Reality Check

Tuesday, May 07, 2002


Is everything negotiable?

That's what the cheerleaders of negotiation must believe, as it appears we are about to once more head into a round of surreal "negotiations" between Israel and those ambitious to destroy her.

But that's the assumption that has to be challenged, isn't it? Because students of history and philosophy know better. Not everything's negotiable.

Readers of the THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS from previous broadsides on this site are already familiar with two impossible scenarios where the idea of negotiation is obviously absurd:

1) The absurdity of Jewish Germans "negotiating" with Hitler in the thirties.

2) The absurdity of the West "negotiating" with Stalin over the fate of Berlin after WWII.

The common denominator that makes these "disputes" impenetrable to negotiation is the ideology of one side in the "dispute."

Did anyone expect Hitler to renounce Nazism through negotiation, or Stalin to renounce the goals of communism? Does anyone believe that Arafat and the PLO have truly renounced their desire to destroy Israel, which was a central goal of their charter from the beginning? Doesn't everyone see that there is a difference between laying down arms permanently, and only making a tactical retreat?

(And if anyone reading this still doubts whether Arafat belongs in that club of tyrants, remember that the Islamists have their own Mein Kampf, enshrined in decades of propaganda, written in the public record. Propaganda continuing nonstop to this day. And if that isn't enough, they read and approve of the original Mein Kampf as well.)

In each of these "disputes," what a "negotiated peace" would actually mean is that the aggressor negotiates away his own ideology. Sounds preposterous, and it is. But why would the desire for real peace mean that? Why would peace demand that these thugs get rid of their core ideology? "Negotiate it away"? Because the reason there is even a "dispute" in the first place is that one side is acting out a central goal of their ideology, to destroy the other side, which it defines as "evil." As in, "elimination of the Jews," "elimination of the Jewish state," "the elimination of capitalism" - take your pick. These wicked ideologies define their "justice" as the destruction of a peaceful, productive people, in their midst, or beside them.

Just listen to the propaganda for a moment, please. This is what they say. "Push the Jews into the sea!"

But how can one negotiate away ones belief system? In this country, it is a big deal if a Democrat converts and becomes a Republican, or vice-versa. Do we seriously expect that Arafat and the PLO believe that what they advocated for decades is now wrong? Wrong, and not simply "impractical, for now?" Or are we trying to pretend that although the PLO, in their heart of hearts, may still hope to destroy Israel, we think that Israel will be safe, while the PLO bides its time, waiting to achieve its secret goal? That there should be no Jewish state, of no size, nowhere on "historic Arab lands."

Funny how they follow the same beat with their war-drums: "Historic German lands" "Historic Arab lands." "No Jews." "No Jewish Majority."

Real peace means that the bad guys have to renounce their beliefs. It means philosophical conversion. In these societies of hate, it means a change in their very way of life. It means deciding that those old beliefs were wrong, not just impractical for the moment. Any other "settlement" with a Hitler, a Stalin, or the political heir of Hitler's ally, the Grand Mufti, (ie., Arafat) would only amount to a tactical retreat, with the aggressor biding its time to fight another day.

And anyone who believes that it is possible for such leaders of evil regimes and belief systems to convert from evil to good, sitting at a negotiating table with a cup of coffee and a danish by their side, is a fool.

Why, the goals they are supposed to give up are the very goals that define their ideology! For committed ideologues like these, the goals they are supposed to give up are their very reason for being. Its what they wake up in the morning vowing to do, what they discuss over coffee, what they strategize about in their meetings, what haunts their dreams. Anyone who understands the role of ideology in the human mind understands what is involved here. Psychology. Philosophy. Emotion. Identity.

It does not change at the stroke of a pen signing a "treaty." The cultural cancer that spawns legions of children blown to bits by their own parents "for the cause" is a deep, deep evil and sickness of the human soul. It is intractable, and few can stand against such a tide. In the land of concentration camps, there were no legions of Schindlers.

So, what is the farce that we are witnessing in this call, once again, for negotiations? It is obvious: what we are in fact witnessing is a very long, drawn-out, sleight-of-hand on the part of the Islamists, intended to confuse people into believing that a "settlement" is anything other than a temporary cessation of hostilities. Anything other than a very long siege on Israel's borders.

We are talking about an enemy, at best, preparing a Potemkin peace, a tactical retreat from their ultimate objectives. The Bush administration must trade in their illusions immediately, and realize that no, the lions wil not lie down with the lambs here.

We need to recognize, while there is still time, that a settlement with the PLO is just that, only a tactical retreat - at best - on their part. We have to recognize that they've only decided that total victory is impractical for now. That their Nazi-like belief system is intact, and being taught to their tiniest children in their own version of "Hitler Youth" camps. That they will be awaiting any sign of weakness, any opportunity to finish the job they originally set out to do.

For the PLO, the war will never stop, and nothing has changed.

And if there is a "settlement," what we will have is not peace. What we will have, best-case scenario, is a cold war.

That will be the real choice facing Israel and the U.S.: cold war, or hot war.


The next broadsides in this space will examine these two alternatives. War in the Middle East: hot or cold?