Beyond the Cusp

May 30, 2019

Two Truths Most Jews Deny

 

There really are two truths which the majority of Jews will deny, but first a truth that is well known by a large number of Jews, most of which already live here in Israel. The Jews who most deny this truth, which we will soon reveal, are our American Jews who believe that they have found their promised lands and these are in America. They live in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods where everybody is comfortably living the upper-middle-class life or nicer and all appears right with their worlds. The truth they refuse to admit is that they face a larger chance of being killed in a criminal act, including terrorism, in the United States than they would be in Israel. First, everyone’s actions make people more or less safe. If you have your own security details for round the clock protection, then you have a level of safety which would never be accepted in any study. But for those of us in the everyday world know, to increase your safety, avoid those areas where crime is known to be predominant. This is as true in Israel as it is in the United States. What is interesting, when specialists make studies on both societies, Israel and America, people in Israel are more safe than people in the United States. We are afraid this is true but it was one of the facts which convinced one of us to come to Israel when the one inviting was pointing out the advantages of life in Israel.

 

The first reality which Jews around the world, including within Israel, refuse to admit oh so frequently is that it is time for Jews to make Aliyah, period. The reasons are quite obvious as you read or hear the nightly news. In America there are lunatics whose anti-Semitic inner rage sent them seeking a Synagogue as their target for murdering Jews. In the Tree of Life Synagogue located in Squirrel Hill just outside Pittsburgh and near the weekend breakfast restaurants where numerous students from Carnegie-Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh have leisurely breakfasts or brunches, Robert Gregory Bowers entered during Shabbat Services on an otherwise peaceful Saturday morning and proceeded to shoot everyone he could find and when all was finished, eleven people were killed and six innocents were injured as he searched two levels (floors) of the synagogue. But this attack was not sufficient of a wake-up call telling the Jews that there were madmen whose politics were inconsequential as what matters is they were so driven to murder Jews that their own safety did not matter, this miscreant just wanted to kill Jews and chose to do so while they were at prayers.

 

Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill Pennsylvania

Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill Pennsylvania

 

Then, just to reinforce the message, exactly six months after the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, there was another Synagogue shooting in the Chabad Synagogue in Poway, California, just north of San Diego. In this heinous crime, one woman was killed as she protected the Rabbi with her body, and three people were injured including a child and the Rabbi who lost two fingers yet finished the service before allowing them to take him to the hospital. The culprit this time was John Earnest. His victims were 60-year-old Lori Kaye who was murdered and 34-year-old man named Almog Peretz and his niece, an 8-year-old girl named Noya Dahan, who were injured in the attack as was Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein who lost one finger and another was reattached. The murdered victim, Lori Kaye, was a long-time volunteer who had great respect for Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein for whom she took a bullet meant for him.

 

Chabad of Poway Synagogue

Chabad of Poway Synagogue

 

Despite these two events so close together along with all of the news about Jews being victimized across Europe and even within the Haredi neighborhoods in the New York City metropolitan area, American Jews remain calm believing they are very safe to completely safe and they need not worry about these two incidents as they are irregularities which if digested and applied to their lives should raise their discomfort. Weekly there are stories about Jews being harassed in their public schools even in elementary schools. There are anti-Semitic acts which occur regularly across the United States with such crimes spanning the gauntlet from graffiti to anti-Semitic tropes and swastikas even to firebombs and bullets fired at Jewish Houses of Prayer. Almost every synagogue in America hires or has city provided armed guards for the High Holidays and often also for Bar Mitzvahs and Wedding Ceremonies with some even requiring such protection for their weekly Shabbat prayers services. Jewish schools and pre-schools have also felt the anti-Semitism including all of the above plus simple vandalism. Still, American Jews feel safe and accepted within their society. We have thought about this phenomenon and have reached some conclusions which may explain this apparent dichotomy.

 

The vast majority of Jews live, work, worship and find recreation living largely in neighborhoods where the income level is above average. Almost all their daily contacts are professionals who largely do not harbor anti-Semitic feelings and those who do keep such hidden for fear of losing their employment. Their exercise routines often consist of running within their neighborhood or working out at a gym, often a pricey sports club. They shop at stores in their neighborhood, get their foods from kosher stores and butcher shops and often shop at the boutique stores and name brand companies. They seldom spend time in neighborhoods where the crime is higher than average nor do they frequent places where alt-right groups frequent. Their interaction with people who openly hold anti-Semitic positions are extremely rare and, as stated above, if they do meet such a person, that person would conceal their resentment and hatred which fuels their anti-Semitism. This social isolation leads them to the conclusion that they are perfectly safe and that anti-Semitism is not a problem in the United States. Even the few Jews who do live in what might be defined as a far more coarse neighborhoods where ethnic and religious hatreds are expressed regularly, if not frequently, and seldom relate such to any friends they may have at Synagogue or through other contacts as expressing such things will lead to one being shunned as one who is portrayed as being too negative. Nobody desires to be excluded from their surroundings, thus even the Jews who see these acts against Jews and have a more intimate interaction with such feelings keep their stories close to the chest and merely share them with a small group of conservatives who are often Zionists as well thus any mention of making Aliyah is met with encouragement. Eventually, things will reach a point where ignoring the anti-Semitism which is spreading into even the halls of Congress as something which is real and need be faced and decisions made. The most logical response is not to buy more expensive security, it is to move to Israel where your security, along with every other Israeli, is the first order of the police and IDF. One could not find any better security than this.

