Saturday, June 20, 2015


Dr. Mordechai Kedar; June 19, 2015

It is rare for a country to have to rethink its strategic roadmap. Nevertheless, Israel may be approaching the point in time when it will have to reboot and restart its geo-strategic thinking, if that has not yet been done. In fact, that point in time is staring us in the face and we simply must think out of the box to see and address it, before a head-on collision shatters that very same box without our having plans prepared for a changing reality.

The catalysts that brought Israel to realize that there is a turning point are the Syrian Druze. Israel must, and I repeat, must, do everything and even beyond everything, to help the Druze minority in Syria survive as it faces the Islamist forces who intend to destroy it.  

Whether it is Islamic state or Jabhat al Nusra who are preparing the "Final Solution" for the Druze in Syria is of no matter. When Islamic State overcomes Jabhat al Nusra, any understanding Israel has made with this organization will vaporize exactly like the ones Israel signed with the Syrian regime.

There are about 700,000 Druze in Syria, concentrated in three main areas: the Mountain of the Druze (Druze Mountain) in southern Syria adjoining the Jordanian border, the Khader enclave on the southeastern slopes of the Hermon east of Majdal Shams, and the Aleppo-Idlib region in northern Syria, near the Turkish border. No one expects Israel to reach northern Syria to help the Druze who live there, but many of those who live in Southern Syria – on Druze Mountain and in the Khader enclave – expect Israel to do something to prevent the ISIS butcher knives from reaching their necks.

Their brothers in Israel are citizens with equal rights and duties, serving in the IDF – in combat units for the most part. The proportion of Druze who volunteer for combat units is greater than that of Jewish youth. The silence of the military cemeteries in Druze villages shouts the oath of loyalty they have sworn, the pact of blood that this wonderful group has made with the Jewish people in its resurrected homeland. And they are the brothers, cousins and in-laws of the Druze in Syria.

The Druze in Israel are deeply anxious about the danger that threatens their brothers in Syria if Islamic State conquers the southern part of the country. They know for certain that the lot of the Druze will echo the lot of the Yazidi in Iraq; the men will be slaughtered and the women sold in the marketplace as slaves. The Druze in Israel fear that the world will view the suffering of their brothers with equanimity and will not act decisively and rapidly, the way it failed to do when ISIS came close to totally destroying the Yazidi on Mount Sinjar in Iraq. The reality of the past year makes every scenario – even the most horrendous ones imaginable – a real possibility.

The Druze in Israel say to themselves quite simply: "if the residents of Druze Mountain were Jews, the State of Israel would do everything to protect and rescue them. If there is a pact of blood between the Jews and the Druze, then it is being tested now on Druze Mountain and the Khader enclave."  Their reasoning is also simple: The pact of blood cannot be one-sided, where the Druze go out to battle, are killed and wounded for the Jewish State. Either it is a two way pact, in which the state goes out to save the Druze who are under a clear and present threat, the most immediate and severe ever, or it is no pact at all.
The situation in Syria forces Israel to take a stand, as President Rivlin said eloquently in his call to the Secretary General of the UN to protect the Druze in Syria. Except that words are not going to save the Druze, only actions can do that, and the more decisive these actions are, the more effect they will have.

Israel must view Druze Mountain as vital territory to all intents and purposes, and in the same vein, view those living on it as blood brothers. There were times when Israel did not come to the aid of those who had helped it (the Southern Lebanese Army - Tzadal - for example), but now, Israel must take every step necessary to prove to the Druze that it stands faithful to them no less than it is to Jews, in Israel and everywhere else. This is a moral stand with civilian, political and security implications.

