Beyond the Cusp

August 8, 2019

Our Problems with the BDS Movement

 

The BDS Movement, its longer name is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction of Israel and only Israel, is now being taught as a proper response to the Jewish perfidy occurring in the Middle East where Israel is presumably attempting to conquer all of the Arab lands. The claims made by the BDS Movement are that Israel is an Apartheid State, using ethnic cleansing, seeking to claim lands to form Greater Israel, racial profiling against all non-European ethnicities and various other blatant lies concerning the Jewish State. But the BDS Movement has a secret it uses in order to prevent their adherents from seeing anything which would challenge their propaganda. Should any of those they intend to indoctrinate with their anti-Semitic poison decide they wish to visit Israel to verify the validity or lack thereof of what they have instructed, they tell such a curious individual that part of BDS includes never-ever visit Israel as doing so would incur their spending monies in Israel thus breaking the BDS Movement’s basic attempts to starve Israel economically. But their real fear is that their lies would not hold up to anyone with eyes and an open mind who visits Israel, and even more so should they simply travel as their own guide and watching the interactions of Israelis. Add to this is the completely ludicrous claims that Israel has been attempting to form a greater Israel by conquering lands which belong to the Arabs and are a threat to all of the Arab World. Simply looking at the map below where the Arab (Islamic) World is in green and Israel and all of the lands it covers are in light blue with the lands occupied by the Arab Palestinians are in red.

 

The Truth Arab League Wants You to Know

The Truth the Arab League does not Want You to Know

 

There once existed Greater Israel back around one-thousand years before the Common Era under Kings David and Solomon. Israel in these ancient times reached from the Euphrates River to the Wadi of Egypt, known then as the River of Egypt as it marked the Egyptian border with the Jewish State. The current claims that Israel seeks in modern times to reform this Greater Israel claim that the River of Egypt must mean the Nile River as the Wadi of Egypt is usually a dry river bed except when rains fall and it floods. The maps below show the two concepts of what formed or will form a future Greater Israel, the one on the left is the conspiracy theorists claims Israel intends to conquer and the one on the right shows the historic Greater Israel that actually did exist. Does Israel, or at least some Israelis, desire making additional lands part of Israel? The answer is yes, many ardent Zionists not only desire, but demand of the world that the United Nations enforce Article 80 of their Charter to continue to enforce and establish the Mandate Lands which include the British Mandate. The British Mandate included the region which today is made up by Jordan, Israel and the disputed occupied lands. The British Mandate was divided between the Jewish Zionists and refugees and the Arab Palestinians in what the world, and especially the British, in a manner which represented some form of equality or lack thereof. This fair and even divide used the Jordan River as the basis for forming the border between Israel, the Jewish State, and Transjordan, later named Jordan and the Arab State. This gifted the Arabs with 78% of the British Mandate and Israel was to be formed by the remaining 22%.

 

Conspiracy Greater Israel and Kings David and Solomon Historic Greater Israel

Conspiracy Greater Israel and Kings David and Solomon Historic Greater Israel

 

