Weekly Commentary: A reminder from Oslo key man Beilin: Israeli Oslo
leadership did not actually plan ahead
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 13 December 2012
One can appreciate how hard it is for foreigners to accept that the
half-baked ideas of Israelis with impressive military records or years of
experience in Arab Israeli affairs are really just that: half-baked ideas.
After all, one would hope and expect that someone who was able, for example,
to reach the very pinnacle of the IDF would have both the common sense and
integrity to think through their policy recommendations to the end before
opening their mouths.
But this is nothing new.
From the very start of Oslo, opponents of Oslo maintained that it was a
half-baked plan. That the Israeli leadership promoting Oslo did not really
thought it through to the end.
And thanks to Ari Shavit’s interview of Yossi Beilin ( "Yossi removes his
glasses" Haaretz Magazine, March 7, 1997) we have confirmation from the key
man of Oslo that this indeed was a half-baked program.
Here is my translation of some excerpts:
Shavit: When you entered the Oslo process, Rabin Peres and you, was it clear
to you that this was going to a Palestinian state?
Beilin: No. It is very interesting to note that the talks of the soul
regarding "where will this process lead" took place only between the sides,
not within them. Within the Labor party and within the government and
within the negotiating team I don't recall any real and serious discussion
of the final solution.
Shavit: I don't understand. In 1992 you were elected to the government. In
1993 you created the Oslo process. At no stage did you ask yourselves where
this all was leading to?
Shavit: You never spoke with Rabin about the significance of Oslo in the
Shavit: And with Peres?
Beilin: I also never spoke with Peres about it.
Shavit: That's to say that we are going to an historic process that is
second to none in its drama and at no stage you don't say "wait a moment,
let's think about this", let's check where we are basically going?
Beilin: By Rabin, avoidance of the final arrangement was a kind of policy.
He pushed it off. After he died I sat with Leah Rabin and I said to her - if
someone could have known what final arrangement Rabin had in mind it's only
you. She told me - "Look, I can't tell you. He was very pragmatic, hated to
deal with what will be in many more years. He thought about what will be
now, very soon. To the best of my knowledge he did not have a very clear
picture of what the final arrangement would be"
Rabin thought that things would develop, saw something instrumental like
that, some autonomy that might become a state and might not. He did not
have a clear picture.
Shavit: The question that must be raised is if the decisions of Oslo were
made at all in a rational process?
Beilin: In general there aren't rational processes. Rationality, at the end,
is almost always rationalizing. When you look at these kinds of processes
you find that almost always the things happen out of internal feelings of
the participants that they are doing the right thing. Out of their emotions
and intuition and personal experience.
Nothing has changed.
So when considering the policy recommendations of the Israeli left, just
remember: caveat emptor (buyer beware).
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
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