This rally is our fault. This rally, where hundreds of young children sang songs of hate against the “Zionist enemy,” and where thousands of angry arms were waved while calling for revenge on Israel, and where we saw the horrifying “show” depicting Gilad Shalit – all of this is our responsibility.
It is the fault of the 1987 Israeli government and Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. It is the fault of former Shin Bet Director Yaakov Peri, as well as other anonymous figures who again came up with the brilliant conception: We need to split the Palestinian nation, and in order to do that, Israel will secretly support and turn a blind eye to a new movement, an arm of the Islamic Brotherhood: Hamas. What an ingenuous move that was.
Israel turned a blind eye to money transferred to the Gaza Strip; it turned a blind eye as Hamas was being established 21 years ago this week. Why? Because the powerful Israel was unable to cope with the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization. The powerful Israel was unable to stand up to the Fatah movement or the first Intifada, which was merely a popular uprising, so Israel invented, or in fact renewed, a conception that was in existence for many years yet never proved itself: We shall support Palestinian opposition organizations, thereby splitting the nation and weakening the strong parties.
For this reason, the Hamas rally Sunday is our responsibility. Because we thought, while displaying great creativity, that if we eliminate Fatah heads in Tunis we will be able to eliminate the national Palestinian struggle. And so, we eliminated Abu Iyad and Abu Jihad, yet wonder of wonders, it turned out they were the pragmatic and moderate ones among the Palestinian leadership. The PLO was not eliminated; rather, it became stronger. The Intifada did not die off; rather, it grew stronger.
The Hamas rally is also the fault of the architects and implementers of the Oslo Accords who replaced the peace vision with a constraining legal contract. They sterilized our dream and turned it into a reality of sophisticated clauses and agreements. This rally is also the responsibility of Benjamin Netanyahu, who chose not to adhere to the agreements with the Palestinians, opting to open the Western Wall Tunnel and dragging all of us into a big fire.
Ehud Barak, who was also elected as Israel’s prime minister, in a megalomaniacally thought that he would be able to end a 100-year national conflict within a few days. He invented the conception that there is nobody to talk to. So this rally is also his fault.
They merely want to gain our trust again
It is also the responsibility of yet another prime minister, Ariel Sharon, who led all of us into an adventure nobody was familiar with, yet everyone followed him blindly into the disengagement. Many in Israel like to see this adventure merely in terms of uprooting the Gaza Strip settlements, yet there is another side to the story – the creation of the world’s largest prison, which houses a million and a half unemployed, hungry, suffering, angry and hopeless people deprived of any rights.
Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni, who were given the mandate to do everything in order to advance the process vis-à-vis the Palestinians, were preoccupied with their own affairs, and money, and the perks of power, and did nothing to advance nothing. Therefore, they too are at fault. As well as Barak in his role as defense minister; upon taking up the post he did not waste a moment in pulverizing the Palestinians, showing them who’s the boss, threatening them, and making it hard for them; and all of it was done without any plan or vision.
None of these people is paying a price. None of them is required to provide explanations. And only we, the two peoples, are paying a heavy price. By now perhaps there is indeed nobody to talk to. The hatred is so great, the anger is so deep, the suffering is so vast, and the despair is so dark that there is nobody to talk to. A whole generation of children are growing on hatred, while young people are growing on despair in a dead-end street.
So let’s see all those wise people, who formulated the various conceptions, and still think that if only they eliminate all of Hamas’ leaders the entire Strip will join the Zionist movement. Let’s have them explain to us why they did what they did, and how come, despite the conception, things turned out the opposite of what they had hoped for. Yet they are not explaining. They merely want to gain our trust again. Yet we must not grant them this trust, because this rally is their fault.
Anat Saragosti is journalist and director of the Agenda non-profit center for strategic communications