There are people in Israel who say "Why get involved in saving the Druze in Syria, when they were loyal subjects of Assad for years, both Hafez and Bashar, and even acted against us more than once.The Druze in the Golan Heights refused Israeli citizenship so they never became Israelis." My answer: The Druze in the Golan were afraid, after the 1967 war, that Israel would return them along with the Golan one of these days. And then they would find themselves in the torture chambers of the Syrian secret service, so in order to protect themselves from those torture chambers they remained loyal to Syria. Who can blame them?
Israel can take several steps, all or some of them, depending on developments on the ground:

1. Israel can create a military unit, made up of minorities, whose soldiers are Druze, and who will go to help on Druze Mountain if and when the need arises. Druze fighters doing compulsory service, career officers and reservists who normally belong to other units can be moved into this unit. It is important to form the unit and begin to train its fighters right away, so that if the need arises they can be sent to the battlefield as soon as the decision to do so is reached. A Druze project manager, preferably high-ranking, should push for the wherewithal to establish the unit, man it, and receive equipment, weapons and training.

2. Israel should be making plans for attacking concentrations of ISIS fighters near Druze Mountain from the air.

3. In the event that the Syrian regime collapses and the country falls apart, Israel must immediately take over the area tangent to the Jordan-Syrian border in order to create a dry land corridor between the Golan and the Druze Mountain. This corridor will make it possible to transfer armed forces as needed to protect Druze Mountain.

4. Israel must set up a field hospital in the Golan to offer medical care for the Druze, in order to keep them separate from hostile forces.

5. Israel must organize transfer of civil and military aid (arms, medicine, food and funds) to the Druze fighters on Druze Mountain, as needed.
Israel cannot stay on the sidelines when the Druze of Syria are facing extermination. This would be immoral, inhuman and self-destructive. We will pay the price for doing nothing when we look in the mirror and search for the moral person reflected there.

The Minority Pact
The Druze are not the last of these problems, because in Syria, Iraq and every other place the Jihadists have conquered, each minority lives in fear of being the next on line. This is a perfectly justified fear, and encompasses the Druze, Yazidi, Christians, Alawites, Zoroastrians, Bahais, Sabians, Mandeans - all of them non-Muslim, but also the Shiites, the Hezbollah and their people, all of them living in fear of the Sunni Jihadists as well. 

Israel must work to establish the "Middle East Minorities Pact" which will place all these minorities under one umbrella, even if they once fought each other, as the Shiite Hezbollah and Jews do.  The logic behind this is the fact that they are all facing the same enemy and must work together to defeat it. If they don't, they will weaken themselves by constant infighting and bring about their own end.

This may seem delusional, but as times goes by, it becomes clear that this most large and expanding enemy will force all the minorities to join forces against it.

Israel must find a secret channel for talking to Hezbollah, the most problematic of the minorities because of its blood soaked past and its hatred for the Lebanese Shiites.

We are left with only one question; what will Iran's stand be vis a vis a coalition of minorities which has Israel on the same bench as Hezbollah? In my opinion, Iran will not prevent the coalition from forming because it is going to be the only way to ensure the continued existence of the Shiites in Lebanon, a group whose continued existence is more important to the Iranians than the destruction of Israel.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Unmasking BDS: Radical Roots, Extremist Ends

Video of  the week, Ambassador Prosor lampoons UN


 For the full article go to
By Dan Diker


In the summer of 2014, Hamas fired more than four thousand rockets, and assaulted Israel using a vast underground network of attack tunnels that reached well into Israeli territory. 

The Israel Defense Forces responded by targeting the terrorist infrastructure of Gaza, triggering scores of pro-Hamas demonstrations in European and North American cities in which protesters held placards reading “Free Palestine,” “End the siege on Gaza,” “End Israeli Apartheid,” and “Stop Israeli state terror.”   

These public protests demonizing, criminalizing, and delegitimizing Israel also characterize the ongoing boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. Global BDS activists exploited the 2014 Gaza conflict to reinvigorate their political and economic warfare campaign against Israel. 

