Posted tagged ‘Israel borders’

Trump is an obstacle – to Israel’s destruction

August 27, 2017

Trump is an obstacle – to Israel’s destruction, Israel National News, Mark Langfan, August 26, 2017

The self-hating American Jewish organization J Street, and its director Jeremy Ben-Ami, have attacked President Trump as being “an obstacle to peace.”  President Trump isn’t an obstacle to peace, he’s the only thing standing between Israel and the US governmental Deep State which would not mind seeing Israel wiped off the face of the planet.  Ben-Ami further attacked the State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert asserting she “displayed dangerous ignorance about the nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and what it will take to end it.” 

How did Ms. Nauert display “ignorance” according to Ben-Ami?  Ben Ami attacked Ms. Nauert because she wouldn’t officially “endorse” the Two-State solution, J Street’s central policy.  The American Jewish Left is now attacking the Trump Administration because it appears not to be actively forcing Israel into the 1967 Auschwitz borders.  J Street’s attack on Trump only proves two things: 1) J Street ‘s agenda is the destruction of Israel, and 2) that President Trump may be on the right track of protecting Israel from a Two-State annihilation.

First, Ben Ami’s declaration that President Trump is “an obstacle to peace” is not a badge of dishonor, but a crown of holiness.  Why?  Because, up to now, the Israeli and American Leftists two-staters have called Israel’s ‘settlers,’ Israel’s greatest heroes, “obstacles to peace.”  Israel’s settlers are Israel’s greatest heroes because they have put their bodies and their family’s lives on the line to protect Israel from a ‘West Bank’ Palestinian State that would rain katyusha rockets into the highly and densely populated Tel Aviv-Hadera Sharon Coastal Plain.

Israel’s ‘settlers’ have endured Israeli Leftist attacks and Palestinian terrorist murders to protect the Nation of Israel.  The fact that many Israelis don’t understand the ‘West Bank’s vital military value to Tel Aviv doesn’t mean Israel’s ‘settlers’ aren’t heroes.  It only proves the Jews living in Judea and Samaria are modern-day super-heroes for enduring the vile attacks from their fellow Jews while they sacrifice everything for the greater good.  Hence, for President Trump to be called an “obstacle to peace” by the Jewish Left is medal of supreme greatness.

As for Ms. Nauert being “ignorant” of the Middle East, it is the Israeli generals who oversaw the idiotic retreat from Gaza who are ignorant, along with the coterie of left-wing Israeli politicians who authorized that so-called “Disengagement from Gaza.”  Even Gen. Gershon Hacohen, the Israeli general who oversaw that 2005 Gaza retreat, now admits that  “The disengagement was a strategic laboratory experiment, one which worsened the security situation.”   Arutz Sheva further reported, that “Hacohen called for lessons to be drawn from the failed plan and noted that a similar withdrawal from Judea and Samaria was as dangerous as the withdrawal from Gush Katif.”

A “failed” “strategic experiment”?  Between 2001 and 2005, there were hundreds of rocket and mortar attacks on pre-1967 Israel from the Gaza Strip.  Any moron, let alone rational military general, could have figured out that when Israel unilaterally retreated from Gaza without any agreement in 2005, there would an escalation of the rocket attacks into Israel.  Instead of the Israeli Left-wing understanding the reality and danger of the Gaza rockets, they deluded themselves into the group-think that everything would be just fine.  Israeli left-wing politicians should be put on trial for their 2005 Gaza Disengagement lunacy.  Instead, they are voted in as Knesset members, and allowed to continue to ply their national-suicidal plans.

It’s only because the land around the Gaza Strip is sparsely populated and the Jews in the south relatively poor that the Palestinians are allowed to rocket them.  If those same rockets hit the wealthy areas of Tel Aviv, the “West Bank” Palestinians would be destroyed, and the whole world would accuse Israel of war crimes at the Hague.  That is until the United Nations fielded a “peace-keeping” force to protect the “West Bank” Palestinians while the Palestinians lobbed the Katyushas over their heads into Tel Aviv.

Ben Ami is either totally ignorant of the reality of Palestinian Gaza rockets hitting Israel, and the obvious analogous danger to Tel Aviv, or Ben Ami wants the same Gaza type rockets to be smuggled into the ‘West Bank’ and fired into Tel Aviv.  Let’s agree, for the sake of this discussion, that Ben Ami isn’t ignorant of the Gaza rockets.  That means Ben Ami, a leftist American Jew, sitting all protected and safe in America, wants the Palestinians to be able to fire rockets from the ‘West Bank’ Palestinian state into Tel Aviv.  In such case, J Street and Ben Ami are self-hating Jewish enemies of the Israel and the Jewish people.

