The Peace Process Within

There is a common misnomer when speaking about “Middle East Peace” that assumes all things are political and if one can just come to some sort of compromise then there would be eternal and utopian peace. This is of course a fantasy and based on false Western assumptions about the region.

Peace is not some sort of accommodation or agreement or even an acceptance of the area, but rather true peace is a harmonious balance that exists when one recognizes the Divine quality of the other.

The Land of Israel is meant to be a vessel for the Jewish people’s Divine purpose in this world. It is not meant to be merely a political expression of some sort of Western notion of morality, but rather the State is one if approached with clarity should be seen as tool for the Kingship of the Almighty. After all, the Divine Presence we all seek is embedded within the Land itself. However, it remains just out of our reach due to the vessels of sovereignty being without rectification.

This rectification is necessary to harness the true Divine light flowing throughout the Creation. However, it has been stalled by the refusal to lead by those most suited to lead it.

The current political crisis is a message to those who have the knowhow to complete the State’s transformation from Western Liberalism to a rectified political entity with a Jewish core at its engine, to step up and take the reins.

True peace is not about domination of one group over the other or a division of the Land, which cannot be divided, but rather only by the Jewish people accepting their responsibility to be a Kingdom of Priests. The first task of the redeemers within the State is to bring true harmony to the structure of the State itself and only then can peace be achieved.

Pro-Israel Muslims Get Attacked

It may come as a surprise that many Arabs and Muslims support Israel. However, many refuse to voice their support for Israel and anger for the Palestinian Authority due to fear for their lives.

Khaled as a child with Israeli flag (credit: Facebook)
Khaled as a child with Israeli flag (credit: Facebook)

This was the case last week when Khaled Abu Much, who works in a Jerusalem hotel, was attacked by a fellow Arab worker who found, via Khaled’s Facebook page, that Khaled is a long-time supporter of the State of Israel. Khaled posts pictures of himself with the Israeli flag and posts about his disgust for MK Haneen Zoabi.

Finding this out, his fellow worker threw a rock at his head and Khaled was rushed to a hospital to receive stitches while suffering with dizziness.

During an interview on Israel’s Channel 20, Khaled stated that he is not afraid to voice his support for Israel. “These responses, it’s normal, wherever there are such extremist Arabs, but they won’t break me,” he exclaimed. “I walk the true path. This is the truth. I was born here, I opened my eyes here and saw the national flag. There was no Palestinian flag where I was born. The Star of David, that’s me, that’s how my mother raised me.”

Khaled is not the only one being attacked for voicing his opinion about Israel. Mahdi Satri, 17, a young Palestinian Arab from the village of Jadeidi-Makr in northern Israel, says he receives “regular threats from both Arab Israelis and Palestinians, via social media and by phone” because of his outspoken support for Israel. In an interview with The Algemeiner, Satri stated that he is in constant fear for his life from people in his community and that he feels like he is being targeted by all Arabs in Israel, including Hamas.”

Mahdi Satri
Mahdi Satri

In a touching letter he wrote, Satri explains his fear and says “If I died and if they succeeded to kill me, know that I died a Zionist defending my country. And know that I was smiling while dying because I’ll die for my country.”

In the past, Arabs showing support for Israel even fled the country due to fear for their lives. In 2014, Muhammad Zoabi, a loyal Arab Muslim citizen of Israel, fled the country after receiving multiple death threats. Today, Zoabi is back in Israel and is one of the countries leading voices supporting Israel and speaking out against Muslim terror. His Facebook page exudes love for Israel.

Muslim support for Israel has no borders. Even Muslims from Pakistan publicly show their support for Israel. Noor Dhari, whom we interviewed a few months ago, is a Pakistani Muslim who went as far is becoming an honorary member of the Zionist federation in the UK. He claims there are many pro-Israel Muslims just like him, but most are afraid to speak up.

It is an outrage that one cannot voice their support without being attacked or fearing for their lives. Are Muslims so insecure about their beliefs that they need to attack other Muslims for voicing an opinion? Is it such a crime to want peace in the country in which one lives?

