Once upon a time there was a silly idea. Yossi Beilin, head of the far-left fringe of the Labor Party advocated it secretly. But he assured the Party and everyone else that if the Palestinians engaged in terror, launched suicide bombings and violence, then the idea would be abandoned and discarded. The Palestinians engaged in terror, launched suicide bombings, and violence. Beilin promoted his idea and opened secret negotiations in Oslo anyway.
When Prime Minister Rabin was brought aboard the Oslo bandwagon, he reassured Israel. He was a hawk and general, after all. If the Palestinians engage in terror and suicide bombings and violence, they will lose the great historical opportunity presented by Oslo, he will call off the negotiations at once and take back everything offered by Israel. The Palestinians engaged in terror, suicide bombings and violence. Rabin pursued Oslo anyway.
After Rabin was killed, Prime Minister Shimon Peres accelerated the Oslo process. As he
considered turning over the cities in the West Bank to the Palestinians, he assured everyone that if
the Palestinian terror, suicide bombings and violence did not stop at once, Oslo would be halted
and the Palestinians would lose their great historic opportunity forever. The terror, bombings and
violence continued. Peres continued to make concessions and pulled Israel out of the West Bank
cities.Peres got trounced in the elections for his hypocrisy. Netanyahu got elected. He promised
to continue Oslo, but only if the Palestinians behave themselves with a complete absence of terror,
bombings and violence. He threatened ominously, any resumption of terror and bombings would
end Oslo forever, the PLO would be stripped of everything it had received. Israel would return to
its pre-Oslo policies.
On March 21, 1997, the same day the press carried reports that Netanyahu would agree to accept
a Palestinian state as long as the PLO agreed to allow Israel to keep Jerusalem, the day after
Arafat urged Palestinians to renew the violence and intifada and warfare until Israel had fully
relinquished Jerusalem, the Palestinian campaign of suicide bombings was renewed. The Israeli
Left blames the obstinacy of the Likud government in actually constructing housing in Jerusalem
for the terror.
Netanyahu will continue Oslo and is busy preparing the next three unilateral Israeli withdrawals
called "pi-imot". Oslo will continue. But beware, O Palestinians, if there is any more violence,
it will be ended by Israel's wise leaders../..../..../..../...
DR. STEVEN E. PLAUT teaches at the GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA, HAIFA 31905 ISRAEL