Beyond the Cusp

May 5, 2019

Hamas not Observing Ceasefire as Usual

 

We all have likely seen the cartoon or the rephrasing of the main idea of the cartoon and Hamas observing a ceasefire. Well, they are at it again having launched over ninety rockets this otherwise quiet Shabbat morning. Saturdays are Hamas’s favorite time to launch broadsides at Israel as most troops are off base for the weekend and the ones remaining may not normally be assigned the positions they may be manning. This time it comes after sporadic firing on Friday afternoon along with continued rioting along the Gaza border which included shooting by Hamas into Israel at the IDF positions put in place to prevent Terrorists from infiltrating Israel and murdering Israelis. As we type this abbreviated report, we realize that this is not news, there are no big surprises and it goes without saying that Israel struck back eliminating two rocket launchers. We could list the places where warning sirens wailed, the casualties were one boy injured while dashing to make it to a shelter in time and a few cases of shock. There were reports that rockets struck highway 4 and inside one community doing minimal if any actual damage. In Israel some of the potholes on the roads are where rockets struck because they were not tracked to strike anywhere there were people. The Iron Dome did intercept dozens, let us stress, dozens of Hamas rockets which might have done inordinate amounts of damage and potentially killed or injured Israelis.

 

All of this from Hamas and Islamic Jihad comes possibly as an Iranian ordered increase in activity against Israel as a response to President Trump having cancelled the issuance of any further waivers for importation of Iranian oil. The Mullahs in Iran had threatened to attack Israel should the United States take such steps while also threatening to strike at American forces in Middle East including especially the Persian Gulf region as well as along the Strait of Hormuz which they also threatened to close to all outgoing oil shipments. This would terminate as much as thirty-percent of world oil shipments. The Iranians are not insane, they just act as if they were. They know that attacking the American fleet would bring horrific retaliation ordered by President Trump. Having Hamas and Islamic Jihad pound away at Israel causes minor resultant strikes by Israel at the usual targets more as an effort to calm the Israeli public by pretending to have actually done something. We have been writing slowly and reading social media and what few news reports we can find. Saturday, Shabbat, is not the easiest of times to receive reports, but some is getting through. There have been additional rockets fired, one home has been struck but fortunately the family has escaped, one woman has been reported to have been seriously injured and the barrage remains off the international radar. It is only Israelis being inconvenienced and there has been no war started against Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Israel has obeyed the rules and not struck anything vital and has avoided hurting any of the world’s precious little Palestinian friends.

 

Let us talk about something which is seldom mentioned. That is the economics behind these attacks. These rockets being fired out of Gaza are inexpensive ranging from a mere tens of dollars to potentially possibly as high as a thousand dollars for their highest range and largest rockets. Then we look at the Israeli side of this economic equation and we find that each interceptor costs approximately fifty-thousand-dollars each. As Israel has very probably intercepted dozens of rockets, that would likely require anywhere from exactly two-dozen to as many as several dozens of these Iron Dome interceptors. This runs the cost of this one day of protection for all Israeli citizens from half-a-million-dollars to as high as two-and-a-half-million-dollars. Yes, what you read is accurate and is also the major differentiation between the two sides. Hamas and Islamic Jihad both receive or steal from supplies provided into Gaza by Israel after it has been checked for weapons and certain military use materials. Still, Israel is consistently forced to permit tons, literally tons, of building provisions such as cement, concrete, steel, aluminum and others which Hamas and Islamic Jihad take over ninety-percent of these provisions leaving the Gazans without sufficient materials to rebuild their shattered lives. Hamas and Islamic Jihad use these materials to construct bunkers, tunnels, underground rocket firing positions and infiltration tunnels which Israel largely (if not entirely) detected and destroyed which simply drove Hamas and Islamic Jihad to simply build more believing Israel has just been getting lucky.

 

