MAY ISRAEL LEARN THE LESSONS OF HISTORY SO AS NOT TO REPEAT THE MISTAKES OF THE PAST.
THE NATURE OF PEACE AND PEACE TREATIES
By Bernard J. Shapiro (1993, 1994, 1995) Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
August 17, 2008
Great issues of war and peace as related to Israel are being debated by Jews across America. Israelis are debating the same issues among themselves. There are strong opinions on both sides of the Atlantic as well as both sides of the major issues. What seems to be lacking in all these discussions is the proper historical context. Professor Paul Eidelberg of Bar-Ilan University, reviews the historical facts.
Between 1945 and 1978 the longest time without a war going on someplace was a mere 26 days. On an average day there are 12 wars being fought somewhere on earth. The consensus of scholars has been that the norm of international relations is not peace but war. As Eidelberg reports, "Indeed, the occurrence of 1,000 wars during the last 2,500 years indicates that "peace" is little more than a preparation for war. Which means that peace treaties are WORTHLESS, to say the least."
Eidelberg then quotes from a book by Lawrence Beilenson, entitled THE TREATY TRAP, saying, "After studying every peace treaty going back to early Roman times, Beilenson concludes that treaties are made to be broken. In fact, he shows that treaties for guaranteeing the territorial integrity of a nation are useless to the guaranteed nation, and worse than useless insofar as they engender a false sense of security. Such treaties can only benefit nations governed by rulers intending to violate them whenever expedient."
Midge Dector says this about "peace"
What I want to say is something that virtually the whole history of the 20th century teaches us and yet something we refuse to learn. And that is , when applied to the affairs of nations, peace is an evil word. Yes I said evil. And the idea of peace as we know it is an evil idea. From the peace of Versailles to "peace in our time" at Munich...each declaration of peace or expressions of longing for peace ended in slaughter. Not necessarily immediately and not necessarily directly, but slaughter all the same...
For there is no such thing as making peace. Nations who are friendly do not need to do so, and nations or people who are hostile cannot do so.
To cry peace, peace when there is no peace, the prophet Jeremiah taught us long a go, is not the expression of hope, not even superstition but a reckless toying with the minds and hearts of people whose very future depends on their capacity to rise every day to the harsh morning light of the truth.
On September 3, 1993, I wrote the following:
"The rush of events in the Middle East has been dizzying. The media hype, the talking heads, the worldwide expectations of peace in the Middle East are all quite staggering. Radio, TV, newspapers herald the coming of a new era of reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. The positive images are so abundant that any moment one might expect to see Isaiah on Nightline showing Ted Koppel video clips of lions lying down with lambs. Though studying the same history as many of those cheering recent developments, I see nothing to be happy about.
Once again I find myself marching to a different drummer. It has happened before, with my support for the civil rights movement (early 60's) and then the anti-war in Viet Nam struggle. Despite the media hype surrounding these developments, let me make something very clear: A leopard does not change its spots. And you can say a berachaha (Hebrew blessing) over a ham sandwich, but that doesn't make it kosher. And a deal with the PLO is like a dance on quicksand --before you realize it, you have sunk into the muck and slime."
On May 18, 1994, I wrote:
On May 17, 1994, in Johannesburg, Yassir Arafat called for a "jihad (holy war) until Jerusalem is restored to Moslem rule." He said this after undertaking many peaceful commitments since September, and after signing the Declaration of Principles in Washington and the Autonomy Agreement in Cairo. He also chose to draw a parallel between the Gaza-Jericho Agreement, which he signed with Israel, and the Hudaibiya Pact signed in 628 by the Prophet Muhammad with the leaders of the Quraysh tribe. Muhammad violated the agreement two years later and it has become a symbol for the Islamic principle that agreements and treaties with non-Moslems may be violated at will. There is a lesson for us all in this event.
On June 22, 1995, 'MA'ARIV' finally saw the truth:
Ma'ariv comments on Meretz's role in the current Government, and says that "the Labor Party is implementing Meretz's ideology. The saying about the tail wagging the dog is being realized every time Rabin carries out what Peres -- under the influence of Beilin, who thinks like Sarid -- advises him."
The editors note that "Meretz has yet to prove one thing: that the way in which it is leading the Government is good for the State of Israel," and add that "there is a growing impression that we are caught up in a mania to withdraw from all of the key positions that have ensured our existence up until now, without receiving anything appropriate in return." The paper says that "a little anxiety about the future would not hurt Meretz's leaders, instead of the satisfied smile like a cat that has just swallowed a canary.