Beyond the Cusp

May 16, 2019

Time for Israel to Help Trump and America

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 2:03 AM
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We just read an article by Will Blesch titled, “Should Israel do without US financial aid?” which led us to review some of the things we have stated on this subject. The subtitle taking a line from the article start with, “If Israel could manage without US financial aid,” which is a question we have addressed previously always reaching an answer which was a resounding affirmation. For reference, here are just some of our writings from over the years on this subject which include, “Israeli Decision Refusing US Iron Dome Aid a Great Start” from August 8, 2013, “Time Come for Divorce of Israel and United States?” from May 22, 2014, “I Worry for Israel and Her Future” from June 14, 2017, and “America Can be a Fickle Friend” from September 21, 2018. Should people read these articles they will notice that our position has steadily been for Israel to wean herself from the reliance on American largess, otherwise known as aid. We understand that the aid which the United States provides the Israeli militarily comes with some heavy ropes attached, not just a few strings here and there. First, anything the United States underwrites becomes technology which the United States will benefit in its adoption if it is deemed desirable. Second, almost all military aid monies are required to be spent on procuring American arms made in the United States even should there be Israeli modifications plus the United States retains the right to implement these modifications on their own versions. So, we have no illusions about American aid as it is largely to provide an additional customer for the United States arms manufacturers, predominantly the aircraft manufacturers. It was over aircraft that the entire United States aid began as Israel was about to go into production of the Lavi fighter jet (photo below), a direct challenger to the F-16 built by the United States. The United States decided it was wise to cut down on the number of new fighters going into production and offered Israel such a deal which they could not refuse as it included F-16’s in numbers commensurate to the expected Israeli production of the Lavi plus additional wings of F-15’s to augment the Israeli Air Force. The United States also promised to provide Israel with air superiority into the future forever. Well, we have recently passed forever as Saudi Arabia and Egypt have received or will be receiving F-35’s and currently Turkey will not be receiving them though it had been planned to provide them to Turkey. Still, the numbers between Egypt and Saudi Arabia provide them parity if not superiority over Israel, pilots not included. From this little deal everything mushroomed.

 

Lavi the Lost Dream

Lavi the Lost Dream

 

Returning to the original question; Should Israel do without US financial aid? Before answering too quickly and just jumping straight to, “Yes,” perhaps we should answer a more necessary question which should precede this one, Could Israel do without US financial aid? This question will require covering some of the ground from our previous articles and their graphs and other graphics as well. The first item which must be determined is how much aid is the United States aid set at, is it rising or static and if changing, by how much and which way. Well, the truth is revealed in the graph below which also signals some other vital information. The graph below indicates that United States aid to Israel, excepting some resupply years after military engagements, has settled at approximately three billion dollars per year. The graph also makes another reality obvious; the United States has not been the closest ally upon whom Israel has depended for their weaponry since her inception in 1948. Truth be told, after President Harry S. Truman recognized Israel, he then obliged his State Department and the Defense Department and placed an arms embargo on the entirety of the Middle East during the initial war between the six Arab nations, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt, and Israel which was an Arab initiated war intending to erase the Jewish State. President Eisenhower continued the arms embargo on Israel and acted to force Israel to return the Sinai Peninsula after Egypt initiated hostilities by closing the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping as well as the Suez Canal to European shipping. The Israeli action in 1956 was in concert with the British and French who instead of holding up their end of the military engagement to free the shipping lanes, continued to talk to the Egyptians, they claim into a deal without any assist from Israel, despite Israel gaining hold of the eastern banks of the Suez Canal basically forcing Egypt to capitulate. Aid to Israel was first started as a trickle after the Six Day War victory of 1967, which showed the United States that Israel could become a favorable ally in the Middle East due to which President Lyndon Baines Johnson began to provide aid. The acceleration of aid came under President Richard Nixon initially in response to the Yom Kippur War of 1973, after which came the F-16’s along with F-15’s to prevent the manufacture of the Lavi which presented the jump in aid amounts. Since the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the aid package to Israel has stood steady at around three billion dollars each year.

