LEARNING FROM THE PAST
by David Bash
Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
May 13, 2011
"Has Israel at this point gone over the edge, beyond
recouping the conditions of "secure and recognized
borders" agreed to in UN Resolution 242,...?"
Shimon Peres demonstrates that political views are more related to
character than to facts. Given a personal character obsessed to be
more righteous than any biblical divinity, the resulting views are
correspondingly bizarre, going against necessities for defense and
long term self preservation. That is the lesson we may learn from
Peres's career. to prove this, just check out Peres's views as revealed
in a recent interview in the Jerusalem Post.
Peres thinks that the implacable Arafat had changed from being a
lifetime terrorist. It is certain that the actual facts of Arfafat's
conduct have not altered Peres's view of him. Peres has continued to
believe in having Israel put her hand into the fire to check to see if
it still burns -- still believes that Israel must give the Arabs and
their terrorists full scope to operate so that they can come, through
Israeli kindness, to acceptance and love of Israel. Hence Peres will
stick to doing over and over again all the things that don't
work in fighting against an enemy that has never slacked off in its
efforts to destroy Israel.
The result of the Peres kind of thinking has led Israel into a series
of grand surrenders that today threaten the nation. Early in the
struggle, the Peres thinking surrendered Israel's diplomatic posture
vis a vis the Arabs, resulting in the situation that the Arab
terrorists are now the glorious "freedom fighters" and Israel is the
"despicable oppressor." This surrender naturally was followed by the
surrenders of Oslo, the Lebanese security buffer zone, and the Gaza
salient. These brought on the situation today of Israel facing the
potential of a three front war with Arabs, even as Israel lives with
the rocketing of her cities north and south.
Another consequence, often overlooked, is that this thinking has also
led to Israel's failure to decisively defeat the enemy even when
Israel has won her wars. After all, the Peres-leftist goal was not to
win wars, but to win over enemy hearts. This of course never happened.
Instead, after each defeat of Arab attempts to destroy Israel, Israel
held back and enabled the enemy to recoup to fight another day, more
prepared and powerful. Such kindness of course did not win arab hearts
but made them more determined, their virulent hostility increasing
beyond all bounds.
But, then, the full results of the Peres disasters have not yet
arrived. The empowered Arab enemy has already dispensed with the
pretense of negotiations, having gotten already all the one-way
concessions from Israel they could expect. Now the Arabs attempt to
bring world pressure to bear on Israel to acquiesce in a new Arab
state without any preconditions that this state abandon its aggression
Has Israel at this point gone over the edge, beyond recouping the
conditions of "secure and recognized borders" agreed to in UN
Resolution 242, not to mention the capability of mounting a defense
that would restore any semblance of the secure conditions Israel
enjoyed after the 1967 War? Israelis and the world will soon learn the
answer to that riddle from Netanyahu's address to the US Congress.
If he continues to acquiesce in the leftist mantras that the road to
peace requires the surrenders of the Jewish heartland and Jerusalem,
he may, like the Czechs, gain a few months of peaceful breathing
space, but not too much more.
Consider that sixty years ago the Western allies were friends and
supporters of Czechoslovakia. Yet they urged the Czechs to surrender
its strategic territory, failing to visualize the potential
consequences that that would have for Hitler, who used this
empowerment to conquer the Czechs and start a war in Europe. We see a
similar situation today: friendly nations and supporters of Israel
urging Israeli surrender of her strategic position, with no sense that
the enemy Israel faces is not after a few dunams of territory, but
after the destruction of Israel which this surrender would lead to.
Sixty years ago, the allies thought that cost of stopping Hitler was
too high a price to pay for peace, that appeasement was the cheaper,
more promising path. We all know what happened then. The resulting
world war proved to be twenty times more costly than what anyone
conceived. If Israel and the world does not wise up soon about what is
happening, they may again get another tragic lesson in war economics
beyond what anyone is willing to envision today -- a clash of
civilizations critically hampered without the unsinkable aircraft
carrier that Israel serves as today and which could be decisive in
the West's winning of such a war.
But to get to that point, the Peres thinking must be recognized
as the insanity it is and its exponents relegated to the sidelines
of policy. Is it possible that clear thinking will win over the
warpage of distorted reality that the sick mentalities of the liberals
inflict on Israel? We may learn the answer to that question all too