Beyond the Cusp

February 17, 2017

Let’s Talk Middle East Conflict, Minus One Overly Blamed Nation

 

We are going to do something which the average person would believe impossible, discuss conflicts in the Middle East, which includes North Africa and the entirety that goes by the initials MENA, without mentioning Israel other than this once. Yes, that is not only possible but necessary such that people can learn how solving the Palestinian issue would not bring peace to one of the most troubled areas on the planet. There are a number of separate wars going on in Libya alone. In the capital city of Tripoli the government’s forces hold a little more than the offices of the Parliament, the President and the other government buildings and their residences, and only because they reside very close to this central area in Tripoli. There are usually a minimum of two rebel groups at any time fighting the government as well as one another. Often there are more than two as these clans believe that they should be the ones running the country and that Libya is their personal playground. These clans also fight against any terrorists who they believe are trying to take over their areas which they actually do control. The terrorists fight to retain their training grounds. Benghazi is also an open warfare zone with no real governance which controls the entire city but it is the second largest concentration of government military forces. As the government forces do control the port of Tripoli there does exist some trade which is mostly necessities as well as arms and ammunition to keep the government in control. Further, Benghazi, Tobruk, Surt and the other major ports are often changing hands as different groups will exert the necessary force to take the ports when they are expecting shipments from their arms merchants. As some European and many Middle East and Asian arms dealers are making a fair profit, the risks of doing business with the different clans and terror groups operating in Libya is worth the risks involved. Needless to say, the violence in Libya does not always stay in Libya; it often crosses borders into Egypt, Algeria, Chad, Niger and even the Sudan. One of the main arms providers is the Sudanese government and arms dealers taking side action arming the Sudanese neighboring nations including Libya but excluding South Sudan as this is not permitted by the Sudanese government.

 

There is a very good reason that the Sudanese government has made the providing of arms to South Sudan a capital offence, they are still fighting a war and committing a slow genocide against the Christians and Animists and act as if nobody in the world has recognized South Sudan as a separate nation. As long as the world, including those who have recognized South Sudan as a separate nation, do nothing of consequence to protest the nascent country from its far stronger and well-armed former rulers, the killing will continue. There have been some troops provided by the African Union. The United Nations also has sent troops to South Sudan. The problem is what is really necessary would be an entire army, which is not what has been sent. Back in 2013 the United States took what it claimed was measures to assure the genocide in South Sudan would be relieved by allocating one-hundred-fifty Marines and a few aircraft to the Horn of Africa from where they were to be capable of evacuating people under threat in South Sudan. As is said repeatedly in Bill Cosby’s routine on Noah, “Right!” Our new United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated this week that refugees were fleeing cities and towns and that “The security situation continues to deteriorate in parts of the country and the consequent impact of this ongoing conflict and violence, has reached catastrophic proportions for civilians,” A United Nations report stated, “The rise of militias under the loose command of the SPLA or rebel commanders is spreading the fragmentation and dislocation of its territories, which risk, if this trend continues, remaining out of any government control for years to come.” The United Nations further reports that the numbers of refugees currently seeking relief is beyond one and a half million.

 

Now we can slide over to Somalia which is only a real country on maps for lack of a better means of describing the area. Like Libya there is no actual ruling government but instead a series of gangs ruling their territories with iron fists and warring with each other trying to increase their domain. The people have to make sure they are aware of which gang is currently ruling their block of homes as that will also define where they are allowed to shop and who they may visit. Crossing from one region to the next carries varying degrees of danger. Some of the gangs along the shoreline engage in pirating for a living seeking pleasure yachts, merchant ships and even passing warships which are traveling without escort. These pirates have varying levels of gall living by the code “no guts, no glory.” They have attacked European, Asian, Australian, Canadian and American shipping and anybody else who comes within their range. Their method is to use a larger ship which remains out of sight but relatively close and smaller craft attack the target vessels and attempt to board and commandeer the ship then demanding ransom for the ship, crew and cargo. They check the cargo for anything they might desire or need to keep for themselves and will take any weapons they find an board the ships they take. There has been some degree of international efforts to bring this to an end but for the most part ships take their own risks coming out of the Red Sea after passing through the Suez Canal.

