Beyond the Cusp

December 24, 2016

Listen to the Left and Ignore Reality

 

The recent horrific terror attack driving a massive truck into the crowds shopping for the holiday at Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz Christmas Market murdered at least twelve people and at least fifty people were injured. There have been accusations that the German authorities were too lax and did not respond to terror warnings that just such an attack was potentially imminent. The critics claim that all that was necessary to protect the shoppers at the Breitscheidplatz Christmas Market was a dozen or so Jersey barriers, heavy concrete barriers with curved sloping sides designed to stop even the largest of trucks including the kind used in the attack. In defense of German authorities, one also need consider exactly how many outdoor Christmas malls such as the Breitscheidplatz Christmas Market exist in all of Germany and then figure the number of Jersey barriers would have been required. That would bring the total of Jersey barriers from around a mere dozen to a number somewhere in the tens of thousands. Were there lapses in Germany? What would be a better question would be are there lapses throughout Western nations from Germany to Britain to Italy and Poland, from Greece to Spain to Finland and Sweden, even across the pond to the United States and Canada? The answer is, of course, yes. Even in Israel where such attacks have occurred for a longer period the placement of large posts anchored into the pavement at bus stops, light train stations and other places where people might congregate is still an ongoing, though urgent, series of installations. This is understandable as first these places must be identified, as bus and light rail stops are simply the initial places requiring these instillations while taxi spots and even busy crosswalks in places in downtown Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as well as other cities take further research to identify and will hopefully eventually be discovered and protected. Of course the rule in terror attacks is whatever preventions are taken will simply change the threat making complete terror-proofing quite impossible; all one can do is alter the targeting.

 

Truck Driven into Christmas Shoppers at Berlins Breitscheidplatz Christmas Market

Truck Driven into Christmas Shoppers at
Berlins Breitscheidplatz Christmas Market

 

But just to prove that even the most rudimentary of efforts of prevention will be met with scoffing and ridicule, came care of Britain where there was a credible deterrent which some left wingers were rather critical. One of them wrote: “Safety is the last message this presence is sending out. It’s sad, and an extreme over reaction to a very slim chance of a terrorist attack. More likely to be hit by a drunk driver.” Such noble words of appreciation over even a modicum of effort to protect the public make one shake their heads in amused ridicule and disbelief. Can these people ever be pleased? Imagine the screams and protestations should there have been an attack even with the efforts which drew complaints over the effort. The leftists would be demanding heads of government officials responsible for the lack of sufficient efforts to prevent such an attack. It is understandable that not all terror can be prevented though it can be mitigated to minimal effect which while minimizing the deadly results of mass attacks such as in Germany, as has occurred in Israel, stabbing attacks still have the potential to inflict fatalities and injuries no matter anything short of a complete security provided by an actual police state. Every state need to decide what level of damage would be tolerated by the general public and then assure that their security levels are sufficient to surpass the level of expectation and assure that the people will feel secure. Failing to plan sufficiently will result in your facing the same level of disaster that is being faced by Chancellor Merkel and her government. But leftist trouble with reality is on even greater display when it comes to Israel.

 

France’s leftist government is once again planning to hold a conference to address a new solution to the Arab Israeli conflict. Their plan is to have representatives from approximately seventy countries gathering on January 15, 2017 for a conference to throw the weight of the international community behind the two-state solution. Thursday’s announcement included the news that neither Israel nor the Palestinians will be present at the meeting. But France intends to invite Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Paris some time afterward to brief them on the outcome of the talks, according to the foreign ministry. Meanwhile, the new French Envoy to Israel said two weeks ago that the conference would not contain any novel ideas on how to solve the Middle East conflict, but is mainly intended to prevent the issue from disappearing amid other global crises. “What we propose is nothing new but [we are] trying to keep the subject on the agenda and not letting it down because there are other crises in the world,” Ambassador Hélène Le Gal said. “We continue to propose things and it’s always in a very good spirit toward Israel.” Keep the Arab Israeli or Israel Palestinian conflict in the new? Have they ever read any newspaper, the New York Times, Washington Post, Haaretz, Paris Guardian, Berlin Morgenpost or Pravda recently? I guarantee that not more than two or three days go by without at least two-thirds, that would be four of the six, would have at least one front page reference to the West Bank, Jerusalem, Temple Mount, Kotel, Settlement, Gaza, Palestinian or Israeli acts against Arabs almost all of which will be negative against Israel. You will likely see more front page news on the Arab Israeli conflict than on the violence in Iraq and even with if not more than Aleppo on an average week in the news, especially if you include television and radio news where time is more limited than is space on the front page of a newspaper. But the brilliant minds in Paris are afraid that the Arab Israeli conflict, particularly the plight of the poor and oppressed Palestinians, might be slipping from the public consciousness. Perhaps the reality is something different, but that can wait for now.

