Beyond the Cusp

December 31, 2017

The Muslim Challenge

 

Islam periodically since its birth tests the world and the strength of the backbone and the willingness of the world to actually stand up and say, “No!” If the world shouts that no loud and clear, then Islam settles back down and waits a period of a few hundred years before rising again and testing the waters again. The most recent previous testing of the world’s waters was literally testing waters, the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean near the North African coastlines. This was referred to as the Barbary Pirates who demanded the Jiyza from the Western World in order to allow their merchants to sail the seas in safety. Of course, there was still the occasional, well, more like regular stopping of ships and stealing their contents and some of the sailors taken in to serve the Muslims as slaves. In cases that are more drastic, the Barbary Pirates would sink a ship taking the entirety of the crew into captivity for ransoming the officers and slavery for the working sailors. The problem first met with the Americans, they chose the same treatment as the Europeans had taken, paying the ransoms. Throughout the terms of the first two Presidents, George Washington and John Adams and during the term of Thomas Jefferson, the third and most isolationist and noninterventionist President, who finally reached the point where the demanded ransoms became too high for the young nation to afford, and this brought on the First Barbary War. Once the Americans had engaged and defeated the Barbary Pirates, the Europeans also stopped paying their protection demands and instead patrolled their trade routes with naval warships. This ended the Barbary Pirates for a period of time and after the war between the British and the United States in the War of 1812, the Barbary Pirates thought perhaps the two largest navies, Britain and the United States, having fought a war and might be less likely to fight against them and their pirating resumed. The United States soon thereafter engaged in the Second Barbary War and again they defeated the Barbary Caliph and a second peace was reached ending the Islamic pirating of the trade routes.

 

The recent history with the rise of al-Qaeda, the Taliban and finally Islamic State, the world is once again facing the Islamic pressures to see if the world will resist or simply roll over and submit to Islamic demands and dominance. Once again, the Europeans do not appear to care to engage in any resistance and some have even gone so far as to invite the Islamic refugees into their nation with Germany taking the lead. There are some exceptions that have surfaced from eastern Europe such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, three of the eastern European nations which the European Union has launched a legal case for their refusal to take in Arab refugees. There were others, but the European Union has specific persons they wish to intimidate and the most successful of the former Warsaw Nations so as to force them to knuckle under to their leftist policies. The Warsaw nations have witnessed a lifetime of leftist policies and politics from the Soviet Union and want nothing to do with such policies again. They demand to be permitted to draw their own lines of travel in politics, economics and other vital policies which are very different from those the western or old European nations and the established European Union members. These newer eastern European nations may find they will have a new friend from an unexpected source, merry olde England and the British Isles. These former Warsaw nations may be forgoing taking in refugees for economic reasons or for political reasons, that is irrelevant. What is important is they are taking a stand against the encroachment by Islamic forces, be they refugees or as some have claimed, an advance force in the lead of an Islamic invasion and conquest of Europe. This may appear to be somewhat of a preposterous idea or it may be valid, as Islam has attempted three times to conquer Europe, once being stopped at the Battle of Tours by Charles the Hammer Martel and twice at the gates of Vienna, once by Polish King John III Sobieski and his Polish hussars. Perhaps those who believe this may be the start of a fourth attempt by Islam to spread and conquer Europe may be correct or at least have at least a shred of good sense to be warning such.

 

