Steve Kramer

Israel’s position in the world

How are we doing? As good as one could expect under the circumstances (See Note below.)

Feeling paranoid about Israel’s current position in world affairs? If so, that paranoia may be appropriate. Just now, Israel stands accused by South Africa in the International Court of Justice. The charge: “genocide” against the Palestinian Arab people in Gaza. Just the fact that this is being adjudicated is a bad sign. This case surely will be followed up in the International Criminal Court, no friend of Israel. That court, unlike the Justice court, has powers to issue arrest warrants for individuals, politicians and soldiers. These warrants are valid in the Court’s member countries. (Israel and the US are not members.) 

Israel is the State of the Jews. Hamas, Gaza’s jihadist ruler, brags in its covenant that its goal is to annihilate the Jews and destroy the state. That objective is shared with the majority of the Gazans, the majority of the 475 million Arabs of the Middle East, and the Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria, the Biblical-Hebrew name of the “West Bank,” a pseudonym coined by Jordan in 1950. (There are 8 million Jews living in Israel.) 

China, Russia, Turkey, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea have associated themselves with Iran’s “Axis of Resistance” countries: Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and Iraq. The Biden administration, following the path of the Obama administration, has an inclination to ultimately ally with Iran, which it believes is the “strong horse” of the Muslim Middle East. This is painfully evident by the US reluctance to challenge Iran directly, which has enabled the mullahs to be on the cusp of deploying nuclear weapons. Iran’s often-proclaimed targets: the Big Satan (US) and the Little Satan (Israel). Go figure… 

Despite this, the US purports to be Israel’s best friend. It certainly is Israel’s biggest arms supplier, but beyond that, the current administration attempts to restrain Israel from defeating Hamas, which is supported by Iran. It also wants Israel to negotiate, not fight, with Hezbollah in Lebanon, yet another untrustworthy, terrorist army pressing Israel on its northern border. Eventually, it expects Israel to “live side by side in peace with a State of Palestine.” A Palestinian Arab “state” is definitely not acceptable to Israel, given the historical enmity between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. 

At the present time, well over 120,000 Israelis have been evacuated from their homes near Gaza in the south and near Lebanon in the north. They will not return home unless Israel’s enemies are defeated (in Gaza) or at the least moved far enough away from Israel’s border (in Lebanon). 

Currently, there are negotiations between the US and the ineffectual Lebanese government regarding the border between Lebanon and Israel. “U.S. special envoy Amos Hochstein said on Thursday [1/11/23] he was hopeful diplomacy could calm tensions on the disputed [sic] border between Lebanon and Israel, where the Israeli military and armed group Hezbollah have been exchanging fire for three months…. Hochstein said the U.S. ‘would like to see a diplomatic solution,’ and ‘it is our job to get one.’”

Undercutting Israel’s confidence in the American negotiator, in October, 2022 Hochstein brokered a previous agreement with Lebanon that gave nothing to Israel and everything to Lebanon. It demarcated a joint maritime border between the two parties regulating their rights to gas reserves at sea. In the agreement, Israel gave up all its rights. This deal was accomplished during the short, six-month period when Yair Lapid was the caretaker prime minister, just before the present Netanyahu government took office. Lapid is a politician of the left, one who wants “peace” at any price, which is no peace at all. The maritime deal is proof of that.

Hochstein’s current efforts are to redraw the boundary between the two states, negating the United Nations approved boundaries of 2000: “The United Nations Secretary-General confirmed Israeli withdrawal and compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 425. The Blue Line is recognized by both Israel and Lebanon and is marked and observed by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with blue barrels.”

Hezbollah has subordinated the people and the government of Lebanon to its authority. Its “word” isn’t worth the paper it is written on. Neither is the word of Hamas in Gaza, which broke a ceasefire with Israel on 10/7. So why does the US try to deter Israel from defeating both Hezbollah and Hamas, its sworn enemies? They are both part of the Iranian cabal to eliminate Israel, Islamize the US, and spread Islam throughout the Western world, assisted by its non-Muslim allies mentioned above. 

Is the State of Israel the “silver platter” that the US will offer to placate the jihadists? (See Note below.) Israel is the bellwether for the Western world, just as the Jews are the “canaries in the coal mine.” Don’t think that Israel is a postcard country with no relevance for you and your family. It most assuredly is! Delegitimization of Judeo-Christian values is currently happening in North American schools, universities, companies, organizations, and more.

