Beyond the Cusp

October 11, 2019

Israeli Position Becoming More Precarious

 

One would be inclined to believe that the Israeli position in her Middle Eastern neighborhood could become even more at risk, but it just might real soon. First, allow us to make a risk assessment of her current troubles. To her north, in Lebanon, Israel faces the largest terrorist army in the world in Hezballah. Hassan Nasrallah leads a sizeable military which has been provided for quite adequately by Iran who has armed them with over one-hundred-fifty-thousand missiles and rockets. A fair proportion of these rockets and missiles are capable of reaching anywhere within Israel and beyond even with the capability of striking into Saudi Arabia or even Cairo in Egypt. Iran attempted to provide new targeting capabilities turning rockets into guided missiles but were not as successful as Iran had hoped. Israeli timely air strikes destroyed many of these guidance packages before they reached their destination. Still, many hundreds, if not thousands, of the most dangerous and destructive rockets were transformed into guided missiles capable of striking targets with an accuracy of under ten feet. These are the projectiles carrying the largest warheads and capable of greater distance making all of the central Tel Aviv greater metropolitan region well within the range of these more accurate weapons. The Dimona complex and reactor are also targeted as very likely is Jerusalem, Beersheva, Eilat or anywhere else within Israel they wish to target. These weapons are just the start of Hezballah and their threat posed and would be the initiating strike, should they be instructed to attack Israel.

 

Hezballah Rocket & Missile Threat

Hezballah Rocket & Missile Threat

 

Should Hezballah be instructed to distract international attention from any undue attention to Iranian activities, Israel will be attacked from Lebanon and even possibly Syria awaiting the Israeli response. One such was the recent call by European nations who were signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, to review very probable infractions by Iran by continuing their nuclear program. Germany, France and Britain warned Iran of their intention to withdraw from the agreement should Iran continue to transgress into areas which the JCPOA forbids. As their actions have yet to pose a real threat to Iran, all is quiet. Should this or any other difficulty begin to make the world close in on Iran, you can expect they will try to get out of the limelight by starting a war with Israel using Hezballah as their weapons of choice. Israel would need to react almost instantly should such a conflict break out as Hezballah is capable of firing thousands of rockets and missiles into Israel every day until they are stopped. This could be taken care of by the Israeli Air Force within thirty-six hours. This still means that all of Israel would be vulnerable to these attacks for a day and a half, something which really would try the Israeli people’s nerves. In our region the attacks would largely be the smaller rockets in greater numbers but unguided, something which is less than encouraging as the numbers would translate into some major damage to the most northern Israeli cities. The real threat comes from the largest payloads and longer ranged articles in the Hezballah arsenal as many of these have been modified with the most advanced targeting packages. These could be used to target vital infrastructure as well as the heart of Tel Aviv and the numerous skyscrapers within that area. Were one of these struck and caused to collapse in the initial strikes, this would result in many thousands of deaths.

 

These very same missiles could also target Jerusalem and the Dimona complex. The Dimona research reactor being struck would spread radioactive contamination over a large region of the Negev potentially reaching the populated regions around Beersheva. In Jerusalem there is always the danger of numerous holy sites being struck, whether intentionally or through random chance with unguided rockets. Hezballah could also strike at Israeli airfields, both military and civilian, which could delay getting all strike aircraft into the air before being required to repair runways. Hezballah would also most certainly strike at communications and command and control centers in their effort to decapitate the military by isolating each unit from command and leaving aircraft without any ground control making takeoffs and landings more treacherous. Finally, Hezballah has set up tank traps and extensive tunnels and bunkers throughout the region south of the Litany River. Hezballah groups are able to move throughout this region without being required to break above the surface as their tunnel system is that extensive. These tunnels and fortified positions are often placed under residential areas with launch and ambush positions often placed within private homes. When fighting, Hezballah forces the residents to remain in their homes while they use them to launch rockets, missiles and mortars into Israel and when ambushing Israel Defense Force troops should Israel be required to enter Lebanon to end the attacks. There is a second alternative where Israel simply unleashes the hounds of war and completely blankets southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley in an effort to destroying the Hezballah war machine. Should Hezballah insist that the Lebanese military come to their aid against Israel and any, or many, of their units join in attacking or fighting Israeli forces, then it can be expected that the targeting within Lebanon would be broadened to address the new threats. The Lebanese military had modern equipment provided by the United States, including Abrams Main Battle Tanks, and Russia, including attack helicopters. Such a conflict could easily spread across with attacks coming from within Syria as the IRGC would take such an opportunity to also attack Israel.

