Photo: Gettyimages
Photo: Gettyimages
Photo: Gettyimages

Men behind Oslo Accord: There's no leadership fighting for the future

Reality has sloped steeply downill for Israel's left since the Oslo Accords and leaders who were then heroes of hope now see little light at the end of the tunnel.

The results of the 2015 election, discourse on social media, and the recent wave of terror attacks, have dealt significant blows to Israel's left, which has already been bleeding from open wounds for many years.



More and more of those who support a two-state solution have moved into the camp of "there's no one to talk to" and there are even some who believe that the odds of launching negotiations with our neighbors in the next few years are decreasing. The basic idea of the parties on the left who maintain that there are partners we can talk to and if we just give up a little more things will fall into place, remains among just a few individuals and even they are having difficulty defending it.


Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, and Yizhak Rabin receive the Nobel Peace Prize for Signing the Oslo Accords. Where has Israel's left gone since this time of high hopes? (Photo: Gettyimages) (Photo: Getty Images)
Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, and Yizhak Rabin receive the Nobel Peace Prize for Signing the Oslo Accords. Where has Israel's left gone since this time of high hopes? (Photo: Gettyimages)


Doctor Uri Savir, one of the architects of the Oslo Accords, who serves today as a co-founder of the Peres Center for Peace, is angry at the Israeli left.


"They made a mistake by giving up the fight against the right," he says. "Even during the time of the Oslo Accords, the energy in the streets was that the settlers had won and destroyed Rabin's legacy. The left came to protest at the square when the water was up to their necks and then what happened, happened.


"But it wasn't the left who destroyed Oslo, it was Bibi - on purpose. I didn't believe him for a moment when he said that he would make two states a reality. When will the left wake up again? Only after a lot of suffering or if a leader presents himself with security credentials. Until then, they sit in the living room on Fridays and gripe."


Is there even anyone to talk to?


"We won't have better neighbors than the Palestinians. Once every two weeks I'm in Ramallah and I see a different reality there. A thick book could be written on all the mistakes they've made, but does that mean that we should have to live in a bi-national nation led by the right?


Dr. Uri Savir. (Photo: Dudu Parid)
Dr. Uri Savir. (Photo: Dudu Parid)


"There is someone to talk to. We just need to move past our internal despair and get rid of our love of occupying. If not, we are headed for a religious war."


They'll win in the end

Nissim Zvili, one of the past leaders of the left and the Labor Party that fought to change the paradigm that speaking to Arafat was forbidden, has already lost all hope.


"The concept of the left hasn't been destroyed, but the train has left the station. In my opinion, and I hope I'll be proven wrong, there's no longer any hope of realizing the concept of two states and we're headed, because of the indifference of the people and the left that just doesn't exist, for a bi-national state.


"Unfortunately, the option of two states also doesn't exist from the other side. I meet and speak with them and they also point to extremist sentiments that are getting stronger among them and have decided that in another two or three generations there will be a bi-national state here and then they'll get the right to vote and beat us."


Nissim Zvili. (Photo: Yedioth Ahronoth Archives)
Nissim Zvili. (Photo: Yedioth Ahronoth Archives)


Ya'alon or Bibi won't make the change?


"The heavy hand of the right will lead to a reality in which my grandchildren won't be able to live here. And that's not because the left has lost its way and not because of the right's pragmatism, but because there's no leadership that's fighting for the future. Bibi isn't Begin and Ya'alon isn't Ben-Gurion."


So we should just give up?


"The left today... are organized people that have been in wars, some of which they won and some of which they lost and at the moment they remain content with making judgments from the couch in the living room.


"The left, which has never been good at protesting, has also stopped fighting. The right is leading us, consciously or not, into a process that will delete Israel from the map. The messianic right and the extremist right have taken control of the Likud and in my opinion, by the end of the century Israel won't exist as the Jewish nation."


Ya'akov Peri, former head of the Shin Bet until just six months before Rabin's murder, believes that the two-state solution is in fact the only solution.


Israel's right has always been better at protesting than the left. (Photo: Ido Erez)
Israel's right has always been better at protesting than the left. (Photo: Ido Erez)


"But right-wing governments have managed to indoctrinate a growing part of the population with thoughts that there is no partner and that the other side doesn't want peace or compromise. The failure of all of the rounds of talks strengthened that belief within the right and the center that there is a partner problem."


So what's the solution?


"The prime minister claims to believe in a two-state solution, but doesn't mean it. I say: Stop talking about peace and start talking about agreements. We are six million Jews here and within 20 years we'll be a minority and we won't be able to continue controlling the area by force.


"That's why, at this time, there's no point in seeking a final agreement to divide the country, but rather to agreements on issues like the reconstruction of Gaza funded by the moderate Arab countries. Even if these agreements take 100 years, who cares? The point is to have hope here."


פרסום ראשון: 10.26.15, 13:32
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