1. The Early Pilgrims and Founding Fathers of the USA were inspired by Passover’s message of optimism while facing severe challenges and threats. Moses and the US leaders catapulted their peoples from the lowest ebb of spiritual and physical servitude (to the Egyptian King Pharaoh and the British King George III) to the highest level of liberty/freedom (in the Land of Israel and the United States of America).
environment to their own Western state-of-mind and well-intentioned wishful-thinking.
Middle East reality – as demonstrated, systematically, by the Arab walk – has frustrated Western misperceptions of the “Middle East conflict,” which has never been the Arab-Israeli conflict. Furthermore, and contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Middle East reality has underlined the Palestinian issue as a non-core-cause of Middle East turbulence, not a crown jewel of Arab policy making, nor the root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Moreover, Western peace initiatives tend to downplay the fact that Middle East reality has yet to experience long-term intra-Arab or intra-Muslim domestic and regional peaceful coexistence.
While Western observers tend to refer to the Arab-Israeli conflict as “the Middle East conflict,” in reality, the Middle East has been dominated by a multitude of intra-Arab and intra-Muslim conflicts, totally unrelated to Israel, neither directly nor indirectly.
Thus, the April 4, 2019 France 24, reports that the Khalifa Haftar militia – one of dozens of militias afflicting Libya since the 2011 toppling of Qaddafi – is advancing on Tripoli. In fact, civil wars have traumatized Libya since the toppling of Qaddafi, which was led by the US/NATO, despite the fact that the Libyan dictator transferred his nuclear infrastructure to the US and fought Islamic terror organizations in North Africa. The Libyan revolution – which produced some 30,000 fatalities – transformed that strategically located country into a major platform of Islamic terrorism, threatening every country in Northern Africa, Sub Sahara Africa, Europe and beyond.
A multitude of inter-Arab, inter-Muslim wars have afflicted the Middle East since the appearance of Islam in the seventh century. More recently the regional reality has featured conflicts – unrelated to Israel – such as the Syrian civil war, which erupted in 2011 (with over half a million killed and about 10 million displaced and/or refugees); the Iraq civil war since 2003 (around 500,000 casualties and 3 million refugees and displaced persons); the most recent civil war in Yemen, which has also been a Saudi-Iran war-by-proxy (some 100,000 dead and 3 million refugees), that succeeded the civil war of the 1960s, with Egyptian involvement (with some 200,000 killed); the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war (800,000 killed) was a follow up to their 1936-1974 wars and the 1975 peace agreement; the South Yemen-Oman war of 1968-1970 (with some 100,000 killed and half a million refugees; etc.
While the Middle East volcano emits lava (including terrorism), which threatens to sweep every Arab/Islamic regime, further destabilizing the region, increasingly afflicting and threatening the homeland security of Western Europe and the US, many Western policy makers and observers are still preoccupied with the Palestinian issue, which is relatively-minor in the Middle East Arab/Muslim context.
At a time, when the US contemplates a new Israel-Palestinian peace initiative, one may benefit from an essay by Amir Taheri, an Iran-born veteran author and analyst of Middle East affairs, whose analyses have been vindicated by reality.
Taheri poses the following rhetorical question: “Is Israel the problem? With the Middle East in crisis from end to end, analysts focus on one rather peripheral dispute.”
This experienced analyst sheds light on the critical flaws of Western movers and shakers, such as the late President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker. Thus, rather than leverage the 1991 liberation of Kuwait and the devastation of Saddam Hussein’s military – by enhancing the US posture of deterrence, clipping the wings of Iran’s Ayatollahs and advancing a durable pact of security cooperation between Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and additional Arab regimes in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula – the US focused on the Arab-Israeli conflict and convened the 1991 Madrid Conference. Taheri defined it as “an impressive show of heads of states, but as proven by subsequent events, a wholly counterproductive exercise in peacemaking….
“The two key assumptions that led to Madrid were that the Arab-Israeli conflict was the issue… and that all other issues in the region were inextricably linked to it…. For a group of American ‘wise men’ to embrace such retrograde and easily refuted notions, bespeaks a truly dangerous ignorance of reality….
