Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
The new head of state in Israel took office some time after his mentor was assassinated.
He initiated at once a policy of appeasement.
Appeasement was openly advocated and declared, especially regarding the brutal dictator
in Syria. The Israeli head of state offered the Syrian dictator everything imaginable and then
some. When he was criticized by people opposed to his policies, he had them arrested for
incitement. The Syrian dictator refused to be satisfied with the terms of the appeasement. He
demanded more and more, including rights to the very capital of Israel.
The scenario just outlined does not refer to Ehud Barak and his policies. It is not about
Shimon Peres and his Oslo madness. It has nothing to do with Yossi Beilin and his Geneva
The scenario does not involve the Assads of Syria or the appeasement policies of Ariel
Sharon (not even his offer to release hundreds of imprisoned murderers in exchange for
Hizbullah releasing three bodies of murdered Israeli POWs and perhaps also a captive Israeli
drug smuggler). Nor is it an account of the parody of Dunkirk perpetrated by the Barak
government in Lebanon.
No, it is none of the above. What it does happen to be is a summary of events described
in the Bible - First Kings, chapter 20, to be precise.
In Ecclesiastes it says there is nothing new under the sun. The governments of Israelites over the past decade were not the first to attempt to achieve peace through appeasement. King
Ahab, the husband of painted Jezebel, was also the head of the Peace Now movement of his day. He offered the Syrian dictator, a fellow named Ben-Hadad, everything imaginable. For peace.
King Ahab sent tribute to Ben-Hadad. He stripped his capital of gold and silver. He even sent his wives and children to the Syrian dictator.
But as in all forms of appeasement, the goodwill gestures for peace merely emboldened the dictator. They were interpreted as a sign of Israelite weakness. Ben-Hadad demanded more.
He wanted direct access to and sovereignty within the capital of Israel itself. He must, he
declared, be allowed to roam the capital freely, searching homes and taking what he wanted.
Meanwhile, like his Oslo disciples thousands of years later, the original King Ahab attached to his “peace movement” a “secularist revolution” designed to detach the state of Israel from its Jewish roots. He would deny any role or importance for Jewish religion, and instead pursue politically correct paganism. Anything to increase his prestige among the nations!
King Ahab had myriad faults and indeed is probably the very worst king of the Israelites
described in the Bible. But unlike his direct Oslo and Beilinite descendants, King Ahab at least
had some national pride and set a limit beyond which he was unwilling to pursue appeasement
for “peace.” That limit was reached when the barbarians demanded parts of his capital.
Such a demand pushed Ahab over the edge. Never mind the massive hordes and sheer numbers of his enemy. Never mind his own track record of suppressing Judaism and promoting PC paganism. Ahab abandoned appeasement overnight, with the approval of the prophets.
He discovered that there really was a military solution to terrorism and Syrian aggression after all, and he devastated the forces of his opponent. Ben-Hadad’s Syria was annihilated. Even
Ahab’s arch-nemesis, Elijah, begrudgingly congratulated the king on his shift to sane national
Ahab whips the enemy twice, once on the mountains and once on the plains. Israel is redeemed, although not from Ahab’s bad government.
Even a villain such as Ahab could display fleeting good sense and courage, and atone for his having pursued appeasement for so long. Perhaps some day the Israeli political leaders of our
age will elevate themselves and achieve the moral courage and wisdom of a King Ahab.
Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at
Amazon.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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Apparently there has been no let-up in Secretary of State Kerry’s drive to bring about a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians within the nine-month period he prescribed last year, which ends in April 2014.
Much attention has properly been paid to the problems inherent in the provisions of the Geneva agreement struck with Iran. There are substantial loopholes that allow Iran to run trucks through its commitments and Iran seems to have been able to blunt the full court press that had been mounted against it in the form of economic sanctions and threats of military force.
All these polls asked either “Do you agree that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians?” or, alternatively, “Do you agree Israel behaves toward the Palestinians like the Nazis do?”
Of course, believing in God doesn’t make one Jewish. Many people identify themselves as Jews for a host of reasons other than believing in the God of Israel, and they are just as Jewish as the most pious Jew. Being Jewish is a birthright, not a belief right. According to halacha, anyone born of a Jewish mother is Jewish. Period.
We live in a world where a people returning to it’s ancestral home is accused of occupation, and redemption has become colonialism.
In mainstream America, people believe in instant romance and not physically keeping to oneself prior to marriage.
I have heard many Rabbis tell me that they don’t wish to dirty their hands by getting involved in political matters.
Does anyone think the Palestinian Authority will resist daily attacks from Hamas and Fatah radicals?
“Arise, Reb Yechiel—honored with the firing of one bomb!”
Larger and larger swaths of people in the West keep coming back with the wrong opinion.
Secret Service security arrangements were overruled.
I was touched by his words on the struggle to stand up for Israel.
I have frequently drawn up lists of what I love most about Israel, and Arik Einstein has ranked high.
In the past, the law school prohibited the singing of Hatikvah.
American non-Orthodox Jews are intermarrying their way into post-Jewish oblivion, and they’re doing so as a direct result of having emptied their version of Judaism of all meaning.
The Taliban is all too willing to obliterate anything attesting to ancient Jewish life and culture.
It began as just another exercise in political academic wackiness at Hebrew University. A graduate student there claimed that the absence of any history of rapes of Arab women by Israeli soldiers proves that Jews are racists and oppressors, people who do not even regard Arab women as sexually desirable. The student at the Mount Scopus campus and her “research” were then awarded a university honor for these impressive “discoveries.”
I favor eliminating the exemption of yeshiva students from military service and, without quibbling about details, I endorse the initiatives designed to end that disgraceful exemption.
American news headlines over the past few weeks have focused on political targeting by the Internal Revenue Service of conservative groups. But Israel is experiencing its own form of political targeting by the state. The attorney general is leading an initiative to have a small group of radical juveniles who engage in mischief declared a terrorist organization.
April 16, 2013
Dear Mr. President,
My heartfelt sympathies to you and the American people for the acts of protest carried out in Boston this week during the Boston Marathon. This really is a wake-up call for us all.
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