Oct 16, 2017

Accountability?

David Lewis used to say that a cold peace is better than no peace. He would say this when discussing Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan.

Today, in the context of Israel’s security, a long-term problem continues.

While Israel and Egypt are “closer” than they’ve ever been, kicking the terrorist can down the road is a large problem. The Egyptians are currently brokering talks between Palestinian terror entities Fatah and Hamas. The view is that the ongoing turf war between the two in the Gaza Strip benefits no one.

Hamas of course is a terror organization wholly dedicated to Israel’s destruction. Fatah is from the old PLO and is the “political wing” for that terror group.

Here’s the point: sweeping unpleasant things under the rug—in this case calls for genocide against Israel—both compounds and lengthens the problem. According to the Time of Israel:

“Reconciliation talks between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah are for now ignoring the thorny issue of the future of the terror group’s military wing and weaponry, and with the help of Egypt are concentrating first on asserting the Palestinian Authority’s power in the Gaza Strip, including control over the border with Egypt, according to statements by officials and Arabic media reports.”

On the surface, it seems good that Egypt is behind these talks:

“Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has thrown his weight behind the talks, saying last week that Palestinian reconciliation is ‘preparation for a just peace between Palestinian and Israeli sides.’”

Do you see what the long view is here? “A just peace between Palestinian and Israeli sides.”

Sadly, the decades-long delusion persists with the Americans.  The Trump administration will sponsor a peace summit.

And there are layers to this story, all involving marginalizing Israel. There is currently a water and electricity shortage in the Gaza Strip, the territory vacated entirely by the Israelis in 2005.

Israel is being blamed, incredibly, for these shortages, even though Israel has not been there in a dozen years! PA terror chief/”president” Mahmoud Abbas recently lowered funding to the Strip by 22 percent, resulting in the electricity rationing, in order to “coerce” Hamas into ceding power.

So a Palestinian problem, continued by the Palestinians, is blamed on the Israelis. This is but one reason the ill-conceived peace summits will always end in failure.

One wonders if/when Trump will return to his early assessments of the Arab-Israeli conflict and do what needs to be done. Evidently, his top advisors and cabinet ministers advocate continuing the failed policies of the past.

In that way, the Egyptian effort is doomed to failure. Much better to bite the bullet now and dismantle Hamas, and then reform or dismantle PA/Fatah.

Only then will the Palestinians even begin the process of accepting Israel. Even that would take generations.

Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com

 

Oct 9, 2017

Mossad

Most know of the name of Israel’s famed spy group. The Mossad (“The Institute”) has helped protect Israel since 1949. Until recent years, the head of the Mossad was a secret. I well remember interviewing Ariel Sharon in 1998 at his office in Tel Aviv. After going through a maze of metal detectors, we waited in an outer room. Soon, a man walked down a hallway and stood before an elevator. He smiled and got on the elevator.

It was Danny Yatom, head of the Mossad. I wouldn’t have known that of course but for the decision to make the chief’s identity public. Until then, whoever headed the agency could walk anywhere and not be known.

Today, the head of the Mossad is an integral part of the defense of the country. The threats posed to the Jewish state are myriad. Yossi Cohen is now head of the Mossad, and he said recently that Iran remains the chief threat. He also said the spy group conducts thousands of operations each year, with many of them right in the heart of enemy territory.

“’The objectives of the Mossad are clear – Iran continues to hold onto its vision of attaining significant nuclear capabilities, so that it will attain nuclear military capabilities,’ he said.”

Besides the nuclear program threat, Iran is behaving aggressively in Israel’s back yard. They are in Syria and Lebanon, and they keep Hezbollah in business.

Benjamin Netanyahu has called the Mossad a “synchronized fist,” and the description is accurate. The daring and planning involved is second-to-none.

The role of the Mossad—and the IDF—is expanding due to Iran’s ambitions in the Middle East. Once George W. Bush removed Iraq as a threat to the Islamic Repubic, it was a matter of time before the mullahs would expand their reach.

(In 2003, I was as enthusiastic as anyone about America getting rid of Saddam Hussein. Hindsight though tells us that a crippled Iraq has been a virtual westward highway for Iran in the region. And their goal is the elimination of Israel.)

The Meir Amit Intelligence Center noted some interesting facts this week with regard to Iran’s meddling in Syria.

“As the campaign against ISIS is drawing to a close, Iran continues to expand its foothold in Syria’s economy.  Last week, an Iranian delegation participated in the  Expo Fair  in  Syria and discussed increasing the economic cooperation between Syria and Iran with the Syrian minister  of  public  works  and  housing  and  the  minister  of  water  resources.  In addition, a senior official in Iran’s oil sector announced Iran’s  intention  to  establish  an  oil  refinery  in Syria, with the capacity to produce 140 thousand barrels of oil per day, and to restore two other refineries.”

Interesting. Amid the carnage and infrastructure destruction, the principals can organize an Expo Fair!

Iran is also working overtime to disrupt the referendum vote among Kurds, who are seeking an independent state in what is northern Iraq. This has been the goal of the Kurds for decades, but so long as Saddam was in power, it couldn’t happen. An independent Kurdistan would be an obstacle for Iran, and likewise for Turkey.

Last week, Iranian President Rouhani called both Putin in Russia, Turkey’s Erdogan, and Iraqi Prime Minister al-Abadi, to voice his displeasure at the referendum.

As with all totalitarians, the Iranians constantly suppress the people, and in this case, people outside their own borders. This is part of the multi-pronged threat they pose: nuclear, geopolitical, and military.

Not surprisingly, the Iranians are claiming the referendum is a “conspiracy” by the U.S. and Israel, to partition countries in the region. Ironically, it was the Western powers’ decision to partition the Middle East after World War 2 that led to independence for all the countries there.

A senior advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader called the head of the Kurdish Regional Government a “middleman of the Zionists for the purpose of partitioning the countries of Islam.”

This kind of propaganda and delusion push-off by years (centuries?) the possibility of peace in the Middle East. So long as totalitarians weave their evil schemes, the people will remain oppressed, Israel will be threatened, and the Mossad chiefs will have job security.

Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com