Beyond the Cusp

December 16, 2018

Wherever Israel Turns there are Threats

 

Though the media is largely ignoring many of these events, they are still plaguing Israel and those who love her. There are still rioting on the Gaza border pressed on continuously as the new normal with Hamas. The Hamas tunnel systems were thwarted so incendiary kites and balloons were the response. They claim they love the land more than the Jews ever will and are willing to burn it to ashes to prove it. Israel simply nurtures the land and grows crops and establishes discoveries which are helping humanity all over the world with the problems of fresh water, growing crops in arid lands, using water gained from treated sewage to grow crops, medical cures, software for office, security software, facial recognition systems which can detect criminals in crowds such as airports and other advances in virtually every endeavor all for the improvement of our world. But that is but a small area, the border with Hamas in Gaza, what about the rest of the region?

 

In the north on the border with Lebanon, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have uncovered another series of infiltration tunnels coming from within the region presumably patrolled and kept terrorist-free by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) as per UNSC Resolution 1701, which brought the last Hezballah-Israel conflict to a close. There was to be a buffer region in southern Lebanon (see map below) where Hezballah was not to be permitted to place weapons, build bunkers, dig tunnels into Israel or place rockets. It is needless to point out, but that presumed effort has been a mitigated disaster. Hezballah has built up the region with bunkers, tunnels, launching positions concealed underground or in people’s homes, built ambush sites also often using people’s homes and increased their rocket inventory to approximately one-hundred-fifty-thousand rockets plus a percentage have been upgraded with precision guidance packages provided by Iran.

 

Map of UNIFIL Demilitarized Region

Map of UNIFIL Demilitarized Region

 

These modified rockets are now comparable to missiles; actually, they are missiles capable of striking within a few meters of any target in Israel. That is considered to be an existential threat by Israel and suitable warnings that this must not continue or else Israel may be forced to perform an extensive intervention. With their ranges and sizes, many of these rockets and missiles are capable of striking all of Israel (see table and map below). Unfortunately, such a threat from Israel is mostly, if not completely, ignored, as Israel is no longer considered a force to be feared. This is due largely to the crippling limitations placed on the IDF soldiers to such a point that they often delay before shooting, something which has proven excessively detrimental and cost Israel far too many lives. One example of such restraints was exceedingly evident during the rioting on the Gaza border where after allowing the troops to use their discretion, they imposed their being required to receive approval to engage targets unless their lives were under direct threat. The airstrikes by Israeli pilots also required approval even when given a specific and known Hamas positions as either an observer aircraft or drone was required to inspect the target and immediate vicinity before the mission could be concluded. Often, the pilots were instructed to return with their munitions still onboard because there was an innocent within the area considered to be potentially injurious. Hamas have often placed women and children on the rooftops of their most important positions and place their main command and control bunker underneath the main hospital in Gaza City.

 

Hezballah Rocket & Missile Threat

Hezballah Rocket & Missile Threat

 

The recent past has reignited the terrorism from the Shomron by Arabs who are ruled by the Palestinian Authority (PA). One attack almost murdered a mother in her thirtieth week of her pregnancy. Her unborn child was removed by cesarean section and valiant efforts were made to save the child, but the infant died after four days, him never even having been held by his mother. This closes the loop where the only border where Israel can claim they have peace is the one it shares with the Mediterranean Sea, and please do not let the world know or they might just start to launch more Gaza Flotillas attempting to break the legal blockade of Hamas by Israel. That also brings us to the other problem which Israel faces, the United Nations and much of the world where anti-Semitism is being expressed as anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism. We had the perfect ignominy of the United Nations General Assembly which was brought to the fore by the recent vote refusing to condemn Hamas for firing rockets into Israel and the border violence which has gone on for over three-quarters of a year which we covered in this article. Within Europe, anti-Semitism has become rampant, increasing to the point that some of the political parties have refused to condemn the growing anti-Semitism within their ranks, even that of people of prominence of the party. But this trend is far from isolated to Europe.

 

In the United States, anti-Semitism has increase by near or over fifty-percent every year for the past half-decade. The recent elections placed a new member in the United States House of Representatives, from Michigan named Rashida Tlaib, who celebrated with a Palestinian flag and proclaimed her support of the Palestinians and her ill will for Israel. But it is not necessary to take our word for this, please check out what we state independently, we would be proud to have these things validated. One thing which one would need to find is my friends from long ago to validate that I had been warning my fellow Jews outside of Washington DC that anti-Semitism was rising and that a future would come probably in our lifetime that Jews would face extremely difficult situations in the United States and that at a turning point the bulk of one of the political parties would turn against the Jewish People. I also told them that I was going to retire in Israel and they did not believe that either. What can one say, such doubters.

