“If Israel’s enemies put down their weapons,
there would be no war.
If Israel put down its weapons,
there would be no Israel.”
— Benjamin Netanyahu
by Rod D. Martin
March 30, 2006
This week’s victory by Ehud Olmert’s Kadima party is certainly a mandate for his plan to unilaterally disengage from the West Bank and set Israel’s “final” borders behind its security fence.
But it’s more than that too. It’s a war-weary abandonment of Likud’s historic promise never to relinquish the core of the Promised Land. It’s also a rejection of forty years’ strategic analysis demonstrating Israel to be militarily indefensible without the West Bank. And it is done as Hamas takes control in Gaza.
In short, whatever Mr. Olmert’s considerable virtues, the terrorists have won.
Just how much they’ve won requires a brief walk through history, a history of persecuted Jews living peaceably and conceding much, to neighbors who never wanted less than genocide.
Driven from their land in the first century, the Jews began returning a century ago.
From the start, their neighbors set out to kill them.
In 1929, for example, Arab terrorists massacred innocent Jewish civilians in Hebron. This was just the beginning; and only a few years later, the Mufti of Jerusalem (Yassir Arafat’s uncle) would meet with Adolf Hitler himself to make joint plans for the extermination of all Jews.
It is claimed that the Jews were encroaching on populated Arab land. But this was not so, as even Mark Twain attested: most of the land was desolate; and the Jews bought what they settled. Moreover, as census figures show, the Jews’ return actually triggered Arab immigration, because the Jews literally “made the desert bloom”.
Then, in 1922, Britain created a Palestinian state, giving over 80% of Palestine to the Arabs as Transjordan (now Jordan). They left just 20% open for Jewish settlement. Problem solved, right?
But 80% wasn’t enough for the Arabs. Even the UN’s 1947 Partition Plan, which gave half of the remaining 20% to the Arabs, wasn’t enough.
The Arabs, like their German allies, wanted every Jew dead.
Immediately after the State of Israel was declared in May 1948, the surrounding Arab nations encouraged the Arab population to flee. And then those Arab states — Jordan included — invaded.
They took most of the land set aside for a (second) Palestinian state and annexed it themselves. And they refused to resettle the Palestinians who’d fled, instead using them as anti-Israel propaganda pawns.
But tiny, surrounded Israel stunned the world: it defeated their invading armies. It survived. And with the fully-equal Arab citizens who remained, it thrived.
The Arabs kept attacking. But in June 1967, following a spectacular six-day victory, Israel found itself possessing the Golan Heights, east Jerusalem, the west bank of the Jordan River, Sinai and Gaza.
Historically, all this was part of ancient Israel; and Sinai aside, it was all part of the 20% left for the Jews in 1922. Morally, it was a legitimate buffer zone against Israel’s sworn genocidal enemies.
But the Jews wanted peace, not conquest; and in 1979, Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt when Anwar Sadat chose peace as well.
Only Jordan has made peace with Israel since.
And since 1967, West Bank and Gaza Arabs have demanded the second Palestinian state they rejected in 1947, while still screaming for Israel’s demise.
Conveniently forgetting the already-existing Palestinian state called Jordan, the world has cheered them on.
In 1993, Israel granted the Palestinians’ Yassir Arafat considerable autonomy, and in 2000, offered him his stated wish, a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
But Arafat wanted a Palestinian state in place of Israel.
His bluff called, Arafat launched a horrific four-year terror wave, proportionally equivalent to 50 or 60 World Trade Center attacks.
Ariel Sharon responded in three ways. He hunted down and killed the terrorist leadership. He erected a wall separating Israel from Gaza and most of the West Bank. And he pulled unilaterally out of Gaza, leaving the Arab inhabitants to choose their own fate.
They chose Hamas, the most radical terror group of all, and elected it as their government.
But Sharon did reduce terrorism, for the moment. And Israel has now voted, like Chamberlain, to hand over its Sudetenland, the West Bank, with no concessions in return.
Israel’s desire for peace is commendable and its weariness understandable. But just as Chamberlain’s Munich led to the Holocaust, this unilateral “land-for-peace” is a deal with the devil, the self-proclaimed successors to the devil of 1938. Hamas makes no secret of its plans, “to drive every Jew into the sea”, and its sponsor in Tehran promises to “wipe Israel off the map”.
Maybe things will come out well. Maybe they won’t. But don’t think a free people can’t forget the blood-soaked lessons of the last century and vote in the appeasers of terror.
And don’t think Americans can’t make the same mistake this fall.