John Lewis Gaddis, author of , spoke on C-SPAN about his book last night (4/20/97). He made an interesting point concerning the Cold War with the Russians. He believes that had the West, instead of launching a policy of d'etat, mounted an aggressive stance toward Russia the way Reagan did later, Russia would have collapsed earlier than it did. It was his opinion that the West's detente unwittingly kept Russia viable longer than it might otherwise have been. Only later with Reagan's pressure was Russia's challenge blunted and Russia forced to change its ways. It did not do so willingly.
This is a fact that should be taken note of in terms of the unwise U.S. policy of keeping the PLO Arab challenge against Israel alive and strong and a danger. The U.S. has an insane notion that Arabs can be appeased in its relations with Israel to a point when they will call off their war against the Jewish State. The facts for the past 50 years have been otherwise.
Sadly, the policy of supporting the creation of a "Palestinian" people -- there was no appreciable substance to this before 1967 -- has made things infinitely worse. Without the U.N. ration books and U.S. contributions that made life in refugee camps more viable than just working for a living, these people would have long been absorbed by the surrounding Arab nations. Today these persons are a continuing and growing danger to Israel that will continue until Israel is so strong with defensible borders that Arab attempts at challenging her militarily would be utterly self-destructive.
Alas, foolish and mistaken Israeli policies, practiced by a succession of Israeli governments -- and perhaps Mr. Netanyahu's government will be the latest example of this defective species -- has seen to it that a strategic balance in Israel's favor will not be created. Israel's leaders think that picking up the jackal which was injured in its attempts to devour the sheep and then nursing the jackal back to health and strength will lead to the reformation of the jackal's nature. It won't happen.
Either the jackal is penned or killed, or it will continue to do what it must do because it is a jackal. A Muslim-Arab society will act Muslim-Arab and attempt to rid its region of the Jewish infidel that sticks in its throat, unless it is thoroughly restrained by force or unless it ceases to be the animal it has been for many centuries. Unrealistic, utopian minded, self-deluding Jewish governments have not directed themselves to helping to create the happy situation of an enemy that cannot succeed. On the contrary, one government, the Labor government under Rabin and Peres, even armed the enemy and gave it military bases. Such governments have insured the continuation of war and murder and the death of their people.
Will Mr. Netranyahu's government once again fill this quixotic but predictable mold?
It is not worrisome that Arafat gave his men a license to murder anyone selling land to Jews both in Israel and in the lands he controls by agreement. What is worrisome is that anyone in Israel, from the lowly bottom to the top leadership, expresses surprise at this.
Arafat is engaged in a relentless and ruthless effort to replace Israel and is succeeding admirably -- for those who admire sheer persistence and resourcefulness -- as a result of the intense, frantic, and dedicated efforts of Israeli governments.
The last murderous order given by Arafat is only the last of such commands designed to achieve the Islamic cherished goal of removing Israel from the face of the earth. No doubt Muslims everywhere must be gratified and encouraged that their Jewish enemy fights for them, truly a sign to them of heavenly favor which must make them redouble and quadruple their efforts and spawn endless numbers of volunteer martyr terrorists.
You see, it is only the Arabs that can proclaim without embarrassment or apology their goal is to destroy Israel and to get whatever they can along the way. In this war, Israel's governments have staked out the role of "patsy," the victim whose role is to be acted on by the determined destroyers. Who would you admire in such a struggle? Those who are forthright about their intentions and acts? Or those who, though strong and powerful, shrink from engaging their attackers because they have the self-deceiving illusion that they can make the attacker over -- change a jackal into a lamb -- and win a friend?
