Published by The Freeman Center

The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."

Reflections on Israel's Past and Future

by Bernard J. Shapiro
In 1934, Harry W. Freeman, my grandfather, was already lecturing about the dangers of Hitler and Nazism. Nobody listened. The Holocaust was not prevented. Today, in 2016 there are 1.5 billion Arab, Persian & Moslem people who plan a second Holocaust against the Jews of Israel and the world.
The governments and people of Europe not only acquiesce but actively aid in this genocidal plan through diplomatic and material support. The American State Department encourages the Arabs by actively striving to weaken Israel’s strategic and military superiority. Their first stage is to use the so called "peace process" to weaken Israel and strip it of its strategic territories. They are being aided by the same hypocrites and accomplices in the West who failed to aid the Jews of Europe in their darkest hour. Unfortunately, even left-wing Israelis have fallen victims to the seductive lure of peace and have begun a policy of appeasement similar to that tried with Hitler. The results will be no different. 
The Arab propaganda full of slanders and libels; the media bias against Israel replete with double standards and the rewriting of history are all working to the same end: the delegitimation of Israel. Israel is the only country considered by many to be GUILTY OF ORIGINAL SIN by virtue of its very existence. This process of delegitimation has as its goal creating a world climate in which the DESTRUCTION of Israel is acceptable. Many in the Jewish community are either apathetic or fail to recognize this threat.
A Roman legionnaire stands on a hill overlooking Jerusalem. He watches the city burn and proclaims proudly, "Judea capta est" Judea is destroyed. It will never rise again. Rome's rulers even decreed a change of name for Judea. Henceforth it would be named after the Philistines (or Palestine) and the Jewish connection would be obliterated forever.
Yet, like the legendary Phoenix, rising from the ashes of its own destruction, the new nation of Israel burst onto the international scene in
1948, with the lusty cry of a newborn infant, yearning to breathe free. Five
Arab armies rushed to invade Israel and crush the life from the new Jewish
State. With unbelievable bravery and heroism the new state survived. Six
thousand of its young defenders gave their lives that Israel might live.
In blood and fire was Israel born, and on a hot anvil was she forged. Her
youth understood that life in the new Jewish homeland would require
sacrifice. With stories of burning flesh from the ovens of Auschwitz
embedded deep in their psyches, the young Israeli soldiers fought with the
firm conviction that there was "no alternative" (ein brera).
1. Pre-state: Arab attacks on existing Jewish communities and Jewish
resistance -- 1921, 1929, 1936-9, 1947.
2. War of Independence (First Arab-Israeli War) 1948-9 -- Israel
victorious but at the cost of 6000 killed.
3. Fedeyeen attacks -- 1949-56 & Israeli reprisals
4. Sinai Campaign -- 1956
5. Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) formed and modern
terrorist war begins against Israel -- 1964 (three years before
so-called "occupied territories").
6. Six Day War -- 1967
7. War of Attrition at the Suez Canal -- 1969-70
8. Yom Kippur War -- 1973
9. International terrorism e.g. Entebbe -- 1976
10. Lebanese wars -- 1978 and Operation Peace For Galilee -- 1982-2006
11. PLO/Hamas Intifada -- 1987-to present
12. Iraqi SCUD Attacks -- 1991
13. PLO/Labor/Meretz Peace Offensive -- 1992 - War by
Appeasement and Deception
Our history unfortunately is filled with sad and traumatic episodes. In 1968,
I bought a book entitled THE WAR AGAINST THE JEW by Dagobert
Runes. This book documents the Christian persecution of the Jew
throughout history. I mention this now, not to cast aspersions on modern
day Christians, but to illustrate the nature and severity of the Jew's war for
survival through the years . Runes writes:
  "No group or nation or alliance
of nations in all known history has ever perpetuated on a hapless minority
such sadistic atrocities over so long a time as the Christians have on the
Jews. What the Germans did to six million Jews in the Second World
War is only a continuation of long-established Christian bestiality toward
the Jewish people, practiced by European Christians and especially the
TWO THOUSAND YEARS." Thankfully most modern Christians have
accepted the Jews and many are strong supporters of Israel. .
