Beyond the Cusp

March 21, 2018

Commentary on the Twin Perils, Iran and Palestine


We recently read Professor Louis René Beres’s article Twin perils for Israel: Iranian nuclear weapons and “Palestine” and thought perhaps we might discuss what was presented. Professor Beres wrote in his normal manner with deep thought and high reference to numerous experts and historical exposes on warfare and other pertinent subjects. There was also the almost obligatory reference to the difference between the principal adversaries and whether they are presumably rational, irrational, or mad. We figured we would relate that which we were able to discern from the article interspersed with our own ideas on this subject. We hope we can do Professor Beres, his article and thoughts justice.


One of the main ideas we caught was Israeli planners in the IDF, intelligence and political leadership need to weigh the threats collectively and assign the sum and realize that their collective threat could far surpass their individual parts. Quite true just as engaging two people in a fight is far more difficult than taking each one at a time on separate days, or preferably weeks. Three, four or even more starts to reach into the multiple risks and more can reach exponential level of additional risks. Professor Beres is knowledgeable and has very deep and good counsel with much of it aimed at the leadership of the IDF and intelligence community. This was where we started to take a diverging path from the good professor. Where his advice may well be very wise and even sagely, whether or not it would be of use to the current IDF command could be debated. If we have judged these leaders fairly, few of them came from infantry combat units and they are too often subjected to second-guessing by legal teams of lawyers well versed in the international rules of warfare. These legal analysts strictly interpret these guidelines and follow them to the very last letter of the law and when in doubt, they countermand orders preventing actions which could end conflicts faster and even potentially prevent future conflicts. Then there have been instances where the Israeli Supreme Court has countermanded orders given during times of war. With such strictly enforced guidelines and oversight of their every act and order, it is a wonder that the IDF manages to operate at all. The IDF is cast by military experts of the Western World, as being the most moral army in the world setting a standard well beyond what other militaries even envisage attaining in their conflicts. Below is a presentation by Colonel Richard Kemp who gave this lecture at MIFF Forum in Stavanger September 24, 2016. Colonel Kemp has given testimonies before the Human Right Commission as well as the General Assembly of the United Nations. His record with the British military in Special Forces and as a Unit on through Brigade Commander in Afghanistan and Iraq makes his testimony both valid and given from the position of an expert.



Because of the restrictions imposed by legal and moral restraints, the IDF often is prevented from taking some of the exact precautions prescribed by Professor Beres. Still, the coming predicaments which Israel might be facing are exactly what Professor Beres has postulated. Even though, perhaps it is time to examine the perils of the article. Fortunately, we hopefully will never realize one-half of the presumed threat, the State of Palestine. It is to be hoped and prayed for that even the most leftist liberal leadership have finally realized that an independent Palestinian State would be tantamount to suicide for Israel. Gaza and Southern Lebanon have proven beyond any further doubt that any lands surrendered by Israel immediately, or soon thereafter, become terrorist cesspools used to launch attacks through rockets or tunnels into Israel. There is but one question remaining to finish the currently existing puzzle, where will Trump position himself on the Israeli-Arab fourteen-hundred-year on again off again and finally on again conflict. The recent March 13 meeting in the White House with twenty nations including many Sunni Arab countries and Israel may have much to tell and potential effect on where Trump comes to rest. With the United Nations, European Union, numerous amongst the European nations, Qatar, the United States National Security Council (NSC) staff and the Department of State all having input while it is quite probable that President Trump has only requested a report and had not attended the entire meeting leaving the particulars along with the fighting, arguing, disputing, lying, abuses, ridicules, insults and general ruckus which was sure to break out, and that all before the Israeli representatives even spoke a word. There was a single bright spot in the White House confab, the PLO and Mahmoud Abbas rejected the invitation declaring President Trump unfit and far too partial to be a fair moderator between the Palestinians and Israel. Why not double down once more Mahmoud and really get Trump to hate you. Please, do keep it up.


