Beyond the Cusp

April 4, 2013

Countdown Begun to Reports of Israeli Strikes on Gaza

The past two days saw the beginning of an inevitable countdown to reports on all the international news services such as the AP, Reuters, AFP, BBC, al Jazeera and others that Israel has executed widespread air attacks across the Gaza Strip causing some numbers of casualties. These articles will go into great detail describing the loss of life or injuries and very accurate descriptions of the damage to buildings and structures. There will be a list of buildings where it will give the description of people’s homes, small shops or manufacturing buildings all without the additional information that inside the homes were large caches of weapons or that the shops and houses had numerous secondary explosions after being hit as stores exploded nor will it be mentioned that the manufacturers were building mostly rocket parts for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al Qaeda in Gaza and other terrorists groups to fire into Israel at Sderot and other civilian communities. Eventually, towards the end of the articles usually there will finally be the mention that Israel was responding to rocket and mortar attacks upon Israeli civilians. This mention usually will be left as described or will mention the number if rocket attacks going back a few days at most. The fact that there had been accumulating numbers of attacks going back months will not be stressed. The description will sell a picture that Israel is responding with little warnings to what is but a slight inconvenience of a limited number of rocket attacks which have done such little damage and not even caused any Israeli deaths, or very few if some casualties had occurred in the previous week. This has been the same cycle which is reported as the “cycle of violence” which is the media’s way of making the terrorist rocket attacks and the Israeli reprisals as being of equal offensives morally and under international law. The comparison is neither true nor fair reporting and the media utilizes these deceptive equative evaluations intentionally misrepresenting the situation.

The unfortunate reality is that this series is the rule regarding the reporting on Israeli defensive measures. The media through their slanted reporting make any force utilized by Israel in an attempt to curtail and punish those who terrorize and assault Israeli civilians with incessant rocket and mortar fire into neighborhoods as unacceptably severe. The truth is the only response the media would allow Israel would be to write editorials complaining about their civilians being victimized by the terror attacks almost daily from within Gaza. The likelihood that any of these editorials would be printed is slight and for every time one was allowed to be put into print there would be at least a half dozen others praising and excusing the attacks implying why the Israelis deserve to be on the receiving end of rockets, mortars and other terror attacks. There is occasionally an interesting mix of editorials concerning Israelis with the first one stating how they are living on stolen land against international law and against all human decency in Israel with the following editorial denouncing the fact that Jews reside within the country in which said newspaper is printed and calling for them to be deported and moved to Israel. When such an event occurs it begs the question I have asked of those who claim that Israel has no right and the Jewish people do not deserve to have a homeland, namely where are the Jewish people supposed to live if no country wishes to allow them to live among their peoples in peace and they are denied their own nation? It also begs another question. If the Jewish peoples of Israel are to return to the nations from whence they came, would the numerous European nations accept their three million Jews of European heritage living in Israel? And would the Asian and Arab countries accept the return of the three million Jews of Asian and Arab national heritage back into their lands? We all know the truthful answer and it is they would not be welcome and should they be forced to return then both groups of nations would be demanding the Jews be made to go and live in their own country and leave the lands they would then be living within.

