Category Archives: Palestinians

ERUPTION IN ISRAEL

BLOG 565

May 16, 2022

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Having traveled and worked in the Middle East since l968, Robert L. 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.

ERUPTION IN ISRAEL

Israelis have come to expect explosions over almost nothing. One would think a funeral would be a solemn occasion with dignity. Sorry, it didn’t happen this week.

Israeli police violently dispersed an attempt by Palestinians to carry the casket of deceased journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to the Old City as thousands arrived to grieve for the widely beloved correspondent on Friday. Over ten thousand Palestinians paid their respects to Abu Akleh carried in a casket d during what became a long, tense funeral that wound across the city from Sheikh Jarrah to the Mount Zion cemetery. Cops used clubs against some of those around the casket, which almost fell, and fired stun grenades to disperse the crowd. The police said in a subsequent statement that it intervened because rioters took her casket at the hospital against her family’s wishes, and prevented it from being loaded onto a hearse, as previously agreed, for that part of the funeral procession. The clashes at Saint Joseph’s Hospital erupted after Palestinians sought to wave Palestinian flags. Police had designated that the procession would begin at the Jaffa Gate, less than two miles away.

However, in an interview with the BBC, Abu Akleh’s brother Tony appeared to deny the Israeli Police version of events, saying that the family and mourners hoped to hold a “small procession” but were “bombarded” by officers as they left the hospital.

A group of Palestinians at the hospital seized Abu Akleh’s casket in an attempt to begin the impromptu march, beating the hearse that would take her to the Old City, according to The Washington Post. Abu Akleh’s brother reportedly sought to calm the crowd and have them return his sister’s body to the hearse. “For God’s sake, let us put her in the car and finish the day,” he said.

“The crowd seized the coffin, leading the Palestinians gathered in the hospital square to cheer, carrying her casket forward. After a brief standoff, officers rushed the crowd. Israeli Police intervened to disperse the mob and prevent them from taking the coffin, so that the funeral could proceed as planned in accordance with the wishes of the family,” police said in a statement on Friday night.

Video released by Israeli Police showed at least one Palestinian hurled an object at Israeli officers before the dispersal began. The footage then showed Palestinians throwing objects at police after officers had moved to disperse the crowd.

Abu Akleh’s body was later taken by van, surrounded by a police escort, to the Greek Melkite Church near Jaffa Gate. Officers tore Palestinian flags off of the van as well before escorting it to the ancient sanctuary.

When Abu Akleh’s body was laid to rest, the crowd burst into repeated rounds of applause, honoring her work in death, as in life. Arif Hammad, a resident of East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood said, “She was a Palestinian icon. She told our story to the whole world. She gave us everything she had to give.”

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MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

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MORE UPDATES FROM ISRAEL

BLOG 564

May 1, 2022

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Having traveled and worked in the Middle East since l968,  Robert L. 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.

MORE UPDATES FROM ISRAEL

For several weeks, I’ve been covering the explosive clashes on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  While the story about the Russian attack on Ukraine rightly grabs the headlines, the situation that has emerged out of the Muslim Ramadan is important to note. Here’s what occurred this week.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians worshipped at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on the last Friday afternoon of the fasting month of Ramadan after early morning clashes again erupted at the flashpoint holy site. The  Islamic Waqf that administers the compound estimated that some 160,000 people attended prayers. Afterward, hundreds of Palestinians protested in front of the Dome of the Rock shrine waving Palestinian and Islamic flags, but there are no immediate reports of fresh violence.

Following a security assessment after the prayers, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai vowed the police would remain vigilant.

The Palestinian foreign ministry responded. “What restraint are they talking about? Every day forces go into the compound, beat people, fire rubber bullets and tear gas at worshipers, and this Israel calls restraint?”

Earlier Friday, fighting had broken out between Palestinians and police on the Temple Mount, which has seen recurring clashes in recent weeks. Palestinians at the contested Jerusalem holy site threw rocks and launched fireworks toward officers and the Western Wall, located beneath the Mount, which police said led them to enter the compound to disperse the rioters. At least one stone thrown by the rioters landed in the Western Wall prayer area, police said. Masked men also waved the flag of the Hamas terror group, launched fireworks and chanted, “We’ll sacrifice our lives for Al-Aqsa.”

The clashes ended around an hour after they began when other Palestinians in the compound intervened, convincing the stone throwers and the police to pull back.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported 42 people were hurt, 22 of whom were taken to the hospital. None of the injuries were serious, according to the Red Crescent.

