Category Archives: Palestinians

The Emptiest Threat


Happy Malaysian

malaysian protests

Angry Malaysians

Two days ago the Malaysian defense minister announced that his country’s armed forces “are ready to play a role” in the aftermath of Trump’s decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Not to underestimate the prowess of the Malaysian military, but what kind of “role” could they possibly be thinking of? Assuming that they plan to send troops to “liberate” Jerusalem, I wonder how they would pull it off.

Malaysia is approximately 5000 air miles from Israel. If they transported troops and equipment by water, they could reach the southern tip of Israel at Eilat; Jerusalem is 153 miles north of Eilat and the trip can take between 4 and 5 hours If they chose another route, they would have to pass through Saudi Arabia and then Jordan or Egypt. How likely is it that any of those countries would allow the Malaysians to use their territory to invade Israel?  Iran, which does not share a border with Israel, is content to use their Hamas proxies in Gaza to stir up trouble with Israel; and Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian dictator is currently otherwise engaged in fighting his own insurgents. The Malaysian forces would be sitting ducks in the Red Sea, and it is highly doubtful that the Israelis would allow their ships to to get anywhere near Israel.

If they plan to airlift their troops and equipment, they would have to land in one of the aforementioned Arab countries or Iran.  In addition, the Global Firepower website ranks Israel at 15th in overall military power and Malaysia at 33rd (Iran comes in at 21st). If the Malaysians are serious about “playing a role” in Jerusalem, they ought to think about a role that doesn’t involve military action.

Empty threats are signs of weakness and reveal that there is very little that the Arabs and their allies can realistically do about Trump’s decision. Anytime the Arabs and their supporters look weak and unserious is a good time for Israel.

What “The World” Thinks


According to the New York Times “The World” is extremely upset over the President’s decision to actually implement the decades-old U.S. policy that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The headlines all scream that Trump has changed the policy. Wrong:  By deciding to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the President merely made what had been on paper a reality on the ground.  Of course, “world opinion” is really the view of the relatively tiny handful of those currently in power and their media mouthpieces, as well as violent street protestors. I might have missed it while I was out doing more productive things, but I haven’t yet heard about the reaction of the American people, but then again, what do they know? And I haven’t read in the Times what even the sophisticated citizens of New York City think.

I have heard what the Pope thinks: he’s not amused. I don’t know whether the current Pope’s opinion counts for very much since, amazingly, a number of Catholic bishops have publicly criticized him. But the Times thinks his view is very important, and who could argue with the so-called paper of record?

The official reason “The World”  is so upset is the claim that the President’s action will negatively affect the “peace process.” Of course the “peace process” has been bereft of life since Bill Clinton, at the very end of his tenure in office, offered what most Middle East mavens considered to be a fair and very generous settlement to Israeli prime minister Ehud Barack and PLO chairman Yasir Arafat. Barack accepted and Arafat rejected the plan. On his return to headquarters, Arafat ordered up another intifada. From then on, I believe, the words “Yasir Arafat” never publicly passed through Bill Clinton’s lips. (What he said in private is probably not appropriate for a family blog.)

Clinton, perhaps naively, spent a great deal of time and effort trying to end the Israeli-Arab conflict once and for all. First, he worked hard to defeat the incumbent prime minister Bibi Netanyahu by sending his very own political gunslingers, James Carville and Paul Begala, over to Israel to manage Barack’s campaign. (Talk about interfering in another country’s election; imagine any foreign leader dispatching his or her top political operatives to manage the campaign of an American presidential candidate. Impossible!) Then he proceeded to wine and dine Arafat (who previously had ordered the murder of at least two Americans), inviting him to the White House more times than any foreign head of state. In the end, it must have been clear to sober observers that Arafat and company really saw the “peace process” as an alternative means of warfare waged to eliminate Israel.

It cannot possibly be that the intellectually superior European leaders really still believe in the “peace process.” Obviously, they are really afraid of Arab terrorism and riots organized by Iran, Hezbollah, and their left wing “anti-fa” supporters who have trashed buildings on American university campuses where people they don’t like are scheduled to speak.

When I read about “The World’s” reaction, I am reminded of a story told by the comedian Robert Klein. When they were kids, Klein and his sister got into a fight because she had the temerity to say something negative about the New York Yankees. Klein’s father heard the yelling and screaming and rushed in to break up the fight.  Then he turned to Robert and said, “What the hell did the Yankees ever do for you?”  That’s the question I’d like to ask the Pope:  What the hell did the Arabs ever do for you?

