The Munich Three Find Their Target: Israel

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In 1938, the leaders of Britain, France and Germany met in Munich to decide the fate of Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia was not invited. The three conferees agreed to strip the targeted nation of the Sudetenland, whose population consisted largely of ethnic Germans, and transfer that territory to German control. This deprived the victim state not simply of land but of those areas – mountainous, fortifiable – necessary for Czechoslovakia to be able to defend itself.

Today, the same three nations are doing the same vis-a-vis Israel. They are discarding UN Security Council Resolution 242, passed unanimously in the wake of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and since then the cornerstone for all Middle East negotiations. They are ignoring the language of the resolution and the explicit declarations of its authors that Israel should not be forced to return to the pre-1967 armistice lines; that those lines left defense of the country too precarious and should be replaced by “secure and recognized boundaries” to be negotiated by Israel and its neighbors.

Lord Caradon, Britain’s ambassador to the UN at the time and the person who introduced Resolution 242 in the Security Council, told a Lebanese newspaper in 1974: “It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places where the soldiers of each side happened to be on the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That’s why we didn’t demand that the Israelis return to them, and I think we were right not to…”

Arthur Goldberg, the American UN ambassador, made much the same point, stating that the reference to “secure and recognized boundaries” intentionally pointed to the parties negotiating new lines entailing a less than complete Israeli withdrawal and that “Israel’s prior frontiers had proved notably insecure.” Lyndon Johnson, then President, declared Israel’s retreat to its former lines would be “not a prescription for peace but for renewed hostilities.” He advocated new “recognized boundaries” that would provide “security against terror, destruction, and war.”

Subsequent American presidents have reiterated Israel’s right to defensible borders.

The dangers for Israel of a return to the pre-1967 cease-fire lines are evident from even minimal consideration of the region’s topography. Such a withdrawal would not only reduce the nation to a width of nine miles at its center but would entail Israel’s handing over to people who continue to call for her ultimate dissolution control of hill country entirely dominating the coastal plane that is home to some 70% of Israel’s population.

It would also give potential hostile forces beyond the Jordan River untrammeled access to those heights.

This was what the drafters of Security Council Resolution 242 sought to preclude. And this is what the Munich Three now choose to ignore by calling upon the Quartet or the UN to abandon the emphasis on negotiations between the parties and to present a plan of its own based on Israeli retreat to the pre-1967 lines.

In the wake of the 1938 Munich agreement, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declared, of course, that the parties had achieved “peace in our time.” But Britain and France also offered solemn promises that, should Germany unexpectedly violate the agreement and move against what remained of Czechoslovakia, they would come to the rump nation’s defense.

Less than six months after Munich, Hitler conquered the rest of Czechoslovakia. Britain and France did nothing.

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  • Alexander Gofen

    Mr. Levin put it right, yet the situation is much worse. The Munich Three and the West in general had betrayed Poland and Baltic republics to Hitler and Stalin. And they had betrayed Czechoslovakia twice: first to Hitler, second to Soviets in 1968. They betrayed also Hungary to the Soviets in 1956. And mind: unlike Israel, Czechoslovakia in the 1930s was still considered as a so called "regular member of the club", while Israel is regarded as though a pariah…

    The storm is gathering. Israel must fully realize inevitability of it and never again hesitate to resort to her full military power, even if it means confrontation with half a world including the West. The West kowtows before every power, so Israel must show it. The survival is more important than maintaining the standard of a righteous among the nations (yet treated as though a sacrificial lamb).

    • Ken Lewis

      Dead on!! Israel's policy of appeasement over the last twenty years is the reason the country is in this current perilous position. What other country would fail to defend it's citizens in an effort to gain approval from other nations? Stop worrying about World opinion, it was called the holocaust.

      • Alexander Gofen

        Your rhetoric question "What other country would fail to defend it's citizens" presumes the answer "No country in the world". Yet this answer is wrong, because the whole list of countries failed just that.

        America failed to protect it's citizens on the 9/11 and after it. (America fails even to allow the soldiers to protect themselves properly in the field).

        England, Spain, France failed to protect their citizens from Islamic invasion, Islamic explosions and Islamic conquest.

        The West is littered with Moslems – the deadly enemies of the West. The West is infected with dhimmitude and defeatism, demanding the same from Israel. And Israel is infected with this on its own too.

    • aspacia

      Right! The UN is the worthless lapdog of Muslim oil. Frankly, I am sick of Europe. Now we need to drill baby drill for our oil and support the one beacon of light in the Middle-

  • steven plaut

    Kenneth writes: "All insist on a 'right of return' to pre-1967 Israel for refugees of the 1947-48 war and their descendants." He needs quote marks around the word "refugees."

    Palestinians were no more refugees than were the Loyalists expelled by the patriots during the American War of Independence.

    • bob maram

      you areabsolutely correct about the palestinians not being realrefugees any more thanthe loyalists who were expelled by the patriots during the american war of independence. mr. plaut i value yourwritings very much. are you related to the great rabbi gunther plaut who was my rabbi in chicago when i was a boy. he was a wonderful man'. thank you. bob maram

    • ziontruth

      Mr. Plaut,

      First, thank you for your writings and other efforts. I'm a regular reader of your blog.