 

Of course that means they need to make their way through the Bab el-Mandeb Straights without being struck by Houthis shelling out of Yemen. The Houthi rebels in Yemen are Iranian backed and attempting to conquer all of Yemen to give Iran a base from which to attack Saudi Arabia from the south. This will come in very handy should Iran decide to attack Saudi Arabia from Iraq and the north mainly the northeast of Saudi Arabia which has the majority of Shiite Muslims as well as most of the oil fields. Additionally, Iran has made friends with Qatar and has made overtures claiming than Oman and Bahrain are actually breakaway Iranian provinces. Much like China keeps threatening that they will one day rejoin Taiwan to the mainland as it is simply a breakaway province, Iran makes the same claims on Oman and Bahrain. Bahrain has a Sunni monarch and a predominantly Shiite population. During the Arab Spring (boy was that a joke and a complete disaster from the word go thanks in part to President Obama who had a hand in these failed revolts with great assistance from Hillary Clinton and the European Union) the Shiites in Bahrain revolted and things appeared to be heading for real troubles, that was until Saudi Arabia used the multi-lane causeway highway to send troops to quell the revolt. The Shiites left their Mosques on Friday all revved up to overthrow the monarch when they found tanks, armored personnel carriers and heavily armed Saudi Arabian troops at both ends of the block so everybody calmed down and went home. Sure there were a few short outbursts of violence which were immediately quelled. The entire Arab Spring in Bahrain ended that Friday with barely a whimper. Similarly, the Shiites in the northeast of Saudi Arabia thought about staging an uprising but were quickly persuaded to remain calm. That thought of rising up was so short it did not even make a single news cycle.

 

Egypt is next on out little tour and is currently largely complacent. They had their Arab Spring and threw out military rule and President Mubarak and replaced him with the predicted Muslim Brotherhood candidate, President Morsi. President Morsi was advised by Turkish President Erdogan to take a slow and steady approach to Islamizing Egypt but paid that no heed. He took off on a radical program of change trying almost overnight to make Egypt a Muslim Brotherhood run totalitarian hellhole. This was met with a public already in revolt mode and they rose up again and demanded Morsi’s head. General of the Army Sisi took the hint and removed the Muslim Brotherhood from power and held new elections. Having the most recognized name in Egypt and having just saved the day, surprisingly Sisi who had stepped down from General of the Army ran and won the Presidency of Egypt. So Egypt is now safely back under military rule for intents and purposes and appears happy to be so. The one problem is the Sinai Peninsula. The Sinai Peninsula is filled with terrorists from al-Qaeda and Islamic State to Hamas and even Iranian backed groups. They attack Egyptian military outposts with varying degrees of success. They often attack the border outposts between Egypt and Gaza in order to allow the flow of terrorists, arms, and contraband into and out of Gaza where Hamas and Islamic Jihad share control. What is interesting about Gaza is that Islamic Jihad is supplied by Iran amongst others and Hamas is Muslim Brotherhood thus provisioned by them and also on occasion they are given rocket engine technologies and even rudimentary guidance systems from Iran as Iran will even arm Sunnis if they are attacking Iran’s favorite target. Egypt has yet to put down the menaces in the Sinai Peninsula and they have even been cleared to use whatever troops and equipment they need and they are apparently fighting a losing battle, or at least not completely reaching a totally peaceful situation. Perhaps they never should have accepted the Sinai Peninsula back when they made peace between President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin.

 

Turkey is also involved in a war which few appear to care to mention. They are claiming to fight against Bashir al-Assad in Syria as well as against Islamic State but somehow the majority of their efforts appear to be barely across the border. They seem preoccupied, or at least President Erdogan is preoccupied, with the Kurds. Turkey could actually make a great agreement and win an ally for life if they would simply allow the Kurds to form their own nation out of northeastern Syria, northern Iraq and at the worst a few tens or hundreds of square miles of southeastern Turkey where the population is majority Kurdish. The United States or other groups would probably handsomely reward Turkey for the lost lands, give a relocation allowance to any Turkish non-Kurdish citizens desiring to leave the Kurdish nation and return to Turkey and all could be settled. Even if Turkey refused to sacrifice a small portion of land, the Kurds in Turkey would likely relocate if they were granted recognition as a nation as was promised them by the British (we all know how good the British are on their promises when oil is involved). Turkey has been bombing and using ground assaults backed by heavy armor against the Kurds who have largely been fighting the Islamic State. Apparently Turkey would prefer the Islamic State on their border than the Kurds, there is no accounting for taste.

