Black Hat Conservatives

A group of ragtag ultra-Orthodox Jews who love the State of Israel, the United States, its constitution and the values they stand for...

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Mudar Zahran interviewed by Israel Radio

Jordan's Opposition leader's interview with Israel News Talk Show: Our aim to topple the regime peacefully and to establish a state built on citizenship, we will ends the king's theft of public funds and improve the living conditions of all Jordanians, and we shall enhance Jordan's strategic partnership with the US and Israel

Quo Vadis the Arab Tsunami (a.k.a. "the Arab Spring")?

Yoram will be in the US from mid-October through mid-November, 2017, available for speaking engagements.
Quo Vadis the Arab Tsunami (a.k.a. "the Arab Spring")?
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative"
"Israel Hayom," August 20, 2017

Where is the Arab Middle East heading following the 2010-2017 disintegration of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Sudan; the toppling of several Arab regimes; the estimated toll of 400,000 fatalities and six million refugees, resulting from intra-Arab conflicts; the proliferation of Islamic Sunni terrorism; the unprecedented power-projection surge by Iran's Shiite Ayatollahs; the approaching Sunni and Shiite terrorist machetes to the throat of the House of Saud and all other pro-US Arab regimes; and the intensified squashing of human rights in every Arab country, all ruled by minority-regimes?

The raging Arab Tsunami of the last 6.5 years – referred to by the Western establishment as the Arab Spring – has further destabilized the one-bullet, provisional, Arab regimes, characterized by tenuous policies and uncertain bilateral and multilateral intra-Arab agreements.

This has added much fuel to the fire – raging since the 7th century – of the inherently unpredictable and intensely complex, non-nation-state, non-democratic Middle East, which has been systematically misperceived by the Western establishment.

Where is the Arab Tsunami heading?  The chaotic intra-Arab roller-coaster may have shifted, temporarily, to a relatively-lower gear, but it is surging on brutally!  

While the US has dealt a severe blow to ISIS terrorists in 2017 – without clipping the wings of Iran's Ayatollahs - it has, therefore, provided a tailwind to Iran's entrenchment in Syria, and increasingly in Lebanon. It has advanced the Ayatollahs' domination of the critical area from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean, which is a prelude to their megalomaniacal vision of denying the US "modern-day-Crusader" regional and global preeminence.

This could be a repeat of the US toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003, when the US elevated Iraq's Shiites to the helm, dumping Iraq's Sunnis, which reinforced the ranks of Sunni terrorism. This paved the way for the Ayatollahs' dominance in Iraq – which intensified anti-US terrorism – and created a clear and present danger for every pro-US Arab regime in the Persian Gulf and beyond.

In 2011, a US-led coalition, toppled Gaddafi's rogue regime in Libya, in spite of the fact that Gaddafi was involved in a ferocious war on Islamic terrorism in Libya and Africa. Moreover, in 2003, Gaddafi transferred his infrastructure of weapons of mass destruction to the US. The toppling of Gaddafi accelerated the disintegration of Libya, transforming the huge country (680,000sqm, three times larger than Texas) into a major safe haven and breeding ground of Islamic terrorism.

While the US military power-projection and posture of deterrence are prerequisites for the western battle against Islamic terrorism – and keeping Islamic terrorism away from the US mainland – a misguided US policy has tolerated the Ayatollahs' imperialism, subversion and terrorism, allowing them to surge on the coattails of the 2015 non-ratified(!) Iran nuclear deal, further destabilizing the Middle East.

For example, tectonic developments simmer below the seemingly stable surface in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.  These developments are generated and bolstered by the 60% Palestinian majority (e.g., the 1951 murder of King Abdullah by a Palestinian, the 1970 civil war, the 1980s Hashemite-Palestinian confrontations); the unpredictable Muslim Brotherhood terrorists; the importation of additional Islamic Sunni terrorist sleeper cells; the historical divisiveness between the Hashemite migrants from the Arabian Peninsula and the indigenous Bedouins; the 1.5MN Syrian refugees; the boiling borders with Iraq and
Syria, which increasingly accommodate the anti-Hashemite Ayatollahs.

A volcanic eruption in Jordan could spillover, swiftly, into neighboring Saudi Arabia and other pro-US Arab countries, which are threatened by the Ayatollahs and home-grown terrorists.  This would impact the life expectancy of the Khalifa regime in Bahrain, as well as the level of violent Muslim Brotherhood opposition to the General Sisi regime in Egypt.

