The Deadly Struggle Continues Between Israelis and Palestinians

A great worldwide controversy has been reignited as Israel and Palestinians relentlessly attack each other with missiles and rockets. Israel claims that its onslaught is directed only at Hamas and other violent terrorists, while Hamas viciously launches missiles into civilian areas. Both combatants have killed innocent women and children, which in itself is a reason for an immediate cease fire. Note: On Thursday the sides agreed to cease hostilities.

There are greater, more existential issues at stake in this terrible and extended conflict between Israel and Palestine. For Jews, there are over 6,000,000 reasons why they need to pursue their right to call Israel their home. Granted, Palestinians have suffered difficult times and their death toll is great. But those who say that their losses are comparable to the Jewish community are misguided.

During World War II, no nation seemed particularly interested in what was happening in Germany and surrounding countries at concentration camps. Most of the world was too busy fighting Nazis in Europe and the Japanese in Asia. I asked my mother, why didn’t the US come to the rescue of Jews? She said no one knew of the brutality and murderous activities. It was not reported in the press or by government officials at the time, I was told.

When the war ended, sympathetic nations sanctioned the establishment of the State of Israel. It was to serve as a place for persecuted Jews to immigrate to and find a better life. Most thought that Jews had suffered enough, and many still needed protection.

Arabs were not enthusiastic about Jews immigrating into their region. Rightly so, they felt persecuted and abandoned. Over the years, Palestinians responded with violence led by a number of terrorist groups that were funded by neighboring Arab countries. The loss of land and religious sites infuriated Palestinians and their supporters, and unfortunately, it led them to increasing violence over time.

Along the way, Israel considered how to deal with Palestinians in both one state in two states scenarios. Agreement was elusive as Arab terrorists failed to keep promises and to guarantee Israel’s security.

The past is important to Israel for many reasons. Young Jews, who don’t have a vivid perspective of what happened to their ancestors during World War II, have not been looking over their shoulders, even as anti-Semitism still pervades the world. No Jew is ever totally safe, even in this day and age. The plight of the group is far greater than any other minority group in history. And yet, there is little empathy among many younger people and other oppressed groups.

Jews have struggled to survive for thousands of years. The least the US can do is to be supportive of Israel’s right to exist. Of course, this can only be done successfully if Israel is empathetic towards the needs of the Palestinian people.

There is absolutely no reason to think that the conflict between Israel and Palestine will not continue into the foreseeable future. There is great support brewing throughout the world regarding the plight of Palestinians and the treatment they are receiving from the Israeli government.

It’s ironic that Israel’s alliance with the US works against it to a certain extent as we have many enemies. It will take great minds and noble men and women to ultimately figure out how these two groups can live together in peace. But, US support of the State of Israel should not wane in the meantime.

US Must Support Israel

I’m sad and disappointed that recent peace advances between Israel and Palestine have been torn to shreds. Once again, peace in the Middle East seems so remote.

It’s difficult for people around the world to appreciate the frustration that must exist among Jews and Arabs in the region surrounding Israel. Both groups have continuously lost land and have been persecuted in so many ways over the years.

Jewish persecution has taken place for several millennia. Time and time again, Jews have been enslaved and forced to move from place to place throughout the world. It all culminated during World War II when millions of Jews were sinfully murdered by Nazis and other enemies.

This tragedy of epic proportions led farsighted Jewish leaders to seek out a place where Jews could escape bigotry and murderous threats. The place is now called Israel. Why not Israel? It has an enormous religious draw for Jews going back to biblical times.

When one group moves into an area occupied by another and the parties have completely different customs and religious beliefs, conflict is inevitable. Beginning in 1948, Jews surged into Jerusalem and environs, built homes, erected synagogues and started new lives.

But what about the Arabs inhabiting the area? Over the years, they have increasingly resented Zionism, the loss of homes in many cases and the religious practices of the interlopers. Soon after, Palestinian Arabs began to rebel against the government of Israel led by the likes of Yasser Arafat.

The similarities between Jews and Palestinian Arabs are ironic. Both are/were nomadic. Both were religious. Both had many sacred religious sites around Jerusalem. Both had land and valuables stolen from them. Both have been persecuted unmercifully. And now, they have been at loggerheads with each other for years, unable to divide up Israeli and Palestine and live peacefully.

