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December 17, 2014 / 25 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Jordan Valley’

Why the Israeli-Palestinian Agreement Is Absurd

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

It makes sense that the Israel-Palestinian agreement is being made with Obama and Kerry in charge. The deal offers a kind of neo-mandate, with an American presence entrenched in the Jordan Valley for the next 10 years.  That’s no joke.

Let’s look at a different but parallel “pacification” effort and see what happened there. The Afghanistan peace talks with Taliban have gone absolutely dreadfully, and President Karzai is very dissatisfied. The results are–not surprisingly–unsatisfactory.

Let’s consider casualties in that case and a couple of others.

As of the end of 2013, roughly 3,000 Western troops have been killed in Afghanistan. Western forces will retreat with their tails between their legs and will probably abandon the government to horrible massacres and long wars following a Taliban victory.

Since the start of the ongoing civil war in Syria, there have been about 200,000 casualties–mostly civilians. A truly staggering number.

The population of the West Bank is about 3.1 million; if losses will be proportional to those in neighboring nations, the cost of American soldier’s lives would be high.

So, if the Obama/Kerry peace deal does go through, what would the risks be?

  • Dozens of Israeli civilians would be at risk of being killed by cross-border Palestinian-Arab and Islamist terrorist attacks, even if the settlements did not exist.
  • And of course, how fast would U.S. troops respond to such attacks?
  • Might there be an intifada in Jordan, a neighboring country with a Palestinian majority and a very strong Muslim Brotherhood opposition?
  • Remember too that the peace treaty would be incomplete, unable to involve the Hamas-led Gaza Strip. And incomplete peace treaties cannot stand.

In the Gaza Strip, there are more than 1.6 million people under the rule of Hamas. This government will do everything it can to sabotage the peace process. And U.S. help to the PA will be presented as collaboration with the infidels. There is no possibility of their participation in this agreement. That means that even in the best of circumstances, even if the PA is at peace with Israel, Hamas will be in an ongoing war with Israel.

So what great advantage is peace with the West Bank and war with Gaza?

It is predictable that Hamas will attempt to carry out cross-border raids and fire missiles at Israel. What is the U.S. position on that? Is the United States at war with Hamas? CIA director John Brennan, the architect of Obama ideology, publically–but not officially–has said that he wants to make peace with Hamas.

Is the PA going to cooperate with Hamas or at least radical segments of the PA? Remember during the Second Intifada, from 2000 to 2005, Fatah did cooperate with Hamas.

Moreover, if Fatah were to change its policy, it might get support from countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and so on. Turkey, for example–which is now a conduit for the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists, and al-Qa’ida obtaining arms–knows that most of its policy with the Arabs will be dependent on its degree of support to the Palestinians, including cooperation if there is a Palestinian state. The fact is that Turkey has pinned its hopes on Turkish influence in the Arab world, and to associate with aggressive support of Palestine would be key to its popularity. What if aid from Turkey and these other countries prepares Palestine to fight?

What is the United States, an ally with Israel, going to do if Palestine is created by its own agreement but wages a war of terrorism against Israel?

By the way, let’s remember that Mahmoud Abbas will probably be replaced in the next few years. It is very hard to predict whom he will be replaced by, but the most popular candidate is a serious hardliner. Shaykh Abd al-Muhsin al-Mutairi stated, “Oh servants of Allah, how saddening and very painful it is to see many Muslim youths glued to TV screens at cafes or at home, passionately watching entertainment shows, like the Football World Cup, in despicable subjugation to the abominations of the other nations–as if we were not a nation with a brilliant history and a lofty civilization.”

US Negotiator: Israel Must Endorse OUR Plan

Friday, December 27th, 2013

The American negotiators involved in the current round of “peace talks” for Israel and the Palestinian Arabs are pressuring Israeli leaders to speak out publicly in support of the U.S. positions regarding Israel’s security, according to recent Israeli media reports.

In an Israeli channel 2 news report, political correspondent Amit Segal explained that Amb. Martin Indyk, the U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, and his team have been meeting with many Israeli military leaders, trying to convince them that the U.S. security plans for the Jordan Valley are good for Israel.

Indyk reportedly told the Israelis, essentially, that “if you support” the American position on Israeli security regarding the Jordan Valley, then “go to the media and be interviewed because they have the impression that the Israeli public has doubts about” the American plan.

One of the names mentioned in the news report was Maj. Gen. (Res.) Avi Mizrachi, who was the head of the Israeli Central Command from October, 2009 until March, 2012.

Mizrahi has already publicly stated his position that he is convinced Israeli forces must remain in the Jordan Valley. Those forces must be present in order to prevent a missile threat from foreign controlled – including Palestinian Arab – territories, as well as to bar the transfer from across the border of explosives, equipment or people who could be used in terrorist attacks.

