Beyond the Cusp

June 29, 2014

Of What Restraint Doth the UN Human Rights Office Call?


This past Friday Rupert Colville, spokesman for the United Nations Human Rights Office stated, “Clearly these boys need to be found, that’s totally understandable, but the scale of operations and the number of people they are affecting is deeply disturbing. We reiterate our call for strict adherence to international law by all relevant actors and join others in their call for restraint.” Referencing the mother of one of the abducted teens and her witness before the United Nations in Geneva Mr. Colville commented to reporters, “As a mother herself, she expressed her understanding of their deep anxiety about the fate of their sons. We are concerned that the three teenagers have still not been located, after being missing for 15 days. We hope for their immediate safe return. Our heartfelt sympathy also goes out to the mothers and loved ones of the six Palestinians, including two teenagers, who have been killed by Israeli forces, in addition to the many others who have been injured, during these past two weeks.” Returning again to his criticisms of the search tactics and expressing his alarm at the loss of life and reputed violence he continued commenting, “We call for prompt and thorough investigations, and prosecution of the perpetrators in cases where there has been excessive use of force. We are also concerned about reports of damage to property and theft during these operations, especially house-to-house searches, and their traumatic effect on children and families.” Mr. Colville’s contemptuous commentary was the third denunciation out of the United Nations calling out Israel for their actions operation in Judea and Samaria which begs a few questions.


Exactly how much effort and to what extents should one be limited to in searching for three abducted teen age boys taken as they were returning home from a long day of studies at their schools, their Yeshivas? What is the hope to find these youths alive from amongst a population whose government had deplored for them to obstruct the Israeli efforts in any possible manner? Should the finding of hidden storage areas filled with bombs and improvised explosive devices as well as arms and ammunitions in large quantities have any relevance in the search parameters? Does the United Nations have any words for the Palestinians who rioted in order to prevent searches from proceeding and who threw and slung stones and flung firebombs at the IDF troops with intent to cause as much harm and impede the searching for the kidnapped teens? Why is it that I doubt the United Nations has any real concern for the well-being and safety of these Jewish youths violently torn from their lives and families with malice aforethought? The only gladness I can feel is that the United Nations did not express the same warnings and attempt to pose any limitations on the efforts to rescue the young girls stolen from their families by Boko Haram in Nigeria. On the other side I have heard no denunciations of the subsequent and seemingly continuous abductions of youths in Nigeria. Obviously, the United Nations is slowly proving that it no longer has the moral authority of the nations as their mission but instead they have relented to echoing the seething hatreds reflecting their increase throughout our unfortunate planet. The United Nations has unfortunately chosen to showcase the ugly hatreds which are growing ever more prevalent throughout the seven continents (the current count appears to have grown from the old and traditional five to seven and probably with more to come as our world further fragments) with an ever growing swiftness shrugging off the lethargy the horrors of World War II had inflicted on the hatreds of old.


There is a little piece of news I would like to share with the United Nations and those who believe that Israel is the source of all evil and takes joy from their imposing inconvenience as they search with hope beyond hope that the three teens, Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel, and Gilad Sha’ar, remain alive and well without having suffered the deprivations and any possible tortures which have befallen previous youths so abducted; there is no joy and those in the IDF will show all the respect and more to any acceptance and cooperation they receive and try and minimize any discomforts despite that which they are most certainly having thrown upon them as they are professional and their leadership accepts nothing less. Do not take my words for this assessment, search and read the opinion of former British commander Colonel Richard Kemp who spoke commending the Israeli Defense Force as most professional in handling suicide attacks stating before the Goldstone committee, “During its operation in Gaza, the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.” This is the military the United Nations simply believes on face value any degradation and derogatory claim levied against them. The United Nations false recriminations are something which had become perfunctory for their many agencies with a special mention for the Human Rights Council which begins every session with a discussion of what denunciation they will pass against Israel as the bylaws make this a requirement. Then there is the series of anti-Israel hate-fests which are disguised as honorable debate on racism and xenophobia under the title of the Durban Conference. There is one thing which can be said for the United Nations, they are consistent if nothing else. One might wonder what would happen if the honorable representatives from the United Nations were to actually pursue peace and positive relations between nations without bias or preconceived and judged situations by how they could possibly assist to enforce justice and calm the chop and tidal waves of injustices and enforce the rule of law with blindness and a degree of equality without prejudice. Perhaps I ask too much of the single world body established as a place where nations could discuss and settle differences in an atmosphere of mutual respect and free of the animosities and prejudices which plague the society outside of its halls. Instead the United Nations has become an amplifier of the hatreds and animosities it was presumably formed to relegate to the ashbin of history. Perhaps expecting such from anything made by mankind and the nations they populate is beyond reasonable expectations. Still, ask yourself how much effort and how far would you go to gain the return of your own child unharmed should they, G0d forbid, be abducted. What would you leave unturned and what doors would remain locked? None, right?


