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Op-Ed: What Israel Must Do

ywe[By Rabbi Yair Hoffman]

The tragic kidnappings of three high school youths last Thursday night have the entire nation of Israel and their Jewish brethren across the world in a state of despair.  The murders of babies, the kidnappings, the missile launches at civilians have had a devastating impact.   The goal of peace has been elusive.  Terrorism is still the most looming problem faced in the region. And poll after poll shows that Palestinians as well as Israelis see the prospects of peace as very low.

Israelis see the dark and vile philosophy of terrorism as a problem that just won’t go away.

But there is an answer.  And it lies in the American model.  In the aftermath of the second World War, how did the United States deal with a nation that grew up under the dark leadership of the villainous tyranny of the Nazis?  The answer?  Believe it or not, it was the policy of DeNazification as implemented by General Lucius Clay.

What did DeNazification involve?  It involved a combination of implementing what is known as the carrot and the stick.

The idea was to eliminate the scourge of Nazism and its vile philosophy through trials, prosecution, and replacement.  The lists of Nazi party members were obtained.

Every German citizen was categorized into one of five categories:  Major OffendersOffendersLesser OffendersFollowers, and Exonerated Persons.

Major offenders were either sentenced to death or to prison for many years.  Textbooks were rewritten, censorship was applied. Nazi imagery was made illegal.  In short,– an end was put to the Nazi hero-worship.

And then there was the carrot.  Millions of dollars were poured into education, and industry.  Germany’s national infrastructure was rebuilt and modernized.  Mercy and moderation was given to lesser offenders and followers.

General Lucius Clay oversaw the entire program with remarkable impartiality.  But more than this, he cared for the well-being of post-war Germans.  When the USSR blockaded West Berlin, it was General Clay who orchestrated the Berlin Airlift.

What were the results?  Germany once again rejoined the family of nations. It became one of the strongest democracies in Europe and a supporting member of NATO.  They have also been a strong United States ally since the end of DeNazification and they have been very supportive of the State of Israel.

Germany recognized the debt of gratitude that they owed to General Lucius Clay.  He was given an honorary doctorate from the Frei Universitat of Berlin, became an honorary citizen of Germany in 1953 and even had one of the longest streets in Berlin named after him.  Germany appreciated what he had for her.

The modern parallel to DeNazification is something called DeTerrorization.  This program too would implement both the carrot and the stick in the Palestinian territories.  Support for terrorism and the hero worship would come to a complete end.  The textbooks calling for the killing of Jews and the destruction of Israel would be eliminated.  Payments by the government to families of a terrorist would stop.  In short, anyone with a background of support for the killing of innocents or for other terrorist acts would be removed form any position of leadership.

They would be replaced with a new crop of leaders comprised of those untainted by terrorism.

And then comes the carrot.  A new infrastructure would be built and new system of education would be developed.  Medical schools, schools for emerging technologies and a Palestinian silicon valley.

But rebuilding Germany without the program of DeNazification would have been fruitless and indeed counter-productive.  The same is true with De-Terrorization.  One cannot build a new infrastructure for a people that on a second’s notice will form an alliance with a terrorist organization.  One cannot build a relationship of peace with those who support kidnappings of young high school boys.

It is time, in light of these vile kidnappings, that we launched such a program.   Now is the time to completely knock out Hamas and all organizations like it.  It will be a politically difficult decision to make, but it is the only manner in which a lasting peace can be forged.

The author can be reached at [email protected]


NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.


17 Responses

  1. This all sounds nice. Problem is the terrorists are running the PA. They need to be hit by the stick first to knock some sense into their heads before anything can happen.

  2. Perhaps Israel should worry about reeducating it’s own people on our obligations to Hashem and let Him worry about the arabs. Any pain they cause us is just Hashem allowing them to do it in the first place.

    It doesn’t matter how much education or roads or whatever you give them – they believe that it’s their land fair and square. Even though the Torah flatly rejects that, they are much more loyal to their belief in G-d than a so called “Jewish” state that just finished off a toeiva pride week so why shouldn’t the arabs feel justified in their cause?

  3. Unfortunately there is a big difference between the Germans who have a work ethic and are capable of shame. The arabs want everything handed to them, have no shame, only hatred. They would not name their street after those that help them, only after the terrorists who represent their outlook. They know nothing of Hakoras Hatov, as you see when Israel treated them better than anyone in history. When Perez foolishly extended a hand to them they bit it.

    Germans are Aisov who may be capable of wanton murder but at least recognizes some responsibility and accountability. The arabs are Yishmoel whose outstanding qualities are giluy arroyos, shefichas domim and lying. The cure doesn’t fit.