Within a decade of the formation of Israel on May 15, 1948, the Arab and Islamic Worlds exiled and forced out the majority of their Jewish populations totaling over 800,000 Jews after stripping them of their wealth and valued possessions. These Jews largely were taken in by Israel as the European nations refused to accept any of the Jews unless they possessed a passport for that nation. The Arabs, on the other hand, had less than 700,000 refugees who mostly were the result not of the fighting, but were Arabs who obeyed the command by Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammed Amin al-Husseini who called for all Arabs living amongst the Jews to take refuge behind the Arab armies of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq and Yemen such that these armies could simply murder every person they found and then these Arabs would share in the spoils of the Jews after the Arabs reached the Mediterranean Sea. When the Arab armies were stopped from any further advance and were starting to be pushed out of the lands intended for the State of Israel, the United Nations, United States, Russia and most of the world demanded that the fighting be halted immediately. Nobody thought that waiting for the newly formed IDF to clear the lands back to the borders set under the British Mandate was wise, better that Arabs be left occupying lands promised the Zionists and the Jewish People. This was the origin of the Arab Palestinian refugees and later, in September of 1964, the formation of the PLO which initially insisted on liberating all of Palestine which was defined as the lands west of the Jordan River with the exceptions of Gaza which was occupied by Arabs of Egypt and what Jordan called the West Bank occupied by Arabs of Jordan. These lands were liberated from Jordanian and Egyptian rule during the 1967 Six Day War and defended during the Yom Kippur War. Israel also took control of the Sinai Peninsula during these conflicts which was returned to Egypt when they signed a peace treaty with Israel but the Egyptians refused to resume their control over Gaza. When peace was reached subsequently with Jordan, they refused to return to their areas called the West Bank, the Shomron according to Israel, returning them to Israel. This should have allowed for Israel to finally realize the borders promised after World War I (see map below) in a number of treaties, conferences and other legal events and documents all enforceable under International Law.

 

Mandate of San Remo for French and British including actual treaty demarcations for each nation

Mandate of San Remo for French and British including actual treaty demarcations for each nation

 

But the BDS Movement has arranged to have their own versions of history and reality. Their claim is that everything which led to the formation of Israel was as a direct result of the Holocaust and a means of alleviating European guilt over the murder of one-third of world Jewry. They deny the existence of the San Remo Conference, the Mandate System and the League of Nations, among other treaties and agreements, has designed the terms and the borders which would define the Arab lands and those of the Jewish State. The borders of Israel were supposed to be defined by what is the current border with Lebanon, the Sinai-Negev border, the Golan Heights and the remainder along the Jordan River. The BDS Movement, or at least their leadership, do not recognize these borders nor the existence of the treaties, conferences, mandates and the League of Nations implementations for restructuring of the borders of much of eastern Europe of the German Empire and Austria-Hungarian Empire as well as most of the Middle East and North Africa borders of the Ottoman Empire. These were the three empires which were on the losing side of World War I. The BDS Movement ignore all of this as well as discarding the entirety of the Mandate System such that they claim that Israel is a European colonial invasion of the purely Arab Muslim Middle East. Israel spent decades fighting to be released from the British Empire as she was a British colony. How Israel could be a colony of anyone other than the British before May 15, 1948, when Israel was finally released by the British and declaring her independence. Further, half of the Israeli citizenship are from the Middle East, North Africa, Ethiopia, India, South America as well as virtually anywhere on the Earth one might choose.

 

But let us look into the history of the BDS Movement. The origin of the BDS Movement comes from the Arab boycott of Israel which was born at the Khartoum Conference and the “three no’s” resulting from that conference. The “three no’s” are, “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel.” This was nurtured spreading the boycott to numerous entities around the world eventually morphing into the BDS Movement. The purpose of the BDS Movement is simply to isolate the Jewish State forming a virtual blockade around Israel preventing anything from leaving Israel going to anywhere else and preventing anything from entering Israel from anywhere. Further, they demand that all cooperation with Israel on any level including academic, scientific, economic, political, social, tourist or any other interaction making Israel a pariah amongst the world’s nations. The problem that the BDS Movement proponents run smack into is that Israel is not at all similar to what they cast her. As mentioned above, the Jewish population of Israel is diverse with a large segment of the population originating from the Middle East and North Africa as well as from Europe and the rest of the developed world. Israel even has organized two separate operations to save Ethiopian Jews who were threatened and called for a savior, and that savior was the same as the one which gave the Jews thrust out of the Arab and Islamic worlds, Israel. The Jews of India have also come to Israel in a fair number of people. Israel is most definitely one of the most diverse populations found anywhere in the world. This puts to lie the BDS Movement’s claims that Israel is an Apartheid country. With Jews returning to their ancient homelands from literally around the world coming from virtually every country. They are all citizens with equal rights including voting in elections, freedom of speech, thought and in virtually every other area. Furthermore, all Israeli citizens have equal rights whether they be Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Druze, Bedouin, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or any other people or religion even including atheists and secular humanists.

