Peter John Beyfus

‘This war, like the next war, is a war to end war’

The latest announcement from some of Europe’s enlightened powers is to recognize Palestinian statehood, whatever that means. The Republic of Ireland, Spain and Norway have thrown their “considerable” weight behind what over 140 UN member states have previously recognized as the claim to nationhood of the Palestinians, again whatever that means. Where exactly does this conglomerate of pro-Palestinians countries envisage the Palestinian State to be? What are the territorial dimensions of this hypothetical state, and who is its elected government? These are tricky questions to answer when those advocating a two-state solution remove from their proposals the right of Israel to negotiate the future of its sovereignty. These ideas are at best cynically well-intentioned, and at worse an enormous fillip for Hamas and others that seek to weaken or, indeed, destroy the Jewish State. Any accord between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the only reasonable organization that purports to want peace, has to be conducted by these two parties; to impose a settlement by leveraging the anti-Israel factions in the UN would achieve one result: war, on a scale hitherto unimaginable. As the statesman and first PM of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, stated with great prescience: “It is only too easy to make suggestions and later try to escape the consequences of what we say.” The only constructive proposal is what has been reiterated countless times: release all the hostages and then hostilities will end so increased humanitarian aid can be delivered to Gaza.

The pressure on Israel from countries and organizations that have declared their hand in favor of the Palestinian cause, spearheaded by Hamas, will not diminish. The ICC decision to examine evidence in order to issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu and the Hamas leadership, notably Sinwar, indicates the depths to which a once respected international court has sunk. To equate an elected PM of a democratic state with a terrorist organization that has sanctioned the murder of over 1,400 innocent people and is responsible for the deaths of thousands of the people it claims to represent, ranks as a grotesque calumny. Perhaps the ICC should consider issuing a warrant for the arrest of Zelensky who has the temerity to oppose Russian aggression. When confronted with the bizarre behavior of a a whole host of international bodies, one has to ask who is influencing the outcome of debates? In the case of the ICC the Muslim lobby is highly influential, raising questions about impartiality. This is certainly the case with the UN that has a mélange of anti-Zionists and, arguably, anti-democratic countries, guaranteeing Israel will never receive a fair hearing. Jake Wallace Simons, writing in the Daily Telegraph, exposed the unreliability of the UN statistics for casualties in Gaza; it halved its estimate to 4,959 women and 7,797 children killed in the conflict, and these figures support the argument Israel has killed “proportionately fewer civilians than any other democracy in the history of warfare.” Why would bodies like the UN and the ICC take stats provided by Hamas as valid? The only possible conclusion is inherent bias against the Jewish State. And it does not stop with institutions that are responsible for maintaining world peace and  justice. The BBC, always quick to claim neutrality, has admitted 80 counts of inaccuracies when reporting the Israel-Hamas war. As Lady Bracknell says in “The Importance of Being Earnest”: “To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness,” or in the case of the BBC deliberate!

At least President Biden has given his total support for Israel, pledging to provide the country with everything she needs; and Rishi Sunak has castigated the ICC move to issue arrest warrants as not helpful in ending the war. One hopes other nations who pride themselves on fairness will voice support for Israel in its struggle to rid the region of a philosophy of death and destruction; only then will it be possible to sit down with the representatives of the Palestinians to have meaningful discussions about a two-state solution; and that means defining boundaries, administration and diplomatic relations, all of which is missing from the half-baked declaration of Ireland, Spain and Norway, countries that are not free of the scourge of antisemitism, and the militants within a highly politicized UN which is more concerned with promoting Hamas’ propaganda than working toward the release of hostages and the cessation of hostilities. 

About the Author
Peter John Beyfus is an historian, published author, poet, and a person who prides himself on “thinking outside the box”. I have written many essays on Jewish themes, published in various journals, including ‘Wessex Jewish News’ and ‘Westminster Quarterly’, the magazine of Westminster Synagogue, London.