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This pretext, moreover, which exploited the principle of “national self-determination” enshrined in the Versailles settlement, offered Czechoslovakia’s allies France and England the seductive delusion that if only a settlement could be negotiated regarding the Sudeten Germans, a resolution could be achieved without violence. Meanwhile, Hitler’s Nazi stooges in Czechoslovakia instigated violent riots and fabricated incidents of violence against Germans, at the same time they kept escalating their outrageous demands during negotiations. As Hitler’s puppet in Czechoslovakia, Konrad Henlein, put it, “We [Sudeten Germans] must always demand so much that we cannot be satisfied.” The goal was to force the Czechs to break off negotiations and thus justify a German invasion.
Consider the similarities between Hitler’s strategy and that of the Palestinian Arabs:
• Hitler’s military was not ready for a war against both France and England in 1938, so he was reluctant to gamble on force to achieve his aims. Today the Palestinians and the Arab states have suffered three defeats at the hands of Israel, and are unlikely to risk such humiliation again.
• Hitler thus turned to duplicitous negotiations over the alleged suffering of the German minority in the Sudetenland and their right to national self-determination to buy time and achieve his aims without war. Likewise the Arabs now speak of a “Palestinian homeland” and Palestinian self-determination to grind Israel down in a process of specious negotiations filled with outrageous demands, such as the return to Israel of 700,000 “refugees” or the dismantling of “settlements,” so that the new state will be ethnically cleansed of Jews. And the Palestinians “cannot be satisfied” with legitimate concessions made by Israel, including at least three legitimate offers to give them the homeland they allegedly pine for.
• In concert with phony negotiations, the Sudeten Nazi Party fomented violence and manufactured atrocities in order to justify German intervention and create international sympathy for their cause. So too the Palestinian Arabs have manufactured numerous atrocities, such as the Jenin “massacre” or the Mohammad Dura killing, and used terrorist violence in order to provoke retaliation and defensive measures that further alienate the international community from Israel and increase pressure on it to make concessions.
• Most important, just as England and France were unwilling to take action against Hitler’s aggressive intentions, and so found in the alleged suffering of the Sudeten Germans a convenient excuse to pressure Czechoslovakia into committing national suicide, so too the West finds in “Palestinian suffering under Israeli occupation” a convenient pretext for ignoring the obvious goal of the Palestinian Arabs, the destruction of Israel. Indeed, President Obama’s recent demands for more Israeli concessions as a prelude to a peace settlement recalls the suicidal concessions England and France demanded from Czechoslovakia. As the crisis continued in 1938, the British solution was “for Prague to get a real twist of the screw.” And while the Czechs fought desperately for their national survival, British Minister Basil Newton advised Czech president Edvard Benes “go forthwith to the very limit of concession.” How similar to the constant accusations that Israel negotiates in bad faith, and to the continually escalating demands on Israel to make unreciprocated concessions to a people who have met every previous concession with terrorist attacks, and who always “demand so much they cannot be satisfied.”
Winning international sympathy and support for the “oppressed” Palestinians has been a critical element in the “phases” strategy. The Kennedy School conference––like the boycott of Israeli academics, one of whose prime movers is Ilan Pappé–– is yet another example that this strategy to destroy Israel by manipulating international opinion has been working. The “one-state solution” is in fact an enabler of a slow-motion final solution.
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