 

Middle East & North Africa (MENA)

Middle East & North Africa (MENA)

 

Then there are the wars outside of Yemen and Gaza where Iran is a major player. We are referring to Iraq and Syria where Iran is attempting to rule Iraq through proxy and reestablish Bashir al-Assad as the ruler of Syria. Bashir al-Assad has lost almost the entirety of his nation to the Islamic State, a number of other rebels, a Kurdish section which is simply attempting to protect their own people as well as the Yazidi refugees they took in after rescuing them when the rest of the world twiddled their thumbs, President Obama leading the thumb twiddlers. Iran has a friend in Russia who are actually fighting simply to retain their Mediterranean Sea port privileges such that they retain a warm water port capable of allowing ships to enter the Atlantic Ocean year round without having to pass through the Dardanelles in Turkey, an iffy situation at times. That is why the majority of the Russian operations center around Latakia and the port facilities located in that Mediterranean coastal city. Latakia is also in the central region where the Alawite Tribe resides which also happens to be Bashir al-Assad’s allies and tribal alliance and they along with some of the Druze except they have largely withdrawn and are simply, as are the Kurds, defending their own people and lands from the Islamic State and any other threats. They are safe from the Russians, Iranians and Syrian Army and even most likely the Hezballah forces from Lebanon who are supporting Bashir al-Assad as if Syria was their own country and not Lebanon. Hezballah is there because Iran insisted they fight or else Iran would have cut them off and they would then be facing the rest of Lebanon ready to dispose of the Hezballah terrorists who have been ruling Lebanon through their military threat. The one benefit of Hezballah fighting in Syria and taking the casualties in numbers far higher than are admitted is they are unable to attack any others including but not limited to the Christians and other minorities in Lebanon.

 

Our final stop is at the Afghanistan and Pakistan end of MENA. We left out some of the nations at the far end of northern Africa where one of the major problems is Boko Haram who are bloodthirsty Islamist terrorists who often kidnap Christians and even other Muslims and sell them into slavery. They specialize in selling to the sex slave industry and thus most often target young women and boys. Their other main effort is to murder Christians and Animists, something which sounds familiar from the South Sudan. Boko Haram operated largely centered on northern and central Nigeria and the neighboring areas even south to Mali. Meanwhile, Afghanistan and Pakistan consist of large areas which are considered tribal and the government rarely enters these zones as the tribes are well armed and do not recognize the governmental right to their areas. Too often these tribal areas will war with one another and then they make their money off of allowing terrorists to train and make a lucrative business from poppies. The heroin trade is something the government does not fight as they too benefit from the trafficking in illicit drugs. Until there is introduced another cash crop the farmers will grow and sell the easiest and most profitable crop they can raise, poppies. The flowers are almost as pretty as the profits. Needless to point out but where you have such profits there will always be violence as the tribes desire to expand their fields and taking the tribe next door’s fields is the quickest way to making more profit. Additionally, there is the constant state of conflict between Pakistan and India over Kashmir, a nation which appears on older maps and had the distinction of having to be colored white because it had so many neighboring nations on its border that it needed it own color and white was the best one not in use anywhere else. That concludes our Middle East conflict roundup leaving one nation obviously ignored, imagine all this without mentioning the nation always considered the source of the Middle East conflict chart. Perhaps the rest of it is not so peaceful after all.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 28, 2017

Reasons for NOT Moving the Embassy to Jerusalem

 

This has been the most and greatest coverage we have seen since the Inauguration of President Trump when covering his promises and the possibility that he might falter. Every article has mentioned different choices predicting which promises the President Trump would renege upon. Many claimed he would never build the wall along the Mexican border. Some kind of cheated by claiming that he would merely use a fence or even cameras with computer monitoring for motion detection and alerting the Border Police instead of building a wall along the entire border. Some would claim that the terrain would prevent it being a wall along the entire border but these arguments were disingenuous as the wording of a “wall along the Mexico border” simply meant closing the border through the use of combined deterrents, walls, fences or monitoring through advances of technology in the most difficult terrain or least used crossing locations and simply closing the border using all means necessary and required. Others claimed he would be unable to deport all the illegal immigrants as promised. First off, that was not the promise. He promised to deport illegal immigrants with felony convictions and to work at finding an equitable solution in which deportation may be an integral part of the equation.