 

But the BDS Movement have decided to blame Israel for the woes and deprivations forced upon the Arabs in Gaza and in Areas A and B of the Shomron as defined under the Oslo Accords. They blame Israel for the two communities of Arabs not having elections in well over a decade. The claim that they have been denied the right to vote, but not by Israel. The reason for their not having had elections is simply, neither Hamas in Gaza or the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Areas A and B of the Shomron have permitted elections. Hamas chooses their leaders often in concert with Islamic Jihad and potentially influence of Iran imposing a Hamas dictatorship over Gaza. The PA is headed by Mahmoud Abbas who knows that he would not win reelection should elections be permitted to be held; thus, he has cancelled every election since 2005 meaning that Mahmoud Abbas has been their leader for now fourteen years of his four-year term. That is merely a decade more than his term was in theory, while in actuality Mahmoud Abbas heads a dictatorial regime. Israel has no influence over elections or who rules in these Arab regions which have self-rule and are semi-autonomous making them independent of Israeli rule but they remain within Israeli official borders. BDS Movement leadership minimizes the amount of independence the Arab Palestinians truly have and completely ignoring Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PA, allowing them to claim that Israel is preventing allowing them to hold elections. They also make the absurd claim that Israel has denied them their right to vote in Israeli elections. These Arabs are not Israeli citizens with most in Gaza formerly either having Egyptian citizenship or that of another Arab nation or are simply Gazans but not Israeli as Israel has disengaged from Gaza allowing that region complete independence. The PA Arabs mostly hold Jordanian citizenship with a lesser number having Iraqi, Syrian or other Arab national citizenship with some having only PA citizenship, but again, not Israeli citizenship. When Israel formally annexed the Golan Heights at the end of 1981, Israel granted the Arabs residing within the region full citizenship. When Eastern Jerusalem was annexed by Israel, the Arabs residing within the region were approved for a form of limited citizenship allowing their voting in Jerusalem and other local elections but are still restricted from voting in national elections until final determinations of their fate will be finalized.

 

The claim by the BDS Movement that Israel is performing genocide or ethnic cleansing is so absolutely ridiculous as to border comical except that it has become accepted as fact in far too many places including the halls of power around the world even in the United States Congress. The refuting of their claim is so simple that it is surprising that these two claims have any credibility. Since 1967, when Israel liberated Gaza and the Shomron, the Arab Palestinian population has grown from just over one million in 1967 to just short of five-million currently. How anybody can extrapolate from an approaching five-fold increase in a population with their suffering from a genocidal ethnic cleansing is utterly ridiculous. The only reasoning that might permit such thoughts is the belief that the IDF is so incompetent that they are unable to perform such a task. The only logical reasoning is that there is no genocidal ethnic cleansing and that the Arab Palestinians are free to survive as best they can under their own leadership independent of Israel. Virtually everything claimed by the BDS Movement are lies, extreme exaggerations and falsehoods fabricated out of whole cloth. The easiest means of proving what Israel truly is, a fully functioning democratic parliamentary nation with all of the rights and privileges which any citizen of most developed nations enjoy would be to come and spend two or three weeks sightseeing and traveling around visiting cities and towns of all sizes as well as the kibbutzim. Israel is a diverse nation whose strengths are largely due to this diversity and the interactions between the many Jews of differing origins. But that is the very reason that at the heart of the BDS Movement is the rule that none of its members ever visit Israel as that would put at risk every iota of propaganda, they have fed their followers. But since many of those purporting agreement with the BDS Movement are professors and teachers, students have no prior knowledge upon which to base judgment of the veracity of what they are taught or the putting to lie these scurrilous accusations made of Israel. The entirety of the BDS Movement is built like a house of cards where, when one lie is unraveled, the entire structure of falsehoods crashes down revealing that the entirety of the BDS Movement has no relevance or reflection of the actualities which are Israel.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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August 6, 2019

