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Posts Tagged ‘Yoram Ettinger’

Yoram Ettinger: The Problem with US Mediation

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

The 1993 Oslo Accord between Israel and the Palestinians was introduced by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, surprising U.S. President Bill Clinton, who then facilitated the signing of the agreement. Similarly, the 1994 Israel–Jordan peace treaty was the brainchild of Prime Minister Rabin, adopted by King Hussein, and codified by President Clinton during the signing ceremony.

In contrast, several U.S. peace initiatives not only failed to produce peace, but inadvertently fueled Arab belligerence. They were based on the morally wrong and strategically flawed “land for peace” concept, which rewards aggressors instead of penalizing them, thereby fueling further aggression and punishing the intended victim.

Failed U.S. peace initiatives include the 1949-50 bullying of Israel to “end the occupation of the Negev,” to internationalize Jerusalem and allow Arab refugees to resettle in Israel; the 1970 Rogers plan; the 1973-75 Kissinger-orchestrated initiatives; the 1982 Reagan plan; the 1989-1992 Bush–Baker “foreswear Greater Israel” initiative, culminating in the 1991 Madrid Conference where Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir rejected “land for peace”; the 1998 Wye River Conference; the 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Conference; the July 2000 Camp David Summit and the December 2000 “Clinton Parameters”; the January 2001 Taba Summit; the 2002 “Road Map”; the 2007 Annapolis Conference; and the 2009-2012 enshrining of the 1949 cease-fire lines, the re-partitioning of Jerusalem and the freezing of Jewish construction in east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

The attempt to serve as an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinians has defied reality and U.S. interests. While Israel has been an unconditional ally of the U.S. and a role model for countering terrorism, the Palestinians have actively and ideologically sided with U.S. enemies and rivals: Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, North Korea, Iran, China and Russia. They celebrated the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks; condemned the execution of Saddam and bin Laden; participated in the murder of 300 U.S. Marines during the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy and Marines headquarters in Beirut; murdered two U.S. ambassadors in Khartoum in 1973; and established an anti-Semitic and anti-U.S. education system – which has manufactured a line of anti-U.S. terrorists and suicide bombers.

U.S. mediation has been based on the false assumption that the Arab–Israeli conflict is a root cause of Middle East turbulence, creating a delusional connection between the 100-year-old Arab–Israeli conflict and the overarching 1,400-year-old intra-Muslim turbulence in the region. It has diverted U.S. resources from primary to secondary causes of instability in the Middle East, thus undermining U.S. deterrence. It has radicalized Arab expectations for sweeping Israeli concessions, thus inflaming Arab belligerence and terrorism and intensifying tension between U.S. and Israeli administrations. It has clouded U.S.–Israel strategic cooperation while threats increase: The anti-U.S. Arab street is raging; the U.S. is reducing its military presence in the Middle East and cutting its defense budget; Russia and China are increasing their influence in the region; and Iran’s nuclearization is advancing. All of these developments are independent of the Palestinian issue, the Arab–Israeli conflict, Israel’s policies and even its existence.

In 1967, Saudi Arabia welcomed Israel’s devastation of pro-Soviet Egypt and Syria, which aimed to topple the House of Saud. In 1990, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were focused on the imminent threat posed by Saddam Hussein, but the Bush–Baker team was preoccupied with Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. In 2012, Saudi Arabia and most Arab countries yearn for a U.S., or Israeli, pre-emptive strike against Iran, which they consider a clear and present lethal threat. They are anti-Israel and wish its destruction, but they do not consider the Arab–Israeli conflict, or the Palestinian issue, to be their primary concerns. They understand that when smothered by a sandstorm, one should not be preoccupied with tumbleweeds.

Increased Arab confidence in the U.S. leadership necessitates that the U.S. focus on regional sandstorms such as Iran, Islamic terrorism, the Islamic threat to pro-U.S. regimes and the recent turmoil on the increasingly anti-American Arab street.

The enhancement of U.S. power and influence in the Middle East requires that the U.S. upgrade cooperation with stable, reliable, capable, democratic and unconditional allies, such as Israel. The U.S. should not subordinate such cooperation to the mediation of secondary conflicts in the Middle East.

Originally published at http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=1842

Yoram Ettinger

Yoram Ettinger: Mid-East Unpredictability and the Peace Process

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

In order to comprehend the real Mid-East, the root causes of regional turbulence, the key obstacle to peace and the oversimplification of Western peace-processors, one should examine the Iraq-Syria labyrinth, an arena of flaming and chronic unpredictability.

