Dr. Gerhard Falk

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


Violence:  The Last Resort of Every Dictator


    Many years ago, the late Golda Meir, then prime minister of Israel, predicted that the 187 million Arabs surrounding 4 million Israelis would always seek the destruction of the Jewish state. In that estimate she proved to be quite right as recent and current events have now demonstrated.

    The Arabs like to tell the story of Mohammed, the founder of Islam, who made a treaty of peace with surrounding tribes only to use their sense of security as a means of attacking and killing them. In short, it is part of Arab culture to agree to anything, sign any treaty and make any promise as a ploy to gain the opportunity to still destroy all who differ in religion or culture.

     Added to this attitude on the part of the Arab nations is the utter lack of democratic institutions in all Arab societies. Like the bosses of the other 21 Arab countries, Yassir Arafat is a dictator who seeks to remain in power for life. No such dictator can ever admit any failures in his excessive promises to his people because such admissions would lead to his murder in an ever ongoing game of “king of the hill.” Furthermore, dictators always promise great future achievements to keep their downtrodden people from overthrowing them.

     This is exactly what happened when Arafat swore that he would establish a Palestinian state on September 13, 2000 with the old city of Jerusalem as its capital. That promise was of course impossible to fulfill despite the appeasement politics of Ehud Barak, who, like Neville Chamberlain at Munich in 1938, believed that compromising again and again would somehow assuage the Hitlers or Arafats of this world. But dictators cannot compromise because they promise too much. Dictators cannot resign because they want to stay in power for life. Arafat said that he feared he would be murdered if he compromised on the issue of Jerusalem and so the recent Camp David meetings with President Clinton and Prime Minister Barak failed because Arafat wanted everything. President Clinton placed the blame for the failure of that effort on Arafat for his refusal to accept even the most extreme Israeli concessions.

     To cover up his failure Arafat therefore orchestrated the present violence. Only the most malicious bigot would agree that the insane attack on Israel by the Palestinians is somehow caused by the appearance of the Likud leader Sharon on the Temple Mount. Surely, every Jew and every Israeli has a right to walk on the holiest site in all of Judaism, the Temple Mount. Yet, this walk by one Israeli politician is now used as a pretext for the violence and brutality unleashed by the dictator Arafat. Not since the Nazi murders of the 1930’s and 1940’s have we seen the kind of brutality as was displayed by Arab mobs in Ramalllah as they deliberately slaughtered two Jewish boys who happened by mistake to enter that Arab town.

     The solution to all of this lies of course in the determination of Israel to defend itself against these attacks and this violence. The end of such violence, however, can only come when the Palestinians rid themselves of the dictator Arafat, who is the only one who profits from all this brutality which he unleashed. If the Palestinians, like the Serbs, rise up against their dictator and establish a true democracy then such a democratic Palestine could of course live in peace with its Jewish neighbor. Until that day, however, all Jews in Israel or here must stand up as one against yet another Hitler and remember at all times that those who seek the destruction of our brethren overseas seek our destruction as well. Kol Yisrael Chaverim. All Jews are Brethren.


Shalom u’vracha.



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