Last updated: November 25, 2013
In 1938, England had a problem. It couldn’t figure out how to deal with an aggressive foreign leader whose behaviour appeared to threaten war.
That foreign leader was Germany’s Hitler. In 1938, the Brits looked at his threats--and chose peace.
Prominent citizens advocated for Germany’s ‘cause’. In the media, those who called Germany dangerous were scorned. Politicians worked hard to sell the idea that peace was better than confrontation.
Why choose war when you could have peace?
Britain had fought a devastating war against Germany just twenty years earlier. That war was called World War One. It was supposed to have been the War to end all war.
Now, twenty years later, England looked like it could go back to war—against the same enemy. England had lost an entire generation fighting Germany in World War One. Now, they could fight again?
How could you argue a position that would lead to war?
In 1938, Hitler was strong. He had guided Germany through the aftermath of a lost war. He gave Germans a sense of national pride. Most Brits opposed Hitler. They didn’t like what he stood for. But few had the stomach for another fight with Germany. Many just wanted peace. It didn’t matter the cost—just so there’d be peace.
Appeasement sounded a lot better than war. Wouldn’t appeasement bring peace? How could England go wrong with that?
Today, Israel has the same problem. It can’t figure out how to deal with an aggressive enemy. Over the last sixty-plus years, Israel has had to defend itself repeatedly against Muslims intent upon destroying the Jewish State. Now we could end up fighting again--this time against (possibly) a nuclear Iran?
We all fear war. That fear often gives birth to appeasement. In the face of another Arab-Israel war, how could Israel go wrong with appeasement?
Like their English ‘predecessors’ of 1938, many Israelis today are weary. They are tired of seeing death. They want peace. In fact, they’ll do anything for ’peace.’
In 1938 England, the seductive lure of appeasement filled the air. Many in the ruling elite stood first in line to fight for the ‘peace’ that appeasement would bring. The ruling elite spoke for everyone: peace was better than war.
Today, Israel's elite melts before the same seduction. They say we must accept Arab demands. Otherwise, they argue, how could there be peace?
In 1938, many Brits said the same thing. They said, give Hitler what he wants. Otherwise, there’ll be no peace.
In 1938 England, those who opposed Hitler paid a price. We may remember Winston Churchill as the man who saved England. But in 1938, more than a year before Germany started World War Two, Churchill was not popular. He was an outcast. He was called a mindless war-monger. He was scorned for advocating confrontation with Hitler.
To confront Hitler surely meant war. At least appeasement raised the possibility for peace. Wasn’t peace better than war?
That September, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain travelled to Munich and signed his famous (or infamous) ‘appeasement’ letter with Hitler. Many cheered. They had their ‘peace.’ Appeasement had worked.
Churchill was furious. He may have (arguably) set the foundation for his future wartime rhetoric when he criticized Chamberlain with the words, ‘You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour [appeasement] and you will have war.’
That’s how World War Two started. England ‘gave’ land (Czechoslovakia) for ‘peace’. But that deal only encouraged Hitler—and England ended up with the war it had wanted to avoid.
The leaders of Israel today face the same nasty choice. It’s a choice we don’t want to talk about. But it’s there: the choice between dishonour (appeasement) and a confrontation that could lead to war.
But as Israel talks ‘peace’, the Arabs want Mohammed’s army to massacre Jews. Confronted with such hate, Israel’s leaders imitate Neville Chamberlain. They desire to appease an implacable foe. They seem desperate to wave a paper that says, ‘peace.’
Churchill was right. Chamberlain had to choose between war and dishonour. He chose dishonour—and got a much nastier war than the one he was so desperate to avoid.
Our leaders are like Chamberlain. They refuse to accept that ‘Palestine’ wants war, not peace.
It’s true. Arabs want their Palestine to replace Israel. They want to erase Israel. That’s why Mahmoud Abbas hangs a map in his office that shows ‘Palestine’ in place of Israel.
That map means one thing. ‘Palestine’ means war.
Our leaders have only two choices--confrontation or dishonour. If they make the wrong choice, they will chose dishonour—and then get a much nastier war than the one they so desperately believe they can avoid.
In that nastier war, Israel will suffer. But Israel will survive. ‘Palestine’ won’t. ‘Palestine’ will be destroyed.