Where the vast majority of people have little real animosity towards the Jewish people, there still exist a sizeable number of peoples who can be found throughout the many countries and civilizations of the world that harbor feelings of animosity for the Jewish peoples. Unfortunately, as is often the case, the people who hold hatreds and animosities are by far the more boisterous from among the population and as thus the ones who are most heard in the discourse between peoples. When such people are allowed to speak disparagingly about any minority without the decent majority speaking up and making those who speak of hatred feel uncomfortable, they eventually act on these hatreds with many otherwise normally innocent people being swept up by runaway emotive driven actions. It becomes the psychology of the mob mentality where a core group of fanatical adherents feel they have sufficient support they sweep up some and can threaten the rest into silence if not cooperation and atrocities soon follow. That is the risk and eventual consequence of unopposed hatreds and misleading reports which cast a people as always in the wrong or acting illegally or cruelly being ignored, or worse, acquiesced eventually snowballing into an irresistible driving force for mob action which seldom is reasoned or moral, just seemingly popular and universally acceptable. It is these possibilities which frighten me the most as I have watched for decades and can attest to the fact that the rages are building and being reinforced through misreporting by the mainstream media and too few are opposing the building insanity and the inevitable is beginning to become a reality and the consequences have already started. We see the evidence in pieces of news which when drawn as a whole paint a fearsome picture. Swastikas painted on Synagogue walls, Jews berated and assaulted on their way to Sabbath services, Israel apartheid days on our campuses, Jews kidnapped and tortured to death, Jewish cemeteries vandalized, Jewish Yeshivas attacked with students and their Rabbis murdered, and other reports where Jewish organizations advise Jews in numerous European cities and even countries not to wear any clothing or jewelry which denotes their Jewishness. And these things have started in the United States and are being protested by Jewish support groups, well, most of them as some are less concerned with protecting Jews than they are with supporting diversity, may they be forgiven. Many in the United State still claim such things could not happen here, but they are already happening here. If the world does not awaken its community conscience we all know what is coming as it has happened too many times throughout history going back almost five thousand years. Do we dare allow it to happen again? If not, what are you willing to do to prevent it reoccurring in your lifetime?

Beyond the Cusp

March 3, 2013

Yet Another Shabbat Bombshell

The election season in Israel emphasized and cemented the concept and use of the late in the day Friday news shocker. It seemed that late in the day every Friday there was some revelation about occasionally Likud and more often Jewish Home which was over-hyped and cast as a game-changer or the end of their campaign garnering a high finish in the next Knesset. The election really did not turn or even appear to respond much to the hyperventilating press and their alarming discoveries which appeared like clockwork minutes before Shabbat. Now that the election has passed into the coalition forming mode where results are supposedly more easily determined the press still will not give up on their Shabbat bombshells. So, in another alarming news rumor timed just in time for Shabbat we are treated in one of the television news reports that Prime Minister Netanyahu is planning to impose another building freeze on the areas of Judea and Samaria excepting the recognized settlement blocs. This was claimed to have been imparted to MK Uri Ariel of the Bayit Yehudi Party during coalition talks by unnamed Likud representatives. The amount of credibility which can be relied upon from this Shabbat bombshell is highly dubious and will likely get a full rebuttal likely from both parties, or at least some clarification which will no doubt muddle up the whole deal placing the fog of political spin replete with at least a few words of unknown or variable definitions which adjust as reactions are measured. Well, we should see these from various party officials and possibly even from Netanyahu or Bennett themselves. But what if these reports are true?

 

Well, the one thing we know about which might be the driving initiator of such a move would be the approaching visit from United States President Obama who is rumored to be accompanied by his new Secretary of State John Kerry. Secretary of State Kerry, as we might recall, is the man with the latest and newest plan to revitalize the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis and who also knows exactly what needs to be done in order to steer the negotiations to a final solution consisting of a Palestinian state next to Israel with both living together with peace and security. Just what the world needs, another expert with promising self-promotional claims, declarations and assertions claiming to know the route to Middle East Nirvana coming on the scene in his new position which will allow him to test his presumably great ideas. Perhaps Prime Minister Netanyahu is expecting Secretary Kerry to simply rerun through the same absurd ideas which his boss, President Obama, applied in his first try at solving the foremost Gordian Knot in the world of diplomacy. Whatever the reasoning behind this latest idiocy, which is the sole applicable term for another building freeze, be it limited or permanent, it is an idea whose time should never return.

