If we go back in history, it is evident that nations that become infected with pacifism are destined to destruction. A classic example took place in the later days of the Roman Empire. With the barbarians at their gates in the fifth century, public pressure induced the Roman Senate to pass a law eliminating conscription. The end result was not peace but the subjugation of that ancient civilization.
This article includes in the term "pacifism" the entire range of propaganda mechanisms used in the contemporary dynamics of political and military struggle between nations to undermine their enemy's will to resist. Aggressive, dictatorial forces have effectively exploited pacifist movements against democratic societies. While the pacifist may sincerely believe that his or her actions will bring peace, this subjective feeling has no basis in the real world. The pacifist, who can only exist in a democratic environment is a parasite in his own society, depending upon more altruistic individuals to defend his person and freedom from the ever present external predators.
Probably one of the most counterproductive developments in the post World War I era was the rise of classical pacifism in the democratic countries of Western Europe and the United States. In the 1920's a group of Oxford University students took what came to be known as the Oxford Pledge never to ever bear arms. Soon after Hitler came to power they overwhelmingly voted, "That this House refuses in any circumstances to fight for King and Country". Despite all the credible evidence to the contrary there was at that time a general tendency, during the years preceding World War II, to dismiss Hitler's most ferocious statements as rhetoric intended merely for home consumption. A striking similarity exists with those who, since 1948 and even before the establishment of the State of Israel, choose to ignore the constant, vicious incitement against Israel and Jews in the entire Arab world.
Those intellectuals who took the Oxford Pledge obviously did not serve the cause of peace. They only helped the cause of Nazi Germany and the other dictators. When a history of the late twentieth century is written, the Jews of Israel will be shown to be a prime example of a targeted nation, where the enemy was aided and abetted by a fifth column of self-hating intellectuals, usually referred to as Post-Zionists and Post-Judaists. They are particularly prominent and influential in academic circles, the electronic media, and the press. The pacifism of those English intellectuals in the twenties and thirties led George Orwell to declare that "some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals could believe them."
In the early years of World War II, Hitler and his ally, Josef Stalin, used widespread anti-war agitation to undermine the will of the democracies to resist Nazi Aggression. This seemingly strange, covert relationship between Germany, under both the Weimar Republic and the Nazis, and Communist Russia was to continue, in one form or another, from the time of the Treaty of Rapallo on 16 April 1922 until 22 June 1941, when Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa against the USSR. In the United States both ends of the political spectrum, the left and the right, joined forces to try and prevent U. S. preparation for war in the name of peace. Even as late as May 1940, when German armies had already outmaneuvered the Maginot Line, the slogan of French pacifists was "Peace, Immediate Peace." They exhorted the French not to resist the German advance into their country. The result was the collapse of the supposedly mighty French Army, together with their British allies, in June 1940 after a mere six weeks of mid-intensity combat. Thus 1940 marked the birth of the "Peace Now" slogan, popular among certain Jews in Israel and the U.S..
The dictators who ruled Nazi German and Communist Russia skillfully used their "useful idiots" (Lenin's colorful description of Western Marxists) for their propaganda purposes but never tolerated pacifist shenanigans to undermine the fighting spirit of their own armed forces.
A parallel situation exists with regards to Israel and her Arab adversaries. How many "Peace Now" organizations and people are there in the Arab world? For more than seventy five years any individual Arab who voiced any feeling of moderation or accommodation toward the Jews risked assassination. Just recently any Arab, who was even suspected of selling land to Jews, was brutally murdered on instructions from the Palestine Authority. Certain Israeli circles as well as Western Governments prefer to either overlook or ignore these murders as justifiable expressions of Arab nationalism.
The entire struggle in the Middle East between Jews and Arabs totally lacks any semblance of symmetry. A policy of confronting an indomitable Arab enemy with the slogan of "Peace Now" is in reality proposing "Unconditional Surrender Now" with all its horrible consequences for Jewish survival in Israel.
Winston Churchill was once asked by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt what name he would suggest for the war then being fought. Churchill, without hesitation replied, "the Unnecessary War." In Churchill's book, "Memoirs of the Second World War" he unambiguously illustrates how easily the tragedy of World War II could have been avoided. He wrote as follows, ".. how the malice of the wicked was reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous; .. We shall see how the counsels of prudence and restraint may become the prime agents of mortal danger; how the middle course adopted from desires for safety and a quiet life may be found to lead to the bull's-eye of disaster." A terrifying resemblance exists between those who counsel Israel to risk further appeasement of the Arabs and the identical situation that took place between the democratic powers and the fascist dictatorships prior to the Second World War.
Major General Matan Vilnai, the current IDF deputy chief of staff and the likely next chief of staff, in a speech recently to students at the Goldwater High School in Eilat decried the "weakening of the Israeli spirit." In commenting on the level of preparedness of the Israel Defense Forces, General Vilnai said, "We are the only country in the world whose very existence is threatened. The Middle East is Moslem and whoever is not Moslem is not accepted.... If the Arabs believe they have someone weak against them, they will use force.... A society that delves into all kinds of mysticism won't get anywhere."
In the spring of 1979 I was sent to Israel as a Colonel in the U.S. Army to help construct two high performance air bases in the Negev for the Israel Defense Forces. Early in that three year tour of duty I was introduced to and developed a strong friend- ship with a superb human being, Chaim Laskov. He was the sixth Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. Chaim Laskov was an impressive student of history. During World War II he served in the British Army and rose to the rank of major which was quite an accomplishment for a Palestinian Jew. In commenting on Israel's security dilemma, General Laskov would always end with the same comment, "Israel has nothing to fear from the Arabs as long as the Jews of Israel are totally and absolutely dedicated to their own defense and are willing to fight for it and to die for it without question so that the Jewish Nation may live."
That has been the secret of Israel's ability to survive to date in the face of overwhelming adversity. However, in response to thirty years of massive, uninterrupted propaganda by a Post-Zionist, Post-Judaist intellectual elite and media, that necessary patriotism and national commitment has been eroded in a significant part of the Jewish population. Whatever their motives, Jews everywhere, who support the continuation of this pacifist delusion are endangering the very survival of the Jewish people as well as of Israel.
Dr. Irving Kett, is a Colonel U.S. Army (Retired) is presently Professor of civil Engineering at California State University in Los Angeles. Kett writes frequently on Israeli military and strategic affairs.