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by Dr. Alex Grobman


More than a year after the Six Day War, Moshe Dayan, Israel's Minister of Defense, was interviewed about the chances for peace with the Arabs. The Arabs, he said, have a predilection to "deceive... themselves and others." When the commanding army officer sent back false or flawed information to headquarters from the battlefield about the nature of Israeli's strength or the number of soldiers they killed, the president of Egypt and the King of Jordan knew their officers were exaggerating.

Arab leaders deliberately live in an illusory world similar to a person who nurtures a hashish addiction. Believing these lies allows them to simulate living "in paradise." Such fantasies are "worse than actual lies, because a lie is told consciously and can be manipulated, whereas an illusion ultimately manipulates [the person] who believes in it... ." This mentality filters out objective reality, which they prefer to ignore, rather than "jeopardize" the entire "illusionary structure on which they have built their lives."

The "Arab mentality" provides those who identify with it a confidence in being part of the "great Arab nation." They are linked to the past with the heroic exploits of Saladin and the Golden Age of Islam. Israelis may scoff at this mind-set, but this enables the Arabs to see themselves in a majestic light. It explains their refusal to make peace.

Israel, Dayan warned, must not allow itself to adopt the "mentality of escapism and illusion." All the concessions, inducements and compromises Israel has offered since its inception, has not led the Arabs to recognize the existence of the Jewish state. Anyone who believes that, "that by giving up the occupied territories we can achieve real peace... is deluding himself... . The reality is otherwise."

This has not stopped Israel from making concessions. Freeing Arab terrorists from Israeli jails, signing the Oslo Accords, ignoring infinite Arab violations of agreements that call for the termination of incitement against Israelis in the media, the classrooms and in mosques, and expelling Jews from Gaza have done nothing to advance the "peace process," because there never has been a real one. When have the Arabs ever sat down to negotiate in good faith? Jews continually ask themselves "How can peace be achieved?", whereas the Arabs ask, "How can we win the next war?" They search for a diplomatic means to secure Israeli withdrawal without having to accept Israel's existence as a state.

During an interview in 1964, Dayan was asked whether Israeli teachers should tell their students if the Western Wall and Hebron still belonged to the Jews even though they were not under Israeli control. "More than Jerusalem and Hebron are ours," he said "we are psychologically 'theirs'... ." In 1968, he was asked if he considered the young Jews who settled in Hebron idealists. "Most definitely," he answered. He saw them as "acting in the belief that they were performing a service to the nation... "


As Israel continues to follow a policy that some call appeasement because there is no Arab reciprocity, they would do well to remember the words of Sir John Wheeler-Bennett, who was a conservative British historian of German and diplomatic history. In his essay "Some Reflections of Appeasement," he notes that governments make unilateral concessions in pursuit of some policy objective, but that they should do so without surrendering to blackmail. Capitulation is wrong because it establishes "a higher value upon mere self-protection than upon principles, which, is in fact, we know to be sacred and inviolable." Appeasement is condemned as "an act of treason against" everything we believe. We honor those who do not sacrifice their principles to expediency.

The tendency to find peaceful solutions rather than engage in war during the past centuries and localize conflicts prevented an all out war in Europe for several hundred years. Yet as Wheeler-Bennett points out, this "systematic political myopia" allowed the major powers in Europe to miss the rise German militarism.

This same passion for peace and avoidance of war, at practically any price, thwarted a true assessment of the dangers of National Socialism. The "bloodless victories" Hitler enjoyed in Czechoslovakia and Austria were factors that convinced him that the French and British would not use force against him, and if they did, it would be minimal. The French and British finally realized the Germans threatened their way of life, but by that time France was in no position to do very much.

"The concessions of the weak are the concessions of fear," proclaimed Edmund Burke in 1775. Appeasement has a place in resolving disputes, but not in dealing with aggression.

Why Israel's Policy Is So Flawed

Dr. Joel Fishman, a Fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, suggests that Israel's irrational and destructive approach to the Arabs is a result of its failure to understand their strategy. From the late 1960's, the Palestinian Arabs have been engaged in a "people's war," waged on military and political grounds, with emphasize on the political, to compensate for their weaker military position. The tactic, according to Stefan Possony, an American strategist, is taken from Marxist-Leninist practices in China and Vietnam. The goal in Israel is to wage a prolonged war to delegitimize the Jewish state and create divisions within the society that will weaken morale and social unity. Even after the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, they continued this policy.

Before 1993, Israel generally responded militarily to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), for being a terrorist organization, and ignored the political dimension of the problem. After the PLO "renounced" terrorism in 1993, the PLO was welcomed as a peace partner, while the political warfare they were waging in the UN, in their textbooks, and by their refusal to change the PLO Covenant was disregarded. The Israelis later protested against these examples of political warfare, though they did not label them as such.

Fishman describes a number of examples of how the "people's war" is being waged against Israel. Economic warfare to bankrupt the Israeli economy is a key factor in the destabilization process. Palestinian violence, which began in September 2000, wreaked havoc with the economy. They will continue to look for other ways to keep up the pressure.

"Selective terror" is the second weapon employed against Israel. Used in a mass "psychological" campaign, terror is designed to impair Israeli forces, erode their confidence, and "strengthen" Arab terrorists. From September 2000 to the end of June 2003, the Israel Defense Forces reported 18,000 "terrorist events" in the country-an average of 18 attempts a day.

Another weapon is propaganda, and the goal is to transfer Israel's legitimacy to the Palestinian state. When Yasser Arafat addressed the UN General Assembly in 1974, he called Israel "a racist entity," and then praised the legitimacy of the PLO. The Zionism equals Racism Resolution passed by the UN General Assembly on November 10, 1975 that was initiated by the Arabs and Russians is another example of how Arab propaganda succeeded in making Israel into a pariah state. Even though the resolution was abrogated in 1991, the influence remains.

Arabs negotiate, Fishman notes, not to reach an agreement, but to continue the conflict on a different stage. At the UN Conference Against Racism at Durban in September 2001, for example, the Palestinian Arabs used the opportunity to delegitimize Israel when they took out mention of the Holocaust and substituted in its place references to Palestinians experiencing "Nazi-like oppression," under the Israelis.

The Arabs seek to undermine Israeli society and cause dissension in a number of other ways as well: by using the Israeli peace movement to foster anti-militarism; undermining Israeli sovereignty by establishing competing entities in Arab towns and in the Galilee where it is now unsafe in some areas for Jews to go; and building illegally in Jerusalem and elsewhere.

In the illusionary euphoria of the 1990's that the Arabs fostered so well, Israel decided to cease defending itself abroad and told Diaspora Jewry its help was no longer needed. Professor Steven Windmueller, Director, School of Jewish Communal Service, Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion /LA, describes how the effects this had almost ten years later: "Following the Oslo Accords, a [new] reality became significant. A number of Jewish civic and community relations' organizations began to dismantle the institutional infrastructures that traditionally lobbied for Israel. The effect of these structural changes in the mid-1990s can best be understood in the context of a whole generation of young American Jews unable to effectively articulate the case for Israel to their peers. Possibly more disturbing... is the corresponding decline in the levels of commitment on the part of this generation of American Jews, who are increasingly unwilling to view Israel as an integral component of their Jewish identity and focus for communal responsibility."

Dr. Grobman's book "Zionism=Racism: The Ongoing War Against The Jews" will be published in 2006. He trains students to respond to Arab propaganda on American campuses.

This was submitted February 2006.


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