Cost of applying Israel law to Judea & Samaria (West Bank)

By: Yoram Ettinger | CCNS

A picture taken on November 17, 2016, shows a general view of houses in the settlement of Ofra in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, established in the vicinity of the Palestinian village of Baytin (background). / AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEXTHOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

The suggestion that the application of the Israeli law to the Jordan Valley and parts of Judea and Samaria would severely undermine Israeli interests, jeopardize Israel’s peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt, and Israel’s overall ties with Arab countries, is divorced from the Israeli track record and the Middle East reality.

Israel’s track record

The resurgence of the Jewish State from the ashes of WW2 to global prominence, technologically, scientifically, medically, agriculturally, economically, diplomatically and militarily – despite systematic adverse global pressure and Arab wars and terrorism – has demonstrated that there are no free lunches for independent nations, especially in the Middle East.

For example, in 1948, Prime Minister Ben Gurion, Israel’s Founding Father, did not wait for a green light from the White House, in order to declare independence. He was aware that a declaration of independence would trigger a costly Arab military invasion. The CIA estimated that it could amount to “a second Holocaust.” However, Ben Gurion concluded that achieving a supreme goal was preconditioned upon the willingness to pay a supreme cost. Indeed, the war against the Arab invasion consumed 1% (6,000) of the Jewish population (600,000). Fending off the Arab invasion, Israel expanded its borders by 30%, and would not retreat to the suicidal 1947 lines, despite brutal global (including US) pressure. The pressure on Israel dissipated, but Israel’s buttressed borders were preserved.

In June 1967, Prime Minister Eshkol preempted a planned Egypt-Syria-Jordan joint offensive, in defiance of a strong red light from the White House (“Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go alone”), and despite prominent Israelis who preferred the venue of negotiation and mediation, and predicted a resounding Israeli defeat on the battlefield. Eshkol was aware that Israel’s existence, in the violently intolerant and unpredictable Middle East, required a firm posture of deterrence, which could entail heavy cost. In the aftermath of the war, Eshkol reunited Jerusalem and renewed Jewish presence beyond the 1949/1967 indefensible Green Line, in spite of a very heavy US and global pressure. While the pressure on Israel has subsided, the Jewish presence in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem has surged to 700,000.

In June 1981, Prime Minister Begin ordered the destruction of Iraq’s nuclear reactor, notwithstanding the menacing red light from the White House and the opposition by the Mossad, the IDF Intelligence, and additional Israeli defense authorities. The naysayers were certain that an Israeli attack had a very slim chance of success. They feared that this would trigger a global Islamic assault on Israel; it would produce a European boycott of Israel, would create an irreparable rift with the USA, and would doom Israel, economically and diplomatically. Begin decided that sparing Israel a traumatic nuclear assault justified even a traumatic cost.  While the pessimistic assessments crashed on the rocks of reality, the Iraqi nuclear threat was terminated.

In December 1981, Begin applied Israeli law to the Golan Heights, disregarding the brutal US opposition, which included the suspension of a US-Israel strategic accord and the supply of advanced military systems. While the heavy US sanctions were replaced by an unprecedented US-Israel strategic cooperation, the Golan Heights have become an integral part of the Jewish State.

The aforementioned Israeli Prime Ministers defied international pressure and therefore were burdened with a short-term loss of global popularity. However, they earned long-term respect for their willingness to defy the odds at a severe cost.  Thus, they bolstered Israel’s posture of deterrence, which has played a key role in enhancing Israel’s national security and Israel’s regional/global standing, including its unprecedented military and commercial cooperation with all pro-US Arab countries.

Middle East reality (Israel-Arab relations)

Conventional wisdom is that an Israeli application of its law to the Jordan Valley and parts of Judea and Samaria would threaten the Israel-Jordan and Israel-Egypt peace treaties, and could abort the burgeoning relations between Israel and all Arab Gulf States. Such a school of thought underestimates key Arab national security priorities, which have always transcended the Palestinian issue. It ignores the significant role played by Israel’s posture of deterrence in the national security strategy of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait.

For example, the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty reflects Jordanian national security priorities, rather than a Jordanian reconciliation with the existence of an “infidel” Jewish State in the “abode of Islam.”

Just like all Arab regimes – and especially since the eruption of the still raging Arab Tsunami in 2010 – the pro-US regime in Amman is highly vulnerable, domestically and regionally.

