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A Middle East Grand Bargain Must Create Kurdistan by Sherkoh Abbas and Robert Sklaroff

President Trump’s itinerary during his first overseas trip revealed both his goal and its attendant strategy—although it remains officially unstated—as he tries to fashion a durable end to the Syrian civil war and the birth of a restructured region.

In the process of touching-base with the nerve-centers of each of the three major Middle East religions, he attempted to eliminate the Islamic State without empowering Iran.

Conspiratorial Liberals yelp when he recruits Russia, and acolytes of the Obama Administration condemn his having maneuvered around Tehran.

But he must defang the ayatollahs, lest they ally with North Korean missile-rattlers and threaten World War III.

This is why he keeps an armada in the Gulf, while maintaining a beefed-up presence in the Sea of Japan and encouraging Beijing to block Pyongyang from nuke-testing, for he must stretch the depleted military in theaters a half-globe apart until it has been rebuilt.

And that’s why he has embedded Americans with Kurdish forces attacking Raqqa, for it is impossible to be a “player” without having placed pieces onto the board.Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the U.S. national security adviser, was triggered to inform Turkey on May 1st  that the Kurds were to receive heavy machine guns, mortars, anti-tank weapons, and armored cars after the Turks had lethally-bombed Kurdish forces in northeast Syria the prior Tuesday. That reflected autocrat Erdo?an having again  “distracted”  world attention from targeting the primary target, the Islamic State.

Accommodating this major reconfiguration of regional forces, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia saw no need to arm the Syrian Kurds, but said Moscow would maintain working contacts with them.

Secretary of Defense James “Jim” Mattis had decided to arm the Kurds directly rather than via any regional country, finally reversing Obama’s following-from-behind intransigent passivity.

He is implementing key aphorisms derived from his storied career defending America.

Indeed, Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) recognized arming the Kurds constitutes “an immense milestone.”

In the process, Mattis has recognized The Road to Defeating the Islamic State Runs through Kurdistan, an essay—illustrated by a settlement-map—that succinctly details the historic, military, economic, religious and political implications of this overdue stance.

Visiting Trump in this charged atmosphere, Erdo?an chose the wrong time to be bellicose against Israel and America.  His post-referendum dictatorial effort to promote Jihad was again manifest through two decrees; one that expelled more than 4,000 civil servants and another that banned television dating programs.

That these actions were  not being well-received. That was reflected in the fact that the latter two hyperlinks [al-Monitor and Aljazeera] are from Arab websites, suggesting welcome-recognition of a tilt toward inter-alia the Sunni Gulf states, plus Qatar, the locale of a major American military presence over NATO-aligned Ankara ,which is increasingly aligning with Iran against the potential for Kurds to achieve independence.

That  would serve as the culmination of battle-plans we have proposed for almost a decade.  In 2008, we identified  Kurds as  an “invisible people”  and   advocated confronting the major source of global terrorism,The Road to Iran Runs through Kurdistan – and Starts in Syria. In 2015, we showed why the United States cannot evade this trouble-spot,[The Pathway to Defeating ISIS Runs Though Kurdistan – And Starts in America. In 2013, we  concluded The Kurds can lead a reconstituted  Syria, at peace with all of her neighbors.  In 2014, we suggested NATO Must Help the Kurds Now.

That is  why Kurds are seeking recognition of their enormous military sacrifice and their unique political feat, noting their carefully-constructed federal system in Rojava;  the area of Northern Syria comprised of four self-governing cantons.

Resolving vague territorial claims would yield a regional Diaspora in Turkey, Iran, and Russia, although Stalin purged much of the USSR-population a half-century ago.

Recognizing that Russia has unilaterally created safe-zones, and buzzed American jets near Alaska and Crimea, it will remain vital to coordinate militaries functioning in close-quarters, to ensure spheres of influence do not inadvertently trigger  conflict.

If America retracts support for anti-Islamist Kurds, Erdo?an will be free to promote his brand of Muslim Brotherhood ideology; the dangerous ramifications of which have been explored [Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future].

NATO can reassure Turkey that creation of an independent Kurdistan south of its border, joining with the federated section of northern Iraq, will remove inordinate fears that secession-agitation will persist on its eastern reaches.

Turkey needs to accept this type of endpoint, for its military killed six members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in air strikes in northern Iraq .

What really irks Erdo?an is that “U.S. arming Syrian Kurds shattered Turkey’s Ottoman Empire ambitions. ” Both  America and Turkey will face a de-facto proxy-war unless Erdogan heeds the more conciliatory tone struck by his Prime Minister.

The schism between the United States and Turkey was illustrated during their press  event.  These leaders deemed different entities as “terroristic”.  Trump cited PKK; whereas Erdo?an cited YPG/PYD .

This perhaps explains the anguish expressed by Turkish security guards, when they beatprotesters—primarily Kurds and Armenian outside t their D.C. embassy .

We suggest the following blueprint should be followed to prompt Moscow to help oust Iran from Syria . It would allow the Kurdish-plurality in northwestern Syria to extend its governance to the Mediterranean Sea, blocking Turkey from expansionist temptations.

The multi-front war against Islamists is recognized by Western leaders such as US Senator Ted Cruz (R, Texas) and globally Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—to have supplanted the Cold War paradigm of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Perhaps the ultimate method to illustrate the wisdom of this approach is to discount an oppositional paradigm, such as the false claim that American involvement in Syria would merely be a manifestation of Western Imperialism in Rojava.

Instead, America should  implement Point 12  of Woodrow Wilson’s 14-Point Plan that advocated establishing Kurdistan more than a century ago.

At  long last, America Must Recognize Kurdistan  by serving as midwife for a new country [assuming this is the electoral outcome of the originally scheduled September 25 plebiscite sponsored by the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq. That  would assist in finally defeating  the Islamic State.  This would offer immediate and long-term geo-political  dividends.

ABOUT SHERKOH ABBAS

Sherkoh Abbas is President of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria.

ABOUT ROBERT SKLAROFF

Robert Sklaroff is a physician-activist and supporter of Kurdish self-determination.

This article constitutes the policy of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria, conveyed to America and to the world, representing the Kurds of Syria.

RELATED ARTICLE: Netanyahu, the First World Leader to Endorse Independent Kurdistan, Hits Back at Erdogan for Supporting Hamas

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Wailing Wall of the West

Temple Mount psychodrama

Act 1 July 14th: three Arab Israelis pick up weapons previously stored by an accomplice in the al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount and gun down two Israeli Druze policemen. Being courageous jihadis, they shoot the policemen in the back. Israeli authorities step in where the Waqf, guardians of the mosques, had failed to exercise due diligence. They bar entry to the Temple Mount, gather evidence, install metal detectors to prevent further killing-this type of crime often comes in waves-and  then reopen the Temple Mount. This normal exercise of Israeli sovereignty provokes violence in Jerusalem and recriminations from Western media onlookers that echo the war cry: Israel is not respecting the status quo. Prime Minister Netanyahu remarks that stashing weapons in the mosque is a violation of the status quo, but chronology loses its bearing whenever Islam is concerned. Steps taken to restore that status quo are presented by Western media and commentators as provocative measures that led naturally to rioting, murderous attacks, and diplomatic aggression.

Thousands of Muslims prostrate themselves outside the gates, defiantly refusing to pass through the metal detectors. In between prayer sessions they unleash their fury on law enforcement, throwing firebombs, firecrackers, allahu akhbars, and threats of extermination. The genocidal war cry khaybar khaybar ya yahud, jaish muhammad sawfa ya’ud! ricochets in the steep narrow lanes of Jerusalem’s old city. We know that tune. It was on the hit parade in the summer of 2014 when our local jihadis stomped through the streets of Paris bellowing khaybar khaybar (“Remember Khaybar [dirty] Jews, Mohamed’s army is coming [to exterminate you] again.”) [cf Poller, The Black Flag of Jihad Stalks la République]

Act 2: our French media, undoubtedly guided and fed by Agence France Presse, report fulminatingly on the distress caused to Muslim worshippers by the installation of metal detectors at entries to l’esplanade des mosquées [mosque compound]. Commentators, never at a loss for words, lock into default position: The problem is the colonies. The problem is far and further right wing Netanyahu, gobbling up Palestinian land, making peace impossible. The problem is, he won’t make a 2-state solution.

N.B. factual mistakes, careless mistakes, incomplete information and sloppy reporting of every sort are the hallmark of news makers. However, honest mistakes are random. Deliberately failing to mention that the two Israeli policemen were shot with weapons smuggled into the al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount is not sloppy reporting. It’s a lie.

The metal detectors become an arbitrary gesture of humiliation and, far worse, they’re one step away from the total destruction of the al Aqsa mosque. Yes, our ladies and gentlemen of respectable media automatically identify with the most bloodthirsty of the ranting raging rioters. They integrate the rage and the rationale. It’s so natural they don’t miss a step. Metal detectors, they’re tearing down the mosque, the Israelis have turned this into a religious war,au secours, help! What about the hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Israel and the disputed territories that are not chanting khaybar khaybar kill the Jews? Enlightened Muslims publish op-eds denouncing the counterproductive uprising fueled by Islamic extremists. Our opinion makers don’t seem to be aware of their existence. Seventeen years since the al Dura blood libel triggered an unending wave of atrocities, the sky is still falling, the mosque is in danger, and kill the Jews seems like a reasonable response to a few metal detectors.

Muhammad’s army strikes Halamish

Act 3: another brave warrior girds for battle. Dressed like an Orthodox Jew, white shirt, black trousers, kippa…and a butcher knife, he deftly climbs over the barrier (we don’t know exactly how), enters the Jewish neighborhood of Halamish, and knocks on the door of the first house he comes to. The Salomon family, gathered around the shabat table, is celebrating the birth of a grandchild hat very morning. They open the door, thinking the young man is the first of many guests that will come to share their joy of fruitfully multiplying, of new life and renewed generations. He pulls out the knife and slaughters the grandfather, his adult daughter and adult son. The grandmother is stabbed but survives. The daughter-in-law runs upstairs, takes refuge in a bedroom with her five children and, holding the door closed with all her might, calls for help. An off duty soldier next door comes out, sees what is happening, shoots the killer, ending his spree but not his life.

We learn subsequently that the soldier did not shoot twice because the wounded murderer fell next to   Yosef Salamon whose wife Tova had been the soldier’s kindergarten teacher.

Slash tag interlude: in nearby Amman, in the kingdom of Jordan, holy seat of the negligent Waqf, a young man delivering furniture to a residence in the Israeli embassy compound deliberately (or mistakenly…taking him for a piece of wood) stabs the security guard in the back with a screwdriver. The security guard shoots him dead. The owner of the building who had accompanied the delivery boy-reportedly the son of the furniture store owner-is apparently stuck dead by a stray bullet. So, of course, the royal Jordanian kingdom refuses to allow the security guard and other embassy personnel to leave his realm. Sticklers for international law, ready to set the world on fire if the status quo on their third holiest site is not respected, the Jordanians don’t only insist on the right to let Muslims store weapons in the mosque, they also trample diplomatic protocol like it was an Israeli flag at the feet of raging allahu akhbars. And of course they are raging all around the Israeli embassy.

