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August 28, 2015 / 13 Elul, 5775
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Worshiping at the Altar of Peace


Peace worshippers in front of the Damascus Gate in East Jerusalem during The Big Hug event, in 2007.

Peace worshippers in front of the Damascus Gate in East Jerusalem during The Big Hug event, in 2007.
Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi /Flash90

In a world that is at once so highly democratic and so authoritarian, so secular and so theocratic, so civilized and so barbaric, so pluralistic and so nationalistic, it is difficult to find that which we have in common. Until relatively recently one could point at monotheism (except for atheists) as the common denominator, but this is alas no longer true.

True paganism is well past us, and human sacrifice is well behind us, unless one wishes to regard the uncontested genocides around the globe as a form of sacrifice at the altars of peace and non-intervention. The post WW II era ushered in many new forms of idolatry (Love, Green Earth, Global Warming, to name a few), but none compares to the Idolatry of Peace.

When considering the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and the concessions that Israel is being pressured to make for the sake of peace, one needs only ask a single rather simple question: What would happen if Israel would unilaterally destroy all it’s weaponry and put it’s faith in the universal spirit of peace on earth? Unfortunately, genocide is the only answer that comes to mind. The word was added to the English language in 1944 to specifically embody the otherwise indescribable Nazi atrocities. What makes genocide different from all other horrors of war is that the killing does not stop even after the enemy has surrendered. The killing continues until an entire people is exterminated.

It is in this light, the American non-intervention track record and Islam’s genocidal history that any Israeli concessions must be considered. It is in this sense that Defense Minister Ya’alon was correct though tactless in rejecting and ridiculing Secretary John Kerry’s positions.

Of the many Muslim perpetrated mass killing of Shia against Sunnis and vise versa, Islam’s slow genocide against Christians in Africa, the Islamic Armenian genocide of 1915, in particular, is worth a closer look because it was Hitler’s inspiration to the Holocaust. During World War One Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey were allied in what was known as the Central Powers. The Germans not only witnessed first hand the killing of nearly two million Armenians but actively turned over many Armenians to the Turks knowing that it would lead to certain death. Historians often cite a comment by Hitler that the mass killings of the Armenians served the Nazi leaders as an “inspirational” precedent for Holocaust. During August of 1939, in preparation to the invasion of Poland, Hitler urged his military to wage a brutal, merciless campaign. In an explicit reference to the Armenians he is quoted to have said, “Who after all is today speaking of the destruction of the Armenians?.” Hitler justified their genocide as an accepted new world order. Sadly, today genocides aren’t new anymore.

At the Nuremberg Trials, Adolf Eichmann’s secretary, SS-Hauptsturmführer Dieter Wisliceny testified that in his opinion “the Grand Mufti, who has been in Berlin since 1941, played a role in the decision of the German government to exterminate the European Jews, the importance of which must not be disregarded. He has repeatedly suggested to the various authorities with whom he has been in contact, above all before Hitler, Ribbentrop and Himmler, the extermination of European Jewry. He considered this as a comfortable solution for the Palestine problem. In his messages broadcast from Berlin, he surpassed us in anti-Jewish attacks. He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and has constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures.” It is this light that any concessions to Holocaust denier Mahmud Abbas, and the Palestinians, must be considered.

In 1943, during World War II, the FDR administration launched a campaign of what was to become the justification of the non existing effort of saving European Jews from the then on going Nazi liquidation of Europe’s Jews, “RESCUE THROUGH VICTORY.” It was FDR’s rationalization for not putting an end to the slaughter of European Jews. The State Department slogan, “RESCUE THROUGH VICTORY,” was accepted by most America’s Jews as a reasonable justification for American non-intervention in the on going genocide of Jews by the Nazis.

In the wake of the Holocaust, the United States led an effort to draft the 1948 Genocide Convention, which in the spirit of “Never Again” is aimed to ensure that genocides should never again take place while the rest of the world remains a bystander. Yet, America’s response to genocide since the drafting of the Genocide Convention is worth re-examination. The United States has never hesitated going to war (i.e. Korea, Vietnam, Granada, Iraq) for matters of national interests (national security, oil, navigation rights). But, it has been resistant to ‘meddling in’, and adhered to a policy of non-intervention with regard to most major genocides (Cambodia–Carter, northern Iraq–Reagan and Bush, Bosnia–Bush and Clinton) and Rwanda–Clinton), and when it did take a stand it was with words rather then actions.

The Cold War era, with it’s impending nuclear doomsday scare, ushered in the Idolatry of Peace, embraced with great relief by most everyone. Yet, even it’s high priest, President Barak Obama got it right when in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, he stated that, “There will be times when nations — acting individually or in concert — will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.” Unfortunately, his non-intervention in the recent chemical attacks in Syria speaks louder than his words.

It is with all the above in mind that well wishing J-Street and other misguided peace worshiping Jews must view Kerry’s Messianic pilgrimages to the Middle East. Following the Czechoslovakia 1939, Bosnia, and Rwanda blue prints will only bring about the sacrifice yet another people to the altar of peace. Israel must be guided by a policy of “Never Again” and reject any and all options and pressures that may bring about a “Once Again.”

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