Beyond the Cusp

January 18, 2019

UN Group of 77 Show Their True Colors

 

The United Nations Group of 77 developing nations has decided to remove all doubt about who and what they are and represent. Their recent elections for choosing their leader for the year of 2019 simply revealed that their unilaterally voting to sanction Israel at every turn was no accident but a well thought out, even if dripping with hatred and a jealous spite, belief that if only Israel were to be destroyed, their world would improve. Their choice of Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority to lead their group should not be unexpected from a collection of the worlds worst run nations which are mostly led by dictatorial leaders who promise the moon and a socialist dream delivering in its place a nightmarish existence where the people remain impoverished and their lack of interest or ability for development makes their title of developing nations a laughable joke. We can understand why they have a jealousy dripping with hatred for Israel as just sixty or so years ago Israel was an agrarian culture and economy just as undeveloped as their nations and is now one of the leading nations in technology in fields from agriculture to medicine to computers and on to almost any field one might care to mention. They see the wealth of Israel as something stolen from them because they were equal with Israel sixty years ago and now Israel is a wealthy nation so their question is from where did that wealth derive? Their leaders claim that it was gained through stealing the raw materials and cheating the other developing nations’ ability to develop. Israel, according to their leadership, took all the available materials and wealth without sharing any with the other developing nations thus the Israeli wealth was stolen from the rest of the world which Israel left behind. These are the same nations who also claim that the United States has stolen their wealth by becoming so wealthy such that they are left with nothing.

 

One may ask where does their mindset come from? It is steeped in jealousy, anti-capitalist agendas and, as far as Israel is concerned, anti-Semitism. Even when it comes to the United States, many claim that the reason for American wealth is those Jews stealing from the rest of the world and there is always that canard that the Jews actually run the United States and even Europe or even the world, which is quite interesting for a group which does not even make up one-half-of-one-percent of the world population. But as between Israel and the United States one has included three-quarters or more of the world Jewish populations, thus it must be the Jew’s fault that these developing nations are so poor. It has nothing to do with their leaders who live the good life, are driven around in new Mercedes or similar make of vehicle, eat lavishly and many have stashed away millions of dollars and Euros in Swiss accounts. This is something Mahmoud Abbas can give lessons as he has stolen billions from the inflow of monies the world lavishes on the Palestinian Authority (see graph below). If these nations ever realized the reality that the Palestinian Arabs receive such a disproportionate amount of international aid monies, which could be distributed to these developing nations, then with decent leadership, this could change their plot in life. Many of these nations will never realize, as they are fed a constant diet of propaganda about how the rest of the world mistreats them and steals from them, that nations such as India, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and even China succeeded facing similar difficulties and starting points.

 

Graph of Aid Money to Palestinian Territories and other needful locations

Graph of Aid Money to Palestinian Territories and other needful locations

 

What did these developing nations have which changed them from agricultural undeveloped countries into some of the strongest economies in the world? It is actually what they did not have. They all rejected the concept that the developed world could never compete with the established nations and thus required a special form of governance where everyone was given a piece of the pie and was cared for by the government. Further, they also rejected central economic planning and the purely socialist model and instead adopted a free market and took on the established nations by playing the same game as the developed world used to make its fortunes. Their economies and governance were both bottom up and rejected top down autocracies. They had faith that their people would choose wisely and development could be grown naturally and would only be harmed by the stock underdeveloped world practice of socialism and top down planned economies. The nations which went from developing world, which is another name for undeveloped world, to first rate economic powers did it exactly the same way the United States and Europe had attained their economic might, free markets, open competition, low taxes on companies and investments, and an accepting system allowing for developed nations to seek these locations for their own expansionist enterprises. They also had legal systems which were well managed and guarded against corruption and refused to nationalize any sector of the economy when it began to flourish in order to distribute their accumulated gains while taking a leader’s share off the top. When countries nationalize an industry, this makes others very wary of investing or placing their resources within such a nation as they see the governance as threatening to their success. Allowing the wealth to grow naturally is the solution which took many nations from undeveloped to developed.

