Beyond the Cusp

August 13, 2018

Peace is an Israeli Leadership Obsession

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 2:00 AM
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The last few days have been excessively rough on the civilians in southern Israel. By most accounts, Hamas had launched well over two-hundred rockets, mortars and incendiary devices across the border targeting these beleaguered people. Every six hours or so Hamas announced that some part of their myriad of leadership councils, political wing or whatever had accepted a ceasefire. In response to each peace announcement, in Pavlovian fashion, the Israeli leadership breathed a sigh of satisfaction and called the military to stand down. Hamas kept this rouse of throwing up their arms and declaring peace followed by another series of rockets and incendiary balloons and such. Immediately after each barrage there was another claim of peace from Hamas through Egypt and the Israeli leadership called the military to stand down once more. The peace did finally emerge and appear to take place, for the time being until it doesn’t again.


What makes this Pavlovian response to anyone claiming peace for the Israeli leadership to immediately jump up and congratulate one another at reaching an agreement and telling the IDF to stand down so darn aggravating is that Hamas has used their seemingly trained response in order to get out of paying any price for shooting at Israeli civilians and also for shooting IDF troops who do as any troops do when told that a ceasefire has been reached, they take off their helmets and climb out of their position and stretch their legs and walk around. This also unfortunately makes some become viable targets. This has taught many an older soldier to warn the youth that they need to constrain their walking to places behind both cover and concealment for everybody’s health. So, by screaming peace, peace but giving no peace, Hamas had completed the final day of their assaults upon Israeli civilians without paying the price of an Israeli response. But the Hamas offensive has done more than that in that it has split the country into two very separate camps. There are those who believe that the government restraint was a saintly act and those whose desire after suffering these past months of constant threat to life and limb and with many, correction, most of the farmers anywhere near the Gaza border facing the complete loss of their crops and in some cases their equipment and in the worst cases, they suffered loss of lives and injuries. In Sderot alone, there were a number of injuries over the past months but the even more telling has been the numbers taken with shock including a number of pregnant women who either had contraction and birthing pains which subsided while less fortunate mothers went into full labor prematurely and were rushed to hospitals where they gave birth, in a few cases dangerously early. These are the injuries which are immeasurable in this the immediate frame of time. These are the injuries which last for a long time. Mothers and fathers who worry the premature delivery may have harmful effects upon their child or children. Should their worst fears be recognized, then the injury has now spread to the entire family who will love a challenged sibling all the more and provide all care necessary and provide them with an extra shelter of love, affections and protections. These are the potential real prices paid by Israelis.


What do we have to say about the price that Gazans have to pay from these encounters? We will not leave them out from our sympathies, though they will be tempered by the actions of the Gazans themselves. The Gazans are not required to run for cover and often do so four, five, six, a dozen times and more each night for weeks. Israel warns them of exactly what will be targeted and when and then strikes with precision hitting most often just the immediate target and nothing more. About one fifth of the new damage to Gaza each series are caused by their misfiring missiles which strike their own structures (see tracking data below). Of course, they immediately send out a news release such as for the one below demanding the world condemn Israel for striking a hospital and a refugee camp. Within a day or day and a half, the truth is revealed through finding which Iron Dome radar system tracked the actual rockets striking their targets. This time there was a tracing of the four rockets fired with one striking the hospital, one the refugee camp, one struck out in the Mediterranean and one struck close to Ashkelon. The problem is the claims by Hamas that Israel struck an operating hospital was headline banner news and the reality which came the next day barely resulted in a blip, let alone corrections and headlines that once again Hamas had fooled overanxious editors always so very eager to file anti-Israel articles and slow if not seldom in correcting their facts. The reality is not that the Israeli authorities do not counter the Hamas exceptionalist fake news stories which the Western media run with as if it were the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it is that their response to such with cold, hard facts is meaningless and often has been posted as Israel claims Hamas was wrong and Israelis now claim. Never mind that Israel is showing you the exact route the four simultaneously launched rockets from a four rocket launch MLRV system which are often fitted to the bed of a Toyota pickup truck. This is a known and recognizable Hamas mobile launch platform heavily used for its maneuverability and ease of hiding by placing a tarp over the launchers while reloading making it look similar to any other such vehicle with a load of produce, firewood or any other item covered over in the bed.