      Regarding the point here, I go even further than saying they aren't refugees; I refer to them by the term "Arab settlers," thus circumventing this whole rigged question altogether. Not refugees, not even Palestinians either. Palestinians are us Jews. Just ask Immanuel Kant: "The Palestinians among us," he wrote when talking about the Jews of his place and time, the German Empire in the 18th century.

      • Pathena

        Agreed. "Palestine" meant "land of the Jews" from the time that the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 135 A.D, after defeating the last Jewish uprising under Bar Kochba, changed the name of Judea to Palestina. (He also outlawed Judaism and renamed Jerusalem "Aelia Capitolin," his gens name being "Aelius." "Palestinian" meant "Jew." After World War I, Great Britain was given the "Palestine Mandate" to be the "homeland of the Jews."
        The phony history and propaganda of Arabs being "Palestinian" came from the invention of the "Palestine Liberation Organization" by Gamal Nasser, ruler of Egypt, and the Soviet Union, both haters of Jews, in 1964 in Cairo.
        The so-called "two state solution" is ridiculous – the Arabs do not need or deserve yet another state.

  • Tommo2

    Whenever the British are involved in negotiations you can be sure of one thing – their front man will be two-faced, double dealing and devoid of any integrity whatsoever. You only have to look at how Rhodesia was treated after Ian Smith declared UDI and the subsequent botch that Britain and the UN made by putting the despot Mugabe into power. The country has been in turmoil ever since.

    • aspacia

      lol, These lands are a huge disaster.

  • Raymond in DC

    Perfidious Europe is about to do it again – siding with dark forces while claiming to stand for the light. But as Ariel Sharon said in the early days of the "Quartet", Israel will not play the role of Czechoslovakia. Israel is in a far stronger military position than its counterpart of long ago, and it's certainly not Libya. Neither England nor France is stupid enough to challenge the IDF militarily, but would they join an "international coalition" promoted by the Arab League to impose their will on Israel? That surely would spark a war the likes of which the region has not seen.

    No, I expect this feckless bunch to try to squeeze Israel in other ways. Israel is not yet energy independent (the gas pipeline from Egypt was just blown up again). Germany is building two subs for Israel which might be held up. And Europe remains collectively Israel's largest trading partner. How far will they go to impose their version of "peace in our time"?

    • ziontruth

      You quote Ariel Sharon. At first I thought of replying, "Bad example. He was the one who capitulated by ending all Jewish presence in Gaza." But on second thought, this isn't a bad example, this is a darn good example of the problem Israel faces: Less than reliable leadership; leaders whose belief in the Jewish nation's rights is less than ironclad.

      I fear neither the Obamarxist Regime nor the European Union so much as I fear weak Israeli Jewish leadership.

  • LindaRivera

    The wicked betrayal of Israel by the US/EU/UK is one of the greatest betrayals in all history.

    Everyone knows the goal of the PA/PLO/Hamas/Hizbullah, et al is a Second Holocaust of Jews.

    Everyone knows that in the Palestinian Authority, streets, summer camps, schools, tournaments, and city squares are dedicated to, and named after savage terrorist killers of Jewish innocents.

    Everyone knows that hatred and murder of Jews is preached in mosques, media, speeches and public education systems.

    The satanic "peace" process is the wicked method to achieve a Second Holocaust. A Muslim terror state will reduce little Israel at mid-section to nine miles wide INDEFENSIBLE, Auschwitz borders.

    Stop the Second Holocaust No Muslim Terror State in Israel

  • Wesley69

    Should this go forward, this would be another Munich. Appeasement did not work then. It will not work now. Britain, France and Germany, rather than confront the Iranian peril, would rather sacrifice Israel, thinking that they will buy peace, that they will buy the good will of the Palestinians. The Obama Administration, which has exerted more pressure on Israel than previous administrations, is determined to tie a Palestinian state to stopping the Iranian nuclear threat. Will Israel go the way of Czechoslovakia? If a Republican administration can be elected in 2012, Israel will regain an ally.

    • jacob

      I wish it would penetrate the minds of the genetically DEMOCRAP Jews and stop
      funding and backing the Marxist President re-election but I'm affraid it is just preaching in the desert…
      Israel must stop being in good terms with GOD and te Devil at the same time
      and realize unfortunately, that world public opinion, wisely manipulated by the
      natural Judeophoby of the world and the Arab effective propaganda, it is to no
      avail whatsoever and that the only thing world respects is power…

      As pointed out by somebody, it has taken more time to condemn the Syrian
      regime for its atrocities against its own people than to condem ISRAEL for
      "Disproportionate Reaction" in pinpoint assassinations of terrorists en route
      to fire or actually firing rockets or mortsrs on Israel…

      Which proves how true was that saying : GO LOOK FOR JUSTICE FROM A
      COSSACK… ! ! ! !

  • Melek

    I hope that by "return" you mean to the Land promised to us. Only there will He bless us and only from there can we be a "light" and "blessing" to the nations.