Friday, April 29, 2016

Palestinians: Peace starts with facing the harsh reality of hate
Fred Maroun    (First appeared on Gatestone Institute) 4-28-16

The writer is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and he supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities, including Palestinians, can co-exist in peace with each other and with Israel, and where human rights are respected.

As an Arab, the situation of the Palestinians breaks my heart, as does the situation of Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, and even those living in relative peace under dictatorships. But the Palestinian situation bothers me most because no realistic solution is ever seriously considered.
While Palestinian refugees are scattered over several countries and given few rights by their Arab hosts, and while they live in various states of dependence in Gaza and the West Bank, resolution of their status is delayed decade after decade, with occasional lip service paid to a negotiated two-state solution -- the magic solution that would supposedly cure everything!
Who should be blamed for this? Most of the world is quick to blame Israel. I do not blame Israel for one second. The Jews accepted the UN partition plan of 1947 which would have given the Palestinians a state more viable than what was given to the Jews, but the Arab states convinced the Palestinians that it was a bad deal, and the Palestinians have been rejecting all opportunities for a state ever since.
The Arab states, many Europeans and the so-called "pro-Palestinian" movement have been using the same tactic since 1948 – keep the Palestinians in poverty, victimhood, and dependence so that Israel can be blamed, with the hope that Israel would lose legitimacy and its Jewish residents would be thrown into the sea or they would pack up and leave. Obviously it has not worked and it never will, but it has created what seems a carefully-planned hate culture for the Palestinians. This hate culture started from traditional Arab anti-Semitism, was combined with European anti-Semitism and has evolved into the most notorious and possibly the worst culture of hate on earth today. Less than a week ago, in the official Friday sermon on official Palestinian Authority (PA) television -- not Hamas -- the PA preacher was praying for genocide:
"Allah, punish Your enemies, the enemies of religion, count their numbers and kill them to the last one, and bring them a black day. Allah, punish the wicked Jews, and those among the atheists who help them. Allah, we ask that You bestow upon us respect and honor by enabling us to repel them, and we ask You to save us from their evil."
All attempts by the U.S. to facilitate a final-status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians have failed. Has any reasonable person really expected those attempts to succeed?
A society whose leaders campaign for a convicted terrorist to be given the Nobel Peace Prize, a society that teaches its children hatred and violence as part of its standard curriculum, a society that unabashedly teaches anti-Semitism through all means available, a society that putssuicide belts on children during political celebrations, a society that honors, glorifies and fundsterrorists, a society that uses a hateful version of religion to poison the minds of its children, a society that engages in widespread jubilation when Jews are victims of terrorist attacks, is not a healthy society that can develop peace of any kind.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claims that he wants a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, yet he refused it when it was offered to him because he knows that he cannot sell any reasonable solution to his people. He knows that Palestinians have been taught for generations to believe that the only solution is the end of the Jewish state, and he and his predecessor Yasser Arafat hold a huge part of responsibility in that brainwashing.
Peace cannot be achieved as if by magic. Teach the Palestinians the values that bring peace (acceptance of differences, religious tolerance, and non-violent conflict resolution) rather than the lies that bring hate. Stop the anti-Israel incitement and maybe in a generation or two, the Palestinians will be ready for peace. These are the values taught all over the liberal democratic world, including Israel, but somehow, when it comes to Arabs, all expectations of socialized behavior are thrown out the window.
That peace requires -- first -- the end of the Palestinian culture of hate is obvious; yet this point is rarely made except by Israel and its supporters. Somehow, people expect to resolve a conflict without neutralizing the root cause of that conflict: teaching hate. Apparently, no one wants to face the reality that fighting hate is far harder than fighting warplanes, armored vehicles, missiles, or armies. But far more important.
When well-meaning but naïve (or disingenuous) people talk about how "both sides" in the conflict are at fault, I get nauseated. While it is technically true that both sides have faults, the imbalance is so great that the analogy is not only meaningless, but, more importantly, dangerous. It papers over the most fundamental issue in this conflict -- the need to resolve the huge moral failure on the Arab side, its anti-Semitic hatred.
Resolving the hatred would finally allow Palestinians to look after their own interests rather than be obsessed and distracted with damaging the interests of Israel. They would find that their interests are quite consistent with those of Israel, and that peace would bring them huge dividends. They would be able to see these facts because they would no longer be blinded by hate.
Teach Peace: This is the solution that Western politicians urgently need to talk about when they meet Palestinian officials. It should be at the start, at the middle, and at the end of every meeting and every speech, and all funding should be made contingent on it and strictly linked to it.
Until this approach is adopted, there is really no point in talking about a negotiated two-state solution.

Fred Maroun, a left-leaning Arab based in Canada, has authored op-eds for New Canadian Media, among other outlets. From 1961-1984, he lived in Lebanon.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Netanyahu is not the first leader the White House found "frustrating"
Dr. Rafael Medoff, Director, David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, Washington DC, Published: Thursday, April 28, 2016

“Ironically, many of the Israeli leaders with whom past U.S. presidents have clashed were from the leftwing Labor Party, not the rightwing Likud.”