 

The IRGC is best described as the Iranian alternative military with close, if not greater, arrays of weapons compared to their formal military. The IRGC is the only military force to be recognized as a terrorist entity and is utilized by Iran to spread terrorist efforts to anywhere on the globe as well as fighting the foreign wars for Iran but providing a small amount of deniability of their actions by the Iranian government. IRGC forces can have uniforms but more often fight dressed as civilians, well-armed civilians. This permits simply taking the weapons of any killed fighter and then inviting the media to come witness the barbarity of Israel by murdering innocent “civilians,” the same “civilians” who were an ambush team which was overrun a short time previous before their identity change from active fighters to deceased civilians. This same tactic is utilized by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. This time we hope that Israel minimizes the need for IDF ground troops entering into Lebanon where they would face ambush, potentially at every turn, and numerous casualties would start mounting. It would be preferable for Israel to use almost solely air power and ground-to-ground missiles to decimate all that belongs to Hezballah. A nice finishing touch might be to use a deep penetrator warhead to strike and destroy Hassan Nasrallah and the bunker in which he hides. IRGC units have also been the target of Israeli strikes at their provisions, particularly their missiles and heavy weapons, and also striking any position used to launch attacks on Israel including drone control facilities. Both IRGC and Hezballah forces are engaged in the Syrian civil war and in the coup still fighting in Yemen, the two silent wars as they do not include Israel, thus they are not newsworthy as Israel has been careful in choosing and unbelievably accurate in their strikes on these two terror armies attempting to limit their most dangerous capabilities. Thus far, the IRGC has been restricted to using only their ground troops. This could change at any point with their air force being brought into the fight placing them as far as eastern Iraq presumably to protect them from any Israeli attacks. Such an eventuality if used against Israel would broaden any such war to include Iraq and Iran as viable potential targets.

 

That was just the threats originating in Lebanon and Syria. To the south, Israel faces another dual threat under Iranian control and influence. These are Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the latter simply another Iranian controlled terrorist group and Hamas simply heavily influenced by Iranian desires. Here too the main threats are rockets. Hamas has a rocket they call the Jerusalem rocket simply because the M-75 Ballistic Missile can reach that distance (pictured below). As Israel enforces a blockade of Gaza for the inspection of goods to assure that no weaponry or other implements of war reaching Gaza and Hamas and Islamic Jihad, this has obviously prevented the retrofitting of their rockets with guidance systems making them guided missiles as such systems would be found and prevented from reaching the terrorists. This could potentially have dire results as Jerusalem is about the far edge of the capability of their M-75 rocket, their M-75 unguided rocket. This presents the ultimate irony, the M-75 when fired at Jerusalem is simply pointed in that direction and launched for maximum distance simply to assure reaching Jerusalem, could result in destroying the Dome of the Rock, the al-Aqsa Mosque or both. Needless to point out that Israel would be initially blamed and the media would run with that story for a week or so before printing a retraction and correction somewhere around page C-33 and nowhere near the front page as were the headlines which blamed Israel. Unfortunately, it takes time to gather the intelligence and place the blame on the true culprits. This is another capability which the Iron Dome can and does provide, the computed trajectory of rockets, missiles, mortars and artillery. Once the real data will have been gathered, the article covering the reality where Israel is not the guilty party but rather the Islamic forces which fired the rocket which destroyed precious Islamic sites in Jerusalem will be right next to their retraction and correction. Hamas and Islamic Jihad cooperate to such an extent that they can be treated as a single entity with Hamas the primary force as they are the Gazan government. Should Gaza initiate attacks on Israel in any large number, the IDF will respond in kind and going no further. The retaliatory strikes by Israel often target empty buildings around two or three o’clock in the predawn hours of the morning. Once more, there is no violence or any attacks which are newsworthy until Israel retaliates, a retaliation which the media will transform into the initiating attack only mentioning the earlier terror attacks on Israel in the next to the last paragraph. It should be noted that Hezballah has promised to join any war between Israel and Gaza and Islamic Jihad has responded with their intention to join any war where Hezballah in Lebanon are fighting Israel. They worded their statements implying that Israel was the aggressor despite knowing that such is not the case.