Inside the Head of Mahmoud Abbas, His Mind and His Concept of Peace

 

Mahmoud Abbas has two items in his mind, his definition of a just peace and keeping the cash flowing into his and his family’s pockets. He has a great gig going as he simply refuses to accept any peace which permits the Jewish State to continue while knowing that as long as he holds out, there will be an enormous cash flow from which he diverts his unfair share. Israel has nobody to blame but their own errors in expecting that the PLO could be reformed and reach a lasting peace with Israel. These conclusions were in straight defiance of the things claimed by Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Arafat before him. They spoke of conquering all of Palestine in stages making a peace and then breaking it demanding more land after each time. But peace is the last thing on Mahmoud Abbas’s mind as he is making off great raking in the slimmed funds right off the top of the monies from the EU, the UN and until recently, the United States and numerous other nations in Europe and the Middle East. Abbas can travel anywhere in the world freely and be received as an honored guest often shown far more respect that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu would receive visiting the same places and people. Mahmoud Abbas sits in the catbird seat almost invulnerable to any accusation for he has been crowned by the EU, UN, numerous NGO’s, several UN Agencies, politicians near and far as the peacemaker and the sole promise for the Middle East. No title has ever been less appropriate.

 

There has been one central pillar to Mahmoud Abbas and his vision of peace, namely that President Trump and his Deal of the Century and anything else President Trump cares to present will be dead on arrival. Abbas has sworn to refuse any and everything proposed by President Trump. After all, is not refusing to consider any peace proposal how one becomes the peacemaker? But still Mahmoud Abbas has declared that he is open to any just peace which he defines as receiving his 22% of the British Mandate lands. Check the map below which depicts the British Mandate and the intended division as per treaties and conventions including being enforceable by the UN according to Article 80 of their Charter. This division gave 78% of the British Mandate lands to the Arabs as the country of Transjordan, subsequently changed to simply Jordan, and 22% for the Jewish State of Israel with the Jordan River as their border. This is the 22% Abbas is referencing when he claims he is ready for a just peace where he receives his rightful 22% of the British Mandate lands. He is referencing all of Israel as denoted in the 1964 original PLO Charter where they laid no claims to the West Bank under Jordanian rule or Gaza under Egyptian occupation but their claim was the rest of Palestine, simply all of Israel. Their claim has not changed, they just increased the size of what they demand to include what is today all of Israel. This is the demand of the man they title peacemaker and laud him wherever he goes in Europe, the United Nations and much of the developing world where he is viewed as some form of hero.

 

British Mandate as prescribed division between Arab State of Jordan and Jewish State of Israel

British Mandate as prescribed division between Arab State of Jordan and Jewish State of Israel

 

As recently noted, but worth another stating, the PLO has decided that no Arab has the right to leave their region seeking to make a new start anywhere else. They are holding their population as hostages just as they did to the Arabs who obeyed the Mufti’s order for them to come behind the Arab lines such that the soon to be conquering Arab armies could simply shoot everyone they found. When the conquering Arab armies failed to conquer quite as well as planned, they took the occupied regions of Gaza and the Shomron (West Bank) and locked the Arabs who trusted them to win annihilating the Jews into camps to be used as bartering chips claiming all of the land of Israel. This is the true origins of the vast majority of the Arab refugees who they claim were cleansed when they were called out by the Mufti of Jerusalem and they obeyed and such is their reward. Theirs is to await the final redemption of the lands from the Jewish usurpers. When the Arab world delivers on the promise of the Mufti, the total destruction of the Jewish State and the cleansing the region of everything Jewish, then these refugees in the camps are presumed to be permitted to return and enjoy the spoils, that was the original promise. As far as the world is concerned, these Arabs are the sole refugees from this conflict completely ignoring the over 800,000 Jews forced to flee the Middle East and North Africa who largely made Aliyah and came home to Israel. These Jews as well as those from Ethiopia and India amongst other remote locations, put to a lie the claim that all of Israel is made up of European Jews. Granted, European and North American Jews make up almost 18%, while Russian Jews make up another 16%, plus African and Asian Jews are just over 25%, while lastly the native-born Jews in Israel make up 39% of the Jewish population (see table below). With the rising anti-Semitism seemingly being world-wide, one can expect even more Jews making Aliyah and coming home if for no other reason, Israel will take them while the rest of the world would rather not touch them.

