‘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
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 tongues were forked and their real objective to end
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.
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
Sadly, many – including some of our friends – fail to appreciate
this and continue urging Israel to be more forthcoming about the peace
PRESIDENT OBAMA reversed his former confrontationist stance
toward 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 it would never countenance any compromise.
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 it is highly
unlikely that agreement on swaps could be achieved with the current intransigent
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 percent 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.
“respectable” Palestinian websites such as spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi’s Miftach
recently published an article reviving medieval blood libels, explicitly
accusing Jews of drinking Gentile blood on Passover.
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 Muslim nation favoring
suicide bombings, with over 40 percent justifying them.
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
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.”
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 to 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
We are urged to specify our desired borders, as if
this could be done in isolation from security and other factors. Besides, every
time the possibility of another concession is even hinted at, the Palestinians
insist it represent a new opening benchmark for future negotiations.
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’s website can
be viewed at www.wordfromjerusalem.com.
He may be contacted at