That leads to the current state of the Middle East. If one were to plot the wave of violence spread across the Middle East and one would find it has two sources, two sources which may be linked in some means. The initial cause could be traced to the United States and what many have called an ignorant and foolhardy foreign policy steeped in mistaken concepts, while others might believe that there was a central underlying goal behind the policies of President Obama. There was some who posited that President Obama was simply pro-Arab while others thought he was a supporter of the Shiite branch of Islam. There is a third possibility in that President Obama desired an opposing force to counter Israel in the Middle East seeing such a force could be the answer through which Israel could be forced to make a peace demanded of them in exchange for the offer of protection. His initial push was with the Muslim Brotherhood which he worked to install in Egypt and might have hoped for them to also rise to power in Syria after removing Bashar al-Assad and likely have them replace King Hussein in Jordan and surrounding Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood failed in every place which they had hoped. This may have been what led President Obama to seek a new champion with who to finalize his Middle East plans and pose as his necessary opposing force to cow Israel into allowing a Palestinian State by whatever borders were offered by President Obama and the State Department. Iran was the next choice to fulfill President Obama’s hopes but time ran out. Iran had their designs as well which included the Shiite Crescent and surrounding Saudi Arabia, their main adversary and the center of Sunni Islam (see map below). This required their supporting the Shiite takeover in Iran which required strengthening the Shiite governance and cleansing of any and all Sunni influence. Then there was another pair of challenges even further afield, Yemen and Syria. President Obama had caused sufficient distress in Syria when pressing to have the Muslim Brotherhood replace Assad and the Iranians required placing him back into power. In Yemen, the Iranians required to control Yemen as it gives them a southern front against Saudi Arabia and gives them the Bab-el-Mandeb Straight and control of the southern exit from the Red Sea. Yemen required the overthrow of the existing government, so the Iranians backed the Houthi rebels in another civil war. Once Yemen and Syria are consolidated the Iranians may finally be in the position required to threaten Israel for President Obama, but they are a year or more too late and the new President, Donald Trump, has no plans, as far as any can see, to press Israel into a peace they cannot survive.

 

Shiite Crescent including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran

Shiite Crescent including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran

 

Islam, be it the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Palestinian Authority, Iran, terrorists striking Western cities or the waves of refugees flowing into Europe; they are all signs of a resurgent Islam, though from different perspectives, which if left unchecked will simply continue to gain strength and grow more and more virulent. This has been the case before with the birth of the Caliphate, the Ottoman expansion, the Barbary Pirates and now with both of the major strains of Islam, Sunni and Shiite. The question is will the Western powers raise up and face the growing threat or will they wait and suffer the advances and insults from Islam as they did the Barbary Pirates until it was all but too late or will they see the coming storm and band together and make the proper united front before it becomes too dire and the conflict that results in a carnage from which the world may not survive. It will take the presence of worldview from the United States to lead the Europeans. The eastern nations are still growing from their release from Communism and the others still believe that the end of history has occurred and the world will have no more conflicts. Unfortunately, the United States is also not likely to realize what is infecting the world as the President knows only what he has been told and then only until another five thoughts come his way pushing the former out into oblivion. One can only wonder if the Pentagon survived the evisceration by President Obama of the generals with the most combat experience to also see what is forming in the not so distant mists of the future. One would think with so many generals including two Marines that they might be capable of finding a clue about the coming threats, but then they might be uncertain as to how their President might handle such news as he has likely stated that his only concerns are the economy and domestic issues and prefers for foreign entanglements to be avoided as he has no knowledge or interest in the world outside of trade. Whatever the truth, it may be fortunate that the Middle East is still having convulsions as such a series of events may delay any complete resurgence for Islam until the world is ready, and perhaps not. The future is on shaky ground, the ground is simply getting less and less stable with time, and much of that is due to the growing restlessness of Islam. It might even take Russia or China to show the world the need for actions before the situation becomes formidable, or worse, unstoppable. Islam is following the same path it has in the past, will anybody ever sit up and take notice, that is the question of the hour.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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June 19, 2017

The Israeli Netanyahu Complex

 