Radar Trajectory of barrage launched from within Gaza depicting strike points including the short round strike on the Shifa Hospital which Israel blamed by Hamas and Media accepted Hamas talking point unchecked

Radar Trajectory of barrage launched from within Gaza depicting strike points including the short round strike on the Shifa Hospital which Israel blamed by Hamas and Media accepted Hamas talking point unchecked


The citizens of southern Israel were insisting on their government to take whatever steps were required to prevent Hamas doing the same series of attacks next year and the year after until the Israelis finally do act. The problem that the government sees is such an exercise with sending troops into Gaza would run into the tens or hundreds of millions and more importantly result in dozens of IDF soldiers dead and some couple hundred presumably innocent Gazan civilian deaths as well. This is where many people across all of Israel are upset, not just the people along the Gaza border. A growing number of people desire to have the entirety of Gaza removed, simply wiped away and the land reincorporated into Israel and the building of homes, farms and five-star hotels along the beachfront and Gaza to be transformed into the economic powerhouse area which is possible if your aim is not to murder every Jews on the planet starting with Israel, as is the hope expressed in the Hamas Charter. That is the core of the problem right there. Israel can never make peace with Hamas because Hamas does not have the words peace or ceasefire in their vocabulary when speaking to any non-Muslim nation. Peace in only permitted for those regions which are ruled by Islam, in particular, by Hamas. They will agree to a hudna which they will break as soon as they feel they are adequately armed to cause Israeli some new form of misery. In the past, it had been rockets but the Iron Dome made their rockets no longer acceptable in the price to performance ratio. That made Hamas have to come up with a new form of attack which the Iron Dome does not protect Israel against, and they found just that by attaching incendiary devices to kites and balloons which fell throughout the southern lands setting huge fires to wheat fields, flower crops, forests, wildlife preserves and quite a few civilian structures. Equally telling was their selected targets for their rockets, all were launched and landed nearest civilian neighborhoods with virtually none striking IDF bases. That is what Hamas aims to produce, dead Israeli civilians.


It does not stop there as they do everything possible to allow their civilians to be killed as by doing so they can cast Israel as terrible savages. They go so far as to take off the green bandanna from a dead terrorist’s head, remove all his weapons, ammunition and grenades, they literally strip them of anything which would imply they were a Hamas terrorist and then claim to the media and the world this was another killed civilian. This is possible with terrorists as they dress similarly to the general public with a few noticeable differences which make them obvious to any observer. As with the story depicted above, the mainstream media run with another Gazan murdered by the IDF when in reality it was a terrorist armed heavily just moments before he was stripped of every vestige of his military identity. When the names are officially tallied it always corrects many of such problems and a closer match for the IDF numbers. Israel even warns neighborhoods that buildings within their camp or neighborhood is going to be struck by IDF bombs or tank fire or striking force soldiers and they list an approximate time. When the IDF do attack, they bomb an empty warehouse, empty rocket manufactory, or an unused training field. Hamas hopes that they keep their attacks measured enough that any Israeli response is measured, and this was attained this time around, as Israel did not invade Gaza and go house to house. This had become the last hope and prayer of the farmers and residents of Southern Israel. The residents desired an IDF raid to assure that all Hamas and Islamic Jihad offensive capabilities were destroyed specifically and completely. These residents were left to await the next round of violence and crops destroyed and homes ravaged by fire or rockets very possibly starting again as early as this fall but almost guaranteed next spring or summer. This would be a travesty just as was the willingness of the Israeli government to cede Gaza to the Palestinian Authority who lost it in a popular overthrow of that government with near eighty percent of Gazans supporting either Hamas or Islamic Jihad. With such high level of support for Hamas, the entirety of the Gaza population could be treated as fellow conspirators.


