Beyond the Cusp

September 10, 2013

Are the Syrian Christians Next?

With the capture of the Syrian Christian town of Ma’alula, a town of approximately five thousand just north of Damascus bodes ill for yet another ancient Christian community. The residents of Ma’alula actually still speak Aramaic just as they had when they took to Christianity as some of its first converts. The town holds numerous ancient churches, monasteries and shrines from the earliest years of Christianity and there are many who fear these irreplaceable relics of history could end up being destroyed or altered into Mosques. The people are also possibly in danger similar to the situation the Coptic Christians find themselves facing in Egypt. Ma’alula was captured after five days of fighting falling to the al-Nusra Front, a rebel group that has sworn allegiance to al-Qaida, the conservative Islamist rebel group Ahrar al Sham and the more mainstream Farouk Brigade. The one fortunate occurrence thus far is that the Syrian military had fought for the town with the rebel forces in the area for five days but retreated from Ma’alula before it had sustained serious damage to its ancient buildings. The question now is what will come as time unfolds, is it possible that the Islamists will allow these Christians to continue to reside in peace only requiring they pay the Jizya and accept Dhimmi restrictions.

 

There is another result which may be born of this situation which can also be applied to any other location within the areas where there is Arab uprisings resulting from the Arab Winter. The Obama administration has been hovering between striking in Syria as a response to the utilization of chemical weapons on the population and the battlefield by Bashir al-Assad and finding some justification for backing off the red line threat. President Obama has been wavering between these two positions often turning on a dime seeming to be searching for the one unarguable justification which would unite everyone either giving him the moral backing to either act or the perfect reason for walking away. Despite the fact that should the Syrian military decides to try and retake Ma’alula from the occupying rebel forces there would be a definite probability that there would be collateral damage destroying the ancient and irreplaceable buildings. Add to that the human casualties which President Obama could use as a further reason to enter the Syrian conflict. Since there have been strong indications which side President Obama has chosen as there have been atrocities committed by both sides yet only the Syrian military has been held to any standard by the President.

 

But then, by using the possible slaughter of one of the oldest Christian communities in the world to reinforce President Obama’s argument and having not even mentioned the similarly ancient Coptic Christians who are facing horrific evil in Egypt would be being duplicitous, and even more so as there have not been demands the United States intervene if the Egyptian government refuses to protect them. Such an argument using the expectation that in order to be considered a civilized force that is accepted by the rest of the world, all sides in the Arab conflicts which have spread across much of the Middle East and North Africa need to protect all peoples equally, be they Muslim or be they Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Sheikh, Bahá’í, Jewish, Taoist or any other religious system or belief system and end the unjustifiable persecution of any non-Muslim religion. By making this the stated position for acceptance in the world community President Obama could finally have acted in a manner justifying his receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize simply because he won the election for President. Obviously the Nobel Committee had reasoned that President Obama was destined to act in some manner so as to commit the pinnacle act which would be transformational making the entirety of Earth a far better and more unified and accepting place where everybody has value and can expect equal treatment and opportunity. Having President Obama actually live up to the expectations which so many different people, institutions, and both governmental and nongovernmental organizations had expressed they were expecting to emanate from his Presidency would make his entire Presidency truly inspirational and transformational making Barack Obama far more than just the first American President of color but one of the truly great Presidents placing beside Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Kennedy. Should he make such a stand and use everything at his command including uniting the majority of the world behind such a noble cause using or separate from the United Nations, then the time will have come to get the hammers and chisels into motion adding one more head on Mount Rushmore; he would have earned such a placing. Hey, just because I have had my differences with a number of President Obama’s policies, that does not mean I cannot also hold out great hopes.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 5, 2013

Who are Driving the Peace Process?

