Gaza and the numerous other oppressions executed on the people of Gaza by their rulers who spend every amount of aid they can take to destroy their neighboring country of Israel. Israel would love to be able to ignore much of what occurs in Gaza but when the government of Gaza spends well over three-quarters of their available resources for Israeli destruction and swears they will murder every Jew on the planet, is it any wonder that Israel is nervous when thousands of Gazans approach her border. Perhaps the United Nations Security Council can investigate these little truths and do something positive for a change instead of trying to fault Israel at every turn.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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January 8, 2018

Are the World’s Jews About to Come Out of the Desert?

 

There are some interesting numbers concerning the Jewish People over their history. Their time in Egypt supposedly was four-hundred years. These years in which them served as bonded workers building the Pharos’s city, left them unable to act as a people or serve in a military capacity. This resulted in their spending forty years in the desert wandering from camp site to camp site until the generations of bonded workers had mostly died off or were too old to be expected to fight, they had become the hangers on. The youth who came out of Egypt did largely have the ability to fight so were allowed to enter the lands which are Israel. With this math behind us, forty years in the desert to remove four-hundred years outside being responsible for protecting themselves, let us move onward.

 

Ezekiel said the Jews were to be punished for 430 years because they had turned away from Hashem. This was to become the Babylonian exile. The Persians under Cyrus the Great defeated the Babylonians and freed their Jewish captives about 70 years after Judah lost independence to Babylon. This left 360 years which the Jews would require a second exile to fulfill as one must pay Hashem when one strays. In Leviticus 26:18, Leviticus 26:21, Leviticus 26:24 and Leviticus 26:28 the Torah spells things out quite clearly, should the Jews not fully repent their sins they would be punished increased by a factor of seven. Since most of the Jews freed from Babylon decided to live in the Persian society and adopted pagan ways, which is not exactly repenting, their remaining 360 years were multiplied by seven meaning their time in the Diaspora or under foreign occupation became 2,520 years on the original lunar Jewish calendar which translates to 2,484 years. Count from 536 BCE forward 2,484 years and you arrive at 1948. One can only imagine how long it will take to bring the Jews from their over two millennial exile to having their faith restored in themselves as a people? What is interesting is the difference we have noted in the Jews who have returned from many corners of the globe living here in our little berg in Israel to the majority of Jews who have thusfar remained in the Diaspora. The differences are stark.

 

We have spoken about how the majority of people in the synagogue we belonged to in the United States were confounded when we informed them we were on our way to live in Israel. They could not understand why we would leave what they viewed as the promised land to go to the ravaged lands in the Middle East, of all places. They cried about leaving the safety of living in the leading nation in the world to live in an undeveloped land in the world’s hellhole. These were the same Jews who recoiled at the thought that one of their fellow members had served in the Army, even if it was the United States Army, because Jews did not serve in the military. They were equally if not more deplored at the news that we had firearms, numerous firearms, and we enjoyed shooting them at targets. Perhaps it was better not to talk about hunting season as even had we denied ever having shot any animals, they had already considered our morality shot, as were our targets. And that we voted for conservative politicians and refused to denounce Netanyahu for disagreeing with President Obama on Iran, well, what can we add.

 

One of our staff has resided all across the United States and can attest that this final congregation was pretty much indicative of the vast majority of Jews which they met. One thing, being the exception was something a politically conservative Jew outside of Orthodox communities was an outlier and treated as an outcast. Israel is slowly becoming more Zionistic and conservative, though many of our friends might take exception. With time, Israel is very likely to become more religious, and our same friends might disagree, but that is our best prediction. What is nice is predictions cannot be judged as valid or invalid until we reach the future. What could make a difference in the balance would be if large percentages of European and North American Jews make Aliya, bring their liberal politics with them, and refuse to alter their opinions to meet new realities. Then, many may not see any new realities and remain entrenched in their political bubble. That could be detrimental for the future of Israel as it already took Israel twenty years to come to the realization that the Arabs do not desire an actual state for their Palestinian brothers, they just want Israel destroyed and the Palestinian Arabs are the bludgeon they plan on using for that purpose and they will forget them should they ever succeed. Fear is that should large numbers of Diaspora Jews come to Israel because they are forced from their homes or feel a changing societal structure where they are no longer safe and secure, that might work to Israel’s detriment and it might just be the wakeup call needed to bring them to realize the world is not anywhere near the utopian dream they had imagined. Dreams are a difficult thing to give up upon, though sometimes reality has its way of forcing people to admit new realities and with it, make what would otherwise be drastic changes to their mindset.

