To adapt Churchill : Never in the field of global diplomacy has so much been given away by so many for so little.
Britain and France’s capitulation to Nazi Germany at Munich has long been a byword for ignominy, moral and diplomatic. Yet neither Neville Chamberlain nor Édouard Daladier had the public support or military wherewithal to stand up to Hitler in September 1938. Britain had just 384,000 men in its regular army; the first Spitfire aircraft only entered RAF service that summer. “Peace for our time” it was not, but at least appeasement bought the West a year to rearm.
The signing of the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973 was a betrayal of an embattled U.S. ally and the abandonment of an effort for which 58,000 American troops gave their lives. Yet it did end America’s participation in a peripheral war, which neither Congress nor the public could indefinitely support. “Peace with honor” it was not, as the victims of Cambodia’s Killing Fields or Vietnam’s re-education camps can attest. But, for American purposes at least, it was peace.
By contrast, the interim nuclear agreement signed in Geneva on Sunday by Iran and the six big powers has many of the flaws of Munich and Paris. But it has none of their redeeming or exculpating aspects. Read more at the Wall Street Journal.
The Syrian civil war was felt in Israel on Monday as, in two separate incidents, a mortar shell hit the town of Majdal Shams and an IDF unit came under fire in the southern Golan Heights, according to the army.
The unit that came under fire incurred no casualties and returned fire toward the source of the attack. The IDF said it believes the shooting was an inadvertent spillover from violence in Syria, not an intentional attack on Israeli forces.
The Israeli soldiers returned fire and reported that they hit at least one Syrian soldier, Israel Radio reported.
Since the start of the civil war in Syria in March 2011, dozens of mortar shells have landed in Israeli territory.
In the past, Israel has filed complaints with the peacekeeping forces in the Golan, requesting that the UN bring an end to the cross-border shelling.
In late October, two mortar shells landed near Tel Fares on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights. Read more at The Times of Israel.
Iran will keep up construction on the Arak heavy water plant, which, when operational, will produce plutonium that can be used in a nuclear weapon, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an address to the Iranian parliament Wednesday. This is despite the deal Tehran signed with world powers over the weekend.
“The capacity at the Arak site is not going to increase. It means no new nuclear fuel will be produced and no new installations will be installed, but construction will continue there,” Reuters quoted Zarif as saying.
According to a fact sheet released by the White House, as part of the deal agreed to in Geneva, Iran “committed to no further advances of its activities at Arak and to halt progress on its plutonium track.” However, Iran has disputed the version of the agreement put out by Washington, and some experts have said loopholes in the text could allow the Iranians to continue construction offsite and then install components there later. Read more at The Times of Israel.