Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat)
It was announced at the end of last week that envoys of the Quartet – the US, the UN, the EU, and Russia – will be coming to the region this week to “kick-start peace talks.”
These pompous, self-righteous parties without a shred of genuine concern for Israel’s situation have declared that “the intensifying threat of terrorism, sectarian extremism and radicalization in the Middle East reinforces the need to pursue a negotiated two-state solution.” They are coming to “engage directly with the parties in order to explore concrete actions both sides can take to demonstrate their genuine commitment to pursuing a two-state solution.”
Their presumption that they can ameliorate the radicalism and violence in this part of the world by bringing “the two state solution” into being is proof positive that they do not know what they are doing and understand nothing. But they can be more than a bit of an annoyance. Bibi needs them about as much as he needs a migraine.
I’ve been wanting to take a closer look at the Oslo Agreements and their context. This news provides a most opportune moment for doing so.
The original Oslo Accords, the Declaration of Principles – signed September 13, 1993, on the White House lawn – were a mistake from their inception. A reluctant Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was pulled along by Israeli leftists (primary among them Foreign Minister Shimon Peres) who had initiated secret negotiations in Oslo, Norway.
Take a look at who was smiling at the signing, and who was not.
Those of you who watched the proceedings on television may remember that when Rabin was supposed to shake Arafat’s hand, he pulled back for a moment, finding it a difficult thing to do. And right he was to hesitate, as Abbas was a terrorist of the first order. The first – huge! – mistake was bringing Abbas and his cohorts from Tunis for this agreement, instead of seeking accords with local Palestinian Arabs. It was thought that Abbas and company, who represented the PLO, had to be party to a serious agreement. This was going to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.
Stepping back a bit:
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem at the time of World War II, Haj Amin al-Husseini, had strong Nazi connections.
In 1941, he visited Hitler and sought to bring the Nazi program into the Arab world. See https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/muftihit.html .
The Mufti was a relative of Arafat (who was a Husseini). Arafat called him “uncle,” and looked to the Mufti as his mentor.
How much more do we need to know? Some years ago I encountered an interview done with Arafat’s first wife (whom he left in Tunis when he came to this region). She bragged about how she bolstered Arafat’s morale when he became depressed. She would send one of the children in the camp to approach him. “Go,” she would encourage the child, “tell Abu Ammar (Arafat’s nom do guerre) that you need a gun to kill Jews.” The child would do it, and Arafat would beam, she said, and pat his head, and say “Ah, this is our future.”
I never forgot: Killing Jews was Yasser Arafat’s “future.”
The Oslo Declaration of Principles established an interim self-government for the Palestinian Arabs, which is the Palestinian Authority. There were to be negotiations that would lead to a final status agreement within five years.
Please note: the “final status agreement” is left ambiguous in the Accords – nowhere is it defined as a “Palestinian state.” The notion evolved over time that this is what it was going to be, but the record shows that Rabin himself envisioned some sort of autonomy short of a sovereign state.
The next step in the Accords – the Gaza-Jericho Agreement – called for withdrawal of Israeli forces from parts of Gaza and from Jericho and the assumption of some responsibility by the PA for Palestinian Arabs in those areas. It was signed on May 4, 1994.
On May 10, 1994, mere days after this agreement was signed, Arafat delivered an off-the-record speech in a mosque in Johannesburg, SA. He did not know that a South African radio journalist was recording it. I have the entire speech. It included these words:
“This agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed by our prophet Mohammad and Quraysh…”
If nothing else I am writing here registers with my readers, it is my hope that this will.
In 628 CE, Muhammad, who assessed his following as not yet sufficiently strong to take Mecca in battle, made a ten-year peace treaty – the Hudaibiya Pact – with the polytheistic Quraysh tribe that controlled the city. This pact, which provided the Muslims access to Mecca for purposes of worship, stipulated that the two people “agreed to remove war from the people for 10 years.”
Two years after signing, when he had garnered considerably more strength, Muhammad abrogated the treaty and attacked the Quraysh with a force so overwhelming that they surrendered with out a fight. He did this by quietly preparing, when the Quraysh guard was down, and finding a pretext for the battle he was determined to wage.
In Islamic law, the way in which Muhammad conducted himself is viewed as a model of proper behavior when dealing with non-Muslims. The term for this is hilam: “by stratagems you will make war.”
Arafat was delivering a covert message to his followers that they should have patience, that when the time was right, he would find a pretext and do battle.