In April 2012, the Iraqi regime – led by Shiites – is supporting the Assad regime in the battle against Syria’s Sunni majority and the Muslim Brotherhood, which are perceived as a worse threat than Assad to the current regime in Baghdad.

However, from 2003 until the eruption of the current civil war in Syria, Iraq was haunted by Assad-armed and trained pro-Saddam Sunni terrorists, who terrorized Iraq and undermined the stability of the current Iraqi regime.

Moreover, from 1966 – when a split occurred between the Damascus and the Baghdad wings of their ruling Ba’th party – until the 2003 demise of Saddam Hussein, Syria supported all anti-Saddam Hussein ideological, ethnic, tribal, and religious elements. In fact, from 1979 until 2003, Damascus and Tehran provided asylum to Iraq’s current Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, who was then in opposition to Saddam Hussein.

The rivalry between Syria and Iraq has raged – on and off – since the eighth century, when the Damascus-based Umayyad Caliphate lost the military battle for intra-Muslim leadership to the Baghdad-based Abbasid Caliphate.

Welcome to the real Mid-East, the model of violent unpredictability, where the most predictable factor is unpredictability!

Inherent Mid-East unpredictability has produced a multitude of intra-Muslim accords concluded, but routinely, brutally, and unpredictably abrogated. Hence, the frequent intra-Muslim cease fire agreements recently concluded, yet summarily and mercilessly violated, in Syria.

The higher the unpredictability, the lower the prospect of compliance. The lower the compliance, the higher the threshold of security, especially in the unstable, treacherous, fragmented, violent, and unpredictable Mid-East.

The failure of Mid-East Muslim regimes to adhere to intra-Muslim agreements attests to the provisional and fragile nature of agreements signed with “infidel” entities, such as the Jewish State. The critical issue is when and how – not whether – agreements will be shattered. For example, in 1994, Jordan’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff told his Israeli colleague that “agreements signed with the Palestinians in the morning are violated by the end of the day.”

However, President Obama, West Europe, and the UN – just like the Israeli Oslo-ites and New Middle Easterners – are obsessed with the formalities of concluding Israeli-Arab agreements, failing to grasp the deeply-rooted fragility of all agreements concluded in the Mid-East. They pressure the Jewish State to assume irreversible “painful tangible concessions” – in return for reversible, intangible Arab declarations. They lean on Israel to retreat to the pre-1967, defenseless, 9-15 mile sliver along the Mediterranean. They prod Israel to transfer – to unpredictable and violent neighbors – the cradle of its history, which is also a mountain ridge, dominating the Mediterranean sliver and constituting an indispensable, protective high ground for Israel’s survival in the most conflict-ridden region in the world.

The real Mid-East is currently further traumatized by the tectonic implosion of the Arab Street, the meltdown of traditional regimes, and the surge of radical Islamic elements, irrespective of the Palestinian issue or the Arab-Israeli conflict, which have only had a secondary impact upon the Mid-East.

Islamists have catapulted to leadership in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt and are challenging every Arab regime.

Emad el-Din Adeeb, a columnist of the London-based Arab daily, A-Sharq al-Awsat, wrote on February 4, 2012: “I sorrowfully say, God bless the days of Saddam Hussein, compared to today’s Iraq!… Iraq has been dismantled, and is now practically divided into three minor states: the Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite regions…. The number of Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Iraq amounts to 200,000 armed troops. This is in addition to the fact that some government correspondence in Baghdad is now written in both Persian and Kurdish…. The state has shifted into a major power center for extremist Islamic currents that threaten national and regional security, most prominently al-Qaeda…. The Iraqi authorities want to relocate the late President Saddam Hussein’s corpse from his grave – because of the numerous visits and crowds gathering nearby– to an unknown or remote place…. Judging by what happened in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, no one believes change in Syria will be democratic in the long term. It will bring to power a sectarian Islamic fundamentalist party. Instability will continue to be the order of the day.”

But, President Obama, Europe, and the UN persist in ignoring Mid-East reality. They pressure Israel to be the only country negotiating away its cradle of history, while lowering its security threshold, as if the Mid-East were relatively-predictable and compliant.

