Beyond the Cusp

October 18, 2017

If the World Was Serious About Preventing an Iran War

 

The actions over the past few weeks have once again shown the lack of any shred of serious concern over preventing Iran taking control of the Middle East and the oil resources held there. Say what you want about how Saudi Arabia can stand against Iran, that is a pipe dream and everybody knows that. The only hope the Saudi military would have against Iran would be if they held a parade contest and even then, Iran puts on a pretty good imitation of the old Soviet Union style of parade, the Saudis just look impressive in their fancy dress uniforms. The Saudis even with Israel assistance would still end up losing the oil fields as the Israeli sphere of operability has limitations which is why Israel is considered vulnerable to Iranian nuclear threats. Obviously, many of the signs that the world really was, the United States in particularly, interested in preventing a world war started due to Iranian threats well beyond simply the Middle East would be done secretively, there are still some steps which would necessarily be committed in plain sight. The first would be some passive verbal support for the response of the Kurdish referendum praising their desire to be granted the nation they had been promised by the allied victors of World War I.

 

Please do understand that much of the problems in the Middle East stem directly from the results imposed after World War I and much of that blame lies with two men whose names are on the very treaty behind these problems, the Sykes-Picot Agreement. British diplomat Mark Sykes and a French counterpart, François Georges-Picot, with some small input and suggestions from Russia and the complete hands-off support of the United States trying to stay above the fray which adds their name to the perfidy, drew the lines of control for much of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) dividing the lands into areas of control with no regard for tribal and ethnic regions. This action was intentional as they were attempting to assure themselves that the Middle East would never become a major power in the world. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran were the three places which were not affected as they remained as they were or were beyond the scope of the Allied powers. The Allies performed a similar arrangement when dividing up the Austria-Hungarian Empire just as they did the Ottoman Empire. The British and French went a step or two further by making the chance for an opportunity for the Jews and the Kurds to gain independence and have the nation that each was promised all but impossible, and undefendable if either managed to gain their necessary foothold. To restrict the Jews, this was accomplished by having the British all but strangle their ability to make Aliya to the Holy Lands; and to the Kurds, they divided their populations between Iraq, Syria and Turkey leaving a fourth in Iran. If these areas had been permitted the Kurdish People, there is a good chance that Kurdistan would have a democratic form of governance and would be providing a perfect staging area for much of the problems over the past century in the Middle East. They also would likely have been an inspiration to the peoples of their neighboring nations to pursue a more liberal and democratic path after World War II, but that would have empowered the Middle East; and the British and French were seeking anything but such an occurrence.

 

Still, it is not yet too late to mend long ago made mistakes and grant things promised in bad faith. If only the advisors from the United States State Department were not infected with an anti-democratic bend and steeped in the sour soil of Arab oil and Islamic supremacy. The State Department is neutral as it cares not which form of Islam, Shiite or Sunni, wins, just as long as there is an Islamic Arab force with which to try and impose their view of a just world. Their current favors bow to Iran thanks to the previous eight years of having their positions sold to the Iranians first. Still, there is the beating of a Saudi Arabian old heart and a soft spot for Egypt and the Palestinians and a culture steeped on anti-Israelism, anti-Zionism and thus anti-Semitism. For the Department of State, the only good Jew is one completely devoted to the State, the Democrat Party and completely ignorant in the Constitution, Bill of Rights and associated ideals of freedom. The State Department is probably the most anti-Trump area in the entirety of the government and the most intractable as well. Trump gave the job of Secretary of State to an old friend and we hope they have an understanding that as Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson is supposed to talk the talk and walk the walk completely in agreement with the garbage spouted by the State Department “deep state” and add his own Saudi Arabian twist as this is expected from one who spent their life being entertained, wined and dined by the Saudi Royals. Secretary Tillerson was likely told not to get upset if it appeared he was being ignored often, his job was to engage the “deep state” people in the State Department and make it appear they had a voice and were being effective while Trump went his own way. That would be the perfect situation of management control and if such is the case; it will be studied in business and political science classes in the future.