 

United States Israel Aid (Military)

United States Israel Aid (Military)

 

Great, that is the aid side of the equation. The other side of the equation is Israeli GDP from which we can ascertain what percentage of GDP the aid represents. Israeli GDP is shown from 1960 through 2016 in the graph below which is in billions of US Dollars. Taking samples, we will start with 1980, in which Israeli GDP was around twenty-seven billion dollars. This would make the United States aid equivalent to approximately eleven percent of GDP. In 1985, Israeli GDP had climbed to forty-one billion dollars making the United States aid to approximately seven and one half percent of GDP. In 1990, Israeli GDP reached sixty billion dollars making the aid approximately five percent of GDP. In 1995, Israeli GDP equaled ninety-three billion dollars reducing the aid to three and one quarter percent of GDP. In 2000, GDP broke one hundred reaching one-hundred-thirty-one billion dollars bringing aid to two and one quarter of GDP. In 2005, GDP reached one-hundred-sixty-two billion dollars making the aid at under two percent of GDP. In 2010 GDP attained two-hundred-twenty-one billion dollars placing aid at just over one and one and one third of GDP. In 2015 Israeli GDP climbed to two-hundred-eighty-five billion dollars again reducing aid to barely over one percent of GDP. In 2017 the GDP was three-hundred-sixteen and a half billion dollars making the aid at just under one percent of GDP. What this long set of calculations depicts clearly is that Israel and the United States need to renegotiate any agreements which under current economic conditions, Israel could have the United States retain the three-billion dollars of aid and free Israel to choose whatever aircraft which she deems to be the best applicable for her needs. For the ensuing few years, it is obvious that Israel will remain with the F-35 JSF as the mainstay of her Air Force as she has already received the first squadrons. Beyond these fifth-generation fighters, Israel may desire to rely on her own industries to produce her sixth-generation fighters and perhaps the United States will purchase their fighters from Israel.

 

Israeli GDP Billions $

Israeli GDP Billions $

 

When Israel was younger and dependent upon a mostly agrarian economy, the American aid was irreplaceable and one could make the case that it was actually necessary. The Israel of the 1970’s is now long passed history and she has become a high-tech nation with the GDP to match. Israel may not be in the top twenty nations economically, but when one considers her size and population, her economic picture clearly is vastly improved in the last half of a century. On an even brighter note, the Israeli economy continues to climb though quite a bit slower as one would expect. A nation can only keep up such sweeping improvements while their economy moves from dependent on agriculture and some industrial components into an industrial economy and now an information-based economy. Israel also has an impressive medical research industry, a leading agricultural industry which has provided the world with drip irrigation and crops which are suited to a desert climate and some which use partially desalinated water or treated waste waters. These advances can help numerous nations increase their crop outputs. Israel has also provided advanced medical systems and assisted with crop and irrigation for many remote African communities as well as providing electricity and communication equipment which has connected these remote places with the world and provided Internet access. Israel also has one of the best emergency response teams replete with an entire field hospital which is capable of providing almost any nature of medical aid a nation in distress might require as well as more normal medical assistance such as a maternity ward and others (see video below). Israel has become a nation with a rather diverse economy, especially when considering the small size of Israel, her being approximately the size of New Jersey. (For some maps depicting the size of Israel compared to the United States, India, Australia and Great Britain, go here) Israel recently sent a spacecraft to the Moon, though a rocket failure had it land going far too fast, making her the fourth nation to actually succeed in hitting the moon. The little craft Beresheet made a valiant effort and was a private venture by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and SpaceIL. The two companies have stated their intent to attempt another Moon lander and perhaps the Israeli government might provide some funding.

