Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Two State Fantasy versus The New State Solution

For decades the world has subscribed to the notion that the two-state solution presents the most viable road to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; it is time that other ideas be allowed to enter the public discourse.

As with all incoming administrations, a Trump presidency ushers in the opportunity to review, retain, or revise the terms of long-standing policies, including those relating to the Middle East.

The ‘two state solution’, as broadly defined, is a policy that must be reviewed and revised. No proposed solution to the conflict need be perfect; all must be possible, however. The two-state solution is neither. The insipid one state solution is even less so.

Both ideas have gained too much traction. Neither is understood by the vast majority of those by whom they are championed. The saving grace of these notions seems primarily to be their alliterative, easily retained titles.

A further state for the Palestinian Arabs can be established. That state must be viable though. It must augur in a future of promise, security, liberty, sovereignty, self determination and opportunity for its inhabitants. Citizens of this Palestinian state must be granted every possible chance to positively thrive. It must be a state whose people not only dare to dream, but who actually realize the dreams they conceive.

This state must not come into being at the expense of Israel either now or in the future. Neither Israel the people, nor Israel the country must be existentially compromised in order to facilitate its creation.

Israel and Egypt from space at night (Photo: NASA)

Any solution must be characterized by the reconciliation of practicability, possibility and imagination.

With the above in mind, I introduce what I term THE NEW STATE SOLUTION.


The least practical aspect of the two-state scenario results from the geographical positioning of the Gaza Strip in relation to Judea and Samaria (West Bank).

Unlike in other proposals, The New State Solution would front-load this most intractable geographical challenge rather than defer it to a nebulous ‘future date.’

The New State Solution would thus be anchored first and foremost in the Gaza Strip, with territorial expansion into a section of the Sinai Peninsula. This state could be larger than anything that could be accommodated by the minute area of Judea and Samaria, thus granting geographical viability. It also redefines the Gaza Strip as a central part of the solution, rather than an insurmountable problem.


The boundaries of the New State would be brokered and ratified by several other parties beside Israel; most notably Egypt. Egypt is a prime mover within the Arab world. Having their imprimatur would grant legitimacy among several Arab nations and non-western nations. Egypt also has a history of going alone in the Arab world where necessary, so long as its own best interests are assured.


The New State would enjoy clearly defined, secured borders. Good fences make good neighbors. To the south, Egypt would positively amend the current arrangements it has with the Gaza strip in line with the contours of The New State and the opportunities that spring forth. To the north, Israel would extend its arm even further and open its hand even wider to partner with its new, peace-seeking neighbor.

The New State would have cultural affinity with its Egyptian neighbors and there is far closer cultural familiarity between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs than many fully appreciate. That affinity could be built upon and expanded, creating triangulated, regional cooperation.


There would be no IDF presence within the borders of the New State. None. Independent states do not want foreign troops within their land. The New State would thus be both demilitarized and have a highly effective security apparatus. Contrary to the perception of many, demilitarization does not mean no weapons. Nor does it mean no security. It means no military. For example, The New State would have APC’s but not tanks. It would have light air ordinance such as helicopters but no fighter jets. It would have speed boats and patrol boats, but no battleships or submarines. It would have a police force but not an army. The security and police forces of the state would maintain superior fire power and logistical capabilities. These are the same tools by which democratic states maintain daily, domestic security after all.

Gaza Strip (Photo: Southern Network)


Any Palestinian Arab state established in Judea and Samaria requires that both Israel and Jordan stand fast as military guarantors. No state in the region enjoys absolute, total security but Israel is a comparative super power in the Middle East. The long term security of Jordan is far more precarious. The establishment of a Palestinian Arab state in Judea and Samaria means that in the event of a collapsing or collapsed Jordan, an unimpeded corridor of potentially pernicious states would be established to Israel’s east, extending from Afghanistan and Pakistan, into Iran, through Iraq, via Jordan, across Judea and Samaria, and onto what would be the divided city of Jerusalem in the two state formula.

Israel would stand alone as the final bulwark against such threats. Advocates of the two state solution must not shut their eyes to this very stark possibility.

The New State Solution offers far more reasoned security guarantees. To the south, south-west and south-east of the New State, the Egyptian military would be present only on the Egyptian side of the shared border. Israel would maintain its security presence on the border with the New State on the Israeli side only.

Israeli and Egyptian forces manning the borders would not only offer reassurance to their own countries, but also to the New State. Both would closely assist and cooperate so as to prevent spillover beyond, and unwanted infiltration within, the borders of The New State.


A state established in Judea and Samaria will be close to landlocked with very few natural resources. That may beget a culture of tremendous entrepreneurialism among its citizens, but it may not. It may beget despair. Nobody can be certain. A failing economy will yield only a failed or client state and will be a manifestation of a problem unresolved.

By contrast, The New State Solution, established as proposed, offers miles of beautiful, Mediterranean coastline.

With a shoreline no less inviting than that of Tel-Aviv, The New State would boast rich opportunity for trade, commerce, tourism, hotels, resorts, casinos (on or off-shore), import, export and both an open, commercial air-port and an open commercial sea-port. Both would be toward the western most section of the country. Favorable security coordination would be agreed between Israel, Egypt and The New State.Massive economic investment within The New State would come from all international parties who have pledged their commitment to resolving the conflict. Actors would include the United States, the E.U., Great Britain and both Israel and Egypt; at a minimum.


Financial and commercial assistance would be granted to any residents of Judea and Samaria wishing to relocate to The New State.