The voice of reason strikes again

Act 4: A closed door emergency session of the UNSC is convened at the request of France, Sweden, and Egypt-three nations internationally known for their expertise in preventing jihad attacks and other subversive actions. The voices of reason prevail. What do they say? From this day forward, visitors to the Temple Mount will wear electronic bracelets, as do pilgrims to Mecca? Or perhaps, ceasefire first, negotiations afterward? Pull back your mob from the gates, apologize for allowing killers to store weapons in the Al Aqsa mosque, and then we can talk. The president of the United States brings the full force of his power to bear? True, the American embassy has not made one step off the Tel Aviv beachfront on its way to Jerusalem but never mind. The time has come to apply the directives outlined in President Trump’s May 22nd speech to sheiks, princes, kings and prime ministers assembled in Riyadh. What was the theme again? Oh yes, to fight terrorism.

Hah! The voices of reason prevailed. Israeli police under cover of the night dismantled the offensive metal detectors. An international sigh of relief and a friendly pat on the back to the Israelis for these tension- reducing measures. The liberated embassy staff comes home from Jordan. Smiles and thanks to the American president’s men, Greenblatt, Freeman, and Kushner without whom, it is publicly said, the metal detectors would not have come down and the embassy staff would not have come home and the tensions would not have been reduced.

Which is why the Temple Mount temper tantrum kept going strong. The high tech surveillance cameras had to come down too, but that didn’t prevent the war drums of street prayers interlaced with wild mob action to persist and grow with promises of another day of rage on Friday the 28th. The ummah was beside itself. Worldwide. An imam in Davis California, caught by MEMRI giving a classical exterminate-the-Jews sermon complete with the rock & tree surah protests his innocence: he was only referring to the Jews that prevent Muslims from praying at the al Aqsa mosque.

A day of rage is circled on the calendar when the mufti, the imam, Mahmoud Abbas, and King Abdullah suddenly tell worshippers they can go back to pray in their mosque on the Temple Mount that they now call al Aqsa. Not just the mosque, the whole Temple Mount, jihadistically expropriated, with the help of the willing executioners of UNESCO. Rage mixes with joy as Muhmmad’s army celebrates its victory and our media headline Israel’s surrender. Conveniently forgetting that Muhammad’s army has already taken stabs at Notre Dame!

Compensating for the removal of every sort of low and high tech surveillance gadget, Jerusalem police chief Yoram Halevi stood upright and reaffirmed Israeli sovereignty in advance of Friday prayers. All will go well if everyone cooperates. Suspicious people will be searched as always. Worshippers will be admitted as usual. But anyone that tries to create trouble will be met with iron fisted force. There will be injuries there will be arrests. We are strong and we know what to do.

Commemoration of execution of a priest in a Normandy church

July 26, 2017, St. Etienne du Rouvray. People gathered from near and far to commemorate the slaughter of Père Hamel, a Catholic priest celebrating mass in a small, nearly empty church in Normandy. Two young men born in France of North African origin put together a shahid video, walked into the church, solemnly pronounced allegiance to Daesh, forced an elderly parishioner to film the exploit as they slit the throat of the 86 year-old priest, and then stabbed their videographer-slave, who survived. The jihad attack was the third in a morbid series that summer: 13 June, a young couple, both members of the police force, were savagely assassinated in front of their 3 year-old child at their home in Magnanville. 14 July, 84 civilians were killed and more than a hundred maimed by a jihadi at the wheel of a truck on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Not to mention 130 murdered by ambitious shahids in 2015, and scattered incidents before and since…

Here too the voices of reason speak out. At the high point in a moving tribute to the slaughtered priest, President Macron thanks Catholics for not giving in to hatred after this heinous crime. He thanks them, as if they had been two steps away from going on the rampage, stomping through the streets screaming annihilate the Muslims, torching mosques, beheading imams, raping women in hijab and ripping open pregnant Muslim bellies. We’ve been hearing this nonsense for 17 years. Our bewildered citizens are doing candle and flower ceremonies and hugging the nearest Muslim, anything to prove how much we love each other.

We don’t make bloodthirsty calls for revenge! The ones that go on the rampage are there in front of our eyes. They are verbally photoshopped into defenseless victims. And the voice of reason orders the targets of their genocidal hatred to stand down. Jihadis are fulfilling their sacred duty to punish, annihilate, convert. They clearly state their inspiration and objectives. But our political leaders and confused opinion-makers keep prettying it up with lace embroidery. They [the killers] want to turn us against each other, preaches the president, but we won’t do it, we’re stronger than ever in our vivre ensemble. The blood of the innocent flows through the byways of our societies and the smooth talkers warble in harmony-Muslims and Christians closer than ever after the horrifying murder of the beloved priest. Here’s the July 2016 photo of Salafists in front of the mosque that is actually connected by a door to the [other] St. Etienne du Rouvray church. The sign says “mosque in mourning.”2

Dhimmitude

This wailing wall of the West is dhimmitude. This deliberate concealment of Islamic acts and methods, this insane identification with the bloodthirsty, this constant exhortation to tie our own hands behind our backs, this vicious condemnation of Israel’s self-defense is dhimmitude  And it’s not just in France, not only European submission. I heard it wherever I went on a recent visit to the US. In North Carolina, in NY, in Boston, at a conference at Brandeis, always the same song, we should be better kinder more tolerant more aware of our faults and shortcomings more inclusive less judgmental… it’s dhimmitude. Bash me and I’ll weep for my sins. It’s not the media, the left, the stupid these and those, it’s jihad conquest. We’re being conquered and we don’t know it. It’s not just naked genocidal violence, it’s crass ignorance and dulled conscience. It’s cute conquest, an article bubbling with Muslim American patriotic appreciation of the American Eagle denim hijab, “as American as apple pie.”3 It’s the Islamic Center of Davis explaining that the imam only called for the annihilation of Jews that keep worshippers out of al Aqsa. And the Center has not been closed and shuttered.

It’s jihad conquest, dhimmitude, and vacancies at the highest levels of our democracies. At a joint press conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, President Trump awkwardly read out a prepared text praising the Lebanese army that is “on the front lines in the combat against Daesh, Al Qaida, and Hezbollah.”  The statement included several lines about the evils of Hezbollah. Ha’aretz reports that Hariri respectfully corrected him: we’re fighting Daesh and A Qaida, yes, but not Hezbollah. They’re in the government. We have an understanding.” This rectification does not figure in the video posted by the U.S. government.4 Was it edited out? Or hidden in the untranslated questions and answers in Arabic?

Blood spattered wall

In the few short days since I started this text, a 26 year-old Palestinian born in the UAE stabbed a man to death in a Hamburg supermarket and wounded five. Like Kobili Traoré who savagely murdered Sarah Halimi, he is said to be psychologically fragile, and his motivations are not clear. At this stage of the investigation the flagged security risk doesn’t seem to “belong” to any terrorist “organization.” Like the Tunisian that crushed twelve people under his truck at a Christmas market in Berlin, this killer was awaiting deportation after rejection of his demand for asylum. The third European victim of a recent stabbing attack at an Egyptian resort died of her wounds. Two father-son couples suspected of preparing to bring down a plane have just been arrested in Australia. And Jordanian sources screaming for blood published the photo of the Israeli security guard that killed his assailant.

Metal detectors there, hamstrung bureaucracies here, and mentally disturbed allahu akhbars everywhere. But the Great Big International Al Aqsa Intifada did not occur. All things considered, who surrenders, and who stands his ground?

RELATED ARTICLE: “Palestinian” Muslim Who Slaughtered Israeli Family to Receive $3,120 Per Month Reward From Palestinian Authority

REFERENCES:

1. http://www.timesofisrael.com/jerusalem-police-chief-threatens-casualties-if-protests-continue/

2. The running account, originally published by ruthfully yours, is collated here:  http://www.newenglishreview.org/Nidra_Poller/Jihad_Attack_on_a_Little_French_Church/

3. http://nypost.com/2017/07/20/american-eagle-introduces-the-denim-hijab/

4.https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=trump+hariri+joint+declaration+to+press&view=detail&mid=C9F32D40CB9B26348C09C9F32D40CB9B26348C09&FORM=VIRE

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Muslim teenager stabs and critically wounds shopper in Israeli supermarket

The Muslim jihad against the Jews rages on — the enemedia shrugs and yawns. But dare criticize the hatred, bigotry and savagery endemic to Islam, and you’ll have an army of enemedia trolls all over you for “Islamophobia.”

MAN CRITICALLY HURT IN TERROR STABBING IN YAVNEH

Doctors work to stop the bleeding before victim, 43, undergoes life-saving surgeries; Palestinian assailant captured by civilians

August 2, 2017, By Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel:

A Palestinian teenager stabbed an Israeli man, critically wounding him, at a supermarket in the central Israeli city of Yavneh on Wednesday morning, police said. After initially saying the motive was unclear, police eventually said the stabbing appeared to have been a terror attack.

The stabber was captured by civilians, who held him down until police arrived. He was later identified by the Shin Bet security service as Ismail Ibrahim Ismail Abu Aram, 19, from the West Bank village of Yatta.

Graphic security camera footage from inside the Shufersal supermarket in Yavneh, south of Tel Aviv, showed the moments leading up to the attack and the stabbing itself.

The 43-year-old victim, who worked at the supermarket, was stocking shelves with paper towels on one of the aisles, paying no mind to the teenager who walked past him.

Suddenly the attacker turned around, took out a knife and began viciously stabbing the supermarket employee in the upper body. Though injured, the victim fought off the terrorist and tried to run away from him, blocking the aisle after him with a handcart.

The victim could then be seen running to a nearby aisle, and out of frame, with the assailant chasing him.

He suffered stab wounds to the chest, neck and head and was in unstable condition, according to medical officials.

The victim was taken to the Kaplan Medical Center in the nearby city of Rehovot, the Magen David Adom emergency service said.

A hospital spokesperson said the victim was in critical condition. He was unconscious and hooked up to a ventilator.

Doctors in the hospital’s trauma center worked to stop the bleeding, before the victim was taken to an operating room for “life-saving surgeries,” the spokesperson said.

During the attack, someone in the supermarket apparently tried to use pepper spray on the attacker and in the process hit a number of other people in the store, who required medical attention, an MDA medic said.

After the stabbing, the Palestinian teenager fled the scene and was tackled to the ground by civilians.

According to the Shin Bet, Abu Aram entered Israel illegally, without an entry permit.

Videos from the scene showed the moments after the suspect was captured. In the footage, a few men can be seen kicking and cursing the stabber, while others push them away.One man also takes out a handgun, before others tell him, “Don’t go overboard.” The man with the pistol quickly clarifies that he “isn’t going to shoot anybody” and proceeds to keep others away from the scene until police arrives to arrest the suspect.

The past two years have seen an ongoing wave of violence in the West Bank and Israel that has lessened in intensity in recent months.

Since September 2015, assailants have killed 48 Israelis, two visiting Americans, a Palestinian man and a British student, mainly in stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks. In that time, some 280 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, a majority of them attackers, according to authorities.

The Israeli government has blamed the terrorism and violence on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders compounded on social media sites that glorify violence and encourage attacks.

EDITORS NOTE: This column, with videos, originally appeared in The Geller Report.

