Daily Israel Report

Bennett: Oslo Caused Huge Damage, Sorrow, Grief

Economics Minister: "One can denounce Rabin's murder, yet disagree with his political path."
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 10/12/2013, 10:46 PM

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Hillel Meir

Economics Minister and Bayit Yehudi party chairman Naftali Bennett issued a statement Saturday evening as a memorial for slain former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was held in Tel Aviv.

"On the memorial day for the murder of Yitzhak Rabin z"l," wrote Bennett, "I will state the obvious (perhaps it is not obvious to everyone) – the murder is a terrible thing, which must never be repeated. It has the potential to tear apart the state of Israel."

But, he stressed, "This obvious thing does not prevent me from strongly opposing 'the Oslo path."

"I believe this path is misguided and has caused tremendous damage, sorrow and grief to the people of Israel and to thousands of families that lost their loved ones in the post-Oslo terror."

"For some years," he went on, "an equation was made, between denouncing the Rabin assassination, and supporting the Oslo path. I remember a poster that said 'we will not forget and we will not forgive,' which showed Rabin's picture and under it, Netanyahu's. In effect they were blaming Netanyahu for the murder, and saying 'we will not forgive.' I do not accept this at all."

Bennett recalled that during the time of the assassination, he was serving as commander of a battalion in the elite Maglan unit. "I felt as if there was an attempt to turn all of the opponents of Oslo into outcasts, who are somehow responsible for the murder. Now, 18 years later, I think we have overcome that, and this is a good thing. It is OK to denounce the assassination of Rabin, and yet disagree with the political path that he led."

Elected in 1992, the Labor government under Rabin held secret negotiations with the PLO terror organization in Oslo, Norway, which led to the signing of an agreement that allowed the group's leadership to take over parts of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and to receive arms.

The agreement was ratified in the Knesset by the use of political tricks that induced members of a right-wing party to abandon the opposition benches and join the government.  

Two years after the signing of the Oslo Accords, Hamas carried out its first suicide attack on a bus in Israel. A few years later, a murderous terror war broke out, which killed 1,178 Israelis in 2000-2009, 70% of them civilians, in over 20,000 attacks that included 144 suicide bombings.