Beyond the Cusp

September 21, 2018

America Can be a Fickle Friend

 

Sometimes we believe that the leadership of Israel is oblivious to signs and signals they should be receiving from the rest of the world. In particular, Israel has this predisposition to see the United States as the perfection of nationhood and a fast friend forever. This is a belief that reaches to almost every corner and the vast majority of individuals throughout the land. At times we have attempted to warn or at least shake these beliefs warning that the United States is not sworn to protect Israel and there is no overriding reason that they have other than electoral politics. Electoral politics in the United States have changed and changed drastically. There were early warnings of what a single election could do when President Jimmy Carter attempted to force Israel into granting the Palestinian Arabs complete sovereignty over all the lands still remaining after Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt as part of that peace deal. Fortunately, both Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat refused this demand from President Carter and threatened to complete the deal without him in the picture. President Carter not being in the picture was unacceptable politically, thus he settled for what the two leaders had agreed. Then there has been the record since President Carter left the White House of his constant degrading remarks and efforts against Israel which have led some to think he might have a streak of anti-Semitism. We would offer to settle that posit as positive, Carter definitely has a wide streak of anti-Semitism covering much of what he does concerning Israel.

 

But the warnings were only to get worse. President Clinton had Yasser Arafat visit the White House more than any foreign leader in his eight years as President and pressured Israel mercilessly to give ever more concessions and fortunately, Arafat refused to break from his demand that Israel be destroyed. Fortunately, President Clinton was not willing to go quite that far. Then we had George W. Bush, touted as the greatest friend Israel ever had in the Oval Office, who along with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who pressed Israel into the Gaza give-away and the destruction of the lives of nearly ten thousand Israelis, some of whom are still attempting to recover. Moving right along we come to President Obama who presented Iran with the means, the path, the right and the funding to build not just a nuclear device, but to build an entire thermonuclear arsenal and the ballistic missiles and ICBMs on which to place those warheads. President Obama even gave Israel a parting present with a shot aimed at the Israeli heart with UNSC Res. 2334. This resolution would have all but denied any Israeli or Jewish claim to the Temple Mount, the Old City of Jerusalem, Jericho, Hevron, Shechem and the heartlands of Judea and Samaria, the regions where most of the history of the Jewish People unfolded. Yet the Israelis, both within the government and amongst the people continue to believe that the United States is a friend who will never act to harm Israel. We just hope that they are correct and such never comes about, but to bet your future on this is nothing short of foolhardy.

 

Allow us to delve into another act which we believe has done near irreparable harm to Israel and could become life-threatening if not countered immediately. Once upon a time, not all that long ago, Israel had developed a war-plane which she had almost begun production. Along came the United States who noted, ‘Hey, our friend, Israel, we have an aircraft very much like yours. How about we sell you ours and you scrap yours?’ Israel pointed out that theirs had a longer range, was slightly better at the kind of activities Israel required. The United States did not give up as they really did not desire this Israeli plane competing for sales in the arms markets, so they offered, ‘Tell you what, we will throw in an equal number of our other aircraft and then you will have even more planes and abilities. We will even guarantee you, Presidential promise, aircraft into eternity giving you air superiority.’ Well, who could turn down twice the planes and an eternal guarantee?’ The problem is when you tell Israel and the Jews it is an eternal guarantee, we think in terns of thousands of years and the United States not quite two-hundred-fifty years old, how do they know of eternity. So Israel received her F-16s and F-15s and now the F35s but was refused the F22s despite the fact that the United States has provided Saudi Arabia and other Arab neighbors F35s which kind of ruins that promise of guaranteed air superiority which the F22s would have provided. Granted, the versions of these aircraft all carry the version letter ‘I’ as the Israeli versions all have modifications which are secret (really) which allows the claim that they provide air superiority. The war-plane Israel had designed and scrapped was called the Lavi and was a beautiful aircraft to look at as well as having uncontested abilities (see picture below).

