Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The State of Israel is at a fateful crossroads - by Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen

The State of Israel is at a fateful crossroads. The unending necessity to safeguard the state’s secure existence ensures that its leaders will face complex and painful decisions. But there are other, no less critical considerations that must be factored into the decision-making equation...

Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen..
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,121..
25 March '19..
Link: https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/israel-security-not-enough/

David Ben-Gurion was the only Israeli PM to make a point of stressing that the state of Israel has a higher purpose than providing a safe haven to persecuted Jews. During the first decade of statehood, he repeatedly emphasized:

“Security is but a condition for our existence and our independence. The state of Israel has a special mission. Every state must ensure the wellbeing, welfare, and progress of its residents. Our state, too, is obligated to do so, but it is not the cardinal concern. The supreme task of the state of Israel is the redemption of the People of Israel through the ingathering of the exiles.”

On the national level, the problem of security reflects the inextricable link between the spiritual and the physical aspects of the country’s existence. Yet the political-security conversation guiding Israel for years has been reduced to an excessive, if not exclusive, focus on physical security – a point well understood by Israel’s Palestinian “peace partners.” Prominent PLO leader Abbas Zaki explained the organization’s feigned endorsement of the two-state solution this way: “If we divest the Jews of Hebron and Jerusalem, from which they draw their inspiration for their national existence, what will remain for them? What bond do they have to Jaffa and to Haifa? They will then collapse of themselves.”

Ben-Gurion, recognizing the spiritual calling of the People of Israel in its ancestral homeland, asserted during the early critical phase of the War of Independence that the struggle over Jerusalem was the key endeavor:

Monday, March 25, 2019

Indy evokes ‘wag the dog’ conspiracy vs. the Ireland Israel Alliance. One of them gets it right.

UK Media Watch does an excellent job dismantling Bel Trew's ‘wag the dog’ conspiracy to explain Israeli wars with Hamas, however the concept does have an appropriate place, as the Ireland Israel Alliance twitted after this morning's rocket attack. If the shoe fits...

Love of the Land..
25 March '19..

From UK Media Watch

The Independent’s Mid-East correspondent Bel Trew makes the following claim in an article on recent US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights (“Golan Heights: How Donald Trump’s tweet saved Netanyahu’s re-election”, March 23).

Normally known for launching wars ahead of elections to ensure the security vote, Mr Netanyahu was also batting off stinging criticism from all sides for not ordering a full military operation in Gaza

This is actually the second time in a week that Trew made some variation of the allegation that Israel’s prime minister launches wars against Hamas in order to secure electoral victories. A March 18th article by Trew on fears that a (evidently accidental) Hamas rocket attack on Tel Aviv could lead to all out war argued that “Israeli incursions into Gaza have been launched ahead of the last three elections…often winning incumbent prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu additional votes on a security ticket.

Trew’s narrative is completely counter-factual. (Continue to Full Post)


On the other hand, not to abandon the concept of 'wag the dog', the following was posted by Ireland Israel Alliance

*auto-correct? deflect outrage in place of deflect overage

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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Forty years on, thoughts on the Sinai withdrawal's dangerous legacy - by Michael Freund

So when we look back on the peace treaty with Egypt, we need to do so with our eyes wide open, cognizant of the fact that since relations between states can be ephemeral, territory is not something Israel should ever consider abandoning.

Michael Freund..
Pundicity/Jerusalem Post..
22 March '19..
Link: http://www.michaelfreund.org/22492/sinai-withdrawal-dangerous-legacy  

If you open Google Earth and search for "Yamit, Sinai," the globe on your screen will slowly spin its way to the Middle East before zooming in on a small area in the northern Sinai Peninsula, just west of Gaza (though it comes up as "Yammit").

There, amid the sand dunes, one can still see the bare and bulldozed ground where the town of Yamit, a thriving Jewish community of 2,500 people, once stood, until it was uprooted and destroyed in 1982 as part of the peace treaty with Egypt.

The contours of various structures are still visible, paying silent testimony to the traumatic removal of Jews from their homes that was carried out by a Jewish government.

As Israel marks 40 years since the signing of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty on the White House Lawn, it is worth recalling the expulsion that was wrought in its wake, as more than a dozen Jewish communities in Sinai, numbering a total of 7,000 people, were compelled to disband and depart.

