Beyond the Cusp

September 25, 2014

Jewish New Year Wishes and Hard Realities

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First off let me wish all a Shana Tova (שנה טובה). The wish for all is one filled with hopes for blessings and great wonders granting fulfillment and meeting all your needs at ample levels such that you are able to share your great fortune and blessings with others. May the world melt away with all its threats and menacing situations that will only grow more frightening if allowed to fester like a wound spreading its infectious poisons weakening the rest of the body of the surrounding societies. Still, for each of us we can always shut the troubled world out as we isolate ourselves in the safety and warmth of our personal castles, our little corner of the world where our decisions are the law of the manor. For the next day when again we are obliged to enter the world with all its threats and dangers which are more real and personal in some places than in others, let our steps find grace and protection from the threats and dangers which surround us each and every day. So, let us work to keep those parts of our world over which we have dominion be ordered and safe with considerations for doing that which will serve the better inspirations and avoid the poisons which are defined in the morning prayers as the evil inclinations. But still there are those threats, both near and far, which being beyond our control, consist of risks and perils which seem to escalate with each day that they are not effectively countered by those in governments with whom we have entrusted our safety and protection.

Today is also the start of the new year for the United Nations General Assembly where numerous leaders and people of prestige and importance, both perceived and actual, are given the podium where they often make speeches full of impressive words and pontifications which are full of sounds and fury but often signify little more than empty phrases. But interspersed there are those few who set in motion perils, threats and plots which endanger some in order to use the blunt power the United Nations is capable of putting in motion to grant one group favors through force of arms taking it from another group not favored in the eyes of the world which makes up the United Nations. Fortunately these threats are only encouraged and backed by the General Assembly where mob rule is the law of suggestion and little more as without the guarantee of military force there is no enforcement beyond the intimidations of popular opinion and raucous protests filled with criticisms of little minds while these same insisting demands are refused and voted down in the Security Council where the five powers which hold the greatest sway in this sole place where through Chapter Seven, the place of most serious concerns which deserve greater enforcement than their suggestions under Chapter Six, will set in motion demands which carry the force of the greatest powers in the world and the military pressures and enforcements which actually change the realities in the world.

There will once again this year be another charade with the little man demanding he be respected and that his demands be enforced and that those who he claims are stealing everything from his people, a people whose claims are made by repeating the actual history of the people they intend to destroy and vanquish taking the lands promised them by the entire world almost a century ago when the forerunner of the United Nations, the League of Nations, in a near unanimous vote granted these ancient people the rights to their homeland as described in one of the world’s oldest known manuscripts, but that must be overturned as everybody knows that their claim must be refused because they are not popular and are refused any consideration by so many people in the world and their numbers are so small they have no power to enforce their claims and we are populous and threaten any who are so impertinent as to refuse to support and give us everything we demand. These strange and verbose complaints have become a regular offering every year in September with the opening ceremonies at the United Nations where many pompous individuals go to be granted their moment in the limelight, but for this peculiar pontificator will once again make grand claims to the ancestral homeland of his people, a people whose origins can be traced all the way back to 1964 when Yasser Arafat with his second in command, Mahmoud Abbas, formed the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and made the original claim to the lands of Palestine which were defined as all of the lands between the Jordanian held West Bank and the Egyptian held Gaza and the Mediterranean Sea and the Sinai to the south and Lebanon to the north, also one could describe this land as the lands within the Green Line, also known as Israel. Yasser Arafat is gone so we will not be privileged to have a little man with a three day beard, fatigues, despite never having been a soldier, a kefiyah carefully shaped to resemble a map of Israel, and a loaded revolver strapped to his side addressing the United Nations General Assembly armed in a city where owning a gun is near impossible in front of a gathering which presumably seeks and enforces peace, and this little man stood at the podium armed in the halls of the United Nations. Instead we will have his original second in command and who is a man of peace just as was his former boss, Yasser Arafat, the man who invented the hijacking of planes for political ransoms, we will hear from Mahmoud Abbas, some refer to him as Yasser Arafat in a suit, who will make the same tired demands that the Israelis, the Jews, the Zionists be forced to give his people their proper ancestral lands which they have lived in for, according to his claims earlier this year, for the last nine thousand years.

