The controversy over the Oslo Accords, which bitterly divided the nation over the past quarter century, is no longer a contentious issue. [...there is no way Israel could achieve any mutually acceptable peace agreement in the foreseeable future.]
The late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin personally told me on numerous occasions of his concern that the deal with Yasser Arafat, whom he despised as a murderer, was a gamble that Israel had to take in order to satisfy itself and the world that it had sought every opportunity to achieve peace.
In contrast, Shimon Peres, then foreign minister, in response to a few critical questions I posed in the days after the Oslo announcement, lost his cool and angrily stated, “They took Entebbe away from me, but they will never do the same with the peace process.”
Today Peres is possibly the sole remaining senior politician who still maintains that the deal with Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization should be retained as the basis for a peace settlement.
The consensus, extending beyond right-wing politics, which recognizes the failure of the Oslo Accords, was articulated by the former director general of the Foreign Ministry, Professor Shlomo Avineri, an esteemed intellectual doyen of the Zionist Left.
In an article published last October in Haaretz, Avineri enumerated a host of reasons on both sides that contributed to the failure. But overriding these was the fact that the Palestinian position did not consider the conflict as territorial but regarded all of Israel as a colonial implant which had to be uprooted.
Avineri concluded that we are obliged to face the reality that there is no way Israel could achieve any mutually acceptable peace agreement in the foreseeable future.
His views were echoed by one of the key architects of the Oslo Accords, former minister Yossi Beilin, who, at a recent U.N. Media Seminar, stated explicitly that the Oslo Accords must end. As he said, “Too many Israelis fear that a one-state marriage would destroy either our identity as a Jewish state or our claim to democracy. And a two-state divorce is unlikely to produce a prosperous and stable Palestine.” He concluded that the best solution now would be an Israeli-Palestinian confederation.
The final nail in the coffin of the Oslo Accords was the announcement by the head of Israel’s Zionist Union and leader of the opposition, Isaac Herzog, who admitted, “I don’t see a possibility at the moment of implementing the two-state solution.” He told French President Francois Hollande that “we have to be realistic. … It cannot happen at this time. Hatred and incitement among the Palestinians are just too great.”
... the leader of the Israeli Left has effectively joined the Israeli consensus which believes that under the current circumstances, the creation of an independent Palestinian state is not even on the horizon.
...Herzog seems to be attempting to sever connections between Labor Zionism and the post-Zionists and anarchists. ...Herzog makes it clear that in any future confidence-building initiatives and outreach to the Palestinians, the Israel Defense Forces would of necessity retain control of the West Bank and Jordan Valley.
With Herzog on board there is now a consensus for the major policies toward the Palestinians, extending from the left Zionist Union through to Avigdor Lieberman’s far-right Yisrael Beytenu...[...that there is no way Israel could achieve any mutually acceptable peace agreement in the foreseeable future.]...