FOR GOODNESS SAKE, READ THIS FIRST!
How horrible, fantastic, incredible, it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gasmasks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing! I would not hesitate to pay even a third visit to Germany, if I thought it would do any good.
Armed conflict between nations is a nightmare to me; but if I were convinced that any nation had made up its mind to dominate the world by fear of its force, I should feel that it must be resisted.Under such a domination, life for people who believe in liberty would not be worth living; but war is a fearful thing, and we must be very clear, before we embark on it, that it is really the great issues that are stake.
Neville Chamberlain, in a broadcast on the 27th September 1938
We need to take a look at Neville Chamberlain and people like him. We, of course, in our day, have absolute 20/20 vision when we look backwards at the years leading up to 1939 and we regard people like Chamberlain as irresponsible fools, who gave in to terror. None of those men had the benefit of this hindsight. They had to deal with the situation they found themselves in at the time as best they could with the experience that they had at the time.
Remember, these men had just been through arguably the most appalling slaughter in human history. Multiple millions on both sides had been blown to bits for nothing. On the British side,about half the aristocracy- the best, bravest half- had died. The best and bravest of the farming stock and the best and the bravest of the working classes had died in the mud. Not only that, but the professional soldiers and sailors who had made up the pre-war fighting forces had mainly perished. Practically every member of the British government of that time had either fought in that war himself, or had close relatives who had fought in it. All of them had brothers, fathers, sons, uncles and close friends who had died in that "War to end all wars".
Let us look at the figures which were in Neville Chamberlain’s mind:
The British Empire had lost almost 1,000,000 men;
France had lost 1,300,000 men;
The USA had lost 115,000 men;
Russia had lost 1,700,000 men;
2,000,000 German troops had been killed;
A total of nearly 10,000,000 servicemen had been killed in that war.
On top of that, 20,000,000 people had died of the influenza- double the number killed in action!
A total of 30,000,000 people had died as a direct result of that war- over half the present population of Britain!
No, men like Chamberlain were not fools. They were decent, honourable men who were thoroughly traumatised by the Great War and who were totally determined never to let anything like that happen again. They were determined to keep the peace in Europe whatever the cost- and they stuck to the peace process until it was proved beyond doubt that Hitler was not remotely interested in peace but wanted to enslave the world..
"I believe that in 1938 and 1939 he (Neville Chamberlain) genuinely felt that God had sent him into this world to obtain peace. That he failed may or may not be due to the inevitable ambition of Hitler to dominate the world, but there can be little doubt that in his mental attitude Chamberlain went the wrong way about it. He decided in the early stages of his discussions to treat Hitler as a normal human being and an important human being at that..."
Herbert Morrison, An Autobiography (1960)
Recently there was a fascinating programme on BBC Radio 4 which talked about the plight of Czechoslovakia in 1938. The programme documented how Adolf Hitler demanded the Sudetenland along the Czech border because he considered it German territory.
Everybody was suspicious and several Czech broadcasters told the world that Hitler didn't just want the Sudetenland. He wanted the whole of Czechoslovakia.
Hitler then told the world that the Sudetenland would be his last territorial demand in Europe, but that he would fight for it with all his power. He even produced a map on which he outlined Germany’s territorial ambitions in Europe and,on this map, the Sudetenland was indeed his last demand.
People started to believe him. Maybe...just maybe, giving way to this final just demand might lead to peace in Europe. They could see that maybe the Germans did have grievances and it was only natural that they should want a solution. Maybe...just maybe, if the Czechs would just hand over the Sudetenland to Hitler, that would be the end. Hitler’s Germany would not need to expand any further. There would be peace in Europe and there would be no need for the kind of insane bloodshed that they had all experienced a few short years beforehand.
"In these circumstances I have been considering the possibility of a sudden and dramatic step which might change the whole situation. The plan is that I should inform Herr Hitler that I propose at once to go over to Germany to see him. If he assents, and it would be difficult for him to refuse, I should hope to persuade him that he had an unequalled opportunity of raising his own prestige and fulfilling what he has so often declared to be his aim, namely the establishment of an Anglo-German understanding, preceded by a settlement of the Czechoslovakian question.
"Of course I should not be able to guarantee that Dr. Benes would accept this solution, but I should undertake to put all possible pressure on him to do so. The Government of France have already said that they would accept any plan approved by Your Majesty's Government or by Lord Runciman.
