Chamberlain, Churchill and Netanyahu

Many political pundits and foreign policy experts have been contemporizing on the statements, both pro and con, on the nuclear deal with Iran. There are those who are hailing it as the only legitimate answer to the threat of an Iran armed with nuclear weapons and others are calling it the greatest foreign policy disaster since the Munich Agreement of 1938.

When the late Prime Minister of Great Britain, Neville Chamberlain, flew on bent knee to the lair of Adolf Hitler to “negotiate” on what “der Fuhrer” had called his last demand for territorial change in Europe, he came away with an infamous piece of paper which he waved to the throng back in London, that he had brought “peace in our time.” He bragged about the signature of “Herr Hitler” as though it was the finger of destiny that would save Europe from another bloody war.

Now, why did he do this? Certainly, the First World War was horrific on a scale unknown to mankind previously. Yes, the French and the British lost an entire generation of young men and had bankrupted their national treasuries. Certainly, the memory of the bloody carnage that slaughtered so many was still fresh in many minds as only 20 years has passed since its ending with the armistice of 1918. So, fear of war, or cowardice in the face of aggression combined to create an atmosphere of isolationism and the avoidance for any conflict for the future.

But, there had been much evidence of the will of the Nazi leader to engage in activities that were quite obvious and flagrant in his violating the Versailles Treaty which ended the war and had placed severe restrictions on Germany which could not be ignored.

The Rhineland, which was occupied by British and French troops had been made inviolate for German forces. Yet, the German Army marched in unopposed-not even a diplomatic demarche was delivered to Berlin. The Rhineland was, at the same time, occupied by both military forces of France and Britain which could easily have prevented and opposed the influx of the German Army. Hitler was warned by his generals that a move into the Rhineland could bring a war that the country was ill prepared for. Yet, the Allied forces withdrew as the Germans marched in and the Nazi leader breathes a sigh of relief and his theory that the British and French were too cowardly to oppose him. Military attaches in Germany from the very signatories of the Versailles Treaty, could not help but notice the buildup of the German armed forces in direct violation of that very document. Nothing was done to interfere in this by the Allied powers.

Hitler’s illegal annexation of the Rhineland was followed by the Anschluss, the illegal occupation of Austria by German troops and the assassination of the Austrian chancellor, Dolfuss, by obviously pro-Nazi elements. Again, not a word of protest. And make no mistake, even at this late date, the French Army was the largest and strongest in Europe and the Royal Navy was still the master of the seas.

No wonder that the German dictator confidently believed that the Western powers would do nothing to stop his march across Czechoslovakia as they were seen as weak, impotent and afraid of war-sound familiar, my American readers?

So, not only was the Sudetenland torn from Czechoslovakia, without even the participation of the Czech government, but soon after, Nazi jackboots invaded the rest of that central European democracy.

Winston Churchill, a man whom I have very little love for, was still relegated to a back bencher in the British Parliament. He had no official power in the Cabinet, yet his voice was profound in his passionate anti-Nazi diatribes and warnings. People called him a war monger and an alarmist. They ridiculed him as the man responsible for the disaster at Gallipoli in World War One and labelled him a political opportunist.

However, his influence was eventually powerful and embarrassing enough for the Chamberlain government to call him back to official office as the Lord of the Admiralty-the man responsible for the Royal Navy.  A titular title at best as the true governance was still in the weak hands of the Chamberlain government. Recall that it was this administration that authored the infamous White Paper of 1939 restricting Jewish entry into the mandate at a time when Jews by the thousands were attempting to flee Europe from the clutches of the Nazi beast.

Churchill’s history as prime minister need not be repeated here only to write of the tremendous courage of a man, long in the political wilderness, who was called back to office to fight the worst evil foe in the history of humanity and he did so by leading his nation through its darkest hours, often alone and isolated. His voice, which had been ignored by many, turned out to be prophetic and correct and if heeded, might have averted the most destructive slaughter of the 20th century. But evil men and fearful governments led to the appeasement of a cruel dictator in his mad rush for world domination. Those who are afraid of the use of force often find themselves under its sway.

The same fear and isolationism, the same cowardice and love of appeasement has been reborn in Europe and the United States. No one desires war, no sane person relishes combat, but there are events that demand strength of purpose and evil men that need to be taken seriously at their word.

Many decades ago, the first Prime Minister of Israel, the late David Ben-Gurion said “When Hitler announced that he would exterminate the Jewish people, no one believed him. When Nasser says he will destroy Israel, we believe him.” His message was simple and direct — when someone threatens your life, you had better take him seriously.

The Mad Mullahs of Iran make no bones about their desire to eradicate the State of Israel — to immolate its population, kill every man, woman and child in this country. Not only do they proudly proclaim this, but their chief lackey, the leader of their proxy, Hezbollah, has openly declared that he hopes that all the Jews gather in Israel so he doesn’t have to hunt them all down in order to destroy them.

Mad? Wicked? I guess that depends on your own national interests, but like Churchill, the present prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, believes every word that is excreted by these foul beasts. Alarmist to some, war mongering to others, like Churchill, he is being excoriated by the Chamberlains and the weak sisters of isolationism and political castration.

Like Churchill, Netanyahu has seen combat up close and personal. Israel knows the price of war and better, it knows the costs of appeasement. But his voice, like another Jew from another time is akin “to a voice crying out in the wilderness.”

John Kerry, the Secretary of State of the United States, waved the documents of the pernicious deal with Iran with the signature of Zarif before the assembled cameras of the world just as Chamberlain waved the ignoble letter signed by Hitler in front of the film crews of his day. Chamberlain’s treaty brought horrible aggressive war to the continents of Europe and Africa-Kerry’s might bring nuclear war to the entire world. Europe in the 1930s ignored Hitler and his criminal gang. America and the feckless Europeans are ignoring the Ayatollah and his nest of vipers.

One cannot make a bargain with the Devil and expect to come out winning; the Devil always gets your soul. Let us pray that Israel and the rest of the world do not pay for the deal with the Iranian Devil that was signed with the future blood of our children and grandchildren. Let us pray that unlike Churchill, the words of Netanyahu are heeded, at least by the people of Israel.

About the Author
Irwin was born in New York City and is now retired. He lives in Maaleh Adumim since making aliyah 7 years ago.
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