The Jerusalem Old City site is the holiest place in Judaism, as the location of the two biblical temples, and home to Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest shrine in Islam. Israel captured the Old City and East Jerusalem from its Jordanian occupiers in the 1967 war and extended sovereignty there. It allows Jews to visit but not pray there; the Muslim Waqf trust administers the holy sites atop the Mount, known in Arabic as the Haram al-Sharif, or Holy Sanctuary.

There’s surely more to come.  We’ll see. Stay tuned.

Readers of my Wise on the Middle East blog will be fascinated by my latest book MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

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TWO UPDATES FROM ISRAEL

BLOG 563

April 25, 2022

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Having traveled and worked in the Middle East since l968, Robert L. 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.

TWO UPDATES FROM ISRAEL

Here’s a couple of items from Israel worth noting. Remember the “little girl in red” who was filmed in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. Guess what? She’s still around.

Now grown up, the Polish woman who played the standout part of the girl in a red coat has been helping Ukrainians fleeing to her country, and says she hopes her iconic role as an innocent victim of war will help draw further attention to the plight of modern-day refugees.

Oliwia Dabrowska, 32, as a child participated in the famous scene in the middle of the Holocaust movie when she was three years old. Oskar Schindler watching the dissolution of the Krakow Ghetto, suddenly notices the small child walking down the street. Strikingly, the girl’s red coat is the only bit of color in the entire black and white film. Later in the movie, Schindler sees the girl’s body loaded onto a cart.

Dabrowska, who lives in Krakow, told The Washington Post on Friday that when the war in Ukraine started and refugees began streaming into the country, she felt she had to do something. She convinced her mother to go with her to volunteer at the border, and has spent weeks helping to connect refugees with families who could host them, as well as driving them to various destinations across the country.

The numbers from Poland remain staggering. Over 11 million Ukrainians reported Friday. Nearly six out of 10 Ukrainian refugees — 2,867,241 so far — have crossed into Poland.

Here’s the other item. In Jerusalem the situation remains troubling. A Palestinian man who suffered a serious head injury during clashes on the Temple Mount on Friday has lapsed into a coma and is in a critical condition, his family stated. Palestinians say that the man, Walid a-Sharif, 21, was hit by a sponge-tipped bullet. However, police said he was injured after he fell and hit his head while throwing rocks.

Clashes and unrest broke out early Friday at the Temple Mount following both morning and afternoon Ramadan prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Calm was eventually restored, and evening prayers — attended by at least 100,000 Palestinians according to reports — passed with no major incident.

As the Muslim month of Ramadan continues, Israelis remain concerned for more outbreaks turning into a full- scale war. Rockets have been fired from Gaza and that’s not a good sign.

We’ll see. Stay tuned.

Readers of my Wise on the Middle East blog will be fascinated by my latest book MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

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THE FIGHT TO SAVE LIVES

BLOG 560

April 4, 2022

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Having traveled and worked in the Middle East since l968, Robert L. 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 FIGHT TO SAVE LIVES

Strange how life is seen in the Middle East. In Israel, they celebrate the “chaim,”  “to life!” Others don’t. Here’s two stories that illustrate the contrast.

Doctors at the Israeli field hospital in Ukraine delivered the first baby born at the medical site set up amid Russia’s invasion of the country, Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced Friday. “After a very difficult week, finally some good news,” the ministry stated, adding that both the baby, born Thursday, and mother were doing well.

The baby was delivered by Caesarian section, according to a public relations official at Sheba Medical Center, which is helping operate the hospital in Mostyska, outside the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

The hospital is named “Kohav Meir” (“Shining Star”) in honor of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, who was born in Ukraine and was the founder of the Foreign Ministry’s Agency for International Development Cooperation aid program, which is leading the project.

Housed on the grounds of an elementary school, the NIS 21 million ($6.5 million) facility fills 10 outdoor tents and has also converted multiple classrooms into hospitalization wards.

Here’s the other side of the story.

Three members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group who were killed during an overnight arrest operation in the West Bank may have been en route to carry out an attack in Israel, according to Hebrew-language media reports on Saturday.

Security officials said that a number of scenarios were being examined, with the most probable being that the cell planned to cross into Israel from the West Bank and carry out a shooting attack similar to the one earlier this week in Bnei Brak in which five people were killed.

Less likely scenarios were thought to be that the cell planned to infiltrate into a settlement in the West Bank and kill a family, or to carry out a shooting attack on a passing vehicle. The latter was thought to be of low probability due to a reduced number of vehicles with Jewish passengers on Shabbat in the West Bank.