 

But what if some unknown form of insanity has gripped Prime Minister Netanyahu and he is actually planning another building freeze, what will be the likely results? If, as the report claimed, Netanyahu is actually attempting to punish those living beyond the Green Line because of the assumption that they register in fairly significant numbers to the Likud Party in order to vote for people who will support their efforts and positions placing them higher on Likud’s Knesset list yet did not vote in matching numbers for Likud in the elections, this is honestly a real good way of reinforcing their idea that Likud does not want them nor does it support them as a principle plank for the party. Actually, it is very likely the negative campaign run by Likud which was largely aimed at Jewish Home Party or their leader, Naftali Bennett, often using the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria as a divisive, polarizing wedge issue. This seeming condemnation and deriding of the support for the settlement enterprise which is at the heart of the Jewish Home Party by many Likud attacks during the campaign were very likely responsible for the lack of support and number of Likud Party members from these communities to decide to take their vote elsewhere as they felt unappreciated and even a victim of the Likud Party’s political attacks. This was on top of the original building freeze imposed after United States President Obama demanded one as part of his original pressuring of Israel to facilitate conditions which would bring Mahmoud Abbas back to the negotiating table. Mahmoud Abbas had made some claims as the building freeze was nearing its conclusion that he was prepared to return to negotiation if the freeze was extended until negotiations reached an actual peace accord between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Perhaps Secretary Kerry or possibly President Obama himself have made known to Prime Minister Netanyahu that their first step in efforts to restart the negotiation will be to insist Israel impose a permanent building freeze on areas beyond the Green Line and the Prime Minister is simply informing those who are considering joining the coalition what he is being pressured into doing. Whatever the reason, another building freeze in Judea and Samaria will very likely bring about the end of Likud as a center right or nationalist party and very well could lead to Likud following the same path to oblivion which appears to have been taken by Kadima. Surrendering to world pressures by imposing building freezes or disengagements granting land to the Palestinian Authority while receiving nothing in return is the fast track to becoming a nonviable party in Israel. If this Shabbat bombshell proves true, then we are very possibly going to see new elections fairly quickly as it is doubtful that Netanyahu would even be able to survive a no confidence vote even if it were taken solely within the Likud Party, let alone the entire Knesset. Promising to impose a building freeze might even make forming a coalition impossible for Netanyahu and the Likud Party unless a way would be found to have the Labor Party and Shas to join the coalition. Of course making a coalition with the Labor Party as a crucial member would make the coalition very fragile and unlikely to hold together through any vote of no confidence. Such a coalition would ironically find itself vulnerable to the exact same wedge issue used by the Likud Party in the campaigns, anything pertaining to curtailing the expansion of Jewish settlements beyond the Green Line.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 26, 2013

As Budget Sequestration Doth Approach

How is it that no matter how divergent the most crucial topics and interests of the day may be and despite their being completely independent of each other with disparate source all traveling their own paths that somehow they all appear to be closing in on a critical moment all of them almost in unison. The topics include but not be limited to such things as the budgetary sequestration, the Iranian nuclear situation with the related P5+1 talks, the continued strife from Mali to Afghanistan to Yemen and then some, and the fiscal crisis throughout much of the world with emphasis on the European Union and the United States. Where most of these subjects are covered with some lesser amounts of slant and bias, there is one from amongst them which has been the subject of pure and bold propaganda meant to obscure, mislead and demonize far more than any intent to truly inform, and that is the looming budget sequestration. The truth of this story is so much less and yet so completely different than most have been sold.

