Category Archives: Israel

3 Equals 550

Initially let me make clear the following analysis of events unfolding in Gaza and Israel and Palestine is not an attack on the presence of an independent6 state of Israel in the Middle East. Just about any criticism of Israeli policies results in cries they represent ANTI-SEMITISM! Those who care for the state of Israel believe its survival as a DEMOCRATIC nation depends upon its ability to forge meaningful relations with nations of the Middle East. Asa professor who has taught about the Middle East and mong the founders of a Holocaust Museum, it is clear that survival of Israel as a beacon of democracy depends upon its demonstration of leadership in the Middle East. At this moment, at leat 550 Palestinians are dead because initally three innocent Jewsih children were murdered. The numbver of Palestinian wounded has past the 3000 figure. There simply is no rational way of arguing that the murder of 3 requires the murder of 550 in order to demonstrate something.

OOps, there are now 25 dead Israeli soldiers.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argues, “all civilian casualties are unintended by us, but intended by Hamas.” An intersting equation. In fairness, Bibi is right, Hamas thrives on the killing of Palestinians by Israel. It furnishes them a new set of martyrs who must be avenged. The result is that thousands of Palstinian youth flock to the banner of Deat. Reality check: Israel has prevously launched invasions of Gaza. In each sorty, the Israel government promised the Jewish people of Israel(20% are Muslim or Christian) that THIS invasion was the FINAL INVASION. Each time the promise of finality, but each time the end result is growth in the number of Palestinians wiling to becme martyrs for revenge. Sorry, THIS TIME is NOT the last time.

Death in Gaza, destruction of homes simply ensures a new generation of those willing to murder Israelis. Frankly, they don’t care if the Israeli is Jewish or Muslim, Death alone serves their cause.

At some point Israel MUST

1. Agree that 90% of the West Bank belongs to Palestinians.

Once that is accepted, the road to peace can become a reality.

P.S. Isn’t it time for Death To take a holiday from the Middle East???

Words Of Wisdom From Chairman Chris

I was aware that Governor Chris Christie was an expert on traffic conditions on bridges, and when it comes to the issue of ensuring his wealthy friends get tax breaks, the good governor of New Jersey leads the nation. So, it was surprising to discover that Chris is an expert on the Middle East. However, to be honest, he is an expert on what Sheldon Adelson desires in life. A few months ago, Chris dashed to Las Vegas and kissed the hand of Sheldon as well as falling to his knees pleading forgiveness. He referred to the West Bank as “occupied land.” Sheldon does not give money or blessings to anyone who doubts the entire Middle East belongs to Jews–God promised them the region. Anyway, Chris decided to really prove to Sheldon that he loves Israel above all, particularly the truth. He gave a speech and explained to Americans why there are problems in the Middle East. Take one guess: BARACK OBAMA!

According to Chris, “Israel is not sure that they have American full support like they used to, and that is the failure of then presidency now.” He went on to emphasize, “that what you see in the Middle East is caused, not completely, but in some measure by the fact that the president has not acted in a decisive, consistent way.”

Oh, as I recall, a president invaded Iraq seeking weapons of mass destruction that never existed. The best friend of Israel is John Kerry who has worked to achieve peace with Palestinians. If not for the US, the Security Council would be passing resolutions blasting current Israel policy in Gaza. Chris, focus on bridges, that is your expertise!

What Comes Next??

It becomes increasingly clear that regardless of who is president of the United States of America our foreign policy will not reflect long term thinking. Both George Bush and Barack Obama are more similar than different in their approach to confronting issues in the Middle East. Secretary of State John Kerry has been the only one in our government who thinks in long-term approaches, who seeks to assist in establishing the basis for permanent peace in the Middle East. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is riding the crest of a popular desire by many Israelis for an end to terror. His approach is to “out-terror” any Islamic terrorist. If they kill three Israelis, then he will kill a hundred. If they wound three Israelis, then he will wound 1200 Palestinians. For the short term, this approach might succeed in reducing rockets, but it is not a long term solution. At no point has Netanyahu offered a sensible compromise to the conflict with Palestine leaders other than to insist there will be more and more housing in the West Bank. Is there an end point to these settlements or do they proceed until no Palestinian is left on the West Bank?

Even the American government is now becoming frightened at the aggressive assault on Gaza. It is warning Israel not to send in ground forces. The UN is urging and urging Israel to reduce the assault and once again seek peace through negotiations. Naturally, Israel leaders insist prior efforts have only failed. Naturally, they blame President Abbas. This is the moment for Netanyahu to make a dramatic offer that can not be turned down. What might that be?

1. A promise that no further housing will be built on the West Bank.

2. An economic solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees. The Israel economy can certainly handle one billion a year for the coming two decades.

3. A promise that Israel will initially request the UN to establish a commission that will investigate any Israel complaint prior to massive assault on Palestinians. The commission could not prevent action,but it might slow down the process.

Finally, the time has come for a UN sponsored negotiator who would be charged with proposing the basis of compromise between Israel and Palestinians. Both sides would have to respond to the proposal. The Palestinian delegation would have to include a representative from Hamas if Hamas is still part of the coalition. The Israel delegation would have to include representatives from at least two other Israel political parties. We propose John Kerry as the UN negotiator. This means he would have to resign as US Secretary of State.