What a strange paradox. One group travels across the world to set up a hospital to save people. Another group travels a few miles to kill people. That’s the world we live in today!

Readers of my Wise on the Middle East blog will be fascinated by my latest book MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

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THE COMING NEW YEAR

BLOG 546

December 27, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Having traveled and worked in the Middle East since l968, Robert L. 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 COMING NEW YEAR

Except for tourists, most of the Middle East doesn’t even slow down for Christmas. The Orthodox celebrate on a different date from December 25. Life usually goes on like every other day. However, here’s several unexpected situations to ponder as we look toward the coming new year.

The head of the first major Islamic Arab party to enter a government coalition said Tuesday that Israel’s status as a Jewish state could not be changed. He was advising the Arab community to follow his pragmatic approach rather than trying to challenge the country’s identity.

Mansour Abbas’s comments were made during a conference held by the Globes news magazine in Tel Aviv. He was attempting to raise his community’s profile by working from within the government, a strategy that some fellow Arab politicians have criticized as selling out the Palestinian national cause.

“Israel was born as a Jewish state,” said Abbas, the head of the Islamist Ra’am party. “And that was the decision of the Jewish people, to establish a Jewish state. The question is not ‘what is the identity of the state?’ That’s how the state was born, and so it will remain.”

Abbas told the audience, “This is the reality. The question is not the about the state’s identity — but what the status of Arab citizens will be in it.” During the March election campaign, Abbas pledged tangible results for his voters, saying that his party offered a “realistic” approach to solving everyday problems in Arab communities, from rising crime to a severe housing shortage.

Interesting. Here’s a couple more items for you to think about.

The Israeli military has revised its open-fire policies for the West Bank, officially allowing troops to shoot at Palestinians who had thrown rocks or firebombs at cars, even if the assailants no longer present an immediate threat.

The policy change was first reported by Israel’s Kan broadcaster on Sunday night, and was later confirmed to The Times of Israel by a military spokesperson. He said it had been in effect for the past month or so. While the spokesperson described the change as a corrective to a situation that allowed suspects to evade justice, experts raised questions over the legality of using lethal force against a person who no longer poses a threat.

Here’s a final thought as you look toward a new year.

51% of Israelis would support a strike on Iran, even without US approval.

I have a new book coming out.

MAN ON FIRE can be ordered on Amazon or at your local book store. 

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 Gaza, Iran, Israel, Palestinians, The Middle East

YOU WANT TO SEE WHAT CONFUSION LOOKS LIKE?

BLOG 545

December 20, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Having traveled and worked in the Middle East since l968, Robert L. 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.

YOU WANT TO SEE WHAT CONFUSION LOOKS LIKE?

Ever wonder why the world seems to be in such a mess? Recent revelations about the interactions between Israeli and American diplomats demonstrate the strange contradictions and ineptitude that often comes out of Washington.

On January 2020, during a festive White House unveiling of Donald Trump’s long-gestating peace plan, then-Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu giddily announced that under its auspices, Israel would move to immediately annex large parts of the West Bank. The Israeli right was ecstatic. Finally, they believed, Israel would take full control of land that settler leaders hope will remain forever Israeli  and with the blessing of a US president, no less.

There was only one problem, according to new reporting on the events of those dramatic days: Nobody had bothered asking President Trump.

In fact, according to a new book from Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, Trump and peace-plan architect Jared Kushner were caught completely off guard by Netanyahu’s declaration during the White House event. The new details were reported in a pair of podcast episodes released Monday in a new series from Axios called “How It Happened,” which uses Ravid’s reporting from his new Hebrew book, “Trump’s Peace,” to tell the story of how Trump’s failed peace plan morphed into the successful brokering of the Abraham Accords to save face for him.

According to the podcast, Netanyahu decided to go forward with the annexation announcement after receiving assurances from then-US ambassador to Israel and longtime settlement-backer David Friedman that the US would back the move, even though the envoy never ran the idea by the White House.

The US proposal envisioned Israel annexing all of its settlements along with the Jordan Valley as part of a final status agreement. But it did not give a clear timeline, and it definitely did not stipulate that the move would take place right off the bat.

“Israel will apply its laws to the Jordan Valley, to all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and to other areas that your plan designates as part of Israel and which the US agrees to recognize as part of Israel,” Netanyahu said.

Trump was standing right behind him and glanced at someone off stage, checking to make sure what he had just heard, Ravid recalled. After Netanyahu left the White House, Trump met with his advisers and asked them, “What the hell was that?”