On August 20, 2014, at the height of the war, hundreds of pro-Hamas protesters in New York City carrying placards that read “Israel=Racism and Genocide” and “Palestine from the river to the sea” – a public call for Israel’s destruction – also dropped a massive flag from the Manhattan Bridge that read “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions”

More generally, BDS represents a continuation of an ongoing campaign promoting political subversion and economic warfare against the State of Israel irrespective of the territories in dispute between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors.

In Western circles, BDS is commonly misunderstood. It is generally viewed as a progressive, nonviolent campaign led by Palestinian grassroots organizations and propelled by Western human rights groups, who call for boycotting Israeli goods produced in the “occupied” or “disputed” Golan Heights and West Bank territories captured from Syria and Jordan respectively in the 1967 war.

It is also widely assumed that the global BDS movement is further limited to boycott and divestment aimed at Israel’s presence over the 1967 Green Line, resulting in international actions led frequently by the Palestinian Authority at the United Nations, at the UN-affiliated International Court of Justice, as well as petitions made to the International Criminal Court.

However, a closer investigation of the BDS movement reveals a starkly different picture. BDS is more accurately described as a political-warfare campaign conducted by rejectionist Palestinian groups in cooperation with radical left-wing groups in the West. BDS leaders and organizations are also linked to the Palestinian Authority leadership, the radical Muslim Brotherhood, other radical groups, terror-supporting organizations, and in some cases even terror groups themselves such as Hamas.

BDS boycott campaigns have effectively misled trade unions, academic institutions, and even leading international artists and cultural icons, with seemingly earnest calls for “justice” entailing the establishment of a Palestinian state living beside a Jewish state. 

These BDS supporters have been led to believe that the combined pressure of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions will force Israel to withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines, otherwise known as the 1967 Green Line, enabling a resolution of the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict. However, as some commentators – including the New York Times’ Roger Cohen and Professor Norman Finkelstein – have pointed out, the BDS movement seeks to eliminate Israel even before addressing the Palestinian issue.

As explained below, the publicized “demands” of the BDS movement state clearly that the endgame of this punitive global campaign is to cause Israel’s implosion as the nation-state of the Jewish people and enable the creation of another Arab-majority state in its place.
Understanding the maximalist goals of BDS presents a challenge to policymakers, shapers of public opinion, and Middle East observers alike. The movement has exercised tactical sophistication in “dressing up” its radical linkages and extremist ends in a language of peace, justice, and human rights that appeals to Western audiences.

What Is BDS?

BDS stands for boycott, divestment, and sanctions, and refers to three distinct yet related forms of punitive action against the State of Israel. All of these actions promote isolating, breaking off relationships with, denormalizing, delegitimizing, and punishing the Jewish state.

·       Boycott refers to the breaking of relationships with Israel as a means of protest, punishment, intimidation, or coercion. These actions include consumer and trade boycotts, cultural and sporting boycotts, and academic boycotts.
·       Divestment is the opposite of investment: the withdrawal of investments in Israel by banks, pension funds, and other large investors or from companies operating in Israel.
·       Sanctions refer to punitive actions taken by governments and international organizations, including trade penalties or bans, arms embargoes, and cutting off diplomatic relations.

The term “BDS” is not used in any other conflict or boycott campaign. It is nomenclature that refers exclusively to imposing these punishments on Israel.

The Radical Roots of BDS

The term “BDS” is relatively new, having been popularized following the 2005 “Palestinian Civil Society Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.” However, the roots of boycotts against Israel and the Jewish people extend back centuries.

Since the Middle Ages, Jews were the targets of boycotts and formal legal exclusion continuing hundreds of years. Jews were banned from owning property, attending universities, or practicing a trade. Even after the European Enlightenment removed many of the formal barriers to Jews, informal, grassroots boycotts and exclusion still persisted.

 A mass popular boycott of Jews was organized in France in the late 1890s, and the Jews of Limerick, Ireland, were the victims of a boycott campaign in 1904. Universities in Europe and the Unite States
 maintained official and unofficial quotas of the number of Jews they would admit, which continued well into the 20th century.

