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How About a Winograd Commission for the Oslo process?

By Michael Freund
5/3/2007, 12:00 AM


with the Israeli media and public now busy talking about topics such as failed leadership, lack of strategic acumen and disastrous policymaking, perhaps it is at last time for a full-blown investigation of an even greater mess: the Oslo "peace process" with the Palestinians?
What a mess.

Essentially, the findings of the Winograd Commission only confirm what most of us have suspected all along: that the Government failed miserably in the prosecution of last summer's Lebanon war.

Only time will tell if Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz will pay the ultimate political price for their actions and be sent into early retirement.

But with the Israeli media and public now busy talking about topics such as failed leadership, lack of strategic acumen and disastrous policymaking, perhaps it is at last time for a full-blown investigation of an even greater mess: the Oslo "peace process" with the Palestinians?

Since the signing of the Oslo Accords back in September 1993, Israel has endured increasing Palestinian terror and violence, yet successive governments have continued down the path of concessions, withdrawal and retreat.

Even more than the fiasco in Lebanon, this series of pull-outs has damaged Israel's security, weakened its deterrence, and underminded the nation's morale. Worse yet - it has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Israelis, thanks to the misguided and short-sighted policies that have been carried out over the years, from Yitzhak Rabin's handshake with Yasser Arafat down to Ariel Sharon's expulsion of Gaza Jewry.

I say it is time for a commission of inquiry to be established to investigate just how the country has been led down the Oslo path of disaster over the past 14 years.

We the people deserve to know just why and how our government chose to give away parts of the homeland, even as our enemies continued to perpetrate unprecedented atrocities.

I have no illusions that this will occur any time soon - but that should not stop us from continuing to press for a full and complete accounting.