This theft of material and other criminal activities conducted by the Gaza terrorists is what is causing the financial, economic, societal and environmental collapses and the destruction of those items most necessary for life. There have been reports that virtually all ground-water in Gaza has become undrinkable and may soon reach the tipping-point where it will become unable to support normative forms of life. This has been a direct result of a total disregard for the people, their health and the environment by those who rule in Gaza. This has nothing to do with Israel. Some Gazans, when they are assured of having total anonymity, have expressed their desire for Israel to takeover Gaza such that their lives would improve. Similar reports have also come from the areas under the Palestinian Authority. Many Palestinians are becoming very sick and tired of having their lives destroyed by the very people who are supposed to care for them. In Israel there are some who also call for the retaking of Gaza and of all of Judea and Samaria removing the terrorist infrastructure and remove the terror leaders who are behind much of the terrorism. In Gaza the children are trained in school to hate Jews and Israel and are indoctrinated into believing that if they give their lives while murdering Israelis they will go to heaven and live a life they could only dream of living. Mahmoud Abbas has gone further by paying the Palestinians for murdering Israelis at such a rate that their family could live comfortably on such a stipend. This will eventually have two effects, numerous families, eventually a majority, will rely on these payments for their support. Both societies are dysfunctional and becoming worse and less stable. The governances are unstable as they steal from the economies slowly destroying the society and all which is dependent upon a solid and steady economic stability. These kleptocracies are destroying their societies through their steady theft of resources draining resources as the leadership enrich themselves. Despite the Palestinian Arabs being the most well-supported groups receiving far more aid than any other group (see graph below), despite the receipt of the greatest amount of aid by the Palestinian Arabs, outside of the terror leaders and criminal gangs, the people themselves are amongst some of the poorest. That is far more accurate in describing Gazans while there are some who have found a means of enriching themselves through shrewd dealings but the average Palestinian leads a meager life compared to their counterparts within Israel.

 

Graph of Aid Money to Palestinian Territories and other needful locations

Graph of Aid Money to Palestinian Territories and other needful locations

 

What is further troubling about the rockets out of Gaza is that they are occurring in the immediate aftermath of the establishing of another ceasefire. It has become the signature of almost every Hamas agreement to the imposition of a ceasefire. For their firing rockets, launching incendiary kites and balloons, shooting at IDF units and other offensive attacks for hours beyond the official time set for the ceasefire, their hopes are that Israel will react strongly and then they will scream to the European Union, the United Nations and to countless NGO’s pointing at the Israeli breaking of the newly established ceasefire. The fact that Israel was responding to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other violence against Israel is considered inconsequential as attacking Israelis using terror is considered a normal activity and thus must be understood, not reacted upon. The world basically desires for Israel to simply take whatever punches are dealt to us; while were they attacked by one-thousandth the terror in a single attack on their nation, then they would be screaming war and demanding blood. But Israel is supposed to tolerate the terrorism against us. After all, did not Israel build the most awesome interception system called Iron Dome? That keeps you safe as we have noticed and the poor Gazans do not have such a device. This is not Israel’s fault as Hamas and Islamic Jihad have spent more on terrorism than Israel spent in the development of the Iron Dome; so it is obviously a matter of priorities. The Israeli priorities are the safety of their people and the preservation of life while Hamas and Islamic Jihad invest in destruction and deal in death, both their own people and Israelis. Hamas and Islamic Jihad use the death of Gazans as a weapon against Israel and use all their funds in attempts to develop means of destroying Israel. Hamas and Islamic Jihad claim they love the land but their every act appears to be attempts to completely destroy that same land. But what is the worst are the actions of the world in their demands that Israel absorb all the terrorism thrown at her while allowing every other nation to react militarily against any group perpetrating terror violence against them. That is the worst of all the double standards Israel receives. It is completely uncovered in that Israel is forced to accept rockets launched into her territory for the hours ensuing the initiation of a ceasefire as if the ceasefire actually states that Israel cease hostilities at some adopted time while the terrorists get to continue shooting at Israel for a number of hours after the onset of the ceasefire. This double standard is unsustainable.

 

What the world is unaware of is that many Israelis are becoming sick and tired of the double standards and being a punching bag. Many have come close to the end of their patience and others have reached the end of our wits. Prime Minister Netanyahu, Bibi, is the master at doing as little as required to get around actually addressing the situation. His reluctance to act has thus far worked to continue to allow him to remain as the Israeli Prime Minister. The fact is that Bibi is seen as the most capable to protect Israel from much of the world including those hotbeds of anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic activists such as the United Nations and the plethora of organizations it supports. While Bibi is pretty much safe from any challenge from the left, something this past election proved as he faced what many in the media predicted was going to be his final comeuppance. Where Bibi is vulnerable is from a competent leader with the correct view willing to propose ending the terrorist governances threatening Israel from within her borders. A candidate who would inform Mahmoud Abbas and the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad that no longer would Israel tolerate their terrorism nor would it tolerate their subjugating their people to line their pockets. A leader who promised a new day where Israel would no longer tolerate terrorism of any nature and if necessary was willing to take over the regions and replace their terrorist leadership. The main idea which would cause a challenge for Bibi is somebody finally coming out and credibly laiding out the plan to address and end terrorism either by the Palestinian Arab leadership otherwise Israel will take all the steps required to end these threats. All Israel requires is just such a leader, if only we knew where to find such a person.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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April 18, 2019