 

This was also the route taken by Israel. Truthfully, Israel has an advantage which many nations were not privileged to acquire. The Arabs throughout much of the MENA* world forced their Jews to flee either by edict, persecution or passing laws which denied the Jews equal rights in many areas of which legal rights was almost always one of the first stripped leaving Jews with no recourse were somebody to steal their property. The Jews were also refused entry to many of the world’s nations unless they had a relative who would sign for responsibility for them financially. Thus, most of these Jews ended up in the one nation which would accept them penniless or wealthy just because they were Jews, Israel. Many of these Jews were tradesmen such as tailors and other trades. This added to the developing cities in Israel but Israel remained largely agrarian until the Jews finally were granted permission to leave the Soviet Union. Then came an influx of people who had even the slightest attachment to being Jewish but had a Jewish grandparent to people who were fervently Jewish and had been persecuted for practicing their religion. But all of the Jews with varying attachments to the faith did have something else in common; they were largely highly educated. These were scientists, physicians, mathematicians, computer programmers, electrical engineers and a plethora of other skills. This was the secret which launched Israel to the forefront of technology in numerous fields. What was even more of an aid was many were professors with the skill of teaching the next generations. Would Israel have made it to a developed nation without this quirk of fate? Probably, it just would have taken somewhat longer. Israel had the right governance and only required time and giving up on some of its most socialist programs which actually impeded such growth.

 

There is another thing which has made Israel reviled by the less wealthy nations of the Group of 77, the same reason that the United States also has received such rough treatment in the United Nations and elsewhere, the fact that both nations attempt to assist these developing nations by sharing technology and other forms of aid. This results in the opprobrium because such aid only reinforces the helplessness felt by the people and this is stoked by their leaders as further proof that Israel and the United States are stealing their wealth. These leaders have to have a scapegoat to cover for their skimming off much of the aid wealth themselves. We have talked about the agricultural aid Israel shares with Africa but it is worth noting it again with two articles, first Top 22 ways Israel aided Africa in last three years and How Israel is redefining foreign aid for the 21st century. If you think these articles come from some slanted sources, that is fine, please check out their claims independently. Israel has a different idea about how to assist the third world nations. It often demands that they perform their work after bypassing these nation’s governments and taking the aid directly to the people. This is largely true on how Israel gives agricultural aid. Israeli agricultural aid does not consist of sending boatloads of food to the developing nations knowing that such aid, if it ever reaches the people, undermines the development of their economies, as their base economy is agricultural; so sending food undercuts the farmers by lowering the price of food. Instead, Israel works with the farmers and the villages which are off the beaten path, so to speak, and shows them the means for improving both their yield and the quality of their production. They introduce modern means of plowing and irrigating as well as providing seeds for crops which are hardier and better suited to their use. These are natural seeds so that the farmers will have seeds for the next year’s planting as they have not been engineered like hybrid seeds but instead raised through selective breeding in order to produce a normal plant with not only healthier plants but also the seeds for the ensuing years will continue to have these advantages. Israel provides instruction to medical personnel on new techniques and often brings patients to Israel for treatment when necessary. Israel also sets up new departments for these trained medical personnel in their hospitals including all the modern equipment required. The leader in this field is SACH (Save a Child’s Heart) which has given needed help to children from throughout the world as well as training and setting up departments in numerous nations and hospitals. Lastly, there is the IDF team which is dispatched to numerous, but not quite every, disaster zone after anything has gone horribly wrong from natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes etc. to nuclear disasters and anything else under the sun which is evidenced by the below map which shows Israeli disaster relief worldwide (for an interactive version of the map click here and an article click here). As is evidenced, Israeli aid has reached every corner of the globe. The map shows only official aid sent by the Israeli government and does not include aid by private institutions and other Israeli efforts. But this aid has not improved the voting record of many of the nations who have received lifesaving aid sent by Israel. This is because governments of the United Nations Group of 77 often are not representative of its people. Actually, these governments have an intense and visceral hatred of Israel because of the assistance Israel has provided simply because they realize that the people might wonder how it is that the tiny little nation of Israel travels halfway around the globe and offers aid, assistance, training, sharing technology and other vital services and their government does nothing.

