Left-Wing Commentators Against Oslo, Peace Groups

,

Prominent Israeli commentator Ehud Ya\'ari has gone on record to the effect that not only is Arafat responsible for the warfare against Israel, but that the Oslo process itself must be considered a failure. \"What is amazing,\" writes Ya\'ari in the latest issue of The Jerusalem Report, \"is that Israelis have reached a general consensus about Arafat, but not about the process that brought him into our neighborhood... [T]he 60-70 percent majority that supported Oslo is still not ready to subject that process to a reassessment in the same way that it has reconsidered the attitude to Arafat...
\"[This] inherent contradiction... raises a serious danger: Any further dealings with Arafat will remain within the general outline of Oslo. It will mean yielding other bits of territory - like Chaim Ramon\'s suggestion of a 10% third redeployment and/or ... evacuating the settlements of Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip. Peres probably has this kind of approach in his saddlebag as he presses the Americans to present Sharon with a written proposal, backed up by wide international support, for the implementation of the Mitchell Report. Proceeding along such a track would be an evasion of extracting any lessons from the mistake Israel originally made by bringing Arafat in.
\"... The sobering-up about Arafat must be coupled with the conclusion that Oslo was a bold experiment with positive goals but, expectedly, a failure. Tremendous value could be gained from a public recognition of that fact, particularly by the Israeli left, which has shown itself ready to engage in open soul-searching when it comes to Arafat. Only by revisiting Oslo will the way open up for new, more effective formulas.\"

In Ha\'aretz today, Ari Shavit writes the following:
\"It will be difficult to forget this silence. For several months now, on almost a daily basis, Israeli citizens who live beyond the Green Line are being murdered by the historic allies of the Israeli peace movement, yet that movement is silent. Here and there its members might mumble a word or two expressing their condolences. Here and there they might make a weak-kneed appeal to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. However, essentially, they are silent. In the deepest sense, they are silent. They see their allies shooting at point-blank range at Israelis and yet they are silent.
\"Nor is it just the Israeli peace movement that is silent. Silence is also being observed by Israeli human rights groups... For years, Israeli human rights groups have reported - and they are to be commended for having done so - every act of injustice committed at every Israeli roadblock in the territories. Yet these same human rights groups have not seen fit to publish even one comprehensive report on the blood-soaked closure that has been imposed for the past nine months on the residents of some 150 Israeli communities.
\"...Nor is it just the Israeli human rights groups that are silent. Silence is also being observed by Israeli intellectuals and by the majority of the columnists in the nation\'s newspapers... Silence is being observed by those who have spoken here for an entire generation of the principle of universal justice without understanding that universal justice today requires all decent human beings to stand up for those who are being shot at, to stand up for them without asking questions or getting into philosophical arguments. To stand up without hesitation in order to protest the attempt being made right before the eyes of all Israelis to conduct a violent ethnic cleansing process on the West Bank... However, what is most disturbing is that this silence... is somehow linked to the fact that it is their secret political dream to see the Settler Other simply evaporate. To get up one morning and to discover that the hated Settler Other has quite simply vanished... [T]his massive silence not only arouses moral disgust, it is also destructive from the political standpoint...\"





top