Munich to Munich: A Symbol of Betrayal or Warning

The hash tag “Munich” evokes a key signpost to World War II. For the Jewish collective memory it symbolizes betrayal:

– September 1938, Neville Chamberlain’s kowtow to Hitler, brandishing his umbrella, justifying allied appeasement as “Peace in our time.” This was the prelude, less than two months later, to “Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass) State pogrom that was to unleash the Holocaust. Munich 1938’s betrayal became synonymous with deletion from the map of the small democratic state of Czechoslovakia,as the appeasers fed the crocodile in order to be eaten last

– September 1972, the terror attack on the Israeli Olympic team that left 11 athletes murdered.The obstinate refusal of the International Olympic Committee to acknowledge the atrocity by holding a moment’s silence in honour of the victims at subsequent Games, contributes to a continuing sense of betrayal.

– At the current Munich Security Conference, there are photos of US Secretary of State, John Kerry, in warm hand-shakes with Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohamed Javad Zarif, prior to tete-a- tete discussions on behalf of the Western P5+1 powers on Teheran’s nuclear programme, prior to an “agreement” deadline of 31 March.

Both the Nazi regime and the Islamic Republic, since their inception – respectively in 1933 and 1979 – have ruled through terror and a policy based on antisemitism and irredentist expansion.Nazi “Lebensraum” depended on creating support networks among “Volksdeutche” abroad. By ideological influence among the extreme right in democracies,who shared a disdain for their governments as “effete” and resentment toward the Jews. By seeding sleeper cells across Europe to create havoc when required. Above all, antisemitism created a platform of solidarity also among “non-Aryan” national groups and Western countries that viewed Nazism as a foil against a greater threat: Soviet Communism.
Antisemitism brought in Nazi auxiliaries even among Slavs, who were to be next on Hitler’s chopping-block. Western appeasement policy was pursued despite almost two decades of open warnings: the nascent Nazi party’s declarations of war against the Jews, the Nazi regime’s massive rearmament programme, state terrorism domestically and abroad, threats to countries ostensibly in defence of their German minorities, continual provocations to probe Western timidity. These should have acted as an early warning system in the aftermath of World War I. They should certainly act as a weather-vane for today.The 1979 revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini created the Islamic Republic, whose policy is based upon antisemitism and a ‘Caliphate’ ambition to finally vindicate Shi’ism in the world of Islam.

Aggression against Jews and the Jewish State garners support even among Sunnis, though they were soon to be next on Teheran’s chopping block.

Iran has seeded Shi’ah cells, through its military ally Hezbollah, throughout the Middle East, Europe,Africa and Latin America. These have perpetrated antisemitic attacks from Buenos Aires to Bulgaria. An Iranian-controlled missile installation is situated on Venezuela’s Caribbean coast with a range as far as Tampa, Florida.

Shi’ah mosques are appearing in Western Europe and are in rivalry with Saudi Sunna financing in the Balkans. Iran is competing for political support among leftist groups and for recruitment among the young Jihadists of the Muslim diaspora,” whether Sh’iah or Sunni, again based upon their common hostility to the Jews, Israel and the West.

Meanwhile, an appeasing West, apparently, views Iran as a foil against a greater threat, the Islamic State of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. They are even prepared to countenance a nuclear Iran,turning a blind eye to the probability of nuclear weaponization and regional proliferation.

Despite all the early warning signs, Hitler was never believed ready to sacrifice his entire people – the Master Race – and to take millions with them in a total war.

All the signs now point to the hubris of the Ayatollahs in Tehran. In the name of their deity, they have ended democracy and fundamental rights at home and are the paymasters of global terrorism. Since 1979, they have raised a generation of “revolutionary guard” hit-men, and through Hizbollah bear responsibility for over 200,000 civilian casualties in Syria.

Why would they have any compunction against using their nuclear option to realize their openly public threats, wiping Israel off the map and then attacking the Sunna Gulf and the West itself

Mr.Kerry, change the symbol of Munich – Make it a warning not a precedent
About the Author
Shimon Samuels is Emeritus Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He has served in the IDF. He was Deputy Director of the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, European Director of ADL, and Israel Director of AJC. He was born in UK, where he studied as also Israel, U.S. and Japan.