Israel Report

April 2003         

Peace in our time?

By David Vance - April 27, 2003
Former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's infamous declaration that he had obtained "peace in our time" by cravingly sacrificing the helpless people of Czechoslovakia to Hitler in exchange for a worthless piece of paper carries a depressing resonance for many observers now watching the "Roadmap" to peace slowly unfold.

For the United States, in particular, to support the creation of a new rogue State as Israel's neighbor when it has just spent billions of dollars dismantling Saddam Hussein's terrorist regime is almost surreal! What drives this urgency to give Arafat and his terrorist minions exactly what they want?

The answer lies in the prevailing political concept of conflict resolution. This has become the accepted orthodoxy amongst the political elite within the UN, the EU, and the U.S. State Department. It is the key dynamic that drives all the euphemistic "peace processes" around the world and which overrides reality even when it is obvious that there is no peace. This partly explains why so many people in Europe still bleat that "We have got to get back to Oslo," even though Oslo encouraged Palestinians to wage further violence on Israel.

The liturgy of conflict resolution is based on the moral equivocation that there is no such thing as absolute right or wrong in any situation. A solution must be found through both sides compromising, through historic trade-offs, through painful sacrifices.

It demands that the standard of democracy must be lowered in order that some sort of progress can be raised up. It requires that "constructive ambiguity" (a.k.a. lies) become the rigid vocabulary of political leaders. In this way, a population such that of Israel, tired and sickened by sustained terrorist attacks, can be lulled into thinking that if it accepts just a little loss of liberty, then the glittering prize of peace will be within reach.

So is there one instance anywhere in the world where this process of conflict resolution has borne healthy fruit?

South Africa is frequently touted as a glowing example of this approach to solving political conflict. Yet South Africa has become one of the most violent places in the world in which to live. Murder rates have rocketed, poverty has increased, natural resources are laid waste, and the concept of law and order is largely redundant. Whilst Apartheid was an obscenity, what has replaced it bears all the hallmarks of a corrupt Marxist dictatorship. That this debacle is welcomed by the advocates of conflict resolution speaks volumes for their private agenda.

Northern Ireland is the other much-quoted instance of a conflict resolution process that has worked. Recently President Bush and Prime Minister Blair visited Belfast to trumpet this alleged great success. Yet the truth is that democratic standards have been trashed, elections have been cancelled to accommodate terrorists, and the rule of law more closely resembles that of a third world banana republic.

There is an alternative approach to "conflict resolution" that can work. This was made manifest in Saddam's Iraq. A muscular and uncompromising militaristic approach to crushing terrorist groups and bringing their apologists to justice will create the conditions for peace to prosper. It engenders the unrelenting hostility of the international elite who cannot grasp the simple fact that evil must be vanquished for good to prevail. The UN, EU and Russia do not understand the basic concept of right and wrong.

The U.S. has made sure that the Taliban, Al Qaida and the Saddam Fedayeen have not been rewarded for their intransigent barbarism. Instead they have been spectacularly obliterated and the regions they infested are the better without them.

Until Palestinians comprehend that resorting to terrorism invalidates any cause they may claim - they must not be rewarded in anyway. Offering them their own State in exchange for a few cosmetic and rotational changes in personnel will only yield years of future violence and death. American humorist PJ O'Rourke summed up the foolishness of what is on offer when he likened it to "a compromise in the sense that being bitten in half by a shark is a compromise with being swallowed whole." Israel would do well to stay out of the water.

David Vance is the editor of A Tangled Web, an online Unionist newsletter that seeks to help maintain Northern Ireland as an integral part of the United Kingdom.

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