Mark Greenberg
Life-long Progressive Who Got Woke

Opportunity Knocks

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There are no longer any words to describe the dreadfully sad prospects for peace for Israel. It is especially lamentable in this Passover season.

Two desperate markers this week make that abundantly clear, as if that hasn’t always been the case. And I say that with all the obvious caveats: I am not on the ground, I live in the safety and security of America, I do not face people who have hated me generationally and are armed with rockets that can tear my house apart, I am not surrounded by countries that abhor my very existence and that have waged war against me for seventy years, and I do not live in a country that is the unending focus of religious animus centered in a world organization whose mission is to develop friendly relations among nations.

The first marker is the 40th anniversary of the historic armistice between Israel and the Arab Republic of Egypt. Though we honor Anwar el Sadat for his agreement to reduce hostilities between the two countries, and we acknowledge that he gave his life to the forces that represented the embryonic manifestations of the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda, there has been a wary calm between the two countries.

The population of Egypt is stridently anti-Israeli, would accept no cultural or economic interchange between the countries (despite the fact that 35 – 40% of Egyptians earns an average of $2 per day while Israel has the 2nd largest number of start up companies in the world) and elected a Muhammed Morsi, an avowed Muslim Brotherhood member, President. My esteemed former President, Barack Obama, nearly got away with sending his government F-35’s, so enamored was he with the “Muslim Spring” we now so conveniently forget.

Israel returned the Sinai – the Gaza Strip which Sadat wisely refused and pawned off on the Israelis and the PLO – but inherited generations of misery and violence as it first relinquished control over the Strip in an effort to seek a land-for-peace swap with the PLO, followed by the authoritarian crush of Sunni-supported Hamas over its Palestinian Authority brothers and its current allegiance to Iranian Shia overlords who supply them with the means to keep the population in line and the “resistance” with martyrs.

While al-Sisi toys with Donald Trump, positioning himself to remain in power ad infinitum – as all those who came before him also hoped – like Ayatollah Khameini in Iran or Recip Erdogan in Turkey or King Abdullah in Jordan – they are all cut from the same cloth.

Just as the Democrat Party in America cannot survive without dividing people by class and color, the Muslim autocrats cannot remain in power without continuing a state of conflict with the Jewish State.

The Jews are the colonialists. They have taken something that does not belong to them. Allah has decreed that they are pigs and apes, and that the lives of their infants, children, adolescents and adults are an abomination. When they are killed in the name of Allah, in jihad, it is a holy act, and we will be rewarded. Our governments reward our families for our sacrifices.

Show me a sign – any sign – that this is not happening. Where are the supposed voices of moderation?

The second marker was the return of the remains of Sgt. Zachary Baumel after having been missing for 37 years in Syria. It is said that the Russians assisted with the recovery of the sergeant’s remains. Vladimir Putin himself said that the soldier’s remains were recovered by “Russian Army soldiers…in coordination with the Syrian military.”

But Opthamologist-cum-WMD Generator Herr Doktor Bashar Assad denied that the Syrians had assisted the Russians in any way. This is new evidence, the Syrian Government confirmed, of “cooperation between terrorist groups and Israeli intelligence”.

Now, with Donald Trump’s recent acknowledgement that Israeli control over the Golan Heights is a strategic imperative and unlikely to be returned to Syria anytime soon and with Herr Doktor Assad continuing to take up residence in Damascus only because of Comrade Vladimir, you would think he would have the good sense to just shut up, take a smidgen of undeserved credit and let things lie.

But he can’t.

Because there will never be peace with the Jews. At some point in the future, likely spurred on and supported by Iran, he will attempt to retake the Golan by force.

Unless the Russians will be able to restrain him. If Vladimir is still around, I think it is quite clear that he has no appetite to engage either the Israelis or Americans over Syria: he has his warm water port on the Mediterranean at Tartus, he has his airbase at Latakia, and I do not see him permitting Assad to endanger these assets. Herr Doktor will be summoned to Moscow and end up in the UAE with his mother and sister (smart ladies, those two, just sitting on all that cash from bro’s successful career diagnosing cataracts and dispensing eyeglasses!).

These assets (Vlad’s, not the Doktor’s) also enable him to become a permanent fixture in Middle Eastern affairs. He has influence over and with the Iranians. He doesn’t care about flaunting his defiance of American sanctions against Iran or Venezuela or anybody else. This gives him leverage.

What Vladimir knows – and couldn’t give two hoots about – is that there will be no “two state solution”. Not in his lifetime, anyway. And that’s just fine with him. He’ll be friends with the Israelis and the Iranians. Until he has to pick sides.

Because he’s like a pirate. He’s an anarchist. He wants the world to be on fire. Because when the world is on fire, that’s “Opportunity Time!” for Russia.

Maybe Jared Kushner ought to retool that two state thing.

About the Author
Professionally, Mark Greenberg comes out of the world of New York Media. He was a member of the management team that started MTV. He turned down a job at ESPN to move to Austin to raise his family of four boys in a more rational atmosphere. He was also a member of the bicoastal media elite that he critiques on a regular basis.
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