Beyond the Cusp


June 22, 2014

Israel Must Take Definitive, Unequivocal Stand Against Any Further Terrorist Releases

There once was a time when Israel drew a strong, definitive, well-defined line that her leaders refused to cross and her people had enforced refusals to negotiate with terrorists and to never under any circumstance release terrorists for any reason, even to presumably save kidnapped or captured Israelis no matter who they may have been. Eventually, after much erosive pressures Israel caved and made the initial exchange of a terrorist for a hostage. This was a shocking new turn from the nation which would, against all the odds, manage to pull off the most miraculous rescue operation in which her special operations forces from the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) infiltrated the Entebbe International Airport in Uganda on 4 July 1976. Israel daringly loaded one-hundred commandos over two-thousand-five-hundred miles (four-thousand kilometers) to rescue the one-hundred and two hostages held by a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist cell. These were the remaining Jewish passengers plus the pilot, Captain Michel Bacos, who refused to leave while any of his passengers remained endangered from the original three-hundred and four passengers and twelve crew members of Air France Flight 139, an Airbus A300, on route to Paris, France. The Israeli rescue mission cost the IDF one officer from among the personnel deployed for the mission, Lieutenant Colonel Yonatan Netanyahu, brother to current Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. The rescue mission has been immortalized in film and well documented and studied as one of the most daring and successful anti-terror rescue missions ever attempted, let alone carried out. This was the measure of Israeli principles and determination when it came to negotiating with terrorists.


Unfortunately, the Entebbe mission actually was executed after Israel had already compromised on their stated rule of no negotiations, no prisoner swaps, and reliance on the IDF and Mossad to prevent or rescue any hostages. The definitive act occurred as a response to the hijacking by the PFLP, the same terrorist group responsible for the later Entebbe hijacking which proved that one successful hijacking releasing terrorists would lead to further such hijackings, of an El-Al flight from Rome to Tel Aviv on July 22, 1968. The plane was diverted to Algiers where all but the seven crew members and five Israeli male passengers were released almost immediately after landing. After forty days of negotiations Israel backed down releasing sixteen convicted Arab terrorists in exchange for the hostages. The slippery slope continued eventually leading to the most disastrous of negotiations with terrorists with the Oslo Accords in September of 1993 which promised that Israel would allow the return of Yasser Arafat and his top echelon of terrorists and Israel would attempt to negotiate the formation of an Arab state for the invented Palestinian people to be formed from within the then existing borders of Israel. This led directly to the disengagement from which birthed Hamas controlled terror entity within Gaza and later to the exchange of over one-thousand terrorist prisoners for the return of a single soldier, Gilad Shalit. Israel now faces the next installment of her emasculation where three teenage youths have been abducted and Israel is searching in hope against hope to find them alive and well before they can be whisked away and hidden beyond any reasonable reach of Israeli forces.