How American Jews Should Influence Israeli Politics

 

So, you either hate or love Bibi Netanyahu winning and likely forming a strong right-wing, Zionist, Religious coalition. There were four Jewish Congress-critters, Representatives Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey of New York, Ted Deutch of Florida, and Brad Schneider of Illinois, all Democrats, who came out strongly threatening Bibi Netanyahu against extending Israeli law to Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria. Well, that is all well and good for them to do as private citizens, but when doing so as representatives of other Americans and presuming to speak for Jews throughout the land, that is presumptuous to say the least. We are sure that in numerous leftist Synagogues there will be sermons and the usual gnashing of teeth that the Israeli people had the audacity to ignore the advice of their betters, after all, where would Israel be without American support. Well, let us address the so-called critical monetary support Israel receives from the United States once again (previous articles can be read here, here and here).

 

We will not go into the reason that America provides Israel with military aid as that can be read in any of the above articles. What need be told is the limitations on that aid money. The percentage has shifted over the years but seldom if ever dropping below three-quarters of the aid money being required to be spent on American equipment. The aid money has two main effects in theory. The first is to provide Israel with air superiority, something which has been downgraded slowly over the years to now it is closer to parity with the difference presumably made up for by the skill of the pilots, in theory. The second is to provide supplementary money for the American arms industry. Another effect, many refer to it as a side-effect, is that it makes Israel dependent upon the United States for resupply in times of crisis when Israel is between a rock and a hard place if not resupplied rapidly. President Nixon is loved in Israel for his resolute action during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Israel initially lost a great deal of equipment and used a great deal of her provisions turning the tide. This left Israel short on armor such as APCs and tanks as well as running out of the very essential bullets. From history we know that then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger advised President Nixon to force Israel to promise to give all of the former West Bank and Gaza to form a Palestinian State before resupplying her with the vitally needed equipment. If we remember well, he may have said to make them bleed. Nixon, to his eternal credit, picked up the phone, called the Secretary of Defense and ordered him to provide Israel with everything they required and to do so with the greatest of speed. The next hurdle was Europe as every ally refused to permit any resupply aircraft heading to Israel to overfly their airspace, let alone land for refueling. Portugal permitted the United States to use their airfield on one of their islands in the Atlantic Ocean and the resupply arrived helping to save the day, you might say. After this near disaster, the United States placed one of their ready supply depots inside Israel in a location which is a well-guarded secret, probably which can be found using Google. The premise for this depot is should the United States be required to respond to an emergency, they could send troops and these arms could be made ready and provided faster than attempting to bring them from the mainland. The secondary reason for this depot is that should Israel find themselves pressed for provisions; they have access to this depot which will provide for the immediate while resupply can be arranged without the urgency as in 1973 where Israel came close to the disaster of losing one war. One need remember that should Israel lose a war, it will be the last war Israel fights as after that loss, there would be no Israel.

 

Now for some facts which are often met with disbelief. The United States has not always been Israel’s close friend and military ally. In fact, after President Harry Truman went against every advisor and recognized Israel in 1948, the next thing he did was place an arms embargo across the Middle East, Israel included. For the Arabs this was not a problem as they had the support of Britain, France and the Soviet Union. Israel had as her main ally Czechoslovakia. Israel did not receive much in the way of aid from the United States until the late 1960’s and not very appreciable aid until the 1970’s (see graph below). Two items become blatantly obvious when examining the graph. First, is that aid to Israel was nonexistent through all of the 1950’s and well into the 1960’s. Second, is that United States aid to Israel has leveled out at approximately three-billion dollars annually. This fact will become more relevant later in this article. As stated before, the vast majority of this aid must be spent inside the United States. Most of the funds goes for aircraft as might be expected with the next largest amount going for aircraft parts and munitions for those very same aircraft. But the United States receives far more than these orders which benefit keeping the American manufacturing of the weapons of war remaining in business as the demands of the United States Armed Forces would be insufficient to keep all the weapons manufacturers afloat. Israeli orders may not be the largest ticket, but it is not insignificant either.