Israel, Israelis and Prime Minister Netanyahu have a serious love-hate relationship. Despite this, Benyamin Netanyahu has managed the atmosphere, publicity, situations, levels of apprehension and threat analyses in such a manner such that he appears to be the sole leader who can manage the situation without serious consequences and maintain a lower level of violence than anybody else. This has led to his retaining the position of Prime Minister for twelve of the last twenty-one years and for the past ten years straight and still in office. Currently, there does not appear to be anyone who could seriously challenge Prime Minister Netanyahu for the office. None of the current leaders of the other parties with the possible exception of Naftali Benet from Jewish Home and, in an effort for reality, there are those claiming that the one man to defeat him before, Ehud Barak of the Labor Party if they would run him also might be capable of defeating him. The honest hope for Ehud Barak is mostly a pipe dream but if he were to run he could count on having some very experienced campaign advisors as the United States Democrat Party campaign specialists would probably be dispatched to assist as they have in every effort to unseat Netanyahu and place a left leaning, or preferably a leftist, Prime Minister. A recent article we read spoke of some Israeli politicians who might be capable of replacing Netanyahu so we decided to talk about what we see as their chances and why they might have difficulty.

 

The first is Yisrael Katz who is the current Minister of Transportation and Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy and belongs to the Likud Party. Another was Gilad Erdan who currently holds the positions of Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs Minister and Minister of Information and is also a member of the Likud Party. Their next choice was Yariv Levin who currently serves as Minister of Internal Security and Minister of Tourism plus also is a member of Likud. Their final choice was Ze’ev Elkin who is the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Minister of Environmental Protection and also is a member of Likud and had joined Kadima under Prime Minister Sharon. These men all share the same weakness, they are members of the Likud Party, the same party lead and totally owned by Prime Minister Netanyahu. This means that as long as they behave themselves and do not rock the boat and especially do not challenge the boss and behave themselves, then the arch-leader of Likud will dole out prestigious positions which will give them notoriety but nothing so impressive or important that it would allow them to actually believe they have any real hope to replace Bibi Netanyahu at the top of the Likud Party lists and thus allow them to run for Prime Minister. Historically, those who have attempted to challenge Netanyahu have soon found themselves placed below position thirty-six and even possibly past forty-five on the ministerial list all but guaranteeing that you will not be in the Knesset, if you somehow do manage to make it because Likud actually realized more than thirty-five or forty-five or even over sixty positions, the fact you are so far down on the list there is no hope no matter your qualifications of being assigned any Cabinet Ministership. Simply, should you challenge Bibi Netanyahu for leadership of the Likud Party you will only be in a position to do so once and after that you may as well leave Likud and make your way to another party and pray that you gain notoriety in that manner. Remaining in Likud will have you perform penitence for a period until your name is barely remembered before being permitted to see the light of day politically. These men were accurately described as being possibly not charismatic like Bibi Netanyahu is, but they are more trustworthy, have experience, and are honest. This is a valid assessment but still meaningless for as long as they are in Likud and Netanyahu still desires to be the Party head and their candidate for Prime Minister, and that does not appear as if it will change any time in the foreseeable future.

 

Top row Yisrael Katz and Gilad Erdan Bottom row Yariv Levin and Ze'ev Elkin

Top row Yisrael Katz and Gilad Erdan
Bottom row Yariv Levin and Ze’ev Elkin

 