As long as Israel retains military control and political ambiguity on the future of Judea and Samaria, then the threats from those areas will be hopefully mitigated. Should Israel do what is wise and annex the areas of Judea and Samaria and exile the PLO and leadership of both the Palestinian Authority and their security forces thus the Arabs being permitted to decide to sell their holdings and leave to start their lives over elsewhere, research has shown that anywhere from one-third to at least half of them would take advantage of such an opportunity. If Israel were to offer them a bonus to relocate, as they are the illegal immigrants, the estimates rise to two-thirds to three-quarters. The remainder could then be offered to remain as resident aliens for as long as they obey Israeli laws and should they or any member of their family participate in terrorism, they should understand that the entire family would be immediately deported. Once this has been made clear in as many languages as necessary, the remaining Palestinian residents should be given a final opportunity to take the financial offer to relocate. As far as Gaza, estimates have placed the estimated numbers of those desiring to relocate at seventy-five percent who also claim the only reason they remain is due to the threats made by Hamas should they attempt to leave. Apparently, the majority of the Arabs residing under the semiautonomous rule of the Palestinian Authority and even higher numbers residing under the direct rule of Hamas desire to restart their lives, most likely returning to their original home country where they have family and friends as well as a stronger governance which prefers caring for the people rather than spending the vast majority of funds to attack Israel bringing only more misery upon their people.


That leaves Iran which Professor Beres claims will easily become a nuclear power soon after the ten years agreement President Obama made with Iran. President Obama agreed to a ten year agreement, a Hudna, rather than a longer treaty potentially pushing Iran’s program theoretically even further into the future. Now, there are certain precepts in a Hudna which bare mention at this time. The Islamic side of such an agreement is required to live by the terms unless they feel their position is stronger than their enemy and thus they then break the Hudna and resume their hostilities. We firmly believed that the Iranians had atomic weapons which could probably be placed into warheads even before the negotiations had begun. There is even a fairly decent probability that Iran had miniaturized thermonuclear warheads capable of being placed atop missiles. Iran also had numerous different missiles fully capable of reaching Israel and beyond (see map below). The Iranians were probably stalling the nuclear agreement by extending negotiations as they produced more and more warheads before they would be required to stop production for a period of time. The actual agreement that President Obama likely reached with Iran was they would not use their nuclear arsenal until a set period, probably two to three years after he had vacated the White House. In this means, it would likely be his successor who would be blamed for any nuclear weapons use by Iran. There may have even been a sub-clause where Iran would wait for the next President had Hillary Clinton won the election. This will likely be another item blamed on Trump and the American deplorables who elected him, at least on social media, that is. Professor Beres is completely right when listing Iran as a great peril. They are already such if we are even partially correct. Even if they have not perfected nuclear weapons, a highly doubtful concept as they have very intelligent and well-trained and highly educated physicists and nuclear scientists and have been running several levels of centrifuges for quite some time before the treaty was reached, plenty sufficient to produce weapons of any sort they choose. But the world really does not care if Iran were to fire missiles at Israel regardless of the warheads. But what if Iran chose a different target than Israel, how much would the world care then?


