Gas Masks at Rosh Hashanah
August 29, 2013
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a day of remembrance. Let us remember the history of the Jewish State.
Israel was attacked by armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq immediately after becoming an independent State in 1948. Their attempts to drive her into the sea were unsuccessful. Armistice Agreements were signed which established Israel boundaries.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was introduced by the Arab League in 1964. Yasser Arafat led the Fatah faction, calling for the destruction of Israel. The PLO had no geographic home. Attacks against Israeli civilians came from Jordan, Gaza, and Lebanon. Israeli farms were shelled and bombed from the Golan Heights.
President Gamal Nasser of Egypt vowed "We aim at the destruction of the State of Israel." On May 15, 1967 Egyptian troops began massing on Israel's border. Syrian troops prepared for battle on the Golan Heights; and General U Thant of the United Nations withdrew UN Forces from the Sinai. On May 30 President Nasser announced: "The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel...standing behind us are armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, and Sudan. Arabs are arranged for battle. We have reached the state of serious action." US President Lyndon Johnson said "Israel will not be alone." When war began, the State Department announced a neutral position.
Israel had brilliant commanders and war strategies, which began on June 5, 1967 with a surprise bombing of Egyptian air fields. Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol sent a message to King Hussein of Jordan that Israel would not attack unless he initiated hostilities. Mistaken Jordanian intelligence caused Hussein to order the shelling of West Jerusalem. Israelis defeated Jordanians, and recaptured the Old City of Jerusalem. Moshe Dayan and Yitzhak Rabin formally marked the Jews' return to their historic city.
In six days Israel captured the West Bank, the Sinai, and the Golan. Israeli forces were ready to march on Amman, Cairo, and Damascus. US Secretary of State Dean Rusk advised the Israelis to accept a cease fire. They did. In November 1967 the United Nations adopted Resolution 242. In exchange for peace, Israel would annex the captured West Bank and create a military administration
The West Bank was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from the 16th century through WWI, when Allied powers allocated the area to the British Mandate of Palestine. After WWII the UN established two states within the Mandate which became Jordan and Israel. In 1950 Jordan annexed the West Bank. In 1967 it was annexed to Israel. In 1973 Egypt and Syria led a coalition of Arab states in war against Israel to recapture the Sinai and the Golan. Arab forces were defeated.
The US, EU, UN and Russia presented a two state peace settlement in 2005 – the State of Israel and a democratic Palestine. This required Israel to disengage from Gaza; force Israelis from homes, and dismantle military facilities. It was opposed by Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu, Natan Sharansky, and hundreds of thousands of protesters. Ariel Sharon pushed Disengagement. Israel withdrew, mobs entered Gaza waving PLO flags, firing gunshots into the air and chanting slogans. Synagogues and homes were vandalized, looted, and torched.
President George Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were wrong when they urged democratic elections in Gaza. The terrorist group Hamas won, and ousted Fatah. Fatah and Hamas work towards reconciliation.
In spite of Disengagement and other promises in the peace agreement, Yasser Arafat refused to sign. After Arafat's death Mahmud Abbas became the head of the PLO which morphed into the Palestinian Authority.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has been willing to negotiate without preconditions, since the 2010 talks ended. Netanyahu mapped out 21 issues to be discussed, led by professional negotiation teams.
During Kerry's 6 trips to encourage the PA to restart the peace talks, he requested Israel release 104 murdering prisoners. The first were released in August. Talks began, then were cancelled because three Palestinians were shot. An attacking mob of 1,500 Palestinians threw stones, bottles, and petrol bombs at an Israeli border patrol which had arrested a suspected terrorist in the West Bank town of Qalanya. Rubber bullets and other defensive measures ran out before soldiers used live rounds to save their lives.
Secretary of State John Kerry posited the absurd claim that Israel represents the principle obstacle to peace in the Middle East. Chaos rules, the region is in meltdown, NATO and the US weigh military action in Syria; with war, chemical weapons, civilians being killed, governments overthrown, Christians persecuted, American Ambassador killed, Iran developing nuclear weapons, Muslim Brotherhood extremists, Al Qaeda terrorists and more. Peace between Israel and the PA is not the Middle East solution, and Israel is not the principle obstacle to Middle East peace.
Israel prepares for Rosh Hashanah as she is threatened with - annihilation by Iran, chemical weapons from Syria, rocket attacks from Gaza and the Sinai, and a wagging finger from the UN; while Israeli citizens scramble for gas masks. Jonathan Swift could not have created better satire, sadly it is not satire.
Happy New Year Israel - L'Chaim!
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