Irrespective of its pro-Palestinian rhetoric, Jordan’s actions – since 1949 when it occupied Judea and Samaria while prohibiting Palestinian political activity – have represented the overall Arab view of the Palestinians as a role model of intra-Arab subversion and terrorism.

Jordan’s Hashemite regime considers the proposed Palestinian state a clear and present lethal threat.  At the same time, it considers Israel’s posture of deterrence as its most effective line of defense against lethal threats, domestically (subversion by Palestinians, Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, and hostile southern Bedouin) and externally (Iran’s Ayatollahs, Iraq, and Syria).

King Abdullah II is aware of the key role played by Israel’s posture of deterrence in forcing a retreat of the 1970 Syrian invasion of Jordan when the US was unable to extend military help.

Jordan considers Israel a unique source of intelligence and counter-terrorism assistance. Israel supplies water to the 1.5 million refugees from Syria, provides Jordan with commercial access to the port of Haifa and price-discounted offshore natural gas. Moreover, Israel is the most effective lobby for Jordan in Washington, DC.  In addition, Israel has accorded Jordan a prominent inter-Islamic plum: the custodian of Jerusalem’s Moslem and Christian holy sites.

Is King Abdullah II expected to cut off his nose to spite his face?!

Saudi Arabia and the other Arab Gulf States, as well as Egypt, regard Israel as a most reliable and effective ally in the face of mutual threats, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Turkey’s Erdogan and potential tectonic spillovers from Iraq and Syria.

This Saudi-Israel congruence of national security interests eclipses the role played by the Palestinian issue in Riyadh’s order of national priorities. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia appreciates the Israeli technological and potential scientific contribution to its effort to diversify its oil-dependent economy.

In fact, Riyadh considers the proposed Palestinian state a potential rogue regime, siding with its arch enemies. Hence, the effective Saudi opposition (contrary to its rhetoric) to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Thus, the national security concerns of the pro-US Arab countries are advanced by a reinforced Israeli posture of deterrence.  On the other hand, a hesitant, appeasing and retreating Israel, which sacrifices its independence of national security action on the altar of overseas green lights, whets the appetite of terrorists and rogue regimes, which threatens the national security of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and all other pro-US Arab countries; thus, undermining vital US interests.

This column was originally published at The Ettinger Report.


The Lies Behind the George Floyd Case

By: Cliff Kincaid

The George Floyd riots that resulted in $500 million worth of damage to Minneapolis were based on a lie. With more evidence now available, one possible verdict is that the drugs in his system contributed to his death, as he was out of control and resisted arrest.

Transcripts of police body camera recordings of the confrontation demonstrate that George Floyd, the so-called “gentle giant,” was foaming at the mouth and so out of control that the police had no alternative but to pin him down with a knee to the neck, an acceptable police procedure when a suspect goes berserk.  A legal memorandum in the case, seeking dismissal of the charges, was filed by an attorney for one of the officers and incorporates the facts from the body cameras:  “Floyd had just committed a felony, he was not being cooperative, and appeared to be under the influence of drugs. There was a lengthy struggle to get 6 foot four, 223 pound Floyd into the car.” (Other reports put Floyd’s height at 6 foot six or seven). He was 46 years old.

With new evidence showing the police acted properly, the charges could be dismissed. If they are not, we can anticipate not-guilty verdicts in a fair trial that will be exploited to further feed the fires of racial animosity in the hands of the Black Lives Matter agitators. Or else the trial will be rigged and police will be framed for crimes they didn’t commit, in order to tamp down the potential for more riots.

These are the stakes as the new evidence has emerged, throwing into doubt the charges of murder and aiding murder filed against the four police officers.

A video snippet of the last part of the encounter, the knee on the neck, is what became the excuse for the riots and the current national hysteria over “Black Lives Matter,” whose name conceals a Marxist political agenda that aims to leave Americans defenseless as police departments are defunded. The liberal governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz, has imposed draconian restrictions on the movements of ordinary people but failed to protect Minneapolis when it was burning and a police headquarters was abandoned and ransacked. The federal government has rejected his request for a financial bailout.

In a sensitive case like this, at the time of the incident, there was a need for deliberation and calm. But people jumped to erroneous conclusions, in the same way that the Michael Brown “Hands up, don’t shoot” case out of Ferguson, Missouri, turned out to be a case of a young black man high on pot reaching for a police officer’s gun and getting shot and killed in the process.

