Category Archives: Jews

THE POT KEEPS BOILING

BLOG 538

October 18, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Having traveled and worked in the Middle East since l968, Robert Wise has journeyed through the region, giving him insights from behind the scenes. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon. Each week he attempts to present an objective view of current events.

Having traveled and worked in the Middle East since l968, Robert Wise has journeyed through the region, giving him insights from behind the scenes. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon. Each week he attempts to present an objective view of current events.

THE POT KEEPS BOILING

While American news sources have been following other stories, the problem of Iran keeps simmering in the Middle East. The issue just won’t go away. In a trilateral meeting, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that the world must act to stop the evil of Iran. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed met with Lapid  in Washington on Wednesday.

“Israel reserves the right to act at any given moment, in any way,” Lapid stated. “That is not only our right, it is also our responsibility. Iran has publicly stated it wants to wipe us out. We have no intention of letting that happen.”

Lapid warned that the Iranians are “dragging their heels” in order to enrich uranium and develop its ballistic missile program while the world waits for them to return to negotiations. “Secretary of State Blinken and I are sons of Holocaust survivors,” Lapid said. “We know there are moments when nations must use force to protect the world from evil. If a terror regime is going to acquire a nuclear weapon, we must act. We must make clear that the civilized world won’t allow it. If diplomacy between world powers and Iran fails, other options will be on the table,” Lapid said.

“When we say other options, I think everyone understands here in Israel, in the Emirates and in Tehran, what it means,” Lapid added.

Those “other options” were discussed in the meeting between Lapid and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Tuesday in the bilateral meeting with Blinken and the trilateral meeting, the foreign minister said. Blinken stated he and the foreign ministers are “united in the proposition that Iran cannot get a nuclear weapon.”

The US believes that diplomacy is the best way to make that happen and is prepared to return to the 2015 nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – with Iran, but, Blinken cautioned, “What we are seeing – or more accurately, not seeing – from Tehran suggests that they’re not.”

“Time is running short, because as we’ve also had the opportunity to discuss, we are getting closer to a point at which returning to compliance with the JCPOA will not recapture the benefits of the JCPOA, because Iran is using this time to advance its program. With every day of refusal to engage in good faith, the runway gets shorter,” Bliken said.

We need to stay informed. The clock is ticking!

I have a new book coming out.

MAN ON FIRE can be ordered at the local book store. 

I can make copies available at:

Rev. Robert L. Wise, PO Box 22716 , Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 731203

Cost is $15.00 plus the shipping fee.

I hope you’ll avail yourself of this inspiring story!

Also these fine books are available now:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

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Filed under Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jews, The Middle East

MORE TROUBLE

BLOG 529

August 9, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

MORE TROUBLE 

The shadow war with Iran popped up in another area this week. This time it was from the Iranian backed Hezbollah terrorist army based in Lebanon. Just as the Israelis got Gaza under control in the South, problems exploded in the North. As you may be aware, Hezbollah moved into Lebanon and has virtually taken over the country. They are resourced by Iran.

Hezbollah fired a barrage of 19 rockets at Israel, in the first attack since the 2006 war with the Jews. Military sources said 10 projectiles were intercepted by air defenses. Six struck open areas and 3 landed in Lebanon. The terrorist claimed the attack was in response to recent Israeli airstrikes following rocket fire by Hezbollah, August 6, 2021.

The Iran-backed terrorist group confirmed it had fired the projectiles, Several previous rocket attacks on Israel have been attributed to Hezbollah, but it had not acknowledged responsibility.

“The Islamic Resistance shelled open areas near the Sheba Farms with dozens of 122mm rockets,” Hezbollah stated in a statement carried in Arabic-language media.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage in Friday’s rocket attack. The Magen David Adom ambulance service said it was not aware of any injuries. The IDF (Isreaeli Defense Force) reported it had begun a wave of artillery strikes toward the source of the rocket fire. The military added that there were no special instructions for residents in the area. “Routine civilian life adjacent to the Lebanese border should be maintained,” the IDF reported in a statement. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi and other security officials were to hold talks to review Israel’s potential course of action following Friday’s attack.