Ranges of Iranian Missiles

Ranges of Iranian Missiles


The real problem is that Iran has others they also desire to subjugate other than Israel, who they desire to utterly destroy. Iran also has a great degree of hatred for Saudi Arabia, the Sunni giant in the Iranian mindset. Iran has all but encircled Saudi Arabia much as they are close to doing to Israel. For Israel they only need Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, another reason Israel cannot allow a Palestinian State as Iran would become their new best friend and place troops and weapons at their command to use against Israel as part of a concerted effort which would include Hamas in Gaza, Hezballah in Lebanon and Syria with IRGC troops engaging from the Golan Heights. With Saudi Arabia, they have Iraq, Qatar, Yemen and would probably also like to add Jordan, Kuwait, UAE and Oman to go with Qatar which could be a staging area for Iranian forward troops. The Iranians probably would prefer to take out Saudi Arabia before Israel simply because tactics dictate taking the weaker target out first, and even more so when it would provide staging areas and additional resources, such as captured weapons systems. Saudi Arabia has airbases in the northwest which have a close proximity to the Israeli border and would also be very useful should Iran desire taking out Egypt later on. The real problem which Professor Beres never did get to cover is the eventual intentions of Iran in the longest term. Iran has an initial desire to become the leader of all Islam and making Shia Islam the predominant form in the world through defeating the leaders of the most prominent Sunni countries which include Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan for starters. They already have a fair amount of control in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once they have conquered the Muslim World, their next target is the rest of the world starting with Europe. Iran also has a visceral desire to strike Russia but that will wait until after Russia has provided them the backing they need to take over the Muslim world and then Europe, then Iran will likely turn their attention to Russia. Where would Israel fit into their schedule, the secret for Israel is to prevent the first set of targets such that Iran never reaches the point where Israel is the next target. This may have been in the back of Professor Beres mind in writing his critique.


Beyond the Cusp



March 18, 2018

What Israel Must Do if Elections Plus War is Forced Upon Her

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 2:56 AM
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There has been much noise lately that this coalition is starting to be torn asunder by opposition promises to the weaker factions of a great future when they defeat Likud and finally topple Bibi Netanyahu for good. There are even rumblings that should elections be called soon that Bibi would be arraigned on the flimsiest of evidence with charges of anything they can find and then the Supreme Court will receive a suit against allowing him to even run. This is their best hope to unseat Netanyahu, call elections while using the media to force some charge, any charge, just to get him disqualified from the next elections. With the skulduggery and political warfare going on currently in some of the darker recesses which exist with parliamentary governments, the fact is that Israel’s greatest enemies are gathering on her borders again. It may just be posturing, it may be simply pretense, it may be symbolism, it may be a series of shows for the public image, it may be an increase in terror which appears as the weather warms or it may be preparation for an all out war called and directed from Tehran. Whichever may be the case; Israel need restate the reality of her plans for any response to a terror war and state it loudly and clearly with no chance for any doubts or misperceptions. These promises need to go out and be understood that these are the standing orders, government or no government.


Hamas must have it be understood that their fiefdom will be no more. Should Hamas initiate another rocket and tunnel war with Israel, it needs to be conveyed that they will be put out of business whether they initiate the offenses or if Islamic Jihad does or anyone starts shooting unceasingly out of Gaza at Israelis. This out of business will be exactly what it sounds like it means, they will never attack Israel from Gaza again and if we are able to, and we are, to catch their leaders, they will be tried for crimes against humanity, war crimes and will never see the light of day again when Israel is finished. Israel should inform them that there is one bill which will be passed into law before the government retires and instituted into the basic laws that terrorism makes one eligible in cases of death for the death penalty, and the leadership of the terror organizations would qualify in spades. If these terror masters think for one second that such a trial would be held in the Hague in Europe, they are sorely mistaken as such a trial can be held by the offended nation, in this case, Israel. Should they force war then Gaza will not remain an independent Arab entity and the people of Gaza will be free to move elsewhere, and after the half willing to leave has sold their homes, farms, businesses and anything else they wish to sell and happily relocated elsewhere, the remainder will be advised it would be wise to leave on their own volition and sell off everything as otherwise they may be facing expulsion if there is even a shred of evidence they or a family member was involved in any acts against Israel. After this area has been cleansed and made safe for Israelis, the area will be reclaimed and made capable of having a population with clean water and electricity and everything has been almost sterilized, then it can be the new front for Israel to settle.


