Beyond the Cusp

December 23, 2014

Israeli Elections Bring One More Blast from the Peres Past

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Many Israelis had hoped that when Simone Peres retired from his Presidency of Israel that they had heard the last of his meddling and interfering in Israeli politics, but apparently they will once more be dismayed. The same people had hoped when he assumed the Presidency, a presumably functionary a-political position in nature beyond being tasked with choosing which party after elections is given first chance to form a governing coalition, that this would have marked the end of Simone Peres and his far leftist we can make peace if we simply give the Palestinians everything they ask for interjections and preaching attempting to instruct Israelis how and what to think. I do not wish to denigrate or dispute the contributions of a national hero from the earliest days of the formation of the state of Israel and before. His most recent incendiary discharge came during a speech made to a group of non-profit organizations in Yafo, Israel where he noted, “the poverty report of the Latet organization is a most serious indictment against us. It is impossible to reject or discount the figures of the report.” He followed this presenting that, “You can’t feed hungry children and elderly with talk. We are taking the future away from our children. If we don’t raise the issue to the top of priorities, maybe we will win in battles but we will lose our children. Both those who are the soldiers of the future and those who raised us.” Further, he continued, “as we knew to raise money for security and war, we must raise money to deal with poverty. The elections are a chance to do social justice so as to be at peace with ourselves and have social resilience. All of the parties must put the treatment of poverty at the head of their priorities.” All of this came after his initial targeting of one who might be considered Simone Peres’s main nemesis when he made the charge that Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government on Monday, saying it “talks but doesn’t act” against poverty.


A small aside before getting back to what will become the main theme to simply spend a paragraph listing the positions held by Simone Peres over his ninety plus years of time on the blessed planet. We have been blessed by his service and had some difficulties from others, but the man has never refused the call to serve Israel to the best of his ability as he has seen was the needs of the nation. The unfortunate item is he will be forever remembered as the man behind the Oslo Accords and then, from that point on, as the man who could not let go as if peace was the only answer. There is one piece of philosophical wisdom that Simone Peres never learned which came from, of all places, a television show, the original version of Battles Star Galactica, where Adama played by Lorne Greene said, “The opposite of war is not always peace, sometimes it is slavery.” That little quote stuck with me as somehow when I first heard that I knew it would have more meaning and importance as I grew older and it most certainly has, I just wish it had not had to be about Israel. Following is a list of the positions held by Simone Peres with minimal commentary: Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Defense; Minister of the Knesset; Deputy Defense Minister; Minister of Immigrant Absorption; Minister of Transportation and Communications; Minister of Defense; Acting Prime Minister (under Rabin remained in office but inactive due to scandal pertaining to actions by his wife); Likud agreed to an unusual “rotation” arrangement, or unity government, in which Peres would serve as Prime Minister and the Likud leader Yitzhak Shamir would be Foreign Minister and then the two would exchange offices leading to Peres being Foreign Minister; Minister of Finance; Co-authored Oslo Accords; Nobel Peace Prize; Acting Prime Minister and Acting Defense Minister (after Rabin assassination); Minister of Regional Co-operation; Foreign Minister (again); Joined Kadima to assist in pushing Gaza disengagement; Vice Prime Minister; Minister for the Development of the Negev, Galilee and Regional Economy; President of the State of Israel (Peres became the most political President in Israeli history often expounding positions the diametric opposite of the ruling government and its Prime Minister). Where his was not the first shot, nor will have been the last, but his has been the most potentially damaging, potentially credible, and definitely the most important thus far of a coming tsunami of attacks on Netanyahu as he seeks to continue to lead his political party to control the next government which is, surprisingly, his main purpose as the leader of the party and would immediately become the most important job should somebody else replace him in the coming Liked primary elections where he does face some competition.


The interesting item until the Likud Party primaries have chosen current Prime Minister Netanyahu as their leader and presented candidate for the office of Prime Minister once again in the upcoming elections is that nobody knows for sure, though all bets are that he will continue to lead Likud, that he will actually be the person put forth. One might think that with such doubt that there might be some reason to wait an additional week or two and see if attacking Prime Minister Netanyahu claiming he was not the best qualified person to lead the Israeli government was the smartest election tactic. What happens if the New Year brings a new leader of the Likud Party and thus a new potential frontrunner for the office of Prime Minister, or perhaps a new person leading the Likud Party might make Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog along with Hatnua Party leader Tzipi Livni as the two are running on a joint ticket and both are already known party leaders entering this election cycle. There will likely be a number of fuselages fired at Naftali Bennett who currently leads the Jewish Home Party though this too could change as they are also holding new party elections going into the elections and he might, though doubtful, be replaced as well. The facts that there may be new leadership on the nationalist or right ends of the political spectrum in what are recognized as the most likely to gain the most seats and the most ardent and potentially most extreme personality pushing what the leftists like to present as most damaging and anti-peace message will make no difference in the coming weeks between now and the party elections and will thus produce extreme and strong accusations and charges against such people which will be carried by much of the Israeli media and have the greatest possibility of being covered in media sources outside of Israel. Is such totally fair, more important is does it matter.


