Beyond the Cusp

October 11, 2015

In Israel America is Still That Gleaming Land of Greatness

 

The statements in this article are formed from the Israelis I have met and is hopefully something which continues to hold truthful as my experiences broaden. The vast majority of Israelis, particularly young Israelis, have an idealized view of the United States. They believe that in the United States opportunities exist like nowhere else on Earth. They see the United States as being capable of achieving just about anything they decide to put the efforts towards. This is not to say that they approve of everything the United States does or does not do that concerns the Israelis. Despite their love affair with the United States, that love affair sours rather rapidly when one takes stock in how Israeli feel about the United States governance. There many Israelis have more difficulty understanding as they see the United States as capable of doing unbelievable good if only the government would allow the people to take care of things themselves. You see, where one’s initial observation would be that the average Israeli has a view of the United States which is unrealistic, as you delve deeper you realize that they are not seeing the United States as perfect or they believe that things in the United States are perfect. What one sees is that the average Israeli loves Americans and their forms of governance and have just as jaundiced a view of the government as the most conservative Tea Party individual. Rumor says that this belief does not extend to much of one large city where their views match closer to Boston, New York, Los Angeles or most other large cities in the United States. Thus far I have avoided visiting this one city as I like the idealized view of the United States, well, more so the views of the average American citizen.

 

This view of America, as that is the real love, is that ideal America that went to the moon in less than a decade after deciding they were to meet that challenge. They love the concepts of full equality of opportunity and the spirit which made America great and is still there as a creative spark which is inside every human being but stifled more everywhere else outside America. The America most Israelis have experienced has been through the eyes of those who have visited the United States and seen the great potential which exists in the United States and these people have not stayed in the United States sufficiently long enough for the bad shortcomings to become just as easily witnessed thus bringing even the most devoted Israeli to see that there are places where the United States falls well short of the mark. Ask the average Israeli what they think of the United States and you get the feeling they believe that America can do no wrong. Dig a little deeper and you see a people whose idealized view is of the average American and their can do attitude becomes more of a could have been attitude which is more in line with reality.

 

One looks a little deeper and one begins to understand where the average Israeli gets their views on the United States and things begin to make sense. The average Israeli forms their views of the United States on the relatively small number of Americans they meet. Here in Israel most of the people get a small sample size and have only met Americans who have afforded not only trips to Israel but many have also an apartment that they own and plan on retiring and living in said apartment, so obviously the Americans they have met are the more wealthy and additionally their sampling consists solely of American Jews who are also Zionist and tend to be more conservative. Many of these Americans have completed college and are by and large physicians with many also being surgeons. So, their sample size is rather small and more indicative of the wealthier Americans and often include other than those in the medical fields, Americans who have some form of engineering or other scientific degrees and again often post graduate work with many having gotten their doctoral degree. So, again their sampling is skewed to successful Zionists which mean that they have again met mostly conservative people who have often also formed their own companies and many also hold a MBA degree to go along with their doctoral degree. To point out these are highly motivated people who would have succeeded in almost every nation in the Western world would be an understatement. If one speaks with the Americans who reside now in Israel after holding a successful career in the United States, many also fulfilled their required service in Israel as well. The sample size keeps being refined down to a very motivated and brilliant people who are driven and who meet very high criteria in education and accomplishments to their credit. These people tend to be conservative but still often voted as a good social liberal though they often had a very simple and basic filter which was dependent on one issue. Would their preferred candidate support Israel with almost a blind zeal bordering on fanaticism.

 