 

The one item which made virtually every article’s list was the promise to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Almost, well, honestly every article we read claimed that President Trump would not be capable of moving the embassy as the threats, dangers, political pressures or even that Trump would use moving the embassy to force the Israelis to make the next concession of dividing Jerusalem and returning to the 1949 Armistice Lines with very minor land swaps making a final peace deal. What the problem with the claim is that the Congress passage and the signing into law of the Jerusalem Act “recognized Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty.” That makes an undivided Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty United States law and thus holds any President to standing either actively for the undivided capital of Israel as being all of Jerusalem or remaining silent, no matter how President Obama attempted to divide Jerusalem as he disregarded numerous laws including the United States Constitution. Even some Israeli media has come up with lists for why President Trump will not, or should not (Haaretz), move the embassy to Jerusalem claiming things so extreme as stated by Haaretz, “Relocating its embassy to Jerusalem would mean the U.S. taking a partisan stance on a central and sensitive issue, a source of controversy between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and the international community.” That is a falsehood unless moving the embassy to western Jerusalem would be taking a position that western Jerusalem would remain part of Israel. Is Haaretz indicating that Israel should leave western Jerusalem and if that is the meaning, then what else should Israel surrender or does Haaretz stand with the most extreme position such as that expressed by Helen Thomas who stated on May 27, 2010, when asked whether she had any comments on Israel? “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,” she replied. “Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not Germany, it’s not Poland.” When further asked where they should go, she answered, “They should go home.” When asked where’s home, Thomas replied: “Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else.”

 

Move American Embassy to Jerusalem

 

The American Embassy could easily be moved to even the most western edge of Jerusalem and be as far as possible from any lands under dispute and still there would be whole hosts of people screaming that the United States is persecuting the Palestinian Arabs and determining to cheat them out of their homeland. This might at first glance appear as a ridiculous position to take as it could be so easily repudiated except that the Palestinian Arab claims include all of Jerusalem. The reality is the United States has already made a statement that is determined to cheat the Palestinian Arabs out of their homeland by leaving their embassy in Tel Aviv as the Arab claim is to all of Israel just as the students chant in campuses across the United States, Europe and beyond, “From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free.” The Palestinian Arabs are actually the entire Arab world’s crowbar and will be their implement by which they continue to wage their war to destroy all of Israel. The truth is the existence of a United States Embassy is an affront to the Palestinian Arab claims to their “rightful” country which would be built on the ruins of the Jewish State as anything less would be an aberrance to their stated demands and eventual goals. This is part of why Mahmoud Abbas, and Yasser Arafat before him, refused even offers which granted them with over 90% of Judea and Samaria along with all of Gaza and east Jerusalem as their capital when offered in 1999, 2000 and in 2008.

 