With the precedent having been set and the trending reached such an absurd level that no Israeli Prime Minister can, without the near complete support of the Knesset and a willing media to give cover, take the now near impossibly difficult path of refusing to meet the demands of terrorist hijackers or kidnappers. Directly due to the collapse before political pressures from the “Free Gilad Shalit at any Price” campaign which took the form of demonstrations as well as an all in sympathetic media further supported by Knesset Ministers using the strong public protesters as a backdrop to politically attack the Prime Minister, all converging to permit the release of over one-thousand terrorist prisoners for the sole IDF soldier, any attempt by a future Prime Minister to refuse to negotiate or release any untold numbers of terror prisoners is guaranteed to spell political ruin and an end to that ruling coalition and very possibly a complete defeat and possible collapse of the party lead by said Prime Minister. With this in mind, one has to realize that the recent claim by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya who called for the release of all Palestinian terror prisoners from Israeli prisons is not seen as excessive by the Palestinians or much of the world. There have been calls from Hamas controlled television stations for the kidnapping of six additional IDF soldiers so as to gain the release of six-thousand terror prisoners in Israeli custody. Palestinian media has already explored the concept of gaining the release of at the least three-thousand terrorists in exchange for the three young teens kidnapped last Thursday. These threats are additional reasons that the roadblocks and checkpoints are necessary in order to prevent the movement of the kidnapped youths, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel, thus allowing for the IDF and other units to locate and rescue the young students and prevent the government and nation of Israel once again being held to ransom their children’s safe return.


Israel is going to need to take some time once this current crisis has been resolved even if it must be done in the manner of already set prerogatives. Then the Knesset will necessarily need to address what will be the path proceeding forward from this point. The first decision is whether or not the people of Israel deem it a necessity to support those Jews and Israelis living beyond the Green Line and if not should they be required to relocate within the Green Line allowing for the return of the disputed lands to Arab control. The next decision is similar to the first except this time the lands addressed are those of East Jerusalem including the Old City, Temple Mount, Kotel and Western Wall. Once the Israelis have voted and reached a collective decision, then the Israeli people need to address whether or not to allow any government elected official or appointed official to decide to trade terrorist prisoners for abducted Israeli civilian lives and on another front IDF soldiers who have been captured during operations or kidnapped by terrorist forces or their state supporters. Once these decisions have been voted upon and decided, the results would need to be incorporated into the Basic Laws so that the will of the people can be enacted and enforced and thus made binding on future governments such that there will be no ambiguity. The pieces of truth that Israelis must contend with and recognize is that no matter their choice in these referendums, the Palestinian terrorist government and forces will continue to abduct Israelis, they will continue to attempt to terrorize and murder Israelis, their view of a perfect world is one which is completely Muslim and without a single Jew anywhere, the terrorist entities will test Israeli resolve and exploit any weaknesses they find, the world will never ever support the Israelis, and finally the only recourse Israelis have today are the same choices their forefathers faced throughout the history of Judaism and these choices will continue to be the ones perplexing Jews into the future. Unfortunately, all too many people and too many Jews refuse to learn anything from history. Even sadder is how many believe that history has nothing to teach us because we today are more evolved, more sophisticated, more intelligent and just generally more capable of coping and finding new ways of doing things, which is why everything we read in the newspapers reads so similar to items we could have read and learned about in those old and dusty history books. As the famous sayings by poet and philosopher George Santayana go, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” and “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”


Beyond the Cusp


May 9, 2014

Boko Haram Kidnapped School Girls Still Held Hostage

Boko Haram, an Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group, kidnapped three-hundred Christian girls from a school in Nigeria and is threatening to sell them as slaves. Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group, made the threat horrifically clear, stating, “I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the Market by Allah!” After a burst of laughter he continues, “There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women!” Boko Haram in a similar attack in 2013 stormed a school in northern Nigeria massacring at least fifty students. There is actually a unifying theme in these attacks with the meaning in English of the terror group’s name, Boko Haram, which means “Inauthentic Forbidden Ideas” in the Hausa language prominent in Nigeria’s Muslim-majority north, by which they claim that any education other than the study of the Quran is inauthentic and thus forbidden and evil form of study and those partaking or providing such education must be eradicated. Boko Haram is also known for their attacks on Churches and other Christian buildings, businesses and communities throughout Nigeria especially in the northern and bordering provinces.