The United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL) considered the situation to be very serious and urged both sides to cease fired.  Israeli military spokesman Ran Kochav told reporters that Israel  has “no intention of going to war but we do not want to turn the Lebanon border into a line of confrontation. The incident shows Hezbollah’s deterrence, as it fired at open areas.” Kochav noted that Hezbollah intentionally fired at open areas. The Iron Dome defense system still intercepted most of the rockets.

Nevertheless, Israeli officials noted they reserve the right to respond to rocket attacks as they see fit. Fortunately, the Hezbollah attack was a symbolic gesture mainly to appease their constituency. They are well aware of how dangerous a genuine attack on Israel would be. Look at Gaza drowning in a sea of broken cement.

Let’s hope Hezbollah leaves well enough alone!

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

Leave a comment

Filed under Iran, Israel, Jews, The Middle East

ICE CREAM IN ISRAEL: REALLY?

BLOG 527

July 25, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

ICE CREAM IN ISRAEL: REALLY?

There’s always a brew-ha-ha going on in Israel. But over ice cream?  Believe it or not, that’s what popped up this week. Ben & Jerry’s announcement that the company will stop selling its products in Judea and Samaria by the end of 2022 has produced an unprecedented wave of reactions in Israel and in the USA. Reports even indicate that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has called the CEO of Unilever (the parent company of B&J) to protest the boycott. With all due respect to PM Bennett, we are only talking here about ice cream. One must hope that PM Bennett has more important priorities than to complain to an executive about milk and sugar.

Let’s take a look at the facts and keep things in proportion: Ben & Jerry’s (USA), having been under pressure from its board of directors, announced that they will not renew their franchise agreement with B&J Israel at the end of its term in 2022. They also further announced that they plan to continue to sell B&J in Israel only (excluding Judea & Samaria), through other channels following the franchise replacement. This strategy has no chance to succeed since B&J will ultimately lose the Israeli market. Under Israeli law, you can’t select where you want to sell, Judea and Samaria being part of Israel.  Also, Israelis have a good memory for these types of boycotts. Just consider the ramifications 50 years after the Arab League boycott of the 1960s and ’70s.  Take a look at Coca Cola’s market dominance in Israel today compared to Pepsi. Israelis remember very well how Cola stood by little Israel (population of 3 million at the time) despite the pressure from the combined Arab countries (population 200 million). Pepsi is still “punished” by Israelis today for shamefully caving into the Arab League boycott of the ’60s and ’70s. Israel is the only country in the world where Pepsi is the third largest cbrand, after Coke and RC. Right — RC Cola is bigger in Israel than Pepsi. Israelis have a good memory.

For a brand, singling out Israel from among the approximately 100 territorial disputes around the globe, may turn out to be a very dangerous strategy — one that can backfire like a boomerang. German Nazis started their anti-Semitic campaigns before World War II with the moto, “kauft nich bei Juden” (don’t buy from Jews). Today’s B&J strategy seems to be: “verkauft nicht zu Juden” (don’t sell to Jews). The most sensitive answer to B&J by Israel and its friends all over the world should be: “B&J, we don’t need you.”  As PM Bennett appropriately said, “There are many ice creams, but there is only one Israel.” So, friends, let’s chill. It’s only ice cream and it’s nothing to get too excited about. The problem is Ben & Jerry are mixing politics  and business.  Let it melt and let’s move on to the important stuff.

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

Leave a comment

Filed under Israel, Jews, The Middle East

IS HE IN OR OUT?

BLOG 520

June 7, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

IS HE IN OR OUT?

There’s an old saying. “Two Jews; Three opinions.” Today in Israel there appears to be a hundred different opinions. It is not clear whether Benjamin Netanyahu is still the Prime Minister of Israel. The struggle is intense and not fully decided. Prime-minister-designate Naftali Bennetti appears to have forced a new government. (Only so it appears).

On Friday, counter-protesters also showed up to support the new coalition which will first be led by Bennett and then, from August 2023, by Lapid. Netanyahu’s Likud is also to meet Sunday. Netanyahu has urged all right-wingers in the “change coalition” to abandon it, and instead back him.

