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Killjoy Was Here

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In this version of history, we are now witnessing the Second Munich. A repeat of the infamous agreement between Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Edouard Daladier and Neville Chamberlain, in which the Sudetenland, a province belonging to Czechoslovakia though inhabited by Germans, was turned over to Nazi Germany, leaving democratic little Czechoslovakia defenseless. Half a year later, Hitler invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia. Another few months and World War II broke out when he marched into Poland.

Historical analogies are always dangerous, especially in the hands of politicians and commentators with only superficial historical knowledge.

Let's see about Munich. In the analogy, Hitler's place is taken by Ali Khamenei, or perhaps Hassan Rouhani. Indeed? Do they have the world's strongest military machine, as Hitler already had at that time?

And does Netanyahu himself look like Eduard Benes, the Czech president who trembled before Hitler?

And President Obama, does he resemble Chamberlain, the leader of an enfeebled and practically defenseless Britain, in desperate need of time to rearm? Does Obama surrender to a fanatical dictator?

Or is it Iran that is giving up -- or pretending to give up -- its nuclear ambitions, brought to its knees by the stringent set of American-dictated international sanctions?

(By the way, the Munich analogy was even more cockeyed when it was recently applied in Israel to the American-Russian agreement about Syria. There, Bashar al-Assad assumed the role of the victorious Hitler, and Obama was the naive Englishman with the umbrella. Yet it was Assad who gave up his precious chemical weapons, while Obama gave nothing, except a postponement of military action. What kind of a "Munich" was that?)

COMING BACK to reality: there is nothing splendid about the isolation of Israel these days.

Our Isolation means weakness, a loss of power, a diminishing of security.

It is the job of a statesman to find allies, to build partnerships, to strengthen the international position of his country.

Netanyahu has lately taken to quoting our ancient sages: "If I am not for me, who is for me?"

He forgets the next part of that same sentence: "And if I am for myself, what am I?"

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Uri Avnery is a longtime Israeli peace activist. Since 1948 has advocated the setting up of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In 1974, Uri Avnery was the first Israeli to establish contact with PLO leadership. In 1982 he was the first Israeli ever to meet Yassir Arafat, after crossing the lines in besieged Beirut. He served three terms in the (more...)
 

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