There exists great animosity between the Israelis and Palestinians. Both groups resent how they have been treated by others throughout history. Of course, Jewish persecution is much older. One would think that both groups would appreciate the plight of the other and be more tolerant and constructive.

Israel has been called an evil government that treats its Arab neighbors poorly, reminiscent of apartheid in South Africa. In that situation, Europeans colonialized a relatively uncivilized area of Africa and a few white men reigned over the multitude of natives. Ultimately, democracy won out, and the majority took control.

There is a correlation between the hostilities in Israel and the ultimate outcome in South Africa. The ruled class was in the majority and eventually usurped power from the minority government. Overtime, it is likely that the same will happen in Israel and Palestine, where the Arabs population is growing rapidly, and the Israeli population is stagnant.

The US has been supportive of Israel since its inception. The ties between our countries are very strong. Both are democracies. Both are capitalistic societies. Both are strong militarily. Both countries are influenced to a great extent by Jews. The bonds are sacred. Israel would not survive without US support. And, the US influence in the Middle East would be much less without Israel intelligence.

Unfortunately, it seems like it is the world against the US/Israeli relationship. Israel supporters believe that the existence of the country is critical to the security of Jews worldwide. I agree with this perspective. They have a place to migrate to if they ever encounter persecution. Yet, when Israel defends itself from aggression perpetrated by Palestinians, Iran and other Arab countries in the region, the world sees fault in its actions.

The current conflict that has arisen is a perfect example. Hamas, supported by Iran, began to fire missiles into highly populated, civilian areas of Israel. Israel responded by attacking Hamas military installations. Civilians have been killed by both sides, but Hamas is intentionally trying to terrorize noncombatants.

Why shouldn’t Israel be able to protect itself from attacks on its citizens? As usual, Israel, the more powerful and better armed side, is being degraded by Arabs all over the world and by faux peace activists that blame the violence on Israel. This is unfair and unjust. The president was correct by saying that Israel has the right to defend itself. I would question why the Biden administration continues to negotiate with Iran, given that Hamas is receiving money and missiles from the rogue government.

The violence is going to continue until a long-term ceasefire is negotiated. It’s not likely at this time. Provocateurs like Iran and other militant nations must stop antagonizing Israel and providing arms to the its enemies. The US must in no uncertain terms back Israel with whatever arms and political support is necessary to fight existential threats. Israel is our only real friend in the explosive area known as the Middle East.

Israel Does US Dirty Work In The Middle East

[This essay was inspired by two articles published by the New York Times.]

“[The US and Israel] agree that Iran must never possess nuclear weapons … My policy as Prime Minister of Israel is clear, I will not allow Iran to obtain the nuclear capability to carry out its genocidal goal of elimination of Israel…”

This is a quote from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Israel’s policy of deterring Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. It is very similar to the US policy. And yet, Biden wants to renew a deal that would provide a path to an Iranian nuke in the not too distant future. Does it make sense? Not on your life.

Once again Israel has saved the day in the continuing efforts by the US and Israel to deprive the rogue state of Iran from developing nuclear weapons. In this regard, Netanyahu moved against Iran by sabotaging its underground nuclear fuel producing center at Natanz, the facility that manufacturers devices that enrich uranium.

The US said it was not involved in this operation, nor had it been aware of an imminent attack. The event occurs just as the US, several European nations and Iran are set to meet in Vienna to try to reinstate the Iran nuclear deal that President Trump abrogated during his tenure.

The damage done to the facility is extensive and will likely delay Iran’s goal of developing a nuke by several months. Netanyahu has been an opponent of the Iran deal since it was first signed and may have tried to upend the talks about a new deal.

Israel and Iran have been fighting a shadow war for some time. This has taken place in the desert near Natanz, along shipping routes in the Persian Gulf and in Tehran where the country’s leading nuclear scientist was assassinated, purportedly by Israeli agents.

Needless to say, the Iranian government is apoplectic about these “treasonous infiltrations.” The Islamic Revolutionary Guard is responsible for security of the nuclear facilities and the scientists who work in them. Heads will likely roll in response to this attack.

The real question is why does Israel appreciate the danger of an Iran nuclear program, while Biden wants to negotiate with the ayatollahs? Both countries have stated policy’s that they will work tirelessly to not allow Iran to build nuclear weapons, yet Israel is the only country to take positive action to assure that Iran never builds weapon of mass destruction. Once again, Israel is doing the dirty work in the battle against Iran. The original nuclear deal with Iran would have enabled Iran to build a nuke in about ten years.