Iran’s Seven Year Itch For Peace

There is some good news coming from Iran, or at least any sensible person would interpret new Iranian proposals as constituting good news. Then again, when US Secretary of State John Kerry has to conduct foreign policy negotiation with one eye focused on Congress, is it at all possible that he can succeed in anything related to the Middle East, Asia, Europe or Africa? Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif offered a deal. Iran would freeze its current nuclear program for seven years on condition that after that moment, it would be free to conduct the same nuclear programs as found in other nations. At this point, Kerry and his allies in negotiation have been demanding a ten year freeze. In simple, clear English, both sides ARE close to an agreement. So, let us propose a compromise:

1. Iran freezes its nuclear program for eight years!

2. Israel agrees to reduce by a factor of 20% the number of atomic bombs in its facilities.

3. Israel and Iranian leaders agree to establish a joint commission which meets on a regular basis to discuss issues between the nations.

4. America returns to Iran money that was frozen after the Shah was overthrown in 1979.

Believe it or not, peace IS possible in the Middle East!

Sort Of Cease Fire

Every so often in the Middle East there arrives a moment, just a moment, when one is capable of considering the possibility that some sort of quiet might reign in the region. In Libya, they are firing rockets into cities, in Egypt, missiles are being fired by Islamists who hate the Islamist government of General Sisi which has imprisoned members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Of course, under President Morsi, the Brotherhood imprisoned Islamists who did not agree with the other Islamists. Anyway, the Egyptian government persuaded the Israel government to hold off on further bombings that have left hundreds dead or wounded. The Arab League accepted the cease fire, Egypt supported the cease fire, Israel said OK to the cease fire, but Hamas continues to insist that firing rockets which result in the deaths of hundreds somehow, in some way, furthers the cause of Palestinian independence. Hamas leaders think something like this:

“If we can get Israel to kill a few thousand people in Gaza or in other parts of Palestine, the people will reject President Abbas and come running to us. Who else but we can guarantee that people die? The more who die, the more families that become radicalized, and the more followers flock to us. So, please Israelis, continue to kill and kill and help us recruit more fanatics filled with hatred. We of Hamas believe the road to heaven is filled with bodies of the dead. Just heap up the bodies and we can climb on them in order to reach Heaven.”

Leave it to Hamas and no one will be left to live in Palestine.

Bombs Away Bombs Away Peace

There is no question that the history of negotiations between Israel and Arab leaders reveals a story of missed opportunities, incompetent Palestinian leadership, and roads that were never explored. Yasser Arafat in 2001 refused the Clinton plan which gave Palestinians about 95% of what they desired, he wanted, 100%! Such has been the past. But, today, there is another Palestinian leader, President Abbas, who seeks a genuine solution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Yes, there is the presence of Hammas. We can assume Israel’s claim that Hammas had something to do with the death of 3 innocent Jewish children. The response of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with bombings,words of hate and violence, will have consequences. Israel claims its bombings have destroyed missiles, weapon bases, militants, and, of course, a few dozen innocent Muslim children. A mosque has been hit, a center for disabled people has been hit, schools have been hit, all in retaliation for the death of 3 innocent children.

Death of a Jewish child is painful, so is death for a Muslim child, painful, as well as the child of an atheist or Christian. As I recall, there have been previous bombing campaigns with the promise that THIS time bad people will be killed, and there will be no more bombings or deaths of Israelis. Frankly, one has lost track as to how many bombing campaigns were launched that were the last bombing campaign. American colonists fought for seven years against the most powerful nation in the world, they lost 90% of the battles, but finally won the last one. Of course, the “end” only arrived when both sides sat down to negotiate peace. THAT is the only hope for peace in the Middle East. Netanyahu’s heroes are warriors. Perhaps, it is time to model another hero-Nelson Mandela who did not allow the deaths of innocent black South African children to get in the way of peace–even with those who had brutally killed the innocent!

War Knows No Respite In Gaza

The latest example of Middle Eastern madness began when some thugs murdered three innocent Jewish boys who lived on the West Bank. Their deaths on the West Bank is symbolic of what has happened between Israel and Palestinians. The West Bank was won from Jordan in the famous Six Day War in 1967. Israel leaders at that time wanted to return the West Bank in exchange for peace with their Arab leaders. If there is one thing that has rarely changed in the Middle East is the reality no Nelson Mandela or his equivalent can be found in the Middle East. The subsequent half century have witnessed an ever growing anger and failure to compromise over the issue of the West Bank. Three Jewish boys died. The latest count of Israel’s murderous bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip is that 156 Palestinians are dead and over 1,000 thousand wounded. Certainly, this has gone beyond an eye for an eye. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has never been guilty of the crime of softness in the face of danger. He has shouted for revenge, and he has gotten revenge. Of course, the revenge began with three Israel Jews murdering an innocent Palestinian boy and it has escalated and escalated from that moment.