 

Table Depicting Countries of Origin of Israeli Jews

Table Depicting Countries of Origin of Israeli Jews

 

But as far as Mahmoud Abbas is concerned, there was no Jewish history anywhere in the Middle East, all Jews come from New York, Los Angeles, London and the other major cities in Europe and North America. Judaism, to Abbas, is a religion and not a people or any group with a rightful claim to have lands anywhere like Islam which is the only form of rule suitable for planet Earth. You see, Mahmoud Abbas is a Muslim and thus believes that the world is broken into two regions, Dar al-Islam, the world under Sharia and thus peaceful and good, and Dar al-Harb, the world to be conquered by Islam and thus the world of war where evils are to be conquered and purified by Islam. This is behind his inability to allow or accept to grasp the idea of the Jews having their own state. Jews are to be hounded and chased from place to place never feeling safe or secure and without normative rights and definitely no privileges. The Medina Quranic verses are not very favorable towards Jews. The Medina Quran was written after the Meccan Quran and thus its verses overrule the earlier ones under the concept of Abrogation. A brief description of the two Quranic writings can be viewed here. There is no concept of any Jewish state despite all of the evidence, something the PLO and the Waqf have both attempted to destroy by digging presumably new water pipes on the Temple Mount leaving tons of dumped and broken pieces of Jewish history which is sifted through by a team of dedicated workers. They deny any and everything found linking the Jews to the land such as this recent find in Shiloh. And as far as the Jews returning to the lands from whence, they came, does this include the return of the properties of the Jews exiled from the Islamic world?

 

If anyone is ever planning on reaching some form of peace, currently the best method would be to grant every Arab the choice to emigrate to another country after receiving a generous payment for all properties and a relocation bonus which could be quite a handsome amount. This was the plan presented numerous times throughout the history of Israel and somehow it always gets ignored. It would be ideal if somebody were to overrule Hamas and the PLO and provide protection for those who desired to take the offer for relocation such that they could leave in safety and in an orderly manner. Such an offer cannot be enforced by Israel simply because the world would rise up with great indignation claiming this was just another form of ethnic cleansing when it is actually the second half of relocating those on the wrong side of the agreed upon borders. There were over 800,000 Jews exiled from the Arab and Islamic world and this would be the second half where the Arab refugees are accepted into the Arab world just as Israel took in the exiled and instant refugee Jews. But then we run into the same problem, Israel is not treated like any other nation. For Israel, her decisions must be approved by the rest of the world simply because the world has claimed the right to instruct Israel in what she may and may not perform. This is simply refusing to solve a problem which will only end in one means, a war where the casualties are unimaginable as should the PLO, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezballah and Iran continue on their present course, they will educate their populations steeped in hatred of Jews and Israel specifically and then have a general attack by the populations rising up. This would consist of the Arab population of the PLO area, Gaza and southern Lebanon aided by IRGC and Iranian units in Syria all attacking Israel with rockets and literal waves of civilians surging across the borders in an effort to displace the Jews. When these waves are intercepted, then the EU, UN and the rest of the chorus will raise their voices decrying the offense to humanity. But they are the ones forcing this inevitability upon Israel, and just as bad, upon the Arab population and largely its youth as this human wave attack will be populated. Allow the Arabs to freely decide whether they wish to live under Israeli rule west of the Jordan River or wish to be bought out and given a substantial investment in their relocation aiding them and making them desirable to other nations. This or the final fight will one day come and the world will wonder how such a thing could happen, and they will be shocked and feign innocence. And that claim of innocence is the last straw which will forever break their credibility, as if they have all that much now.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 10, 2019