Abbas has never bothered to explain how this is possible as these very same lands have a written history which tells of the Israelites after their Exodus they conquering these lands from the Canaanites killing every last one as they were considered an abomination to G0d, no Arabs were present at that time. Later these lands were conquered by the Assyrians; there were no Arabs at that time. They were conquered by the Babylonians; there were no Arabs at that time. Next, these lands came under Persian rule as they swept across the area; there were no Arabs at that time. Then these same lands were conquered by the Greeks; still there were no Arabs at that time. Then the Romans rolled through these lands on their way to conquering the known world and this stretch of land was on the way to Egypt; there still were no Arabs in these lands. The Judeans, the remaining tribe of the Israelites, were a restless and rancorous people who did not take well to being ruled and not permitted their worship in their temple and attempted to throw off Roman rule. They met with mostly failure and greater oppressions but eventually they succeeded in repelling the Romans for a short period, a period just long enough for the Romans to gather four legions returning with vengeance and a lust for complete subjugation which they were unable to fulfill as these obstinate people who refused Roman rule at Masada who after constructing a ramp were denied their victory as rather than face life as Roman slaves the Judean chose suicide (pictured below including the Roman ramp and base camp); still there were no Arabs. So, when did the first Arabs arrive in these lands you ask? Well, it was not until half a millennia, over five hundred years after the Romans took Masada, a full five hundred years after the Romans destroyed the Second Temple and carried the treasures of the Temple off to Rome, to Rome where Titus’s Arch, complete with stone relief of the Temple treasures being carried off, was erected to Honor Titus and the Roman accomplishment (picture of arch relief below). As there are historic records from the Jewish Bible, Babylonian writings, Persian writings, Greek historic poems and records, Roman records and all of these conquerors found no Arabs inhabiting these lands but they did find and record the presence of the Hebrews or Jews depending on the stage in history where these lands fell from Israelite rule.

Masada

titus-arch

Mahmoud Abbas headed off to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly where he is guaranteed a warm and welcoming reception from the majority of the almost two-hundred nations’ representatives and their visiting dignitaries who have come to join in the festivities. This is guaranteed as there are twenty plus Arab nations represented, another dozen Muslim majority nations, the Nonaligned Member Nations (NAM) which includes many of the Arab and Muslim nations with an additional eighty to hundred additional nations and observer nations (one of which is one of the five permanent nations with a veto in the Security Council, China) which guarantees Mahmoud Abbas will be cheered and applauded by minimally one-hundred-thirty-seven nations who will willingly give their support to any scheme or plan he presents giving Israel, a member state of the United Nations, no regard or concern even to the point of demanding Israel cease to exist as it now stands if that were to ever be set to a vote. Perhaps this is part of the reason the General Assembly is only empowered to make suggestions which need the approval of all nations involved or affected in any manner and if only one nation refuses the action of the General Assembly, even the most reviled before the majority in the General Assembly, then the suggestion is invalidated and made void. The most applicable example might be the General Assembly Resolution 181 carried by a vote on November 29, 1947, which called for the establishment of both a Jewish and an Arab state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea which was actually accepted by the Zionist Jews but refused by the Arab League as they planned an assault to destroy Israel immediately after its founding. Had the Arabs accepted this provision there would have been a Palestinian Arab state formed in 1948 but they decided to turn to war and take all the land and would have except their military assault failed. They have been attempting to erase the little Jewish state of Israel ever since and their machinations continue to this day and will be presented to the United Nations by Mahmoud Abbas in his address to the General Assembly.