In conclusion, J Street and Ben Ami’s attacks against President Trump are badges of highest honor for President Trump.  For, there can be no higher honor for anyone than to be placed in the same class as the brave and heroic Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria who are, at this very moment, protecting the Jewish people with their own bodies and their own families.  In fact, it’s fair to say they we all are praying that President Trump becomes as great a hero to Israel as the ‘settlers’ are heroes to Israel.

Trump-Putin deal imperils Israeli, Jordan borders

August 12, 2017

Trump-Putin deal imperils Israeli, Jordan borders, DEBKAfile, August 12, 2017

Local US-backed Syrian rebel groups disbanded without a shot, went over to the Syrian government side and handed in their US-supplied weapons to Syrian army and Hizballah fighters.

Sooner or later, the Sweida model will be replicated in Quneitra. Neither the Russian troops nor UN peacekeepers will fight to stop it happening. By then, the Syrian rebel groups, in whose support Israel invested for years as a buffer against hostile Syrian, Iranian and Hizballah forces, are already falling apart. Disowned by their Saudi backers, they are being crushed by the US-Russian “de-escalation” steamroller. Israel like Jordan will soon find three hostile forces sitting pretty just across its border, far too close for safety.

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The transformation of a small, strategic wedge of land between the Syrian, Israeli, Jordanian and Iraqi borders is going forward apace without arousing much interest – even in Israel, where it should cause the most concern, DEBKAfile reports.

On Wednesday, Aug. 8, two Russian army companies of Ingushet troops from the northern Caucasus set up a command post in the Syrian village of Tal al-Shahm, 13km from Israel’s Golan border. Its commander, Col. Alexei Kozin, has thus taken charge of Syria’s border with Israel. As DEBKAfile reported last month, his task is to set up 10 control checkpoints along that border.

This border area was designated as one of four de-escalation zones agreed on between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at their meeting in Hamburg on July 7.

According to understandings reached between Washington, Moscow and Jerusalem, the UN separation force (UNDOF) will return to its Fawar base opposite Quneitra as a buffer between IDF and Russian forces. Its past history in this role between IDF and Syrian forces was never exactly impressive.

A piece of diplomacy consistent with this process was contributed by Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday, Aug. 11. It was an assurance that Russia would take into account Israel’s interests in Jerusalem in the framework of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

It also fits in with the surprising statement from Washington on the same day, namely, that Donald Trump, although in the midst of a fearsome crisis with North Korea with military overtones, is planning to send his senior adviser, son-in-law Jared Kushner and Israel-Palestinian peace broker Jason Greenblatt, on an early visit to the Middle East to continue this mission.

To see how these disparate elements fill out the whole picture, we turn 70km east from Quneitra on the Syria Golan to the battles ongoing at Sweida in southeastern Syria opposite the Jordanian and Iraqi borders. Russian troops moved into the key town of Daraa, abutting on the Jordanian border on July 13. Like in Quneitra, a month later, they set up command posts to monitor the first de-escalation or ceasefire zone to be set up under the Hamburg accord.

The Russian troops’ assignment was to stop the fighting there and execute the withdrawal of the combatant forces, the Syrian army, Iran, and its foreign Shiite militias, including Hizballah, to a distance of 40km from the border.

But that arrangement never stood up.

Nearly four weeks later, on Wednesday night, Aug. 9, on the same night that Russian troops moved into Quneitra, the Syrian army and Hizballah launched a major offensive in Sweida province. Three days later, by Saturday, they had forced the local rebel forces to retreat into Jordan and seized 57km of Syria’s southern frontier with the Hashemite Kingdom.

Neither the Russians nor the American interfered with the Syrian-Hizballah-led push, although the Russians took responsibility for maintaining the ceasefire, and US special forces were and still are posted to the east of Sweida at Al-Tanf in the Syrian-Jordanian-Iraqi border triangle.

(See attached map)

DEBKAfile’s military sources add that the Syrian-Hizballah offensive violated the ceasefire deal. Local US-backed Syrian rebel groups disbanded without a shot, went over to the Syrian government side and handed in their US-supplied weapons to Syrian army and Hizballah fighters.

The Sweida episode demonstrated how the Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah alliance sees its way to using the Trump-Putin ceasefire zones accord as an open door for seizing control of southern Syria and grabbing the Jordanian and Israeli borders.

The Syrian rebel movement is disintegrating at an alarming rate following the “Jubeir earthquake,” as it has become known – another momentous event which Western and Israeli front pages have chosen to ignore.