Israel cannot trust an international force, even an American one, for the existential security of the Jewish State.

Mizrachi reportedly told the American negotiators that he sees two central flaws in the U.S. plan.  First, the troops to guard the Jordan Valley must be Israeli troops, not American soldiers.  Secondly, the guards must be stationed in the Jordan Valley for 50 years, not the 10 years proposed in the American plan.

The sense conveyed by Segal was the Israelis understood the “diplomatic initiative” by the U.S. to be an effort to convince the Israeli public that they should support the American proposal, even if the Israeli government does not.

Here is a video of the Channel 2 report, captured, translated and subtitled by the ECI, and reported in the Washington Free Beacon.

Another Deluge of Rain on the Way but No Snow Except on Hermon

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

The second storm of the young winter is headed for Israel with more needed rain but no snow, except on the Hermon mountain.

Forecasters predict that it will rain on Eilat, an event that usually occurs only two or three times a year, and that up to three inches of rain will fall in the north and central regions.

Flash floods are predicted in the Arava and Dead Sea areas, which may receive an unusually large quantity of rain, possibly an inch.

The rain will follow deceivingly warmer than usual weather on Friday and will begin falling with the temperature Saturday afternoon, with the full force of the storm coming on Sunday and early Monday before weakening. No rain is forecast next week after Tuesday and temperatures will rise.

The Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) now lacks 2.49 meters (slightly more than 8 feet) before reaching the level where the Degania dam must be opened to prevent flooding in the beachside city of Tiberias. Opening the dam also will bring much needed water to the Dead Sea via the Jordan River.

There has  been no need to open the dam for 21 years.

Arab League Says No to IDF in Jordan Valley

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

In an emergency meeting called by PA president Mahmoud Abbas, the Arab League rejected a US proposal that IDF troops would remain in the Jordan Valley for a 10 year period, according to a report in Reuters.

Abbas said that he would not accept a single Israeli soldier in “Palestine”, but he could accept US troops.

Besides being an integral part of the Land of Israel, the Jordan Valley is an important component of Israel’s security on the eastern front. The IDF presence in the Jordan Valley also prevents smuggling of weapons into the Palestinian Authority, and possibly also protects the Kingdom of Jordan from a Palestinian takeover.

Last week, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon toured the Jewish towns in the Jordan Valley and emphasized how strategically important they are to the State of Israel.

Kerry Meeting with Netanyahu to End Two-Day Visit

Friday, December 13th, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Friday morning  and into the afternoon following his talks with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas Thursday night.

The snowstorm that has literally placed Jerusalem under siege forced Kerry to alter his plan to talk twice with the Prime Minister, once before meeting with Abbas and again afterwards.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon will join Friday’s meeting at some point, indicating that the U.S. proposal for security arrangements in the Jordan Valley will be discussed. Abbas so far has rejected any IDF presence in the Jordan Valley, even for an interim period of several years. Israel reportedly is not happy with the American proposal but has not rejected it.

Kerry arrived in Israel in the middle of the snowstorm late Thursday and plans to fly out to Vietnam later today (Friday).

IDF Officer Who Hit Anarchist to Keep His Job for Now

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

An IDF military court decided to go with a modified plea bargain agreement for Lt. Colonel Shalom Eisner, who had been set to be kicked out of the army.

Eisner had hit a foreign anarchist in the face, who was trying to block Highway 90 in the Jordan Valley. During the 2 hour altercation that preceded Eisner’s actions, one of the activists broke the fingers in Eisner’s hand.

The activists had filmed the April 2012 incident and disseminated a selectively edited video showing Eisner striking uncooperative anarchists with his rifle – something a lot of soldiers probably wish they could do to these foreign provocateurs.

What the film did not show was that before Eisner hit the foreign leftists, other anarchists had broken two of the officer’s fingers, and the scenes of the anarchists using their bicycles to hit and push the soldiers were also mostly cut out.

The court ordered Eisner to serve two months of public service, after which he can remain in his position for a year, instead of being dismissed right away which is what the original plea bargain had stipulated. Eisner was supposed to head up the prestigious Bahad 1 officer’s school in the Negev.

High ranking army officers, as well as the mother of a fallen soldier who was brought to burial by Eisner, praised Eisner for his sensitivity and character.

Hagit Rein, whose son was killed in the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and was brought to burial by Eisner, burst out into tears as she told the military court of Eisner’s sensitivity and involvement with the burial of her son.

At the time, no one was able to retrieve her son’s body which was trapped in the middle of a combat zone in Lebanon. Eisner upon hearing about it, jumped into a jeep, drove out, and brought the soldier’s body back to Israel.

Senior IDF officer Yehkezkiel Agai testified, “Shalom and I served together in the tank unit, I brought him into his current position as deputy commander because he is trustworthy and dedicated to his job. He is like a man who never received a traffic ticket for 40 years and then is suddenly involved in a serious accident.

