by Sha’i ben-Tekoa (June 2015)
One benefit of the bloody fiasco that became the Oslo Peace Process launched on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993 by President of the United States William Jefferson Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak ben-Nehemiah Rabin, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon ben-Yitzhak Peres and the world’s most successful terrorist Yasir ibn Abdel Rauf al-Qudwa Arafat and his aide Dr. Mahmoud Abbas, PhD, was how it provided fresh evidence that the Jews are indeed a chosen people — if not in the traditional, religious sense.
Even an atheist must admit that the Jews have been uniquely chosen in every generation by (if not the Almighty then) gentiles for special abuse and persecution, expulsion and the theft of all their immovable wealth that goes along with such expulsions. They have been selected for torture, mutilation, rape, medical experiments and massacres at the hands of gentiles who mocked their claim to Chosenness even as they singled them out for unusual treatment.
The Oslo Process also produced evidence of this people’s unique identity via the astonishing decision made by Israel’s leaders, Rabin and Peres, to initiate a plan that was rooted in a kind of stupidity that was not normal. It was a special strain of stupidity about life and people characteristic of leftists in general and post-religious Zionist leftists in particular.
Oslo was a monumental, cosmic mistake. The decision to sign an agreement with Yasir Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas — who until 1993 had been anathema to Israelis for three decades — was the rotten fruit of the hothouse of Socialist Zionist theorizing that Israel’s leaders had been raised in.
The process of betraying the national consensus on not dealing with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was set in motion when Labor won the elections in 1992. This brought Rabin and Peres to power, and along with the latter his political protégé Political Scientist Dr. Yosef (Yossi) Beilin, PhD. Israeli leftists like Beilin had for years been pressing for peace talks with the PLO leaders of (in their minds) the “victims of Zionism,” and at Beilin’s urging, Peres agreed to allow him to set the ball rolling. Beilin did this by employing fellow Political Scientist Dr. Ron Pundak, PhD, Dr. Yair Hirschfeld, PhD in Middle East History and Uri Savir, BA in Political Science, to seek out in secret the PLO for peace talks.
Peres, unlike them, had no formal, higher education worthy of the name after age sixteen but no matter. In his youth, he had been an ardent socialist when socialists everywhere by the early 1990s were partisans of the PLO, the greatest Jew-killing organization since Germany’s National Socialists.
Beilin & Co. made contact with Arab academics who contacted the PLO. Secret talks began in Oslo, and when the two sides went as far as they could, Peres was informed of their progress and revealed to Rabin what had been going on behind his back.
Rabin himself was the son of ardent Communists whose own progressive, childhood education had left him empty of information of the real world. In his late teens in the early 1940s during World War II, he enrolled at the Kadoorie agricultural school in the Galilee to learn to be a communistic/kibbutz farmer, though for much of the next two years he was not in school but participating in clandestine military training and operations in Haganah, the Zionist left’s armed underground. With a background like this, like that of Peres, lacking a formal and rigorous education, Rabin also had little training in critical thought.
However, the most important characteristic common to Israel’s Peace Process engineers was the absence in their adult lives of ever having to earn a living in the real world outside the bubble of the Labor Zionist community. Peres had been a party apparatchik all his life; he never worked in the private sector. Rabin as well had been a career officer in the Israel Defense Force for the state’s first two decades when it was dominated by the communards in the communes/kibbutzim and moshavim/collective villages. Neither of them had to produce and compete in the real world to deal and negotiate and succeed with all kinds of people outside their in-group. In the kibbutzim, belonging to the dominant Mapai Party, all members read the same daily newspaper Davar published by the party.
Likewise, Yossi Beilin, after army service, had worked as a reporter for Davar and at a certain point conducted a series of interviews with veteran party leaders. He then compiled his interviews into a book, each one turned into a chapter. He came up with an academic title like “Generational Shifts in Labor Movement Theory” and submitted the result as a doctoral dissertation. His thesis was that the young generation did not share the values of the older generation (this is original research?) for which he received a PhD from the Political Science faculty at TAU (Tel-Aviv University), which department like others in the world judges Israel to be the aggressor against the “Palestinians.”
These, then, were the Israelis who chose in 1992 to shake the bloody hands of Yasir Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas & Co. Their Oslo Peace Process rested on one baseless assumption after another, starting with the trust that Rabin and Peres placed in Arafat and Abbas. This was something no one with serious experience of the real world would ever have done.
Arafat, Abbas and henchmen were not the type of men you want to go into business with. Arafat, like Abbas, believed the Holocaust never happened and together they plotted murder, mayhem, and the gore of terrorist atrocities. Such people are not to be trusted when they appear to agree with you. Any fool knows that conscienceless mass murderers are not above lying.