Originally published at http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=1756

Yoram Ettinger

Yoram Ettinger: Passover – An Inalienable American Value

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

http://www.theettingerreport.com/OpEd/OpEd—Israel-Hayom/Passover-%E2%80%93-An-Inalienable-American-Value.aspx

 

Passover, and especially the legacy of Moses and the Exodus, has been part of the American story since the seventeenth century, inspiring the American pursuit of liberty, justice, and morality.

The special role played by Passover – and the Bible – in shaping the American state of mind constitutes the foundation of the unique relations between the American people and the Jewish state. As important as the current mutual threats and interests between the US and Israel are, the bedrock of the unbreakable US-Israel alliance are entrenched values, principles and legacies, such as Passover.

In 1620 and 1630, William Bradford and John Winthrop delivered sermons on the Mayflower and Arbella, referring to the deliverance from “modern day Egypt and Pharaoh,” to “the crossing of the modern day Red Sea” and to New Zion/Canaan as the destination of the Pilgrims on board.

In 1776, Thomas Paine, the author of Common Sense (which cemented public support for the revolution), referred to King George as the “hardened, sullen tempered Pharaoh.” Upon declaration of independence, Benjamin Franklin (the most secular Founding Father), John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, the second third American Presidents respectively, proposed a Passover theme for the official US seal: the Pillar of Fire leading Moses and the Israelites through the Red Sea, while Pharaoh’s chariots drown in the Sea. The inscription on the seal was supposed to be: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God,” framing the rebellion against the British monarchy as principle-driven. The lessons of the Jewish deliverance from Egyptian bondage reverberated thunderously among the Rebels, who considered the thirteen colonies to be “the modern day Twelve Tribes.”

The 19th century Abolitionists, and the Civil Rights movement from the 1940s to the 1970s, were inspired by the ethos of the Exodus and by the Bible’s opposition to slavery. In the 1830s, the Liberty Bell, an icon of American independence, was adopted by the Abolitionists, due to its Exodus-inspired inscription: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:10). Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), and her husband, Calvin Ellis Stowe (“The Little Rabbi”) were scholars of the Bible and the Exodus. Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery in 1849 and freed Black slaves on the Underground Railroad, earned the name “Moses.” The 1879/80 Black slaves who ran away to Kansas were called “the Exodusters.” The most famous spiritual, “Go Down, Moses” was considered the unofficial national anthem of Black slaves.

In 1865, following the murder of President Lincoln, most eulogies compared him to Moses. Just like Moses, Lincoln liberated slaves, but was stopped short of the Promised Land.France paid tribute to the martyred Lincoln by erecting the Statue of Liberty, featuring rays of sun and a tablet, just like the glaring Moses descending from Mount Sinai with the Two Tablets of the Ten Commandments.

In 1954, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. compared the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to desegregate public schools to the parting of the Red Sea. In 1964, upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King proclaimed: “Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself. The Bible tells the thrilling story of how Moses stood in Pharaoh’s court centuries ago and cried, ‘Let my people go.’”

President Reagan mentioned (Reagan at Westminster, 2010) Exodus as the first incident in a long line of Western resistance to tyranny: “Since the exodus from Egypt, historians have written of those who sacrificed and struggled for freedom – the stand at Thermopylae, the revolt of Spartacus, the storming of the Bastille, the Warsaw uprising in World War II.”

In July, 2003, President Bush stated, in Senegal, that “in America, enslaved Africans learned the story of the exodus from Egypt, and set their own hearts on a promised land of freedom.”

In March, 2007, Senator Obama said in Selma, Alabama that the civil rights pioneers were the “Moses generation” and he was part of the “Joshua generation” that would “find our way across the river.”

And today, in 2012, a statue of Moses stares at the Speaker of the House, another towers above the seats of the Supreme Court Justices, a Ten Commandment monument sits on the ground of the Texas State Capitol, and a similar monument will be shortly erected on the ground of the Oklahoma State Capitol.

In 2012, the leader of the Free World and its sole soul ally in the Mid-East, Israel, are facing the most lethal threat to liberty since 1945 – conventional and non-conventional Islamic terrorism. Adherence to the legacy of Passover, marshaling the conviction-driven leadership of Moses, and demonstrating Joshua and Caleb’s courage and defiance of odds, will once again facilitate the victory of liberty over tyranny.

