HOWARD EPSTEIN: A CHANUKAH PRESENT FOR THE JEWS
When Chaim Weizmann deservedly received the Balfour Declaration from the Imperial War Cabinet of the greatest empire the world had ever seen, on 2 November 1917, it was plain that the British willed a homeland for the Jews in Palestine. But could they deliver? Five weeks later, in what Prime Minister Lloyd George referred to as a Christmas Present for the British (Chanukah was early that year and had just ended), General Allenby entered Jerusalem, plainly seen as the capital of the Palestine for which the British had been fighting. (Visit the British war cemetery on French Hill to count the cost in blood and graves).
Then the Brits had a dilemma: satisfying the competing aims of Jew and Arab. No problem. The British did what they could to promote the latter at the expense of the former. So how come the Jews prevailed? That you may attribute to Ben Gurion, the Lehi and several other actors – and to President Truman who, at the personal request of Weizmann, ensured that we would have the Negev, that a State Department plan to reverse the UN vote in favour of Partition would be quashed and that the USA would be the first country to recognise the Jewish state. The state was only declared in Tel Aviv and not Jerusalem because of the aggression of the five Arab nations whose armies sought to snuff out the life of the Jewish state at birth. They failed – but they knew to which city they should lay siege: Jerusalem.
As 2017 enters its twilight, and makes way for the dawn of 2018, heralding who-knows-what pleasures – fresh attacks on Israel for having the temerity to exist for what will be 70 years by May 15 next, widespread vilification for not rolling over and allowing the Palestinians to reclaim the “occupied territory” that includes not only west Jerusalem, the “settlements” in Judaea and Samaria but rather Tel Aviv and the whole of Israeli territory – it will not do any harm to consider the sense of victimhood from which the Palestinians suffer. At the same time, we should acknowledge that their suffering emanates not from the Jewish State but from the enemy within: their leadership.
Just as Caesar thrice rejected the crown that was offered him, so repeatedly have the Palestinian leadership rejected offers of a Palestinian state: by the Peel Commission in 1936, by the UN in November 1947 and by succeeding Israeli prime ministers – most egregiously Ehud Barak in 2000 – offering them far more than was sensible from the Israeli viewpoint. As, even now, they affect to seek the a “Two-State Solution” (formerly “Partition”), they have given the game away so often that few are now fooled: they want the Jews gone from here.
Gone to where? They do not particularly care. Driven into the Mediterranean perhaps? (The Palestinians do not have the German genius for industrialisation, so gas chambers are out.) Reduce the Israelis to dhimmi status and snuff them out over a period? Unlikely. Judging by what occurred when Israel pulled out of Gaza, and the frenzy of destruction that followed, the Palestinians could scarcely contain themselves for a long-term Solution to the Dhimmi Problem.
That would appear to leave the Rwanda option. In 1994, over some 100 days, between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Tutsi and politically-moderate Hutu were killed in well-planned attacks on the orders of the Hutu government. The weapon of choice? The machete.
Of course, it’s going to take every weapon the Palestinians have to kill their six and a half million Jewish neighbours. Well, they have sub-machine guns, don’t they? Yet they have given not a thought to the problem of disposal of that many bodies. Again, the German flair for using engineering to solve such problems – the ovens – is unavailable to them. Big pits, perhaps, and new ways to deploy JCBs and earth-movers against Jews (dead ones). You would need a lot of large holes in the ground to bury nearly seven million bodies…. And the stench!
I raise these ghoulish points not because I seek to offend you, nor to diminish Palestinian ambitions by doing so, but to illustrate how impractical it has become to pretend that the State of Israel, and what will be its population of over ten million Jews within seven years, is going to disappear into a big hole in the ground – The earth beneath them opened its mouth and swallowed them and their houses, and all the men who were with Korach and all the property. (Bamidbar/Numbers 16:1, 3, 31–32) – or up some magician’s sleeve. We are here to stay. We seek no-one’s leave to “exist”, we grow stronger – in many respects exponentially – by the day. And the Palestinians, and everyone else will have to bury the hatchet (rather than us) at some point merely to satisfy the demands of reality.
Which brings us to that other much-maligned entity: Donald Trump. It was his realistic approach to Israel that led him not to waive what congress voted for 22 years ago – recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It is the 14 other nations of the UN Security Council who, last night, sought to undo Trump’s choice; who refuse to acknowledge that Jerusalem was the capital of Eretz Yisrael for a thousand years until the Roman expulsion two millennia ago; who pretend that the British did not run Mandated Palestine from Jerusalem for almost thirty years between 1919 and 1948 and that the Jewish State has not continued those traditions as from 15 May 1948.
The nations of the UNSC, and of that great edifice of reasonableness and realism, Europe, may huff and puff, but they are going to fail to blow our house down. The Palestinian leadership – which has consistently and consciously desisted from preparing its people for the inevitability of Jewish success with its Zionist experiment – now turn to the several hundred member of the UN General Assembly (whose resolutions are non-binding) in an effort to cover their embarrassment at their failures, with a fig leaf in the form of the support of the world community of nations. And the Palestinian leadership will feel rejuvenated, having the support of Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan and all the others whose regard for the welfare of their own people – much less ours – is as substantial as the snowflakes that may provide a White Christmas, or those in the universities of the USA and the UK who cannot bear to hear anything that is offensive to their tender ears and emotions. Not worth a moment’s consideration. Immaterial, offensively blinkered and totally lacking in anything approaching realism. Unlike President Trump.
