Michael Gove – a forthright Englishman

A good statement by an English politician Michael Gove, taken from a book.

“Israel, I argued, was being asked to give up land for peace. There was a name for this process, I suggested. Munich. It was my intention in the article that a cruel deception was being practised on the Israeli people. They were being invited to surrender territorial security for pledges of future good conduct, real estate for promissory notes. But what made this already risky venture so very dangerous was that Israel’s interlocutors were not individuals of proven good faith. They were parties that had, at various times, pledged themselves to Israel’s total eradication. They were groups that used the resources and political space they had to inculcate Jew-hatred in their children and train their young men in terror. And, above all, they were organisations that believed that the ceding of Israeli-held territory was a step in an ongoing process, not part of an agreed solution. For the forces arrayed against Israel the withdrawal of Israeli defence forces from any territory was not to be seen as a magnanimous gesture to be matched with an equivalent gesture of good faith. It was a retreat, won by force of arms, secured by the persistence of terror, proof of the ultimate weakness of the enemy and an incentive to press yet harder against a buckling opponent. It was, like the surrender of the Sudetenland, a vindication of violence, a reward for those who issued threats, and a promise that future threats would yield yet greater rewards.

My view of the peace process was not widely shared. The principle that Israel must cede territory to, and treat with, leaders of terrorist organisations still in arms against its people was a fixed assumption of Western diplomacy and a given among Western commentators. The idea I put forward that morning, that Western pressure on Israel to drop its sword, and yield ground to terrorist leaders, might embolden and encourage further terrorism, was regarded as marginal and eccentric. “

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