Twenty years ago today, Israel’s so-called peace process with the PLO was
officially ushered in at the White House Rose Garden.
A year or so later,
when the death toll of Israeli victims of the massive terror offensive that the
PLO organized shortly afterwards reached what then seemed unbearable heights, a
popular call went out to “Put the Oslo Criminals on Trial.”
say, with Shimon Peres, the architect and godfather of the so-called peace
process now serving as the president of Israel, nothing ever came of the
The demand for an accounting was not unprecedented. There was no
reason, on the face of things, for those who made it to be perceived as anything
other than reasonably enraged, and as responsible citizens insisting that those
responsible for the largest, most destructive strategic error Israel has ever
made pay a personal price for their actions.
Twenty years before that
ceremony at the White House, Israel suffered the worst military defeat in its
Israel did win the Yom Kippur War, in the end.
It was a
sloppy, painful, tragic and costly win.
Victory owed to tactical errors
by the Syrians; to the unbelievable heroism, and dogged determination, exhibited
by the IDF’s junior officer corps and line soldiers, particularly on the Golan
Heights; and to the emergency resupply of war materiel Israel received midway
through the war from the United States.
Just as was the case 20 years
later, when Israelis (having been introduced to the suicide bomber), decided
their leaders had betrayed them – following the Yom Kippur War, the demobilized
soldiers, the bereaved families and the general public demanded an accounting
from the senior political leaders and the IDF brass that had led them down the
vicious, deadly garden path.
After the Yom Kippur War, their demand was
answered. The Agranat Commission was formed. And heads rolled. The prime
minister, defense minister and IDF chief of staff were all booted out. Other
senior IDF commanders were relieved of their duties. And they deserved what they
And just to make sure we remember how ill-served we were by our
leaders 40 years ago, every year around Yom Kippur, the media gives an open mike
to every maudlin, angry and indignant story they can find. Every year
documentaries are produced. Every year, books are published. And for the most
part, they are interesting and worthwhile.
Nothing even vaguely
resembling the now 40-year-long accounting Israel has experienced with regard to
the Yom Kippur War has occurred in relation to the so-called peace process with
the Palestinians that is now 20 years old. No commission of inquiry was
No heads have rolled.
No television station has
broadcast a serious documentary explaining the price Israel has paid on any
level for a mistake that has cost us so dearly on every level. No one has given
belated tribute to the millions of Israelis who foresaw the disaster that would
befall us if we recognized the PLO.
And foresee it they did. And oppose
it, they did. More than two million Israelis – or nearly half the country’s
Jewish population in the early 1990s, and a third of the current Jewish
population, have actively opposed the so-called Oslo Accords and what
As a proportion of Israel’s population, the number of Israelis
who took part in protests against the so-called peace process comprised the
largest protest movement in history.
The public foresaw what was
Renowned intellectuals and decorated military
leaders warned that the PLO was a terrorist organization that had no intention
of making peace with Israel. They warned that the PLO would use every inch of
land Israel transferred to its control as a forward base for terrorism against
Israeli civilians. They warned that Yasser Arafat was a liar, a murderer and a
Jewhater who would use all powers granted him to murder and legitimize the
murder of Israeli civilians.
They warned that he was not interested in
the least in establishing a Palestinian state, rather wanted only to oversee the
dismemberment and destruction of our state, the Jewish state.
And for the
past 20 years, their warnings were borne out by events every single
More than 1,500 Israelis have been murdered by Palestinian
terrorists in the past 20 years.
Scores of thousands of Israelis have
been wounded or suffered the destruction of their families and their
Diplomatically, Israel has paid an immeasurable price for the
abject stupidity of our leaders’ willful blindness to the rank phoniness of the
PLO’s commitment to peaceful coexistence with Israel. The glaring obviousness of
the danger of accepting the false historical narrative of our sworn enemies for
our ability to defend ourselves internationally was so overwhelming that no one
even bothered to mention it in the years before the so-called Oslo Accord was
But today, after 20 years of self-induced diplomatic failure
have rendered Israeli leaders and representatives incapable of defending the
country, it is necessary to explain it.
The PLO falsely claims that the
cause for instability and violence in the Middle East is the absence of a
Palestinian state in the lands Israel took control over from Jordan and Egypt in
the 1967 Six Day War.
