Right Concept, Flawed Analogy, Done Purposely…
 
                                                                                                 by Gerald A. Honigman
 

     Speaking before a special session of Israel’s Parliament in honor of the 60th anniversary of the resurrection of the Jewish State, President Bush stressed the idea that appeasement doesn’t work.
 
     He used the example of Hitler’s attack on Poland in 1939, which ushered in World War II in Europe, and the words of an American senator who expressed that if he’d only had the chance to chat with Hitler, things might have been different.
 
     Another time, another place, perhaps Bush’s words would have sounded more sincere and had more meaning.
 
     Iran, North Korea, Syria, and other aggressive dictatorships must indeed be confronted unabashedly…much better than the world is doing right now. Witness the pitiful response to what’s happening to those who truly sought independence for Lebanon.
 
     But this was the wrong analogy for the President to bring up before the Knesset.
 
     You don’t have to be the best student of history to know what the appropriate analogy was/is regarding Israel and those who would see her destroyed. Many of us have written about it, and the President has undoubtedly seen or heard of this more accurate comparison one way or another himself. So, why bring the subject--appeasement--up if your choose to ignore your own advice?
 
     Judea (land of the Judeans--Jews) and Samaria--also known, as a result of British post-World War I imperialism, as the “West Bank” (in contrast to the Jordan River‘s east bank)--are roughly Israel’s Sudetenland. They have thousands of years of Jewish history and presence connected to them…including in modern times, until the Arab massacres.
 
     Forced expulsions, forced conversions, horrendous wars, repeated conquests, and such took their tolls, but until the 1920s and 1930s--and after 1948 when Transjordan, created itself in 1922 from the lions’ share of the original 1920 Palestine Mandate on the “East Bank,” grabbed Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) and made it Judenrein, the Jews never renounced their claims.
 
     The Arabs themselves ruled, colonized, and settled the land earlier after their own imperial armies burst out of the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century C.E. and spread in all directions…conquering and forcibly Arabizing (going on to this very day) millions of non-Arab peoples and spreading the Dar ul-Islam. Those who did not consent were slaughtered.
 
     The two Arab Caliphal empires based in Damascus and Baghdad had replaced the Byzantine Empire which had succeeded the Roman Empire. And there were others later on in between as well. The last of Israel’s imperial conquerors were Turks, who ruled for over four centuries prior to the Brits’ victory in World War I.
 
     The land was thus conquered by a series of imperial powers upon the fall of Israel/Judea to Rome. I like to cite two quotes from key contemporary Roman sources themselves related to this, one dealing with the first major revolt of the Jews for their freedom (66-73 C.E.), and the other dealing with their second major revolt (133-135 C.E.).
 
     Tacitus Vol. II, Book V, The Works of Tacitus:
 
     Vespasian... succeeded to the command.... it inflamed his resentment that the Jews were the only nation that had not yet submitted…Titus was appointed by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea... he commanded three legions in Judaea itself... To these he added the twelfth from Syria and the third and twenty-second from Alexandria... amongst his allies were a band of Arabs, formidable in themselves and harboring towards the Jews the bitter animosity usually subsisting between neighboring nations.
 
     Dio’s Roman History (Dio Cassius):
 
     580,000 men were slain, nearly the whole of Judaea made desolate. Many Romans, moreover, perished in this war ( 133-135 C. E., the Bar Kochba Revolt against Hadrian ). Therefore Hadrian, in writing to the senate, did not employ the opening phrase commonly affected by the emperors, ‘ I and the legions are in health.’
 
     After that last major revolt, in order to further pour salt on the wound, Hadrian renamed the land itself after the Jews’ already well-known historic enemies, the Philistines--the “Sea People” from the area around Crete. Iudaea (Judea) thus became known--at least in some circles--as Syria Palaestina.
 
     Towns such as Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1-4, Bethlehem--not West Bank, not Palestine--of JudeaKing of the Jews{not “Palestinians”}; 1 Samuel 16, Samuel anoints David; etc.), Hebron, Bethel, Schechem, Jericho, Gilboa, and so forth should ring a bell.    
 
     Here's the real analogy both the President and the Foggy Folks purposely ignore…
 
     After World War I, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was defeated and fell apart. Among the various peoples yearning to gain political freedom were Czechs and Slovaks, bringing about a very imperfect--but necessary--union (until relatively recently) for the good of both.
 
     Czechoslovakia was created in 1918. While other peoples also lived in various parts of the new country, those folks (Germans, Poles, etc.) already had ethnic national homelands of their own.
 
     But the fact that many ethnic Germans had earlier spread elsewhere within the Austro-Hungarian Empire would come back to haunt the new  nation. Much of its Bohemian and Moravian border regions--the Sudetenland in German--was occupied by Germans. Furthermore, much of the area’s important industry was controlled by them as well.
 
     Indeed, Czechoslovakia was constantly plagued by problems involving its large number of Sudeten Germans having “other plans.” After Hitler annexed Austria in 1938 in the Anschluss, he turned to other “German” areas as well.
 
     Again, as has been often referred to, by threatening war in September 1938, Hitler cowed Czechoslovakia’s “friends” to force it to agree to give up its rich and strategically important Sudetenland to the Nazis…with Britain’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain claiming in Munich that he had thus gained “peace for all time.” Czechs were expelled from the border regions. The irony is that the Czechs had a good army, and backed by the Allies could have put up a good fight. They were shafted instead.
 
     Now, that’s appeasement.
 