The problem with bombing revenge is that this is a TACTIC, this is not a plan nor a solution. I assume Israel can bomb and bomb and bomb. At some point in time, the bombing must cease. Then, what? PM Netanyahu has not presented any idea for a long term solution that would end the murders and bombings in the region. The UN has called for a cease fire. Netanyahu rejects it because more bombing must ensue. As I recall, Israel decades ago bombed, and Jewish Israelis(20% of Israelis are Muslim or Christian) were promised peace would result. Actually, since the bombings began Hamas and other groups have received thousands of more missiles. There is no evidence that bombings will bring peace.

Uman Omar,a Gaza woman summed up the problem of bombing when she saw her home destroyed by bombs. “Am I a terrorist? Do I make rockets and artillery in my home?”” Of course not, but to cease bombing such homes would get in the way of bombing.

Road To Hell And Hate Grows Longer

The only news from the Middle East is that there is no new news to report. It is the same old story of each side insisting the other side believes in murder of the innocent. Each side offers evidence that the other side has engaged in wanton murder and destruction in its hateful assault on the innocent. The latest episode arose when a group of Palestinians, their names are still not known, murdered in cold blood three innocent Jewish teen agers. Sorry, regardless of how one hates the Israel government, there is never an excuse to use powerful emotions as justification for murder of the innocent. Or course, since the other side murdered Jews, a group of six Israel Jews murdered an innocent Palestinian boy–including burning his body. You kill one of ours, we kill one of yours is the Middle Eastern mantra of hate. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has used the murder of three Jews to justify the murder of dozens of Palestinians, including 23 children in the Gaza Strip. When confronted by criticism, Netanyahu responded with anger: “No international pressure will prevent us from acting with all power.” So, the drones and the bombs will continue dropping.

Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights summed up the current situation. “Israel, Hamas, and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza have been down this road before, and it has led only to death, destruction and distrust.” Israel emphasizes that over 800 rockets from Gaza have hit its citizens. The current box score of death and destruction:

Palestinians:

Dead 23
Injured: 670

Israel Jews

9 civilians injured.

The only certainty is these figures will grow in size. And, at the end, as if there will be an end, will peace reign?

The “Other” Is Always To Blame!

I have devote a half century studying and teaching about the Middle East. In particular, my courses have focused on the Palestinian and Israel conflict which dates back over a hundred years. This conflict witnesses several stages:

1. A period in which either or both sides have groups that conduct low level violent operations against the enemy.

2. A period in which both sides claim the other is responsible for any violence and demand the outside world do something about it.

3. A period in which an incident or series of incidents leads the other side to insist its resort to violence is in response to what the other side has been doing.

4. The incidents increase in ferocity and size resulting in escalation of rhetoric by one side.

5. A period in which both sides escalate the rhetoric of violence.

6. A period in which talk shifts to actual use of violent means against the other side.

7. Eventually, Israel forces gain the upper hand, and crush, for the moment, violent Arab groups.”

8. A period of seeming quiet. In reality, Palestinians are preparing some form of violence.

9. An act of violence by a small group of Palestinians sets in motion a fierce outburst of action on the part of Israel.

10. Our present stage in which the death of three innocent children has set in motion violence that has cost the lives of dozens of innocent Palestinians.

There have to be other ways to handle this conflict, don’t you think?

The Fire This Time Leaves Aftermath–Always!

On September 11, 2001 a group of nineteen men initiated horrible events that resulted in the death of nearly three thousand innocent Americans. These men worked for an organization–al-Qaeda–that numbered, at best, about two thousand members. Today, the process initiated back in 2001 has resulted in al-Qaeda now having over 20,000 members, and, instead of being confined to Afghanistan, is now in Syria, Iraq, Algeria and dozens of other places of war. Our then President Bush insisted that his response to 9/11 would result in destruction of al-Qaeda and killing of Osama bin Laden. Yes, Osama is dead, killed by orders of a different president, but al-Qaeda remains a force of death and destruction. Today in Israel, the sounds of war, of revenge are powerful, and demand death and destruction. No one knows who were the cowardly murderers who selected three innocent young boys for their revenge. Three children died because of hate created by their elders- Israelis, Palestinians, and you name them. As always, the innocent die and the guilty live on to murder and murder the innocent.

Thousands of Israel troops are now on the border of Gaza.Israeli planes are pounding the Gaza Strip even as rockets are fired from it into Israel territory. The IDF has announced the beginning of “OPeration Protective Eagle.” There is a strong likelihood that thousands of Israel soldiers will blast their way into Gaza. There is a strong likelihood that innocent Arab children will die. Again, the innocent die because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. The IDF told the world: “We are entering into a long operation. We are preparing further steps and a gradual expansion of our order of battle.”

Sorry, this statement is very similar to that made by President Bush preceding the invasion of Iraq. Colin Powell, US Secretary of State in 2001, but a former general, warned President Bush that if you go into the pottery shop and break china pieces, you are responsible for the damage. He was attempting to warn the president there are consequences when one initiates war. Invade Gaza, round up hundreds, put them in jail. Then what??

I can guarantee there will be dozens, perhaps, hundreds of missiles coming from Hamas centers in Lebanon and headed for Israel cities. What then? Invade Lebanon? Send Israel soldiers into Syria? When does it end??