This means that anyone who truly has any opportunity and an actual viable hope to replace Benyamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister, they will need to come from another party. This leaves three avenues by which one might steer their party into surpassing Likud in Ministerial Knesset postings and thus make it to becoming the next Prime Minister of Israel. The traditional means of accomplishing this was to be from a diametrically opposite party. This would mean that one would need to come from one of two parties, Labor Party which is currently led by Isaac Herzog or Meretz currently led by Zehava Gal-On. There is also the off chance that the Labor Party might be taken over by Ehud Barak who would be promising that he could unseat Netanyahu just as he had done in the July 1999 elections when President Bill Clinton sent a team of his best political operatives to run Barak’s campaign. With the current political climate, these left leaning to strongly left parties would have little if any chance of winning as the Israeli public has been moving to the conservative, nationalist and Zionist ends of the political spectrum and away from the left, liberal and progressive end. So this route is not currently viable if one is to be completely honest. To give an example from memory, there was a poll taken for the left leaning parties which listed different possible candidates who might challenge Netanyahu and none of those listed, which included all of the above mentioned, managed to clear thirty-three percent in polling of the Israeli public. The next groups would be the centrist parties which include Yesh Atid led by it founder Yair Lapid and Kulanu whose leader is Moshe Kahlon. Of the two parties, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid is the only one which might have a chance of defeating Netanyahu though such is unlikely unless one of the Zionist or conservative parties splits the right wing voters almost dead evenly with Likud, something which may be more likely than many might think. In such a race, the parties having the best chance to knock off Likud other than their fellow travelers on the right include Yair Lapid and also Yisrael Beiteinu, and representing the Russian Israelis and some centrist to conservative leaning and their leader Avigdor Lieberman. This would only come into play should probably Jewish Home whose leader is Naftali Bennett ran almost dead even with Netanyahu and Likud in the election, and even then, the combination of Likud and Jewish Home votes would probably run really close to needing only a few additional seats to reach sixty-one Ministers. This would lead to both Yair Lapid and Avigdor Lieberman likely maneuvering for the best Ministerial spots they could garner as the two Zionist, conservative, right wing parties, Likud and Jewish Home, go head-to-head contending for control, ending up placing their leader into the Prime Minister spot or if they would end up sharing the position due to a tie.

 

Attempting to garner a shared spot as Prime Minister might be the best hope for any party fortunate enough to approach the positions taken by Likud and/or Jewish Home. So, reality claims that Naftali Bennett might have the best chance of pressing his party to the fore and becoming Prime Minister. The difficulty which Naftali Bennett would have to overcome was his statement in the last weeks in the run up to the election was that he did not believe he was sufficiently experienced to become Prime Minister. This statement would come back to bite him and he would be required to explain what had changed making him now confident he was competent enough to be the Israeli Prime Minister, one position which calls for a steady hand and resolute actions. What might be required might be new leadership in Jewish Home before they could challenge Netanyahu. The number two in the party currently is a very popular young woman, Ayelet Shaked, the current Justice Minister. Justice Minister Shaked has stated in an interview that the day may come when she would consider running for the office of Prime Minister. Her qualifier was that it might be some time, as she desires to raise her children before taking on such a stressful and time-consuming position. There is one pressing question we would like to put to Ms. Shaked, what kind of Israel would you like for your precious children to grow up and live in, serve in the IDF within and face what kind of future? If your answer sounds anything like what you stand for, then you might wish to reconsider your time scale as currently with the leadership we see the future you desire presumably for your children will never happen. Israel needs to progress to that vision we heard you express and you might be the sole person who can get Israel to that place. In order to get there, Prime Minister Netanyahu must be replaced by a person with vision and the internal fortitude to challenge the world and move to the future Israel will be permitted to survive, and you understand these challenges all too well, so please think about altering your time scales for your children and Israel’s sake.

 

Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked

Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked

 

What we have observed is that Prime Minister Netanyahu is far more concerned with remaining as Prime Minister than he is the future of Israel. He preaches about the threats and gives reason after reason why building cannot proceed at this time and has been claiming this for close to a decade. He is always willing to side with and arrange through promises, threats and enticements for the immediate destruction or a timed destruction in a few months after the people have had the opportunity to move and then almost always destroys their homes as soon as he is able. Then the replacement homes never materialize as to do so would upset the United States President, or would cause more terrorism or would set things in the peace process in danger or whatever excuse even to include the stars are not in a positive alignment. Prime Minister Netanyahu refuses to remove Hamas, despite their ever-growing menace and may soon launch a serious and immense rocket and missile barrage timed to have coinciding terrorists pouring out of infiltration tunnels all timed to include cooperation with Muslim Brotherhood or Islamic State rocket launches from the Sinai Peninsula which Israel is unable to respond to should they be launched from deeper within the Sinai Peninsula, as doing so could place Egyptian forces in danger and thus would require making arrangements with President Sisi of Egypt before striking. This assault could result in thousands of Israelis murdered before the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) could respond with sufficient troops to counter any large-scale attack. During the last Gaza war IDF forces who investigated the infiltration tunnels found motorcycles, stolen IDF uniforms or good copies, cashes of weapons, large quantities of ammunition, hand grenades, mortars to be fired from within Israel and maps showing the IDF bases and position, Israeli towns and Kibbutzim with the children’s schools and preschools and daycare locations marked, maps of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other Israeli population centers, diagrams of the Dimona Nuclear facility, locations marked of the shelters where Israelis would ride out the rocket attacks and other intelligence which would aid Hamas terrorists in causing the greatest damage and taking of life possible. This somehow did not enter into the post-war analysis which is a devastating oversight, or more likely an intentional attempt to keep the people feeling quasi-safe.