Last week, Saudi Foreign Mniser Adel al-Jubeir reportedly informed a delegation of Syrian opposition leaders invited to Riyadh that his government was pulling its support from their fighting militias, in the wake of President Trump’s decision to reduce US military action in Syria solely to the war on ISIS – and therefore end US resistance to the Assad regime.

Saudi officials did not deny the report, only termed it “inaccurate.”

But meanwhile, the decisions by Riyadh and Washington to abandon the anti-Assad cause spread like wildfire among Syrian rebel groups. Many responded by laying down their arms and surrendering.

The fate of the rebel movement after six years of cruel warfare against the dictator Bashar Assad should be an object lesson to other recipients of American and Russian promises. Therefore, Lavrov’s pledge to take Israel’s interests in Jerusalem into account should be taken with a pinch of salt. He was most likely shooting a line to allay Israeli skepticism about the prospect of Russian troops keeping Syrian, Iranian and Hizballah troops at bay from its northern border – even through this pledge was underwritten by Washington.

Instead of taking the two powers at their word, Israel need only watch what is going on in the last few hours just across the border at Sweida, to appreciate the value of such promises.

Sooner or later, the Sweida model will be replicated in Quneitra. Neither the Russian troops nor UN peacekeepers will fight to stop it happening. By then, the Syrian rebel groups, in whose support Israel invested for years as a buffer against hostile Syrian, Iranian and Hizballah forces, are already falling apart. Disowned by their Saudi backers, they are being crushed by the US-Russian “de-escalation” steamroller. Israel like Jordan will soon find three hostile forces sitting pretty just across its border, far too close for safety.

US, UK, Jordanian forces enter S. Syria

May 15, 2017

US, UK, Jordanian forces enter S. Syria, DEBKAfile, May 15, 2017

DEBKAfile’s military sources explain that Damascus and Tehran acted to pre-empt the US-Jordanian-Israeli military operations along the Israeli and Jordanian borders with Syria, lest they lead to the carving out of US-controlled security zones in southern Syria.

Iran continued to pour additional troops into Damascus through the Baghdad-Damascus highway, on the one hand, while, on the other, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi offered Washington two of his army’s divisions, which would be sent into Syria to support US military operations in the southeast.

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US special forces, together with British and Jordanian elite troops, moved into southern Syria late Sunday, May 14. They were acting to counter the Syrian-Iranian scheme to nullify the American plan for posting Jordanian forces in southeastern Syria, which timed for the days before US President Donald Trump’s trip to the Middle East.

The US-led armored force with British and Jordanian units crossed from northern Jordan through the Tanf Border-Crossing between the Hashemite Kingdom, Iraq and Syria, and took up positions capable of consolidating their control of the main road between Palmyra and Baghdad. Some of their moves were coordinated with Israel.
(See map).

This push aimed at countering the drive in the last few days by hundreds of Syrian troops, Iranian-backed Shiite militias and Hizballah’s Radwan special forces, with tanks and heavy equipment, to take over the town of Sabaa Biyar. Located in sparsely desert territory, this town lies 110km west of the Syrian-Iraqi border, 95km north of the Syrian-Jordanian border and 128km east of Damascus.

Its high strategic importance for Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah lies in its command of the border between Syria, Iraq and Jordan and of Highway No. 1 which links the Jordanian capital of Amman with Baghdad.

DEBKAfile’s military sources explain that Damascus and Tehran acted to pre-empt the US-Jordanian-Israeli military operations along the Israeli and Jordanian borders with Syria, lest they lead to the carving out of US-controlled security zones in southern Syria.

Our military sources add that Moscow too eyes the new US-led military movements with mistrust, in view of its potential impact on the Russian plan for four ceasefire zones in Syria, in cooperation with Iranian and Turkish forces. The Russians are accordingly feeding Tehran and Damascus intelligence on the US-led movements.

On Sunday, too, the Israeli Defense Forces launched a large-scale military exercise in the Galilee and Golan regions close to its borders with Syria and Lebanon. The war game may well run over its final date in order to keep a substantial military force poised on along Israel’s northern borders, in case of attempts to disrupt the Trump visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel from May 22 to May 24.

Other military movements in the region this week were taken by the Iraqi army and Iraqi Shiite militias under the command of Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers. Iran continued to pour additional troops into Damascus through the Baghdad-Damascus highway, on the one hand, while, on the other, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi offered Washington two of his army’s divisions, which would be sent into Syria to support US military operations in the southeast.

For the time being, the Trump administration’s plans for an offensive against the Islamic State appear to have been put on a back burner.

Ever wonder what fake news is?

