By Prof. Paul Eidelberg
Back in September 1976, I asked Defense Minister Shimon Peres’ political adviser, Asher Ben-Natan, “What is Israel‘s major problem?” He replied: “We can’t lie as well as the Arabs.”
Mr. Ben-Natan’s reply actually reveals the basic cause of Israel’s malaise: the failure or inability of Israel’s ruling elites to tell the truth about the one issue on which Arabs allegedly excel Jews in mendacity—the issue of peace. But this means that, year after year, Israel‘s ruling elites have been deceiving the public, indeed, the free world, about the nature of the Israel-Arab conflict.
The truth is that peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs is impossible so long as Arabs remain Arabs, steeped in Islam’s 1,400-year ethos of Jihad.
Israel’s policy of territory for peace not only arouses the contempt of Arab despots and incites them to wage war, but it also invites the world in general, and the United States in particular, to exert pressure on Israel to surrender Jewish land.
When Asher Ben-Natan said, “We can’t lie as well as the Arabs” I replied, “Then why not tell the truth?” The truth about what? The truth that genuine and abiding peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors is not possible given the deeply engrained contemptuous and bellicose attitude of Arabs toward “infidels,” especially Jews.
Suppose Israeli prime ministers made this truth a declaratory policy after the Six-Day War. Of course, they would have to expose, in graphic detail, the militant and mendacious character of the Islamic world, as Professor Yehoshafat Harkabi did at great length in his book Arab Attitudes to Israel, the Hebrew original of which appeared before the Six-Day War.
The mere fact that Arab regimes—despotisms—do not even live in peace with each other is sufficient reason to discount their living in peace with the Jewish State of Israel, whose very existence, independence, and military supremacy challenge the validity of Islam.
How might the United States react to an Israel whose prime minister enunciated this truth—a truth which logically precludes a policy of territory for peace?
Before answering this question, it should be noted that even though the Labor Party (Mapai) controlled every lever of power of the state during the first 29 years of Israel‘s existence, that secular and socialist party never won more than 51 of the Knesset’s 120 seats. This suggests—and studies confirm—that a large majority of the Jews in this country identify with the Jewish heritage. This being the case, public opinion in Israel would be adamantly opposed to any territorial withdrawal if the government told the truth about the implacable hostility and genocidal intentions of Israel‘s Arab enemies.
With public opinion solidly behind the government—a government that rejects peace as a rational policy—Washington would have no rational grounds for pressuring Israel to yield land to the Arabs.
Conversely, by expressing his dream of peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs (as he did on the Temple Mount in September 2000), Ariel Sharon only prompts Washington to demand that Israel make gratuitous concessions to its enemies.
In short, it is precisely Israel‘s irrational pursuit of peace with Arabs steeped in the ethos of Jihad that invites American pressure. But this is not all.
Having lied about peace, day after day, year after year, an Israeli prime minister cannot admit, after more than ten thousand Jews have been maimed and murdered, that peace with the Arabs is impossible. For Mr. Sharon to utter such a confession is to admit his complicity in this butchery.
And so the deadly charade—the self-immolation—goes on. Releasing and arming Arab terrorists to obtain “peace”—Arabs who can only win honor by killing Jews.