Meanwhile, in Israel there will be questions demanding to know why Israel did not commit booting Hamas, Islamic Jihad and even their supporters from Gaza. The leadership from the Prime Minister through the Defense Minister, Security Cabinet and on down the line in the coalition and opposition will all agree that Israel cannot do anything which may aggravate President Trump and the Americans. We completely agree but we interpret this as meaning that nothing Israel does in her defense and in ending the Hamas tyranny of terror would, in any way, aggravate President Trump or the supporters of the Jewish State in America. But the Israeli government often includes others such as France, Britain, the European Union and even the United Nations. Such fearful leaders do not make for great leadership. At the Synagogue we were talking before services, and the United States came up a lot in the discussion. It was pointed out that our government had let us down and took the political measure and decided that doing nothing, or as close to nothing as possible, was the politically expedient path the entire way. They had likely decided that except in a mass breach of the border, nothing was to be conducted using manpower on the ground risking the lives of the soldiers. They also probably looked at their election numbers and decided that their votes from Tel Aviv far outweigh those in Sderot and the Gaza border communities. What they may not have figured is how many of the Zionist community and even mainstream people including middle of the road Israelis there are. This refusal to act could actually have profound consequences if elections come while such is fresh in everyone’s attention.


The one misgiving some Israelis will lament is how so many in Israel believe that you must vote for the political party to which you belong. If they have upset you, then your only recourse is to not vote thus denying your party of your vote. But what if another party offers somebody who you think would be a perfect Prime Minster, why not support them. Well, how can I vote against my party? Some treat this as if it were the law. So, the first and most obvious requirement for a leader who can replace Netanyahu is that they must be capable of swaying voters to vote outside their party. This would be possible if one party had such a leader and their list for Knesset Ministers was impressive enough to tempt people to either change their party or vote outside their party. Fortunately, it is easier to get Zionist and right wing people to vote their conscience and party be damned. So, the first requirement is to have a strong leader in the top spot. Likud will put forth Netanyahu claiming he is the man with the most experience. This is entirely true as he has been the longest serving Prime Minister of Israel. Yisrael Beiteinu will most likely have Avigdor Liberman once more at the top of their list. If it is starting to sound like we are in a rut, you have a good point thus far. There will be Zionist Union headed by Avi Gabbay with Tzipi Livni second on their list, Joint List which includes Hadash, the United Arab List, Balad, and Ta’al with someone chosen to lead which currently is Ayman Odeh, Yesh Atid lead by Yair Lapid who is a man possessed with being Prime Minister, Kulanu which is currently led by Moshe Kahlon, Shas being led by Aryeh Deri who many never got past his conviction for corruption, Meretz with their new leader Tamar Zandberg who very well might bring enough excitement for them to fain a few seats but with little chance of leading any coalition, United Torah Judaism being led by Yaakov Litzman and finally HaBayit HaYehudi or Jewish Home which would be led by Naftali Bennett as everything appears currently though there were some polls which depicted Ayelet Shaked bringing the party greater support though she claims she will not replace Bennett as long as he wants to lead the party. This is likely to mean that when elections are held everything might simply remain exactly as they are now.


Part II Tomorrow


Beyond the Cusp


July 16, 2018

The Man with the Iron Grip


There is a politician who controls his party to such an extent that anybody whose popularity rises to a point where they might pose as a rival, their continued ability for recognition becomes subsumed by inner party politics. They soon find themselves placed so far down on the party list for the Knesset that their hopes are dashed. Once not in the Knesset their ability to receive media coverage shrinks and before one realizes, they are no longer in the public eye. Through this maneuvering, along with his group of close supporters who aid in these maneuvers, this man remains the leader of his party and in line to become Prime Minister should his party prove to be chosen to form a coalition after elections. Add to this that his party has a near monopoly on right-wing and nationalist politics; he has remained Prime Minister for closing in on a decade. Additionally, he has made arrangements; some might call them deals, with those who might challenge from other parties such that his party and he remain the sole apparent leaders for his nation. This remains the appearance of politics for the upcoming future.