May 7, 2017

Ever wonder what fake news is? IsraeliPM via YouTube, May 7, 2017

 

IRGC-controlled Iraqi militia forms ‘Golan Liberation Brigade’

March 13, 2017

IRGC-controlled Iraqi militia forms ‘Golan Liberation Brigade’, Long War Journal, , March 12, 2017

(Please see also, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards now opposite Israeli troops on 1967 ceasefire line in Golan Heights — DM)

Photo 1: Harakat al Nujaba Golan Liberation Brigade, as portrayed in propaganda video.

The IRGC’s goals in southern Syria are to crush Syrian opposition forces, and build the capability to open another front against Israel. The IRGC hopes a viable Golan foothold would serve as deterrence against Israel and US, and that it could activate in a future conflict, such as another Israel-Hezbollah war. For now, the IDF’s fortified posture in the Golan remains a difficult, if not futile, target for the Guard and its allies. The IRGC nevertheless intends to project steadfast commitment to ideological principles and defiance of adversaries.

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The Iranian-controlled Iraqi militia Harakat al Nujaba this week announced the formation of its “Golan Liberation Brigade.” While it is not uncommon for entities to name themselves after areas they aim to “liberate,” the militia’s spokesman has said that the unit could assist the Syrian regime in taking the Golan Heights, a region in the Levant that has been controlled by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.

If true, the unit would likely participate in a future offensive to capture territory from Syrian opposition in the part of the Golan Heights still controlled by Syria, before moving on to the much taller order of dislodging the Israelis across the border. This week’s announcement reflects Tehran’s priorities in southern Syria since finally taking the fiercely contested city of Aleppo late last year: crush Syrian opposition, and pose military threat to Israel from the Golan Heights. While the Islamic Republic is incapable of credibly challenging the Jewish state’s fortress in the Golan, reaffirming ideological commitment to fighting Israel signals defiance to a global audience amid a reportedly converging American-Arab-Israeli military alliance against Tehran.

Harakat al Nujaba, or Movement of the Noble, has sustained operations in the Syrian and Iraqi combat zones. An offshoot of the Iranian-backed militias Asaib Ahl al Haq and the Hezbollah Brigades, Harakat al Nujaba was formed in 2013 to fight in the Syrian Civil War as part of Iranian-led Iraqi expeditionary forces. The militia joined the Popular Mobilization Forces, the umbrella organization of Iraqi militia, the following year, after the Islamic State incursion into Iraq. Operating as one of the largest Iraqi-Shiite militia contingents in Syria, the militia has claimed to field 10,000 forces. Harakat al Nujaba played an important role in assisting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and pro-Syrian regime forces conquer Aleppo late last year.

The Iraqi militia functions as an extension of the Islamic Republic. Having sworn full allegiance to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the militia promotes velayat-e faqih (guardianship of jurisprudence), the Islamic Republic’s founding ideology. Harakat al Nujaba takes direct orders from Major General Qassem Soleimani, the chief of the IRGC extraterritorial branch the Qods Force. Last year, the Iraqi militia, which is also known as Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba, proclaimed that it and Lebanese Hezbollah, Iran’s most powerful foreign militia, were “the twins of resistance.”

The militia leader Akram al Kabi is close to the top Iranian leadership, including the supreme leader. A co-founder of the Asaib Ahl al Haq – itself an offshoot of the Mahdi Army – Kabi was designated in September 2008 by the US Treasury as a terrorist for aiding Iraqi insurgents. In 2015, he openly said he would depose the Iraqi government if Khamenei issued the order. Last year, top Iranian officials close to Khamenei gave Kabi a highly publicized reception in Tehran, unprecedented in scope and scale for a militia leader. This past December, Harakat al Nujaba publicized Kabi’s meeting with Khamenei on the sidelines of a conference in Tehran.

Harakat al Nujaba has divulged some details about the Golan Liberation Brigade. The commander of the militia’s forces in Syria released a statement declaring the unit to be a synthesis of combat experiences gained in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. The militia’s official spokesman confirmed the event as a press conference March 8 in Tehran at the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim News Agency, saying the unit was formed following “recent victories” (an implicit reference to Aleppo). He claimed the Golan unit is comprised of “special” forces.

“Should the Syrian government make the request, we are ready to participate in the liberation of occupied Golan with our allies,” the spokesman said. “We will not permit the soil of Arab countries to remain in the grasps of occupiers.”

Harakat al Nujaba also released a video promoting the Golan unit that showed fighters marching in columns and carrying a banner reading, “Israel will be destroyed.”

(The video is at the link. — DM)

Tehran’s goal of establishing a foothold in the Golan Heights is not a secret. Last year, the head of the Israeli foreign and defense legislative committee revealed without divulging details that Israel had repelled several Iran-directed attempts to move forces into Syrian Golan Heights.

