Get In the Peace Pool

This could be better than the Super Bowl!  

You put in a hundred bucks and buy one of my squares and you might be the lucky visitor who wins ten grand.   All you’ve got to do is guess how many days will pass following this historic summit in Maryland before insurgents start hurling missiles into Israeli territory after the Israelis give up land captured in the six day war.

After living half a year in Israel when I was a kid, I’ll reiterate a soft spot I have in my heart for that most trusted and intimate American ally.

For the history revisionists who like to deride Israel for her aggressive and unprovoked action on June 5, 1967 here is a little recap of actions the world witnessed just prior to the war:

Egypt expelled a United Nations peace keeping force from the Sinai Peninsula (it had been there for a decade), then built up forces at the border comprised of 1000 tanks and 100,000 soldiers.   Additionally, Egypt blocked all ships flying the Star of David from sailing through the Straits of Tiran.   (Look at a map, Israel doesn’t have too many choices when it comes to naval travel!)  

Quarreling over water resources since 1964 with Syria and Jordan where these states had attempted to divert water flow from Israel to be used solely by Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, the tension had peaked where Syria signed a treaty with Egypt (encouraged by the Soviet Union) promising to enter war with Israel if she attacked Syria.

Responding to a mine attack which killed Israeli soldiers patrolling the Jordan border, Israel attacked a Jordanian stronghold in the West Bank believed to harbor Syrian terrorists who had consistently carried out attacks on Israel.   The weak King Hussein of Jordan subsequently mobilized his forces due to political pressure.

Syria had periodically shelled Israeli settlements from the Golan Heights over property disputes in the region, killing Israeli citizens.

In a speech, in late May of 1967, Egypt’s President Nasser proclaimed, If Israel proceeds with aggression toward Syria or Egypt the battle will not be confined to specific spots at the border our objective will be the destruction of Israel.”

Surrounded by hostile forces bent on her destruction, Israel initiated attacks first on Egypt’s Air Force (the greatest threat to Israel’s security) decimating it, and next neutralized the threats to the east and north.   After six days, Israel captured territories of the Golan Heights (in Syria), the West Bank (in Jordan), Gaza (on the Mediterranean controlled by Egypt), and all of  the Sinai desert (Egypt).

Egypt did sign a peace treaty in 1979 for return of the Sinai, however, their posture prior to the treaty was more conciliatory than that of Syria, and these territories were less important militarily to Israel’s security, making it easier for Israel to give up these lands, although I don’t think I would have.

Whiny Americans who complain we shouldn’t protect the world and we shouldn’t be in Iraq, are the same ones who say Israel ought to give back all their captured territories.

And we should give back Texas!

Capitulation to aggressors has never demonstrated itself a good strategy to obtain peace.   How this generation expects that everything which has failed in the past will prove successful today escapes me.

I have a very difficult time believing this administration is going to have any better luck in Middle East peace, than the administrations of Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, or Clinton.   But that’s the difference between a little businessman and a politician.   If I fail I lose my business, when politicians fail, they just get better jobs.

One strategy which has always proven effective throughout history and has always resulted in the intended goals has been total and unconditional victory.   For the doubters, one might  analyze the relationship the U.S. has with Japan.

If you want a hint to win our little pool: the last time Israel gave up territory for peace (Gaza) it only took two weeks for missiles to start flying; my bet is 14 would be a good square.

Sorry, that one’s already taken.


Copyright 2007 Jim Pontillo