Saturday, August 30, 2014

Why is Israel's foreign policy so lousy

Full article posted this afternoon- please come back:

Outline only

Psycho-social characteristics of Jews and Israelis

What two thousand years of statelessness did to our psyche - the good and the bad

Isolation: Mutual aid  and negative stereotypes - Jews are clannish
Inability to see the world as outsiders do
 Blaming ourselves - The Stockholm syndrome, post traumatic stress disorder,
battered child syndrome, and blaming other groups of Jews
Lack of control - Denial, misunderstanding power dynamics, sponsor mentality
destructive control mechanisms
Victimization - The inevitability of anti-semitism, justification through superior
We are persecuted because we are superior

Higher standards for Jews: Compensating by developing superior skills.
Demanding higher standards of ourselves, Justice as moral.
 Ideas - a major success, donating ideas to others. Respect for ideas. Disrespect
for the ideas and principles of others
The importance of ideas and learning as an end - Haredim, the arts and sciences
Justice as positive and Jewish
Indirect Power
The assumption that direct power is not possible
In pursuit of indirect power - court Jews, responsive vs, assertive
the need for a sponsor, reacting,

Impact today

Cohesion - aid to soldiers, berieved families, lone soldiers. Unity of Jews worldwide at critical times

World perceptions- how we misread and act on wrong assumptions

Blaming ourselves  - Belief in control by appeasment, capitulation and pleasing others

Power: Letting our enemies define the playing field - Hamas in protective edge, Missed opportunities to take the lead, press, calling the shots, explaining after the fact, International court- for Palestinians only?. Missed opportunities- when treaties and agreements are broken, Jewish refugees, the case against UNRWA, copying strategies that work, our image

Misreading the motives of others: the US cares about us and has our back

The vicious cycle of approval seeking: How we teach our enemies to bully us - Rewards for  violence; No punishments for breakin agreements, unfair expectations and double standards

It's their fault- Jewish Pariahs responsible for our fate: The left, settlers, orthodox Jews, American Jews, obnoxious Israelis

Sponsors needed - The dysfunctional love affair with the United States
The compulsive need to please to the point of destruction.  The common interests delusion -- A mantra to us, lip service    to them. Missing the price: fighting the same war again and again and again, free-giveaways to the US - the drone in Iraq, Iran nuclear weapons, peace talks..

The Delusion that setting higher standards woirks  - purity of arms, warnings. cease fires, humanitarian aid and results

Rejection of violence - national reaction to the murder of one Muslim, The war against tunnels and missiles - and everything but terrorists

Denial - tunnels, the south, the futility of compromise, historical amnesia

Assumptions about how others react
The delusion of rationality and incessant explainingm respect for good deeds and it's impact- Mashall complains about knocks on the door.

How we weakened ourselves in protective edge - electricity, purity of arms, innocent civilians and human shields, Hamas: we also target soldiers

Coming- Solutions


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Israel’s Diplomatic Failure in Operation Protective Edge

In Operation Protective Edge, Hamas weakened Israel  by milking PR and playing power politics. The  joined the  Egyptian instigated Palestinian unity coalition, headed by Abbas , a moderate Muslim invented by the west and in so doing gained legitimacy that lend credence to their actions against Israel. They controlled media reporting in Gaza,  threatening journalists. The world read that thousands had been killed. mostly civilians, and saw pictures of dead babies and mothers screaming in grief  and accepted claims of Israel’s brutality.

Hamas controlled the playing field and called the shots.  They successfully terrorized Israelis, aiming at Tel Aviv, Israel’s international airport, Jerusalem in nonstop barrages of missiles. They called ceasefires, allegedly for humanitarian aid, obtained material to build missiles and then broke off ceasefires. Leveraged UNRWA, whose leadership in Gaza is Hamas, to store weapons in schools and hospitals and fanned the flames of UN’s anti-Israeli predisposition with indignant claims that Israel had bombed the UN.
UNRWA consistently returned weapons to Hamas -  “ the authorities in charge” - so often , that even Ban Ki Moon got angry. When Hamas’s manipulations emerged after the fact they were for the most part ignored

When Israel assassinated Hamas leaders, they graciously agreed to negotiate, knowing that Israel would agree. Like Yasser Arafat at Camp David, everything they asked for was considered. Fishing zones were extended, border crossings were opened. Across the globe, countries worked to cement the ‘deal’ to get Hamas an airport and seaport that are suitable. Israel allowed the UN and even Abbas to be its proxy to check goods imported via air sea and land outside of Israel for ‘dual purpose materials and bombs.’  In exchange Abbas assured Hamas’s agreement to stop attacks.

Hamas, now politically legitimate, declared victory. People call Mashal a deranged man. I think not.  Not two days after the agreement in Cairo, he declared victory, demanded world responsibility to rebuild Gaza, reiterated his demands for an airport, a seaport, an end to the siege, and the release of prisoners.