Senior Iranian military commanders are known to operate in Syrian Golan. Last July, the then-commander of the IRGC Basij paramilitary publicized an inspection of Quneitra by the Israel border. In January 2015, an Israeli strike in the area killed several high-value targets including IRGC Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allah-Dadi and multiple Hezbollah operatives.

A chasm remains between the capabilities and ambitions of Harakat al Nujaba and the IRGC to retake the Golan from Israel. The combined forces of the Syrian regime and IRGC-led militias are no match for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and this disparity is expected to hold for the foreseeable future. Israel could also adopt a more proactive approach in Syria to foil IRGC encroachment by the Golan, for example coordinating with Syrian rebels positioned in the area. Syrian Golan’s flat geography furthermore denies the IRGC suitable terrain to replicate the southern Lebanon model of concealing rocket launch sites dispersed across a widespread area, making it easier for the IDF to search and destroy weapons systems. For years, the IDF has been fortifying positions in the rocky plateau of Golan to face greater capabilities than the IRGC and its allies can muster.

Yet the claim to retake Israeli Golan underscores Harakat al Nujaba’s ideological commitment to the IRGC’s and Khamenei’s declared goal of destroying Israel. Khamenei and his top Guard generals have frequently spoken that that the divine hand would aid the faithful who take steps towards “divine-inspired” ideological principles.

Brandishing the formation of the Golan unit also challenges Arab countries on the Palestinian issue, as the Tehran has accused them of abandoning the cause in service of Israel. The Islamic Republic has slammed reported Arab-Israeli rapprochement and talks to form a US-brokered military coalition with the goal of countering Tehran, as covered in The Wall Street Journal. Last month, top Iranian government officials hosted another round of the Support of Palestinian Intifada Conference in a show of unity and defiance. This past week, Tehran’s interim Friday prayer leader this week excoriated “some leaders in Islamic countries who are with Zionists,” calling them “not human.” Suffering from loss of legitimacy over support of Syrian President Bashar al Assad against a Sunni-Arab uprising and nervous over a converging Israeli-Arab alliance, the Islamic Republic is projecting to the globe and “sell-out”Arab leaders a defiant commitment to fighting Israel.

The Iraqi militia’s Golan unit and IRGC-led expeditionary forces could help pro-Syrian regime forces take opposition-held areas in the south. In February 2015, IRGC-led forces launched a failed campaign in the Daraa and Quneitra in the south. Since conquering Aleppo last year, the IRGC-led expeditionary forces and other pro-Syrian regime forces have been able to redirect their dwindling assets to several fronts in north, central, and south Syria. Pro-regime forces backed by Russian air power have been pounding Daraa in the south for more than a month to slow an opposition offensive, and have recently launched a new bid to capture it. An IRGC colonel was also killed last month in the area. A pro-Syrian regime propaganda outlet late last month reaffirmed the government’s intention to retake all of Daraa and open a major border crossing with Jordan. Meanwhile, pro-regime forces have made progress in the northern pocket of Quneitra Governorate, located in the Syrian-controlled part of the Golan.

Map 1: southern Syria front, March 2017. Red: pro-Syrian regime forces. Green: rebel forces including Free Syrian Army and al Qaeda-affiliate Jabhat Fath al Sham. Black: Islamic State affiliates. Credit: Liveuamap.

The IRGC’s goals in southern Syria are to crush Syrian opposition forces, and build the capability to open another front against Israel. The IRGC hopes a viable Golan foothold would serve as deterrence against Israel and US, and that it could activate in a future conflict, such as another Israel-Hezbollah war. For now, the IDF’s fortified posture in the Golan remains a difficult, if not futile, target for the Guard and its allies. The IRGC nevertheless intends to  project steadfast commitment to ideological principles and defiance of adversaries.

Photo 2.
Photo 3: Harakat al Nujaba Golan Liberation Brigade flag at front, and “Israel will burn” banner in the back.

Amir Toumaj is a Research Analyst at Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Secret Israel-Jordanian-Syrian border talks begin

November 21, 2016

Secret Israel-Jordanian-Syrian border talks begin, DEBKAfile, November 21, 2016

fawwar-camp480

Israel, Jordan and Syria have embarked on secret discussions for the stabilization of their borders in southern Syria by restoring the status quo ante that reigned on the Golan prior to the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

This is reported exclusively by DEBKAfile from intelligence, Washington and Moscow sources.

The incoming Trump administration in Washington and Russian President Vladimir Putin are in the picture; so is the United Arab Emirates ruler, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Although still at a preliminary stage, the talks have produced their first tangible result: A vanguard of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has arrived on the Syrian side of the Golan. It has taken up position at its former Fawwar Camp base 4km east of Quneitra, which it evacuated during the Syrian fighting. The main body of the force, around 1,000 UN soldiers and 70 observers, is expected soon, to take up the task of reconstituting the former demilitarized zone that separated Israel and Syria under the 1974 armistice agreement.

