RABIN’S LEGACY OR NETANYAHU’S LEGACY
In the last week, all Israeli radio and television channels have been pouring on us a stream of programs dedicated to Yitzhak Rabin, his murder 25 years ago. The phrase «Rabin’s legacy» is often mentioned. Let’s figure out what legacy Itzhak Rabin left us and whether we should accept it.
The Oslo accords that Shimon Peres and Bill Clinton concluded behind Rabin’s back (while official negotiations with Arab states continued in the United States) euphorized half of Israel’s people.
The idea was that if we couldn’t negotiate peace with the Arabs, so it would be better to make peace with the Palestinians first, and after that, the Arabs and Muslims would have no reason to fight against Israel. Now, 25 years later, we know for sure that Rabin was wrong. Palestinians then and now follow Yasser Arafat’s behest: to destroy Israel. But then, in the early 90s, Rabin and everyone who supported him could be sincerely mistaken.
However, Arafat quickly clarified this issue. He unleashed the terror of Oslo with the obvious goal of disrupting the «peace process.» For this, Arafat believed, it is necessary to eliminate the stubborn Rabin, who managed to push through the Knesset not only the first but also further Oslo agreements. Despite the Palestinian terror and contrary to the opinion of the majority of the people.
If the first Oslo agreement still caused euphoria, then its continuation, and above all the terror, made the people sober up. In the upcoming elections, Rabin, according to Arafat’s calculations, should have lost. This was the purpose of his terror. For the same purpose, Arafat put forward more and more impudent demands in the negotiations.
Despite all this, Rabin pushed through the next agreement, bribing three young, corrupt politicians from the right-wing Tsomet party. By the way, one of these three, Gonen Segev, came to visit our plant as Minister of Energy. We know how he ended his career: he was convicted of forging a credit card and smuggling drugs. The story of bribery of politicians is also an illustration of the «legacy of Rabin»: to achieve one’s goal at any cost, neglecting democracy and the opinion of the majority. This is the approach of a military, not a politician.
As I explained in my article «Yasser Arafat was Rabin’s Killer,» Yigal Amir only fulfilled Arafat’s wish. This foolish and honest young man thought that he was doing the will of the people. Of course, he was wrong. If he was smarter, he would have waited another six months, for the elections, at which the people would express their will. Rabin had to lose them. Arafat continued to do everything in his power to make Rabin and Peres lose the elections. After the assassination of Rabin, the Palestinians staged a series of demonstrative terrorist attacks in order to give Peres no chance.
So what is Rabin’s legacy? First, this is the exceptional and unreasonable stubbornness typical of a general, but unacceptable for a politician. After he made sure that we had nobody to negotiate with, that the Palestinians want to destroy us, Rabin continued to fulfill the signed agreements, continued to withdraw the Israel Defense Forces from Palestine, exposing the people of Israel to mortal danger.
So, in 2002, Sharon was forced to re-occupy Palestine in Operation Defensive Shield, which cost us dearly both in the loss of soldiers and internationally. Perhaps Sharon initiated «disengagement» as compensation for the re-occupation of Palestine.
Now the left, together with Lieberman, are proposing that we end the occupation again, that is, we lose control over a hostile state that is waging a war of destruction against us and enjoys the worldwide support of anti-Semites.
We have already seen, thanks to Rabin, that the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestine leads to war, and not at all to peace. In fact, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is a guarantee of peace. This is the reality that we all must understand and not repeat Rabin’s mistakes. As a supporter of peace, I call on the recognition of the state of Palestine, but in no way to withdraw our army from there.
Rabin did not suffer from the realism inherent in real politics.
He obviously disregarded the (legitimate) opinion of the majority of the people of Israel. The disregard with which the opposition today treats the election results shows that our «revolutionaries» are indeed Rabin’s heirs.
The behavior of Gantz, who, with his 17 mandates, appointed himself the “successive head of government,” and provided ministerial posts to all his deputies — yes, this is insolence — is also Rabin’s legacy. As well as the dirty tricks in the Knesset, like voting when most of the Knesset members are absent. As well as the purchase and sale of Lieberman and Bennett, those «to the right of which there is only a wall.» They remind me of Gonen Segev, but larger.
As well as reliance on Arab deputies openly hostile to the Jewish state. Yes, Rabin was able to get the Oslo Accords through only thanks to the votes of Arab MPs. Under Rabin, representatives of the Jewish majority were in the minority in the Knesset because of the Arabs. Today this alignment is being repeated. This is also Rabin’s legacy.
Now let’s think about what Netanyahu’s legacy is. I don’t know how long he will be able to withstand attacks, but I think his legacy has already been created.
No, Netanyahu did not cancel the Oslo agreement, as Arafat hoped for. On the contrary, he signed two more agreements with Arafat, in which he made reasonable concessions (for example, he handed over Hebron with its huge Arab population to the Palestinians). The Palestinians realized that they would no longer be able to squeeze out catastrophic concessions in the negotiations, and moved on to the Intifada (2001). It was not Israel, but the Palestinians who rejected the Oslo agreements. Not Netanyahu but Arafat buried Rabin’s legacy.
Netanyahu’s legacy lies in the fact that politicians and the people of Israel must be realistic, be able to maneuver and not retreat in a world where anti-Semites dominate, and Jews betray Israel to save their money. Netanyahu’s maneuvering is like the maneuvers of a sailboat headwind. Politics is the art of the possible. Rabin did not learn this truth.
Netanyahu maneuvered and did not retreat under Clinton, under Obama, and, possibly, will continue to maneuver and not retreat under Biden. Ultimately, he (we all) resisted the pressure of hostile US administrations and waited for Trump, whose policy is thwarted by our revolutionaries ordered from abroad.
The Prime Minister of Israel should not be a stubborn general, but an intelligent, flexible politician. Gantz imitates Rabin in vain. The people will not entrust him with the post of prime minister. Gantz is justifiably afraid of elections.
Netanyahu’s legacy is that he respects the will of the majority. Shouts about the «dictator» Netanyahu are just a blatant lie in the style of Goebbels: maybe it will work. Dictatorial habits are characteristic of Gantz.
In contrast to Rabin, Netanyahu carried out the privatization of parasitic state monopolies. I am a witness, after privatization, our plant was modernized. Having freed itself from the yoke of parasites, Israel made a leap in its development. Now Rabin’s heirs want to return us to the past. No, we don’t need such a legacy.