Vice President Joe Biden's declared "frustration" with the Israeli government may have insulted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but he is only the latest in a long line of Israeli prime ministers in whom the White House has found fault at one time or another.
Ironically, many of the Israeli leaders with whom past U.S. presidents have clashed were from the leftwing Labor Party, not the rightwing Likud.
Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, was the first Israeli leader to find himself at odds with Washington. In the spring of 1948, President Harry Truman instructed the State Department to pressure Ben-Gurion to postpone declaring the establishment of Israel. If the Zionist leaders refused to back down, "they need not expect anything from us," Truman told the State Department's Dean Rusk. 
Truman made good on that threat. Although he extended diplomatic recognition to the newborn Jewish State, the president imposed a total arms embargo on Israel throughout the War of Independence. Nevertheless, Ben-Gurion never regretted his decision to declare statehood.
The administration of President Dwight Eisenhower, too, expressed Biden-like "frustration" with the Israelis. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in demanded that Israel agree to let Jerusalem be ruled by "the world religious community." Eisenhower's State Department declared in 1953 that Jewish immigration to Israel from around the world was making the Arab nations feel threatened, so Israel needed to "re-examine its policy of encouraging large-scale immigration." 
Eisenhower's frustration with Ben-Gurion reached new levels after Israel's pre-emptive strike against Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1956. The president told aides that he considered Ben-Gurion an "extremist" and questioned the Israeli prime minister's "balance and rationality." 
James Reston of the New York Times reported this colorful illustration of the president's anger toward Ben-Gurion: "The White House crackled with barracks room language the like of which had not been heard since the days of General Grant." Those insults were soon translated into concrete steps, as the Eisenhower administration blocked U.S. assistance to Israel and threatened to impose sanctions unless Ben-Gurion ceded territory to Nasser.
President John F. Kennedy, for his part, was frustrated by Ben-Gurion's refusal to acknowledge that Israel was developing nuclear weapons. Meeting in New York City in May 1961, JFK pressed the Israeli leader for details on what was taking place at the Dimona nuclear research facility. 
"Ben-Gurion mumbled and spoke very softly; it was hard to hear him and understand what he was saying, partly due to his accent," according to Prof. Avner Cohen, author of Israel and the Bomb. Recently-declassified National Security Archive documents show that U.S. inspectors who were given a partial tour of the Dimona facility in 1962 felt they were being "tricked" and "misled" because they were shown only some of the buildings.
The Israeli prime minister who received perhaps the harshest treatment from a "frustrated" White House was Yitzhak Rabin. Today, of course, Rabin is remembered fondly in Washington for the concessions he made as part of the Oslo accords in 1993-1995. But Rabin was not very popular at the White House in the spring of 1975, when he balked at the Ford administration's demand that he give strategic Sinai mountain passes and oil fields to Egypt in exchange for little more than a brief cease-fire.
In his book The Secret Conversations of Henry Kissinger, Matti Golan, the chief diplomatic correspondent for Ha'aretz, revealed what happened next. President Gerald Ford sent Rabin a telegram that was "tough, even brutal." Ford "ominously warned of damaging relations between Israel and the United States" if Rabin failed to "consent to Egypt's conditions."
When Rabin hesitated, Ford announced that Israel was to blame for the failure of the negotiations, and said the U.S. would undertake a "reassessment" of its Mideast policy. All American military aid to Israel was suspended in the meantime. 
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger cranked up the pressure by giving a series of off-the-record briefings to reporters in which he blasted Israel's leaders. Rabin was "a small man," Kissinger told the journalists; Defense Minister Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Yigal Allon were consumed by "petty personal rivalries."
Kissinger himself proved to be remarkably petty. He "directed that the special line connecting his office to the Israeli embassy should be removed"; all telephone calls by Israeli ambassador Simcha Dinitz to Kissinger were now transferred to Kissinger's aides; and "when they met at Washington gatherings, it was no longer 'Simcha,' but 'Mr. Ambassador.' "
A worried Rabin tried to appease Washington by announcing a unilateral withdrawal of some of Israeli troops from near the Suez Canal. Washington's response? "Kissinger let it be leaked to the press that he regarded the Israeli gesture as meaningless."
When Rabin visited Washington in June, the pressure intensified, according to Golan: "Ford warned Rabin right away that the approaching American elections would not get Israel off the hook. If there was no agreement with Egypt, Ford said, the United States would go to Geneva with a plan of its own, even if it lost him votes and stirred up opposition in Congress." Confronted by these pressures, Rabin and his cabinet "simply caved in."
Whether Likud or Labor, more than a few Israeli prime ministers have been stung by the barbs of a "frustrated" White House. No doubt the Israeli leaders have, in turn, felt frustrated that some American presidents have seemed to give short shrift to Israel's legitimate security concerns. The good news is that an occasional outburst by an official on either side is no reason for panic; the America-Israel alliance has withstood may challenges and no doubt will withstand others in the future.
(Dr. Medoff is author of 16 books about Jewish history, including the Historical Dictionary of Zionism [coauthored with Chaim I. Waxman].)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The U.S. and “Defensible Borders”:By Dr. Dore Gold, JCPA

How Washington Has Understood UN Security Council Resolution 242 and Israel’s Requirements for Withdrawal

U.S. Policy Does Not Seek Israel’s Return to the 1967 Borders
The United States has historically backed Israel’s view that UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted on November 22, 1967, does not require a full withdrawal to the 1949 Armistice Lines (the 1967 borders). Moreover, in addition to that interpretation, both Democratic and Republican administrations have argued that Israel was entitled to “defensible borders.” In other words, the American backing of defensible borders has been bipartisan, right up to its latest rendition that was provided by President George W. Bush in April 2004. And it was rooted in America’s long-standing support for the security of Israel that went well beyond the various legal interpretations of UN resolutions.
Why is the U.S. position so important to consider? First, while it is true that ultimately Israel and the Palestinians themselves must decide on the whereabouts of the future borders as part of any negotiation, the U.S. position on borders directly affects the level of expectation of the Arab side regarding the depth of the Israeli concessions they can obtain. To the extent that the U.S. limits its demands of Israel through either presidential declarations or statements of the secretary of state, then the Arab states and the Palestinian Arabs will have to settle for less in terms of any Israeli withdrawal. U.S. declaratory policy, then, fundamentally affects whether Arab-Israeli differences can ultimately be bridged at the negotiating table or whether they simply remain too far apart.
Second, there is a related dynamic. Historically, Arab diplomats preferred to extract Israeli concessions through international bodies, like the UN, or even through the U.S., and thereby limit the direct concessions they must provide to Israel in return. According to this scenario, the UN, with U.S. acquiescence, could set the terms of an Israeli withdrawal in the West Bank that Israel would be pressured to fulfill with only minimal bilateral commitments provided by the Arab states. In fact, it was Egyptian President Anwar Sadat who used to say that the U.S. “holds 99 percent of the cards” in the peace process, before he signed the Israeli-Egyptian Treaty of Peace in 1979. Therefore, if the Arab states understand that the U.S. won’t just deliver Israel according to their liking, then they will be compelled to deal with Israel directly.
Confusion in Jerusalem About the U.S. Position
Yet despite the critical importance of America’s traditional support for Israel’s understanding of UN Security Council Resolution 242, historically there has been considerable confusion in Jerusalem about this subject. All too frequently, Israeli diplomats err in asserting that, according to the U.S., Israel must ultimately pull back to the 1967 lines, with perhaps the addition that minor border modifications will be allowed. Those Israelis who take this mistaken position about U.S. policy tend to conclude that Israel has no alternative but to accept this policy as a given, and thereby concede Israel’s right to defensible borders.
The U.S. Position on UN Resolution 242
However, a careful analysis of the development of the U.S. position on UN Security Council Resolution 242 reveals that this “maximalist” interpretation of U.S. policy is fundamentally mistaken. In fact, successive U.S. administrations following the 1967 Six-Day War have demonstrated considerable flexibility over the years regarding the extent of withdrawal that they expected of Israel. True, sometimes the State Department bureaucracy – especially diplomats in the Near Eastern Affairs division that dealt with the Arab world – adhered to a more hard-line view of Israel’s requirements for withdrawal. But this issue was not decided at their level. Indeed, over time, successive administrations would even go so far as to issue explicit declarations rejecting the requirement of full withdrawal and backing Israel’s right to defensible borders instead.