Kushner, meanwhile, was livid.

The “who-said,” “they-said,” went back and forth on and on. Hypocrisy everywhere. Sorry. The scene doesn’t present a reassuring picture of international exchange — or of Netanyahu and Trump.

I have a new book coming out.

MAN ON FIRE can be ordered on Amazon or at your local book store. 

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 America, Gaza, Israel, Palestinians, The Middle East, Trump

UPDATE ON JORDAN  

BLOG 525

July 11, 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.

UPDATE ON JORDAN  

I first visited Jordan in 1968. The country was struggling and many conditions were the same as they had been in 1200 A.D., but the people were warm and friendly. Little did I know that two of my sons would someday teach at the University of Aman and I would have a Jordanian daughter-in-law. Consequently, I have had a concern and interest in the Hashemite Kingdom during all of these following decades. During this period, Yashar Arafat attempted to move the Palestinians into Jordan while he had visions of taking over the country. It took the Jordanian Army to finally drive the Palestinians out. Native Jordanians have remained a proud people.  However, lately there have been a number of struggles.

This past week both Israel and the United States made major gestures to Jordan and its ruler King Abdullah II, a sign that they share serious concerns over the kingdom’s stability. On Tuesday, the US administration announced that  King Abdullah will travel to the US later this month and will be the first Middle East leader to visit the Biden White House.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stressed Jordan’s role as “a key security partner and ally of the United States,” and said the visit would “showcase Jordan’s leadership role in promoting peace and stability in the region.”

A number of difficult issues have been confronting Jordan. Water shortage, tensions in the royal family as well as economic woes have pushed a nervous America and Israel to show support for king, fearing fall of a key ally could have disastrous effects on the entire region . In April, rare Palace intrigue spilled into the open, as King Abdullah’s half-brother Prince Hamzah was placed under house arrest. The dramatic and very public episode shone a spotlight on fissures that have the potential to cause the entire edifice of the Hashemite regime to crumble, with delirious effects for Israel and its security.

Frustration in Jordan has simmered for years against the background of economic troubles, political repression and doubts about Abdullah’s legitimacy. In the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated many of the public’s grievances, albeit mostly within the confines of the monarchy’s tight control of free expression.

Jordan’s strict lockdown was initially effective in slowing the spread of the virus, but it wreaked havoc on the economy. Unemployment reached nearly 25% by the end of 2020, as the economy suffered its worst contraction in decades.

This certainly is a good time for America to help.

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, Israel, Palestinians

MORE CHANGE IS IN THE AIR

BLOG 523

June 28, 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 CHANGE IS IN THE AIR

Last week I described the possibilities of violent change in the Palestinian controlled areas with a revolt against the P.A. (Palestinian Authority) leader Abbas. Of course, charges of abuse  constantly go back and forth. People in the West often struggle to make sense out of what is happening. However, here’s an immediate event that will help you have a more defined sense of why the struggles continue and no progress is made.

After Abbas canceled planned Palestinian elections in April, Banat, himself a legislative candidate on an independent list, gave an interview harshly critical of the PA president to a Hamas-linked television channel. A few days later, unidentified gunmen fired at his home in Dura, near Hebron. Banat fled to a hideout in an Israeli-controlled part of Hebron. The West Bank city has been divided since the 1997 Hebron Protocol, which split the city into Palestinian and Israel-administered areas.

On Thursday morning, members of the PA security services raided the house where he was staying. According to his family, the officers stripped Banat, sprayed pepper gas in his eyes, before “viciously beating him” and dragging him away. Two hours later, his family learned that Banat was dead.

The PA has said it will conduct a full investigation with representatives from the family and human rights groups.

His death sparked widespread outrage among Palestinians, causing protests to break out in Ramallah on Thursday. Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the streets, calling for the end of Abbas’s 16-year rule. They were met by police wielding batons and firing tear gas canisters. On Friday, during the funeral procession for Banat in Hebron, protesters chanted “get out, get out, Abbas. This is the vote of all the people.” Invoking one of the best-known slogans of the 2011 Arab revolutions, demonstrators called out during the funeral: “The people want to topple the regime!”

“Out, out, out, get the dogs of the PA out,” others shouted.

A crowd of Palestinians appearing to number in the dozens also gathered following Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to chant anti-Abbas and pro-Hamas slogans. The site is the third holiest in Islam and it lies on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.

Get the picture? Nothing new here. It’s an old story. However, the scene will help you understand why turmoil appears to never end.

