Beyond the Cusp

August 17, 2012

Israeli Dissent Somehow Feels Different

Israel and her government are no strangers to dissenters and opposing opinions being presented, even in the halls of power, as arguing is almost an innate part of being Jewish. This has even been true in previous times of imminent peril as there are always those who are ready to pounce without bothering to see what and where they will land and those who will refuse to answer even the shrillest call to arms, this is normal. Yet somehow the sides seem more antagonistic towards each other than just people debating the next move. Now, in some ways, it appears we have more to fear from each other than from the outside threats, and that is not normal. I realize Jews will tend to argue, after all just look at the commentaries on the Bible and you will see examples of such. But usually when facing existential threats Jews have tended to gather or at least a core group gathers to fight the imminent threats even if others continue blithely on or seemingly ignorant to the problems and catastrophes happening all around them. But I fear that Israel has fallen victim to a disease which for Israel could become a fatal illness.

In previous times of peril there would be debate, often very spirited debate, but when the time came near that a decision had become necessary, then an uneasy quiet would fall over the country as they awaited the decision from their elected government. This is not to say that individuals did not discuss among themselves, but those in the halls of power no longer fought their differences out in public and did so in the closed halls with earnest seriousness. Today Israel has those who demand to have all discussions out in the public where they know that some of the most vital pieces of information are forbidden from discussion and often even kept from common knowledge as they are vital secrets which cannot be loosed in public. This gives one side an obvious advantage as often the most crucial points on which dire measures may be required often come from knowledge of just such information. But things have changed and now those who favor inaction even when facing the most dire of possibilities are pressing their advantage in ways previously unthinkable. This has been troubling me and I believe I can pinpoint the exact actions which initiated this anything goes as long as my side wins attitude that those believing Israel must always compromise and that she may not defend herself if it means resorting to violent means.

This event to which I have traced the origins of this dilemma dates back to the times during the administration of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The crucial event was the Oslo Accords. Ever since the signing of the Oslo Accords there has existed a growing group within Israel who favor negotiations no matter the threat, no matter the situation, no matter even the whole world catching fire. One of the leading proponents of this doctrine is none other than the man most responsible for the accursed Oslo Accords, Israeli President Shimon Peres. Making matters worse, as President, Mr. Peres is supposed to hold an entirely ceremonial position yet President Peres has often acted as if he were the Prime Minister speaking for the Israeli government and countering the position of the actual Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, when talking with foreign leaders such as the President of the United States Barack Obama. The members of this group, though not officially an actual political party, act as if they were members of an elite progressive political party with the total support of a vast majority. What makes those within this group most dangerous is that they do not care what acts they must commit to accomplish their goals, all is fair in support of their positions. They have an almost Messianic bend to their actions and are not limited to Israel. These are the people behind J-Street, an American NGO which supports almost every Palestinian position yet claim to be a pro-Israel peace camp support group. Within Europe there exists another group with very similar convictions called J-Call.

These groups are also intertwined with other extremist progressive groups such as the Occupy Wall Street Movement, now simply the Occupy Movement as they are attempting to become universal in their mission, ISM, which has also renamed themselves the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and numerous far left progressives who support to some extent the end of nations in favor of a world body which will be selected by those who have the proper qualifications for such a weighty task. Surprisingly, or not, those people are the same leaders of these groups, who would of thought that? Returning to the effect of such groups upon Israel, they are aghast at the idea that Israel be identified as the Jewish State as the one thing these people find more offensive than nationalism is G-d and religions in general. Their religion is the State and the State must be universal in its power, control and scope. This makes any idea of defending Israel a double dilemma; it is both pro nationhood and pro religion, what could be worse than that? The danger these people pose is due to their belief their cause is inevitable and as such they will be those who decide who committed any crimes on their way to power and as such they will be able to forgive their any transgressions. This allows then, in the name of inevitable progress, they are progressives after all, to do, say, destroy, attack, defame, and eventually break those few necessary eggs on their way to making their omelet. This is rapidly becoming obvious to many Israelis and their supporters worldwide and such awareness cannot come a moment too soon. These same people who oppose any Israeli actions addressing the Iranian nuclear problem are the same as those who support any and all actions against the Israelis who live beyond the Green Line. These are the people of BT’selem and other groups who are their comrades in protest who have supported false claims against Israeli settlers bringing charges of assault, land theft or other crimes while seeking out Palestinians who they assist in making claims against the Jewish settlers. They have been known to facilitate rock throwing episodes in order to film any reaction and then edit the tapes and releasing the edited version on U-Tube claiming it proves that the Jewish settlers attack the Palestinians without cause or reason. This is known as there have now been a number of these incidents where the entire event was filmed showing the entire set-up and the provocations being directed by the members of these groups. They, along with the no war for any reason and other groups use the emotions of many who are honest pacifists but are exploited for the ends of these progressive groups.

