I am sad and sorry for the loss of innocent lives by Muslim extremists globally and in France, and I wonder if the French believe they discovered terrorism? Where were the French when many Jews were murdered in France in the last few years? Where were the French when Arab terrorists murdered many Israeli civilians for years?
I used to like the French. My parents loved everything French, music, books, history and movies. They were educated by French culture in Egypt. I started from that base. I love French food, Edith Piaf and their old melodic music, Simon Signore and Yves Montand movies, and enjoyed my visits to France a number of times. Romantic picturesque Paris is lovely, I can walk its wide streets no end. The food, lovely. The Loire valley and its historical majestic châteaux are appealing too. And the Palace of Versailles and its gardens are amazing. But over the years, as I watched their conduct, I lost much of my respect for them. They think they are the center of the universe. They are not.
I have little sympathy for the French government, and the majority of that elected it. The French as individuals are usually nice people, but as a nation are self serving. They feel unique and special, thus allowed to do things other nations would feel ashamed of. The French philosopher, Revel, which was a member of the Academe Françoise, wrote a book about the negative attitude of the French public and elite towards the U.S... He defined is as a mental illness of the French.
The French gave very little help with the global fight against terror, always thinking they are smarter, better than us. Obama knows much more than the public about the negative French behavior for many decades. Our president started slowly but learned to use force when needed, and increased markedly the use of quiet, unseen drones to terminate key terrorists over hostile territories.
Why the French awareness of terrorists is emerging only now? Is their blood so much redder than any other suffering people, including innocent Israelis murdered by Muslim terrorists that the French have been supporting for half a century?
Without a doubt, there would have been no march and no protest if only Jews were murdered in Paris. Other French Jews were murdered in France in the last few years. Did you see any French parades against that?
The French, similarly to most of Europe, have a long history of anti-Semitism and anti Israel attitude and conduct. Just look below at their behavior towards Jews and Israel from WWII on.
Increasing the Holocaust. When Germany took part of France in WWII, the French Vichee government volunteered to locate additional Jews in areas under its own control, and send them to the concentration camps in Germany- to oblivion. Note, the Germans did not force them to do it, nor had control in that region in France. Tens of thousands of Jews were murdered by this act, initiated by the French.
BTW. On one of my enjoyable visits to France, I could not find the memorial for the French Jews murdered in WWII. After a long search it was through a small, hard to find gate, and of minimal significance.
The French were making lots of money as the major suppliers of weapons to Israel, until the 1967 war. Then French president General de Gaulle declared embargo on weapons to Israel at the initiation of the fighting claiming Israel is the aggressor since it started it. He went even further, quarantined Israeli Navy fast missile boats that were built in Germany and were outfitted with electronics in Cherbourg, a French harbor. They were already paid for and were not owned by the French. He did not allow them to leave but the Israeli outsmarted him sneaking the boats out into Israel. The French Minister of Defense wanted to bomb the escaping boats, but the French Prime Minister refused.
After all nations agreed to stop atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons since it was spreading nuclear contamination globally, France ignored it and continued its open testing against global protests. Even using force and killed environmentalists who tried to stop them. When the French feels it is in their interest they ignore any opposition or any international laws.
A decade ago, when Palestinians terrorized Israeli civilians that resulted in many, many deaths, including bombing of a Passover celebration in Netanya, Teenager club in Tel Aviv and many more, France had not opposed it in words or deeds. When Israel was a washed with the blood of terrorism France said and did nothing to help. For the French It was an Israeli problem
When Israel was attacked by Syria and Egypt in the 1973 devastating Yom Kippur War, France said noting and did nothing to help Israel. Not only that- FRANCE REFUSED TO ALLOW U.S. EMERGENCY AIRLIFT OF WEAPONS TO LAND THERE FOR REFUELING. The rest of Europe refused too. Only Portugal allowed it. Another example of active European anti-Semitism!
France did not scream, did not put pressure on Arafat to stop his terrorism, oppositely. French president Mitterrand influenced Arafat to reject the uniquely generous pro Palestinian offer of PM Ehud Barak in 2000, brokered by President Clinton.
Give me a good reason, beside the loss of innocent lives obviously, that we should care about French suffering? What good did they do for us Jews or for Israelis lately? Or for the U.S? French president after president, French government after French government have been against Israel. France has supported the Palestinians and Abbas in the Security Council and most other opportunities we know of.
