War as Alternative
The spirit of Neville Chamberlain infuses the Left today, and it is nowhere as apparent as in the calls for Israel to cease fire in Lebanon and Gaza now and go back to the negotiations table. Infuriating in all this is not just the anger at being preached at by people who are still living in a peaceful bubble, but also one of the Big Lies of the conflict: Israel as warmonger. The Left believes that Israel has always sought war as a first option and negotiations as a last resort. That is false.
There has been a war between Israel and her enemies almost every decade: 1947–9, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982–5, and now 2006 (the 1990’s had no “official” war, but they featured the groundwork for what is happening now: a terrorist state alongside the internationally recognized borders of Israel). Leftists often argue Israel’s aggressive nature on the basis of the mere occurrence of those wars. By that logic, if bullies keep picking on a particular kid, that kid is responsible for it all. It tallies with the Leftist excusing of all crimes committed by those they perceive as underdogs.
Reality is a little different. Before the birth of the state of Israel, the Jewish people had been willing to negotiate, to settle for a much smaller land area than the British had promised them: not only without the east bank of the Jordan (Transjordan, now the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan), but also a fraction of the remaining area, containing large areas of desert. The Arabs rejected the deal in 1947, the Arab populace attacking the Jews, and in 1948 the Arab armies set out to put an end to the newly-declared Jewish state. The war, clearly imposed, except in the revisionist, anti-Semitic mind, ended in 1949 with an armistice, when the Arab armies could not achieve their goal.
The 1947 UN partition plan for Israel. From Wikipedia.
The wars of 1956 (the Suez Crisis) and 1967 (the Six-Day War) and 1973 (the Yom Kippur War) were also imposed, whether by acts that constituted a casus belli, such as the closing of the Tiran Straits, or by actual military invasion of Israeli territory. The war of 1982, involving the first (in hindsight) invasion of Lebanon, was the closest thing Israel could think of as an optional war (Israel’s Vietnam of sorts, with the Israeli Left playing the same role as the American Left then), but it was triggered by rockets fired from Lebanon onto the Galilee, as today, just from a different organization (the PLO then, Hizbullah today). The present war is the culmination of six years (in the most generous way of looking at it; many would reckon the hostility to go back to the bus bombings of the second half of the 1990’s) of terrorism from areas transferred, and even (in the case of Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005) entirely evacuated for the sake of peace.
In all the above chronology, then, the pattern is of one imposed war after the other. The enemy never gave Israel the choice of going to the negotiations table. The peace treaty with Egypt was negotiated only after “Arab honor” was restored by the 1973 war (an Israeli victory in the end, but in the Muslim mindset, as with the postmodern Left, feelings are all that counts), and maintained to this day by the rule of a strongman (calls for canceling the peace with Israel have been frequently sounded since its very inception, silenced only by an iron fist). The peace with Jordan similarly stands upon the strength of the Jordanian king. Should those countries succumb to an Islamic revolution, both peace treaties will be as dead as the relations Israel had with Iran in the days of the Shah.
The Leftists hail the copious negotiations of the 1990’s—the Oslo Accords and the following agreements. Those negotiations were initiated by Israel for the purpose of peace, and were one of the most foolhardy (and, as now clearly known, criminally foolish) gambles in history. Prime Minister Rabin (hy"d) invited the PLO to return from Tunis to negotiate for a homeland. The treaty was signed, and Israel kept the deal and honored all points. Of course, the Left would blame Israel for building settlements during that time, although stopping the settlements was not part of the treaty, and that single point would be the Left’s cause for giving the Palestinians carte blanche for exploding in Israeli buses. In 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak came with an even better offer for the Palestinians; Israel got the Second (Al-Aqsa) Intifada for his pains, which the Left excuses as being a response for Sharon’s visit of the Temple Mount.
What do we have, then? Four clearly imposed wars; one war often deemed to be “optional”, because the “option” of having the entire Galilee under rocket fire wasn’t attractive to Israel; two peace treaties kept alive by strongmen out of a need to stop laying waste to their countries’ economies with wars with Israel; and one “peace process” started by Israel, but accepted by the enemy only as a springboard to achieving what was planned in 1947, as explicitly admitted by Faisal Husseini in June 2001, and communicated to the Palestinian masses in official speeches and Friday prayer mosque sermons long before that. The Muslims, at those times when they were not engaged in violence with Israel, were preparing, arming themselves for such an engagement. Israel fought the wars out of necessity of survival, and went to the negotiations table and signed treaties out of weariness of war and the hope of finally having peace—now seen to be a false hope, born of gullibility, the Chamberlainian naïveté that still grips the Left.
So the Big Lie that Israel has always chosen war first and negotiations last is shown to be false—and this in a cursory review of history that doesn’t do it all justice. Negotiations have always been Israel’s preferred action, if only the other side would let it. And there’s the rub: it wouldn’t, except for one time when it used it as a subterfuge for creating a more favorable strategic position for a new war.
Israel is the warning light unto the nations: what first goes here will come to the rest of the world afterwards. I now turn the attention not to the USA (which still has a spine, thanks to the liveliness of Bible-belief in its people), but to Europe. Europe is “negotiating” itself to extinction as we speak—dhimmifying itself to a new Islamistan, to being Eurabia in actuality and not just in spirit. It’s not that Europe is merely pacifist, it’s apologetic, in the sense of constantly saying sorry, to the extreme. It is a Europe that pulls out ice-cream where its swirls look like Allah in Arabic script, and pig toys, and traditional festivals of burning effigies of Mohammed, and the cross of St. George. A Europe that excuses the Muslims’ rioting over a bunch of line-drawings, far less offensive than what goes for editorial cartoons in Arab newspapers, and cowers in constant fear at the risk of offending their sensibilities. “How can we act so as not to offend the Muslims?”, is the refrain from the Eurodhimmis, as well as from the Leftist Dhimmicrats writing at Daily Kos.
But Theo van Gogh resorted, in the last seconds of his life, to the “alternative” of negotiations: “Mercy! Surely we can talk about this!” And ended up with a message pinned to his stabbed back by his murderer, threatening the lives of other critics of Islam, such as Ayan Hirsi Ali.
“Surely we can talk about it!” has been Europe’s, the West’s, leading line for ages. It is a rationalistic mindset assuming rational sides in a conflict. When one of the sides is not so, all this mindset breaks down. When one of the sides agrees to negotiations only for the purpose of placing himself in a better strategic position for war, negotiations make things worse rather than better. Such it was with Hitler, and such it is now with Islam. It is time to consider an understandably despised but necessary alternative: war. War for survival, with “victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror” the goal.