 

Where is this leading, well, to the old discussion of what is one Jewish life worth? Through far too much of the histories of the two main Jewish societies, the one throughout Europe and the one spread across MENA* Muslim lands, a Jewish life often was taken without penalty. Under Sharia, a Jew was worth half that of a Muslim and often even less and a Jewish life could be taken by a Muslim for the most minimal of reasons without question. In Europe, often when there was some calamity, be it from natural causes, financial difficulty or any other cause, the Jews were often found to have been the cause and they were dispossessed of their wealth, if they were fortunate, or murdered often after torture and cruelty all but unimaginable in much of the modern world. Both lines of Jews had their golden ages when the Jews were free to study, invent, discover and make strides for the human race. These ages grew slowly and all too often ended quite abruptly and violently. Then there were the fringes where Islam and Christianity met. The two areas we will talk of are the Holy Lands in general and Jerusalem specifically for one and Spain for the other. Spain is the easiest example ever as when the Muslim conquests reached Spain, their initial plunge left Christian and Jew often fleeing their homes leaving much behind and those who remained often were put to the sword or dispossessed of their wealth and permitted to live in service of their conquerors. After a period, Spain had its initial golden age where all three religions lived with Jews residing in Christian and Muslim areas and enjoying the peace and security provided them. Then things changed when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella decided that Spain would be a purely Christian nation and thus began the Spanish Inquisition. The initial and main target was to be the Muslims who were driven back across the Gibraltar Straights into Northern Africa and those captured were forced to endure torture and often death and if fortunate simply offered the choice of conversion or death. In some cases, they were executed shortly after their conversion for not having been sincere. The Jews fled with the Muslims, even if they had resided in Christian areas, as they were also being forced to convert or die if fortunate while others were simply tortured and then executed. These conversions led to a group of Jews known as Marranos who took on the vows for Catholicism but continued to practice their Judaism in secret evading the oversight of the Inquisition who at the slightest suspicion would raid former Jewish homes looking for signs of the illegal worship. These raids were also used to steal items containing precious metals, gems or simply stealing their money.

 

The other area where the two religions face one another was over the Holy Lands and Jerusalem. We list Jerusalem separately because of its importance to both religions, to the Christians because of Jesus’s life and death at the hands of the Romans with complicity of the Roman approved Jewish leadership in the Second Temple. The Jews were the religion between the waring parties and as they swept through an area; the Jews were often executed for virtually any reason. They were accused and convicted of spying for the other side, aiding and abetting the other side and even of taking up arms against whichever side was under attack. In Jerusalem, things were more severe and strict as whichever side controlled Jerusalem, their efforts to convert or sometimes eliminate all those not following their religion in a purification of the Holy City. Jerusalem changed hands numerous times during the Crusades and each time the Jews were to be counted amongst the losers. Christians swept in and Muslim and Jews were endangered and Muslims sweep in and Christians and Jews were endangered. There were brief periods when Jerusalem was not in danger of being attacked and all three religions were permitted relative freedoms though the ruling religion could change those conditions on a whim or suspicions of things more dire. Still, it must be noted that Jerusalem was a religious prize and not a political one as it was never named as the capital of any state, it was simply Jerusalem, holy to Christians as the place where Jesus preached and was crucified and to the Muslims because it was holy to Christians and Jews it represented their superiority over the other religions.

 

Burning Israel Star of David

 