The situation has raised a hue and cry from numerous sources beginning in Nigeria where President Goodluck Jonathan has received a hail of criticisms demanding to see more actions from the government. Doyin Okupe, a spokesman for President Jonathan, told CNN, “The president and the government (are) not taking this as easy as people all over the world think. We’ve done a lot but we are not talking about it. We’re not Americans. We’re not showing people, you know, but it does not mean that we are not doing something.” To the government’s and President Goodluck Jonathan’s credit, it has been reported detailing government efforts which include two special battalions which have been tasked solely to the search for the missing girls. Further, helicopters and aircraft have already searched between two-hundred and three-hundred areas and are to continue surveillance over additional locations. The government has indicated that they have plans to dedicate further forces in the operations to locate and rescue the girls.


As far as any assistance to be provided by the United States, President Barack Obama, according to NBC News, on Tuesday stated, “So what we’ve done is — we have offered, and it’s been accepted — help from our military and our law enforcement officials. We’re going to do everything we can to provide assistance to them.” Further information was provided by the United States State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, “The help includes the creation of a ‘coordination cell’ to provide intelligence, investigations and hostage negotiation expertise… The cell will include U.S. military personnel.” Additional comments come from Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine who told CNN, “More can be done by this administration. I would like to see Special Forces deployed to help rescue these young girls. Some of these girls are as young as nine years old. They’re being sold into slavery, forced into marriages, required to convert. This is just horrible.” The situation has turned even more serious as since the initial abductions there have been additional abductions of at least eight girls between the ages of twelve and fifteen, who were snatched Sunday night from the village of Warabe, a small rural village near the border of Cameroon, an area considered a stronghold for Boko Haram. Additionally, Boko Haram has struck the town of Gamboru Ngala, which is also on the border with Cameroon, where gunmen razed scores of buildings and fired on civilians as they tried to flee. Ahmed Zanna, Senator for the Gamboru Ngala area, the death toll at three-hundred quoting statements from local residents. The town had been left unguarded as the soldiers normally based there were redeployed as part of efforts to rescue the kidnapped girls.


Boko Haram has assaulted numerous churches and other Christian targets often bombing churches during Sunday services in order to maximize fatalities. A report from January 27, 2014, Boko Haram struck a church in Waga Chakawa, a village in Adamawa State, killing at least twenty-two people. Reports from the scene related that members of the Boko Haram sect attacked a Catholic church in the morning setting off explosives and firing into the congregation. Furthermore, many houses were also burnt during the siege which lasted approximately four hours. In an infamous Easter Sunday attack it was reported by, unknown gunmen, likely from the Boko Haram terror group, assaulted communities of Wukari in the Taraba State starting the attacks at about 1:30am on Sunday Easter morning and continued till 3pm Sunday Easter afternoon. Reports confirmed that a church was burnt down during the attack along with many homes belonging to non-Muslims. Subsequent reports placed the fatalities as high as one-hundred-fifty innocents. This assault came mere days after the reports of a massacre of over two-hundred lives in Nyanya attack by Boko Haram in the Abuja federal capital territory. Additionally, back in 2011, Boko Haram conducted a suicide attack on the United Nations building in Abuja killing at least twenty-five people. A quick perusal of a search of the Internet gives results of numerous terror attacks against Christians and even other Muslims who have opposed the group’s tactics openly. They include targeting government instillations, churches, homes, businesses, bus depots and any place where people might congregate. The totals are simply horrific and because these assaults take place in Nigeria, not exactly a top vacation spot or a place under constant focus of the mainstream media mostly gets little coverage with whatever coverage received seldom hitting the front pages as this current attack has taken. This does not mean that the terrorism committed by Boko Haram is any less significant or horrific than any other. Actually, it is worse than much of the terrorism that receives front page coverage and headlines from the mainstream media.


We have covered the horrors of Boko Haram with a summary of some of our articles which can be found  here. May we express our prayers that the abduction victims of Boko Haram are recovered safely and that they are capable of making some form of a recovery from their traumas and find a path to a normal and fulfilling life despite their harrowing experience. Our thanks and best goes with those tasked in locating and rescuing these young women and G0d’s speed in the fulfillment of their tasks.


Beyond the Cusp


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