Middle East

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Tom Mazanec
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Middle East

Post by Tom Mazanec »

The Middle East has been on John's "red alert" status for some time, but he hasn't put anything on his weblog recently. The last he said was that the situation was deteriorating daily. I asked him for an update, and he replied that he just did not have the time. So here is a thread to help him out and you can contribute your insights.
“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”

― G. Michael Hopf, Those Who Remain

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Re: Middle East

Post by John »

In May, 2003, I wrote an article that laid out the general
predictions for the Mideast.

Here's an excerpt of what I wrote:
> We are now in the early stages of replaying the extremely
> violent, bloody wars between the Jews and the Palestinians that
> took place between them from 1936 to 1949. So far the war has
> been little more than a series of skirmishes, as it was in the
> late 1930s. The full-fledged violent, bloody war is awaiting a
> generational change.

> There's an incredible irony going on in the Mideast today, in that
> the leaders of two opposing sides are, respectively, Ariel Sharon
> and Yassir Arafat.

> These two men hate each other, but they're the ones cooperating
> with each other (consciously or not) to prevent a major Mideast
> conflagration. Both of them remember the wars of the 1940s, and
> neither of them wants to see anything like that happen again. And
> it won't happen again, as long as both of these men are in
> charge.

> The disappearance of these two men will be part of an overall
> generational change in the Mideast that will lead to a major
> conflagration within a few years. It's possible that the
> disappearance of Arafat alone will trigger a war, just as the
> election of Lincoln ignited the American Civil War. (It's
> currently American policy to get rid of Arafat. My response is
> this: Be careful what you wish for.)

** Mideast Roadmap - Will it bring peace?
** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi ... 10.i.may01
I had expected "something" to happen within a couple of years after
the disappearance of Arafat, but the situation has continued to be
remarkably stable. Abbas and Fatah have maintained power in the West
Bank, while Hamas has been forced to moderate itself, at least
slightly, in Gaza. Of course it's possible that "something" could
happen at any time, but more and more it seems to me that the Mideast
will not be the place where the war starts, since the Indian
subcontinent seems far more unstable to me.


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Re: Middle East

Post by axis_of_evil »

The situation is this:

Everyone wants a piece of the Iraq cake, but America doesn't want to share it.

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Olmert issues "last-minute" warning to Hamas

Post by John »

Olmert issues "last-minute" warning to Hamas
Olmert issues "last-minute" warning to Hamas
Thu Dec 25, 2008 2:27pm EST

By Adam Entous and Ari Rabinovitch

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Thursday
issued a "last-minute" appeal to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to
reject their Hamas rulers and stop rocket fire at Israel, warning them
he would not hesitate to use force.

His comments were the clearest indication yet that Israel was
preparing a possible Gaza offensive which could result in heavy
casualties on both sides and fuel a humanitarian crisis.

Israeli political sources said Olmert's security cabinet approved a
"staged" military escalation, beginning with air strikes against a
wider range of Hamas targets in the densely-populated enclave.

A large-scale operation has yet to be authorized but could get a green
light depending on Hamas's response, the sources said.

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Israel would "pay the
price" for any attack.

Olmert told Al Arabiya television, an Arab broadcaster widely watched
in Gaza: "I didn't come here to declare war."

"But Hamas must be stopped -- that is the way it is going to be. I
will not hesitate to use Israel's might to strike Hamas and (Islamic)
Jihad. How? I will not go into details now," Olmert said, according to
a statement issued by his office.

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/ ... 9320081225

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Re: Middle East

Post by aedens »

Failure to clarify by the Democrats own liberal agenda which is fact, and the bloggers dangerous ability to see ahead of the curve.
Last edited by aedens on Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Middle East

Post by John »

aedens -- This is quite an impressive article. Did you write this
article, or are you reposting it from somewhere else? Are you the
author, or is someone else the author? If you're reposting it, what's
the URL of the original posting? If you wrote it, then tell us a
little about your background.



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Re: Middle East

Post by theeconomy »

by David Meir-Levi Putting to rest the canard that Israel caused the Arab refugee problem.