Balak’s Message for Israel’s Redemption Today

After learning of Moshe’s stunning victory against the Amorites, King Balak of Moav forged an alliance with Midian in order to wage war together against the Children of Israel. Once realizing the extent of Israel’s strength, however, Moav and Midian enlisted the infamous Bilaam to attack the Hebrew tribes through spiritual means.

Rabbi Shmuel Bornsztain – the second Admor of the Sokhatshov Ḥasidic dynasty – teaches in his Shem MiShmuel that Balak did not necessarily seek Israel’s destruction but was determined “to strike it and drive it away from the land” (BAMIDBAR 22:6). Pointing out that Israel posed no direct threat to either Moav or Midian, as neither people’s territory was en route to the Promised Land, the Shem MiShmuel quotes our Sages as teaching that Balak’s primary goal was to prevent the Hebrew tribes from entering the Land of Israel (Tanḥuma Balak 4, Bamidbar Rabbah 20:7).

The Shem MiShmuel further quotes the explanation of the Ḥidushei HaRim – the first Ger Admor Rabbi Yitzḥak Meir Alter – on the verse “the heavens are HaShem’s but the earth He gave to mankind” (TEHILLIM 115:16), where he teaches that man is tasked with creating heaven from earth by giving concrete physical expressions to the Divine Ideal. This is accomplished through the performance of themitzvot that uplift all aspects of the material world to their highest functions in existence. According to the Ḥidushei HaRim, this verse reveals the entire purpose of Creation.

Israel is charged with establishing a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (SHEMOT 19:6) that will elevate every sphere of national life and reveal the kedusha inherent in our physical world. The Shem MiShmuel explains that Israel’s task is not to live monastic spiritual lives in the desert but to express the Divine Ideal in all areas of human endeavor. This goal necessitates the establishment of a Hebrew Kingdom in Eretz Yisrael that will serve as a light unto nations and reveal HaShem’s Oneness to all humankind.

According to the Shem MiShmuel, Balak and Bilaam desperately sought to avoid such a kingdom for fear Israel’s example would force them to apply a Divine moral standard to governance, commerce and other features of the material world, ultimately stripping them of the benefits they enjoyed from the corruption permeating the political realm. Having no objection to Hebrews living lives of individual piety disconnected from national life, Moav and Midian feared the establishment of a Hebrew Kingdom because they intuitively understood that if Am Yisrael were to achieve political sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael, we would eliminate the illusory separation of “religion” and “state” and influence humankind to ultimately adopt policies that reflect a higher moral standard. Through Bilaam’s ability to curse, they hoped to keep Israel forever stranded in the desert where we could live ascetic spiritual lives disconnected from national issues. But while our enemies championed a separation of kedushaand statecraft, Israel’s historic mission demands that we materialize our spiritual ideals on a national level so that the Torah’s deepest values attain full expression in this world.

Once Bilaam is recruited for the war effort against Israel, the Torah recounts a bizarre situation in which the very laws of nature were temporarily altered. Although nevua as it is generally understood is an exclusively Hebrew trait, the gentile Bilaam possessed some level of prophecy and even attempted to use this gift to assist Israel’s enemies. When HaShem obstructed Bilaam’s path and he in turn began to beat his donkey, another abnormal occurrence took place.

“HaShem opened the mouth of the she-donkey and it said to Bilaam, ‘What have I done to you that you struck me these three times?’” (BAMIDBAR 22:28)

Bilaam’s donkey actually spoke as if she were human, complaining to her master for his abusive treatment and humiliating him before the elders of Moav. Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi teaches in The Kuzari that there are five levels of Creation (inanimate objects, plant life, animals, human beings, Israel). One attribute that separates between the third and fourth levels – between animals and humans – is the power of speech. And the major trait differentiating Israel from human beings is the potential to attain nevua (or at least prophecy that can transcend one’s own national experience). Bilaam’s donkey was able to speak only for the sake of clarifying the significance of Bilaam’s prophecy. Just as HaShem bent the laws of nature in order that a donkey could possess the ability to speak, so too was He bending the laws of nature in order that a gentile could possess the ability to prophesy regarding Israel. And rather than allow him to utter a curse against the Hebrews as Balak had instructed, HaShem forced Bilaam to bless His treasured nation.