 

The one item Prime Minister Netanyahu has gotten correct is that Mahmoud Abbas and the entirety of the Palestinian Authority are not true peace partners. Despite knowing this, nothing has been done to alter the leadership and find leaders who would pursue peace and work against continued terrorism. Independent polling has proven one thing about the Palestinian Arabs residing in both Gaza and Judea and Samaria (Palestinian authority Areas) has shown that given an opportunity to immigrate to somewhere other than the areas where they are currently stuck and refused permission or the freedom to leave, sell their home or practice any normalcy, even without any monetary assistance, a sizable majority would flee the instant doing so was not life threatening. Their lives and opportunities for a normal life and a future for their children is so impossible and their lives oppressed with much of their wealth stolen by the governance, Arab governance, not Israeli, that they simply want out from under their kleptocratic governance. Another item that Prime Minister Netanyahu has avoided pursuing has been pressing the world with the truth that in Gaza, the Arabs are ruled by Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the Arabs in Judea and Samaria are ruled by the Palestinian Authority and neither group is permitted free or open elections with Abbas not allowing elections since 2005. Israel has no control, as these are semiautonomous regions making them self-ruled. Netanyahu has allowed the world to blame Israel for the conditions in places where Israel has no influence and allowed the concept that Israel stole land from a nation of Palestine, a nation which has never existed in all of history. Under the governments of Prime Minister Netanyahu, the world has taken steps which could result in the loss of all of Jerusalem including Western Jerusalem. Israel should have been speaking loudly and often about our undividable capital city, which King David established three thousand plus years ago. We should be pressing the fact that the world promised us the lands from the River to the Sea and that Judea and Samaria were occupied illegally by Jordan who placed their own citizens in the lands by force, a crime against humanity and a war crime and that Egypt illegally held Gaza and that in 1967 these lands were liberated by the IDF and returned to Israel by right and the world knew that at the time and still worked to steal these lands away. There should have been a constant drumbeat of how Israel desires peace and the reality is that the Arabs do not desire peace or a state for the Arab Palestinians, they just want to destroy Israel and Israel will not allow such. Finally, Israel should take back Judea and Samaria, allow the Arabs to leave if they desire with their lands bought by the Israeli government or they could sell them to anyone wishing to purchase them if they feel that would get them a better price. They might even be offered a one-time departure benefit to assist their relocating to make it more enticing. Such an offer would be put forth for one year and only one year. As far as Gaza, if there should be provocations by Hamas or other terrorists from within Gaza then Israel will take back the Gaza and remove any terrorist infrastructure and give the same freedoms to immigrate to another nation with a one time bonus and the same buyout offer as given the Arabs from the Palestinian Authority once their lives were liberated from their oppressive rulers. As far as Abbas and his henchmen, they would be sent out paying their own way and given seventy-two hours to clear out and they would be permitted to find a place which would accept them and they can live off their hundreds of millions of stolen Euros and Dollars. They should also be warned that should they ever be caught within the boundaries of Israel in the future they would be put to death immediately. Now where can we find a Prime Minister who is at least willing to build in Area C which by the Oslo Accords belongs to Israel and then Area B and then Area A because according to the United Nations Charter Article 80 all of the lands of Judea and Samaria belong to Israel, period? We would permit the Arabs remaining all the religious freedoms, land ownership, the right to work as they please and social rights but no political rights within Israeli elections. They would be treated as resident aliens and any alteration in that status would be a possibility down the road at some later date, but they should consider relocating as that day of becoming citizens of Israel would be quite a while coming, if ever. Israelis should and are getting tired of the same excuses and they are wearing thin. President Trump wishes to be our friend but his ignorance makes him a danger to our health and future. If he could believe Abbas about educating their children for peace and then after being shown the reality and then turn right around and believe Abbas claiming he will no longer pay terrorists or their families, well we need to show him the proof again but can such an uniformed person be trusted to ever catch up with the lies, unlikely. Time has come for Israel to do what Israel must do, period. Can somebody please step up and take control and walk the walk and not just talk?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 7, 2017

