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Dov Weisglass Photo: Shaul Golan
Dov Weisglass Photo: Shaul Golan
 
 

Oslo deal was good for the Jews

Op-ed: Instead of mentioning 'historic disasters' Peres was responsible for, Netanyahu's aides should thank him

Dov Weisglass
Published: 08.21.12, 10:41 / Israel Opinion

In the first clause of Basic Law: The President of the State, it is written that "a president shall stand at the head of the State." The head of state not only has the right to express his opinion on such an existential issue as the timing of a strike in Iran – he has an obligation to do so.

 

Shimon Peres is the most highly regarded Israeli statesman in the world and one of the most beloved people in Israel. His recent comments against a solo Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities should be heard and considered not only because of his status, but because of the information he is privy to, the vast experience he has accumulated over decades of serving in the most senior positions in the country and his extensive diplomatic ties all over the world – and particularly in the United States.

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The anonymous group hiding behind the title "Netanyahu's associates" asked to "remind Peres what his role is as president," or in other words: "Be quiet, it's none of your business." This is a ridiculous argument. The Iranian issue is very much the business of the head of state. It's a shame the "associates" failed to remind the prime minister that one of the most important aspects of his job is the preservation and nurturing of the strategic alliance with the US, Israel's main – and perhaps only – diplomatic asset. This alliance is weaker than ever before.

 

Apologize for stupidity

In order to exact their "revenge" on Peres for siding with those who oppose a solo Israeli strike in Iran, and to diminish from the importance of his comments, Netanyahu's aides mentioned Peres' "original sin" – the Oslo Accords. If the agreement was such a historic disaster, as the PM's aides contend, then we can only regret that it was not annulled as soon as Netanyahu was elected prime minister in 1996.

 

The Palestinian Authority was established between 1993 and 1995, so it was still trying to find its way. Why didn’t Netanyahu work to dissolve it and prevent the "historic disasters" with courage and determination?

 

Today, as a result of the Oslo Accords, the PA, not Israel, is responsible for the daily life of some 3.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Remember, aides: Before "Oslo" Israel was responsible for the daily life of the Palestinians, in accordance with international law. Israel built the infrastructure, supplied electricity and water, and sustained health services, education, transportation, public order, policing and the courts. Israel also paid the salaries of thousands of Palestinian civil administration employees.

 

Where would we be today if the Netanyahu government, which is having difficulties securing the social wellbeing of most of Israel's citizens, would also have to care for millions of Palestinians as well? It would have been a disaster.

 

A Palestinian once told me that the Oslo deal was "a brilliant Israeli arrangement." How so? I asked him. "It created the only prison in the world where the prisoners have to provide for themselves, without the management's participation." Israel has the authority of the sovereign in the territories – without the obligations. This situation is a direct result of the Oslo Accords. One of Netanyahu's "associates" should phone Peres and apologize for the maliciousness, but mostly for the stupidity.

 

 

 

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