View from Mt Carmel
In modern 20th century history one of the subjects given an enormous scholarly, political and educational rounding is the subject of appeasement to Nazi Germany by the European powers in the 1930's.
Over the years I have written of this through various subjects, two were: The first was "1938 Evian Conference still haunts Australia" - In this article it is argued that when Australia declined to assist Jewish immigration from Germany, in effect the Australian Government gave licence to the German Government led by the Nazi's to do as they wished with the Jews, which ultimately led to the Holocaust.
In this it is argued that when Australia declined to assist Jewish immigration from Germany, in effect the Australian Government gave licence to the German Government led by the Nazi's to do as they wished with the Jews, which ultimately led to the Holocaust.
A second article was titled "Sir Nevile Henderson's photo is a shiver of history" - this article discusses an historical photograph from the Sydney Morning Herald dated 30 August 1939 of Sir Nevile Henderson, the British Ambassador to Germany, starting out on his fateful diplomatic journey to Germany. Perhaps Nevile Henderson's greatest failure of judgement were his now infamous words of appeasement: "If we handle him (Hitler) right, my belief is that he will become gradually more pacific. But if we treat him as a pariah or mad dog we shall turn him finally and irrevocably into one."
Nevile Henderson was also the British Ambassador to Germany at the time of the Munich agreement in 1938 where the Czechoslovakian Sudatenland land was handed to the Nazis by the great powers, England, France and Italy. He counselled British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to go with this agreement.
Pool of Bethesda
The story behind that appeasement
This story, behind the SMH photograph of August 1939, tells of the lead-up to this statement. It tells of missed opportunities, poor political judgements and in the end (after this photo was published) a note delivered from the British Government to the German Government Foreign Minister Joachim Von Rippentrop that precipitated a war that lasted from September 1939 to August 1945.
The dramatic scene has Henderson asking for a copy of Germany's final offer of its 16 point proposal, which, if not agreed to, would result in the invasion of Poland. This had been read to him, but he wanted a written copy to send to the Polish Government. As this meeting was held at midnight, the final set time for acceptance, Rippentrop refused to give it to him because the Polish representative, who needed to sign the ultimatum, did not arrive until August 31st, and even then he did not have the required authority to sign.
Henderson was furious. The British were doing everything in their power to prevent war, whereas Germany was engaging in every diplomatic ploy to find an excuse to attack Poland. Henderson, who had long advocated concessions to Germany, recognised that here was a deliberately conceived alibi the German government had prepared for a war it was determined to start. No wonder Henderson was angry; von Ribbentrop on the other hand could see war ahead and "went home beaming", as one historian explained.
Mark Tronson overlooking the wilderness
Is there a parallel as Lieberman maintains
As Israel's then foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, had challenged two years ago, his nation's strained relations with its western allies lack of reality regarding the Palestinians by likening their vows of support to the appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and the subsequent failure to stop the Holocaust.
He told a seminar organised by the Jerusalem Post - "All the expressions and promises of commitment to Israel's security from all around the world remind me of similar commitments made to Czechoslovakia in 1938. My sense is that all the promises and commitments to Israel's security are mere words. When push comes to shove, many key leaders would be willing to sacrifice Israel without batting an eyelid in order to appease the radical Islamist militants and ensure quiet for themselves."
Lieberman cited the statement by then European Union foreign ministers that condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank who opposed to inserting a clause that also criticised the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, after its leader-in-exile, Khaled Meshal, vowed during a visit to Gaza last weekend never to accept Israel's right to exist.
The reader might recall, the previous Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni differed to Lieberman without giving an account of how he would have explained this anomaly. Then Australian foreign minister Bob Carr came in for severe criticism from within his own Labor party for opposing and defeating his Prime Minister's attempt to vote against the United Nation's recognition of Hamas. Australia abstained.
Are there a number of response?
Certainly, there are various responses as each nation approaches the Israeli–Palestinian situation. In a perfect world, the two State solution is one way forward, but everyone it seems has a different interpretation as to what a two State solution might mean. Certainly US President Donald Trump is not excited by this.
A nation state has every right to have its own coinage, financial system, wealth creation through minerals and energy, IT, military forces, its own navy and secret services and how would this function in Jerusalem with Israel. There are innumerable unanswered questions.
If British and European history is anything to go bye, all out war determines these things most of the time, and if so, Israel would shunt the Palestinians into neighbouring Arabic nations who have jettisoned any idea of the Palestinians moving into their sovereign territories.
Israel and Appeasement is a very difficult hoe to row and the Scriptures presented in this series of four articles give due warning. Heed this warning.
Delma Tronson on Mt Carmel
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at