 

 

Israel today is a modern nation and as such should not be dependent, even on the United States, or other countries to provide her defense of her people and her land. Further, Israel is entering a time of undefined dangers and threats some of which are not of her doing. One example is Iran who had threatened and promised that should the United States take any actions against Iran they will decimate Israel. Theirs is not an empty threat as they have organizational control of Hezballah in Lebanon and Syria, Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza, and their own forces consisting of mostly IRGC and al-Quds Force, the first being their terrorist outreach branch of the military equal if not superior to the Iranian national armed forces, and the other a group of fanatical fighters sworn to the capture of Jerusalem (al-Quds) and the destruction of the Zionist entity (Israel). Make no mistake, these Iranian threats are real and should not be cast aside in the belief that Iran would be incapable of fulfilling their threats. According to the GFP Index of Countries, Iran is ranked as the fourteenth in military strength while Israel is ranked sixteenth in military strength with the United States ranked an obvious first in military strength and China considered third with Russia taking second. Interestingly, should Israel attack Iran, Iran has promised to strike Israel and said nothing about striking the United States under either scenario. The reality obviously is that should anybody attack Iran, they will strike Israel and for the most part ignore their actual attacker. We can assure you that this is not comforting for Israelis, but we hold to the Alfred E. Newman philosophy which went beyond just, “What, me worry?” He was often alluded to have added, “Ninety-five-percent of what we worry about never happens and the other five percent happens whether we worry or not, so why worry.” Perhaps this explains why despite all the things threatening Israel, she is still the eleventh happiest nation on the planet. In the end, Israel could and should present the United States with the deal that they cannot refuse, namely, keep your money and let’s be friends and just go along to get along. It would provide a new industry and many well-paying jobs which just might make up for the loss of revenues simply through taxes and increased GDP. Such a deal could make both nations more happy and have less friction as neither will be living off the other nation’s revenues.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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May 3, 2019

Election America, to Steal or not to Steal

 

There is going to be an all-out assault during the next American elections with the media making mountains out of ant hills, not even a mole hill size items. They will barrage the American voters with a different Trump controversy, conspiracy, scheme, collusion and other enticing tidbits. Each of these claims will have a half life of about twelve hours making them disappear within a couple of days, which is why the media is already lining up their ducks and making sure they are all in a row. But no matter how much they are able to invent, infer, suggest, rumor and hyperventilate over, these efforts are going to be overshadowed by the Democrat Primary Race.

 

We all know that hell knows no fury like a leftist scorned, and the Democrat Primaries will have an ample quantity of leftists each competing to make the others appear stingy when it comes to offering free stuff. The Democrats will have two sides to their campaign, the who can out-spend all of the other candidates with offers of free medical coverage for all, free college for all, forgiving all college debts, guaranteed wage, fifteen-dollar an hour minimum wage, paid vacations and whatever other socialist gems in the rough they can invent. Their backstabbing, undercutting, slash and burn campaigning will provide everything the Republicans require to win the election without ever using anything which was not part of the Democrat no-holds barred campaigning.

 

But the Republican primaries might also have some excitement as the establishment, country club, old guard Republicans may very well put somebody up against Trump. Originally, that person appeared to be Mitt Romney as that was the reason for him bumping a fresh and upcoming young man from the ballot so he would be in a position to threaten Trump. Whomever the Republicans attempt to run against President Trump will likely be guaranteed to win the majority of states which will be in the Democrat’s pocket during the election and as such will be a great measuring as to how the election itself will play out. There is another possibility in that the chosen savior who is going to replace Trump on the Republican ticket actually is dragged across the finish line ahead of Trump. Should this be the result, the Republican hierarchy might be able to do to Trump what Hillary did to Bernie Sanders. This would not bode well for the Republicans as not replacing Trump on the ticket is very likely to have many Trump supporters simply staying home. The one secret to the Trump victory which has been mostly ignored were the numbers of first-time voters and people returning to active voting after taking a long break. Remember the little group known as the Silent Majority? Well, they may not be the majority but when it came to supporting President Trump, they definitely were not silent. Should they go quiet, then the Republicans will definitely lose the White House and very probably lose the House and a possibility of losing the Senate. Such a collapse of the Republican base would place the surviving Democrat from the primaries in the White House very probably with a favorable Congress. With a small amount of rule changing such as cloture requiring a simple majority instead of sixty votes and other adjustments and they would be capable of almost anything policy wise.