The Arab version of the tragic fate of Arab refugees who fled from the Palestine Mandate before and during the 1948 war and from Israel immediately after the war, has so thoroughly dominated the thinking of even well-educated historians, commentators, journalists and politicians, that it is almost a given that the creation of the State of Israel caused the flight of almost a million hapless, helpless and hopeless Arab refugees. Israel caused the problem and thus Israel must solve the problem.

This assertion, although viscerally engaging and all but canonized by the anti-Israel propaganda which makes it the core of its narratives of the Middle East conflict, is unequivocally and totally false.

Origins of the Problem

The State of Israel was created in a peaceful and legal process by the United Nations. It was not created out of Palestinian lands. It was created out of the Ottoman Empire, ruled for four hundred years by the Turks who lost it when they were defeated in World War I. There were no "Palestinian" lands at the time because there were no people claiming to be Palestinians. There were Arabs who lived in the region of Palestine who considered themselves Syrians. It was only after World War I that the present states of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq were also created - and also created artificially out of the Turkish Empire by the British and French victors. Jordan was created on about 80 percent of the Palestine Mandate, which was originally designated by the League of Nations as part of the Jewish homeland. Since then, Jews have been prohibited from owning property there. Two-thirds of its citizens are Palestinian Arabs, but it is ruled by a Hashemite monarchy.

In 1947, the UN partition plan mandated the creation of two states on the remaining 20 percent of the Palestine Mandate: the State of Israel for the Jews, and another state for the Arabs. The Arabs rejected their state, and launched a war against Israel. This is the primal cause of the Arab refugee problem.

The Arab refugees were roughly 725,000 people who fled because of the war that the Arab states - not the Palestinian Arabs -- started.The Arab states - dictatorships all - did not want a non-Arab state in the Middle East. The rulers of eight Arab countries whose populations vastly outnumbered the Jewish settlers in the Turkish Empire, initiated the war with simultaneous invasions of the newly created state of Israel on three fronts. Nascent Israel begged for peace and offered friendship and cooperation to its neighbors. The Arab dictators rejected this offer and answered it with a war of annihilation against the Jews. The war failed. But the state of war has continued uninterruptedly because of the failure of the Arab states -Saudi Arabia and Iraq in particular - to sign a peace treaty with Israel. To this day, the Arab states and the Palestinians refer to the failure of their aggression and the survival of Israel as an-Nakba - the catastrophe.

Had there been no Arab aggression, no war, and no invasion by Arab armies whose intent was overtly genocidal, not only would there have been no Arab refugees, but there would have been a state of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza since 1948.

In the war, Israel acquired additional land. In the absence of a peace treaty between belligerents, the law of nations allows the annexation of an aggressor's land after a conflict - although the land in question belonged to the Turks and then the World War I victors. Israel actually offered to return land it had acquired while defending itself against the Arab aggression in exchange for a formal peace. It made this offer during the Rhodes Armistice talks and Lausanne conference in 1949. The Arab rulers refused the land because they wanted to maintain a state of war in order to destroy the Jewish state. Had Israel's offer been accepted, there could have been prompt and just resolution to all the problems that have afflicted the region since. The only problem that wouldn't have been resolved to the satisfaction of the Arabs was their desire to obliterate the state of Israel.

After their victory, Israel passed a law that allowed Arab refugees to re-settle in Israel provided they would sign a form in which they renounced violence, swore allegiance to the state of Israel, and became peaceful productive citizens. During the decades of this law's tenure, more than 150,000 Arab refugees have taken advantage of it to resume productive lives in Israel. Jews do not have a similar option to become citizens of Arab states from which they are banned.

It was not Israel that caused the Arab refugee problem, nor Israel that obstructed its solution. On the contrary, the Arab refugee problem was the direct result of the aggression by the Arab states, and their refusal after failing to obliterate Israel to sign a formal peace, or to take care of the Arab refugees who remained outside Israel's borders.