Yoram Ettinger

Yoram Ettinger: For Long-Term Confidence in Israel’s Economy

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Israel’s economic growth during the last five years (21%) is higher than all OECD countries, besides Turkey. Israel’s economy grew 270% over the last 20 years, while Israel’s population grew 145%. Israel’s unemployment is its lowest ever – 5.4%. The strength of Israel’s exports is derived from its multitude of companies, diversified technologies and products, reaching diversified markets, cutting edge technologies, focusing on essential products (medical, telecommunications, Internet, water technologies, energy alternatives, homeland security, defense), preferring high tech over raw material, expanding joint ventures with global giants, bolstering research & development (world leader in percentage of GDP).

Israel is expected to become a net-exporter of natural gas by2018. Israel’s economy receives a tailwind from an annual Aliya (Jewish immigration), reduced emigration, accelerated return by expatriates, an expanding young population (especially due to rising fertility rate of the secular sector), a growing integration of the ultra-orthodox community in Israel’s workforce and military service and the potential for a dramatic wave of Aliya due to economic, political, security, and social circumstances in the former USSR, France, England, Argentina and the USA (Adam Reuter, Financial Immunities, March 14, 2012).

Intel’s exports from Israel – $2.2BN in 2011. Since 1999, Intel’s exports from Israel total $22.5BN (Globes Business Daily, March 19). Intel employs 7,800 persons in Israel – 10% of Intel’s global manpower. 700 were hired in 2011, projecting 600 more in 2012. Abbott Laboratories – which acquired Israel’s SrarLims in 2010 – concluded a 3-year cooperation agreement with Israel’s Weizmann Institute (Globes, February 7).

Credit Suisse reported a 5.35% holding in Israel’s $12BN CheckPoint – $643MN (Globes, February 10). Virginia-based Tamro Capital Partners and San Francisco-based Parnassus Investments announced a 5.9% and a5.7% holding in Israel’s Ceragon – $18MN and $17MN respectively (Globes, February 10). The NJ-based Avaya acquired Israel’s RadVision for $230MN (Globes, March 16). The $21BN Broadcom acquired Israel’s BroadLight for $200MN- Broadcom’s 10th acquisition of an Israeli company in 10 years (5th since 2009), leveraging the top quality Israeli human resource – innovations; which are transformed into cutting-edge technologies, manufacturing lines and exports. Broadcom has intensified its Israel operations during the last two years (Globes, March 21, 2012). Goldman Sachs acquired 10% of Israel’s Viola Group fro $200MN (Globes, February 22). The NYC-based W Capital Partners acquired, from Yozma VC Fund, 3% of Israel/US Conduit for $39MN (March 19).

San Francisco-based Koshla Ventures and Burrill & Co. and Menlo Park-based Triple Point led a $30MN round by Israel’s HCL-Virdia (Globes, March 8). France Télécom, the French Publicis Groupe and Iris Capital co-led a $15MN round of private placement by Israel’s MyThings, joined by Silicon Valley’s Accel Partners and Deutsche Telecom investment arm T-Venture (Globes, March 21). The Boston-based Spark Capital led a $15MN round by Israel’s eToro (Globes, March 14). A West Coast investment bank led a $13MN round by Israel’s Vascular Dynamics (Globes, March 8).

2011 mergers & acquisitions of 85 Israeli high tech companies (27% increase over 2010) – $5.1BN, the highest sum in 10 years, except the 2006 bubble ($11BN).

 

http://www.theettingerreport.com/

Yoram Ettinger

Yoram Ettinger: UN Human Rights Council Exposed

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

http://www.theettingerreport.com

 

The Human Rights Council (HRC), on the one hand, and human rights on the other hand, constitutes an oxymoron. The HRC – elected by the majority of the UN members – constitutes an authentic reflection of the UN.

On Friday, the HRC will conclude a month long deliberation by submitting four more resolutions condemning Israel.

The HRC heard testimony from a representative of the Assad regime in formulating one of the resolutions, which denounces Israel for alleged violations of human rights on the Golan Heights. At the same time, the Assad regime has already murdered 8,000 Syrian dissidents and rebels, causing tens of thousands of refugees, some seeking asylum in Israel’s Golan Heights.

The HRC was privy to testimonies from Palestinian representatives, while an increasing number of Palestinians attempt to relocate to Jerusalem, in order to avoid the ruthless rule of the Palestinian Authority. The HRC never discussed intra-Palestinian violence, which has caused substantially more fatalities than those produced during Israel’s confrontation with Palestinian terrorism. It failed to act against the PLO/Hamas-led hate-education, brainwashing Palestinian children to become suicide bombers; rewarding Palestinian mothers for raising suicide bombers; executing rival Palestinians by throwing them off high-rise buildings; spraying them with bullets from the waist down; torturing, maiming and executing Palestinian opponents; abusing Palestinian civilians as human shields; physically abusing critical Palestinian journalists; suppressing Palestinian civil liberties; and systematically and deliberately targeting Israeli civilians for terrorism, missile launching and mortar shelling.