Mahmoud Abbas made a brief stop in Paris, France on his way to New York to meet with French President François Hollande to implore him to support the secretive new plan to force a favorable resolution from the Security Council against Israel. President François Hollande gave his hearty support guaranteeing Abbas that he would do all in his power to pass his latest and greatest plan to force Israel to comply. This super-secret plan has one small flaw, Abbas has made this same demand every year for quite some time and this year’s secret addition, he has a new wrinkle every year otherwise his droning on with his litany of complaints and accusations of Israeli crimes would become tedious. This year Mahmoud Abbas is going to demand that the Security Council pass an enforceable Chapter Seven Resolution which will demand that Israel vacate all of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem within three years or else, which includes all of the Old City and the Temple Mount which will deny the Israelis from having access to dozens of the holiest sites in Judaism. The first question many might ask is or else what. The answer is that as a Chapter Seven Resolution if Israel fails to fully retreat from all of the contested areas of which under international law Israel has a greater claim to all of the lands than does any other nation and especially the deceptive and fictional Palestinians, the invention of an Egyptian terrorist with delusions of destroying Israel, murdering the Jews residing there and taking their lands, homes and treasures and expecting the complicity of the entire world. Abbas has assumed the leadership after Arafat’s demise and has not missed an opportunity to refuse any and every compromise knowing that anything short of the complete eradication of Israel would be accepted by the terror state he has been elected once to lead. There have been elections scheduled at least twice since Abbas presumably won after his supporting staff counted the ballots and he has cancelled all of them but still claims he was duly elected. The probable result will be a General Assembly Resolution which will give Abbas the ability to claim that the Israelis must surrender and grant him his maximalist demands because he got the support of the mob of the dictatorial nations and human rights violators all who join Abbas in his hatred of Israel and the Jews attempting to force the world to grant his desires ignoring international law and the agreements, including the Oslo Accords, to which he is a signatory.

The fear is that by some misadventure of fate the Security Council Resolution to force Israel to surrender absolutely and completely before the wildest demands because there was no veto placed by any of the five permanent nations, China, Britain, Russia, France and the United States. Abbas has already received assurances from France that they are behind him completely which may explain why Jews are fleeing before rampant anti-Semitism which has exploded beyond reason across all of France. Abbas knows he has the support of both Russia and China which leaves Britain and the United States. There are some who might question whether United States President Obama might instruct United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power to abstain or actually vote in favor or there is a possibility that the woman, Samantha Power, who once stated in an interview that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could require a sizeable United States military intervention to enforce the formation of a Palestinian state and defend it from Israel with the decision of borders by executive decision from the White House forcing whatever that decision would be. The excerpt from that interview is below.

Would President Obama instruct Ambassador Power to not veto Abbas’s proposition and allow it to pass as Chapter Seven and then offer United States military personnel to enforce this edict? Would Ambassador Power completely on her own volition decide that the time has come to force a solution and that this is the perfect opportunity to deliver on her theory and how could anybody blame her for taking this opportunity to fairly and resolutely as such an opportunity to enact her theory and apply the R2P (right to protect) to protect and save the Palestinian from the potential genocide that Ms. Power has previously claimed they may face at some point because of Israeli aggressions despite the fact that Israel has only ever used military force in response to attacks upon Israelis. That would leave Britain which in the past has either abstained or vetoed such previous attempts. There has never been an actual resolution voted on by the Security Council as Abbas has either backed away from taking his demands before the Security Council fearing a veto from one of the five permanent members which would be a setback which could poison the well, so to speak. The British Ambassador would need to check with London and then it would depend on British Prime Minister David Cameron. The fact that Prime Minister Cameron is instructing one of the five permanent member’s vote in the Security Council at a time when the United States dependability to protect Israel from the animosities emerging from Turtle Bay are in question may prove to be a deliverance of fate or from a higher source. The potential for high drama starts today or whenever Abbas takes to the podium before the General Assembly and the wait to see if he will actually take to the Security Council arm in arm with François Hollande or the unfortunate French Ambassador to the United Nations who may be assigned to gather the rewards of befriending Abbas and encouraging his perfidy.