The Maharal of Prague teaches in Netzaḥ Yisrael that the greatness of Bilaam’s blessing exceeded even those of Yaakov and Moshe, possessing no rebuke or distraction from pure brakha (Yalkut Shimoni Balak 25). Bilaam represented the extreme opposite of Israel’s spiritual power and the intensity of his desire to curse the Hebrew tribes made him the ideal candidate to serve as the conduit for HaShem’s abundant blessing, illustrating the Kadosh Barukh Hu’s mastery over even those forces that appear to stand in the way of Israel’s national mission. But to fully grasp why HaShem would suspend the world’s natural order by granting Bilaam such a uniquely Hebrew trait, we must examine a piece of his final message and understand what Divine benefit could be extracted from the anomaly.

“I shall see him, but not now, I shall look at him, but it is not near. A star has issued from Yaakov and a tribe has risen from Israel, and he shall pierce the nobles of Moav and undermine the children of Shet. Edom shall be a conquest and Seir shall be the conquest of his enemies – and Israel will attain success. One from Yaakov shall rule and destroy the remnant of the city.’” (BAMIDBAR 24:17-19)

The holy Ohr HaḤaim explains these verses to mean that if the redemption occurs due to Israel’s merit, it will come as a supernatural event with the messianic redeemer being revealed through great wonders. But if the redemption comes in its time – without the Hebrew Nation necessarily deserving it – there will rise up a group of Jews who come together and – through human endeavor – will assist HaShem (so to speak) in bringing the redemption through natural means.

The redemption can occur in one of two ways. The first option, known as aḥishena (hastened), is a miraculous and supernatural event in which the Nation of Israel is righteous and deserving. The second possibility, where Israel is unworthy, is generally referred to as bi’eta(in its time). This second option exists because as the predetermined goal of all human history, the redemption of Israel must ultimately come about and therefore has a set time if we do not merit it sooner. The Ohr HaḤaim understands from Bilaam’s prophecy that the redemption will most likely unfold through an organization of activists uniting to bring the Jewish people back to the Land of Israel through practical human means.

This understanding – which sheds light on much of what has been taking place in modern times – is well worth HaShem temporarily altering the laws of nature and allowing a gentile to attain a uniquely Hebrew form of prophecy. Israel must internalize this crucial message in order to not only gain a heightened perspective of current events but also to fulfill our national objective of establishing the Hebrew Kingdom that will ultimately reveal the kedusha inherent in all of Creation and bring humanity to recognize HaShem as the Divine Author of the story in which we are all participants.

An End to Chaos

King David wrote in the Book of Psalms, “Sur meRa v’ase tov” – which means, “Veer from evil and do good” (Psalms 34:15).
This is an axiom whose purpose is to enable a framework of orderly life. That is, first prevent actions which are latently bad, and not only have no positive  benefit to any and all, but are negative and harmful.
Only after the deletion of wickedness can good prevail.
If and when this maxim is ignored, chaos reigns.
This pandemonium can be easily witnessed throughout the world today, including here in Israel.
Months ago, following an attempted stabbing of soldiers in Hebron, a number of residents conducted a lengthy discussion with the commander, (a full colonel) of the Judean Brigade (who fortunately is concluding his term, and will soon be replaced.) The gist of the conversation can be summed up in a few words. In his opinion, if he allowed the Arab residents to continue their normal way of life, they would leave us alone.

(Photo: Funeral at Hebron’s ancient Jewish cemetery. Credit: Yishai Fleisher)
We tried to explain/convince him that this approach was mistaken and would only lead to further terror attacks.
We were unsuccessful in our efforts. Only after the murder of Genadi Kaufman in Hebron, and the near killing of a soldier outside Beit Hadassah did he change his policies.
Our Colonel/Commander’s outlook is not his alone. Other high-ranking officers, including some of his commanders are of the same opinion.
The results are chaos, such as the indescribable slaughter of a 13 year old girl in her bed in Kiryat Arba this morning.
This isn’t the first time. The Litman father and son, Dafna Meir, the Fogel family, etc. etc.
This is chaos. Because it is the responsibility of the government, the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister, and all the relevant security forces to prevent such atrocities and maintain order.
The problem is that they are shirking their responsibilities and the results are slaughtered Jews. Cut to pieces, as was Hallel Yaffa Ariel, sleeping in her bed, this morning.
What can the Israeli government do to actualize the above-quoted verse?