“We are of course fighting until the last moment,” Likud minister and close Netanyahu loyalist Tzachi Hanegbi said on Friday afternoon. “It’s not only about Netanyahu. We are a political camp with vast public support.  If the government s sworn in, we’ll of course act, in opposition, according to all the well-known rules. We’ll be] a fighting opposition. But until then, if there is a chance to prevent the establishment of a government based on votes that were stolen from the right, we of course will act to try to prevent it.”

Knesset speaker, Levin can legally delay a vote on the new government for a week or more, giving Netanyahu’s Likud party more time to try to peel away rebels from the right-wing factions of the unity coalition.  

Hundreds took part in the rallies, a day after Lapid officially declared that he can form a government, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing religious bloc are seeking to pressure lawmakers from Yamina and the fellow right-wing New Hope party to oppose. If formed, the government would end the premier’s run of 12 consecutive years in office and relegate his Likud party and allied factions to the opposition.

The demonstrations against the so-called “change government” have been particularly intense in recent days, taking place outside the homes of prospective ministers, including Bennett, the Yamina lawmakers and Meretz’s Tamar Zandberg. The hecklers have included pro-Netanyahu activists, right-wing families of terror victims and young members of the national-religious camp.

On Thursday morning the Shin Bet security service said its unit that protects the top officials of the state, Unit 730, had placed a security detail around Bennett, the coalition-to-be’s first prime minister.

All this make sense to you? Probably not unless you are an Israeli and then you’d probably be confused. The recent war with Hamas demonstrated that after three elections with a fourth coming ups, the current government is vulnerable.  This political weakness is a major reason why there is a current push to remove Netanyahu. Will the Bennett coalition succeed?

Stay tuned.

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

Leave a comment

Filed under Elections, Israel, Jews, The Middle East

THE DAY AFTER

BLOG 518

May 24, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

THE DAY AFTER

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has spilled over into America. A Jewish man was badly beaten by a pro-Palestinian mob in New York City on Thursday. Joseph Borgen thought he was “going to die” during the attack. He was assaulted while wearing a kippa (prayer cap) on his way to a pro-Israel rally. “I would never think I’d ever have to worry about my religion or ethnicity being a problem in NYC.” Jewish people in America are facing such an event with increasing personal concern.

In the Middle-East, Egyptian mediators held talks Saturday to firm up an Israel-Hamas ceasefire. Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip have begun to assess the damage from 11 days of intense fighting. Saturday marked the first full day of a truce that ended the fourth Israel-Hamas war in just over a decade. In the fighting, Israel unleashed hundreds of airstrikes against terrorist targets in Gaza. Hamas fired more than 4,300 rockets toward Israel. More than 250  Palestinians were killed,. Israel asserts some 200 were terror operatives.

Gaza City’s busiest commercial area, Omar al-Mukhtar Street, was covered in debris, smashed cars, and twisted metal after a 13-floor building in its center was flattened in an Israeli airstrike. Merchandise was covered in soot and strewn inside smashed stores and on the pavement. Municipal workers removed broken glass and twisted metal from streets and sidewalks.

Both Israel and Hamas claimed victory. While there was a widespread expectation that the ceasefire might stick, another round of fighting at some point seems inevitable. Underlying issues remain unresolved, including the Israeli-Egyptian border blockade. In its 14th year, the barricade is choking Gaza’s more than 2 million residents because the Hamas terrorist organization won’t disarm. Israel says the blockade is necessary to limit access to weapons by Hamas. Israel is sworn to its destruction.    

The war further sidelined Hamas’s main political rival, the internationally-backed Palestinian Authority. The P.A. oversees autonomous areas of the West Bank. Hamas has increasingly positioned itself to appear to be a defender of Jerusalem in  order to sway Palestinian public opinion.  On Friday, hours after the ceasefire took effect, thousands of Palestinians on the Temple Mount chanted against PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his government. “Dogs of the Palestinian Authority, out, out,” they shouted, and “The people want the president to leave.” It was an unprecedented display of anger against Abbas.

The conflict also brought to the surface deep frustration among Arbs, whether in the West Bank, Gaza or within Israel, over the status quowith the Israeli-Palestinian peace process all but abandoned for years.

What’s ahead? No one can say or whether the ceasefire will hold. The number of Palestinians killed means nothing to Hamas as they have previously used their own people as human shields. They believe martyrs help their cause. Whatever they lost to Israel, they have gained in further diminishing Fatah and President Abbas. A strange logic prevails in their terrorist attacks. Loss of human lives doesn’t appear to matter.  However, if they fire more rockets, Israel will continue to eradicate their positions.