Yet the Palestinian leaders keep dreaming. Dreaming that the Israeli Air Force, said to be the most capable the world has ever seen, capable of destroying thousands of targets an hour, is going to be – what? – disbanded? That Israeli soldier will forget the family residing not more than three hours drive from the war-front and lay down his/her hi-tech weapons? That the country that generates enough water (from the sea) for its people and industries over endless years of drought will give up the fight, when they know that they are the constructive ones and the opposition are nihilists and destroyers. Come on, guys. Let’s have some sense of realism – and practicality – about this. Israel and the Israelis are going nowhere.
International denigration, BDS and other “soft-weaponry” are unlikely to achieve much this side of Israel’s centenary celebrations in 2047 (by which time the projections are for a population of 15 million, 75% Jewish and 25% Arab). Sanctions are a blunt instrument – see under North Korea over its nuclear/ICBM ambitions and Russia regarding its de facto annexation of Crimea – and the Israeli economy continues to grow apace despite BDS: Blackmail, Defamation and Stone-throwing.
Are there no bad omens for us?
When the renowned Middle East analyst, Jonathan Spyer (senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Herzliya) warns at length of the growing threat from Iran and its several acolytes, not least Hezbollah (as he did in last weekend’s Jerusalem Post), you would be well-advised to take note. Iran is projecting its influence in Iraq, where an Anschlüss with Iran cannot be many years away (it was Saddam Hussein who kept the Iraqi Shia under control in that benighted country, and he is long gone) and the Iranian “land-bridge to the Mediterranean” is looking like another reality to be recognised. You can be sure that it has received sufficient attention in Unit 8200 (Yehida Shmoneh-Matayim, the Israeli Intelligence Corps) and the Kyriah (IDF HQ).
Iran’s ambitions are not lost on another occupant of the region: Saudi Arabia. Rumours and open secrets about increasingly close cooperation between the Wahhabi Kingdom and the Jewish State continue to proliferate – and they appear closer to going public with their self-identification with Israel than cannot be enjoyable reading for Abu Mazen (the nom-de-guerre of Palestinian leader Abbas – we are STILL awaiting his nom-de-paix!).
It has been widely reported that Abdulhameed Hakeem, head of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies in Jedda, has gone live on TV with his views that that Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem constitutes a “positive shock” to the peace process. The likelihood is vanishingly small that Hakeem could have done so on any basis that involved risk to him – which is another way of saying that his openness must have been sanctioned from on high. Along with allowing women to drive (!), clamping down on the most excessive corruption amongst business leaders and other phenomena of creeping Saudi liberalism, this scores high on the Richter scale of realism in world affairs. Give Trump 6 for recognising the blooming obvious and Hakkem 9 for seeking the change the narrative.
Politico: The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hookAn ambitious U.S. task force targeting Hezbollah’s billion-dollar criminal enterprise ran headlong into the White House’s desire for a nuclear deal with Iran.
By Josh Meyer
Plainly, the Iranians, who have had it their own way until now, have pushed the boat out. But it may be that they have pushed it too far and there is now going to be push back from Israel, Saudi Arabia (and other Gulf states) and the US. We may come to see the JCPOA – truly the worst deal in history, that empowered Iran with everything from $100 billion – yes, that’s $100,000,000,000,000 – of unfrozen cash, to the ability to build a nuclear weapon in ten years -counting from 2015! – as the high-watermark of Iranian ambitions. And their position in the USA will not have been enhanced now that Politico has spoken.
Who’s Politico? you ask. Well, in addition to being known for its “progressive”, left-wing political journalism, just to display its true colours, Politico Magazine published an article purporting to show long-term links between Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Jewish outreach organization Chabad-Lubavitch, in April last. The head of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, condemned it on the basis that it “evokes age-old myths about Jews” and the article was widely condemned.
With that in mind, consider the latest revelations, not about, but by, Politico, with the headline in the past few days shown here.
In an article of some 15,000 words, Politico set out in considerable detail how Obama subjugated the interests of America to his obsession with the JCPOA. Justice cannot be done here to this story of abject appeasement of Iran to the direct prejudice of the American people, so read it here:
As a Chanukah present for those who always doubted the supposedly divine qualities of Trump’s predecessor, it has no competitors.
© Howard Epstein – December 2017
The author’s book, Israel at Seventy: In Weizmann’s Image is available now from Amazon in paperback or as a Kindle e-book
As Israel reaches its seventieth birthday, it is timely to consider the story of its indispensable founder, Chaim Weizmann. Statesman and scientist, it was Weizmann who saved the British Empire from defeat in World War I, kindled the hope for the return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland, after an absence of 2,000 years, and was then instrumental in securing what was needed to establish the State of Israel and its future as a technological powerhouse. Weizmann may be said to be the world’s first 20th century – even 21st century – man. If any aspects of modern life became supremely important last century, and remain so in this, they are science & technology and networking. Weizmann’s chemistry, both in the laboratory and with a wide-range of key people, led to his four great political coups, each essential to the emergence of the State of Israel. In addition, he pulled off three crucial educational feats that secured Israel’s future and ensured its success – in his image. In the case of the political achievements, only Weizmann could have wrought them. In the case of the others, only he did. Despite these signature successes, today little is known of him and what he achieved. Why this should be so is revealed in a tale of rivalry between two political giants: Weizmann, the greater talent, but the older, and his nemesis, David Ben-Gurion.
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Amazon UK – Kindle E-Book