 

Map of Israeli Disaster Relief in the World

Map of Israeli Disaster Relief in the World

 

Israelis do not expect the world to change from the way it is. Israel certainly does not expect the United Nations Group of 77 to alter their voting to condemn Israel at every opportunity to change. Israelis likely believe that the United Nations Group of 77 has chosen their representative well. A President of a non-country who steals aid monies and diverts contracts to his sons enriching the family and ignoring the people except to offer them money if only they will murder Israelis is likely just representative of the governing leaders of these countries. The truth be told, Israel does not expect very much if anything from the United Nations. Many Israelis would probably tell you that they believe that Israel should simply pull their Ambassador to the United Nations and resign as the institution is next to worthless. These Israelis should fear not as within a short period, ten to twenty years at the most, the United Nations General Assembly with vote to revoke the United Nations recognition of Israel and demand that Israel leave the community of nations, they like giving the membership to the United Nations an important ring to it, community of nations. This will force a vote to be taken in the Security Council over whether or not to expel Israel revoking her membership in the club. Depending on how far the United States has slid farther to the left, thus no longer proffering Israel their protective veto, the Security Council is very likely to confirm the General Assembly request and expel Israel. The only thing we have against this finality is that Israel still bothering to remain a member and not simply leaving of her own volition. It is difficult to name any United Nations agency which has not decided that Israel is the most vile and hateful nation in the world with one sparkling exception, there was the time that United Nation’s World Health Organization recognized the Israeli army’s field hospital, which is regularly sent abroad to provide aid at natural disaster sites, as “the number one in the world”, which says it all in a sentence from the article itself. Well, even the United Nations gets it right once in a while, or wrong depending on what your opinion is of Israel. As they say, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

* MENA = Middle East and North Africa

 

July 19, 2018

The Cost of Appeasing the Rest of the World

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 1:54 AM
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Israel pays a huge cost simply by appeasing the world and giving weight to their near constant whining, finger pointing and condemnations. This problem is especially framed by the United Nations as well as many of the separate agencies including but not limited to the Human Rights Council which starts their agenda every session with a condemnation of Israel, UNESCO which has gone to great lengths to dismiss the three thousand year history of the Jewish People in the Holy Lands and even UNICEF blaming Israel for the death of child stabbing terrorists in a study resulting from anti-Israel NGO’s whose report was taken at face value. Another area of loud protests at virtually any opportunity is the European Union and member nations including but not limited to France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and more. These denunciations have been raised against Israel despite the restraint used by the IDF and the timidity of action permitted by the political establishment. The world is aware that should Israel decide to end all the unrest in Gaza and the Shomron, they could unleash the IDF removing virtually all restraints and within a couple of weeks the entirety of the Palestinian Arab regions could be cleared of almost every Arab with any connection to terrorism and working for the destruction of Israel. Israel could then simply annex all the lands which currently are ruled by Hamas and Palestinian Authority, actually the Palestinian Authority has been declared void by Mahmoud Abbas thus that area is actually ruled by the PLO. The remaining Arabs could be given the choice of remaining and living under Israeli rule with the right to vote in local governance but, since they would be regarded as resident aliens, would be barred from national elections or they could choose to leave and be compensated for their property and given airfare to whatever destination they planned to start their lives anew. That would be the end of the Palestinian Arab difficulties with the Israelis and the world would need to face the reality and allow the Arabs they have held prisoner in camps along with their children and their children since 1948. That is the most immediate means for ending these problems and the world would jump up and down and yell and scream for a period and eventually they will learn to live with this solution.