 

Lavi the Lost Dream

Lavi the Lost Dream

 

We have previously stated much of this in our previous article How Bad do Americans Want to be First in Space?, but we have no problem repeating ourselves. Oh, you’ve noticed. Well, at least that’s settled. The first thing is that Israel must no longer outsource any part of her defense industry. No more reliance on Germany for submarines, United States for aircraft, and whomever for Littoral ships. Should any one of the nations providing Israel with necessary and vital military equipment decide to no longer provide their military equipment, then there could be a dangerous and difficult to repair hole in the IDF and their war fighting capability. We will concentrate for our example on aircraft. What would Israel be able to do if in ten to twelve years, when the next generation of fighter aircraft with whatever the latest marvel designed into it becomes available, when Israel turns to the United States to purchase these marvels and the answer is not to sell them to Israel because Israel is so difficult to deal with. These aircraft are not exactly designed in a few weekends on the side, they take a few years to imagine and another couple to design and still longer to build. Basically, what it comes down to is that if Israel desires to be prepared for such an unpleasant surprise, she needs to begin working on this immediately. This is something which is of vital national defense priority level issue which likely has not even reached the debate stage. There is another reason that Israel should plan on designing her future aircraft, and it has little to do with whether or not the United States will continue providing her with aircraft, it has to do with national pride and independence from foreign influence, which can only come with defense and financial independence and not having to rely on any other nation.

 

Israel also is a sizeable recipient of United States foreign aid monies. This causes some discontent amongst American citizens who claim that Israel can afford to care for herself and the United States can use the three billion dollars or there abouts better at home. Surprisingly, this argument is not made concerning Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, South Korea and the rest. Below we have a pair of graphs, the top being Israeli GDP which will come into play, and the bottom is United States aid to Israel by year. Looking at the aid to Israel graph there is one unmistakable but unavoidable as well as remarkably obvious thing, real aid to Israel did not come into play until around the early 1970s. What is interesting about that is this was about the same time as Israel was granted a deal providing Israel would remove herself from making fighter aircraft. This has permitted the United States to have one less competent aircraft manufacturing nation which is technologically advanced and could have built aircraft which might, and probably would, have sold for less and been decent rivals to any American aircraft. This means that one would have to take into consideration how much influence the United States would have lost and sales they might have missed if Israel had built the Lavi and gone on developing even more advanced stealth aircraft and beyond. The other obvious item is that the aid has leveled out for the last thirty years plus at approximately three-billion dollars. Back in the early 1970s, Israel needed the aid money, as what the United States provided was almost equal to the Israeli GDP. Today, well, not so much as Israeli GDP means that the United States aid to Israel is but around 3.5% of her GDP. Should Israel decide to present the United States with the following deal, one can only wonder how it would play in the media. The deal is that the United States can keep its money except for providing parts as agreed for the aircraft Israel has purchased or received (simply terminological difference), then Israel would be freed to start to manufacture their own fighter aircraft and other military aircraft as they desire or see fit. Let us try and imagine the response in the media as that might be amusing.

 

 

United States Aid to Israel

United States Aid to Israel;
Note the lack of aid until Israel agreed to not produce a better F-16 style fighter jet in 1971

 

We imagine the initial reaction to be shock, disbelief and many claiming that Israel was making a huge mistake. This would be true in both national news media. The Israel Prime Minister would be recommended for psychiatric evaluation by Haaretz and others might actually agree. The American President would be pilloried by the pro-Israel lobby and given acclaim by the alt-right and far left (unless a republican and then omit far left). Congress would immediately pass dozens of legislations which would spend the three-billion dollars ten times over. Eventually, the truth of the full effect of this move would become apparent. What would the United States gain, three-billion dollars a year, a mere 10% of the annual budget and likely a mere 5% by the time this occurs. What would the United States lose, the technological alterations which Israel makes for her aircraft some of which the United States adopts in their next series, a direct line to all Israeli anti-missile software and hardware such as the Iron Dome System which has already been utilized to update and improve the Patriot Systems, a real war zone test facility as Israel was the test base for United States aircraft in an actual combat situation and numerous other items on the periphery. What would Israel lose, three-billion dollars per year, a mere 3.5% of GDP and having her aircraft designed by the United States. What would Israel gain is a whole series of what would result in wonderful things. Israel would now need to design her own aircraft, build her own aircraft and maintain her own aircraft. This would mean some very nice high-end engineering jobs and the opening of a complete new line of engineering in which jobs would be available in Israel. There would go along software design jobs and soon thereafter manufacturing jobs, and these would be well paying manufacturing jobs. This would add to the GDP lessening the impact of the lost funding from the United States, as taxes would be collected all along these new job paths. More jobs in high paying fields and well paying manufacturing jobs leads to more retail jobs, restaurant and virtually every area gains when there are more workers receiving higher paychecks. Israel would also have entry into the lucrative fighter aircraft market, the exact market which led to Israel being dependent on the United States for her aircraft. In the end, the Israeli Prime Minister would be lauded as having been a man of vision and might even ride such approval to a whole decade as Prime Minister. These are the risky kinds of bold steps which make or break people’s political careers and can make their legacy. Imagine what kind of aircraft Israel might produce with stealth so good we cannot show you a picture because it is invisible. Well, we can dream and joke, but really, what would Israel design.

