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Daily Israel Report

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Knesset to Debate the "Failure of Oslo"

Likud MK Gideon Saar has initiated a special Knesset session three weeks from now, entitled, "Ten Years of Oslo - Learning from the Failure."
First Publish: 8/19/2003, 7:35 PM

Likud MK Gideon Saar has initiated a special Knesset session three weeks from now, entitled, "Ten Years of Oslo - Learning from the Failure." Saar served as Cabinet Secretary under both Binyamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon, and is now a first-term MK and coalition whip. He collected the necessary 25 MKs' signatures for the special debate.

Asked what he expects to emerge from the session, Saar said,
"I think that the title speaks for itself. Now that we're in the midst of another diplomatic process, it's very important that we learn from our previous mistakes - such as our lack of insistence on the Palestinians fulfilling their obligations. I would say that the #1 mistake is, as Prime Minister Sharon has emphasized, that we did not insist on the dismantling of the terror infrastructures. The PA undertook, as far back as the Wye Agreement [late 1998], to outlaw all terror organizations. Today, it is acting in direct opposition to this by making agreements with the various terror groups, enabling various extents of terrorism for various time periods... It is convenient for people to enjoy this relatively quiet period of hudna, and not engage in an all-out clash - but if this approach becomes entrenched, then it means that we are allowing terrorism to grow within our midst."

Saar said that the fact that the government approved the Road Map, albeit with a series of qualifications and conditions, was "a historic mistake," and that he has fought and continues to fight against it. He feels that there is a basic difference between the present government and the Rabin-Peres-Barak governments, in that "the left-wing felt that Judea, Samaria and Gaza were a burden that had to be gotten rid of, even if the Palestinians did not fulfill their obligations very well - while this government is coming from a totally different perspective... In any event, for these reasons it is very important for the Knesset to discuss the Oslo process and its mistakes, so that we can in fact learn from them."

Asked about the current legal controversies in which Ariel Sharon is currently embroiled, MK Saar said,
"Unfortunately, we seem to have a culture of trial by media. My position in general is that we should let the legal authorities do their job without hearing the opinions of politicians on the news all day long. I can also say that I am sure that those who belong to a certain political camp who wish to see the downfall of this government will once again be disappointed at the end of this investigation."