Granted, Iran is in Israel’s backyard and has been threatened continuously by Iran. Israel believes that Iran poses an existential threat to it and must work towards de-nuclearization of Iran.

Given that the Biden administration has remained closed mouth about the attack in Natanz, it seems disingenuous to be dealing with Iran while Israel, our most loyal ally, is subversively at war with Iran.

The US owes Israel a debt of gratitude for supporting our interests in the region.

Biden Will Change Foreign Policies, Is This A Good Idea?

American foreign policy may change drastically during the Biden era from an aggressive stance to a more accommodative attitude. In this regard, I’m very concerned that the new president will decrease pressure on those countries that wish us harm and those that look to the US to assume the cost of their defense.

Iran is putting maximum pressure on the US to decrease sanctions by threatening to accelerate efforts to build nuclear weapons. The ayatollahs and their representatives are liars. They will never live up to the terms of any agreement with America.

Joe Biden said he will attempt to establish better relations with Iran. This strategy will ultimately encourage the production of an existential weapon with the oil money that will flow into Iran’s coffers. Additionally, it will provide financing for Iran’s terrorist activities. The only sensible strategy is to encourage a regime change by increasing sanctions that will cause Iran’s economy to implode.

Biden and other Democrats have an affinity towards China. This regime cannot be trusted either. They are expanding their influence in Asia and provoking our naval forces that patrol that part of the world.

The country’s leaders are sanctioning efforts to steal technology and boost their economy in competition with the US. And they relentlessly spy on us.

America must call out China and treat them like the enemy they are. Sanctions should be bolstered to offset tariffs the Chinese have attached to US goods. In a perfect world, a peace treaty with China would be wonderful, but it is interested in diminishing US influence globally and crushing us economically. They also have no intention of abiding by generally accepted human rights standards.

All of the advances Trump has made with their Israel, that include signing agreements to establish peaceful relations with neighbors, are now in jeopardy. Some Biden supporters are suggesting that Trump moved too fast. I would say any movement, even with some untrustworthy nations, is better than the lack of progress in the Middle East during the past 75 years.

Re-signing the climate change pact is a farce. The world definitely needs to focus on the damage being done to our environment. However, signing bogus agreements with countries that have no intention to adhere to the terms of agreements is a waste of time and money.

Developing countries like China, Brazil and India will not decelerate the speed of their respective industrial revolutions. For instance, the use of coal by China is highly detrimental to our environment. But its prohibition would leave many millions of Chinese without a way to heat their homes.

The US must continue to sign into law mandates that will end pollution and avoid making unenforceable deals with other countries.

The US’s tendency to buy influence across the globe needs to be reexamined. In the past century, billions of dollars have been spent in lesser developed countries in an attempt to “buy” friends. Trump examined many of these diplomatic ploys and found them to be bad arrangements for America.

The major problem is that after accepting our aid, too many countries throughout the world reject our friendship and openly lambaste American diplomacy. If you question this observation, you need only to look at the United Nations. The US sponsors the organization and yet in nearly every critical vote, our friends voted against our perspectives and strongly support our opponents. Further, many of these countries damn America and its citizens overtly.

Biden will, unsuccessfully, try to rebrand America’s image overseas. He will revert to an old Obama tactic of assigning blame on the US for all the problems in the world. He will find positivity in the actions of countries that have the most human rights violations including China, Cuba, some South American countries and the poorest and most violent nations in Africa.

The world looks at the US as a dangerous nation that wants to claim valuable assets and territory owned by other countries. Biden should work to dispel these imperialistic and colonialistic misconceptions and no longer throw away money into countries that are envious of America’s success and leadership.

Biden’s Focus In The Short Term

Some of Joe Biden’s promises will be detrimental to the security and economic stability of America. Many of these items can be attained even if The Republicans retain control of the Senate. Here are a few of the more important issues that Biden will address early in his tenure.

The New York Times published a story on Tuesday that definitively stated that the US/Israeli relationship will suffer under a Biden administration, and that Bibi Netanyahu, a great ally of the US, is in serious political jeopardy. Decreasing American support of the State of Israel would be an unfortunate strategy. Setting aside Bibi’s personal issues, he is a great partner in the fight against terrorism in partnership with the United States. Israel stands between the US and radical religious groups and theocracies.