 

We have already heard how the State Department wants the Kurds to just shut their mouths, sit down and allow the adults to trample them into the dust of the Middle East. Thus far, the only nation to support the Kurdish referendum was Israel. Israel also has strong and good relations with the Syrian faction of the Kurds. The Kurds were the fighters who stopped ISIS, back when Islamic State was ISIS, in the battle for Kobane where the Kurds had stopped the ISIS advance and were the first to do so and then, with some United States air support, the Kurds turned the tide and then cleared Kobane of ISIS presence and pushed them southward, again with marginal American air support. This was the story in Syria which has one last piece in the puzzle, when the Syrian Kurds turned the tide; they received some assistance from the Iraqi Kurds which quickened their push. Meanwhile, in Iraq, the Kurdish Peshmerga Militias stopped the spread of the Islamic State in two crucial battles in Kirkuk and Erbil turning them back and, in a long and brutal series of assaults; the Kurds opened the route into Mosul and established a foothold in this crucial city. With Peshmerga Kurdish assistance, the Iraqi Army with America air support, tactical planning, artillery support, and America Special Forces implanted within and with an undisclosed number of American troops taking the south flank and the Kurdish Peshmerga taking the north flank, the Iraqi Army, according to all media reports, took Mosul in a valiant effort showing great heroism and resourcefulness in a brutal fight of uncommon ferocity lasting almost three days. The Kurdish Peshmerga Militias then spent the next two weeks clearing the remainder of Mosul in door-to-door fighting mostly in the northern regions. The absolute bravery and valor of the Iraqi Army is most definitely unquestioned, or so the media tells. There was a reason that the State Department and the Pentagon insisted that the Iraqi Army be credited with taking Mosul, and now for the revelation.

 

The crux of the situation is that around Mosul are numerous critical items. There is the Mosul Dam and hydroelectric generation facility. The dam is in need of upgrading and desperately in need of repair which it will hopefully receive before it breaks. This would be best handled by some governance which actually cares about the people. Then there are the Mosul oil fields which produce the second greatest amount of oil in Iraq. Finally, Mosul is a central point where the majority of roads meet and thus makes it the Bastogne of the Iraqi battlefield. In Bastogne, Colonel McAuliffe commanding the 101st Airborne Division was surrounded by German armor who pounded the city for twenty-four hours plus. When offered to surrender and save his troops, the Colonel answered “Nuts!” Nuts is what the United States and the Kurds are if they permit Iran and Iraq to retain control over the Mosul area. This was a Kurdish area which Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein attempted to denude it of its Kurdish population and move Sunni Arabs into the former Kurdish homes. The Kurds have permitted their people to return to their homes with their intent on retaining Mosul. The West and the World would sleep a lot sounder with Mosul firmly in Kurdish hands. For this and a myriad of other reasons, the United States would be best served to ignore the State Department and their claim that in the name of peace, Iran, through Iraq, should be permitted their claim on Mosul and the Kurds denied such lands or any lands and be left split between four nations, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey to live under the cruel rule of their oppressors. The State Department gives the Kurdish the same treatment as they have the Jews, believing them both to be merely capricious little children too ignorant or unintelligent to know what is best for them.

 

The reality, as usual, is the complete opposite of the State Department advice. The Kurds could and would be an ally to the forces of freedom, liberty, capitalism and democratic rule. They would also be a friend of Israel, which we admit does cloud our vision, but such a clouded vision is still a far bit clearer than those at the State Department. The next path at present would be to make plans for the recognition of a Greater Kurdistan (map below). That would include northeastern Syria, Northern Iraq reaching southward to include the Mosul areas, northwestern Iran and parts of southern Turkey. In order to make such a nation possible, the United States would need to provide the basic aircraft for the Kurds to have their own airborne protection. The training should be provided by either the United States, Israel or both, for the pilots to fly these aircraft with the most capable given actual air defense dogfighting training. They would need armored vehicles which some might be provided by Israel and the rest by the United States as well as some training in their use and how to defend them against anti-armor weapons and how to implement them into a combat scenario. Finally, imbedding some Special Forces trainers initially plus air assistance as the initial founding of Kurdistan, no matter the promises or treaties involved, will result in a combined assault of the nascent nations by at the least four and as many as twelve Arab, Turkish and Iranian armies attempting to drive them into the ground, there is no sea this time, and murder every single Kurdish person they can find. The reason that all the Kurdish areas must be included in the founding of Kurdistan is because any left outside of the country will be slaughtered by their own countrymen as an example to the Kurds as to what will happen to them if they lose their war to keep their nation. Israel can attest to the fury that will be shown any Kurdish nation once founded, and it matters not when such may occur, the vile spite which will be shown as violence is unfurled against the Kurdish People wherever they may be found, will be equal to the fury thrown against Israel and which still fills many Arab and Islamic hearts towards Israel and the Jews. With American and Israeli assistance, this idea of a real and honest Kurdistan which will be free, democratic in nature, and with a vibrant economy can and will be established. Should Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan become enraged and threaten to quit NATO, that would simply be one more advantage of our proposal, one that should be gladly and immediately accepted.

