INTO THE FRAY: Dopey doves






For your perusal, my latest INTO THE FRAY column

Dopey doves 

(Kindly consider “liking”, sharing, tweeting – please use hash-tag ‪#‎IntoFray)

“Until 1967, Israel did not hold an inch of the Sinai Peninsula, West Bank, Gaza Strip or Golan Heights…Year after year Israel called for …peace. The answer was a blank refusal and more war”-Yitzhak Rabin, 1976

It appears this week on the following sites (in alphabetical order):

JEWISH PRESS: To be posted

Several short excerpts:

The most righteous of men cannot live in peace if his evil neighbor will not let him be– from Wilhelm Tell Act IV, scene III, by Friedrich von Schiller, 1804. 

It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism, while the wolf remains of a different opinion. – R. Inge, Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, 1915. 

He who comes to kill you, rise up early and kill him first – The Talmud

The Oslo process that resulted in the signature of the Declaration of Principles” on the White House Lawns on September 13, 1993, was in many ways a point of singularity in the history of Zionism, after which everything was qualitatively different from that which it was before….at which what were once vaunted values became vilified vices.

Metamorphosis: From deterrence to appeasement?

Thus, almost at a stroke, Jewish settlement and attachment to land, once the essence of the Zionist ethos, were branded as the epitome of egregious extremism…

The staggering metamorphosis that took place in the Israeli leadership’s approach was aptly described by Daniel Pipes, who—almost two decades ago—wrote:
“the policy of deterrence dominated Israeli thinking during the country’s first 45 years, 1948-93, and it worked well…. Eventually, Israelis became impatient…That impatience brought on the Oslo accords in 1993 . So totally did deterrence disappear from the Israeli vocabulary, it is today not even considered when policy options are discussed.”

“…Historians will be baffled…”

Winston Churchill: “…historians a thousand years hence will still be baffled by the mystery of our affairs…”


…Pipes’s caveat is eerily reminiscent of Winston Churchill’s stern address  to the House of Commons: “…historians a thousand years hence will still be baffled by the mystery of our affairs. They will never understand how it was that a victorious nation, with everything in hand, suffered themselves to be brought low, and to cast away all that they had gained by measureless sacrifice and absolute victory….” 

It is difficult not to see much of the same pattern reflected in Israel’s behavior after its sweeping victory in the 1967 Six Day War…



How terrorist nuisances evolved into strategic threats 

Demolition of Jewish settlements in Gaza, 2005

It relinquished the vast expanses of the Sinai Peninsula for a grudging peace agreement with Egypt…In Gaza, the dovish doctrine of political appeasement and territorial withdrawal lead to the razing of Jewish communities…On Israel’s northern front, territorial retreat (or rather flight) from South Lebanon and the dishonorable desertion of local allies there…allowed—indeed, induced—a terrorist nuisance to evolve into a genuine strategic threat.

“Destroying peace; promoting violence…”

On Israel’s eastern flank, Oslowian concessions allowed armed militia to deploy within mortar range of the nation’s parliament, the Prime Minister’s office and the Supreme Court; and gave the Palestinian-Arab terror groups free access to military grade explosives and automatic weapons that brought tragedy and trauma to Israel’s streets, sidewalks and shopping malls.

Isaac Herzog, then-head of opposition (2015) on Iran:“I trust the Obama administration to get a good deal.”

“I trust Obama to get a good deal.”

Further afield, the application of concession rather than coercion continued to bear bitter fruits for Israel. Instead of being brought to its knees by the Obama administration in 2015, the tyrannical theocracy in Tehran was given much needed relief that allowed it to continue its mischief far and wide…during the high profile 2015 Saban Forum…the dovish Isaac Herzog, declared: “I trust the Obama administration to get a good deal.” Just how unfounded that trust proved to be is now a matter of historical record.

Imagine the dread 

But not only have continued concessions, withdrawal and retreat precipitated continued conflict and violence, but the converse seems true as well…… one can only shudder with dread at the thought of the perilous predicament the country would be facing, had it heeded the call from the allegedly “enlightened and progressive” voices, who – right up until the gory events of the Syrian civil war that erupted in 2011—hailed the British trained doctor, Bashar al-Assad, as a moderate reformer, with whom a durable peace deal could be cut – if only an intransigent Israel would yield the Golan to his regime.

Real reasons & recalcitrant realities

Yet despite decades of proven failure, Israel’s doves still cling doggedly to their fatally flawed dogma…Just how different things once were, before the doves began to dominate the discourse, is starkly underscored by an address by Yitzhak Rabin before a joint session of the US Congress (28 January 1976).

In it, he pointed out that, “Until 1967, Israel did not hold an inch of the Sinai Peninsula and the West Bank, the Gaza Strip or the Golan Heights. Israel held not an acre of what is now considered disputed territory. And yet we enjoyed no peace. Year after year Israel called for – pleaded for – a negotiated peace with the Arab governments. Their answer was a blank refusal and more war.”

He then went on to identify the causes of conflict: “The reason was not a conflict over territorial claims. The reason was, and remains, the fact that a Free Jewish State sits on territory at all.”

Although Rabin later diverged from his diagnosis, the subsequent chain of death and destruction proved its validity.

The unpalatable, but unavoidable, conclusion, for doves and hawks alike, that arises from this is that:

The maximum Israel can hope for is to be grudging accepted. The minimum it must strive for is to greatly be feared. Its very survival depends on it.

As usual your talkbacks/comments/critiques welcome,

Best wishes,








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