The Jewish Refugees

There were other refugees from the Arab-Israeli conflict that everyone on the Arab side of the argument chooses conveniently to forget. Between 1949 and 1954, about 800,000 Jews were forced to flee from the Arab and Muslim lands where they had lived for hundreds and even thousands of years - from Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Iran, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and other Muslim countries. These Jews were peaceful citizens of their Arab countries and in no way a hostile population. Nonetheless, they were forced at gun-point to flee with nothing but the clothes on their backs. The only reason for their expulsion was revenge against the Jewish citizenry of Arab countries for the shame of the Arab defeat in their war of aggression.

Most of these Jewish refugees came to Israel, where they were integrated into normalcy by the tiny fledgling Jewish state. The Arab states (and later the PLO) refused to do this for the Arab refugees because they preferred to keep them an aggrieved constituency for their war against Israel.

Some observers have suggested that the dual refugee situation should be understood as a "population exchange" -- Arabs fled to Arab countries as Jews fled to the Jewish country, both as a result of the 1948 war, both under conditions which their side regards as forced evacuations. On the other hand, no one on the Arab side has suggested the obvious: if Jewish refugees were resettled on land vacated by fleeing Arabs, why not resettle Arab refugees on the lands of Jews who were forced to flee the Arab countries. One reason no one has suggested this is that no Arab state with the exception of Jordan will even allow Arab refugees to become citizens.

Taking into account the Jewish refugees' assets that were confiscated when they fled from Arab and Muslim lands, one can conclude that the Jews have already paid massive "reparations" to the Arabs whether warranted or not. The property and belongings of the Jewish refugees, confiscated by the Arab governments, has been conservatively estimated at about $2.5 billion in 1948 dollars. Invest that money at a modest 6.5% over 57 years and you have today a sum of $80 billion, which the Arab and Muslim governments of the lands from which the Jews were expelled could apply to the benefit of the Arab refugees. That sum is quite sufficient for reparations to Arab refugees. There is no way of accurately assessing the value of Arab property left in Israel's control; but there are no estimates as high as a 1948 value of $2,500,000,000. So, hypothetically, the Arab side has already gotten the better end of the deal.

During the many wars of the 20th century, tens of millions of refugees were created in Europe and Asia. In 1922, 1.8 million people were relocated to resolve the Turkey-Greece war. Following World War II, some 3,000,000 Germans were forced from countries of Eastern Europe and resettled in Germany. When the Indian sub-continent was divided, over 12 million people were transferred between India and Pakistan.

All such refugee issues have been resolved, except the roughly 725,000 Arabs who fled Israel during the 1948 war and whom the Arab states and the Palestinian Authority have kept in refugee camps.

The Arab Refugee Problem

Another irony must be considered in the context of the refugee issue. Israel handled its Jewish refugee problem by devoting massive resources to the education and integration of the Jewish refugee population into its society. These refugees never became a burden on the world, never needed the assistance of the United Nations, and never had their civil and human rights denied by their new host country. Instead, despite great hardship, early discrimination, difficult adjustments and initial privations, they and their offspring have become productive citizens of the Middle East's only democracy, and substantive contributors to one of the most technologically and socially advanced countries in the world.

The fate of the Arab refugees has been the diametric opposite of this obvious positive solution to their problem. Arab leadership has purposely kept their Palestinian brethren in refugee slums, at times approaching the status of concentration camps, with their misery perpetuated by Machiavellian rulers to be used as a propaganda weapon against Israel and against the West.

The Palestinian refugees in Gaza were forced there in 1948 not by Israel but by the Egyptians, kept there under guard, shot if they tried to leave, and never given Egyptian citizenship or Egyptian passports. (These facts are recorded by Yasir Arafat himself in his authorized biography by Alan Hart, Arafat: Terrorist or Peace Maker? 1982). Refugees in Lebanon were kept under similar but less draconian repression. They were barred by law from almost 70 professions, not granted citizenship, and not allowed to travel. Only in Jordan were the refugees granted citizenship.

Senior Fatah Central Committee member Sakher Habash succinctly explained the reason for the calculated refusal of the Arab rulers including the Palestinian rulers to help the Palestinian refugees to return to normal lives. During a 1998 lecture at Shechem's An-Najah University, Habash said: "To us, the refugee issue is the winning card which means the end of the Israeli state."