Israelis are our eyes and ears in the region. Israel’s military strength and intelligence assets are important reasons why one of the most volatile areas in the world is enjoying a period of calm at this time. And finally, Israel is ready to fight shoulder to shoulder with Americans if conditions worsen. Biden intentions to decrease the bond between US and Israel make no sense.

Many believed the US/Iran nuclear deal orchestrated by Biden’s mentor was the most inane in recent history. Obama believed that he could reason with Iran. All he did was give the ayatollahs a pathway to build and deliver a nuclear bomb in just over 10 years. For a long time, US policy was to prevent rogue nations from producing existential armaments. The Iranians out negotiated Obama and his minions enabling him to erect a neutral nuclear legacy for himself while accepting an existential threat to America’s allies in the region. Trump smartly undid the arrangement, and Biden intends to reinstall it.

The abrogation of ACA is based upon a mandate that was formerly part of it. In order for the law to be effective, it was necessary that citizens participate or be fined. This element of the law was deemed to be unconstitutional. Without it, many experts say the law is unworkable. The Supreme Court will deliberate the viability of ACA in the near future. Biden wants to rescue the law. Note: It appears that the Court will not rule against ACA. It will likely be the focal point of Biden’s effort to federalize health care in the country.

The real issue is not whether America should ensure that health care is available to everybody. We need to care for those without coverage. The real issue is whether a one payer insurance plan is wise because it would necessitate elimination of millions of private insurance plans. Many Americans are happy with their coverage. It would be too expensive to replace the plan with government coverage.

Americans should carefully follow the aforementioned issues. Even with Senate support, Biden could do great harm to our country by issuing executive orders.

Trump Is Not Anti-Semitic

There were conflicting articles this week in the New York Times pertaining to the relationship of Donald Trump and Jews.

Paul Krugman, op-ed columnist for the Times, dredged up a distasteful, public comment made by Trump in his piece on Tuesday. Krugman believes it substantiates that the president is anti-Semitic. Specifically, in a speech to the Israeli American Counsel, Trump said, “that many in his audience were not nice people at all, but that [they] have to vote for him because Democrats would raise taxes.”

Krugman indicated that the president was “peddling an anti-Semitic stereotype, portraying Jews as money-grubbing types who only care about their wealth.” Actually, the observation that some Americans (including Jews) will vote for Trump because he is committed to decreasing taxes is factual. The money-grubbing reference is typical Krugam left wing rhetoric.

It’s undeniable that the president frequently makes stupid, inane and untrue statements, especially on social media. He’s not a role model for aspiring statesmen; that’s for sure. But he appears to be very sympathetic to the plight of Jews as they continue their never-ending fight against bigotry.

In fact, the Times reported on Thursday that Trump plans to issue an executive order that addresses anti-Semitism on college campuses. Federal money will be withheld from educational institutions that “fail to combat discrimination.”

Judaism will be defined as a race or nationality, not just a religion, so that colleges and universities will be sanctioned if they don’t meet their responsibility “to foster an open climate for minority students [such as Jews]”

Opponents of this policy say it could be used to “stifle free speech and legitimate protest of Israel’s policies toward Palestinians in the name of fighting anti-Semitism.” Of course, this is an overstatement by those unhappy with Israel’s righteous obsession with security.

This action by Trump hardly portrays a person who is biased against Jews. And, Trump has taken other actions that further solidify his efforts to protect Jews and the Israeli state. He moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem, supported settlements in the West Bank and recognized seizure of the Golan Heights. Trump even attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar when she said support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins,” a reference to money.

Anti-Semitism continues to flourish around the world and in the US. America must stand behind Israel as we have done since the birth of the Jewish nation after World War II. To justify our efforts overseas for the benefit of Israel, we must ensure that bigotry directed at Jews in the US is an illegal act.

Four Things That Will Hurt Democrats In 2020

Democrat candidates for president are saying quite a few things that are alienating voters. As discussed many times, presidential aspirants, in the primaries, must personify progressive ideologies to win. The theory goes that when the nomination is won, the candidate must then pivot to a more tolerant perspective to lure independents and moderate voters.

I’m going to give Democrats some free advice and outline four areas that will help Donald Trump win in 2020. Rest assured the most radical elements in the party will not listen. They certainly will try to win votes by denigrating Trump, calling him names and saying he is bad for America. These strategies will fail.