Who is sovereign on the Temple Mount this Tish b’Av?

Monday evening, July 31, 2017 marks the eve of the Fast of the Ninth of Av (Tish b’Av) commemorating the Babylonian Destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE, the Second Temple in 70 CE and a series of catastrophes that befallen the Jewish people over two millennia at or close to  this date culminating in the Nazi final solution the murder of Six Million European Jewish men, women and children.

The foundation of the modern State of Israel and the 50th commemoration of the recapture of the Old City of Jerusalem to the cries, “the Temple Mount is in our Hands” should have assured the sovereignty of an eternal undivided capital of the Jewish nation of Israel.

The past 17 days since the Temple Mount crisis began with the killing of two Israeli Druze police officers by three Israeli Arab extremists of the Northern Branch of the Islamic movement. The placement of metal detectors at the Lions gate and Arab protests and incitement led to the deaths of three members of the Salomon family (Baruch Dayan ha’Emet  BDE (Hebrew: Blessed Is the True Judge)  in Halamish.

The protests from across the Muslim ummah, Kingdom of Jordan that appoints the Waqf that administers the Mosques atop the Temple Mount, the Palestinian Authority, its President and appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem have challenged the sovereignty of the State of Israel. That led to the withdrawal of the metal detectors and surveillance cameras.

Once, again this episode deminstrates why dissidence and disunity among Jews contributed to both the destruction of the first and second Temples and the recent events of the past two weeks.

Laitman’s kabbalist drash or commentary is timely this Ninth of Av as he emphasizes based on commentaries and histories the core message of unity, the core meaning of Yehudi or Jews.

Who is the sovereign on Temple Mount?

Jerusalem Post, July 26, 2017

By Michael Laitman

It is no secret that the Arab smear campaign in the media and the organized “popular” protests against the placement of metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount have nothing to do with security measures. From the perspective of the Wakf (the Islamic organization controlling and managing the Temple Mount), and the rest of the Arab world, the resistance to the detectors represents the resistance to Israel’s sovereignty on Temple Mount in particular, in the city of Jerusalem, and in all of Israel. The longer this campaign lasts, the more the Arabs will gain the favor of the world, and Israel will increasingly be seen as the bully in the neighborhood.

By now, hardly anyone remembers that the detectors were placed at the entrances because three terrorists opened fire on Israeli police, killing two officers and wounding a third. All that everyone sees now is that Israel is not letting Muslims pray in their holy site, when in fact, the only people keeping worshippers outside the Temple Mount are the Wakf, who are telling worshippers not to enter in protest of the placement of detectors.

The Temple—the Unity of Israel

Not only the Wakf objects to Israel’s authority on Temple Mount. The resolutions of UNESCO denying the Jewish history on Temple Mount, Jerusalem, and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron represent the view of the entire world that we do not belong here. If the UN were to vote today on the establishment of a Jewish state, who would vote “Yes”? Probably not even America.

To be a sovereign in the land of Israel, and particularly on Temple Mount, you must understand what the Temple represents and lead your life accordingly. The book Netzah Israel (Chapter 4) writes, “The House was ruined due to unfounded hatred, for their hearts divided and they parted and were unworthy of a Temple, which is the unity of Israel.”

If we honestly reflect on our society, on what we project to the world, it is clear that we are deeply divided and project disunity and discord everywhere. The Maharal of Prague writes in Hidushey Avot (Gittin 55b): “The Temple should be the wholeness of the entire world, not of Israel alone. …Since the Temple is the wholeness of the entire world, the nations included, it was not ruined by the nations, but only by unfounded hatred and division, when Israel divided.”

In other words, the Temple does not belong to any one nation or faith; it represents the unification of the world. Therefore, only those who advocate and execute unity merit being there. The Hebrew word Yehudi (Jew) comes from the word yihudi,meaning united (Yaarot Devash, Part 2, Drush no. 2). When we, Jews, united “as one man with one heart,” it was the first and only time in history when people of different, often rival clans from all over Babylon and the Near East united and forged a nation. Our unity, therefore, was a model for the entire world to follow. As a result, immediately following the establishment of our peoplehood, we were commanded to be “a light unto nations,” to take our method of unity to the rest of humanity.

The book Sefat Emet (Shemot, Yitro) describes what it means to be “a light unto nations”: “The children of Israel are guarantors in that they received the Torah [the light of unity] in order to correct the entire world.” But if we are not united, and therefore do not project unity to the rest of the world, can we truly regard ourselves as the “children of Israel”? And if we are not truly the children of Israel, united like the children of Israel are meant to be, can we claim sovereignty over the land?

The Sedition Conquered the City, and the Romans Conquered the Sedition

Jewish-Roman historian Josephus Flavius lived at the time of the ruin and witnessed many of the events first hand. He wrote very clearly about the causes of the ruin of the Temple and the exile (The Wars of the Jews, Book IV, Chapter 6): “The sedition [among the Jews] conquered the city, and the Romans conquered the sedition.” In the days of the Temple, Flavius details, “The attribute the [Jews] lacked most was mercy. …They transferred their rage from the living to the slain, and from the slain to the living [of their own people]. The terror was so great that the survivors called the dead ‘happy,’ as they were already at rest. … These men trampled upon all the laws of men [love of others], and ridiculed the words of the prophets. Yet, these prophets foretell … that the city should be taken and the sanctuary burnt by war when a sedition invades the Jews, and their own hand should pollute the Temple. Now these zealots … made themselves the instruments of the fulfillment [of the prophecies].”

When you think of the current hatred between the two sides of the political map in Israel, or between the two sides of the political map among US Jews, the similarities to the enmity among our ancestors are too striking to ignore. “At the end of the period of the Second Temple,” writes the book A Letter from Elijah (Part 3), “strife and hatred intensified in Israel, and pride was the root of the desire for absolute dominance. This brought them into hatred of their fellow person until they could not stand the very existence of the other. From that root of pride also emerged the audacity to sin shamelessly, for they did not perceive the contradiction between their actions and their views, and their conscience did not cause them to conceal their actions. And if they do not care about the conflict between their views and their actions, then they are regarded as ‘all sin.’ These are the things that caused the ruin of the House.”

A Land without a Sovereign

Today, we have a state, and we seemingly have sovereignty. But the name, “The State of Israel,” is still devoid of content. Our intolerance toward each other, our disdain toward our own people is skyrocketing. If we do not realize that we are repeating the same crime of unfounded hatred we committed two millennia ago, we will be banished from this land again until we are ready to unite above our differences as did our forefathers in the desert.

This Monday evening, we will mark the ninth of Av, the date when the Temple was destroyed. But it was destroyed in our hearts long before the bricks were set ablaze. With these compelling words, The Hida describes this inner ruin (Devarim Achadim, Tractate no. 6): “What can we say when we regret all day the ruin of the House and the [absence of] redemption? …It was all ruined because of unfounded hatred, and if we are disunited now and there is unfounded hatred, how can the House be built, since the cause of our ruin has not ceased from us? How can we say that we await Your salvation all the day while there is still unfounded hatred in our midst? Woe, how can man do good deeds as long as his impurity of baseless hatred is still in him?”

To be the landlords in the land of Israel, we must become once more the people of Israel, yehudim [Jews] from the word, yihudi [united]. Unless we reconstruct our unity and reassume our commitment to be a beacon of unity unto nations, the world will not support our being here and we will be expelled once more.

Sovereignty in the land of Israel is unlike the sovereignty in any other land—acquired by military might. This land has no sovereign; its dwellers are people who are willing to connect, to unite above their hatred, just like our forefathers. If we can learn the lesson from the horrors of our ancestors and transcend our selfish egos, we will merit staying here, and the entire world will be behind us. But if we opt once more for enmity, then we will suffer the hostility of the entire world, but not before we scuffle with each other once again.

For more information on antisemitism and the role of the people of Israel, please visit Why Do People Hate Jews.

ABOUT MICHAEL LAITMAN

Michael Laitman has a PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah and an MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics. He was the prime disciple of Kabbalist Rav Baruch Shalom Ashlag (the RABASH). Laitman has written over 40 books, which have been translated into dozens of languages. Click Here to visit his author page.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Students for Justice in Palestine UC Irvine — Out of Control

How long before someone gets hurt?

The group has incited against and disrupted Jewish speakers on campus since 2010.

In February 2010, eleven UCI students, including SJP UCI members, disrupted Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s speech. These students, dubbed the “Irvine 11,” were arrested and prosecuted.

On May 18, 2016, SJP UCI members disrupted a pro-Israel film screening. SJP UCI student leader, Celine Qussiny led a crowd of fifty who tried to force their way into the venue. They called for “Intifada” (violent uprising) and to “Fight the police.” Pro-Israel attendees were escorted out by police, for their own protection.

The university administration put SJP UCI on probation, effective until March 2017.

When the probation period expired, Celine Qussiny and SJP UCI were back. On May 10, 2017, they stormed a pro-Israel panel discussion event, with Qussiny leading a crowd in various chants including, “When people are occupied, resistance is justified!”

Again, attendees needed a police escort out of the venue.

The next day, Celine Qussiny bragged how SJP UCI had gone “to disrupt the event” in order “to let them (the panelists) know that we refuse to allow the normalization of their presence here.”

She admitted that SJP UCI knew full-well that “the administration told us not to disrupt, that we have to be civil.”

It’s hard to understate the seriousness of this. But it gets worse.

Our 2017 Report on the University of California, Irvine unearthed the shocking discovery that a number of protesters from the May 10th incident were members of the UCI student government.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

When student senators join disruptions that flout university rules and jeopardize student safety, is it not time to say enough is enough?

Contact UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman at chancellor@uci.edu and tell him that you have had enough of SJP UCI disrupting Jewish life on UCI’s campus. SJP should be banned from the UCI campus and the student government members who participated in their disruptions, impeached.

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The Unkindest Cut

Perhaps there are no longer many who know the name Martin Niemoeller, a Protestant pastor, most famous for his poem, as follows:

“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out.

Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out.

          Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out.

         And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Neimoeller, an anti-communist, supported the Nazis until the churches were placed under Nazi control. He then founded the Pastors’ Emergency League, on September 11, 1933, to unite German evangelical theologians, pastors and church office-holders against Aryanism. He was tried and imprisoned for seven months, followed by seven years in concentration camps. Freed after the war, he became president of the Protestant church in Hesse and Nassau (1947- 1964), and president of the World Council of Churches in the 1960s, against which he would speak out now, given the opportunity.

The World Council of Churches, founded in 1948 and headquartered in Geneva, and its 350 mostly Protestant and Orthodox churches and some evangelical membership, overtly expressed concern for the safety of the Jewish people, but clandestinely began promoting a lethal anti-Israel agenda aimed at delegitimizing Israel in the Middle East conflict. Instead of worrying about Israelis’ being blown up by homicidal bombers during the Second Intifada (2000-2005), the group justified the Palestinian violence and vilified Israel’s self-defense. They established the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) and the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) to end Israel’s “occupation,” aware that this action would eventually deprive the Jewish people of their own homeland.