In other words, war, terrorism, diplomatic isolation of Israel, world-wide PR campaigns to demonize Israel all may fail (and most have, so far); but as long as this last trump card is still alive, hope for the destruction of Israel still pulses in the hearts of Arab revanchists.

Palestinians who fled Israel in 1948 and are still alive have no legal right to return to Israel, because the Arab leadership representing them (Arab nations until 1993, and since then the Palestinian Authority) are still, de jure and de facto, at war with Israel; and these refugees, therefore, are still potential hostiles. International law does not require a country at war to commit suicide by allowing the entry of hundreds of thousands of a potentially hostile population. In the context of a peace treaty, in 1949, the Arab refugees could have taken advantage of Israel's offer; but their leadership refused.

Of course the present Palestinian claim of a "Right of Return" is accompanied by the claim that there are not 725,000 refugees (minus those who have died in the interim) but 5 million. This number serves many political agendas but from the point of view of international law generations born into a refugee population that has been resettled and living in exile do not have the legal status of refugees. That means that legal refugee status today applies only to those few surviving Arabs who fled in 1948, among whom most are advanced in age.

A Summary of The Salient Facts

The protracted Arab refugee crisis is an artificial crisis maintained for 57 years by Arab rulers in order to exploit their own people's suffering -- to create a "poster child" for Palestinian victim-hood; a staging ground for anti-Israel propaganda; a training center for Arab terrorists; and a trump card for the anti-Israel jihad (per Sakher Habash) when all else (war, terrorism, international diplomacy) fails.

"Haq el-Auda," the "law of return," for Palestinian Arabs to their own homes and farms and orchards that have been part of Israel for the past 57 years is a sham.

Sixty years ago there were nearly a million Jews in the Arab states of the Middle East: honest hard-working citizenry contributing to the culture and economy of their countries of domicile. Today, there are almost no Jews in the Arab countries of the Middle East, and racist apartheid laws prohibit even Jewish tourists from entering some Arab countries.

In Israel, on the other hand, the Arabs who did not flee numbered about 170,000 in 1949; and now number more than 1,400,000. They have 12 representatives in the Israeli Parliament, judges sitting on the Israeli courts and on the Israeli Supreme Court benches, and Ph.D's and tenured professors teaching in Israeli colleges and universities. They are a population that enjoys more freedom, education, and economic opportunity than do any comparable Arab populations anywhere in the Arab world.

The Arab rulers caused the Arab refugee problem in 1948 by their war of aggression against the infant state of Israel, a legal creation of the United Nations; the Arab rulers have since maintained the Arab refugee population and denied it any possibility of normal life in Arab countries in order to use the suffering they themselves have caused, as a weapon in their unending war against Israel.

During all these decades the refugee camps and their Arab exploiters have been funded by billions of dollars from the United Nations, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and others.

Excerpted from "Big Lies: Demolishing the Myths of the Propaganda War Against Israel". For complete version, go to http://www.frontpagemag.com/media/pdf/BigLies.pdf

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Possible escalation of the Gaza war

Post by John »

-- Possible escalation of the Gaza war

From a web site reader:
> Read your Web Log -- Watching the pot come to a boil -- Israel
> declares -- war to the bitter end -- and you covered it very
> well, but I think the Arab surprise will come from Hizballah in
> Lebanon. My assumption is Hizballah is waiting for Israel to
> commit ground forces in Gaza before opening the second from. I
> also think that is pre-planned and Hamas will not commit its
> forces against the Israeli ground forces until the second front
> is opened. I also assume that Israel will be subject to terrorist
> attacks inside the country soon.
An attack by Hizbollah would be a big surprise to me to. I really
don't believe that it's possible, for several reasons:
  • Lebanon is in a generational Awakening era, and so the Hizbollah
    warriors are in no mood to get themselves killed at war. In 2006, they
    went out each day, shot off some missiles, then returned home to their
    wives' arms.
  • Whatever individual Lebanese people think of Hizbollah versus
    Israel, one thing that they agree on is that they don't want Israel
    bombing their infrastructure again, as happened in 2006. (Israeli
    statements in the current war often remind people of this.)
** How Israel panicked in pursuing the summer Lebanon war with Hizbollah
** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi ... 23#e061223

