Strength defines peacePublished in USA Today Op Ed
Today’s Debate: Editor: Mideast Peace
Opposing View by Emanuel A. Winston: Arab Nations Simply Don’t Respect Policy of Appeasement
Ariel Sharon may be hated by the Arab nations for his role in defeating them in the six wars they initiated, intending to annihilate the Jewish state, but they still respect the courageous warrior. Sharon will not offer concessions of appeasement , but may be able to achieve a peace of non-belligerency based upon Middle East rules of respecting a capable adversary.1
What passes for peace in this region rests on strength and not concessions, which are viewed as weaknesses that invite war.
This may not satisfy U.S. and European friends of the Arab oil nations, but it is Israel’s formula for survival.
Under Sharon’s leadership, Israel will remain the only democratic and militarily reliable ally of the West in the region; and the already-hostile block of Iran, Iraq and Syria could easily expand to include Egypt and the Gulf nations, if their leaders are overthrown by radical Islamic militants.
Sharon, both as a military commander and elder statesman, recognizes that all prior “risks for peace” proclaimed from various sites have failed under the appeasement formula. The results of Camp David, Oslo 1, Oslo 2, Hebron, Wye River, Sharm el Sheikh and Camp David II are all failed agreements that only increased Arabs’ unrealistic expectations, leading to ramped-up violence.
Giving up security, borders, water, holy sites – capped off with Ehud Barak’s offer last fall to divide Jerusalem and abandon Solomon’s Temple (site) to Yasser Arafat – were signals for war.
President George W. Bush, one hopes, will recognize that a strong Israel under Sharon is in the United States’ best interests. Arafat and his backers, the radical nations of Iran, Iraq and Syria, have pledged the elimination of the non-Muslim state of Israel whenever they are strong enough to do so.
Sharon will offer them a peace of non-belligerency, but deny them their dream of destroying the Jewish state. Peace, according to the special rules of the Middle East, is not achieved through concessions offered to appease an enemy. Sharon can propose a formula for the cessation of terror and war, but not as a sacrificial lamb in order to please other nations of the world.
Real peace will come only when the Arab nations adopt democracy and abandon their plans for a “jihad” (holy war) against the Jewish State of Israel.