Over the years, we talked a lot about peace and strove for peace, but it was never like this time pure and true. Although the confusion sometimes takes over the facts because this is the first time we got true peace, which hides no real estate deal or malicious intent, this time we won peace for peace. A warm peace that permeates the public in the Arab countries with which we have just signed, an impressive and opening gift for a good and blessed year of peace and regional stability, right as we celebrate the Jewish High Holidays. As the Jewish sages say, “He who makes peace in his high places, he will make peace for us and for all his people Israel.” Amen.
The first agreement signed between Israel and Egypt was received with joy, yet involved a real estate deal that transferred the Sinai Peninsula to Egyptian control and it was and still is cold, very cold, even freezing at times despite Sadat’s desire for peace. To our great sorrow, his people were disappointed, and the manifestations of their hatred led to his assassination. Both back then and today, the people in Egypt did not reconcile with the agreement, and among many sections of the public and in the media define Israel as “the Zionist enemy.”
About two decades later, the Oslo Accords emerged, which brought Fatah’s leadership into the country. It certainly was not a peace agreement and I do not say this because of my political position. The Oslo Agreements are the exact opposite of peace, for there must be acute elements to consider it peace. Peace means openness between peoples, opening the borders for trade and tourism and other such elements that exist in every peace agreement between sovereign states. To the contrary, what the Oslo Accords brought led to terrorist attacks that blew up buses and places of entertainment in which more than 2,500 innocent Israeli citizens were killed. And the hatred did not stop here but continued in the textbooks. This led to the closing of borders and the banning of Jewish Israelis from entering the PA territories that once before the agreement were shopping and working areas for Jews and Arabs alike, but from the Oslo agreement onwards, Jews were forbidden to enter and even were murdered after accidentally entering.
The Palestinian discourse in both the educational system and politics was and remains hostile to Israel. As time went on, hatred and hostility grew, and despite Israeli efforts since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, the Palestinians showed no willingness to complete the agreement, and did not even act to bring about the infrastructure necessary to establish a state. To the contrary, they exploit the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for economic gain, so they can obtain donations and live off of them without having to build the infrastructure of an independent state. They make money off of presenting Israel in a malicious light to haters of Israel and sophisticated anti-Semites across the globe, who care more about despising the Jewish people than helping the Palestinians.
The agreement with Jordan also does not meet the definition of a real peace agreement. Among Jordanians, the State of Israel is still called Palestine and not the State of Israel. This remains the situation despite the limited openness between the two countries that remains seemingly peaceful. It thus does not have the elements that make it a perfect peace agreement, which meets the international parameters of comprehensive peace accord.
And then out of nowhere, Prime Minister Netanyahu manages to announce peace agreements of a new kind, ones we did not know could exist based on the previous ones that we experienced. It is a peace for peace that is all honey and no stings attached, which also revealed those who are not accustomed to peace and free love to be hypocrites. These same types of people even invented price tags that later turned out to be false. They argued that there was no war between us and then talked down regarding everything related to all the benefits of opening diplomatic, trade and tourism relations with countries that had hitherto been blocked before us, ignoring the fact that it has public support, unlike all previous agreements. This remains the case even after a few days upon the signing of the peace agreements, friendships and collaborations were found between citizens and organizations and businessmen. No one ever brought about such a deal, except Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom both the media and the Israeli left try to ignore.
But it cannot be ignored any longer when the peace agreement opens with the clause, “out of a desire to realize the vision of a stable, peaceful and prosperous Middle East for all the countries and peoples of the region, longing for peace, warm relations and diplomats, full cooperation and normalization of relations between them and their peoples. And in accordance with this Convention to redraw the path for the release of the enormous potential of the two states in the region. ” It is so clear and sharp that it is not conditional on any concessions and not conditioned on any reservations. It is peace for peace for the peoples and the stability of the region, which was surprising because the left has not yet heard of such a peace.
There are facts that as much as they try to obscure cannot be erased, and if we talk about a legacy of peace according to the data and facts, then Netanyahu is the man who will leave a legacy of peace worthy of imitation, after years of engaging in the Sisyphean task with great sophistication and secrecy, slowly peeling off obstacles. He injures and leaves all viewers captivated and even confuses them to some extent, and despite the manifestations of hatred and incitement experienced by the Israeli left, he remains faithful to his path of achieving a secure peace, one that will leave future generations an unquestionable legacy.
It is true that since the assassination of Rabin, he has been portrayed by the left as an icon of peace and his only legacy is the legacy of peace, but the facts disprove this. If one explores Rabin’s history, one understands that Rabin did not leave behind a legacy of peace. Rabin did not seek a peace agreement because he did not believe it was possible, and to some extent with the Palestinians, he was right. He sought a process with the Palestinians because they are not striving for peace. Therefore, claiming that he was an icon of peace nullifies his contribution as a warrior and commander, and this is the legacy that Rabin deserves. Referring to him as an icon of peace underestimates Rabin’s value and contribution to the State of Israel and its citizens.
(Mendi Safadi, head of the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Human Rights and Public Relations, is a lecturer on Islamic affairs, terrorism, and the Middle East. Previously, he was chief of staff in the Office of the Deputy Minister for Development of the Negev and Galilee and Regional Cooperation, and served as a liaison between Israeli officials and the Syrian opposition)