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by Patricia Berlyn


Saying "peace, peace" and there is no peace
-- Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11

They did cause My people to err,
saying "peace" and there is no peace

-- Ezekiel 13:10

The Hebrew word shalom, that in Israel serves as both "hello" and "goodbye", can be literally rendered in English as "peace". It derives from a root that connotes "completeness" or "wholeness", and is not a mere absence of conflict or battle. However ardently and sincerely desired, "shalom" or "peace" cannot be reached by way of the plans and processes cobbled together in the long, futile and sometimes pernicious efforts to arrest the generations-long War for the Destruction of Israel.

Indeed, the pursuit of "peace" has become so close to a fetish that no harsh reality is permitted to "derail the peace process" -- even as the "process" takes the form of programs and actions and declarations that increase the dangers of war.

"The Arabs always said they have time, and that they can wait 10, 20 or 50 years until we disappear. But our problem is that we don't have time; we're rushing. We want 'peace now,' and so we go and destroy beautiful blossoming productive communities. We destroy the lives of tens of thousands of people on the altar of 'we have to do something.' The very act of running crazedly after the longed-for peace is precisely that which distances it from us."
-- Professor Israel Robert Aumann, Israeli Nobel Laureate 2006

"The doctrine of peace at any price had done more mischief than any I can well recall that have been afloat in this country. It has caused more wars than any of the most ruthless conquerors"
-- Benjamin Disraeli

Since the beginning of its revived sovereignty in 1948, Israel has been in the historically unique position of imploring the aggressors who launched and lost one war after another to consent to peace.

After 31 years, a President of Egypt said the word "peace" and signed to it in exchange for Israel turning over the entire vast, strategic and possibly resource-rich Sinai Peninsula.

[Comment: The Sinai had been part of the British Mandate, and the British on their departure from the region turned the administration of it over to Egypt, that thereafter repeatedly used it as a base to launch attacks on Israel. Only the terms of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty made the Sinai, for the first time, Egyptian sovereign territory.]

Egypt has since the signing of the treaty been the beneficiary of an allowance of $2 billion a year, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. It remains in rhetoric and diplomacy relentlessly anti-Israel and hostile to America.

After another 15 years, a King of Jordan said the word "peace" and signed to it.

[Comment: He was ruling over a realm that the British had, in violation of the terms of the Mandate, carved out of the territory assigned to a Jewish National Home, kin order to provide a realm for a displaced Arab emir protégé. In the years leading up to the Israel-Jordan Treaty, the reigning monarch had been under the protection of Israel.]

The royal regime in Jordan stands on sand. The populace of the realm recently responded to an opinion poll with a 100 percent avowal of hatred of Jews.

Both of these peace treaties with adjacent neighboring states were welcomed by virtually all Israelis, but how long those treaties will endure is a subject for caution rather than complacency.

In 1993, came a very different Israeli venture into "peace" that was an inevitable and easily predicable disaster. The Oslo Accords are the poisonous fruit of the befuddled imaginations and disingenuous deceits of the Osloids. Their "Accords" were designed to revive the moribund terrorist PLO and set it up as a ruling authority within the Land of Israel.

The Osloids were led by then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres [See Issue No. 49) and his underling Yossi Beilin (now a lackey for the European Union), egged on by meddling European politicians and academics not in the least interested in the survival much less the wellbeing of the State of Israel they disdain.. The Accords were devised in secrecy because, as Beilin explained, the Israeli public would never have tolerated them had they known what was going on.

Peres-Beilin managed to impose their scheme on the reluctant but weak Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and they were pushed through the Knesset by a margin of one single vote -- 61 out of 120 -- a minimalist majority comprising the anti-Judaic Left and Far-Left parties plus Israeli Arab members hostile to the very existence of the State in whose assembly they sat.

The Osloids tried to sell their betrayal of Israel, both People and Land, as the way to "peace". It is unlikely that they themselves shared the delusion of "peace" that they imposed on the naïve and uniformed. But the slogan "Give Peace A Chance" sounded better than admitting that they were driven by a psychological compulsion to undue the redemption and restoration of the Promised Land, to the end of breaking the Jewish heart and crushing the Jewish spirit and achieve the secular-socialist rump-state of their dreams.

The moral and strategic folly of Oslo was recognized by many Israelis -- perhaps a majority of them -- and passionately resisted. But with the one-vote Arab-assisted majority, the support of much of the standard news media, and a bit of bribery when necessary, the Osloids prevailed.

Their frivolity and fecklessness was obvious in their own words. When Peres was asked in the Knesset what would happen if terrorists committed crimes in Israel and then took shelter in PLO-run territory, he answered "We are hoping that won't happen". Another prominent Osloid had his personal solution ready in case the plan he backed was a disaster for Israel: "I'll get a visa to move to the United States".

The PLO beneficiaries of Oslo, understandably contemptuous of their Israeli sponsors, did not bother to disguise their intentions.

Faisel al-Husseini, scion of one of the most powerful Arab families, and PLO "Minister for Jerusalem" defined the PLO program, in April and June 2001: "We will] continue to aspire to the strategic goal: namely, Palestine from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea. Whatever we get now, cannot make us forget this supreme truth."