 

Now let us discuss the price of the recent violence which is now lasted far too long. The loss of fields, crops, forest regions and wilderness preserves was closing in on one and a half million dollars as of early June. These fire-kites and fire-balloons have left too many farmers’ fields burned to the ground looking like the images below. This has been the damage which the world has been appraised of and their response has been to shrug. The world really does not care as they write such off as the price the Jews must pay to have their own homeland. They would respond that if the Jews do not like the violence, well, they could always simply leave the land giving it back to the Arabs; Arabs who mostly moved into the area after the first Jews began to rebuild the region and initiated productive economic regions. The Jews could always return to the nations they came from, right? Well, does anybody honestly believe that Syria, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Iran or any of the other Arab and Muslim nations who expelled their Jews after Israel was founded would permit their return? How about Europe, would any of our European friends take their Jews back? We are not talking about saying such in a discussion, we mean in reality. How about the United States, does anybody believe that the United States would accept close to seven million Jews? The United States would not even take in nine-hundred Jews from the refugee ship the St Louis in May of 1939 as she steamed up the length of the east coast and ended up back in Germany where the Jews were placed in the concentration camps. Perhaps South America or Africa would take in the Israeli Jews. Maybe Japan or China would take in the Israeli Jews. Nobody would offer the Jews refuge and we do not wish to leave Israel once again and return into the diaspora.

 

Fire Damaged Field in Israel with Smoldering Region in Background

Fire Damaged Field in Israel with Smoldering Region in Background

 

Fire Damaged Area Including Destroyed Storage Building

Fire Damaged Area Including Destroyed Storage Building

 

But let’s discuss the cost of the past ten days. Over two-hundred rockets have been fired out of Gaza and into Israel injuring a family of four when a rocket slammed into their home. For this family, the damage to their home is inconsequential compared to the trauma they are suffering and the wounds they suffer. Further, the Israel Iron Dome anti-rocket systems were reported to have intercepted more than twenty of these rockets. Now let’s do the math. They shot down over twenty rockets which likely means they fired well over thirty interceptors which cost fifty-thousand dollars each, and those are just the interceptor and not the Iron Dome systems which each cost millions of dollars and then add in the training of IDF soldiers in use and implementation of these very complicated and high-tech systems. Just the interceptors cost over one and a half million dollars, or if you prefer numerical representation, they cost over $1,500,000 just for the interceptors. Just for the record, the rockets cost less than one-hundred dollars each with the majority costing less than fifty dollars. The reason Israel designed, built, field and stock amply the Iron Dome systems is the cost is considered well worth any price if it saves lives, and the Iron Dome systems have saved very likely hundreds if not thousands of lives since its inception and first being fielded.

 

