Oslo peace accords signing

In Sept. 1993, Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin (L) and PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo peace accords in the presence of US President Bill Clinton. (Wikipedia)

For the sake of Zion I will not be silent, for the sake of Jerusalem I will not rest. Isaiah 62:1

I am one of those Jews about whom Rabbi Dr. Sholom Gold wrote in 2005 in The Oslo Years: A Mother’s Journal by Ellen Horowitz. I suffered from the blindness of “indifference and apathy… rampant, especially amongst Jews everywhere. There are those who are not involved, not interested, caught up in their own lives… and if they occasionally look, it is superficial, hasty and prone to parrot the opinions that are considered politically correct.”

Perhaps if our leaders had not lied to us, if the media had done their job, we could have stopped the fallacious two-state narrative a long time ago.

On Sept. 13, 1993, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin met on the White House lawn with US President Bill Clinton and signed the Declaration of Principles (Oslo I Accord). Rabin said at that time:

“We have no desire for revenge. We harbor no hatred towards you. We, like you, are people who want to build a home, to plant a tree, to love, live side by side with you – in dignity, in empathy, as human beings, as free men. We are today giving peace a chance and again saying to you: Let us pray that a day will come when we will say, enough, farewell to arms.”

Despite terror attacks, Rabin continued to push forward in the name of peaceful co-existence by signing the Interim Agreement (Oslo II) in September, 1995.

Today, more than 20 years later, we are still talking about the two-state solution. Most recently, Rob Malley, US President Barack Obama’s senior advisor on the Middle East, revealed Obama’s expectations of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in America November 9.  “The main thing the president would want to hear from Netanyahu is that without peace talks how does he want to move forward to prevent a one-state solution, stabilize the situation on the ground and to signal he is committed to the two-state solution.”

I hear echoes of 1977 when then US President Jimmy Carter was stunned by the election of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, leader of Likud, whom Carter believed would be intractable on the issue of exchanging land for peace. The left was seen as more malleable. I wonder how it feels to be associated with the term “malleable.”

Why Not a (Jewish) One-State Solution?

This was a serious problem for Carter, as it seems to be today for Obama: Israel’s leaders are not just bowing down and taking orders from America – who, they believe, knows better.

My question is “What is wrong with a one-state solution?” A Jewish state?

Somewhere between 1993 and 2015, a false narrative took hold – that Israel is an occupier in an Arab state. That Israel’s occupation is the cause of terror, when in fact the Arabs are occupiers in the State of Israel.

And I fell for that lie.

Why do our leaders lie to us about the two-state solution?

The only answer I have is our genetically developed fear of the non-Jewish world. We have learned to duck and hide, to appease, whether by agreeing to live as dhimmis in the Muslim world or as the unwanted “other” in the Christian world.

Although we left the shtetl, the shtetl never left us.

We still cower and appease when we should be shouting from the rooftops that Israel is ours – from the river to the sea. We have yet to internalize the fact that we have a state that is powerful. We have papers!!!

Jewish State ‘As of Right, Not Sufferance’

Our Jewish leaders have fed us lies, whether by the sin of omission or the sin of commission – it doesn’t matter which. Somewhere along the way, the history of the modern State of Israel was swallowed up. Forgotten. The Balfour Declaration allocated to the Jewish people 118,000 square kilometers (about 45,000 square miles): According to the British White Paper of 1922,The Jewish community should know that it is in Palestine as of right and not on the sufferance. That is the reason why it is necessary that the existence of a Jewish National Home in Palestine should be internationally guaranteed, and that it should be formally recognized to rest upon ancient historic connection.”

In 1921, Britain took the 91,000 square kilometers of the Palestine Mandate east of the Jordan River, and created Trans-Jordan (later the Arab country of Jordan) as a new Arab protectorate. Jews were barred by law from living or owning property east of the Jordan River, even though that land was over three-fourths of the original Mandate.

In 1947 the Arabs refused to accept the partition of the already truncated Palestine (after the British created the exclusively Arab Transjordan east of the River in 1922) into two states. They refused to accept an Arab state in part of the area called Palestine. They went to war in 1948 with the belief that they would get it all. They gambled and lost.

In 1967, three Arab states fought against Israel, and Israel soundly defeated them, taking back all of the Land of Israel, from the river to the sea. Israel reclaimed Judea and Samaria, which contains 90% of Jewish historical patrimony, including Jerusalem, which is unquestionably part of the Mandate Charter, as it was confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations in 1922.  Jerusalem, the cherished eternal capital of Israel that had been severed by Jordan and illegally occupied in 1948 and then desecrated, was resettled. To add insult to the Arab injury, Israel also captured the Golan, Gaza and Sinai.

To the victor goes the spoils, unless the victor is the Jewish state. And so began the calls for returning land. The Sinai went first. By 1993, Israel was being squeezed by the Americans to sit down for peace talks – in fact, piece talks.

Rabin and Arafat shook hands on Oslo. According to Rafael Barak, Israel’s ambassador to Canada, Rabin didn’t trust Arafat but went ahead anyway because:

“Mr. Rabin was a courageous statesman who took risks for peace.”

And it was reciprocated with terror in Israel. But he carried on with Oslo II. And terror reigned. And he was assassinated by a Jewish extremist. And then immortalized and mythologized for his courage in forging ahead with a two-state solution in which he did not believe.

How did that happen? And why?

Who are the Palestinians?

How did the nation of Israel come to believe that the righteous thing to do was give away parts of Israel for a Palestinian state and that Rabin had complete faith in that process?

Dr. Martin Sherman, founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, recently wrote that Article 1 of the Palestinian National Covenant proclaims: “The Palestinian Arab people are…part of the Arab nation.” Article 12 baldly admits that a separate Palestinian identity is a ruse to further wider Arab interests. Thus, at an Arab League summit in 1987, convened in Amman, King Hussein conceded that Palestinian identity was merely a response to Jewish national claims, not driven by any authentic endogenic sentiment of uniqueness, stating, “The appearance of the Palestinian national personality comes as an answer to Israel’s claim that Palestine is Jewish.”

Knowing all this, how is it that we have people today clamoring for Israel to give up more of her legally owned land to appease terrorists?  We have been fed a fallacious diet of two states by our leaders for years. These lies have been spread by the media.  Rabin may have had a “bold vision,” but it was nothing more than a fantasy. We must take back our story, our history and resurrect it from the lies of others – including the Jewish leadership. Contrary to the exhortations of Abbas and his cronies that “Palestine” goes from the river to the sea,”there is one state between the river and the sea, and that state is Israel – historically and legally.

Israel: Release the Levy Report!

This article is the first in a four-part weekly series, titled: “Lies Our Leaders Tell Us.” The purpose is to raise awareness of the Levy Report.

Article by Diane Weber Bederman

Diane Weber Bederman is a multi-faith, hospital-trained chaplain who lives in Canada, just outside Toronto. She writes about religion in the public square and mental illness on her blog, "The Middle Ground: The Agora of the 21st Century." Bederman is the author of "Back to the Ethic: Reclaiming Western Values," published Dec. 2015 by Mantua Books (available on Amazon).