Why the current outrage? Was their Muslim Terrorism any different from the rest of the world? Than 9/11? Than in London? Than in Madrid? Than in Israel? You now realize how they think. They are the center of the world. Yes, the French believe so. They are innocent and do not deserve terrorism. However, the Israelis have to suffer from Muslim terrorism, they deserve it, and it is the French mantra all the time.
I would hate to think what the French would do to Hamas and Gaza if they were on the receiving end of the Gaza's rockets? France is 25 times larger than Israel, so the equivalent amount of rockets that would have been dropped on France by Hamas would have been 35,000 rockets in a few weeks. What would the French do? Just think about it! Gaza would disappear and most of its people would have been killed by France.
At this sad time, I am sorry for the loss of life of any innocent people around the world, but have little sympathy for the French government or the people who elected it.
The US has helped Israel on many fronts; therefore, we automatically believe that Israel should follow US dictates. However, Israel has paid too high a price for US erratic support. As you can read below, too many times the US has forced Israel to act against Israel's self interests -seriously reducing Israel's security. Therefore, Israel must evaluate carefully each US dictates and reject those that are detrimental to Israel's interests.
Part of the problem is that the US does not consider Israel as a fully sovereign state. The US would not dare pressure any other small country, Finland, Norway, even Lebanon, the way it pressures Israel. Israel's interests are only peripheral to the US own interests. Sometimes they are parallel, sometimes opposite
Fundamentally, the US has not grasped the complex reality of the Muslim Middle East and often acts not only against Israel's self interest, but against US' own self interests! That is why it has made major mistakes in Iraq, Syria and Egypt and is about to make the worse mistake by allowing Iran some nuclear weapons capability.
If Israel had rejected some US' pressure, Israel could have been now much more secure with significantly less danger from Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and the PA too.
The Arabs and the Palestinians, who often are politically wiser than Israel, have ignored most US pressure and have gotten away with it. ISRAEL SHOULD LEARN FROM THAT EXAMPLE. Israel is very small (5% of California) and above all must protect its borders and security. However, it is economically strong and its GDP, close to $300 billion, is larger than the Philippines, or Egypt, or Ireland, or Finland.
Israel should not be afraid to lose US help because it is likely that Israel is more important to the US than US' limited assistance to Israel. Israel is the only reliable ally the US has in the Middle East. The US has used Israel as a military base for decades and benefited from many advanced Israeli military developments. Israeli purchases of US military aid provides many jobs in the US and reduces US costs of military systems. And in the commercial area, both sides are benefiting from close technical and marketing association. And the majority of Americans support Israel.
HOW THE US HURT ISRAEL:
Let me summarize some key US- induced problems that even U.S. military, financial and UN support may not have been worth these outcomes!
I hope to send the details of each later.
1. US declared weapon embargo on the region for 20 years, weakening Israel, not the Arabs.
2. President Eisenhower stopped the 1956 Sinai war prematurely -thus helping Nasser.
3. President Johnson tried to stop the Israel's conquest of the Golan at the end of the 1967 -Six Days war. Israel rejected it.
4. Nixon stopped PM Golda Meir from starting a preemptive Israeli attack, prior to the 1973 Yom Kippur war, causing large loss of lives. And Israel barely won.
5. A critical mistake: During the Gaza withdrawal of 2005 Israel planned a "Philadelphia Corridor" to separate Egypt from southern Gaza to prevent weapon and terrorists smuggling from Egypt. However, the US forced Israel to eliminate this critical barrier.
THIS ISRAELI BARRIER WOULD HAVE MARKEDLY CURTAILED HAMAS' ABILITY TO ATTACK ISRAEL, AND WOULD HAVE SAVED MANY ISRAELI AND PALESTINIANS' LIVES!! THIS ALONE WOULD HAVE JUSTIFIED REJECTING MOST AMERICAN PRESSURE. MORE OVER, MOST AMERICAN ASSISTANCE MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN REQUIRED IF HAMAS WAS STOPPED BY THIS BARRIER.
6. The US insisted that Hamas could participate in a "democratic" election in Gaza thus allowing Hamas to take over the Gaza strip.
7. During the 2014 Gaza war President Obama pressured Israel to stop its attack on Gaza by preventing the transfer of needed and agreed upon ammunition requested by Israel during the battle.
