“We’ve been living under mortar fire for 18 years. We have to do something,” said the young woman from Sderot on Razi Barkai’s radio show.
“What do you want the leaders to do?” asked Barkai.
“I don’t know, but what they are doing now doesn’t help,” replied the Sderot resident.
“Sorry to say this to you, but they also don’t know what to do,” Barkai said. “[It’s] not because they are stupid, but because there is simply no solution.”
It has been about 18 years since the Oslo Accords were implemented. It is simple to understand that the continuous terror raining down on Israel’s cities is the result of those accords. Why then doesn’t Israel’s leadership annul them? Why doesn’t it restore full Israeli control over Gaza, Judea and Samaria? Isn’t it cheaper than digging Beersheba into the ground or covering Sderot with a layer of cement? Isn’t it safer than being the targets of a hail of missiles on civilian targets? What does “there is no solution” mean? After all, just as our very own current president, Shimon Peres, and his cohorts brought this problem upon us, we can free ourselves from the problem.
Why doesn’t that happen?
The answer to that question is two-dimensional. First, the technical dimension: It is impossible to free ourselves of Oslo because those who brought it upon us knew how to tie the fate of a broad spectrum of Israeli elites to the “peace process.” Too many politicians, businessmen, academicians, senior IDF officers, political pundits, journalists, writers and other opinion makers – yes, almost everybody who is anybody in our small land – are sustained in one way or another by Oslo. They are all sitting on the branch that, if we want to solve the problem, must be cut off.
So although we sent the IDF into Gaza in Operation Cast Lead, we stopped precisely at the point when Gaza would have surrendered, leaving us once again responsible over it. That would have cancelled Oslo. That is why I opposed Cast Lead at the time. I knew that the operation was destined for defeat from its very beginning – as later became crystal clear.
The second dimension is the deeper, spiritual reason. It is impossible to blame the Left for the desperate, dangerous and irresponsible Oslo experiment. Zionist normalcy had reached a dead end. Oslo was not anti-Zionist. Oslo was a final, desperate attempt to cling to Zionism, to cling to the return of the Jewish people to its land. (The Disengagement was something else, and the true leftists opposed it.) We returned to history, specifically in this land. If our neighbors cannot accept that – even after they have repeatedly been beaten by us – something is simply not working. “We must compromise,” the Left says. “If we don’t, we will have used the vehicles of secularism and Zionism to return to the exile state of non-normalcy from which we fled. The entire Zionist idea will be proven a failure.”
We cannot claim that the Left has failed because the Right, including the religious Right, never proposed an alternative. That is, until Manhigut Yehudit came along.
“What do you suggest?” Avraham Burg, Molad chairman and the former Knesset speaker, asked Hagai Segal on the Knesset channel. When the answer he got was basically, “We’ll wait and see,” Burg said, “Feiglin is the only person who challenges the political frameworks in Israel.”
That is actually the reason why I am running for Likud leader: to give Israeli society a new direction, an alternative to Oslo. We really can’t nullify Oslo, not because of the technical reason but because, first and foremost, we have no new alternative.
The alternative is already here. When it is internalized, the people of Sderot will finally be able to leave their bomb shelters.