Already there are enough Muslim voters in the US, particularly in Michigan and Minnesota, to make President Biden feel the need to propitiate them before the November presidential election. He needs their votes, which he will not get if Muslim voters are dissatisfied with him and decline to vote for “President” at the top of the ballot.

A December 2023 survey by the Wall Street Journal showed the huge discrepancy in approval of Israel between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats are much less supportive. “The WSJ poll discovered that age and party affiliation played a role in shaping sentiments toward Israelis and Palestinians. Nearly a quarter of Democrats expressed greater sympathy for ‘Palestinians,’ while 17% leaned towards the Israelis. Just under half claimed equal sympathy for both groups. In contrast, more than two-thirds of Republicans showed more sympathy for Israelis, with only 2% favoring ‘Palestinians’ and 17% expressing sympathy for both groups.”

Another trend is that the strongest Jewish backers of Israel in the US are the older generations, with solidarity declining with each younger generation. Unless this trend of hypercriticism of Israel reverses, support from succeeding American governments will decline. “A poll published Thursday [11/3/23] by Quinnipiac University (CT) demonstrated the stark age divide. Respondents were asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Israel is responding to the October 7th Hamas terrorist attack?” Half approved and 35 percent disapproved overall. But only 32% of respondents aged 18-34 approved of Israel’s response, as opposed to about 58% of those aged 50 and older.”

Israel’s position is perilous at this time. While the country is solidly united and fixated on the release of its hostages and the defeat of Hamas, it will be many months of inner city fighting to achieve its goal. Hezbollah in the north is an implacable, well-armed adversary. The northern front is active right now. It might erupt into a full blown war at any time. Its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, may be held back by the Iranian military/religious leaders until a time that better suits them (or him). In any event, world opinion of Israel is very important, especially that of the American government. It’s being treated as the aggressor while being attacked on every side, following a one-day attack on 10/7 that reminds Israelis and many other Jews of the Holocaust.

It’s ironic that Israel is being accused of genocide in the International Court of Justice. The word “genocide” was actually coined to describe the massacre of Jews up to and including World War II. On 10/7 Israel suffered a genocidal attack by Hamas fighters and even civilians, whose indisputable blood lust and atrocities exhibited the plain and simple goal of wiping out, raping, and mutilating Jews of all types: infants, toddlers, children, teens, and adults. Contrast those atrocities with Israel’s various and unique attempts to minimize civilian casualties. No army has ever come close to the protective actions the IDF takes to minimize civilian casualties.


How are we doing? After 100 days of fighting since the catastrophe of 10/7:

About 1,400 Israelis have been killed; more than 3,000 are wounded;

136 hostages (some no longer alive) are still held in Gaza with absolutely no services from the International Red Cross, stuck underground, abused – some sexually, hungry, fearful for their lives; trying to remain sane; with their family and friends at their wits’ end;

360,000 reserve soldiers were called into service, leaving their families and jobs behind; about 10% are currently on leave from their units, perhaps temporarily;

Upwards of 200,000 Israelis are relocated by the army or leave their homes voluntarily, many living in hotel rooms with their families; the students are all in temporary educational settings;

Only 19% of Israelis are satisfied with the present government;

The Israeli economy has shrink by 2 percent this quarter, thousands of workers are displaced and small businesses are closed; 

About 20 percent of the Israeli work force was missing from the labor market in October, up from 3 percent before the fighting began; the labor shortages have been particularly acute in the tourism, construction and agriculture sectors.

Many Israelis have volunteered at farms in the center and south of the country and in various other tasks to assist the soldiers, students, and displaced Israelis;

A sense of patriotism, unity, and purpose is pervasive throughout society, tempered by grief.

Note: In his 1948 poem, “The Silver Platter,” the beloved Israeli poet, journalist, and writer Natan Alterman describes a scene similar to the Biblical Revelation on Mount Sinai, where the Jewish People are waiting to receive the Jewish state, as the Israelites were waiting to receive the Torah. And yet, instead of Moses descending with the Tablets of Stone, the people see two unfamiliar youths, a boy and a girl, wounded and near dead with exhaustion. When asked, “Who are you?” they reply, “We are the silver platter on which the state of the Jews was handed to you.”

About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.
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