“In fact, far from being the root cause of instability and war in the wider Middle East, one could argue that the Arab-Israeli conflict is rather peripheral…. That the Arabs have long regarded Iran as an alien power is true enough. But, their preoccupation with Teheran has hardly deterred them from fighting bitterly among themselves as well…. The only neighbor with whom Egypt enjoys demarcated and internationally recognized borders is Israel….
“The notion that all of the [intra-Arab, intra-Muslim] problems can be waved away by ‘solving’ the Arab-Israeli conflict is, at best, a delusion…. With the exception of Israel, and the partial exception of Turkey, the entire Middle East lacks a culture of conflict resolution…. Such a culture can only be shaped through a process of democratization….”
Have Western policy makers learned from their predecessors by avoiding – or repeating – systematic errors, while addressing Middle East challenges and threats?
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
The Ettinger Report
I guess now is the time for all to accuse me of being a leftist snowflake fool who hates Donald Trump. I write to many far right organizations that totally support our President. Many have asked me why I do this and I answer by stating why would anyone waste his or her time writing to people who agree with everything you say. The problem is I believe in Constitutional Law and fiscal responsibility. In other words, I agree with Republican views and Conservative issues. It is obvious to me that Republicanism no longer exists. The Trump Party does and as soon as everyone clearly understands this reality the better.
What does all this have to do with all of our futures? Actually, I am more concerned with the future of my daughter and grandchildren. I had a good life full of opportunities and success. Of course, I had a few failures and mistakes mixed in. I am concerned with their education. They are interested and interesting. Their enthusiasm makes me feel as though I had a few extra years left in my life. Understanding that the Trump people want to cut as much as possible from public education and hand it over to private profiteers concerns me. When I listened to Betsy DeVos again want to cut most education policies including ‘Special Olympics’ my heart grows very heavy. I am a retired teacher whose life observed all levels of my students try. Some need a bit of extra help and anyone or any power that wants to eliminate this help makes me a bit ill. Hell, it makes me very ill. I guess this defines the categorization of being a snowflake.
I clearly understand there is an immigration policy in our nation. I also clearly understand who immigrants are. They are not murderers and drug dealers. They are people who want a better life for themselves and their family. It wasn’t so different a hundred years ago. The Irish and the Italians came to our country for the same reasons. The people who were already here also did not like these people attacking our nation. The Irish drank too much and the Italians were called ‘WOPS’ because they were without papers. I have to admit seeing children in fenced cages also make me very ill.
Trump’s foreign policy confuses me. The nations that were considered our allies have become our burdens. The nations that were considered our enemies are now our friends. Dictators have become what we strive to become while democracy is something that should be put in the graves of our future. Please remember NATO has kept our world at peace for 74 years. The time between World War One and World War Two was only 28 years.
Our fiscal policy is frightening. We are now in more debt then we have ever been before. This includes times of war and peace. It seems logical the only way we can attempt to balance a budget would be to eliminate all social programs like ‘The Affordable Health Care Act’, ‘Medicare’, ‘Medicaid’, ‘Social Security’, and all programs established to help the poor survive. Remember this massive deficit was amplified by giving tax breaks to the richest people on our planet. Personally this terrifies me because I’ve been paying into these programs for well over 55 years. I never asked for help in my life and paid in every week with every paycheck I earned with the knowledge of a promise I would be taken care of when I was no longer able to work. Am I defined as a snowflake because I can’t understand why this promise is being taken away?
Social Issues are now being discussed to not strengthen what they represent but to attempt to eliminate them so we can go back into a history we are trying to forget. Religion scares me the most. I believe in a good God whose grace is based on life and forgiveness. I have to clearly admit I have no idea what this new form of religious power is. Christ had no use for power. In fact, he fought against it. Why does our nation now strive for it?
