Tag Archives: Israeli Defense Force


BLOG 393 April 30, 2018

    The past several weeks have reported the seemingly endless story of struggle in Israeland with the Palestinians. A border uprising in Gaza has sent hundreds of Palestinian protesters surging toward the Israeli border and checkpoints. Or course, the Israelis were armed opposition and the result was at least three Palestinians killed and 611 wounded.

Hamas is always behind these attacks from Gaza. The terrorist organization broke with the PLO some years ago and still battles for control of the entire West Bank. They periodically use demonstrations to cover their tracks while forcing these skirmishes. Recently, throwing rocks and burning tires has become a weekly ritual at the wall between Israel and Gaza. IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) are always prepared 24-7.

In this last go- round, demonstrators starting trying to cut the wire meant to hold them back. At that point, Israeli tanks wheeled into action and fired tear gas. The protestors dispersed.

Often these encounters are meant to embarrass Israel and bring psychological pressure on the west. The picture always portrays highly armed Israeli soldiers confronting poor Palestinians who have nothing but stone throwing children to protect themselves. Uninformed Americans make an easy target.

The real truth is that the Palestinians won’t settle with Israel because their actual goal is to drive Israel into the ocean. The leader of Hamas has made himself into an extremely wealthy man who manipulates rather than leads toward a positive end. Since my first visit to Israel in 1968, I have watched Israel expand and grow from a struggling people to one of the premier countries in the Middle East and the world. At the same time, the Palestinians have not even been able to pay their daily bills without international assistance. If Israel stopped giving the tax money collected on their behalf, their government would sink in a week.

Get the picture?

Israel is not always right and the Palestinians are not always wrong. Both sides have made serious mistakes. However, time has not been on the side of the Palestinians. Their refusal to bargain to an honest settlement has only cost them and continues to marginalize their cause.

The never-ending presidency of Mahmoud Abbas with still no elections in sight helped create the problem of a separation between Ramallah and the Gaza Strip. When President Donald Trump decided to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinians screamed, hollered, and threatened everything but World War III. However, the rest of the Arab world looked the other way. They know the truth about Abbas and the Palestinians.

What’s next? Probably more demonstrations then everyone goes home. There will be a few shouts of “shadhid” (Arabic for martyr), then the noise will fade. Just another day at the office.

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Filed under America, Bible Lands, Israel, middle east


BLOG 215 August 25, 2014

The Israeli-Hamas conflict is winding down and we’re talking about the next war? Sounds like media commentators in America speculating about the next presidential election two days after the last election was over. Unfortunately, that’s the way things go in the Middle East.

Both sides are aware that the current conflict will eventually end but the war is not over. The mindless resistance of Hamas continues even though their leadership, rocket launchers, and attack tunnels are being pounded into oblivion. Nevertheless, Israel is already hard at work accessing the conflict and its meaning for the next round.

Here are some of the implications we can ponder.

  1. America came out of this conflict looking even worse than previously viewed by the Israeli population. President Obama and Secretary of Defense Kerry tried to lean on Prime Minister Netanyahu to stop fighting. The implication was that the USA was siding with Hamas. Once again, America failed to grasp the nature of the conflict until it was nearly over. Trying to reverse themselves, American advisers disclaimed the Obama – Netanyahu conversations. Sorry. The damage was done and America is even distrusted more now. In the next conflict, American advice will mean even less.

America must come to understand that economic pressure is not the issue. Hamas has one primary goal –to destroy Israel. Failure to get this point reduces US negotiating to nothing.

  1. If the West backs away from Israel, they will develop new relationships with countries like China, India, Korea, and Russia as well as Japan. Israel will not remain isolated. The West had best pay attention to this fact about their most reliable Allie in the region.
  2. Hamas will claim a victory in the war because their political leaders were not killed. They will also think that without their strong resistence the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) would have penetrated more deeply into the Gaza area. Well, forget that. When the Palestinians figure out the scope of their losses because of Hamas’ strategy, the Hamas propaganda link will sink.

However, expect the propaganda to continue.

4.The current cost to Hamas is great. Israel will not be making any concessions at the bargaining table. The war started with Israel defending itself then two goal evolved: destroying terrorist tunnels and demilitarizing Gaza. Hamas is not going to agree, but their back is to the wall. The point is that attacking Israel hasn’t proved to be a good idea.

  1. Hezbollah is watching. Israel knows the next war may well be with this terrorist organization based in Lebanon. Supposedly, Hezbollah was disarmed after the 2006 war with Israel and left with only 6,000 to 12,000 rockets. That idea was a colossal failure. Today it is estimated they have at least 60,000 rockets and maybe double that number. Intelligence sources indicate they are also developing drones with long range capacity. It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out the implications of their stockpile of weapons.

The West has believed that co-existence is possible. In the Middle East, no one believes this idea to be true. Since Israel has been the main stay of American foreign policy, the next president (whoever that might be) better wake up to how the game is played. Failure to do so will seriously injure America as a real player in a deadly game.

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Filed under America, Israel, middle east


            The rapid fall of Mohamed Morsi from power in Egypt has sparked a continuing reassessment of the situation in the country and its implications across the region. At this moment, many believe the return of military power may actually be positive and could be good for Israel.

The Egyptian military has recognized that the agreements between Israel and Egypt have been valuable for their country and should be kept in place. This conclusion is an important stepping stone for peace throughout the entire region.

The serious setback for the Muslim Brotherhood has also had wide-spread effects in Tunisia, Jordan, and possibly Syria. Their fall may also have a moderating effect on Hamas and that is also significant for Israel.

In these columns, I attempt to express an objective viewpoint regardless of where the chips fall. I am not attempting to side with Israel, but to reflect the view that when the radical jihadists forces loose ground, it is usually an encouragement for peace. In the case of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, this is certainly true. Hopefully, these turn of events with Morsi’s demise from power will prove stabilizing in the long run.

The wild card will be whether the United States views Morsi’s fall as a coup or a popular uprising. If seen as a military takeover, it will be costly for Egypt with $1.5 billion dollars at stake. A strong argument will be made that the military only supported the uprising of the populace.

Egypt has other problems that must now be faced. For one, radical jihadist terrorist are still at work in the Sinai. While this is a concern for Israel, it is also a worry for Egypt. With the downfall of Morsi, the Egyptian radical elements would like to attack the Egyptian military. These Al-Qaida types are hopeful that they can undermine the Egyptian-Israel peace treaty. Made up mostly of local Beduins, they are a wild-card, but have the potential to create considerable unrest. Recently, they launched a double rocket attack on Eilat but missed by a mile. So far, 10 projectiles have been fired on the Red Sea resort community from the Sinai area. Currently, the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) is responding to the beduins and attempting to bring the problem under control.

Meanwhile inside Egypt, the government is moving quickly to reverse a number of Morsi’s policies and in particular how Egypt relates to the war in Syria. Within minutes of his ouster, the military closed a number of Islamist television stations and the local Al Jazeera new channel as well as arresting some journalists. Strong arguments can be made that these actions must be reversed.

While Washington’s influence was greatly compromised under Morsi, the ouster promises a new day. Let’s hope the USA uses this time as a positive opportunity now only for America, but for the entire region.

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Filed under Egypt, Israel, middle east, Violence