A rare phenomenon occurred in Israel a few days ago: Mohammed Saud, a law student from the University of Riyadh, a Saudi national and popular blogger, visited Israel at the invitation of the Foreign Ministry. Saud even visited the Temple Mount. Unfortunately, Saud not only endured threats and vulgarities during his visit, but was spit on and had chairs thrown at him. This was done not by Jews, but by his fellows Arabs.
The “Peace to Prosperity” workshop in Bahrain at the end of June was attended by Palestinian businessmen, in defiance of orders from Ramallah. Their delegation joined Israeli and other Arabs businessmen at great personal risk. Several were promptly arrested by the Palestinian Authority upon their return, only to be released following U.S. pressure.
Seeing Arabs and Palestinians willing to take great personal risks to show support for Israel is evidence of the changes that are taking place in the Middle East. They are acting for the reality that many Palestinians and Arabs want: Israeli sovereignty and the better life that will assure.
Tragically, a large number of Jews both in and outside of Israel fail to see the prosperity, security and peace that these Arabs know Jewish sovereignty will provide. These liberal Jews are stuck in a mindset of illogical and futile appeasement. Some have even embraced and partnered with anti-Semitic Arab organizations, blindly believing that supporting anti-Israel boycotts and the two-state paradigm is the way to peace.
The failed Oslo Accords have proven how tragically wrong that mindset is. The vision of these liberal Jews is impaired, rendering them unable to capitalize on major changes in the region that will benefit Arabs, Jews and the world.
Appeasement is not only nearsighted, but dangerously addictive. It induces short-term “high” that acts as a justification for ignoring the consequences future generations must face. The intoxication of appeasement has blinded even some of the most senior Israeli officials.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu famously stated in February that “there won’t be another mosque on the Temple Mount” in response to the Palestinian attempts to reopen the Mercy Gate compound as a mosque. Then, after weeks of protests, he caved. The Israeli High Court of Justice recently admitted in a court case filed by Israeli NGO Regavim “that while it is fully aware that the Muslim Wakf on the Temple Mount has illegally turned the Mercy Gate area into a mosque, it is opposed to its closure.”
Time for a quick fact check: How many mosques were there on the Temple Mount following the 1967 Six-Day War? Answer: only one—the Al-Aqsa mosque. Fifty-two years later, the Mercy Gate mosque brings the total to five. What is that if not appeasement?
Everything about Jewish management of the Temple Mount absurdly favors Arabs. No one but Arabs can pray there, for instance. Jews who do and are caught are typically banned from visiting the Temple Mount for six months. Wonder what happened to the hooligans that assaulted and harassed Mohammad Saud on the Temple Mount? A mere 15-day suspension from visiting the Temple Mount. On the Temple Mount, physical assault by Palestinians is deemed less dangerous than Jewish prayer.
All of this brings to mind an eerily similar scene that unfolded in pre-World War II Europe. Though Hitler made little attempt to hide his imperialistic intentions, little was done to stop him. On the contrary, U.S. Ambassador Joseph Kennedy supported British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in the “peace” pact made with Hitler that fall. “Sensible diplomacy” was the mantra of the day and the pariah Churchill was considered a mere “drunk and warmonger.”
The tables suddenly changed. The newly elected British Prime Minister Churchill captured this failed logic and the appeasement of the Third Reich which the “neutral” states had also succumbed to in a powerful allegory within his famous speech, “The War Situation: House of Many Mansions,” broadcast on Jan. 20, 1940:
“They bow humbly and in fear to German threats of violence, comforting themselves meanwhile with the thought that the Allies will win. … Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured. But I fear—I fear greatly—the storm will not pass. It will rage and it will roar, ever more loudly, ever more widely.”
How much better off the world would have been if it had united and acted early to contain that evil dictator—not to mention the many others that have followed.
Israelis are heading to the polls again in a few weeks. The foolhardy and illogical chants of “End the Occupation” are already beginning to be heard. This only feeds the lethal “crocodiles” who govern in the Gaza Strip and Ramallah and who are completely intent on destroying the Jewish nation.
History has proven that the only way to deal with evil is to contain it so it cannot harm others.
As a Christian whose Bible is unequivocally founded on a fully restored and sovereign Jewish state, I write to urge the Israeli right to unite to defeat this failed ideology of appeasement. Only when Israel is ready to save itself will the peace and security we all desire be realized.
And to my other Christian, bible-believing friends, I say we must do our part and show our support for the biblical right in Israel. After all, our common redemption is depending upon it.
Rev. Anthony Abma is the CEO of Return O’Israel.