 

Monument for the M-75 Ballistic Missile Named the Jerusalem Rocket

Monument for the M-75 Ballistic Missile Named the Jerusalem Rocket

 

Fortunately, the main problem for Israel being caused by the Palestinian Authority (PA) is their paying terrorists or their surviving family with cash payments for life which are greatly more significant than even the PA government, and security personnel are paid a lesser salary than these terrorists. This offer of cash for murdering Israelis, they call it murdering Zionists or Jews, has become a career choice as should you murder one Israeli and then be arrested, you will serve your sentence in a country club atmosphere with more benefits than many Israelis receive from the government. These attacks are largely stabbings and vehicular rammings of pedestrian traffic. The PA, under both Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, has rejected every peace proposal by which any land is placed under Jewish rule allowing Israel to survive as is. Their entire effort is performed with the intent of completely destroying Israel. Their main effort is on the international political front where they seek recognition of the PA as a national government and accepting the PA definition of their borders. The PA views their borders as being the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, or more simply, all of Israel. The main reason that there is any semblance of quiet on this front is due to the presence of IDF throughout much of the region and good intelligence work by the Shin Bet and others and because to their east, Jordan has a cold peace with Israel which they prefer not to endanger for reasons which will become clear. The turmoil emanating from the PA will start upon the death of Abbas as he has not been able to groom an acceptable replacement as Arafat had prepared him. But even this is but a minor threat as the PA does not have sufficient strength to wield in any such fight. The rest of the southern border is with Egypt and except for illegal entrants and occasional criminal violence, this border is quiet and problems actually are addressed by Egypt rarely requiring any assistance from Israel.

 

Palestinian Textbook Maps depicting Palestine as replacing Israel, not sharing the land in peace and security as the Europeans and the rest of the West insist to misrepresent

 

The eastern border along the Jordan River and its natural barrier called the Jordan River Valley has been the best-behaved border. Yes, occasional terrorists are out of Jordan and were given their target by the PA and not anyone in Jordan. Jordan is the remaining Hashemite kingdom which was set up by the British after World War I with the other having been Iraq where the monarch was removed in a coup. The Jordanian King, Abdullah II, has sufficient control currently using his military and Bedouin Tribes to rule over the approaching eighty-percent of the population being Arab Palestinians. Jordan is the Arab Palestinians country which was made by cutting 78% of the lands east of the Jordan River to the border with Iraq from the intended Jewish State in order to gift it to one of the Hashemite sons of King Faisal (the remaining 22% was left to form Israel). Under King Abdullah II, there has been peace, or at least tranquility, since the treaty was signed in 1994. But there are some serious rumblings out of Jordan as their economy is suffering poor management as the country attempts to care for many millions of Syrian refugees who fled the country escaping the civil war. The economic drain is being felt throughout the kingdom and this has made many of the residents less than enamored at this situation. Many complain and blame their problems on economic mismanagement and an over-reliance on international aid which has led to the current situation. Rioting in the major cities is almost constant, but the King has bigger problems at the moment. Jordanian Bedouin tribes constitute the backbone of the regime and this is starting to faulter. Bani Hassan tribe has taken an adversarial role with the king releasing an official statement listing their concerns demanding they be addressed immediately. The Bani Abbad and Bani Hamida tribes are supportive of these efforts making matters even more serious.