 

United States Israel Aid (Military)

United States Israel Aid (Military)

 

We stated that the United States gets more than just the return of their investment in Israel with orders for arms production from the United States. Probably the two most famous are the Super Sherman Tank and the rear-view mirrors on the F-16 fighter jet which the Israelis noted the pilot was unable to see if there were any enemies at his six o’clock (behind him). The more modern addition of rear-view mirrors came about when Israeli pilots complained of having a vital blind-spot. Some industrious crew chief came up with the apparently bright idea of using sport mirrors he went and purchased at an automotive supply store which led to a design engineering change which incorporated rear-view mirrors on all F-16 fighter jets (see image below). The above mentioned are merely examples as Israel also has provided numerous improvements, modification and other forms of upgrades, not all of which were adopted by the United States. The Trophy anti-missile defense system is one such example and Israel is working on modified versions for use on other vehicles in cooperation with the United States (article here). Israel also designed some other improvements for other systems including upgraded avionics and targeting systems. Israel agrees with every purchase of American weapons systems to provide full documentation of any alterations, additions or other improvements for the United States to consider whether such would be useful on their own systems. Israel most recent upgrade was the use of the Iron Dome targeting software and related requirements which has upgraded the Patriot anti-missile systems, but this is not supposed to be common knowledge.

 

F16 with After Modification Rear-view Mirrors

F16 with After Modification Rear-view Mirrors

 

Back to the American aid provided to Israel. When the aid reached the three-billion dollars, this was fairly close to the total Israeli GDP and was essential for Israeli military capabilities. Today, that aid is approximately one-percent of Israeli GDP. What is amusing is both Israelis and American Jews believe that Israel could not survive without continued military assistance as Israel is incapable of affording her own military requirements. The truth is quite different. The main reason that the United States desires to continue this aid is no different than when it was first negotiated, they do not desire Israeli competition in the lucrative field of military aircraft. Back in 1970 it was to protect the sales of the F-16 while today the reason is likely to protect the existing F-35 and more likely whatever a sixth-generation fighter aircraft system might entail. By having Israel in continued dependence on American aircraft, the United States avoids yet another aircraft competing with their own. The rising costs of military fighter aircraft forced the Europeans to jointly produce their Eurofighter Typhoon, the world’s most advance fighter, according to their advertising. Israel would be well advised to adjust their dependence upon the United States militarily as their aid could become questionable under a new administration. For that reason and for the well-paying jobs which Israel would gain, adding to her GDP, are two very good arguments for Israel to plan on becoming self-sufficient when it comes to military equipment.

 

 

Now, for those American Jews who wish to force their will and policies upon Israel, we have some basic advice. Make Aliyah and then you can help to elect a Prime Minister and a governing coalition more to your liking. This advice comes with a warning, once you have made Aliyah and are living in a nation the size of New Jersey, and not one reaching from one ocean to another ocean, your views will rapidly become more realistic and fitting to your location. Currently, any advice or demands you place upon Israel do not have any effect on your day to day lives. When you are in Israel, let us say Tel Aviv, and you look to the west and can see the Judean Hills which you currently insist must belong to some Palestinian Arab state, you get this chill down your spine if you have any sense of military strategies. The picture below pretty much defines the result of a Palestinian State along the Green Line. This and the increasing rate of conflict and terrorism are a rude awakening but it is also why Israel seems to be moving more to the right despite the warnings from the left in the United States.

 

Tel Aviv Now Before Green Line Peace and Tel Aviv the Day After Green Line Peace

Tel Aviv Now Before Green Line Peace
and
Tel Aviv the Day After Green Line Peace

 