What is interesting about this flap is that some of the media is not at all disturbed to show themselves as supporters of Murder Incorporated, the PLO, which openly sanctions summary execution of whoever violates its strictures on land sales. The media, showing its shallowness and incompetence, compares this kind of PLO inspired murder to the Jewish National Fund's (JNF) restrictions on the selling of JNF lands to Arabs. The lands of the JNF were purchased with Jewish donations and were earmarked to be held in trust for use for Jewish purposes, not to revert back to non-Jewish ownership, which would be a violation of the JNF trust. In fact, the Arabs have their own land purchase fund, which operates like JNF. Surely, what is sauce for the goose must be sauce for the gander.
But I note how the media, like the Hartford Courant this morning, in its typically slanted news article on the subject, fails to make the distinction between an institutional policy of a JNF and a policy of murder, finding virtue in murder and none in journalistic ethics. Moreover, the article refers to "civil rights" activists, including some Israeli lawyers, who are likewise incompetent and make doubly sure that "the natural Arab right to murder" will be respected. How nauseating!
The whole issue emerges now because Jewish governments, who are supposed to manage the patrimony of the lands of Israel, have failed to secure Israel's sovereignty over its lands, holding out for the chance that the Arab jackal will become a lamb of peace who will be satisfied with the Jewish gift of land. It has not happened and will not ever happen as long as these jackals harbor hope of defeating and routing Israel.
Arab hopes of destroying Israel have not been dashed since almost a third of Israel's Jews, feeling themselves to be universalist paragons of virtue, fight for the triumph of the particularism of the Arab -- regular universalist-particularists, an oxymoron that only Jewish morons can practice.
When and if Arab particularism achieves its objective of defeating Israel with help of these Jewish collaborators, the victorious Arabs will have no use for these Jewish universalists who will be made into mincemeat by the same Arab particularists for whom they work so hard. Frankly, I have little use for the Jewish universalists myself, except that they wake up from their delirium and learn that the country they can save is their very own.
Few things are more exasperating than those who deny that the Holocaust occurred. These denials persist even in the face of the eye witness of Jewish and gentile survivors. The real question that emerges is the "why" of these deniers. How can they stand up with a straight face on university campuses and spout their false views? What are their motives?
Without doubt, we deal with one or the other of at least two classes of deniers. In the first, we have persons who suffer from a massive guilt complex over the fact that the so-called civilized Europeans could have embarked on and supported such mass murder and all the while believing in the superiority of their religious tradition which preached mercy. They wish to deny history to make themselves feel better.
In the second case, we have the predictable anti-Semitic persons fully knowledgeable of this crime, but who wish to set up circumstances to repeat the earlier calamity. Forgetfulness by the new generations of the world is the ally of this dangerous group. They deny because it enables them to continue with their slanders and demonology that had brought about the colossal crime against the Jewish people and which could possibly succeed again.
Sadly, in addition to these deniers there is today a new type of denier, the Jewish denier. In a twist, this Jewish denier denies that the Arabs are in the process of setting up conditions for the eventual destruction of Israel and, with it, a new holocaust. These Jewish deniers will see Holocaust Past with 20/20 hindsight. But, like the guilt-ridden deniers of the Nazi Holocaust, they refuse to accept what has to be evident to anyone who takes note of Arab threats, terrorism, murder, duplicity, falsification, vilification, and violations of agreements -- all coming from Arabs that conspicuously maintain a national covenant that outlaws Israel and vows to destroy her.
It is almost painful to read the words of Shimon Peres, arch denier of Arab intentions, who advocates policies to gut Israel's defenses to and cede her strategic territories. He urges that Israel not insist hat the Arabs fulfill their obligations under agreements they sign lest we rile them to righteous anger. Peres is a person who has perfect belief that the Arab jackal is nothing but the Israeli lamb with a kefiah -- a form of mankind whose words must always be taken at face value as a shorn Israel submits herself to Arab "tender mercies."
Like the deniers of the Holocaust, the new deniers are unwilling to accept the painful reality that the Arabs are preparing an oven for Israel's Jews. Instead, Peres bleats about creating conditions of "peace for Israel's children" through surrender to Arab designs -- policies likely to deliver Israel into Holocaust future.