Despite opposition groups who have powerful positions investigating he and his wife continuously even managing to wrench out an indictment every so often, these attempts to mire him with criminal acts always have fallen short as they often consist of wisps of hope and despair. These leftists will never rest, as their belief that they alone are the ones with the only correct and legitimate solutions despite their previous attempts when enacting such solutions have all resulted in disaster after disaster. Still, they scream and shout about how everything being done is wrong-headed and will result in the end of the nation’s legitimacy. They stomp around demanding that their righteous solutions must be enacted immediately if the nation is to survive. Fortunately, the people have come to realize that the opposite of this is true, which has cemented this man referenced above as Prime Minister.


What about the leadership of the other parties, one might query. Once, in an election cycle, there was the drive which placed one such person as a potential rival for Prime Minister. This election also had a strong alliance of a group of leftist parties in an attempt to garner enough support from their collaboration that they would receive the nod to form the coalition. The long-serving Prime Minister struck a gentlemen’s agreement with this challenger who then made a statement which removed any consideration of granting him the leadership of the nation. His party suffered a great loss of votes as many who would have supported him immediately reconsidering and casting their vote for the only other choice and the man was returned to power. This other party has now been struck sufficiently hard by this deal that they will need years to claw and climb back into contention.


The sole other party which might challenge for the Prime Ministership has as their leader a man who many perceive him as just not quite what they desire in a leader. He has great name recognition and support, largely from leftward leaning supporters with a smattering of those on the middle-right. He has made those right-leaning supporters before the public to enhance his claim that he is just as right-wing and just as nationalist as the current Prime Minister. Many find that a shaky proposition and remember his claims to support the Two State solution and other leftist ideas. He is finding his support and loud claims of this being the central idea for his solution to the greatest problems facing the nation as a legacy he just cannot escape. This will very likely prevent his ever becoming the Prime Minister.


Right Wing or Left Wing

Right Wing or Left Wing


The other right-wing, nationalist and religious parties are too small to make a challenge unless one was to find somebody who would shine bright enough to mount a formidable challenge. Perhaps one of the former rising stars from the Prime Minister’s party might form a party and present an alternative. The problem with such is as a former member of the Prime Minister’s party, he would face the charge of seeking to aggrandize himself potentially at the nation’s risk. This could be sufficient to sink such a campaign. But the real problem lies elsewhere.


Currently, another right-leaning, nationalist, religious and Zionist party has proposed a piece of legislation in conjunction with a member of the Prime Minister’s party which would remove the 2005 disengagement plan which gave Gaza and Northern Samaria to the Palestinian Authority (PA) so they could prove their ability and capacity to build a functioning society which had proper governance and economic development such as is the aim of most nations’ governments. The PA lost the Gaza to Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations which have provoked war after war with conflict a constant ever since their coup in 2007. One need not look far to see the disaster Gaza has become. Many claim their problem is their disastrous economic condition and claim that is what drives their terrorist acts and violence. The actual problem is their total fixation by their leadership to destroy Israel and their subverting revenues and resources which could be used to feed the economy and provide the necessities which governments presumably are to provide and the insistence to pay for building rockets, infiltration tunnels and paying people to commit acts of violence and terror that causes the economic problems.


That still leaves the areas in Northern Samaria where the PA could have built a functional society. Instead of investing in the future of the society, Mahmoud Abbas has lined his, his families and his cohort of collaborators pockets and diverted ever increasing portion of the remaining funds to pay terrorists and their families funds in proportion to the numbers of Israelis they managed to murder. This has ended the opportunities for those under the rule of the PA. This is despite their receiving disproportionate amounts of international aid. Such is the proof that granting the PA the opportunity to provide a functional society has disastrously failed. Thus, legislation to end the ban on Israelis entering these territories is in order. When this disengagement was enacted, Jews were evicted from the communities of Homesh, Sa-Nur, Ganim and Kadim. This law would allow these families, many of whom still have not found new homes and live in temporary mobile units, to return to their homes and rebuild their lives. This would not in any way alter the lives of any of the PA Arabs and could result in these Israelis providing additional employment opportunities for PA Arabs residing in the region. PA Arabs have found that finding work in Israeli owned businesses provide their best opportunities with higher salaries than they can receive within the PA region. This was covered in this New York Times article which admits the advantage of Arabs finding employ with Israeli businesses though they amplify the idea that these businesses should not be permitted to operate in lands on which the New York Times does not believe that Israel has any claim, but they also do not believe Israel has any right to exist, so why should these be any different.