 

So, what would be the result if King Abdullah II abdicated his throne leaving Jordan without any head for the government? Jordan does have a parliament which would continue to operate after the King leaves, but the question then is for how long. Not all of the problems are the fault of the King as he has given much of his power to the legislature, but he retained the final veto power should he desire its use. The problem would begin with an election where either the Muslim Brotherhood or Iran using largely IRGC units would take control turning the country into another terror base from which to launch attacks on Israelis. One can bet that the Iranians will gain a large influence even if they are not the rulers, Iran will gain influence amongst the populace and deal with Israel sending terrorists into Israel along her eastern border. Such an eventuality would not bode well for Israel. Israel already has factories within Jordan providing good jobs. These enterprise zones run by Israeli companies are a good start but cannot become the main provider of jobs in Jordan. Should the Kingdom collapse, these Israeli firms would probably exit bolting back to Israel. The terror situation would, at some point, bring about a crisis which would threaten the peace potentially ending the blissful relationship previously shared. There is another threat which might come to pass which would worsen the tensions in the Middle East, far beyond just Israel. Iran would woo the Jordanians, particularly their leadership. They would offer arms and rocket and missile systems. The buildup in Jordan would easily outpace that which happened with Hezballah in Lebanon. Iran would really love to have Jordan in their pocket as they border nearly the length of the northern border of Saudi Arabia as well as the eastern border of Israel. Iran recently claimed they have attained the ability to wipe Israel from the map. This is almost a tacit statement announcing their having developed a deliverable thermo-nuclear warhead with which they could wipe out much of the Israelis residing in the greater Tel Aviv region. There is also vital infrastructure which supports most of Israel. Iran would have Israel all but surrounded should they gain control in Jordan. There would be further dangers such as an actual threat of declared war breaking out either with Israel or Saudi Arabia. The initial difficulty for Israel should the Jordanian monarch be dethroned will be increased terrorism with the terrorist using everything in the armory including nuclear weapons should they have the need.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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September 1, 2019

The World Proves Futile

 

Israeli Prime Minister along with IDF spokespeople released a summation of IDF activities working within Lebanon, Syria and Iraq in order to destroy the upgrading of Hezballah rockets into guided missiles. Included in the release was information tracing the history from 2016 to the present. The reason for the release of this information again after it had been discussed is the steps had progressed requiring different and more difficult operations to continually destroy these elements. It is frightening enough knowing that Hezballah has within their one-hundred-fifty-thousand plus missile arsenal numerous rockets which can strike anywhere in Israel, even including Eilat at the southern tip of Israel. All too often, these targets have to be struck precisely and using the most appropriate warhead in order to minimize risks of collateral damage. The Israeli attempts to control this threat have sufficed up to now but as the Iranians have ramped up their efforts to provide targeting modules for the Hezballah rockets installing the systems over an area which includes Iraq, Syria and Lebanon making Israeli air strikes ever more dangerous, Israel has turned to the international community. What could possibly go wrong?

 

Hezbollah’s Secret Sites for Conversion of Inaccurate Rockets into Precision Guided Missiles

 

Well, let us discuss the ugly realities Israel is about to experience yet again. The one which stands out more than all the others is the complete dead silence this report and its media presentation will cause. Most Western media outlets might mention the Israeli event placing those comments buried in Section A or really bury it in Section F while giving the single mention a mere paragraph taking up perhaps three or four lines filling in between the advertisements. I believe we are all pretty certain that the reaction from President Trump will be abrupt and a repeat of the message he has sent all along implying that Israel must step up to the plate and knock one out of the park. Thus far, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, who is also the Defense Minister, has pretty much whiffed at the previous hints. Perhaps Bibi was not even giving the task at hand the correct attentions it deserves. These hints have begun to take center stage as the next elections get ever closer, just a little more than a month away, which is as it should be occurring. The hints also have been anything but subtle often shaking windows and rattling doors.