Filed under: 1949 Armistice Line,1967 Borders,1967 War,Absolutism,Administration,Allah,Amalekites,Anti-Israel,Anti-Semitism,Anti-Zionist,Appeasement,Appointment,Arab World,Arabist,Arabs,Ariel Sharon,Ashkenazi,Blood Libel,Borders,Building Freeze,Building Freeze,Bullying,Cabinet,Civilization,Colonial Possession,Condemning Israel,Consequences,Defend Country,Defend Israel,Disengagement,Divided Jerusalem,Domestic NGOs,Equal Responsibility,Equal Rights,Equal Treatment,Equality,Europe,European Governments,European Union,Executive Order,Fatah,Foreign Funding,Foreign NGOs,Gaza,Government,Hamas,Hate,History,Holocaust,Holy Sites,International Politics,Intifada,Islam,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Jerusalem,Jewish Heritage,Jewish Home,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,Jews,Jihad,John Kerry,Jordan,Jordan River,Jordan Valley,Joseph’s Tomb,Judea,Judean Hills,Kever Yosef,Kotel,Land for Peace,Machpelah,Mahmoud Abbas,Martin Indyk,Meaning of Peace,Middle East,Migron,Ministership,Muslim World,Netanyahu,New Israel Fund,NGO,Old City,Oslo Accords,Palestinian,Palestinian Authority,Palestinian Liberation Organization,Palestinians for the Liberation of Palestine,Parliament,Parliamentary Government,Peace Process,Peres,PFLP,PLO,Politics,Pre-Conditions,President Obama,Prime Minister,Prime Minister,Promised Land,Protect Citizenry,Recognize Israel,Religion,Response to Terrorism,Rock Throwing,Rocket Attacks,Samaria,Secretary of State,Separation Barrier,Settlements,Shoah,Society,State Department,Suicide Bomber,Support Israel,Temple Mount,Terror,Third Intifada,Tomb of the Patriarchs,United States,United States Pressure,West Bank,Western Wall,White House,World Opinion,World Pressures,Yasser Arafat,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 3:52 AM
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What was made obvious by the years of no progress and no meetings between the Palestinians and the Israelis in order to further the peace process, as it is euphuistically called, is that the two sides had exhausted all avenues and concurrently decided not to further the insanity wasting time and resources in fruitless pursuit of an unattainable agreement. What is obvious to all of the world is not always what is pursued by politicians who, despite their comments to the contrary, are just as aware of the futility of actions which they pursue despite all reason. The reason behind these actions are usually two-fold; first they do not end up on the receiving end of the consequences and second they are able to claim they are pursuing some noble quest seeking to accomplish that which every previous attempt had failed to resolve or accomplish anything measurable but they assure that they are different and have the previously attempted and true answer. Their real motivation is the shining prize of great accomplishment that shines all the brighter against the background of all the previous failures and, in the case of the Palestinian-Israeli Peace Process, the nice shiny Nobel Peace Prize which just happens to come with a rather sizeable monetary reward as the cherry on top. One further point that makes attempts at this prize even more tenable is that one does not even need to actually accomplish anything as long as they are able to hold a signing ceremony as was the sole accomplishment with the Oslo Accords which resulted in Nobel Peace Prizes for both Simon Peres and Yasser Arafat.

 

So, who are the contestants in this round of repair the irreparable Palestinian-Israeli Peace Process? This time around the politicians contending for the golden ring are United States President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry. What makes this all the more despairing is that their method is the same old tried and futile path of forcing concessions from the Israelis while simply begging the Palestinians for any crumbs while promising to force Israel to give the Palestinians whatever they demand in return for favoring the third party with something they can wear as a cloak of great accomplishment. The problem is that the more one observes these expeditions into fruitlessness are that the Palestinians deal duplicitously not solely with the Israelis but with those third parties who imprudently entered the minefield of broken promises.

 

It becomes obvious at some point that the Palestinian enter into these numerous attempts throughout history with three specific aspirations they wish to attain, most important they wish to draw as many and as critical concessions from the Israelis as possible, exiting the negotiations at sufficiently early a stage so as to assure there have been no concessions required from themselves, and final to leave the negotiations at such a time and place as to maximize the insult to both the Israelis and whatever third party so foolishly initiated the entire process. Under Yasser Arafat the Palestinians had mastered this ploy and this is another accomplishment of which Yasser Arafat was a true master just as he was the father of modern terrorism. Since his demise the Palestinian leadership fell to Arafat’s second in command, Mahmoud Abbas who is a far cry from the original. This has been made even more evident in the most recent attempts at furthering the peace process in that the Palestinians under Abbas walk away from negotiations at the very start. In all manner of deceitful negotiating the current Palestinian leadership appears to lack the finesse and delicacy required to maximize concessions while continuing negotiations right up to the point where they themselves must make a concession. This would normally be a blessing as this deficiency minimizes the damage these negotiations should produce.

 

What negates the aforementioned blessing is that the protagonists in these negotiations, President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, have absolutely no regard and even a possible undisclosed desire to maximize the concessions forced from the Israelis even to the point of causing irreparable damage to the Israeli people. This was first made evident as far as President Obama is concerned when almost out of the chute in his first term President Obama demanded the Israelis apply a formerly unheard building freeze on all Israeli properties, towns, and settlements in the lands acquired during the Six Day War when the Jordanians joined the conflict and lost the areas west of the Jordan River. This action by President Obama broke all existing limits on how far any third party would go in order to attain the cooperation of the Palestinians. Never before had anybody in their initial attempt at forging some amount of reconciliation between the Palestinians and Israelis taken the liberty to actually demand an Israeli concession as their introduction into the process. Such an initiative showed a complete and utter disregard for the Israelis positions and may also have been an indication of insults to come. When one also figures in that the very first foreign leader called from the Oval Office after the Inauguration by President Obama was to none other than Chairman of the PLO and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as well as the insults in appearances shown Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu when in his first visits to the White House in Washington DC as he was made to enter and leave meetings with the President by entrances other than the main entrance, an insult not foisted even on enemy heads of states which are antagonists of the United States as well as President Obama leaving in the middle of negotiations with the Israeli leader in order to have dinner with his family and doing so rather abruptly with instructions Prime Minister Netanyahu and his staff should take the time and reconsider their positions and attitudes and if they decided to amend their ways they should tell some functionary who would relay their acquiescence to the President’s demands.

