Twenty-five years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chief Yasser Arafat stood in front of Bill Clinton in the White House Rose Garden and shook hands to mark their signing of the Oslo Accords. This pact included handing part of Judea and Samaria to the control of Palestinian Arabs. A year later the Palestinian Authority was created as the controlling authority that still governs part of the so-called West Bank. These changes were celebrated as a major step toward furthering the “peace process” whose aim was to create national “self-determination” for the Palestinian Arabs, and eventually the fabled “two nations living side-by-side in peace.”
A quarter of a century later, the peace process is dead, and peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs is farther away than ever. The Oslo Accord became the Oslo War, as Middle East historian Efraim Karsh calls it. Rather than peace, the lasting legacy of the Oslo Accords will be another reminder of the serial failures of idealistic internationalism.
That Oslo was a wish-fulfilling folly became obvious soon after the photogenic handshake in the Rose Garden. Terror attacks between 1994-1999 totaled 215, roughly equal to the pre-Oslo number in the early 90s. Terrorism continued to escalate in subsequent years. In 2000––a mere month after Arafat turned down Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s offer of everything the Palestinian Arabs claimed they wanted except for the suicidal “right of return” –– Arafat launched the so-called Second Intifada, which in five years murdered over a thousand Israelis. The killing didn’t start to abate until Israel walled off Judea and Samaria from Israeli territory.
Israel will withhold the amount paid to Ari Fuld’s murderer from funds earmarked for transfer to the Palestinian Authority.
Fuld, a dual American-Israeli citizen, was stabbed in the back in the parking lot of a shopping center in the area of Gush Etzion near Jerusalem. He survived long enough to pursue his attacker and shoot him, preventing further casualties.
According to Israel’s Channel Two, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon announced the decision to withhold funds on Friday, saying that this would not be the end of his efforts. “I will look into additional ways to limit the economic activities of the terrorist’s family,” he said.
The Palestinian Authority regularly pays salaries to imprisoned terrorists and their families, as well as the families of terrorists killed while committing attacks. In its 2018 budget, the PA earmarked $355 million for such “pay to slay” payments.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: It is not alleged “religionization” that threatens Israeli identity and deepens the cleavages in Israeli society but the absence of a mutually accepted contemporary Jewish common ground.
The millenarian exilic experience has deprived the Jewish People of the cultural wholeness underpinning the national existence, while the religious component that maintained it during these exacting times has failed to replace the intricate web of sociopolitical and intercommunal interrelationships that had formed the foundations of Jewish peoplehood. The reappearance of the Jewish People in the late 19th century as a national actor and the reestablishment of statehood in its ancestral homeland half a century later seemed to have redressed this anomaly. Yet as shown by the intensity of the ongoing debate about the desired nature of Israel’s Jewish identity, this issue remains a major challenge for both Israelis and Diaspora Jews.
Take, for example, David Ben-Gurion’s late 1960s comment that, “twenty years after its creation, the Jewish State I hoped to establish still doesn’t exist, and who knows when it will arise.” Significantly enough, the former prime minister spoke about “the Jewish State” rather than “the state of the Jews.” For while according to the liberal outlook, a state is little more than an institutional-organizational mechanism for managing and regulating relations among citizens and as such cannot be Jewish (however many of its citizens identify as Jews), Ben-Gurion envisaged a state that would be Jewish in its ethos, substance, and attributes – in the national, not the theocratic, sense of the word. Indeed, even during their millenarian exilic experience, where the national aspect of their identity was superseded by its religious counterpart, Jewish communal life far exceeded the purely theocratic (halachic) dimension to include philosophical thought and mythology (agada), morality, culture, social interaction, and – above all – a religious-national yearning for a return to the ancestral homeland.
Why is this even remotely controversial? Because the denial and willful ignorance regarding the Muslim rape gangs’ connection to Islam is nigh universal in Britain today. In reality, however, the connection is obvious. One survivor of a Muslim rape gang in the UK said that her rapists would quote Quran to her, and believed their actions justified by Islam.
The Qur’an teaches that Infidel women can be lawfully taken for sexual use (cf. its allowance for a man to take “captives of the right hand,” 4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:30). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (33:59) The implication there is that if women do not cover themselves adequately with their outer garments, they may be abused, and that such abuse would be justified.