Resolution 242 was a joint product of both the British and U.S. ambassadors to the UN. George Brown, who was British Foreign Secretary in 1967, said 242 “means Israel will not withdraw from all the territories.”

What was the source of America’s support for Israel? It is important to recall that UN Security Council Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967, was a joint product of both the British ambassador to the UN, Lord Caradon, and the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Arthur Goldberg. This was especially true of the withdrawal clause in the resolution which called on Israeli armed forces to withdraw “from territories” and not “from all the territories” or “from the territories” as the Soviet Union had demanded.
The exclusion of the definite article “the” from the withdrawal clause was not decided by a low-level legal drafting team or even at the ambassadorial level. And it was not just a matter for petty legalists. Rather, President Lyndon Baines Johnson himself decided that it was important to stick to this phraseology, despite the pressure from the Soviet premier, Alexei Kosygin, who had sought to incorporate stricter additional language requiring a full Israel withdrawal.1
The meaning of UN Security Council Resolution 242 was absolutely clear to those who were involved in this drafting process. Thus, Joseph P. Sisco, who would serve as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, commented on Resolution 242 during a Meet the Press interview some years later: “I was engaged in the negotiation for months of that resolution. That resolution did not say ‘total withdrawal.'”2 This U.S. position had been fully coordinated with the British at the time. Indeed, George Brown, who had served as British foreign secretary in 1967 during Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s Labour government, summarized Resolution 242 as follows: “The proposal said, ‘Israel will withdraw from territories that were occupied,’ not ‘from the territories,’ which means Israel will not withdraw from all the territories.”3
President Johnson: ’67 Line a Prescription for Renewed Hostilities
President Johnson’s insistence on protecting the territorial flexibility of Resolution 242 could be traced to his statements made on June 19, 1967, in the immediate wake of the Six-Day War. In fact, Johnson declared that “an immediate return to the situation as it was on June 4,” before the outbreak of hostilities, was “not a prescription for peace, but for renewed hostilities.” He stated that the old “truce lines” had been “fragile and violated.” What was needed, in Johnson’s view, were “recognized boundaries” that would provide “security against terror, destruction and war.”4

In the wake of the Six-Day War, President Lyndon Johnson declared that “an immediate return to the situation as it was on June 4,” before the outbreak of hostilities, was “not a prescription for peace, but for renewed hostilities.” What was needed were “recognized boundaries” that would provide “security against terror, destruction and war.”

Ambassador Goldberg would additionally note sometime later another aspect of the Johnson administration’s policy that was reflected in the language of its UN proposals: “Resolution 242 in no way refers to Jerusalem, and this omission was deliberate.”5 The U.S. was not about to propose the restoration of the status quo ante in Jerusalem either, even though successive U.S. administrations would at times criticize Israel’s construction practices in the eastern parts of Jerusalem that it had captured.
Within a number of years, U.S. diplomacy would reflect the idea that Israel was entitled to changes in the pre-1967 lines. At first, public expressions by the Nixon administration were indeed minimalist; Secretary of State William Rogers declared in 1969 that there would be “insubstantial alterations” of the 1967 lines. At the time, Rogers’ policy was severely criticized by Stephen W. Schwebel, the Executive Director of the American Society of International Law, who would become the Legal Advisor of the U.S. Department of State and later serve on the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Schwebel reminded Rogers of Israel’s legal rights in the West Bank in theAmerican Journal of International Law (64\344,1970) when he wrote: “Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.” In the international legal community there was an acute awareness that Jordan, the West Bank’s previous occupant prior to 1967, had illegally invaded the West Bank in 1948, while Israel captured the territory in a war of self-defense.

In referring to the 1967 lines, Nixon told Kissinger: “you and I both know they [the Israelis] can’t go back to the other borders.”

President Nixon: The Israelis “Can’t Go Back” to the 1967 Borders
Rogers was soon replaced, in any case, by Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s national security advisor, who significantly modified Rogers’ position. Already in 1973, in subsequently disclosed private conversations with Kissinger, in referring to the 1967 lines, Nixon explicitly admitted: “you and I both know they [the Israelis] can’t go back to the other borders.”6 This became evident in September 1975, under the Ford administration, in the context of the Sinai II Disengagement Agreement. While the agreement covered a second Israeli pullout from the Sinai Peninsula, Israel’s prime minister at the time, Yitzhak Rabin, achieved a series of understandings with the U.S. that covered other fronts of the Arab-Israeli peace process. For example, President Ford provided Prime Minister Rabin with a letter on the future of the Golan Heights that stated:
The U.S. has not developed a final position on the borders. Should it do so it will give great weight to Israel’s position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights.7

President Ford wrote to Prime Minister Rabin that the U.S. “will give great weight to Israel’s position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights.”

This carefully drafted language did not detail whether the U.S. would actually accept Israeli sovereignty over parts of the Golan Heights or just the continued presence of the Israel Defense Forces on the Golan plateau. In either case, the Ford letter did not envision a full Israeli pullback to the 1967 lines or even minor modifications of the 1967 border near the Sea of Galilee. These details are not a matter for diplomatic historians alone, for the U.S. explicitly renewed its commitment to the Ford letter just before the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, when Secretary of State James Baker issued a letter of assurances to Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. Moreover, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu obtained the recommitment of the Clinton administration to the Ford letter, just prior to the opening of Israel-Palestinian negotiations over Hebron.

It was the administration of President Ronald Reagan that most forcefully articulated Israel’s right to defensible borders. Reagan himself stated: “In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely ten miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel’s population lived within artilleryrange of hostile armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.”