 

The hints have included moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem while recognizing Jerusalem to start the string of hints. Also, President Trump rushed the delivery of F-35 JSF stealth aircraft. Then, President Trump pulled the American financing of UNRWA as he stated that UNRWA was hindering peace and furthering the unrest while educating the children for war. Embracing Israel solving her own problems and doing so quickly as their cover is still in the White House, would be the logical way to go. There have been rumors about a terse phone conversation where President Trump told Prime Minister Netanyahu that Israel had received three-billion-dollars in military aid and with that assistance, Netanyahu should look to himself and the IDF to put in place and enforce a grand measure of peace and stability ending the corrupt nepotism thus freeing the people and their economy who are currently suffering from the oppressions of the Palestinian Authority and its graft machine. But Bibi never took these hints, or that is what one would assume as there has been no action to show for these hints. But President Trump went further by closing the PLO offices in Washington D.C. and most recently President Trump ordered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to strike all references on maps, records, articles, the Web etc. to the Palestinian Authority as well as Palestine references. This has all but muted Mahmoud Abbas but he remains boisterous as he has ever been. We honestly believe that President Trump would be glad should Israel simply decapitate the Palestinian Authority and provide the remaining Arabs the choice of relocating after receiving a buyout of their home and business plus a relocation fund usable at their new destination where they will call it home and start over. Those who choose to remain to live in Israel will be watched carefully. Further, those who remain will be instructed that they will be expected to live up to the Noahic Code, the Seven Laws of Noah. Lastly, those remaining will be held accountable for the actions of family members and should any member of a family engage in acts of terrorism, the entire family will be exiled and forbidden from ever returning to Israel.

 

President Trump is fully aware that Israel has the unarguable right to all the lands west of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. He knows all of the promises made, including the Americans after their signing the Anglo-American Treaty of 1924, binding the United States as another enforcement for the Mandates. This binds the United States to enforcing the original Mandates as agreed upon by the Allies after World War I and still enforceable by the United Nations under Article 80 of the Charter. But, in reality, Israel will end up enforcing her rights to these lands and not give them up to any other entity. Israel does not need to cater to a people invented in Moscow in order to rid the world of the Jew, in this case an entire Jewish nation. Many around the world are aware that should Israel fall as a failed state, be it destroyed in a grand explosion from terrorism, financially failing due to effective BDS support around the world, or Israel could fall victim to natural disasters as we sit atop the place where three fault lines converge, then the Jews will almost disappear as their numbers in mass assimilate. Sure there will be small enclaves of religious Jews, but the Jews will resemble the Mennonites, small groups centered around a Rabbi teaching them or a family business providing for their secular needs while strength with prayers hoping for the Messiach to come and actually bring the final Redemption; we hope this will happen while Jews continue to exist in worthwhile numbers and even better, while we are alive and cognizant of those around us.

 

There is no doubt that anti-Semitism is becoming mainstream and accepted in certain circles within Europe. There are claims that anti-Semitism has always been at these levels in the hearts and minds of the people. We cannot verify or argue that point, we just know that anti-Semitic acts have become regular events in too many places around the world. We discussed some about this and had two very revealing videos included in our article Palestinian-EU War on Israel which spells out the truth and reality which is at the heart of the Arab World. Israel has had strong support from the United States and the fact that President Obama could not do the level of harm he intended to inflict upon Israel is because the American people would not stand for such acts. That appears to be changing, more so in the cities and metropolitan regions than in the rural climates. The colleges and Universities are another problematic area when it comes to Israel with numerous Islamic tied groups working in concert to persuade entire student bodies that Israel is evil. They tell how according to the laws of Allah; the Jews are the worst kind of people as they act and perform in a foreign way which is fully contested and defeated by Islam. I am a proud Jew who takes the condemnation by Arab leadership calling for my death and the death of my country, Israel as proof that we Jews have our act together and are doing what Hashem desires, or at the very least, we are far from Allah and closer to Hashem.