As a retired chemistry teacher I believe in science. I believe in data and reality that is based on fact. We have a problem with our environment. I live on the Southern Coast of Maine. For years, my family and I have enjoyed the soft sands of beaches that led to the ocean. For the past few years this soft sand area has diminished. Last year it disappeared. The water is rising not only in text books or as part of a science fiction movie but in reality. All one has to do is open their eyes and look out their windows.
Ethics and morality seem to be memories of our past. The concept of lying and deceiving was something we were taught was wrong. Today in our present reality it has become the rule of how to retain power. I wonder how we can teach our children to respect each other and have disdain for bullying when the leader of our nation defines who he is by his art of the bully.
I have to admit I was shocked. As I watched the news on TV I viewed a woman clearly state that she never thought she would say this but if we have to have a dictator let it be Donald Trump. As an accused snowflake I vote for never having any dictator.
Not because it was bad news. Far from it. When two interceptors were fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California against an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)-class target launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, they scored a direct hit — exactly as they were designed to do.
It’s another vindication of the philosophy behind the Strategic Defense Initiative. In fact, the March 25 test came just two days after the 36th anniversary of when President Reagan gave his famous SDI address from the Oval Office.
He took a lot of heat for proposing what was then derided as “Star Wars.” Critics insisted you couldn’t hit “a bullet with a bullet.” But as usual, betting against American willpower and technology proved to be a losing position.
You’d think they would have learned after the moon landing, but no. For some people, it’s too important to score political points than to dream big.
That’s exactly what Reagan did. In his address to the nation on March 23, 1983, he said:
“What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that their security did not rest upon the threat of instant U.S. retaliation to deter a Soviet attack, that we could intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reached our own soil or that of our allies?”
The Shamrak Report is an independent weekly editorial letter published since 2001. The aim is to promote the Jewish point of view on the Arab-Israel conflict; motivate Jewish people and our true friends to uphold the ideals and aspirations of traditional Zionism. The editorial is not sponsored by or affiliated with any government, political party or organization. You may use articles and letters on your website, FaceBook etc.
I don’t believe I’ve ever been so stressed out over something I never thought I would be stressed out about. My wife and I are getting ready to drive over to Portsmouth to listen to a potential Presidential candidate. We are fortunate to live near New Hampshire because all the candidates have to survive this state in order to keep their hopes of election alive. It took me minutes to get ready because my getting ready consists of a pair of jeans and a sweater. My wife, on the other hand, takes a bit more time.
So here I am sitting at my desk in hopes to participate in discussions that could save the most important institution of our nation being our Constitution. My monitor is shining its white light daring me to write something unique. Something that maybe, just maybe someone would want to read.
We have the same enemy this year. They are in the same part of the world and are conspiring to do the same things. We tried to blow them up again this year and, of course, failed. We are told we succeeded but how can one destroy a people that existed long before we decided to exist. I remember, not so long ago when the saying was, “when you blow up a rice paddy all you have left is a rice paddy”. I guess the same goes for a desert.
We have a very different President this year. He started off in trouble because he can’t figure out where his ego ends and his mind begins. Many people like him because they believe he will lead them to a better life. I don’t worry about that because I am old. I only worry for my daughter and my grandkids. They are the ones who have to live in his future. There are now new people trying to get rid of him but I am told changing would be like throwing a gate to the wind.
We have the same economy this year. It has been strong a long time since another President took over and literally saved it. Our new President states he was the one that made it better but I still can’t understand how he could have made something better that was made better many years before. We lead the world in spending to the point many economists state the world’s economy was saved because of the American need to have more. Of course this also means many of the people of the world are still struggling to survive because we want what little they have. Some say that trying to change this reality is like throwing a gate to the wind.
We still have people to hate this year. I never could understand why it is so important to have someone to hate. With the election it seems we are starting to hate anyone or anything that doesn’t look like us. I have yet to figure out who us is. I thought it included the Afro-Americans or Jewish people. I don’t think we hate the Chinese even though we are told they are probably our future enemies. We used to hate segments of our own society. Like the Gays, Transsexuals, or even women who believe they are as good as men. I’ve often read that strong men make the best leaders while strong women are just bitches who can’t find a man. This is a gate I’d rather not even pick up to throw. It’s not like they ever did anything to us.