Then there are the various levels and directions of threat from Hezballah from out of Lebanon, Syria or both. Their missiles and those of Bashir al-Assad could be unleashed at Israel and there would probably be only one volley launched before they would receive an Israeli response. If the absolute worst-case scenario would develop, Israel had better prepare for a two front war with some threats coming from deep into Syria and as close as they can from Russian installations. Israel must go through private channels and inform Russian President Putin that as long as his forces, particularly his Air Force, do not engage with Israeli actions, then Israel will take precautions not to strike near his positions for as long as Russia keeps the garbage at a distance. Should attacks be permitted launching from near or in Russian held areas, then they will be struck despite the Russian presence. We will put the onus on Russia to police their own areas and prevent terror or acts of war to emanate from those places. Meanwhile, if Syria assets are used against Israel, Bashir al-Assad must know that he will be a target of opportunity, and that opportunity will present itself at some point. Meanwhile, Hezballah and Lebanon need understand that any war launched from within Lebanon will constitute an act of war by the nation of Lebanon. This will need to be understood as the Lebanese government and military are controlled by Hezballah. Since Hezballah will be using assets given to the Lebanese military by President Obama after receiving weak guarantors that these weapons would not end up in the hands of terrorists, this would constitute an open state of war between the two nations as Lebanese military equipment has been utilized by the terrorists. After such an engagement, the areas infested with terror tunnels and bunkers will not be returned to Lebanon with the new border with Lebanon will be the Litany River. This will be the Israeli position after the conflict has ended. Israel will also be using her full force and might in any conflict with Lebanon and all infrastructures in the country will be eliminated such that it can no longer be diverted to run the communications and control and command structures of Hezballah. This will be treated as complete warfare with no reservations should Hezballah strike Israel from within Lebanon or using any Lebanese military equipment.


Eretz Yisroel from back in the time immediately after Exodus and before the additional conquest by King David and King Solomon with the original division of the lands between the Tribes covering both sides of the Jordan River. The Israelis and Jews in general could attempt to demand that Eretz Yisroel, the Land of Israel be made whole as was First Apportioned by Hashem.
Litani River was Israel’s Northern Border


Hezballah, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, which is better known and still operates under the name of PLO, will be decimated with its ranks dead or scattered in the winds of war. There will be no reestablishment for any of these entities and any others who are involved when the war ceases. This war will cease when Israel has attained and completed all of her parameters for victory. Their inability to ever be reformed will be at the top of that list. Their leadership decapitated and struck down will be amongst the highest parameters. Hamas should be informed that using the basement of a hospital makes that institution a legitimate military target. The physicians, patients, administrators and others interested should be known to understand what consequences come from having Hamas in their basement. All field commanders of Hamas need understand that they will be targets of opportunity and that any pilot who diverges from mission in order to kill these people in leadership positions, they will be decorated, not punished. Hiding amongst women and children will not prevent their targeting. This is something those who protect these people also need understand, as it may be their lives being endangered as well. Hezballah needs to understand that despite hiding deep in bunkers that Israel has the technology to read their heat signatures from in the sky and has deep penetrating warheads and bombs which will seek that thermal signature before they detonate. As to which thermal signature they lock onto, that will be at the discretion of intelligence and the military commanders of the sorties flown for such engagement. Hamas and Hezballah leadership much understand that there will be no hiding and living to tell the tale. This will be their final encounter and their next encounter will be in the next world. Israel has had it with taking out the trash every couple of years while allowing the real leadership to live and skate free returning to their mansions in Gaza and Beirut. Never Again; a phrase applied to Israel fighting wars limited by the orders of the United Nations or the European Union and if they believe that the United States will assist in their protection, they are sorely mistaken. The State Department higher leadership might squawk and screech demanding Israel be compassionate and show tender mercy which Israel will interpret as doing so for her citizens such that they never suffer from these threats ever again. Any confrontation will result in a final confrontation and an end to their ability to attack Israelis in the foreseeable future. “This is the end, my only friend, the end. Of our elaborate plans, the end. Of everything that stands, the end. No safety or surprise, the end.”

The End!