The idea that a Jewish life is next to worthless has changed, at least in Israel and much of the developed world. Jews are no longer murdered by the actions of the state in most of the world and in places where being a Jew and practicing Judaism is illegal or almost extinct, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, Judaism is treated almost as a museum piece, a curious oddity. The Daily Wire has a more extensive list which we chose not to use. Still, much of the Arab Muslim world and a few additional Muslim nations refuse entry to Israelis and some to any who claim to be Jewish. This and their having expelled the largest majority of their Jews with only the oldest remaining and thus their Jewish population is either not having children or are mostly marrying outside the religion and bringing the children up as their spouse’s religion, as allowing them to continue as Jews would make their lives far more difficult. North Korea is rumored to exclude Jews from entry except on diplomatic passport and has no surviving Jews within their population. In Europe, they are finding that protecting Jewish life can become expensive and burdensome. This is why, with few exceptions, protection of Jewish institutions is taken only after an attack on one and then only for a few weeks until the issue dies off and is not covered in the news and needing to show police guarding a synagogue or other Jewish institution is no longer necessary. France is a notable exception as they have stationed active duty military to guard Jewish schools, day care facilities, synagogues and even some kosher markets as promised by the former Prime Minister and the Parliament. We can only wonder how long that will last, probably until the next election when a more leftist government is elected. In the United States, the Jews are treated as equal to every other citizen, granted the same rights, have the same privileges, free to work or reside where they please, and are protected against any discrimination. Still, there is a growing anti-Semitism in the United States, and if you were to ask, most people would claim it was groups like the neo-Nazis, the KKK and other “right wing” haters (Nazis of any stripe are still socialist which is a leftist ideology). The problem is, unnoticed by many, the growing anti-Semitism on the left. They claim they are simply pro-Palestinian and are fighting against racism when in reality they are anti-Semitic or at least anti-Israel, which is much the same. These people did not protest when the Syrian government shelled their largest Palestinian refugee camp for three days straight and then bombed it with barrel bombs. That was Arab on Arab hate and not the kind of anti-Palestinian action about which they care. When Kuwait expelled three-hundred-thousand Palestinian workers after the First Gulf War, as Arafat supported Saddam Hussein, there was no cry from the pro-Palestinian forces, that was completely understandable and not at all like Israel when they shoot a Palestinian simply for brandishing a knife; well, brandishing and using to stab and slash Israelis at a bus stop or other gathering place. Israel has placed a high price on a Jewish life and has proven they will make war against those threatening Jewish lives. Israel has proven the value of Jewish life and all life by protecting their citizens with the most advanced defensive anti-projectile defense in the world, Iron Dome. Israel has developed and deployed a three and soon to be four-layered anti-ballistic missile and other projectiles defensive set of systems at great cost. Israel will defend Jewish lives, and all Israeli lives to the ends of the Earth which was proven with the rescue at Entebbe, the reason many Israelis celebrate July 4th as another miracle. The rescue was pulled off on July 4, 1976, with Operation Thunderbolt (video documentary below). Israel and the IDF protects innocent lives to the best of their ability. This is written into their “Code of Arms” the same as it is in most modern armies. Israel has made Jewish lives and all Israeli’s lives valuable and has even made efforts to spare civilian casualties and thus save non-combatant civilian Palestinian lives.

 

 
As far as the future for Jewish lives, we foresee a critical point in time when virtually all Jews remaining in the world will reside within Israel. This is due to interfaith marriage being unbelievably high for non-Orthodox Jews in the United States and Europe. This means after one or at most two or three generations of interfaith marriage, the children will not be raised Jewish. They will have completely assimilated into the Christian population or the secular population having no active religion. This will mean that Israel will be the guarantor of the future of the Jews and not the United States, as many living in that great nation believe. They do not yet see the shrinking numbers in the synagogues as they themselves barely ever join in services and when they do on major holidays, everyone is there and things look wonderful, they are not. Most non-Orthodox, and that is whom we are discussing, do not go to daily services and most synagogues do not offer daily services. Some will offer a once a week service in an evening, often Wednesday, for those requiring Mourner’s Kaddish. Almost none offer morning and evening services, the three services of traditions. Even on Shabbat morning, Saturday morning, most synagogues have some degree of difficulty having a Minyan, ten males over the age of thirteen, and presumably cannot perform parts of the service including reading from the Torah. It is sad but that is where the slow fall away from the Jewish religion has reached. The same has occurred for many Christian sects but the Evangelical Christians appear to be holding better than most of the remainder but the Jews do not have the sheer numbers to afford to lose so many brothers and sisters to assimilation. Europe has seen its Jewish population continue to drop after World War II as living in Europe, as a practicing Jew, has become life threatening in some locations such as Malmo, Sweden and other major European cities. France has seen a virtual exodus with her Jews heading for the United States, Canada and Israel predominantly. These are hard times for the Jewish faith outside Israel so it will fall to Israel to set a high price for the life of a Jew and to protect the faith as the return has begun and what will follow will be determined by prophesy, Torah and the efforts of men and women great and small.

