02 The Appeasers: Acknowledging the Courage

In their “Acknowledgments” at the front of The Appeasers, Martin Gilbert and Richard Gott offer their thanks to those in the 1930s who refused to join the ranks of the appeasers.

We have been inspired by the example of Englishmen who refused to be bullied by Nazi bombast; who saw German threats for what they were, the brash noises of a successful bully; who determined to stand up to that bully, a by firm words to caution him; and who urged England not to compromise with evil, but to face the dictators with courage and conviction. These men were not warmongers. But they were quite willing to face war if the alternative was a dishonorable peace, bought at the expense of others.

Much the same can be said today of those who faced up to another bully called Islamic terrorism and who would not compromise with evil, even when others with far less courage than they called them warmongers and displayed a disgusting willingness to excuse evil and buy a dishonorable peace at the expense of the suffering of the Iraqi people under a cruel dictator and (more recently) of the a brave Israeli democracy. The spirit of Prime Ministers like Baldwin and Chamberlain still haunts our world.

Also, keep in mind a most revealing fact. Israel has built fences on the borders of Gaza and the West Bank to keep terrorists out. They did not build them to keep their own Arab population in. That population is free to leave at any time but it overwhelming prefers to live in a Jewish democracy rather than in the corruption and repression of a Palestinian state.