Beyond the Cusp


March 13, 2018

Lapid Using Liberman to Shoot for the Stars


Everybody knows the worst kept secret in Israel, Yair Lapid has designs of replacing Bibi as soon as he can get elections and then he is aiming to replace the Heavenly Choir. Yair Lapid thinks very highly of himself and his silver tongue which has gotten him far in life. His ability to set dulcet tones to the lyrics written on his teleprompter should remind people of another great speaker whose heart was cold and calculations have placed the Middle East in jeopardy by strengthening Iran. That sweet talker was President Obama, the still revered leftist who used Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to take the already radical Iran and use an injection of Russian military airpower to reinstate al-Assad and Iran in a power position in Syria and with Hezballah in Lebanon while allowing Hamas to reunite their ties with Iran who are looking like the strong horse. These also emboldened Turkey to attempt and solve their Kurdish problem with another genocide which will be denied while it is occurring. All the wrong players in the Middle East are now playing more powerful positions and Russia is stuck in the quicksand.


Where would Yair Lapid fit into this formula? He would be the next installment in what next can go wrong. Lapid is very talented at telling everybody what they wish to hear. He will tell much of Israel that he is strictly a Zionist and stands to the right of Netanyahu. He will tell the university crowd that he strongly supports all versions of individual rights and the Two State Solution is the central spine of his Middle East policies. He tells the labor union that he stands one-hundred-percent behind Histadrut and supports stronger worker mediations. Basically he is the chameleon who stands before any crowd and adopts their greatest hopes and fears into reality and instantly becomes their best hope. Lapid only really believes in three things, his visceral distaste for everything religious, especially Jewish; his belief that he can find a gift so worthy that he will found two states for two people even if both those people will end up as Arab states and the Jews vanquished, and Lapid believes in Lapid and would claim to be the Messiah if he believed in the Messiah. All in all, the three things are all actually just ways for aggrandizing the last one, Yair Lapid.


Yair Lapid Enticing Avigdor Lieberman into Challenging Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu

Yair Lapid Enticing Avigdor Lieberman into Challenging Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu


Lapid is also very good at wrapping people into his plans by making them promises, some which he would actually keep. Currently Yair Lapid wants one thing and only one thing, a means to replace Bibi Netanyahu as Prime Minister. His plan is so painfully obvious; it would take a deaf, dumb and blind man not to see it. Currently, Lapid is planning to drive a wedge between Yisrael Beytenu leader, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his boss, Prime Minister Netanyahu. The weapon is the Haredi draft bill which has been laboriously hammered out to almost everyone’s satisfaction. Lapid has been whispering into Lieberman’s ear telling him of all the power he will bestow upon him when he makes his coalition after new elections. Unfortunately for Bibi, Lieberman has been soaking the praise and lauding up like a schoolboy receiving praise from his favorite teacher. The fact that Lieberman and his party share much of Lapid’s dislike for the religious is not a secret but this new draft law was drawn up extracting almost everything possible from the religious parties and is actually a fair and tough bill. But Yair wants elections and is willing to do anything to get them and to get them now. So why is it so important to get elections immediately?


That is an easy one to answer. Currently Bibi is, as usual, under a myriad of investigations and has been recommended for being brought to trial once more by the police who never tire of rejections. They were unable to get a single charge leveled against Bibi with a far more leftist Attorney General in the past and they are now facing a serious and strict law abiding Attorney General who will not take kindly to having his office used or his time wasted. Lapid knows that if he can force elections, then he can go to the police, who already have him as their main witness for at least one of their cases against Netanyahu, and drop a few well-timed “bombshells” and they can add that to their attempt to have the Prime Minister arraigned, and that could seal the deal. If an arraignment can be timed to coincide with new elections, Lapid can sue in the Supreme Court to have Netanyahu barred from seeking the office of Prime Minister which would weaken the power of Likud and as his party is polling number two, he sees himself as naturally replacing Likud with his party, Yesh Atid. He has even gone so far as to file bills to dissolve the Knesset in conjunction with Meretz. Meretz Party has no chance to lead a coalition and thus is filing purely to help Lapid. If filing with Meretz does not show his true alignment to the world, and Israel particularly, nothing will and his con just might work. The main part of the Lapid coup is to have Bibi arraigned and new elections so the Supreme Court can take Bibi out of the picture making Yair Lapid, as he sees it and us fear, the next Prime Minister. That is a frightful scenario which we would hate to watch occur.