The HRC welcomed a report by Professor Richard Falk – who accused the US Administration of complicity and cover up in the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack – on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” Prof. Falk – a Hamas sympathizer who has justified suicide bombing as a legitimate struggle – was appointed in 2008 to a six-year term as UN Special Rapporteur. Falk succeeded Professor John Dugard, who shares his worldview.

The HRC is assisted by an advisory committee, chaired by Morocco’s Halima Warzazi, who, in 1988, blocked a UN initiative to condemn Saddam Hussein’s chemical warfare against Iraqi Kurds. The vice-chair is Switzerland’s Jean Ziegler, who co-established the “Qaddafi International Prize for Human Rights” and authored books accusing the USA of being responsible for global malaise. Another advisor is Nicaragua’s Miguel D’Escoto Brockman, former President of the UN General Assembly, an admirer of Ahmadinejad, a defender of Omar al-Bashir – Sudan’s president indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, a friend of Fidel Castro and self-hating Americans such as Ramsey Clark and Noam Chomsky.

Since June 2007, Israel has been the only country to be listed on the HRC’s permanent agenda. Out of the ten permanent items on the HRC agenda, eight are organizational and procedural, one deals with global human rights and “item seven” – “the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories” – is the only one that is country-specific. The outcome of the investigation is prejudged, not subject to review. Israel – the only Middle Eastern democracy – is also the only UN member to be ostracized annually, while its enemies are exempt from scrutiny.

According to former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, “there are permanent members of the Security Council and non-permanent members, but Israel is the only permanent non-member.”

80% of all 2010 UN resolutions criticizing specific countries for human rights violations were directed at Israel. Only six other UN members faced human rights criticism at all, one of which was the United States. The HRC subjected the USA to harsh criticism – by Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Russia – for, supposed, human rights violations. The HRC criticized the elimination of Bin-Laden and Israel’s defense against PLO, Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists.

Simultaneously, the HRC has ignored Islamic terrorism, which has afflicted Asia, Africa, Europe, and the USA. No emergency sessions or inquiries were held, and no resolutions were adopted.

55% of the HRC members are Muslim countries, which contribute little to the UN budget, but dominate policy-making. The HRC is formally the guardian of human rights, but its members – e.g., Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Cuba, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uganda, Djibouti, Senegal, Mauritania, Malaysia, Russia, and China – deny their peoples fundamental civil liberties.

In view of the track record of the UN in general, and the HRC in particular, and in light of the intensifying threat of Islamic terrorism, the Free World should become independent of the UN, militarily and policy-wise. The Free World should heed Ambassador Bolton’s assessment that “the UN was marginal during the Cold War, and is well on its way to marginalizing itself when it comes to the world’s greatest threat, terrorism.”

 

Originally published in Israel Hayom

Yoram Ettinger

Yoram Ettinger: Defense and Retaliation – Not an Option

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

The Background

More than10,000 Gaza-based missiles have been launched, systematically and deliberately, at Israeli cities, kibbutzim, and villages since Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in September 2005 (1,700 annually), compared with 700 missiles launched from 2001 to September 2005 (140 annually). In addition, over 5,000 mortar shells have been launched at Israeli civilians since the disengagement.

250 Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists between 1978 and the 1993 Oslo Accords, compared with 2,000 Israelis murdered by Palestinian terrorists since the conclusion of the Oslo Accords.

Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel has transformed its policy of no-Palestinian state-solution to a two-state solution, highlighted by the importation of some 60,000 Palestinian terrorists into Gaza, Judea, and Samaria from Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Lebanon and Syria. The two-state solution has been replete with systematic groundbreaking Israeli gestures, concessions, and ideological and territorial retreats. It has yielded unprecedented Palestinian hate-education and terrorism; Palestinian smuggling and manufacturing of tens of thousands of missiles; multi-billion dollar cost of Israeli homeland security measures; severe erosion of Israeli confidence in Israel’s own cause and capability to confront its enemies; and significantly undermined the Israeli posture of deterrence, which is a prerequisite for security and peace. The two-state state of mind has ushered in the assumption that the solution to terrorism is not military force but diplomacy.

