Defusing the International Peace Conference

Published on 1/29/1989 | | by Emanuel Winston | 0 Comments
Archived in: Peace Plans
This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series A Usable Peace Plan

The proposal for a conference under the auspices of either the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council or the General Assembly must produce plans, recommendations, or dictates inimical to the interests of Israel.  Therefore, it is imperative to sidetrack this concept with an initiative of our own.

Let us consider two approaches:

A:  Israel convenes a Conference in Israel, inviting either all of the nations or selective nations.  This International Conference would issue a call for papers from the international academic community.  It would invite first rate personalities, scholars, politicians, demographers, refugee settlement experts, industrialists, and water experts – all the skills shown necessary by the above plan.  The agenda would be dealing with the specifics of the Middle East problems.

In essence, we would host the Conference, using the good offices of our major universities.  Hopefully, the Conference would be so large, with workshops so numerous, that the attendees would have to be transported to different universities.  This would expose them to the hospitality of the country, including side tours to our many sites of interest, historical and religious.  The package should be made both academically interesting and as a special visit to the Holy Land.

The selection of topics should pre-empt the subjects likely to be selected at a U.N. sponsored conference.  Obviously any subsequent world-sponsored conference would have to cover the same ground, except certain conclusions would have already been reached in a more open, objective and less hostile forum.

I would suggest that this concept be implemented immediately, before the U.N. has an opportunity to offer its own forum.  The pre-invitations could go out providing an outline of what is to be achieved.  Position papers would be called for, which would be selected by a prestigious committee and placed in a follow-up brochure further detailing the selected contents.

The invitations should go to nations, universities, institutions, and individuals directly.  The U.N. should not be used as a conduit in any way.

B:  You may wish to expand the Conference into something called “World Conflict Resolution”.  This would then include the problems of Northern Ireland, South Africa, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, etc. in addition to the Middle East.  This type of Conference would further defuse the pressure on Israel since it will bring into focus, conflicts globally that have equal status.

As a relevant aside, Bar Ilan University is already working on many projects in Conflict Resolution and should provide an excellent resource for outlining this segment of the Conference.  I am familiar with this because I have endowed Bar Ilan with the Winston Institute for the Study of Prejudice, for the precise purpose of affecting conflict resolution and hosting an international conference on these subjects.

I believe that this International Conference could be called within a year, if work started now.  It would be something that would be exciting for the entire country and unite us during these difficult times.


The Up-side: is that if Jordan finally agrees, we may find a formula for settlement of the problem between Palestinians and Jews; between Arab nations and Israel.  It would be recognized that the relationships between the Arab nations and Israel would likely be always cool and reserved.  (Note! I have not factored in Syria, Iraq, or Iran as likely continuing hostiles.  It is an imponderable and, therefore, to be ignored for the moment.)                      

The Down-side:  The Americans, leading the Europeans, will probably force Israel through economic pressure, trade, withholding of grants, technology, etc. into an International Peace Conference with or without the presence of Israel.  Naturally, the conclusion would place us in the same position as South Africa in terms of world pressure via embargos.  If Israel is forced into giving up the West Bank (sure to include part of Jerusalem) to the PLO under their terms, that will result in the flooding of the area with a hostile mass which must contain the seeds of permanent war.  Forcing Israel into this “compromise” will require that each of the nations making their decisions will become increasingly hostile to Israel in order to justify their faulty judgement.  This would be National Suicide!

The Soviet Union is an unknown in this equation.  If the U.S. and the Soviets have agreed on a game plan, they certainly have the power to force it through.  However, on the U.S. side, the Congress can act to block certain pressures which the Administration or State Department could place upon us.  The Soviets, of course, have no such similar restrictions.  I must say that I find the seeming romance between the Soviets and Americans most curious and perhaps dangerous for small countries.  I see the Soviets trading their accumulated military debt for loans from the Europeans and soon the U.S. bankers.  I know it means something to the interests of Israel, among other nations in the region but what that is hasn’t come into focus as yet.

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About the Author



Manny Winston, my late husband, flew from Chicago to Israel to volunteer during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. He arrived with US secretary of state Henry Kissinger’s first ceasefire on October 21; I followed on October 30th.

Manny was picking grapefruit at Kibbutz Dalia when his friend, the artists, Sol Baskin called with a permit to enter the war zone. They drove to meet Gen. Ariel “Arik” Sharon at the Suez Canal. “Shalom” Baskin was part of the Mahal volunteers from America to the IDF, and a commissioned officer in Mahal. He was Arik’s commanding officer during the 1948 War of Independence, and they remained friends.

Manny brought his two Leica cameras and photographed an outstanding photo exposé on October 29 and 30. He saw and smelled the “killing fields” He met with Sharon, the young soldiers who had survived the destroyed tanks and he saw how the blown tank turret, flipped upside down destroyed the lives of those brave souls inside.

Manny did see these effects and, because he was a true Renaissance man, a graphic thinker who was a painter, sculptor and political analyst, he envisioned a solution to the weak point of the tank. He described a technique to conquer that weakness to Sharon, who sent him to Maj.-Gen. Israel Tal, the developer of the famed Merkava tank.

Manny’s “leap of imagination” created what became “Blazer” or “Reactive” Armor. He designed rectangles of hollow metal boxes with an explosive charge inside. These ‘so-called’ “skirts” were placed around the neck of the tank turret so that when hit, the explosive charge therein would push the incoming ballistic missile out, thereby saving the tank and its crew. This was compatible with the primary goal of Gen. Tal’s Merkava tanks: Defense of the Tank Crew.

That, along with speed, maneuverability, effective shooting and protection against damaging desert sand, were what made the Merkava “The Tank a Jewish Mother Would Love,” as Manny called it.

He also designed a better bridge for crossing the Canal – easier to carry and assemble, and less susceptible to the huge holes the tanks had already created on the day’s existing bridge.

Manny continued to submit creative concepts for defense and offense to Israel’s military industries – for which he received his Israeli citizenship and security clearance. Many of his concepts and ideas were adopted throughout the years. He never asked for credit or remuneration but even today, I see his concepts being used, either in action or in military articles. Someday I hope to publish the “WINSTON DEFENSE DESIGNS,” either online or in a book – a very big book, with his original drawings.

The Yom Kippur War was a seminal turning point in Israel’s history. We did win. It was a miracle, given the forces mounted against us, in number and backed up the Soviet Union.

We have 40 mounted color photographs by Emanuel A. Winston, ready to show at a traveling or permanent exhibition, which will enhance our appreciation of what our men and generals went through and achieved.

The Yom Kippur War was also a seminal turning point in the lives of the Winston family. It was our second trip to Israel. We had tried to make Aliyah in 1962 but didn’t succeed. I made Aliyah on November 7, 1979. Manny died on June 12, 2012, and is now buried on the Mount of Olives.

I sold the home he built in Highland Park, Illinois, in August 2012, and brought his manuscripts and published papers, to the home I built in Israel in 1992. Two of our sons and their families also live in the Jewish state.

My heartfelt message for you, the reader, is to invite all my friends, family and Internet friends to come to Israel. This is where a Jew can be truly Jewish.

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