Thursday, August 08, 2013

What the peace process means for Israel

Daniel Greenfield has written an article about the "Sacrifices of peace" which is one of the most important and brilliant I have seen. Every person who cares about Israel should read this in its entirety.

What he has done is look at the direct quotes by the 'leaders' of Jewish communities during the holocaust (especially Chaim Rumkowski of the Lodz ghetto) as they tried to 'negotiate' with the Nazis over which Jews could be sacrificed in order that some could survive. He compares these quotes with those of Israeli leaders like Rabin and Sharon (and now Netanyahu) as they make their 'painful concessions' to ensure that at least part of Israel can survive. The analogy is striking and difficult to dispute. For example, when the Nazis demanded all Jewish children and old people be sent for extermination Rumkowski said:

The ghetto has been struck a hard blow. They demand what is most dear to it - children and old people. ... In my old age I am forced to stretch out my hands and to beg: Brothers and sisters, give them to me! Fathers and mothers, give me your children! Yesterday, in the course of the day..I was given the order to send away more than 20,000 Jews from the ghetto, and if I did not – 'we will do it ourselves'. Should we have accepted this and carried it out ourselves, or left it to others?'But as we were guided not by the thought: "how many will be lost?" but "how many can be saved?" we arrived at the conclusion – those closest to me at work, that is, and myself – that however difficult it was going to be, we must take upon ourselves the carrying out of this decree - I must carry out this difficult and bloody operation.. I must cut off limbs in order to save the body! 
Fast forward to 2005 and see how Ariel Sharon, of all people, described his unilateral decision to forcibly remove the entire Jewish community of Gaza and all Israel defence forces there, leaving the South of Israel at the mercy of Hamas rockets.
This step is very difficult for me personally. It was with a heavy heart that the Government of Israel made the decision regarding Disengagement, and the Knesset did not lightly approve it, ...The responsibility for the future of Israel rests on my shoulders. I initiated the Plan because I concluded that this action is vital for Israel. Believe me, the extent of pain that I feel at this act is equal only to the measure of resolved recognition that it was something that had to be done.
Like the Nazis, the Palestinians have made it very clear that they will not stop until every single Jew is 'removed' from the entire land of Israel. Like the Nazis they are prepared to achieve their goal in stages knowing that they can rely on the Jews to cut off their own limbs. While the Jews of the holocaust did it because they could not resist the Nazis' demands, the Jews of Israel do it because they feel they cannot resist the demands of the 'international community'. Despite the following words by Rumkowski every Jew of Lodz was ultimately sent to the death camps:
I tried everything I knew to get the bitter sentence cancelled.....When it could not be cancelled, I tried to lessen the sentence. Only yesterday I ordered the registration of nine-year-old children. I wanted to save at least one year – children from nine to ten. But they would not yield. I succeeded in one thing – to save the children over ten. Let that be our consolation in our great sorrow.
Daniel Greenfield concludes, by analogy:
Rabin warned that if Israel did not accept an autonomous territory, then it would be forced to accept a state. Peres warned that if Israel did not accept a state in Gaza and the West Bank, it would lose Jerusalem. Sharon warned that if Israel didn't accept the expulsion of the Jews of Gaza, it would lose everything up to the '67 borders. Olmert warned that if Israel didn't accept the partition of Jerusalem, it would lose the entire city. Israel accepted most of these things and each of the terrible losses it sought to avert came about anyway, not naturally, but because of these prior concessions. The autonomous territory paved the way for a state. The loss of Gaza and the West Bank made Jerusalem next on the schedule.

1 comment:

asherpat said...

Excellent piece. The sad thing is that during the holocaust there must have been many jews sitting comfortably in US and other "free" places, saying to themselves and others "you know, we Jews too have something to do with it, we are not entirely blameless, you know".

Just like today, many jews in Israel and outside, blame all the troubles on settlements, "discrimination", etc.