Israel’s Media Silent on Oslo’s 25th Anniversary
The loudest testimony to the failure of the Oslo Accords is the silence that Israel’s media decreed upon itself to mark this historic day. If it had been possible to explain the horrors of Oslo away, we would have found ourselves today in a special, day-long broadcast in which every person who had a part in the historic hijacking would be waiting in line to be interviewed for the special broadcasts, and glossy special pull-outs would have crowned all the newspapers.
No, they did not forget the date. All the television stations confirmed interviews with me to mark the anniversary. After all, it was the Zo Artzeinu movement that merited to lead the most significant civil opposition to the Oslo Accords. But they all cancelled the interviews at the last moment. Which just goes to show that there is nothing new under the sun. Israel’s media knows how to create an agenda and also how to make it disappear.
So to mark the date that the Oslo Accords were signed, here are some excerpts from my new book, “Israel’s Quixotic Quest for Normalcy”.
When Rabin and Netanyahu shook the hand of the head of the Organization to Liberate “Palestine” – in other words, when both Israel’s Right and Left recognized the negative of Zionism - when it recognized “Palestinianism” and the legitimate demands of the new Arab “nation” for sovereignty in the Land of Israel, Zionism lost the only sanctified value that it truly had: Zionism lost Zion.
The only value behind which the blind giant can hide today and justify himself is the ethic of self-defense. “Effect Yad Vashem” – a.k.a. “we are just because we were oppressed” doesn’t work well anymore. David has moved down to Gaza and now we are Goliath.
With the Oslo Accords, we became uninvited guests in our own Land. Zionism became a colonial movement. Not even one piece of justification was left for Israel in the face of the fighters for the liberation of “their land”. With one handshake, we transformed them from terrorists to freedom fighters. We cannot kill the children whose land we conquered. The most we can do is to destroy their mortar shells – after they are launched – because inanimate objects do not express justice or unjustness. The valued self-defense is more legitimate than inanimate objects. Even the Zionist conqueror – the last of the colonialists - can intercept mortar shells.
It is a mistake to think that this is a war between Israel’s Right and Left. Both of Zionism’s hands strived to achieve the same goal – to create Jewish civilian nationalism – without G-d. For the Left, G-d’s absence was filled by universalism, equality, socialism and communism. The Right tried to exchange G-d for purposeless nationalism, murky concepts of glory, heroic militarism and romantic fascism of the beginning of the 20th century.
When I established “Zo Artzeinu” in order to stop the Oslo process, I thought I was fighting the Left. I thought that if I would stop Oslo, somebody from the Right would turn up and set the train back on its track. The truth is, that even then something inside me said it wouldn’t work. As a young soldier, I experienced the destruction of the settlements in Sinai at the hands of the rightist government of Begin, Sharon and the National Religious Party. I knew that nothing could really be expected of that leadership, but I suppressed the vague feeling. It was convenient to mark the Left as the enemy and it was easy to bring the masses out into the streets when on the Opposition bench of the Right, a young and charismatic leader was waiting. His name was Binyamin Netanyahu. I did not understand then that the Oslo process was not the Left’s attack against Zionism, but rather, just the opposite: Oslo was the Left’s desperate attempt to fulfill the vision of Zionist normalcy.
“For me, Oslo means forgetting that you are Jewish…” (Authoress Dorit Rabinian – Channel 1, a year after the Accords were signed).
“I want peace so that there can be ‘Israeli-ness’. Peace is not the actual goal. It is the means to bring Israel from one era to the next, to the era that I consider a normal state. ‘Israeli-zation’ of society instead of its ‘Judaization’ will make it possible to combine Jewish nationalism with the flourishing of Israeli culture, separation of religion from state and full equality for the Arab minority in Israel.”
(Dr. Ron Pundak, one of the Oslo architects, International Crisis Group, April 2014)
When I blocked the roads throughout Israel, I repressed my vague understanding t
Right aspires to the same goal and thus will always ultimately bring us to the same withdrawal, the same destruction, the same…
Rear guard war.
Like the Dutch boy, I stuck my fingers into the dike, trying to stop the flood. Initially, it seemed to have succeeded. An entire country stopped, the Right celebrated its triumph over the Left and a bit later, we won the elections of ’96 – a victory that was in no small way the result of the major public protest that preceded it.
But today, 25 years later, the Oslo Accords still rule, the rightist prime minister, in his Bar-Ilan speech, accepts all of their principles, as do the leaders of Religious Zionism. Is there somebody who can explain the difference between the two-state-solution of the Coalition and the two-state-solution of the Opposition? Between Netanyahu’s “Palestinian” state minus and Bennett’s “Palestinian” autonomy plus?
Years have passed since Zo Artzeinu’s determined struggle against the Oslo Accords. All of our dark forecasts were realized in the most horrific way. Gazan missiles are shot not only to Ashkelon, but they also reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The terror curve has sharply risen – six times more murder victims than in the two decades that preceded Oslo, twenty times more wounded, the IDF has swollen to unrecognizable proportions with police brigades that were not necessary prior to the Accords and an entire department for victims of hostilities was established by Israel’s National Insurance Institution. The nation no longer believes in the Left’s peace processes and so, the Right always wins the elections. But when it has no other goal, the Right is never able to mount an alternative to the Left’s path. Oslo continues to rule and the main executor of most of the occasional destructions is generally the Right.
In hindsight, I understand that it was not the withdrawal and destruction that I was trying to stop by blocking traffic and other protests – but rather, Zionism’s rear-guard war. All the action that I have taken since then, all my analytical and political writing, were meant to create an alternative to Oslo’s deterministic process of retreat – to create Zionism that advances toward its goals instead of Zionism that only retreats in the rear-guard war for its existence.
I am no longer willing to rally for the next rightist leader. Nobody will lead the rear-guard war better than Netanyahu.
 In the 1940s and 50s, both worldwide movements – radical nationalism and radical universalism (equality) attempted to destroy the Nation of Israel. One was stopped after it destroyed a third of our nation and the second did not materialize because at the last moment, Stalin died.