Where is the Middle East heading?  According to Amir Taheri, the veteran Iranian writer, researcher and expert on Islam, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East: "'modernization' is spreading…. I saw a 'modernized' Middle East with armies marching across scorched plains, soldiers and mercenaries cursing in a dozen different languages, the choir of cannons and the choreography of armored cars and tanks. I saw refugees and displace-person camps, barbed wires, watch-towers, loudspeakers spreading the latest version of truth.  There were minefields and grieving mothers, naked children and victims of gas attacks and chemical weapons.  The skies were dotted with warplanes dropping more bombs on Syria and Iraq than on Germany during WWII. The landscape of ruins, reminding one of Berlin, Warsaw and Leningrad in 1945…. This looked like Europe in 1918 or 1945, only magnified many times over thanks to the superior power of destruction we now have…."

Acquaintance with Middle East "modernization" is a prerequisite for a realistic national security policy, devoid of wishful-thinking and oversimplification-driven hopes.

Acquaintance with Middle East "modernization" highlights the critical role of the posture of deterrence – while avoiding appeasement and retreats in the face of temptations and pressure, which triggers more pressure and terrorism – in shaping homeland and national security policies.

Acquaintance with Middle East "modernization" underlines the unique role played by Israel - as long as it controls the high-ground, rather than withdrawing to the pre-1967 sliver along the Mediterranean - in extending the strategic hand of the US in the face of mutual threats.

Acquaintance with Middle East "modernization" clarifies the nature of the primary threats to regional stability and the survival of pro-US Arab regimes – posed by the rogue Ayatollahs and Islamic Sunni terrorism - and the limited regional role played by the Palestinian issue.

What will happen to Jordan? Q&A Mudar Zahran

Friday, August 18, 2017

INTO THE FRAY: Neo-unilateralism – Futile, fatal folly

By Martin Sherman

New calls for unilateral withdrawal are both pernicious—because of the calamitous consequences it will precipitate—and puerile—because of the naïve hope that it will not

I can even pin dates on it. In 2007 or 2008 we will have another major disengagement in the West Bank. And within a decade, we will unilaterally repartition Jerusalem along lines we will unilaterally select … What Israelis have understood – and this is the underlying feature of the disengagement – is that we need to leave Gaza and Nablus, not because it will bring peace, but because there will be perpetual terror…

–Dan Schueftan, then one of the principle advocates for the 2005 unilateral evacuation from Gaza, predicting it would be only a first step in a “wider historical process” of further unilateral Israeli withdrawals, The Jerusalem Report, September 2005.

…it [unilateral withdrawal] promises no solution, no peace, no regional or international legitimacy, no alleviation of hostility, no end to terrorism, not even a respite [and] threatens to tear political and social systems apart…-Dan Schueftan, today director of the National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa, on the impact of unilateral withdrawal from Judea-Samaria, which he urges Israel to adopt(!), in Tablet Magazine, August 8, 2017

The proposal for (re)adoption of unilateral withdrawal—this time from Judea-Samaria—began to emerge in the public discourse over four years ago.

Foreseeable fatal flaws

Since then, I have warned, insistently and incessantly, of the glaring defects in the rationale of this resurgent recipe for foretold failure– see: The coming canard: ‘Constructive unilateralism’; Stupendously stupid or surreptitiously sinister; Infuriating, insidious, immoral; Imbecility squared – Part 1; Imbecility squared- Part 2; Generals, gimmicks and gobbledygook.

Yet despite its clearly discernible flaws, which virtually ensure disaster if it were to be (re)adopted, this ill-conceived idea not only remains stubbornly on the national agenda, but—almost inconceivably—is gaining increasing support from an alarming number of well-funded organizations and influential individuals.

It is, in many ways, the flagship project of the well-endowed Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). It is also championed by what is effectively INSS’s public advocacy arm, Blue and White Future. Likewise, it is endorsed by Commanders for Israel Security (CIS) an organization reportedly comprising over 200 former high-ranking officers in the IDF, intelligence services and police.

Not ad hominem attack

The most recent call for “unilateral disengagement from the overwhelming majority of the West Bank…and massive rooting-out of Jewish populations” comes from none other than the Director of the National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa, Dr. Dan Schueftan.