"If we agree to declare our state over . . . the West Bank and Gaza, our ultimate goal is the liberation of all historic Palestine from the River [Jordan] to the Sea [Mediterranean]. We distinguish the strategic, long-term goals from the political phased goals, which we are compelled to temporarily accept due to international pressure."

Almost simultaneously with the public signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn, Terror-Chief Arafat explained to a public gathering at a mosque "This agreement I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our prophet Muhammed and Koraish."

[Comment: In the Seventh Century, Muhammad contracted a peace treaty with the Arabian tribe of Koraish. Two years later, he attacked and destroyed the tribe of Koraish.]

The Osloids thus knowingly and deliberately fell-in with the PLO's Two-Stage Plan formally and officially adopted in 1974: Stage One - Take any part of "Palestine" that Israel can be induced to yield. Stage Two - Use that land to proceed to the total destruction of Israel and the establishment of an Arab state in all of "Palestine".

The effects of the Oslo Accords were very soon apparent: The territory allotted to the PLO became a base for murderous terrorism that has cost thousands of Israeli lives lost or wrecked. Yitzhak Rabin coined for them the grotesque category "Victims of Peace".

The PLO of course never kept a single one of its pledged commitments, and Peres explained that Israel could not demand that it do so because then it "would not have a partner for peace". The authors of the Accords still argue that they will eventually succeed if only Israel gives more and more and more . . . .

Years went by while the toll of Oslo mounted. Peres' Partner for Peace has murdered, injured and bereaved many thousands of Israelis. But concessions and withdrawals continued, bringing more peril and loss. The voters turned from Peres and his Labor Party to the anti-Osloid Likud Party and Binyamin Netanyahu, who had eloquently denounced the folly of Oslo, became prime minister. Nothing was done to reverse that folly. The deadly terrorist regime was left in place, and even more concessions were made to it -- including the yielding up of Hebron, part of Israel's history since the days of Abraham.

While Israel bears the scars of Oslo on body and soul, the "Palestine" that the Osloids invented has become the world's darling -- beneficiary of tens of billions of dollars of aid from the U.S. taxpayer, the special wards of the United Nations, the object of adulation of the news media and a precious cause to academics,

The Oslo Accords and all the flawed notions and doings that followed thereafter have brought nothing but harm. They have frayed self-confidence within Israel and tarnished its international image as a staunch and resolute nation.

Every retreat for the sake of "peace" has lead to the loss of lose of life and of morale. Every retreat has made possible a new front in the war against Israel, or the escalation and effectiveness of that war.

Even before the perpetration of the Oslo Accords, the international community had been tinkering with plans, programs, agreements, ceasefires, truces, conferences and other forms of meddling. These endeavors were supposedly in pursuit of a solution to what used to be labeled the "Arab-Israeli Conflict", but in deference to years of relentless propaganda and misrepresentation has been renamed "The Israel-Palestinian Problem". All of these endeavors have two characteristics in common:

[1] They are based on a doctrine invented for this conflict alone: To The Defeated Aggressor Belong the Spoils. By this doctrine, Israel must

-- make all the concessions
-- surrender Land that belongs to it by every right and bestow it on the enemy
-- evacuate and destroy the homes and communities that Jews have built in the Land of Israel redeemed from desolation
-- submit its people and its very survival to dire risks and dangers
-- make "confidence-building gestures" such as releasing murderous terrorists from prison and easing security measures that might cause any brief inconvenience to a "Palestinian".

To balance these demands on Israel, the "Palestinians" are asked to say a few nice words, and make a few promises that they may then break without penalty,

These points are often subsumed under the slogan "Land for Peace" -- as though peace were not Israel's right but a special favor for which it has to pay with its patrimony.

[2] Not one plan, program, or solution recognizes or acknowledges the basic reality of the conflict. The issue is not where Israel's borders should be set, or where Israelis may live, or how many "states" should be squeezed into Mandate Palestine.

The issue is whether or not Israel should exist. The Arabs/Palestinians are as insistent as ever that it should not -- and they cannot be satisfied with any terms on which Israel continues to exist.

Lord Balfour, author of the Balfour Declaration on The Jewish National Home, expressed his hope that in view of the many vast territories bestowed on the Arabs they "would not begrudge" the Jews their "little notch". But they do begrudge it, not because they need that "little notch" of land, but because they cannot tolerate a free and independent -- and worse -- still thriving -- Jewish presence.

The territory turned over to PLO rule in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza were turned into terrorist bases. The local Arab residents became subject to their unkindly rule of the PLO. The Christians among them have been almost entirely driven from their ancient communities.

Both the feckless follies of successive Israeli governments and the increasing de-legitimizing of Israel in the international arena encourage the Arabs/Palestinian faith in their cause.

Rather than confront this harsh reality, both Israeli policymakers and foreign peacemakers tinker with a problem they will not realistically define. From Oslo onward, they have defined the tinkering as The Peace Process, with a later amendation called a Roadmap. This Peace Process has become an international icon that must always be "kept going" or "gotten back on track". The track must always lead to more Israeli concessions, more risks, more surrender of land, more release of convicted terrorists, and more consideration for the convenience of the "Palestinians".

