Hitler, the Palestinians and the West
When Adolf Hitler dispatched German troops to Austria and annexed the country in March 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain did nothing. Despite the illegal influx of thousands of German jackboots on Austrian soil, Chamberlain believed Hitler when he promised, following the annexation, that he would no longer disturb the peace.
Six months later, Hitler’s bristling army was ready to invade the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia. When Britain and France objected, Hitler promised that peace would be assured if Nazi Germany were allowed to take over the Sudetenland. Once again, despite Hitler’s policy of aggression in the Rhineland and Austria, Chamberlain fell for Hitler’s feigned peace overture. He was given the Sudetenland.
By March 1939, Nazi Germany had taken all of Czechoslovakia.
In September 1939, Hitler invaded Poland and set off the most destructive war in history.
What is remarkable about Hitler’s strategy in the 1930s is how he pursued his genocidal ambitions by simultaneously conducting both a campaign of aggression and a campaign of feigning peace. Between 1935 and September 1939, Hitler aggressively and in some instances violently gained control of the Rhineland, Austria, the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, inside Nazi Germany, Hitler was routinely persecuting, imprisoning and even killing Jews.
Yet, in spite of these overtly aggressive acts, Hitler was repeatedly and widely embraced as a voice of reason and a legitimate peace partner.
Seventy years later, it is remarkable how successfully Hitler’s pre-war strategy is being replicated—this time by radical Islam in its ambitions for destroying the Jewish state.
Like Hitler, Palestinian leaders are pursuing their ambitions to destroy Israel simultaneously through aggression and feigned peace overtures designed to force concessions and buy time.
Two events from the past two weeks illustrate.
The first occurred in Cairo on May 4, when the Iran-sponsored terrorist group Hamas formed a unity government with Fatah, the “moderate,” U.S.-backed political organization based out of the West Bank. The coalition government was forged in an attempt to project Palestinian unity and stability and thereby gain legitimacy in the international community ahead of the possible declaration of a Palestinian state, which could occur as soon as September.
Reality is, the unity government is a fake overture toward peace with Israel. Indeed, as Hamas’s political leader Khaled Mashaal made clear the day he signed on the dotted line in Cairo: “Our common enemy is Israel. Israel must be fought both with force and through diplomacy,” he said (emphasis mine throughout). Ultimately, the Hamas-Fatah deal was concocted primarily for Western leaders and the media, and designed to extract more concessions from Israel. The Palestinians know that if President Obama and the international community can be convinced that a united, stable and competent Palestinian government exists, they will increase pressure on Israel to consider it a legitimate peace partner.
Embarrassingly, many in the West have stepped into the trap.
In an op-ed for the Washington Post earlier this month, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter praised the deal and encouraged the international community to get behind the new Hamas-Fatah axis. “If the United States and the international community support this effort,” Carter wrote, “they can help Palestinian democracy and establish the basis for a unified Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that can make a secure peace with Israel.”
The response from the White House was a little more nuanced. However, despite intense opposition from many within Congress who consider the unity government a joke, it seems many, including some key players in the peace process, consider the unity government a genuine opportunity for peace! As the Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick wrote, the “signals emanating from the White House and its allied media indicate that Obama is ready to plow forward” and “make the case for demanding that Israel surrender Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to Hamas and its partners in Fatah.”
Meanwhile, as the Chamberlains of the world rejoice at the promise of peace, Hamas and Fatah continue their campaign of pursuing victory through violence.
This was evident last weekend when tens of thousands of Palestinians, and Arabs throughout the region, “celebrated” their “Day of Catastrophe,” or Nakba Day. Created by Nobel Peace Prize winner and renowned terrorist leader Yasser Arafat, the catastrophe commemorated on Nakba Day is the creation of the State of Israel on May 15, 1948. Inaugurated in 1998, Nakba Day celebrations have grown to include massive anti-Israel demonstrations, propaganda campaigns and violent attacks.
This year, Nakba Day aggression toward Israel was worse than ever, with violent protests breaking out along Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza, as well as in the West Bank.
On Israel’s northern border, thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters from Syria and Lebanon invaded and stormed the fence. By early Sunday afternoon, hundreds of Syrians, Palestinians and Hezbollah members had managed to enter the main square of the Golan village of Majd al Shams and hoist Syrian and Palestinian flags. At least 14 people were killed in the protests, and hundreds more were injured.
In Gaza, Nakba demonstrations turned violent when hundreds of protesters marched on the Erez Crossing and one protester attempted to plant a roadside bomb. In Tel Aviv Sunday, in what evidence suggests was an act of terror, an Arab Israeli went on a truck rampage that killed one person and injured 17.
There were also large demonstrations in the West Bank and smaller clashes in East Jerusalem. “The focal point of the confrontations between demonstrators and Israeli security forces was in the Qalandia refugee camp near East Jerusalem. A mob of 600 Palestinians threw stones and flares at Israeli soldiers and burned tires,” reported the Meir Amit Intellegence and Terrorism Information Center. Across the border in Jordan, a group of protesters trying to reach the border were stopped by police.
Among the protesters’ chants were calls for the “liberation of Palestine from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea by means of terrorism and violence.”
Of course, the new, peace-loving Fatah-Hamas unity government—the one Jimmy Carter says will help forge peace with Israel—condemned the violent Nakba protests, right?
Fatah’s “moderate” leader Mahmoud Abbas praised the protests, promising that “the will of the people is stronger and more durable than the might of tyrannical forces and occupation.” To the families of those who died, Abbas pledged that “their precious blood will not be wasted. It was spilled for the sake of our nation’s freedom.”
In Gaza, Hamas leader Ismail Haniya visited a local mosque and gave a sermon in honor of Nakba Day. In his message, Haniya stated that the last century was “the century of jihad,” and that violent acts of terrorism were not to be abandoned, even within the Palestinian reconciliation agreement. Moreover, in what was a glimpse of the future of the Palestinians’ new government, Haniya stated that the Nakba protests were the “first application” of the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation.
Reality is, both Hamas and Fatah—even as they were making an overture toward peace by forming a unity coalition in Cairo—were drumming up support for Nakba Day protests!
For several weeks leading up to Nakba Day, pro-Palestinian groups with the sanction of Fatah and Hamas had conducted an Internet campaign calling for “a third Palestinian intifada,” or armed uprising. To the rational mind, last weekend’s massive and violent Nakba protests are convincing evidence that Hamas, Fatah and most of the Palestinians simply have no desire to forge lasting peace with Israel.
This reality was explained by Caroline Glick Tuesday: “The assertion that Israel’s establishment was a catastrophe for the Arabs makes clear that the Palestinian leadership has no interest in living at peace with Israel. … If Israel’s existence is the Palestinian catastrophe, then obviously, every patriotic Palestinian must seek Israel’s destruction.”
By embracing Nakba, the celebration of the day Arab armies invaded Israel in 1948, the Palestinians are embracing the goal of that Arab invasion, which was to practice genocide by rooting out every Jewish man, woman and child from Israeli soil.
And still many Western leaders remain convinced that they must be embraced as peace partners.
It’s the 1930s all over again!
If history is our guide, then expect the Palestinians and their regional sponsors to continue to create and deliver insincere peace overtures toward Israel and the West. This will continue as long as Israel and the West continue to make concessions. Eventually, perhaps very soon, when every concession has been rung, or when the armies of radical Islam are ready, the strategy of victory through feigned peace will be tossed aside.
Watch for this moment. According to Bible prophecy, when radical Islam devotes its energies strictly to a campaign of victory through violence, which will result in the capture of East Jerusalem, World War iii begins!