 

Many American Jews likely are not even concerned about the rampant anti-Semitism spreading across Europe. Part of the reason why is because to admit this would upset the apple cart upon which their lives are balanced. Further, they enjoy taking trips to Europe and would be put out if their favorite European vacation region became unavailable. As most European vacation areas are guarded with better than average security and police presence, their vacations are fairly safe until the unthinkable happens. The European Jews are beginning to catch on to the rising rate of the problem and many have already started arriving here in Israel. Each year the number of European Jews making Aliyah increases bit by bit. This is slowly draining the Jewish population of Europe away which will sooner or later result in a flood as the last ones to successfully escape Europe make their way to the welcoming Israeli shores. But even across Europe, the majority of Jews are still in denial about the growing problem and even the source. Ask many European Jews and virtually all American Jews from whence does the growing anti-Semitism arise and they will claim from right wing Nazi-like individuals and they will deny that there is another source. They will identify that Islam and the influx of “refugees” has worsened the problem and that there is a massive wave of anti-Semitism roiling on the far left. Their refusal to accept these realities is basically because to do so would upset their entire worldview. One can only hope and pray that these disillusioned Jews awaken and smell the coffee before it becomes too late. The German Jews who had largely assimilated also kept telling themselves that, “It cannot happen here. Germany is the most advanced, cultured, educated and socially advanced nation on earth. They would not mean us; they mean those other Jews.” If you are one thinking in this manner, bad news, you are so very wrong and we can only pray for your awakening to come before it becomes too late.

 

The other disbelief is held by mostly Israeli Jews including, unfortunately, Prime Minister Netanyahu and many in the Knesset. This is a two-part fallacy which starts with the United States will always be our friend and ally just like they have always been and continues, anyway, the Arabs of the Sunni states are becoming friendly and accepting our existence as the Jewish State. As far as the United States always having been Israel’s friend, other than President Truman voting to accept the Israeli declaration of independence of May 15, 1948, the United States immediately thereafter placed an arms embargo on the entire Middle East, which, as the Arabs were being provided for by the Soviet Union, this meant any potential for providing arms to the nascent state of Israel was made impossible. We cover the entirety of this subject in our articles “America can be a Fickle Friend,” “Time for Israel to Help Trump and America,” as well as in “The United States Will Distance From Israel.” With this out of the way, let us address the so-called new Arab friendship effort. For us, this new friendly warmth coming from the Sunni Arab world such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf Emirates plus Kuwait is, at best, disingenuous. One might say that they have an ulterior motive which has nothing to do with our being accepted finally as their neighbor despite our being a Jewish entity. This is not the puppy love as it is being treated in much of Israel, especially by the political elite. This is good old solid we are afraid of the after-school bully threatening us in the playgrounds better known as the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea and even into the Red Sea. This bully which has the Arabs in the regions around Israel is the Persian Shiites of Iran who have been testing missiles with significant ranges and quite likely working on and building nuclear warheads to fit atop those missiles. This is what is driving these Sunni Arab neighbors of Israel closer to the Jewish State, survival, not acceptance.

 

If anyone for even a single moment believes that the Wahabis strain of Islam has accepted the Jewish State or that Jordan which has amongst the highest levels of anti-Semitism in the world or that Egypt was softening towards Israel, they have another think coming. Egypt has a number of reasons to be cuddling up to Israel of which Iran is but one. Egypt also has a serious problem with terrorists setting up camps within the Sinai Peninsula in the mountainous regions which are difficult to patrol. Egypt needs Israel to assist them in preventing Hamas from interacting and providing the provisions of war and terror into the Sinai Peninsula as well as on occasion allowing Israel to attack some of these groups when they attack Israel or assist Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Egypt also benefits from Israeli intelligence which has often tipped the Egyptian military with timely information about terrorist plots against Egypt. Meanwhile, Jordan is cautiously approaching Israel though they continue to pretend that whatever new charge against the Jews or restriction which the Jordanian Waqf can bring preventing Jews from ascending to the Temple Mount or other restrictions for Jewish use of the Temple Mount, visiting the Jewish holy sights in Hevron and other areas without difficulties is simply enforcing the status quo. The problem is that the status quo is anything but static. We have discussed this status quo situation in our articles “Temple Mount Status-Quo Not so Static Though.” “Temple Mount Is Not and Never Has Been at Status-Quo,” “Temple Mount Status-Quo Must Go” and “History of Jerusalem and Status Quo Incompatible.” Right now, the King of Jordan is worried about retaining his crown and position as the Arabs in Jordan are restless. He also fears Iran and even more so with them perched in Syria along his northern border.