Consider that today, as in the past, Jews immigrate to Israel with the belief that a better life awaits them here. Their reasons for doing so are varied. Significantly, however, Jews come to Israel voluntarily. They are neither forcibly transferred into Israel as individuals, nor as whole communities.

So too should it be for the Palestinian Arabs of Judea and Samaria.

Like many in the Jewish Diaspora, some will wish to remain where they currently reside. Others will sense and seize upon the gleaming opportunity offered by The New State.

The Palestinian Arabs are no more monolithic than are the Jewish People. Some may wish to constitute their futures in Judea and Samaria, others will prefer the option of opening a hotel along the shores of their own state or the prospect of building a home overlooking the Mediterranean, or they will move seeking employment and the opportunity to build up a state in which they have agency. They ought to be allowed to choose.

Successful repatriation to The New State would significantly further reduce Israel’s demographic considerations regarding Judea and Samaria while those residents already in the Gaza Strip would be part of The New State, resolving that demographic concern.

For those not wishing to relocate from Judea and Samaria, the more favorable demographic realities enjoyed by Israel would engender the confidence needed to annex Judea and Samaria with full and equal rights being extended to all, regardless of race, religion or creed. This would take place only once a 50% immigration threshold to The New State is achieved.

Israel would continue the policy of the right of return and would control immigration policy within Israel. It would thus maintain its democratic and Jewish character by far more than the two-thirds majority advocated by some proponents of the one state solution.

Those Palestinian Arabs claiming citizenship overseas would have an open channel to immigration into The New State, with The New State affixing immigration policy for itself.


Any future massive attack launched against the State of Israel from the Gaza Strip should serve as a prelude for the total and final toppling and dismantling of Hamas and their oppressive regime. The destruction of Hamas should be undertaken with the aim of facilitating and incubating the legitimate emergence of a new, pragmatic, though not necessarily westernized, government that will administer a free, viable, secure, burgeoning New State that is secured, supported and championed by Israel, Egypt and the international community.

The first footstep into Gaza by IDF soldiers as part of the next defensive operation in response to rocket or tunnel attacks should set in motion The New State Solution as strategy. The diplomatic groundwork should begin immediately however, in advance of any unwanted, but likely, future conflict.


In December, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry stated:

"The United States is deeply committed to securing Israel's future as a Jewish and Democratic state. We are also committed to an independent, viable Palestinian state, where Palestinians live with freedom and dignity. The only way to achieve that is through a negotiated solution that creates two states for two peoples living side by side in peace and security."The New State Solution adheres precisely to Kerry’s own spoken definition of the sole way forward, though not to his vision.

It offers a negotiated solution resulting in two states for two peoples living side by side in peace and security. The definition endures therefore. It is the vision that must change.

For too long, calls have come for a two state solution incorporating Judea and Samaria as the basis of a Palestinian state. At its core, such a plan requires the mass, likely enforced displacement of at least many tens of thousands of Jewish people in order to build a home for another people. Past experience within Israel does not bode well for any such notion, nor should it. I do not want to see the people of Israel go through such a process. I do not wish to see the Palestinian Arabs go through such a process. There should be no forced transfers of populations.

Hamas terrorists inside their attack tunnels (Photo: Reuters)

Politicians and communal figureheads frequently declare that the two-state solution is the ‘only solution.’ This tone of finality is both inaccurate and unhelpful. It places far too much faith in a plan that is demonstrably flawed and it blunts legitimate discussion and debate about alternatives.

There are alternative solutions to every problem – including to this problem. I am presenting my plan as one such alternative. It can be refined; but it is an alternative.

When assessing opportunities for peace, it is my hope that President-elect Trump brings with him a new attitude, where Presidents turn their gaze away from Israel’s east, and affix it instead upon Israel’s west when reviewing the peace process.

He, Israel’s Prime Minister and the President of Egypt could yet realize a new, fresh and viable vision by so doing.

I hear Mr. Trump has an eye for the development of gleaming, shining and bold new projects. This would be the boldest of all.

The two-state solution is defunct. Long live the New State Solution.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Bird's Eye View of Jeremy Corbyn and Uk Labour Party antiSemitism

Image result for Jeremy Corbyn anti israel and antisemitism

An analysis of the British Labour party under the chairmanship of Jeremy Corbyn provides a panoramic view of many aspects of socialist anti-Jewish hate-mongering. The most extreme comments come disproportionately from Muslims, a subject that is taboo for the British media. The incitement is accompanied by a whitewashing of the party’s anti-Semitism problem, a whitewashing that is supported by a great majority of its members. The ongoing hate-mongering in the party has led to some unprecedented reactions by the British Jewish leadership.

In the past decades, Western European social democrat politicians and parties have been among the most extreme inciters against Israel. In several cases, there have also been expressions of anti-Semitism. Leading socialist politicians, including the late Swedish Socialist Prime Minister Olof Palme and the late Greek Socialist Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, have accused Israel of Nazi practices.

Only in the past two years, however, has a European socialist party – the British Labour Party – been exposed for widespread and extreme anti-Jewish incitement. Classic anti-Semitic as well as anti-Israel remarks by elected representatives have been published on a more or less ongoing basis. An analysis of the British Labour party provides a panoramic view of many aspects of socialist anti-Jewish hate-mongering.

In September 2015, extreme leftist Jeremy Corbyn became the party leader. A few months later, the first accusations about anti-Semitism concerning the Oxford University Labour Club became widely known. The party’s National Executive Committee chose to reveal only a limited summary of the findings exposed by Labour peer Lady Royall. Several months later the entire report was leaked to the press.