 

The next item is the latest concern of the Security Council which was scheduled to vote on a resolution condemning Israeli building in Judea, Samaria (West Bank) and (East) Jerusalem and considering including in the resolution banning any further Israeli construction beyond the Green Line. The presentation of the resolution was postponed after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu appears to have spoken with President-elect Donald Trump who probably was the person who influenced Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who responded positively to discussions and pressures which desired that the proposal, at the very least, wait until after the Paris conference. Netanyahu likely is also hoping that any proposal will not be considered until after January 20, 2017 at 12:00 noon such that President elect Donald Trump will officially be sworn in as President and Nikki Haley will be representing the United States in the Security Council and a new sheriff will be in charge, this apparently was not the case. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon has stated, “The delay of the vote is an important step; however we realize that this issue is not yet resolved. We are continuing our diplomatic efforts on all fronts to ensure that this disgraceful resolution will not pass the Security Council.” All efforts came to naught except likely those from the White House from President Barack Hussein Obama who, sticking to his anti-Zionist and anti-Israel positions and vindictiveness toward Prime Minister Netanyahu and all Jews who are not 100% supporting the destruction of Eretz Yisroel and standing by President Barack Hussein Obama’s side, pressed to have this resolution voted upon immediately such that he and he alone would be recorded by history to have finally ended any Israeli compromises and granting the Arab Palestinian terror masters a blank check towards their desired goal of the destruction of Israel and the genocidal elimination of over six-million Jews residing in Israel, who had a strong arm in pushing New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela (a nation which has no toilet paper, food, prescription drugs or any other vital items) brought the motion back to the floor after Shabbat had started in Israel. The motion passed unanimously with fourteen nations supporting and the United States, in their idea under Obama of a grand gesture, abstaining as if that makes them almost righteous. More on this in a subsequent article early next week as certain particulars become clear.

 

The French are not the only people on the left who believe that the Israeli Palestinian conflict has not been addressed or given the necessary effort in order to solve it. President Obama was almost constantly complaining that this situation was not getting the amount of attention it deserves. Hillary Clinton had mentioned her intent to give this conflict the attention required to solve the problem. The French are also all-in on the situation and the new Canadian Prime Minister has supported the French efforts claiming that such an international conference is necessary because the world has not put forth the effort and solved the problem. This is despite the near constant addressing and passing of General Assembly Resolutions every year like clockwork at the opening ceremonies, the November 29th annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Durban Conferences and any other opportunity the Arab League or individual Arab leaders decide they need to renew their investment in their own standing at the cost of the Zionist entity, Israel, and present their own resolution condemning Israeli something or another as the what is irrelevant as the target of Israel is all that matters. Yet we have the French with atta-boys coming from every leftist leader on the planet backslapping them for their bravery in calling this conference and their claims that this effort will finally be the effort which brings forth a solution if only Israel can be pressed to make the needed sacrifice for peace.

 