 

But Saudi Arabia is the biggest of the fish caught in this conundrum. Saudi Arabia is fully aware that Iran is desirous of their oil fields which are along the Saudi northeastern border which is close to Iran. They also are aware that Iran would love to take over Mecca and Medina, the two holy cities of Islam dating back to the start and before the Arabian forces climbed out of the Arabian Peninsula intent on taking over all the lands they would be capable of conquering. Saudi Arabia is also the big fish in the Gulf States pool with some of the other Gulf states having deep pockets as their resources other than oil. Where the Saudi Royal Family has shown mixed signals but still tending towards a thaw in relations for expediency has made overtures with Israel. Still, with the Houthi Rebels along their southern border and the Iranian special units assisting and the Houthis launching a missile every so often, even to include some at Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital city, the Saudis have a great deal of Iran on their borders. This is probably why the majority of the communications originate with Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are also the ones who stand to lose the most should Iran begin to attack the Sunni states in the region in order to take over Islam simply by taking the Saudi oil fields along with the cities of Mecca and Medina then being able to claim that Iran is the protector of the two holy cities of Islam. It is the guardianship of Mecca and Medina upon which the Saudi Royal family rests their right to rule and be the foremost influence within Islam even to rival Egypt and Al-Azhar University, the most prestigious Islamic University where leading Imams are trained and sent all over the world to spearhead the spread of Islam. Iran faces an uphill battle to become the leader of the Islamic world as they practice a minor form of Islam consisting of about ten percent of all Muslims. Iran feels that if they can take the Saudi Oil Fields and the Two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, then they might be able to convert masses of Muslims to Shiite Islam and take over the Islamic world. For mounting a successful attack to capture those two targets, in order to simplify that attacks on Mecca and Medina, Iran would best be served by mounting the attack from the south and north simultaneously. The pincer from the south would originate in Yemen while the northern pincer would be required to originate in southern Jordan. This is another fear for the Jordanian Monarch.

 

Iran also holds the world hostage to two threats Iran posses to maritime traffic in the world. The one most well known are the Straights of Hormuz through which almost one third of the world oil supplies move. Additionally, through Yemen, Iran also has tactical control over the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait which controls the southern exit from the Red Sea. Closing this second waterway to shipping would paralyze Europe as it would effectively close the Suez Canal and would prevent all Israeli shipping from Eilat on to Asia. According to international law, cutting off Israeli shipping from exiting the Red Sea is a casus belli for war and is a direct attack on Israel. Such would also be the same for Egypt with the Suez Canal. So, a quick look around and the main countries facing Iranian aggressions are Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf States. This is just an introduction to the threats Iran poses currently to the world. It goes far beyond the chess match being played currently which could strike a point which ends up misinterpreted by either the United States or by Iran at which point the standoff could turn hot and cause a chain reaction which nobody needs. The one item that the world can believe was the threat by Iran that should they be attacked by anyone, then their first retaliation will not be against their attacker, not even if it is the United State (Great Satan) but rather Iran would immediately attack Israel (Little Satan). Why would Iran attack Israel first, simply, because after an attack on Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia or the American fleet, there probably would not be enough of Iran left to attack Israel plus Iran is convinced that nobody would attack Iran no matter what they might do when attacking Israel. Iran is currently assured that none of the European nations would attack Iran no matter what they did short of attacking Europe. Should the Iranians drop a nuclear warhead in the center of the American fleet sinking virtually every ship, the Europeans would possibly send wreaths to the United States and exclaim how they mourn with the Americans but due to treaty obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), they were powerless to act, so sorry. The world is facing trouble and all that most of the world appears ready to do is surrender, throw up their arms, wail unmercifully and then blame Israel for the entire situation. Israel and Israelis and their politicians need to understand that the warm feelings they feel coming from the Sunni Arabs is driven by fear of the Shiite Arabs of Iran and once that problem becomes resolved, then back to the regularly scheduled antagonistic low-level warfare through sponsoring terrorists against Israel, Sunni terrorists such as the Palestinian Authority or Hamas in Gaza.

 

Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait

Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait

 

One might say that these are the pressure points of the World, the points where even a minimal amount of pressure produces the maximum effect and currently both can have pressure applied by the Iranian regime. The current Iranian threat level is high with few specific regions where Iran has and is posing threats to the well being of the world. Currently there is a threat of war breaking out and should such a war break out, we are all but guaranteed that Israel will be one of the first targets to feel the Iranian threats with Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Hezballah all poised and ready to pounce upon the Jewish State. The only guarantee over the next Middle East conflict is, that no matter who else will be concerned, Israel will be one of the first targets struck by Iran through her proxy terror groups deployed where they can do the most harm armed with the weapons required to pose such threats. Iran can always use these groups to dial up the tensions and violence in the region even if merely to distract attention away from Iran herself.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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May 9, 2019

Popping the Myths of Israeli War of Independence

 

We do not care how the wars sporadically started and stopped from May 15, 1948 onward with them lasting into mid 1949 before attaining armistices. Peace would be coming later with Egypt and even later Jordan, while technically Israel is still in a state of war with the other four Arab invading nations; Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Don’t worry if you did not realize this, probably a fair number of Israelis are unaware of the fact Israel is still at war. There are likely a set of armistice agreements ending hostilities, but we were unable to find any reference to such between Israel and Iraq or Saudi Arabia. Perhaps we will have to settle with the fact they are not shooting at us currently and be happy with that. But the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-9 was not born in a vacuum, there were a series of initiatives which were rejected outright and even the United Nations sought some settlement which also failed and so much more to talk about and see how we got to where we are today, celebrating our independence which was established the nightfall before the dawn brought on the war. So, where do we begin.