This DMZ runs 80km along the Hermon range up to the Lebanese border in the north and down to the Israel-Syrian-Jordanian triangle in southern Syria up to the Jordanian border. In the 25km long Golan strip, between half a kilometer and 10 deep, the IDF and Syrian army were originally limited as to the number of soldiers and types of weaponry they are allowed to maintain. The strip will revert to Syrian civil administration under UNDOF control, and the Israeli-Syrian border crossing point will be reopened in the Quneitra area under the joint supervision of UN, Israeli and Syrian officers.

The military arrangements are still in discussion and changes may be introduced to this format.

The main obstacle to the return of pre-Syrian war conditions to this sensitive border region is the presence of radical Syrian rebel forces in southern Syria, mainly the Khalid bin Walid Army, whose leaders have sworn allegiance to Islamic State commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

These forces will face the option of accepting the authority of the Syrian army or fighting a win-or-die battle.

Israel has an additional, compelling interest in restoring the disengagement zone with Syria in that it leaves no room for the grab for a military presence opposite Israeli Golan and Galilee that was made in recent months by Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hizballah, for the purpose of opening a new front for terrorist attacks against Israel – as DEBKAfile was first to reveal. .

An indirect clue to the secret diplomatic talks ongoing came from the Syrian ruler Bashar Assad in an interview he gave on Nov. 16 to a Portuguese radio station, when he said: “If –if – he [Trump] fights the terrorists, it is clear that we will be a natural ally, together with the Russians, Iranians and many other countries who want to defeat the terrorists.”

The parties with varying degrees of involvement in the restoration of the UN-controlled DMZ on the Golan border are, therefore, the incoming Trump administration, Moscow, Damascus, Amman, Abu Dhabi and Jerusalem. Russia, Jordan and the Emirates have gained relevance for the first time as a result of changes in the strategic balance engendered by the Syrian war.

Israel in Wonderland

October 7, 2016

Israel in Wonderland, Algemeiner, Martin Sherman, October 7, 2016

obamaatfunderalUS President Barack Obama speaking at the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres on September 30. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

The demise of Shimon Peres unleashed a tidal wave of mendacity and hypocrisy that underscores the dominance the delusional dictates of political correctness have over political discourse in (and on) Israel…On Friday, the world proved that what it really wants is to embrace Israel. Oslo, the disengagement and Peres were enough for the world to carry Israel aloft…But Israel repeatedly bites the outstretched hand, pushes the world to detest it… — Gideon Levy, “Shimon Peres’ funeral proved that anti-Semitism is dead,” Haaretz, October 2, 2016.

…No Israeli government has made any efforts in the past decade to move the peace process forward… — Lior Ackerman, former division head of the Shin Bet, “Wanted: Two courageous leaders,” Jerusalem Post, October 3, 2016.

Alice in “Alice in Wonderland”

asdfa

It would be so nice if something would make sense for a change.

In the past two and half decades — almost a quarter-century — truth has always been, at best, incidental to much of the manner in which the political discourse in, and on, Israel has been conducted. More often than not, political truth was surrendered as sacrificial offerings on the altar of the omnipotent deity of political correctness — regardless of how far the precepts of the latter diverged from those of factual correctness.

Appeasement as a yardstick for statesmanship

However, in the past 10 days, since the sad demise of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, it seems the floodgates of falsehood and fabrication have been opened even wider than usual, resulting in a veritable deluge of drivel that distorts the nation’s past, disregards present perils it faces and dismisses its future prospects with prophesies of impending doom.

Every endeavor at appeasing Palestinian-Arab demands, no matter how gruesome the results it precipitated, was applauded as far-sighted statesmanship. Any show of resistance to such demands was disparaged as short-sighted political partisanship; any skepticism as to the consequences of complying with them was denigrated as narrow-minded nationalism; any warning that caution should be exercised before accepting them was disparaged as radical right-wing rejectionism; any suggestion that the risks entailed in acceding to them should be thoroughly assessed was dismissed as extremist scare-mongering.

On the one hand, the discourse has been dominated by an approach that insists on making future Israeli concessions — no matter how fruitless (indeed, counter-productive) past concessions have proven. Moreover, it persists in trivializing all past concessions — no matter how far-reaching these have been, and no matter how calamitous the consequences in which they have culminated. On the other hand, the intransigence of the Palestinian Arabs, and their naked Judeocidal bloodlust, whose lethal consequences have hitherto been constrained only by the physical limitation on their practical capacity to murder and maim Jews, have been met with expansive understanding — even empathy — and are seldom, if ever, mentioned as the cause of conflict.