In closing, let us discuss the concept of “bring forth a solution if only Israel can be pressed to make the needed sacrifice for peace.” Israel was required by the world through United Nations resolutions, and the wording was made specific after much debate and every word was carefully checked and rechecked, and Israel was required to “return lands” and not return all lands or any set percentage or even a majority of the lands, just return lands and this return was to be governed by providing Israel with safe and secure defendable borders. These were the requirements and not in any way shape or form demanding a return to the pre Six Day War borders of the Green Line. Repetition of the lie that Israel must retreat completely has been given validity solely through sheer repetition but has no backing in truth. Once the Israelis returned the entirety of the Sinai Peninsula when making peace with Egypt they had more than met all the demands of the United Nations resolutions. They had more than exceeded most expectations as there were many who felt that Israel would demand to retain the western half of the Sinai Peninsula making the central spine of mountains the new Israel-Egyptian border. Whether returning all of the Sinai Peninsula was a wise move will remain undetermined but will appear as a good deal as long as there is no attack from Egypt in the future. Add the granting of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority, who almost immediately lost it to Hamas causing the constant terror threat of rockets, mortars and other attacks from Gaza onto and into Israel, simply added more to the lands returned by Israel. Israel would be completely within their rights to retain all of the remaining lands gained in their defensive wars of 1967 and 1973 which were the six Day War and the Yom Kippur War. Despite this truth the French and much of the world believe that Israel has not given enough and would probably accept that Israel had not given enough even if they did return within the Green Line. The Arabs believe that as long as Israel exists, then Israel has not given enough. If the French would like to have a hint as to what would be acceptable to the Arab League and the Arab world, here it is in a simple concept, the end of Israel and the disposing of the Jews residing there by whatever means necessary with their annihilation being the preferred method by much of the Arab world. That will never happen and Israel will be retaining much of Judea and Samaria and if the Palestinians cannot handle that then Israel will gladly just retain all the land, period. That will make the leftists squirm as they really have a problem with assertive Jews; even the leftist Jews have a problem with assertive Jews. We know as we have witnessed such discomfort simply by walking into a Synagogue in much of the United States, and that is a shame, the real shame.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

September 13, 2013

Gaza and Sinai Vexing Egyptian Military

Since the overthrow of Mubarak as the President of Egypt there have been increasing difficulties with extreme lawlessness in both the Sinai and the border with Gaza. When President Morsi, who had the backing of the Muslim Brotherhood, made up the government in Egypt these problems grew in scope and severity. Reports told of al-Qaeda camps being established leading to radicalization of the Bedouins who found the offers to assist the weapons smugglers paid far better than their previous occupation of herding. The Egyptian government under Morsi began to try and combat the growing menace in the Sinai and even found it necessary to try and restrict the flow of arms into Gaza to Hamas and other terrorist groups there. After an attack on the Rafah border crossings where a band of terrorists murdered fifteen Egyptian border agents in the process of stealing some armored vehicles with which to cross into and attack Israel the Egyptians ramped up their presence for the first time and have done so as deemed necessary since. Their assault into Israel was met and repelled destroying at least one of the stolen armored vehicles. With the military inserted government which replaced the Morsi government after the coup that shall not be named a coup took over they increased the efforts to reinstate the rule of law in the Sinai and concurrently restrict the smuggling tunnels through which arms and other goods enter Gaza and fund Hamas. Despite the risks which any governance of Egypt would face working with Israel, both the Morsi and the Military backed governments have consulted and kept all agreements with Israel though not actually warming to any great extent. One guess is that the Egyptian governments, no matter who it is aligned with, have more than enough problems that since keeping relations with Israel at least non-confrontational if not warm and mushy were an easy investment that paid dividends when they entered into operations in the Sinai.

 

It is interesting that the Egyptians have had almost the same threats, difficulties and challenges which have plagued the Israelis over the years and they seem to have a similar attitude towards how to address these problems. The Egyptian government escalated their response soon after the military took over governing Egypt. With Israeli understanding and blessings the Egyptians sent armor supported forces in numbers into the Sinai supported by helicopter gunships. These offensives have met with somewhat limited success as the terrorists and smugglers are extremely adept at melting into the natural environment. The most recent escalation was somewhat shocking when the Egyptians stationed a pair of heavy tanks at the Rafah crossing as a response to the recent bombings pulled off by terrorist factions within Gaza. This escalation is a whole new strategy as I do not remember the Israelis stationing tanks within the Philadelphia Corridor when they controlled the Gaza border with Egypt. The Egyptians recently widened the cleared area on the Gaza border which resulted in their demolishing some houses which were revealed to have been used as tunnel entrances. This is the same reaction for which the Israelis were pilloried in the international press and heralded as brutes taking horrific and unnecessary destructive measures against the poor and unfortunate Palestinian civilians. Somehow, the recent actions though identical except having been committed by the Egyptians have passed by silently without even a murmur from the world media or the various NGOs which cursed similar actions by the Israelis. I guess it matters whose troops are exercising precautions taking the needful steps in order to make the environment safer for their troops operating along that border.

