They Kuntar Done Worse 373

The moment Samir Kuntar walked into Lebanon as a free man spelt the end of a hard earned 60 years cultivating the image of Israel as a capable, tough and proud state. Samir Kuntar is one of the most despised villains of Israeli society: a vicious murderer, his crimes included the inhuman beating to death of a three year old Israeli girl in front of horrified witnesses. In the eyes of the Arab countries and even among Western Arab communities, Samir Kuntar is the darling of the defenders of Islam – a brave resistance fighter.

My horror at the release of this epitome of evil is not the support for his crimes that is propagated among the Arabs; it is not even shock at the (frankly expected) Western indifference for this monster – instead I am appalled by the virus that goes by the name of appeasement that has risen again to infect the integrity or lack thereof, manifested by the weak politicians and the morally bankrupt Left of the “liberal” West.

One particular historical parallel that can now be applied to the Arab-Israeli conflict by supporters of Israel is the disastrous policy of appeasement practised noticeably by one of its true founders: Neville Chamberlain. Once the understanding of the West and even the byline of slightly cringe-worthy Hollywood films was ‘Never negotiate with terrorism’. Now appeasement and negotiation appears to govern international politics: from the hundreds of incentives made to the Iran by the EU, hoping to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons research, each new offer giving more and more away to the Iranians; to the ‘quiet diplomacy’ pursued by Thabo Mbeki with Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

The release of Samir Kuntar, four other terrorists and the hundreds of remains of dead Lebanese murderers marks the beginning of the end. Israel, more than any country, should realise that appeasement is a policy that will never work to their advantage. It betrays the teachings of Machiavelli: “…one should never permit a disorder to persist in order to avoid a war, for war is not avoided thereby but merely deferred to one’s own disadvantage.” And it sends chilling reminders of Chamberlain’s efforts to secure peace; or the IRA murderers given their ill-gotten freedom by Blair’s government; the US government’s protection of Arafat in 1982; the attempted appeasement of Saddam Hussein before the 1990 Gulf War; the encouraged promotion of Islamic culture above all others in Western countries by Western governments; the suggestions of British judges for allowing some form of sharia law in Britain – the last hundred years have shown a frightening propensity for the West to fail to learn from its mistakes and to allow the forces of evil a chance to exist and prosper.

So why is Olmert’s government meeting Hezbollah’s demands? Why is it appeasing its enemies? Israel has owed 60 years of remarkable existence to ‘disproportionate’ response and a tough and no-nonsense attitude towards its enemies. Many would argue this is a key reason for her survival. The release of the five terrorists by Israel met one of Hezbollah’s few demands, another being the return of the Sheba farms to Lebanon. Is it that these unforgettable years of terrorism, torture, murder, cruelty unimaginable to civilized society have all just been for the return of a few hundred yards of farm and a child murderer? – the truth of course, is that Hezbollah, like the rest of the Arab world, seeks the destruction of Israel and its people. Olmert seems to have forgotten this. They have reversed the direction of sixty years of policies based on reality and common sense, and are taking an ill-fated chance with the future of their country.

For the despairing results of this cruel act of appeasement we have not even had to wait a few days. Immediately Hamas decided it was no longer going to agree to Israeli terms for the return of Gilad Shalit and was to demand greater returns for the terrorist group. Furthermore, a group of British MPs called for a dialogue with Palestinian terror groups, Hamas included; breaking the policy of no recognition that most Western countries have pursued.

But this author is not completely a pessimist and his writings shall not just be a harbinger of Israel’s complete failure – there is still a chance: Olmert and his coalition must be removed, a strong leader (preferably Netanyahu) must be elected, Kuntar must be assassinated, Hamas must be destroyed, Hezbollah must be removed, Iran’s nuke and missile sites must be obliterated and the supply of armaments to the Gaza Strip and West Bank must be stopped. Tough orders? These are problems all created by appeasement; it is war deferred to Israel’s disadvantage, and now Israel is forced to deal with it.

Posted under Articles, Commentary by Jillian Becker on Sunday, July 27, 2008

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