Indeed, in the dominant political discourse in/on Israel, it would appear that abject appeasement has become the sole yardstick for statesmanship — at least, where Israel is concerned.

Eulogizing the imaginary

Much of this mindset — the need for Israeli consideration for its enemies’ positions, coupled with total disregard for their incandescent anti-Israel hated — was reflected in the eulogies at Peres’ funeral last Friday.

Thus, Barack Obama claimed, “I don’t believe he [Peres] was naïve,” when it is clear that “naïve” is the most charitable characterization of the policies Peres forged in the last quarter-century of his life that proved so disastrously detached from reality.

Obama continued to say that Peres “understood from hard-earned experience that true security comes through making peace with your neighbors” — seemingly oblivious to the reality that nearly all previous land-for-peace endeavors have left Israel in a more precarious position than before, and its civilian population commensurately more exposed to attack, despite the fact that the prospect of a conventional military threat has receded significantly.

The president went on to cite a prime example of latter-day “Peresian” pathos, recalling Peres’ remark regarding Israel’s wars: “We won them all…But we did not win the greatest victory that we aspired to: release from the need to win victories.”

Indeed, this is such an illusionary, rather than visionary, pipe dream that even Peres’ protégé and devoted acolyte, former MK Einat Wilf (a dedicated two-state adherent herself) recognized that Israeli victory, or at least Palestinian defeat, is a precondition for peace.

Illusion not vision

In a recent Haaretz op-ed, “When Palestinians acknowledge defeat to Zionism, peace will follow,” published just days prior to Peres’ passing, Wilf wrote, somewhat remarkably:

The Zionist left wants to see the defeat of the Palestinian national movement just as badly as the right wing does. Only when it admits that, will the Left be able to lead the state of Israel to a peace deal, if and when that becomes feasable. That is because a peace agreement based on dividing the land will be possible only when the Palestinian nationalist movement acknowledges its defeat to the Jewish nationalist movement – Zionism.

Sadly, however, it seems the iron grip of political correctness can obfuscate the perspective even of the most sober pundits. Thus, in a piece written on the day of Peres’ demise, Wilf, after crediting Peres for helping ensure “that the Jews fighting a war of annihilation…had the weapons they needed to ultimately prevail,” went on to claim, “When decades later he recognized that the region might be turning somewhat less hostile, he grabbed the opportunity and brokered careful understandings between former sworn enemies.”

Really??

The region was “turning somewhat less hostile”?  With the Sunni Islamic State, on the one hand, and the Shia Islamic Republic, on the other? True, the conventional threat from several Sunni state actors had diminished, for the time being, only to be replaced by the arguably even more menacing specter of fanatical non-state actors, with quasi-state capabilities and global reach, as well as the Obama-facilitated threat of a nuclear Iran.

Peres “brokered careful understandings between former sworn enemies”? Hmm, one wonders what “careful understandings” those would be. The Oslo Accords? And which “former sworn enemies”? Hamas? Hezbollah? Arafat?

Eulogies (cont.): prattle on peace

Of course, in the labyrinth of contorted rhetoric and distorted polemics that comprise the political discourse in/on Israel, “peace” is no more than a code-word for Israeli capitulation to Arab demands, and the “peace process” an encrypted synonym for “Israeli withdrawal.”

Accordingly, when Obama lauded Peres in his eulogy, declaring, “He understood the practical necessity of peace. Shimon believed that Israel’s exceptionalism was rooted not only in fidelity to the Jewish people, but to…the precepts of his Jewish faith: ‘The Jewish people weren’t born to rule another people,’” the allusion is clear — to achieve peace, Israel must withdraw from the ancient homeland of the Jewish people. As if Arab or Muslim enmity began only in 1967, and the desire to annihilate the Jewish state was fueled only by the “occupation” of Judea-Samaria and not by an implacable Arab refusal to countenance any expression of Jewish sovereignty in any territorial configuration whatsoever.

Then, of course, there was famed author Amos Oz, the ever-eloquent “oracle” of the obsessive dovish Left, who in a 2000 Haaretz interview promised: “The minute we leave south Lebanon we will have to erase the word Hezbollah from our vocabulary, because the whole idea of the state of Israel versus Hezbollah was sheer folly from the outset. It most certainly will no longer be relevant when Israel returns to her internationally recognized northern border.”

Of course, the realities today, long after “Israel return[ed] to her internationally recognized northern border” and the bloody 2006 Second Lebanon War, demonstrate just how wildly inaccurate Oz’s prognosis was, proving he is far more adept in the world of fanciful fiction than that of cold political realities.