In Eric Berne's 1960s book, "Games People Play," one of his games was
"Let's you and him fight," which is usually played by a woman who
provokes two men to have a fight over her.
http://www.ericberne.com/games/games_pe ... _LYAHF.htm

Iran played LYAHF in 2006 between Hizbollah and Israel, and they both
fell for it, but I don't think they're going to fall for it again, no
matter what Hizbollah chief Sheik Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah would like.

As I wrote to you a year ago, the next escalation in the Mideast is
almost certainly NOT going to come from Lebanon or Syria, since these
countries are in generational Awakening eras. The next escalation
would probably come from either the Palestinians or from Israel
itself. That's exactly what's happening today.

It seems reasonable to assume that either the current war will reach
some kind of truce within the next few weeks, or there will be an
escalation caused by military intervention from some neighboring
country. The thing to watch now is the other countries in the region
in generational Crisis eras -- Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. An
escalation might come from any of these countries.

** Growing Sunni-Shia cyberwar in Mideast defeats Ahmadinejad's agenda
** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi ... 22#e081222

Some kind of intervention from any of these three countries might
well escalate the war into something far more serious.

If I were to guess where such an intervention might be most likely,
it would be Egypt. This would come in the form of kind of coup or
military confrontation by the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the meantime, an Israeli ground invasion appears to be imminent,
as of Saturday morning.

One very interesting thing is this: Everyone seems to be assuming
that the path and result of the current Gaza war will be similar to
the path and result of the 2006 war. That's nonsense. Both sides
are applying "lessons learned" from the 2006, and whatever happens,
it won't be the same.



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Re: Middle East

Post by John »

The Israeli ground invasion into Gaza has just begun.


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Statement by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on Gaza incursion

Post by John »


Israel Defence Force on Gaza incursions
Sat 3 Jan 2009, 19:00 GMT

JERUSALEM, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Following is the text of a statement by
the Israel Defence Force:

Second Stage of Operation Cast Lead Begins

A short while ago IDF forces began to implement the second stage of
Operation Cast Lead. Land forces have begun to manoeuvre within the
Gaza Strip.

The objective of this stage is to destroy the terrorist infrastructure
of the Hamas in the area of operation, while taking control of some of
rocket launching area used by the Hamas, in order to greatly reduce
the quantity of rockets fired at Israel and Israeli civilians.

The IDF spokesperson emphasizes that this stage of the operation will
further the goals of Operation Cast Lead as communicated till now: To
strike a direct and hard blow against the Hamas while increasing the
deterrent strength of the IDF, in order to bring about an improved and
more stable security situation for residents of Southern Israel over
the long term.

Large numbers of forces are taking part in this stage of the operation
including infantry, tanks, engineering forces, artillery and
intelligence with the support of the Israel Air Force, Israel navy,
Israel Security Agency and other security agencies.

The operation is in accord with the decisions of the Security Cabinet.
This stage of the operation is a part of the IDF's overall operational
plan, and will continue on the basis of ongoing situational
assessments by the IDF General Staff.

The forces participating in the operation have been highly trained and
were prepared for the mission over the long period that the operation
was planned. The Commander of the operation is Major General Yoav
Galant, GOC Southern Command.

The IDF and the Homefront Command have taken the necessary steps to
protect the civilian population. All residents of Southern Israel are
requested to follow the directives of the Homefront command as
communicated via the media.

The IDF spokesperson wishes to reiterate that the residents of Gaza
are not the target of the operation. Those who use civilians, the
elderly, women and children as "human shields" are responsible for any
and all injury to the civilian population. Anyone who hides a
terrorist or weapons in his house is considered a terrorist.

On the basis of a situation analysis, The IDF is taking steps to raise
the level of alert for its forces in other areas of the country.

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