While forgoing Sinai might have brought us four decades of a cold peace with Egypt, it also elicited a heavy price from the Jewish state, one that continues to haunt us until the present day.

After a century in which the values of Zionism and settling the land had prevailed, Israel suddenly took a sharp U-turn, conferring legitimacy on the illegitimate idea that peace must necessarily entail withdrawal and retreat.

In the miraculous victory of the 1967 war, the Jewish people were granted a Divine gift. Over the course of just six days, we were reunited with the Temple Mount, the hills of Samaria and the streets of Hebron.

And in reclaiming Sinai, where our ancestors wandered for decades after the Exodus from Egypt, Israel was blessed with priceless strategic depth, along with military installations, oil fields, and an untamed desert waiting to be developed.

But just 12 years later, acting as though it was in a rush to unload the peninsula, the Jewish state gave in to Egyptian demands and turned over the Sinai's 61,000 sq.km. (23,550 sq.mi.) to foreign control.

In one fell swoop, Israel had given away more than 90% of the territory it had liberated during the 1967 Six Day War.

SIMPLY PUT, the withdrawal from Sinai laid the groundwork for later expulsions, heralding decades of further Israeli territorial concessions.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Wow! J Street uncovers a secret about Netanyahu and Trump - by Victor Rosenthal

...J Street’s primary goal, like that of the numerous other anti-Israel organizations in the US, including the nominally “Jewish” If Not Now and Jewish Voice for Peace, as well as explicitly antisemitic ones like If America Knew, is to create antipathy and distrust for Israel, so that Americans will oppose pro-Israel actions by the US government – for example, the recognition of Israel’s possession of the Golan Heights...

Victor Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
22 March '19..
Link: http://abuyehuda.com/2019/03/j-street-uncovers-a-secret-about-netanyahu-and-trump/  (If you would like to repost this article to Facebook, please use this link as LOTL's url is currently blocked from FB)

I think my interest in J Street could once have been called “obsessive.” I wrote numerous blog posts a few years ago, pointing out that the supposedly “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organization received financing from George Soros, mysterious billionaires in Hong Kong, and people associated with Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab-American Institute. I noted – along with then Ambassador Michael Oren – that it consistently (one could say always) took positions opposed to almost any reasonable interpretation of Israel’s interests. I objected to its guiding principle, which seemed to be that it knew what was good for Israel far better than Israelis did, especially since following its recommendations would negatively impact Israel’s security. I wondered at the close coordination between J Street and the Obama Administration, which tried to anoint it as the voice of American Jewry toward Israel. And more.

Since I moved back to Israel in 2014, I’ve been less concerned with J Street, which is, after all, an American phenomenon. We have plenty of “interesting” politics right here. But recently I became aware of a new J Street initiative, targeting PM Netanyahu, just before the election:

WASHINGTON, DC — The pro-Israel, pro-peace group J Street launched a new series of videos today highlighting the dangerously similar rhetoric and ideology shared by President Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu. Released as targeted digital ads just a week before the two leaders are expected to meet in Washington, DC on the sidelines of the AIPAC conference, the videos urge pro-Israel Americans who are opposed to Trump to also speak out against Netanyahu’s similar bigotry and anti-democratic tendencies.

“By attacking democratic institutions and targeting vulnerable minorities, Trump and Netanyahu are borrowing from the same far-right playbook — undermining the core values and interests of both the US and Israel,” said J Street’s president Jeremy Ben-Ami. “Patriotic Americans have mobilized impressively against Trump here at home. Those of us who care about Israel’s future need to speak out against Netanyahu’s destructive leadership as well.”

Over the past two years, both the president and the prime minister have incited against vulnerable minorities, attacked the free press and de-legitimized the judiciary and the rule of law. Both face serious investigations into alleged criminal conduct. …

There’s no doubt that liberal and progressive American Jews hate Trump passionately, and there’s no better way to attack Netanyahu among that group than by associating him with their bĂȘte noire. The first J Street video is here. It’s very professional and probably didn’t come cheap. The question is, why did J Street spend a considerable sum of money on such a campaign? Americans don’t vote in Israeli elections (although J Street probably wishes they did). Why attack Netanyahu in the USA?

It’s not a simple question and I don’t have a simple answer. Unfortunately, the position papers of J Street’s psychological warfare experts aren’t public. But I have some ideas.