Has Israel’s pursuit of peace brought peace? So far, all of the concessions Israel has made in the interest of peace have not brought peace nor even an acknowledgment of Israel’s right to exist from its enemies. In fact, since the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel has embarked on a series of strategic retreats and allowed terrorist forces into the areas it has abandoned (Judea and Samaria, Gaza and southern Lebanon), in the hope that these moves would lead to peace. Instead, they have made it possible to threaten Israel with missiles from several directions at once.
The worst of the retreats was carried out by Ariel Sharon, who thought that by abandoning and destroying the Jewish settlements in Gaza, the Palestinians would finally recognize that Israel was willing to make great sacrifices in the interest of peace. But the Palestinians simply took the Israeli retreat as a sign of weakness and a gift from Allah, putting them in a more advantageous position to destroy Israel.
Recently, professor Yisrael Aumann, Nobel laureate and noted American-Israeli mathematician and game theorist, spoke at Bar Ilan University. Aumann is known for his view that the principles of game theory can be successfully applied to the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. He said that in order to achieve peace, the calls for peace must be stopped and that preparations should be made for a war.
“The calls for peace which we have been hearing (mainly from our side) for the past 90 years, do not bring us closer to peace but actually take us further from it,” said Aumann. “Peace is like honor. If you chase it, it runs away. This is not just game theory; it has been proven in history.”
He brought the example of the Roman Empire, which managed to bring about peace for a period of 400 years, despite having destroyed the second temple in Jerusalem. “It turns out that the Romans were champs in making peace. Their motto was that if you want to make peace, you need to prepare for war. They knew game theory.”
Aumann explained that preparing for war does not only entail physical preparation, but mainly mental preparation. “This may be opposite to common sense, but it is true. The spiritual preparation to kill and be killed is what will ultimately prevent the need to kill and fight. First, you need to be spiritually ready.”
Aumann said that he while he wants peace, “the way in which we have gone for decades is not leading toward peace. The expulsion from Gaza brought about the Second Lebanon War, the bombing of cities in the south, Operation Cast Lead, and the flotilla events. The expulsion was supposed to bring about peace but brought war.”
“We think that posters with pigeons will bring about peace, but that isn’t true and will only bring about war,” added Aumann, who then cited the example of British Prime Minister Chamberlain, who handed over Czechoslovakia to Hitler in exchange for a guarantee that this would be the Nazi leader’s final demand. “Hitler did not want to start a war, but Chamberlain brought him into the war by chasing peace,” said Aumann. Sharon repeated Chamberlain’s mistake in thinking that the Palestinians really want peace, while their object has always been to destroy Israel.
In terms of the current situation between Israel and the PA, Aumann said that gestures toward the Arabs, such as the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria, will ultimately bring about war and prove that applying pressure on Israel leads it to give in. “We are sending a signal of weakness to the other side and telling them that if they pressure they will get what they want. This is wrong.”
Despite Prof. Aumann’s warnings, left-wing Israeli academics still believe in the pursuit of peace. They blame ineffective Israeli leadership for the lack of progress in bringing about the holy grail of peace. One such Israeli professor is Yoram Peri, who teaches at the University of Maryland. He compares Israel’s present position to that of France during the Algerian war. The Jerusalem Report of Sept. 13, 2010 wrote:
“It was only after de Gaulle changed the system of government and closed the Algerian occupation chapter that France emerged from its long stupor, entering a new partnership with Germany in the unification of Europe.”
The Jerusalem Report didn’t bother to tell its readers what happened when de Gaulle betrayed French Algeria and surrendered that oil-rich province to the Arab terrorists. A mass exodus of a million Frenchmen took place, including Muslims loyal to France, and three departments of the French Republic, with all of its farms, industries, and institutions were destroyed. The result is that now five million Algerians have invaded France, and Algeria is still plagued by Islamic terrorists who have killed more Algerians than the French army ever did.
Peri states: “Like de Gaulle, Israel needs to close the chapter on the 1967 occupation and to introduce a new system that allows for more effective government.” But who is occupying whom? Are not the Palestinians occupying ancient Israel’s land in Judea and Samaria? Indeed, it can be argued that the Palestinians are the occupiers, not the Israelis.
The idea of using de Gaulle as a model for a future Israeli leader is frightening and can only lead to disaster. Aumann is right, and Peri is wrong. The pursuit of peace will inevitably lead to war.