In 1993, the architects of the two-state solution dismissed the warning that such a solution would doom Israeli cities to a barrage of Palestinian missiles. In 2012, one million Israelis – in Beer Sheba, Ashdod, Ashqelon, Kiryat-Gat and scores of kibbutzim and villages in southern Israel – have been held hostage by Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism as a result of the 2005 Disengagement. Irregularity and missile alert sirens have dominated their daily lives at work, in kindergartens, schools, and at leisure.

The PLO (now the ruling faction of the Palestinian Authority) was the ally of the USSR and the Communist Bloc, of Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden. The PLO and Hamas are the allies of Iran, North Korea, China, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, the trans-national Muslim Brotherhood terrorists, the emerging Islamic leaders in Libya and Tunisia, and the ruling Islamic party of Turkey.

The Solution

The Israeli government is tested – by its citizens, enemies and allies – by its ability to ensure personal and national security, rather than submitting its citizens to periodic terrorism.

Personal and national security will not be advanced by the conclusion of another ceasefire with Palestinian terrorists, but by the destruction of the ideological, educational, political, financial, logistical, and operational infrastructures of Palestinian fire.

Israel’s security will not be enhanced by deterring Palestinians from launching missiles at Israel, but by denying them the capability to launch missiles.

Israel’s security will not be bolstered by the power to retaliate against Palestinian missiles, but by the power to preempt and to prevent the launching of – and to eliminate – Palestinian missiles.

An effective offensive against Palestinian terrorist capabilities should not be surgical and limited in scope and time, but comprehensive, decisive, sustained and disproportionate, aiming to devastate all terrorist infrastructures and capabilities, bringing the enemy to submission.

A limited response to terrorism, and the pursuit of ceasefires, constitutes a prescription for a war of attrition – the dream of terrorists and the nightmare of democracies.

An effective offensive should not strive for engagement and coexistence with – or the suspension of – terrorism, but for uprooting terrorism.

Since Oslo 1993, Israel’s battle against terrorism has been subordinated to the two-state paradigm, entrenching moral and operational ambiguity rather than clarity. Therefore, it has been addicted to defense, the belief that “restraint is strength,” the assumption that there is no military solution to terrorism and the subordination of war on terrorism to the pursuit of peace, international pressure and international public opinion.

However, the nineteen post-Oslo years of unprecedented Palestinian hate-education, terrorism, and non-compliance have documented that there is no political or diplomatic solution to Palestinian terrorism. Ignoring the lessons of the post-Oslo years, by refraining from a resolute, preemptive, preventive, decisive, and disproportionate offensive on Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorist infrastructures, will subject Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa to a terrorist assault that will dwarf the current predicament in southern Israel.

In its battle against terrorism, Israel should reclaim its pre-two-state solution posture, highlighting roots and vision, determination, defiance of odds, the can-do and risk-taking mentality, and gumption. It is that spirit which transformed the Jewish State from the remnants of the Holocaust into the most stable, predictable, reliable, capable, democratic, and unconditional ally of the USA.

 

Originally published at http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=1534

Yoram Ettinger

Yoram Ettinger: Purim Guide for the Perplexed 2012

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

1. Purim’s historical background according to the late historian, Prof. Israel Eldad:

*Xerxes the Great – Achashverosh in Hebrew – succeeded Darius the Great and ruled the Persian Empire during 465-486 BCE, 150 years before the rise of Greek’s Alexander the Great.

*Greece was Persia’s key opponent in its expansion towards the Mediterranean and Europe, hence the alliance between Persia and Carthage, a rival of Greece.

*Greece supported Egypt’s revolt against Persian rule, which was subdued by Persia with the help of the Jewish warriors of Yeb (in Egypt) and Carthage, which had a significant Jewish-Hebrew connection (Hanibal and Barca were a derivative of the Hebrew names, Hananyah and Barak).

*Xerxes was defeated by Greece at the 480 BCE Salamis Battle, but challenged Greece again in 470 BCE.

*According to a Greek translation of the Scroll of Esther, Haman (the Agagi) was a Macedonian by orientation or by birth. Agagi could refer to Agag, the Amalekite King (who intended to annihilate the Jews) or to the Aegean Islands. Haman aspired to annihilate the Jews of Persia and opposed improved relations between Xerxes and the Jews Yeb. He led the pro-Greece and anti-Carthage orientation in Persia. Mordechai was a chief advocate of the pro-Carthage orientation.