With their hostility clearly focused on Israel, the Council sends activists to the West Bank to confront Israeli soldiers and settlers, while also repudiating the Arab aggression toward Israel and the Jews. So, they denounce anti-Semitism for public consumption, but individual members nevertheless continue their demonizing rhetoric against Israel.  And there is more (there always is): They avoid denouncing Muslim anti-Semitism and Muslim assassinations of Christians.

Interestingly, when the Provisional Committee prepared to create the WCC in Amsterdam, in 1948, they guaranteed full Church rights to Christians of Jewish descent, and expressed remorse to the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust along with gratitude to the Christians who had sheltered them. In fact, they even acknowledged that the Church had contributed to anti-Semitism – but they would consider Israel’s sovereignty. Not only did the WCC not support the creation of a Jewish state, but they attempted to delegitimize the entire concept.  They determined it best to not offend the Muslims who sought a second Holocaust. Recognizing the rights of Jewish converts to Christianity was an easy decision, but the rights of Jews to live in their own country remained problematical.

The PLO’s terror attacks in the early 1970s, as well as the Lod Airport massacre that left 26 dead and scores injured, and other Palestinian kidnappings and murders of Israelis, were also met with the Council’s benign condemnation, as though the Palestinians were striving for “human rights,” and not the annihilation of the entire state of Israel. Hijackings, once called “reckless acts of anarchy that disregard human rights” were now excused as “something not so bad because nobody got killed.”

The massacre of the Israeli Olympic team by the PLO in September 1972 was termed “senseless terrorism.” Rather than condemn the Palestinians’ heinous acts and demand the criminals be prosecuted, the WCC general secretary expressed consternation at the “senseless (!)” deaths of the Israelis, their abductors and the German officials – as though the “sacrificed lives” were not only equal but could have made sense given different circumstances. The suggestion is grotesque. He condemned Israel not to respond with reprisals, which thereafter became their modus operandi.

Contrary to its title, the UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001, became a dedication to hate against Israel. Although the WCC claimed to disapprove of some of the statements, it nevertheless supported the document.

In 2004, they eulogized Arafat upon his death as a leader who recognized true justice, peace and security for Palestinians and Israelis. The WCC disregarded his massacres of Jews and Christians, the terrorism despite the Oslo Accords, and the billions of dollars in aid that was never used to improve Palestinian lives.

In February 2005, the WCC joined the American Protestant churches in the Presbyterian Church’s (USA) divestment campaign against Israel, blaming Israel’s occupation for the violence, not Palestinian aggression or the companies that profit from that aggression. The group also directed their blame against Israel for boarding the Mavi Marmara flotilla that was carrying jihadists and armaments to Gaza in June 2016, despite videos that showed the passengers to be the violent aggressors.

The WCC was quick to condemn Israel’s invasion into Lebanon in 1984, but protected the identity of the earlier massacres by the PLO and Christian Phalangists in the 1970s and 1980s, and the PLO’s massacres in Lebanon (1982). They also maintained their silence about the Palestinians’ horrific atrocities and executions of the Maronites (Roman Catholics) in January 1976.

The World Council of Churches no longer stands for democracy and Christianity – if it ever did without Niemoeller. In a world that has grown more dangerous, with fanatical terrorists and unstoppable migrants overcoming countries from which the indigenous populations are fleeing,  the WCC has declared its affinity for the enemy, those who threaten to establish a caliphate at Buckingham Palace, at the White House, and throughout Europe and Asia.  Statements issued by the Central Community of the WCC in response to brutal attacks against Christians refrain from naming the Islamic attackers.  Rather, they criticize Israel and silence those who dare defame Islam.

It is no surprise for Israel to be vilified by the followers of Islam, because Islam, like Nazism, is the antithesis of Judaism and they could never co-exist.  But when the Council of churches joins the accusers, it is the unkindest cut of all. Such action is foolhardy and self-defeating as the integrity of the Church’s theology requires the existence of Israel and the Jews, but the reverse is not true.  If it were possible to remove Judaism, Christianity would suffer the same fate thereafter.  Islam’s declared purpose is global conquest.  Pastor Niemoeller’s words ring as true today.

Like the tail-devouring Ouroboros, the WCC has turned on itself, and should no longer be able to rely on our citizens’ taxes and generosity to support the Palestinian Authority and the armed jihadists who seek Jewish and Christian destruction.  Isaiah 5:20: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil.

(With appreciation to Dexter Van Zile, “Broadcasting a Lethal Narrative: The World Council of Churches and Israel,” Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Palestinians Paid Terrorists and their families $1 Billion in past 4 Years

The PLO (Palestinian leadership) pay Palestinians and their families  who murder Jews and Christians in Israel money as a reward for  murder. They also name monuments and streets after these murderers. Leaders as well as people and countries who continue to pay the PLO money used to incite murder are ‘Accessories to Murder’ .

Congress should immediately cut off funds paid to the PLO unless this incitement to murder is stopped.

Palestinians Paid Terrorists $1 Billion in Past 4 Years

The Palestinian Authority has paid out some NIS 4 billion — or $1.12 billion — over the past four years to terrorists and their families, a former director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and ex-head of the army’s intelligence and research division told a top Knesset panel on Monday.

Setting out the figures, Brig.-Gen (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the longer the period for which a Palestinian security prisoner is jailed, “the higher the salary… Anyone who has sat in prison for more than 30 years gets NIS 12,000 ($3,360) per month,” said Kuperwasser, according to the (Hebrew) NRG website. “When they’re released, they get a grant and are promised a job at the Palestinian Authority. They get a military rank that’s determined according to the number of years they’ve served in jail.”

Kuperwasser also told the committee that PA claims that the payments to terrorists’ families are social welfare benefits to the needy are false. The Palestinians’ own budgetary documents, he said, “clearly state that these are salaries and not welfare payments.”

Kuperwasser was briefing MKs days after US President Donald Trump visited Israel and held talks with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem. In an apparent public upbraiding of Abbas over the payments, Trump told him at their joint press conference: “Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded or rewarded.”

Read more…

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Mahmoud Abbas celebrating the return of Palestinian prisoners as part of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in August 2013 (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Major policy shift: Trump administration declares Jerusalem part of Israel

Major, and most welcome. Jerusalem belongs to Israel by the record of history, international law, and the right of conquest that is recognized for every other state in the world, but not for Israel. This is an extremely encouraging development; we can only hope there will be more to come.

“Trump Admin Declares Jerusalem Part of Israel in Major Policy Shift,” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, May 22, 2017:

The Trump administration declared the president is in “Jerusalem, Israel,” on Monday for a series of meetings with Israeli officials, a proclamation that breaks with years of American policy refraining from stating that the city of Jerusalem is part of Israel.

Senior Trump administration officials had ignited a wave of controversy over the past several weeks when discussing Jerusalem, with some top officials refusing to say that the ancient city is part of Israel.

Decades of U.S. policy has refrained from formally labeling Jerusalem as part of Israel due to concerns this could negatively impact the Middle East peace process, in which Palestinian leaders have staked a claim to the city as their future capital.

Ahead of a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House, on its official website, provided a live stream of the event. Prior to its start, the White House included a frame stating, “President Trump gives remarks with Prime Minister Netanyahu.” The location provided was “Jerusalem, Israel.”

The statement appears to be part of an effort to normalize this language, which is widely backed by U.S. lawmakers and senior officials in the administration, sources said.

The State Department, which is disposed to address the issue with more caution, declined to comment on the latest declaration, instead referring a reporter to the White House. The White House did not provide comment on the matter by press time. Pro-Israel observers on Twitter and other social media immediately praised the declaration.

The Obama administration also faced its own controversies when dealing with the city. The former administration was caught altering official photographs to remove “Israel” as the location for several meetings. The effort roiled the pro-Israel community, but was in line with standing U.S. policy.

The Trump administration has faced its own struggles on the issue.

Candidate Trump vowed in multiple speeches on the campaign trail that he would move the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the country’s capital.

While U.S. law states that the embassy should be moved, consecutive presidents have waived the requirement, claiming that it interferes with efforts to advance Middle East peace.

Trump’s administration has taken heat from the pro-Israel community for failing thus far to take concrete action on moving the embassy. While White House officials maintain that the plan is still being examined, the slow roll of the move has angered Trump’s biggest pro-Israel supporters.

Trump administration officials also have issued a range of answers when pressed to explain whether they believe Jerusalem is part of Israel.

White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster last week would not tell reporters whether Israel’s holiest site, the Western Wall, is located in Israel proper.

The latest declaration on the issue by the Trump administration appears to show that the president is committed to affirming Israel’s sovereignty over the city and turning the page from years of chilly relations between the Israeli government and the United States under former President Barack Obama.

In joint remarks with Netanyahu, Trump emphasized his opposition to the landmark Iran nuclear deal, blaming the previous administration for inking a deal that has only emboldened the Islamic Republic….

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The Temple Mount is in our Hands: The Legacy of the 1967 Six Day War

The 28th of Iyar in the Hebrew Calendar falls on May 23, 2017. It marks the 50th anniversary of the June Six Days War in 1967 that resulted in the incredibly swift victory by Israeli forces against the massed armies and air forces of the United Arab Republic led by charismatic Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Nasser had led the creation of the secular Pan-Arab movement encompassing Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. He was playing off Moscow versus Washington. He sought to ‘erase Israel from the Map of the World’ in revenge for the defeats in both the Israeli War for Independence in 1948-49 and the abortive Suez Operation in 1956 with the UK and France.

Nasser was seeking a secular socialist Arab empire. That is in sharp contrast to Israel’s current nemesis, Iran, that adopted the same slogan. It is seeking a Pan Islamic conquest of the Middle East and beyond with the aid of nuclear weapons, missiles and proxy fighters, Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthi in Yemen.

Nasser ratcheted up his game plan in May 1967, demanding that UNEF troops withdraw from the Sinai so that his mobilized Army could replace them. He created a causus belli with the closing the Straits of Tiran, at the mouth of the Red Sea., to Israeli navigation. That prompted US President Johnson and British Prime Minister Harold Wilson to consider forming an international  flotilla to break the impasse.  Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and IDF Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin had other plans.  The country mobilized its reservists, deployed its forward forces, girded for possible action.

On the morning of June 5th, Israel launched virtually its entire air force of French made Dassault Mirage fighter bombers, Fouga close air support aircraft and US A-6 fighters in a brilliant attack from the Mediterranean Sea. It caught and destroying the Egyptian air force unawares at breakfast time. Later Syrian and Jordanian air forces would be similarly decimated. That enabled a breakthrough in Gaza and the Sinai passes that facilitated armored units reaching the Suez bypassing struggling Egyptian forces. Israeli forces in the north fought their way up and took the strategic Golan Heights from Syria aided by intelligence from Israeli spy Eli Cohen who had penetrated their military. His identity discovered he was executed in 1965, after providing Israel with key information on Syria’s forces.

What to do about Jerusalem was initially left undecided. The immediate question was what to do about the Jordanians who had occupied east Jerusalem illegally for 19 years following the 1949 Armistice. Initially concerned about the opposition it would meet from the Jordanians and in response to shelling of West Jerusalem, the decision was made on June 5th to send the 55th Parachute and Jerusalem Brigades to enter the fray. That culminated in liberating Israel’s ancient capital on the morning of June 7, 1967 with a radio message from paratroop commander Col. Mordechai “Motti” Gur, “the Temple Mount is in our Hands.” The Six Days of War ended on June 10, 1967. Israel had increased its territory by more than three times. Much of that would be returned in subsequent disengagement agreements and peace accords with both Egypt and Jordan in 1979 and 1994.

