Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Freelance Op-Ed: American Politics and Israel

I am going to try something new here Ladies and Gentlemen. Without an article to start myself off with, I am going to attempt to write and Op-Ed piece and not sound like a moron. Of course, this is a publicity stunt, as I am trying to get my foot in the door with some of the bigger names in Pro-Israel media. So shameless promotion… here I come!

With 2012 around the corner, the American Political landscape could have another massive change, as it did in 2010, with the Republican take-back of the House of Representatives. There are some fairly heavy Republican candidates throwing their hats into the Presidential ring. Some are well known, such as Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain; and others not, Fred Karger and Andy Martin. As a Pro-Israel blogger, Jew and as someone who has family living in Israel, obviously I will be focused on Israel, but what interests (can also be read as scares) me are the reactions to the Arab world.

The Republican Party, as well as many Democrats, are staunch supporters of Israel. Undoubtedly, all GOP candidates support Israel in some way.  However, how do the candidates feel about the growing unrest in the rest of the Middle East? Extremist threats? Terrorism?

This issue is much more important than their cookie-cutter, albeit welcomed, answers on Israel.

Iran

The most awe-inspiring, fear inducing site in the Middle East today is Iran. They have blatantly disregarded UN resolutions*, calls to disarm, cease assisting Terrorism in the Middle East, as well as providing funding to terrorist cells worldwide.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, has repeatedly lied to the US and its allies. He has called for the downfall of the governments of the US and Europe, as well as many other countries; called for the annihilation of Israel and Jews, as well as officially not recognizing Israel as a legitimate sovereign nation. A constant Holocaust denier and 9/11 conspiracy theorist, his insane rantings are still listened to by millions of Muslims and sympathizers worldwide.

The connection between Iran and Syria is also well known. Steady supplies of Iranian weapons have been found in Syrian hands, specifically in the withdrawal from Lebanon in 2005. Iran has also had ties with terrorist groups in Yemen, Lebanon, the Philippines, Bosnia and many other countries, both monetarily and with weapons. Furthermore, the continued ties with North Korea and the shared interests and building of Nuclear Power plants, fitted to produce weapons grade Uranium, has deemed Iran the foundation of threat in the Middle East.

If candidates want to win my vote, Iran must be dealt with harshly. Sanctions do not work. Strongly worded resolutions are even less effective. To fight fire, you must have fire. As far as I could tell, Libya was a mistake. Ghaddaffi is actually relatively harmless to everyone outside of Libya. Starting their first day in the Oval Office, if there should be a new President, the focus should be moved from Libya to Iran. Troops in Iraq should be pushed towards the Iran/Iraq border. Alliances, such as with Israel, NATO and other such forces, should be consolidated into a joint force. If we are going to have a war on Terrorism, it should be with the masterminds, not the grunts. Iran is the true enemy. Once it falls, the other will tumble.

Egypt

Although the treaties between Israel and Egypt were shaky at best, they were still enforced. With the “Arab Spring” gaining serious momentum, the major Middle East upset was Egypt. Hosni Mubarak, former President of Egypt was overthrown, the opposition jailing him and arraigning him for crimes against the State.
Many times since the original sales agreement between Egypt and Israel of Natural Gas, members of the opposition parties have cried foul.

“We oppose any agreement with this rapacious entity Israel," Essam al-Arian, a leading member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement, which controls a fifth of the seats in parliament.” (IPSNews.net) 2008.
This sentiment was again voiced after the fall of Mubarak and has been one of the rallying calls to all Egyptians from the “Moderate” Muslim Brotherhood. If Egypt falls into the extremist’s hands, it will be yet another border that Israel must defend. Considering earlier this month, Egypt opened the Rafah Crossing into Gaza, it seems the relationship between the two countries may be cooling further. Interesting side note, almost days after the initial opening, a restriction has been placed on the Rafah Crossing because of the inability to secure the border and because the Palestinians are seen as a nuisance and unreliable.

If Mubarak is still alive in 2012, the candidates should do everything possible to save him and his family. I may not agree with him or his stances on Israel, but the devil you know is often better than the devil you don’t. His more moderate leanings could spell calm for at least one border for Israel, making it that much safer.


Lebanon and Syria

Although I am aware that Lebanon and Syria are two separate entities, because of their shared history together, as well as with Israel, they must be grouped together.

Syria, Iran’s little brother, has been a regional bully for years. Only recently, in 2005, did they un-occupy Lebanon. Earlier this month, to take focus off of the protests happening in Damascus and his killing of innocent civilians, Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, paid people to rush the borders of Israel on Nakba and Naksa days, days of protest towards Israel. There are even reports that Assad paid protestors to be shot, to make it look like Israel was aggressive towards “peaceful, civilian protestors.”

Lebanon, whose government is in the process of completely crumbling, has Hezbollah. Placed on the US Terrorist entity list in 1999, Hezbollah has continued to perpetrate terrorist attacks, including the murders of Eyal Banin, Shani Turgeman and Wissam Nizal, as well as the kidnappings and eventual murders of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, which was the ignition of the Second Lebanese War in 2006. Hezbollah’s mouthpiece, Hassan Nasrallah, is a self-styled leader, who in look and in actions, copy the vicious Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khameni. This is no coincidence.

Candidates would only have to have harsh words towards Syria and Lebanon, as well as a strong vocal support of Israel in dealings with these two countries. Words will be strong enough, because if Iran were to fall, the despotic government of Syria and Hezbollah would be rendered ineffectual. There would be no support, money or weapons.


Jordan

With the hopeful fall of Iran, including its puppet governments in other Muslim countries, Jordan, which has the most stable peace treaty of Israel, will quiet down. At the moment, the “Arab Spring” is running rampant through the streets of Amman. Without the extremists supporting these uprisings and fanning the flames, Jordan can remain on friendly-ish terms with Israel.

Like Dominoes, everything will fall in order. With the major players quieted, a new status quo can replace the hatred in the Middle East. Moderate governments, who can be coerced to recognize Israel, should recognize the benefits of being moderate. A higher quality of life, economic security and a noticeable lack of bodily harm from extremists, these countries would have a chance.


Palestinian Authority

This is a touchy subject for many. Are you a Single State believer? Two State Solution? Kahana Chai? Peace Now? Neturei Karta? Whatever your personal beliefs are, for the sake of argument, let’s say Israel decides that a Two State solution is too dangerous, the “West Bank” is becomes “officially” part of Israel, and Gaza is reunited with the rest of Israel. Where will the Palestinian Authority turn to? The funding from the Terrorist states will have dried up. The weapons pipelines will have stopped. The vocal and fraternal support, which is a joke to begin with considering Palestinians in other countries are treated as Second-class citizens, unlike in Israel, where they have access to full rights and citizenship, will have quieted.

My fervent hope is that someone is already planning this, or at least parts of it. Evil begets evil. When the keystone is taken out, the entire network will crumble because chaos, which Terrorism is, is unsustainable without millions of dollars and access to weapons.

We all, hopefully, pray for the peace and safety of Israel. Its mere existence is the Western world’s hope. If the GOP were to take back the White House and/or Senate, as well as keep the House of Representatives, or a mixture of the three, its foreign policy must revolve around Israel. Their support, vocally, monetarily, and physically, is not just a vote of confidence for Israel, but a vote of confidence in the ideals that the United States was based off of; Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

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