As the “anti-Semitism in Labour” issue started to interest the British media, it slowly became clear that extreme anti-Semitic expressions had been present in the party prior to Corbyn’s appointment. In 2014, for example, under previous Labour leader Ed Miliband, Naz Shah proposed – before she was elected MP in Bradford – that Israel should be relocated to the US. At that time, apparently no one was interested in publicizing this statement.

Among the expressions of anti-Semitic hate uttered by elected representatives, a disproportionate number has come from Muslims. This was the case during Miliband’s leadership and continues under Corbyn. Despite hundreds of articles on anti-Semitism in Labour, the specifically Muslim aspects remain taboo in the British media.

Miliband steered the party towards a proposal of recognition of a Palestinian state. This was possibly done to gain the support of Muslims during the May 2015 elections, as an estimated 4.5% of the British population are Muslim.

Image result for Jeremy Corbyn anti israel and antisemitism

Corbyn mixes with anti-Semites. He has donated money to, and attended gatherings of, a charity headed by Holocaust denier Paul Eisen. He has referred to the genocide-promoting Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations as his friends. When he came to power he promoted anti-Semites, including Ken Livingstone, to senior positions. Livingstone, the former mayor of London, was later suspended after his repeated claims that Hitler had supported Zionism in the 1930s. Livingstone resigned from the party in 2018.

It is not easy to identify which of Corbyn’s acts fall squarely within the International Holocaust Remembrance Association’s definition of anti-Semitism, which was adopted by the UK government. In May 2018, Jonathan Arkush, outgoing President of the Board of Deputies, the umbrella organization of British Jewry, claimed that Corbyn held anti-Semitic views. He noted that the Labour leader had been chairman of the Stop the War organization, which is known for some of the worst anti-Israel discourse.

When media pressure concerning anti-Semitism in Labour became an issue, Corbyn appointed human rights activist Shami Chakrabarti in April 2016 to investigate the accusations. Her report was poorly written and unprofessional. Shortly afterwards, Corbyn proposed Chakrabarti for a peerage, which resulted in her becoming a baroness. Corbyn also appointed her the party’s Shadow Attorney General for England and Wales. Little has been heard from this supposed expert about ongoing Labour anti-Semitism.

It is by now abundantly clear that Corbyn has little desire to confront anti-Semitism in his party other than through general statements. As a result, the whitewashing of anti-Semitism in Labour has become a significant problem. In March 2018, a poll of paying Labour members found that 47% said anti-Semitism is a problem, but the extent of the problem is being exaggerated “to damage Labour and Jeremy Corbyn or to stifle criticism of Israel.” A further 30% said anti-Semitism is not a serious issue. Sixty-one percent thought Corbyn is handling the anti-Semitism claims well. Only 33% thought he is handling them badly.

The confrontation with anti-Semitism in one of the country’s two major parties has had an important impact on members of the Jewish community. Many of them no longer vote for Labour, and some have stopped donating. An unprecedented demonstration of the Jewish community against anti-Semitism in Labour took place in London outside a Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) meeting. In a letter to the chair of the PLP, the Board of Deputies wrote: “Again and again, Jeremy Corbyn has sided with anti-Semites rather than Jews.”

In Parliament, several Jewish and pro-Jewish Labour MPs have reported that they have been subjected to tremendous harassment. Labour’s attempt to conquer the London constituency of Barnet – the most Jewish borough in the UK – failed in the May 2018 local elections.

The modest increase in Labour seats nationwide during those elections disappointed the party’s expectations and was seen as partly due to the anti-Semitism debate. Arkush went farthest, stating that Corbyn’s views could drive Jews to leave Britain if he were to become prime minister. He was one of the Jewish leaders who met Corbyn in April 2018, a meeting those leaders found disappointing.

Small groups on the Jewish left are enthusiastic supporters of Corbyn. He continues to provoke, and attended a Passover seder at Jewdas – a radical anti-Zionist Jewish organization that has called Israel a “steaming pile of sewage which needs to be properly disposed of.”

In March 2018, Corbyn said that since he became party chairman, there have been 300 complaints about anti-Semitism. He said that of those accused, 150 people have either been expelled or resigned, and added that the backlog of complaints is 60 cases. However, the Daily Mail reported a backlog of 74 cases and said MP John Mann claims to be aware of another 130 complaints. One source in Labour told the paper: “Many of these cases include the most shocking and blatant anti-Semitism that would make even a committed Nazi blush.”

The disappointing local election results may have been the impetus for Labour’s announcement that it will speed up dealing with the complaints with the intention of clearing the backlog by the end of July. In view of the party’s checkered past under Corbyn, we will have to wait and see whether this promise will be fulfilled.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

#OyVeyDonald Trump in Syria, Chaos and Mayhem in the Middle East

Trump’s Passive-Aggressive Syria Policy Risks Creating More Mayhem in the Middle East
The United States is pursuing a worst-of-both-worlds mix of hawkish confrontation and strategic retrenchment

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on Syria in the White House on April 9. From left: U.S. Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley, Vice President Mike Pence, Trump, and National Security Advisor John Bolton. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The addition of uber-hawkish fresh faces to President Donald Trump’s national security team raised justifiable worries that the president was assembling a “war cabinet.”

But as the limited targets of the U.S. missile strikes against Syria on Friday show, a continuation of the essence of Trump’s foreign policy in the Middle East is far more likely: a worst-of-both-worlds mix of tactical, hawkish confrontation and an underlying strategic retrenchment.