Less than a week ago, when Israel compared Hamas to ISIS, he was insulted and told the world that Hamas is  a liberation movement -- not genocidal terrorists.  He also made no secret of  his genocidal goals. On Palestinian TV he said  Hamas’s victory is a success bringing Hamas closer to its real goals -- conquest of all of Israel and eradicating Israel.  Hamas promises to re-arm, and if the future is any predictor of the past, with the help of Qatar, the next round will be worse than the last one.

At the same time, Abbas is terrorizing Israel via threats to go to the UN with an “unconventional proposal” to the UN that includes a timetable for Israel’s withdrawal from the west bank to pre-67 borders and the establishment of a Palestinian state in the west bank with Jerusalem as its capital.   If the request is turned down, (i.e. via US veto) the PLO will charge Israeli leaders with war crimes in the International Criminal Court.  He believes the time is right. Israel caved in to the US and dropped its demand on demilitarization of Hamas. Afraid of losing allies, Israel is vulnerable to pressure.

Abbas’s “unconventional” diplomatic surprise, published in world news as an alleged attempt to make the US unhappy is nothing of the kind. The Obama-Netanyahu i.e. Israel-American relation in tatters and the fear of losing US support emboldens him. He says he will present his plan to the US. In all likelihood, he has already. Knowing the west will be more supportive than his fellow Muslims, he will use this pressure to
get Israel to fall in line. While his words don’t, his undertone threatens when he says he hopes Arab countries will support his “unconventional solution”.

Palestinians understands that international diplomacy is about power -- Israel does not. As a result we miss opportunities all the time. We have rewarded our enemies when they take advantage of us, and we taught them how to do it. Books have been written on the reasons for Israel’s puzzling foreign policy (or lack of it) -- Israel is suffering from PTSD, a  battered child mentality, the stockholm syndrome, obsessive approval seeking, the assumption that it needs a patron.

Enough therapy. Israel is facing and will continue to face an increasingly serious existential crisis if it continues to let its enemies define the playing field.

Soon -  part II - Diplomatic chess: Israel’s next moves

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Price of US Aid

  Israel does not need US aid. We pay for it in unnecessary wars,  in the subservience of always having to ask permission, in obeying bad advice, in twisting our minds until we believe the advice is correct, no matter how damaging it is for us.  We have convinced ourselves that we cannot exist without America as our patron. We have deluded ourselves into believing that the US has our best interests at heart and that there is a special relationship between US and Israel. This borders on insanity. There are no BFFs international politics. If there is some relationship that binds us to the United States, it is a very dysfunctional one that has more than a little resemblance to relationships between battered children and their abusers. These children almost always adopt the beliefs of those who hurting them and  delude themselves into believing that if they try harder, are better,  they can please whoever controls their lives and things will be fine.
   Netanyahu has his faults. Nevertheless, the desperation with which pundits and MKS obsess about “US-Israel relations at an all time low” because Netanyahu angered Obama, is more than a little strange. As they say in Washington, people seem quite willing to throw Netanyahu under the bus and trade him in for someone with better manners, [who will say 'thank you' as Shelley Achamovitz says] someone with milder  politics who is better at compromising. We may have to give some of Israel away but we would satisfy our Patron and know we are protected.
   Do you see the insanity in this way of thinking,  how self destructive and exhausting it is. Forcing yourself to believe in what down deep you know is a lie, takes a lot of energy.
   Obama will never be a  friend of Israel. He has proven this again and again. Americans notice; we do not. He displayed an inexcusable contempt for our leaders that other countries would not have accepted, brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt, leaked information to the press to prevent Israel from attacking Iran,  fomented the Arab spring, filled high level positions in the White House [such as head of homeland security] with people who have Muslim Brotherhood ties, publicly announced that settlements on the west bank are illegal without bothering to mention this to Israel, has consistently  failed to respond to anti-semitism in the US when hate crimes there are 10X as a high as any other group, sent his people on witch hunts and chastised us as if we were in grade school every time Israel dared to criticize him. At the same time Abu Mazen fed John Kerry lies [during the last round of ‘peace’ negotiations’] about UN organizations he planned to join and was treated like a statesman based on myths of how moderate he was. This granted him the credibility that allows him to hold the criminal court in Hague over our heads time and again. 
  In the current negotiations, the United States  even tried  to dump Egypt as a mediator for Qatar and Turkey.  Is this the guy we should be trying to please?  Consider how much power  Israel’s obsession with gaining his approval gives Obama. He can manipulate Israeli elections to replace Netanyahu and his hard liners with more polite, pleasant, obedient “reasonable” Israelis.  He may be succeeding.
   For the future of our country, our survival and the survival of our children,  it is time to stop thinking about approval and do the right thing for ourselves. The odd thing about approval, as any schoolteacher knows, is that the more you show your need, the more you try, the less you get. Approval seekers who do favors are never thanked whether in kindergarden or international politics. They get a reputation for being weaklings and attract bullies like a magnet.
   It’s hard to give up the fantasy that you must have a protector and grow up but we are, after all, 65 and it’s time. We do not need their money anymore. [Even if there was a shortfall, it could be more than compensated for by arms sales the US did not permit before]
   The best thing Israel could do for itself would be to graciously announce that while we are eternally grateful for all of the invaluable generous help we have gotten from the United States,  we no longer feel right taking money when the US economy could use it. [What are friends for, after all! - wink]. ‘Of course,’ we say, ‘this will change nothing about our relationship, our very special relationship with the United States.’[knowing that , of course it will.]  We are then free to negotiate in our own best interests, rather than the interests of an American president who sees no reason for [the moderate] Abbas , a man who would not allow one Jew into a Palestinian state if he got one, to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and who pressures Israel to negotiate with Hamas [supposedly a terror  organization for the US] as a peer.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Does the World Need the United Nations?