 

Going along that path, we have an idea of what Israel would design as a sixth-generation fighter aircraft. The aircraft would be one third smaller than current fighter aircraft and have five times the missile carrying potential all in hidden pop-out and fire compartments. Believe it or not, it would have guns with tens of thousands of rounds which would fire at the target designated by the pilot automatically computing best-shot probabilities. The plane would easily be capable of thirty-G and maybe forty-G turns with no ill effect on the pilot, because the pilot is not in the aircraft. These stealthy aircraft would be remotely flown leaving more room for fuel and armaments and requiring less protection as there is no pilot so no armored cockpit. The plane would be controlled by a wideband light source with each plane responding only to its own frequency and coded sync pulse. Should longer-range missions be necessary, there could be a limited number of piloted versions or a special aircraft could carry numerous control pilots and fly miles behind keeping a squad of the fighters for its protection while the rest carry out missions. They could be given missions which could be flown completely without human input once the aircraft took off just as Tomahawk cruise missiles are fired except this aircraft returns after the mission. Using friend-or-foe identification, these aircraft could fly intercept missions to prevent incoming aircraft from invading Israeli airspace flying completely autonomously. Any aircraft Israel designs will have other ramifications such as development of materials and systems which could make cars safer including self-driving vehicles. This type of manufacturing might even lead to an Israeli car manufacturer who could make one limited edition high-end sports car as well as some mass produced family and midrange priced vehicles. Perhaps Israel will make the breakout for an electrically powered vehicle which charges more rapidly with sufficient range to cover all of Israel on a single charge or they could also provide charging stations spaced strategically around Israel and sell the charging systems to nations interested in the vehicle. Starting with producing an all-Israeli fighter aircraft could lead to an all-Israeli Littoral class warships and an all-Israeli submarine.

 

Why stop there? Israel could build herself a spaceport (see map with our projected site below) and join the space race. Rockets are something Israel has already developed, but she does not have a heavy lift launch craft for developing a manned space program. A spaceport, some would claim, makes too much of a high-profile target for terrorist attacks. Oh, and the Dimona reactor and the twin nuclear power stations in Haifa as well as every flight in and out of Ben Gurion International Airport are exactly what? Let’s face it, all of Israel is a high value target with the most precious being her people. Israel has announced that their nonprofit SpaceIL and the government-owned corporation Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) aim to launch a robotic lunar landing mission atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida this December. How much more pride would there be if instead of atop a foreign company’s rocket from a launch site in the United States it read from atop an Israel designed and manufactured rocket from the spaceport south of Beersheva. There would be Israelis gathering at a safe distance to watch such a launch and those unable to get there would be glued to the television sets. This would be something over which almost every Israeli would get excited. Additionally, if there was the foresight to make the spaceport with multiple launch facilities and an adjacent special runway which could land any plane carrying parts from other countries, Israel could enter into the space launch business. The different gantries could each be tailored in such a way as to fit any requirements. There could be an additional area which would be flat and very solid where those self-landing reusable booster first stages could touch down safely away from anything of value, just in case. One can never be too safe. Israel might even place a second international airport fairly close to the spaceport such that in the future there could be travel to Israel for space tourism.