 

There has been talk within Israel about reestablishing the Israeli deterrence so that the terrorists would refuse to continue their animosity and then we can all coexist in a period of peace. There has been no debate about exactly what form such an action would require in order to reestablish an Israeli deterrence. There have been hints such as the near immediate house demolition of every terrorist’s home regardless of other family (which would never get past the Supreme Court), immediate shutdown of any area from where a terror attack originated and the only sensible suggestion of reestablishing checkpoints throughout the Shomron. Despite the idea of reestablishing checkpoints, especially random checkpoints guided by intelligence, being a great idea to make the Shomron a safer place, Israel cannot place checkpoints within Gaza or Lebanon currently without first taking these regions through military action. Were Israel to take action to destroy the infrastructure built-up in southern Lebanon to deter Hezballah would simply return Israel into occupying southern Lebanon and all Hezballah would do is set-up new infrastructure just north of any IDF held positions. This would simply move the threat further from the Israeli public but would also place IDF soldiers at risk holding ground where the people are largely hostile. This is a ‘tried that, did not work,’ situation.

 

Then there is what to do about Hamas. This is where something can be done which would change the dynamics. Any action to change the map concerning Hamas, Islamic Jihad and all of their supporting terror infrastructure would first require being prepared to defend such actions. This would start with the considerations and guarantees provided to the Israeli government as part of the deal to engage in the grand experiment which became the Gaza Disengagement. First thing is that this was a grand idea cooked up by the United States State Department and proposed to President George H. W. Bush by Secretary Condoleezza Rice. The intent was to provide a region completely free of any and all Israeli presence in which the PA could demonstrate their ability to operate a civilized society with jobs, government services, power generation, economic development and a normative society. President Bush promised that the United States would provide cover in the United Nations should it become necessary for Israel to retake Gaza because it became a terrorist threat. By the end of 2007, Hamas had taken control over Gaza in a bloody coup and cemented their rule by discarding any PA officials they did not control off rooftops of many of the tallest buildings. From that point forward, Gaza has been a terrorist base exactly as the rightwing leadership of the Nationalist, Zionist and Religious parties within Israel had warned. The agreement Israel made was that should Gaza turn into the terrorist base it has become, Israel would be entitled to retake control of Gaza, clear out the terrorists and their supporters, and resume Israeli rule. Does anybody honestly believe that the world would not act as if it were on fire should Israel actually retake Gaza? Of course the world would go berserk, the United Nations would be holding sessions of the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Human Rights Council, UNESCO, UNICEF and the rest of the usual suspects. The European Union would be writing denunciations faster than their stenographers could write. Almost every other organization and most governments would all be lining up to take their shots at Israel for their temerity to act on a guarantee made them back in 2005 which the world was made aware of at the time. All of this is not even beginning to understand the reaction of the Arab and Muslim worlds. One would believe that the end of the planet was at stake.

 

Here is the catch when discussing Israel retaking Gaza and exactly what Israel takeover of Gaza would entail and require. First, the Israeli leadership would need to wear sound suppressing headphones for an extended period of time in order to have any peace. Second, Israel would need to have an indisputable reason such as almost five-hundred rockets launched into Israel out of Gaza in a twenty-four hour period. Since Israel just suffered exactly such an attack, allow us to divert and review. Israel was warned by the United Nations that this barrage was entirely just a reaction to the infiltration of an intelligence gathering team which was caught and engaged by Hamas forces resulting in one dead Israeli officer, one injured Israeli soldier and six dead Hamas fighters. Israel would just need to suffer this outburst as Israel deserved whatever Hamas desired to throw at her. The European Union seconded this feeling and probably threatened some punitive reaction were Israel to react with any change of the situation. Israel was permitted to react by launching rockets at Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets providing they were empty. There would be no tolerating anyone further in Gaza being killed in these exchange of fire, but if Israelis died, well, that would be acceptable. The United Nations in conjunction with Egypt, and rumored Turkey, arranged for Hamas to cease firing the rockets and simply continue the rioting along the Gaza border which Israel would need to continue to pretend that farming and other activities within a number of miles of the border were to never to survive planting or normative operating conditions as the launching of explosive and incendiary objects into Israeli territories surrounding Gaza. This would also extend to forests and wildlife reserves within these regions. What other nation in this world would tolerate such a situation? Not even the United States would tolerate this even if it were restricted to these devices being launched solely from the Baja Peninsula.

