Shani Rosen-Winter is a baby girl, six months old. For Purim she was dressed as a clown by her mother, Anat Rosen-Winter, an attorney. For Purim Mrs. Rosen-Winter took her baby daughter to the Apropos cafe in the fashionable cafe district of Tel Aviv a block away from Dizengoff Street.
Baby Shani then became the living epitome of the Oslo peace process and the new Middle East. When the bomb went off, her mother was mortally wounded and died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Anat Rosen-Winter, together with two other women, Dr. Michal Meidan Avrahami, a medical doctor, and Yael Gilad, a social worker, were killed. Dr. Michal Meidan Avrahami was 16 weeks pregnant. They will be added to Beilingrad, that cemetery of victims of peace named after Yossi Beilin, godfather of Oslo.
For you see, once upon a time there was a foolish idea. Yossi Beilin, head of the far-left fringe of the Labor Party advocated it secretly. But he assured the Party and everyone else that if the Palestinians engaged in terror, launched suicide bombings and violence, then the idea would be abandoned and discarded. The Palestinians engaged in terror, launched suicide bombings, and violence. Beilin promoted his idea and opened secret negotiations in Oslo anyway.
When the late Prime Minister Rabin was brought aboard the Oslo bandwagon, he reassured Israel. He was a hawk and general, after all. If the Palestinians engage in terror and suicide bombings and violence, they will lose the great historical opportunity presented by Oslo, he will call off the negotiations at once and take back everything offered by Israel. The Palestinians engaged in terror, suicide bombings and violence. Rabin pursued Oslo anyway.
After Rabin was killed, Prime Minister Shimon Peres accelerated the Oslo process. As he considered turning over the cities in Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians, he assured everyone that if the Palestinian terror, suicide bombings and violence did not stop at once, Oslo would be halted and the Palestinians would lose their great historic opportunity forever. The terror, bombings and violence continued. Peres continued to make concessions and pulled Israel out of the West Bank cities. Peres got trounced in the elections for his hypocrisy. Netanyahu got elected. He promised to continue Oslo, but only if the Palestinians behave themselves with a complete absence of terror, bombings and violence. He threatened ominously, any resumption of terror and bombings would end Oslo forever, the PLO would be stripped of everything it had received. Israel would return to its pre-Oslo policies.
On March 21, 1997, the same day the press carried reports that Netanyahu would agree to accept a Palestinian state as long as the PLO agreed to allow Israel to keep Jerusalem, the day after Arafat urged Palestinians to renew the violence and intifada and warfare until Israel had fully relinquished Jerusalem, the Palestinian campaign of suicide bombings was renewed.
As a result, in one moment, Baby Shani became the epitome of the Oslo peace process. She was seriously, though not mortally, wounded in the bomb blast. She was grabbed by 18-year old Shabtai Labanda, who handed her off to a police woman, while he rushed to apply a tourniquet to another bomb victim whose arm had been blown off. The TV image that will be most remembered, not only of the bombing on March 21st, but of Oslo in general, will be that of this police woman running back and forth frantically with Baby Shani in her arms trying in desperation to find the baby’s mother. The mother was dead.
Israel cemented up the house of the suicide bomber, who will NOT be buried in a pigskin, in contrast with the technique used by Britain to suppress Islamic terror in Malaysia and the Philippines after World War II. Israel used to blow up houses of terrorists, but the Israeli Left complained this was cruel and unusual, so now the doors of their homes just get cemented up. Then three hours after the cameras are gone, the family of the dead terrorist can move back in.
The suicide bomber who murdered Baby Shani’s mother, Yael Gilad, Dr. Michal Meidan Avrahami and her unborn child had been arrested three weeks earlier for illegal sojourn within Israel. Before that he had got himself fired from his job at a cafe in a suburb of Tel Aviv for sexually harassing a Jewish waitress. But in post-Oslo Israel, the government has a policy of seeking to release as many Palestinian criminals as possible to keep the PLO happy. So the terrorist in question was released. Why seek to put terrorists on the street? For the same reason the Israeli government has a policy of sanctioning the theft by Palestinians and the PLO of 34,000 cars a year from Israel, a third of the number purchased each year by Israelis, as “reparations” to the Palestinians, while Israeli police have been ordered not to stop the theft.
Since the victims of the bombing are three women, with most of the wounded also women,one might expect the far-Left Israel Women’s Network, the main feminist militant group led by Prof. Alice Shalvi, to speak up. The only thing they have to say about all this is that Israel must not build any housing in Jerusalem and must return to its 1949 borders. You know, those borders once described by Labor Party Abba Eban as “Auschwitz Borders.”
Members of the PLO leadership praised the bombing as a great act for peace. The PLO says the Jews are to blame for building housing in Jerusalem. The Foreign Minister of Egypt says that Baby Shani is motherless because “Israeli policies necessitate responses that are dangerous to the peace process.” (H’aaretz March 23, 1997)
The Israeli Labor Party continues its role as chief apologist and PR agent for Palestinian terror. When Arafat ordered a pogrom last fall in which 15 Israelis were murdered, the Labor Party said it was all the Likud’s fault, because the Likud had agreed to allow Jews to walk through a 2200-year old Hasomonean water tunnel blocks away from the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Now the Labor Party is again saying that the Likud is to blame for Shani’s Mom getting murdered, since the government has decided to let Jews build houses in Jerusalem on land they purchased and own.
U.S. President Bill Clinton is continuing his election campaign on behalf of Shimon Peres even though Peres lost the election. Before the election, Clinton flew all the way to Sharm Al-Sheikh to help Peres get elected. Now he is pressuring the Israeli government (Ha’aretz March 23, 1997) to bring Peres and the Labor Party in to a national unity government, presumably to make it more likely that Israel redeploy out of Jerusalem and back to its Auschwitz Borders. Israeli response to Clinton’s naked meddling in internal Israeli affairs? Well, it was not — as I suggested — to cable, “Sure as soon as you confess and compensate Gennifer Flowers.”
Ha’aretz also reports that the US State Department flippantly dismissed Israeli reports to it that Arafat had given a “green light” to renewed terror and bombings. It does not fit in with Madge Albrights all-bright view of the peace process.
And what of Baby Shani? Who will grow up without a mother? Fear not, she will be growing up into a Brave New Middle East, a post- Oslo post-Zionist world of “peace” and Beilingrad.