Credit: The Guardian
This tells us why he bothered to sign the Accords when he was not really interested in peace. And I would suggest that the constant fallacious charges being made now of Jewish attacks on the Al Aksa mosque fall within the category of pretext for war.
There is other evidence of what the true intentions of Arafat were when signing the Accords:
After The Yom Kippur War of 1973, it became apparent to the Arabs that Israel would not be defeated in an act of “Total Liberation.” Subsequently, in June 1974, the PLO adopted a “Phased Program”: Any “liberation step” that is achieved constitutes a step towards paving the way for completing the “liberation” of all Palestinian soil. According to this program, even negotiations towards establishing a state in part of Palestine would be acceptable if it weakened Israel and provided a foothold for achieving the final goal later. I have the full text of the Phased Program, sometimes referred to as the Strategy of Stages.
Thus was Arafat happy when he signed the Accords on the White House lawn. This was seen as a step towards weakening Israel and towards Israel’s ultimate destruction. It had nothing to do with wanting a permanent state in part of Palestine that would live in peace with a Jewish state on the other part. It is only self-deluded leftist Israelis and Westerners who have envisioned – and in some cases continue to envision – this.
There were subsequent agreements signed through 1995 as part of Oslo, including the division of Judea and Samaria into Areas A, B, and C. You can see further details here:
But I would like to focus on two significant points.
The first is the fact that Mahmoud Abbas is cut from the same cloth as Yasser Arafat.
There are those who would argue that even if all that I wrote above was true, it no longer is, because Abbas is a “man of peace.” How many times have I gagged on this. It’s poppycock. He simply adopted a suit and tie in place of Arafat’s radical garb; he was Arafat’s long-time right hand man and protégé.
See Caroline Glick’s latest on Abbas:
The second issue involves the intentions of PA leaders, from a different perspective:
“In 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak [meeting with Arafat in Camp David at the invitation of President Bill Clinton] offered to withdraw from 97 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of the Gaza Strip. In addition, he agreed to dismantle 63 isolated settlements. In exchange for the 3 percent annexation of the West Bank, Israel said it would give up territory in the Negev that would increase the size of the Gaza territory by roughly a third.
“Barak also made previously unthinkable concessions on Jerusalem, agreeing that Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem would become the capital of the new state. The Palestinians would maintain control over their holy places and have ‘religious sovereignty’ over the Temple Mount.
“According to U.S. peace negotiator Dennis Ross, Israel offered to create a Palestinian state that was contiguous, and not a series of cantons. Even in the case of the Gaza Strip, which must be physically separate from the West Bank unless Israel were to be cut into non-contiguous pieces, a solution was devised whereby an overland highway would connect the two parts of the Palestinian state without any Israeli checkpoints or interference. The proposal also addressed the Palestinian refugee issue, guaranteeing them the right of return to the Palestinian state and reparations from a $30 billion fund that would be collected from international donors to compensate them.”
Yasser Arafat turned down the offer. In his last conversation with President Clinton, Arafat told the President that he was “a great man.” Clinton responded, “The hell I am. I’m a colossal failure, and you made me one.”
“In 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert extended a peace proposal to Abbas that would have created two nation-states. Under the plan Israel would have withdrawn from almost the entire West Bank and partitioned Jerusalem on a demographic basis.” It is said that this offer was even more generous than Barak’s had been. Mahmoud Abbas rejected it.
“Abbas was supposed to have forsworn terror, but on February 28, 2008, he told the Jordanian newspaper al-Dustur that he did not rule out returning to the path of armed ‘resistance’ against Israel. In fact, his reason for not engaging in ‘armed struggle’ was not because he disavowed terror, but because he doesn’t believe the Palestinians can achieve their objectives. ‘At this present juncture, I am opposed to armed struggle because we cannot succeed in it, but maybe in the future things will be different.’”
There is absolutely no reason to think that the Palestinian Authority would negotiate in good faith for a “two state solution.” They hold out for everything, totally without compromise, and at this conjuncture in time would never even be offered what was proposed first in 2000 and then 2008. A different security situation has radically changed the dynamics.
It is time to stop pretending that an agreement might be reached or that it would be in the best interests of Israel or the larger region.
What is more, it is time to start addressing Israel’s rights.
I will visit other aspects of this issue in my next posting.
Before closing, I simply note that over Shabbat the violence continued – with more stabbings and rioting.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.