Tag Archives: Kurds

Was today a good day for Israel?

donald-trump_3

Over the course of the past 3 years I have prided myself in being an atypical centrist when it comes to my feelings for President Donald Trump.  Of course we live in a time when that stance is most unlikely to get approval from others, but since I do not take this position for the sake of popularity, rather because of what I see and hear, it’s of no consequence.  When it comes to the President’s policies toward Israel and the Jewish people my position is also somewhat in the middle.  I will without apology or pause, debate those who call him an anti-Semite.  No matter what else you may say about this man it is clear to me that he has so many Jews not just in his inner circle but in his family that it is next to impossible for this man to be an anti-Semite.  However, while I feel joy and appreciation for his behavior towards Israel, exemplified by the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, I have also openly stated that I am not at all sure that what he does is good for Israel.  So let me be very clear.  While I am convinced Donald Trump has value for Jewish life,  I have been less than convinced that his actions are ultimately good for Israel.

At this point, rather than sharing any more of my opinion, I will show you the words of 2 people.  The first words are those of President Trump earlier today when speaking about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan .

Erdogan is smart.

He’s a friend of mine.

I have great respect for him.

He’s a leader. He did a terrific thing. They were lucky it was him that made the decision.

Turkey is very happy.

Now I will share with you some of the words of the man he was praising.

The occupation of Jerusalem, the violation of the privacy of the al Aqsa mosque, and the violation of the rights of the folks of Palestine…we declare that we will not accept this.

With the strength of Jerusalem in our feet, let’s march together…let’s come and unify and be together and fight the tyrants with one hand, with one strong fist.

The world’s Muslims must take a physical stance on Israel.

Each day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to us.

I don’t approve of what Hitler did, and neither do I approve of what Israel has done. When it’s a question of so many people dying, it’s inappropriate to ask who was the more barbarous.

 

Why do I take a centrist position? Because very little in this world is black and white.  When you couple that with a political world in which we likely do not know nearly as much as we think we do, the truth is even more murky.  Will the President’s position towards Turkey and its Jew-hating leader hurt Israel, now that he has in essence given him Northern Syria, more power and influence in the region and betrayed the Kurds, an ally of Israel ? I certainly hope not.  But I would ask those who can see no wrong in anything Donald Trump does to watch this situation very carefully and be honest about  your conclusion.  Even if it is that what is taking place in Northern Syria is just a way to take away from discussion of impeachment.  Like I said, we really don’t know for sure and very possibly never will.

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ISIS: Their problem ISIL: Our problem

isis-flagLet me start by saying that the title of this piece does not reflect my personal opinion. I believe no matter what you call them, ISIS, ISIL, or the Islamic State, that they are everyone’s problem.  I do however feel the title may be reflective of how President Barack Obama feels, or at the very least used to feel about the terrorist group he now only refers to as ISIL.

Much has been made as to what is behind the president’s apparent insistence on only referring to this terrorist organization as “ISIL”.  Some of the most suspicious among you believe it is a way of attacking Israel’s sovereignty, by recognizing their pursuit of the entire Levant, the area of land represented by the “L” in the name of ISIL.  I personally disagree with this assertion. I believe there is something more political behind the President’s language.  “ISIS” stands for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria while “ISIL” stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.  Subsequently the Levant covers significantly more territory.  It also represents the rapid growth of this ambitious and very vicious terrorist organization.

As the Islamic State continues to grow it becomes an even more viable threat to the United States and its allies.  Obama, a president who seems to be ultra-isolationist, has basically made it clear that he believes Iraqis, Kurds and Syrians need to fight the main battle against the terrorist group in Northern Iraq and Syria.  He has spoken of its containment at least as often as he has spoken of its destruction.  It may be that in the eyes of this administration successful containment means the difference between calling it ISIS or ISIL.

Being a president with a tendency of putting appearance over substance, once the terrorists became strong enough to call themselves ISIL, Mr. Obama had the justification within his isolationist logic to get involved in the fight.  He has openly said that part of his strategy is leaving it to the locals to deal with once ISIL gets contained and shrinks back down to a more localized problem.  Perhaps then it will once again be referred to as ISIS.   If this group threatens the entire “Levant” or beyond, we can get involved, but once it only threatens Iraq and Syria it’s their battle to fight.

If this is indeed the President’s logic, it is a dangerously flawed one.  An organization such as this one, with its ambition and financial means, will never be satisfied remaining in the area of  Iraq and Syria. Ultimately it will go after Jordan, Egypt, the Gulf states, and of course most viciously Israel.  All of this is only a means of furthering its global ambitions. Furthermore, as all experts have been saying, it already poses a serious and dangerous terrorist threat to westerners at home and abroad.

Rather than worrying about whether or not it is called ISIS or ISIL, I hope this president mainly sees it as a dangerous and growing problem that needs to be eliminated at all costs. Anything else should be seen as unacceptable.

 

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