Friday, 12 June 2015
Liberty After Oslo
Last week, I spoke in front of 200 students at the University of Tel Aviv as part of their course on Operation Defensive Edge.
When I arrived, the heads of the course thanked me because they had experienced difficulties trying to bring a “rightist” speaker to the university. “It looks like the Right is afraid to come here,” they said. The best of the Left’s speakers had lectured before me: Former MK Yossi Sarid and others.
I do not define myself as a rightist (and certainly not as a leftist), and I do not think that there is any lack of brave and articulate rightist speakers. “The reason that they did not come,” I explained to the students, “is simply because Israel’s Right has no alternative to the mentality and program that was imposed upon the state of Israel with the Oslo Accords.”
The new rationale that Oslo dictated was that there is an additional nation – the “Palestinians” and that Israel’s heartland – first and foremost the Temple Mount in Jerusalem – belongs to this “nation.” The Rabin government coerced this rationale upon the majority of Israelis by means of a sophisticated ploy. It climaxed with Rabin’s handshake with the head of the Organization for the Liberation of the Land of Israel From Its Jews, the great Jew murderer, Yassir Arafat, ym”sh.
The Rabin government and the Left, however, are responsible for only half of the horror. The forcing of the new Oslo mentality and the hermetic sealing of the barbed wire upon the Israel public was done by Benjamin Netanyahu.
The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin gave Shimon Peres the premiership, rendering any non-Oslo opinion patently illegitimate. In those days, a person walking through Tel Aviv with a kippah on his head felt the way a person doing so in Paris would feel today. Nonetheless, the Jewish majority managed, by the skin of its teeth, to win the elections and the representative of the National Camp came into power.
But just four months later, PM Netanyahu hugged the head of the Organization for the Liberation of the Land of Israel From Its Jews, effectively bringing the process full circle and giving Oslo and its creators the full endorsement and legitimacy of Israel’s rightist voters.
“There,” I explained in my lecture, “in Oslo, we lost our most important weapon: our sense of justice. That handshake determined that Israel was nothing more than the last of the white colonialists and that the time had come for the Israelis to understand what the Europeans had understood 100 years earlier: the ‘Palestinian’ children must return to their stolen land.
“Oslo dictated that the only value for which Israel could still fight is the value of self defense. (A robber is allowed to protect his life)….
“That is why we are incapable of winning. Because this is their land, not ours. We are doomed to paying steady protection: truckloads of cash, free electricity and more to the ‘Palestinians’ (in all, approximately one trillion shekels to date – approximately 600,000 NIS paid for by every family in Israel – seven times more than all the funds Israel has received from the U.S. during the same time period; this sum is approximately 10 percent of Israel’s budget, which we continue to pay every year) in exchange for quiet. Once every few years we pay with the blood of tens and hundreds of our sons, making it possible for the Oslo nobility (from both sides of the political divide – politicians and many other Israelis included) to preserve its hegemony over all of Israel’s power hubs.”
I went on to explain the details of my plan for the region and the practical solution for the Gaza problem; a logical solution, bolstered by reality and not wishful thinking; a practical, humane, accessible solution that will bring peace and prosperity to the region. Most important of all, it would provide a just solution to this situation.
“But every side believes that it is right,” a nice student pondered.
“I have an amazing revelation for you,” I said. “There is a G-d and, thus, there is truth – and one just side!”
Among the approximately 200 students who attended that night, I saw only one kippah. Tel Aviv University is not exactly a faith-based stronghold.
But for the students who came over to me after the lecture, there was no doubt: “Yours was the best lecture we have had in this entire course,” they said.
So why don’t other rightist speakers come to Tel Aviv University to present their simple and rational alternative? After all, I am no more talented than they are.
The answer is that when Netanyahu closed the Oslo gate on the Right’s worldview, the entire state was enslaved to the process.
Nonetheless, a small group of Israelis remained outside the gates. This was the small group that established the Zo Artzeinu movement and fought and rebelled against the Oslo Accords. I was justifiably charged with sedition. I represented myself at my trial, did not deny the allegations against me, and refused to request a lightened sentence for actions behind which I firmly stand.
He who rebelled then and at no point joined the murky stream is the only person who remains liberated today. That is the deep reason that I am not in the Knesset at this point. That is the deep reason that only the Zo Artzeinu activists and leaders can cultivate leadership that will cut through the barbed wire with which we surrounded ourselves ever since Oslo.
For only a person who safeguarded his liberty then can safeguard all the spheres of liberty in the future.
About the Author: Moshe Feiglin is the former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.