 

Star of David Ornate

 

The Jewish People are coming out of their years in the desert as they have proven they have the will to fight and make their lives count for something. Israel has taught her children well the value of a human life and the particular value of a Jewish life. They have internalized the lessons from the Diaspora and know that they must make the price of a Jewish life prohibitively high and see all life within Israel as equal in value. They learned that Judaism is not just a religion but also a family and as such, we must love each other as family which often means being a little more sensitive and understanding of one another’s shortcomings. We have hopefully learned that to be Jewish is a way of life and a way of living which is guided by Torah and the Mitzvot. True, there are a good number of secular Jews and sects of Orthodox Jews and each of these extremes have difficulty at times with the remainder, but these are problems that time will slowly erase. A Jewish life is not more valuable than any human life, but it does have something special that cannot be denied. Some proverbial stories tell of a king asking one of their advisors, often a Jewish advisor, to prove the existence of Hashem, and the answer has always been “the Jews.” The fact we are talking about the future for the Jewish People is partial proof of this miracle. The biggest problem for Judaism today is the final recognition that as Jews we belong as one family and thus acceptance of differences, while required, must be combined with the understanding that no one sect of our family is any different than any other and all must toil together if we are to make Israel function and reduce friction. We all, as Jews, have traversed difficulties to reach this time in Israel and no one group has any privilege or is owed special compensation over any other group in our family. Until we realize that we all need the soldiers, we all need the Torah scholars, we all need the scientists, we all need every last Jew because we must be special to one another if we ever expect the world to see us as special. When we are attacking one another, the world sees weakness and will use the very same arguments we throw at one another to lessen the value of every Jew making ridding themselves of their Jews acceptable, and we have all seen how that ends. We lost the Second Temple to gossip and interfamilial hatred, we must not lose Israel again for that or any other reason, as this will be our last chance to get things right. The mere existence of the Jews after all the persecutions and other blights which have befallen them above all others and they persist and retain their ability to produce. This was one of the items which appeared to have been noticed by many throughout history, as seen in this video with which we will close.

 

 
Beyond the Cusp

 

* MENA = Middle East and North Africa

 

December 31, 2017

The Muslim Challenge

 

Islam periodically since its birth tests the world and the strength of the backbone and the willingness of the world to actually stand up and say, “No!” If the world shouts that no loud and clear, then Islam settles back down and waits a period of a few hundred years before rising again and testing the waters again. The most recent previous testing of the world’s waters was literally testing waters, the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean near the North African coastlines. This was referred to as the Barbary Pirates who demanded the Jiyza from the Western World in order to allow their merchants to sail the seas in safety. Of course, there was still the occasional, well, more like regular stopping of ships and stealing their contents and some of the sailors taken in to serve the Muslims as slaves. In cases that are more drastic, the Barbary Pirates would sink a ship taking the entirety of the crew into captivity for ransoming the officers and slavery for the working sailors. The problem first met with the Americans, they chose the same treatment as the Europeans had taken, paying the ransoms. Throughout the terms of the first two Presidents, George Washington and John Adams and during the term of Thomas Jefferson, the third and most isolationist and noninterventionist President, who finally reached the point where the demanded ransoms became too high for the young nation to afford, and this brought on the First Barbary War. Once the Americans had engaged and defeated the Barbary Pirates, the Europeans also stopped paying their protection demands and instead patrolled their trade routes with naval warships. This ended the Barbary Pirates for a period of time and after the war between the British and the United States in the War of 1812, the Barbary Pirates thought perhaps the two largest navies, Britain and the United States, having fought a war and might be less likely to fight against them and their pirating resumed. The United States soon thereafter engaged in the Second Barbary War and again they defeated the Barbary Caliph and a second peace was reached ending the Islamic pirating of the trade routes.

 

The recent history with the rise of al-Qaeda, the Taliban and finally Islamic State, the world is once again facing the Islamic pressures to see if the world will resist or simply roll over and submit to Islamic demands and dominance. Once again, the Europeans do not appear to care to engage in any resistance and some have even gone so far as to invite the Islamic refugees into their nation with Germany taking the lead. There are some exceptions that have surfaced from eastern Europe such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, three of the eastern European nations which the European Union has launched a legal case for their refusal to take in Arab refugees. There were others, but the European Union has specific persons they wish to intimidate and the most successful of the former Warsaw Nations so as to force them to knuckle under to their leftist policies. The Warsaw nations have witnessed a lifetime of leftist policies and politics from the Soviet Union and want nothing to do with such policies again. They demand to be permitted to draw their own lines of travel in politics, economics and other vital policies which are very different from those the western or old European nations and the established European Union members. These newer eastern European nations may find they will have a new friend from an unexpected source, merry olde England and the British Isles. These former Warsaw nations may be forgoing taking in refugees for economic reasons or for political reasons, that is irrelevant. What is important is they are taking a stand against the encroachment by Islamic forces, be they refugees or as some have claimed, an advance force in the lead of an Islamic invasion and conquest of Europe. This may appear to be somewhat of a preposterous idea or it may be valid, as Islam has attempted three times to conquer Europe, once being stopped at the Battle of Tours by Charles the Hammer Martel and twice at the gates of Vienna, once by Polish King John III Sobieski and his Polish hussars. Perhaps those who believe this may be the start of a fourth attempt by Islam to spread and conquer Europe may be correct or at least have at least a shred of good sense to be warning such.