Why doesn’t Israel just go in and wipe Gaza clean? That is a good question. The answer is only partially that the leaders care far too much about how the rest of the world will react. What we have seen has been very frustrating when Israeli politicians appear to worry more about how the Europeans will react and less about what the people of Israel desire. What is frightening is that most of the alternatives for leadership would likely be even worse as those from the left would fall over themselves to give more areas to the Arabs just in an attempt to prove the failed ideas which gave us the Oslo Accords were really correct and only needed the right people, meaning them, in charge. They will not work because the Arab leadership has made it clear; they will take every inch of land that Israel is willing to sacrifice until there is no more Israel. The only solution they will accept is for the Jewish State to be destroyed. All of that aside, we realize that a Torah observant Jew is supposed to follow the rules in Torah and cherish peace and live an exemplary life which will be reward itself. Still, living an exemplary life and desiring peace and trying to live as an example of what a fair and decent person is supposed to be is not designed or desired to be suicidal. When facing people whose main desire is to kill you, it is not desirous that you remain passive before their attacks. Passivity in the face of belligerence is not peace, it is sacrificing oneself and all that for which you stand. One should not tolerate attacks by those who are set on your destruction; one should act to meet such attacks with such force such that your assailant will never desire to attack you ever again. This does not include in the reasoning anything about what will the world, a world which also desires your nation destroyed, will think or how they might react. Living to please those who detest your defending yourself is a form of national suicide and not a preferred style of leadership. Fortunately, the people of Israel are growing tired of the timidity in the face of belligerent actions coming from either Gaza or any other direction, be it from the north and Hezballah under Iranian direction or from the east and the PLO. Iran is behind much of what is being done from Gaza but it must still be possible to deter the forces in Gaza by making the attacks too costly for the leadership. Perhaps striking their homes, vehicles, the mall, restaurants and other stylish places which are far from the rocket launchers would strike the leaders where it would hurt foiling their plans the Hamas leaders have devised to protect their own homes while risking those of the population at large. We understand that Israeli leaders desire to minimize casualties resulting from their airstrikes, so perhaps strike the mall at 3:00 in the morning and the restaurants at 4:30 in the morning when nobody is there. Find a time through observation when their house is empty and strike when nobody is at home if that is what you would prefer, just make it uncomfortable for the leadership and their social circles and relieve the cost for the people of Gaza. This might be more effective than striking empty training fields as how does one damage a combat training field? Why not give this a shot, as what has been the normative practice sure is not working.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 14, 2018

Exactly Spell-out What the Agreement Says and Means

 

The first thing we need establish is the exact wording of the signed agreement. In that effort, below is what the two leaders signed.

Convinced that the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:
1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

In many ways, one could look at this short and concise statement the two leaders signed, but that would be missing the main accomplishment, the two leaders met face-to-face, spoke with one another, nobody got hurt, and they singed a mutual declaration. This, in and of itself, was a great accomplishment as by meeting they were able to dispel many of the many misgivings, biases, superstitions, and other concepts which forced the two nations apart and prevented any real establishment of a new relationship. This was a first step to go beyond the old paradigm of demanding bribes for false promises. This meeting allowed for each leader to gauge the other and get a feel for whether they should be trusted or spurned. The big question going forward will be whether the two leaders make any further headway or decide to just allow everything to settle until all hope of a breakthrough dies. Then, should they decide to trust and move forward, then comes the question of in what way will anything produced in another round be different than previous agreements reached with the North Koreans.

 

President Trump Denotes Where King Jong-un Should Seat Himself

President Trump Denotes Where King Jong-un Should Seat Himself

 

To understand that, it helps to understand what the previous negotiations produced. That is not exactly a pretty story. In every former negotiation with North Korea, the United States came out holding the short end of the stick. Each one followed the same exact routine, a routine that only a politician could call successful. The leader of North Korea threatened some form of mayhem and turmoil and the United States President begged to know what would prevent their actually carrying out their threatened move. The North Koreans named their price, there was a brief period of hemming and hawing, and then the United States paid the named bribe and even a little more just to make sure. The bribe demanded was usually in some form of food relief, guaranteed energy provisions plus a boatload of cash. As we stated, it was a sorry affair. Usually within a year of paying the protection price, the North Koreans would proceed to resume their nuclear and missile tests breaking their side of the agreement. Breaking the agreement was a necessity otherwise; they would not have had the ability to start their next round of threats.