50 years later there is a legacy of unresolved issues: the question of Israel’s sovereignty over its eternal capital, the fixing of ‘secure and just’ borders under UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, Israel’s legal rights to “close settlements on the land” under International law, and the impasse over a possible peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israel. Also outstanding is the matter of a possible move of the existing US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem enabled under a 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law passed by the US Congress. However, it has been but waived every six months by four US Presidents because of ‘national security issues’, meaning resolution of the Palestinian- Israeli conflict.

On the cusp of the 50th anniversary of the June Six Days of War, President Trump is making his first major overseas trip to the Middle East and Europe starting on Friday, May 19th. His first stop will be in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he will be addressing a summit convened by King Salman with 50 Muslim Countries, members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Separately, he will be discussing possible military aid to the Saudis and the Emirati members of the Gulf Coordination Council concerned over the threat from Iran across the Persian Gulf. He may come away from that encounter with possible proposals for reigniting the moribund peace process between the Palestinians and Israel.

His 26 hours in Jerusalem will include the first American Presidential visit to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount. He will lay a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and hold a private dinner with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Present at that dinner will be the new US Ambassador to Israel, the Hon. David Friedman, who in contrast to the President’s 2016 election campaign promises, has taken up his seat in the existing Tel Aviv Embassy and the official residence in Herziliya.

Against this background, we convened another in the periodic 1330am WEBY Middle East round table discussions hosted by Mike Bates of “Your Turn” with  Shoshana Bryen, senior director of the Washington, DC-based Jewish Policy Center and Jerry Gordon, Senior Editor of the New English Review.  The Center’s Spring 2017 Quarterly edition of inFocus, “Six Days and Fifty Years“, was devoted to a review of historical documents and analysis of the legacy of that significant conflict

Mike Bates overlooking Kotel and Dome of the Rock Mosque on Temple Mount 3-2014

Mike Bates

Mike Bates:  Good afternoon and welcome to Your Turn. This is Mike Bates. This hour is one of our periodic Middle East round table discussions and I have with me in the studio Jerry Gordon, Senior Editor of the New English Review and its blog, “the Iconoclast”. Jerry welcome.

JBG headshot 1-26-14 SMALL

Jerry Gordon

Jerry Gordon:  Glad to be back.

Bates:  And joining us by telephone Shoshana Bryen. She is Senior Director of the Jewish Policy Center in Washington. Shoshana welcome.

Shoshana Bryen 2017 headshot

Shoshana Bryen

Shoshana Bryen: Thank you Mike.

Bates: So a lot is happening in the Middle East always but this week particularly it seems like it’s even more active than usual. President Donald Trump will be visiting Israel on the eve of Jerusalem Day commemorating the liberation of Israel’s capital during the Six-Day War.  As we approach the 50th anniversary, Monday the 22nd, the President will be in Israel. Shoshana, what’s your overall take?

Bryen: Mike it’s not actually his first foreign visit because his first visit is to Saudi Arabia and I think that’s great. I’m really pleased that the President is going to go to Saudi Arabia. He is going to meet with the leaders of other Arab countries and bring that information to Israel and I think that’s terrific. The largest problem in the region is Iran. We get fixated on Palestinians but the problem is Iran. This will help them bridge some of the gaps between the Gulf State positions and the Israeli positions and could lead to very interesting things in the future.

Bates: Do you expect any activity, anything significant on the big elephant in the room and that is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict?

Bryen: No. I think the Presidents take a position saying let’s start working on this. Let’s think about this. Let’s talk about this. I don’t think you will see anything major pop up regarding the Palestinians.

Gordon: Shoshana, what is this spat that has popped up in the press between Netanyahu and Trump? How manufactured is that and really what is the background for it?

Bryen: How about a hundred percent manufactured.  The first question was, is Jerusalem in Israel? Does Israel have control over Jerusalem and somebody said no; Jerusalem is not in Israel. The White House very quickly put out a statement that saying this was “not authorized communication and comments about the Western Wall do not represent the position of the United States and certainly not of the President.” That was probably the fastest White House statement I have ever seen, so I think you have people who are trying to look for trouble and if they can’t find any they will make some. There was also another comment that didn’t quite make the same level of press. Secretary of State Tillerson said something about “Israel and Palestine.”  So the Palestinians said, “Oh wow, this is great!” Immediately Tillerson said, “No that wasn’t meant to do that.” That was a mistake. So, I don’t think the problem is with the President and I don’t think the problem is with Secretary Tillerson. I think the problem is looking for ways to embarrass the President or ways to embarrass Israel.

Bates: Many of these communication mistakes are coming from within the administration. Do you see the White House as being undisciplined?

Bryen: No, I don’t think it’s undisciplined. I think they still have an awful lot of holdover personnel particularly in the case of Israel are not going to be friends of either the President or Israel.  If it was up to me I would ask for the resignations of every single person that worked there in the prior administration.

Bates: What is the symbolism of the visit, specifically to the Western Wall? Do you anticipate and that it probably will occur, do you anticipate that Donald Trump will visit the Western Wall? If so I understand that he would be the first sitting President to do so and if he does, do you expect him to be accompanied by Prime Minister Netanyahu?

Bryen: On the first one, yes, I do think he will go to the Western Wall. I think he will set that precedent and be the first sitting President to do so. Whether he is accompanied by the Prime Minister is very hard for me to tell. By previous common understanding, American officials are accompanied by the Chief Rabbi of Israel. This is a decision that will be made by the President and the Prime Minister and you can second guess it but I won’t.

Bates: Can you give us some insight on what the pros and cons of a dual versus simultaneous visit would be? Why do it, and why not do it?

Bryen: There are people who say that if he goes with the Prime Minister of Israel who is a political figure, it’s like asserting Israeli sovereignty at that space. It’s as if the President accepts Israeli sovereignty there. There are people who don’t want that. There are people who do. There are people who will say, no, President Trump hasn’t agreed that Israel is the sovereign authority in Jerusalem. However, you can’t ignore the fact that this is the holiest place in the Jewish world and so the President has visited a holy Jewish place with a Jewish Prime Minister so you can play it either way.

Gordon: Shoshana there was a very interesting op-ed in  The Wall Street Journal by Northwestern University Law School Professor Eugene Kontorovich. He is the architect of a very successful anti-BDS law that has been passed by several states.  He drew attention to Russia’s recognition of Israel’s capital in West Jerusalem.  What were his arguments to support U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital.

Bryen: Essentially Kontorovich said if a major power in the world can do that then the United States can do it as well and he is correct. However, the Russian statement is not as definitive or as positive I think as Kontorovich paints it in The Wall Street Journal. The Russian statement says, “We reaffirm the U.N. approved principles for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement which include the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state. At the same time, we must state that in this context we view West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

The problem here is that if you see East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state in those kinds of blunt terms you are essentially making a case to re-divide the city. If you re-divide the city all the Jewish patrimony stays on the wrong side. I think the Russians were making a statement of principle. West Jerusalem for the Jews, East Jerusalem for the Palestinians, that’s probably not the best way to deal with Jerusalem. At the end of the day the Jewish people need to have access and control of Jewish holy places, so I’m not thrilled with that statement.

Bates: Do you anticipate that the United States Embassy will move to Jerusalem?

Bryen: No.

Bates: Ever? Well, maybe ever is too long a time, I mean in the next five years

Bryen: Yes, right, never. You know I don’t know about five years. I do believe the President will use the waiver this time. I would point out that President Trump used the waiver process in the case of Iran a few weeks ago to buy himself some time on the specifics of what he wanted to do with Iran.  Several people in Washington went crazy and they said,” Oh, he’s not going to get rid of the nuclear deal and he is caving on Iran.” No he wasn’t. He used it as an opportunity to have the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense begin pointing out other bad things Iran does. It’s not just the nuclear deal. So the waiver is a mechanism for deciding how you want to handle a sticky situation. In the case of Iran, it was well used to begin a process of pointing out that Iran is just basically a bad country.

In the case of Israel which is a friendly country and an ally, it still gives you an opportunity to push off the decision and do other things. What I want to know is, what are the other things? My greatest hope is he will use the time to talk to the Palestinians honestly about their behavior and make them understand that their behavior is incompatible with peace. If he uses it that way  – give one take one,/take one give one – he’s probably on the road to something useful.

Gordon: Shoshana, Trump met with the infamous PA President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office. Among other things he criticized him for doing was paying stipends to Israeli jailed Palestinian terrorists like Marwan Barghouti and their families estimated at over four hundred million dollars annually. Are any of these funds coming from U.S. taxpayers and what evidence do we have of the Administration and Congress trying to stop such abuses?

Bryen: I must say the money that goes to terrorists does not come from U.S. distributions.  We are very clear about it because one hundred percent of our money is tied up in  projects. We have projects for economic development, improving water access, healthcare and education. We also pay Palestinian creditors certain of them directly. The United States pays the Israeli Electric Authority because the Palestinians don’t pay their bills. So U.S. money is not going to terrorists. That’s point one. Point two is that in the meantime there are bills in the House and Senate to cut off U.S. funds to the Palestinians. There is one by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, there is one by Lindsay Graham, there is corresponding legislation in the House. The issue that I see here is that if we cut off our money and we stop those programs in infrastructure, water access, and health, the Palestinian Authority is unlikely to fund them so they will wither on the vine. They will die. Maybe that’s good maybe it’s not good, those programs will go away. The Palestinian Authority will continue to use its other money – UNWRA money, EU money, Saudi, Qatari, PLO, direct tax money, any other way that they get money.  That money will continue to  go to terrorist salaries so we may be cutting off our noses here despite our faces.

Gordon: Shoshana there was news in The Wall Street Journal about a Gulf Cooperation Council plan based on the 2002 Saudi plan for recognition of Israel. Why is that a nonstarter?

Bryen: It’s a nonstarter because it’s backwards. It inverts the process. UN Resolution 242, which is the cornerstone of Israel’s security emanating from the ’67 war, requires that the Arab states go first because they were the ones who waged three wars in 1948, 1956 and 1967. They are required, according to the UN, to terminate their states of belligerency and respect the legitimacy, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all the states in the region. The only one that matters in that context is Israel. After that there are supposed to be boundaries drawn. The Saudi plan says that if Israel withdraws from all the territory it acquired in ’67 – which by the way would include the Golan Heights today.  Can you imagine what would happen if the Syrians were on the top of the Golan Heights today? If Israel would withdraw from all the territory acquired in ’67 including Jerusalem and the holy sites, the Arab peace plan says, after that, the Arabs will consider their 242 obligations. It’s backwards. It won’t do.

Bates: Are you seeing any forward progress in the peace process at all?

Bryen: What’s the peace process?

Bates: Now that’s a good question.