As we struggle against the Arab and Moslem world we find that a close
connection exists between an old enemy, the Nazis, and our new enemy,
the Arabs. Nazi anti-Semitic literature found wide acceptance in the Arab
world before and after WWII. Haj Amin el-Husseini, the leader of the
Palestine Arabs and Mufti of Jerusalem spent most of the War years in
He met with Hitler, Himmler and Eichmann and toured the gas
chambers. He was so enthusiatic about the "final solution" that he lobbied
Hitler personally to rid the Middle East of Jews after the war. Husseini
suggested two death camps complete with gas chambers and crematoria:
one near Haifa and the other near Tel Aviv, to carry out the "final solution"
in Palestine. Husseini, also working for Hitler, organized the Bosnian
Moslems into death squads which killed tens of thousands of Balkan Jews
in the most brutal fashion possible, the details of which would sicken any
The answer is YES -- But only after mind-boggling changes in the Arab
world. True peace can only be made after the Arab world undergoes
democratization. Simply put, democracies rarely go to war with one
another. All our major wars of the last two hundred years have been
between dictators or between democracies defending themselves from
dictators. When a ruler is elected by the people, he has a natural restraint
preventing him from sending their sons and daughters into combat in an
aggressive war. No such restraint exists anywhere in the Arab world.
The second major change required of the Arab/Moslem world is to create
secular states not subservient to the rule of Islam. The problem for Israel
with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism is the very hostile attitude that Islam
has toward Jews and any non-Islamic person.
Islam is all encompassing
and guides behavior, law, religion and attitudes and relations with non-
Moslems. Islam perceives the world as two separate parts:
1.The first is Dar el-Islam or the World of Islam
2. All the rest is Dar el-Harb or the world of the sword or the world of war -
- that is those non-Muslim nations that have yet to be conquered.
The concept of JIHAD or Holy War has been understood by most of us but
there is another concept in the Koran with which few of us are familiar. But
it is essential to understand this concept when relating to Moslems. That is
the law of HUDAIBIYA which dates back to Muhammad and states clearly
that "Muslims are permitted to lie and break agreements with non-Muslims."
This applies to business, personal life and politics. Would a peace treaty
be worth much if the other party is Moslem?
Islam divides the world between Believers and Infidels. Jews and
Christians are relegated to the status of Dhimmis or second class citizens.
The Koran clearly calls on Moslems to degrade and humiliate both groups.
The Arab/Moslem world will have to develop a tradition of respect for
women, minorities, and human rights in general before they will be ready
for peace with Israel. It seems a bit odd that our State Department is
pushing democracy and human rights from one end of the globe to the
Why are the Arabs insulated from pressure to democratize their societies?
It is obvious that no peace agreement would be worth anything with
people believing in the above Islamic tenets, failing to practice
democracy or show respect for minorities and human rights.
Israel's left-wing government headed by the late Yitzhak Rabin engaged in
a dangerous and ultimately fruitless effort to achieve peace with the Arabs
through territorial concessions. A quick look at the map shows that the
Arab world contains over 6 million square miles as against Israel's 10,840 -
- or roughly 547 times as great as Israel. Only a fool would believe that the
way to peace in the Middle East is to give the Arabs more land. A look at
history shows that the Arabs have tried to destroy Israel both before and
after the 1967 war in which Israel acquired the land giving it the secure
borders it has now.
A quick reading of Arab statements on Israel reveals that their
determination to destroy the Jewish state has not changed one iota. It was
not by accident that the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded in
1964, three years before Israel controlled Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Its
National Covenant, its maps, its emblems, its stationery -- all call for the
liberation of Palestine from the Jordan to the Mediterranean.
The left-wing Jews in this country and in Israel, personified by the Peace
Now movement and the Meretz Party, have given the Arabs a wonderful
opportunity. Unable to conquer Israel by military means, they have
succeeded in splitting Jewish ranks and spreading their propaganda about
"peace in our time." The Arab victory plan is simply this: Seduce Israel
into believing that peace is possible and get her to voluntarily give up its
strategic territories in the Golan, Judea and Samaria. Once Israel's borders
are narrow and vulnerable, terrorists raids and katyusha rockets will be
used to terrorize the population.