 

What is difficult to believe, but just the same is true, there was a point in time when the Arab world welcomed the founding of the Jewish State and agreed over borders and everything. The year is 1920, late April to be more accurate, in beautiful San Remo, Italy where the San Remo Conference set up the preliminaries for the Mandate System. Included in this were two Mandates which are of interest to our telling, the French and British Mandates. These were set along with Italian and Spanish holdings (see map below). France was charged to form a Christian State and an Arab State while Britain was charged with establishing a Jewish State and subsequently also an Arab State. France divided their region forming Syria (Arab) and Lebanon (Christian) while Britain divided its region into Jordan (originally Transjordan and Arab) and Israel (originally referred to as Palestine and Jewish). The French attempt to make a Christian state in Lebanon was fragile from the very beginning and is close to becoming ruled by Hezballah who has military control and shares Parliamentary control. Were things to come to a head in Lebanon, the Christians would be hard pressed to mount any resistance to a complete Islamic takeover. The British never actually established a Jewish state and instead simply announced they were pulling out as of mid-May 1948 and washing their hands of whatever developed.

 

Colonial Structure Post World War I defined by Treaties from initial surrender in 1919 through the San Remo Conference setting up the Mandate System in 1922 plus Sykes-Picot redrawing of much of the Middle East

Colonial Structure Post World War I defined by Treaties from initial surrender in 1919 through the San Remo Conference setting up the Mandate System in 1922 plus Sykes-Picot redrawing of much of the Middle East

 

This is where we start our story, the British are leaving and, on their way out, they are confiscating as many weapons as they can find in Jewish towns and Kibbutzim and for expediency’s sake, they are turning these weapons over to the Arab towns which were preparing to join the war against the Jews. The evening of May 14, 1948, Jewish day begins at sundown, so for Israelis it is the next day while the remainder of the world insists on daybreak or midnight, but it is almost sundown of May 14, 1948, or 6 Iyyar, 5708 on the Hebrew Calendar. So, it is Friday, May 14, 1948 at 4 PM, a full eight hours before the official end of the British Mandate, David Ben Gurion read out Israel’s Declaration of Independence at a moving ceremony at the Tel Aviv Museum (video below). There was no shooting, no artillery, no tanks, just celebratory cheers, singing of songs and general state of joyous exhilaration from the Jewish and even some Arab towns, farms and villages. That was it, the official beginning to the Jewish State followed by recognitions which can be viewed here. The celebrations carried on into the morning, especially in Tel Aviv. The Jews and their Arab friends knew what the morning was likely to bring, so they made the most of the few hours of peace that remained.

 

 

The next morning was to bring an assault with an intent which we have found was best described so succinctly by Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League at that time, who stated, “It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades.” This was what was intended by the six Arab armies from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan which were perched on every border just awaiting the command or simply the sun to rise so they could swarm across the lands on their way to the Mediterranean Sea wiping the Jews from the land retaking the region for Allah. Their invasion routes can be seen on the map below. For weeks ahead of the morning of May 15, 1948, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini implored the Arabs who were living between the Arab forces and the Mediterranean Sea, in Israel in simple terms, to evacuate to behind the Arab lines for their safety. His claim was this would permit the Arab armies to simply slaughter every single person they came upon. There were exceptions, namely those Arab villages and towns which were to assist the Arabs by sabotaging Israeli supply and communication lines and ambushing the Israelis from behind as they faced the Arab armies advance. The Mufti promised that the Arabs could follow the armies to the sea and partake of the riches of the Jews and all the spoils of war. This was awaiting the next morning after the joyous celebratory evening and night of the Jewish People returning to their ancestral homelands after approximately a two-thousand-year absence of Jewish rule over these lands. There was great joy and few worried about the next day, but there were the select people who did exactly that as they were the ones who were to defend this precious return.

