Israel Report

December 2002         

Oslo Comes Home to Roost

By Stan Goodenough - December 10, 2002
When Israel's Labor Party is routed in the January 28 general elections - as most polls indicate it will be - what was once the nation's most powerful political force will have arrived at the destination it clearly set out for back in 1993, but refused to believe it would reach.

It's been a long time coming, and has caught few people by surprise. After 26 months of unrelenting violence against Israel's citizens, Labor is finally reaping the political bitter fruits of the "peace" process it planted nine years ago.

Monday's lacklustre party primaries for Labor's Knesset list was in many ways a repeat of the half-hearted effort that went into choosing party leader Amram Mitzna last month. Only around half of those elegible to vote this week bothered to do so. And with all the votes now in, it is apparent that Israel's socialist democratic party is on the way out.

"Gently into Labor's dark night" was how left-wing Israeli journalist Daniel Ben Simon headlined his commentary on the affair.

But as his own party plodded dismally on with its voting process, Mitzna lashed out at the Likud, whose Central Committee had turned out in full and eager force Sunday to fill its top slots with candidates strongly opposed to the Palestinian state the Labor leader longs for.

The Likud was "a rightist movement [that lacked] any true ability to extricate us from the gloomy reality into which we have entered," Mitzna raved.

"Entered?" It sounded surreal, almost like a confession. But Israel never entered the dark and painfilled reality it finds itself in today. Rather, Mitzna's Labor Party steered the country headlong into this mess.

Conceived in sin - when official meetings between Israelis and members of the terrorist PLO were illegal under Israeli law - "Oslo" was the brainchild of then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres who, together with midwives Yossi Beilin and Uri Savir, brought the illegitimate baby into the world on that sunny September day.

Applauded globally, the recipient of billions of dollars in money, time and political capital, validated by a Nobel Peace Prize and pushed forward by powerful governmental bodies like the United Nations and the European Union, Oslo was nonetheless never destined for maturity.

For what all its architects and supporters simply would not see through their visions and dreams of a 'New Middle East' was that the Arab side never entertained any intention of living in peace with a Jewish state.

Despite the mounting evidence of its abject failure - much of it in dead Jewish bodies and ravaged Israeli families - Labor has refused even to consider that the policies it spawned and incubated are in any way to blame for the current "gloomy reality."

But those who voted Labor into power and who have supported them since 1991, are now voting with their feet, abandoning the party in droves.

And while elder statesman Shimon Peres had a secured position as number three in Labor's new list, his co-Oslo architect Yossi Beilin has been pushed way to the end of the line.

Thousands of years ago, God spoke strong words to Israel's leaders who had betrayed their people by entering into a false peace agreement with their enemies, an agreement flawed with holes, bankrupt in every sphere of its existence.

Ezekiel compared that agreement to a wall that designated the boundaries of the land, but which was built with untempered mortar, and whose collapse the Holy One would Himself bring about:

"So I will break down the wall you have plastered with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be uncovered; it will fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. Thus will I accomplish My wrath on the wall and on those who have plastered it with untempered mortar; and I will say to you, 'The wall is no more, nor those who plastered it, 'that is, the prophets of Israel who prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace,'" says the Lord GOD. (Ezek 13:14-16)

For Israel's sake, may all those who use their power in this land to delude their people with false visions of peace that weaken Israel's security and foment the hatred of its enemies be swept away with the remains of the Oslo process - into the trash bin of history.

Author is editor of the Jerusalem Newswire (

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