How to really end the occupation

Perhaps thanks to the shock of the expulsion of the Jewish residents of Amona and the razing of their community, the Knesset passed a “settlement regulation bill” (חוק ההסדרה), which is intended to make it possible to legalize a settlement that is discovered to lie partly or wholly on Arab-owned land by generously compensating the owners.

I am not going into detail on how the law will work, because it is certain to be voided by the Supreme Court. One might ask why pass such a law in the first place, and I will answer that question later.

But in order to understand the whole conundrum, let’s look at the Amona case in detail. I’m indebted to several articles by Moshe Dann (here, here and here) and Eugene Kontorovich (here) for much of this material.

Amona was built in 1995 with government assistance. It is in dispute whether any of the land on which it was built had ever been cultivated by Arabs and if so, whether the original founders of the community were aware of this. But recently, Arabs, assisted by European-funded NGOs Peace Now and Yesh Din, claimed ownership on the basis of grants made by King Hussein during the 1948-67 period.

Israel is ruled by its democratically elected Knesset, and those parts of Judea and Samaria where perhaps 95% of their Arab residents live, are controlled by the Palestinian Authority. But Area C – the part containing few Arabs and nearly all Jewish settlements – is under military rule, governed by a body strangely called the “Civil Authority” (CA), part of COGAT, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, which is commanded by an IDF Major General, Yoav Mordechai.

The Jordanian King had liberally distributed land to local clans during his (illegal) tenure, and changed the original Ottoman law so that distributed land could be kept forever and inherited without being occupied or worked, and without paying taxes. This enables state land to become private, but not have a particular owner, something impossible in Israeli, Ottoman, British or for that matter, American law. This turned out to be one of Amona’s Kafkaesque problems.

When Israel took control, the CA made an administrative decision to adopt Jordanian land law. It also issued an order that the land registry records can only be accessed by those (Arabs) included in documents from the Jordanian era! In addition, the Palestinian Authority has a law that calls for long prison terms for anyone who sells land to Jews (it used to be a death penalty offense. Now the death penalty is often still imposed, but unofficially by terrorist militias). All this makes it very difficult for Jews to obtain land in Judea/Samaria and to be sure someone will not turn up who claims to own it.

The CA accepted the claims of the Arabs against Amona’s land with little or no investigation, and turned them over to the Supreme Court. But the Supreme Court only rules on matters of law and does not investigate the facts of a case; and on the basis of the CA’s representations, the Court ruled that Amona was built on “private Palestinian land” and must be demolished.

However, a suit in a lower court, which did investigate, determined that only about one-half acre out of all of the claims against the 125 acres of the community was actually legitimately owned by a real Palestinian Arab! Other claims were either false or — in the case of 15 acres — the original “owner” could not be found in the 1967 Jordanian census.

Nevertheless, the CA told the Court that even if the owner was unknown (and may never have existed), the land was still privately owned, and there was no way to distinguish the private land from the rest. On the basis of these “facts,” the Supreme Court saw no option but to order the entire community destroyed.

Despite Israel’s legitimate claim to all of Judea and Samaria under the Palestine Mandate, and despite the fact that Jordan illegally invaded, occupied and even annexed the territory it captured in 1948, Israel chose to regard her re-conquest of the territories in 1967 not as liberation of land that belonged to her, but as a belligerent occupation – in international law, a temporary arrangement in which a country controls territory belonging to another country as a result of war.

It’s hard to blame Israel at that point – she envisaged a peace agreement in which land would be traded for permanent peace treaties, and the US was pushing hard for such an arrangement. But this decision had many negative long-range implications.

There are all kinds of restrictions and obligations placed on an occupier, spelled out in the Hague and Geneva Conventions. More important, occupation implies that there is some other country which is being occupied. It can’t be Jordan, which seized the land illegally in the first place, and anyway gave up all claims on it in 1988. The international community seems to have decided that Israel is in fact occupying “Palestine,” even though there is no such country and never was.

In most countries the military is considered a right-wing force. In Israel this is not the case, where many IDF officers, in the tradition of Rabin’s Palmach, lean left. This explains the seemingly paradoxical existence of organizations like Commanders for Israel’s Security which calls for a “two-state solution” despite the fact that it would seriously impact security. There is no doubt that the CA sees settlements, especially ones with more radical, youthful members, as detrimental to prospects for peace.