Israeli Election Midway Report

 

As many have realized or have been told, most of us here at BTC are Religious Zionists and this author belongs to HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) Party and, as previous writing made obvious, thinks very highly about Rafi Peretz as a capable and outstanding leader. That should take care of relating from what perspective we are viewing the political field and the events within. Most of the activity appears, by the reporting we have seen, to be taken on the left-leaning side of the political landscape. Still, there are some events on the right-leaning side of the map which are moving equally slowly as it appears neither side is in any hurry to actually present a final picture to the Israeli public. What is apparent on both ends of the political spheres is to shore everything up forming the largest coalition to present to the public in their attempts to assure that their side receives the mandates necessary to control the next Knesset and choose the Prime Minister. Fortunately, both sides are having an apparent equal measure of difficulty in herding all their parties into a single coalition such that no votes go unrepresented. As close as the last elections were, which was unsuccessful in forming a majority coalition forcing this unprecedented election immediately following an election; hopefully, no matter which side it turns out to be, this coming election will present a winner and Israel can once again have leadership which will hopefully also be an improvement over the current limbo we find ourselves suffering.

 

BTC Israeli Election Banner

 

The events on the left are hair-raisingly frightening, or threatening, depending on your particular view. What has developed is the potential for ghosts from the past attempting to rise back to their former glory, or at least this appears to be their view of the coming elections. The first sign that the past is attempting a return in the near future was the announcement of a new party on the left formed by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak which will be called The Israel Democratic Party. This is the new wrinkle calling his party by a name which appears to be initiated in order to confuse voters and disguise a new look Ehud Barak attempting to distance himself from his former disastrous political history. Part of the new look presented by Ehud Barak is his growth of facial hair as part of the new look Barak. Ehud Barak has not presented any list of names, famous or obscure, who will be part of who he presents to the voting public. This might be due to the fact that what he is attempting to do is have other parties merge with his new party and use it to chisel out a spot at or near the top of such a merged coalition. Where attempting to find some means of corralling a top spot on a list via new parties or simply stating an intent to be listed in such a list without even bothering to form a party, Ehud Barak is aware that his leading a new party will not provide him much if any of a chance of breaking threshold nor making it into the Knesset. But if we have Ehud Barak pegged accurately, his intent is not just to make it into the Knesset, he will also probably demand a share in the roll as Prime Minister perhaps demanding that he be granted at least one if not a two year stint as Prime Minister for the use of his name which he will claim has gravitas. Of course, Ehud Barak would likely be happy to simply be guaranteed a top portfolio such as Foreign Minister or as Defense Minister should a left-leaning coalition be formed.

 

Ehud Barak and His New Look and Beard with Same Worn Out Two-State Ideas

Ehud Barak and His New Look and Beard with Same Worn Out Two-State Ideas

 

But Ehud Barak is far from the most contentious announcement from the left-leaning side of the political spectrum, at least he formed a party. Approximately six months ago, upon the dissolution of the coalition between the Labor Party and the Hatnuah Party led by Tzipi Livni, Tzipi announced her retirement from politics and her acceptance that her Hatnuah Party had no possibility of reaching threshold. Tzipi Livni has apparently refused offers for the Hatnuah Party to join either the Labor Party, with whom she was previously aligned and has a new leader, or join Ehud Barak and his The Israel Democratic Party and instead making a grand offer, though we are willing to bet she would believe it to be her sacrifice to save the left in Israel. Tzipi Livni has hung out her tempting offer that were the entirety of the left form a grand coalition, she would accept a place within their list from which she would be guaranteed to be a Minister of the Knesset and also, she is likely to demand an important Ministerial position in the Prime Minister’s cabinet.