The George Floyd case became the second go-round for the national effort to ignite a race war in America. It is working, thanks to commentators and politicians who jumped on the anti-police bandwagon. This time, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” has been replaced by “I can’t breathe.” But an objective observer could conclude that he couldn’t breathe because of too many drugs in his system and his delirium when facing arrest. (Floyd family attorney Ben Crump says the presence of drugs in his system when he died is a “red herring” designed to draw attention away from the police conduct).

Regarding the kneeling on Floyd by one officer, after futile efforts were made to get Floyd into the police car, that particular neck restraint was used and “was something taught to officers.” It says that based on Floyd’s actions up to that point, “the officers had no idea what he would do next – hurt himself, hurt the officers, flee, or anything else, but he was not cooperating.” What’s more, it says the force used by officer Derek Chauvin by kneeling was not substantial, in that “there were no physical findings of asphyxia.”

In other words, contrary to what most media have reported, he was not strangled to death by the knee to his neck. The knee was not responsible for his inability to breathe. That was caused by the drugs and his own uncontrollable behavior, as he worked himself into a frenzy. At one point, an officer asks Floyd about foam around his mouth, and he replies, “I was just hooping earlier.” This is a possible reference to taking illegal psychoactive drugs through the rectum. He may have been overdosing, which can cause foaming at the mouth. Or he could have been referring to something else.

What people did not see in the video released to the public was that Floyd, after passing the bad bill, was first spotted in a car “digging underneath the seat, as if reaching for something.” It could have been a gun, drugs, counterfeit bills, or something else. The officers attempted to get Floyd into the squad car and told him multiple times to take a seat. He was said to have repeatedly kicked at the officers.

“Floyd does not take a seat and starts saying he is going to die,” the memo says.  As the strange behavior continues, one officer says, “he’s got to be on something.” Floyd “started to thrash back and forth” and “was hitting his face on the glass in the squad [car] and began to bleed from his mouth.” He got out of the car and officers “ended up bringing Floyd to the ground after the struggle to get him in the car because Floyd was out of control.” One officer finds a pipe, a smoking device for illegal drugs. “He’s got to be on something,” the officer observes. Another sees his eyes shaking, probably a reference to the rapid quivering of the pupils, another sign of drug abuse.

The manager of the store where Floyd passed the funny money concluded that Floyd and his friends seemed “high off stuff.”

During the melee, the police called for an ambulance. They understood Floyd was in a drug-induced state and needed help. But he died before he could be revived.

People could have mourned the tragic death of Floyd, without the anti-police hysteria that resulted in riots and disturbances in major cities. These have now expanded from “police reform” into demands for America’s founding fathers to be demonized and statues of them destroyed. One death, which we now know was caused by extensive drug use, ignited all of this. It sparked a carefully-planned Maoist cultural revolution that includes calls to destroy pictures and statues of “white Jesus.”

Conservatives contributed to this madness, as Sean Hannity of Fox News and politicians such as Senator Ted Cruz immediately condemned the police handling of the incident without waiting to get all the facts. Republican Senator Mitt Romney actually marched with Black Lives Matter in Washington, D.C.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh went so far as to conduct an “exchange” with the black radio host, “Charlamagne Tha God,” to see if black-white racial harmony could be achieved in light of what the police had done to Floyd. The exchange was a disaster. Dialogue was not what they were looking for. They wanted white apologies over “white privilege” and police charged with murder and aiding murder.

Soon after the incident, another video snippet surfaced, appearing to show Floyd scuffling with police in the police car, but few waited for the facts behind that part of the confrontation, either. Now we know he resisted arrest in a drug-induced rage. Then, an autopsy showing Floyd’s heavy drug use and the facts about his criminal record were conveniently overlooked to keep the anti-police narrative going.

“What is not being told is the violent criminal history of George Floyd. The media will not air this,” said Minneapolis police union president Bob Kroll at the time. He was dismissed, however, as just an apologist for members of his union and the officers he represents. Some called for him to go because he dared to highlight some damaging truths about Floyd, including his four years in prison for aggravated robbery.

In summary, the new evidence shows that George Floyd was being arrested for a legitimate reason, passing counterfeit money, but behaving erratically and was perceived to be high on drugs. His blood tests found evidence of marijuana, fentanyl, and methamphetamine. He was difficult to calm down, apparently because of the drug use, and kept claiming that he couldn’t breathe, a possible sign of hyperventilation caused by the drugs.

But now that exculpatory evidence for the officers has emerged, the judge in the case, Peter Cahill, has imposed a gag order on the attorneys for the police.

* Cliff Kincaid is president for America’s Survival, Inc. www.usasurvival.org.