Arafat had been killing Jews (and others) for decades. Rabin and Peres knew this. Abbas, who was at his leader’s side when they signed the Oslo documents on the White House lawn, had been awarded his PhD in History by Patrice Lumumba University in the antisemitic Soviet Union for his thesis that there had been no Holocaust and the Jews who were admittedly killed during the War fell at the hands of Nazis and their allies, the Zionists, who wanted to frighten Jews into fleeing to Palestine to help them steal it from its ancient, legitimate owners. With these two Arab criminals and delusionists as off-the-rails about history as David Irving and other Holocaust Deniers, no serious, mature and worldly person would ever have cut a deal with them over anything.
Oslo was about Rabin and Peres trying to partner with Arafat and Abbas in order to create a condominium arrangement for governing the territory west of the Jordan River viz., another Arab state. However, at the very moment the Oslo plan went into operation, in July 1994, the day Arafat and entourage were allowed to return from exile, Yasir proved himself a man who could not be trusted. When riding triumphantly in a limousine from Rafah at the end of Egyptian Sinai through the southern gate into the Gaza Strip – Arafat’s first visit since before the Six-Day War — lying on the floor of his limo, so as not to be seen, was a fellow terrorist whom Rabin and Peres had explicitly denied entry. Arafat had agreed to that condition for his own return, but here he was breaking his word in the very millisecond the wheels of his vehicle rolled into Gaza.
This was a portent of years to come and cascades more of broken promises all proving him to be no partner for peace. And by launching the terror of the Al-Aqsa Intifada seven years to the day after he signed the Oslo accords (according to the Hebrew calendar), which bloody uprising took the lives of thousands of Jews and left thousands more maimed, lamed and mutilated for life, Arafat repeatedly showed himself to be as much of an unreformed, untrustworthy, criminal mass murderer as he ever was.
Prior to the signing of the Oslo documents, Israel’s Mossad had reported to Rabin and Peres that in his terrorist career, Arafat had signed two hundred agreements with other terror gangs and Arab governments, all of which he violated.
But Peres and Rabin paid this no mind. They believed that with generous and forthcoming, progressive Israelis like themselves, he would become a man of his word. Their magnanimous gesture of shaking hands with him and promising him Judea, Samaria and Gaza for a state would make him grateful for their recognition of the suffering of his putatively Paleolithic Palestinian people and transform him into a reliable co-worker for peace.
Only men like these two who had never been in the real world would judge Yasir Arafat a trustworthy fellow, especially in what was most important to them. The Oslo Accords envisioned Arafat and his Fatah police controlling brother Arabs who opposed the plan, specifically HAMAS, the local Muslim Brotherhood franchise. Oslo was premised on the view that the allegedly ancient Palestinians were divided between secular nationalists like Arafat and his Fatah men, versus HAMAS, an acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement, whose members had no interest in creating another Arab state but like all devout Muslims aspired to a one-world caliphate. For Muslim reasons, HAMAS had always wanted to destroy Israel — Rabin and Peres reasoned — and therefore was no partner for peace. But Arafat the (imagined) secular, nationalist, moderate, peace-minded, compromising, socialist patriot — as he was portrayed by the Left — was.
In this, Peres and Rabin betrayed their forebears, the Zionist pioneers in the first decade of the 20th century when Eretz Yisrael was still, after four hundred years, under Turkish rule. In 1909, the first generation of Herzlian Zionists broke with tradition and subservience to Turkey’s Sharia law when they decided to form their own, clandestine, volunteer self-defense organization called Hashomer/the Guardian. The Zionists in their new farming communities in the Galilee were constantly being attacked by Arab thieves, and the tradition, in line with Sharia law that prohibited Jews from bearing arms, was to hire ghaffirim/constables licensed by the authorities but paid for by a local community. The ghaffirim, though, as gentile hired hands, would never risk their lives for their Jewish employers, and so the halutzim/pioneers decided to arm themselves, dress up as Arabs and establish their own roving patrols on horseback.
Then, following the Passover pogrom in the historic Jewish Quarter in Old Jerusalem in 1920, which the British did not suppress for two days and actually prevented Jews in the New City from racing to the rescue, a clandestine group of Labor Zionists led by Eliahu Golomb created what would become Haganah. For these secular Zionists, the New Jew would no longer tolerate gentile violence or depend on gentile authorities to protect them. They would do that for themselves.
Which is why the Oslo Peace Process was a gross betrayal of this Zionist value. Rabin and Peres hired Arafat to ride herd on HAMAS and its religious fanatics — to relieve the IDF of the job — and in exchange, Arafat would be given Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
The Oslo dreamers imagined Fatah as the good terrorists and Hamas as the bad terrorists, largely because Rabin and Peres had grown up in a socialist community that preached the “genius” of Karl Marx (if not the Stalinism in the new USSR), according to which, religion was “the opiate of the masses.” Religion was the enemy, not Arabs. Peres in his autobiography even waxed nostalgic for his youth when courting his future wife Sonya by reading to her not love poetry but Das Kapital.