 

Both Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni are names closely associated with the “Two-State Solution” as the only means of reaching peace with Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority Arabs. Apparently, neither of these politicians has noticed that an ever-growing percentage of the Israeli public has put that era and thinking far behind them and hope to never return there in the future. They have also failed to come to the realization that Mahmoud Abbas, just as Yasser Arafat before him, refuses to accept a Jewish State no matter its borders. The Israeli government could place an offer on the table where all Israel would retain is the greater Tel Aviv metropolitan area and Abbas would reject it as insufficient sacrifice by the Jews. Abbas views Israel and the Jews in a manner resembling that of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, namely that the Jews need to be protected by their superiors, the followers of Islam. Like the Iranian leader, Mahmoud Abbas refuses to accept the existence of Israel if it remains ruled by Jews. But both Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak, as well as Blue-White co-leader Benny Gantz, believe that there is some magic compromise where land for peace can produce an agreement with the Palestinian Authority. One can only fear what their solution to the threats from Gaza and Hamas with Islamic Jihad who are directed by Iran and Khamenei would be. Both of these politicians as well as the former generals, as a rule, are still living about two or three decades in the past when Israelis generally believed that there was some compromise which would provide for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. After the rejection of the deal offered in 2000 by Ehud Barak and the deal offered in 2008 under Ehud Olmert, Israelis began to realize by in ever-growing numbers that there was no such magical distribution of land between the two parties which would be acceptable and produce peace. For this reason alone, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak would actually cost any coalition including them votes as just their names on the list would be sufficient to scare numerous centrist Israelis into voting for the Likud or one of the right-wing parties. Yes, we list Likud separately as there have been some surprising and dismal political experiences which came from the loins of the Likud. There was Arik Sharon who was Prime Minister during the Gaza withdrawal, though, granted, he had to for the Kadima Party in order to manage to allow this to take place. Kadima was a party which took numerous left-wing politicians from Labor Party and some of the centrist to left-leaning members from Likud, one of which was Tzipi Livni, forming a new government without having new elections, something rather peculiar. Should the left-wing of Israeli politics, which is largely secular, continue to hold to the position that land for peace is still a viable path to peace and that surrendering parts of our ancestral home and parts of the lands which were part of the Mandate reserved for the Jewish State and only prevented through occupation by Egypt (Gaza) and Jordan (Judea and Samaria) after the 1948 war of intended annihilation of the nascent state of Israel by six Arab national armies, then they will soon find themselves politically irrelevant.

 

Not to be outside, there are equally insane movements and problems on the right side of the political scales. In the position most resembling Ehud Barak, we have two candidates, Zehut chairman Moshe Feiglin and New Right chairman Naftali Bennett. Neither of these two parties were able to clear threshold but should they form a coalition then the chances are very good that they would make it into the Knesset, though it would still be close. They are having a small number of difficulties currently. The first and potentially most serious problem concerns Bennet and his New Right Party which he and Ayelet Shaken formed when they split from Jewish Home. Currently, it is unknown whether or not Ayelet Shaked will remain as the number two behind Naftali Bennett or whether she will be placed on a list without her necessarily joining any party or if she might jump to another party. There were discussions about her joining the coalition in which Jewish Home is a member, the United Right (who comes up with these names?) providing she was placed in the top slot. This was thrown into serious doubt when the chairman of Tkuma, Bezalel Smotrich, publicly stated his total support for retaining Rafi Peretz at the top of their coalition, this pretty much put the kibosh on placing Ayelet Shaked in the top spot. There have been rumors surfacing twice and thrice every week that Ms. Shaked has joined Likud, has returned to the New Right, is going to run with the United Right or some scenario closely aligned. None have proven true as of yet and, if anything, Ayelet Shaked appears to prefer that all the religious-Zionist parties combine and that she be allowed to lead such a grand alliance. Meanwhile, Moshe Feiglin and Naftali Bennett have been having one of the most glorious arguments that has almost been delicious to observe. Both have made the claim that they should take the top spot in any combined list with the other taking the second spot. Why this has been so amusing is that almost no matter how they decide and having done so, actually clearing threshold, the person at the top of their combined ticket is not going to become Prime Minister. But this is just the introduction, the remainder is where it really becomes weird.