 

They Can do Socialism Right, Really?

They Can do Socialism Right, Really?

 

The next American elections could provide some of the most ridiculous articles when attempting to cover the give away for votes the Democrats appear to be ready to use as their campaign slogan. Get your free stuff here, for a small fee, but we will only tax the rich and if Elizabeth Warren should win, she has proposed the greatest job and wealth killer in the world, a wealth tax. Such a tax would see money and corporations fleeing the United States in order to protect their shareholders and the health of the company. The remainder of the initial squeaking from the overly crowded field of candidates has already laid out several plans and programs which would completely destroy the American economy and do so with great alacrity. The Democrat Party has become the American for Socialism Party with the banner claiming, ‘We can do it right unlike the previous thousand times socialism has gutted a national economy.’

 

The proof that the Democrats have become the supporters of socialism was proven by their reaction to the Israeli elections. Their hatred for Bibi Netanyahu stems from far deeper than his nationalist agenda and stated support for the Israelis residing beyond the Green Line. Their initial distaste for Bibi Netanyahu originates back in the early 2000’s when he was assigned to be the Israeli Finance Minister. Ariel Sharon gave Bibi this assignment because it had been the death knell for every former Finance Minister as the Israeli economy was hamstrung with heavy amounts of socialism left over from the thirty plus years of the Labor Party running the country. Bibi immediately started to sell off many of the government agencies to private corporations completely separating them from government control. The taxes were revamped to be more favorable to research and development and allowing for the retention of more of the wealth. Israel still has that burdensome VAT tax, but some things might be going too far too fast. Still, Bibi transformed much of the Israeli economy into one based on Capitalism. Bibi also reinvested in Israeli companies giving them an advantage in receiving government contracts over foreign companies. These transformations took Israel from Socialistic economy to a Capitalist economy and the country has never looked back. But to the current Democrat leadership, such a transformation is taking the economy in the wrong direction. They insist that the government be the decider of who will be a winner and who will be the loser. Government will guarantee that workers have all the rights and the corporate owners will be made subjected to the worker’s demands. Should the American people choose their policies, then America could be heading over the falls without even a barrel.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 10, 2019

Israel and the Golan Heights Against the World

 

President Trump’s declaration of recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights has been received warmly, politely and with a feeling it will prove a temporary United States position. We cannot argue against their logic claiming that another President will come along and rip the decision up and claim that the United States backs fully the United Nations in demanding that Israel do as she is told. Just in case the world has not figured this out yet, Israel will seldom do as instructed by the European Union, United Nations, Arab League or even the United States. Israel will act in order to assure her survival in an area where mistakes are costly because there is always someone waiting to take advantage of such situations. Weakness is an invitation to the surrounding nations that you can be defeated and forced to play by Arab rules. The problem with that is should Israel ever need to play be the Arab rules, she knows that rule number one is that the Jew is a sub-human creature which must realize is only permitted to exist by the permission of its Islamic superiors. Rule two is Islam is perfect and Judaism is a disease to be correct by the fires of Islam. The rules would only get worse from there ending in the final rule, convert to Islam or die. That is the neighborhood in which Israel resides.

 

Many people in the West, especially in the United States, tend to ask Israel why they refuse to grant the Palestinian Arabs a small state as Israel is so large and powerful. The unfortunate thing is too many people equate power with size. They see Israel as commensurate in power with the major powers such as Russia, China, United States, Germany and Great Britain. They then equate Israel in size often with the United States. In order to give people from around the world to compare the size of Israel, we have maps comparing the size of Israel with Great Britain, United States, Australia and India. These maps should immediately dispel any misconception about Israel being a large nation. It is approximately the size of New Jersey. Israel is quite tiny even compared to most of her neighbors, specifically Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey and Iran. It is only the Israeli military might which has permitted her to resist being overrun. But size is not the only reason that Israel need to retain the Golan Heights.