President Reagan: I Can’t Ask Israel to Return to the Pre-1967 Borders
It was the administration of President Ronald Reagan that most forcefully articulated Israel’s right to defensible borders, just after President Carter appeared to give only lukewarm support for the U.S.-Israeli understandings of the Ford-Kissinger era. Reagan himself stated in his September 1, 1982, address that became known as the “Reagan Plan”: “In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely ten miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel’s population lived within artillery range of hostile armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.” Reagan came up with a flexible formula for Israeli withdrawal: “The extent to which Israel should be asked to give up territory will be heavily affected by the extent of the peace and normalization.”8 Secretary of State George Shultz was even more explicit about what this meant during a September 1988 address: “Israel will never negotiate from or return to the 1967 borders.”9

Secretary of State George Shultz was even more explicit: “Israel will never negotiate from or return to the 1967 borders.”

What did Shultz mean by his statement? Was he recognizing Israeli rights to retain large portions of the West Bank? A half year earlier, he demonstrated considerable diplomatic creativity in considering alternatives to a full Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines. He even proposed what was, in effect, a “functional compromise” in the West Bank, as opposed to a “territorial compromise.” Shultz was saying that the West Bank should be divided between Israel and the Jordanians according to different functions of government, and not in terms of drawing new internal borders. In an address to the Council on Foreign Relations in February 1988, he asserted: “the meaning of sovereignty, the meaning of territory, is changing, and what any national government can control, or what any unit that thinks it has sovereignty or jurisdiction over a certain area can control, is shifting gears.”10
In his memoirs, Shultz elaborated on his 1988 address. He wrote that he had spoken to both Israeli and Jordanian leaders in the spirit of his speech and argued that “who controls whatÉwould necessarily vary over such diverse functions as external security, maintenance of law and order, access to limited supplies of water, management of education, health, and other civic functions, and so forth.”11 The net effect of this thinking was to protect Israel’s security interests and provide it with a defensible border that would be substantially different from the 1967 lines.
Clinton’s Secretary of State Reaffirms: Israel Entitled to Defensible Borders
U.S. support for defensible borders had clearly become bipartisan and continued into the 1990s, even as the Palestinians replaced Jordan as the primary Arab claimant to the West Bank. At the time of the completion of the 1997 Hebron Protocol, Secretary of State Warren Christopher wrote a letter of assurances to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the Christopher letter, the Clinton administration basically stated that it was not going to second-guess Israel about its security needs: “a hallmark of U.S. policy remains our commitment to work cooperatively to seek to meet the security needs that Israel identifies” (emphasis added). This meant that Israel would be the final arbiter of its defense needs. Christopher then added: “Finally, I would like to reiterate our position that Israel is entitled to secure and defensible borders (emphasis added), which should be directly negotiated and agreed with its neighbors.”12
In summary, there is no basis to the argument that the U.S. has traditionally demanded of Israel either a full withdrawal or a nearly full withdrawal from the territories it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. This is particularly true of the West Bank and Gaza Strip where only armistice lines were drawn in 1949, reflecting where embattled armies had halted their advance and no permanent international borders existed. The only development that has altered this American stance in support of defensible borders in the past involved changes in the Israeli position to which the U.S. responded.
The Unofficial Clinton/Barak Parameters Are Off the Table
About two weeks before he completed his second term in office, President Bill Clinton presented his own plan for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on January 7, 2001. The Clinton parameters were partly based on the proposals made by Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Barak, at the failed Camp David Summit of July 2000.
In the territorial sphere, Clinton spoke about Israel annexing “settlement blocs” in the West Bank. However, he made this annexation of territory by Israel conditional upon a “land swap” taking place, according to which Israel would concede territory under its sovereignty before 1967 in exchange for any new West Bank land. This “land swap” was not required by UN Resolution 242, but was a new Israeli concession made during the Barak government that Clinton adopted; it should be noted for the record, however, that Maj.-Gen. (res.) Danny Yatom, who served as the head of Barak’s foreign and defense staff, has argued that Barak himself never offered these “land swaps” at Camp David.
Additionally, under the Clinton parameters, Israel was supposed to withdraw from the Jordan Valley (which Rabin sought to retain) and thereby give up on defensible borders. Instead, Clinton proposed an “international presence” to replace the Israel Defense Forces. This particular component of the proposals severely compromised Israel’s doctrine of self-reliance in matters of defense and seemed to ignore Israel’s problematic history with the UN and other international forces in even more limited roles such as peace monitoring.
Prior to their formal release, the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Lt.-Gen. Shaul Mofaz, severely criticized the Clinton parameters before the Israeli cabinet as a virtual disaster for Israel: Yediot Ahronot reported on December 29, 2000, his judgment that: “The Clinton bridging proposal is inconsistent with Israel’s security interests and, if it will be accepted, it will threaten the security of the state” (emphasis added).
The Clinton parameters did not become official U.S. policy. After President George W. Bush came into office, U.S. officials informed the newly elected Sharon government that it would not be bound by proposals made by the Barak team at Camp David, which served as the basis for the Clinton parameters. In short, Clinton’s retreat from defensible borders was off the table.
President Bush: It is Unrealistic to Expect a Return to the Armistice Lines of 1949
The best proof that the U.S. had readopted its traditional policy that Israel was entitled to defensible borders came from the letter of assurances written by President Bush to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on April 14, 2004, after the presentation in Washington of Israel’s disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip. Bush wrote: “The United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure and defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel’s capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats.”13 Here, then, was an implicit link suggested between the letter’s reference to defensible borders and Israel’s self-defense capabilities, by virtue of the fact that they were coupled together in the very same sentence.