Beyond The Cusp

July 26, 2014

World News as Heard on Israel Radio

Before we get to the news, a little note about many Israeli radio stations; they are also connected to the government “Code Red” warning system where when a rocket or missile launch has been detected, the government warning is given over the music, news, commercials or whatever is being broadcast by the station without blanking out the station broadcast. Where you might think that such would make the warnings difficult to understand, trust when I tell you that you definitely will hear if your town, village, city, kibbutz or junction is called out for a possible strike. If you live in Sderot or the Kibbutzim and farms close to Gaza you have fifteen seconds to be in a shelter before the explosions might start. What is absolutely amazing is that even with that little amount of a warning the Iron Dome system is still capable of intercepting the projectiles with a better than 80% interception success rate. Tel Aviv has almost a full minute from the Code Red alarm to make it to a shelter. Imagine being on the twenty-third or, in the tallest skyscraper in Tel Aviv, fifty-third floor and hearing the Code Red and then what. So you have a shelter on your floor, what if it is one of the largest of Hamas’s rockets and it hits your building around the third floor taking out about two-thirds of that floor and the one above and below it. Your safe room prevents rockets from sending shrapnel and stop a direct hit but only for the smaller warheads, not the FADJR-5 (a 333mm rocket with a 90kg (200lbs) warhead and range of 75km (46 mile)) or worse the M302 (a 302mm rocket with a 150kg (330lbs) and a range of 150km (93.5 mile)) which are beyond the capabilities of most safe rooms and one is only safe from these in an actual shelter. Worse yet, should one of the M302 escape interception and strike in Tel Aviv, Ashdod, Haifa, Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon, Hadera, Netanya or many areas of central Israel where many tall building have been constructed and have to rely on safe rooms hopefully on every floor, you are not protected from the building collapsing thus Israel is potentially one unintercepted rocket from potentially over a thousand deaths. With that in mind, let us get to the news of the world as heard on Israeli radio during this conflict.

The investigation and identification of those who died in the shooting down of Malaysian Flight 17 in the Eastern Ukraine continues today. The bodies are being loaded onto trains to be transported and put on flights returning them to their homelands. It is expected that the pro-Russian rebels will release the flight’s black boxes to (Code Red Sderot, Code Red Ashdod, Code Red Ashkelon) Malaysian investigators. While the black boxes are expected to reveal detailed data on the moments before Flight 17 was struck by the anti-aircraft missile, it is (Code Red Ashdod, Code Red Ashkelon, Code Red Tel Aviv) doubtful that much information about the exact events will be revealed as they would have basically not recorded anything after the strike.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators rioted once again today in Paris attacking police with bottles and stones. Some of the demonstrators broke away from the area and marched on a Paris synagogue where they shouted anti-Semitic chants taunting congregants inside the synagogue to come out and fight. They also threw objects at the synagogue including one firebomb. The building did not catch fire and minimal damage was incurred as the demonstrators were eventually removed by the Paris police.

President Obama cancelled his scheduled appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s program stating that (Code Red Tel Aviv, Code Red Hadera, Code Red Netanya, Code Red Herzliya) it would be improper for him to appear on a comedy show with world events as they are. The President spoke with the press on his flight between fund raisers he is attending while in California.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and United States Secretary of State Kerry met between trips to Cairo, Qatar, Tel Aviv and other stops during their efforts to put together a ceasefire which would be acceptable to both Hamas and the Israelis. Both men expressed regrets and concerns over the mounting civilian casualties within the Gaza Strip and called on Israel to show the necessary restraint to end the needless bloodshed. Secretary of State Kerry has been talking with Egyptian leaders trying to get them to agree to back and present conditions for a ceasefire which have been crafted by Turkey and Qatar. There has been a hope that a possible humanitarian ceasefire could be reached for over the weekend despite the fact that both Hamas and Israel have thus far refused to sign on to any proposal thus far.

Both the United States Federal Aviation Agency and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency set travel restrictions to and from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport citing the rocket strike which demolished a home just over a (Code Red Sderot, Code Red Sa’ad, Code Red Qiiryat Gat)  mile from the busy airport. Both agencies said they would be taking precautions on a day by day basis with the determination based on the perceived potential of threats to flights at the Israeli international hub. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his dismay and concern over the ramifications and potential harm to the Israeli economy, especially the tourism sectors. There has been some hinting that the move was more political than safety oriented as there have been no such bans from flights in and out of other international airports which pose a much greater threat than at Ben Gurion. The commentary has revolved around the fact that at Pakistani international airports there have been attacks on aircraft using anti-aircraft missiles and the threat to flights in and out of Syria’s Damascus International Airport or Baghdad International Airport where anti-aircraft missiles have been employed by terrorist and rebel forces while the rocket which landed in the general area of Ben Gurion International Airport was not an anti-aircraft missile and there has been no anti-aircraft missile threats within Israel at all.