It is not that Israelis are not listening to their counterparts in the United States, we are. It is just we tend to consider it almost as much as we react to things staring us in the face, so to speak or literally. The last Gaza war, the only reason that buildings in Tel Aviv were not struck and toppling into the streets causing thousands of deaths was simple, the Iron Dome systems which were placed between Tel Aviv and Gaza. Their near miraculous interception rate of close to ninety-percent became the miracle of that war, but eventually a way of getting past the Iron Dome systems will be found and we can only pray that Israel has the next system which will make the Iron Dome obsolete will be ready in time. Israel lives on the knife’s edge with no lack of enemies attempting to press us down and cutting Israel until there is no Israel. Living surrounded by people who desire your complete and utter destruction tends to affect the choices you make when voting. Israel is the safety net for Jews, all Jews. We were the safety net when the Arab world expelled almost all of their Jews during the 1950’s and Israel will be the safety net should Jews anywhere, yes, including America, require finding a home with minimal notice. Israel will not ask if you have any wealth or a job waiting or even an Israeli passport, only that you are a Jew needing refuge. Israel will take such Jews in with open arms and welcome them home, nothing more and nothing less. Jews who believe that tragedy cannot come to the nation in which they live are ignoring Jewish history which should have taught us that nowhere remains safe for the Jews indefinitely. Yes, even the United States has had its time where Jews were evicted from their homes when General Grant ordered the expulsion of all Jews in his military district, comprising areas of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Sure, President Lincoln countermanded that order, but by the time the orders reached Washington D.C. and were reviewed and the countermand was returned to Grant, much of the damage had been done. With the rising anti-Semitism around the world, Israel as the safe haven for the Jewish People has become more important with every passing attack upon Jews anywhere. With Jews being assaulted in New York City, once a safe haven for Jews, what more evidence is required that things are changing. To quote Frank Sinatra, sort of, If it can make it in New York, it can make it anywhere. That is as true for anti-Semitic attacks and worse as well as it worked for Frankie. What counts, Representatives Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey of New York, Ted Deutch of Florida, and Brad Schneider of Illinois, is that Israelis elected a government which will protect them and provide the decisions they find favorable. Further, if the Palestinian Authority can extend their civil law to the regions under their control under the Oslo Accords, why should Israel be prevented from the exact same actions in the regions Israel was granted control by those very same Oslo Accords. If you feel so strongly that you know better than the Israeli public and their chosen governance, then make Aliyah and form a party and run for the Knesset here on those very same ideas. We would wish you luck with your views in an Israeli election, but it is in Israel that you need be to exact the changes you desire for Israel, not in Washington D.C. We would welcome you with open arms, just come here and then you can work to make Israel in your own image. In the meantime, until you make Aliyah, allow us the privilege of electing whom we choose and have them fulfill the promises for which they received so much support. Thank you in advance for your understanding and hoped for making Aliyah so we can discuss this on equal grounds.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 8, 2019

The Israel the Media Ignores Intentionally

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 1:02 AM
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

There are two sides to virtually every story and by describing only half the story, the media shapes public opinions. This is especially true once political opinions and editorial censors cherry-pick what news to show and when media moguls frame an entire conflict, then the news can lead to damages which can never be reconciled. This has been very true about President Trump and especially the presumed guilt of Russian Collusion, but that we will leave for others to rectify which somehow the Mueller Report failed to close that in many eyes and they will continue to dig and claim to have found evidence demanding another Special Council. Where President Trump might lead in the one sided news stories and the framing such that every last accusation must be treated as the impeachable offense, but coming in second and being such a story for far longer has been Israel which has been hounded and scapegoated by the media consistently since even before President Carter, though his Presidency could be termed as the turning on Israel pivot by the media. We will begin our story with the Gaza regions of Israel and their largely untold story. The map below shows the Israeli cities, towns and Kibbutzim in close proximity to Gaza and there is where we begin.

 

Gaza Communities and Relative Sizes

Gaza Communities and Relative Sizes

 

There is one thing that is universal, children at play. Even in the above-pictured towns, one will find children at play. Like many children in the world, they play soccer and any picture of them playing soccer would appear to be totally normal until a second sharper and more detailed look provides what did not quite feel right upon the first glance. What appears wrong is in fact quite normal in these regions. The kids play soccer placing their goals along the mid-field stripe, one just past one end and the other just past the other end. Then they play running across the field placed sideways using the other lines on the field to designate out-of-bounds. Why would they play their games sideways when they have a complete soccer field for their use? Why would they use those easy to move goals when the field had very good permanent goals? It is not that they actually desire to play on a truncated and shortened field, but it has one extremely important quality, it helps them survive. These communities are not protected by the Iron Dome anti-projectile systems. This is because this may be the one improvement which hopefully can be made soon in the future. The reason the Iron Dome is unable to protect these places and the reason the children play soccer on a truncated-sideways field are the same, time; and its being measured at approximately fifteen seconds give or take three seconds depending on out of where in Gaza a rocket or mortar was fired. That fifteen seconds is how long these children, and all the other children outside playing, have to take shelter in any of the public shelters, the shelters which are basically shrapnel catchers often made from large pipes which are also used for water transport (see below). These shelters, which are places strategically in this region’s common areas, playgrounds, shopping centers and wherever a need is recognized, have to be close with easy access as the people and children all have that fifteen seconds to dash into one of these or other shelters. The schools of the region have been fortified with walls and especially roofs thickened with reinforced concrete such that even a direct hit would not penetrate and potentially kill children. Daycares, preschools, many shopping malls, and other stores are reinforced often at the expense of the owners and sometimes with government funding. Fifteen seconds, think about how far you can run in fifteen seconds, how about your mother or your aunt with a hip replacement, the more you think about it, the shorter fifteen seconds becomes. But running does one no great favor unless they have chosen the object into which they are running, and that fifteen seconds after the siren may be a mere seven or eight seconds as the detection took slightly longer to project potential areas which could be struck. The shelters around soccer fields are on both sides of the field at the mid-field stripe close to the benches and where fans would most likely to be situated. This is why the children bring their own goals and set them near the benches on both sides of the field, from this truncated soccer field they can play and reach the shelters most likely in under ten seconds, thus they are playing as safely as can be expected. But that is when they are even permitted to go out and play, as when the chances for Hamas or Islamic Jihad rockets is high, the children are kept at home where there is a safe room, a bomb-proof room built as a government program to retrofit every house with one such structure, most often the smallest bedroom. We would like to show a video but we are forced to provide a link and hope you view it, you will not be sorry.

