The Funeral of the Oslo Accords
The death of former Israeli President Shimon Peres led to a wave of almost unanimous tributes. Representatives from 75 countries came to Jerusalem to attend the funeral. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas even left Ramallah for a few hours to show up.
Such a consensus could seem to be a sign of support for Israel, but it was something else entirely.
Those who honored the memory of Shimon Peres put aside the years he dedicated to creating Israel’s defense industry and to negotiating key arms deals with France, Germany and the United States. Those who honored the memory of Peres spoke only of the man who signed the Oslo Accords and who embodied the “peace process.” They then used the occasion to accuse Israel.
Barack Obama delivered a speech that could have resembled a mark of heartwarming friendship, until he evoked the “the unfinished business of peace talks.” A harsh and negative sentence followed, saying that “the Jewish people weren’t born to rule another people.” The next sentence implied that Israel is behaving like a slave-owner: “From the very first day we are against slaves and masters;” but it is clear to anyone in Israel that there is no such relationship even resembling that. His conclusion followed: “The Zionist idea will be best protected when Palestinians will have a state of their own.”
Despite the unceasing waves of murdering innocent Israeli civilians, Western politicians speak as if Israel were not under attack. They are not interested in seeing the spilled blood, the threats, the hatred constantly spread by Palestinian newspapers, and the incessant and ugly consequences of that hatred. European and American politicians are not interested in hearing what Palestinian leaders say when they call for the ethnic cleansing of Jews. These leaders seem happy to forget the chaos in the Middle East, the ruthless global violence of Islamic extremists, and the outspoken, genocidal intentions of the rulers of Iran. Instead, they speak abstractly of “peace” as if it is something that can be dropped down from sky on people who every day are threatening to kill the Jews.
These politicians practice willful blindness and seem obsessed by a desire illegally to impose the creation of a Palestinian state — whatever the consequences for Israel. These Western leaders can well imagine what those consequences would be if the Arabs had their way: genocide. One can only assume they are pleased with that.
Israelis, however — Muslims, Christians and Jews — cannot practice willful blindness. The spilled blood is not an abstract headline; it is their red blood. The threats, the hatred and the consequences of that hatred are real. Israelis hear clearly what the Palestinian leaders say. They cannot forget what is happening in the Middle East: Jerusalem is 150 miles from Damascus and 1000 miles from Tehran; Hezbollah has more 120,000 missiles aimed at Israel from Lebanon.
Hamas, a designated terrorist group openly dedicated to destroying Israel, rules Gaza just a few miles away. Israelis note the genocidal threats from Iran: Iran can obtain nuclear weapons at any time, along with long-range missiles to deliver them.
Even though many Israeli citizens were proud to see that so many Western leaders came to honor Shimon Peres, they were not fooled. A recent survey showed that only 28% of the Israeli population believe that a peace agreement is even conceivable; 64% think no agreement will ever be signed. Another survey from July 2016 showed that a clear majority of Israelis are opposed to any withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, and resolutely hostile to any foreign interference in Israeli affairs.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu politely received Western leaders when they came to Jerusalem. He paid tribute to Shimon Peres — without omitting the first decades of Peres’ life. He also answered those who speak of “peace” as if no other factors mattered, and firmly stated his position: security comes first; there is no way that peace can exist without security.
Netanyahu listened to Obama’s speech. He doubtless read the press releases of Theresa May and François Hollande. He could easily decipher the innuendos in those speeches and press releases: the same innuendos have been used by Western politicians for a quarter of a century.
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