  4. You live in a fantasy world. The Germans as rough as they were were European. They are Western. Their culture is based upon Judiea Christian values. Essentially Western civilizations believe that the truth is something that we need to be Mishubad to. Therefore if I tell a lie I know its a lie but I’m going to say it anyway because it suits me at a particular time and place. But at least I know the difference between the virtues of telling the truth and the wrongness of telling a lie. In the Arab culture there is no shibud to the truth. It is not a virtue to tell the truth. People sit around in cafes and tell tall tales and then it is the task of the next person at the table to tell a taller tale about himself. Everyone at the table knows that its not the truth it’s just the way of life and culture. The Western mind will never understand this. They think that when you sitting room with somebody and make a deal a deal is a deal. The Arabs shake your hand make a deal and it means nothing to them because as stated they are not mishubad to Emes. Similarly, the Arabs are not civilized. You cannot offer them carrot and stick as one would to a westerner. They only know the way of the dagger. There are thousands of years of pent up culture ( if you want call it that) that only allows for the dagger to rule. Truth be told it goes back to the Torah. Pera Adam.

  5. The problem with this is that if one looks into the Torah,he will find that it describes these Arabs as pere adam. Their wild nature is dominant over the human factor. This is a great humanistic idea, yet I think it will fail.
    These people have this wildness in their souls- their blood, their core. You cannot work with changing this group.

  6. The culture is very different. Tyranny is part of their culture within the family – פרא אדם

    Look at how everything America did in Iraq and Afghanistan all failed culturally.

  7. I think the only think that might work is to announce that we cannot adhere by international law with an enemy such as this, and simply deal with them as they do: behead terrorists, all prisoners should by confined in worse conditions – at least like in Japan – and tell the UN and the world that the day they stop – we stop.

    Might not work, but it’s the only thing that makes sense “al pi teva”…

  8. if Sancheiriv mixed up whole world, then today’s Arabs aren’t from Yishmael, so no reason that thy should be Pereh Adom.

  9. The Israeli have trouble realizing that the other side plays dirty. If you look at the massacres of POWs in Iraq, or the sexually oriented kidnappings in Nigeria – you can see the problem. In fact the Palestinians are very civilized compared to their allies.

    The early zionists expected to be welcomed by the Arabs, or at least that the Arabs would end hostilities once they realized they couldn’t push Jews around any more. In all fairness, the zionists were largely socialists who though the Arabs would put aside Islam and join a workers revolution.

    “Denazification” is a good model. “Deislamicization” is the only way Israel can live at peace with the Muslim world. The Israelis would need a return to the status quo ante – Pakistan and Indonesia being Hindu, most of the Arab world and Turkey being Christian, Iran being Zoastrian. Remember “denazificiation” must be preceeded by conquest.

    So the only way zionism will work is by conquering the entire Islamic world. That’s roughly a quarter of the planet. To get an idea of the scope, imagine Williamsburg raising an army and conquering New York City by force.

    If Jews wish to live in Eretz Yisrael, they will have to get used to the idea that they will need to make peace with the Arabs, and that probably involves concessions that non-hareidim (be they secular or dati leumi) can never make.

  10. “Germany once again rejoined the family of nations.”

    This is not completely accurate. East Germany established a Communist regime that was almost as bad as the Nazis in every respect other than refraining from genocide. It never dealt with the Nazi legacy and today that part of Germany produces extremists to this day.

  11. The denazification of Germany was very different in 2 way to the deterrorisation of Eretz Yisroel (“Palestine” was coined to insult the Jews and is not the real name of the Holy Land): 1) nazism was essentially a German monster, somewhat imitated by others but not nourished by them – but “militant islam is aided and abetted from others outside EY (Hezbollah, Al Quaida, etc.); 2) 70 years ago there was no internet, mobiles and much other instant media worldwide. Any attempt to restrict education to stop indoctrination is not extremely difficult, since these media are available to counteract all restrictions.
    So this rather nice idea is unfortunately pie in the sky.

  12. #11: That’s the whole point. E Germany was never denazified, and you see what happened.

    It probably should be tried, but some of the stumbling blocks are that (1) in Germany, no one killed their neighbor for using denazified textbooks, but that’s exactly what would happen amongst the Arabs, and (2) with Germany, the world didn’t condemn the US for denazification, whereas they would when it came to the Arabs.

  13. Historically, there were times that the jews lived well under the Moslems, better than the Christians. That was in the Middle ages when their culture was more advanced. Also in the old yishuv they had excellent relations. First, there must be a reconquest of the territories. Second, punishment of terrorist must be ruthless, executions and wrap them up in pig skin (no heaven for them according to their religion). Then the carrot can begin: There are plenty nice Arabs out there, I meet them all the time. World opinion must be ignored. Israel must tighten relations with China and India, they will go where the money is and turn its back on USA who are now weaklings and will be at a loss in a new World Order

  14. For the past 1500 years, islam has glorified death mayhem and destruction for all “blasphemers and non believers”.
    Has nothing to do with terrorist orgs such as=tanzim,al aqsa brigades,hamas,islamic jihad,el fatah,etc.ameich koolum rotzchim!

  15. Rabbi Hoffman, I truly hope you are suggesting this, tongue in cheek. You have got to be kidding. Maybe we should solve the rat problem in NYC with the same theory. (Do rats like carrots)?

  16. Rabbi Hoffman, I salute you for thinking of solutions and ideas instead of spreading blame and complaining. I was in an Israeli hospital last night and it was full of Arabs, enjoying full and equal service, sitting side by side with Jews. I think there are real possibilities…

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