The problem here is that Lapid is trying to pull down the coalition while working to have the Prime Minister prevented from defending himself through elections and will do whatever it takes to become Prime Minister and impose his cleverly concealed leftist principles and love of the Two State Solution in his attempt to win a Nobel Peace Prize even if that requires the destruction of Israel as the Jewish State and homeland to the Jewish People. Everything Yair Lapid does is for the aggrandizement of Yair Lapid. He views himself as a larger than life, anointed by the fates, and infallible man of principle. We view him as utterly lacking that final quality, flawed in many ways, and hope he is fated to never hold power of Prime Minister of Israel. We foresee his attaining that dreamed of position leading to placing Hamas backed completely by Iran and armed similarly to Hezballah into Judea and Samaria after agreeing to remove all the Jewish communities from beyond the Green Line. Did we mention he hates them as well though would promise them he would protect them to their faces, redividing Jerusalem, removing all border checkpoints, destroying the terror barrier on his way in full retreat and pulling every last IDF and other force and all intelligence operatives from beyond the Green Line and expect the Arabs to remain an unarmed state. Of course as soon as the Palestinian Authority has been overthrown and Hamas, or worse, Hezballah, replaces them with all the officials still seen as belonging to anything other than a fully religious theocratic terror state supporter removed from any position of power and possibly violently removed, Iran will arm the area and ready it for an attack on Israel. For Iran and both Hezballah and Hamas, being a nationalistic terror state supporter would be inadequate as only pure religious fanaticism will be accepted once Iran gets into the act. This would leave only the Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula left before Israel would be encircled by Iran on every land border.


It has been known that the Syrian leader, Bashir al-Assad, and his father before him, have always had designs on rejoining Jordan to Syria as they see Jordan and Israel as parts of Southern Syria and have designs on militarily reestablishing their Syrian hegemony. Any Syrian hegemonic interests would merely be serving the hegemonic obsessions of Iran. Iran would hardly need but blink in order to overwhelm the Jordanian forces and take Jordan. That would be an easy task except for two small items, Jordan has long been allied with the United States and Britain plus Israel is well aware that it is in their interests to prevent such a takeover. During the Black September attempted coup by Yasser Arafat and the PLO in 1970, Syrian forces dressed as Fedayeen crossed the border with air support. The Syrian efforts ended fairly quickly as they met more formidable resistance than they expected and their PLO allies were being decimated and were fleeing to Lebanon. Syria gave up on that attempt to reunify Jordan into southern Syria. That lesson was given Bashir’s father, he may require his own lesson before he learns plus he has Iran whispering in his ear. Another difference is that Jordan and Israel have a signed peace agreement and the United States has a rather unpredictable President in Trump. President Trump has pretty much steered clear of much in the Middle East beyond strongly backing Israel and recognizing the obvious by announcing that the United States will move its embassy to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem.


Syria has already fired into Israel sufficiently and been sternly blunted by IDF responses. When Syria and Iran invaded Israeli airspace with a military drone, not only was the drone quickly destroyed, but the command and control center which sent the drone and other similar installations were destroyed in response with Israel losing one aircraft as a response. Attempting at testing Israel through attacking Jordan may not be the wisest course of action, but we are talking of the Assad Regime which has never shown much of a propensity for wisdom guided actions. Let it rest that the Middle East is dangerous enough and does not need Yair Lapid as Prime Minister of Israel; it requires a strong and dependable Israel ready to act as necessitated. That would, for the present, mean Bibi Netanyahu at the very least until the end of this government’s legal term and elections on November 5, 2019. After that many expect that Bibi would either allow a new person to lead Likud or announce that this would be his final time serving as Prime Minister and start to groom a new leader for his party. It would be wise for that to begin immediately and there are a number of contenders, but that should wait for another time.


Beyond the Cusp


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