 

The reality is that Israel retaking control of Gaza might actually be the least invasive action which would provide some degree of deterrence. The problem is that Hezballah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas are actually under the direction of Iran. Should Iran decide that it desired for Israel to suffer some degree of difficulty, they could simply tell Hamas, Islamic Jihad and/or Hezballah to attack Israel to whatever degree desired. Iran has attempted to also engage and bring the PA and its terrorist groups including the PLO, al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and whatever others which exist in an Iranian attempt to completely encircle Israel with terrorist allies. Iran already has IRGC troops stationed in Syria as well as some in Lebanon which have launched rockets and anti-tank missiles at the IDF forces stationed on the Golan Heights, which should tell one about the degree of deterrence Israel currently projects. The ability to project deterrence by Israel would require some drastic action which would leave no doubt that things have changed in a determinable manner witnessing that Israel was not going to continue to suffer terror attacks without responding with the liberal application of military force altering the ability for such activities being able to continue. Israel would need to make it apparent that any terrorist attack would engender a response so severe that any further terrorist activities would require rebuilding the terror infrastructure from scratch. There are two regions which would come to mind first and foremost, the Shomron and Gaza. This would mean the removal of terrorist governments of either the PA or Hamas, depending on which region provided sufficient threat demanding such an intense reaction. Should the terror attacks continue as almost daily attacks in the Shomron, that could cause the Israeli leadership to decide to extend Israeli rule to all of the Shomron and remove the PA leadership and security forces sending them to whatever nations will accept them, as long as it is as far as possible from Israel. Another barrage of five-hundred rockets in a day from Gaza would be another stimulus for Israel to retake Gaza.

 

The world does not need get themselves into a lather, the current Israeli government would not be taking such steps in the near future. It is even doubtful that the Israeli government which will be making the next coalition would take such steps, as that government will either be very similar to the current government or far more left-leaning. Short of a general war being initiated by Arab nations, Iran or a general coordinated terror assault, Israel is unlikely to take any drastic actions which would result in a change in the separate regions under the different terrorist rule, the PA in the Shomron, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza and Hezballah with the IRGC out of Lebanon along with possibly Syria. The chance that the Arab and Muslim worlds will decide that Israel is permitted to live in peace is improbable without a very serious change in their attitude. There are only two reasons such a decision would be reached; a Renaissance in Islam where the Mecca Quran takes precedence over the Medina Quran which drives Islam in the modern day or Israel uses such an application of military force serving as a deterrence with lasting effects. When or exactly what takes place to cause either of these reactions we will have to leave up to our readers to dream-up. The same goes for when such a wondrous event or set of events will occur. Anyone who has thought that this cannot happen too soon, we feel your thought path and join your enthusiasm.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 15, 2018

Looking at Gaza and What Was Learned

 

What was learned is actually yet to be learned. Outside of Israel, very few will ever acknowledge any knowledge they gain as time passes. How do we know this? That is easy, they have yet to learn what the average Israeli, even many in the most insular of places such as Tel Aviv, already know and their leaders pretend that these facts do not exist. This knowledge is that the Hamas threat, backed by Islamic Jihad and Iran, just as the threat from Hezballah in the north, will continue to threaten the people of Israel until our leaders simply take their nerve and act instead of postponing the inevitable which only gains levels of danger each time it is permitted to continue to exist. When Hamas first took control of Gaza by ousting the Palestinian Authority and murdering virtually every member of Fatah left behind, their greatest ability was to launch rockets almost reaching five to ten kilometers into Israel threatening the closest towns, cities, villages and kibbutzim. This range and the corresponding size of the warheads has grown more deadly between every confrontation to the point where today they can strike as far as Jerusalem and Haifa which includes all of the Tel Aviv metropolitan region and the vast majority of the heart of Israeli production, power generation and residential regions. Their threat is only exceeded by Hezballah and Iran, while Hamas will continue to build and extend their threats which may soon be capable to strike anywhere in Israel. Just as Hezballah in the north can strike Eilat at the southernmost tip of Israel, Hamas will soon be capable of striking the furthest point from Gaza, the Golan Heights. The average Israeli realizes that the threat from out of Gaza has become a threat to every person in Israel, yet the political class is refusing to face the threat and be rid of it, once and for all. Instead, they brag about having brought quiet while Israelis know that they appear to the rest of the Middle East to have whimpered away from confronting Hamas and the people in Gaza are dancing and celebrating their cowing of their nemesis. Israelis are, in all too many cases, picking up from the attack, mourning their losses, recovering from wounds while some have lost everything. The Gazans are dancing in the streets, passing out sweets, lighting bonfires and whooping it up in glorious celebration of their great victory. It does not take a genius to figure out which side feels like victors and which feel closer to the vanquished.