Call it a passive-aggressive Middle East strategy — aggressive enough to turn up the heat on the region’s conflicts yet passive enough to ensure that the United States does not really invest in addressing them.

Trump’s approach undercuts U.S. influence and ability to shape outcomes in the region:

Rip up the Iran nuclear deal, but make no serious plans to challenge Iran in the region. Crush the Islamic State militarily, but walk away from the aftermath. Launch limited strikes into Syria (which we support) without a strategy — all while barring America’s doors to Syrian victims. Then declare“mission accomplished” as Syria burns.

Roll out the red carpet for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s visit to Washington, but squander that leverage by writing him a blank check for continued regional conflict. Gain leverage, and then squander it. Rinse, repeat.

Delegate all meaningful follow-through down to the ghost ship of the nondefense national security bureaucracy. Strain the U.S. military by escalating tensions around the world and sending troops to a fake threat on America’s southern border at the same time. Trump has slapped the “America First” bumper sticker on a Middle East policy that does little to advance America’s interests or tackle its enduring challenges.

How will this approach play out on the ground?

The next two months will tell us a great deal. Just as Trump reshuffles his national security team, he has also arranged a series of self-imposed Middle East crises.

Over a single, head-spinning stretch in early May, Trump is likely to rip up the Iran nuclear deal and open a U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem — just as Iraqis head to the polls for national elections. And that was before Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s horrific chemical weapons provoked a U.S. military response — and raised the stakes of Trump’s musings on pulling U.S. troops out of eastern Syria.

Over the coming month and a half, Trump and his team could well make three unforced errors in the Middle East.


Trump seems ready to isolate the United States and undermine its leverage by pulling it out of the Iran nuclear deal. This would increase security tensions in the region while unilaterally removing from the United States a key tool blocking Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon in the coming years. European countries, China, and Russia might well stay in the deal, and it remains to be seen what Iran would do. There is little evidence that Trump’s team — including John Bolton, the new national security advisor, and Mike Pompeo, the CIA director and Iran hawk whom Trump has nominated for secretary of state — is prepared to deal with the range of outreach and contingencies required to mount a credible campaign of renewed international pressure.

Looking beyond the deal to the broader region, the gap between Trump rhetoric and reality is wider still. The United States is largely bereft of an active strategy to engage and compete with Iran in the fields where it matters most, particularly regarding political and security situations on the ground.

Seeing the Trump team’s failure to compete in the nonmilitary, non-palace-pomp dimensions of regional leadership, one gets the feeling it views the United States as another regional monarchy, whose only tools are its Special Forces, Air Force, and royal court. And the results are likely to be similarly underwhelming unless the United States changes its approach.

Anti-Islamic State

The same brittle combination of aggressive militarism and strategic passivity may be also taking hold in the fight against the Islamic State.

Trump’s pledges, despite warnings from his team, to remove U.S. troops from eastern Syria “very soon” have been deferred, at least for now.

While we see the risks of continued presence, ultimately Trump’s proposed withdrawal would risk abandoning U.S. anti-Islamic State partners to Turkey, Russia, Iran, and the Syrian government. This could unleash a major new wave of fighting, mass displacement, and human suffering that might well breathe new life into the Islamic State.

Similar concerns exist in Iraq, where May elections represent a political inflection point. Whether the country can bridge its internal divisions is a key test of whether the military defeat of the Islamic State will be translated into a sustained political defeat. While attention is focused elsewhere, a great deal is at stake: Will Iraq’s next prime minister look to the United States, or will Iraq be dragged under Iranian domination? Will Iranian-backed militias be a problem to manage or coalition partners sharing the spoils? Will the Kurds unite to block a hard-line Iran-backed Shiite prime minister from dividing and ruling them?

The United States can have a significant impact in helping the new Iraqi government tackle the next phase in the fight against the Islamic State and define its relationship with its neighbors, particularly Iran and Saudi Arabia. But there is little evidence of such an effort underway amid all the churn at Trump’s National Security Council and the State Department. The risk is that, having invested so much into militarily defeating the Islamic State, the United States will needlessly fail to make a far smaller investment of resources and high-level attention to ensure that America can engage and compete. As an Iraqi told one of us, “He who does not show up has no influence.”
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The Trump team has promised a peace plan for Israelis and Palestinians but failed to do even the bare minimum to cultivate a Palestinian partner willing to engage in the process. By unilaterally moving the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem — taking Jerusalem “off the table,” to use Trump’s evocative phrase, without asking for any constructive steps from Israel in response — Trump’s plan may be dead on arrival.

As events this past week — not just in Syria but in Yemen and the Gaza Strip — demonstrate, the Middle East remains a dangerous tinderbox where ongoing conflicts in particular corners of the region could easily erupt into wider conflagrations. Trump carries out episodic actions in a strategic vacuum. Scratch beneath the surface of his rhetoric and militarism and, in many instances, you find a shabby disengagement with the underlying drivers and challenges.

The actions the United States takes this May in the Middle East may set a new tenor for America’s engagement. Trump seems ready to add more fuel to the fire of the Middle East’s conflicts, with neither the will nor the game plan to put those fires out.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Stability in Gaza is not directly proportionate to Economic Benefits

Economic Benefits Will Not Bring Stability to Gaza

Image result for hamas rally

The easing of economic conditions – a strategy that benefited Palestinian areas in the West Bank – is increasingly touted as the way to achieve political stability in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. But this strategy only works after the enemy is defeated.