In a rambling essay, over 3000 words long, in Tablet Magazine, replete with internal contradictions and riddled with non-sequiturs, Schueftan sets out his “rationale” (for want of a better word) for Israel to adopt a policy, which, in his own words, “promises no solution, no peace, no regional or international legitimacy, no alleviation of hostility, no end to terrorism, not even a respite[and]threatens to tear political and social systems apart…”

Although I shall have decidedly harsh criticism of Schueftan’s policy prescriptions, I should like to make it clear: This is not an ad hominem attack on the author, but a resolute repudiation of his ideas.

I have been acquainted with Schueftan for years, and have found him to be a very affable individual, a learned scholar and a gifted—albeit not always the most genteel—orator. However, as someone who holds a prestigious position in academe and is responsible for molding the strategic perspective of a large number of students, the doctrines he expounds cannot go un-scrutinized, and, if found defective, unchallenged.

The fact that he may genuinely believe that what he is proposing is in the national interest should not shield him from censure if it can be plausibly demonstrated that it will precipitate precisely the opposite.

Pernicious puerile prescription

All the proposals of the various proponents of renewed unilateral withdrawal embrace the same principle–with only shades of nuance differentiating between them.

This involves Israel’s forswearing all sovereign claims to any territory beyond a line that approximates the route of the current security barrier and acting to remove Israeli civilian presence from this territory. In light of the disastrous results similar measures produced in Gaza, “neo-unilateralists” attempt to assuage public concern by stipulating that the IDF will remain deployed in the areas over which Israel eschews sovereignty.

Thus, CIS proposes that IDF deployment will continue until the emergence of “a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians [which] ushers in alternative concrete, sustainable security arrangements.” Closely mirroring this idea, Schueftan, peppering his concessionary prescription with machoistic rhetoric, suggests: “…the mainstream majority can be expected to consider a unilateral move positively if they know that the IDF will remain in overall charge of security, unless a dependable Arab army replaces it, if and when Israel sees fit”.

This of course is a prescription that is, at once, pernicious—because of the predictably calamitous consequences it will precipitate—and puerile—because of the naïve hope that it will not…

Entrapping the IDF in open-ended occupation

Inevitably, the proposal for ongoing deployment of the Israeli military in territory over which Israel makes no sovereign claims would, in a stroke, convert Judea-Samaria from “disputed territory” to “occupied territory” and the IDF from a “defense force” to an “occupying force”. Worse, it would do so by explicit admission from Israel itself!

Moreover, by conditioning the end of IDF deployment on the emergence of “alternative concrete, sustainable security arrangements” or in Schueftan’s words, leaving the IDF in overall charge of security, unless a dependable Arab army replaces it, if and when Israel sees fit”, the neo-unilateralists are, in fact, promoting a formula for open-ended occupation, whose duration is totally dependent on the Palestinian-Arabs.

After all, if the IDF is to remain deployed in the “West Bank” until some “dependable” Palestinian counterpart appears, sufficiently pliant to satisfy Israel’s demands, but sufficiently robust to resist more radical domestic rivals that oppose those demands, what happens if such a counterpart fails to emerge?

Clearly then, all the Palestinian-Arabs need to do to ensnare the IDF in what will inevitably become an increasingly unpopular “occupation”, making it an easy target for guerilla attacks by a recalcitrant population, backed by armed Palestinian internal security services, is…well, nothing.

All they need to do is wait until mounting IDF casualties in a “foreign land” create increasing domestic pressure to “bring our boys back home”, and mounting international impatience with unending “occupation” create growing external pressure, which will make continued IDF deployment untenable. Withdrawal will then become inevitable, without any “permanent settlement” or “sustainable security arrangements”.

Unsustainable strategy

Schueftan is caustically critical of Palestinian society in Judea-Samaria, characterizing it as “a profoundly irresponsible society [with] elites who are unwilling to engage in constructive nation-building [who] prefer to glorify and finance terrorists and perpetuate narratives of unlimited grievance vis-à-vis the Jewish state”.

So even in the unlikely event that some Palestinian-Arab partner could be located, who would, in good faith, agree to conclude a permanent status agreement and implement acceptable security arrangements allowing the IDF to evacuate Judea-Samaria, how could Israel ensure this agreement will be honored and these arrangements maintained over time?

Clearly it could not!

Once the IDF withdraws, Israel has no way of preventing its Palestinian co-signatories from reneging on their commitments—whether of their own volition, due to a change of heart, or under duress from extremist adversaries.

