On June 20, 1995, the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
boasted, “[The Opposition] promised us Katyusha [rockets] from Gaza,
but Gaza has been under the primary control of the Palestinian
Authority for more than a year now, and there hasn’t been a single
Sept. 9, 1993, then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres challenged the
Opposition, “[You] threaten that there will be Katyusha rockets landing
in Ashkelon. Would you mind telling me why there are no rockets fired
from Aqaba to Eilat?”
The Oslo Middle East peace process, argued its originators, was a
success and reservations expressed were all so much fear-mongering.
Today, 15 years since Oslo, Katyusha rockets have been falling like
rain on Sderot and Ashkelon (until a recent, intermittent breather
brought about by a ceasefire).
Much worse, more than 1,500 Israelis have been killed and more than
10,000 more maimed by suicide bombings, drive-by shootings, roadside
bombs, lynchings, bulldozer rampages and other inventive forms of
More Israelis have been murdered by terrorists in the 15 years since
Oslo than in the entire 45 years of Israel’s existence that preceded it.
Not only has Oslo been a failure, but its terrible consequences
metastasize since its collapse in 2000, thanks largely to efforts to
resurrect it and pretend it can work.
Ariel Sharon was elected prime minister in 2001 in response to
Oslo’s clear failure. Yet he too ended up recommencing talks with the
Palestinian Authority and agreed to the 2003 Roadmap peace plan.
The Roadmap calls for Israeli concessions in advance of verifiable
Palestinian compliance with past agreements on jailing terrorists and
ending the incitement to hatred and murder that feeds terror.
Worse, in place of making concessions only by agreement and in
return for Palestinian concessions and commitments (however
systematically dishonored by the P.A.), Sharon proceeded to make
unilateral concessions, withdrawing from Gaza in 2005.
Not only did this ensure that Palestinian terror groups could
redeploy unhindered by the Israel Defense Force, but the whole area
fell into Hamas’ hands last year after an internal struggle with
Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah.
Today, Gaza is an inviting home for Al-Qaeda and other Islamist
groups. The smuggling of offensive weaponry into Gaza from Egypt,
previously curbed by Israeli forces before the 2005 withdrawal, has
increased massively since Israeli forces left.
In surveys presented to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government in
July 2008, the head of the Israel Security Agency, Yuval Diskin,
pointed to the accelerated Hamas arms buildup under the cover of the
ceasefire, including four tons of explosive materials, 50 antitank
missiles, light weaponry, materials for manufacturing rockets and
longer range missiles that could strike Kiryat Gat and perhaps even
Hamas is also mining areas in the Gaza Strip and building bunkers.
It was often suggested by its supporters that the Oslo process would
improve Israel’s standing in the world. The opposite has been true.
Even before Oslo’s collapse in 2000, Western governments and publics
ended up accepting the logic implicit in dealing with the P.A.: that
the Palestinians were seeking just ends like statehood alongside
Israel, not Israel’s elimination; and that concessions from Israel was
the key to peace.
As a result, the world blamed Israel for not giving enough when
Arafat launched a terror war, while anti-Israel boycotts and divestment
campaigns worldwide have become commonplace, especially at universities.
Since Oslo, there has been a surge of academics arguing openly for
Israel’s replacement by an Arab-majority state. Anti-Semitic activity
in Europe has risen steeply since 1993, according to all statistical
Other proponents of Oslo, like writer and Peace Now pioneer Amos Oz,
prophesied that Oslo would make Israel justifiably tough on all
Palestinian violation of agreements. This was a delusion.
P.A. atlases and textbooks continue to pretend that Israel doesn’t
exist. Fateh’s constitution remains unchanged in its call for Israel’s
destruction and the use of terrorism to that end, while the group’s
43rd anniversary poster shows all Israel draped in a Palestinian
Terrorists like George Habash and Samir Kuntar are personally lauded
by P.A. President Abbas. Terror acts like the slaughter in a Jerusalem
seminary in March are lauded as deeds of martyrdom and its perpetrators
praised in P.A. publications.
Far from paying a price, the P.A. continues to get hand-outs from
the international community. Western governments, including the U.S.,
which once refused to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization,
today declare Abbas and the P.A. peace partners worthy of diplomatic
and financial support – $600 million from the U.S. this year alone.
Little wonder that former Peace Now activist Professor Yuval
Steinitz, today a Likud member and recently chairman of the Knesset
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee has opined, “The idea of a
two-state solution should be dead, today, because unfortunately a
Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria would bring about Israel’s
Steinitz passionately believed in Oslo but has had the courage to
admit his mistake. So too should the U.S., Israel and American Jewry.