Deja Vu: ‘Peace in Our Time’

May 20, 2013 1:02 pm 0 comments

Peace in our time?

“Peace in Our Time” was proclaimed by Neville Chamberlain in 1938 in defense of his disastrous Munich Agreement with Hitler. History testifies that his policy of appeasement and failure to confront the aggressive Nazi barbarians virtually made World War II inevitable.

It was in August 1993, just 20 years ago, when Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, strongly pressured by then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, embarked on what he described as a “gamble for peace” and consummated the Oslo Accords with the PLO, an act which bitterly divided the nation.

Passionate debates ensued, but in our desperate yearning for peace, until recently many of us deluded ourselves that we were engaged in an “irreversible” peace process. Some of us even mesmerized ourselves into believing that Yasser Arafat and his successor, Mahmoud Abbas were genuine peace partners, despite clear evidence from their own statements that in referring to peace, they did so with forked tongues and that their real objective was to end Jewish sovereignty.

In recent years the vast majority of us reluctantly concluded that the “gamble for peace” was a failure and that, in the absence of a Palestinian leadership genuinely committed to coexistence, any prospect for a genuine peace was a mirage. This has become especially obvious as Palestinian leaders even refuse to engage in negotiations without preconditions.

Yet, the vast majority of Israelis would still now endorse major concessions to the Palestinians if they were convinced that this would lead to a genuine peace.

Sadly, many – including some of our friends – fail to appreciate this and continue urging Israel to be more forthcoming about the peace process.

President Obama reversed his former confrontationist stance towards Israel and now even publicly endorses Israel’s right to take preemptive military action to defend itself. Nevertheless, an Alice in Wonderland atmosphere still dominates US Middle East policy.

Thus, Secretary of State John Kerry waxes eloquent over an allegedly revised and improved version of the so-called Arab League Peace Initiative.

The imperative of placating the US obligates our government not to outrightly reject this initiative which “agrees” to accept minor territorial swaps from the 1949 armistice lines yet still incorporates the right of return of Arab refugees which would result in an end to the Jewish state.

Moreover, the genocidal Hamas – with whom the PA seeks to merge – has condemned the scheme and adamantly reiterated that it would never countenance any compromise.

No Israeli government could conceivably contemplate acquiescing to a formula in which the opening benchmark in negotiations required acceptance of the 1949 armistice lines. This would entail East Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, as well as the major settlement blocs effectively becoming Palestinian territory until an agreement to engage in swaps is consummated. Precedents indicate that it is highly unlikely that agreement on swaps could be achieved with the current intransigent Palestinian leaders.

In this context, we must not ignore the reality that both Arafat and Abbas refused – and even failed to respond with a counter offer – when Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert offered them 97% of the territories over the green line.

Nor can we dismiss the criminal character of Palestinian society and the fact that the PA, no less than Hamas, inculcate children from primary school to kill Jews and become “martyrs” and publicly sanctify mass murderers and allocate state pensions to families of suicide bombers and terrorists in Israeli jails.

Indeed, even “respectable” Palestinian websites such as spokesperson Hanan Ashrawi’s Miftach, recently published an article reviving medieval blood libels, explicitly accusing Jews of drinking Gentile blood on Passover.

The Palestinian state-sponsored anti-Semitic brainwashing in the media, mosques and schools is in fact as lethal as the Nazi propaganda which transformed Germans into willing accomplices of mass murder.

It is thus not surprising that recent polls show that Palestinians are globally the most supportive Moslem nation favoring suicide bombings, with over 40% justifying them.

Those promoting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as a “peace partner” or “moderate” would be hard pressed to quote a single positive statement by him about Israel to his own people. He may tactically have reached the conclusion that diplomacy is more effective for promoting Palestinian goals than terror. But while he consistently stresses that this is a pragmatic strategic approach, his Fatah subsidiary continues engaging in acts of terror and the PA  continuously threatens to revert to the “armed struggle” if it fails to achieve its objectives by diplomatic means.

According to Palestine Media Watch, only this month Sultan Abu Al-Einem, a senior PLO official, “saluted the heroic fighter” who had stabbed an Israeli civilian to death. At the same time Jibril Rajoub, co-signer to the Oslo Accords and Deputy Secretary to the Fatah Central Committee, stated that “popular resistance – with all it entails – remains on our agenda” and that “if we had a nuke we’d have used it [against Israel] this morning”.

Despite the fact that Abbas has breached the Oslo accords by unilaterally obtaining UN diplomatic recognition and is now constantly threatening to charge Israel with war crimes at the International Court of Justice, the world continues today to pressure us to maintain the manifestly false charade of engaging with a nonexistent peace partner.