Sound like a hot summer ahead? Undoubtedly!

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaza, Israel, Jews, The Middle East

TRAGEDY IN ISRAEL

BLOG 515

May 3, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

TRAGEDY IN ISRAEL

This past week the media has been full of stories of the disaster in Israel that also took American lives. Possibly you had never heard about Lag B’Omer. The little known Jewish festival reaches way back, particularly with Orthodox Judaism.  Some believe it commemorates the day that manna first fell on the Jews on the way to Mt. Sinai. Others believe it recalls the date of the death of a famous rabbi. Let’s investigate further.

Author Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Israel’s first Nobel Prize laureate wrote, “you haven’t seen the joy of Lag B’Omer on the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, you haven’t seen joy at all.” That description reflects an aspect of the annual pilgrimage to Mount Meron in northern Israel that was underlined by the deaths on Friday of at least 45 revelers in a stampede: It is a place whose symbolism reflects a mix of grief and euphoria.

The tragedy struck during what for many observant Jews is among the happiest days of the year: the cessation of a period of mourning between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot during when many observant Jews abstain from weddings and haircuts. And it occurred exactly 110 years after another disaster at the site that killed at least 10 pilgrims in 1911.

The Talmud ties Lag B’Omer to a plague that killed thousands of students of Rabbi Akiva, among the greatest early rabbinic figures whose legend has it was put to death by the Romans for defying their restrictions on teaching Torah. According to Jewish tradition, the plague ceased on Lag b’Omer, making that date a time of celebration.

Lag B’Omer is also believed to be the date of death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, a prominent disciple of Rabbi Akiva and a major figure in Jewish mysticism, or Kabbalah, whose gravesite on Mount Meron is the locus of festivities. Bar Yochai’s grave became a site for celebration because tradition has it that he asked his disciples to rejoice instead of mourn when they commemorate his death.

In Israel, the celebration has become a colorful event, where tens of thousands of mostly Hasidic Jews dance into the night to a soundtrack as diverse as the revelers.

The pilgrimage to Mount Meron, located just outside the northern city of Safed, began in the 11th century at the gravesite of earlier sages. A plethora of unusual customs have emerged around the Lag B’Omer pilgrimage. At one event, a white sheet is stretched on a stage and smeared with olive oil for long minutes in a ceremony that some believe corresponds to a mystical notion that wisdom can be absorbed through objects. Some young men also shoot bow and arrow while reciting their choice verses from the Bible as a way of fighting evil urges. Amid the euphoric dancing and eccentric activities, revelers often display kindness and express brotherly love. It is not uncommon for revelers to hug. Entire dance parties routinely grind to a halt whenever one of the dancers loses their yarmulke so that the head covering can be retrieved from the ground.

The event’s pinnacle is the lighting of the traditional Lag B’Omer fire as the crowd recites, mantra-like, “bizchut hatanah Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai” — Hebrew for “in the merit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai of the Tannaim,” a reference to the generation of rabbis who flourished in the first two centuries of the Common Era.   At that  exact moment the Mount Meron pilgrimage tragedy happened in 1911. As thousands climbed a stone staircase to see the fire, the structure collapsed, killing at least 10 people    

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

Leave a comment

Filed under Jews, The Middle East

CHANGE BLOWING IN THE WIND

BLOG 509

March 22, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

CHANGE BLOWING IN THE WIND

If you follow Israeli politics, the latest polls show Netanyahu ahead in the race for Prime Minister. That’s the update, but the big story is an important shift has occurred in Israeli society.

Israel’s High Court of Justice issued a groundbreaking ruling on Monday that will mean formal recognition by the state to non-Orthodox Jewish communities in the country. The ruling will likely spark a dramatic uptick in the country’s religious culture wars and, quite possibly, a move in the Knesset to clip the wings of the court.

Clarification is needed for what the decision doesn’t do: it does not require the Haredi-controlled state rabbinate to recognize Reform and Conservative conversions. Only the Interior Ministry must do so. And even there, the decision only slightly expands the scope of the Interior Ministry’s existing recognition for those conversions. After all, the Interior Ministry has for two decades formally accepted Reform and Conservative conversions conducted overseas as conferring the right to citizenship under the Law of Return.

