In one of the most famous events in the Bible, G-d commanded Abraham to sacrifice his only son. So Abraham took his son Isaac, bound him on an altar and prepared to bring him up as a burnt offering. And then the voice of the angel called to him and told him not to harm his son.
G-d did not want human sacrifices. The peace process does.
After the bloody handshake with Arafat led to an onslaught of terrorist attacks, the Israeli left invented a new sacrifice to describe the dead Israelis murdered by their new peace partners. Korbanot Shalom. Sacrifices of peace.
Peace made the service of death into a national duty. There was no telling where or when one might be called upon to become a sacrifice for peace. It might be at a mall or at a pizzeria or while riding the bus.
The sacrifices of peace have diminished as the left has fallen out of power. The wooden altars of the Moloch of Peace stand empty and the Priests of Peace pass mournfully through international airports, studying maps, drawing up plans and calling for new sacrifices. And eventually their call is heeded.
In the spring, America’s prince of peace, the man who had thrown thousands of American soldiers with their hands tied behind their backs into the arms of the Taliban, who had sacrificed every other American ally in the region, came to Jerusalem to demand that the altars once again be raised up and the blood of peace flow over the negotiating tables.
“It can be tempting to put aside the frustrations and sacrifices that come with the pursuit of peace,” Obama told a carefully selected audience of Israeli students; some of them future sacrifices on his bloody altar of peace. “Here on Earth we must bear our responsibilities in an imperfect world. That means accepting our measure of sacrifice and struggle.”
And so the measure of sacrifice comes again. The ceremonial release of terrorists with blood on their hands began this festival of negotiations.
Netanyahu, to his credit, did it reluctantly. This is how conservative governments in Israel can be distinguished from liberal governments. The liberals eagerly rush forward to bring human sacrifices on the altar of peace and will not stop no matter how many angels cry from heaven, but the conservatives do so reluctantly, they stall for time and then sighing wearily, they build up the pagan altars of peace in sight of the ruined heap of the temple and the graves of their fathers.
If you wish to understand, step back in time and listen for a moment to Chaim Rumkowski as he delivers the infamous speech to the Jews of the Lodz Ghetto that will come to be known as the “Give Me Your Children Speech.”
“The ghetto has been struck a hard blow. They demand what is most dear to it – children and old people,” Rumkowski, the former orphanage director turned head of the Lodz Ghetto Judenraat, says. “I lived and breathed together with children. I never imagined that my own hands would be forced to make this sacrifice on the altar.”
“Yesterday, in the course of the day, I was given the order to send away more than 20,000 Jews from the ghetto, and if I did not – ‘we will do it ourselves’.”
It is this “we will do it ourselves” phrase that is the true name of the Moloch of Peace. Hear the rationalizations now from Rumkowski’s lips on September 4, 1942, addressing men and women who are doomed to death.
“We arrived at the conclusion… that however difficult it was going to be, we must take upon ourselves the carrying out of this decree,” Rumkowski said. “I must carry out this difficult and bloody operation, I must cut off limbs in order to save the body!”
Israel has chopped off quite a few limbs already. But there are more to be chopped off. That diplomatic triage is the bloody rationale of peace.
Rabin warned that if Israel did not accept an autonomous territory, then it would be forced to accept a state. Peres warned that if Israel did not accept a state in Gaza and the West Bank, it would lose Jerusalem. Sharon warned that if Israel didn’t accept the expulsion of the Jews of Gaza, it would lose everything up to the ’67 borders.
Israel accepted all these things and each of the terrible losses it sought to avert came about because of these prior concessions. The autonomous territory paved the way for a state. The loss of Gaza and the West Bank made Jerusalem next on the schedule.
And now, the Priests of Peace warn that if Israel doesn’t accept a deal that will be based on the ’67 borders and partition Jerusalem, it will be forced to accept a one-state solution that will destroy the country.
Take a walk back to the Lodz Ghetto in September and listen.
“I tried everything I knew to get the bitter sentence cancelled,” Rumkowski tells the crowd. “When it could not be cancelled, I tried to lessen the sentence. Only yesterday I ordered the registration of nine-year-old children. I wanted to save at least children from nine to ten. But they would not yield. I succeeded in one thing – to save the children over ten. Let that be our consolation in our great sorrow.”
These are the Israeli leaders who tell their people that at least they saved the ten-year-olds. All it took was a willingness to give up the children under the age of ten. They saved the larger settlements, they tell us. They saved Jerusalem. They saved Israel. They saved something. And all they had to do was give up everything.
Rumkowski became the enemy of the people he was trying to save because when you take it upon yourself to decide which of your own people should die at the hands of the enemy for the greater good; you begin to think like the enemy.
Of the more than 200,000 Jews to enter the Lodz ghetto, there were less than a thousand left in the end.
When Israeli leaders sit down to the territorial triage of diplomacy and begin contemplating which Israelis should be thrown out of their homes and how many dead are acceptable for the sake of peace, they allow the enemy into themselves and wrapping themselves in Rumkowskian nobility, they become callous to the suffering that they cause.
Now the altars rise again and the ever-diminishing amount of territory that will be saved is matched by the ever-increasing amount of sacrifices for peace that will be tolerated. In the last exchange of fire, rockets struck major Israeli cities that had not been bombed in decades. The terrorists have made the rocket into their altar and the suicide bomber into their sacrifice and Israelis make the negotiating table into an altar and the victims of terrorism into their sacrifice.
This long train of sacrifices has taken the PLO from a relic in Cyprus to a mortgage on the West Bank, Gaza and part of Jerusalem. And now another bout of sacrifices begins. There is no peace, but there are sacrifices for peace. And if this goes on, a nation will have been sacrificed on the altar of a peace that will never come.
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