 

Sderot Rocket Shelters Come Plain and Beautified

Sderot Rocket Shelters Come Plain and Beautified

 

The next subject we are going to address is a specific form of terrorism which one would not expect to specifically target children. Still, somehow it seems that the only people who suffer injury or worse, death, are inevitably children, by which we mean kids under age thirteen. One of the more recent of these events was editorialized over in this article which is just one of far too many similar events. The place for these terror strikes is almost always a window facing an Arab village in relatively close proximity, and these can be beyond the Green Line or within the Green Line, that boundary makes no difference and this proves that the Palestinian Arab fight is against all of Israel, not just the Green Line. So, it is a sunny Sunday morning and a younger child innocently walks to a window to see the wonderful sights along the valet below. The youth has stood at that window a thousand times and walked away unharmed. Yes, their overly protective mother has yelled and pleaded that they stop standing at that window, but it has the best view and we all know kids will be kids everywhere. This time there is the sound of glass being punched through leaving a hole with three or four cracks spreading a few inches. Almost like a delayed reaction, the child falls to the floor with blood dripping from their soaked shirt and they lie there motionless. The child has been shot by somebody within an Arab village hundreds of meters distant. This is exactly what happened on Sunday March 24, 2019, to a seven year-old boy in Beit El, as in the article. Just imagine that there is a potential for a person to be shot simply because they were visible through a window in the home. What is the answer to this dilemma; homes with fake windows fed either by a camera on the house or any of numerous scenes and themes from the Internet. But, honestly, there has to be a better means of addressing this potentially deadly situation. The youth referenced earlier was severely injured by the bullet but was saved by surgeons at the hospital where he was rushed. In Israel, one of the things we do with great speed and quality is emergency treatment. Most often, the first to arrive are the medics on motorcycles which carry a good-sized compartment with most of what they might require. Next will be the arrival of the ambulance with more EMT’s and these two working closely with hospitals often mean the difference between life and death. These heroes have saved many a life here in Israel and the motorcycle EMT volunteers are one of the reasons, as they can get through traffic far more easily than the ambulance even with sirens as both have sirens to alert other traffic to yield. The first few minutes after an injury are the most vital and often make the difference between life and death which is why the very rapid response in motorcycles EMT’s are such a blessing.

 

Sample of Fake Windows

Sample of Fake Windows

 

There are more threats such as Hezballah which all but rules Lebanon and has reached an agreement, informally, with the Lebanese military, as a fair number of its recruits are also part of Hezballah as this is how they manage to train their people to use modern heavy military equipment. In our little cozy corner in Nahariya, we are informed that when the sirens sound, we have at the most thirty seconds to reach our Apartment safe room. We tested it and when the dog figured out what we were doing, well, you can guess who was the only one who made it in under twenty seconds. Were we to take the precaution of dropping all of the window steel covers before heading into the safe room it would take closer to four or five minutes. There is nowhere in Israel where one had over three minutes from siren to rocket or missile strike. If an Arab state were permitted in the Shomron, then once Hamas has again taken over the region and Iran has sufficiently armed them in the Shomron areas as they have Hezballah in Lebanon, then nowhere in Israel would more than forty-five seconds between siren and strike (see map below). The map does not show the complete range of Hamas and Islamic Jihad who can readily strike Tel Aviv if they desired so, thus one would be required to extrapolate the times reaching to Haifa and Jerusalem and figure which attack would be more imminent, Hamas and Islamic Jihad or Hezballah, but such would complicate the map considerably.