Bryen: Look if you are talking about Palestinians and Israelis, no there is no peace process because the Palestinians will be the last people to make concessions to Israel. They need the backup of the Arab states who pay their salaries so they will never go first. Now, if you are talking about the broader region, where Israel fits in, how the Saudis, the Emirates and Jordan feel, there  may be some movement. There is movement because the Gulf states see their primary enemy as Iran, and on that subject Israel is a potential source of assistance on intelligence,  weapons, tactics and training. There is a place for Israel in the region if you leave the Palestinians out of it for the moment.  That was the suggestion we got when President Trump stood with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Washington and it was a very good vibe. They were going to lift their eyes, they were going to look at the region, they were going to see where the spaces were for movement and I think they will still do that.

Bates: Specifically with the Palestinian issue there was a recent revision to the Hamas Charter that allegedly recognized the Israel.  People have touted it as a complete reversal of the position of the Palestinians.  Specifically, Hamas,  who previously had called for the destruction of Israel.  Their revised Charter isn’t calling for that anymore.  The Palestinians want peace.  So, if peace doesn’t happen,  it’s now the Jews’ fault.  After those headlines Hamas came back and told their people, “We said that but we didn’t really mean it.”  How do you interpret this revised Hamas Charter?

Bryen: You know what Mike? I don’t require interpretation at all. Go straight to the text of the new document.  Forget about statements afterwards. In the new document it says:

Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea without compromising its rejection of the Zionist entity and without rejecting any Palestinian rights. Hamas considers the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem along the lines of the June 4th, 1967 Armistice line with the return of the refugees displaced from their homes in 1949 to be the formula of national consensus.

In other words, no Israel. If the Palestinian Authority wants to talk to the Jews and if they accept a fully independent Palestinian state as a temporary measure that’s okay.  They are agreeing to accept Palestine wherever it gets liberated but “river to the sea” means all of it.  Anyone who is looking for anything else it’s not in there. It’s pretense, it’s all made it up. Hamas was making a single pitch to the Palestinian Authority saying, “If you want to negotiate with the Zionists you can, but it won’t be the end of the war.”

Bates: What is so striking about that is the new Charter is overt deception. It wouldn’t be deception at all to those who are paying attention, so why was this celebrated?

Bryen: Because people see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear and nobody who read it said any of those things. All they heard was you could have a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Jerusalem and it’s not the end of life. It’s not, it’s a stage in the destruction of Israel and I think the Israelis take that extremely seriously. You know you can’t account for people who read into these things what they want to. You really should go to the text and the text is clear.

Gordon: Shoshana, the Jewish Policy Center, where you are Senior Director published a rather interesting monograph. I commend it for our listeners to obtain a copy. It’s all about the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the June Six-Day War, 1967. One of the more important documents included was written by the late Professor Eugene Rostov of Yale Law School who formerly was a Senior State Department Official during the Johnson Administration. He had a hand in drafting the provisions of UN Security Resolution 242. What were his basic arguments about Israel’s international legal rights for “secure and just borders” and “close settlement on the land”?

Bryen: His single most important point was the British mandate. A mandate is a mission to do something. In this case, the mandate was for the establishment in Palestine, in their historic home. The British got the mandate to do that and the Mandate called for “closed settlement on the land” by Jews.  It was an invitation to Jews to settle in Palestine. A lot of places became states in the 20th century became states because they consolidated territory by war or by political means.  There are lots of reasons the places became states, but only one place in the world is a state because the countries of the United Nations wanted to make it one. Because of the mandate; the UN invited Jews to come and live in Palestine as their national home.  The Jews relied on that promise that the UN wanted them to come to Palestine and create the national homeland for the Jewish people.

Rostov feared that if the UN and the West  betray those commitments, “it would take a long step toward dissolving the world’s community as organized by the United Nations.”

The UN didn’t give the Jews their interest in Palestine. Palestine is the return of indigenous people to their homeland.  The UN wanted it and they helped to create it and they invited the Jews and made promises to the Jews.

The third point which is a little different than the other two,  is the League of Nations and then the United Nations did not see the territories as “Arab.” They are not “Arab territories” so anyone who says the Jews “came to the Arab territories” or the UN “took Arab territories for the Jews”, this is not correct. The territories in that region have been occupied by the non-Arab Ottomans for five hundred years and in those five hundred years all kinds of people lived there. Kurds, Jews, Turkmen, Baluchi, Yazidi – all kinds of people lived there.  Israel was not created out of  “Arab land”  in the eyes of the UN.  It was created out of the remnants of an empire that was dissolved, and that strengthens the Jewish claim to the piece of land that they have or to other lands that they wish to have.

Bates: Jerry, we are rapidly approaching the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, June 5th through June 10th, 1967. As a result, Israel expanded their country significantly having captured the Gaza, the Golan Heights, the Sinai and the West Bank.  We understand there is a documentary that will be playing in theaters across the country on Tuesday night, May 23rd. What do you know about that documentary?

Gordon: It is a docudrama produced by CBN and it focuses on the struggle and breakthrough into Jerusalem of the 55th Parachute Brigade of the IDF headed by then Colonel Mordechai “Motti” Gur.  I want to read an excerpt out of a book about Jerusalem and the breakthrough that will give you a sense of the drama that occurred. Simon Sebeg- Montefiore’s book, Jerusalem: The Biography captures the climactic moment of liberation during the June Six days of War in June 1967.  Note this excerpt published by the National Post, “The Temple Mount is in our Hands”:

First the Israelis bombarded the Augusta Victoria ridge using napalm, the Jordanians fled. Then Israeli paratroopers took the Mount of Olives and moved down towards the Garden of Gethsemane. We occupy the heights overlooking the old city. Paratroop Commander Colonel Motti Gur told his men in a little while we will enter it the ancient city of Jerusalem where for generations we have dreamed of and striven for we will be the first to enter. The Jewish nation is awaiting our victory. Be proud and good luck.

At 9:45 a.m. the Israeli Sherman tanks fired at the Lions Gate smashing the bus that blocked it and blew open the doors. Under raking Jordanian fire the Israelis charged the gate. The paratroopers broke into the Via Dolorosa and Colonel Gur lead a group onto the Temple Mount. ‘There you are in a half track after two days of fighting with shots still filling the air and suddenly you enter this wide-open space that everyone has seen before in pictures,’ wrote Israeli Intelligence Officer Arik Ackmon, ‘and though I’m not religious I don’t think there was a man who wasn’t overwhelmed with emotion. Something special had happened.’ There was a skirmish with Jordanian troops before Gur announced over Israel radio the Temple Mount is in our hands”, hence the name of this docudrama. The docudrama portrays what occurred in the battle for Jerusalem through recreations and interviews with many of the surviving paratroopers who made that assault and liberated Jerusalem.

Bates: This docudrama that Jerry is talking about In Our Hands-The Battle for Jerusalem will be playing in Northwest Florida at the AMC Bayou 15 theatres which is on Bayou Boulevard between 9th Avenue and Davis Highway at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23rd and it’s one night only.

Bates: Shoshana, speaking about the Six-Day War and specifically the capture of the Old City,  I have three questions which I will ask all at once so that you can answer them however they need to be answered. 1) Why were the Israeli forces originally forbidden from entering the Old City, 2) why did they then decide they would go into the Old City,  and  3),after capturing the Temple Mount why did they give it back?

Bryen: There are three questions that are really one question.  The answer to the big question is remember that Israel didn’t think it was going to win that war and they didn’t think the Jordanians were going to enter the war. The Israelis were telling the Jordanians from the beginning don’t do this, don’t get involved, stay home.  The Jordanians for their own reasons began shelling Western Jerusalem from Eastern Jerusalem.  But before that, if you  remember  May of 1967 the Israelis believed they were going to lose. Twenty-five years after the Holocaust they believed this could be it for the remaining Jews. Rabbis were talking about mass graves.  So the reason they didn’t want to go into the Old City was they hadn’t planned on it.  Plus,  they were afraid that it was booby-trapped and that there would be greater destruction of holy places. And number three they just didn’t think about it.

Now, by the time they got to it was clear, they had destroyed the Egyptian Air Force, they were rolling in the Sinai, they were rolling on the Golan, they were going to roll in Jerusalem so they did it. They found it was not booby-trapped. The Arabs surrendered the city with not very much destruction.

To your third question. They didn’t give it back.  What they said was,  “The mosque on the top must be ruled by Arabs, by Muslims; it is not our space. Unlike the Muslims who in ’48 and ‘49 took all the Jewish spaces and they destroyed them. Forty-seven synagogues they destroyed, not to mention the Mount of Olive Cemetery. When it was the Jewish turn they said,  “No not us. We are not going to destroy it and we are not going to rule it.”  They went to the Waqf, the Muslim o, religious authority in the city of Jerusalem, which was under the control of King Hussein of Jordan, who is the guardian of the mosques of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. They made a deal that religious people would take care of religious space. It’s an amazing thought that having returned to the space of the Western Wall they looked on top and they saw someone else’s religious patrimony there and they respected it.

Bates: What they got for that respect was continued violence and even the Temple Mount you say that they didn’t give it back and I suppose arguably you are right. On the other hand, it’s being managed by this Waqf and Israeli police control the entry points to the Temple Mount. Muslims, with rare exceptions when violence is feared, can enter any time they want and can pray. Non-Muslims are limited to very specific entry times from very specific entry points and are prohibited from overtly praying on the Temple Mount.

Bryen: Well that’s a quirk. Because Israel’s Rabbinate did not want people praying on the Temple Mount and the Israeli Government took that as their signal – which was the answer the government wanted; a rare case of the Rabbinate making the government’s life easier rather than harder.  The Rabbis were concerned that people could find themselves praying in the space that was originally the Holy of Holies and you can’t and that’s a religious issue. The Israeli government said the Rabbis don’t want it, the Arabs do want it so we don’t want it. I don’t know what would have happened if the Rabbis had said the opposite. I don’t know where it would have gone.

Gordon: Shoshana one of the allied problems has been that the Waqf has been the perpetrator of excavating what is the archeological Jewish provenance under the Dome of the Rock and much of that has been scattered in the debris in the City of David scree pile. That doesn’t indicate that in respect of what the Israelis did to grant control over the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque that it respects Jewish heritage there.

Bryen: The Waqf does not respect Jewish heritage and I would suggest that the Israeli government made a mistake in allowing them to do excavation. It wasn’t necessary. You must remember there is a difference between what happened in the days shortly after the Six-Day War when first there was certain euphoria because they had not expected to survive.  In those first days after the Six-Day War the Arabs of Jerusalem were not threatening people. They surrendered the city rather than have it be blown up. They worked with the Israelis. They understood that they were occupied.  Things that happened immediately thereafter were in the context of decent relations. Over time those relations didn’t stand up for exactly the reason you said. The Waqf and the Arabs do not fundamentally respect the Israeli position vis-a-vis Jerusalem at all and the Temple Mount specifically. They’re not quite as nice as they used to be.  They continue to permit the Arabs to have a great deal of leeway on the Temple Mount and perhaps they shouldn’t.

Bates: I agree with that. I was in Israel in 2014 and I had a fair amount of difficulty getting to the Temple Mount. Ultimately we did get in and had a private tour from one of the Imams which is somewhat interesting itself.  I was shocked by how exclusive it is against non-Muslims. Non-Muslims don’t have decent access to the Temple Mount.  I just find that to be incredibly unjust. If there is any point of validity to the charge of apartheid it is the Temple Mount where the Muslims have it and the infidels don’t.

