MORE Painful Concessions-Really?

INN op-ed: Jack Engelhard tells PM, "I praised you too soon... We call it making peace through compromises, but they call it making war in stages."

Jack Engelhard , | updated: 12:55 PM

J. Engelhard
J. Engelhard

Jack Engelhard wrote the international bestselling novel “Indecent Proposal” that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned in a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. His award-winning book of memoirs, “Escape From Mount Moriah,” in the form of Nikila Cole’s filming of the book’s short story “My Father, Joe,” is an official selection in the CANNES Film Festival 2011. 

Maybe I spoke too soon.

In these pages (“Bibi to World – Swap This!”), I wrote that Bibi found his inner Jabotinsky, which was true in his cage duel smack-down with Obama.

But when he spoke before Congress he also found some inner Olmert, and this is not good. 

Where have we heard this before about “painful concessions?” We heard it from every prime minister preceding Bibi the past few decades and where did it get Israel? It got Hamas to the left and Hizbullah to the right. This brings to mind Einstein’s theory of stupidity – keep trying the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

Bibi – in addition to your readiness to make “painful concessions,” you also told Congress that you were prepared to be “very generous” with the Palestinian Arabs if only they’d come around. Olmert was also prepared to be very generous, and indeed he was, and his approval rating in Israel was two percent. 

What is it about Israeli prime ministers that make them so “ready” to offer up Jewish territory? 

Through successive prime ministers, Israel “painfully conceded” Sinai, Gaza and that buffer in Southern Lebanon which offered some strategic depth. How very generous, but what did it do, all these painful concessions, except whet the appetite for more painful concessions – until we’ve reached an American president who wants a painful concession all the way back to Auschwitz.  

We call it “making peace through compromises.” They call it “making war through STAGES.”

Israel is nobody’s private real estate, to give or to share, and even Bibi came close to getting religion when he called the land “historic,” meaning God-given Biblical rights.   Alert to liberals: When I say Biblical I don’t mean The New York Times. I mean The Five Books of Moses. (Alert to Fox News conservatives: Drop Neil Cavuto. On his show he listened to a man blame Israel for everything and he, Cavuto, uttered not a word in protest. Keep Glenn Beck!)

But then Bibi offered some of this historic territory for “two states for two peoples.” Not again! This was not what friends of Israel were rooting for in the speech to Congress. 

Hasn’t this already been tried? 

Take Gaza, please. How’s this “peace and security” working out for ya? 

Concessions lead to concessions. 

Even Menachem Begin never figured this out. When he gave up the Sinai (which never belonged to Egypt anyway, but that’s another story) he was under the impression (illusion?) that the entire world would embrace Israel. Typically Jewish – “if we give them one more thing, they will love us.” After Sinai, what more could they want? 


Channeling Jabotinsky, Bibi was good…never again means never again…Israel reserves the right to defend itself…united Jerusalem… 

We cheered. Even Congress loved those blunt words of defiance and valor. 

I still say Bibi made a fine presentation, overall, and all that up against a world that judges Israel at every step with “mockeries and backbiting” (David/Psalm 35). He has been by far the best leader after a long line of disastrous dreamers. But he certainly slipped up when he repeated, word for word, the appeasements that doomed his predecessors. 

The world has no pity for the weak, only admiration for the strong.   

As King Solomon would say – “A time to dream and a time to get REAL.”