 

Our Idea for a Proposed Greater Kurdistan

Our Idea for a Proposed Greater Kurdistan

 

Additional advantages of establishing the promised Kurdish nation is it would provide Israel with an emergency airbase which would place some needed cooling on the Iranian eagerness to destroy Israel. The Kurds would necessarily be allied with Israel and the West as the Arab world and Arab League would treat them as a pariah and constantly be a threat to their survival. A Kurdish State would also work to keep a check on Turkey and perhaps the Sunni Muslims in Iraq might seek the Kurdish protection from their Shia dominated government in Iraq, though perhaps protecting the Sunni in Iraq might be a stretch. In the end, a Kurdish nation in the heart of the Middle East with democratic governance and a capitalist economy and the standard of living which such provides, they would be an example of what each of these Arab states could be with a government which serves the people instead of enslaves the people. Kurdistan could be the beginning of the reformation which so many have written about but none have shown any means by which such could occur. Those who have claimed that an effective example would be Israel missed the mark as Israelis are seen as outsiders, intruders and anything but what the Arabs should emulate. The Kurds are Sunni Muslims, not Jews, nor Catholics, not Buddhists but real and longstanding followers of Islam and amongst those who surrendered to Allah and they could show that surrender to Allah and following Islam does not mean one must live off the crumbs doled by a dictator but that one can be modern and enjoy the spoils of life while still being good and practicing Muslims. That might just be the greatest prize which might come from Kurdistan, and that could change the world.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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December 25, 2016

Israel; Whose Land is it Anyways?

 

This will be a short piece, or so is our intent. We have been watching another argument as to whether a piece of Judea and Samaria where parts of Amona are situated is Jewish land or Arab land. Without demanding deeds or other proof, the leftist Israeli Supreme Court decided that since if an Arab is monetarily for real estate they own they will be put to death by their semiautonomous governance under, you will love this, former Jordanian law which makes selling land to a Jew a capital offense. Thus if an Arab claims land on which Jews reside, the Jewish homes must be destroyed as the land may not be purchased. Jordanian law when they were removed from their illegal occupation over half a century ago? Who does such insanity? The Palestinian Authority and the Israeli left are mostly fanatics who are definitively anti-Zionist and fully a subsidiary of European governments, the European Union and European NGOs who masquerade as human rights groups watching out for Palestinian Arab rights but not their betterment. They have no regard or care that the Arab Palestinian has no right as to how to profit or dispense their land and never want to either as they prefer being able to dismantle their homeland piece by piece. By their standards we should bring a Palestinian Arab’s claim from, oh, say Beverly Hills, who claims to have owned the lands under their leadership’s home and see what the Supreme Court, and they as well, would do. If they did not order a demolition in Tel Aviv then we would reveal a sad case of hypocrisy. But let us look for a moment on land and who really owns it.

 

