False Friends: The Global War Against Israel
by Guy Millière
- Just as people in Paris were murdered one day last week, Jews in Israel are murdered virtually every day.
- Undoubtedly, Rabin wanted peace — virtually all Israelis want peace — but not at any price. He never envisaged the creation of a Palestinian state: the Oslo Accords provided for the establishment of a “provisional self-government,” not a state.
- Rabin did not contemplate infinite and unconditional negotiations: the Oslo Accords call for a five-year period of negotiations, and include the possibility of breaking off the talks if one of the parties does not respect the spirit in which the Accords were to be implemented.
- In addition, Rabin, seeing the rise of violence, wanted during the last weeks of his life to break off the talks. If the Oslo talks did not live up to their expectations, it was in continuing to pursue the vain and useless negotiations — exactly the opposite of what Rabin had envisioned.
- Palestinian leaders have an overwhelming responsibility for what has happened during the last twenty years. Not only have they continued to make the very demands that Rabin rejected — and that no leader in a comparable situation could ever accept; they have done worse.
- Israel cannot make peace, because there is no one to make peace with.
- Peace implies conditions. One of the first is that those with whom a country intends to make peace also want to make peace. Nothing, however, indicates that Palestinian leaders have the slightest intention of making anything that even resembles peace.
- One hopes the French will not surrender to terrorists; neither should the Israelis.
On October 31, tens of thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the assassination of Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
In a pre-recorded speech, Barack Obama addressed the crowd and praised the man who had presided over the Oslo Accords. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who came in person, spokeof the need to respect “the legacy of Rabin,” and said that Israelis should “finish” what Rabin started, and choose between “the risk of peace” and “the risk of walking away from it.” He added that it was up to the Israelis to take “the right decision.”
His comments were well received both by the crowd and the media worldwide as the words of a friend of Israel. Unfortunately, and possibly unwittingly, they were the words of a false friend. They carried deeply harmful inaccuracies that serve only the enemies of Israel, and are, sadly, part of the verbal war against Israel.
Since the death of Yitzhak Rabin, a false legend has taken shape. The legend says that Rabin wanted peace and the rapid creation of a Palestinian state. It adds that Rabin’s assassination “killed a hope” that otherwise would have been fulfilled. It accuses all the Israeli prime ministers who succeeded Rabin of failing to complete his mission, and suggests that they did not live up to their task. It also infers that these succeeding Israeli prime ministers are responsible for the failure of all negotiations during the last twenty years. Above all, it exempts the Palestinian leadership from any responsibility.
The reality is quite different.
Undoubtedly, Rabin wanted peace — virtually all Israelis want peace — but not at any price. As a General in the Israel Defense Forces, he devoted his entire life to the security of Israel; he did not change his mind in the years before his assassination. He never envisaged the creation of a Palestinian state: the Oslo Accords provided for the establishment of a “provisional self-government,” not a state. Rabin rejected explicitly the idea of a “Palestinian state”.
Rabin did not contemplate infinite and unconditional negotiations: the Oslo Accords call for a five-year period of negotiations, and include the possibility of breaking off the talks if one of the parties does not respect the spirit in which the Accords were to be implemented. Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasser Arafat violated the Accords on the very first day — by trying to smuggle into Israel, under the seat of his car, an operative who had been prohibited from entering the country. In addition, Rabin, seeing the rise of violence, wanted during the last weeks of his life to break off the talks.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, U.S. President Bill Clinton, and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat at the Oslo Accords signing ceremony on September 13, 1993. (Image source: Vince Musi / The White House)
Rabin’s successors did not break off the talks, as Rabin was planning. His successors went well beyond the five-year period of negotiations initially planned. If the Oslo talks did not live up to their expectations, it was in continuing to pursue the vain and useless negotiations — exactly the opposite of what Rabin had envisioned.
The failure of negotiations for that last twenty years has in reality come from Palestinian demands, which Rabin had explicitly rejected. Palestinian leaders have called non-stop for eliminating West Bank Jewish communities: in a speech to the Knesset nine days before his death, Rabin said that Israel would never abandon the West Bank Jewish communities. Palestinian leaders have repeatedly said they wanted a return to the 1967 borders (the armistice lines of 1949); in the same speech to the Knesset, Rabin said that Jerusalem, complete and united, was, and would remain, the capital of Israel. Palestinian leaders have ceaselessly demanded the “right of return” of Palestinian “refugees.” Rabin stated several times that he rejected the “right of return.” No Israeli leader could accept the “return” of six million Arabs — who four generations later are no longer refugees. Six hundred thousand Arabs left Israel in 1948-49, most of their own accord. Most are long gone. Arabs who stayed within the boundaries of Israel became Israeli citizens (Arabs represent 20% of Israel’s population).
In addition, Palestinian leaders have an overwhelming responsibility for what has happened during the last twenty years. Not only have they continued to make the very demands that Rabin rejected — and that no leader in a comparable situation could ever accept; they have done worse.
Since the creation of the Palestinian Authority, they have used Palestinian schools and the Palestinian media to inculcate hatred for Jews and to incite terrorism and murder against Jews. Despite the Bible and archaeological evidence unearthed daily, Palestinian leaders ceaselessly persist in trying to rewrite history, in order to deny the existence of any historical Jewish presence in the Middle East — going back thousands of years. Recently, in an act of monumental duplicity, UNESCO colluded with them to declare the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb Muslim heritage sites. The Palestinian leadership and media also practiceHolocaust denial.
In Germany now, there is apparently a movement to exempt Muslim students from field trips to sites of concentration camps, for fear of disabusing the children of the Jew-hating propaganda they are fed.
Palestinian schoolchildren are also to this day shown only maps on which all of Israel does not exist, and are raised to glorify killers of Jews as heroes and “martyrs.” Palestinian schoolchildren are, bluntly, raised to be murderers when they grow up.
Despite nearly century of being constantly attacked, Israeli leaders, although they know what the Palestinian Authority does, have nonetheless continued to negotiate. Netanyahu has repeated many times that he is open to negotiations with no preconditions.
The Israelis have taken huge risks for peace, such as the withdrawals from southern Lebanon and Gaza, often at the cost of their lives. These gestures of good will, to allow the people there the “freedom” from a Jewish presence they said they wanted to be able to build better lives, were seen by the Arabs merely as retreats by the supposedly defeated.
Israel’s decision to build the security fence was taken in 2002, after attacks such as the bombing of the Dolphinarium discotheque in Tel Aviv in 2001, and another, two months later, at a pizzeria in Jerusalem.
Israel offered still more “land for peace.” In 2001, at the Taba summit, Israel’s Prime Pinister Ehud Barak proposed abandoning the Jordan Valley, considered crucial for the defense of Israel. He also proposed a “safe road crossing” between Gaza and the West Bank, a route that would have bisected Israel. Later, in 2008, Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he was ready to give up Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.
Anyone now saying that Israelis have a choice between the “risk of peace” and the “risk to walk away from it” is sadly either idiotic or a liar. Israel cannot make peace, because there is no one to make peace with.
This stalemate is further compounded by people who seem to have a salivating appetite for Jewish blood.
Palestinian leaders have made other choices. They not only submitted to UNESCO a resolution that succeeded in relabeling ancient, indisputably Jewish, heritage sites — Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs — as Muslim; they also tried to have the Western Wall — all that is left of the Jews’ Second Temple, destroyed by the
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