If one would make a list answering the question, ‘What is right about America?’ you would probably get a definition of the attitude of many of the Americans one meets in Israel. Giving even more validity to the assessment of the average American Jew who at some point after quite an impressive career decided to live in Israel and sufficient numbers of these people also gave half of their career time to working in Israel, there is an overwhelming number of the American Jews residing or regularly visiting Israel that have a less than admirable view of the current holder of the White House. As many of these people have what is called dual citizenship and are eligible to vote in the State they last resided in and do cast absentee ballots, their choices are easily researched and the story is quite telling; where in the United States President Obama won over seventy percent of the Jewish vote in both of his election victories, the Israeli Americans voted in the opposite direction with the 2008 votes exceeded three-quarters voting against President Obama and in 2012 an even higher percentage voted against his return to the White House. The consensus amongst the Americans here was obviously that President Obama was bad for Israel and the overt actions during the last Gaza war on Hamas and Islamic Jihad. They viewed President Obama directly for the closing off of Ben Gurion International Airport due to the terror threat which could have resulted in downed aircraft, something the United States had not done in Syria during the five year war continuing to rage nor have done in Lebanon, Libya or any of the nations struck by violence as a result of the Arab Spring turned into an Arab Winter despite some of the most vicious threats to flights in or out of their countries. In some of these cases the airlines themselves refused to provide service to these nations. Then there was the channeling the resupply of arms which the United States was obliged to automatically approve with the military itself charged with authorizing and supplying replacements keeping Israel provided with the means for her defense through the State Department with their withholding approval until Israel had presumably buckled to the demand to cease their hostilities in Gaza and returned control of Gaza to its ‘duly elected government’ which is the same as saying Hamas as it is their people who rule in Gaza. The White House was fully aware of this situation and the obligation of the United States which they modified so as to make their obligation into a wanted dead or dead poster on Israel, and that is not a Freudian slip, dead or dead was exactly what the White House was aiming to produce by withholding the resupply which was an agreement included in a defense treaty making it the law to make such resupply in a timely manner.

 

 

Stronger Together Enforcing Similar Ethos

Israel and America Stronger Together Enforcing Similar Ethos

 

 

This treaty was entered into for the Nixon Administration doing exactly the same withholding of the resupply to force Israel to comply with their demands that they simply cease fighting in defense against the invading forces of Syria and Egypt during the Yom Kippur War which caught Israel at her most vulnerable time with three-quarters of her military personnel in synagogues across Israel and not carrying any electronics and thus forcing the IDF to send personnel to as many Synagogues as possible and to send vehicles announcing the emergency call-up using loudspeakers and driving through one city after another. This withholding of resupply was advised by then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a Jew but apparently only by birth. The reasoning Secretary Kissinger gave for refusing to meet the Israeli request for resupply was that by refusing to send the arms Israel would be more vulnerable and thus far more easily forced to meet the demands which the State Department was pushing for President Nixon to demand of the Israelis. Fortunately the resupply was held a dangerous two to three days and Israel had begun to run low on some vital armaments which would have threatened their ability to defend their country had resupply not reached them in time. This was the reason a treaty was signed by the Nixon Administration after the Senate overwhelmingly approved the agreement. If one has seen a potential viewpoint against all things Israel coming from the State Department, please allow us to also point out that the State Department very strenuously objected to the decision by President Truman to recognize Israel as a new nation in May of 1948, May 15th to be exact. The State Department has been more stridently anti-Israel and anti-Zionist from their objection to the aims of forming the British Mandate in order to form a homeland for the Jews after World War I as part of the San Remo Conference which set up the French and British Mandates.

 

Fortunately most young Israelis know very little about the dastardly designs of the State Department which by their actions have proven to desire the death of the Jewish State by any and all means available. Fortunate for Israel that this is beyond the ability for the State Department to pull-off but they will apparently continue to try. The love affair which Israelis appear to have with the United States is actually more with America and the American People and independent of the government of the United States. What makes this all the more rewarding a relationship is the fact that large majorities of Americans love the Israelis as well, as has been proven in poll after poll. This is likely due to a love of freedom and a shared morality in many ways. The Israeli government often appears to take their cues from the Constitution of the United States or at least the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments required by a number of the signatory states as a condition for their signing onto the Constitution. That is most likely the glue holding these two peoples in mutual support and admiration and it would be wonderful if their relationship continues and those values prove to be the perfect glue which both societies use as their moral guide throughout their histories. It would be quite sad should they not remain as the constant rock mooring both ships of state.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 30, 2013

Will Israel Take Steps to Save Herself?