The weather report for Israel tomorrow (Code Red Sderot, Code Red Eilat, Code Red Be’er Sheva, Code Red Netivot, Code Red Rahat) it will continue to be hot in the south and pleasant along the coast with cooler temperatures in the north. Jerusalem will have a slight chance…

This should give one a taste of what Israelis have had to live with for the past seven plus weeks, almost three weeks before Israel launched their initial retaliatory airstrike. The Israelis living in Sderot and surrounding region have lived with the Code Red sirens for the past eighteen months. Many children in Sderot refuse to leave the shelters and others simply will not leave their rooms often even remaining in their beds. The numbers of cases of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst children in these communities is so above normal, which is quite understandable, that the rates have startled the professionals and the severity of many of the cases has entered into new grounds. These cases of trauma will now be spreading further throughout Israel as the rockets are striking several times each day over seventy percent of Israel. Only the extreme northern towns such as Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safed, and surrounding towns and kibbutzim as well as the Golan Heights, which has its own problems with mortars and artillery from the Syrian civil war sometimes straying and other times more intentionally striking within Israeli territory. If not for the miraculous performance and ingenious engineering along with the professionalism of the soldiers manning the Iron Dome anti-rocket and artillery interceptor systems the death toll in both Israel and Gaza would have been astronomically higher. Without the Iron Dome Israel would not have had the luxury of giving the United Nations, European Union and United States the three weeks to attempt to intervene and force Hamas to cease raining rockets down on Israelis. Prime Minister Netanyahu made numerous pleas to the leaders of the United States, European Union and United Nations as did numerous other Israeli officials including numerous ambassadors throughout Europe and the world and both the Israeli United Nations Ambassador Ron Prosor and Representative of Israel to the United Nations in Geneva Ambassador Eviatar Manor trying to get anybody to apply pressure and find some way of forcing Hamas to cease the rocket attacks. Nobody succeeded and this led to the Israeli response. As mentioned, without Iron Dome the Israeli losses would have been horrific and comparable to the losses in Gaza. This would have forced Israel to react sooner and with far greater force and less delicacy of warning the Palestinians when and where the next strikes would be targeting. The warnings would still have been made but with less lead time making the ability to take many possessions near to impossible. As things stand with Iron Dome, there have been times that Israeli warnings were given the day before a strike and most often giving the Palestinians at least half an hour and more when possible. The times when short notice was given were in response to an actual impending rocket launch where the strike became time sensitive and the short time warning was thus necessitated. Still, the only side in the Hamas Israel conflict giving notice of where and when there are strikes is Israel and strangely enough, Israel is often giving the Palestinian in Gaza more lead time with the warnings than Israelis receive of the Hamas rocket launches. This is because Israel can only warn of Hamas rockets once they have been launched and are in the air on their way while Israel can provide the citizens of Gaza longer lead times in the warnings as Israel sends the warnings before the planes are even fueled up and armed. Many Israelis probably wish they could have the same luxury of often hours warning instead of anywhere from fifteen seconds in Sderot to as much as two minutes at the farthest reaches in the north of the Hamas rocket strikes.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 29, 2014

Of What Restraint Doth the UN Human Rights Office Call?

 

This past Friday Rupert Colville, spokesman for the United Nations Human Rights Office stated, “Clearly these boys need to be found, that’s totally understandable, but the scale of operations and the number of people they are affecting is deeply disturbing. We reiterate our call for strict adherence to international law by all relevant actors and join others in their call for restraint.” Referencing the mother of one of the abducted teens and her witness before the United Nations in Geneva Mr. Colville commented to reporters, “As a mother herself, she expressed her understanding of their deep anxiety about the fate of their sons. We are concerned that the three teenagers have still not been located, after being missing for 15 days. We hope for their immediate safe return. Our heartfelt sympathy also goes out to the mothers and loved ones of the six Palestinians, including two teenagers, who have been killed by Israeli forces, in addition to the many others who have been injured, during these past two weeks.” Returning again to his criticisms of the search tactics and expressing his alarm at the loss of life and reputed violence he continued commenting, “We call for prompt and thorough investigations, and prosecution of the perpetrators in cases where there has been excessive use of force. We are also concerned about reports of damage to property and theft during these operations, especially house-to-house searches, and their traumatic effect on children and families.” Mr. Colville’s contemptuous commentary was the third denunciation out of the United Nations calling out Israel for their actions operation in Judea and Samaria which begs a few questions.