Bryen: Absolutely, but the Muslims will tell you don’t need to go to the Temple Mount because you are not a Muslim.  So what difference should it make to you if you don’t have free access?

Gordon: That means that infidels or Kufr as people call them in Islam.

Bryen: Yes.

Gordon: Or Dhimmi, subjugated people under Sharia law.

Bryen: And not entitled to the same rights and privileges as Muslims.

Gordon: That’s correct.

Bryen: Which is to say Muslims can go there when they want but you don’t need to and so you can’t.

Bates: If  I may editorialize for just a moment Shoshana and Jerry, Jerusalem isn’t really a holy place for Muslims anyway. They just want it so the Jews can’t have it and their claim is that Jerusalem is the third holiest site in Islam behind Mecca and Medina. This is based on the false story that the prophet Mohammed rode the winged horse from Mecca to Jerusalem on his night journey.  They claimed that he ascended into heaven from the location of what is now the Al-Aqsa Mosque accompanied by the angel Gabriel.  The problem with that nonsensical story is obvious to those who study history and just don’t take at face value what they are told. The night journey to Jerusalem referred to in the Hadith as the farthest mosque supposedly took place in 621. However, there was no mosque in Jerusalem in 621. It was Umar bin al-Khattab who built the first mosque in Jerusalem during the Rashidun Caliphate which didn’t begin until 632  following  the death of Mohammed.  Jerusalem wasn’t conquered by Muslims until 637! The likely date for construction of the first mosque in Jerusalem was 637.  That is sixteen years after Mohammed’s night journey..  If I may be so bold as to say it, Islam’s claim to Jerusalem is a myth and not based on fact!

Bryen: There you go making sense because you are not supposed to be reading the dates of conquest and things like that. You are supposed to take it on face that this is what they say it is. It is a problem, I mean I’m laughing a little bit but I’m not laughing. They will tell you that the calendar doesn’t matter. What matters is faith and we believe this and if we believe it then you must treat it as if it’s true. Here you get to something that you will see in the political sphere as well.

It is not just religion; what they call their “narrative.” That means the history that they make up. Saeb Erekat once said that he was a Canaanite and someone said if you are a Canaanite you can’t be an Arab, because Arabs and Canaanites were different people.  He said, “ Don’t tell me what my narrative is.” In other words, don’t tell me what my truth is. My truth is whatever I make it and so you are exactly right. If the dates of construction don’t match the reality of history and we care about that you’re supposed to say, “Oh well too bad, it doesn’t. It’s the narrative.”

You find a lot in the political sphere.  This is what the Palestinian text books do. They tell you things that are not true.  They say, “That is our narrative, that is what we teach our children because that is what we want them to understand.”

Bates: My motto is “truth above all” and whichever side that truth falls on that’s where I want to be.  That’s why it bothers me so much when people tell and subsequently believe lies.

Gordon: Shoshana, Charismatic, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser triggered the crisis that lead to his and the so-called United Arab Republics defeat in the 1967 War. What were his objectives, how did he treat the Palestinians and why does that resonate today given the Iranian threats to Israel’s existence?

Bryen: Nasser was not interested in Palestine or Palestinians. Nasser was an Arab nationalist and he had only two goals. First was to be the leader of the Pan Arab Nationalist movement and second to play Russia and the United States against one another. Yes, he wanted to destroy Israel because he thought it was important for his nationalist Pan Arab goals.  Occasionally, it was important to mention Palestinians, but the goals were always something else. The goals were always Pan Arab. How does it relate to Iran today? Iran is not Pan Arab obviously, however it is Pan Islamic and Pan Islam is a bigger and more expansive problem than Pan Arabism, but it has the same goal. It is the control of large stretches of territory and people.

Bates: And the re-establishment of an Islamic Caliphate.

Bryen: Nasser was not exactly Caliphate oriented because he was a secular nationalist. Now, the Iranians are looking for the Caliphate. ISIS is looking for the Caliphate. Al Qaeda is looking for the Caliphate.

Gordon: Erdogan is looking to create another Caliphate.

Bryen: Erdogan wants the Ottoman Empire back.

Gordon: Right.

Bates: Shoshana, you recently had the opportunity to interview Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and the author of an outstanding book titled, Six Days of War – June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East. What are your major takeaways from your interview with Michael Oren?

Bryen: Oren spent a fair amount of time talking about the difference between Pan Arabism and Pan Islamism.  But the biggest point he made was without the Six Day War Israel would not be the country that it is today and he means that in positive ways. The Six Day War made the borders of Israel much more defensible.  It made Jerusalem again the heart and soul not only of the State of Israel but of the Jewish people. The Six Day War brought religious freedom to Jerusalem. It gave the Jews a sense twenty-five years after the Holocaust, that they could compete in this modern world. They could live in this modern world.

What came out of that is the strategic alliance with the United States.  Plus, Israel is in the top tier of countries in terms of scientific and educational development. Other kinds of development include computers, music, agriculture and water technology.  All of that comes from the confidence to be who you are and to know that you can survive in the world. That is my favorite part of the interview which was also his biggest point.

That confidence has made Israel the only country in the modern world that has a birth rate that is above replacement. Israeli women have between three and five babies each and that is secular women. The Arab birth rate in Israel has gone down as Arab-Israeli women have more opportunities for education and professional opportunities, their birth rate has declined.  The birth rate for Orthodox Jewish women has declined for the same reason. More education, more opportunities in the secular world. The birth rate for secular Israeli women is going up and it is over three babies per woman which is more than replacement. It is the highest number in the developed world.  That is from optimism.

According to Ambassador Oren the Six Day War was itself a terrible trial of fire for the Jewish state, but what came out of it is a very positive optimistic and confident Israel which in his view and in mine can figure out how to solve their remaining problems.

Gordon: Shoshana on the back of your InFocus Spring 2017 Quarterly issue is a document you call your final thoughts entitled, “Back to the Future”. What are they?

Bryen: You cannot solve the current problems without going back to the fact that the Arab states have never ever recognized the legitimacy of Jewish sovereignty in the Middle East. To solve the problem, they have to do what they failed to do since ’48. If they do that everything else is possible.

Bates: Any closing thoughts, Jerry?

Gordon: For our listeners in Pensacola you ought to come and watch this terrific docudrama called, In Our Hands-The Battle for Jerusalem. It will be shown the AMC Bayou 15 on May 23rd, the eve of Jerusalem Day in Israel at 7 p.m.  It’s the only showing and you ought to take someone with you and go see it.

Bates: Jerry and I will both be there and we hope to see you there as well. So, thank you Jerry Gordon from the New English Review and Shoshana Bryen with the Jewish Policy Center in Washington for joining us as well. Always enjoy these Middle East round table discussions. We thank you for listening today to Your Turn on 1330 WEBY.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. Listen to the 1330am WEBY interview. Download the Jewish Policy Center, inFocus Spring 2017 Quarterly, Six Days and Fifty Years .

Benjamin Netanyahu: Moving U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem Wouldn’t Harm Peace

Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, said the United States could move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem without worrying about any dings to the peace process.

U.S. Embassy to Israel

His remarks came after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hinted that Bibi might not want the embassy moved there, because it could prove an impediment to peace talks.

But Netanyahu doubled down and said his position on the embassy hasn’t changed.

From CNS News:

“‘Israel’s position has been stated many times to the American administration and to the world,’ Netanyahu said in a statement, which his office said was in response to Tillerson’s remarks.

“‘Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem would not harm the peace process,’ the prime minister said. ‘On the contrary, it would advance it by correcting an historical injustice and by shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.’

“For months Israeli and regional media outlets have speculated that while Israel has long sought embassies to move from Tel Aviv and surrounding areas to its declared capital, the government worries that should President Trump make good on his campaign promise to move the U.S. mission the benefits could be outweighed by negative consequences.

“The implication has been that Netanyahu – while unable to say so publicly for fear of alienating his support base – hopes that Trump will not keep his pledge.

“Moving the embassy would be deeply controversial since Palestinians contest Israel’s right to the city and want to establish the capital of a future independent state there – a demand Palestinian Authority (P.A.) chairman Mahmoud Abbas reiterated at his March 3 Oval Office meeting with Trump.”

Islamic leaders have warned that recognizing Israel’s claim to the land in so openly a manner would put a stop to peace talks, and trigger anger in the Muslim world.

But Trump made a campaign vow to move the embassy.

Again, from CNS News:

“Moving the embassy to Jerusalem would not only keep an unequivocal campaign promise but would also be in line with U.S. law, which three successive administrations have chosen not to observe over the past 18 years, by passing six-monthly national security waivers.

“President Obama invoked the last such waiver on December 1 last year, so Trump will either have to follow suit on or before June 1, or set in motion steps towards moving the embassy from its current Tel Aviv beachfront location.

“The now-confirmed new ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is due to take up his duties from Monday. An orthodox Jew and ardent Zionist, Friedman made clear when nominated and since, that he hopes to be working from Jerusalem as soon as possible.”

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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report.

VIDEO: Bibi Netanyahu to Mahmoud Abbas ‘Google Yourself’

Netanyahu is right to call this savage out on his lies. It is a shame that Trump seemed to believe him. We can only hope that someone around him set him straight.

“Netanyahu Recommends Abbas ‘Google Yourself,’” by Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press, May 6, 2017:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recommended in a tweet to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas on Friday that he try “Googling [himself] sometime.”

The tweet – and the video that came along with it – followed the incredulous lies spoken by Abbas at the podium of the White House during his joint press briefing with U.S. President Donald Trump this past week.

Abbas said during the briefing with media that his government “educates for peace,” and affirmed the Palestinian Authority is “raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.”

The Palestinian Authority has named sports events, children’s summer camps, schools and public buildings, streets and squares after some of the most bloodthirsty terrorists in the world.

The PA government also funds and sponsors television programming — clips of which are translated by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) organization — encouraging small children to hate Israel and Jews, and teaches them it is their sacred duty to murder. They are also taught by these programs that the entire Land of Israel is actually “Palestine”, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and that someday it will all belong to the Arab nation “once more” – when they have eradicated the “Zionist enemy.”

These concepts are reinforced to children and teens in the classroom during the day in their textbooks and in the curricula formulated by the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Education.

Adult citizens of the Palestinian Authority are reminded of the “truth” of these vicious lies via the daily media they are exposed to in government-backed newspapers, radio stations and television programs, whose incitement-filled hate is also often translated and then publicized by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) so the world can at least be aware of what is being said.

All of these lies are funded via the PA Ministry of Communications, which receives support from the European Union and the United States, among other foreign nations….

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report.

Will Syria’s Kurds join with Israel and the U.S.?

kurdnasLogoHiSherkoh Abbas , President of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria (KURDNAS), raised in  a recent Jns.com article the tantalizing prospect of a Kurdish- Israel- US Alliance to complete the work of destroying the Islamic State, “Are Syrian Kurds the missing ingredient in the West’s recipe to defeat Islamic State?” The thoughts expressed in this article reflect a recent conversation the author held with Sherkoh Abbas and Dr. Mordechai Nisan, author of  Minorities in the Middle East: A History of Struggle and Self-Expression.