It is often noted that the Supreme Court, like all of Israel’s legal establishment, has a leftist bias, and this is true. It also has taken for itself authority that is only tenuously based on Israel’s basic laws (our substitute for a constitution). It has eliminated any requirement for a petitioner to have “standing” – that is, to be able to show that he would be affected by the outcome of a case, and it believes that almost anything is a legitimate subject for the Court to rule on.

These factors have combined to create a particularly inhospitable environment for settlements, as we can see from the case of Amona, where the Supreme Court accepted petitions from anti-settlement NGOs, depended on factual findings from the anti-settlement CA, and allowed its own decisions to be colored  by an anti-settlement bias.

It is probably time for the procedures for selecting Supreme Court justices to be changed in order to make them less incestuous (the sitting justices today have veto power over new appointments to the Court), and rules for standing should be established. It is also time for a serious law restricting the ability of foreign-funded and controlled NGOs to function in Israel (these issues are related, because the threat of Supreme Court intervention worked to prevent the NGO law passed last year from having real teeth). But neither of these is the main issue.

The problem of the legality of the settlements and land ownership issues could probably be solved by extending Israeli law to Area C, as was done for the Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem. But the biggest problem and the most fundamental issue, is that the government of Israel continues to tacitly accept the idea that Judea and Samaria are occupied territories – in other words, land that belongs to somebody else. As long as we do this, we will continue to see arguments that settlements are illegal according to the Geneva Convention, that we are committing war crimes against Palestinians, who are “protected persons” in international law, and that “it’s time for the occupation to end.”

It is, indeed. Israel has legitimate title in international law to Judea and Samaria, as well as being their oldest still-existing indigenous occupant, one whose historical and religious traditions tie it to the land. The Palestinian Arabs, by contrast, are the descendants of relatively recent migrants whose “peoplehood” has come about artificially as a response to Jewish sovereignty.

Although Israel’s Supreme Court has accepted the description of Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria as a belligerent occupation, it has never specifically ruled on this question, hopefully because the justices have had enough sense to understand that the decision to impose sovereignty is a political and not a legal one.

The regulation bill will serve as a litmus test for whether the present arrangement can continue. If the Supreme Court invalidates it, then many other settlements, including much larger ones than Amona will be imperiled.

And that is why I think it is important that it passed. When the Court throws it out, which it will, Israel will be faced with the need to make a very fundamental decision: do we want these territories or don’t we? If we intend to keep them – which I believe is necessary both for our security and our spiritual survival – then we should take the first step toward sovereignty: abolish COGAT and the CA and extend Israeli law to Area C.

Ultimately, we should adopt the Left’s favorite slogan: End the occupation! – and impose full sovereignty on all Judea and Samaria.

Posted in Israel and Palestinian Arabs, Israeli Politics | 2 Comments

Sovereignty is the only solution

The synagogue at Amona, after police broke in and removed activists that had barricaded themselves inside.

The synagogue at Amona, after police broke in and removed activists that had barricaded themselves inside. Courtesy Arutz 7.

Hope will grow out of this difficult day and we will build a new community after the demolition of Amona’s homes. Out of the wreckage of Amona we will build children’s playgrounds throughout Judea and Samaria. As a result of the legal defeat, we will impose new rules in Judea and Samaria and legalize all the communities. – Naftali Bennett

Don’t kid yourself. It was a defeat. The Arabs and their Jew-hating European friends beat us, badly. They set us against each other, activated their anti-Zionist allies among us, played on our divisiveness and our weakness, and orchestrated, yet again, scenes of Jews dragging other Jews out of their homes in the land of Israel and then destroying those homes. The police were responsible for removing the “settlers” – horrible word – and the army will be responsible for destroying the structures, bulldozing the land so it will be difficult to tell that Jews lived there. One wonders who will be responsible for sowing the land with salt.

The Knesset may well pass the “regularization law” that will allow other communities with claims against them to pay a ransom that will keep them from being erased as well, but do you think the Supreme Court – the same Supreme Court that decided that the whole community had to be razed because about one-half acre out of 125 “belonged” to Arabs, who were given it as stolen property by King Hussein, the same court that at the last minute scuttled the compromise that would have allowed at least some Amona residents to move to a nearby location, because Arabs had claims on that land too – will allow the law to stand?

I have heard many versions of who is at fault here. The leftist Supreme Court, which has endless compassion for Arabs but not for Jews? The Netanyahu government which “didn’t stand up for” the people of Amona? The European-financed NGOs with multi-million shekel budgets, working day and night to impeach, weaken and delegitimize our country? The Knesset which didn’t pass a law with teeth to stop the flow of money to these treasonous organizations?