 

Secretary of State Kerry, while not having an obvious record of anti-Israeli positions, has shown distaste for Prime Minister Netanyahu if only due to their differences in political outlook. The one act thus far which might tend to make one suspicious of Secretary Kerry’s opinion of the Israelis was his decision to appoint Martin Indyk as the mediator for the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. Mr. Indyk was one of the politicians in the United States who as a former Ambassador to Israel was approached for his opinion on the Israeli disengagement from Gaza to which he claimed it showed great promise to lead to a full Palestinian state with new and friendlier leadership and a lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. This was the same disengagement that eventually led to Hamas taking over the Gaza in a violent coup and afterwards raining rockets onto Israeli towns, kibbutzim and farms neighboring Gaza. This was also the same disengagement which drove Netanyahu to resign from his Ministership position in Prime Minister Sharon’s Cabinet. Further, Mr. Indyk at the inception of these negotiations was a member of the board of the New Israel Fund, an extreme left, pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel NGO which draws its monetary support almost exclusively (records show near or over 80% funding) from the European Union, European individual governments, George Soros, Arab Governments and other extreme leftist anti-Israel NGOs. Put all of these pieces of evidence together and you have an accurate picture of a situation designed to maximize damage to Israel in the pursuit of false praises from extreme leftist interests and the Arab world. The one hope for Israel in these times and under these conditions including enemies whose hearts are hardened is for the L0rd to soften their minds such that they become unable to exercise rational thought and thus become incapable of taking full advantage of the opportunities which have potential to destroy the Jewish State.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 21, 2013

Irreconcilable Differences

Very late on Friday, almost while Secretary of State Kerry was on his way to catch his flight back to the United States, Mahmoud Abbas gave his consent to resume peace talks. Since then there have been some interesting statements from both the Palestinian and Israeli sides. Palestinians have mostly claimed their presumed victory in forcing concessions from the Israelis while the Israelis have spoken of the great opportunity that has opened before them and how it was attained without granting Abbas any of his preconditions. It is nice to know that the two sides are as far apart when in agreement as they had been before their announced agreement. Of course there are probably all kinds of excitement at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue where they are laying out the grounds for the sole accomplishment which will come of this great achievement, the photo-op for President Obama which will accompany the historic handshake before the negotiations collapse once more. One would love to be more optimistic about the return to the Peace Process but the track record of these talks is far from promising.

What is needed between the Arabs and the Israelis, which is truthfully what the Palestinian-Israeli conflict represents, is not a peace process or long, drawn out talks, they need a victor. This is not a peace process as the two sides continue to be locked in an eternal struggle for ownership and complete control over the same lands. Neither side is willing or able to accept the other coexisting in the tiny space between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. These two sides more resemble a divorcing couple with the land being the house that only one of them will win the rights to in the end. The Palestinians have, along with the Arab and Muslim worlds behind them, flatly stated that even should someday come when they sign a treaty dividing the land with the Jews they intend to continue the resistance until all of Palestine has been freed. That is as simple a way of stating it is not over until one side has been vanquished and as long as one side will not be content until the other has been vanquished completely then it matters not if the other side is willing to compromise, there can be no compromise other than complete victory. Furthermore, since even should the Palestinian lose completely and Israel be recognized by even the most cynical European nation as rightfully possessing the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea along with the United Nations Security Council, the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation would not accept such a finality and the conflict would continue. The Arab-Israeli conflict will not end until wither Israel is defeated or some great change comes over humanity and nothing less will suffice.

In the meantime and before the negotiations collapse as they inevitable will let us congratulate Secretary of State Kerry for his herculean effort, indomitable perseverance and infinite patience which he displayed in forcing through this agreement even if it ends up being a one-time meeting as has been the result previously. One has to wonder if perhaps this will not win Secretary Kerry a Nobel Peace Prize and whether it will have President Obama receive a second peace award as he is prone to setting firsts and nobody has ever won two Nobel Peace Prizes or received one for their expected accomplishments after winning a Presidential race. All that remain now is the nervous period awaiting the handshake on the White House lawn, weather permitting, and the eventual point at which Palestinian President Abbas huffs and puffs his way out of the talks in a pique of anger over some invented slight all the while reminding this editorialist of the little train that couldn’t get over the hill and attain the peaceful valley beyond.

Beyond the Cusp

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