Shimon Peres and Zehut
Two events, which on the surface are completely disconnected from each other, have wondrously come together at the same time.
The first looks like a watershed event; all the world’s leaders will honor it with their presence.
The second seems unimportant, out of the limelight, almost unknown.
The first event is the funeral of Shimon Peres. Nobody can miss it. Our entire country will be coming to a standstill. The second event is the distribution of the Zehut platform to our party members, which will be taking place this evening in Tel Aviv. This event will not be making any headlines and only those who plan to attend even know about it.
With my morning coffee, I watched, as usual, the first rays of sun rising over the mountains of the Shomron. I was trying to explain to myself why the funeral of Shimon Peres has turned into such a worldwide happening. My thoughts brought me to the two above events and I realized that there is a deep connection between the two. Death and birth, literally in the same time frame.
With all due respect to the deceased, the steady stream of heads of state arriving in Israel to attend his funeral is above and beyond the man himself. An entire country does not close down for no good reason and the leaders of the world do not trouble themselves to fly to Israel just to attend the funeral of a public figure – as respected and famous as he may be.
Shimon Peres symbolized something. The man created a language and mentality that have determined the mindset and behavior of the State of Israel and in great measure – the entire Western world - for the last 25 years.
Peres accomplished much in his life. But without the Oslo Accords, there would have been no difference between the honor given him upon his passing and the honor merited by any other deceased Israeli public figure of similar stature.
Nothing of what we are witnessing here would be taking place without the Oslo Accords. Oslo is the heritage of Shimon Peres.
Peres’ words from the Knesset podium prior to the ratification of the Oslo Accords still echo in my ears. He turned to Opposition Head Binyamin Netanyahu and asked him:
“And what is your alternative?”
Netanyahu (and the entire Right) did not have an answer.
This lack of alternative enshrined Oslo as the only language and mentality in Israel.
Even when Oslo exploded in our faces again and again and again, bombarding us with shocking images that we could have never dreamt up: buses blowing up, restaurants collapsing upon their customers, thousands of fatalities, tens of thousands of wounded, absolute deterioration of Israel’s international standing and right to exist as a Jewish state, an insufferable economic price and internal despair of any hope for change; even when our streets became filled with security guards, fences and cement block – even after all the dead-end “rounds” of fighting and the scores of fatalities in every “round”, the inner goal of which were to prevent Israel’s victory and perpetuate Oslo – even after it rained missiles on Israel’s cities after the Oslo architects promised that that would never happen – after all of this, Oslo has remained the only language that we can speak. Simply because the Right has never proposed a different language.
Today, upon Shimon Peres’ passing, the heart of an entire world that does not know any other language - a world that lives and breathes Osloese – skips a beat.
And exactly at the same time, on a narrow street in Tel Aviv, the new language will be revealed.
Rest in peace, Shimon. There is now an answer to your question.
The Nation of Israel has an alternative.