There is plenty of fault to go around, but it comes down to a lack of Zionist will. It is the result of not exercising the sovereignty over Judea and Samaria that was given to us both by God and international law (real international law, not the phony arguments of the Europeans who want to grant Hitler the victory over the Jews that he failed to win in the 1940s).

It’s our land, it belongs to us, the Jewish people, the original indigenous inhabitants of the land of Israel, and not to the descendents of Arab migrants of the 19th and 20th centuries, who don’t even have their own language, religion or culture (except for the culture of murder and hate that has grown up since they failed to kill or expel us in 1948).

If we don’t recognize this truth, if we keep on internalizing the Arab narrative of upside-down history in which we are colonialists that are occupying their land, in which there was no Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and in which the solution is for us to “go back to Europe,” as the mayor of an Arab village near Amona suggested, then there is no hope for the continued existence of a Jewish state.

It’s not possible to compromise with an ideology that says that we have no place here, and which more and more resorts to murder to prove it. And why should we? If a gangster knocks on the door of your house and says that it belongs to him, do you offer to give him the living room as a compromise?

Mr. Bennett may have something up his sleeve that I don’t know about, but it will take more than the passage of a law that won’t survive the next meeting of the Supreme Court to turn this around. The real solution is to do what we should have done in 1967, and take full possession of all the land that belongs to us.

Posted in Israeli Politics, Israeli Society, Zionism | 2 Comments

What kind of a state are we?

Tuesday afternoon we started to hear that the police and IDF were preparing to remove the 40 families that live in the community of Amona, in the Binyamin region of Judea. Just now, a few moments ago, I heard on the radio that the evacuation (some prefer “expulsion”) is beginning. It doesn’t look like it will go smoothly.

To explain the situation in the fewest possible words, the community was built 20 years ago. A portion of it, about one half acre out of a total of 125 acres, is owned by Palestinian Arabs who were given title to the land by the King of Jordan, during the 19-year Jordanian occupation. About 15 more acres are registered in the names of Arabs who apparently do not exist.

The Supreme Court of Israel decided that the only acceptable remedy was to bulldoze the entire community. The Court did not accept the suggestion that the Arab “owners,” who had never utilized the land, could be paid compensation for it. The government developed a compromise that would have provided an alternative location nearby for some of the families, which the community agreed to. But this was stymied when additional Palestinians petitioned the court claiming to own that land. The residents were only told that the deal was off a few days ago.

The Palestinians have been assisted in their legal proceedings by the Israeli organization “Yesh Din.” Yesh Din received more than $4.6 million from foreign government bodies between 2012 and 2016. Foreign sources accounted for 93.5% of their total donations.  Yesh Din specializes in “lawfare” against Israel and the IDF.

This raises, yet again, a very fundamental question for the State of Israel. In a sentence, what are we?

Are we the nation-state of the Jewish people in its historical homeland, which derives its right to the land from both the biblical promise made to us by Hashem and the modern promise made by the international community in the Palestine Mandate, a right that we defended more than once by force of arms? Are we a Zionist state, in other words?

Or are we something else – a multinational state which exists at the pleasure of today’s post-nationalist, anti-Jewish international establishment?

It would seem that the answer should be obvious, and it is to the great majority of Israeli Jews. But the state has not acted as though it believes in its own Zionist principles.

When the Jordanian occupation and its illegal annexation of land set aside for the Jewish people was ended in 1967, Israel did not annex Judea and Samaria, because its leadership was forced by its “friends” in Europe and the US to accept the idea of “land for peace.” Israel would give Judea and Samaria “back” to Jordan, for example, and Jordan would give us a peace treaty.

The injustice inherent in this is obvious. Who gave Jordan the right to take that land in violation of international law and to ethnically cleanse it of Jews? How can we be asked to give something “back” that was ours in the first place? But this was our policy until King Hussein decided in 1988 that he didn’t want the hassle of trying to control the PLO, and transferred his “ownership” of the land to the PLO. And shortly thereafter, the Israeli government tried to continue the “land for peace” process with the PLO via the Oslo accords.

Israel never annexed the land it regained in 1967 (except for Jerusalem) and it even retained Jordanian law in Judea and Samaria. Because Israeli governments believed that some or all of the territory would ultimately be returned to Arab control, it treated it as occupied territory, despite the fact that, by the most reasonable interpretation of international law, for the first time since 1948 it was not under occupation.