 

Initial Invasion Routes by Arab Armies on May 15, 1948

Initial Invasion Routes by Arab Armies on May 15, 1948

 

This was, very simply put, an Arab initiated war of intended annihilation, not Israel’s War of Independence. Israeli independence came the second David Ben Gurion finished his speech. There was no war necessary. Israel had been declared and that should have been the end of everything except for the celebrations. There was no war, the Jews did not make some amphibious assault on the beaches and push the Arabs out of their nation of Palestine. There was no nation of Palestine and the Jews were already in the land with many having come in the late 1800’s and others who could trace their ancestry back to the times of Kings Saul, David and Solomon. These were the Jews who the Romans had allowed to remain and had resided in these lands for over three-thousand-years. That is an impressive family history to be able to recount, and they can do exactly that. Others returned over the centuries and had resided in these lands for hundred upon hundreds of years. Whenever the British had used the term Palestine or Palestinian, they were referring to Israel and the Jews. The Palestine Post became the Jerusalem Post, the Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra became the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra and so on with names of banks, hardware stores, plumbing businesses and so much more. The Arabs had their own reference at that time, they were referred to as Arabs or Jordanian, Syrian, Egyptian, Iraqi or whatever nation their family names implied. The first time any Arab became a Palestinian was with the birth of the PLO in 1964. Why did the Arabs decide to take the mantle of Palestinians? That is easy to figure out once you understand the history, they intended to steal the history of the Jews claiming that the Arabs were the ones called Palestinians and the Jews were called, well, they never said what the Jews were called because their intent was always to be rid of them so who cares what names they were called by, anyway, that would just confuse things. Their hope was that nobody would bother with the actual history and they could pull a fast one. Well, what timing, just as the Western World decided not to actually teach history, the Arabs bet that nobody would know history, what timing.

 

World Recognition of Israel

World Recognition of Israel

 

Well, the celebrations ended rather abruptly around dawn as the first shots fired by the advancing Arab armies starting what would be more appropriately called The Arab War of Intended Annihilation instead of the Israeli War of Independence. Israeli independence had already been established and the war was over whether Israel would continue to exist or be killed at her birthing. The other misleading tale was that Israel won this war and took over additional lands. The only way this would have been true would be if Israel had extended her rule across the Jordan River, over the Golan Heights, into Lebanon and into the Sinai Peninsula. None of these were the result. What happened instead was Israel lost control of lands which included the Golan Heights, the Shomron (Jordan controlled this renaming it the West Bank) and the Gaza Strip which Egypt took control over. These are that troubling thing called facts. When the Arabs show maps showing Israel gaining land, they use the map of the plan offered by the United Nations in the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine under United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181. This was a nonbinding resolution which suggested a division of the land into Arab and a Jewish states. The Israelis were willing to accept this partition but the Arab League refused the plan planning on the annihilation of the Jews in its stead. When a United Nations General Assembly Resolution is rejected by any of the parties involved, it is forever negated and considered void as if it had never been proposed. So, the Arab League refusal ended any application of the division and the lands reverted to the original borders which was the Jordan River and the border between the Negev Desert and the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights (see maps below). The armistice lines have become the Arab definition of what the Israeli borders should revert to now despite when they were agreed upon the Arab League insisting that these armistice lines were not to ever be interpreted or expected to be actual borders. Their intent was to deny the existence of Israel as it did not have actual borders. Now they demand a return by Israel to those armistice lines so they can have a redo on the Six Day War, another war which was intended to destroy the Jewish State which failed. During the June 1967 Six Day War, Israel liberated the lands lost in 1948-9 as well as gaining the Sinai Peninsula and some claim the Golan Heights.

 

Resolution 181 Division, Israel on the morning of May 15, 1948, Israel after the War and losing lands of Gaza and West Bank

Resolution 181 Division,
Israel on the morning of May 15, 1948,
Israel after the War and losing lands of Gaza and West Bank

 

That is why calling the war which began the morning of May 15, 1948, the Israeli War of Independence is actually a misnomer. Israel would have had her independence even had the Arabs not attacked that morning as she had declared her independence the afternoon before. The celebrations had gone on well into the night and even until the Arabs invaded the established nation of Israel. A better name for this war might be the Arab War of Intended Annihilation of Israel or the Failed Arab War to Erase Israel. Now that war is being fought by Arab proxies of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza which might be named Hamastan. Over the years, the Arab world acquired great amounts of financial assistance from the Western nations along with the United Nations and for a while the Soviet Union into the coffers of these terror entities all with the hope of peace or an end to Israel. Many of those contributing to these entities desired the latter while all claimed otherwise simply claiming they desired for the Palestinian Arabs to have their homeland back. There never has been an Arab homeland or a nation called Palestine and the main reason that so many Arabs resided in what became Israel was due to the British in cooperation with the Arab League kept moving Arabs into the land to prevent the Jews from being able to declare their homeland. The Palestinian Arab refugee problem is largely, if not entirely, due to the Arabs heeding the Mufti and then when the fighting was over, instead of allowing them to return, something Israel was willing to allow, they placed their brothers and sisters into refugee camps and have kept them there ever since. They basically incarcerated just over six-hundred-thousand fellow Arabs in these camps. Over the ensuing decade, the Arab world expelled over eight-hundred-thousand Jews after denuding them of all assets and anything of worth which Israel took in and remarkably simply incorporated every last one into their society despite much hardship and difficulty. Israel did not incarcerate them permanently in camps to use as a political weapon against the Arab nations which expelled them, Israel accepted their fellow Jews with mixed joy and hardship but in the end, we are all living together mostly in harmony. Give Israel another fifty years and there will be no differentiating who came originally from where and there will be more Israelis like myself with a European father and an Arab national origin mother. In my case it was due to World War II as my British father fought in Burma and when injured he was treated in Bombay (Mumbai) where he met my Iraqi origins mother, and the rest is history. The majority in Israel is simply a case of opposites attract and Jews are intermarrying which will allow us to become completely reinstituted as a single people whose histories and futures are forever to be intertwined.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 1, 2019