President Bush wrote to Prime Minister Sharon on April 14, 2004: “In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”

Bush clearly did not envision Israel withdrawing to the 1967 lines. Later in his letter he stated: “In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.” Bush did not use the term “settlement blocs,” as Clinton did, but appeared to be referring to the same idea. Less than a year later, on March 27, 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice explained on Israel Radio that “Israeli population centers” referred to “the large settlement blocs” in the West Bank.14
More significantly, Bush did not make the retention of “Israeli population centers” in the West Bank contingent upon Israel agreeing to land swaps, using territory under Israeli sovereignty from within the pre-1967 borders as Clinton had insisted. In that sense, Bush restored the original terms of reference in the peace process that had been contained in Resolution 242 by confining the territorial issue to Israel’s east to the dispute over the ultimate status of the West Bank without involving any additional territorial exchanges.
Bush’s recognition of Israel’s right to defensible borders was the most explicit expression of the U.S. stand on the subject, for the Bush letter, as a whole, recognized clear-cut modifications of the pre-1967 lines. Moreover, by linking the idea of defensible borders to Israel’s defensive capabilities, as noted above, Bush was making clear that a “defensible border” had to improve Israel’s ability to provide for its own security. True, a “secure boundary,” as mentioned in Resolution 242, included that interpretation as well. But it could also imply a boundary that was secured by U.S. security guarantees, NATO troops, or even other international forces. Bush’s letter did not contain this ambiguity, but rather specifically tied defensible borders to Israel’s ability to defend itself.

The Bush letter made clear that a “defensible border” had to improve Israel’s ability to provide for its own security.

On March 25, 2005, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Dan Kurtzer, was quoted in the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot as saying that there was no U.S.-Israeli “understanding” over Israel’s retention of West Bank settlement blocs. Kurtzer denied the Yediot report. Yet the story raised the question of what kind of commitment the Bush letter exactly constituted. In U.S. practice, a treaty is the strongest form of inter-state commitment, followed by an executive agreement (such as a Memorandum of Understanding without congressional ratification). Still, an exchange of letters provides an international commitment as well. Kurtzer himself reiterated this point on Israel’s Channel 10 television: “Those commitments are very, very firm with respect to these Israeli population centers; our expectation is that Israel is not going to be going back to the 1967 lines.” When asked if these “population centers” were “settlement blocs,” he replied: “That’s correct.”15
Separately, Bush has introduced the idea of a viable and contiguous Palestinian state, which has territorial implications. At a minimum, contiguity refers to creating an unobstructed connection between all the West Bank cities, so that a Palestinian could drive from Jenin to Hebron. Palestinians might construe American references to contiguity as including a Palestinian-controlled connection from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, like the “safe passage” mentioned in the Oslo Accords. But this would entail bifurcating Israel in two. In any case, there is no international legal right of states to have a sovereign connection between parts that are geographically separated: The U.S. has no sovereign territorial connection between Alaska and the State of Washington. Similarly, there is no such sovereign connection between the parts of other geographically separated states, like Oman. On February 21, 2005, President Bush clarified that his administration’s call for territorial contiguity referred specifically to the West Bank.

There is no international legal right of states to have a sovereign connection between parts that are geographically separated: The U.S. does not have a sovereign territorial connection between Alaska and the State of Washington.

Historically, the U.S. Has Not Insisted on Full Israeli Withdrawal
In conclusion, historically the U.S. has not insisted on a full Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines from the territories that Israel captured in the 1967 War. Yet it is still possible to ask what value these American declarations have if they are made with the additional provision that the ultimate location of Arab-Israeli borders must be decided by the parties themselves. This is particularly true of the 2004 Bush letter which reiterates this point explicitly.
Clearly the U.S. cannot impose the Bush letter on Israel and the Palestinians, if they refuse to accept its terms. The Bush letter only updates and summarizes the U.S. view of the correct interpretation of UN Resolution 242 in any future negotiations. Its importance emanates from two contexts:
  1. The fact that the April 2003 Quartet roadmap is silent on the subject of Israel’s future borders and those of the proposed Palestinian state. At least the Bush letter protects Israel’s vital interests prior to the beginning of any future negotiations. It is tantamount to a diplomatic safety net for Israel.
  2. To the extent that other members of the Quartet (Russia, the EU, or the UN) propose that the borders of the Palestinian state in the future be the 1967 lines, the Bush letter essentially says that the U.S. will not be a party to such an initiative.

What is left now for Israel to do is to provide further details as to the territorial meaning of defensible borders and to reach a more specific understanding with the U.S. regarding its content.

Defensible Borders: An Integral Part of the American Diplomatic Lexicon
What is left now for Israel to do is to provide further details as to the territorial meaning of defensible borders and to reach a more specific understanding with the U.S. regarding its content, given the fact that it has become an integral part of the American diplomatic lexicon for the Arab-Israeli peace process.
In the future, would the United States remain sympathetic to Israel’s security concerns so that such understandings can be reached? After all, much of the U.S. positioning on defensible borders began to be articulated during the Cold War. Additionally, in a post-Iraq War Middle East, in which the threat to Israel from its eastern front has been diminished in the immediate term, would the U.S. still back defensible borders? There is a threefold answer to this question. First, the permanence of the changes in the Middle East in 2005 cannot be taken for granted by any defense planner. Even the U.S. retains residual capabilities in the event that the intentions of Russia and China were to change in the future.

The permanence of the changes in the Middle East in 2005 cannot be taken for granted by any defense planner. Even the U.S. retains residual capabilities in the event that the intentions of Russia and China were to change in the future.

Second, Israel’s need for defensible borders also has a context in the war on terrorism. If Israel cedes control over the Jordan Valley, for example, large-scale weapons smuggling to terrorist groups in the West Bank hills that dominate Israel’s coastal plain would become more prevalent. The 9/11 Commission asserted that the struggle to transform the Middle East in order to undercut the threats from the new global terrorism will take decades.16 Thus, Israel has a sound basis for insisting that even after the 2003 Iraq War, its quest for defensible borders remains fully warranted.
Third, during the Clinton years, Washington was sympathetic to the idea of deploying UN and other international forces as a tool for peace-building. This was expressed in the 2001 Clinton proposals for placing international peacekeepers in the Jordan Valley instead of the Israel Defense Forces. Clearly, enthusiasm for such UN deployments has drastically declined since then, with the disasters that have become associated with UN peacekeeping missions throughout the last decade.
An alternative that might be raised by those who nonetheless seek to remove Israeli forces from the Jordan Valley would be the deployment of U.S. forces, or a non-UN multilateral body like the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in Egyptian Sinai. Yet such a course of action could pose great risks for the troops involved. In the sparsely-populated Sinai Peninsula, U.S. troops are isolated; they only monitor on the ground the implementation of an inter-state agreement between Israel and Egypt. In contrast, in the Jordan Valley they would be closer to Palestinian population centers and involved in a counter-terrorist mission.
Under such conditions, one cannot rule out attacks against Western forces, like the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. While Hamas and Islamic Jihad have not launched attacks against Western targets overseas, nonetheless, they would view any Western presence in what became Palestinian territory through the same ideological prism as militant Islamist groups in the Arabian Peninsula.17 The Palestinians already attacked a U.S. diplomatic convoy in the Gaza Strip on October 15, 2003, killing three Americans, although it has not been ascertained whether or not Islamist motives were involved.
In short, there are no workable substitutes for Israel protecting itself with defensible borders, given the array of threats it is still likely to face.