 

In Israel, we witnessed the limitation of a political class more interested in avoiding any severe conflicts and preventing any larger loss of life. Their aim is not so much to win, but to not suffer any losses which can be brought up in the coming elections and having to answer probing questions. What they were considering in their seven-hour plus Security Cabinet debates was how they could survive the onslaught by Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets, mortars and attempts at border infiltrations without using the IDF and ending it as quickly as they were able no matter the price in pride and projecting power which might prevent the next attack. By ending the rocket attacks by any means necessary and relying upon the Iron Dome to prevent most of the attacks from striking within populated regions minimizing loss of life, property damage and the things which can be utilized against them in the coming elections. Any attack from Meretz or the Zionist Union claiming that a Likud government was far too timid in their response is easily countered by claiming that the threat of IDF incursion was used behind the scenes to end the attacks as fast as possible thus projecting competence relying on short memories by the average voters. We all understand that the vast majority of people vote for the same party election after election, even those who make a show of their considering other parties seeming to be honestly pained in their considerations before voting for the same party as always. This has kept much of the power structure intact for approaching a decade with all the appearances of continuing. The announcement that the Security Cabinet reached their decision by a unanimous vote was another part of Israeli politics where by putting out that the entirety of the Security Cabinet agreed to the actions, or lack of actions, places the blame or credit evenly amongst all the parties in the coalition such that none can claim of their being holdouts who demanded a different action than the one taken.

 

After the Security Cabinet broke their confab and announced their ‘unanimous’ decision to agree to the demands to end, the protestations came by select members of the Security Cabinet claiming that the decision was anything but unanimous. Their party membership is left to decide for themselves whether their leadership weathered the insistence from those pressing for compromise and conflict avoidance very likely backing the meeting chair, Bibi Netanyahu, and the members of Likud who were chosen for their ability to add gravitas to their party chair so as to impose his will on the other members. We can be fairly sure that the length of the meeting was primarily due to two competing reasons. The first and most obvious is it takes time to repeat the same arguments over and over ad-nauseum until the outliers finally caved and settled to agree rather than continue a fruitless fight. The second is that while the meeting drags on, those pressing for not acting militarily know that the United Nations and Egypt, along with whomever else feels like piling on, are waging their negotiating tools to end the Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket assault. We are still in the dark as to exactly what Egypt and possibly Qatar may have offered to Hamas and Islamic Jihad or potentially Iran in order to end the rocket barrages. There is a very good chance that this will never be known by the general public and we are going to have to simply hope that nothing was demanded from Israel in concessions.

 

What the Israeli people hopefully learned is that their leadership is not necessarily the most effective leadership. What they still do not know is whether the temerity is on the part of their political class, their military leadership or both. The one thing they do know is that they cannot do very much about the military without first shaping their political choices in the manner they wish their military leadership to assume. This is due to the reality that the political leadership often decides who becomes the leaders in the military though the military does make the offers for who they believe are up for promotion. One of the difficulties in Israel for change is that both the politics and the military leadership are much like the Supreme Court, self-replicating in the choice of who can be offered to assume leadership. The Supreme Court has a large influence in the choices made for new Justices; the Military controls the promotions and often prevent any who are not supportive of the current command in reaching the rank of general, and with Israeli politics moribund by the limitations of their form of parliamentary governance, until the election of Prime Minister is taken from the President choosing which party forms the coalition and allows for the popular election of the Prime Minister, then Israel can expect politics as usual. Israelis main choice is between leftists, who propose the Two-State Solution as the miracle cure which by granting the Palestinian Arabs a state of their own their desire to murder Jews will miraculously come to an abrupt halt, or the right, where they claim they will prevent the establishment of any Palestinian terror state specifically on the heights overlooking Tel Aviv along the Green Line and through strength prevent rocket attacks such as what just transpired. In any coming elections, the left will run on their ability to pacify the Palestinian Arabs by granting them a state of their own completely free of any Israeli interventions and international recognition, something Abbas has been establishing rather well on his own except he is unable to establish borders, for now. On the other side is the right which will claim they lead through strength and will actually point to this recent rocket assault and claim their working through strength was why the attacks did not linger on for a week or longer. They will also largely run on their opposition to the Two-State Solution and their protecting Israel from the founding of a terror state within which there could be no intelligence gathering by the IDF and any intervention would become an invasion of an actual nation which could then bring condemnation through not merely the United Nations, the media and numerous European governments and others but could include imposition of sanctions imposed by the World Courts which would condemn Israel as an aggressive government refusing to recognize the legitimate borders of another country.