Does it ever cross the Pope’s mind that there wouldn’t be a pope today if it weren’t for American money and the blood of American soldiers? Doesn’t he realize that the Vatican could have been torn down, priceless art and all, and replaced with either imperial style Nazi architecture or Soviet-style “workers’ housing”? What about Theresa May, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and all the rest? Don’t they owe their countries’ existence (not to mention their freedom) to the United States? To be sure, they have every “right” to complain (another entitlement they wouldn’t have if it weren’t for U.S. protection). But that doesn’t mean that they have to exercise that right.

Yes, I know:  Trump doesn’t equal America. And lots of Americans refuse to accept Trump as “their president.”  So go fight the Constitution, the Electoral College, and current law. For the time being, at least, Trump is the president and the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is in the process of being fully implemented (at least until, inevitably, some Obama-appointed federal judge from Poughkeepsie–not that there’s anything wrong with Poughkeepsie–decides that he (or she) is empowered to make foreign policy.)

He Who Shall Not Be Named, aka, President Trump obviously doesn’t think it’s ever a good idea to base policy on fear and intimidation. Also there are lots of folks out there who simply don’t understand efforts to promote peace and fairness; they see it as weakness. The current president wants to disabuse those folks of that belief, and moving the American embassy to Jerusalem is a good start.



Why Are The Palestinians Special?

Note on the map below: “Palestinian Land” and “Occupied Palestinian Land” are more accurately considered “disputed territory.”

4mapsWhat is so special about the Palestinians? Why is the conflict between them and Israel such an essential casus belli for mostly leftist intellectuals around the world? Before offering my answer to that question, I note that the struggle over what was once called Palestine is only one of many land disputes around the world. Usually the disputes are resolved when one side defeats the other, and then both sides, as they say, move on.

The present-day American states of California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona, about half of New Mexico, about a quarter of Colorado, and a small section of Wyoming once belonged to Mexico.  Mexico lost the Mexican-American War, and those territories were annexed by the United States. To be sure, there may be a few diehards in Mexico who still bemoan the loss of their land to the U.S, but I expect that most Mexicans consider that to be ancient history.

The Vietnam War was a land dispute between the communist North Vietnamese and the American backed South Vietnamese. The Americans and their Vietnamese allies lost the war, and once again, most moved on. A neighbor of mine was one of the Vietnamese “boat people,” who escaped Vietnam by way of a rickety boat when she was a child. I asked her if she had since visited Vietnam or wished to. Her answer: No, no no! She now lives in a beautiful house with her husband and children. And she drives a Tesla. She is definitely not interested in returning to her “ancestral home,” her roots. She too has moved on. Today, Freedom House rates Vietnam a six out of seven for nations that are the “least free,” and a seven out of seven for countries with the worst record in political rights.

According to an article in the March 28, 2014 issue of National Geographic Magazine, there are more than 150 disputes around the world that involve land. One they consider particularly problematic is Crimea where Russian forces occupied and then annexed the country. And do you remember the 2008 “five-day war” with Georgia in which Russia took over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two regions that once were firmly considered part of Georgia?

China is engaged in an number of land disputes. There is the territory known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan and the Diaoyu Islands in China. The article notes that, “China is involved in multiple other territorial disputes, including the long struggle over Tibet, which ‘is an example of a dispute where there is one state and an area inside it wants to be separate,’ says Ron Hassner, an associate professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley, who has written extensively about territory disputes… He adds, ‘Another form of territorial dispute is when two states argue over a piece of land that lies between them, such as Jammu and Kashmir.'” Gibraltar is also a bone of contention between the U.K. and Spain.

The Kurds are a people who many believe deserve a state of their own. They suffered in Iraq under Saddam Hussein and they still have an ongoing armed conflict with Turkey.  I could go on, but you can see for yourself: Google “territorial land disputes.” The list is long. Yet most of those obsessed over the supposed Israeli oppression of the Palestinians could not care less about any of these other disputes where, in many cases, people are being oppressed and denied their rights.

The case for Israel is that the Jews were living in the disputed land long before the Arabs invaded. In addition, Israel still stands prosperous and strong after defeating the Arabs over and over again in wars of self-defense. This is usually the way land disputes are settled, and the Israeli presence pre-dating the Arabs is further support for their right to the land. Of course, the dispute could be settled by negotiation, but the Palestinians have shown no interest in that. It is true that “might doesn’t make right,” but it does make for reality as history shows.

So why is the Palestinian-Israeli dispute special as compared to the more than 150 other land disputes going on around the world?  The two answers are usually oil or anti-Semitism. As I said before, the group mainly responsible for the anti-Israel movement is the left-wing educated class; therefore, I would reject oil as a reason for their obsession with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since that class is adamantly opposed to fossil fuels. I can only conclude that they don’t like Jews.