Even more to the point, barring intimate involvement in intra-Palestinian politics, Israel has no way to ensure that their pliant partner will not be replaced—whether by bullet or ballot—by far more inimical successors, probably generously supported by foreign regimes, who repudiate their predecessors’ pledges. Indeed, it is more than likely that it would be precisely the “perfidious” deal struck with the “nefarious Zionist entity” that would be invoked as justification for the regime-change.

Certainly, given Schueftan’s own uncomplimentary description of Palestinian society such an outcome can hardly be dismissed as implausible

What is the neo-unilateralist’s “Plan B”?

Accordingly, no matter which of these outcomes—a change of heart or a change of regime—emerges in practice, Israel is likely to be confronted with a situation where it no longer has security control in Judea-Samaria and a hostile regime perched on the hills dominating the coastal megalopolis—overlooking its only international airport, adjacent to its major population centers and abutting principal transportation axes.

It would be intriguing to learn what neo-unilateralists, such as Schueftan, propose as their “Plan B”, should the realities precipitated in the South following unilateral withdrawal, emerge along Israel’s eastern border. Clearly anything approaching those realities on the fringes of Greater Tel Aviv would make the maintenance of any socio-economic routine impossible—since it could be disrupted at will by hostile forces, renegade or regular, deployed on the commanding highlands evacuated by the IDF.

So how would Schueftan and his fellow neo-unilateralists recommend responding? A massive punitive attack along a 500 km front, with difficult terrain and inevitable “collateral damage”, likely to dwarf anything incurred in previous campaigns such as “Protective Edge”? And to what end? To withdraw once again behind the security barrier? Or to withdraw and repeat the same “experiment”, hoping for more fortuitous results next time? Or the time after that?

Touting a giant South Lebanon on fringes of Tel Aviv

Of course, the basic elements of the new unilateralism— forswearing of claims to sovereignty over Judea-Samaria, on the one hand; and continued deployment of the IDF in that territory, on the other—replicate precisely the same conditions that prevailed in South Lebanon until the IDF’s hasty retreat in 2000.

Clearly, under these conditions, any hope that the conflict can be officially resolved with some negotiated final-status agreement is hopelessly detached from reality. After all, why should the Palestinians offer any quid pro quo to negotiate the withdrawal of the IDF when Israel has a-priori conceded sovereignty to them and ceased all civilian construction, condemning the settlements to inevitable decay and disintegration?

Moreover, what would be the justification for continued IDF deployment in the sovereign territory of others—especially as that deployment itself is likely to be cited as the major grievance sustaining the belligerency between the sides?

Accordingly, proposals for deploying the IDF for an indeterminate period, in territory over which it lays no sovereign claim—and hence, by implication, acknowledges that others have such claims to it—will create an unsustainable political configuration, which, sooner or later, will generate irresistible pressure on Israel to withdraw—just as it did in Lebanon—leaving the country exposed to the very dangers the IDF deployment was intended to obviate.

Futile folly

As mentioned, Schueftan concedes that his prescribed unilateralism “promises no solution, no peace, no regional or international legitimacy, no alleviation of hostility, no end to terrorism… Accordingly, he asks: “why embark on an extremely painful process” which, by his own admission will traumatize “hundreds of thousands of Israelis…and threaten to tear…Israeli society apart.”

His answer, in a nutshell , is that it will, allegedly, free Israel from the burden of “dominating and caring for them [the Palestinian-Arabs] for over half a century” which is precisely what we were told about unilateral disengagement from Gaza –which is still, a decade later, critically dependent on Israel for a wide range of goods and services.

Of course, to believe that Schueftan’s prescription will achieve such freedom is a futile and forlorn hope. Indeed, the very fact that the IDF is to remain deployed in Judea-Samaria with overriding authority for security, will impose very similar burdens and responsibilities to those it bears today. It will need to exert authority over local law enforcement organizations, and perhaps countermand any decisions they make if considered detrimental to Israel’s security. It will have to regulate and inspect a wide range of civilian activities, such as the management of dangerous industrial pollutants, sewage flows into Israel, and the inspection of usage of dual purpose material like steel, fertilizers and cement to ensure that are not diverted to manufacture weapons or tunnels…

And I have only begun to scratch the surface…


In February 2004, prior to the Gaza Disengagement, Schueftan, gave an interview to “New York Magazine”, where he was billed as “the highly regarded Israeli analyst and academic whose concept of unilateral disengagement now dominates debate in Israel”. In it he proclaimed: “The Israeli public wants to be completely cut off from the Palestinians, and as a result nobody can be prime minister without going in this direction. It’s not even an option if they want to stay in power.”