 

We learned yesterday that Avigdor Lieberman, leader of Yisrael Beiteinu, resigned from his position of Defense Minister, removed the party from the coalition and is demanding new elections. His demand is mostly posturing unless he can get another party to leave the coalition as he joined the coalition late after it was in existence and thus had the necessary sixty-one plus Knesset Ministers, thus the coalition is simply returning to their original slim majority. Whether his announcement will do anything beyond possibly bring his party additional support whenever elections do come is yet to be seen. There will be no rush to elections at this time with the memory of the rockets so fresh in Israelis minds and their having some trepidation of being under threat still fresh. Lieberman is resigning in order to place a huge exclamation point on his claims that he disagreed with the Security Cabinet and that the decision was at the very least one Minister short of unanimous. Lieberman has been talking up ending the border riots by invading Gaza and sweeping all of the terror production, rocket stores and other weapons while also collapsing the entirety of the tunnel and bunker systems which interconnect much of Gaza underground while arresting the leadership of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other related terror supporters. Lieberman’s protestations fell upon deaf ears, specifically the closed ears of Prime Minister Netanyahu who appears determined not to alter the threat conditions which have made him able to appear to be the only leader capable of addressing these threats. Netanyahu has spent quite some effort in appearing to be unafraid of using the IDF should any of the threats along the Israeli borders attack. That is currently in doubt within the Israeli public, and not just because Lieberman claimed he did not agree with doing nothing and called for an intervention to punish Hamas and Islamic Jihad and possibly even retaking Gaza completely placing it under Israeli rule. It is also not because Lieberman left the coalition punctuating his denial but because we also had denial of agreement over the choice by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, both from Jewish Home. This begs the question of who was the individual who released the statement that the Security Cabinet had reached a unanimous agreement on accepting the Hamas and Islamic Demands that they be permitted to continue launching rockets to around 3:30 or possibly a little past, they claimed they would stop when they could on or around 3:30 which resulted in closer to somewhat after 4:00, while Israel was to stand down immediately and if not, then Hamas and Islamic Jihad would end their barrages somewhat later, or not, or, well, they would let us know. The end of the rocket barrages turned out to be relatively soon after the promised time and Israel remained in their reserved stand-down posture. That was the great deal after a seven-hour debate which was imposed by the United Nations and Egypt, and we are told that this was our government keeping us safe. Why are we not so much comforted?

 

Dead Falcon Found in Tree with Twine and Incendiary Device Attached

Dead Falcon Found in Tree with Twine and Incendiary Device Attached

 

The good news is that once the rockets stopped we have had relative quiet. Why do we say relative quiet? Well, because there is still the difficulty, the challenge, the peaceful protests according to the European Union and other places which are not exactly friends of Israel, what we call the violent rioting which has launched thousands of kites and balloons with incendiary devices attached which has laid waste to great swaths of southern lands which border Gaza in Israel. Farms have lost their entire crop for this year to the flames. Entire areas of our forests have been turned to charred remains. Wildlife reserves have been equally ruined by infernos which killed unknown numbers of wildlife. The image above was one of the attempts to fly incendiary devices even further into Israel by attaching them to birds; in this case, the unfortunate victim was a falcon. Realize what this actually bespeaks, that these terrorists of Hamas and Islamic Jihad have absolutely no respect for life, human life, wildlife, any life which is in any way different than themselves. Their main speciality is destruction over construction. The main efforts that are manifest in Gaza is their rockets and the launchers as well as their tunnels under the border into Israel which, if Israel misses in detecting one, are to be utilized for kidnapping Israelis to hold hostage or for insertion of terrorist teams to maraud across parts of Israel destroying everything they are capable and murdering whomever they run across during their infiltration. The most frustrating reality about this situation is that the community of nations insists that Israel must continually live with terrorists perched on her borders with one idea in their heads, the complete destruction of Israel murdering the entire population in the process. These are terrorists which every other nation murders freely because terrorism is an aberration which is against civil society and thus must be eradicated for normalcy to exist in any society. Despite that being the rule of the world, Israel is denied their right to self-defense, even against terrorists. This will continue to exist for only as long as the Israeli government continues to have what we Jews refer to as the ‘ghetto mentality’ where we care more for what even our enemies and those who desire us dead care and say that doing what any normative people, person, nations would do in the exact same situation. What is required in Israel is political leadership which has a normal fighter attitude where they will do what is necessary to produce an atmosphere of normalcy and where threats are opposed with absolute resoluteness and the certainty that such will result in military responses forcing an end to all threats through strength and deterrent. Unfortunately, the leaders we have today are not all that different from the ones Moses had to march around the wastelands of the desert for forty years until a new generation had been raised which know not slavery, or in our case, the ghettos where Jews walked in fear, and had the resolution to do what needed be done. May this day arrive in our lifetime such that we can see our blossoming into a normative nation and these terrorist entities will be vanquished should they so much as look at us askance.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 31, 2018