Many experts claim that an easing of economic conditions in Gaza, particularly the granting of permission to Gazans to work in Israel, is the way to achieve political stability in a Gaza Strip ruled by Hamas.

This is a fallacious argument.

To understand why this is so, one must revisit the Marshall Plan for Europe, the most successful example in history of how economic largesse can facilitate the transformation of a destructive foe into a staunch and healthy ally. West Germany became a lynchpin in the security architecture of the Western alliance against the Warsaw Pact countries under the Soviet orbit.

No one can deny the success of the Marshall Plan, especially in contrast to the fallout from the destructive vindictiveness of western allies against Germany after World War I. Indeed, that vindictiveness contributed to the rise of Nazi Germany, forming the historical justification for the Marshall Plan.

By the same token, one can hardly deny the even greater importance of two geostrategic factors at the time that made such economic largesse towards a former enemy worthwhile.

First, the total defeat of Nazi Germany, and its subsequent occupation and division by the winning coalition, meant that the US and its allies could mold West Germany to their liking through denazification and democratic rule, just as the Soviet Union created an East Germany in its own totalitarian image.

Second, West Germany was, like the rest of free Europe, beholden to the US for its security in the face of a menacing Soviet Union and its satellite states.

In the face of these two basic facts, the Marshall Plan can be seen as having facilitated and reinforced a process.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s liberal economic policy towards the residents of Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA), primarily the allowing of over 100,000 workers with or without permits to work in Israel, succeeded in part because it satisfied the two basic conditions that made the Marshall Plan successful.

At the height of the second intifada in 2002, Israel reconquered major towns in the PA that had become sanctuary areas for Fatah, PA-linked, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad terrorism. It has prevented the reemergence of sanctuary areas ever since through preventive arrests throughout the West Bank that run into the thousands annually.

Like Germany, the PA was essentially defeated. And as was the case with West Germany and the US, Israel and the PA became allied against joint enemies – Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

If the PA ever had any doubts about who was more threatening to Abbas’s rule, Israel or Hamas, those doubts were put to rest after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007.

It was only after these two conditions were met that economic prosperity could play its facilitating role.

And even then, the economic effects were limited compared to hard and fast political and military factors.

After all, even after workers from the West Bank were granted permission to commute to work in Israel, where they earn almost twice the wages of workers in the PA (after debiting commuting costs), over 250 Palestinians were motivated to commit murders in the wave of terrorism at the end of 2015-16.

The relative difference in the lethality of this terrorist wave – in which only 45 were killed compared to 800 in the second intifada by the same number of terrorists – was due not to a decrease in motivation but to the fact that they no longer had sanctuaries from which to organize elaborate suicide bombings or store large quantities of firearms.

In fact, by the time of the wave, the professional terrorist infrastructures of Hamas and Islamic Jihad had been thoroughly smashed.

In Gaza, neither of these conditions prevails. Gaza under Hamas rule remains a sanctuary area where Hamas can freely build up its military capabilities and launch a sophisticated campaign like the March of Return with little interference.

There is no common enemy that would render Hamas conciliatory, as was the case between the US and West Germany or between Israel and the PA.

Only a policy of toughness towards Hamas can induce it to assure stability and quiet in Gaza.

The three large-scale bouts of conflict between Israel and Hamas in 2008-9, 2012, and 2014 led the inhabitants of Gaza to demand that Hamas bring an end to the launching of missiles that had led to those clashes. Hamas acknowledged that pressure and acted upon it.

Further popular pressure after the failure of the March of Return campaign is likely to induce Hamas to stop campaigns of violence altogether.

Economic largesse at this point would only augment Hamas’s resources, as it taxes incoming goods and aid. That money will be funneled back to its hard core through campaigns such as the March of Return.

Gaza’s inhabitants voted in Hamas in 2006. They have lived to regret it. It is now incumbent upon them to defang their government by making sure it deals in butter, not guns.

Only when Hamas envisions its territory as a future Singapore rather than a murderous labyrinth of fundamentalist terrorism should economic benefits accrue to Gaza.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Porn is Jewish Conspiracy ....welcome to the Alt Right ( again)

Why the Alt-Right Thinks Porn is a Jewish Conspiracy

A few months ago, a user on a bodybuilding supplement forum asked if it was weird that he had a childhood crush on Lola Bunny from Space Jam.

“It’s not weird,” someone assured him. In fact, this someone added, there’s “a conspiracy from sinister guys at the top” to pornify popular culture, in order to get young boys so addicted to pornographic images that they develop “bad social skills” and are too weak and distracted to resist the elites in power. “Looks like it worked,” agreed another user, who then pressed ENTER 144 times and posted a gif of a fly rubbing its front legs together, with a hook-nosed, yarmulked Jewish caricature photoshopped on its head.

How did this bodybuilding forum go from Lola Bunny screenshots to anti-Semitic memes in less than 24 hours? Well, it turns out that despite the stereotype that alt-righters spend hours in their parents’ basements watching tentacle hentai, many of them are theoretically anti-porn. More specifically, they believe porn is a Jewish conspiracy to weaken white men and, if all goes according to plan, destroy Western civilization. (Honestly, this isn’t that different from how a lot of mainstream commentators talk about porn — but more on that later.)