(Photo: Signs outside Kiryat Arba read “Am Yisrael Chai”. Credit: Yishai Fleisher)
First, destroy the wicked. In one word, deterrence.  Ensure that evil suffers.
For instance, presently the Prime Minister glories in the aura of destroying a terrorist’s home (when the Supreme Court allows it.) However, as the terror continues, it is obvious that this measure in not effective. If though, the entire neighborhood where the terrorist lived was razed to the ground, with it inhabitants being expelled to Lebanon, Gaza, (Iraq or Syria), perhaps this might enhance the deterrent effect. (This, as opposed to paying Turkey twenty million dollars in damages to terrorists attempting to kill Israeli soldiers.)
If members of a community knew that immediately following a terror attack they would all suffer, it’s possible that they would take steps to prevent such attacks.
If this isn’t enough, than destroy the entire village or town.
One need not be a genius or expert military strategist to comprehend the logic. In my opinion, this would be somewhat more effective than today’s decision to surround the village of Boni Nayim, where the terrorist lived, and revoke work permits from the killer’s family.
Nu, big deal! So what!? Deterrence? No way. These measures will not prevent the next carving up of another Jew somewhere in Israel.
Real deterrence is the name of the game, the first step in fulfilling King David’s instructions to his People, 3,000 years ago. If they’re not afraid of you, they will continue down their murderous path of atrocity.

(Photo: Hundreds attend funeral. Credit: Yishai Fleisher)
Stage two – ‘do good.’
This can also be accomplished relatively easily. Our enemies understand two basic languages. The first as now described. The second language they understand is land.
Many years ago, when previous governments were less fearful of the US, the UN and the EU, they implemented the ‘true Zionist response’ to terror. Wherever an attack occurred, there was built a new community.
That policy has fizzled up and disappeared. It must be renewed.
The government must immediately announce and implement construction of thousands of new buildings throughout Judea and Samaria, including such ‘hotspots’ as Hebron. New communities must be initiated.
This is ‘doing good.’ And our neighbors as well as the rest of world, still trying to push a suicide piece plan down our throats, will know we mean business. Maybe they’ll even learn something from us about fighting terror.

(Photo: Family at the funeral. Credit: David Wilder)
How then, will these acts stop the chaos cold, and bring back some kind of order.
As King David teaches us, with the continuation of the verse, ‘Bakesh Shalom v’Radfeihu‘ which means, ‘search for peace and run after it.’
We can only hope for peace, we can only seek out peace, we can only run after peace, after evil is vanished, vanquished, eliminated, and ‘good’ is an accepted and accomplished fact. The lack of either of these two elements prevents any chance of reaching peace.
We know. We’ve been living this chaos for many many years.
The time has come to put an end to chaos and then achieve an authentic peace, preventing a mother’s tears, seeing her 13 year old daughter’s body looking like a flour sifter.
Article originally published here.

Headlines June 21: Terrorist Ambush on Highway, US & Israel Cyber Security Agreement, Turkey & Israel Deal

Three Wounded, 12 Vehicles Damaged in Terrorist Ambush on Rt. 443. Security forces were alerted and arrived on the scene in time to kill one of the terrorists and wound two, one critically.
[The Jewish Press]


Turkey and Israel will this weekend announce a deal on normalizing ties, ending a six-year diplomatic crisis sparked by a deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in which 10 Turkish nationals died
[Arutz Sheva]


The Foreign Ministry on Monday evening rejected the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council’s decision to adopt the French peace initiative.
[Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs]


A group of Muslim activists in Jerusalem, backed by the Palestinian Authority, have launched a new campaign to deter Muslims from selling property to Jews in the Israeli capital.
[Arutz Sheva]


The US and Israel will sign a new agreement to automate their sharing of cyber data. The new agreement will qualitatively take the speed of sharing to an entirely different level.
[The Jerusalem Post]

Headlines June 5: Jerusalem Day, 2-state Security Proposal, India’s Bnei Menashe

Mayor Barkat says contested Jerusalem Day march in Old City ‘appropriate’
[The Jerusalem Post]


Israel on Friday announced a series of gestures to relax restrictions on the movement of Palestinian Arabs during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
[Arutz Sheva]


Arabs were involved in 59 percent of the murders in Israel in 2015, almost three times their share in the population (21 percent)


Israel will spend 8.1 millions shekels, or about 2 million dollars, to bring more than 712 members of India’s Bnei Menashe community to Israel this year.