Amos Oz: “Peres, a banal hawk”

Past errors, of course, have never swayed Oz’s absolute belief in the infallibility of his political credo, no matter how often and how incontrovertibly it has been disproven in the past. This should be kept in mind when assessing Oz’s remembrance of Peres. Just prior to the funeral, Oz disparagingly dismissed earlier periods of Peres’ political life, saying, “In the early ’70s, he was, in my eyes, a banal hawk. Supporting settlers, a settler lover, a security man, the more land the better, the more power the better.” Having reduced Peres’ more impressive security successes as a hawk to the “banal,” Oz then enthusiastically gushed over Peres’ later failed fiascoes as a dove, saying, “He changed before my eyes…into an enthusiastic and stubborn believer in Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

In Oz’s graveside eulogy, he proclaimed that, despite naysayers who believe peace is impossible, “Peace is not only possible, it is imperative and inevitable.” But then he elaborated with a simplistic — the less charitable might say puerile — analogy, which revealed that what Oz envisaged was not really a harmonious peace, but (unsurprisingly) Israeli withdrawal and separation from the Palestinian Arabs. Relating to the Jewish homeland as innate real estate, he declared: “Since Israelis and Palestinians cannot suddenly become one happy family, there is no alternative to dividing this house [Israel] into two, and converting it into a duplex building.”

Of course, nowhere in this silly, shallow analogy is there any reference to the fact that the “their” apartment will abut a hostile Islamist neighborhood, whose belligerent inhabitants are very likely to turn it into a base from which to launch deadly attacks against “our” apartment and its vulnerable tenants.

But hey, why let pesky details impede a noble vision?

Where are Peres’ successors?

Convinced with cult-like conviction, despite all the evidence to the contrary, of the absolute truth of his ideological creed, Oz pontificated dogmatically: “In their heart of hearts, all sides know this simple truth. Where are the brave leaders who will stand up and make these things a reality? Where are Shimon Peres’ successors?” Indeed, one can only marvel with stunned amazement at this callous (or is that masochistic?) nostalgia for “successors,” who will lead us back into the horrors of charred buses, mutilated bodies and bombed cafes that were the hallmark of the Oslo-ian “peace process” that Oz perversely yearns for.

This call for “brave leaders” was echoed in a particularly inane and incoherent article by Lior Ackermam, titled “Wanted: Two courageous leaders” in the Jerusalem Post(see introductory excerpt), a publication that, since the departure of editor-in-chief Steve Linde, seems to have adopted a dramatically more leftist (and anti-Netanyahu) line.

In it, Ackerman bewails the continued dire conditions under which the Palestinian Arabs live under the regime of the Abbas-headed Palestinian Authority, suggesting that this has understandably precipitated the latest wave of so-called “lone-wolf” terror. He warns that the only thing preventing “total anarchy or a Hamas takeover” is the hard work of the Israeli security forces. But he raises the outrageous claim that “no Israeli government has made any efforts in the past decade to move the peace process forward.”

From the inane to the insane

I guess he must be unaware of Ehud Olmert’s wildly concessionary offer to Abbas in 2008, which the latter flatly rejected. Or the unreciprocated steps Netanyahu took, cutting sharply across the grain of his political base, to coax the Palestinians back to negotiations: the building freeze in Judea-Samaria; the implicit agreement to have the pre-1967 borders serve as a point of departure for negotiations; the release of convicted terrorists with “blood on their hands.”

I could go on and elaborate on the array of patently useless, self-contradictory, already-tried-and-failed “remedies’” that Ackerman proposes to ameliorate the situation until such adequately “courageous leaders” emerge, but that would take more than the remaining space in this essay…

Instead, allow me to conclude with the buffoonish comments of Haaretz’s Gideon Levy. In a delusional piece entitled “Shimon Peres’ funeral proved that anti-Semitism is dead” (see introductory excerpts), he wrote, “On Friday, the world proved that what it really wants is to embrace Israel. Oslo, the disengagement and Peres were enough for the world to carry Israel aloft…But Israel repeatedly bites the outstretched hand, pushes the world to detest it…” He added, “Every Israeli could be proud of being Israeli and not have to hide it out of fear and shame. How much Israel’s fate is in its own hands depends on its behavior. If it wants, it can be admired.”

The world according to Gideon Levy

So, dear Israelis, there you have it — the world according to Gideon Levy. All you have to do to be admired is to endorse fatally flawed and failed formulae that leave your streets strewn with dead bodies and the world will love you.

Simple, isn’t it?

As Alice in Wonderland sighed: “It would be so nice if something would make sense for a change.”