Rabin likewise was the child of dedicated Communists who mocked and hated religion. His mother Rosa Cohen was a rabbi’s daughter who became a heretic, left White Russia for the United States but made a detour to Palestine for what she expected to be a short visit but once there met fellow Communist Nehemiah Robichov. One thing led to another. She stayed and married Robichov who Hebraized the name to Rabin.
Working for the new Palestine Electricity Corporation, Rabin’s father Nehemiah in the May Day parade in Tel-Aviv would lead the company’s contingent by proudly waving a big red flag; and when son Yitzhak entered politics after the Six-Day War, he proudly declared that he came from a “a good proletarian family.”
As Chief of Staff, Rabin was also known to ridicule, for the amusement of his subordinates, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol who remained affectionate toward the world of Yiddish into which he was born. Rabin called him and other fellow Diaspora-born cabinet ministers with their non-sabra, Yiddish accents “the Jews.” Leftist sabras like him were raised to sneer at their religious, Diaspora forebears.
In their society, Israelis who wanted to hold onto the Judea and Samaria captured in 1967 were objects of contempt for their attachment to the historic, Biblical heart of the Promised Land. For Rabin and friends, the coastal plain (associated in history with the Philistines) was their homeland. The Oslo peace plan was thus also for them a way of disgorging all the holy sites in Judea and Samaria. Their socialist Zionism wanted a state like all the gentiles in which religion played no role.
Above all, the Oslo Peace Process was an abomination for its implementation of the left’s post-modernist ethics and morality as situational and relativistic in which there are no moral absolutes and moral equivalence reigns. There is no steady-state notion of good vs. evil. Each side has its “narrative,” and since everyone is entitled to his opinion and view of things, all opinions are of equal worth. Palestinian Nationalism was as a valid as Jewish Zionism, and they respected that viewpoint.
By 1998, a half-decade after the signing of the Oslo documents, Arafat had yet to fulfill the central promise of the process: the removal of language in the Palestine Covenant calling for the destruction of Israel and, conversely, the recognition of Israel’s right to existence regardless of borders. Nonetheless, this year Shimon Peres was photographed kissing Arafat on the cheek and was still fixated on reforming this evil man who was raised in the Muslim Brotherhood and called his first Fatah terrorists “storm-troopers” to whom he distributed photographs of Adolf Hitler for them to carry around in their pockets.
This kind of obtuseness about humanity, character and personality is one of the hallmarks of the left. Marx himself had no theory of human personality, which is why everywhere the theories of that self-declared economic genius produced economic disaster. The history of the last two centuries has shown people as they really are, as the God of Israel designed them, the God of All Creation, whose nature is unsuited to the theorizing and philosophizing of Marxists.
Leftists have so little understanding of people, they would judge an Arafat a partner for a nice, tranquil, cooperative era of ruling in his own state next door to Israel. They believed in the hoax of a “Palestinian” nation with normal patriotic aspirations.
There is no reason to believe any of these Israeli leftists ever read one book on the oppression the Jews had suffered under Muslim rule for fourteen centuries before the Zionist movement. Raised to pooh-pooh faith, they had none of their own and were incapable of appreciating the centrality of Islam in the lives of the so-called Palestinians whose forebears for millennia were Arabs and Muslims who never cared about Palestine. It never occurred to these shallow men that the alleged “Palestinian” movement of national liberation had always been a smokescreen for their aboriginal Arab and Muslim characters and identities.
The Oslo abomination was, in the final analysis, a moral horror story besides a monumental political and military blunder. When Shimon Peres kissed Yasir Arafat on the cheek, the deed symbolized the rancid, leftist core of the Oslo Peace Process, the product of post-Zionist, really post-Jewish Israelis for whom the opinions of genteel gentiles in Paris, London, New York and Washington were the “lamp unto their feet.”
Hiring these conscienceless Muslim terrorists in the PLO by the Israeli left was the ultimate betrayal of the Jewish people famous for preaching ethics, and of Zionism as the ultimate in Jewish self-defense, self-respect and independence.
Sha’i ben-Tekoa’s PHANTOM NATION: Inventing the “Palestinians” as the Obstacle to Peace is available in Kindle or soft cover at Amazon.com or www.deprogramprogram.com. Formerly the lead commentator in English for Israel National News, he is a graduate of Columbia University in Comparative Religion who continued his studies at the University of Chicago and Hebrew University. A traveler in Arab lands, he served in the Yom Kippur War effort of 1973. In 1991, in preparation for the Arab-Israeli peace conference in Madrid, he worked on assignment for the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Shamir. Sha’i ben-Tekoa’s articles on the Arab-Israeli conflict, terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, National Review, Midstream, Congress Monthly and other publications. He has also appeared on PBS’s The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
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