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Often articles about the possible paths that lie before Israel going into the future denote how Israel must appease this one, follow the path spelled out by another, listen to this group or person and other such similar advisories all of which place Israel in a subservient role following the dictates of some other nation, group, expert, advisor or even the columnist writing the article itself. Most of these advisories are more aligned with the interests or desires of the entities leaving Israel in the position of following the demands of others or making apologies for acting in her own best interests. Unfortunately it is following bad advice or giving in to the pressures presented as something that the world demands or expects from Israel.  Many have concluded that Israel has lost something and is no longer that small nation standing surrounded by enemies who wished nothing more than to obliterate that little nation. They claim that Israel has lost her nerve and cannot survive much longer as her time is limited. They claim that because Israel has been maligned and cast as an outcast nation which acts cruelly and has lost her moral compass for so long by so many nations, people, organizations, international conferences, Non-Governmental Organizations and, at the top of the list, the United Nations in all of its forms, tentacles and dark places and faces including but far from limited, and the completely outrageous, over the top, unsatiated display of hate which were the Durban Conferences and the United Nations Human Rights Commission that it has been accepted as fact. So, what can Israel do in a world that appears to have decided that she must be destroyed in order to make all the other problems become solvable. How many more times must we listen to the claim that behind every problem is the fact that the Israelis seem incapable of making peace with the Palestinians, the Palestinian who are peaceable people with only kindness in their hearts and willing to do almost anything to make peace with Israel if only Israel would just meet the reasonable demands they make. The truth that this little demand is for Israel to roll over and die appears to have escaped in the reasoning of the world gone mad leaving Israel in an impossible position of meeting a set of demands which would be tantamount to her committing suicide.

 

There was a time not that long ago when Israel was considered the underdog nation that was blossoming and developing the deserts and rocky hills of the Middle East. Israel was seen as a paragon of freedom, liberty and personal achievement. What is interesting is that along with Israel being demoted to the point of becoming a pariah that personal achievement has also lost its luster if those who do achieve do not portend to a particular political bend where they constantly seem to be apologizing for having been successful. Perhaps there is some correlation in this phenomenon. Israel has gone from being the underdog fighting the brave fight to the bully and cruel oppressor lording over the poor beleaguered and innocent Palestinians. Israel is being maligned nearly daily on college campuses throughout North America and Europe. Israel is required debate of her most recent or continuing crimes against humanity at every meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council no matter for what reason the forum was assembled. Even if the UNHRC is meeting to discuss the civil war in Syria, the violence in Libya, the murders by the drug cartels in Mexico or whatever the current evil offense of the day may be, the UNHRC is required by its own bylaws to first take time out and condemn Israel for human rights violations whether any were committed or not. One might at this point wonder what is the use of Israel even trying to regain her reputation, but that would be defeatist, and if there is one thing Israel is not, it is not defeatist.

 

So, is it possible for Israel to regain her reputation, and if so, how? Israel does not honestly need to do much different to regain her solid and bright reputation. Ask the people in Haiti who survived the hurricane only to live in a desolate field of total destruction, the Japanese who suffered the triple blow of a 9.4 Richter scale earthquake causing a tsunami which destroyed the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant to meltdown creating an environmental and nuclear disaster, the Pilipino survivors of the recent Typhoon Haiyan that destroyed everything in its path and killed or injured thousands leaving whole cities homeless, the people in Moore, Oklahoma, USA whose town was virtually obliterated by a massive tornado which remained on the ground as it swept completely across that community, or countless people all throughout the globe who were relieved when seeing IDF uniformed aid arrive and lend a helping hand often setting up facilities and beginning operations before the United Nations, Red Cross and most other nations even got their units together and where possible have left buildings, equipment and tons of supplies that other relief units take with them on departure of site gifted to those in need. Ask these people about what they think of the Israelis they met. In the Philippines you will need to go way off the beaten path and find a small, impoverished little city Bogo City where the IDF was virtually the only help that this little place, considered unimportant to most, received. The Israeli aid was not delivered where the majority of the work was done and where the main news and media coverage existed; they went to a place where they would help those who most needed assistance but were expecting the usual truth, that nobody cared about their impoverished community, but this time somebody cared.

