Sun 24 Sep 2023 9:26 am - Jerusalem Time

"If Rabin had not been killed"

It is noteworthy that a good portion of the Palestinian political and cultural elite, when talking about Oslo and the issue of peace with Israel, repeated the saying, “If Rabin had not been killed,” the situation would have been different, peace would have been achieved, and the Palestinians would have achieved what they wanted “without more or less.”

This "saying" could have passed quietly, if its saying had been limited to the period of "great" grief, after the killing of Rabin, but it has continued until now, twenty-eight years after that event, and has even increased its "momentum." Which means that he went beyond “expressing feelings” about the man’s killing, to political use of them.

Certainly, it is not necessary that every Palestinian who repeated this statement understands its dimensions and consequences. It is possible that some may have said it “spontaneously” as a result of fear of what might result from the “peace” process that had great momentum at the time, but many of those who continued to do so went beyond saying what they thought was the “true” word for that man (Rabin). They went beyond expressing their state of disappointment, which caused them a “setback” in the peace process as a result of his killing, to employing him to defend their point of view.

Who is Rabin?
Rabin was born in Jerusalem in 1922 to a Ukrainian father and a Belarusian mother. He participated in the 1948 “war” with the Zionist Haganah, which committed many massacres against the Palestinians under his direct leadership, the most important of which was the one that occurred in the city of Lod, where hundreds were killed and the rest of the population was displaced. Rabin was one of the most important planners and executors of the deportation of Palestinians during the Nakba.

In 1967, General Yitzhak Rabin was Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, who launched an attack on three Arab countries and occupied large parts of their lands. In that war, he ordered the three villages of “Latrun” (Emwas, Yalo, and Beit Nuba) to be completely demolished, and their residents were displaced. Israel built the “Canada” Park on its ruins, with funding from the Jewish “community” there.

After that, Rabin became Israel's ambassador to the United States, then Minister of Defense, and Prime Minister twice. During the first Palestinian Intifada, Rabin was the proponent of the “policy” of breaking bones, which the Israeli army practiced on Palestinian youth who rejected the occupation.

In recognition of Rabin's "exploits" by the Zionist establishment and the "free" world, he was awarded numerous awards, three honorary doctorates from Israeli universities, another honorary doctorate from the University of Miami, and the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award, culminating in his third Nobel Peace Prize. "With Peres and Arafat (two - one) in recognition of his "thanks" in achieving the Oslo Accords.
Rabin and Oslo

It is not difficult for anyone who watched the signing ceremony of the Oslo Accords in the White House courtyard to infer from Rabin’s body language his position on the peace process, on the Palestinians, and on Arafat, as he appeared hesitant and “disgusted” while shaking hands with the latter. Rabin remained fixed in his place, slow and “burdened” with all the conflicts of the past, while Arafat took the initiative to advance towards him, extending his hand, and seemed happy, comfortable, and “overcome” with all the heavy burdens of the past. The moment seemed to be an Israeli continuation and a sharp Palestinian turn.

In fact, Rabin did not speak even once about the rights of the Palestinians, nor about a Palestinian “state.” Rather, he spoke about his “willingness” to make great “sacrifices” for peace, none of which he explained one day, and when he “went away.” In clarifying his position, he said that he would “give” the Palestinians “more than an autonomy and less than a state,” and left it to thinkers, politicians, and “astrologers” to imagine what that means.

As for the Oslo Accords, which Rabin approved, it did not talk at all about Palestinian national rights, nor about a Palestinian state, or the “two-state solution.” Rather, it stipulated that the goal of the negotiations was to establish a transitional Palestinian self-governmental authority, leading to a permanent settlement, based on two Security Council resolutions. 242 and 338, which did not talk about a Palestinian state, and there was disagreement about what it mentioned about the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the first moment.

Rabin was clear, whether in his statements about Oslo, or in his actions, or in what was stipulated in the agreements, that he would not agree to the Palestinians obtaining any of their national rights, so the issue of settlement, Jerusalem, and refugees was postponed to the “final” negotiations, and gradually the “rights” were transferred "to "privileges" in practice.

Palestinian reaction
After all that, how did the Palestinians, or many of them, feel that Rabin was serious about reaching a satisfactory solution for them? And they did not leave room for the mind to assume the opposite, that is, that Rabin had worked to get the Palestinians to where Israel wanted them to be. ..And how can this “sad” and “frustrating” position regarding Rabin’s killing be explained?