The four issues to be discussed are:

 

  • Russian collusion and obstruction of justice involving Donald Trump
  • The US relationship with Saudi Arabia
  • The US relationship with Israel
  • Trump’s terrible persona

 

  1. Russia and collusion. Nobody wants to rehash these issues any further except the liberal chairmen of several congressional committees in the House. The charges have been investigated by far too many politicians and investigators hired by them.

Mueller’s two-year odyssey was a colossal waste of time and money. The Special Counsel worked very hard along with his sycophants to dig up dirt that would be grounds to impeach, but he and his soldiers were unable to do so. Mueller even admitted this fact.

Notwithstanding the costs involved, Democrats investigate onward. My favorite comment was that Democrats stipulated that none of Trump’s specific actions, behavior and rhetoric were sufficient alone to justify impeachment, but taken as a whole, they do provide a path to oust the president. I didn’t know that you could add up crimes to make one big one.

I sincerely hope their constituencies will punish the diehards who are unable to give up their fruitless crusade, in 2020. Their sanctimonious attitude has resulted in very little action taken by Congress to “fix” the country. I’m referring to bridges and tunnels, schools, veteran affairs, bad treaties, health care, immigration, gun control and so on.

  1. The US relationship with Saudi Arabia. It was inevitable that a president would at some point choose to take the side of Saudi Arabia or Iran. Wisely, Trump selected the Saudis in spite of the unfortunate murder of a dissident that was allegedly orchestrated by the Crowned Prince.

Over the years Sunni radicals in Saudi Arabia have created havoc in the Middle East. These terrorists are blinded by their religious fervor. They have paid for and encouraged terrorism that has resulted in many deaths. Moreover, their country, notwithstanding its great wealth, is not interested in encouraging religious and personal freedom.

But Saudi Arabia is the sworn enemy of Iran and all states and groups that are Shiite. Iran is the most vicious member of this group and a fomenter of senseless, religious-driven, violence.

For some reason the Obama administration believed it could negotiate with Iran, make a deal to stem the tide of nuclear proliferation in the area and become buddies with the ayatollahs. All Obama accomplished was a delay in Iran’s dream to have nukes. It was an inane and dangerous legacy ploy by the former president. And, along with Obamacare, the deal fell flat on its face.

Most importantly, Obama disregarded the US policy of no nuclear armaments for Iran that was in place since the early 1980s. He thought Iran would act responsibly with a nuclear bomb in their arsenal. Iran does not act diplomatically without a WMD, why would anyone think it would do otherwise with much greater military power?

The world is safer, although tensions between Iran the US have escalated. Trump is trying to renegotiate the nuke deal by imposing greater sanctions on the Iran regime. It seems to be having great effect.

Democrats have turned against the regime in Saudi Arabia. For the stability of the region, Trump must continue to look away from the distasteful actions by the Saudis. American voters are beginning to understand the importance of Saudi Arabia as a close ally of the US, in spite of recent unfortunate events.

  1. The relationship with Israel. The State of Israel is the most important ally of the US. Israel serves as a watchdog and outpost for the US, as the region becomes more dangerous every day. Since the establishment of the nation, the US has unequivocally supported and protected Israel’s right to exist. This has become a more difficult endeavor every year.

Most Jews in the US, even those that believe the current regime is too aggressive towards Palestine, want Israel to persevere and be available to those that are persecuted. Democratic antagonism towards the Israelis will hurt their chances in the national election. In the end, many Jews will support Trump because of this issue alone.

  1. Trump’s lousy attitude. Many Americans detest Trump’s personality. Yet he’s been getting results. Perhaps this aggressive demeanor is what America needed to stop the unfair arrangements that past president agreed to for diplomatic reasons. Trade deals, nuclear pacts, etc. need renegotiation even if we hurt some feelings along the way. Our determination to protect others is recognized sooner or later when nations are under distress and need a friend. Democrats are wasting their time criticizing Trump personally because a. he doesn’t care what they say, b. Trump’s base is with him to the bitter end and c. criticizing Trump’s personality is not going to turn the election.

Democrats, I know you won’t heed my warnings. After the 2020 elections you will be licking your wounds and wondering why you lost the presidency and so many congressional seats.

 

Israeli Critics In Congress Shielded By NY Times

In an August 22 editorial titled “The Revival of an Anti-Semitic Canard,” the NY Times sought to blame Trump for increased violence against Jews by distorting facts.