 

Time From Siren Launch Warning and Expected Strike

Time From Siren Launch Warning and Expected Strike

 

Shootings, knifings and rockets can strike anywhere in Israel, but there is another form of lethal terrorism which all Israelis need to keep eyes open seeking a safe wall or other obstacle capable of stopping anything from a car to a ten ton truck to a front loader to any other heavy equipment to sooner or later an APC or Merkava Tank. All of these can be utilized in what we refer to as ramming attacks. Our government reacted fairly rapidly to this threat and put in place at bus stops and light rail stations steel posts cemented into the ground to prevent any vehicle striking any group of people waiting for a ride. This was seen as the best means of protecting the people of Israel, specifically those simply awaiting transportation. There were certain bus stops and light rail stations which appeared to be the favorites of these vehicular terrorists. Perhaps it was ease of access, maybe a long run-up in which to reach speed, or perhaps it allowed numerous escape routs. All too often, these vehicular terrorists will race through an area attempting to ram every bus stop along the way almost inviting an Israeli to shoot if they have a carry license. These terrorists of all stripes appear to have suicidal desires as if their death while committing acts of terror against the general public but more often than not, when the terror becomes an individual attack, inevitably they tend to choose a woman. What some have done to these women is enough to cause one to be sick to their stomach. The fact that they almost always rape their victim, but it is also obvious and included in the death reports that the victim had been brutally tortured and often this brutalization would continue until their victim expired. Coroner reports have, on occasion, been unsure if the rape intercourse came before or after the victim passing from the brutalization.

 

Often, and here is a crucial point, the terrorist is incapable of understanding that they committed any criminal act. Under Palestinian Authority legal procedures, were one to even face a trial for the murder of a Jew, there would be no possibility for any conviction and by later that afternoon, they would be celebrated in their hometown and across the Palestinian Arab Territories. Yes, there are two regions where the Arabs are ruled over by their own people, Gaza under a Hamas dictatorship and Area A and B under Oslo Accords where they are ruled by the Mahmoud Abbas dictatorship as he is in the fifteenth year of his four-year term as Chairman of the Palestinian Authority. Their oppressions are at the hands of the terror masters ruling them, not Israel. In these regions, Israelis are warned not to enter due to the threat to their lives (see photo below). Should one stray into these regions, their murder would go unpunished and their body also might simply vanish from the face of the earth. Within these regions, terrorism is taught in the schools, broadcast on their televisions where it aggrandized as a courageous way to act, their streets and parks and so much more are named after the terrorists who murdered Jews. Once, a while back, two reservists took a wrong turn ending up in Nablus where they were brutally torn limb from limb by a mob which had surrounded the police building and since the lynch mob was too large for all to take part in the acts, a youth poked out a window and extended his bloodied hands for them to see and gleefully yell with excitement. This photo taken at risk to life and limb by a brave reporter and can be viewed here, warning, violent content. Just to clarify, there are no similar warnings for the Arabs residing in these Arab ruled semi-autonomous regions when they come to enter Israel. There have not been but a few cases of Jewish terrorism against the Arabs, and they have all been imprisoned or died in the commission of their attack. In the Arab media, textbooks, newspapers, radio and virtually every other medium they are fed propaganda, the same tropes, and other traditional anti-Semitic undertones. When it comes to interaction, violent or otherwise, there is only one thing which might cost a Palestinian Arab their life, which is should they sell land or any residence to a Jew. That is against the law while murdering a Jew is considered an impossibility as by murder can only be perpetrated by one human being against another human being and under their laws, a Jew is not a human being and thus cannot be murdered. The closest one can get to the way the Palestinian Arab society views Jews would be to use a term recently used by Louis Farrakhan who stated, “I‘m not an anti-Semite, I’m anti-termite.”

 

Sign Warning Israelis it is Illegal to Enter Arab Region for Safety Reasons

Sign Warning Israelis it is Illegal to Enter Arab Region for Safety Reasons

 

Children in Israel are generally unbothered by the threats which abound. This is because even with terrorism, they know that it is unlikely to strike them. Many of the teenagers, like teenagers everywhere, they believe that they are invulnerable, invincible and indestructible. Israel remains within the first dozen nations of the world for happiness and our children bring us joy and are the definition of joy. What is a terrible thing is explaining to a child, five, six, seven years old, that they must never stand before the living room windows because they might be shot. We do not always see the scars caused by running to shelters sometimes multiple times each day for weeks on end. It does become evident on some children but others find some means of coping and even reaching a level of understanding. The fact that this is even permitted to pass without a solid effort to protect and serve the people, especially the youth who are our future, is a disgrace. The time has come where the citizens of Israel need to ask themselves what nation and what problems are they willing to pass off to their children. Can anybody claim that we need to pass the present broken system which allows citizens to be bombarded for as much as a week, a month or even longer off to our children where they will one day face this same dilemma? Israelis are electing the next government on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. We all need to think long and hard as to what we expect of our government. Do we want to remain with the kick the can down the road because to do what is necessary might upset much of the world. Well Boo Hoo I could cry you a river.