Former Israeli and US security and diplomacy officials have presented two proposals for achieving a two-state solution, based on systems that they say would satisfy Israel’s security needs in the West Bank while providing Palestinians the sovereignty they require.
[The Jerusalem Post]

Headlines June 1: Anti-BDS Drive at UN, 33 Terrorists Arrested, EU Warns Israel

Israel Launches Anti-Boycott Drive At The UN, In The Face Of Growing Acceptance Of BDS Movement

EU Warns Israel: Policy of Demolishing Palestinian Homes in Area C Will Harm Relations

Israel is set to sign an agreement with the Ukrainian government to provide thousands of Ukrainian construction workers with temporary work visas for Israel.
[The Jerusalem Post]

33 suspected terrorists arrested during police raid in eastern Jerusalem
[Arutz Sheva]

Jerusalem city hall orders halt to illegal Waqf construction on Temple Mount
[Times of Israel]

Israel Backs Saudi West Bank Peace Plan

3,300-year-old Egyptian amulet found by students in Tzipori, Israel

Headlines: PA Rejects Peace Talks, Female Terrorist Killed, Lebanon Watchtowers

The Palestinians on Monday rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call to hold direct talks in Paris under the auspices of the French government.
[The Jerusalem Post]


Female Terrorist Killed in Stabbing Attack North of Jerusalem
[The Jewish Press]


Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with French Prime Minister Valls
[Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs]


Northern Israeli residents are worried about new observation posts built by the Lebanese Army which have sprung up along the border.
[The Jewish Press]


The “Chevron shooter,” IDF soldier Elor Azaria, pleaded innocent on Monday to the charge of manslaughter in the shooting of a Palestinian disarmed terrorist, Abdel Fatal al-Sharif, on March 24, immediately following an attack on security forces.


Hamas says it will execute 13 men convicted of murder — in public — in a manner similar to that of Da’esh (ISIS).
[The Jewish Press]

Peace: A Deceptive, Dictatorial Word

After a long absence, “peace” is back in the headlines, due in large measure to this week’s visit to Israel by French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who came to try to promote a new French initiative that somehow, by as yet unspecified means, would resuscitate the moribund “peace process.”

Perversely planned to take place without either Israel or the Palestinians, the principal protagonists, the conference has now fortuitously been delayed to accommodate the schedule of U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, who apparently had better things to do than take part in yet another doomed charade to forge “peace” in the Middle East.

However, despite its ill-conceived rationale and dauntingly dim prospects, the planned summit can and should serve one constructive purpose: to focus attention not only on what the quest for the elusive condition of “peace” really entails, but on the even more fundamental question of what is actually meant, and what can realistically be expected, when we talk of “peace” as a desired goal, particularly in the context of the Middle East and particularly from an Israeli perspective.

Indeed, the need for such clarification becomes even more vital and pressing because of recent reports of possible Egyptian involvement in attempts to initiate “peace” negotiations with Arab regimes teetering on the brink of extinction and involving a perilous Israeli withdrawal to indefensible borders. All this in exchange for grudging recognition as a non-Jewish state by a partially no longer existent, partially disintegrating, Arab world.

A dictatorial word

It takes little reflection to discover that, in fact, “peace” is a word that is both dictatorial and deceptive.

It is dictatorial because it brooks no opposition. Just as no one can openly pronounce opposition to a dictator without risking severe repercussions, so too no one can be openly branded as opposing peace without suffering grave consequences to personal and professional stature.

Life can be harsh for anyone with the temerity to challenge the tyrannical dictates of the politically correct liberal perspectives. As British columnist Melanie Phillips remarked several years ago in an interview on Israel’s Channel 1: “Believe me, it [failing to abide by political correctness] has a very chilling effect on people, because you can lose your professional livelihood, your chances of promotion, you lose your friends.”