 

It will be interesting to watch as the Egyptians continue to meet the ever escalating challenges in the Sinai and along the Gaza border, though finding reports on such can be a bit difficult. It is expected that the Egyptians will resort to similar methods, precautions, demolitions, walls, blockades, vibrations sensors for tunnel detection, and all of the other overt and imposing appearing necessities for which the world’s media, governments, spokespersons, NGOs and United Nations Agencies challenged the necessity for when implemented by the Israelis. It can be expected that whenever there are comments about the similarities between the Egyptian methods and activities with those of the Israelis will be to note how the Egyptians are using good judgment, incremental escalations and only doing those actions which proved absolutely needed and not going to irrational extremes as the Israelis had done. An objective and rational observer would assess the actions of the Egyptians, when compared to the historic methods used by the Israelis, and report that they matched very closely and that the major exceptions would be the Egyptians went further than the Israelis by giving no or less warnings before demolitions, used heavy armor such as tanks, and the violence level implemented generally by the Egyptians was heightened with less regard for those who posed any level of perceived threat. But don’t expect any real coverage of the Egyptian actions nor will there be any apologies coming to the Israelis over their being berated and demeaned for their actions in the past. Where the actions and means employed may be similar, the reactions from the world will be completely different. If pushed for a reason the world is reacting differently to the Egyptian use of force versus the Israeli use of force, the answer will likely be a shrug and their asking what you are talking about, the Israelis use of force was completely different and what the Egyptians are doing is perfectly understandable. Where the Israelis use of force was measured and performed under strict rules and limitations and the Egyptians are allowing a more liberal implementation of force to a lesser threshold of provocation and are placing fewer restrictions on their forces which will be understood with their loss of troops being higher than the Israelis had suffered. I do not really care how the world reacts and simply wish the Egyptians success and hope they are able to end the lawless culture in the Sinai and close the smuggling into and out of Gaza, especially Gaza as the revolving door which potentially could result from failure would pose a huge threat for Israel as well as Egypt.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 27, 2012

Is Egypt Pulling Another Buildup in the Sinai?

After the serious breach of security by Sinai terrorists which resulted in sixteen Egyptian troops being murdered and at least on armored personnel carrier stolen and subsequently destroyed while it was utilized to attack and cross into Israel and other vehicles stolen or damaged, it was reported that Egypt would be permitted some amount of leeway regarding the Camp David Accords to use troops to hunt down the terrorists. Within a week the Israelis filed a complaint claiming that Egypt had taken liberties with their cooperation and had moved heavy armor and anti-aircraft batteries into the Sinai, things way beyond what was necessary for hunting down the terrorists. Egypt, of course, claimed they had respected the truce and had Israeli permission for their actions. The rest of the world failed to react and simply hoped that whatever was the case, the two countries would work it out between themselves. Well, no such resolution resulted and the American and other peacekeepers were reported to have come under fire and then were quoted denying any such attack had occurred. Opinions on whether such an attack occurred are mixed and our feeling is that whether there had been an attack or not, at least the American troops would very likely have been instructed to deny such in order to keep a lid on everything and not stir up any controversy in this election season. Either way, there have been developments confirming the Egyptian presence in the Sinai with twenty to thirty M-60A3 Main Battle Tanks, numerous Dutch-produced YPR-765 armored personnel carriers as well as several Boeing-produced Avenger air defense system complete with Stinger surface-to-air missiles. One must wonder if such heavy armor would really be necessary for hunting terrorists and exactly what aircraft the Egyptians are expecting to be utilized by the terrorists in the Sinai.

Obviously, the Egyptians are using this excuse to remilitarize the Sinai Peninsula as they have placed most of these assets between the coastal city of El Arish and the border with Israel and Gaza. This has raised the expected suspicions and complaints from the Israelis who are viewing this as a provocation. Granted, this is nowhere near the provocation that resulted in the Six Day War in June of 1967 when the Egyptians and the Syrians massed major percentages of their combined armies on Israel’s northern and southern borders. Still, this is a healthy first move towards building a sizeable and menacing force abrogating the treaty between Israel and Egypt. This is made all the more serious when one considers the mention by numerous Egyptian spokespersons over the recent weeks claiming their intent to amend the Camp David Accords to allow Egypt to regain full sovereignty over every inch of the Sinai. This would be a definitive step in that direction. We expect that should Egypt be forced to back away from stationing such forces in the Sinai that their reply will be that they can no longer be expected to assist or to prevent any terror buildup and increased terror activity in the Sinai if they are not allowed to have necessary assets in place to enable their enforcing the peace. Egypt will very likely force a choice upon Israel of Egyptian troops and heavy equipment complete with a full array of military hardware for any and all necessities or increasingly deadly terrorist activities in the Sinai with the terrorists building a military presence free of Egyptian attempts to prevent such and likely Egyptian surreptitious assistance.