For Hamas, any Western military deployment in the Jordan Valley would be viewed in the same way that Islamist groups in the Arabian Peninsula perceived the U.S. presence.

*     *     *
1. Premier Kosygin wrote to President Johnson on November 21, 1967, requesting that the UK draft resolution, that was to become Resolution 242, include the word “the” before the word “territories.” Johnson wrote back the same day refusing the Soviet request. The Soviet deputy foreign minister, Kuznetsov, tried the same day in New York to insert the word “all,” but was rebuffed. See Foreign Relations of the United States, 1967-1968, volume XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War 1967,
2. Adnan Abu Odeh, Nabil Elaraby, Meir Rosenne, Dennis Ross, Eugene Rostow, and Vernon Turner, UN Security Council Resolution 242: The Building Block of Peacemaking(Washington, D.C.: Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1993), p. 88.
3. See Meir Rosenne, in ibid., p. 31.
4. Speech by President Lyndon Johnson, June 19, 1967;
5. Arthur J. Goldberg, Letter to the Editor of The New York Times, March 5, 1980.
6. Henry Kissinger, Crisis: The Anatomy of Two Major Foreign Policy Crises (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003), p. 140.
7. Letter from President Ford to Prime Minister Rabin, September 1, 1975;
8. Speech by President Ronald Reagan, September 1, 1982; http://www.reagan.utexas. edu/resource/speeches/1982/90182d.htm
9. Secretary of State George P. Shultz’s address, September 16, 1988; http://www.findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m1079/is_n2140_v88/ai_6876262
10. George P. Shultz, Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State (New York: Charles Schribner’s Sons, 1993), p. 1022.
11. Ibid., p. 1023.
12. Letter of U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, January 17, 1997;
13. Exchange of letters between President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon, April 14, 2004; Process/Reference+Documents/Exchange+of+letters+Sharon-Bush+14-Apr-2004.htm
14. Aluf Benn, “PM: Understanding With U.S. About West Bank Settlement Blocs Holds Firm,” Ha’aretz, March 27, 2005.
15. /mission/amb/032505b.html
16. The 9/11 Commission Report (Authorized Edition) (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004), p. 363.
17. “Will a Gaza ‘Hamas-stan’ Become a Future Al-Qaeda Sanctuary?” Yaakov Amidror and David Keyes, Jerusalem Viewpoints, November 1, 2004; htm
*     *     *

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Joe Biden Versus the Israeli People

President Obama sent Vice President Joe Biden to address a J Street dinner last night and the message delivered to the left-wing lobby wasn’t subtle. After a diatribe blasting the government of Israel, Biden praised a young left-wing member of the Knesset in attendance at the event. Turning to Labor MK Stav Shaffir, Biden compared her to a young version of himself and then expressed the following wish:
May your views begin to once again become the majority opinion in the Knesset.
While it is a curious thing for one government of a democratic nation to express an opinion about the verdict of the people in another democratic nation, it was nevertheless a rare moment of honesty from the Obama administration about Israel. As much as the problems between Washington and Jerusalem have been hyped as the product of the dysfunctional relationship between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu, the truth is that the disconnect between the two governments isn’t really about two men that don’t like each other. The administration’s problem isn’t so much with Netanyahu as it is with the Israeli people who continue to reject their advice about policy and who should run their country.
To be fair, these criticisms were couched in terms that reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Israeli security and the maintenance of the alliance between the two nations. But when coupled with the sort of even-handed approach to the Middle East conflict that Biden — who has traded on his claims of decades of friendship with Israel in order to bolster Obama’s criticisms of Netanyahu — it’s easy to see that what really bothers Washington about the situation.
According to Biden, the problem in the region is that “there is no will for peace” among Israelis or Palestinians. His argument was that both the Netanyahu government and the Palestinian Authority were equally responsible for the lack of progress. Their actions, he said, meant, “the trust that is necessary for peace is fractured on both sides.”
Feeding the liberal J Street audience what they wanted to hear, Biden excoriated settlements in the West Bank as “counterproductive” and a threat to Israel’s continuance as both a Jewish and democratic state.
The wisdom of placing some settlements in heavily Arab areas in the West Bank is one on which Israelis are divided. But the notion that the settlements as a whole or any building going on inside them are the real obstacles to peace is a myth. Even the Obama administration has made it clear that it expects that the bulk of the settlement population located in blocs near the ’67 lines and, in Jerusalem, will remain inside Israel in any theoretical peace agreement. Almost all of the “new settlements” construction that Washington deplores is going on inside those areas, making population growth there as irrelevant to an accord as building in Arab towns about which nobody cares.
The problem with Biden’s thinking and that of his J Street cheering section is that the reason why there is no peace has nothing to do with settlements and everything to do with the Palestinians’ refusal to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders might be drawn.
Three times in the last 16 years, Israel offered the Palestinians a state that would include almost all of the West Bank, Gaza, and a share of Jerusalem. Three times they turned it down. Even the Netanyahu government that Biden and Obama deplore, agreed to a two-state solution and offered to pull back from the West Bank in the negotiations sponsored by Secretary of State John Kerry (who was also at the J Street dinner). But PA leader Mahmoud Abbas refused to negotiate seriously and then blew up the talks by making a unity pact with Hamas and seeking to evade the U.S.-led talks by going to the United Nations to get recognition without first making peace with Israel.
Of course, Biden is right that there is a “lack of will” on the part of the overwhelming majority of Israelis to do as Obama demands and to withdraw from the West Bank without the Palestinians declaring an end to the conflict for all time. But it is not because they want peace any less than Biden or the liberal American Jews who support J Street. It’s because, unlike Biden and J Street, they have been paying attention to what has happened in the last 23 years since the Oslo Accords initiated the peace process.
The Israeli people know their governments have taken the risks for peace that Obama urges on them and about which Biden claims to feel “overwhelming frustration.” But instead of trading land for peace, they bartered territory for terror. It’s not just the fact that Yasir Arafat answered Ehud Barak’s first two offers of statehood with a terrorist war of attrition and that Abbas rejected a similar offer from Ehud Olmert in 2008. Rather, the precedent that looms over every Israeli discussion about the Palestinians is that of Ariel Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.
Sharon did what every critic of Israel has always urged the Jewish state to do. He pulled every soldier, settler, and settlement out of Gaza and handed it all over to the Palestinians. But instead of becoming an incubator peace and development (aided by the purchase of Israeli greenhouses by American philanthropists), Gaza descended into chaos and was soon taken over by Hamas. It is now an independent Palestinian state in all but name and one that is dedicated to one proposition only: continuing the war against Israeli “occupation.” In this case “occupation would seem to be meaningless since the Israelis left Gaza but what Hamas wants is to end the “occupation” of not just the West Bank but that of pre-1967 Israel. As surveys of Palestinian opinion have shown, the majority of West Bank residents shares the same goal and agrees that bloody terror attacks on Jews, whether settlers or cosmopolitan Tel Aviv city-dwellers are justifiable and laudable.
If Israelis don’t trust the Palestinians, it is because of that precedent and the fact that the moderates of the PA, upon whom Jewish leftists and the likes of Biden regularly fawn, also applaud and encourage terror. During Biden’s recent visit to the region, a non-Jewish American army veteran was murdered during a rampage by a Palestinian terrorist in Jaffa not far away from whether the vice president was dining. But not even that was enough to force Abbas to issue a condemnation of the attack. To the contrary, the PA and its official media continue to foment violence by lauding terrorists and spreading canards about Israel seeking to harm the mosques on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
As Biden ought to know, there were majorities in the Knesset for concessions to the Palestinians in the past. Indeed, the Israeli people supported the Oslo Accords and would probably embrace any new agreement if it indicated that the Palestinians were offering real peace. But those majorities evaporated after the second intifada and the disastrous retreat from Gaza. The latest intifada and Abbas’s support for terror have marginalized the views embraced by Biden and J Street within Israeli politics. Indeed, even the head of the Labor Party opposition in the Knesset — the leader of Shaffir’s party — has indicated that the two-state solution is impossible for the foreseeable future because there is no Palestinian partner for peace.
Why can’t J Street and the administration see what the overwhelming majority of Israelis see? Perhaps they are too blinded by political bias and by their illusions about the Palestinians. Perhaps they are also too ideologically committed to their critique of Netanyahu to be able to realize that his three consecutive election victories is the consequence of Palestinian choices — which were illustrated yesterday by a bus bombing in Jerusalem and the discovery of a new terror tunnel that reached into Israel from Gaza — about which Israelis have no control. Israelis understand that until a sea change in Palestinian political culture occurs, there is nothing to do but to manage the conflict, and many Americans can’t seem to be able to forgive them for this realistic attitude or to understand that the verdict of Israeli democracy deserves as much respect as U.S. elections.