I am told that our great economy is showing signs of weakening because of our ever-growing debt. The rich are obviously getting richer and the poor well they are remaining poor. In order to get rid of this massive debt there are few places we can cut and thus find the money. Now that I am older I fear many in our society will begin to hate retired people because they take too much money from our society in order to stay alive. It seems Medicare and Social Security will soon be under attack in order to finance programs our new government deem far more important. I wish older people would become more involved with their future and the future of their kids, grandkids, and sometimes even great grandkids.
So here I am sitting at my desk in hopes to participate in discussions that could save the most important institution of our nation being our Constitution. I assume my wife and I will be standing in a mass of people during a winter storm in hopes of throwing a gate to the wind.
The fact that a “Mobile World Congress” will soon convene in Barcelona, Spain, probably doesn’t interest very many Americans. And yet what will be going on there could affect something that nearly everyone has a great deal of interest in: our smartphones.
The Anti-Semitic Jew!
by Reuven Efraim (a FaceBook post)
We are seeing, almost daily, a strange phenomena, these days, the appearance of people who make a point of being Jewish, who are making statements, taking positions on issues, and essentially getting publicity for themselves as what might be called anti-Semitic Jews.
Historically, we always saw some Jews who converted to Christianity or Islam who then turned against the Jewish people, whether out of their new beliefs or to prove to themselves what they did was right, some of them becoming more virulently anti-Jewish than the Gentiles around them.
And we always had those Jews who believed that the way to escape the possibility of persecution was to change themselves, discount their Judaism in their own lives, or hide their being Jewish, often adopting various political and social ideologies as their new “religion”, to be part of something that is not part of their Jewish origins.
But today, we have something relatively new, historically. Actually, two new things:
(1) Jews who have excluded most of Judaism from their lives, adopted various ideologies, but who claim to be Jewish still, though they ingratiate themselves (or thinking they do) to their Gentile associates by making a joke of anything that might be Jewish – using some Yiddish word, laughing about Matzo or Gefilte Fish on Passover, or like one US Senator, making a point of showing how he has shrugged over Jewishness by making his favourite meal – meatloaf that is 50% Pork.
(2) And then there is another type – they are either in a mixed marriage or the product of a mixed marriage, who claims some Jewish identity, but knows virtually nothing of Judaism, nor has any real interest in it. Virtually all the Jews who have adopted hostility toward Jewish concerns including Israel.
Look around for yourselves. Look at the so-called Jews in the “Jewish Voice for Peace”, or those who have allied themselves with various left-wing movements, or those who are busy excusing anti-Semitism in American or European politics. Look at their personal lives!
Those of us who care about being Jewish, those of us who are proud of being Jewish, those of us who are concerned about the Jewish future and the welfare of the State of Israel, should seriously consider a not so new idea – HEREM!. The process of choosing to exclude those who turn against us – from the Jewish Nation! Denying them the right to call themselves Jews!
Food for Thought.by Steven Shamrak
If Christians suffered persecution in Roman empire, like Saint Valentine and others, and it is clear that Jesus was crucified by Romans, using their favourable method of punishment, why would the Church have been blaming Jews for ‘the blood of Christ’ for almost two millennia, if it is not for creating a scapegoat – Jews – and using anti-Semitism to detract people’s attention from the Church’s and Christian rulers’ problems and cruelty? Recently, the Christian anti-Semitic elite, allowed Jihadist migration to Europe, and used them to reignite the anti-Semitic hatred, which is becoming the ugly norm in Europe again and spreading beyond its borders!
Sometimes if you fight hard enough and refuse to back down, no matter the odds, your truth is vindicated and prevails!
For twenty years I have been labeled a conspiracy theorist, scaremonger, extremist, dangerous, nut case. I’ve been denied access to stages, major news programs, and awarded tin foil hats. All because I have worked to expose Agenda 21 and its policy of sustainable development as a danger to our property rights, economic system, and culture of freedom.
The substantial amplification of the
mutually-beneficial US-Israel cooperation