 

Four Maps of Great Britain, the United States, Australia, and India with to scale map of Israel super-imposed for comparison on each map depicting her actual rather than perceived size.

Exactly How Small is Israel
A Comparison Against Four
Well Known Countries

 

The Golan Heights are part of the topographic defensive barrier for Israel from attacks coming from out of the east along with the Jordan River Valley (see topographic map below). The Jordan River Valley serves as a defensive barrier from attacks from the Jordan border into Israel and is equally efficient at protecting Jordan from Israel, so it serves the safety of both nations. The Golan Heights is the opposite; it allows whichever side, Israel or Syria, of an overlooking high ground allowing viewing deeply into the other nation’s lands. When Syria held the Golan Heights they would regularly launch artillery shells onto Israeli towns, cities, Kibbutzim and farms. Syrian snipers would practice by killing Israeli farmers testing their skill. Some of the more fertile areas of Israel had to be left untilled simply because it was far too dangerous for anyone to be out in the open as targets for Syrian soldiers. After the June 1967 Six Day War, Israel liberated the Golan Heights from Syria and since then Israel has held the high ground. What may be surprising to some, Israel has not used the heights for launching artillery shells into Syrian cities, has not used the area for snipers to practice their art shooting hapless Syrians or used it for anything beyond defensive measures when the Syrian civil war wanders into Israel, often intentionally. It should be obvious now why Israel insists she must retain the Jordan Valley and especially the Golan Heights, they mean security which means peace. The moment Israel shows weakness or vulnerability, there will be another Arab attempt to destroy the Jewish State.

 

Topographic Map of Golan Heights and Jordan River Valley

Topographic Map of Golan Heights and Jordan River Valley

 

Another advantage of Israel retaining the Golan Heights is that under Israel there are wineries, farms, orchards and other agricultural activities. Unlike the purely military control and restricted use under Syria, Israel retains a military presence, as she does on all her borders, but allows for civilian use which has brought new life and greenery to the Heights and wildlife has returned making the Golan region one of the favorite places for a day visit by Israelis and tourists. For the not too faint of heart, one can approach the eastern ledge of the heights and view Damascus. Of course Israel used the heights for surveillance of the Syrian movements of all sides of the continuing war. Israel has also used the Golan Heights as a contact point for those from the Syrian war requiring medical attention. Thousands of people have been admitted for treatment in Israel. Separate locations are arranged for the separate groups where they bring the badly wounded and from where they could retrieve their people after they are treated. Often those injured require hospitalization. All of this care is provided free with the costs being covered by the government but has on occasions caused difficulties such as overcrowding in those hospitals accepting these patients. Do not fret, we will handle these inconveniences as we do those of the little things we all face daily.

 

The reasons for Israel retaining the Golan Heights are simple. They are security, excellent wines, fruit orchards, grazing for herds, and with the heights in Israeli hands, there will not be any further conflict between Israel and Syria. Further, Israel holding the Golan Heights prevents the encroachment by Iran who is already establishing a presence in southwestern Syria with the IRGC and other forces including the presence of Iranian missiles and the missile launchers. Israel needs the Golan Heights in order to have early warning of any launch from these Iranian missiles. This is without even considering the possibility that Bashir ‘the butcher’ al-Assad deciding that he could bolster his position in the Arab world by launching attacks on Israel and using the ensuing violence as proof that the Israelis are aiding the anti-Assad forces and it is an Arab obligation to assist al-Assad against the anti-Assad forces and Israel. But even al-Assad is not reckless as to attack Israel while she holds the Golan Heights. This is the importance of the Golan Heights. Holding the Golan Heights by Israel makes the chances of a new war all but nil. Israel retaining the Golan Heights means peace.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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