Many of the experts who have been commenting on the Oslo process since the beginning have proven to be as stupid and conniving as many of us thought they were since the signing on the White house lawn back in September 1993. They have been pulling the wool over the eyes of the public since Arafat was taken out of the trashcan of history by a couple of aging and rootless Israeli politicians and a gang of sycophants and yuppies who have no idea of what the Jewish role in history is, nor the part played by the Land of Israel.
This week our Prime Minister showed some first signs of taking seriously the mandate he was given by more that 60 percent of the Israeli electorate - to stop the tragedy started back in 1993. The fact that it has taken so long is explained by an expression used quite a bit by Israeli politicians nowadays. The expression goes, “what you see from here is not what you see from there.” In other words, according to this slogan, the people in the opposition can make all kinds of promises, but as soon as they take office they are exposed to lots of information that they did not know about before; therefore, they are entitled to break their campaign promises, because now they know the situation better and they must respond differently than they promised. This is what is known as a copout and it has two very serious implications: One is that no politician in the opposition is ever expected to keep his promises once he is in office and the other, which is just as serious, is that the leader of the opposition need not necessarily be kept abreast of the information guiding the government’s actions.
On the other hand, the corollary to the above expression is that what you see here, in the opposition, may be more meaningful than what you see there, when in power. In opposition, you may not be corrupted, for example, by the need to justify a policy you initiated even when you discover that it is wrong. Barbara Tuchman, in her book The March of Folly, wrote about leaders who knew that their policies had failed, but kept going for all kinds of reasons that had nothing to do with the good of the country.
Two days ago, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the American special envoy, the latest in a long list going back to the founding of the state, retired General Anthony Zinni, that he cannot currently identify any change in Arafat’s policies. The ongoing terror attacks only prove that point. The Prime Minister added that only by pressuring Arafat will it be possible to convince him to make a strategic decision to abandon terrorism and fulfill his commitments. Therefore, Prime Minister Sharon made clear to General Zinni, Israel will continue its actions, but the chances of Arafat changing his ways after thirty successful years as a Jew-killer and terrorist are as good as the chances of that proverbial snowball in Hell. The charade and self delusion continues.
I think that the reality of the Oslo process was known to anyone with any sense back in 1993. Not only people in the opposition, but various commentators both here in Israel and abroad knew that Oslo was a nonstarter and could only lead to tragedy. You did not have to be a big expert to realize this. Back in the early days of Oslo, people like me were considered to be anti-peace. Now, eight years after the first Oslo agreement, hundreds of dead Jews, thousands of injured Jews, some of whom are crippled for life, and an untold number of widows and widowers and orphans, our government is making the first tentative steps towards eliminating the terror that was brought into our homeland by Yitzchak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Yosi Beilin, Yosi Sarid, the Labor, Meretz and Shas parties, the Arab parties and all the members of parties like the Likud who agreed to one of the worst blunders in all of Jewish history.
The shocking thing is that the people who brought this catastrophe down upon the Jewish people, instead of crawling into some hole in shame and disappearing from public life or being brought before the bar of justice to stand trial for the illegal actions that they took to trick the people of Israel, remain committed to this folly and have been included in the present government. I was invited to a one day seminar about Israeli policy at a prestigious think tank in Herzliya and I was actually giving thought to arranging my schedule so that I could spend a day listening to experts analyze things. Then I noticed that one of the experts was Shlomo Ben-Ami, the acting Foreign Minister under the Ehud Barak administration. That administration, it will be recalled, was willing to give the PLO control over the Temple Mount, 97% of Judea and Samaria, all of Gaza and parts of little Israel to make up the other three percent. It was also willing to divide Jerusalem. While he was acting Foreign Minister, Ben-Ami was also the Minister of Internal Security. As such, he was one of the people responsible for the failure to quell the outbreak of Arab rioting in Israel in October of last year. He was one of those who was in favor of investigating the police for killing Arabs who were trying to kill policemen as they were trying to maintain order. Ben-Ami spoke at the Orr Committee hearings, which are investigating the police handling of the October riots, two weeks ago. He made a total fool out of himself, blaming everyone that he could for what happened. If this is what is called an expert, I can forget about going to this one day seminar. People like Ben Ami should have the decency to admit that they failed and leave public life.
There are those who say that it is good that Peres is in the government, because he gives Sharon a certain legitimacy in the eyes of foreign countries. It is said that if Peres is in the government then it must be seeking peace. That is how the Europeans and Americans are supposed to see things. That is okay as long as Peres has no influence. If he is just a front man to give Sharon international legitimacy, but nothing more than that. The trouble with Peres is that he has no shame. He brought this tragedy down upon us and still shows his face publicly. Incidentally, besides the existential problems that we have because of Oslo and the fact that Peres apparently has no regard for the lives of Jews, another thing that he has done is to put a nail into the coffin of Israeli democracy. No democracy can work unless there is a loyal opposition that represents an alternative to the government in power, but the Labor party, or what is left of it, has no social policy, no economic policy, no educational policy and no other policy except Oslo. Since 1993, the Labor party has had one theme, one objective, one mantra, one hallucination, one lie: The Oslo “Peace Process” and Arafat as a partner for that process. However, it has turned out to be a failure of historic proportions.
