From the 'Oslo Conference - Lessons and Insights for the Future' of the Bithonistim movement, the Jerusalem Center for Public and State Affairs, and the Israeli Victory Project, Maj. Gen. Gershon Hacohen talks to Israel National News about the lessons and essence of those agreements and their long-term consequences.
According to him, the past should not be underestimated and it has great significance for the future. "We are all, he says, built upon layers upon layers of dreams that were suppressed in the past, and the false dream that the Oslo architects came up with was that if we only wanted to, we could build a heaven on earth here. The idea was that if you didn't come to peace, you probably didn't try hard enough, and if you think positive it will be positive. Of course, that's a hallucination," Hacohen says.
In his opinion, such thinking turned Oslo into an experiment in hopeless political processes like the alchemy that was discussed in the Middle Ages, and now the people of Israel must learn how they were misled on the basis of false dreams behind which is a misunderstanding of the basic question of what the people of Israel are looking for in their country and what the Palestinians are looking for and what they are fighting for. Including the understanding that this is an ancient religious conflict that begins with the question of who is Abraham's chosen son, Ishmael or Isaac, and all attempts to avoid defining the conflict as a religious conflict were futile attempts disconnected from reality.
"When you ignore religious aspects and when you don't understand that in Islam there is no such thing as secularism, there is no secular Arab even if they eat during Ramadan in secret, we will not understand the depth of the story behind religious dreams and when we come to the discussion about the settlement, the discussion is not about dreams when we never give up on dreams."
In Hacohen's view, the disengagement was a continuation of the Oslo concept and the support Sharon received for uprooting the settlements, a move that Rabin opposed - and in this context, Cohen mentions that the Labor Party opposed the uprooting of the settlements that was included in the agreement with Egypt signed by Begin - this support, beyond Sharon's legal troubles and their consequences for his political moves, 'stemmed from the fantasy that they would let us sit and live quietly in Gush Dan and its surroundings'.
Hacohen states "unequivocally" that the Oslo disaster can repeat itself "because we have not yet told ourselves the story that a return to sovereignty is a return to the world of responsibility for the struggles that take place forever between nations, that sovereignty is always with a sword in hand, and that a Jewish people who lived under the protection of gentiles for two thousand years did not understand that a sovereign doing the work for them with the sword in his hand until he is murdered like in Auschwitz. Sovereignty is achieved through struggle. The basic existential condition of humanity is struggle."
Hacohen relates these ideas to the reality of the struggles of Russia and Ukraine, when it was proved to the Europeans that there will be no heaven on earth and it is impossible to survive without an army. "This is the basic reality that Jews refuse to internalize and that is why there was Oslo, there was disengagement, and there could be other things like giving the Palestinians something within the framework of the agreements that the Americans organize with Saudi Arabia. They are gnawing at our primary and most important interests."