8. The endless US driven "peace process. The US does not grasp that the Palestinians want to take over ALL OF ISRAEL, not just Gaza and West Bank. The Arabs believe that the Middle East is a Muslim region and non-Muslim should not live there.
9. The most significant issue is Iran nuclear weapon development. This US Administration purposely reduced Israel's ability to destroy Iran nuclear facilities. First by starting international negotiation, thus preempting Israel justification to destroy Iran's nuclear installations. Second, the US dragged the Iranian nuclear negotiation long enough that Israel can't bomb now the Iranian installations in an effective way. They are too secure now.
In light of these and other events, it seems to me that Israel should now stand its own grounds and not accept undesirable US dictates. Even if the US would threatens to reduce its military and political support!
The price Israel paid in the past was much too high. It may be higher in the future.
Moshe and I were not in a very good mood. We were walking out of the cemetery, after burring our friend and did not feel like talking as we went to our respective cars.
Suddenly Moshe turned to me and said: "We are returning to Israel."
Why, what happened so suddenly?
I thought about it for some time, Moshe answered. I want to prevent the American Disease in my own family.
What American Disease?
When the family spread out and you rarely see your kids again.
I don't understand. You have a lovely family, you have an excellent income, and you have here everything people want.
But, he said, this will not last. My kids are reaching college age. Once they go to a university any place over this vast USA, they meet someone there, get married, and stay there. And the distances here will kill this family. My family closeness is very important to my wife and me.
And this I don't have to worry about in Israel. In such a little country we are only hours away from one another by car or train.
And what if the kids object?
They can pay for their education themselves, he chuckled.
We hugged one another, probably for the last time, and I wished him a good life in Israel.
I knew very well about this sad occurrence, but not by its name - "American Disease." I have been experiencing it from the time my kids looked for jobs. Their university education was in California, so we saw them reasonably often. But once jobs started, they moved away. And phone calls are far cry from spending family time together.
My brothers and sister in Israel never faced that family separation. Through good and bad times, holidays and Shabat, they shared life together and are supporting one another.
Israel is a big family and that is one of the most important cohesive force helping Israelis overcome difficulties we in the US, most likely, would not be able to endure.
The recent re-election of Netanyahu by a significant margin is part of a slow and steady process by which the Israelis are rejecting their long established meek Galut (Diaspora) mentality. Jews had to develop that protective, subservient Galut mentality ("What will the Goim think?") to survive the harsh reality of the most prosecuted minority of the Western world. Unfortunately despite their freedom in their own Israel and the many successes they have archived, from military battles, to rapid population growth, and incredible economic development, many Israelis have been unable yet to fully shake off that millennia-old subservient Galut mentality.
In the past, too many Israelis wanted peace so much that they were willing to give away the security of their country for it. They did not grasp that all the nations who have criticized Israel won their independence by brutal wars: England, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, Italy, and many more, the USA too. USA brutally eliminated most of the native population to take their lands. We stole Texas and California from Mexico too. Also, at the same period that young idealistic Jews came to build the land of Israel in peace, the California Government paid bounty for every skull of a murdered Indian. And Europeans and the US bombed immense amounts of German and Japanese civilians to death. And did so in Iraq, Afghanistan, ISIS, and Yemen now. So, don't preach morality to Israelis.
It might have taken the Jews 40 years to shake off their slave mentality as they escaped Egypt, before they were ready to conquer the Land of Israel. However, our European Galut lasted much longer. Add to it the idealistic- socialistic belief of the builders of the new Israel 140 years ago, so it naturally takes longer to fully drop that Galut mentality.
It will take additional time for the Israelis to be more realistic regarding the Palestinians and the Arab world, but they are moving in the right direction. If they do not, their miniature country of 8 million would disappear in the hostile, raging Middle East of 400 million Arabs, who so easily murder any Muslim not of their own narrow sect.
Israel very existence is the issue. It is not the Palestinian peace issue that bothers Arab leaders. All Arab countries (except Jordan that is almost fully a Palestinian state) hate the Palestinians and treat them as third class citizens. Most Arab leaders know the trouble Palestinians usually bring and thus dislike them and still keep them in refugee camps!
In addition, Iran is an agonizing unstable force endangering Israel, independent of any Palestinian peace issue.