 

Israel Space Port Launch Facility

Israel Space Port Launch Facility

 

Back from dreaming and to the more immediate. Israel needs to plan for a future where the United States either cannot or chooses not to provide any form of aid and denies Israel purchase of her aircraft. As stated above, this is something which requires planning well ahead of the event. The problem we see is the growing number of extreme left politicians and some mainstream liberal politicians who have an adversarial relationship concerning Israel. The numbers of anti-Israel, and in too many cases also anti-Semites, politicians come from both parties with the Democrat side having Keith Ellison, Bernie Sanders, Steve Cohen, Gerald Connolly, John Yarmuth, Tammy Baldwin, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Michael Capuano, Andre Carson, William Lacy Clay, Emanuel Cleaver, John Conyers, Danny Davis, Peter DeFazio, Rosa DeLauro, John Dingell, Donna Edwards, Anna Eshoo, Luis Gutierrez, Martin Heinrich, Jesse Jackson Jr, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Barbara Lee, John Lewis, Betty McCollum, Jim McDermott, James Moran, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Charles Rangel, Laura Richardson, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Pete Stark, Nydia Velazquez, Chris Van Hollen, Henry Waxman as well as these on the Republican side including Steve West, Arthur Jones, John Fitzgerald, Corey Stewart, Bill Fawell. Oh, wait, we left out the newest darling of the Democrat Party from New York who believes Israel is a problem but we have doubts that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, could even find Israel on a globe even now after a month of heavy duty coaching.

 

The reality is there is still more than enough anti-Semitism, anti-Israeli and anti-Zionists living on the right, mostly the far right or alt-right almost all of which, while many may support President Trump, the President does not share their hatreds but on the left, specifically the far left and the new-leftist socialist supporters there is an even larger and growing group who fit into this classification. Those on the left are more of a problem than those on the right as the right and alt-right anti-Semites, who oppose all things Jewish including Israel, are an isolated group who represent a small and very slowly growing group who are nowhere near becoming a political movement. The new-leftists, leftist socialists, and far leftists are far more of a problem because they are the future of the Democrat Party and, as much as it pains us to say this, they are the future of the United States. The education system is spitting out these programmed youth with ideas right out of Bernie Sanders early campaign points. Free everything for everyone, including but not limited to medical care, education, food, housing, guaranteed employment and a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage. The rich or the government will pay for all these free things because the rich and especially the government have a never-ending supply of money and the rich got their money by cheating the poor out of their rightful money. These are the youth vote which, should they become excited about a candidate, when garnered can put somebody into the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate. These are the voters who more often tend to not remember or not care enough to vote. That was then and now many of these youth are being politicized by the education system and made to feel disenfranchised as well as energized to elect those who support the same things their teacher taught them about how socialism is the best system and free things is how it should be. These are the voters who in a dozen years will rule the roost and will be choosing who runs the United States. This means that Israel had better awaken to a future without United States aid and weaponry and having to depend upon her own people and resources. That is the challenge for Israel, the challenge for the United States is to survive and do that which is best for them, and if that places Israel out in the cold, so to speak, then Israel will adapt.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 4, 2013

A Basic Question for Those Ministers in the Knesset Demanding Share the Burden

There are a number of Knesset Ministers whose parties ran on a platform that included references to a simply idea, an idea they tried to make sound like a new revelation never before addressed that would solve all the ills in Israeli society. They talked about sharing the burden by which they meant serving in the Israeli Defense Force or performing National Service. They were focusing largely on making the Haredi communities serve universally and not be given deferments for every Haredi Jew who wished to study Torah. They implied that a percentage, though the exact amount they were loath to mention, were not taking their Torah study all that seriously and were hiding behind study as a path to avoid their social obligations. Some of those making such accusations should check their own background before throwing stones inside a glass house, or whatever, as it works whether the house is glass or the glass is thrown. Some might claim that spending an enlistment working within one’s intended profession which they have a path to pursue open to them, almost reserved one might say, is not service as much as the young soldier who volunteers for combat arms and especially if they make it into any of the elite units. These claims against the Haredi were made so general that it appeared that the fact that there is a program which includes a number of Yeshiva which combines military service with Torah study was being minimized or even discounted as simply a way of claiming to do military service but not being a part of the real military. When the military is called upon to defend the people and State of Israel those Yeshiva soldiers will risk their lives and bleed the same color as any other soldier and they will follow their orders as well if not better than many. But all of this aside, there are other items which need to be discussed in open public as it will require a change of attitude from many within Israeli society if the burden is to be truly shared. When we as a people ask the Haredi to share, we too mush be willing to share.

