Ron Pundak, one of the architects of the Oslo Accords, died Friday after a long battle with cancer. He was 59 years old.
Pundak's Oslo Accords allowed the PLO terrorist organization to establish an armed presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and form the Palestinian Authority (PA). Intifada terror wars following the accords costs thousands of Israeli lives.
Since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, Pundak was involved in working to revitalize the peace process in its various incarnations, by working with several international organizations. Until 2013, he served as the Director of the "Peres Center for Peace."
Despite the vast and pointed criticism the Accords have received in hindsight, Pundak insisted repeatedly that the deal was "historic" in allowing talks to be established between Israel and the PA.
During the last Arutz Sheva annual Jerusalem conference, Pundak called to uproot communities in Judea and Samaria, citing "Israel's interests."
"With all my love to Shilo and Beit El - which are more important than Tel Aviv and Ramat Aviv [. . .] when we choose between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, we must do what's in the best interest of the Jewish people," he claimed in February.
"In light of the fact that we live in a practical reality - the occupation of the West Bank will destroy the Israeli state," opined the Oslo planner. "With all the pain over the exit from Gaza it was an Israeli interest, and so too the exit from the West Bank is an Israeli interest only and not an Arab one."
He also called PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who last week breached peace talk conditions by applying to international conventions, "one of the most honest men in the world."
"Abbas understands the Palestinian interest is to make peace with Israel because that's an anchor that will maintain the future of the Middle East, the regional peace, and the Palestinian state," claimed Pundak. "As long as Abbas is there, there's an opportunity."
Pundak's funeral arrangements have not yet been announced. But in the meantime, at least one MK has reacted to the news publicly.
"We have war heroes, but Ron was a hero of peace," Justice Minister Tzipi Livni stated Friday (HaTnua). "He was a Zionist man who believed in peace and ran chasing it until his last day, he asked to contribute to peace and harness our power for peace, and he was undeterred by radicals and cynics."