We have seen these tactics implemented whenever the government is conservative, nationalist, or even not progressive enough for these extremists’ fancy. Unfortunately for Israel and the majority of the people, these groups all seem to reach an accord and meeting of the minds when it comes to Israel, especially now with the government headed by Benyamin Netanyahu with a religious and nationalist coalition. The truth of the situation is this government has one of the largest coalitions in recent memory, even without Kadima, and this is something that drives these progressives totally off the deep end. It would not surprise me that should Bibi Netanyahu be overheard commenting one morning that the sky was a nice deep blue today that by noon there would be a thousand people demonstrating against calling the sky blue as that is one of the national colors on the Israeli Flag and thus that was an attempt by the Netanyahu government to claim Israel owns the sky. This is now an integral part of the coalition of those opposing Israel, or in some cases any country, taking action to prevent Iran from completing their efforts to attain nuclear weapons. These groups are so against the current situation where there are numerous nations not under one universalist governance that they would welcome complete and total anarchy or anything which might lead to a complete destruction of the present situation possibly leading to allow them to resculpt the world closer to their heart’s desires.  To the ardent progressives, anything is preferable to the world they currently inhabit and they are willing to put everyone through whatever Hell it might take to change the world. There is a particular subgroup who is dead set on beginning this transformation by destroying Israel by any means necessary, and they are loud and insatiable. Should these people ever get their wish I will be booking my reservations for the first manned launch to the outer regions of the galaxy.

Beyond the Cusp

May 7, 2012

Hollande Wins Extremely Close French Election

Despite early predictions that Hollande would defeat Sarkozy by a comfortable margin, I had said that Sarkozy would probably win. I quickly realized I might be in trouble when later that day Marine Le Pen announced to her supporters her intent to cast a blank ballot and encouraged they do follow her lead. It was a classic case of “If I cannot have it then I refuse to play and I will take my ball and go home.” Well, that just may have been the turning point costing Sarkozy the election as the Nationalist Le Pen voters would likely have split strongly against Hollande and, by default, for Sarkozy.

The difference was much closer than anybody had predicted with 16.56 million votes for Hollande, 15.56 million votes for Sarkozy and two million casting blank ballots following the Le Pen instructions and easily changing the result in the process. All that remains now is to wait for Hollande to make all his appointments and then we will have a better idea as to whether his promises of scrapping the austerity program for a stimulus and growth program was bluster or an honest threat. Should a Hollande government actually take the route of using government spending in order to stimulate the economy then the European Union may be heading back into the deep waters of insolvency and doing so very rapidly. This election may prove very costly to far more than the European Union and the stability of the Euro, it could have ramifications well beyond Europe, especially if it leads to the crash of the Euro and each country in Europe retreating back to their native currencies. Such a necessity could also force a strain on the entire European fabric from which the European Union is cut and place the entire structure to stresses beyond its tolerance. We may have to address a world with no European Union and an immediate struggle for preeminence between France, Germany, and Britain. Europe could return to its historic and turbulent ways with each country wresting as much for itself at the expense of the rest. Will international trade suffer seriously should the trade agreements and other alliances forged by the European Union fall shattered? We may have to experience the answer to that very question.

The next election to come will be the Israeli elections which are expected to be held on September 4, 2012. This election is unlikely to produce any surprises as to the ultimate winner as Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Likud Party are predicted to breeze into victory garnering at least thirty seats. The real test in the Israeli election will be the contest for second, third, and fourth. Should Nationalist Parties gain sufficient seats that Likud can make a viable coalition clearing the sixty-one seats necessary, then the Israeli government will have a unified coalition free of obligations to some of the lesser parties for the first time in memory. What will be more likely is that Netanyahu and Likud Party and the other Nationalist Parties will fall short and need to include the Religious-Nationalists and likely the Religious Parties which will leave the coalition open to a wide set of demands any one of which could be utilized as a wedge to force early elections.

Then, come early November, the biggest election of the year, the American Presidency along with one-third of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives. This will be a contentious election with many distractions and a likelihood of violent Occupy demonstrations at either or both Party Conventions. The coming summer promises to be anything but boring between the continued Arab uprisings which may aim for Jordan first after Syria and then the countries of the GCC including Saudi Arabia, and more if the Occupy demonstrations end up breaking into violent riots. So, I guess all that is left to do is buckle-up and get ready for a wild summer roller-coaster of excitement in the public realm to rival those summer teen-movies released to your neighborhood theaters. I am not sure if I am looking forward to a summer of lots of choices for blog articles or simply scared of a summer of lots of choices for blog articles.