The main forces that moved Israel to more nationally assertiveness, to the Right are:
1. The majority shifted from idealistic Ashkenazi Jews to experienced Sephardim/Mizrachi Jews
2. Influx of a million Russian Jews
3 Growth of the Orthodox community
4. The lessons of Gaza, Syria, ISIS and the Middle East upheaval
5. Iran emerging nuclear capabilities
1. The majority shifted to the Sephardim.
The idealism that the young Left oriented Ashkenazi Jews brought to Israel was a very powerful force to build the desolated land of Israel. Their courage, dedication and stamina built a major portion of rural Israel, but not all of it. The private sector in the cities was important too, but was voiceless. The uninterrupted, long and full control of Israeli society, politics, economy and even art, by the Left Labor party stagnated much of Israel dynamism and development; (Workers could not strike against their own Labor employer, for example, and no other views but the tight leadership of Ben Gurion and company were accepted).
This was finally broken in the 1977 election when the Sephardim and Mizrachi (Sephardim-for short) Jews became a majority in Israel, and Menachem Begin (the leader of the Irgun underground) was elected as Prime Minister. Under the previous Left leadership, the Sephardim felt like second class citizens by the so called "sophisticated, better educated", European -Ashkenazi Jews. They dismissed Sephardic wisdom and practicality, and their many other outstanding attributes.
Unlike the impractical idealistic Ashkenzis, Sephardic newcomers had the ability to see the world in a more realist eyes and had long experience living with Arabs. On the other hand, European Jews were too idealistic, and especially unaware of the type of immorality practiced in the Arab world: "Might means Right." "Muslims are superior to other people", and "an agreement is valid only as long as it is good for me," among other unacceptable things.
2. Influx of a million Russian Jews
The massive influx of close to a million well educated, experienced and hard working Russian Jews also had significant impact on the move to the Right of Israeli society. The majority brought with them assertiveness and the desire for a strong country. Once they became Israelis, it was their country and they were eager to see a strong, independent nation protecting their society. Many native Israelis were, let me stretch it a little for impact, "apologetic" about Israeli strength and the need for more secure borders.
3. Growth of the Orthodox community
Orthodox Jews are ten percent of the population, and have many branches, from liberal to conservative. Their birthrate is more than double that of the secular Jewish population. That brings the Jewish birthrate close to the birthrate of the Israeli Arab population, which dropped significantly in the last three decades. There are problems, but Orthodox Jews make many important contributions to Israel despite the feelings of many secular Jews to the contrary.
They see the orthodox in the same narrow eyes that Jews are often seen by the anti-Semitic world. Almost all Orthodox vote their own parties and because of the political structure of Israeli political system, orthodox sometimes have larger political influence than their numbers. They have, like anyone else, the right to benefit their members. But sometimes go beyond sensible limits, and irritate the secular community. Their larger number and constant voting help move Israel to the Right too.
4. The lessons of Gaza, Syria, ISIS and the Middle East upheaval
Israeli idealists based their whole life philosophy on socialism and the dream that all workers of the world are brothers...and therefore peace with the Palestinians is their core life dream-Their essence. They are deeply angry at the Palestinians that rejected their numerous peace offers and destroyed their core world view.
It is enormously hard for idealists to accept the brutal, murderous Arab/Muslim reality that is evident all around Israel.
How these idealists can believe the Palestinians will live in peace when all around them, Arabs/Muslims have been murdering one another in immense numbers for just a different take of who should follow Muhammad as leader of the Muslim world? Half a million civilians in Iraq and nearly a quarter of a million in Syria murdered to date. How can these Jewish idealists be blind to the immediate atrocities and beheading all around them? They are opening their eyes lately.
5. Iran emerging nuclear capabilities.
Despite the dream of President Obama of a future peaceful, nuclear free Iran; most Israelis know that dream is baseless. The US president botched up each and every attempt he made in the Middle East before. He is unable to grasp the mentality of the Muslim world, and especially the fanatic mentality of the Iranian religious eldership, and thus President Obama is fully mistaken regarding Iran too.
Those are some of the forces that are steadily opening more idealists minds to the fact that Israel cannot make peace with the Palestinians for a long time to come. And must keep all of its options re. Iran.
Muslim Volatility Can Not Be Stopped in the foreseeable future.
The poor Tunisian pushcart vendor, who started the Arab Spring by burning himself to death, had no hope. The combination of extreme poverty and police brutality lighted his match. This wide spread abject poverty is the common cause of the Arab revolts. And that is driven by increased regional droughts.