 

What Israel needs to do to regain the respect and honors she once enjoyed is actually simple, Israel needs to forget what the rest of the world is demanding of them and refuse to fold before outside pressures, even those from her presumed friends, and Israel needs to consider what Israel needs first. The next time anybody, especially the United States who has demanded this more than most, demands Israel release murderous terrorists who will immediately return to their preferred trade of murdering Israeli civilians that includes women, children and seniors; Israel must simply refuse in no uncertain terms, a plain and simple no, not now, not ever again. Israel needs to annex land around Jerusalem including all of the areas of Judea and Samaria that were placed under Israeli civil, security and military control by the United Nations and the Oslo Accords as these were lands that back in 1993 were considered as belonging to Israel and would remain Israeli when the Palestinian State was to be formed five years hence. Israel needs to simply state that which is an acceptable solution to their impasse with the intransigent Palestinian whose sole purpose is the eradication of Israel, all of Israel, and not peace, never was peace, and then enforce any territorial sections of such a plan and then simply tell Mahmoud Abbas that if and when he wishes to have real and honest peace talks then he should recognize the right of the Jewish people to have the State of Israel and that renounce his call for the phony right of return which is simply a ploy to inundate Israel with Arab agents and use elections to erase the Jewish qualities of Israel. Israel must simply worry about Israel first and foremost and not surrender any decisions over her own future to other nations or world bodies including the Kangaroo Courts such as ICC and ICJ. If the United Nations should decide that Israel must be punished for doing exactly what nations are founded to do, serve their own people and interests, then Israel should simply pack up her bags and depart from that hypocritical body. Once Israel has made these positions clear she needs to never again back away from those principles which serve her interests and ignore those who will scream and yell pounding the table and stomping their feet with a flaming rage demanding that Israel bend to their authority. Israel needs to bend to only one authority, and that authority has no spokesperson on Earth but will make His position known when the time comes and everything matters and not before. That is also where Israel must put her faith, in herself and in G0d and nowhere or no one else.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 22, 2013

The President’s Echo Chamber

There will likely be accolades and great fanfare to inform the American people back home over how well President Obama’s speech in the Israeli capital city of Jerusalem was received by those attending. Never mind that only a very select few members from the Israeli government were allowed to attend and that the President refused an invitation to address the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, and return the gracious respect shown the United States Congress at every available opportunity by Prime Minister Netanyahu who gladly accepts every opportunity to address American legislators. The news reports will likely not include that not only did President Obama choose to speak solely to university students but he also insisted that one Israeli University specifically be refused any slots to have their students attend the speech. The singled out university is Israel’s newest, Ariel University. There was no reason given but if this is mentioned at all it will be assured that the fact it is Israel’s only university in the “occupied territories” and thus it would be inappropriate for the President of the United States to allow students from a university that is on occupied lands to attend. There are a few things about Ariel and its university that you will not hear. Some of these items in which it stands apart from the other universities are that it has the highest number of Palestinian students attending; the highest number of Arab professors; is in Ariel which is a city of over 20,000 people; Ariel is a mixed community of Jews and Arabs living side by side in peace; the city is home to an industrial plant in which Jews and Arabs, both Israeli and Palestinian, work side by side; and Ariel was one of the first cities to be considered as included in the lands Israel would retain until President Obama gave his sanctification to the idea of complete withdrawal to within the 1949 Armistice Lines in a speech meant to blunt any discussions with Prime Minister Netanyahu which was given as the Israeli Prime Minister was boarding his flight to the United States.

