Now we have Britain, France and Germany swearing their dedication to Israel’s security and well-being, even as they meet, with Israel uninvited, and seek to strip her of defensible borders, and even as they have, in fact, neither the will nor the capacity to help defend Israel from the existential threats to which they would subject her.
What they do have the capacity to do – adhere to their obligations under Resolution 242, support a division of the West Bank that would entail Israel retaining defensible borders while allowing the vast majority of Palestinians to pursue a separate political course – they refuse to do.
There are other things Britain, France and Germany could do to advance genuine peace. They could work for an end to the genocidal incitement against Israel, and Jews more generally, purveyed by both Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority. But instead they not only typically ignore Palestinian incitement but actually fund it, both in their individual contributions to the Palestinians and in their bankrolling of the Palestinians through the European Union. Some of these funds go directly to organs of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement.
Germany could also curb its lucrative role in financing the Iranian regime, whose stated objective is Israel’s annihilation. But it has refused to do so.
In some respects the moral bankruptcy of today’s betrayal of Israel exceeds that of the betrayal of Czechoslovakia in 1938. Then, for example, Hitler vowed the Sudetenland would be his last territorial claim in Europe. There was at least this figleaf, however flimsy, for believing the Munich agreement might mean peace and rump Czechoslovakia might survive. In contrast, no Palestinian leader pretends an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines would mean an end to Palestinian claims against Israel. All insist on a “right of return” to pre-1967 Israel for refugees of the 1947-48 war and their descendants; an objective that amounts to the dismantling of the Jewish state. And all Palestinian parties continue to indoctrinate their constituents, including their children, to believe Israel has no right to exist and to dedicate themselves to her destruction.
The United States has acted to postpone the planned April meeting of the Quartet, where the Munich Three were hoping to see the emphasis on bilateral, Israeli-Palestinian, negotiations, and on Security Council Resolution 242, formally abandoned in favor of an international plan based on Israeli retreat to the pre-1967 lines. But they may pursue the same objective at a future Quartet meeting. In addition, the Palestinians are threatening to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state with borders defined by the pre-1967 boundaries, a course that likewise converges with the Munich Three’s agenda.
Churchill said of Chamberlain after Munich, “He was given a choice between war and dishonor. He chose dishonor and he will have war anyway.”
The Munich Three had a choice between adhering to the central international agreement regarding resolution of the conflict and pushing Abbas to resume negotiations on the basis of that agreement or betraying their international commitments, betraying Israel, and almost certainly subjecting the region to more war and carnage. To their dishonor, they have chosen the latter.
Kenneth Levin is a psychiatrist and historian and author of The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People under Siege (Smith and Kraus Global, 2005; paperback 2006).
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