Gidon D. Remba, a Zionist peace activist and Mideast affairs analyst currently living in Chicago, has written his latest occasional column for the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, dated December 28, 2006:
Negotiations, as a tool for dealing with our enemies, get a bum rap. Hardliners mock them as the feeble crutch of Kumbaya liberals who imagine that if only we talked with our adversaries, everything could be hashed out with a dollop of reason and a gallon of good will. But our foes are truly evil, they cavil. Dialogue with the devil will lead to naught, or worse, to mortal dangers to ourselves and our friends—especially Israel.
It helps to bear in mind the difference between “hawks” and “hardliners.” I’m a selective hawk; sometimes force is both necessary and just. Hardliners, by contrast, are emotionally and ideologically ossified when confronting the threats facing America and Israel. Their response is invariably to scoff at talk and brandish get-tough hit-em-hard panaceas.
But the biggest champions of negotiations aren’t mushy romantic liberals and Birkenstock-clad doves. They are rock-ribbed American and Israeli military strategists, high officers, combat veterans and intelligence analysts.
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