24 years later and several wars and intifadas later, Israelis have finally come to realize that an exchange of land for peace won’t bring peace. Anyone with half a brain who looks at recent history (especially the results of the withdrawal from Gaza) and listens to what the Palestinians themselves say and do, understands that.

It’s often said that “surveys show that a majority of Israelis favor a 2-state solution.” That is correct, if the survey question is something like “Do you favor giving up the territories in return for peace and security?” The unfairness of this question is manifest if we rewrite it as follows: “If giving up the territories would bring peace and security, would you favor it?”

Since giving up the territories would put a terrorist entity next door to Tel Aviv, and since the Arabs won’t even pretend to agree that they would give up their claims on Israel in return for the territories, and since the PLO is unstable and easily overthrown, the “if” clause of the conditional statement is certainly false. And virtually every Israeli knows this.

A religious Zionist also understands the importance to his or her spiritual life of the places mentioned in the tanach, like Hevron and many others. But even a secular Zionist appreciates the first words of the Declaration of Independence:

ERETZ-ISRAEL was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.

Virtually every Israeli knows this as well – except possibly much of our leadership and our legal establishment.

If the lessons of history, international law, and Zionist ideology (both religious and secular) were translated into action, the courts would find a way to legalize Amona and other communities that would also be fair to the Arabs. Ultimately, we would annex all of Eretz Israel.

Unfortunately, the government has yet to get clear of the “land for peace” mentality; and the legal establishment seems dedicated to beating us into the mold of the multinational, secular democratic state that former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak so much admired.

This needs to change. Fear of the international community is not a reason to deny our own birthright. Politicized institutions like the UN and the International Criminal Court have no moral authority, and no practical way to punish Israel. And there is absolutely no reason we must allow foreign agents like Yesh Din to continue to subvert our country.

In fact, now, while there is an American government that for the first time may itself be able to shake off the ideas of land for peace and the 2-state solution, is the perfect time for Israel to finally become the truly Zionist state that Jabotinsky, Begin and Ben-Gurion dreamed of.

Posted in Israeli Politics, Zionism | Leave a comment

Getting back to (strategic) basics

— From a 1981 RAND Corporation report on “Israel’s Strategic doctrine.”

The authors explain that this doctrine was developed because of Israel’s small size and lack of strategic depth, her small population compared to her probable adversaries, her economic weakness and her vulnerability to superpower intervention.

With the exception of an improved economy, these factors have changed little since 1981. Israel still has to depend on a small standing army and the ability to quickly mobilize reserves in the event of war. It is still possible for a fighter jet or missile to traverse the country in a few minutes. And Israel still has to contend with interventions by external powers who, it seems, would rather see conflicts continue forever than a decisive Israeli victory. Whatever its cause, the passionate interest of the rest of the world in what happens in this little sliver of the Middle East does not tend to work in our favor.

Certain things have changed since this report came out. Our enemies have moved to reliance on proxies rather than direct nation-to-nation warfare, and they have developed these proxies from low-capability terrorist militias to real military threats. Their missile forces have been greatly augmented to compensate for their inability to challenge our air force. Terrorism has become part of a coordinated strategy, and not just disconnected actions by various groups. Our enemies have increased their use of psychological/cognitive warfare, which focuses both on the Israeli public and on the external powers. They have massively increased the amount of money used to finance subversion inside Israel by NGOs that work to damage military and civilian morale, tie the leadership up in legal issues, and generally disrupt the functioning of the state and its response to threats. At the same time, the delegitimization of Israel abroad makes it less likely that we will be able to stave off outside intervention and maintain our sources of supply in the event of war.

The three legs of the traditional doctrine – decisive victory, autonomy, defensible borders – are still, in my opinion, appropriate for Israel’s situation, even though the nature of our enemies has changed. Israel has even less strategic depth than it did in 1981, thanks to the return of the Sinai, the withdrawal from Gaza and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority. Israel’s constraints on manpower remain the same, and we have seen the effects of the intervention of the US on the results of the two Lebanon wars and the various Gaza operations. Our enemies continue to improve both in quality of weapons and fighting ability. They have adopted an asymmetric warfare paradigm in which they use their civilian population as human shields to deter Israel from responding.