Who owns land which had been occupied and lived on as long as the State of Israel as defined as from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea all depends on the when. That is, to what period of time are we referring? Remember the Canaanites? Well, during the time of Abraham they were ruled by several kingships so no one entity ruled the lands we will define as Israel for this exercise and as a form of simplicity. The Canaanite lands were, at times, conquered, and thus owned, by the Hittites. So perhaps we should reference Hittite law. Then often the Hittites were pushed out and replaced by the Egyptians (not the same people as the Egyptians of today) so perhaps we should be applying the appropriate law of Pharaohs. After the Exodus the Israelites were ruled by individual Tribal leaders and overall by the Prophets and Judges who applied Torah law and their own Hashem directed judgements which would require some extremely special people who are likely rarer than hens teeth. Then Israelite Kings Saul, David, Solomon etc. also owned the lands so perhaps a return to their laws, Torah laws. The Babylonians occupied these lands so perhaps we need apply Babylonian law. Then Israel was a semiautonomous province of the Persians which would demand a mix of Torah and Persian laws of Cyrus the Great through a series of successive kingships. Then there were the Greeks, the Polemic Greeks, the Assyrian Greeks, the Romans, Byzantines then finally the first Arabs of the Caliphate, then a series of Arab and Kurdish rulers, then the Ottoman Turks, then the British. Apparently about the only world powers not to ever have possessed these lands are the French, the Spanish, the Portuguese, the Netherlands, the United States and the Duchy of Grand Fenwick. Obviously, when it comes to whose laws under which Israeli society, even in the territories, should be ruled, there could be many differing views depending which governance you prefer over the past almost five millennia.

 

Grand Seal of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick

While we are talking about such things as what rules, should all of Lebanon south of the Litani River be ruled under the laws of the Israelites when the Twelve Tribes were ruled separate placing much of that land under the Tribes of Asher, Naphtali and Dan? Then there is the question of what rules for Syria. While much of Syrian history had a similar set of rulers by kingdoms similar to those which ruled over the lands of Israel with the biggest differences being the French instead of the British and the Assyrians and some of the Kurdish and Arab rulers using Damascus as their capital city making them a kind of home body, there was a period under the rules of King David and Solomon when Syria was conquered largely by the Israelites. Egypt has had outside rulers. Iran used to be Persia until recent history and was at one time ruled by the Mongols. The United States consisted of a great number of Native American nations, parts were ruled by the French, the Spanish and the Russians and both Texas and Hawaii were at one time nations of their own (the Republic of Texas and the Kingdom of Hawaii). The Kingdom of Hawaii was established in 1795 and in 1810 the entirety of the archipelago was unified when Kauaʻi and Niʻihau joined the kingdom willingly and without bloodshed or war. Absolute power was vested in the King by a Constitution drafted in 1887. The succeeding Queen attempted to return to the “old ways” but she was overthrown in 1893 largely at the hands of the American plantation owners and American society. Hawaii remained a Republic until annexed by the United States in 1898 and was finally made a state on August 21, 1959. Descendants of the monarchy are alive today but who would be the rightful heir to the throne is debatable with many likely to claim that lineage, but the need is unlikely to arise except maybe to marshal a parade. Many, if not every, nations have had multiple claims to sovereignty over their soil. The British, Spanish and Arabs are three of the largest colonial powers with only the Arabs continuing to hold rule over most of the lands they conquered between 622 and 750 (see map below). One could easily claim that the Arab expansive empire has been the longest enduring of empires with the longest history of colonialism. But when your religion claims that the entirety of the world was made simply to be placed under your rule, perhaps such explains why in their minds they have been denied their rightful ownership of everything.

 

Islamic Expansion

Islamic Expansion

 

Back to Israel and which rules should be followed. If one were to ask which legal system has ruled Israel the longest, that answer would surprise most other than students of ancient history and Torah. The area of Israel was ruled by the Israelite people (incorrectly referred to as Jews because Jews was a shortening for Judeans which were those of the Kingdom of Judah which was the southern kingdom when the Israelites split into the northern kingdom of Israel which contained ten tribes and the southern kingdom of Judah with two tribes, see map below) were ruled by Torah. The strictness of its application has wavered during those times but it was the basis of rule from the time of Joshua through the times of Prophets and Judges and through the Kingdoms ruled by Saul, David and Solomon and a presumably beyond though many of the observances grew lax at times causing misery and troubles for the Israelite people. Even after the Kingdom split into northern and southern kingdoms, both presumably remained ruled by Torah though again exactitude was not maintained. Jewish history blames the eventual conquest of Israel and Judah and all other conquests on the lack of observance by the people as a whole, something which does have a ring of truth about it. Under such history, perhaps Israel as a whole should be following the Torah and we are not ones who would argue with such.