The Kurds have earned political and military capital in both Iraq and Syria as the most effective boots on the ground combating the extremist Salafism of the Islamic State. This largest non Arab ethnic group in the Middle East has long been denied the promised statehood at the Versailles conference of 1919 that ended the First World War and the Lausanne Treaty of 1923 that established the modern Republic of Turkey.

Nevertheless, the Kurds have been resilient despite numerous tragic setbacks in their history over the past century. The establishment of a no fly zone in northern Iraq under US auspices led to the creation the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and its much praised fighting force, the Peshmerga.

Further, it demonstrated the capabilities of the Kurds to govern themselves, overcoming internal differences and external geo- political threats from a hegemonic Iran and the Ba’athist regime of the late Saddam Hussein. Having vast energy resources helped to fuel the KRG’s development. KRG’s Peshmerga exemplary role in the current battle to retake Mosul from the Islamic State, in coordination with Iraqi national security and US forces, demonstrated its proficiency. Its humanity was demonstrated providing safe havens for Yazidis, Chaldean Christians and other ethnic non Muslim minorities that brought the KRG global recognition and respect.

On the surface the situation in Syrian Kurdistan, while complicated, has the potential for fostering the development of an autonomous Kurdish region extending across northern Syria from the KRG frontier to the Mediterranean, despite the objections of Erdogan’s Turkey.

We only have to look at recent actions by both Russia and the US. Russia and the YPG concluded an arrangement potentially protecting the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in Northwest Syria. Further, Russian meetings with Syrian Kurdish representatives in Moscow have evinced Kremlin interest in a federalized Syria in any agreement to end the seven year civil war with the Assad regime. After WWII, the Russians established a short-lived Kurdish Republic in Mahabad, Iran.  US Army Brig. General (ret.) Ernie Audino in our December 2015 New English Review interview, “No War Against ISIS Without the Kurds”, noted that history:

The well-educated and well-respected Qazi Muhammad was elected to serve as president of the Mahabad Republic, history’s first and only sovereign, Kurdish state. Knowing he needed a capable army to protect the state he requested help from the great Kurdish nationalist, Mustafa Barzani, who showed up with 5,000 of his peshmerga. During this period, a son was born to Barzani who named him, Masud. That son is now Masud Barzani, the current President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq.

The U.S. has acted as an umpire between Turkish forces of President Erdogan and Islamist Sunni opposition militia from entering Manbij, liberated by the YPG on the west bank of the Euphrates River.

Moreover, the US sent a message to Ankara that it was backing the YPG led Syrian Democratic Force in the battle to retake the Islamic State administrative capital of Raqqa. The Pentagon has dispatched a US Marine artillery unit. It also alerted a reinforced brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division for possible deployment in Syria.

On the political side of the Syrian Kurdish conundrum there is the daunting task of unifying the tribes, political parties, and the Kurdish National Council.

As Sherkoh Abbas of KURDNAS has pointed out that will require the delinking of the YPG/PYD leadership from outreach and involvement with the PKK, the Assad regime, Iran’s Qods Force, and its proxy, the Iraqi Hashd Shiite Popular Mobilization Force militia. There are indications that the YPG/PYD might consider doing this if there were US, Russian and potentially, Israeli auspices.

Israeli PM Netanyahu, a year and a half ago, issued a statement supporting the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in the region; welcomed by the Kurdish communities.

The benefits would include having a reliable ally in a post Assad Syria with both political and military capacities and a secure source of oil to meet the Jewish nation’s growing domestic and regional demand.

Israel has to take an important step to achieve these desirable results. It has to reach out to both the Syrian Kurds and the Trump Administration to recognize the significant Kurdish role in the final destruction of the Islamic State threatening the security of Israel’s northern Golan frontier.

If that succeeds then both the US and Israel would have an important stable alliance with the largest non Arab ethnic polity in the troubled Middle East.  With the defeat of the Islamic State, that would turn attention to reining in the threat posed by a hegemonic Iran. With the possibility of a triple entente composed of both Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistans, Israel and the US, it raises the future prospect of fostering regime change in Tehran giving rise to the aspirations for autonomy of minorities in Iran- the Kurds, Azeri, Ahwaz and Baluch.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

VIDEO DOCUMENTARY: Move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem!

We detail an investigative documentary that The United West film team will be producing in Israel on their national security mission, May 20-30, 2017.

RELATED VIDEO: Israelis react to possible U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem by CBS News. Moving embassy to Jerusalem is “the moral thing to do.”

EDITORS NOTE: If you are interesting in coming to Israel with Tom, check out all details on the web site http://tt.heritagestudyprograms.com/. If you are interested in helping fund this important film project, please contact Mary@TheUnitedWest.org.

VIDEO: The Muhammad Code

Prolific author, Howard Bloom has written a masterful, scholarly, yet readable book about the leader of all Muslims, the one they call, Prophet Muhammad. In his book, “The Muhammad Code,”
Bloom unlocks the key to why Muslims hate Jews and Christians and other non-Muslims and why Islam is in a perpetual state of war to establish a global leader, the Caliph, to bring in world domination by Islam. Bloom, a writer trained in the sciences, pulls no punches as he simply explains Islamic doctrine as taught by Muhammad and subsequent Muslim leaders.

This book is a must-read for anyone who wants a clear, dispassionate analysis of the leader of a movement that has become the greatest threat to global peace and security.

Stay tuned for more episodes with Howard Bloom and a deeper look at some of his shocking findings.

TheMuhammadCode-cover-15NOV2016-768x1152ABOUT THE MUHAMMAD CODE

The Muhammad Code is based entirely on Islamic sources: the Quran, the Hadith, Ibn Ishaq, al Tabari, and lives of Muhammad written for Moslem eyes only by Islamic religious leaders, Islamic scholars, and Islamic journalists. The Muhammad Code tells one of the most important and riveting stories in history. The hidden story behind the headlines from shock-spots in Asia, Africa, Europe, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. And the inner secrets of the mosque down the street.

If you are a Moslem and you want to be righteous, just, and pure, you are required to follow in the footsteps of Muhammad. What kind of footsteps did Muhammad leave you? His example as the commander of 65 military campaigns. His example as a participant in 27 of those battles. His example as the architect of ethnic expulsions and genocides.

Explains Osama bin Laden, Muhammad was “a Prophet of Conquest.” And Pakistan’s Universal Sunnah Foundation agrees. It says proudly that under Muhammad’s generalship, “Islam spread on an average of 822 square kilometres per day.” Behind that conquest is an astonishing story. The story of Muhammad’s life as a militant. The story of Muhammad’s two favorite tools of war, “deceit” (deception) and “terror.” The story that led to the assembly of the biggest empire in human history…an empire eleven times the size of the conquests of Alexander the Great, five times the size of the Roman Empire, and seven times the size of the United States.

The Muhammad Code is the story of how Muhammad laid out a simple goal–seizing the entire world. A goal so dependent on violence that one of Muhammad’s leading modern interpreters, Islamic Revolutionary Iran’s founding father, the Ayatollah Khomeini, says proudly that “Islam has obliterated many tribes.” The Muhammad Code tells a story unknown in the West, the story that led the Ayatollah to declare that, “Moslems have no alternative… to an armed holy war Inflatable Tropical Island Bouncer wholesale. …Holy war means the conquest of all non Moslem territories. …It will …be the duty of every able-bodied adult male to volunteer for this war of conquest, the final aim of which is to put Koranic law in power from one end of the earth to the other.”

If you want to know the story of Muhammad’s ten years as a militant, read The Muhammad Code. It is more than just amazing. It is a story whose aftershocks are quaking your life.

EDITORS NOTE: Readers who wish to learn more about Howard Bloom may visit his web site: http://howardbloom.net/

The Crimes of Qassem: The U.S. should shut down Iran’s top terrorist

He might not be a household name in America — at least, not yet. But throughout the Middle East, Qassem Suleymani makes the righteous and the innocent tremble.

To the righteous — meaning, from his perspective, the Shiite zealots who believe the Islamic state of Iran should establish the caliphate and dominate the world — he is an awe-inspiring figure.

He is powerful. He is brash. He brazenly shows up on the battlefield to encourage his troops. In Iraq, he has become the maker of prime ministers and governments, and commands a militia of 100,000 men.

To his innocent victims, he is the face of Terror, Inc. As head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps – Quds Force (IRGC-QF), Qassem Suleymani is Iran’s top terrorist.

The Quds Force is euphemistically in charge of “extraterritorial” operations for the IRGC. I call it their expeditionary overseas terrorist wing.

In the early days, they were the ones who sent terror trainers to Lebanon to teach Hezbollah how to build better car bombs. Later, they knocked off a Lebanese prime minister and launched an all-out war on Israel in the summer of 2006, firing thousands of rockets at Israeli schools, hospitals and towns.

When Iran’s leaders decided in the early 1990s to forge an alliance in terror with a Saudi dissident named Osama bin Laden, they turned the file over to the Quds Force for action.

The Quds Force has been implicated in terror plots all around the world, including a failed 2011 attempt to blow up the Saudi ambassador at a Washington, D.C. restaurant. Suleymani and his operatives were also implicated in the September 11 plot, helping 10 to 12 of the Saudi “muscle” hijackers travel clandestinely through Iran to Afghanistan and providing logistical and other support.

In February 2007, Pentagon officials briefed reporters in Baghdad on Quds Force assistance to insurgents in Iraq.

The briefing included information and documents seized from Quds Force operatives detained by U.S. forces in Iraq, and photographic evidence of Iranian-made roadside bombs, known as Explosively Formed Projectiles, or EFPs.

The introduction of EFPs onto the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan by Suleymani and his men changed the scope and scale of U.S. casualties, ultimately accounting for as many as 1,500 U.S. battlefield dead.

I spoke recently to medically retired U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Bartlett about his encounter with an Iranian EFP. The force of the projectile “cut me in half from the left corner of my temple down to my jaw, and took my gunner’s legs off. Because of this Iranian bomb, I died three times in five days.

“Only my faith kept me alive,” he said.

The U.S. Army told Samantha Balsely that her 23-year old husband Michael had been killed in Iraq by an Improvised Explosive Device. Later, it became apparent that he, too, had been killed by an Iranian EFP.

“When I found out the government had given Iran billions of dollars, it was the biggest slap in the face,” Samantha told me. “How can you say you respect what our men and women do when you order them over there and then you pay their killers. It’s not right.”

Samantha Balsley is right. It’s just not right for the U.S. government to continue rewarding the Iranian regime, when they continue to kill Americans.

We know who these killers are. They have names. And they work for an organization: the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and its “expeditionary” Quds Force.

As an immediate step, the Trump administration should follow through on hints that it is contemplating designating the IRGC and the Quds Force as international terrorist organizations.

The United States should take additional steps against Suleymani personally, blocking his assets, punishing businesses that transact with him or his Quds Force killers, and seeking an international travel ban.

Beyond that, the U.S. intelligence community should investigate reports from officials and media in Iraqi Kurdistan that Suleymani and the Quds Force facilitated the ISIS takeover of Mosul and the Nineveh Plain in June 2014, acts that could qualify as war crimes.

The crimes of Qassem Suleymani are many. After Osama bin Laden, he has more American blood on his hand than any terrorist. It’s time we shut him down for good.