"WHY PEACE ELUDES ISRAEL"
BY Prof. Paul Eidelberg
Has the desire for peace given Israel peace? Has it not resulted in Israel' s truncation, humiliation, and emasculation? Has not the desire for peace, uttered AD NAUSEUM by Israeli politicians, emboldened Israel's Arab-Islamic enemies and made them contemptuous of peace-seeking Jews?
Here one might ask: Did England's or France's desire for peace transform Germans or their leaders into doves? Germany, remember, was the home of humanism and rationalism, of philosophy and science. Are Moslems more humanistic than the nation that produced Kant, Schiller, Heine, Planck, and Einstein?
But let me address Israel's political and intellectual elites, those who believe that the policy of "land for peace" will pacify Israel's Arab-Islamic neighbors. "Why should you expect peace from Moslems who despise Israel as an outpost of Western civilization that threatens the religio-political power structure of the Islamic world?
"Why should you expect peace from Palestinian Arabs whose children are taught to hate Jews and exalt suicide bombers?" "Why should you expect peace from Arabs despots, be it Yasir Arafat or Hafez Assad, who terrorize and tyrannize over their own people? Stated more generally: Why should you expect peace from Arab regimes based on the primacy of force and fraud, as some 20 Arab dictatorships amply demonstrate?"
Now let me address Israeli politicians and intellectuals who, though skeptical about the land-for-peace policy, have the word "peace" ever on their lips. Suppose you declared: "I do not desire peace with Arab despots who luxuriate in splendor while their people are steeped in abject poverty."
Suppose you added: "I do not desire peace with Arab states whose rulers deprive their people of liberty and use them as cannon fodder to make war -- yes, and who thereby violate the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights." Are you manly enough to proclaim such a attitude? Then let me suggest some other honorable declarations one might make in a more manly and honest world.
"I do not want peace with tyrannies, that is, with regimes ruled by evil men. I do not want to dignify their regimes and thereby abet the designs of the wicked." "I do not seek peace with liars and murderers like Yasir Arafat and Hafez Assad lest I confuse, disarm, and foster cynicism among my countrymen. I prefer to arouse in such villains FEAR rather than allow them to lull us with professions of peace."
Do you think such statements will make Arab dictators more bellicose? Has ceaseless professions of peace, nay, has Israel's 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, made that dictatorship less militant? Then why is Egypt, a regime threatened by no one, engaged in an unprecedented military build-up? Why does Egypt's state-controlled media continue to spew anti-Israel and anti-Jewish venom?
I ask all those addicted to peace: "What makes you think that people in general are peace-lovers like yourselves? Why is violence the staple of Western entertainment? Why do Blacks murder Blacks almost every day in the capital of the USA?"
Closer to Israel: "Why did Moslem and Christian Arabs slaughter each other in Lebanon -- 100,000 in thirteen years? Leaving aside the killers and killing fields in Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Chechnya, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, why should Palestinian Arabs, who supported Saddam Hussein's rape of Kuwait, another Moslem country, live in abiding peace with Israel? If Moslems can't live in peace with each other, why should you expect them to live in abiding peace with Jews?"
All this is pathetically obvious, and it should be even more obvious to Israelis! Hence one can only wonder why Israel's political and intellectual elites can't see that Israel is no closer to genuine peace now than it was fifty-two years ago. Indeed, perceptive critics of Israel's land-for-peace policy are utterly dumbfounded by their inability to convince these elites that this policy is utterly suicidal. While some critics explain that policy in terms of American pressure, others emphasize the character faults of Israeli prime ministers, the demise of Zionist idealism, or the prevalence of an Israeli death wish. Let me offer another explanation of Israel's folly as wall as of the ineffectiveness of its critics.
It says in Exodus 15:3 that "God is the Master of war," but therefore also of peace. Since war and peace are in the hands of God, meaning the God of Israel, whether Israel will have peace or war depends on how this country relates itself to God. So long as Israel's government is estranged from God, hence from the way of life portrayed in the Torah, the people of Israel will not have peace.
BUT THIS IS WHY ISRAEL IS BESET BY THE BEST OF ENEMIES: ARABS WHO WILL NOT AND CANNOT BE PACIFIED BY THE POLICY OF "LAND FOR PEACE"! THE ALMIGHTY HAS GIVEN ISRAEL AN ENEMY THAT UNWITTINGLY COMPELS JEWS TO FACE THE ULTIMATE REASON WHY PEACE ELUDES THE SUPPOSED-TO-BE JEWISH STATE!