Unfortunately, it would seem that Israel has been moving backwards instead of forward. We have done essentially nothing to counteract the psychological/cognitive war being waged against us. Instead of aiming for a decisive victory, we seem to be satisfied with “mowing the grass” in the hopes of kicking the next conflict down the road. We have adopted a defensive attitude to the missile threat, depending on very expensive anti-missile systems to protect us. And most dangerously, instead of becoming more autonomous we have become even more dependent on an increasingly unstable and weak United States.

The conflict seems to have devolved into exactly the kind of war of attrition that we wanted to avoid, except that is characterized by episodic, rather than continuous, violence. But it is a war of attrition nevertheless.

Here are some things that we can do to recreate our traditional position of deterrence, and also to prepare ourselves for the next shooting war:

  • We can take steps to ensure Israel’s permanent possession of those parts of Judea and Samaria that are strategically necessary for our physical defense – and perhaps also those that are part of Israel’s historical legacy and are important for our spiritual health;
  • We can shut down the foreign-financed NGOs that are damaging our morale, spreading lies and delegitimization, and interfering with the functioning of the state;
  • We can use some of the proceeds from our improved economy to support the phase-out of American military assistance, enhancing our own capabilities and reducing our dependence on the US;
  • We can develop our own program of psychological/cognitive warfare, and deploy it against our enemies both defensively and offensively;
  • We can adopt a doctrine of using anti-missile systems primarily to protect military targets, and defend our civilian population by massive bombardments of enemy assets using highly destructive weapons, understanding that enemy civilian losses are their own responsibility.

These things are interdependent. Increased autonomy and cognitive warfare capabilities work to make it possible to neutralize the enemy’s human shield strategy. Suppressing the subversive NGOs will make it more likely that we can hold on to the critical parts of Judea and Samaria that are needed for strategic depth.

It’s essential to understand that our enemies have not given up, and they have not even substituted diplomacy and psychological warfare for shooting. They are simply using these non-violent weapons to soften us up in order to make it more likely that when the next “kinetic” war does come, they will win.

It’s possible to consider the conflict between Israel and its neighbors (and possibly Europe should be placed in the enemy column as well) as a long war that is essentially a continuation of Israel’s War of Independence. Like a game of chess it is in a positional phase, in which each side tries to obtain an advantage without actually taking any pieces. But the goal of checkmate is rarely achieved without some bloodletting.

The stronger and more autonomous we are, the less likely it is that they will try to overcome us by force. If there is any hope for peace, it will come from deterrence. But if we have no choice but war, then it should be war that we win. Decisively.

Posted in War | 3 Comments

My life and blogs

Like many American Jews, I was born in Brooklyn, NY. As a young man I was interested in electronics and radio, which got me a job as a broadcast engineer that, along with scholarships, paid for my college education. But I had my heart set on an academic career and studied philosophy, specializing in logic. I ultimately decided that I did not want to be a teacher and would be a bad one, but before that I experienced the strange world of the academy.

My time as a graduate student in Pittsburgh and a college teacher in California straddled the great revolution in higher education that took place in the late 1960s – the period of grade inflation and politicization, and the introduction of race and gender studies as academic disciplines. The experience was invaluable in understanding the nature of political correctness and other academy-birthed neuroses that are endemic in American culture today.

I found myself interested in computers, and little by little moved away from the academic world. This was still the day of massive mainframes, before personal computers and the Internet. I liked programming in assembly language, as close to the metal as I could get. It was a good fit for a person with a logical mind who was not especially good at dealing with humans (Mr. Spock would understand). It was an honest way to make a living, too.

The important part of my life started in 1979, when my wife and three children and I made aliyah. I had the honor of being drafted for reserve duty in the IDF, which – after I explained all my experience and technical skills, basically said “here is an M16, go guard things for 6 weeks every year.” We lived on two kibbutzim – one of them a leftist kibbutz of the Hashomer Hatzair movement at which I learned something about carpentry, tractor repair, and unfortunately totalitarianism. The other was a somewhat more reasonable place politically, but kibbutz living didn’t agree with me and after nine years we returned to our home town, Fresno, California. We almost immediately began to compensate for being yordim (leaving the country) by becoming passionate supporters of Israel from the Diaspora.

I started blogging more than ten years ago, because I was frustrated at my inability to get people to listen to me. The local newspaper would publish a 200-word letter from me every few weeks, and – very rarely – a longer piece. But they wanted stuff of local interest, not political articles about Israel. I sent emails to the members of the Jewish community about matters that I thought should be of concern to them, but the reaction ranged from amusement to irritation to anger. Everyone, from editors to synagogue board members to university officials (they had, and continue to have, regular bash-Israel programs) got really tired of me.