 

Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett

Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett

 

Every so often, advice from upon high comes down to the religious-Zionist and right-wing parties. We suspect that this holy advice can easily be traced to the apparent permanent Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu. Why and what are we referring to? That we can tell you with a single phrase, unwanted meddling. There comes one of the Likud Ministers every week to ten days advising the political parties with which Likud expects to form a coalition to all of them get over their minor squabbling and just form on nice big amalgamation party and be done with it. Of course, every time one of the Likudnics gives out these pearls of wisdom, the Likud goes up in the polls for next couple of days while a near equal number of mandates for the rest of the political right drop. This is a temporary situation but we expect that somewhere around three days before the September 17, there will start a steady stream of commentary about how the Likud Party needs ever vote that the right can spare and that if right-wing voters really want their votes to count, the Likud is their safest place. We cannot blame the Likud Party for attempting to maximize their list even at the potential loss for our own party, they want to make it clear that Bibi Netanyahu has to be chosen to form the next coalition. This method of scare tactics in the final days leading to the election actually cost Bibi last time as had he allowed for merely one or two percent of the Likud voters to have drifted to Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked’s New Right allowing them to clear threshold, then the Likud might have lost one Ministerial position but the right-leaning parties would have gained a net of three seats allowing for a coalition to have been formed. Bibi will never learn that lesson as he simply insists on running his campaign against the left-leaning parties until three days before the election when he trains his sights on those who are presumably going to be his allies in any government simply because he cannot help himself. Bibi must reign supreme, even at the cost to those who will be supporting him.

 

Meanwhile, Naftali Bennett and Moshe Feiglin continue to argue over who can bring in the most voters. Bennet points to his New Right falling just short of threshold versus Feiglin not even coming close. Feiglin, on the other hand, points out that as Bennett likely will not have Shaked joining him this election, and that she was the main vote getter, not he, thus Feiglin holds the claim to bringing the most votes. If Feiglin proves correct, then both of them better swallow their obviously high-octane egos and merge with one-another if not with the United Right. This is where it will get interesting as should all the parties to the right of the Likud merge, who gets to be numbers one, two and three on down the list. Rafi Peretz probably has the inside track and, in his case, it is not ego as much as it is that he was happily heading his Yeshiva and otherwise retired with little if any interest in becoming embroiled in politics. When Bennett and Shaked left Jewish Home and the party was lurching in need of a stabilizing influence and somebody to strike a definite direction and give the party the organization it required, Rafi Peretz was approached and originally declined and was subsequently persuaded, implored, swayed and finally convinced that he was not only the man for the job, but very likely the only person for the job. We have researched the gentleman and met him finding him gracious, personable but also with a stature and demeaner which while inviting also demands respect. None of this is surprising as just one part of his life, his career in the IDF, would make for a Hollywood movie. Rafi Peretz initially piloted a combat helicopter, quite admirable in its own right, retired from the IDF as a Brigadier General (our answer to the Blue White Party and their four generals) and was the Chief Rabbi of the Israeli Defense Forces. The rest of his life was equally amazing as we covered here when describing the fifteen to twenty minutes we spent speaking with Rabbi Peretz at a Central Committee meeting. We just wish everybody in Israel could spend that amount of time talking with Rafi Peretz, but if that were to come to fruition, then Bibi would need to worry as Rabbi Peretz would quite likely become the next Prime Minister.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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