 

That leads to the current state of the Middle East. If one were to plot the wave of violence spread across the Middle East and one would find it has two sources, two sources which may be linked in some means. The initial cause could be traced to the United States and what many have called an ignorant and foolhardy foreign policy steeped in mistaken concepts, while others might believe that there was a central underlying goal behind the policies of President Obama. There was some who posited that President Obama was simply pro-Arab while others thought he was a supporter of the Shiite branch of Islam. There is a third possibility in that President Obama desired an opposing force to counter Israel in the Middle East seeing such a force could be the answer through which Israel could be forced to make a peace demanded of them in exchange for the offer of protection. His initial push was with the Muslim Brotherhood which he worked to install in Egypt and might have hoped for them to also rise to power in Syria after removing Bashar al-Assad and likely have them replace King Hussein in Jordan and surrounding Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood failed in every place which they had hoped. This may have been what led President Obama to seek a new champion with who to finalize his Middle East plans and pose as his necessary opposing force to cow Israel into allowing a Palestinian State by whatever borders were offered by President Obama and the State Department. Iran was the next choice to fulfill President Obama’s hopes but time ran out. Iran had their designs as well which included the Shiite Crescent and surrounding Saudi Arabia, their main adversary and the center of Sunni Islam (see map below). This required their supporting the Shiite takeover in Iran which required strengthening the Shiite governance and cleansing of any and all Sunni influence. Then there was another pair of challenges even further afield, Yemen and Syria. President Obama had caused sufficient distress in Syria when pressing to have the Muslim Brotherhood replace Assad and the Iranians required placing him back into power. In Yemen, the Iranians required to control Yemen as it gives them a southern front against Saudi Arabia and gives them the Bab-el-Mandeb Straight and control of the southern exit from the Red Sea. Yemen required the overthrow of the existing government, so the Iranians backed the Houthi rebels in another civil war. Once Yemen and Syria are consolidated the Iranians may finally be in the position required to threaten Israel for President Obama, but they are a year or more too late and the new President, Donald Trump, has no plans, as far as any can see, to press Israel into a peace they cannot survive.

 

Shiite Crescent including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran

Shiite Crescent including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran

 

Islam, be it the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Palestinian Authority, Iran, terrorists striking Western cities or the waves of refugees flowing into Europe; they are all signs of a resurgent Islam, though from different perspectives, which if left unchecked will simply continue to gain strength and grow more and more virulent. This has been the case before with the birth of the Caliphate, the Ottoman expansion, the Barbary Pirates and now with both of the major strains of Islam, Sunni and Shiite. The question is will the Western powers raise up and face the growing threat or will they wait and suffer the advances and insults from Islam as they did the Barbary Pirates until it was all but too late or will they see the coming storm and band together and make the proper united front before it becomes too dire and the conflict that results in a carnage from which the world may not survive. It will take the presence of worldview from the United States to lead the Europeans. The eastern nations are still growing from their release from Communism and the others still believe that the end of history has occurred and the world will have no more conflicts. Unfortunately, the United States is also not likely to realize what is infecting the world as the President knows only what he has been told and then only until another five thoughts come his way pushing the former out into oblivion. One can only wonder if the Pentagon survived the evisceration by President Obama of the generals with the most combat experience to also see what is forming in the not so distant mists of the future. One would think with so many generals including two Marines that they might be capable of finding a clue about the coming threats, but then they might be uncertain as to how their President might handle such news as he has likely stated that his only concerns are the economy and domestic issues and prefers for foreign entanglements to be avoided as he has no knowledge or interest in the world outside of trade. Whatever the truth, it may be fortunate that the Middle East is still having convulsions as such a series of events may delay any complete resurgence for Islam until the world is ready, and perhaps not. The future is on shaky ground, the ground is simply getting less and less stable with time, and much of that is due to the growing restlessness of Islam. It might even take Russia or China to show the world the need for actions before the situation becomes formidable, or worse, unstoppable. Islam is following the same path it has in the past, will anybody ever sit up and take notice, that is the question of the hour.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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