The Times They Are a-Changin

 

The times, they are changing and in opposing directions and the two most dynamic forces behind these changes are both dealing with Islam but are from opposite directions, one pushing and the other pulling and the fate of the world depends on which one comes out on top and wins the coming argument. The pushing force is the one pressing Islam into new regions trying to press the borders of Islam throughout the world using the old forms of Islam which powered it coming out of the Arabian Peninsula, the spread of Islam through Jihad using the sword. The other force is trying to pull on Islam and bring it back to its initial writings where coexistence and freedom of religion and other freedoms recognized initially by Judaism in Torah and the driving concept of the Christian Bible though for over a millennium this was misrepresented by rulers in order to drive their ambitions. Christianity was eventually pulled back to its roots by the Protestant Reformation which demanded that Christianity meet its initial preachings of love, charity, harmony, and acceptance of the stranger, the precepts before the Roman Empire first set Christianity on the path of conquest which continued through the Inquisitions and finally died in the pulling back to the roots by the reformation leading to the Renaissance on to the Industrial Revolution which steeled the West as the great powers leading again to conquest and the colonialism which came to an end between the great wars, World War I and World War II. The Western World now sits at a crossroads and is vulnerable and vulnerable of falling before an invasion initially through infiltration by Islam “refugees” followed by a possible actual invasion within the century. The outcome will be determined by which force prevails in Islam and the order will be the most crucial determining factor and that perhaps will also determine the future for the United States as well.

 

 

We have covered the push of Islam into central Africa, Europe and Asia as well as their potential infiltration onto the North American continent, especially the United States. So let us inspect the pulling half of this equation, understanding that this is probably the more important and the one which the Western world can assist more readily, that they appear ready to control the infiltration which has spread an increase in terrorism directly in proportion to numbers of Islamic immigrant arrivals. One of the interesting meetings recently which much of the mainstream media outside of Israel all but refused to cover was President Trump and his visit in the Middle East. There was likely very good reason behind the lack of coverage, he acted and presented his case with Presidential demeanor. He did things which no President before him even attempted, let alone succeeded in all his attempts. President Trump met with the leadership of fifty Arab nations, yes, fifty Arab nations in Saudi Arabia and did not grovel or act condescending and instead took a presentation exuding his position of power demanding they toe a line he was laying down. When speaking of the Arab-Israeli conflict he made no mention or allusion to a Palestinian state or two countries or other reference which they have come to expect from the Presidents of the United States. He laid down expectations for them to change their actions regarding addressing and suppressing terrorism. He insisted they change the education process and resources such that terror and rewards for violent behavior and the superiority of Islam spreading it throughout the world by Jihad, though he did avoid the word Jihad to the best of our knowledge.