Monday’s ruling is, in a sense, very narrow. It instructs the Interior Ministry (but not the rabbinate) to recognize as Jewish for the purposes of immigration (but for no other purposes, such as marriage or burial) only those few Reform and Conservative conversions conducted each year inside Israel. That’s the change. As of Monday, a non-Jewish non-Israeli living in Israel who converts to Judaism in the Conservative or Reform religious streams and then asks to become a citizen based on the Law of Return will have their conversion recognized by non-religious state bodies as conferring on them that right.

The Jewish state has long refused to recognize the institutions of the Reform and Conservative movements in the country, a shunning rooted in the political power of the ultra-Orthodox and religious-Zionist political parties. This all began when Orthodox religious parties got David Ben-Gurion’s ear just as Israel was becoming a state in 1948.

Very little is likely to change in the life of Reform and Conservative converts because of Monday’s ruling. But Israel itself will change.If the ruling stands, it will mark a watershed in state recognition for Jewish religious options long rejected by Orthodox political parties and the state rabbinic apparatus.

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

Please watch and subscribe to my new YouTube channel MIRACLES NEVER CEASE, where I post interviews with people sharing their experiences with divine encounters!

Let the miracles begin!

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Filed under Elections, Gaza, Jews, The Middle East

THE DAY THE EARTH SHOOK

BLOG  502

January 15, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

THE DAY THE EARTH SHOOK

You simply can’t get away from the story. The insurrection in the American capitol shot around the world. Countries that hate the U.S. applauded. Allies shuddered. Trump was impeached.  Those headlines were as big in the Middle East as they were in this country. There’s no way to avoid the subject.

I read The Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel on a daily basis along with Moment and a number of other periodicals. Here’s an example of what they reported. “Ten House lawmakers who joined Democrats (are) now stepping up personal security, wearing body armor;. Our expectation is that someone may try to kill us,’ says Peter Meijer of Michigan. Many of us are altering our routines, working to get body armor, which is a reimbursable purchase that we can make,” Meijer said.  “It’s sad we have to get to that point. But our expectation is that someone may try to kill us.”

The Times of Israel reported, “Trump is fearful of legal exposure once he leaves office and is focused on issuing pardons before his term ends, including possibly for himself,” the report stated. The Times further printed regarding Donald Trump’s legacy, “the most terrible, horrific thing he has left us in America, is the destruction of truth… And a democracy can’t survive if there is no truth.”

Longtime CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer reflected Thursday that he was happy that his late parents, survivors of the Holocaust, did not live to witness the resurgence of anti-Semitism in the United States — particularly in the wake of anti-Semitic symbology appearing at last week’s deadly Capitol riot.  “I’m happy that they’re not seeing what’s going on now in the United States,” Blitzer reported after his cable news station screened video of his 2014 visit to Auschwitz, where his grandparents perished.

Whatever your political opinions might be, the foregoing is a reflection of what is now seen in Israel and across the Middle East. It is not a pretty picture. Hopefully this week’s inauguration will start a trend to reverse these opinions. However, with soldiers all over Washington and in every state capitol, the problem won’t be reversed quickly.

Does the opinion of leaders in the Middle East matter? If you value stability and peace, they do.

Let the miracles begin!

A New Pocast by Rev Wis, PhD about divine encounters!

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

Leave a comment

Filed under America, Elections, Israel, Jews, The Middle East, Trump

BREAKTHROUGH IN MORROCO

BLOG  498

December 14, 2020

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

BREAKTHROUGH IN MORROCO

Morocco’s ruling monarch King Mohammad VI confirmed Thursday that the country intends to establish official relations with Israel for the first time in nearly twenty years.  Morocco is the fourth Arab nation to recognize Israel in recent months as the administration seeks to expand its “Abraham Accords” framework, which began over the summer with an agreement between the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates. Bahrain and Sudan have followed suit and administration officials have also been trying to bring Saudi Arabia into the fold.

The move is likely to raise hackles in Morocco. According to one recent poll, only 16 percent of Moroccans have a favorable view of Israel, while 70% view Israel unfavorably.