As Biden’s speech indicated, U.S. policy and the views of people like Bernie Sanders and J Street are out of touch with the reality of the Middle East when it comes to their critique of Netanyahu. More importantly, they are angry with Israelis for preferring common sense to the advice of American liberals who have the hubristic notion that they can save Israel from itself. Until these liberals sober up and accept reality, Israelis will have to live with their disdain.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


1.     From the Deseret News ,Nov. 6, 2015

Colonel Emmett Smith "Cyclone" Davis  1918 - 2015 

 A great warrior has "slipped the surly bonds of earth" and left this mortal sphere behind. How the heavens must be rejoicing to receive this man! Cyclone endured many health trials in his later years but met them all with the same courage and fortitude with which he lived his entire life. Finally, in the wee hours of the morning on November 3rd, his great heart gave out and he passed into the loving arms of his wife who had visited him earlier in the day. 

Cyclone, the fifth of eight children, was born on December 12, 1918 in Roosevelt, Utah to John Henry Davis and Nora LaRena Smith Davis. His first few summers were spent living in a tent near the Avintaquin Canyon as his father herded cattle and sheep. The family moved to Duschesne and then to Salt Lake City where Cyclone graduated from East High School and attended the University of Utah. In 1939 the family moved to California and settled in Compton. 

In March of 1939, Cyclone met and fell in love with the beautiful Marjorie Gwen Poulton. Their courtship was interrupted by World War II, but Cyclone carried her picture on his kneepad throughout the war. After the war, Marjorie and Cyclone were married in Salt Lake on January 23rd, 1946.

Cyclone joined the U.S. Army Air Corps on April 5. 1940 and was stationed at Wheeler Field, not far from Pearl Harbor. It was Col. Davis's prowess as a dogfighter that earned him the nickname, "Cyclone." When Wheeler was bombed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Cyclone pulled four planes out of the fire, broke down the door to the armament depot to get guns and ammunition for his plane, and was one of the few pilots to get airborne during the attack.

 He commanded the 35th Squadron and the 8th Fighter Group during World War II. Both were known as "Cyclone's Flying Circus." Cyclone may have been the only pilot to fly missions the first day of the war as well as one of the last missions of the war. On August 10, 1945, the day after the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, he led 62 P-38s to bomb Kumamoto. Col. Davis and the 8th Fighter Group escorted the Japanese envoy to Manila to arrange the surrender protocol and were later part of the Army of Occupation in Japan. 

After the war, he was a test pilot for the Air Force at Eglin Field in Florida. In November of 1950, he commanded the Air Proving Ground Test Team in Korea. In 1951 he flew in the fabled Bendix Trophy Race, finishing second. During his career, he served as a base commander, commanded five different squadrons, he was a group or wing commander six times, he commanded an air division, and held several high level staff positions. He piloted over one hundred different types and models of aircraft, flying everything from bi-wings to mach 2 jet aircraft. He was decorated forty-five times, including the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak leaf cluster, the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, and the Presidential Unit Citation with two oak leaf clusters. 