Arab control of the Golan, and the mountains of Judea and Samaria will
allow them to cut off approximately 60% of Israel's water. Their positions
on the high ground will allow them to eavesdrop and interfere with all
Israeli telecommunications and radar. Large Arab standing armies can
threaten to invade, causing Israel to mobilize its troops constantly --
inflicting severe damage on its economy. Within years the Russian
immigrants will stop coming to Israel because of the poor conditions. Native
Israelis will become demoralized and begin emigrating in droves.
Finally the Arabs will launch a surprise attack. Israel, lacking the buffer of
the Golan and the mountains of Judea and Samaria, will be overrun. Most
Jews will be killed, but some will escape thanks to American rescue ships.
The US congress will pass a resolution condemning the Arab attack and
President Obama will say Kadesh for Israel at a Washington synagogue.
The UN will promptly condemn Israel for polluting the soil of Palestine with
Jewish blood.
Just like Hitler, who told the world of his ultimate aims in his book, Mein
Kampf, the Arabs are not shy about telling us of their ultimate plans. The
Islamic fundamentalists, like the Hamas movement or Islamic Jihad, want to
destroy Israel in one stage. PLO has adopted a two-stage plan for Israel's
destruction: first, get control of Judea and Samaria and second liberate the
rest of Israel. Does this make the PLO "moderate?" Should we be
negotiating our own demise with them?
Here is what the Palestinians say in their own words to their own people:
"I want to release a part of this Arab territory, and this cannot
be done by war...Afterwards we would liberate the rest," Nabil
Sha'at, Arafats's chief advisor in 1989.
Do you see his understanding of the need for a peace offensive with
the aid of left-wing Jews and the US to force Israel's initial
Sha'at says later in 1989,
"If we achieve part of our territory, we will not relinquish our
dream to establish one....state on all of Palestine."
PLO leader Abu Iyad says in 1988,
"The Palestinian state would be a skipboard from which we
would be able to release Jaffa, Acre and all Palestine."
Later that same year Iyad says,
"The establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the
Wes t Bank and in the Gaza Strip does not contradict our ultimate
strategic aim, which is the establishment of a democratic state in the
whole territory of Palestine, but rather is a step in that direction."
Yassir Arafat put it best when he said,
"The victory march will continue until the Palestinian flag flies
in Jerusalem and in all of Palestine--from the Jordan River to the
Mediterranean Sea and from Rosh Hanikra to Eilat."
Faisel Husseini, leader of the PLO and head of the negotiating team with
Israel in Washington, is the nephew of Haj Amin Husseini the Mufti,
mentioned earlier. Both he and Arafat consider the activities of the Mufti
during WWII as heroic and in the best Arab tradition. And both claim all of
Israel as their country -- in their National Covenant, on their stationery,
emblems and symbols.
The new Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu in his book A PLACE
AMONG THE NATIONS, a wonderful book you all should read, writes
about the peace of deterrence. That is: the peace resulting from Israeli
strength both in its army and in strategic territory. He says that
we must dig in our heels and remain steadfast, patiently waiting for our
neighbors to accept and respect us on our present borders.
(I don't agree. I believe we must act swiftly and pre-empt any threat to our security!)
Peace treaties
reflect strategic realities. If Israel is weak, no treaty will protect it. He tells
the sad story of how Czechoslovokia was forced to give up the strategic
territory of the Sudetenland for "peace in our time" by Chamberlain at
Munich in 1938. Netanyahu warns that the drive by the Labor Party to give
up the Golan, Judea, Samaria and Gaza will have similar catastrophic
But you ask, what are we to do with the Arabs who live in those areas, who
are clearly unhappy with Israeli rule? I believe they should have control
over their municipal affairs but not over the land of Judea, Samaria and
Gaza. The Labor Party seemed to be in a mad rush to give up Jewish
claims to this part of Eretz Yisrael. Labor Party members should pay
attention to the words of its founder and father of modern Israel, David Ben
Gurion, who said, "No Jew has the right to relinquish the right of the
Jewish people over the whole Land of Israel. No Jewish body has
such authority, not even the whole Jewish people has the authority to
waive the right (to the Land of Israel) for future generations for all
The Arabs who wish to live in peace with their Jewish neighbors are
welcome. They can even manage their own civil and municipal affairs.
