On Wednesday, Arutz Sheva published an interview with Dr. Yair Hirschfeld, one of the architects of the Oslo Accords process, who argued that the accords did not cause the wave of deadly terrorism that hit Israel shortly afterward.
His argument aroused many responses. Among those who responded was Meir Indor, head of the Almagor group for victims of terrorism, who rebutted Hirschfeld’s claims with a detailed analysis of how, exactly, the Oslo process caused terrorism.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Indor slammed Hirschfeld’s claims as misleading, but added that he believes Hirschfeld believes what he is saying. “There are dreamers. They aren’t bad people at heart, but when a person is locked in to a certain concept, he comes to accept evil,” he said.
What particularly angered Indor was Hirschfeld’s argument that two murders carried out by Jews – Baruch Goldstein’s shooting targeting Muslim worshipers in Hevron and the assassination of then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin – were among the true causes of the “Intifada” violence.
“If he’s blaming murders by Palestinians on the Jewish people, that’s borderline evil,” Indor accused.
In fact, he said, the Oslo Accords led directly to terrorism.
The first issue was transferring control over security, including counter-terror operations, to the hands of the Palestinian Authority, he said. While there was a precedent of sorts – Israel had transferred much of the responsibility for security in southern Lebanon to the South Lebanon Army – the situation with the PA was different, because it gave the PA far more autonomy than the SLA had, he said.
The fact that the PA army was primarily Muslim while the SLA was Christian was also a factor, he said.
“How can you put foreign, hostile armed forces in the tiny space between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, and allow it to bring in weapons and to train some 13,000 officers? We built this monster with our own hands,” Indor said.
The PA “security control” not only did not slow terrorism, but had the opposite effect, he noted – more than three times as many Israelis were murdered by terrorists after the Oslo Accords as were killed in the “First Intifada” wave of terrorism, when the IDF still patrolled the entirety of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Indor listed the factors that led to terrorism. “Transferring the territory – not letting the IDF be there to capture terrorists and gather information. Giving weapons – of course there were already weapons there, but not on remotely the same scale. When you saturate the area with weapons, it’s enough that just ten percent go to terrorism…
“Removing the fear of legal consequences – the IDF let Palestinian commanders in at the border. [IDF] officers who saw the process called it an outrage, saying, ‘how can it be that after we caught the terrorists, they bring in new terrorists?’… Terrorists planning attacks knew the authorities would ignore them, and if they were caught, at worst, they would be tried and the ‘revolving door’ would go into effect.
“This weakness led to a jump in the number of terrorist attacks,” Indor concluded.
“Many believed in this peace, went out to tour the area believing peace had come, and were murdered,” he mourned.
One example of a direct link between Oslo and terrorism was the Israeli army’s withdrawal from Bethlehem, which led to daily gunfire on the nearby Israeli neighborhood of Gilo, Indor continued.
The turning point in fighting terrorism was the “Defensive Shield” operation, which began after the Park Hotel massacre, and which included IDF operations in the heart of PA-controlled Arab cities. That operation showed how far the situation had deteriorated since before the Oslo Accords, Indor said.
Those who masterminded the attacks were “Hirschfeld’s friends,” he said, naming Jibril Rajoub and Marwan Barghouti in particular as senior PA leaders formerly beloved of the “peace camp” who were deeply involved in terrorism.
Indor also responded to the argument that the PA is in the process of creating a de-facto state already. Under a PA autonomy similar to a state, the IDF can still fight terrorism in PA areas when necessary, he said, but if the PA officially establishes a new Arab state of “Palestine,” it can turn to the UN and ensure that the IDF has no ability to operate against terrorism within its borders.