 

Kingdoms of Israel and Judah and Surrounding States

Kingdoms of Israel and Judah and Surrounding States

 

Israel becoming a Torah observant nation where Torah rules would be the source for the laws of the land would present many a difficulty. The first item is the applicable laws for the society would be the Oral Law. In ancient Israel (and Judah) the Oral Law was exactly that, oral. As such the Oral Law could be adapted to different societal needs. As the situations and the civilization changed, some might say advanced, we will call it transitioning to new discoveries and realities, the Oral Law was flexible enough to adapt to the changes. These alterations in the law would be gradual and likely not overtly evident as time passed. The Prophets and learned Rabbis, pending on the period, would advise on Torah and the level of stringency demanded to keep the Oral Law within the guidelines of Torah which while not changing the revelations within the Torah would come out as understanding of the world around us progressed. When the Romans spread the remainder of the Judeans to the far corners of the Roman Empire the Rabbinate decided that as the people were now dispersed there needed to be a more defined and stringent Oral Law and this situation necessitated writing the Oral Law into codified texts. This resulted in a work over many generations where the Talmud was written. None of us are Talmud scholars so we will not even attempt to describe the discussions and how conclusions were reached or any of the other particulars and leave that to individual interests to spur any further research. Warning, understanding Talmud can take a lifetime of intense study and where a formal education cycle averages seven years.

 

The Talmud is defined as having two components: the Mishnah (Hebrew: משנה, c. 200 CE), a written compendium of Rabbinic Judaism’s Oral Torah, and the Gomorrah (c. 500 CE), an elucidation of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Hebrew Bible. Whatever the definition, the important item are the dates when it was debated generally and compiled. While more commentaries have followed, one would not find corporate law or other required rules for a modern society in its pages. Yes, much of it might apply but too much of modern life is outside the strict definitions and other sections have been relegated unnecessary by modern conveniences. Much of the writings deal with day to day living as a Jew and observances and other religious determinations as it was composed as a religious guide as the Jews were living under sets of secular laws other than Torah or Jewish law and the Talmud simply was the guide to maintain a Jewish compliant life. Israel requires a complete set of laws if the nation of Israel were to come under Torah law. This would require a whole new and different Oral Law which would be partially written codes and social laws which would hopefully largely remain oral and flexible. As stated above, it was an Oral Law for a reason but the life and society were quite a bit more simple two to four thousand years ago and the laws were largely interpersonal relations and simple property rules. The laws were few enough that they did not require being written though we can be assured that records were kept and laws governing taxes and the like were written though they were subject to change at a moment’s notice. When it comes to fees and taxes, at least that has not changed as anyone attempting to understand IRS codes fully understands. So, before Israel can even consider becoming a nation once again ruled by Torah, the Rabbinate need get very busy composing a new Oral Code of Law which is complete enough to justify trusting Israeli society to Torah judges. Just for the record, these Torah judges should be appointed by some combination of the Rabbinate and the people in each community where the communities have the greater say in who will stand in judgement of their lives. This will take quite a while and we would bet that by the time the new laws are ready and approved that Israel will have evolved to a point where such a change will be welcomed.

 

One last note, for those waiting for the reaction to the Security Council vote, tomorrow, hopefully tomorrow.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 5, 2016

Too Many Leaves Have Fallen

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In these days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement, Jews spend much of their free time, and some of the not so free time, reflecting on their actions and shortcomings of the last year and also their entire lives where less than golden practices became habit. In this time I have too often strayed beyond my shortcomings and looked beyond to the shortcomings of my people and the entirety of the human race. Slavery has to be a practice which was carried on far too long nearly into modern times and even now exists in some measure. We were slaves and know its hardships which we recount every year at our Seders. Passover is one of the singular observances where traditions are pretty much set in stone. The odd thing is there are different stones for Jews of different backgrounds. I should know as my father was as Ashkenazi as one can be and my mother was equally Sephardim. Perhaps this was why we only got a half serving of rice at Passover and never enough for a meal. The Seder service which is said in the home in privacy closes with an important and universal hope of all Jews, “Next year in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). The Seder is far from the only set of prayers which end with this overriding and continual desire amongst all Jews no matter their individual customs, Jerusalem, as the Song of Babylon states, “If I forget thee may my right hand lose its cunning (strength) and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.” That is the seriousness a Jew or any Israelite feels for their eternal Capital City and why the Arabs so demand they control the Old City, the part of which that pleading relates for they know that is the Jewish heart.