No appeasement or change of behavior of Jews could slake the thirst of the Nazi to murder Jewish innocents. Similarly, no modification of Israeli behavior can slake the thirst of Islam to eradicate an Israel that falls into its clutches. For that is the nature of Islam -- a power that must be respected and its designs physically resisted, as many nations of the world, confronted by pockets of Islam, are learning around the globe today.
So if we infer motives for the deniers of Holocaust past, must we not infer motives for the Jewish deniers of holocaust future? And when we search, we find unflattering motives akin to those of the deniers of Holocaust past. We find a group of Jews dedicated to the doctrines of universalist socialism, in which economics is the prime mover of men and events. In this kind of obsession, it is firmly believed that mankind will inevitably embrace economic well-being and peace. Under this belief, argue the Pereses and the Beilins, who needs the protection of nationhood? The convenience of open borders will amply suffice. Hence their program to confer on the Arabs an array of economic benefits, all in the belief that the Arab jackal will live like a lamb with his Jewish brother lambs.
But how does this belief system explain the fact of the Nazi determination to kill Jews even when doing so weakened their efforts to fight the allies and to develop their technological base, as they diverted needed supplies from the battlefield and rejected capable Jewish scientists? And how does universalist belief explain the continuing Arab enmity of Egypt toward the Jewish state that has gifted that nation with oil wells, technology, and legitimacy in the eyes of the West, not to mention the ungrateful Palestinian Arabs who likewise receive and hate? Surely we must learn from this that man cannot be reduced to merely an economic creature but is one capable of being driven by irrational passions and obsessions that it would be wise to acknowledge and take precautions to resist.
The Jewish deniers of today are driven by irrational motives that override reality. They cannot abandon their secular religious beliefs that have given them a rationale for their actions. Yossi Beilin, faced with Arafat's program of murder for those who sell land to Jews, writes an impassioned letter noting his past support for a new Arab state -- the state that the Arabs plan to use as a lever to replace Israel -- but laments the policy of murder. In effect, Beilin says, "Say it isn't so, Yasser!" Beilin asks for the reinstitution of the fig leaf that he hides behind, the fig leaf that enables him not to notice the savagery of those Arabs he has always supported.
Ordinary, healthy people cannot fathom that supposedly intelligent persons can be ruled by obsessions -- the very factor that explains why history is dotted with cases of powerful nations whose leaders brought them to ruin. To avert such an outcome for Israel, we must become aware of the horrible potential for irrationality that can afflict even the smartist of ruling powers, afflict leaders like Peres and Beilin -- a situaton of which Bismark warned on his deathbed when he urged his son not to underestimate the stupidity of his leaders.
For the new Jewish deniers to see the truth of their obsessions is to destroy their equilibrium. These deniers would learn that they have labored for "reyk and behalah" -- vacuity and confusion -- and that their rejection by the majority of Jews of Israel in the last election was most deserved, if late in coming. It is most humiliating for these deniers to realize that the traditional Jews, who they despise as fossils and throwbacks, have a truer and wiser understanding of the Arab enemy that goes to the heart of the plight of Israel. This is a reality that the Jewish deniers will do anything to avoid, apparently even unto the destruction of the nation they were once in the forefront of building.
I await a revolution among the Jews of Israel, which harbors fully 30 to 40 percent of persons who still see validity and rationality in the ruinous programs of the leftist deniers. I await the time that these supporters of the deniers will see clearly the dangerous illusion they had embraced with the deniers and that they will henceforth unite themselves with their countrymen to fight for the common objective of the nation, the confirming of the existence of their state and its safety and security.
This realization is something the leftist deniers like Peres and Beilin will never come to see on their own, this being beyond their emotional limitations -- any more than the color blind will come to see the colors that are beyond their physical makeup.
David Basch is an architect and city planner in New York. He is the Freeman Center's political philosopher as well as an authority on the famous Jewish author, William Shakespeare.