There is a fallacy in thinking that Israel can pursue the "piece process" in a new Likud-like manner. As most of us know, this "Oslo process" does not lead to peace put to the destruction of Israel and its replacement with "Palestine." Perhaps this point is so obvious that I should not be devoting this issue to it. However, Israel's new Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and many of his advisors continue to express the view that "international agreements" must be honored including the Oslo Accords. It is true that Israel's new government has announced its intention to conduct the negotiations differently from Labor. And Netanyahu has made a point of demanding PLO compliance with their commitments under Oslo. He has also wisely stated that the security interests of Israel will be protected.
The problem with Netanyahu's plan is two-fold:
(1) The Oslo Accords are not really sanctioned by international law as you will
discover in this issue; and
(2) Israeli security can never be protected under the Oslo Accords, despite the best of intentions. Many in the new government believe that the key is demanding strict compliance on the part of the PLO. This is also an illusion, since a perfectly compliant PLO would still pose a serious threat to Israeli survival by virtue of its negative impact on Israeli security, water supplies, and national morale.
Many Israelis believe that to renounce Oslo would result in adverse international repercussions. While there is some truth in this fear, it need not be paramount. There are good and bad ways to carry out government policy. The Oslo Accords represent a clear and present danger to Israel and, therefore, must be renounced in the least damaging way. I would recommend the following course of action:
1. David Bar-Illan, Netanyahu's new communication director, should prepare and then launch a public relations campaign designed to re-educate the American public and their political leaders to the hidden truth about Oslo (ie. PLO non-compliance, security threats, denial of legitimate Jewish rights, etc.)
2. The implementation of Oslo should be frozen until complete PLO compliance.
3. Slowly at first (then more rapidly later) Israel should begin to strengthen and build up the Jewish communities in YESHA including Hebron. Territorial blocks, military bases, and the roads connecting them to each other and the rest of Israel should be annexed officially and taken off the negotiation table. Eventually all public domain land should be added to this territory.
4. Jerusalem should be immediately cleared of PLO police and officials. Massive building of Jewish apartments and government buildings should encircle the city. The boundaries of Jerusalem should be extended to Maale Adumim. For the time being the Temple Mount should come under joint Jewish/Moslem control with times for prayer divided in an equitable fashion. [Jewish prayer guaranteed on the Mount according to halakhah.]
The Palestinian Arabs would soon abandon their dream of creating a new state of Palestine on the ashes of the Jewish state. The international community would soon accept Israel's right to protect its own interests. Israel would be gradually burying Oslo without actually doing it blatantly. Netanyahu must realize that Israel can't be a little bit pregnant. We must either accept Oslo (and Palestine) or reject it.
As for meeting with Arafat, Bibi must remember this bit of folk wisdom: When you sup with the devil, be sure to use a long spoon../...
../..../..../..../..../..Bernard J. Shapiro, Editor