 

The difficulty is we and many around us can see the day approaching when the United States simply cuts all ties with Israel. The Democrat Party leading politicians running to become the Democrat candidate for President in 2020 all with the possible exception of Joseph Biden are pro BDS and anti-Israel through and through. Should any Democrat become President it will place the number of days Israel can expect a friend in America, and that day will depict a very small number. We just wish that Israel would be more obvious that they have prepared to become self-sufficient in all things, specifically aircraft to replace the fighters now in service when the United States has decided that Israel is a liability and there are more Muslims than Jews in the world. Well, there actually are just a few more followers of Islam as there are approximately two-billion Muslims while Jews only count for eighteen-million, the Jews number less than one-percent compared with Islam. It is the facts of the small number of Jews which makes having a homeland with highly defensible borders a necessity. That is why the Arab forces are driving at denying Israel having her promised border along the Jordan River and the valley it has cut. We have listed the reasons legally why the Jordan River is our eastern border, but in this new age world, rules do not seem to matter unless you like them, and as Jews we seldom get to define the playing field as even the rules of warfare are altered when one side is the Jewish State.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 14, 2019

The Forgotten People are the Israeli Public

 

We hear almost incessantly about the plight of the Palestinian Arabs never stopping to wonder how their lives differ from that of Israelis. We are referring to daily life along with the occasional trip to see a doctor, go to Tel Aviv to get goods not available in our town, take a trip to Jerusalem to visit government offices or to simply look at all the sights or a myriad of other items. The first things we will talk about are the regular obstacles and things which make up an average week. Should we decide to go to either mall in town, there will be the checkpoint where we walk through a magnetometer checking for metal no matter how small and any bags you have are gone through by one of the people at the checkpoint. Just to get this out of the way, there are checkpoints all over Israel even to include restaurants, office buildings, train stations and on and on meaning that it is possible to have to pass through three or four or more on a badly planned day. Additionally, there are security cameras in places throughout town. Some are looking for shoplifters while others are actually for security. Checkpoints and monitoring cameras are simply part of life in our current state of the world. We take them as a necessary part of our being kept protected and safe. Even with all the precautions keeping one safe, often you just worry if you really are being kept as safe as possible, and you accept that some balance has been attempted, but, yes, checkpoints can be a hassle, more so when you are late and barely have time to catch the right train.

 

The biggest difference between residing in Israel and the Palestinian Arab regions is economic. Do not take that to mean that there are no wealthy Palestinian Arabs, as there are many who have gotten quite wealthy often through providing the terrorists with their tools of their trade. Others were favored by the leadership, be they Hamas or Palestinian Authority (PA), and thus given special treatment which provided them with a steady and quite sufficient cash flow. This is much the same as it is in many places except theirs is on steroids. If the PA or Hamas are not getting their “rightful” cut of your business, then you will soon find yourself out of business and replaced with somebody more appreciative. In Israel there are stratification in wealth with some who have become extremely wealthy and those who are barely getting by. The housing makes this quite apparent. The main difference is in Israel the government is restricted by the rule of law under which the government and its officials are constrained to work. The Palestinian Arab governments are rule of man where the people with political power can use such unrestrained for their own purposes. In Israel everything lives within the same set of rules, not so much under the PA and even worse under Hamas. Your opportunities being greater in Israel is largely due to the fact that the government is constrained and not taking half of the profits and using it in a terror war against Israel. This also puts a damper on the Israeli economy as there is the added cost of providing security which requires a virtual war footing 24/7 and yet Israel has managed to be a successful economic nation.