The most fundamental thing about the Arab world is that it resides in a vast hot and arid region, some almost a desert. That aridity shaped the religion and way of life of the people from their beginning. Survival is the key. Fundamental scarcity dictates that every tribe is for itself, under autocratic leadership. If you do not obey, you die.
Topography and climate shape a people and their history. Look in Yemen: mud houses on top of one another with no vegetation in sight. Most of the water in Syria and Iraq come from Turkey. Egypt has no rain; the Nile River is the only source of water for 95 million people.
The Middle East volatility cannot be stopped in the foreseeable future, since key conditions that led to it are almost impossible to improve. Israel and the West must get used to that!
The Middle East was always ready- to- explode due to a combination of: scarce water sources, tyrannical religion, women's oppression leading to a very high birth rate; large, deprived, rural population; plus tribal and sectarian hatred. Thus only dictators were able to stabilize their areas. Eliminating dictators opened the doors to massive sectarian/tribal wars. When you add to these weapons of mass destruction held by the fanatic religious leadership of Iran, it would expand the danger to the entire world.
These crucial elements are increasing the danger in the region:
1. An arid region increasing in dryness leading to massive rural hunger and frustration
2. Millions of young rural refugees moving to and destabilizing urban areas
3. Fanatical religion combined with sectarian hatred leading to ISIS and similar radical groups and mass murders,
4. Extremist Iranian religious leaders committed to obtaining nuclear weapons to subjugate the region and destroy Israel and the West
5. A driven, idealistic US president unable to fathom the complexity and explosive danger of the above
Lately two major forces are destabilizing our world order: Islamist violence and Climate Change. The recent Arab upheavals are due in a large part to the increasing aridity of the Middle East driven by Climate Change. Africa is a similar case. California is experiencing its worse draught on record, with no end in sight.
Major parts of the population are uneducated and most are governed by their fanatic emotions, unable to think. Add to that dropping oil income, wealth for the minority only, and tribalism and you get continuous catastrophes, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims and Christians. No outsider can solve their lack of water, their infighting, hatred, fanaticism. Benevolent dictators are their only hope for the foreseeable future.
Only Egypt President El-Sisi is a ray of hope with his desire to reduce the fanaticism of the Muslim world.
This is the world of unsymmetrical war: small groups of hard to identify people, intermixed with local population, disturbing the lives of millions of citizens, murdering every one they wish to. Aircraft carriers and advanced fighter aircraft are not able to stop these mini wars. These fighting are likely to spill over to us because with a nuclear Iran it would be harder to prevent major catastrophes in the Western world, even larger than 9/11. Iran is supporting global terrorism, and with nuclear weapons Iran would be more aggressive, and drive surrounding Arab nations to get their own nuclear weapons. Nuclear Proliferation in the volatile Middle East is an explosive situation.
President Obama innocence and misplaced idealism. I usually support the elected president, even if he is not of my choosing. Regrettably, Obama did not do well internationally. The global difficulties he faced would have been hard to solve by any president, but almost all Obama's moves were misguided and fruitless, at best. Just one example- denigrating Egypt's General el-Sisi for toppling the Muslim Brotherhood. El-Sisi should have received massive military and financial support from us, not condemnation! What was the Obama team thinking?
President Obama has a very narrow understanding of reality. Few people can truly grasp reality, but a President must! Obama has limited life experience and his dreams are not moderated by facts that he does not want to or able to grasp. Also, he selected only "YES" people for his team of advisers! He is closed in his own limited circle. And our President believes that Iran's extremely smart, immoral fanatic elite will follow their agreements. He also believes that he can civilize Iran's fanatic elite by bringing them into the "Community of Nations"
How can any educated, thinking person believes in this fantasy?
Iran will gladly supply terrorists with small nuclear bombs to ship to ours and Europe shores in any ship they want. It is that easy. Iran also has developed long range nuclear-capable missiles to reach the USA.
Wiping Israel off the map is even easier. One bomb is enough and the fact that 3 or 4 million Muslims will perish too, is immaterial, Iran said: "they will go to heaven to reap their enticing rewards."
And this is the unstable world our idealistic and oblivious President is moving us towards.
Sleep well, if you can.
For info on Climate Change see my blog: www.ginosaronglobalwarming.org