By Uri Dan
May, 31 2001
The engineer, the contractor, and company have been arrested under suspicion of responsibility for the collapse of the death floor in the Versailles wedding hall, but who will investigate the engineers and contractors directly responsible for the collapse of the state floor and the caving in of the national ceiling on the heads of the Israelis since the signing of the Oslo Accords?
The 23 tragic victims of the Jerusalem wedding celebrations that became a mass funeral shocked every heart in Israel, and it is fitting that those who caused the disaster should be brought to trial.
But who will investigate those responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis and the injuries of thousands as a result of the car bombs and other acts of terrorism that have taken place since the formal wedding ceremony between Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and the Israeli leaders on September 13, 1993, on the White House lawn?
What is happening here? Is an investigation held in Israel only when 13 Arab citizens are killed during acts of violence motivated by hate for the Jewish state?
The horrifying, unforgettable, video clip of the revelers on the Versailles floor, before it opened up its jaws and swallowed them, must affect the national consciousness, since it cruelly reflects the reality in which we find ourselves.
How many "peace" celebrations in the national tavern have been held by our leaders, ministers, MKs and journalists, both in Israel and throughout the world, from Oslo to Washington, from Cairo to Paris? And when the suicide bombers began exploding, a few months after Arafat arrived in Gaza, we were told, with incredible cheek and criminal imperviousness, that these were "the victims of peace."
The apparatchiks, the officials, the diplomats and the delegates in and out of uniform, celebrated throughout the world the "peace negotiations," and we fell into the boundless chasm that became even deeper after Arafat began eight months ago what he saw as the last stage of the war of attrition and terror that would lead to our total collapse.
Those citizens who demand the investigation of the engineers, contractors and owners of the Versailles hall, and the police who have confiscated the files of the Jerusalem Municipality, are justified in doing so, as were the unfortunate people who demanded an investigation into the collapse of the Maccabiah bridge into the Yarkon River. There they promised a safe floor, and here a stable bridge, and there was nothing behind their promises, just a case of criminal negligence, avarice and laziness, in a country in which corrupt government practices have systemically eroded law and order over the years.
The average citizen, who was deceived into believing that the government engineers and the Knesset contractors built him a stable bridge of peace with Arafat, and a safe floor for dancing with the Palestinians, must definitely demand an inquiry into this issue. After all, it is unreasonable that, only in the case of criminal tragedies related to the floor in Jerusalem and the bridge over the Yarkon River, will individuals be found responsible, while no one is made to answer for the collapse of the security and peace of the Jews in Eretz Yisrael. Both cases are a disgrace to the Israelis.
In the same way as the deaths in the Versailles hall and the Maccabiah bridge do not bring to a halt the construction of houses and bridges in Israel, the investigation of the disaster of the Oslo engineers should not affect the continuation of the tremendous efforts being made to reconstruct the security of Israel from the ruins of the bloodstained wedding of the Nobel Prize laureates. These activities are complementary.
It will be even easier than the collection of the files related to the construction and licensing of the floor and the bridge, to acquire the files of the most terrible mistake made by the Jews themselves in Eretz Yisrael since the beginning of the Zionist movement.
The bulging files of the Mossad, the General Security Service and IDF Intelligence have been gathering dust in the archives, but they are ready and arranged for investigation by pressing a computer key. They contain the real, horrifying story of the engineers and contractors of the Oslo wedding. How the representatives of Israel conducted illegal negotiations with PLO representatives behind prime minister Yitzhak Rabin's back. How they signed an agreement with war criminal Arafat, and presented him as a "partner for peace," while countless intelligence documents indicated that he was about to turn Judea, Samaria and Gaza into a springboard for continuing his terrorist war against Israel. How Arafat, according to these documents, never intended to honor his commitment not to use the thousands of automatic rifles supplied to him by Israeli ministers and MKs, while dancing on the "peace floor."
Hundreds of documents gave warning that the Oslo wedding would end in a mass funeral that would not end. My repeated warnings in recent years were based on these official documents, and not on a crystal ball.
In other words, not only did the files of the engineers of the floor and the bridge contain warnings of a disaster. The latter could be also found in the files of the Israeli authorities, whose heads preferred not to make waves for the sake of their wretched careers. What is the fundamental difference, therefore, between the responsibility of the planners of the Oslo wedding and those of the Versailles hall? Both of them were guilty of criminal negligence, at the very least.
The country will, in the end, restore security and the chance of peace to its citizens.
But in order to reconstruct its foundations properly, like those of the building and the bridge, those responsible for both disasters - private and national - must be brought to justice.
©2001 - Jerusalem Post