 

So, already the United States is an improved position as this time the threats got the cold shoulder and until Kim Jong-un had approached more apologetically. The initial temper tantrum received only the slightest attention approaching to seek what would be the price for resumed quiet. Instead, President Trump one-upped Kim Jong-un by threatening him right back. This was seen as foolish and tempting fate by most observers from all the usual places. They chimed in with the uncalled for advice, that swatting a beehive with a bat was not only dangerous but foolhardy. President Trump responded that the beehive was actually a pouty child and should be brought to civil behavior by punishing such behavior, not rewarding it. The champions of the status-quo cautioned that playing this game of tit-for-tat would only lead to a ruinous war and that the United States and the world would only be sorry and suffer great losses. President Trump simply ignored their advice and that this time things were going to be different when after Kim Jong-un threatened to use a nuclear device on Guam or maybe Hawaii and President Trump Tweeted, “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” This sent the normal into such a tizzy with some of the snowflakes melting and the wilting flowers running for cover all making Chicken Little seem absolutely brave and highly intelligent. The talking heads were claiming there would be glowing melting remains in cities everywhere. The reality was Kim Jong-un realized he had his bluff called and called in spades. Kim Jong-un broke first and came to President Trump pleading for a way out of the predicament into which he had gotten himself. President Trump was kind and did not make any huge deal of Kim Jong-un flinching and simply set up a meeting which Kim Jong-un could have had by the asking before all the inanities of who could threaten the most between Kim and Trump. That letting him off without rubbing his face in his loss, by not disgracing him, President Trump may have set himself up for Kim Jong-un returning to threats by breaking his word to President Trump and threatening one last time. Trump responded with the least amount of effort by simply cancelling their meeting. That was President Trump reminding Kim that it was Kim who needed to meet, not Trump and Trump still had a larger button on his desk that worked, all without having to repeat it.

 

President Trump’s Nuclear Threat Tweet

President Trump’s Nuclear Threat Tweet

 

Well, Kim backed down again and they have now had their meeting. There will be those who claim that the agreement does not say anything which might be considered thunderously calling in a new age. Well, they met, they signed before the cameras, and they left promising to meet again and President Trump was obviously the one controlling the situation while Kim was playing a quiet supporting role. That is far more thunderous than the begging to be allowed to feed the beast which had been the former response to North Korea and to such a point that Kim Jong-un was led to believe that all he need do was make threats and the Americans would shower him with aid meeting anything he demanded. Well, he found out that there is a new sheriff in Washington D.C. who doesn’t flinch as easily as Kim had been advised. The first sign that Kim Jong-un and the North Korean military advisors, who initially misled him, have been tamed will come should issue four be satisfied in a full and timely manner. That specified its requirements stating, “The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.” This would result in the immediate repatriation of those POW/MIA soldiers from the Korean War being returned by North Korea and doing so with a fair amount of alacrity. Should North Korea start making excuses and dragging their feet, then President Trump will know that they are back up to their old tricks and trying to play him for the fool. That will prove to not having been wise and they should have figured that out already, but some people learn really slowly.

 

The big test will be for North Korea denuclearizing immediately by disassembling their nuclear weapons laboratories and taking their Nyongbyon reactor off-line and shutting it down permanently. North Korea’s Nyongbyon reactor was taken off-line at its main nuclear complex in 2007 as part a disarmament-for-aid deal, but, surprise-surprise, that accord simply fell apart which was validated by satellite imagery indicating the North Koreans had resumed extracting plutonium. This will also be something which can be verified by satellite imagery and will be a definitive sign of compliance or of total disregard of the consequences of breaking their word with a President from the business world where your word is your bond. President Trump would not react kindly to such an affront. What should get President Trump put up for a Nobel Peace Prize would be an actual signing of a peace agreement between North Korea and the allied United Nations powers from that conflict. Of course, even considering President Trump for the award would be enough to raise the average blood pressure of all too many other national leaders and anti-Trump masses the world over that it would result in the total collapse of many a European health system and test those in the United States. Still, should he bring North Korea to comply and also end the conflict allowing the United States to cut their military presence, cut, not eliminate, in South Korea leaving a presence to man some of the positions along the DMZ so as to assure that North Korea keeps that peace. One can only pray that President Trump has successfully tamed the North Korean dragon and put a decent scare into the Chinese dragon making the world that much safer. Now we simply have to ponder, what next.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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