The greatest diplomatic disaster of modern times has to be the so called "Oslo Peace Accord." It makes Neville Chamberlain's Munich agreement pale into insignificance by comparison. From its inception in 1993, it has been built on unrealistic wishes, myths and outright falsehoods. Even worse, the entire agreement was based on many false assumptions.
It assumed that the Palestinians really wanted peace; that they would be satisfied with a state next to Israel; that the primary motive of the average Palestinian was economic security and that the Muslims would be satisfied with a part of Jerusalem.
The seizure of the Karine A on the Red Sea on Jan. 4 appeared certain to be the beginning of the end for the myth of Yasser Arafat, statesman. Not that anyone without an agenda would have trouble spotting the signs. Signs like 18 months of undeclared war against Israel. The lionization of suicide bombers by the Palestinian Authority and Yasser Arafat, personally. Arafat's refusal to abide by any of the agreements he signed, as evidenced by Israel's recent declaration that Arafat had made himself "irrelevant" to the peace process. These are not the hallmarks of a Nobel Peace laureate.
Instead, they are the credentials of a terrorist – one uniquely gifted with a political facility for redefining reality that makes Bill Clinton look like a comparative amateur.
But nine years and countless murderous outrages later, Western diplomats are still trying to pretend. And this in spite of the overwhelming catalogue of evidence to the contrary. What will it take to convince the world, in general, and the U.S. State Department, in particular, that the Oslo "Peace" initiative was impossibly flawed from the beginning?
Let's examine the first assumption in the light of the well-known public record. Arafat – from the beginning – explained in Arabic to his upset Muslim followers why he signed the agreement. He spoke of "Mohammed's Qurash model" as the basis of his strategy in the Oslo Agreement. To those familiar with the Muslim holy writings of the Koran and the Hadith, this was a completely satisfactory explanation. Because it referred to Mohammed making a peace agreement with the Qurash tribe until he became strong enough and slaughtered them.
Such "moderate" Palestinian leaders as Faisal Husseini also defended their participation in the Oslo "peace" Agreement by saying that Oslo was "a Trojan Horse … just a temporary procedure … just a step towards something bigger." Husseini proclaimed until his death that the ultimate goal was a "Palestine from the river to the sea." That oft-repeated slogan is code for a Palestinian State built over the annihilation of Israel.
Clearly, Arafat has embarked on a strategy of war. The Karine A was a dangerous and desperate mission. In less desperate times, Arafat would have used the less risky network of tunnels running from Gaza into Egypt. The operation was dangerous at every level – politically, militarily, financially and diplomatically. Fifty-two tons of weapons, worth $100 million, a ship and a direct connection leading from Arafat to Khameini at a time of global high alert, while Washington is simultaneously prosecuting a war on terror and trying to create an atmosphere of peace. The smuggling operation was timed to coincide with the 4-day visit of U.S. envoy Gen. Anthony Zinni. You can't put many more chips in the game than that.
Why take such a gamble? Unless, of course, you've got nothing left to lose. Arafat has, from the beginning, operated on the principle of negotiated conflict. Whenever he wants to spark negotiations, he encourages conflict. Through negotiations, under threat of conflict, Israel has given away just about all it is prepared to, and has about reached the limit of compromise.
That was Arafat's aim all along. To obtain as much advantage as possible by negotiation, then, from his improved tactical position, serve as a Trojan Horse in as large an Arab war as he can instigate and take what remains of Israel by force.
Israeli military officials gave Washington what they describe as "incontrovertible evidence" that Ayatollah ali Khameini was aware of the weapons shipment to Arafat. Israel says Iran demanded three things in exchange for the weapons: intelligence against Israel, a letter saying Iran had provided the weapons, and authorization for Iran to build a hospital in PA-controlled territories. That last demand would grant Iran a foothold virtually in Israel's kitchen.
If the Palestinians wanted a state, they would have taken former Prime Minister Ehud Barak's offer, which even gave them a vital part of Old Jerusalem. No Israeli leader could offer them more.
If they wanted economic security, they could have used the billions of dollars contributed to them to set up the infrastructure – instead of buying weapons and attacking Israel.
The truth is, they are operating on the Muslim-based passion that Israel must be annihilated and the Islamic holy places must be cleansed of any Israeli presence. This is something the U.S. State Department seems to be incapable of grasping.Hal Lindsey is the best-selling author of 20 books, including "Late Great Planet Earth." He writes this weekly column exclusively for WorldNetDaily and maintains hallindseyoracle.com where he provides up-to-the-minute analysis of today's world events in the light of ancient prophecies.