The coverage of President Obama’s speech will likely cover in great detail how he received numerous standing ovations, that his statement that the only path to peace for Israel was to make difficult but necessary concessions to Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians was one of the best received parts of the speech, and there will be the emphasis that the speech was held in western Jerusalem, Israel’s half of their capital city. This is all quite true but leaves out a few interesting and essential facts. These were not a random set of students but were hand-picked by the President’s team. Almost all of them were leaders in the tent protests which occupied downtown Tel Aviv among other cities two summers past. These students are members of groups so far to the left of the political spectrum that even Tzipi Livni and Shelly Yachimovich, leaders of two of Israel’s left to center-left political parties and Shelly Yachimovich is even the opposition leader in the new Israeli government, would not think of allying with them as they represent sectors of Israeli society well outside political acceptance, and those allowed to cover the President’s speech were also left to a selected group. This will be the sole venue in which President Obama will make any speech other than a short acceptance speech at a State dinner where Israeli President Peres will be awarding President Obama the Presidential Medal of Distinction, Israel’s highest civilian award. This is a reciprocal granting of awards as President Obama had similarly honored President Peres. The only other public speech other than short sound bite type responses such as the one given at the reception at the airport and likely one at the official departure ceremony was a speech given to an equally selective group of Palestinian youth as part of President Obama’s trip to Ramallah. That speech also was not broadcast and for the most part the Israeli public will not be able to hear any of President Obama’s full speaking engagements. This is a definite departure from protocols between the two allies and is a definite departure from visits to Israel by Presidents Bush and Clinton as well as from the usual high profile appearances President Obama has given in Europe and numerous other nations he has visited. Some might wonder what it is that President Obama is avoiding by not speaking to the Israeli public as a whole or even giving the common courtesies to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

In many ways the President’s trip will receive longer and more in depth coverage back home in the United States than he will within Israel. One might be tempted to call President Obama’s visit the Obama stealth tour as he will pass through Israeli and barely be seen and definitively not heard. One might try to be surprised by this treatment of an allied nation but the path traveled by President Obama and Israel has not exactly been a walk in the park. One might rather refer to it as a cross between an adventure hike and a five kilometer run and a game of hide and seek. The one identifying trait of President Obama’s and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s interactions is that it almost spears to have been a game of tag with each one attempting to make the other one “it” and otherwise avoiding contact as much as possible. Unfortunately for Israel, Netanyahu has appeared to have been “it” for the majority of the time as Obama has appeared to have been avoiding him when the two were in the same town or even appearing at the same venue. Prime Minister Netanyahu has been refused meetings with President Obama at a minimum of when both appeared at the United Nations speaking on consecutive days and at an AIPAC Convention where they spoke on consecutive days. The one plus that can be taken from President Obama’s trip was that he did finally include Israel in his itinerary.

The number one question is what can be made of all the peculiarities evidenced in President Obama’s schedule? Taking into account that everything in the Middle East is examined, torn apart, interpreted, and subject to inquisition style questioning attempting to find the hidden meanings and conspirational properties which can be hidden within; Israel’s Arab neighbors will definitely derive many implications which will all point to President Obama placing Israel at arm’s length with a dash of disapproval from the fact that the President refused to address the Knesset. They will find similar meaning from the lack of public appearances made by the President. The withholding of places for students from Ariel University will be an indication that the President recognizes the Palestinian claims to all of the contested lands and as reinforcing Obama’s speech calling for the 67 lines to serve as the start point for negotiations over final borders. The complete lack of condemnation or even mention of the Gaza rocket attack from within Hamas territories on the Israeli town of Sderot which occurred prior to his speech or even his trip to Ramallah will be seen as complicit approval of such terror attacks or at least not an abject rejection of such attacks. There will also be found an equality of respect for the Palestinian people as there was for the Israelis as the President also had a private address with Palestinian youths. Not being quite as proficient at conspiracy theories, though I have been accused of having believed many, I am sure that this list is far from complete and with time the reaction from the Arab and Muslim worlds will become more evident. The one prediction that can be made is that the Palestinians can feel empowered by President Obama’s actions as can much of the Arab world especially the Muslim Brotherhood and affiliates. The first real consequences will be drawn when we can review the results from Secretary of State Kerry’s scheduled talks with Prime Minister Netanyahu for Saturday where Secretary Kerry will likely making certain that whatever points President Obama expected or even insisted of Israel have been understood and the proper and correct actions explained in full. What is up to interpretation is exactly how much weight can be placed on the fact that Secretary of State Kerry has scheduled his meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu on the Jewish Sabbath. One might find some level of insult or simply infer that the message is that the administration does not care if Israel is comfortable with the state of things and simply expects compliance and obedience from Israel and nothing more. Then again, it might just be an oversight from the most calculating Presidency in the recent history of the United States.

Beyond the Cusp

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