Published in The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle
As an Israeli, I am appalled and angry at the Rabin government’s weakness and naiveté in continuing the so-called ”peace” talks with Arafat, while Israelis are being murdered and slaughtered daily in the heart of Israel.
When the Rabin government recognized the PLO, the most notorious terrorist organization in recent times, I believed the purpose was to increase the security for the Israeli people. However, since the signing of the agreement between Israel and the PLO of a plan of limited autonomy in Gaza and Jericho, more than 120Israelis were murdered inside Israel and several hundreds were wounded, a number much higher than any during the intifada. During the intifada Palestinians were killed by fellow Palestinians and in clashes with the Israeli soldiers. However, the terror for Israelis was limited to Gaza and the West Bank. But now, the terror has reached Tel Aviv, Afula, Hadera, Netanya and Jerusalem, killing innocent people.
However, the Rabin government , as they did after other such attacks, promised to continue the so- called “ peace” negotiations with the PLO on expanding the nightmarish autonomy to all the West Bank. This despite the recent attacks and the warning of Israeli army intelligence that chaos will prevail if Israeli troops withdraw from major “ Palestinian” towns in the West Bank. Ironically, the West Bank’s western edge is less than seven miles from the Beit Lid Junction where the recent massacre occurred.
Furthermore, as they have after every attack, the Rabin government said that the Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank would be barred from entering Israel to reach their jobs. However, every Israelis knows by now that such territorial closing gives only the appearance of the government doing something of substance and that soon the restriction of entry to Israel will be gradually eased, especially after Arafat issues customary statement complaining that such restrictions will inflict substantial economic harm on “innocent” Palestinians and harm the “peace” process.
Now the Rabin government has proposed building a wall between the West Bank and Israel to fight terrorism. But such an idea will not solve the problem. Most recent terrorists have come from Gaza., and a wall would be ineffective when the Rabin government would still let Palestinians go through the gates to work in Israel. Furthermore, every Israeli should be suspicious of such an idea as
a way to create a de facto Palestinian state alongside Israel.
More Israelis these days can’t understand why their government is obsessed with continuing talking peace with Arafat while Arafat failed to deliver security to Israel. When the agreement was signed between Rabin and Arafat , I understood that the autonomy in Gaza and Jericho will be a test to see if Arafat is able to curb terrorism against Israel. However, the test failed. Therefore, Israel should stop the peace talks with the PLO for an extended review before expanding Palestinian self- rule into the West Bank, as the Israeli President Ezer Weitzman recently proposed. The rationale is that if Arafat didn’t make any efforts till now to fight terrorists
in small Gaza. , how will he be able to control terrorism in an area many times bigger and located just a few miles from major Israel cities.
These days in Israel, public opinion is swinging away from the Rabin government, and now Rabin is being challenged by a committed dove like President Weizmann. I commend the president on his courage and encourage others to raise their voices against the talks with the PLO, since, as President Weizmann said , “with (this) bloody process, we don’t achieve peace”