This bill would likely improve the lives of both Israelis and those who will be their PA Arab neighbors. Further, since these Israelis were removed, the IDF presence had to be maintained as threat and actual terror attacks increased when they removed their patrols and bases. These had to be reestablished. If the IDF had to be returned to the disengaged areas, why not allow the former resident Israelis to return. But despite the Prime Minister originally signaling that he would give this legislation the green light, he has since blocked its coming up for discussion a dozen times and appears to be about to do so once again. In the explanatory notes to the bill, it is written, “The purpose of the [Disengagement] plan was to lead to a better political, economic, demographic and security situation. Yet today it is clear to all that the Disengagement not only failed to achieve this goal, but in fact caused tremendous damage to the State of Israel in these areas. Despite the expulsion of the residents from northern Samaria, there was no change in the area in terms of the status of the land and the military presence there.” Justice Minister Shaked has brought the bill to the agenda of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, and 12 times Netanyahu has removed the bill from the agenda with the aid of Minister Yariv Levin, who is the deputy chairman of the committee.


What are the reasons for this reversal of direction? The Prime Minister has given reasons of various types including, “We have to wait for coordination with the Americans,” “This is a politically sensitive time period,” “We cannot disrupt the struggle against the Iranian nuclear program,” and “We should wait until the relocation of the embassy.” None of these are the real reason. The real reason is far simpler; he likes being Prime Minister and will not alter the situation which makes him the sole legitimate savior. This is why there will be no change of the situation in Gaza or in the PA territories. As long as the threats remain and the people realize that steady leadership is the game, then he will remain Prime Minister. The good news is that in the future there is one who many people would rally around, were they to be placed as the party choice for Prime Minister. This would take an unusual move by that party, as they would need to place somebody who is not the leader of the party as their candidate. This is because the current party leader is not about to step aside while they continue to have strong support allowing them to remain as the party leader. So, all we can say is that with time things might arrive with the stars aligning in just the right way and the planets all lining up signaling a great and momentous event is coming. Until then, we wait and we apparently will continue to elect the man as Prime Minister. Until then, the status-quo is the way it will go.


But wait, there’s more. A group of Likud members are pressing for the upcoming “Nationality Law” to exclude the mention that Israeli code of law gives special consideration to traditional Jewish law. The rest of the “Nationality Law” includes the establishment of the status of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish People and the right of the Jewish People to self-determination in its homeland as a unique right for the Jewish People. It would also anchor the symbols of the state with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Jewish calendar as the country’s official calendar, and Hebrew as the official language. The original writing of the “Nationality Law” also included provisions giving special consideration to traditional Jewish law but Likud Ministers of the Knesset have signaled their willingness to abandon the clause. “It is unthinkable that there would be no mention of “Mishpat Haivri” (traditional Jewish law) in the Nationality Law,” said Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee Chairman Nissan Slomiansky from the Jewish Home Party. Chairman Slomiansky added, “Likud leaders promised to include this in the Nationality Law. Has the Likud really decided to abandon Mishpat Haivri?” One can only wonder what the Prime Minister will demand of his party members as he has demanded this law be passed by the end of the summer session in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, the leadership of the Jewish Home Party, a member party of the ruling coalition, has refused to vote to allow passage of the “Nationality Law” without the “Mishpat Haivri” clause. This could lead to a direct confrontation between these two nationalist parties with Jewish Home, as also a religious party, is standing on solid ground supported by their members to stand up and confront the ruling Likud Party over this issue and the result will be telling.