I became aware of the alt-right theory of smut on February 11, 2018, the day after New York Times columnist Ross Douthat called for an outright ban on pornography. A conservative writer I follow on Twitter agreed with Douthat, and I replied with some practical concerns about what might happen if the porn industry became an unregulated black market. Then someone with the handle @SwiFT__1889 (a simultaneous tribute to alt-right icons Taylor Swiftand Charles Lindbergh) wrote this:

Lindy TayTay’s impassioned stance took me aback. All of men? The well-being of the masses? What was going on here?

After some clicking around, I found they’d recently retweeted Paul Nehlen, the white nationalist running for Paul Ryan’s seat in Congress, and the tweetlinked to a video titled “The Jewish Role in the Porn Industry.” That same day, February 11, Twitter suspended Nehlen’s account, and hundreds of his followers changed their avatar to Nehlen’s and used hashtags like #FreeNehlen and #JeSuisPaulNehlen.

The video in question was made by Mark Collett, former director of publicity for the British National Party (check out this 2002 video of baby Mark being interviewed by baby Russell Brand, featuring the line, “I just missed a call for you, ya Nazi!”). Since it was posted nine months ago the video’s garnered 80,000 views.

Collett’s argument is this: Jews have had a disproportionate presence in the porn industry since at least the 1970s. (There’s some truth to this, as we’ll see in a bit.) And they aren’t just motivated by profit — they actually mean to harm Western civilization, too. Young white men, Collett claims, become addicted to porn at an early age, to the point where they’re less and less interested in, or even capable of, actual sex. Furthermore, these young men’s addiction drives them to pursue ever greater highs, as the porn they used to watch no longer works for them. So they end up hooked on gay and trans porn, and interracial porn featuring black men and white women. This is why “cuck,” the porn trope of a white man forced to watch his wife have sex with a black man, became a popular alt-right term for anyone to their left.

The goal of this addictive material, supposedly, is to neuter and desexualize white men, and ultimately doom the white race. This is where the alt-right theory of porn ties into the larger theory of white genocide. The immigration of people of color into Europe and North America, coupled with the declining birth rate among white couples, will render white people a minority, if not altogether extinct, and then Jews will be the only high-IQ race left in the West, leaving them free to control the black and brown masses.

Collett is far from alone in his views. He’s joined by white nationalist and alt-right voices like David Duke, Kevin MacDonald, Identity Dixie, the Daily Stormer and this random YouTube commenter:
This was a response, by the way, to a video posted by The Golden One, a Swedish bodybuilder-fascist who frequently tweets out memes like this:
“It’s hard to find someone on the alt-right who doesn’t basically buy the ‘Jews created porn’ idea,” says Daniel E. Harper, who knows the ins and outs of the Alt-Right Extended Universe better than anyone who isn’t, you know, a Nazi. And according to Harper, the alt-right is generally in agreement that the purpose of porn is “to corrupt ‘the host society,’ i.e. white society.”
What’s the alt-right’s evidence? They like to point out that in 2016 Israel passed a law blocking all internet porn sites by default, requiring users to contact their ISP if they want access. In other words, the alt-right claims, Jews know porn is bad for you; they only want to spread the virus to other societies.
Another piece of evidence the alt-right cites over and over again is an articlepublished in the Jewish Quarterly 14 years ago, written by Nathan Abrams(now a film studies professor at Bangor University in Wales with a new bookout on Stanley Kubrick). Abrams argues that Jews have been, and continue to be, disproportionately influential in the American porn industry. He discusses such figures as Reuben Sturman, who built an adult-bookstore empire and became the nation’s largest smut distributor during the 1970s and 1980s; and Al Goldstein, the Screw magazine cofounder who first outed J. Edgar Hoover and gave Deep Throat (the film, not Hoover’s erstwhile deputy associate) its first signal boost. There’s also the gonzo porn pioneer Seymore ButtsSteven Hirsch, the founder of Vivid Entertainment, for years the largest porn studio in the world; and actors Ron Jeremy and Nina Hartley. (Collett would add to this pantheon Greg Lansky, CCO of the popular interracial site
Why the disproportionate Jewish presence in porn? Abrams suggests it was the same reason Jews dominated Hollywood from early on — it was an industry with a low barrier of entry and little respect from polite society. Plus, unlike in other industries, Abrams writes, “in porn there was no discrimination against Jews.” Abrams even speculates there’s a subversive element to Jewish involvement in porn, a middle finger “to the entire WASP establishment.” Indeed, Al Goldstein once claimed “the only reason that Jews are in pornography is that we think that Christ sucks.”
As you can imagine, Abrams has been getting crazy emails about this article for more than a decade. The alt-right takes advantage of Abrams’s legitimacy as a scholar, always making sure to mention he’s a professor, not a crank. But at the same time, they hold his scholarship in contempt; they say it’s evidence the Jews aren’t just undermining Western civilization — they’re bragging about it.
But Abrams says this alt-right conspiracy theory of porn is nothing new; it’s just the latest incarnation of a longstanding association of Jews with prostitution, STDs and sexual perversion. Hitler spent several pages of Mein Kampf bemoaning the spread of syphilis via Jewish pimps and prostitutes, which he feared could jeopardize the continuation of the Aryan race. The Nazis even had an umbrella term for prostitution, pornography, homosexuality, abortion and other forms of sexual degeneracy — “sexual Bolshevism,” which, like the “cultural Marxism” the alt-right blames everything on, is just a short hop away from blaming the Jews.
Even when they haven’t been anti-Semitic, critics of so-called sexual degeneracy have long been motivated by a desire to preserve the white race. As this ContraPoints video explains, the modern concept of degeneracy developed in the same post-Enlightenment stew as scientific racism. European and North American elites fretted that industrialization, urbanization and cosmopolitanism would transform vigorous white men into, well, beta cucks. Their societies would then weaken and decay until they were overpowered by more robust outsiders, just as the Huns and Visigoths supposedly conquered Rome because it was too busy having genderqueer orgies. “Impotent, decadent manhood,” writes historian Gail Bederman, would bring about “race suicide.”
For example, look at this British cartoon from the 1870s. An older man walks upon a newlywed couple and finds they’re pouting:
The young man is disappointed in the size of his new bride’s waist and the shape of her nose, which pale in comparison to the classical sculptures he’s obsessed with. His bride is similarly disappointed in his chin and lack of facial hair. They’re so educated and sophisticated that they’re more into erotic art than each other.
Furthermore, we know from this cartoonist’s other work that he feared the men in his society were becoming feeble soyboys indistinguishable from women:
So what was the solution to this epidemic of weak, over-civilized men? Boys and young men were encouraged to lift weights and go camping (this is where we get the Boy Scouts) and to stop playing with themselves. Americans who weren’t Jewish started circumcising their infant boys for the first time in significant numbers, in part because the sensitive foreskin was thought to be too great a temptation. The U.S. government cracked down on pornography, abortion and contraceptives, which were all seen as aiding and abetting race suicide.
But the truth is, when modern commentators criticize porn, they’re often using the same basic framework. For one thing, they don’t really care about porn’s impact on women. As the British lad-mag-editor-turned-anti-porn-advocate Martin Daubney puts it, “Porn is more of a problem for men than women.” He explains this by way of brain science, but the real thrust (or lack thereof) of his argument is that he cares more about what porn might do to men’s sexual prowess, “turning increasing numbers of men in their sexual prime into flops.”
The other telltale is when people fret over porn’s “threat to virility” and “collapsing birth rates.” I assure you they’re not worried about birth rates in Nigeria or Indonesia. Just as with the opioid epidemic or the old tire factory closing down, these commentators’ main concern is what porn will do to white men. When Douthat called for a ban on porn, he lamented that American society is “trending Japan-ward,” invoking the stereotype of an effeminate man more interested in furry manga than raising a family. This isn’t that different from the NoFap redditor who says, “White people are being outbred by Muhamed, Jamal, Chang and Enrique,” and then issues the clarion call of “don’t fap, breed.”
Are there serious problems with porn? Sure. But we can’t have that conversation if we’re narrowly focused on poor men degenerating into antisocial incels. The biggest problem with porn, after all, is that people have stopped paying for it! Pirated content powers free tube sites that promise bottomless wells of dopamine blasts, making porn both more addictive and more accessible to children.
If we started consuming porn ethically, we’d give a boost to better, more creative porn, and young folks could be exposed to sex that didn’t follow the pattern of bored kissing, bored blowjob, bored pussy-eating, bored missionary position, bored doggy-style, a little more bored blowjob, money shot. Paying for porn would also encourage productions with a more diverse array of bodies, skin tones and gender identities.
But we don’t want to have that conversation. If we think there’s a problem with porn, we’d rather blame “modern society,” the “elites” or “cultural Marxism,” and before you know it, you’re only a YouTube rabbit hole away from blaming the Jews for white genocide. We need to grapple with how the modern porn industry is shaped by neoliberalism, patriarchy and white supremacy, or else all we’re left with is the same tired story of white dudes suffering from death grip.