Moreover, the “peaceniks” and their Western supporters, including some misguided Jews and Israelis, still demand that the Israeli government be more forthcoming with concessions.

We are called upon to engage in further “confidence building” measures and release terrorists, many of whom are likely to resume their activities; make further territorial concessions despite our disastrous experience after the unilateral withdrawal in Gaza; freeze building of new settlements despite the fact that we did this for 10 months and failed to even get the Palestinians to join us at the negotiating table.

We are urged to specify our desired borders, as if this can be done in isolation from security and other factors. Besides, every time the possibility of another concession is even hinted, the Palestinians insist that it represent a new opening benchmark for future negotiations.

We have made major concessions but there has been no reciprocity because clearly the PA will not and cannot concede anything. We face a calculated strategy to destroy Israel in stages in which our adversaries seek to obtain and absorb concessions without reciprocity and will continue to demand more and more until they exhaust us.

We should firmly restate to our friends our readiness and desire to separate from the Palestinians. But we must not again jeopardize our security and lives by engaging in yet another “gamble for peace” with the odds stacked against us.

Were we to have a genuine peace partner we could achieve a peace treaty and grounds for long-term coexistence in a matter of days. But until then our friends should not seek to impose upon us a Chamberlain style “Peace in our Time” formula.

The writer may be contacted at ileibler@leibler.com. This article was originally published by the Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Music Personalities Recycling His Roots

    Recycling His Roots

    JNS.org – Having started his career playing on his family’s pots and pans, Jewish musician Billy Jonas has maintained this homemade performance ethic while spreading his messages of simple living and environmentalism to a shared home throughout the world. After beginning in the kitchen, Jonas soon moved to the music room, where he picked up the piano, guitar, and trombone. These days, the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist plays on with pretty much anything he can find, including cans, bottles buckets, and other recycled-object [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    JNS.org – Sara Davidson’s The December Project is a new book that should be read by all senior citizens, and by those who hope to live a long life, for it raises a question that most of us have not been taught how to answer: What should we do in that final stage of our lives? Many of us continue working past the traditional retirement age of 65, not because we need the money and not because we find the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish History Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    It’s hard to make a new contribution to the field of Holocaust studies,  but German historian Götz Aly accomplishes just that in Why the Germans, Why the Jews? His premise is that the origins of the Holocaust were rooted in the specific anti-Semitism found in Germany in the decades and centuries before World War II. Aly (who is not Jewish) seeks to prove his theory by studying only pre-Holocaust history, and tracing how the German people’s envy and hatred of [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    JNS.org – During the current conflict in Gaza a number of celebrities have voiced their opinions in support of either the Israeli or Palestinian positions. But others—be it during Operation Protective Edge or at other times—have gone further than simply supporting the Palestinians by actively supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, making false accusations about the Jewish state, ignoring Israel’s position on the conflict, or justifying the actions of the terrorist group Hamas. Many of these [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Israeli UFC Fighter Returns to Jewish State to Rejoin IDF

    Israeli UFC Fighter Returns to Jewish State to Rejoin IDF

    JNS.org – Days after winning his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight bout against Steven Siler on July 26, Israeli-born mixed martial arts competitor Noad Lahat boarded a plane for his native country, choosing to temporarily exit UFC’s octagonal cage to rejoin the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as a paratrooper for its operation against Hamas in Gaza. Except he didn’t actually consider it a choice. “When [our] home is in danger, there is no other way for us [but to serve [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    JNS.org – My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward. My high school teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and challenged us to choose one mitzvah that would be the foundation of our marriage and our lives. He explained [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    JNS.org – Influenced by his Jewish upbringing and a summer on a kibbutz, basketball coach David Blatt is embarking on his highest-profile challenge yet: coaching LeBron James, the four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who has made waves for returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. After guiding Israel’s storied Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball franchise to its 51st Israeli league championship and 6th Euroleague title this past season, Blatt landed the Cavaliers head-coaching job in June. Just weeks later, [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    JNS.org – At the turn of the century, a young Jewish immigrant arrived in New York. So begins the history of many American Jewish families. It is 27-year-old Albert Allaham’s story, too, with a few unusual twists. Albert’s “century” is the 21st—he arrived almost 100 years after the massive waves of European Jewish immigration. Rather than coming from a small town along the Danube river, his shtetl was Damascus. His first American business was not a pushcart on the Lower East [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.