Beyond the Cusp

May 1, 2012

Happy May Day Welcome Back Occupy Movement

If you find it somewhat difficult to get to work because your usual route is blocked by some demonstration or the busses are not running, well simply take it easy and bring up this article on the electronic gadget of choice and maybe an explanation can help with the blood-pressure. Somewhere somebody, or possibly a group of somebodies, decided that the old Communist holiday May Day would be the perfect time to reignite the fires of the Occupy Movement. Do not feel that your problem with the blocked thoroughfare has chosen your route and you are all alone in this inconvenience, the plan is for this protest to strike throughout the world in every major city. The call on the net was to shut down at least ninety-nine cities around the planet. They are aiming to hit the largest cities and the capitals of every Western nation for particular efforts and attentions. So, if misery truly loves company, you can just feel the camaraderie with not only the nice people red-faced and scream and honking in the next car, but with all those other irate people who are at a complete loss as to why this is happening to them. Maybe it might be a neighborly thing to do and let them in on the fact that they have joined a worldwide event, the return of the Occupy Movement.

All right, I realize you were under the impression that the Occupy Movement was all over and done for. Well, even if they get off to an anemic start this May Day and you had to wait till you got to the office without any delays, trust that as the colleges end their years the demonstrations will grow. Another tip, the planners of this spontaneous grassroots display of the will of the people has already trained people to lead the different and varied types of demonstrators which will make-up the Occupy Movement. They have given some lessons on the proper manner and protocol to use for blocking roads and submitting to arrest, including linking arms to resist the officers and make them take much longer to clear the right-of-way. Others have chosen to be non-confrontational and have been taught chants and how to use the wave front to back repeat system in place of a loudspeaker system should the authorities kill the power to the stage. They have also had what might be referred to as an advanced course for those who are willing to use violence and destruction much like the Occupy Oakland Movement and the Seattle WTO riots back in 1999 for later in the summer when the Occupy Movement hits full stride and especially during the Party Presidential Conventions, the Republican Conventions starting the week of August 27, 2012, in Tampa, Florida, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum and the Democrat Convention starting the week of September 3, 2012, in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Time Warner Cable Arena with the last night’s ceremonies held at the Bank of America Stadium. So, we have a whole summer of fun and activities lasting into the fall with likely nightly updates on the evening news, so brace yourselves.

For those who want me to explain exactly what the Occupy Movement is all about and what are the aims of the organizers and the participants, let me start by warning that the motivations are many, varied and seemingly inconsistent. The reasons given by some of the Occupy denizens during its stint last summer and fall fell into different categories from change the world to just wanting to join the party. Quite a divergent pair of motivations which leaves tons of space to fill in the space between. There will be those true believers who are honestly out to change the world. They believe that they are part of that mythical 99% who are being denied their fair share by that evil, money stealing 1%. They feel that America as the land of opportunity is a total farce and that nobody gets an honest chance to chase their dream or make it through hard deal. Then there are the pet cause demonstrators who are there simply to tout their special cause. This is a normal subset of most liberally themed demonstrations where, no matter the advertised cause or theme of a demonstration or event, anybody wishing to join and push any liberal cause is welcome and often you will find the same people carrying their signs for their cause at numerous events having nothing in common, yet they are pushing their causes. Then there are a fair number who are there to support the true cause, whatever the true cause is. These people actually come in two flavors, your professional demonstrators who are briefed on the correct talking points and will demonstrate any cause for hire, and then there are those who simply attend any cause because the group they hang with supports it and they do not want to be left out or seen as not a true believer which might threaten their good standing. One of the remaining groups is those who attend any demonstration as they treat them as a social event and nothing more. These different groups will cover the majority of those attending but have left out one group that are not necessarily actually a real part of the Occupy Movement but are using it to tout their particular hatreds. These people I call the endless haters who attempt to join anything where a large group of people can be found simply to attempt to convert the next true believer and to be heard. Often the organizers of most events will ask these people to leave and inform them they are not welcome, even calling the authorities if necessary to remove these unsavory people. On occasion they manage to get by and be part of the periphery of the event and all too often are the crazies that the press will give an undue attention which simply feeds their sense their hatreds are validated. I am sure I have missed some of the reasons and motivations which will bring some people to the Occupy Movement rallies and demonstrations, but I am sure they will become better known as if these protests do continue through to the late fall that nearly every angle, cause, reason, ideal or even insanity will get its fifteen seconds of fame on the stage of some news broadcast as simply by chance each will get an interview by some possibly desperate reporter or one with an axe to grind and this particular person allows them to make their point as if it was news.

So, what advice can I give pertaining to this round of the Occupy Movement? Well, first off, if you find your route blocked by a parade, march or civil disobedience, relax and rest assured that your boss will most likely understand as this will be the big story which will be used to clarify certain focuses on the Presidential race. Next, remember that the people at these Occupy events are not all of one set of opinions and that despite the efforts to force a singular viewpoint as representing everybody, the truth is of the 99% only half of them at most probably understand the real reasons and ideas behind the protests, but hopefully they do know why they are there. And finally, life is short, the Occupy Movement really does not represent anywhere near 99% of the population, there is such a thing as the 53% (they pay 100% of the Federal income taxes), these disruptions are not spontaneous but have been planned very carefully to inconvenience as many people with the least amount of actual effort, and the Occupy Movement is actually not anywhere near a majority, the rest of us are.

Beyond the Cusp

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