In addition to the politicians, the same thing holds true for all the newspaper columnists who supported the Oslo agreement when people like George Will and Charles Krauthammer were writing, back in 1993, that it was a nonstarter and would lead to bloodshed. At that time, people like Thomas Friedman of the New York Times supported Oslo. Friedman’s latest column, entitled, The Intifada is Over, is indicative of both the ignorance and the arrogance of such Olso supporting so-called experts. According to Friedman, the “intifada” ended “with last weekend´s spasm of suicide bombings against Israeli kids — a signal that the Palestinian national movement was being taken over by bin Ladenism… the nihilistic pursuit of murderous violence against civilians…” Rather than violence, writes Friedman, “[t]he right response was a Palestinian overture to the Israeli people to persuade them to give up 100 percent — not murderous violence… an uprising to prompt Israel to give Palestinians 100 percent of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, has morphed into Bin Laden II, a Palestinian attempt to eliminate 100 percent of Israel.” Good morning, Mr. Friedman. The PLO charter calling for the elimination of Israel was written and approved back in 1964. and what has been the policy of Arafat for the last thirty years, if not murderous violence against civilians? What was the Munich massacre of Israeli Olympic sportsmen back in 1972 or the pushing of a crippled American Jew off an ocean liner, if not murderous violence against civilians? In fact, the list of innocent people killed by Arafat would be much longer than that of Bin Laden, were it not for the fact that the Twin Towers collapsed, putting Bin Laden in the lead.
Another purported expert, Martin Indyck, a former American ambassador to Israel, has written a column in which he claims, “We have come to recognize that the Palestinians must have a viable state and that the humiliation of Israel´s occupation should end for the benefit of Palestinians and Israelis alike.” Mr. Indyck does not seem to realize that the Arabs don´t want to have another viable state, nor must have one. Israel and the Jews have returned to their ancient homeland. That is not “occupation,” it is homecoming. Incidentally, if the so-called “humiliation of the occupation” is so bad, why do Arabs in East Jerusalem insist on remaining under Israeli control.
Indyck writes, “Powell´s dispatch of retired Gen. Anthony Zinni and Assistant Secretary of State William Burns to undertake a sustained U.S. effort to implement and monitor a meaningful cease-fire reflects an accurate assessment that, on their own, Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat cannot break out of the violent bear hug dragging them both toward the abyss… Just as we have to treat the human dimension of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by insisting that Palestinian incitement and Israeli settlement activity cease, so too do the Arab governments need to treat the human dimensions of their own failing societies.” There it is - Mr. Indyck feels that actions by Sharon to defend Jews are morally equivalent to actions by Arafat to kill Jews and that a Jew building a house in his ancient homeland is morally equivalent to an Arab blowing himself up among innocent victims in the heart of Jerusalem.
Since this week is the anniversary of pearl Harbor day, I invite Martin Indyck and the other Oslo experts to make the following comparison. The Japanese conducted a sneak suicide attack on the American base at Pearl Harbor, destroying a good part of the battleship fleet and killing thousands of Americans. The Americans fought back, creating the Pacific theatre of World War II. Why did the Americans fight back? Didn´t they know that they were contributing to the “cycle of violence”? Was the Second World War a “violent bear hug” that could have been avoided if the Americans had not responded? In a more modern test case, Osama Bin Laden blew up the Twin Towers and the Americans contributed to the “cycle of violence” by attacking Afghanistan. Why is “a cycle of violence” only problematic when the Jews are concerned?
The whole Oslo agreement was a scam, perpetrated by terrorists and experts of all kinds. As part of the scam, Rabin once said that if the Arabs did not keep their part of the Oslo agreement, Israel would move back in and retake Gaza and Jericho and any other place given to them. Yet, when the Arabs, predictably, did not keep the agreement, Rabin, Peres and Sarid and expert friends of theirs either ignored it or lied about it. Such experts can take credit for having created another Arab thugocracy called the Palestinian Authority. Run by nothing more than a gang of cutthroats, thieves and, at the best, bullies, it has been not only bad for the Jews, but bad for the Arabs, as well. PLO leader Yasser Arafat, in addition to being the most accomplished murderer of Jews since Adolph Hitler, is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Arabs, among them little children, sent to confront Israeli guns for propaganda purposes. Yet, this is the same man who was raised up by former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin and Shimon Peres to a position where he became a welcome guest in all the capitals of the world and shared a Nobel Peace Prize with his benefactors. Will the experts at the Nobel Prize committee revoke those prizes?Jay Shapiro hosts a radio program on Arutz Sheva, Israel National Radio.
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