 

Exactly how much effort and to what extents should one be limited to in searching for three abducted teen age boys taken as they were returning home from a long day of studies at their schools, their Yeshivas? What is the hope to find these youths alive from amongst a population whose government had deplored for them to obstruct the Israeli efforts in any possible manner? Should the finding of hidden storage areas filled with bombs and improvised explosive devices as well as arms and ammunitions in large quantities have any relevance in the search parameters? Does the United Nations have any words for the Palestinians who rioted in order to prevent searches from proceeding and who threw and slung stones and flung firebombs at the IDF troops with intent to cause as much harm and impede the searching for the kidnapped teens? Why is it that I doubt the United Nations has any real concern for the well-being and safety of these Jewish youths violently torn from their lives and families with malice aforethought? The only gladness I can feel is that the United Nations did not express the same warnings and attempt to pose any limitations on the efforts to rescue the young girls stolen from their families by Boko Haram in Nigeria. On the other side I have heard no denunciations of the subsequent and seemingly continuous abductions of youths in Nigeria. Obviously, the United Nations is slowly proving that it no longer has the moral authority of the nations as their mission but instead they have relented to echoing the seething hatreds reflecting their increase throughout our unfortunate planet. The United Nations has unfortunately chosen to showcase the ugly hatreds which are growing ever more prevalent throughout the seven continents (the current count appears to have grown from the old and traditional five to seven and probably with more to come as our world further fragments) with an ever growing swiftness shrugging off the lethargy the horrors of World War II had inflicted on the hatreds of old.

 

There is a little piece of news I would like to share with the United Nations and those who believe that Israel is the source of all evil and takes joy from their imposing inconvenience as they search with hope beyond hope that the three teens, Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel, and Gilad Sha’ar, remain alive and well without having suffered the deprivations and any possible tortures which have befallen previous youths so abducted; there is no joy and those in the IDF will show all the respect and more to any acceptance and cooperation they receive and try and minimize any discomforts despite that which they are most certainly having thrown upon them as they are professional and their leadership accepts nothing less. Do not take my words for this assessment, search and read the opinion of former British commander Colonel Richard Kemp who spoke commending the Israeli Defense Force as most professional in handling suicide attacks stating before the Goldstone committee, “During its operation in Gaza, the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.” This is the military the United Nations simply believes on face value any degradation and derogatory claim levied against them. The United Nations false recriminations are something which had become perfunctory for their many agencies with a special mention for the Human Rights Council which begins every session with a discussion of what denunciation they will pass against Israel as the bylaws make this a requirement. Then there is the series of anti-Israel hate-fests which are disguised as honorable debate on racism and xenophobia under the title of the Durban Conference. There is one thing which can be said for the United Nations, they are consistent if nothing else. One might wonder what would happen if the honorable representatives from the United Nations were to actually pursue peace and positive relations between nations without bias or preconceived and judged situations by how they could possibly assist to enforce justice and calm the chop and tidal waves of injustices and enforce the rule of law with blindness and a degree of equality without prejudice. Perhaps I ask too much of the single world body established as a place where nations could discuss and settle differences in an atmosphere of mutual respect and free of the animosities and prejudices which plague the society outside of its halls. Instead the United Nations has become an amplifier of the hatreds and animosities it was presumably formed to relegate to the ashbin of history. Perhaps expecting such from anything made by mankind and the nations they populate is beyond reasonable expectations. Still, ask yourself how much effort and how far would you go to gain the return of your own child unharmed should they, G0d forbid, be abducted. What would you leave unturned and what doors would remain locked? None, right?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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