 

Remembering our past no matter where your ancestry originates there were pogroms, purifications, jihad, and just simple hatreds which drove our ancestors from their homes with what they could carry. All too often the older children had to carry the younger while father and mother carried what meager belongings they could, the Shabbat table cloth, candle holders, challah plate and cover were mother’s load in addition to what kitchen utensils she could manage while father carried his Tallits, Tefillin, Prayerbooks, Siddurim, Haggadah, necessities for his trade (which may include leading a cow or two or sewing machine, threads, cloth, butchery knives, or whatever and the Rabbi and sons carried the Torah, as many as possible and a few more as leaving even one behind was unthinkable), and whatever other items mother or children could not continue without (his was the burden of family). These fleeing Jews were often the fortunate ones as behind them were those Jews who joined the too lengthy list of fallen leaves. Every Pogrom, Purification, Jihad, forced conversions, Crusades, conquest for Allah, blame for every calamity, blame for disease in the community, and all too often just because we were Jews the leaves fell. People ask how humans could treat their neighbor so cruelly. Well, look to Europe or the past hundred years in the Arab and Muslim worlds or to Russia and remember Nazi Germany and the reasons abound.

 

One need understand the enormity of the history of the Israelite people. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob came from the time when agriculture and herding were just coming into their own and the city states were forming. At this point the first Jews were but a family and believe it or not we are largely still that very same family plus those we have married and the few converts over the ages, often these converts also married into the family and converted in order to do so. There are the claims that the Exodus from Egypt we brought numerous non-Jews with us and if one reads Torah they will see we know of this and these people were kept in a separate camp and were partially responsible for the sin of the golden calf. These others were sent on their separate way with many sailing to Greece with even some Jews who found our ways too difficult and desired a more earthy and pleasure seeking existence which was all the rage in those primitive times. Egypt saw us build a city to a Pharaoh who fashioned himself to be a god. The story of our exit from Egypt is chronicled in the best-selling book in history and one of, if not the, first books ever printed by the printing press. Our travels and travails of forty years in the desert are well chronicled and many youth learn of it early in their educations. The reason why is not so well noted. Put simply, we lacked faith in the promise from Hashem that the land would be granted us by His hand. Instead ten of twelve spies told of giants living in cities behind great and unbreakable walls. The illogic of giants needing walled cities never occurred to the Israelites who reacted to these recounting with great timidity and fear. The two who told of peoples in fear of the coming of the chosen of Hashem and a land flowing with goodness went unheeded as the Jewish people who had lived a life under slavery had not the bravery or independent spirit to conquer a land even with Hashem. For forty years we gave birth to a new people free of the yoke of slavery and filled with the miracles of Hashem such as the manna which fed them in the parched desert of the wastelands they traveled through.

 

Israelite Sin Worshiping of the Golden Calf

Israelite Sin Worshiping of the Golden Calf

 

Jericho put to rest the fears of the former generation as its great walls were no match for the formulae given by Hashem which brought them down. The following victory of Ai and then of the combined armies of the Kings of Canaan proved Hashem truly would grant us the land. What is often passed over is that the Torah gives the Jews the exact method we are to pursue when coming into our promised land with any tribes of people who reside within and it is a very simple method for selecting how one treats those tribes. We are to make them a simple offer. They have three choices of varying ease for their people. The most easy is to remain within the lands on the lands they hold and simply obey the Seven Laws of Noah, the Noahic Code and we will both live and prosper in peace. They can leave the lands and we will not pursue them and wish them well. The least favorable choice is they can choose to war with us at which time we will endeavor to kill every last inhabitant and member of their tribe and burn their crops, slaughter and leave for the buzzards their cattle and remove any and all record that they ever existed from the story of mankind. That was then and we no longer live in those times. What is not well known is that some of the Canaanites chose the first two options and were granted what was promised.

