Gaza: Appeasement Redux

Among history's most repugnant episodes of multinational capitulation was the cowardly and reprehensible manner in which France, Poland, and England forced Czechoslovakia in 1938 to accede to Hitler's demands to seize the Sudetenland, a horseshoe shaped region surrounding that nation's heartland.

Hitler's excuse for such belligerence was an ostensible concern for the Germanic people who lived within that area. So, in an effort to placate the emerging tyrant, 'neutral' European nations severely pressured the Czechs to abdicate their national sovereignty and allow Hitler's forces to invade. But Hitler did not merely want the Sudetenland. He was after the whole of Czechoslovakia.

Having witnessed his overthrow of Austria, French and English leaders certainly had all the evidence they needed to oppose any further expansion. Yet, so fearful were they of opposing him, they willingly sacrificed the Czechs in a desperate hope that their own interests would somehow be spared from his aggression.

So, by the so—called 'Munich treaty,' Czechoslovakia would be offered up to the Nazis, in exchange for yet another empty promise from Hitler to cease his hostilities. Attempting to put the best possible face on this cowardly act, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain presented the public with his proclamation of 'Peace in Our Time.' And that event remains to this day as a bitter symbol of the futility of negotiating with brutes and tyrants.

The results were as predictable as they were appalling. Within a year, Hitler invaded Poland. And German tanks rolled into Paris barely eight months later, bolstered considerably by the industrial prowess of the Czechoslovakians. And only with America's help did England survive the ensuing fight for its very existence.

So, with such horrendous lessons of the twentieth century to forewarn them, how is it that world leaders once again attempt to garner the good graces of murderous regimes, this time in the Middle East, by acquiescing to the demands for more Israeli land. Worse yet, Israel's own Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, has now thrown his full support towards the effort, even at the expense of his own countrymen.

In the wake of unrelenting terrorism on the part of the Palestinians, virtually the entire world (sadly even including the Bush Administration), has joined forces to bully Israel into ceding the Gaza strip back into the hands of its mortal enemies. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, recently reasserting official American support for the plan, sounded like a dismal parody of Chamberlain.

Needless to say, the Israeli people are in complete turmoil over the plan, with citizen groups now pitted against their leaders. Government tactics, intended to remove unwilling settlers, are taking on an ominous resemblance to events of the Warsaw ghetto, while the world looks on with approval.

But what is this tragic effort if not a reward to the barbarism of the terrorists? Not many years ago, support for a 'Palestinian State' among American politicians was rightly regarded as a betrayal of Israel, and an unforgivable strategic blunder in the region. In the wake of 9—11, can American support for the plan be construed as anything but a victory for Islamic terrorism?

Palestinian and Islamist forces in the area, as well as throughout the Middle East, undoubtedly see it that way. And clearly, they do not merely want a slice of the area. They want Israel. Efforts to portray the plan in any better light are grimly reflective of the false confidence with which Europe deluded itself as the storm clouds of World War gathered over it.

Throughout the 1990's while evidence of a growing terrorist threat amassed before his eyes, Bill Clinton played political games and refused to take decisive action. Thus, critics of his presidency properly lay a major portion of the responsibility for 9—11 at his feet.

Even British Prime Minister Tony Blair has realized that the only means of securing the safety of the English people against militant Islam is to remove its advocates from their midst. How is it that anyone can, in good conscience, compel Israel to do the opposite?

Yet, in the wake of repeated 'peace plans,' pro—Palestinian terrorist organizations invariably respond with further attacks on innocent Israeli citizens, while more concessions are demanded from Israel.

If the Gaza pullout does indeed eventuate, and helpless Israeli people are once again victimized by the world's morally bankrupt 'diplomatic community,' who will accept blame for the continuation, and likely escalation of the murder and mayhem that will follow?

Christopher G. Adamo is a frequent contributor.

Among history's most repugnant episodes of multinational capitulation was the cowardly and reprehensible manner in which France, Poland, and England forced Czechoslovakia in 1938 to accede to Hitler's demands to seize the Sudetenland, a horseshoe shaped region surrounding that nation's heartland.

Hitler's excuse for such belligerence was an ostensible concern for the Germanic people who lived within that area. So, in an effort to placate the emerging tyrant, 'neutral' European nations severely pressured the Czechs to abdicate their national sovereignty and allow Hitler's forces to invade. But Hitler did not merely want the Sudetenland. He was after the whole of Czechoslovakia.

Having witnessed his overthrow of Austria, French and English leaders certainly had all the evidence they needed to oppose any further expansion. Yet, so fearful were they of opposing him, they willingly sacrificed the Czechs in a desperate hope that their own interests would somehow be spared from his aggression.

So, by the so—called 'Munich treaty,' Czechoslovakia would be offered up to the Nazis, in exchange for yet another empty promise from Hitler to cease his hostilities. Attempting to put the best possible face on this cowardly act, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain presented the public with his proclamation of 'Peace in Our Time.' And that event remains to this day as a bitter symbol of the futility of negotiating with brutes and tyrants.

The results were as predictable as they were appalling. Within a year, Hitler invaded Poland. And German tanks rolled into Paris barely eight months later, bolstered considerably by the industrial prowess of the Czechoslovakians. And only with America's help did England survive the ensuing fight for its very existence.

So, with such horrendous lessons of the twentieth century to forewarn them, how is it that world leaders once again attempt to garner the good graces of murderous regimes, this time in the Middle East, by acquiescing to the demands for more Israeli land. Worse yet, Israel's own Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, has now thrown his full support towards the effort, even at the expense of his own countrymen.

In the wake of unrelenting terrorism on the part of the Palestinians, virtually the entire world (sadly even including the Bush Administration), has joined forces to bully Israel into ceding the Gaza strip back into the hands of its mortal enemies. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, recently reasserting official American support for the plan, sounded like a dismal parody of Chamberlain.

Needless to say, the Israeli people are in complete turmoil over the plan, with citizen groups now pitted against their leaders. Government tactics, intended to remove unwilling settlers, are taking on an ominous resemblance to events of the Warsaw ghetto, while the world looks on with approval.

But what is this tragic effort if not a reward to the barbarism of the terrorists? Not many years ago, support for a 'Palestinian State' among American politicians was rightly regarded as a betrayal of Israel, and an unforgivable strategic blunder in the region. In the wake of 9—11, can American support for the plan be construed as anything but a victory for Islamic terrorism?

Palestinian and Islamist forces in the area, as well as throughout the Middle East, undoubtedly see it that way. And clearly, they do not merely want a slice of the area. They want Israel. Efforts to portray the plan in any better light are grimly reflective of the false confidence with which Europe deluded itself as the storm clouds of World War gathered over it.

Throughout the 1990's while evidence of a growing terrorist threat amassed before his eyes, Bill Clinton played political games and refused to take decisive action. Thus, critics of his presidency properly lay a major portion of the responsibility for 9—11 at his feet.

Even British Prime Minister Tony Blair has realized that the only means of securing the safety of the English people against militant Islam is to remove its advocates from their midst. How is it that anyone can, in good conscience, compel Israel to do the opposite?

Yet, in the wake of repeated 'peace plans,' pro—Palestinian terrorist organizations invariably respond with further attacks on innocent Israeli citizens, while more concessions are demanded from Israel.

If the Gaza pullout does indeed eventuate, and helpless Israeli people are once again victimized by the world's morally bankrupt 'diplomatic community,' who will accept blame for the continuation, and likely escalation of the murder and mayhem that will follow?

Christopher G. Adamo is a frequent contributor.