Iran Collecting All the Best of Friends

 

One of the questions Israelis with friends in Europe and North America hear much of the time asks if we worry about our enemies. By enemies, they most often mean those nations on our borders and, of late, they add in Iran. Our answer usually goes something near to we worry more about those professing to be our friends than our declared enemies. We tell them that we know exactly what to expect from each of our enemies but it is our friends who we cannot predict how they will act according to stimuli, react to the changing world, handle pressures we see coming at them and proactively act to avoid some of the worst problems they are soon to face. Our friends find our concern for their well-being and safety often misplaced and think we should be far more concerned about the threats being made against us and all the moves by the United Nations to single us out, Ireland passing legislation criminalizing trade with businesses run by Jews in the Shomron, the one-hundred-thirty-thee nations which make up the “Group of 77” electing Palestine under Mahmoud Abbas as their leader to represent them (146 countries voted for this Resolution whilst only three – Israel, the U.S. and Australia – voted against, 15 countries abstained and the remaining 29 states did not vote) or the recent American elections where anti-Israel positions took center stage. This is all not to mention the European Union, Britain about to elect Corbyn as Prime Minister, France playing with their own BDS movement, Italy doing the BDS thing as well with the rest of “free” Europe and Canada having a growing BDS movement north of the border. Why should we worry about the Arab world who only threatens to kill us when our friends are dancing with the devil, so to speak, and flirting with slowly cutting their relations with Israel. When I warned of this many decades ago while still in the United States, people claimed I must be losing my mind or I required psychiatric help with the number one answer always being, “America would never turn against Israel. That is the one constant that Israel can rely upon.” What scares me even worse is that most Israelis believe that to be true as well. Our advice to both of these camps, be afraid, be very afraid because what is coming will be a blizzard affecting United States-Israel relations and they are going to become very cold indeed, just wait a decade or two. Most of our friends are sliding in a direction which will lead to their separating from Israel and eventually turning to the other side unless some awakening occurs and they realize the dangers facing their societies and governances.

 

Meanwhile, allow us to start with Iran and the problems coming from that front. We just recently wrote an article titled, “Iran Threatens Israel with Missiles from Lebanon and Gaza” where we spoke about General Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran who was also making threats of the overwhelming military troubles which would befall Israel were she to “act stupidly.” What is always amusing is the constant use of the phrase, “Israel act stupidly,” which is almost always preceded and followed by all forms of threats. Well, now we have another Iranian military genius threatening Israel. He is the Deputy Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami, and he recently warned Israel that, well, in our words, Armageddon is perched on our doorstep and ready to pounce in order to, “wipe out wrongdoers,” and further, “Today, the Zionists know that in any war they start, Lebanon would not be the only battlefront. They know that a new war would lead to their annihilation.” And then there is the list of nations which he claims are on the bandwagon and fully behind the Mad Mullahs of Tehran. Perhaps before continuing, we should allow you to hear him and if you do not speak Farsi, MEMRI has translated the video.

 

 

Wasn’t that just one of the most breathtaking speeches you have ever heard from an Iranian military commander. So, he informed Israel specifically and the world indirectly that Lebanese, Iraqis, Afghanis, Pakistanis, Iranians, and Yemenis are in Syria, and that is the new, modern, combat tested, trained and ready to go “united Islamic army.” Isn’t that simply the most terrifying thing you have ever heard in your lifetime, well, us neither. We thought about half or so of these nations are ones where Iran has all but taken over complete control. Let us see what we can see as Lebanon is basically run by Hezballah, Iran is rapidly and already, for all intents and purposes, is western Iran with a fair number of IRGC and regular Iranian Army units assisting with their war on the Kurds and the Sunni Muslims. Moving right along to Yemen, there are numbers of IRGC and Hezballah fighting troops and trainers working with the Houthis to rule that country. Syria is the crux of the fighting where Iran is calling in every and anybody to assist them in propping up Bashar al-Assad as the ruler of Syria and Iranian puppet even if they are required to kill the vast majority of Syrians and destroy most of the nation’s infrastructure to do so. The main concern of Iran has been their taking control of Lebanon (which they have controlled through Hezballah for decades now), Iraq, Syria and Yemen in order to establish their Shiite Iranian Crescent across the Middle East (see map below and the star in the Iranian Crescent covers Mecca and Medina which they have often claimed they will soon control). That leaves Afghanistan and Pakistan who Iran claims are there defending Bashir al-Assad and ready to pounce on Israel if the Zionists act stupidly and start a war. These Iranian military top brass sure are convinced that Israel is about to jump up and start a war with one of their friends. Of all the nations above which Iran appears to be unified with, the only ones in the correct proximity for Israel to attack are Syria (what’s left of it) and Lebanon. So, perhaps that should be explored.