 

Then while in Israel, President Trump became the first President to visit the Western Wall and then to add to his visit, he prayed while at the wall. His Israel visit was friendly and warm though he still did not announce he was moving the embassy to Jerusalem, but he did not say he was not going to do so at some point which Nikki Haley said he still intends to accomplish this before leaving the White House. This was a refreshing change in tone from the relations with one certain United States President. Then President Trump went to visit with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem. This was reported on in some of the international mainstream media and even some in the United States simply because despite what were unprecedented actions, meetings and changes in relations, this was by far the most impressive. Many referred to it as President Trump scolding Mahmoud Abbas for lying to him in Washington D.C. and demanded that all payments to terrorists and/or their families end, otherwise all United States aid will stop, and that their education systems be revamped to actually teach as he had claimed, for peace with Israel and that all incitement be stopped, period. President Trump seemed even more furious when he informed Abbas that he knew and was fully furious and avidly incensed and fully irritated by the situation where Abbas himself was proved to purposely incite terrorism while also extoling and glorifying terrorists and that this too must end. This was a full dressing down unlike any previously seen in recent time even to include Hillary Clinton’s tirade berating Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as Secretary of State which presumably had lasted almost three-quarters of an hour. Reports claim that in the entire conversation with Abbas, President Trump never mentioned a Palestinian state or anything about independence for the Arabs under his rule currently. This was also entirely different and unprecedented. There is definitely a new sheriff in charge of the United States and he is not constrained by the old paradigms.

 

Since President Trump visited Saudi Arabia, there has already been a change which makes the new rules evident. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt decided to cut ties with Qatar and boot it out of an Arab coalition fighting in Yemen in order to pressure the nation to expel Hamas terrorist Saleh al-Arouri who was instrumental in the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teens. It is also reported that the terrorist Musa Dudin was also expelled by Qatar and that there may be additional Hamas individuals soon requested to leave the nation. This coming soon after President Trump made his crucial visit to Saudi Arabia and demanded that the Arab world take responsibility for ending terrorism of every kind, which has emanated from the Middle East and in particular from allies of some of the fifty heads of state who attended the meetings with President Trump, is an astounding turn of events by so rapidly responding to a visit from any United States President and may be quite an accomplishment, but do not expect the American media to notice.

 

There is another hero in the Middle East making a difference in Egypt. That would be Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. He has taken to the podium before the Imams who teach and run Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the leading Sunni institution of higher education in the world, and both times demanded that they bring their institution from its darker teachings which belong to years long passed and begin to bring Islam, Sunni Islam, into the twenty-first century. The first effort appeared to have likely gained more laughs and jokes in private as laughing to his face, even for these high-ranking Imams of Sunni Islam, really would have been over the top and undignified, and their dignity may have had them differ to the better parts of valor. After President el-Sisi made a second visit and did not shy from his demands, perhaps they began to realize that he was not a man with whom they could trifle. Al-Azhar University has now done what before would have been unthinkable, they have hired an instructor to their medical school faculty who is a non-Muslim. Have we used the word unprecedented already? Well, it applies here as well as this is all but beyond belief and is as if a three-hundred pound jockey rode a horse to victory at the Kentucky Derby.

 

Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt

Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt

 

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt has another surprise in store for the world showing a new direction for Egyptian leaders. When there were recent terrorist strikes against Egyptian Coptic Christians, an event which previously had seen police and even military personnel joining such attacks previously, this time resulted in Egyptian pilots bombing the terror bases in Libya. This was not a one off event but a response which has occurred multiple times. Imagine this, Egyptian pilots, from the nation where the Muslim Brotherhood was birthed in the 1920’s, have flown retaliatory strikes for terror attacks upon Christians. This truly is a new page in Egyptian culture and leadership and further proof that the ruling culture in Egypt has changed. Now we can hope that a few more things in Egypt can also see change. One of the first would be the illiteracy rate which can be addressed through increased availability of public schooling and requiring even the religious schools to teach reading, writing and basic arithmetic instead of solely concentrating on memorization of the Quran. Next will be something which will require change across the almost the entirety of the Arab and Muslim world, the end of anti-Semitism which has been a rampant disease which need be rooted out on every society around the world. Proof that anti-Semitism is a worldwide problem can be realized here.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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