In a surprisingly candid admission, The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof wrote that “universities are the bedrock of progressive values, but the one kind of diversity that universities disregard is ideological. … We’re fine with people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us.”

This peer-imposed doctrinaire uniformity has had a debilitating impact on the quality of intellectual discourse in general, and on the question of “peace” in the Middle East in particular.

A New York Times opinion piece by Arthur C. Brooks cautioned: “Excessive homogeneity can lead to stagnation and poor problem solving.” Citing studies that found a “shocking level of political groupthink in academia, he warned that “expecting trustworthy results on politically charged topics from an ideologically incestuous community [is] downright delusional.”

A deceptive word

The considerable potential for defective analysis in the intellectual discourse on such a politically charged topic as “peace” also accounts for another detrimental attribute of the word.

Not only is it rigidly dictatorial, but, perhaps even more significantly, “peace” is a grossly deceptive word. It can be, and indeed is, used to denote two disparate even antithetical political situations. On the one hand, “peace” can be used to describe a state of mutual harmony between parties, but on the other hand it can just as aptly be used to characterize an absence of violence maintained by deterrence.

In the first meaning, “peace” entails a situation in which the parties eschew violence because they share a mutual perception of a common interest in preserving a tranquil status quo. In the second meaning, “peace” entails a situation in which violence is avoided only by the threat of incurring exorbitant costs.

The significance of this goes far beyond semantics. On the contrary. If it is not clearly understood, it is likely to precipitate calamitous consequences.

The perilous pitfalls of ‘peace’

It is crucial for practical policy prescriptions not to blur the sharp substantive differences between these two political realities. Each requires different policies both to achieve and, even more importantly, to sustain them.

The misguided pursuit of one kind of peace may well render the achievement — and certainly the preservation — of the other kind of peace impossible.

Countries with the mutual harmony variety of “peace” typically have relationships characterized by openness and the free movement of people and goods across borders. As in the relationship between Canada and the U.S., there is little or no effort needed to prevent hostile actions by one state against the other. Differences that arise are not only settled without violence, but the very idea of using force against each other is virtually inconceivable.

By contrast, in the second, deterrence-based variety of peace, such as those between the U.S. and USSR during the Cold War or between Iran and Iraq up to the 1980s, the protagonists feel compelled to invest huge efforts in deterrence to maintain the absence of war.

Indeed, whenever the deterrent capacity of one state is perceived to wane, the danger of war becomes very real, as was seen in the Iraqi offensive against an apparently weakened and disorderly Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

In this type of “peace,” there is no harmonious interaction between the peoples of the states. Movements across borders are usually highly restricted and regulated, and often prohibited.

It is not surprising to find that peace of the “mutual harmony” variety prevails almost exclusively between democracies, since its characteristic openness runs counter to the nature of dictatorial regimes.

The perils of pursuing one type of peace (mutual harmony) when only the other type (deterrence) is feasible were summed up over two decades ago by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his acclaimed book “A Place Among the Nations: Israel and the World.” In it, he calls for making a clear distinction between the “peace of democracies” and the “peace of deterrence.”

“As long as you are faced with a dictatorial adversary, you must maintain sufficient strength to deter him from going to war. By doing so, you can at least obtain the peace of deterrence. But if you let down your defenses … you invite war, not peace,” he wrote.

Much earlier, in 1936, Winston Churchill underscored the dangers: “The French Army is the strongest in Europe. But no one is afraid of France. Everyone knows that France wants to be let alone, and that with her it is only a case of self-preservation. … They are a liberal nation with free parliamentary institutions. Germany, on the other hand, under its Nazi regime … [in which] two or three men have the whole of that mighty country in their grip [and] there is no public opinion except what is manufactured by those new and terrible engines — broadcasting and a controlled press fills unmistakably that part [of] … the would-be dominator or potential aggressor.”

Compromise counterproductive

To grasp the potential for disaster when a policy designed to attain a harmonious outcome is pursued in a political context in which none is possible, it is first necessary to recognize that, in principle, there are two archetypal configurations. In one, a policy of compromise and concession may well be appropriate; in the other, such a policy will be devastatingly inappropriate.