The Palestinian State and the threat to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

The Danger to Jordan of a Palestinian State

Egyptian President Gamal Nasser brokering ceasefire ending Black September with PLO Chairman Arafat and King Hussein of Jordan, 1970, photo via Wikimedia Commons

 The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan stands to lose more than any other party from the establishment of a State of Palestine. While the potential dangers and complications for Israel of such a state could be significant, Jordan would face threats to both its social stability and its foundational idea: that it governs the Arab population on both banks of its eponymous river. In addition to the substantial political and security difficulties such a state would create for Jordan, it could also jeopardize its continued viability by shifting the locus of political leadership for a majority of Jordanians away from Amman and towards Ramallah.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Palestinian statehood is a moribund idea. Despite official pronouncements, none of the principal parties seem very keen on achieving it, least of all the PA.

However, if, through some unilateral action, a State of Palestine were to be declared in the territory comprising Areas A & B, the repercussions (mostly negative) would affect the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan more than any other party, including Israel.

The dangers to the Kingdom would manifest themselves on three levels: the political threat, the security threat, and the existential threat.

The Political Threat

With the establishment (or announcement) of a state of Palestine, the tensions that have characterized the relationship between the Palestinian organizations and the Hashemite Kingdom since the 1960s would take on an institutional concreteness, and would become a fixed feature of the new post-statehood scene. The recent tension over access and security management of the Temple Mount area provides a foretaste of the public embarrassments and diplomatic paralysis that would afflict the crucial Israel-Jordan relationship as a result.

Israel and Jordan are developing very close institutional relationships – perhaps the strongest in the region. Economic integration is moving apace, with significant portions of Jordan’s energy and water consumption to be provided by Israel. This provision is on track to reach such a level in the foreseeable future as to increase the likelihood that a sudden interruption would have catastrophic results for the Kingdom.

Cooperation and integration in the security sphere are arguably just as important. For decades, Jordan’s enemies, both internal and external, have had to reckon with a powerful pair of disincentives when contemplating violent action against the government: a first line of defense consisting of a tenaciously loyal Jordanian army, and a second in the form of an overwhelmingly powerful IDF.