Of course, since then, Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have disregarded Schueftan counsel–only to become the longest serving prime minister in decades…which might be a good indicator of merit with which Schueftan’s prognoses/prescriptions should be credited…

Martin Sherman is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Another Hit by Latma "All About The Facts"

Friday, August 11, 2017

Sorry Ms. Wise, there is no occupation in the land of Israel - and you are not welcomed!

As reported in the Jerusalem Post, five members of an interfaith delegation to Israel were prevented from boarding their flight from Washington, DC, becasue of their activism on behalf of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. 

This came into play after the Israeli parliament (or Knesset), amended the Law of Entry in March, to prevent leaders of the BDS movement from being allowed into Israel in the future... 

According to the report, the amendment specifically applies to organizations that take consistent and significant action against Israel through BDS, as well as the leadership and senior activists of those groups - a move which mind you, I totally agree with...

As you can imagine, these liberal Rabbis are pretty upset, including JVP activist Alissa Wise - who said in the JVP statement that Israel denied her the ability to travel to the state because her work for justice for Palestinians poses a danger to Israel's security - which in fact it does...

According to Wise "the mussernik" this outrageous becasue she is Jewish and a Rabbi, which apparently gives her the carte blanche to promote Jewish blood shed in the name of resistance - I might be missing something, perhaps someone can explain her logic to me... 

“I’m heartbroken and outraged said WiseThis is yet another demonstration that democracy and tolerance in Israel only extends to those who fall in line with its increasingly repressive policies against Palestinians”...

As expected, the Israeli government's decision and actions have irked quite a few liberal Jews, including a small group of at least two hundred liberally progressive Rabbis who joined together once again to stab Israel and its Jewish population in the back and sign a  "Rabbinic Letter Against Israel’s Travel Ban"...

According to the press release of this unholy gathering...  

“A controversy for the sake of Heaven will have lasting value, but a controversy not for the sake of Heaven will not endure” (Pirkei Avot 5:17).

We, the undersigned rabbis, stand with our colleague, Rabbi Alissa Shira Wise, who was denied entry to Israel because of her support for the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel.

...the decision to bar Rabbi Wise from visiting Israel is anti-democratic and desecrates our vision of a diverse Jewish community that holds multiple perspectives.

It is so rich, it is disgusting, I am truly at a lost for words with rage. 

The fact that these Rabbis have a lot of chutzpah to quote Perkei Avot as if they - you know, individuals who've sanctioned all indecency and immorality under the banner of the Jewish faith - have any fear of God, is prosperous. Seriously, who gave these laymen and women (I cringe just writing that) the ability to discern what exactly is considered a dispute which is not for sake of heaven...

Apparently, as per Wise and her ilk, one can commit murder (which make no mistake, support for palestinian cause is exactly that) and at the same time be doing so for the sake of heaven - imagine that...

Lets talk to the facts, the bottomline is that any rational person - that is not consumed with the mental illness called progressive liberalism - knows very well that there is no occupation...

Anyone who says otherwise, is not only denying history and how the state of Israel came to be - but is in fact denying what is written in the Torah. 

Yes! you know, that Book of Moses, on which the entire Jewish faith is based upon...

Within, one will find - stated black on white - that the land of Cenan, (now Israel) was to be our inheritance, given to our forefather Avraham by the one and only God over four millennia ago...

Denying such a fact, I believe, strips an individual from any right they might have had in the past to represent the Jewish people and the land of Israel - and certainly strips them from the so called right to call themselves a Rabbi...

But what I fear the most is not as much the actions of these individuals as much as our community's apparent silence in the face of the aggression of these self hating Jews...

The Babalonian Talmud, 87B tells us that "he who is silent is taken to agree" can it truly be that the words of individuals as Wise do not hurt us to our core? do they not cause us to break into a stupor of rage at the blatant desecration of our Torah and its values on a regular basis?

God forbid can we remain silent to this onslaught on the basic tenets of our faith, the importance of the land of Israel to our faith, our heritage and our day to day lives...

As such, I think it is appropriate to call on the greater Jewish orthodox community to unite together and make our voices be heard... 

Let it be known from this lowly earth to the heavens, that we the people of God and his Torah will not stand idly by to such such a desecration of His name...

Let it be known that as the people of faith, we affirm that while we might be in exile, there is no doubt that the land of Israel is our inheritance from all those years ago, and it is our possession for all eternity without a doubt and with the merit of such an action may we merit the coming of the Messiah speedily in our days.