 

History passed and we had an expository period under King David and King Solomon who conquered lands until they reached the Euphrates River, the farthest we have ever reached and we desire far less today, only what was promised which is well documented and for the sake of my regular readers we will not go over this again. You’re welcome. The life went well until we had strayed from Torah and had practiced even idolatry and thus lost the guardianship of Hashem so we fell before the Babylonian sword. This was not our best of times but this exile ended when the Persians conquered Babylon and knowing of Hashem from their recounting of history beseeched that we return and rebuild our Temple and worship Hashem as we desired and simply pay our tribute to the Persians and we would be left in peace. Rather nice of them had that continued forward but there came an overachiever named Haman the Agagite and descendant of Agag, the king of the Amalekites and our saving grace in the form of the Persian Queen Esther. We built the Second Temple and in human history soon thereafter came such luminaries as Confucius, Buddha, Tao, and others who all founded various ancient religions of which a few continue into the modern era. The namedropping was more as making note in history when much of what we call a more modern age came into being and where much of Eastern philosophy had its roots. Eventually we once again gained our freedom, but wait, there’s more.

 

Eventually there was the inevitable family squabble and the Tribes of Israel chose sides with the ten northern tribes taking the name Israel and the southern two tribes being called after the far larger tribe, Judah and the Priestly tribe remained spread amongst the people and largely in Jerusalem under Judah. After the ten northern tribes were carried away as slaves by the Assyrians there were just the priests in Jerusalem and the tribes of Benyamin (a smaller tribe) and Judah the lion, the defenders of the southern borders, remained where most belonged to the tribe of Judah so we became Judeans and eventually simply Jews. The Assyrian Greeks eventually defeated Judah as well and then the Polemic Greeks and one more the Assyrian Greeks followed by the Romans. The Romans got a little put out after the Jews, the name had cemented by them, did which no other people managed, threw off the Roman yoke twice. They dispersed the Jews to the far reaches of their kingdoms and everywhere inbetween such that we would never again challenge Roman rule. That worked rather well and as the Roman Empire slowly crumbled the Jews spread even further but we had a secret weapon through which we remained attached to Jerusalem and our lands always hoping for the Messiah to return us to Eretz Yisroel, and that weapon is Torah. Torah is our history, our rules for life, our traditions, and our defining center which keeps us in touch with Hashem and our covenant and the promises Hashem gave to us. The Torah has kept us a family despite great distances and the stories abound of Jews traveling to a strange place often not by their choosing and upon arrival finding family there, finding Jews who greeted them as only family greets one they have never even known existed. This too was one of the many strands of string that when twined together make the rope which will eventually be spun in Israel, in Jerusalem.

 

Now, as we gather slowly from the far corners of the globe from America to Europe to Japan and the Philippines and India or Ethiopia as well as South Africa, Australia, even the outback and places even stranger and more remote, the time has come to stop believing we are Jews as we no longer are. Jew was the name we were given in captivity by the Greeks and Romans who shortened Judean to Judian to Juw which became spelled Jew. The actual spellings and pronunciations are not important but what Jew came to mean to the gentiles is important. The Jew was the reason for famine, for plague, for war they were always siding with the enemy on both sides as both sides saw Jews fighting for their enemy but were blind to the Jews fighting with them in their armies. The Jew was accused of every ill and even potential harm and the fact that the Jews lived in their own small area, ghetto, and practiced a different religion, often the parent religion to the one the others practiced, they had to be the reason as they were the other wherever they found themselves. When the time came to clean the lands of the disbeliever, the Jew too was cast out or burned at the stake, hung, crucified or whatever punishment was dealt the disbeliever. Often they were simply driven from the land and forced to travel through place after place before finding one which allowed them to settle and reside for the time being. The Jew always kept a number of suitcases packed and one special suitcase in which all their religious items were kept. They would be removed when required to observe the Sabbat or to do morning prayers or observe a holiday and then carefully and respectfully repacked in case they had to leave with little notice. This suitcase was the first one grabbed by the mobs of the pogrom, Crusade or whatever reason was for killing the Jews as this suitcase must have precious jewels to be so carefully guarded. Imagine the look when all they found were some candlesticks, candles, a special tablecloth and few other religious items and books but no jewels or gold or silver other than the few religious items, often only the Shabbat candlesticks. The main thing is the Jew was a temporary guest to be bullied and thrown away when hatreds overwhelmed the people and a frenzied mob sought a target.