 

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

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

 

The first item one need know is that the forces fighting in Syria with Iran and Hezballah are irregular units from Afghanistan and Pakistan, not troops provided by these two nations. These are forces which worked with other bands which most nations recognize as the terrorist parties assisting Iran with their efforts against other groups such as the Kurds and, at some future point, potentially the Russians and Turkey. Currently Turkey is sweeping norther Syria in what they informed President Trump was their final sweep to eradicate the last vestiges of the Islamic State. The unfortunate result of the Turkish military actions is that they appear to have an identification problem, as they are more often sweeping through Kurdish towns and cities and murdering civilians as well as fighting the Kurdish Militias, some of the same militias which assisted with ridding Syria of the Islamic State and with whom the United States was allied. Turkish President Erdogan has stated his desires to include Aleppo and Mosul into Turkey as the beginning of the reestablishing of the Ottoman Empire and he will be the first Sultan of the Second Ottoman Empire. Dreams of grandeur and it is all nothing but smoke. Meanwhile, many people have the mistaken thought that Iran and Russia are allied in their efforts to assist Assad. This is untrue, as they both desire the Syrian Mediterranean ports. They both see themselves as the main ally who controls Syria. The Russians would settle for just the ports along the western coastline and Damascus for the international airport to use for supply and troop movements. The Iranians desire these as well as the southeastern border with Iran to provide them a road link through which to send their missile carriers and other heavy weapons. For Iran, Syria is the direct link for providing Hezballah with better weaponry, particularly guidance systems for their larger rocket making them into guided missiles, and with placing their IRGC troops with their required weaponry perching them on the northeastern border of Israel as well as the northern border of Israel with Lebanon. Iran also desires to have a longer border with Saudi Arabia which is behind their Iraqi and Yemenis efforts giving them the ability to threaten the Saudi Arabian oil fields which lie largely in northeastern Saudi Arabia as well as a front along the Red Sea in order to threaten Mecca and Medina, another prize the Iranians covet. This places another country at risk of the Iranian hegemonic plans, and that is Jordan. Were they to take control over Jordan, this would give them a border with Israel stretching the entirety of the eastern Israeli border, the entirety of the northern border of Saudi Arabia allowing them to strike from the north and south along the Red Sea in order to take Mecca and Medina, the two holy cities of Islam.

 

Final Conflict for potential nuclear standoff after Iran starts producing its missiles and warheads which is likely already going on in secret enrichment warhead factories buried under Tehran hospital

Final Conflict for potential nuclear standoff after Iran starts producing its missiles and warheads which is likely already going on in secret enrichment warhead factories buried under Tehran hospital

 

The Iranian reason for wanting to control Mecca and Medina is that this would remove the Saudi Royal Family claim to be the protectors of the Two Holy Mosques, one in Mecca and the other in Medina and the claim which also keeps the family Saud in power. The oil fields are in the largely Shiite region of Saudi Arabia, thus prime pickings for Iran using IRGC infiltrators to start the revolution, allowing Iranian forces to succeed in taking these regions upon which the royal family would be getting on their aircraft and heading for safer climes. Again, this would make Jordan a crucial prize which would make the Iranian efforts more likely to succeed. Another prize which Jordan provides is their border with Israel and its proximity to the Palestinian Authority. Iran has attempted to gain influence over the Palestinian Authority with no success for quite some time. Other means which the Iranians have for taking control of the Palestinian Authority would be Hamas, which they are currently supporting with arms and technology, largely rocket motors and weapons technology allowing Hamas along with Islamic Jihad to become a more dangerous threat to Israel. The play which Iran has been nurturing has been claims that they wish to be the best friend the Arab Palestinians could ever have. Part of this effort has also been to urge the Arab Palestinians within, who make up at least seventy percent of the population, to rise up and remove King Abdullah II allowing Iran to assist for which they would become another Iranian puppet. Were the Iranians able to cause a revolt in Jordan, expect for IRGC infiltrators to assist arming them and giving them intelligence and other assistance providing Iran with the inroad they would require to control Jordan. From that vantage, Iran would use IRGC and Hamas terrorists to infiltrate the Palestinian Authority regions and potentially back one of the people who believe they should be the next leader after Mahmoud Abbas has moved along. This could potentially place Iranian sponsored terrorists with opportunities to launch rockets into Tel Aviv and cause Israel some inconveniences. Iran has stated their desire to be the next Caliphate and to become such a hegemonic power across the Middle East and then either Europe or Northern Africa Making Shia Islam appear to be the strong horse and Sunni Islam to be fading. Through such events as they have designed to make their claim believable, which includes destroying Saudi Arabia and possibly taking control of the Muslim Brotherhood, changing it from Sunni to Shia, and using them to take control of Egypt as well, they honestly expect for Shia Islam to overtake Sunni Islam and have the majority of current Sunni Muslims convert along the way. With Shia Islam having between ten and thirteen percent of the number of Muslims and Sunni making up between eighty-five and ninety percent of Muslims, Iran has a very ambitious concept of their future.