Beyond the Cusp


October 18, 2016

America We Need You Now


The world has not managed well with the United States in retreat on all fronts. OK, we’re sorry we kept protesting you at every turn. We really did not mean it when we were chanting, “Yankee Go Home” by the thousands in some of our most foolish times. We never expected that you would take it personally and actually leave us to the whims and machinations of those who rose in your absence. America, we admit, we need you now and, if we are lucky, you will return before it is too late. We look at your coming election and are confused as you seem taken by slights and insults as well as tales of peccadillos of trivialities from sexual advances made in a time of your self-proclaimed “free love” where anything goes. How can such blind you to the real sex crimes happening throughout much of the world around you where civility is a word which has no place and no meaning. How can you be so preoccupied that sex-slave trading across much of the Middle East where ISIS sells victims of their reign of horror, there reign of terror where a woman is but an item to use, abuse and then sell and repeat and in the end sell for the tools of war. You were once the tower of honor which tamed those things that have exploded in your absence and we the people of the world suffer your absence, the sense of order and morality your soldiers bring. Have there been the random and rare acts by the few for which the jealous media and tin pot dictators rejoice in their ability to equate your soldiers with their terror spreading forces who often and regularly provide for similar and worse acts themselves. The United Nations also points their own blood soaked finger at any imperfection, any tarnish on your usually spotless shining armor. What they fail to understand is by your airing your own dirty laundry; you gain the right to judge the world with the honor you gain from your own righteous policing of your own as well. You judge yourself and the world with the same yardstick (meter stick if in European based systems as it helps to also be adaptable).


steppenwolf live


We could laud your greatness and the times you have defended the helpless asking for no reward. You have liberated oil rich nations such as Kuwait yet you demanded none of their wealth in payment. Your ingenious oil rig firefighters came and extinguished the great field fires and still you took only the treasure equal to the services provided and at a reduced rate as no travel time was necessary beyond the one-time trip to Kuwait and home to Texas and Oklahoma and a few other states we regret of which we were unaware. Then there are the disaster relief, search and rescue, and aid programs to places struck by the many ravages of nature be it volcano, earthquake, flooding, drought or fierce storms all whose survivors understand your generosity and concern for your fellow man where your acts show the truth that yours is a society which treasures our similarities and minimizes our differences. Only the Israelis can be equally counted on when assistance is required due to these cataclysms in any sense of equal dependability and often even quantity. You are often the salvation from the darkness. You were the savior in the War to End All Wars and still in that century you came again assisting in ending the greatest War of all Wars. After the great World Wars, it was you who kept Europe safe from the aggressive hopes of the Soviet Union until they finally collapsed through financial implosion as they attempted to keep up with the Reagan rebuilding the military and starting new programs with scope such as Star Wars (SDI).


We need America as she has kept herself in hiding far too long. She was never made to lead from behind and necessarily never completely invisible from the scenes which cried out for her tenderness which had been there before but vanished nearly eight years ago when the Perfect One climbed into the Oval Office set on relieving the world of American misdeeds. This much lauded leader sold the design that America had brought evil on itself through acting harmfully throughout the world and especially in the Middle East. The American absence forced with little planning or cares for tactical necessities and in the vacuum there grew a great and diseased festering cancer which contaminates even beyond their areas of control spreading their diseased poison which has even infected some within your shores. Awaken America as your oceans no longer make you invulnerable as the world has changed. Do not let the sirens’ song lull you to sleep as your Ship of State is as vulnerable as all the rest. Britain realized the threat despite the media and political theater broadcasting the gloom and doom of departing the Brussels autocracy yet the people by a narrow margin chose freedom, independence and, most importantly, control over their borders. That is something every nation should heed, borders and the security over their availability for immigration. America, we need you now and, oddly enough, you need us too. America, we need you now, time to return and care for your sons and daughters as well as ours as we had gotten so accustomed to we took you for granted. America, we’re sorry now and apologize if you like, just find your way home as the world can no longer play without you very much longer.


Beyond the Cusp


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