     Before long, Hitler grabbed what was left of Czechoslovakia, bombed Poland, and the world was at war again anyway.
 
     So, again, why did the President--with the whole world watching--skip over this and begin his lesson with Poland instead?
 
     Why? Because the real analogy here stinks to High Heaven…
 
     Substitute Judea and Samaria (the 'West Bank') for the Sudetenland. 
 
     Yet, from the getgo, a hostile American State Department--which rejected Israel’s rebirth in the first place--has sought to force Israel to accept armistice lines artificially imposed upon it in 1949 which turned the nation of the Jews into a 9-mile wide rump state. Those lines merely represented the points at which the combined Arab assault from a half dozen different countries was halted. Having failed--thanks to President Truman and the sacrifice of the Jews themselves--in nipping Israel in the bud, the Foggy Folks tried their best to see it go belly up afterwards.
 
     The State Department routinely employs hypocritical double standards along with an absurd moral equivalency and routinely acts in ways which endanger Israel’s very existence.
 
     After Israel was once again forced to fight for its life in the 1967 Six Day War, the Arab goal of annihilation backfired big time, and Israel ridded itself of those Auschwitz lines. The only thing the latter temptation had achieved was to constantly invite yet more Arab aggression.
 
     As I and others have written before, this conflict has never been about how big Israel is, but that it is…
 
     A reading of the U. N. ’s Ralph Bunch’s ’49 armistice line dealings would help understand this better as would those of Under Secretary of State Eugene Rostow, U. N. Ambassador Arthur Goldberg, Britain’s U. N. Ambassador, Lord Caradon, and other architects of U. N. Security Council Resolution # 242. The latter all explained why Israel was not expected to return to the status quo ante after ‘67 and was entitled to secure and recognized borders--not indefensible armistice lines. Yet that’s what the Foggy Folks, Presidents Carter and Clinton, and even President Bush (on again/off again) have expected and pressured the Jews into doing.
 
     Here’s Lord Caradon...
 
     It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of 4 June 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places where the soldiers of each side happened to be on the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That's why we didn't demand that the Israelis return to them.
 
    A bit earlier, here’s what a few other fellas had to say about this…
 
     President Lyndon Johnson, June 19, 1967:
 
      A return to the situation on June 4 (the day before outbreak of war) was not a prescription for peace but for renewed hostilities. He then called for… new recognized boundaries that would provide security against terror, destruction, and war.
 
     President Ronald Reagan, September 1, 1982:
 
    In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely 10-miles wide...the bulk of Israel's population within artillery range of hostile armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.
 
     Secretary of State George Shultz, 1988:
 
     Israel will never negotiate from or return to the 1967 borders.
 
     The unfortunate reason Bush conveniently left out the model of appeasement--the ‘38 Munich travesty--is because it’s too close to what America (Israel’s best friend) has recently been pressuring the Jew of the Nations to do unto itself. 
 
     As Hitler had designs far beyond a Czechoslovakian (but heavily ethnic German) Sudetenland, if you believe that all the Arabs wanted/want is Gaza and the “West Bank,” I have not one but ten bridges to sell you. As the President was delivering his speech in Israel, Arabs were blasting Jews shopping in a mall in Ashkelon. A bit earlier another one was massacring students in a yeshiva with weapons Secretary of State Rice insisted that the Jews provide for Abbas’s “moderates” themselves.
 
     Knowing full well that southern Israel got nothing but thousands of mortar and rocket attacks launched from Gaza in exchange for its full withdrawal, Rice & Co. (with Bush on again, off again) insist that the same thing happen to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and elsewhere in Israel’s narrow waist (adjacent to Judea and Samaria) where most of its population lives. That, indeed, is the more-than-likely scenario if Israel caves in to what its “friends” have been pressuring it to do regarding the heavily Arab-populated “West Bank.”
 
     Any observer of this conflict with functioning neurons knows the post-’67 Arab destruction in stages game plan for Israel. They also know--by even the alleged Arab “ good cops’ ” own words--that their hudnas (ceasefires) are only designed to gain strength and time in order to deliver the final blow later on down the road. Arafat called this tactic the “Peace of the Quraysh,” copying what Muhammad did to his Meccan enemies some fourteen centuries ago. Abbas’s Fatahniks are Arafatians in suits and have stated the same thing. Abbas 'the moderate' ran on a platform for Israel's destruction--but by more 'acceptable' means. Blown buses bring bad press.
 
     Think about what Iran and Syria have done to Lebanon via Hizbullah, and you’ll get a glimpse at what’s in store for a “West Bank” in which Israel has not been granted a meaningful territorial compromise a la 242.
 
     Israel’s great air force won’t do it any good when it has to bomb itself because there was no adequate buffer preventing a massive Arab invasion (as occurred  in 1948 and was attempted later as well).
 
     And would America permit enemies sworn to its destruction to set up missile bases and such within a stone's throw of its own borders?
 
     Who will stop Iran from doing this--as they've supplied Hizbullah and Hamas already?
 
     Keep in mind that thirty-eight Israels fit into just the President's home state of Texas...not to mention a comparison to all of America.
 
     The President was indeed correct about appeasement.
 
     But now...
 
     Teacher--Teach thyself.
 
 

Gerald A. Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral studies in Middle Eastern Affairs. He has created and conducted counter-propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured on numerous university campuses and other platforms, and has publicly debated many anti-Israel spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been published in hundreds of newspapers, magazines, academic journals and websites around the world. His official website is: http://www.geraldahonigman.com/

Our special thanks to the author for submitting this article. A. G. S.