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, Palestinians, The Middle East

CHANGE IS IN THE AIR

BLOG 522

June 21, 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 IS IN THE AIR

Here’s a couple of indicators that real change is occurring in the Middle-East. A new poll released Tuesday finds a dramatic surge in Palestinian support for Hamas following last month’s Gaza conflict, with around three-quarters of the Palestinian population viewing the Islamist terrorists as victors in a battle against Israel to defend Jerusalem and its holy sites.The poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research also found plummeting support for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who was sidelined by the fighting but is seen internationally as a partner for reviving the long-defunct peace process. The poll found that 53% of Palestinians believe Hamas is “most deserving of representing and leading the Palestinian people,” while only 14% prefer Abbas’ secular Fatah party.

Abbas has delayed elections for years and was supposedly set for an immediate election. These numbers do not spell success for him.

On the Israeli side, there is new hope. Israel’s 36th government is a coalition of the courageous. Each leader who has led his or her party into this strange and unwieldy government has taken a risk. Among the leaders of this coalition, none has been more self-sacrificing than Yair Lapid. Though Lapid was the senior politician within the anti-Netanyahu coalition and head of its largest party, he deferred to Benny Gantz, who seemed the more likely to defeat Netanyahu. And now he has deferred to Naftali Bennett, leader of one of the coalition’s smallest factions. In so doing, Lapid has embodied the meaning of leadership and love for Israel, restoring to our politics its lost nobility. 

Two Israels were on display at the Knesset swearing-in ceremony for the new government. There was the Israel of desecration, MKs (Members of Knesset) shouting, faces contorted with hate, trampling on the dignity of the state as they refused to allow the prime minister-designate to speak at his own inauguration. And there was the Israel of Naftali Bennet and Yair Lapid, speaking with passion and reason and self-control as they presented their coalition of healing.

After years of officially inspired campaigns of hatred and divisiveness, contrived to serve one man’s political needs, we have the most diverse government in the country’s history. After the worst violence between Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews since 1948, we have the nation’s first Jewish-Arab coalition.  

If the new coalition achieves nothing more than liberating Israel from those who have tried to unravel the delicate balance between nationalism and democracy, decency and power – dayenu, it is sufficient. If the new coalition achieves nothing more than offering a counter-vision of an Israel that strives to respect and manage its essential differences and place the country above sectarian needs – dayenu.  

Can this coalition last? Given its bare majority and inner contradictions, the odds aren’t brilliant. And yet even if it doesn’t survive its term, it has already won.   

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, Palestinians, The Middle East

REMEMBERING THOSE WHO PARISHED

BLOG 519

May 31, 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.

REMEMBERING THOSE WHO PARISHED

On this Memorial Day weekend, Americans remember those dear ones who have passed on. The same is true in the Middle East, but for their own particular reasons. The Palestinians lost at the least 200 people while Israel death were small. The question for diplomats is where do we go from here.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that in the wake of the recent conflict in Gaza and unrest in Jerusalem, the United States plans to focus on addressing “the underlying causes” that could spark yet another round of violence, Tuesday evening. Blinken indicated that the Biden administration will be actively involved in the Israeli Palestinian conflict, echoing comments he made earlier in the day during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Blinken met with top Israeli officials including Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Benny Gantz  before heading to Ramallah for high-level meetings with Palestinian Authority leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Blinken also stressed the “critical role” played by Egypt in brokering the Gaza ceasefire, and called Jordan “a voice for peace and stability in the region.”

In contrast, Hamas had its own objectives. The terrorist organization was able to hijack protests in Jerusalem and use the last week of Ramadan for their own purposes.  Moreover, Hamas firing rockets into the city on “Jerusalem Day” made them appear to be a credible  resistance force. This action aimed at making PA President Mahoud  Abbas look incompetent.  In fact, Abbas completely failed to  cash in on the tensions that had developed in East Jersualsm over the housing question. Hamas has now placed itself on center stage. To create a ceasefire, Egypt had to talk with Hamas, not the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas stopped short of urging a Palestinian revolt against Abbas for fear of being directly responsible for a Palestinian civil war. Moreover, they would not have done well with the PA soldiers on one front and the Israeli on the other.

It now appears America’s goal is to “give the Palestinian people, including those in Gaza, a renewed sense of confidence, of optimism, of real opportunity,” Blinken said. “If we are able to do that together, then Hamas’s foothold in Gaza will slip. We know that, and I think Hamas knows that.”

We don’t need another war in the Middle East. Let’s hope this Memorial Day will be a reminder of the grief that always comes with such a conflict.

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, Palestinians, The Middle East