 

For the immediate and foreseeable future, Iran still is attempting to consolidate their control in Iraq, have established a formidable military presence in Lebanon, are definitely a force in Yemen and Syria, two nations largely destroyed from civil strife and fighting, and beyond that they are currently stymied. Iran knows that should they attack Israel they would be playing with fire. Israel has proven their ability to strike at Iran whenever it pleases Israel, and Iran is apparently powerless to prevent such operations. The two main examples were the Stuxnet virus, a supposed joint venture with the United States aiding Israel, and the removal of half a ton of records of the clandestine nuclear programs conducted and still ongoing by Iran which assisted President Trump pulling out of the nuclear agreement with Iran. Iranians also are aware that Israel has sufficient missiles and other weapons with which to lay waste to most of Iran should Israel so choose. This would probably never occur, as Israel has no argument with the majority of Iranian citizens, it is just the government which is a problem. Further, the Iranian plans for Saudi Arabia would run afoul of the United States, which for as long as President Trump is President, there would be no telling as to what his reaction would be to an Iranian assault on Saudi Arabia. The same situation exists with Jordan which would also potentially have Israel involved. This leaves only one problem concerning Iran, and it is an enormous one.

 

The biggest problem with Iran is their nuclear weapons. We do not say their nuclear weapons program, we firmly believe they already have nuclear weapons. Iran presumably was working on nuclear weapons for over twenty years and the world deliriously believes that they were muddling through in the dark and never figured out how to make nuclear weapons. They may not have weapons as sophisticated as Russia or the United States, but regular nuclear weapons they very likely have, and have a fair number. They have been working on the missiles necessary to carry them and have a number which easily reach Israel and beyond. Iran has very likely had sufficient nuclear missile warheads to satisfy their slowing their pace until they developed the technology for manufacturing ballistic missile ready thermonuclear warheads of the miniaturized versions developed by Russia, China and the United States (many suspect Israel). The less powerful weapons Iran probably, if not definitely, possesses would be sufficient to destroy any target which they could detonate one bomb close enough to the intended target. A city such as Tel Aviv would probably require three or four such weapons of the variety and strength of what was dropped on Japan during World War II. When considering the Iranian tactics of swarming their enemies with smaller and fast attack craft, one might expect they have a similar set of tactics for the use of their nuclear weapons. They probably figure that over three-quarters of their launched missiles would operate sufficiently as to reach the target area. Then about half would be intercepted. Another ten percent would fail to detonate and some additional warheads would have guidance problems and miss the target to be sufficient distance so as to be ineffective. Using such figures and a pessimistic calculator, this would require the launch of around twenty missiles to be assured of the destruction of a Tel Aviv size city. At the very least, Iran very likely has sufficient nuclear missiles to destroy three or four central districts to any major population center which their missiles can reach. That alone is a frightening thought, but we in Israel disregard such threats.

 

Ranges and Sizes of Iranian Ballistic Missiles

Ranges and Sizes of Iranian Ballistic Missiles

 

There is a reason that Israelis do not dwell or much concern themselves with threats such as Iran. We have threats which are even more real and they occur almost daily with some terror attack from the Arabs in the Shomron from the Palestinian Arab population and less so but even from Israeli Arabs. Why would we worry about things which are very unlikely to happen immediately when we hardly worry about the terror threats all around us. Further, the government and IDF address the Iranian attempts to build a credible threat in force within Syria, especially nearest to the Israeli border. Hezballah has somewhere near or over one-hundred-fifty-thousand rockets poised to fire into Israel, so why worry about Iran which is so much further away. With Iran, counting the terrorist forces from Afghanistan and Pakistan which are assisting them in Syria as claims of allies with the countries is laughable. That is how desperate Iran is to impress the world to take them seriously. Small hint to world, take them and Islam seriously as though Iran may not reach the point where they could conquer the world, Islam could reach a point where it will be near impossible to save Europe in another quarter century and the United States soon after that. The United States could become an adversary or at least no longer providing any military aid and ending the sale of military equipment to Israel far sooner than Israel is currently prepared. Israel needs to start to develop whatever new weapons systems they require for the future, specifically aircraft and naval vessels as it is very probable that by 2050 Israel will need to be completely self-reliant militarily even down to the missiles fired by aircraft and ships to artillery munitions and grenades and bullets. Israel should also begin to manufacture her own anti-tank weapons and end her reliance on European nations, the United States, Canada and even Australia. Israel may soon find that she is very alone, and that would be great as long as we are also left alone to progress and live in peace. There is an old adage that if the Arabs all put down their weapons, bombs, warheads and ended the terror threats to Israel, there would be peace but if Israel were to act similarly and put down her weapons and defenses, there would be no Israel. We know what the threats and challenges are and Israel will do all she can to mitigate the threats and live in peace developing wonderful new things for the world to share as what good are the greatest gifts if they are never given away?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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