“There is no question about the qualities of Shalom. There is no problem with his values or  behavior. He just make a mistake.”

Sami Turgeman, head of the Southern Command, told the military judges, “As a commander of ground forces, I often have to face officers in positions that they do not like. Eisner willingly took the position as the Jordan Valley division deputy commander which is not convenient from a personal standpoint and for family life. I have no doubt that he is a highly motivated officer.”

However, Nitzan Alon head of Central Command and a long-time thorn in the side of national religious officers such as Eisner, told the court that despite Eisner’s excellent qualities, “I saw professional failures in maintaining control.”

The incident began when 250 anarchists rode their bicycles onto Highway 90, the only highway connecting the southern and northern ends of the Jordan Valley, with the stated aim of blocking the road in an illegal protest.

The division commander was on vacation at the time and left instructions for Eisner to call the police if there was any trouble.

Eisner had instead decided to deal with the protesters himself.

Anarchists struggled with the soldiers, and some of them were also “bumping” their bicycles into the IDF soldiers as a “non-violent” provocation. With two broken fingers, Eisner’s patience ran out when one of the protesters purposely stood in his way as he and his soldiers were trying to clear the demonstrators off the highway.

After the video of the confrontation went viral, Eisner was removed from duty until an investigation was completed.

In September, Eisner reached the plea bargain agreement, reported here.

On the surface, Eisner came out better than expected, because he can return to his present position after two months of public service, and will retire from the army in another year instead of being forced out right away.

Unfortunately the mistake here is that he is being forced to retire at all.

Great News: US Has Security Plan for the ‘West Bank’

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

One has to be sparing with exclamation points, but this one’s a lollapalooza.  A dilly!  A doozie.  A big honkin’ mess-a that Middle East Security Hotness.  You heard right folks:  the United States of America has a “West Bank security proposal” for Israel, and we’re sending a retired Army general to present it to Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, himself.  !!!!!!!!!!

Why did no one think of this before?  Finally, someone has done something pragmatic and positive about the Israeli-Palestinian standoff, and just written up a proposal for the Israelis to chew on already.  The Obama administration has at last gotten things off top dead center with Iran, and it’s time to tackle those other intractable Middle East Security Problems, while the momentum is still red-hot.

The New York Times has done yeoman work in recent years pitching verbatim the information themes of the Obama administration, but interestingly, it comes off as a tad perfunctory in the story about the West Bank security proposal.  The tale seems to lack a little of that believer’s heart to it.  You might almost get the sense that there’s some editorial skepticism about the wisdom of this fresh Brainstorming for Peace initiative.

Almost.  Letting the Obama administration off the hook, as usual, for vagueness and strange diplomatic fire, NYT notes the following:

General Allen’s presentation appears to signify a more active American role, in which the United States is doing more than coaxing the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate and is presenting its own ideas.

What are the ideas about, exactly?  The NYT authors again:

Officials involved in the negotiations said security had been the prime focus lately, with most of the discussion revolving around the Jordan Valley. Israel has insisted that its own military continue to patrol there, rather than rely on an international force similar to those responsible for its tense borders with Lebanon and Syria. The Palestinians have said they cannot abide the presence of any Israeli soldiers in their future state.

Keep in mind, if George W. Bush’s officials were being so elliptical about a U.S.-drafted West Bank security proposal, NYT would be right in there concluding indignantly that American troops were about to be drop-kicked into the Jordan Valley to embroil a duped and overextended United States in Another Vietnam Quagmire (Marine Barracks Beirut Variety).  It would be barely possible to figure out what the Bush administration had actually said, so thick would be the underbrush of quotes from policy “critics” through which the reader would have to hack.

No such quotes enliven the current NYT piece.  The Obama administration gets the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe putting U.S. prestige and bona fides on the line with an unsolicited, and apparently very specific, security proposal to an ally isn’t a bad idea.  Maybe it’s not undiplomatic and prejudicial to announce it publicly before our briefer has even presented it to Israel’s prime minister.  Maybe it’s just, what, enthusiastic.  Maybe there’s nothing to be concerned about in the fact that the preemptive announcement is so vague.  Hey, we’re just talking – probably – a about U.S. proposal for administering military security in the Jordan Valley.  What could go wrong?

NYT lets this priceless, preemptive characterization go without comment:

State Department officials described the security briefing as an “ongoing process” and not a finished product on which the United States was demanding a yes-or-no vote from the Israeli side.

Sure, because announcing it in advance will put no onus on Israel to respond in a yes-or-no-type manner.  This formulation is like an addict pleading that he’s not using, he’s just snorting some coke.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/great-news-us-has-security-plan-for-the-west-bank/2013/12/05/

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