 

We need to report here that we belong to Jewish Home and thus are not exactly impartial. With the expected reelection of Bibi Netanyahu, we can expect that can to be kicked further down the road almost as if he prefers to retain the problems which allow him to retain his position AS Prime Minister. But perhaps the Israelis are ready to try a new and fresh approach. This could be a dangerous proposition as who would make a better Prime Minister would become the question. What we would need is somebody who understands the problems and who actually would prefer not to ever become Prime Minister and had to be coaxed to even enter the political ring. We have always thought that those who prefer not to hold power are often the most suited to wielding that same power and doing so with pinpoint accuracy. Currently, General Gantz is considered to be the main rival and he comes with Yair Lapid being Prime Minister after two years. With each man taking two years, it is doubtful much could be accomplished. Of course, that might be a good thing, as their stance on many issues would lead inevitably to a final Arab Israeli war, as the next war will end very abruptly and in a conflagration unseen by the world to our knowledge. This would be a very bad result but it would be an unavoidable result of simply providing a Palestinian State through another disengagement except this time the IDF will still patrol in the region. Their plan is to take the fiasco of the Gaza Disengagement and apply this to the Shomron and pull out the established cities and infrastructure leaving everything beyond the Security Barrier to the Palestinian Authority and top this off by leaving the IDF within lands Israel has discharged all claims of her sovereignty which is exactly the situation in Lebanon which eventually led to a disorderly and disgracing evacuation of the IDF which led to numerous complications. But General Gantz claims he has learned how to do these things correctly and yet that does not fill me with calm acceptance that he would be anything but a disaster. Of the remaining candidates, none of which have anything better than a hope and a prayer, but Israel is the land of hopes and prayers and where they can come together at the strangest times and ways. The main two choices would be Bennett and Peretz which would be a difficult choice. Of the two, General Peretz is the unknown while Bennett, along with Shaked, is known from their years with the Jewish Home Party. Well, they left that party in an absolute disaster of a state which appeared initially would be the end of Jewish Home as a viable party to reach the Knesset. Bennett claims he would be completely different from Bibi Netanyahu and that he left Jewish Home because we had caved to Netanyahu too often. Well, he was the party chairman who decided when we were to cave to Netanyahu and it was he that made those policies which we were to follow. We will allow you to draw your own conclusions from that. Ayelet Shaked did perform well and brought some miracles into the Justice System. The work there is far from done and short of forcing many of the Justices to pick up and leave a vacancy, which is unlikely. Former General Peretz is the wildcard. He was happily retired when he was approached and invited to take the lead of a damaged and injured party limping off to lick its wounds and possibly die if it failed to make the Knesset. Rafi Peretz is a man of moral leadership which he proved in numerous different roles during his time with the IDF. He was initially a combat helicopter pilot while later in his career he was the Chief Rabbi of the IDF. As a Rabbi, you know Rafi Peretz would be a moral leader, not just because he was a Rabbi but because he was selected as the Chief Rabbi of the IDF. Then one has to consider his other service as a combat helicopter pilot. This implies a man with great coordination, able of complex thoughts while engaged in the challenging piloting of the helicopter. He also knows the horrors of warfare but appreciates the greater risk sometimes caused by not acting. He has had to work as part of a team and also been responsible for actions he undertook on his own as a pilot. Where I cannot claim to have great insight into General Rafi Peretz (Ret.), my gut tells me that this is probably just the man Israel has been seeking. We will see his performance as we proceed and should he rebuild Jewish Home and make it into a party capable of challenging Likud, then we will see how much Israel can love him. Rafi Peretz taking the lead of Jewish Home has already had effects upon some friends and acquaintances who served in the IDF when he was Chief Rabbi and they respect the man so much that a fair number of them are switching parties. We are simply fortunate that such a leader has taken charge of rebuilding our party and now we will get the true measure of the man as time proceeds. Maybe the next election he can challenge for the top spot as Likud cannot last into eternity, or can it?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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