The United Nations is the greatest insult to most basic human rights.  Its existence is not benign. Had it existed in the 1930’s,  , would the UN have stopped Hitler’s genocidal plan?  If it were like the UN of today it would have supported Germany’s seemingly hostile actions -- a justified response to what the Allies did to Germany in WWI.  Hitler’s goal -- a healthy, proud, economically productive Germany  would be praised, goals of extermination of the entire world’s non-aryan population would have been dismissed, and his claim to the Sudetenland validated as Germans were clearly  the indigenous people. Solve that root problem and there would be peace.

Intense UN pressure and threats of BDS would have forced the US to surrender immediately after dropping the bomb on Hiroshima -- a flagrant violation of human rights and a disproportionate response to the  Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Germany and Japan could have won the war.

This imaginary scenario is now being played out by ISIS and other affiliated jihadist groups like Hamas. In a rational world, jihadists would have a more difficult time pulling off a worldwide genocidal agenda. Unlike Hitler, who had no history, centuries of Islamic history document the brutal murders of people refusing conversion.  Stoning, decapitation, cutting off limbs, and burning and burying people alive in the name of Allah are not only permitted, they are mandated.

Until recently murders in the name of Islam averaged about 1200 a week. ISIS is changing this.  Forty to seventy thousand Iraqi Yazidis are trapped on Mount Sinjar in Iraq without water or food. 70% may already be dead. ISIS captured the Mosul dam threatening lives of 500,000 people in Baghdad. The 300,000 Christians of Iraq are gone -- murdered, died trying to escape, refugees -- nobody knows.  In every town ISIS captures non-muslims are slaughtered.

Their plan to turn the world into a seventh century caliphate is not some twisted religious fantasy. ISIS has a well thought out campaign with long term goals, short term objectives, clear military tactics, efficient organization that easily accommodates large numbers of new members and recruiting methods that leverage today’s most advanced technologies.  If not stopped, in the next five years ISIS plans to conquer the Middle East, parts of Europe, North Africa and India. They are ahead of schedule.  People currently living in these areas will be given a choice: convert to Islam or die.

When this gets to your neighborhood, will you choose Islam or death? If you choose death it will be neither quick nor humane. Imagine your and your neighbors, hands roped together on the ground as a black masked jihadist shoots you and dumps you into a mass grave, possibly still alive and bleeding to death or suffocating.  Imagine your family on a mountain surrounded by the jihad army. Like Yazidi,  you watch your children die of thirst before you succumb. Imagine slow death as stones are hurled or watching your neighbor’s head sawed off knowing you are next, knowing your own sons are being  brainwashed and will fight for the cause until everyone on Earth worships Allah. The perfect world survivors live in will be a paradise free of disgusting western vices like video games.

ISIS activism in the west is increasing rapidly. This week saw  a  pro-ISIS demonstration in the center of London, ISIS demonstrators calling for death to the Jews at the Hague,  and over a hundred German ISIS demonstrators attacking Yazidis who protested the slaughter of their people.  Brazen displays of brutality -- an Australian child holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier -- should send chills up your spine.

The UN was founded to protect humanity from genocide before it becomes a threat to all mankind.  Where are they?  What could possibly be more important than terrorists with a  highly functional army of dedicated soldiers, spreading rivers of blood in their path as they take over banks and weapons, who recognize no borders other than those of their future world caliphate, whose jihadfest grows every day, who are absorbing and consolidating all of the Sunni terrorist organizations?

Israel, of course. The cruel, genocidal Nazi Jewish imperialist colonialists who control the world ruthlessly, killed 1800 “innocent” people in Gaza. Pictures of dead babies, brokenhearted parents, rubble where houses once stood cry out for justice. Never mind those stories about rockets and tunnels and Israel’s right to exist. The real cause of all this carnage is Israel’s occupation, their obstinate refusal to give Palestinians their rightful homeland.

Could the whole world be wrong?  These people, who are squeezed into a tiny piece of land smaller than the state of New Jersey, are the really dangerous ones. Hitler didn’t finish the job.  The UN will do it for him.