Latest update: November 4th, 2013
On October 24, 2013 (the Diplomatic Conference) and October 16, 2013 (the memorial ceremony for Prime Minister Rabin), President Peres, the architect of the September, 1993 Oslo Accord, claimed that the Israeli-Palestinian accord was the “opening to dialogue and peace.” Is Peres’ claim vindicated by a reality check?
The Oslo state of mind
The Oslo state of mind was most accurately pronounced by Peres, at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, on Sept. 16, 2000, on the eve of the 2nd Intifada, 2000-2005 wave of Palestinian terrorism: “I believe that the previous borders, made of barbed wire, minefields, military positions, are irrelevant to our life…. I sincerely believe that a good hotel on the border will provide more peace and security than a military position…. I can see very little use for the past. Two things lose their importance: land and history. … To imagine is more important than to remember…. War is out of the question now…. I doubt very much if the Palestinians will go back to terror. … Once a nation’s economy turns from a focus on land to a focus on brains, borders are irrelevant….”
The blueprint for the Oslo Accord was documented by Peres in his October, 1993 book, The New Middle East: “The international political setting is no longer conducive to war (p. 80)…. Peace is the means for security (p. 84)…. We need soft – not rigid – borders…. While signing the documents on the lawn of the White House… you could almost hear the heavy tread of boots leaving the stage…. You could have listened to the gentle tiptoeing of new steps making a debut in the awaiting world of peace (p. 194)…. “
The new – VS the real – Middle East
The Oslo Accord state of mind, and the new Middle East vision, have been trounced by the Arab Tsunami, which imploded the real Middle East, transitioning the region toward further fanaticism, terrorism, tyranny and anti-“infidel” sentiments, away from moderation, peace, democracy and tolerance.
The Oslo state of mind underestimated the potency of the deeply-rooted 1,400 year old fundamentals of the real Middle East, which are sweeping the combusting Arab Street in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and other Arab countries: violent unpredictability, uncertainty, unreliability, instability and shifty regimes and policies; religious, ethnic, ideological and geographic fragmentation; violent intolerance toward other Muslims and the “infidel;” no freedom of speech, religion, press and association and no gender equality; no intra-Arab comprehensive peace and no compliance with most intra-Arab agreements, which are tenuous in nature.
Has Oslo transformed Israel and the Palestinians?
Ariel University’s Dr. Yuval Arnon-Ohanna, formerly with the Mossad and one of Israel’s leading experts on the Palestinian issue, documented in Line of Furrow and Fire– the conflict for the Land of Israel, 1860-2013 (Achiasaf Publishing, 2013) that the 1993 Oslo Accord snatched the PLO from the jaws of oblivion. Arab regimes severed financial assistance to – and most contacts with – the PLO, due to the PLO’s collaboration with Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The US suspended its dialogue with the PLO in 1990. The 1st Intifadah – wave of Palestinian terrorism – was largely subdued by Israel in 1991. The PLO lost two key co-founders, Khalil al-Wazir (1988) and Salah al-Khalaf (1991). Its popularity, among Palestinians, was significantly marred by corruption and embezzlement, attributed primarily to Arafat and his wife, Suha, Mahmoud Abbas and his sons, Yasser and Tareq, Arafat’s financial advisor, Muhammad Rashid, and the Tsumud (steadfastness) Fund. The Oslo Accord resuscitated the PLO, which still oversees the Palestinian Authority, legally and operationally.
The Oslo Accord transformed Israeli policy dramatically, strategically and tangibly. Israel made concessions to the Palestinians, never extended by the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate or the Arabs, transferring parts of Israel’s own cradle of history to its arch-enemy and advancing Palestinian sovereignty. Israel imported some 70,000 Palestinian terrorists from Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Tunisia to Gaza and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – the door steps of their intended victims – arming them with weapons and lobbying on their behalf in Washington, DC.
Contrary to Israel, the PLO was transformed tactically and intangibly, while sustaining its strategy, as enunciated by its 1964 Covenant, considering the Land of Israel a divinely ordained Muslim land (Waqf). Arafat stated that the Oslo Accord was provisional, aiming to destroy Israel, triggering an unprecedented level of Palestinian non-compliance with agreements. Mahmoud Abbas established a hate-education system. And, an unprecedented wave of Palestinian terrorism erupted in April, 1994, producing so far over 1,600 Israeli fatalities, five times as large as the toll of the twenty years prior to Oslo. 160 Israelis were murdered during the pre-Oslo 1st Intifadah, compared with 1,000 during the post-Oslo 2nd Intifadah. In June 2001, Faisal Husseini, the PLO darling of the Western media, clarified that the Oslo Accord provided the Palestinians with a Trojan horse in the heart of Israel.
The Oslo-driven Palestinian conduct has been consistent with the Palestinian intra-Arab track record of subversion and treachery, which caused Arafat’s and Mahmoud Abbas’ expulsion from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait. It has also been consistent with the Palestinian collaboration with the Nazis, the Communist Bloc, Khomeini, Saddam Hussein and Bin-Laden.
The Oslo Accord reality check documents that contrary to the hope of its architects, the Palestinian leopard does not change spots, only tactics.
About the Author: Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger is consultant to Israel’s Cabinet members and Israeli legislators, and lecturer in the U.S., Canada and Israel on Israel’s unique contributions to American interests, the foundations of U.S.-Israel relations, the Iranian threat, and Jewish-Arab issues.
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