Before the inauguration of the so-called peace
process, Israel easily defended itself against this libel. After all, the PLO
was established in 1964 – three years before Israel took control over Jerusalem,
Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Its declared purpose was and remains the destruction of
Israel, not the establishment of a Palestinian state on some of the territory
The absence of regional peace has nothing at all to do
with Israel. It stems from the virulent Jew-hatred that is endemic throughout
the Islamic world. Due to this hatred, Israel’s neighbors seek its destruction.
The centrality of their irrational, obsessive desire to seek the eradication of
the Jewish people and the Jewish state is the reason there has been no true
peace between Israel and its neighbors – including its Palestinian neighbors.
And because their hatred is irrational and all-encompassing, there is nothing
Israel can do to appease them.
Israel was able to defend itself from the
PLO’s lies to great effect before it accepted this terrorist organization as a
legitimate actor and so accepted the legitimacy of its duplicitous
But since it did, it has been unable to explain its actions,
or increasingly, its right to exist at all. Because if the absence of a
Palestinian state in Israel’s heartland, and in its capital city, is what stands
behind all the bad behavior of the Arab world, then everything that Israel does
that impinges even marginally on the establishment of such of state is immoral,
destabilizing and dangerous.
This is why even Israel’s most skilled
diplomats – to the extent they still operate in Israel’s PLO-besotted Foreign
Ministry – cannot defend us.
This is why a generation of Israeli leaders
have zero to show for their efforts to defend this country. They are trapped in
a policy discourse that is founded on anti-Israel lies.
Then there is our
alliance with the United States. To legitimize the single-most destructive
action ever undertaken by an Israeli government, the Rabin-Peres government
approached the Clinton administration and asked it to sponsor this objectively
insane policy, strenuously opposed by half the country.
Bill Clinton was
happy to oblige them. But once the Americans were on board, and placed US
prestige behind a policy which, based as it was on lies, had no chance of
success, Israel could not walk away.
Once the Americans supported a
policy that half of the public – and now two-thirds of the public – opposed,
Washington necessarily found itself siding with an ever-shrinking minority of
Israelis against the majority of the public. Consequently, for the past 20
years, US decision-makers have backed policies that have become progressively
From a domestic perspective, the phony peace process
has taken an enormous toll on Israeli society and democracy. To defend such a
move so strenuously and reasonably opposed by such a large portion of the public
it was necessary to marginalize the public. And so we were subjected to a
systematic effort to purge and discredit dissident voices from the senior and
later junior ranks of the IDF, the Foreign Ministry, (although Peres had done
much of the work pruning responsible voices out of the ministry in the previous
decade), and the Justice Ministry.
Responsible opponents in the public
square were castigated as extremists and enemies of peace, little different from
terrorists. A new vocabulary to hide reality – such as calling terror victims,
victims of peace – was invented.
Four times in the past 20 years – in
1994, 1995, 2000 and 2005 – the peace processors brought Israeli society to the
brink of collapse.
Lawful demonstrators and political activists –
including minor children – were criminalized, and often jailed and put on trial
for their civil disobedience. The corruption of Israel’s legal system, which
applies laws unequally to various members of the public, depending on their
political views, was a direct outcome of Israel’s decision 20 years ago to
embrace the PLO.
For the past 20 years, the party most responsible for
Israel’s continued abidance by a strategy that has brought us nothing but
disaster is the media. The reason that Peres was elected to the presidency
rather than put out to pasture like Golda Meir is because the media lionized him
as the greatest statesman of all time.
The reason that once in office
non-leftist leaders embrace the positions of the radical Left, ignore the
public, block every attempt to correct the damage that the Oslo Accords have
wrought, and embark on a new path, is that they are no match for Channel 2 and
all the rest.
Our media outlets run a constant stream of post-Zionist
propaganda that has reduced our elected representatives’ field of action to the
size of a postage stamp. They ignore knowledgeable, well-spoken representatives
of the majority. They regularly invite cognitively and aesthetically challenged
nationalists to their studios to embarrass into silence the majority of viewers
who share their opinions. Zionists are hired to high-profile but powerless
positions to make the public feel uncomfortable about complaining that its views
have no voice in the media.
Today the Obama administration plumbs the
depths of strategic dysfunction. The Arab world empowers the most dangerous
elements in country after country. The European Union treats Israel as a greater
international outlaw than Iran, North Korea or Syria. Anti-Israel indoctrination
is the norm on university campuses throughout the Western world. A generation is
coming of age that has never heard the truth about the Jewish state.
contend with all this, the single-most important step Israel must take is to end
our 20- year nightmare with the PLO. As long as it continues, we will remain
incapable of defending ourselves.