Even with this background of increasing integration, the Jordan-Israel relationship is chronically strained by the adventurism and rejectionism of the PA leadership. That strain would worsen dramatically if the Palestinian leadership had full statehood rights at Arab and international fora.

The Security Threat

For a preview of the relationship Jordan would have with a State of Palestine across the river, one can look to Egypt’s current relationship with Hamas. The main difference is that Jordan’s troubles would be many times greater than those from which Egypt suffers today. The reasons are many:
  • Jordan’s border with the West Bank is longer and more porous than the one between Gaza and the Sinai.
  • The presence of Palestinian political forces, especially those supporting Hamas, are greater and more entrenched in Jordan’s political life than they are in Egypt’s.
  • Jordan’s south is both more populous and in some towns (notably Maan) more radicalized than the Sinai tribes who, under the banner of ISIS, have at times wrested control of parts of the peninsula from Egypt.
  • Perhaps most importantly, on cultural, linguistic, and ethnic grounds, the distinction between Egyptians and Gazans is much clearer than that between the Arabs living on either side of the Jordan River. As a result, cracking down on organized subversion or even a low-intensity insurgency in Jordan would feel more like a civil war. It would test the loyalty of the Jordanian armed forces, especially if Israel is seen as the Jordanian government’s partner in such an effort.
  • Last but not least, Jordan would have to contend with a security nightmare-scenario that would likely develop soon after a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood. Such a declaration would probably precipitate an Israeli decision to pull the plug on a corrupt and ineffectual PA, a move that would almost certainly bring about its collapse. This would then be followed by a bloody struggle for supremacy between nationalists and Islamists, as occurred in Gaza. Because of the lack of contiguity between many towns in Areas A and B, the outcome will not be a speedy Hamas victory as occurred in Gaza in 2006, but a prolonged, low-intensity civil war with assassinations and sporadic outbreaks of mass violence. Israel would probably limit itself to containing and preventing the violence from spilling into Area C and beyond.

Regardless who gains the upper hand, West Bank Arabs able to escape this bloody mess will do so in a hurry, and will head in the only direction open to them: eastwards, to Jordan. The Kingdom will then be faced with two unhappy choices: either to absorb yet another large wave of restive refugees into a system already bursting at the seams, or to reassert, with likely Israeli acquiescence, limited administrative and security prerogatives over the afflicted areas in the West Bank in order to forestall a greater humanitarian catastrophe and the mass exodus such a catastrophe would precipitate.

The Existential Threat

It is arguable that these threat scenarios could be handled by a Jordanian leadership and army that have repeatedly demonstrated resilience in crises of greater duration and severity. However, setting aside all the situational challenges that a declaration of Palestinian statehood would engender for Jordan, a qualitatively greater long-term strategic threat will inevitably develop for the Kingdom from the realization of Palestinian statehood.

It is a fact that most Palestinians are Jordanian and most Jordanians are Palestinian. More precisely stated: a majority of those who self-identify as Palestinians inside and outside Jordan carry a Jordanian passport (including Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mash’al); and a majority of Jordan’s resident population self-identify as Palestinians. This has been Jordan’s chronic conundrum since the late 1950s, when Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser began actively incubating a separatist Palestinian nationalism in direct challenge to Jordan’s formal custody of West Bank Arabs. Simply put, the putative Palestinian national identity was the result of an Egyptian anti-Hashemite campaign begun in the late 1950s and institutionalized with the creation of the PLO at the Cairo Arab Summit of 1964.

This anti-Hashemite campaign was at the core of Jordan’s most dangerous cascade of crises in 1959, 1967, 1970-71, 1986, and 1988. A formal declaration of Palestinian statehood would take it to a much more dangerous level for the simple reason that a state cannot long survive when a majority of its citizens claim the national identity of a neighboring (and likely adversarial) state.

This concept is easily grasped. If, for example, a majority of Guatemala’s citizens self-identified as Mexican, Guatemala would simply turn into a cultural and political vassal of Mexico.

Similarly, the national identity of Jordan and its political viability will be difficult to sustain if a majority of its citizens owe political allegiance to a foreign, neighboring, albeit Arab state. Such a state would be able to indirectly steer the affairs of Jordan by mobilizing a sizable part of the citizenry to do its bidding if its interests conflict with those of the Jordanian government.

Setting aside the official Jordanian posture towards the conflict, the political class in the Kingdom must be aware of these threats from a future Palestinian state, especially the first two. But it also needs to be aware that the entire edifice of the Palestinian national movement is a political construct of Jordan’s Arab enemies that was meant to make the country ungovernable by the late King Hussein. In their origins and practice, Palestinian nationalist organizations, regardless of their rhetoric, have been more anti-Hashemite than anti-Zionist. These organizations have always claimed to represent a majority of Jordan’s citizens, a dangerous claim for any country. For Jordan, such a claim becomes intolerable when concretized in an adjacent state whose leadership has a history of serially attempting to sabotage Hashemite rule.

In the view of many Jordanians, the disengagement announcement of 1988, which formally recognized the PLO as sole representative of the “Palestinians” (a majority of Jordan’s citizens), was a mistake that sundered the national demographic unity of the country in response to Arab political pressures. The conditions that generated those pressures are now gone – indeed, they are reversed. Consequently, Jordan should consider reversing the announcement (which, constitutionally speaking, remains invalid to this day because it was never ratified by Jordan’s parliament). This would be in the best interest of Jordan’s citizens on both banks, and in the best interests of peace and stability in the region.