The "Palestinians" on their side are requested to say "peace". If they cannot bring themselves to do that, then they may instead say that they "recognize Israel".

Professional Peace-Processors shuffle from side to side, trying to negotiate the non-negotiable. Some have had their names attached to a Stage or Plan of the Peace Process that is never implemented. All of the efforts are futile. When derived from the European Union, the efforts are malicious.

In the meantime, the PLO -- whose methods and goals are the same under the rule of Fatah or Hamas -- is breeding and training a generation of children to carry on jihad. From the earliest age, these children are indoctrinated in the ideal "Kill Zionists wherever they are, in the name of God." They are that the highest purpose in life is to fight and kill the Jews, and that martyrdom in that cause is the highest attainable honor. This is not a program of a regime that intends ever to make "peace". [See Issue No. 49 - "Bending Twigs"]

But the Peace Process must sail on, like a ghost ship on a fogbound sea ever seeking a port that is not there.

The territory turned over to PLO rule in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza were turned into terrorist bases. The local Arab residents became subject to their unkindly rule of the PLO. The Christians among them have been almost entirely driven from their ancient communities.

Experience has taught nothing to the policymakers.

Prime Minister Ehud Barak made a literally overnight flight out of the security zone on the Lebanese border. Lebanese Christians who had been cooperating with the Israelis were shamefully abandoned. Hezbollah, the terrorist group backed by Iran, took over the empty security zone where it now has installed 12,000 missiles aimed into the heart of Israel.

The PLO terrorists that the Osloids had planted in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza were encouraged by Barak's self-imposed rout to launch their Oslo War against Israel.

Barak later offered terror-chief Arafat "peace" on terms appallingly destructive to Israel. Arafat's rejection of the offer spared Israel from this particular calamity.

With the succession to power of first Ariel Sharon and then Ehud Olmert, Israel's policymakers finally dropped the pretense that their shenanigans were in the cause of peace. The old line of "painful concessions for peace" has finally been dropped. Israel is to be subjected to the "painful concessions" for nothing in exchange.

The flight from Gaza was a whim, for which no rationale was ever given. The result was to turn the entire area into one large terrorist base, where Hamas and al-Qaeda are free to establish themselves. Gaza has become a vast launching-pad to fire rockets and missiles into Israel almost daily. When there is any response at all from the incumbent government of Israel, it is carefully calibrated to be ineffectual.

Olmert, a corrupt political hack, proclaims his weariness with "winning" against Israel's enemies and so fights Israelis instead -- a prime minister who will not touch terrorist bases but sends mounted police to trample on school girls. He has no program but self-inflicted defeat. His intended flight from the heartland of Israel and destruction of its communities he calls "convergence" or "consolidation". This unilateral surrender he avers is necessary because there is nobody with whom to make peace -- in effect a policy of making Israel smaller and weaker and demoralized as the way to face an implacable foe of growing strength and confidence.

Shalom and "peace" are beautiful words. They are also words often misused in causes inimical to genuine and just peace.

Particularly noisy among them are --

"Peace Now" in Israel and its U.S. adjunct "American Friends of Peace Now" are dedicated to the cause of an enemy they have made their protégé. The members are very active in monitoring just where Jews presume to dwell and till the soil in the Land of Israel, and agitating for their eviction.

"The Peace Bloc" in Israel is led by a professional pornographer. Its members literally embrace as well as sing-along with those dedicated to killing Jews and destroying Israel.

For the further corruption of the word "peace" the international news media have contributed the designation Peace Activist. This term is used for a person who supports or shields terrorists while impeding those acting against terrorism.

They show up in more than one arena, but are especially drawn to Israel, many of them from the United States and Great Britain. Peace Activists are known to have close links with terrorist groups, and act to shield them and facilitate their cause. When a Peace Activist stationed among terrorists gets caught in the crossfire between the terrorists and the IDF, he is deemed to be the victim of murder by Israel.

Among the Peace Activists was Rachel Corrie, a young woman from California who came to do good in Gaza by teaching Arab children how to burn American flags. She and her group tried to protect a structure in Gaza scheduled to be demolished because it covered a tunnel used to smuggle weapons and explosives. As an Israeli bulldozer approached it, Miss Corrie placed herself before the structure, in a spot where the bulldozer driver could not possibly see her. Her comrades photographed rather than prevented the ensuing fatal accident. She is now the heroine of a popular drama playing in London.

Patricia Berlyn is a writer and editor who is a native of New York, N.Y. and now resides in Israel. This essay is archived as "A Time to Speak -- Messages About Israel", Vol. VI:3 (No. 63) (March 2006 -- Adar-Nissan 5766).

"A Time To Speak" appears once a month, and each issue is on a theme that relates to Israel and the Middle East past and present, including history, background, current events, analysis and comment. All issues appear on its website: A complimentary subscription to the e-mail edition is available by request to:


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