Politics makes the strange acceptable and the acceptable strange. Watch any election cycle and watch how inter-party contests will produce some of the most heated rhetoric yet once the primaries have ended and the party has spoken, then those very same accusations made now by the opposing party are unacceptable and almost fighting words objected to and contested as untruths by the very person who originally made the accusation during the heated primary. That phenomenon is almost as beyond belief as the seemingly immediate turnaround and becoming not only supporter but almost best friends as the adversaries for the party nomination close ranks at the actual convention after a heated and unimaginably close primary election where the winner was not certain on day one and even ended up taking numerous ballots and not simply being decided in the first or second vote. That might actually be where the expression that politics makes for strange bedfellows originated. Then there are the sometimes unexplainable results in Parliamentary governments are concerned and there are multiple parties, often some new parties almost every election as previous parties have breakups or a person who lost the primary believes they would have a better possibility if they struck out on their own or the strangest when people who previously were from opposite parties join together to form a new party or somebody moves inexorably from a party at one end of the spectrum and within a relatively short period they have worked their way to the other end of the political spectrum. All of these behaviors though seemingly peculiar and hard to explain, and even more difficult to excuse by former supporters when they feel betrayed, are part and parcel of politics which is by far the strangest game people play and one which eventually reveals the worst actions and largest weaknesses of human nature. Perhaps we would all be just a little more relaxed and a whole lot less anxious if we treated politics for what we often call it, the game of politicking, just another game people play. I know, a game with potentially very dangerous consequences, but wouldn’t many if not most of those consequences occur no matter how we individuals cast our votes. Can we not always at least pretend that it was really someone else’s fault, possibly we could simply blame all those people who did not even bother to vote, yea, that’s it, it is always those people too lazy or uncaring to bother to vote who are to blame.


Beyond the Cusp


May 10, 2014

U.S. State Department Anti-Israel Hyperventilation

The loud protestations seeking targets to blame since the collapse of the latest incarnation of the Palestinian Peace Process have largely zeroed in on the Israeli settlers and the announcement to build additional housing units in Gilo, a suburb south of Jerusalem which both the Israelis and Palestinians have agreed is one of the areas which will be retained by Israel by swapping lands within the Green Line in one of the land swaps that even United States President Obama has referred to as part and parcel of any peace agreement. The most vocal and reported upon whiners and complainers who have decided that the entire failure of the peace process lies with the Israeli announcement for tenders to be presented to build additional residential units in the South Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo and the weeks of threats to “blow up the peace talks as soon as the last group of terrorists were released” which was threatened by numerous Palestinian spokespeople had absolutely no influence on the situation and their immediate filing to numerous United Nations and international conventions immediately after Israel demanded that the Palestinians make some guarantees to complete the negotiation and reach a real solution before they released the final terrorists of which most were serving multiple life sentences for murders of Israeli men, women and children. This line of criticism placing the totality of blame on the Israelis for announcing the intent to build is all the more ridiculous when one finds out that when the Palestinians were asked what concessionary bribe they demanded from Israel just to bring them to the table to talk, they chose the release of one-hundred-four terrorists who were serving life terms for murdering or complicity through terrorism planning murders of multiple Israeli citizens and passed on demanding a building freeze. Upon the Palestinians announcing their preference for terrorist releases the Israelis informed both the Palestinians and the United States that this would allow them to continue with any building plans even as peace talks continued. From the very onset of the talks the Palestinians started demanding that Israel also enact a building freeze as they truly desired to have their terrorists and a building freeze as well. Even United States Secretary of State Kerry admonished the Palestinians for their near constant plaintive demands that Israel be forced to enact and announce a building freeze despite turning such an option down instead choosing terrorist murderers’ release from prisons. But since the collapse of the talks, nobody allowed for reality and the truth of the original agreements and foreknowledge of what each side planned to commit to get in the way of laying all the blame anywhere but with the world’s permanent victims, the Palestinians.