Netanyahu and Threats Facing Israel

 

There is a consensus in the Prime Minister’s Cabinet that when he proposes some meek solution reeking of timidity their response resembles the bobble head dolls in the rear window of a car hitting speed bumps. That is the problem, as it appears that none are willing or able to bring forth solutions which could actually end any one of the threats facing Israel. So, perhaps our first explanation would be to give an idea of the threats facing Israel of a military type. The most obvious and potentially devastating is that of the Iranian armed Hezballah which has defeated the Christians as most of them fled to Israel, Europe, Canada or the United States allowing Lebanon to go from 80% Christian to likely over 80% Islamic with the majority of those supporting the Hezballah terrorist army. Adding to this threat is the fact that Hezballah would be armed by the Lebanese Army’s weaponry should they face Israel once more and that would include such weapons as Apache helicopters and Abrams Main Battle Tanks as well as a plethora of other American and Russian weapons and anti-tank grenades. Fortunately, Lebanon does not have much in the way of an air force outside the helicopters, which alone are a formidable weapon system in the right hands. Additionally, Hezballah has over 150,000 rockets and missiles of varying sizes, ranges and capabilities. Iran has been providing them with targeting systems to make their rockets into guided missiles making for an even greater threat as they would be capable of targeting within fifty-meter accuracy or possibly better (see image below). Additionally, Hezballah has an extensive bunker and tunnel system allowing their fighters to appear and disappear after ambushing IDF troops. Any advance into Lebanon by ground forces would run high risk of casualties in excess numbers such that it has been considered overly risky.

 

Hezballah Rocket & Missile Threat

Hezballah Rocket & Missile Threat

 

In the south, Israel faces a problem of her own making. We are referring to Gaza and the Hamas and Islamic Jihad threat, of course. This was facilitated by the presumably great idea originating from the State Department and Condoleezza Rice who was the Secretary of State under George W. Bush. The concept was to have Israel completely pull everything from Israeli established communities and all IDF from Gaza gifting them with fully functioning greenhouses and an established trade in the hundreds of thousands allowing the Palestinian Authority (PA) to make a grand showing of how they would function as an independent state. This was accomplished by the middle of September of 2005 and within two years the PA had lost control as Hamas took over in a bloody coup. Since then the means of controlling the threat from Gaza has been to periodically, when rockets and other attacks became sufficiently severe a threat, to have the IDF enter Gaza and destroy much of Hamas weapons systems. This was, as intended, always a temporary solution just as the IDF operations in southern Lebanon were but a short term fix. In both cases, Hezballah to the north and Hamas and friends to the south, these resulted in an ever-escalating threat potential and now both are becoming existential threats to Israel. The solution of simply mowing the grass has reached the point that simply continuing with this strategy has reached a point where it has become problematic due to the growing threat each poses. The General Staff now advises that they are incapable of reacting to the threat from Gaza without leaving the north vulnerable to an attack by Hezballah. The northern threat has been further complicated by the presence of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Quds Force in Syria as a further menace which could join any Hezballah offensive.