 

We are now coming home and we are not going to be bullied or thrown from our lands. We may not be granted easy access to all our lands, even our most precious Biblical Lands in Judea and Samaria. Jerusalem will hopefully not allow to be divided and we again forbidden from visiting our Temple Mount which we built during the times of the Second Temple before Christianity and long before Islam came into this world. Allowing the Synagogues we so meticulously restored or even rebuilt to once again be defiled and destroyed would be a sin of great magnitude. Where we need to try and be accommodating and live with our neighbors on this little sphere orbiting an insignificant star in a moderately large galaxy soon to be merged with an even larger galaxy, we also must remain true to ourselves, our history and, most of all, to Hashem which means that Jerusalem’s old city must remain with the Temple Mount as an intricate and vital part of Israel. The Islamics know the importance of these areas which is the sole reason they demand them to be separated from the Jews. This is the same story which was the reason there were so many wars between Christian and Muslim over Jerusalem and only Jerusalem as that was the reason behind the Crusades and the Islamic conquests, they both wanted to hold the City of the Jewish holiest of places as that is the home of Hashem which both claim to worship (the validity of such claims cannot be covered in brief even in this article). But Jerusalem must remain a part of what is Israel and that should not ever be placed in doubt and slowly the Israelis are realizing this fact.

 

As for the name Jew, that needs change. Those of us residing here in the Holy Lands of Israel are no longer merely Jews even if we are of the seed of Judah, we are Israelites once again. With the airlift of Ethiopians and the Bnei Menashe community from India home to Israel we are once again to be known as the tribes of Israel. There is a group in southwestern India who call themselves the Tribe of Ephraim who were found when a Chabad couple shared a Passover Seder with them. With these tribes of the ten lost tribes of Israel reappearing, the people of Israel are not all but universally of the tribe of Judah, we are once again in transition and should recognize such and refer to ourselves as what we are, Israelites, the Tribes of Israel reuniting in our ancient and holy homelands.

 

Some may ask what should become of the Arab Palestinians. Well, we can offer them three choices. They can live in their own area under their own leadership in a semiautonomous area within Israel where we promise them security and to live in peace and in return they obey the Noahic Code, or they can leave and settle elsewhere in the world and we will wish them safe travels and the best of luck and promise not to pursue them or do them harm as they leave, or they may choose to treat us with violence and hate and do injury to us as a form of war for which we will do as we can to destroy their existence and to erase the fact that they ever resided amongst us. That is what any other people would do and for those who doubt such we would like to point to items such as Northern Ireland and the British.

 

Continuing on, other examples abound such as the Spanish and the Tribes of the Basque and Spain and even France, the many different tribes which made up Yugoslavia until they each went their separate ways, the Czech Republic and Slovakia which separated from Czechoslovakia and the numerous nations which were formed by the victorious powers after World War I that make up much of the Arab Islamic world today and which are now breaking even further into tribal regions, and the conquered lands which now live under the fist of their conquerors such as Tibet or those threatened by nations claiming their right to regain control of these areas such as Taiwan and Mainland China (Red China if your old enough to remember that term) and also Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and the currently challenged Ukraine all of which are currently under direct or indirect challenge from Putin the Invader’s Russian bear. The changing tides of war and the formation and dissolution of nations has not ended as many wished to believe and world wars are no longer unimaginable. The claim that after the fall of the Soviet Union that history had ended and everything was now at peace and in equilibrium leading Francis Fukuyama to write a piece titled, “The End of History?” which has proven as much folly as the claim once made by the Commissioner of the United States Patent Office in 1899 who it is (attributed) claimed to have said, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.”

 

With all the turmoil in the world today, it is beyond reasonable but is yet true that the world considers what the Israelis do within the lands granted under international laws and treaties to them for their homeland dating from the early 1920’s and the numerous conferences, treaties and conventions which were signed by all the parties involved including the Arab League and King Farouk granting the lands west of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea to be the area for the land of Israel to be formed. We, the Israeli people ask for no more than that which all powers, even to include the Arabs and Japan, British, French, German, Ottoman, Russian, and eventually the United States, League of Nations and United Nations all recognized and gave their blessings and agreement and yet to this day this is contested. The facts are not contested, just the realization, and there appears to be an undercurrent which is driven by the concept that by ridding the world of Israel, and with it the Jewish people once and for all, will end their ever considering having a real home anywhere on Earth. This is considered a desirable and possible eventuality by the leaders of the Western World to appease and pacify the Arab World. There is one answer for such people, and it is what we promised, “Never Again!”

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

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