My wife and I and some of our friends counter-demonstrated at every anti-Israel demonstration and program at the university, with signs and leaflets. In 2002, I had a somewhat surreal struggle with the management of the public radio station about my offer to buy a “day sponsorship” which would include several announcements “in remembrance of the 526 (and counting) Israeli men, women, and children who were murdered by Palestinian terrorists since September 2000.”

They did not take my money. “How do we know it’s true?” they said. So I gave them names and dates. “Too political,” they said. So I gave them examples of other sponsorships that they did accept, such as one “…in honor of the Stonewall riots, the beginning of the Gay and Lesbian civil rights movement.” “That’s different,” they said. We went round and round for a while until they stopped talking to me.

Toward the end of 2006, the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study report came out, in which Ben Rhodes, a committee staffer who would later become one of Barack Obama’s close confidants on Middle East policy, argued that the way to rescue the US from the quagmire of Iraq was to appease Iran and Syria (there was still a Syria then) by letting them have their way with Israel. Give Syria the Golan – and by all means establish a Palestinian state as quickly as possible, because ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (as if a Palestinian state would end it!) will solve all the region’s problems. Not.

I was invited by a local TV station to be on a panel “to discuss the report.” It turned out that the other guy was a member of a “peace” group who was opposed to how America was blowing all its money bombing Iraq while people were hungry at home; and they wanted me to be the hawk who was in favor of America blowing all its money by bombing the crap out of Iraqi kids. When I mentioned the report and Israel, everyone looked at me blankly (in general, the TV reporters were astonishingly ignorant. Apparently the newspaper people were the ones that did well in their Journalism classes at Fresno State, and the rest went into TV).

Unable to keep my thoughts to myself (and my long-suffering wife), I began a blog called I used “.org” because my idea was that I would start a Zionist organization that would fight back against the constant flow of anti-Israel propaganda coming from activists at the university, from the local Pacifica radio station, from NPR, and from the various left-wing and “peace” groups. I inaugurated my blog with a post about the Iraq Study Report.

I am not much of an organizer, it turns out, and the Zionist group did not come into existence (although in one of my letters to the university president, which he didn’t answer, I claimed to be the president of it).

Two out of three of my children went back to Israel at age 19 to serve in the army (the oldest served before we left), and as often happens, met their spouses and stayed. Now they each have  four children of their own. As soon as my wife and I sold our business and retired in 2014, we joined them. It was a relief to be able to stop trying to make Zionists out of our Jewish friends, many of whom are far more dedicated to liberal causes than to Jewish ones.

When I got back to Israel, I started a new blog, Sometimes I write philosophical or historical essays about Zionism, and sometimes I write indignantly about the latest example of hypocrisy by liberal American Jews (from whom I have finally come to expect absolutely nothing). Sometimes I write about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how there is no possible diplomatic solution to it. Sometimes I write about the subhuman cruelty of Arab terrorists, and sometimes I speculate about the coming war with Iran and Hezbollah (we’ll win it, at great cost). During the past 8 years I wrote a great deal about Barack Hussein Obama, whose deep animus against the Jewish state will (I think) only begin to fully become clear to us in the future.

Sometimes I write about American culture or politics, although that is becoming less frequent as I am no longer a first-hand observer. It is also true that the extreme anger and irrationality that are coming to characterize them are hard to understand. The recent election and the reactions to it are beyond anything in my experience. Some of my old friends are truly angry with me for seeing Trump as an improvement over Obama (despite everything wrong with him, I still think he is).

Every day I am more and more convinced that a Jewish state – not some kind of state of its citizens, but a state that is truly an expression of the national feelings of the Jewish people – is essential for the survival of that people. This is something that most American Jews don’t understand, and which is anathema to the Left in this country, which would like to make Israel a tiny version of the US or perhaps Sweden. Perhaps they don’t understand that their success would mean the end of the Jewish people. Or perhaps they do, and consider that desirable.

I’ve done many jobs in my life, in electronics, broadcasting, teaching, software, carpentry, tractor mechanics, industrial maintenance and more. Some have paid more or been more interesting than others. But probably the most important job that I’ve had is what I am doing with my writing today: defending the concept of the sovereign, Jewish state of Israel.

Posted in Academia, American Jews, American politics, Zionism | 4 Comments