 

There are a few things which Israelis suffer through silently, for the most part with this article an exception, which the Palestinian Arabs do not suffer of which the most obvious is the fear of being caught in a terrorist bombing. We hear some claiming that they have to fear being caught in a bombing raid from Israeli fighter jets, this we will get to in a later paragraph. Then there are terrorist attacks such as stabbings, vehicular ramming, shootings, stones slinging and other forms of attacks. Fortunately, these are a rarity in our little town, probably because we are considered to be in the boondocks and rarely merit attention, which can be a good thing. Still, when we take a trip to Haifa, our chance of being in a terror attack likely doubles, Tel Aviv it becomes four-fold and going to Jerusalem makes such nearly ten-fold a problem and we will not even talk of Hevron or visiting Joseph’s tomb or other places which require visiting around 2:00 AM with a full IDF escort platoon or company as if the visit is discovered, the visitors will require a military styled extraction as a riot with fire-bombs, rocks, bottles and anything else being hurled at the “invasive Jew.” Even visiting the Temple Mount, one runs a risk of having a riot break out or a shooting to occur threatening their safety. Visiting the Western Wall one can sometimes find that there are those from upon the Temple Mount hurling sometimes sizable rocks down on those praying below and this is a three to four story fall where the rocks pick up their share of momentum. All of these terrorist threats do not exist for the Palestinian Arabs as the Jews are not seeking to murder every last one of them as they are attempting, or at least desiring, for us.

 

About that threat of being caught in an Israeli airstrike, that is a fairly rare occurrence with the exception of when there is open warfare. If one reads the reports on the Israeli retaliatory strikes, they will find that any number of buildings have been hit and there are no or extremely few casualties and rarely fatalities resulting. The IDF is ordered to strike buildings known to be vacant and often when an Israeli strike has been provoked, Hamas or the PA make sure to keep their forces out of harms way. Further, Israel targets military forces and structures and attempt to avoid civilian structures with the exception of targeted strikes on leaders of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups. When strikes are formulated by the Palestinian Arabs, they target Israeli civilians and often the most vulnerable, our children. One deadly example is pictured below where a mortar struck a kindergarten play area fortunately a mere hour before the children arrived. The attacks are often planned to coincide with the times when children are on their way to or from classes. Even the disjointed and varied schedule has little effect as they simply observe and choose the best times for killing the children to attack. Israeli strikes are usually executed in the early, early morning when there are few if any people who might be hurt or worse. That is a major difference. Israel attempts to minimize civilian casualties while the terror groups target Israeli civilians, which includes sometimes Israeli Arabs.

 

Remains of Tail Section of Mortar Striking Kindergarten Play Area

Remains of Tail Section of Mortar Striking Kindergarten Play Area

 

Mind you, there is one threat which actually targets our little town along with everywhere within Israel, and that is Hezballah. Hezballah is a terror army under direct control of Iran who also has provided them with weaponry including a large supply of rockets and missiles. The estimates range around one-hundred-fifty-thousand rockets and missiles. The fortunate break, if it can be considered as one, is that as we are a smaller city and reside rather close to the Lebanon border, the rockets (rarely missiles as we do not have targets that important to the terrorists) they strike us with have smaller warheads, usually between fifteen and forty pounds of high explosive or incendiary agents (see tables below). Still, having three to five hundred of such projectiles striking in and around your town can make for a really bad day. Have it happen for ten, twenty or over thirty days in a row and life approaches unbearable. This is something which, believe it or not, you get accustomed to as just one additional potential threat which can ruin one’s life. We understand that the damage caused by these “smaller” warheads is nothing compared to four-hundred-pound warheads on their larger missiles. Still, one really does not wish to be anywhere close to a missile strike. These threats were much of the impetus for the development of Iron Dome which is capable of severely reducing the risk for Israelis being struck in any such attack. The problem should Iran order Hezballah to start launching their rockets and missiles in great numbers, when they are launching hundreds of these every hour, even the Iron Dome has its limitations.