The main reason for this, in our opinion, is that the Palestinians went too far in trusting Oslo, and they had a strange reassurance - an illusion - that made them forget not only the loopholes, question marks, and sometimes contradictory “clarity” in the texts, but also, in a way, the occupation itself, the Zionist movement and its history. And perhaps imperialism too.

The leadership and a large proportion of the Palestinian political elite understood, and even wanted to understand, that the Rabin government’s recognition of it meant recognition of rights, or in the worst case, Palestinian national rights, which work would be done to develop. Although she did this during Rabin's life, she held on to him even more in his death.

Like the Oslo Accords for the Palestinians, “the peace of the brave” (I do not think, and I do not know if the Israelis used this expression), and since it is so, the killing of one of the two sides of the equation of the brave, Rabin, requires the other side to mourn him and consider himself a target. Also, this is what was established by the “assassination” of Arafat, which “led us” to believe that whoever killed Rabin is the same one who killed Arafat, and whoever doubts Rabin’s credibility towards peace is also doubting us. He questions our intelligence, wisdom, orientations, patriotism, and credibility?!

If this were not the case, the use of the expression “peace of the brave” would most likely have extremely negative effects on the weaker party in the equation; It is an embellishment and legislation for concessions, and it blocks any possibility of revival, since it deprives the weaker party of its right to feel unfair, and “forces” it to feel happy while it is at the height of its feeling of injustice.

So, in order to build on what is required, and since there is no harm in using Aristotle’s logic this time, “moderate” Israel is, like us, a victim of “extremist” Israel, and in order to miss the opportunity for “extremist” Israel, we must adhere to the relationship with “moderate” Israel. " which is represented by Rabin's approach, we miss the opportunity for the extremists, and we proceed with Bauslo, which is the "fruit" of the efforts and cooperation of the "moderates" on both sides.

In order to make matters more clear, and to elaborate on this “pronunciation,” the conflict in the region has become limited to the “moderates” of the Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs on the one hand, and between the “extremists” of the Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs on the other side. From here too, normalization with Israel, Palestinian and Arab, has become an “urgent” and extremely important matter, in order to unite the ranks of “moderates” in the face of “extremism.”

Here, the American role was more clear, as Rabin’s funeral was an American arrangement rather than an Israeli one, and this is according to the testimony of Sheikh Hamad Al Thani, the Qatari Prime Minister at the time, who stated that the United States insisted “on us” that it be necessary to attend Rabin’s funeral “at the highest level.” The United States wanted the funeral to be not only a place for leaders to shed tears over Rabin, deeply mourn his loss, and a political and “moral test” for these leaders, but also to serve as an announcement of frank, public, and emotional normalization between Arabs and Israel.

The continued Palestinian grief over Rabin, the likes of which is not found in Israel itself, and the desire to turn it into a legendary grief that must be constantly commemorated sends Palestinian messages in different directions. It is a message to America that we do not hate Israel, and it is also a message to the Israelis themselves.

The “designers” of Oslo wanted it to be not only a turning point in the political relationship of Palestinians and Arabs with Israel, but also a turning point in their feelings towards it. Perhaps in this context comes the high-pitched Israeli, and sometimes "elite" Palestinian, anger towards Abu Mazen's statements, from which one cannot discern a position that is inconsistent with the "new" feelings that Oslo is supposed to have formed towards the Israelis.

Grieving over Rabin, and perhaps more accurately “compassion” for him, and constantly recalling his “exploits,” is a message of reassurance from the Palestinian leadership elite to the Israelis, that we are still loyal to the “Oslois” relationship with them. It is a message to all Palestinians that the leadership is not to blame for the failure of Oslo. The problem is not with us, nor even with the moderate Israelis. In short, it is a matter of bad luck embodied in the killing of Rabin.

We do not deny the role of the individual in history, nor do we deny the possibility of the individual transforming from one state to another, but that has its objective conditions, and has its indicators, none of which I found, despite trying, that apply to Rabin's case. Until the last moment of his life, he did not show any “understanding” of Palestinian national rights, and he did not express, in word or deed, anything that would indicate that he was changing towards peace based on even the minimum level of justice.

The signing of Oslo by Rabin means nothing more than his awareness - and the awareness of his opponents as well - that it is a step that is completely consistent with the interests of Israel and Zionism. Otherwise, how do we explain that the one who opposed Oslo while he was in the opposition (Netanyahu) has continued with it while he is in power?
For the umpteenth time, we are faced with a Zionist project represented by the State of Israel, which has its own goals and conditions for its progress and retreat, which are based primarily on the balance of power with the other party, which we must not forget is us.


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