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Jerusalem Post editorial 27.05.15

Video of the week: Our Sixth Sense

Little attention was paid in Israel to the latest UN anti-Israel extravaganza. Presumably we’ve grown inured to the hatred spouted at the Jewish state.
While the Arab Spring’s carnage boggles the civilized mind, the World Health Organization, the UN’s public health agency, has identified the true transgressor – Israel.

WHO’s annual assembly last week condemned Israel for “violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan.”

This is a travesty in every conceivable aspect. While the bloodbath in the region continues unabated, the international forum has found nothing else worth focusing upon but Israel. Only Israel was singled out by the WHO assembly.

This comes despite the fact that Israeli medics and hospitals provide indisputably altruistic treatment to spiraling numbers of civilians and enemy combatants from Syria, fleeing that country’s killing fields. The most cutting- edge medical care is given critically wounded victims who reach the Golan border.

But most disheartening of all is the fact that this disgraceful resolution was adopted in Geneva by a whopping majority of 104 to 4, with 6 abstentions and 65 no-shows. Israel, unjustly accused and unjustly convicted in another UN kangaroo court, was condemned even by European delegations, which purport to occupy the high moral ground – although they ought to know all about blood libel.

Gallingly, the Syrian government – which has been mass-murdering its own citizens – submitted a document that urged WHO to “intervene immediately and take effective measures to end inhuman Israeli practices that target the health of Syrian citizens.”

The Israeli “occupation authorities” were accused of “continuing to experiment on Syrian and Arab prisoners with medicines and drugs and to inject them with pathogenic viruses.” This charge aroused no revulsion apparently among the participants. Not one representative of any country of the European Union was outraged, protested, or walked out of the deliberations.
This could be perceived as farcical, were it not in fact tragic.

The Palestinian Authority, Israel’s purported peace partner, blasted Israel for supposed sins against Gazans and West Bank Arabs, cynically omitting mention of the fact that Israeli hospitals are where the seriously ill Palestinians choose to head to when in need, including PA higher-ups. Gaza’s Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh sent his granddaughter here and Mahmoud Abbas’s wife was recently operated on in an Israeli hospital.

We Israelis serially impress ourselves and pat ourselves on the back for our good deeds – and these are prodigious indeed, even under challenging circumstances.

Our knee-jerk reaction is to dispatch our rescue and medical crews to any disaster site anywhere in the world. We helped during Turkey’s last major earthquake, although all we received in return was invective and hostility. We sent our medics to Haiti after its earthquake, only to be berated in medieval libel-style for organ-theft. We aided the Nepalese victims of the latest Himalayan earthquake, only again to be maligned for a variety of supposed nefarious ulterior motives.

There seemingly is nothing the Jewish state can do to convince its defamers of its true nature, no more than individual Jews could before Israel’s independence.

This is hardly the first bizarre anti-Israel resolution to be produced by UN forums for whom Israel remains an unparalleled atrocious ogre. But this resolution stands out for its utterly outlandish misrepresentation and boundless wickedness. It must be judged the most abhorrent since the UN equated Zionism with racism in 1975 (an equivalence the UN itself later rued and retracted).

Time and again the most brutal dictators dispatch to the UN their mouthpieces, who in deadpan fashion declaim the obligatory human rights catchphrases, while promoting Israel’s denunciation for any and every imaginable trumped-up crime against humankind. 

All the while, representatives of self-righteous democracies smugly vote for the vilification of a fellow democracy, as if thereby vindicating their own virtue. Foreign ministries – which demand existential risks of Israel – don’t raise a semi-quizzical eyebrow, but go with the Israel- bashing flow and countenance the new Judeophobic zeitgeist.

Their stock pretext is that this isn’t anti-Semitism, but a legitimate critique of Israeli policies. Yet only Israel is thus pilloried. Moreover, Israel is wrongfully and falsely damned in a grotesque spectacle of hate.