Israel Report

January 2002         

Peres Wants Palestine

By Stan Goodenough - January 2, 2002
According to the Israeli press, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has "scorned" the plan Foreign Minister Shimon Peres is cooking up with PA speaker Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala) as one "'full of problems' that he doesn't agree with."

Peres's plan is to bring the State of Palestine into the world within just eight weeks. Israelis know Peres as a politician who gets his way.

But instead of forbidding him from pursuing this course, Sharon simply states that what Peres is doing "is in absolute contradiction to what I have declared … that before there is any discussion about a Palestinian state, it will be brought to a debate in the government."

Sharon should beware. Peres is treading familiar territory. He outranks his prime minister in political experience, and he will outflank him in political maneuvering unless he is firmly reined in.

If not, Peres will succeed in doing in 2002 what he did in 1993.

Back then, as Yitzhak Rabin's foreign minister, Peres planted, nurtured, and produced the Oslo Agreement.

Conceived in sin - when Israel's statute books ruled meetings with the terrorist PLO illegal, Oslo's gestation was shrouded in lies and deception - largely behind Rabin's back, and was brought into the world as a fait accompli; a reason for rejoicing. Peace was in the air.

On that fateful September day, while billions watched, world leaders rapturously applauded Oslo's signing on the White House lawn.

And Shimon Peres leaned past his prime minister to shake the hand of Yasser Arafat, justifiably claiming full credit for the agreement he had brought into the world.

"My proudest moment in my life was Oslo," he told the Australia/Israel Review in June 1997.

By the time he made that statement, hundreds of graves already bore witness to the truth: that instead of bringing peace to Israel, Peres' agreement had let loose a whirlwind of bloodshed and death on the war-ravaged people the foreign minister calls his own.

Hundreds more graves have been filled since then. Infants, boys and girls, teenagers, the elderly, new immigrants, Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrachi, religious, secular, black and white - every sector of Israeli society has paid a price for the Peres peace plan.

Seemingly blind to what his legacy has become, Peres persists in pursuing this path.

"What was sown in Oslo cannot be erased," he wrote in Yediot Aharonot last September 17. "It began a new chapter, a chapter of hope, a chapter of security, a chapter of good neighbors, a chapter of peace."

Small wonder former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Peres "Israel's first astronaut." The man is removed from reality.

For how can it be, that where hope, security, good neighbors and peace were sown, massacres, lynchings, drive-by shootings, ministerial assassinations, nationwide fear, mourning and pain are being reaped?

Today, an increasing number of Israelis know that the Oslo emperor has no clothes. When finally, after Camp David 2000, Arafat rejected all that was offered and launched his war - the eyes of many on the Israeli left were opened to the fearful flaws in Peres' plan.

The last national elections gave Israel the chance to draw a line through Oslo, and that's what the nation did.

And yet, astonishingly, Peres persists in power a year after the majority of Israelis chose against what he personifies.

For this, Sharon is to blame. In reality fearful of Netanyahu's challenge for the premiership, he insists publicly that his decisions are made for the sake of national unity, and that he thus has to tailor his policies to keep Peres and the left on board.

But while Sharon thinks he is using Peres to shore up his premiership, it is Peres who is using the Sharon shield to cover the pursuit of his plan.

Under these conditions, the foreign minister is actually able to move ahead more quickly than he would be able to as prime minister! He has a right-wing leader supporting his plan.

Just last week, we learned that Peres has crawled back into bed with the PLO, this time to sire another illegitimate child, the natural prodigy of the Oslo Accords - the State of Palestine.

Unlike the Oslo Accords, which are agreements on paper that can be negated by either party's non-compliance, Palestine, once recognized by Israel and the world, will be a state set in stone.

For one reality of the United Nations is that it never loses any members. Once a state, always a state. Palestine will not be reversible. The world order we live in has made this the law.

And of this we can be sure: If Oslo let loose a whirlwind, Palestine will unleash a hurricane.

Do we need to list again everything Israel has given to the Palestinian Arabs since September 1993? Do we need once more to tick off the innumerable ways in which the PLO and its designs on Israel have not changed one iota in the face of all these concessions?

Despite his destructive track record, Peres is being allowed to pursue his plan.

Despite the blood, despite the anguish, despite the mountain of evidence, Israel seems stupefied - blind, deaf and dumb before the onrushing Peres express.

And, as his own words reveal, Peres is growing desperate; desperate to leave his mark on history; desperate to be proven right; desperate to oversee the creation of Palestine.

"Political death is more difficult than physical death," he said not long ago.

And politically, Peres wants to live forever.

After decades of devoting himself to pushing forward his vision of what Israel should be, after surviving repeated rejection by the Israeli voter even as he gloried in global recognition of his dreams, and with the realization of his "new Middle East" seemingly almost within his grasp, it is hard to know what can stop Shimon Peres now.

Once a ceasefire (real or imagined) is recognized by Israel as being secured, and implementation of the Mitchell and Tenet plans begins, the countdown to the establishment of Palestine will resume. And in historical terms, the birth of that bastard child is merely minutes away.

Prime Minister Sharon holds the key. For the sake of the future of a Jewish State of Israel, this veteran leader, who has long witnessed his foreign minister at work and surely knows the existential danger he poses to his people, must act, and act now, to stop the Peres Plan for Palestine.

©2001 -

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