So, why should President Trump move the United States Embassy to Jerusalem according to us here at Beyond the Cusp? Well, we could use our favorite reason when trying to win an argument as kids with our parents when life got between us and a promise to go somewhere fun, “But you promised,” but we know that does not wash when things are on this level. First, it would send a message that there really has been a change in Washington D.C. and that the change will very likely be permanent for all intents and purposes. The world’s train is racing towards oblivion and nobody is manning the breaks. The old steam engine is racing with its speed balls spinning full out threatening to blow off their spinners. Everything about the old globe is screaming, whistles blowing and rivets near popping and the boiler exploding and the Deadman’s switch rig disabled and there is nobody in the cabin. Well, there was nobody in the cabin. This was the picture of the world not long ago and hopefully things will be saved before we hit a sharp curve and it all goes off the tracks. Brexit was step one and President Trump is step two but nobody knows how many steps it will require for sanity to rescue the world. Will the needful steps be taken or will the next cataclysm strike before the world regains sanity. What are the necessary steps that will bring the world back within the bounds, who can tell? The world has been slowly gaining reckless speed slowly slipping out of control and towards untold violence. There are those forces which would welcome the untold violence. They loudly proclaim their love for violence and the death it brings. They claim to worship death and that this allows them power over all who worship life. Their claim is that death conquers life. Those who love life claim that death is the rest one receives after a full, long and hopefully well spent life. These are opposing views which cannot be reconciliated, one must prevail. The good news is that President Trump is aware of the challenge though he has spoken only about it through allegory and indirect references. Moving the United States Embassy would be a strong message when it is announced as a definitive and executable policy decision. Perhaps that is the future for the moving of the United States Embassy, a declaration that the United States and life will declare over death and those who believe it is primacy. Yes, perhaps the moving of the Embassy will be a greater declaration than what the debaters believe it will be. Perhaps there is a grander plan than we are aware, perhaps the plan is greater than men and from beyond our understanding. This may be a greater issue than a mere embassy and the city in which it sits. Jerusalem had been more than a city and perhaps this is more than a simple embassy. Lastly, if the reason not to move the embassy to Jerusalem is because it reportedly will inflame Muslim passions moving them to further animosity and in turn greater acts of violence, then there is no reason not to move the embassy as from all observations of the Middle East, especially Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Libya and both Sudan and South Sudan as well as the levels of terrorism in Europe, more so Western Europe and also in the United States, though there it has been reported as anything but terror, especially Islamic driven terror, the levels could not conceivably be any higher. Violence, thy name is Islam, has become a truism of our times and thus simply move the embassy as there is no possible additional levels other than war, and that will happen whether the embassy is moved or not. If we had our way and the United States had not already purchased the land, then we would call for the embassy not only to be moved to Jerusalem but to the Jewish sector of the Old City as well. After all, did not Trump promise that his Presidency would be a brave and bold rebeginning for America and her relations with her friends? Well then, let’s get it off on the right foot.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 28, 2016

Leadership and More Media Lies

 

There was a period in European and World history when Kings led their forces into battle. One such ruler became a legend in his time and on the silver screen, such was El Cid, actually named Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, Prince of Valencia. In legends and screen play and perhaps reality El Cid led his troops nobly even into death. In battle after battle with the invading and conquering Moors he charged at the enemy taking arrows and other blows which would have felled a mere mortal, yet again he would ride to lead the charge day after day. Well, eventually the Moors figure if they would simply once and for all murder El Cid the day would be won. Such was his stature and the fable of his immortality. That day in battle he took sufficient arrow strike to resemble a pin cushion upon a bleeding steed, yet he hobbled back within the city wall and into the castle’s battlements. As he lie dying, in the movie, it was deemed he must lead the troops the next day to give them courage and win the battle, the war was to be lost, but that is mere history. They placed the cleaned and shining armor, likely a new suit as there were no arrow holes in this armor, upon the corpse of El Cid and attached him firmly upon his saddle and he led the troops out one last time onto the field of battle and it did give the Spanish troops high valor and broke the Moors who now too believed El Cid to be an immortal enemy they would never defeat. One would believe that such leadership is simply for Hollywood and legendary fighters but there are still such leaders in modern day recent history.

 

One such leader was Queen Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary) of England. Then there was her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Good Prince Philip claimed that merry old England would suffer interminably should their monarch die in the bombing of London and fled to a northern Scottish castle beyond German bomber range for the duration, but we are not interested in this character. Queen Elizabeth II (Queen Elizabeth from here on) did not retreat with her husband believing firmly that the people needed their leadership, their royalty, to be with them, share their threats, stand against the same dangers and live and lead by example and giving them hope and heart. Just an aside mention, it is rumored that indirectly Queen Elizabeth supported Prime Minister Winston Churchill when some believed a more reasonable leader could admit defeat and work a deal, as had France, with Heir Hitler and were planning to replace Churchill Parliamentary style, stabbing him in the back, and the good Queen Elizabeth subtly spoke of her admiration for the job Winston was doing in leading the people and the war effort, just in passing, to one of those insipid media types thirsting for something juicy, and what a juicy tidbit he received. This is all hearsay and this person in question let what he had heard be known and the buzz saved Winston, the war effort and perhaps the world from defeat. But that is not the high point; the high point was a Queen doing lowly things. After some of the worst bombing of London where the south end, the poorer section of town, were left ruined and still burning and the people were sifting through the rubble for good and unbroken bricks with which to rebuild and possible survivors as well as the dead. Then something remarkable, unbelievable was rumored to occur, Queen Elizabeth rode to view the damage and had her carriage stopped and she, the Queen herself, dismounted and joined combing the rubble for useable bricks and all that included right along next to these poorer and considered most common folk. Rumor has it this was far from a one off and that Queen Elizabeth had aided such efforts on a regular basis though not daily as rank has privilege and Royalty takes such privilege up a few rungs. We will have more on this later but now to the lies.