 

The big question is why did this situation come to pass when even the most casual of observers could have predicted this eventual outcome. The explanation has an expected reason driving this line of reasoning, and it is purely political. The current leadership starting with Prime Minister Netanyahu has long realized that as long as these threats are present, then elections will have the expected outcome of placing the same people in the positions of power, specifically the office of the Prime Minister. Bibi Netanyahu has established that he alone is capable of managing these threats and as such has held an iron grip as the leader who has the plan. Well, that plan has officially failed, and even his Cabinet has reached this conclusion. Still, in the public eye, he is still viewed as the best available choice of those who could be Prime Minister and it is still likely that Prime Minister Netanyahu will be forming the next coalition after the elections coming within the next year. This is likely despite the current escalation by Hamas in the south with the incendiary kites and balloons torching much of the southern farming region into burned stubble ruining an entire year’s harvest. This has the population residing in the cities, towns and kibbutzim extremely upset that their lives have been sacrificed to the inability of the powers that be to find a solution to this threat. In the past Hamas initiated with suicide bombers which were prevented by fencing the entirety of the Gaza border. That led to rocket attacks which were countered with the expensive but extremely efficient Iron Dome systems. This led to the tunneling into Israel to ambush or kidnap civilians and military alike which was countered by extending the barriers deep into the ground, something still being installed. Further, Israel developed technology for detecting these tunnels allowing for them to be destroyed before they could be used. But the simplicity of kites and balloons carrying incendiary devices has stymied the experts thusfar. Still, any threat from Gaza cannot and should not be ignored as allowing it to continue to develop new and more deadly forms of attacking Israelis is unacceptable. Obviously, a new approach is required.

 

Two recent announcements exemplify the lack of a determined strategy concerning Gaza. These are the statements.

On October 13, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced resolutely that Israel would not resume the supply of fuel to Gaza until the rioting on the fence stops.

On October 24, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced that Israel would resume the supply of fuel. This was despite the fact that rioting on the fence continued unabated.

The problem is that Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman probably had the beginnings of the right approach but after “careful consideration” by those who make these command decisions, Israel was going to appear to be too harsh and might come under threat from other nations and political pressures. The seemingly over-attention paid to what the Europeans and the United Nations or the United States or countless NGOs would think and how they would react has resulted in the lack of fortitude and determination in adopting a consistent strategy. Israel has come to a split in the road which might determine her future and ability to remain a viable nation. One road leads to taking a resolute stand against the threats on her borders and the other is the lackadaisical road of more of the same expecting better results. We can all see that the second road meets Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” The other path is one that would take determination, courage, bravado and a willingness to withstand withering criticism. That final requirement is something which also would risk the continued support of the weakest members of any coalition which may result in the dissolution of the coalition and the electing of a new group based on the left who would offer the serenity and quiet of the renewed old status quo. The difficulty is rallying the Israeli public to support measures which are designed to remove a threat which does not directly or immediately make the majority feel they are threatened. That is a hard and bitter mouthful for a leader to swallow but it is also what defines great leaders. Great leaders do not withstand and hold the evil at bay, they go forth and destroy the evil before it becomes a threat beyond what can be suffered.

 

There will only be one solution to the numerous threats which Israel faces and this starts with the menace to the south and then the menace to the north. Any solution will be met with howls and protestations from almost every direction with the loudest coming from the United Nations and European Union. The reason now is the time in which such a path might be recommended and laudable is due to the fact that the President of the United States would not be amongst those screeching from the sidelines. Waiting for Europe to face a problem even remotely mirroring that Israel faces such that they would be too busy with their threats to care about ours is not a luxury which Israel could survive. It is past time to make a final and decisive stand against Hamas and the mistake of surrendering Gaza by taking back the region while forcing the population which voted by over 80% to elect Hamas as their leadership out of the region. Where they end up should be the last of the concerns of Israel in such a situation. Further, this time Israel should act to minimize the casualties suffered by the IDF and less about preserving Gaza. Hamas has proven that they will never rebuild the apartments and other structures damaged because they used them as launching platforms and instead utilize the provided building materials supplied to build tunnels and bunkers. The first strike in Gaza should be the one area which Hamas has never risked by launching rockets from the area because it is where the leadership and ranking members reside. Start by eliminating their homes and work from there. Once done, Israel should force the population to relocate outside of Israel which would once more include Gaza. The reason Gaza is even in doubt is simply because Egypt occupied it after the 1948-8 War in which they intended to genocidally massacre the Jews as stated clearly by Azzam Pasha who said, it would be “a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades.” Instead of completely annihilating the Jewish State in its infancy, all the Arab forces managed was to take Gaza by Egypt and the Shomron which is made up of parts of Judea and Samaria which Jordan occupied and renamed West Bank to make it sound less Jewish. These regions belong to Israel under International Law from the British Mandate and the San Remo Conference along with declarations by the League of Nations and joined by the United States in the Anglo-American Treaty and adopted by the United Nations under Article 80 of the Charter. We know, we have said this quite a lot, but apparently the wrong people have read it or they are all in denial as they are wont to grant Israel the slightest of favors.