ISRAEL. Rabbinical authorities have long recognized the ultimate religious
priority of saving Jewish lives. For example, the Israeli army is permitted to
operate fully on Shabbat because it is necessary to save Jewish lives.
Too many Jews are obsessed with what will satisfy the Arabs. I doubt if
there is a single Palestinian or Moslem anywhere that worries about what is
good for Israel or the Jewish People. We must remember the words of
Hillel when he said, "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I
am for myself alone, what am I?" Hillel's message is clear: First take
care of yourself, your family and your people and then try to help others.
Remember it took the Christian world two thousand years to accept us as
human beings, and this only after the mass murder of a third of our people.
It may take the Arabs a while, maybe decades -- but we have no choice but
to be patient. The fact that we want peace badly does not mean that it is
To strip Israel of strategic territory like Czechoslovokia before
WWII in the pursuit of a phantom illusory peace will only lead to disaster.
Some Jews in the face of all empirical evidence to the contrary believe
peace is possible. In the book Self Portrait Of A Hero: The Letters of
Jonathan Netanyahu (1963-1976), Jonathan Netanyahu, the fallen hero
of Entebbe and brother of Benjamin, said it best:
"I see with sorrow and great anger how a part of the people still
clings to hopes of reaching a peaceful settlement with the Arabs.
Common sense tells them, too, that the Arabs haven't abandoned
their basic aim of destroying the State; but the self-delusion and self-
deception that have always plagued the Jews are at work again. It's
our great misfortune. They want to believe, so they believe. They want
not to see, so they shut their eyes. They want not to learn from
thousands of years of history, so they distort it. They want to bring
about a sacrifice, and they do indeed. It would be comic, if it wasn't so
tragic. What a saddening and irritating lot this Jewish people is!"
In our Holy Scriptures we read about the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah,
who anguished over the fact that his people believed in false prophets of
peace and didn't see the dangers facing Israel, cries out in despair,
"Peace, peace but there is no peace."
I am sorry that I can not offer you more encouraging words. What I present
We all want peace. We pray for peace in our Sabbath services every
Friday night. After thousands of years, being victims of persecution,
expulsion, extermination, and discrimination, it is natural that we yearn
for peace with every ounce of our bodies and souls.
It is because our hunger for peace is so strong that we must be doubly
cautious not to fall for a psuedo-peace that is really the wolf of war
wrapped in sheep's clothing. Today none of us believe Chamberlain really
negotiated "peace in our time" with Hitler. (Why do some Jews believe
that Peres and Rabin really negotiated PEACE with Arafat, one of today's
Israelis my age have fought and died in four wars and I understand their
desire to be free of constant conflict. Unfortunately, there is no magic
cure. I wish I could write more optimistic words. Sadly, beyond the
neighboring states that Israel is negotiating with now lies another ring of
unmitigated hostility led by Islamic fundamentalists in Iran.
As Jews we are all involved in this historic struggle to survive. It is not
our fate or that of the Israelis that we should retire from this struggle. The
only peace the Arabs are prepared to give us is the peace of the grave.
In blood and fire was Israel born and on a hot anvil was she forged. The
brave young soldiers of Israel must take a quick glance back to the
crematoria of Auschwitz and then go forth to face the enemy knowing that
there is STILL no alternative (ein briera).
* * * * * * * 

Bernard J. Shapiro is the Executive Director of the Freeman Center For
Strategic Studies and the editor of its monthly magazine, The Maccabean, The Maccabean Online, Freemanlist and all its other publications. 

Parts of this article were originally written as a lecture for Torah Learning
College, Congregation Beth Yeshurun, Houston, Texas June 23, 1993.  

This analysis remains 100% accurate in the author's view despite the
signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993.