 

Hezballah Rocket and Missile Types and Sizes

Hezballah Rocket and Missile Types and Sizes

 

There is one other threat which Israelis face that the Palestinian Arabs only need worry about misfires or faulty guidance systems, and that is the threat of an attack directly from Iran. Such an attack would most likely be targeting Tel Aviv metropolitan region, nowhere in Israel is all that far outside of this area and thus potentially could be struck. Iran would only be firing missiles and there is the potential for these warheads to carry anything from explosives and incendiaries to nerve agents, biological agents and other chemical agents. The nerve, chemical and biologic agents are all qualified as weapons of mass destruction and constitute war crimes should they be employed. Iran could not care less about such niceties. They would launch anything and everything if it might add to the body count in Israel. This includes nuclear warheads should Iran possess such weapons, and we fear they have a stock of nuclear warheads and potentially thermonuclear warheads. These missiles would need be intercepted by David’s Sling or the Arrow systems which are designed to intercept ballistic missiles, exactly the variety Iran would utilize in such an attack. Are they as effective as the Iron Dome? We need remember that we only know of the effectiveness of the Iron Dome because it has been tested in actual conditions during the last set of rocket barrages out of Gaza launched by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We hope to never find out exactly how well the anti-ballistic missile systems work as we would just as soon avoid any situation under which they would be tested. The fact that the United States placed a THAAD system in Israel to provide further defensive capabilities should Iran attack Israel is another sign of how serious the situation has become. This was a precaution provided for these times when tensions between the United States and Iran are running high and keeping in mind that Iran has promised to destroy Israel within an hour after any American attack upon Iranian assets. This means that Iran already has missiles targeting Israel ready for launch as soon as the word is given. But you get used to such things.

 

Life in Israel is good and always a bit interesting. Fortunately, these interesting items mostly include trying something new for lunch, watching the local schools play sports, wondering if the movie will be any good, and other normal items. Then, in the back of your mind, you have these other little elements which cause an entirely different kind of excitement, the not so pleasant kind. We all know of the threat and sometimes even discuss what we expect, what we should expect and what we fear we need to expect. One-hundred-fifty-thousand rockets and missiles is a terrible and real threat. Hezballah is the largest and best armed non-state military. The reality is that Hezballah is to Lebanon what the IRGC is to Iran. So, the next time somebody complains about how the Palestinian Arabs have to pass through checkpoints, please inform them that Israelis also are required to pass through checkpoints as part of their everyday lives as well. When their complaint is that the Palestinian Arabs have such a poor economy compared to Israel, tell them it is their terrorist governments which steal most of the funds and take a lion’s share of the economy to operate their terrorist attacks and to line their own pockets. And lastly, when they claim that the Palestinian Arabs reside under constant threat of attack, please do not let that lie pass unchallenged as the attacks Israel directs are targeting buildings used by the terror outfits and Israel attempts to minimize casualties while the threats against Israelis are targeting the public at large. Finally, there is always the threat sitting on the northern border of Israel in the form of Hezballah and the threat off in the east known as Iran, and that last threat very probably is a nuclear armed state. The main difference is that the Israelis do not have a propaganda system in place around the world financed by billions of petro-dollars and supported on virtually every college and university campus in the forms of BDS and the plethora of Palestinian Arab rights groups and other groups disguised as human rights groups which are in reality anti-Israel teams used to attack any time Israel defends herself. These are the realities which are clouded in a storm of anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic hatred which is poisoning much of the Western World and already has inundated most of the third world nations. Strip away the lies and propaganda and the picture radically changes, but we do not expect such a miracle for the time being and still hold out hope the Messiach will soon arrive and all will be repaired one way or the other.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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