 

My initial question for those calling for the Haredi in particular and others to share the burden is very simply. Have any of you ever when hiring people to work in your business life or to serve on your current Knesset staff hired, or even given an interview, to any Haredi who have applied? If you claim that none applied then I would ask why you think they did not apply? If they had applied would it have made any difference? Do you think it is fair to demand the Haredi to serve a public which in general would not give them even consideration for employment? We have all heard the complaint that the Haredi do not have the skills necessary to be employed in much of Israeli high tech industries or manufacturing and other excuses. The people making those arguments very probably know that there are a good number of Haredi who have studied and received degrees in numerous engineering disciplines and most Haredi should prove to be more than adequately trainable for any manufacturing position and very likely easier to train than some who are currently brought into the manufacturing sector. If the Israeli public as a whole desires the Haredi serve just the same as any other sector of society in the military or public service then first treat them as equals when it comes to hiring and giving the choice entry level positions for those Haredi who have taken the courses and received degrees. It is no secret that one can usually determine simply by an application whether somebody is from the Haredi community, though not always a foolproof determination. And it is not unknown that any Haredi who even gets as far as being interviewed; their chances for being actually considered are less than the chances for a non-Haredi. How about we integrate them into what we laughingly call normal society and then I would bet we would find the Haredi far more willing to serve in the IDF or give time to National Service.

 

On another front, the argument that the percentage of the population that is Haredi is growing faster than any other segment of Israeli society and because of this they will have to serve in the IDF in order to assure we have sufficient soldiers in the future. There is the other argument that their growth as a larger portion of our society means that the government will not be able to underwrite their Torah study as it will soon prove to be more than can be sustained by a workforce that does not include Haredi workers. Well, the solution here is not to do away with stipends for those students who truly desire to study Torah and have shown a better than average aptitude for such study, the secret is to give the Haredi equal opportunity to be employed and a part of the so-called normal workforce. What choices do the current feelings towards the Haredi offer them in Israel? If they are closed out of much of the high tech engineering sectors, ignored by the retail because they dress differently, refused hire for industry because they do not appear to be inclined for such work, then where are they to work and support themselves? Has anybody ever thought that maybe a fair number if not a majority of the Haredi would not mind joining the workforce and earn their own keep? Until such is given an opportunity we will not know and until such opportunities are a normal part of society is it fair to ask them to serve equally when they are not treated equally?

 

There is something that the Haredi will also need to find a way of adapting. The Haredi Rabbis are going to have to find some middle ground where they allow for coed work environments. Granted there will be a change necessitated where a certain level of modest dress may need to be expected in the workplace. There may be benefits to that beyond making the workplace more accessible for Haredi workers in that psychiatric and sociologic research has found that there has been proven a relationship between professionalism in the workplace and strict dress codes. They have found that if workers are expected to dress to a special level rather than casual attire that they tend to be more professional and productive. Granted that such findings have been buried because casual is the new dressed up but many of us know that the old studies were correct and dress more formally for work you will act and work at a heightened level. But the Haredi will need to be able to work professionally in a coed environment and such environs must be adapted so as to be more acceptable to modesty requirements. Such changes will in time prove to benefit the non-Haredi workers as well as making society more accessible and accepting to the Haredi population among us. On both sides of the society we need to remember that as Jews we are brothers and sisters in the same very extended family. Myself is probably a good example as my father is Ashkenazi and my mother is Sephardic which makes me confused when pronouncing certain Hebrew words as my Hebrew education was spent switching back and forth from the two schools. But the truth is if we go back some generations we all came from a small group of who lived in Judea and gave Greeks and then Romans more trouble than the entire area of Judea was actually worth to them. It does seem being argumentative is something we have gotten down pat. Perhaps it is time to nurture being more open, especially to each other to all of our brothers and sisters. When the world throws either stones or insults at us it is because we are Jews and they do not differentiate between Haredi and irreligious, Zionist or not Zionist, or any of the other differences we impose on ourselves, they simply see Jews and perhaps the time has come for us to see ourselves as the world see us. We will be stronger, happier and more Jewish together and we can learn from one another.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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