 

You have heard of the wild-fires striking across Israel burning down forests and possibly a few homes, or that is how friends outside Israel have claimed the coverage has been. There has barely been any hint at acts of violence starting these fires; it is as if Israel has suddenly erupted in many dozens of fires all started in places where the winds would carry then into towns and cities. There has only been one thing wild about these fires, and that has been the wildlings who have started them. These entities who would burn down the natural beauty of the forests and destroy people’s homes through forest fire knowing full-well that the world media would pick-up on the story line being fed the media by leftist, post-Zionists and Arab media that these are all natural events and run with the Israel caught fire and the winds have carried the flames to and fro across Israel lighting thus far dozens of ignition points over close to the entirety of the past week. Nobody elsewhere in the grand world ever appeared to give a passing thought to these fires being arson and most certainly not terrorism. The saddest thing is that there are leftists within Israel demanding we not use terminology which might be provocative, instigative, or in any way suggestive that this is what it really is, a new round in the annual “Fire Intifada” which springs up at the beginning of, you’re going to love this, our winter and the rainy season. The reason is because it is every fall and spring when the winds in Israel blow with a ferocity which spreads fires easily and with such directional and steadily strong and gusting wind one can start a fire and be assured of the path it will take. Below is a map and picture which together tell the story despite it does not quite have all of the fires started in the past few weeks. Looking at the map and it becomes rather apparent that these are not just forest fires as each one is started just eastward of a town, city or other community which are considered by pro-Palestinian Arabs to be Jewish areas (see map below). The truth is some of these communities, Haifa as a particular example where fires have been set (see picture which was just taken of an apartment community on the outskirts of Haifa) are communities which have a mix of Arabs and Jews residing as neighbors working, living and thriving together equally. To the terrorists starting these incidents of the Fire Intifada these are not their fellow Arabs because these Arabs are not out to murder Jews, destroy Jewish property and thus are to be considered Jews and if they end up targeted by these fires they deserve it and brought it on themselves. Please, for the sake of accuracy and honesty, when referring to the wave of wildling fire starts across most of Israel and continuing, though the news is unlikely to spend any additional time reporting on this, refer to this as what it is, an assault, attacks, terrorism, simply it is the Fire Intifada.

 

“Fire Intifada” Israeli Forest Fires Threatening Towns, Cities and Communities

“Fire Intifada” Israeli Forest Fires
Threatening Towns, Cities and Communities

 

Thusfar there have been over a dozen arsonist arrests in conjunction with these fires and more are expected should they continue, which is likely as the winds have yet to abate. Below is a map of all the fires in Israel since this past April through July (see map below) which does not include any of the most recent fires. These were both the natural occurring fires, yes we admit such do occur, as well as the spring version of the Fire Intifada as the winds do blow twice a year strongest during the seasonal change from cool and wet to hot and drier as there is a short rain season during the summers known as the late rain in biblical texts. These attacks using fires have been used to attack Israel for many years and until the most recent years to year and a half these fires had been set to destroy mostly woodlands and crops making the nation less beautiful and destroying livelihoods more-so than attempts to take lives. But as with most other terrorist activities, the scope and lethality increases every season and this has been the most focused attempt to destroy actual cities and communities even including areas where other Arabs reside as residing amongst the Jews apparently makes one a target for the arson terrorists as well as do the stabbing and vehicle rammings at bus and metro stops. Yes, believe it or not the Jews and Arabs who live in Israel and are neighbors use the same rapid transit to get to and from work and ride the same trains and busses together, Arabs and Jews. When these general assaults which includes bombing restaurants, stabbing attacks of the patrons eating at an open air Tel Aviv area eatery targets Arabs as well as Jews with a one in five chance the person attacked is an Arab and not necessarily a Jew as twenty-percent of Israeli population consists of Arabs.