In the first configuration, an adversary interprets concessions as conciliatory, and feels obliged to respond with a counter-concession. Thus, by a series of concessions and counter-concessions, the process converges toward some amicably harmonious resolution of conflict.

However, in the second configuration, the adversary sees any concession as a sign of vulnerability and weakness, made under duress. Accordingly, such initiatives do not elicit any reciprocal gesture, only demands for further concessions.

But further concessions still do not prompt reciprocal moves toward a peaceable resolution. This process ill necessarily culminate either in total capitulation or in large-scale violence, either because one side finally realizes that its adversary is acting in bad faith and can only be restrained by force, or because the other side realizes it has extracted all the concessions possible by non-coercive means, and will only win further gains by force.

In such a scenario, compromise is counterproductive and concessions will compound casualties.

Whetting, not satiating, Arab appetites

Of course, little effort is required to see that the conditions confronting Israel today resemble the latter situation far more than the former. No matter how many far-reaching compromises and gut-wrenching concessions Israel has made, they have never been enough to elicit any commensurate counter-concessions from the Arabs. Indeed, rather than satiate the Arab appetite, they have merely whetted it, with each Israeli gesture only leading to further demands for more “gestures.”

If in any “peace” negotiations such compromises undermine Israeli deterrence by increasing its perceived vulnerability, they will make war, not peace, more imminent.

Indeed, it was none other than Shimon Peres, in recent years one of the most avid advocates of the land-for-peace doctrine (or dogma), who, in his book “Tomorrow is Now,” warned vigorously of the perils of the policy he later embraced.

After detailing how surrendering the Sudetenland made Czechoslovakia vulnerable to attack, Peres writes of the concessions Israel is being pressured to make today to attain “peace” : “Without a border which affords security, a country is doomed to destruction in war. … It is of course doubtful whether territorial expanse can provide absolute deterrence. However, the lack of minimal territorial expanse places a country in a position of an absolute lack of deterrence. This in itself constitutes almost compulsive temptation to attack Israel from all directions.”

e also warns: “The major issue is not [attaining] an agreement, but ensuring the actual implementation of the agreement in practice. The number of agreements which the Arabs have violated is no less than number which they have kept.” Since then, of course, their record has hardly improved.

Will Netanyahu 2016 heed Netanyahu 1993?

In 1996, shortly after Netanyahu was elected prime minister for the first time, Ari Shavit of Haaretz interviewed him on positions he had articulated in “A Place Among the Nations.”Shavit: “In your book, you make a distinction between … a harmonious kind of peace that can exist only between democratic countries, and peace through deterrence, which could also be maintained in the Middle East as it currently is. Do you think we need to lower our expectations and adopt a much more modest concept of peace?”

Netanyahu: “One of our problems is that we tend to nurse unrealistic expectations. … When people detach themselves from reality, floating around in the clouds and losing contact with the ground, they will eventually crash on the rocky realities of the true Middle East.”

Let us all hope that Netanyahu of today will heed the advice of Netanyahu of then. It is the only way Israel will be able to avoid the ruinous ravages of the deceptive and dictatorial word “peace.”

(Originally published on Israel Hayom)

Headlines: 16 Terrorists Arrested, Woman and Children Saved From Palestinian

Israeli Border Guard police and IDF security forces captured 16 wanted fugitives, including 2 senior Hamas officials, overnight in various locations across Judea and Samaria.
[The Jewish Press]


Israeli woman and her three children brought home after being stuck with abusive Palestinian for 15 years.
[Arutz Sheva]


President Abbas welcomes Sissi’s support for the French peace initiative; a senior Palestinian official doubts that an Israeli unity government would make a difference on the diplomatic front.


A delegation of 130 businessmen, researchers, and government officials from Ontario, Canada is visiting Israel. Representatives from the delegation are expected to sign new agreements worth $87 million for developing joint technological ventures.


Israel will continue to use precision strike and intelligence capabilities to damage the build-up of force among its enemies, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon vowed on Tuesday.
[The Jerusalem Post]