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PLO, Oslo, and a time for truth



Shimon Peres and Palestinian figure (and PLO founder) Yasser Arafat on stage together in 2001. Peres is only one in a long line of cynical Israeli Prime Ministers. And possibly deluded ones, thinking peace is even possible between Israel and Islam.

Herewith the speech we wanted to, but did not, hear from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. This is what we need to hear about any agreement with the PLO. This includes the Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles in Oslo, Norway.

The truth about the Oslo Accords

My fellow countrymen: As many of you know, one of God’s Names is “Truth” (Emet), which is why we call the Torah the Book of Truth. Another of God’s Names is “Peace” (Shalom), whose deeper meaning is “completeness.” Therefore our Prophets and Sages teach us there can be no peace without truth. My countrymen: I have come to tell you the truth.

In May 1996, you, the people of Israel, for the first time directly elected your Prime Minister. By choosing me over the Labor candidate you expressed, as I did, thoughtful opposition to the previous Government’s conclusion of the Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles commonly known as the Oslo Agreement. Like others, including American strategic experts, I warned that this agreement constitutes a grave danger to Israel.

Nevertheless, since the United States was a sponsor of this agreement, I felt that peace might possibly be secured between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs IF the American Government, cooperating with Israel, could induce the PLO-Palestinian Authority to suppress Arab terrorism and comply faithfully and consistently with the Declaration of Principles signed in Washington.

Unfortunately, effective cooperation of the American Government has not been forthcoming, despite the monstrous Arab suicide-bombings in Jerusalem, and despite PLO-Palestinian war cries of JIHAD against the Jewish State. Like the leaders of the Labor Party, certain American officials naively expect Israel to withdraw from various areas of Judea and Samaria even while the Palestinian Authority repeatedly and brazenly violates the agreements in question.

Bloody results

Since the signing of the first Israel-PLO Agreement on September 13, 1993, the PLO has been waging a terrorist war against our country. Some 1,700 Jewish men, women, and children have been murdered by Arab terrorists and almost 10,000 have been wounded – many maimed for life. In the United States, this data, given the ratio of our respective populations, would be equivalent to more than 85,000 Americans killed and 500,000 wounded!

Enough of this bloodshed! We Jews have suffered far too much in a world that talks “peace, peace, peace” when there is no peace.

The American State Department and all honest observers know that the PLO-Palestinian Authority has incited Arabs to kill Jews. It has collaborated in acts of terrorism resulting even in the death of American citizens.

PLO antisemitic rhetoric

Moreover, in violation of the Israel-PLO Agreement, Palestinian Authority officials promote Antisemitism as an integral part of their rhetoric and encourage its use in the Arab media. The Arab media equate Zionism with racism; they compare Israel with Nazis and yet deny the Holocaust; they broadcast obscene slanders against Jews and Israel; they seek to delegitimize Israel and the Jewish people and our claim to any part of Eretz Yisrael. They have no equal in propagating the BIG LIE.

PLO-Palestinian newspapers publish stories about Jewish ‘plots’ and Jewish ‘fangs’. They depict Jews as power-hungry and lusting after money, with occasional references to Shakespeare’s Shylock in The Merchant of Venice as examples of Jewish greed. As occurred in the medieval blood libel, these Arab Palestinian officials have accused Israel of injecting Palestinian Arabs with the AIDS virus, conducting medical experiments on Palestinian Arab prisoners, and selling spoiled food to these Arab Palestinians.

America has not been spared this venom. The Voice of Palestine, the official Palestinian Authority radio station, broadcast this prayer of the Mufti of Jerusalem:

Oh, Allah, destroy America for it is controlled by Zionist Jews … Allah will avenge, in the name of his Prophet, the colonialist settlers who are the descendants of monkeys and pigs.

Re-examining the Israel-PLO Agreement

Now, when I became your Prime Minister in May 1996, I had to re-examine the Israel-PLO Agreement, for there were conflicting opinions and advice as to what should be done for Israel’s present security and ultimate well-being. Some urged me to renounce that agreement. Several distinguished citizens of Israel had even submitted a learned petition to Israel’s Supreme Court challenging the legality of that agreement, citing various laws that had allegedly been violated by the previous Government. Others claimed that the Israel-PLO Agreement violated international law, specifically, the prohibition of agreements with any terrorist organization.

But all these were debatable legal issues. Together with my colleagues, I had to take a decision then and there. To avoid any taint on Israel’s national honor, I decided to adhere to the Labor Government’s agreement with the PLO, but unlike my predecessors, I insisted on ‘reciprocity,’ and with the reasonable expectation that the American State Department would support Israel in this regard. However, as I have already indicated, various American officials have ignored the Palestinian Authority’s incitement of, and collaboration, with Arab terrorists.

Therefore, after serious deliberation and with profound awareness of my responsibility to the Jewish people and posterity, I have decided to dissolve the Government and to call for new elections three months from now. This means I am returning my mandate to you, the people of Israel, to decide, in effect, what shall be the general policy of your Government regarding the land of our forefathers. Until that time, Israel will not withdraw a single centimeter from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Moreover, we shall engage in hot pursuit of any terrorist that attacks any citizen of Israel.

No more!

In the meantime, I shall no longer engage in any negotiation with the PLO-Palestinian Authority.

Not only will my name be submitted as a candidate for Prime Minister in the next election, but I shall present to you, the people, a program for making your government more democratic, as well as more responsive to your fears and skepticism concerning the policy of exchanging Jewish land for peace. At the same time, however, and based on my experience as Prime Minister, I shall present for your consideration an entirely new way of making peace with the Arab Palestinians without sacrificing the eternal birthright of the Jewish People.

However, even now it should be understood that if I am re-elected I shall negotiate only with Palestinian Arab leaders who show convincing evidence that they prefer peace to war, something which cannot be said of the PLO-Palestinian Authority. Let us remember that without truth, which includes mutual good faith, genuine and abiding peace between Jews and Arabs is not possible.

I therefore call upon you to unite as one people, as Jews, who ardently seek peace, but not peace at the expense of our children’s birthright. Such a peace can only destroy our minds even before it destroys our bodies. We must seek peace consistent with the Book of Truth which we, the Jewish people, bestowed upon mankind.☼

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