Neville Chamberlain in a letter to George VI (13th September, 1938)
What happened? The Czechs at the time had a large, well trained, highly motivated army and they had excellent defences. At that time they would probably have been able to stand up to the German army (which was not at that stage the super-organised machine that it was to become) As soon as Hitler had the Sudetenland, however, he marched on and took the rest of the country- I mean, what could the Czechs do with no defences and a lot of their army gone?
We must not think too harshly of Chamberlain. He believed in peace and he pursued it to the end and our leaders are doing the same today. They sincerely believe that if they pressure the Israelis into making some- admittedly- painful concessions, there may be "peace in our time"
Sincere they probably are - just as sincere as Neville Chamberlain. Dedicated they may well be-
But are they right?
There are many parallels between Czechoslovakia in 1938 and Israel today and this website is intended to show these parallels.
You are about to read a considerable amount of material, gleaned from years of studying the conflict in the Middle East, and I need to warn you now that some of this material is likely to cause offence. When you have a situation, such as there is in the Middle East, and in which there are such strong, deeply held and deeply entrenched positions, it is impossible not to offend somebody at some point. And so, unfortunately, by the time you have finished reading this book, you, yourself, are likely to have been offended.
Causing offence is, of course, unpleasant and unfortunate, so I would like to keep this to a minimum. If anything on this website does offend you, then I pray that it will be for the right reasons and that you will be offended by something that I have said- or quoted- and not by something you think I have said. I hope you will be offended by an attitude that I do actually hold and not by an attitude you think I hold. If you are offended by any of this, we will then be left with two choices. Either I will agree that I got it wrong or that I did overstep the mark (and will be happy to apologize) or- alternatively- I might say that I regret the fact that you are offended but that I am sharing what I firmly believe to be the truth.
I once gave a short talk on the Middle East conflict in a certain church and was publicly attacked by the pastor and by his assistant. The pastor was perple-e-e-exed by my attitude to the Arabs. (When a certain kind of Englishman says he is perple-e-e-exed, you know you're in dead trouble!) I am quite happy to accept that I handled it wrong. Both the pastor and his assistant were thoroughly decent men, who were genuinely appalled by the suffering of the Arabs in Israel (and many of them are suffering greatly) and who had bought the common media story that the Israelis are almost always the aggressors and that the Arabs are always the victims.
This package is not intended to be anti-Arab. I actually like Arabs and have many happy memories of many instances of kindness that they have shown to me and to others. I love their friendliness, their hospitality and their generosity. They are a people with great potential. The issue here is not so much about Jews and Arabs. It is about spiritual forces, which seek ultimately to destroy both peoples.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil's evil tricks. For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age.
Both Jews and Arabs are being dragged into the conflict, often against their will, by dark and very powerful spiritual forces. For goodness sake, don't join in with the hatred. There is more than enough hatred to go round already in this conflict. This is not intended to fan the hatred. It is intended to show the truth and to point out what the issues in the Middle East really are so that you can be aware.
Also, for goodness sake, make sure you take a stiff dose of the Bible with this and examine your beliefs very carefully and honestly to determine whether those beliefs help you to show love to your fellow human beings- or whether they have become a God-given excuse to look down on and to hate whole nations. If you don't do that, you could get sucked into the hatred and, as I have already said, there is more than enough of that about already. Pray, study, meditate, stay close to God and remember that he is utimately in charge and that he will one day wipe away all tears from our eyes...
(Continuing in Ephesians 6...) So put on God's armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy's attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground. So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you. Do all this in prayer, asking for God's help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God's people.
Monitoring the news in any area- let alone the Middle East- can be very negative and wearing. If that is all that is in your mind, it will drag you down very quickly.You need to constantly fill your mind with positive things to keep you afloat:
Phillipians 4:8 Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.
The fact is that most Israelis want an end to the war and the bloodshed in their land and so do most ordinary Arabs caught in the middle. But did the Oslo Accord lead to peace? Will the Road Map lead to "peace in our time" or will it lead to Auschwitz?
Read the following sections, which are predominantly quotes, not by Israelis or by Israeli sympathizers, but by ARABS and other Moslems, and then you decide for yourself whether the issue is the right of the Palestinians to have their own state or whether the true issue is the survival of the Jewish state of Israel and the survival of Jewish people anywhere...
You can also decide for yourself whether this "quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing” is of any relevance to us in this country and whether it is destined to effect us here- in the same way that the quarrel in that “far-away country of Czechoslovakia between people of whom we knew nothing” was destined to effect not only us here but the entire world.
Read it all with an open mind and then decide.
FOR GOODNESS SAKE, READ THIS FIRST