 

Israel’s Forest Fires Since April 2016

 

Further, the Israeli Arabs live under the same rules, face the same threats, and live and work amongst Jews with the exception that there are a number of Arab towns and cities which have had almost if not all Arab populations, Bedouin towns and cities which have had almost if not all Bedouin populations and they do not permit others to reside within these areas; just as certain religious Jewish and other religious sects which buy entire areas of towns or have their own Kibbutz or community which they only allow their own to live such as some Haredi religious groups. In most of Israel where there are no residence restrictions Jews, Arabs, Druze, Bedouin and all other racial groups plus Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Baha’I and others all live in mixed neighborhoods. When walking our dog, cutest little thing, but sorry, no pictures, we often see Arabs wearing traditional garments, Yemeni Jews who wear a different Kippah, Ethiopian Jews and Christians we have met and we all live in the central area of town in relative harmony and all buy fruits and vegetables at the same shuk and shop the same stores, share the same beaches and generally respect our differences and treasure our similarities. While we made Aliyah, we have cousins who are Sabra, native born Israelis. In all candor, these fires threaten all of Israelis lives and especially those living in eastern Haifa as that has appeared to be especially targeted.

 

The message behind these attacks is a simple one. They scream that these are individuals willing to totally destroy every structure, every home, market, shuk, store, hospital, school; everything if that is what is necessary to force the Jews out or murder every last Jew no matter who gets caught in the fires. That is the message and the counter message is we will continue to build, rebuild and live peaceably with those willing to live peaceably besides and with us. There will be no more living in the shadows without a nation of our own which we can call home and know it is a place where we will make it safe and open to other Jews and our friends. Friends are those who wish and desire to build and craft a society which leads the world in medical discoveries, technical innovations, agricultural sciences and any area including living by example. We want a land where there is freedom for all and Torah is respected and kept as the preciousness that it is and where there is freedom of religion, freedom of actions within the laws, fair and decent laws for all to follow and civility which permeates every facet of life.

 

What is strange is that in the Torah it actually stated what we were to offer the people Canaan when we made the exodus to live here from the east and west sides of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Litany River to the Sinai Negev border, a border not well defined in those times as it was not the most fertile of lands (see map below). We were to tell the Canaanites that they were to choose from three alternatives; first they could live amongst us and follow the Noahic Code (the Seven Laws of Noah) , they could take all their possessions and depart and we would not make chase after them and would wish them the best wherever they move (and land was not fully settled and there would have been places they could travel and start again) or they could choose to war with us and should they so choose we would wipe all trace of their existence from the Earth killing even their cattle and all else. Simply put, they could live under the basic civil code for establishing just governance, they could leave freely and continue as they saw fit elsewhere, but if they chose war it would be a total war. Three Canaanite tribes chose to stay and follow the Noahic Code which required giving up idolatry, made murder, theft and other criminal acts against person and property punishable. This instituted the most basic legal codes, plus required courts of law where bribery was a serious offense as the justice was to be blind. Three tribes chose to leave and they went off and settled elsewhere and are not followed further other than they left with their wealth intact. The rest, a majority, decided they would war with the Israelites and they did leading to a long series of wars which were finally ended during the reigns of King David and King Solomon.

 

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.

 

Assistance for fighting the flames consuming the land has come from places which make things quite interesting as the Palestinian Authority has assisted and aircraft have been sent on loan from Russia, Cyprus, Turkey, Croatia and Greece while Egypt and Jordan have sent firefighting vehicles. There has also been a Supertanker Fire Suppression aircraft from the United States which had to be hired privately as rumor has it while President Barack Obama has had no comment nor taken any action in a situation which can only be described as an emergency and dire threat. Times like these one sees who their true friends are and we are not discounting the love of the American people, it is the man living his final weeks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. who we are referencing. The fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu went out of his way to assure that something which could be labeled as help from America was found in this time of need and we thank those in the United States for the lease of this vital piece of equipment. One simple defining factor of these fires has been the destruction to homes and structures where many fires are set just up-wind from Yeshivas, residential communities, Synagogues, Churches, fire stations, schools, hospitals and other high value places. The worst hit has been Haifa where the evacuation of 75,000 citizens from their homes, businesses and lives was necessitated thus far. Reuters’ Bureau Chief in Israel reportedly tweeted a sensationalist Palestinian claim that the fires were set by Jewish settlers trying “to destroy as much as possible of the Palestinian agricultural land.” This report itself remains unsubstantiated. There is good news, thus far, ‘Bless Hashem’ there has been no deaths but one-hundred-twenty-two people were treated for injuries, mainly smoke inhalation at last count.

