Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Appeasement: 80 Years since the Munich Agreement - Conference Videos and Transcripts - JCPA


Views of various experts on the topic of appeasement

The Context of the Munich Agreement

Prof. Shlomo Avineri
In the 1930s, both France and Britain were still suffering from the traumas of World War I, when hundreds of thousands of the cream of British and French society were killed in a war which to many people at that time looked as something having to do with Serbia, not really with British or with French interests. The idea that Britain or France should not get involved in another war about some faraway countries, be it Danzig, or Sudetenland, or Czechoslovakia, was very popular in both countries.
The idea of appeasement, other than the warmongering Churchill, was very popular in the Conservative Party in Britain, the Labour Party, among church leaders, and trade unionists. France had a decline in its population. Britain had lost a generation of leaders. This trauma created the atmosphere which made it possible for Chamberlain to wave the piece of paper that Hitler had signed and get the kind of applause which he got.
Shlomo Avineri, professor emeritus of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, served as director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Munich Agreement: Lessons for the Future

Amb. Dore Gold
The Palestinians use UNESCO to produce an entirely made-up narrative about the history of Jerusalem. They take the Temple Mount and make it an exclusively Islamic site. At a UN conference in Istanbul, I told the secretary-general of UNESCO, "I have an idea for you. The next time you hear this rubbish that there never was a Temple, why don't you invite all the ambassadors to UNESCO for a holiday in Rome?" She looks at me. Rome? She expected Jerusalem. I said, "You can go to the Arch of Titus and you can see the captured implements from the Temple itself. They didn't have Polaroid cameras then, but they did chip away on stone to show you what existed at the time, and we can stop this ridiculous argument."
Amb. Dore Gold is President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and former director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Appeasement in the Middle East at Israel's Expense

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser
Israel's vital interest is to prevent Iran from having the capability to produce nuclear weapons. We know exactly what the Iranians want. Yet all our friends in the Western world joined hands in making an agreement that paves the road for the Iranians to have a big arsenal of nuclear weapons. We gave all kinds of advice, but most of it was ignored. This was a terrible deal, and it was basically throwing Israel under the bus. We have to keep in mind that the idea of appeasement has not passed.
We always tend to believe that if we don't go to war we can reach peace. But in many, many cases peace is not achievable. In our values, peace has a very high level. So it's very difficult for us to understand that there are ideologies in which peace is not that important. We believe that our enemies also want peace. But the fact is that for most of these people, the peace they are looking for does not include our existence. If we don't take this into account, we lose the ability to really understand what are we facing.
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.

The Role of the Media in Shaping Public Opinion

Melanie Phillips
In 1933, the Daily Mail claimed that Hitler had saved Germany from "Israelites of international attachments, and that the minor misdeeds of individual Nazis will be submerged by the immense benefits that the new regime is already bestowing upon Germany." As soon as the war started, however, in 1939, the Mail turned on a dime and it reversed its position.
The entire intellectual class thinks today that war is unthinkable and senseless. Nothing can be worse than war, and so you now have conflict resolution, you sit down and negotiate. And as a result, because war is unthinkable, you find a number of groupthink ideas which take root, which are all false.
So, for example, in the United Kingdom today you will not find really any newspaper coverage of the threat from Iran. If you ask the public, are they frightened about Iran, they will say, "Yes." And what are they frightened of? They're not frightened that Iran's terrorist regime will do them harm. They're not frightened that Iran will be successful in its genocidal aims to destroy Israel. They are frightened that there will be war against Iran because then innocent people will die.
In Britain, there is virtually no coverage of the thousands of rockets coming from Gaza into the south of Israel. That is not a story. The story is only if Israel starts killing Palestinians. Why? Because the only terrible thing is war, when people die who are innocent.
Melanie Phillips is a journalist and columnist for The Times (UK) and the Jerusalem Post.

Appeasement Is Viewed by Arabs as Weakness

Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah
When you live in a tough neighborhood, like the neighborhood we live in, appeasement is looked at by Arabs mostly as weakness. For example, when Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a powerful nation, Turkey and Iran had plans to divert the flow of the Euphrates and the Tigris Rivers into Iraq with a series of dams. Saddam Hussein told the Turks, "If you build the Ataturk Dam, I will bomb it," and the Turks stopped it. After the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, the weakness of the Iraqi government gave Turkey and Iran the opportunity to complete the dams, and today Iraq is suffering from 50% less water.
if you show weakness, you will never have peace with the Arabs. At the first occasion that they will feel that you're weak, you'll be taken over. This is why our policy has to decide on how we adapt ourselves in this tough neighborhood. Weakness - meaning appeasement - is not the formula we should accept.
Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence.

See also presentations by:

Dr. Alexander Brakel
Director, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Israel
Fiamma Nirenstein
Journalist Fiamma Nirenstein was a member of the Italian Parliament (2008-2013). She is a Fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Dr. Martin Kramer
Shalem College; Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Dr. Joel Fishman
Fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
The Munich Agreement Conference: Q&A Session

80 Years since the Munich Agreement

September 5, 2018
Videos and Transcripts now available


Source: http://jcpa.org/80-years-since-the-munich-agreement/

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