Speaker Reuven Rivlin
Speaker Reuven RivlinIsrael news photo: Flash 90

During a special Knesset meeting commemorating the 17th anniversary of the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin proclaimed the death of the project that Rabin was chiefly remembered for – the Oslo Accords.

“I am convinced that that the conception of the Oslo Accords was based on an error. It cannot be implemented in the land between the Jordan River and Mediterranean,” Rivlin said. “We can definitively say that the idea of separation of two peoples in this land mass has failed. It never implanted itself in the hearts of the people, and never led to a long-term political solution” as its framers had intended, said Rivlin.

“The idea of dividing the land failed when the UN declared it, after cease-fires following wars, and after the Oslo A and B agreements, the Hevron agreement, and in negotiations in Taba, Wye Plantation, and Annapolis,” the latter three referring to U.S. and UN sponsored negotiations to advance a PA state in Judea and Samaria. “It failed because the paradigm that held up all these discussions and agreements attempted to deny the reality of life here,” said Rivlin.

“Any concession of land or our historic right to live anywhere in the land of Israel weakens the Zionist enterprise, even if it is clothed as 'pragmatic Zionism,'” said Rivlin. Within “Israel proper,” as well as on land liberated in the 1967 Six Day War, said Rivlin, “there are pockets of cooperation between Jews and Arabs. They learn together at Haifa University, Hebrew University, and Ariel University. For many, the concept of Oslo has failed,” he added.

For those who would accuse him of “disrespecting” the memory of Rabin by even bringing up the question of the success or failure of Oslo, Rivlin said that “since he was murdered, we discussed Yitzhak a great deal. We discussed him as the victim of lunacy and violence. But I very much want to return to a discussion with Rabin on the real issue, the one that was shot down with those cursed bullets. If we could ask Rabin what we should be talking about during these memorial events, I am sure he would ask us to continue to debate the decisions he made as Prime Minister,” said Rivlin.