2. Purim is celebrated on the 14th/15th days of the Jewish month of Adar.

*Adar (אדר) is the root of the Hebrew adjective Adir (אדיר glorious, awesome, exalted, magnificent). It is, also, a derivative of the Akkadian word Adura (heroism).

*Jewish tradition (Babylonian Talmud) highlights Adar as a month of happiness, singing and dancing.

*The zodiac of Adar is Pisces (fish), which is a symbol of demographic multiplication. Hence, Adar is the only Jewish month, which doubles itself during the 7 leap years, during each 19 year cycle.

*Purim is celebrated on the 14th (in non-walled towns) and on the 15th day of Adar (in Jerusalem), commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish People from the jaws of a holocaust in Persia and the 161 BCE victory of Judah the Maccabee over Nikanor, the Assyrian commander.

*Moses – who delivered the Jewish People from a holocaust in Egypt and whose burial site is unknown – was born, and died (1273 BCE) on the 7th day of Adar, which is Israel’s Memorial Day for soldiers, whose burial site is unknown.

*The events of Purim occurred following the destruction of the 1st Temple by Nebuchadnezzar (586 BCE) and the exile from Zion, during the leadership of Ezra who returned to Jerusalem, and the inauguration of the Second Temple (3rd of Adar, 515 BCE) by Ezra and Nehemiah.

*Nebuchadnezzar died in Adar 561 BCE (Jeremiah 52:31).

*Einstein published the theory of General Relativity in Adar 1916.

3. Purim’s Hebrew root is fate/destiny (פור), as well as “lottery” (to commemorate Haman’s lottery which determined the designated day for the planned annihilation of the Jewish People) “to frustrate”, “to annul”(להפר), “to crumble” and “to shutter” (לפורר), reflecting the demise of Haman.

4. Purim commemorates a Clash of Civilizations between Mordechai the Jew and Haman the Iranian-Amalekite. It constitutes an early edition of the war between Right vs. Wrong, Liberty vs. Tyranny, Justice vs. Evil, Truth vs. Lies, as were/are Adam/Eve vs. the Snake, Abel vs. Cain, Abraham vs. Sodom and Gomorrah, Jacob vs. Esau (grandfather of Amalek), Maccabees vs. Assyrians, Allies vs. Nazis, Western democracies vs. Communist Bloc, and Western democracies vs. Islamic terrorism.

5. Purim is the holiday of contradictions and tenacity-driven-optimism: Grief replaced by joy; Esther’s concealment replaced by the disclosure of her national/religious identity; Haman’s intended genocide of the Jews replaced by redemption; Haman replaced by Mordechai; national and personal pessimism replaced by optimism. A Purim lesson: Life is complex, full of contradictions, ups and downs and difficult dilemmas and worthy of principled-determination.

6. Mordechai, the hero of Purim and one of Ezra’s deputies, was a role model of principle-driven optimism in defiance of colossal odds, in the face of a global power and in spite of the Jewish establishment. He fought Jewish assimilation and urged Jews to return to their Homeland. He was endowed with the bravery of faith-driven individuals, such as Nachshon – who was the first to walk into the Red Sea before it was parted. Mordechai was a politically-incorrect statesman and a retired military leader, who practiced “disproportionate pre-emption” instead of defense, deterrence or retaliation.

*The first three Hebrew letters of Mordechai (מרדכי) spell the Hebrew word Rebellion (מרד), which is consistent with the motto/legacy of the American Founding Fathers: “Rebellion against Tyrants is Obedience to G-D.”

*Mordechai did not bow to Haman, the second most powerful person in the Persian Empire. He was a member of the tribe of Benjamin, the only son of Jacob who did not bow to Esau.

*The name Mordechai is also a derivative of Mordouch, the chief Babylonian god.

*Mordechai was a descendant of King Saul, who defied a clear commandment (to eradicate the Amalekites) and spared the life of Agag, the Amalekite king, thus precipitating further calamities upon the Jewish People. Consequently, Saul lost his royal position and life. Mordechai learned from Saul’s error. He destroyed Haman, a descendant of Agag the Amalekite, and Haman’s entire power base, thus sparing the Jewish People a major disaster.

Yoram Ettinger

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/judaism-101/yoram-ettinger-purim-guide-for-the-perplexed-2012/2012/03/07/

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