The only line in the editorial that was constructive was at its conclusion. It read as follows: “The right road forward is for Democrats, and Republicans, to maintain strong support for democracy and liberal values, both in Israel and in the United States.” Note: The reference, however, to liberal values is puzzling.

Democrats inspired a Trump political assault when they refused to appropriately censor congresswomen that unabashedly denigrated Israel, its prime minister and its citizens. Inflammatory rhetoric over their short tenure in Congress, which has been well publicized, continues to be outright racist. After Democrat leaders balked at sanctioning the female legislators appropriately, two members of the so-called “Squad” thought they had carte blanche to spew even greater anti-Semitic venom.

Trump’s response, as usual, was over the top, but not inaccurate. Among other things, the president is taking advantage of the Democrats’ growing frustration with the Prime Minister and his close relationship to Trump. He believes voting for these congresswomen and the Democrats that shielded them is an insult to Israel. And these bigots and their allies should be ostracized.

As expected the Times took the opportunity to dredge up some old dirt- Trump’s words are dangerous, he demonizes minority groups and equivocates about white supremacy. And remarkably the editorial board associates hate crimes against Jews to Trump, even as he strongly supports the State of Israel- an unbelievably twisted perspective.

The Times said Trump speaks about Jews as “different from other Americans,” suggesting that their loyalties are divided. This is true. There are some Jews that provide unbridled support to Bibi Netanyahu’s strong reactions to terror and threats to Israel’s sovereignty, and some that object to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

The polarization that is growing among Jews certainly creates a dangerous situation. But Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are greatly responsible for fostering a backlash to Israel’s efforts to avoid annihilation by virtually every one of its neighbors in the Middle East.

The Times should be more careful about how it characterizes the affection that Trump and so many Americans have for Israel. Suddenly it has become politically incorrect to support and protect our most loyal ally in the world, even from members of Congress. Why would American voters allow freshmen, and terribly disruptive, congresswomen to influence Israeli policy?

 

 

Why The Golan Heights Is Important To Israel

Trump’s support of Israel’s claim on the Golan Heights represents is a logical step in the US’s efforts to ensure the existence of the State of Israel.

The land in contention is 500 square miles wedged between northeast Israel and southwest Syria. It was occupied in 1967 after the Six Day War. Syria has always insisted that it owns the land and many attempts have failed miserably to exchange the land for a peace treaty.

The Golan Heights is strategically important. One can see for miles into both Israel and Syria. In 1981 Israel’s Knesset passed a law that annexed the area.

The Golan Heights is embroiled in of a much larger “land for peace” debate that has been the basis of negotiations between Israel, Syria, Egypt and Palestine for years. The only successful treaty in this regard was signed in 1979 between Israel and Egypt in which the Sinai Peninsula was vacated by Israeli forces in return for a peace treaty.

The relevance of Trump’s support of Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights is that no other nation, including the US has aligned with Israel to this point. And more importantly it could be the end of all future negotiations that involve trading land for peace. This could have a huge impact on efforts by the Trump administration to orchestrate a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

The response from the Arab world has been relatively muted. Of note Turkey’s President Erdogan has said that Trump’s decision to support Israel relating to the Golan Heights “has brought the region to a new crisis.” There was little comment from others nearby as domestic issues have been receiving more attention over regional issues. For instance Syrians are more concerned with their civil war than continued occupation of the Golan Heights by its enemy.

What is of great importance is the impact of Trump’s declaration of support on the re-election of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. Israeli Elections are scheduled next month and Netanyahu will receive a great boost from many Israelis for gaining such a great accommodation from America.

Trump’s support of Israel’s claim on the Golan Heights represents a logical effort to ensure the future existence of the State of Israel. It is a simple change of policy with potentially huge consequences.

Every day is important to Israel. And every effort to protect Israelis is the primary concern of Israeli leadership. With mortal enemies on all sides and even in Israel itself, Israel must not give up any strategic advantages. The Golan Heights gives Israel many military benefits.

At the same time Israel is striving to make peace with the same group of countries that call for its downfall. The most important of these adversaries is the Palestinians. They reside in Israel and there will never be peace until satisfactory accommodations are made for sovereignty, land, religion and security.

The risks from Syria are also significant. For one thing the country is involved in a civil war. But more important is the fact that Iran and Russia are supporting the Assad regime in its fight with the remnants of ISIS and Syrian rebels.

