Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
September 6, 2023
Oslo Accord’s writing on the wall
In January 1979, President Carter facilitated the Ayatollahs’ rise to power in Iran, assuming that they would be “preoccupied with tractors, not with tanks.” In September 1993, Prime Minister Rabin embraced the Oslo Accord, assuming that Arafat would be “preoccupied with domestic issues of the newly-established Palestinian Authority, not with terrorism.”
The architects of the 1993 Oslo Accord subordinated the 1,400-year-old violent and shifty Middle East reality to their eagerness to achieve “peace now.” They refused to read the following 72-size-font writing on the wall:
*The September 1993 Oslo Accord salvaged the PLO from the abyss – at a time when it was abandoned by the Arabs – paving the road to an unprecedent wave of terrorism.
*The Accord transferred PLO terrorist headquarters from Tunisia, Yemen and Sudan to Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and Gaza, which are contiguous to the key target of Palestinian terrorism: Israeli population centers.
*The relocation of the PLO headquarters (currently, the Palestinian Authority) was openly defined by PLO leadership as a “Trojan Horse.” It expanded the potential of PLO terrorism, by facilitating direct control over the Arab population of Gaza, Judea and Samaria, significantly radicalizing the neighboring Israeli Arabs.
*The Oslo Accord provided a tailwind to the 1974 PLO’s “Phased Plan,” which determined that – irrespective of diplomatic agreements – every land ceded by the “Zionist entity” would become a springboard for ending the “1948 occupation” (pre-1967 Israel). This view of the Oslo Accord was articulated by Arafat in a September 13, 1993 statement made on Jordanian television, while the Accord was signed on the White House lawn…
*As expected, the Oslo Accord yielded a corrupt, ruthless, terrorist Palestinian Authority, and a wave of unprecedent terrorism – including thousands of missiles launched at Israeli civilians – fueled by hate education, mosque incitement, idolization of arch terrorists and generous monthly allowances to families of terrorists. The stated goal has been to traumatize Israel’s Jewish population into emigration.
Tom Friedman ignored the writing on the wall
In September 1993, Tom Friedman described the Oslo Accord as “a triumph of hope over history,” describing Arafat as a reformed-terrorist transformed into a peace-pursuing statesman. This was consistent with his reference to Arafat as a “teflon guerrilla”, “gipper” and a rock star, while serving in Lebanon as the New York Times Bureau Chief (1984-1988).
In July 2000, he posed the question: “Who is Arafat? Is he Nelson Mandela or Willie Nelson?” In fact, based on Arafat’s track record, T.F. should have asked: Who is Arafat? Is he Jack the Ripper or the Boston Strangler?
Contrary to T.F. and the architects of the Oslo Accord, Arab leaders are aware of the Palestinian inter-Arab track record of subversion, terrorism, ingratitude and treachery. Therefore, they limit their support of the proposed Palestinian state to talk, not walk.
Shimon Peres dismissed the writing on the wall
The late Shimon Peres, the chief architect of the Oslo Accord, published a book – The New Middle East – which highlights the underlying assumptions of the Oslo Accord. It is a blueprint for ignoring the crystal-clear writing on the wall. It underscores the triumph of a virtual and convenient Middle East over the frustrating and inconvenient Middle East reality, which has not experienced inter-Muslim peaceful coexistence since the 7th century.
“The international political setting is no longer conducive to war (p. 80) …
“We must focus on this new Middle East reality, with its new dimensions and different nature of security, and not wander among memories of victories in long-gone wars – wars that will never be fought again (p. 85) …
“The Trojan horse of war is obsolete (p. 51) … All things considered, any war entered into now will be an unnecessary one (p. 52) … We continue to learn war, but we no longer do so in order to declare war. We do so to keep the peace and thwart aggression (p. 69) …
“After hundreds of years of brutal hostilities, the Middle East must be fully aware of the significance of peace… We must awaken to this revolutionary significance of peace (p. 77) …
“Strategic depth may no longer have the same meaning when peaceful relations and reciprocal control systems are in effect… We must revise our general concept of war as a tool of international relations (p. 78) …
“At the threshold of the twenty-first century… soft borders means that armies do not have to be stationed right next to the border (p. 174) …
“We must strive for fewer weapons and more faith. Soft, open political boundaries will make it easier to reach an agreement, and will help it withstand stormy times (p. 173) …”
The Oslo Accord acumen
*The Oslo Accord assessed the Palestinian issue via Western lenses, sacrificing Middle East reality on the altar of wishful thinking, which dooms the pursuit of peace and fuels terrorism.
*The assumption that Israel’s control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) would doom Israel demographically, ignores demographic reality, which features a dramatic Westernization of Arab demography and the unprecedented Jewish (especially secular) demographic momentum.
*The Oslo state of mind is doomed by its obsession with a theoretical encouraging future Palestinian track record, taking lightly the well-documented rogue Palestinian inter-Arab track record. It ignores the fact that rogue entities bite the hand that feeds them.
*The Oslo state of mind underestimates deeply rooted Palestinian aspiration and vision to uproot the “infidel” Jewish sovereignty from “the abode of Islam,” deluding itself that dramatic gestures would induce the Palestinians into peaceful coexistence with Israel. Palestinian ideology – as documented in Palestinian hate education, the PLO and Fatah charters and the “Phased Plan” – has transcended generous financial and diplomatic benefits.
*In 2023, notwithstanding the glaring writing on the wall, the State Department still embraces the Oslo Accord, ignoring the impact of the proposed Palestinian state on US interests: toppling the pro-US Hashemite regime; transforming Jordan into a platform of Islamic terrorism; violent ripple effects into the pro-US oil-producing Arab states; rewarding Sunni terrorists, Iran, China and Russia with a strategic bonanza, while dealing a blow to the US economy, homeland and national security.
*The late Senator Daniel Inouye, who was the Chairman of the full Appropriations Committee and the Intelligence Committee, and the most supportive legislator (by far!) of enhanced US-Israel relations, read the writing on the wall. He was concerned that the Oslo Process could evolve into a funeral procession of the Jewish State.
*Senator Inouye knew that a precondition to the realization of the Palestinian aspiration is the annihilation of the Jewish State, unlike all Arab states which can realize their aspirations simultaneously with the existence of Israel.