Numerous Palestinian spokespeople all but lined up and the media all but formed a greeting line to meet, greet and quote the latest line on exactly what sins and provocations the Israelis were guilty of performing that ruined this latest and greatest opportunity to finally find the true and only path to universal world peace. The ultimate wounding to the Israelis was not this conga line of blame coming from the Palestinians as such a spectacle has been witnessed numerous times to the point that most cognitive people simply hear such claims of blame and react with a been there, heard that, don’t care or accept as that complaint won’t play any longer. The ultimate wounding came from Secretary of State Kerry and Special Envoy and former Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk who within a couple of weeks each gave speeches blaming Israel completely and exonerating the Palestinians from any responsibility or blame for the failure of the peace talks. The really disturbing reality is that virtually every expert of the Middle East predicted with relative accuracy the manner in which the talks would fail even before the first meetings had concluded. Many had even foreseen that the Palestinians would use as their excuse for terminating the negotiations the Israeli refusal to release additional terrorists, which was one of the demands that was being voiced by some Palestinians as necessary for the talks to continue, or that they would demand a building freeze or bolt should the Israelis actually announce any intention to build despite the fact that they had been forewarned that Israel reserved the right to build as it was not part of the initial demands by the Palestinians when they chose the concessionary bribe required to begin talks. Those who had made these predictions were not seers or prophets; they were realists who have lived through so many past experiences that prediction of how these negotiations were likely to end without anything even close to an actual peace agreement took simply choosing the most probable scenario that fit the current negotiations and concessions demanded by the Palestinians initially and the other demands they would make continuing through the talks threatening to balk if they were refused additional stroking and additional concessions. As the song by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Deja Vu says, “We have all been here before.”


Going forward we can expect the European Union, United Nations, Arab League, and numerous other people and organizations to jump on board the blame Israel for every failure wagon. We can expect the Palestinians to manufacture a world tour demanding the whole world compensate them for the damage done by the evil Israelis ending with a trip to the United Nations demanding that statehood with borders of their design be granted them and the armies of the world to enforce the decision on Israel. This has been their intended plan from the start of Oslo as the Palestinians never actually desired to negotiate with Israel, they figured they could persuade the world of the evilness of the Jewish State and get the world to ally with their cause and impose the desires and nightmares of the Palestinian minds upon Israel. This has been the aim of Arab and Palestinian propaganda which has since become the mainstream argument accepted by the Europeans and much of the world’s leftists who gladly allied with some far right nationalist socialists in blaming the Jewish State Israel for all the world’s ills. This has been proven time and again when polls of European nations and select political groups and even more and more Americans who place Israel as the greatest threat to world peace amongst all the nations of the world. The logic which places Israel as a greater threat to peace than Syria, China, Cuba, North Korea, Russia and numerous Arab nations is mind bogglingly absurd. But these are not the most distressing of the people blaming Israel first.


The individuals who have chosen to blame Israel first that are most distressing are the Israelis doing so. Tzipi Livni, Isaac Herzog and Zahava Gal-On attacking Prime Minister Netanyahu are all understandable as each of these party leaders honestly believe that they should be the next Prime Minister once the current governing coalition collapses. Tzipi Livni is the most interesting of these stalwart whiners as her party is a member of the coalition and polls show her party possibly not even clearing the threshold to make it into the next Knesset. Yair Lapid has also made some comments blaming Netanyahu for the lack of reaching an agreement but has tempered his criticism by also placing a large share of the blame of Naftali Bennett despite having formed an alliance between their two parties in order to guarantee both were included in this government. Another set of groups which cause distress are the numerous NGOs who falsely claim that because their membership is predominantly or completely made up of Jews that they are therefore automatically to be considered pro-Israel yet they take every opportunity to condemn Israel by echoing virtually every Palestinian accusation. These groups while claiming to be pro-Israel, pro-Zionist, Pro-peace and Jewish take positions repeating and amplifying every accusation against the IDF, amplifying by consent any dispersion against the Jews living in the settlements including those in the major settlement blocks that all sides agree will remain as a part of Israel. These groups often join with leftists and anarchists from Europe in staging riots and challenges of IDF soldiers at checkpoints or on patrol with the intent of producing highly edited video which they then release on YouTube and other on-line sites in the hopes of casting aspersions and defaming Israeli soldiers and hopefully placing doubts in the soldiers’ minds which might lead to their not performing their required duties and thus placing lives at risk and making the world safer for the terrorist acts perpetrated against Israelis. It is truly sad how the world can so readily accept any aspersion against Israel without the slightest proof and often against all evidence which is readily available requiring only the slightest curiosity and a smidgeon of effort to acquire and learn the truth. But I can expect that there will be those who will accuse me of ignoring the real truth and claiming that Israel controls the media and the United States and other governments and world bodies and claim that the fact that there has been no peace reached with the Palestinians as the proof of their claims. The frustrating portion of these entire circumstances is that the protestation made by certain Israelis wither for political calculation or potential gain or because of leftist secular views of leftist secular Jews by birth who despise the idea of the Jewishness of Israel who give the other voices validity by their damning protestations which are inspired by world or political views which cloud the issue and actually have almost nothing to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict. The reality of the Arab-Israeli conflict can be summarized by the three no’s from the Khartoum Resolution of September 1, 1967, where at an Arab League Summit it was decided that there would be no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel and that the only solution which would ever be acceptable would be the complete eradication of Israel. This is also the aim of Hamas, Fatah, the PLO, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Authority, the complete eradication of Israel, whether through stages or in one glorious jihad genocidal assault, and that is the real truth of why these talks and all that follow will all end without any solution, Abbas and whoever should follow when elections are eventually held cannot and will not accept anything less than the complete eradication of Israel.


Beyond the Cusp


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