It’s only a matter of time before Syrian interests are redirected towards Israel. In the past Syria’s military power was not something that caused Israelis too much concern. But Iran and Russian military assistance could change the dynamics of the situation.

What are the consequences of Trump’s growing support of Israel? Arabs consider every move Israel makes to secure its borders an insult, and a violation of international law. Arab countries, especially those aligned with Iran, have repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel.

To assume that peaceful negotiations with Shia Arabs is a possibility is farcical. So Israel’s efforts to shore up the area around the Golan Heights are not really jeopardizing any on-going peace negotiations.

Some think that this new US policy regarding the occupation of the Golan Heights will impact the efforts of Jared Kushner to secure peace in the Middle East. It’s not likely. Kushner is as close to orchestrating a peace deal between Israel and Palestine as the scores of other diplomats who failed miserably over the years.

The only way that Israel is going to have peace is by maintaining a strong position in all faux negotiations with the Palestinians, and ignoring the uninformed objections emanating from the international community of nations. The US must continue to stand by its most important ally.

Put Yourself In Bibi’s Shoes

By Sal Bommarito

It’s not easy being Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu these days. As leader of Israel, Bibi must deal with never-ending external and internal threats. His country has been criticized by virtually every nation as it strives to survive in one of the most dangerous regions in the world.

Specifically, the following external issues dog Netanyahu every day: Palestine, Iran nuclear negotiations, Israel’s relationship with America and terrorism.

Palestine: Is Palestine politically and economically ready to be an independent state? Interested parties have been debating this question since 1988. As of 2014, 135 of 193 United Nations members recognized the State of Palestine. During his recent election, Netanyahu indicated that he was against a “two-state” solution, an obvious campaign ploy (it worked, he won). Subsequently, the prime minister clarified his comment by saying that there could be no two-state arrangement “at this time.”

Over the years, Israel has negotiated with some very difficult Palestinian opponents. On several occasions, peace and agreement were at hand, only to be dashed by one side or the other. The division of land, the connection of the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, economic considerations, terrorism and the right of Israel to exist are among the primary areas of dispute. American presidents have unsuccessfully tried to mediate a deal during the past four decades.

Israel has done its share to add to the chaos and inability to make peace. Most recently, it, for security reasons, built new settlements on land that the Palestinians believe belongs to them. President Obama has asked, and then demanded, that Netanyahu put a stop to this activity, to no avail.

Arabs frequently accuse Israel of crimes against humanity, especially when it retaliates against terrorist attacks by Hamas and other groups. The Palestinian’s plight is one of the most contentious issues in the Middle East for all Arab nations.

Iran’s nuclear negotiations: Bibi has claimed that a nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel. He has been relentless in expressing all the reasons why the U.S. should not cave into Iranian demands. His rationale includes a belief that Iran will not be a responsible possessor of a nuke, and it will violate the provisions of any treaty that limits its ability to build a nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu spoke before the U.S. Congress lobbying for discretion and oversight of any deal that President Obama signs. There were many sympathetic ears in the crowd. Last week, Iran and the U.S. agreed to an “outline” of a treaty. It is not clear what bipartisan actions Congress may take prospectively, or whether it will wait until a draft agreement is signed.

Israel’s relationship with the U.S.: The Netanyahu speech created a serious rift with the Obama administration; Obama did not endorse Bibi’s appearance. Obama Is disgusted with the prime minister’s endless carping, but Netanyahu is fighting for his country’s survival.

The implications of enthusiastic U.S. support are epic. Frankly, without military support, Israel could not survive. In fact, the demographics (in particular, birth rates of Israelis versus Palestinians) put Israel at a serious disadvantage over time. And, decreased financial support from American Jews could be a deathblow to Israel; young Jews are not as generous politically or economically than the previous generations.

Terrorism: Israel is continually under the gun, so to speak. Its citizens are always in peril from threats that have become more emboldened over time. The Jewish state is the only issue that unites Shiite and Sunni Arabs. Over the years, every Middle Eastern leader has attributed domestic and external problems to Israel, even if it had no role.

Yes, Bibi has a difficult job. I often wonder why so many nations around the world are supportive of Palestine over Israel when it is clear that the latter is more of a counter-puncher than an aggressor. Retaliation against terrorist attacks is too often labeled a crime.

Perhaps, Israel’s reputation is tarnished by its affiliation with the U.S. Sometimes, it is difficult to determine who Arabs despise more, America or Israel.