 

We are not calling for carpet-bombing all of Gaza, just the areas where Hamas, Islamic Jihad and their main support is stationed. We would desire destroying most of their ability to resist and then use IDF to remove the remainder of the terrorist base in Gaza. Then, perhaps their main beneficiary, Qatar, the nation paying for the fuel being sent into Gaza, would not mind taking in a few Gazans as they would require a new home as they cannot remain within Israel as their history of belligerence and love of Hamas and other terror groups would make them an instant fifth column. One does not remove the hive and then allow the wasps to take up residence in their living room. Getting somebody to take the refugees which would result from Israel retaking Gaza and refusing to accept the population, as they would be thousands upon thousands of inadmissible and loathsome deplorables, and unlike Hillary’s use of the word deplorables, this time it is quite accurate. No other nation would ever accept thousands and thousands of potential terrorists into their national bosom despite the fact that many of them would demand so of Israel. The time is well past due for Israel to take care of business and stand up against those whose secret desire is to erase the Jewish State from the map. Many do not even make a secret of this desire but they are easily identified as they line up every time Israel actually acts like any of these other nations would act in similar circumstances. One does not even need go that far back to see how other nations responded to what they regarded as a threat to their continued existence or even a threat to their well-being. The United States and numerous allies invaded two nations as a response to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The King of Jordan killed tens of thousands of PLO and other Palestinian Arabs in response to the Black September attempted coup. President Assad in Syria, both the present one and his father, used chemical weapons and other means to destroy thousands of their own countrymen claiming that they were a threat and that civil war continues unabated today. Iran has initiated wars in Yemen, Iraq and Syria just in order to extend their reach and control of the Middle East on their way to what they see as their eventual righteous victory in the conquest of the globe. In Egypt the military reestablished their control after the dethroning of Mubarak and the placement of a Muslim Brotherhood puppet, Morsi, as President placing Sisi in to replace him. There have been other incidences around the globe such as the occupation of Tibet by China, the consistent threat to South Korea from North Korea, the so-called unification of Viet Nam and the killing fields in Cambodia just to name a few.

 

We realize that Israel does not desire to be viewed as being a vicious country but there must be limits to the level of threat a nation can abide. One cannot allow a threat to fester to the point where it becomes a near impossibility to defeat, and Hamas is well on their way to becoming such a threat and Hezballah is on that threshold. This is the definitive reason why Israel can no longer simply twiddle her thumbs and hope for the best. The leadership must consider what would happen should Iran decide, at the end of the Syrian civil war for example, strike at Israel across the Golan Heights and potentially through Jordan and along the eastern border facilitated by initially infiltrating into the PA controlled regions on the Israeli side of the Jordan River while also commanding that their three main puppets, Hezballah in Lebanon and Hamas with Islamic Jihad from Gaza in a coordinated assault meant to overwhelm Israeli forces before reserves could be fielded. Such an attack would make the surprise attack in 1973 which initiated the Yom Kippur War be a minor skirmish, and that came uncomfortably close to Israel failing to prevent defeat. The main reason Israel survived that war was because the Egyptians had to cross the Sinai Peninsula to reach Israel as it was still held by Israel as a result of the Six Day War in 1967. Israel does not have a similar depth today and thus time and being prepared before such an attack would be virtually a necessity. If such an attack came as a surprise, then it would be a race between Israel calling up reserves and organizing and these forces reaching Tel Aviv. Further, should Hezballah launch her rockets and missiles, that could further hamper any Israeli response. Then there is the problem that should Israel be required to strike at Syrian forces there would be the question of how the Russians would respond and whether they would deploy their advanced anti-aircraft missiles to assist the assault. This is the scenario which must be avoided and the initial step would be removing the threat from within Gaza and restoring Israeli control of that region. The area could be developed with possibly casinos along the shoreline making it a rival to Monte Carlo and the Riviera with family friendly theme parks, miniature golf, concerts outside and develop it into a premier vacation resort. This would be possible as the border with Egypt is relatively secured and should Egypt add their own area on their side of the border, then the two nations could coordinate security making it an ideal venture for both nations. Nothing makes friendlier neighbors than a mutually fruitful venture which produces revenue. The first step is removing Hamas, Islamic Jihad and all other threats from Gaza.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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