So, one may wonder what the reactions have been around the world. Well, from the vast majority of world bodies such as the United Nations and individual countries, the reaction has been an extreme silence. The United States has had a different reaction. Secretary of State Clinton has phoned her Egyptian counterpart to review Israeli complaints over these violations. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland commented for the press, “This call was in keeping with a series of contacts that we’ve had in recent days with both Egyptians and Israelis encouraging both sides to keep the lines of communication open between them, to talk directly about any issues of concern, and the importance of working through the security challenges in the Sinai in a way that, first and foremost, strengthens Egypt’s security, but also has a positive impact on the security of neighbors and the region as a whole.” This will likely produce stupendously negligible results. On the other hand, the United States Department of Defense has awarded an $8.7 million contract to United Technologies for support of F100-PW-229 engines for Egypt’s order of 20 F-16 Block 52 multi-role fighters. This should definitely have some results if this situation should continue to build, something many Middle East watchers have predicted ever since the Muslim Brotherhood took command in Egypt.

We here at BTC believe that Egyptian President Morsi has taken these steps as a test to gauge the Israeli response and the world’s resolve, or lack thereof, towards enforcing the peace between Israel and Egypt. This is very likely a test to see whether Egypt would pay any real price for abrogating the treaty with Israel. He should have asked us here as we could have saved him time and effort, the world could not care less how or if Egypt were to completely throw out any semblance of keeping to the limitations dictated in the Camp David Accord. But, on the other hand, Israel cannot be expected to lie down and play dead either. Granted that twenty to thirty heavy tanks along with the APCs and SAM sites are nowhere near the threatening level placed on the Israeli border in late May of 1967. Some military experts believe that one of the reasons that Israel reacted so forcefully to the Egyptian and Syrian provocations had as much to do with the rhetoric and the blockading of their southern port of Eilat as it did to the massive and rapid buildup. If this is the beginning of a gradual buildup by the Egyptians hoping that by slowly attaining the size force necessitated for a strike on Israel, we doubt it was the speed of the buildup in 1967 and was the actual size and that should President Morsi be planning on a gradual buildup we would advise him that at some point Israel will assume his intentions are to invade and act exactly as they had in early June of 1967. Testing Israeli resolve would be one way of guaranteeing Prime Minister Netanyahu’s ability to form a unity government with the general support of much of the nation. It would be advisable for the Egyptians not to take protestations from much of the Israeli press and numbers of their academicians along with the leaders of the leftist anti-settler and anti-Haredi movements as indications that the Israeli public is fragmented and not supportive of an Israeli response to a buildup on their border by the Egyptians. The Israeli people as a whole are far more patriotic, nationalistic and conservative in their views of the outside world than they are portrayed by the media and their leftist allies. An overt buildup by Egyptian forces to any point where, when considered with the national rhetoric of the likes of Yusuf al-Qaradawi in his tirades against Jews, Israel and the West in general, there is a credible threat of imminent invasion, Israel will react very similarly as they did on June 7, 1967 and initiate action rather than await attack as Golda Meir had done with nearly catastrophic results before the Yom Kippur War which began on October 6, 1973 and resulted in heavy Israeli casualties before the battles turned in Israel’s favor. Any Egyptian buildup of any significance must take into account the Israelis likely response to such a provocation, especially with all the additional threats facing Israel on every other border and from Iran. Such a provocation could be the match that lights the very short fuse to an Israeli general strike to resolve multiple problems with one decisive initial action. An Egyptian buildup on the Israeli border is not an advisable set of actions even if it is solely being pursued in order to distract the Egyptians from their daily nest of growing problems and discontent. Egypt might be better served by addressing the shortcomings and taking care of their own house before threatening their neighbor’s house.

Beyond the Cusp

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