He served in the Air Force for 23 years, his last tour of duty being at the Pentagon. He retired in 1962 and moved to Palos Verdes, CA where he began his second career working for Hughes Aircraft Company. There he helped develop the first smart bombing systems and implemented the installation of the new Hughes radar into the F-15. He became reactivated in the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in 1966 he and Marjorie and their three children were sealed in the Los Angeles Temple. He served his church as a Sunday School teacher, ward and stake missionary, high councilman, and temple worker. In 1972, the family moved to Westlake Village, CA where Cyclone and Marjorie lived happily for many years. In 2005, Cyclone finally fulfilled his lifelong promise to his adored wife to return to her beloved Utah. They built a home in Highland with their oldest daughter and lived there the rest of their lives.

Cyclone is an American hero, a national treasure. It is because of him and people like him that we are a free country. He lived a life that most could only imagine. He met with presidents, royalty, heads of state and many other dignitaries. He led multitudes, influenced thousands, and saved and changed lives. He has given everything he has, spiritually, physically, and temporally, to any and all who were ever in need. He is truly a great disciple of Jesus Christ. He loves fiercely and deeply. And he derived immeasurable joy from his beautiful wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was always singing a song, doing a little dance, telling a story, composing a poem, holding a child, and loving and cherishing Marjorie. He will be desperately missed by his family. He was the strong one who would always pick you up, lift you high, and hold you for as long as you needed it. 

Cyclone was preceded in death by his beloved Marjorie who died December 4, 2014, and by his parents and siblings: Thelma (Ted), Lela, Jack, Con, Red (Rainy), Zeke (Erlene), and K. He is survived by his devoted children, Dr. John Tucker Davis, Pamela Lyn Mull (Gary), Kimberlee Davis Richards (Bob) and K's wife, Mary. He has 11 grandchildren here and one beyond the veil, 11 great grandchildren, as well as many beloved nieces and nephews. 

2.     From The Salt Lake Tribune November 4, 2015 1
Emmett 'Cyclone' Davis, Utahn who flew from Pearl Harbor through Korean War, dies at 96
Davis commanded a flight group at age 25 and retired as a colonel.

Emmett Davis, an eastern Utah native who was one of the first American pilots in the air during the attack on Pearl Harbor, bombed Japan shortly before its surrender and then flew jets in the Korean War, died Tuesday. He was 96.

Davis' son, Tucker Davis, said his father died at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray where he had been receiving treatment for circulation problems. Emmett Davis, who retired from the Air Force in 1963 with the rank of colonel, had lived in Highland.

Davis joined the Air Force's predecessor, the U.S. Army Air Corps, in 1940. The next year, he was assigned to Wheeler Field on the island of Oahu. There, he invented a spiral maneuver to flummox his airborne adversaries.

A training opponent said flying against him was like flying against a cyclone. "Cyclone" would be painted on the side of Davis' aircraft, and comrades and admirers called him by that name for the rest of his life.

The night of Dec. 6, 1941, then-2nd Lt. Davis and his comrades had gone to a dance and stayed up late partying and playing poker. When Japan struck, Davis was asleep on a friend's daybed at Wheeler Field, about 16 miles north of Pearl Harbor.
According to a 2011 account he gave The Tribune, Davis' roommate shook him and said, "Cyclone, wake up, the Japanese are here."
Davis looked out a window and saw a Japanese dive bomber. Davis and another officer raced in a convertible toward the airfield. On the way, they were strafed by a Japanese plane.
At the airfield, personnel began moving U.S. fighters, lined up wingtip to wingtip, out of the flight line to keep them from burning in a spreading fire. Davis used an ax to break into the armory and load his plane with machine guns.The battle was largely over when Davis took off in a P-40 fighter only to be shot at by the U.S. Navy. Davis radioed to whoever was listening to quit firing at him.

Davis flew the duration of World War II in multiple fighters. He became a lieutenant colonel at just 25 years old. He was credited with three kills, though he claimed seven, and earned the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

The same day or the day after the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki — there's a discrepancy as to which — Davis lead 62 P-38s that dropped napalm on Kumamoto.
"The two big bombs got their attention, and my 62 P-38s brought them to the table," he told The Tribune in 2012.

In his last mission of World War II, Davis flew among the aircraft that escorted the Japanese delegation to surrender to Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

Emmett Smith Davis was born Dec. 12, 1918, in Roosevelt, the fifth of eight children born to John Henry Davis and Nora LaRena Smith. His father had joined Torrey's Rough Riders, the Wyoming infantry that went to the Spanish-American War. The family moved to Duchesne when Davis was in the third grade.

The husband of Davis' fourth grade teacher flew a mail plane.
"I used to go up and watch him fly that old airplane, and I guess that was really when I got struck with being an aviator," Davis told KUED in 2006.

After the seventh grade, the family moved to Salt Lake City. Davis went to Roosevelt Junior High School then East High School and the University of Utah. He joined the Air Corps cadet program in April 1940.

After Pearl Harbor, Davis was sent to Australia and New Guinea. In New Guinea, he survived a bout of malaria that ravaged his squadron.

When he took control of the 8th Fighter Group, comprised of three squadrons and about 4,000 men, "Cyclone's Flying Circus" was painted on a sign at the group's base.
Davis knew Marjorie Gwen Poulton, of Salt Lake City, before he left for the Air Corps. They married Jan. 23, 1946.

Davis remained in the military as the Air Corps became the Air Force. He commanded a team that was to introduce and evaluate the new F-84 and F-86 in Korea. Tucker Davis said his father wasn't supposed to fly combat missions himself, but he sneaked into a few missions in the F-86.
In 1957, Tucker Davis said, Davis crash-landed an F-100 in New Mexico and was nearly killed. When Davis retired, he had a post at the Pentagon.

Davis and his family moved to Southern California, where he was employed by Hughes Aircraft Co. working on bombing and radar systems. In 2005, Marjorie and Emmett Davis moved to Highland.

Marjorie Davis died in December. Besides Tucker Davis, Davis is survived by two daughters, Pamela Lyn Mull and Kimberlee Davis Richards, and seven grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Davis told KUED that he remembers being a leader from the time he began playing with neighborhood boys."I don't know if I was natural born, but I always assumed [leading] was my job," Davis said.

3.     From youtube “plane talk” {a talk by “Cyclone”  Davis 2004}

Plane Talk - Colonel Emmett "Cyclone" Davis 1/3 2004

Plane Talk - Colonel Emmett "Cyclone" Davis 2/3 2004

Plane Talk - Colonel Emmett "Cyclone" Davis 3/3 2004