Unlike the other countries which have normalized with Israel over the past few months, Morocco has a genuine opposition and civil society. While true power largely lies with the monarchy, the parliament has been controlled by a conservative Islamist party whose roots trace back to the Muslim Brotherhood since 2011.

“Morocco will resume official bilateral contacts and diplomatic relations [with Israel] as soon as possible,” King Mohammad said in a statement. The statement followed an announcement that Israel and Morocco had agreed to “full diplomatic relations a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!” In a separate but likely closely-tied announcement, the US said it would recognize Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, a former Spanish North African territory that has been the focus of a long-running dispute that has confounded international negotiators for decades.

Israel and Morocco established low-level diplomatic relations during the 1990s following a thawing of ties between Israel and the Palestinians. Those contacts, however, were suspended in 2002 in response to the Second Intifada. Since then, however, the relationship has continued informally, with tens of thousands of Israelis traveling to Morocco every year.

Explaining the decision to normalize, King Mohammad cited among other reasons the long-standing presence of Jews in Morocco. An estimated 50,000 Israelis — many of whom are descendants of Moroccan Jews who left in the 1950s — travel to Morocco each year on trips, learning about the Jewish community and retracing family histories.

“Morocco has played a historic role in bringing the peoples of the region together and supporting security and stability in the Middle East… [there are] special ties that bind the Jewish community of Moroccan origin, including those in Israel, to the person of His Majesty the King,” the report  said.

King Mohammad said his country will aim to “resume official bilateral ties and diplomatic relations [with Israel] as soon as possible,” and that Morocco will soon facilitate direct flights to transport Jews and Israelis to and from Morocco.

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

Leave a comment

Filed under America, History, Jews, The Middle East

WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THAT MONEY?

BLOG  494

NOVEMBER  16,  2020

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THAT MONEY?

There’s an important street in Tel Aviv named Rothchild Avenue because the Rothchild family made a substantial donation when the city was founded in 1923. For centuries the world has known that the Rothchild name stands for one of the most significant bankers in European history. The success of the Rothchild family somewhat fueled the unfortunate myth that all Jews were wealthy. Today, people often wonder what has become of their wealth.

Here’s a recent development.

A member of the Rothschild banking dynasty has claimed victory in the first stage of a legal battle against Vienna over a family trust that was seized by the Nazis during World War II and then appropriated by the Austrian city.  Unfortunately, Vienna has always been known  as a highly anti-Semitic  city and is basically so to this day.

Geoffrey Hoguet’s suit revolves around a foundation set up in 1907 with the funds of his great-great uncle Nathaniel Freiherr von Rothschild who left the equivalent of about 100 million euros ($110 million) when he died in 1905 to provide psychiatric help for the needy.

Hoguet, a 69-year-old New York investor, is accusing Vienna of appropriating the foundation in breach of its founder’s will and “perpetuating” Nazi-era laws. He only  dscovered the foundation’s existence in 2018.

A court has backed Hoguet in an early stage of the legal fight, the Guardian  newspaper  (Manchester, England) reported  Saturday, stating that the city of Vienna has a conflict of interest over the foundation’s finances and that therefore the charity must be represented by an independent figure in the legal proceedings.  “The decision is an important first stage win in our legal battle with the city of Vienna to correct the course of Nazi-era injustices endured until today,” Hoguet told the newspaper. “In doing so the court recognizes the improprieties conducted by the city of Vienna since the Nazi usurpation of that foundation in 1938.”

Hoguet additionally called on officials in Vienna to “reinstate an independent governing board for the foundation and return the Nazi booty to serve its purpose as dedicated by my family.” At stake is, among others, a neurological hospital dating from 1912 whose elegant period architecture makes it stand out in a 230-hectare (300-acres) park on the capital’s outskirts.

The dispute recasts the spotlight on Austria’s ambivalent relationship with the Jewish banking family, whose history goes hand-in-hand with the former Hapsburg Empire’s financial and commercial success. “The history of the Rothschilds has been repressed” from Vienna’s collective memory, said Austrian historian Roman Sandgruber, who authored a 2018 book on the history of the Rothschilds’.

Vienna has not done well in these legal struggles that are a residue of World War II. And neither has the great city’s reputation.  

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

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