With March 1st fast approaching, the United States Media is playing up a deadline called the sequestration. My dictionary defines sequestration as 1) removal or separation, banishment or exile; 2) a withdrawal into seclusion, retirement; and lastly 3) the legal sequestering of property, confiscation or seizure. As usual the federal government is masking a simple action by labeling the simple forced reduction of the budget through an across the board uniform application of spending cuts with a seldom used word outside of legal or government discourse, namely sequestration. The imposition of the sequestration uniform spending cuts across all government spending is how this is being spun often leaving out completely or ignoring the facts that significantly higher cuts resulting from sequestration will be applied to military and Pentagon budgets. The really interesting item about the coming sequestration is the lies and propaganda being spread in order to magnify what should be only minor concerns into dreaded consequences which could conceivably destroy the fabric of our society. What is not being told is that the cuts will actually be less than four percent of total government spending over the next ten years. That simply means that the sequestration cuts are, as is almost always the case when our elected representatives in Washington speak of budget cuts, merely decreases in the amount that spending will be increased. Instead of telling us that even after the dread sequestration is applied the government will still spend more in 2013 than was spent in 2012 which was more than in 2011 and so on, they will just continue with he lies that the sequestration cuts are draconian. The only difference is the percentage of increase between 2013 spending from 2012 spending will be around five percent less than the percentage of increase between 2012 spending from 2011 spending. So, if they are spending more in 2013 than was spent in 2012, how is it that the claims are there will not be sufficient air traffic controllers, meals on wheels for homebound seniors, fewer teachers in the schools, reductions in the size of police and fire departments throughout the country and other high profile consequences of which most will never occur or be of any actual danger to safety or denial of assistance to those who rely on federal programs to provide care for them.

There is another disinformation about the sequestration which is being confirmed by most of the mainstream press and that is about who is to blame. The news coverage and press commentary and releases from the White House place the entirety of the blame on Congress. The next point of clarifications from these same sources is that they do not so much mean Congress as they mean the House of Representatives and not all of the members of the House of Representatives but the Republicans in the House of Representatives because they control the House of Representatives who are to blame. The truth is that the House of Representatives is partly to blame, both parties; and so is the Senate to blame in part, both parties; and lastly President Obama gave his blessings to the sequestration solution to the budget crisis and when it was enacted it was claimed to be the most brilliant and innovative budgetary solution ever conceived by the government in all of history. There will be those who will claim that the President cannot be to blame as he has not received a budget or any form of legislation addressing the budget needs which is what is going to force the implementation of the sequestration. Why, even the Senate has not had anything scheduled for discussions about budgetary plans or offers which would address the problems and avoid the implementation of the sequestration. Those comments while valid on face value do not reveal the truth of the matter. The House of Representatives has sent at the least three separate budget plans that would have avoided sequestration to the Senate. Once these bills were sent to the Senate they were never referred to committee nor were they scheduled for any discussions or votes on the floor of the Senate. The truth is they were simply shelved by Harry Reid and ignored completely. By avoiding even the idea of considering anything sent to the Senate by the House of Representatives and instead simply demanding the House of Representatives send the Senate a bill which they would find palatable, Senator Reid has absolved the President from needing to refuse anything proposed by the House of Representatives allowing President Obama to simply decry the lack of action by the Congress in addressing and avoiding the sequestration. After President Obama has complained about the lack of legislation coming out of Congress, then Senator Reid lays the blame on the Republican House of Representatives absolving the Democrat controlled Senate of any responsibility. Then the majority of the mainstream press, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, et al echoes these comments while never following up with any comments which might be forthcoming from the Speaker of the House in defense of their efforts. The major news services and programs simply repeat the Democrat line that the Republicans are out to destroy the country. The saddest part of the lies told to the people is that even should the presumably undesirable sequestration be applied on this coming Friday, March 1, 2013, it will not bring on the catastrophic destruction of America as we know her, it might actually be a decent first step to curtailing the prolific spending habits of the federal government. This would be especially true when after the sequestration, if we should be so fortunate as to have such befall us, the country does not spiral out of control from too little government spending but actually we find that things improve. Who knows, maybe we will start to demand more sequestration style cuts as the new method of writing future budgets. Wouldn’t that be a concept, a new form of federal budgeting which cuts the rate of increase every year and even reaches the point where it actually shrinks spending and the size of government until it actually will fit within the limitations presumably dictated by the Constitution. I’m beginning to like this sequestration idea.

Beyond the Cusp

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