 

There has been no United Nations special assembly meetings called and none of the United Nations organizations or NGOs appears to have noticed the fires raging across Israel. As noted previously, President Obama has been remarkably silent on the entire issue. The President’s silence sounds deafening as the lengths of condemnation he would have if a Jewish family in Judea or Samaria had the audacity to build a permanent brick bar-b-que outside off their patio or other insignificant structure. But let seven-hundred homes be destroyed and thousands of acres of forests and farmlands be burned, torched by arson and the victims almost universally appear to be Israelis and not a sound, not a lifted pen or spoken in phone to offer assistance or even condemn the criminal acts. There has been an excess of silence from European Union (EU) leadership, particularly EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini. Similarly, the vast majority of European national leadership leading the way in complete silence and that continues on to the Vatican and much of the rest of the world. The news coverage around the world has been equally stressful as they refuse to name the arson behind the fires. The news would have you believe that the thousands who were forced to flee before the flames in Haifa alone went shopping or something, or that it is normal for flames fed by high winds ripped through thousands of acres of farmlands and forests and that everything in Israel is just fine. The one side that is also obvious by the coverage thus far is we can rest assured that there have been no arson threats against Palestinian Arab farms and structures as had that been the case there would have been declarations, denunciations, demands for an inquiry and calls for Prime Minister Netanyahu and various other Israeli leaders heads on pike polls by the end of the day. Still, it must be said that we are very thankful to the aid sent by the nations mentioned above and will remember to pay these voluntary offers and assistance should the time ever arise that such is required. Some we have already proven to be that sort of friend and we will continue as that is part of being Israel, doing what is correct despite what others may choose to do or not do.

 

What might surprise people is that after Katrina struck; Israel, through the government and aid agencies, offered field hospitals and hundreds of doctors, nurses, technicians and other experts in trauma, natural disasters and public health. Further, Magen David Adom (Israeli version of the Red Cross) began “United Brotherhood Operation,” which sent a plane-load of supplies and financial assistance; Israel sent airlift arrived in Little Rock, Arkansas with an eighty-ton shipment of humanitarian aid, including baby food, diapers, water, ready-to-eat meals, clothes, tents, blankets, mattresses, stretchers, first aid kits, wheelchairs, and other medical supplies; IsraAid sent a delegation of medical personnel, psychologists, and experienced search-and-rescue divers. The 18-member team – which included physicians, mental health professionals, trauma specialists, logistics experts and a special unit of Israeli police divers – arrived in St. Bernard Parish and Plaquemines Parish on September 10 and spent a week and a half assisting fire department search-and-rescue squads and sitting in on daily planning meetings that included local leadership and a complement of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), police, military, fire representatives and medical team, five universities in Israel welcomed displaced American students from the affected areas and invited both undergraduate and graduate students to continue their studies in Israel.[32] In particular, medical students unable to attend the Tulane University in New Orleans can attend Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine. Israel was eventually allowed to assist after Sandy struck New York City and surrounding areas. Initially New York Governor Andrew Cuomo rejected a formal offer by Israel to assist in emergency disaster relief, while on the other foot, other authorities in New York State have formally asked Israel for “all aid and or assistance.” Israel, as noted in the above article, delivered. Israeli aid to Haiti earthquake victims, the Philippines after a typhoon struck, relief to cyclone victims in Myanmar, long term aid programs for starving communities in Malawi, rehabilitation and relief in South East Asia following the devastating tsunami, psycho-social programs for Darfur refugees on the Chad-Sudan border, and aid to Somali war refugees in Kenya, Japan after the devastating double-hit of earthquake and tsunami which caused the malfunction and devastating leakage of an entire nuclear power facility, and the list almost appears endless as you go back through tragedies worldwide, Israel is there if permitted by governments. To assist without the government’s permission is called an invasion, just for the record of why approval is so vital. With hope and prayers these fires will pass and we will continue with building a better home and a better nation through simply trying to do what is right even if many nations wish to see us fail and be destroyed. That we cannot allow to happen again as this time we must have returned home for good. May Israel bless Hashem and Hashem in turn bless Israel, we know he has blessed our lives and for this we give our eternal thanks in prayer and effort.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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