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...

  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    JNS.org – “This is how I want to be—without fear. Independent. I want to be like a bird. I want to spread my wings.” So reads part of the description beneath one of the 30 paintings on display until the end of May at the ZOA House in Tel Aviv. The collection represents the first-ever art exhibit of its kind: an exhibit created entirely by Israelis in treatment for eating disorders. Dubbed “Tears of Color,” based on one of the [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    JNS.org – Rachel Ament noticed that she and her friends often shared humorous anecdotes that were typically variations on a theme: overprotective, worrying Jewish moms who smothered them with love. That included Ament’s own mother. “My mom is probably every Jewish stereotype scrunched into one,” the Washington, DC, resident tells JNS.org. “At the root of all these stereotypical, worrying, overprotective moms, is love.” A social media writer for Capital One, as well as a freelance writer, Ament decided about three years [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    Kosher Lust, by Shmuley Boteach (Gefen Publishing House, 2014). You really do want to find something positive to say about Shmuley Boteach. He is a phenomenon; very bright, an articulate bundle of energy and self-promotion. Anyone who has the chutzpah to describe himself as “America’s Rabbi” deserves ten out of ten for effort. I believe that along with most Chabad alumni, official and unofficial, he does a lot of good and is a sort of national treasure. In this world [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    JNS.org – In a throwback to the golden age of cinema, Hollywood has declared 2014 the “Year of the Bible.” From Ridley Scott’s Exodus starring Christian Bale as Moses, to Russell Crowe playing Noah, Hollywood is gambling on new innovations in technology and star power to revisit some of the most popular stories ever told. “It’s definitely a throwback to the 1950s and early ’60s,” Dr. Stephen J. Whitfield, an American Studies professor at Brandeis University, told JNS.org. Starting with The [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    Eddie Carmel, dubbed “The Jewish Giant” by American photographer Diane Arbus, is the centerpiece of a new exhibit opening April 11 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Arbus met Carmel, who was billed “The World’s Tallest Man,” at Hubert’s Dime Museum and Flea Circus in 1959 but waited until 1970 to photograph him at his parents’ home in the Bronx, according to the museum. The son of immigrants from Tel Aviv, Carmel posed for Arbus with his head bowed to [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    A Passover themed cover of hit songs Let It Go and Do You Want to Build a Snowman? from Disney’s Frozen has attracted tons of media buzz and a cool 65,ooo views on YouTube within days of going online. The work of Jewish a capella group Six13, the track is aptly named Chozen. We are celebrating “our freedom, our favorite festival, our fabulous fans, and aspiring Disney princesses everywhere” the group said. The Chozen music video tells the story of [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    JNS.org – Many young Jewish artists struggle to define who they are personally, artistically, and religiously. Against the backdrop of that struggle, the recent Asylum Arts International Jewish Artists Retreat provided a space for some 70 young Jewish artists to explore Jewish ideas, to build community and a culture of reciprocity, and to learn skills to assist their career development. “We are trying to encourage and excite people to engage in Jewish themes,” says Rebecca Guber, director of Asylum Arts. [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    JNS.org – Has the era of large-scale biblical epics returned? Not since “The Ten Commandments” has there been so much torrential water on the big screen (not counting weather-related disaster films such as “The Impossible”) than in “Noah,” the latest blockbuster from writer and director Darren Aronofsky. “Noah” takes the traditional tale and splices it in an eco-friendly and psychologically driven plot. After Adam and Eve got booted out of the Garden of Eden and after Cain killed Abel, mankind [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.