Slain Israeli Prime Minister Rabin with former US President Bill Clinton and former PLO President Yasser Arafat after signing the Oslo Accords at the White House on September 13, 1993. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The practical demise of the Oslo Accords has not yet signaled the death of the Oslo political paradigm for Israelis and others.
The proper understanding and language required haven’t kept pace with developments on the ground.
There are no political negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, no Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish nation-state, no end to hateful Palestinian propaganda, and no agreement on the outstanding issues touching Jerusalem, refugees and settlements. Meanwhile, Palestinian warfare proceeds unabated and with a ferocious savagery.
Palestinian terrorism is a flagrant manifestation by a people living through decades of subjugation to Israeli rule, contained by the Israeli army and confounded by the Jewish settlement enterprise.
Admittedly, the utopian hope of Oslo was to transform the Israeli-Palestinian relationship into one of trust and cooperation, and ultimately equalize the relationship; Palestinian guilt for the collapse of Oslo, using deception and violence as a modus operandi from start to finish, is blatant.
It is patently clear that the Palestinians remain an enemy of Israel, not a partner for peace. They remain dedicated to destroying the Jewish state through a variety of methods, rather than coexistence with her. Israelis beseech PA President Mahmoud Abbas to denounce the Palestinian murder of Jews, but this is puerile and silly moral posturing.
He cannot but see the murder of Jews as a legitimate act of struggle against a foreign regime/state. Israeli expectations for Palestinian goodwill fit the ethereal Oslo paradigm of peace, but not the conspicuous reality of incompatibility of goals and clash of political visions and sense of justice.
The only purpose to imagining that the two sides will come to a final-status agreement is to sustain mindless political naiveté, while refusing to face reality.
The reality to be faced is one of interminable warfare between Israel and the Palestinians – because what the Palestinians want Israel will not give, and what Israel would give the Palestinians do not want. It is useless to blame the Palestinians – because we are not engaged in an academic exercise of conflict-resolution but in a conflict whose parameters – strategic, religious, ideological, geographic – do not allow for a mutually satisfactory peaceful end.
It is purposeless to castigate the Palestinians for their terrorism, except to point out that they want to annihilate a people and destroy an existing state, and not just seek their liberation. This is not analogous to the Algerian War of Independence from France.
So it is markedly superfluous for Israelis to capture the moral high ground in exposing heinous Palestinian warfare – though by right the moral high ground belongs to the Jews. Far more significant is for the Israelis to come out ahead, and show no signs of waning energy or a withering of the national will to pursue the campaign to, if not victory, then a decisive alteration of the demographic and political facts on the ground.
Let us remember that Zionism was born with the impulse to stop exhausting the Jews in trying to turn the pogrom-inclined gentiles into decent philo-semites and, instead, turn the Jews into history-making patriots building and redeeming their national homeland.The author has written Only Israel West of the River: The Jewish State and the Palestinian Question, available at amazon.com and createspace.com.