Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

A tale of two White House signing ceremonies

 

September 25, 2020



Attending the White House signing ceremony on Tuesday of the Abraham Accords – which normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – was both moving and jarring. Standing at the South Lawn, just meters from the Rose Garden where the Oslo Accord were signed 27 years ago on Sept. 13, 1993, the comparison between the two agreements was inescapable.

That ceremony was an act of political theater unsurpassed in the history of Israel. Yasser Arafat, chairman of the PLO, and architect of modern terrorism, grinned ear to ear as he received the royal treatment on the White House Lawn.

Seeking peace, Israel’s then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin promised the PLO land, money and weaponry, which Arafat used to build a terror state on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Arafat in turn promised to end terrorism, accept Israel’s right to exist and resolve all outstanding issues through peaceful negotiations. Arafat was lying.

I wanted ato believe in the fake peace of 1993. But the grim facts made it impossible. For the past 27 years, first as a member of Israel’s negotiating team during my service in the IDF and then as a writer and a lecturer, like thousands of other Israelis and friends of Israel in the U.S. and around the world, I devoted myself to exposing the lies and warning about the danger of empowering those who seek Israel’s destruction. I wrote hundreds of articles, briefed hundreds of politicians and community leaders in the U.S. and worldwide. I wrote a book.

And as I sat in the garden at the White House today, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Mahyan and Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani standing in the portico before me, the names of the victims of that previous peace agreement rushed through my head. David Biri, Nachson Waxman, Kochava Biton, Ohad Bachrach, Ori Shachor, the Lapids, the Ungars, the Fogels, the Schijveschuurders, Madhat Yusuf, Shalhevet Pas and on and on and on.

I have been demonized as an “extremist” a “far right-winger,” an “enemy of peace,” and a “fascist” by members of the so-called “peace camp.” Think tanks and professionals with ties to the EU — the co-sponsor of the fake peace process — were afraid to invite me to speak, cite my articles or to review my book.

Now, 27 years and two days later, the Palestinians are outside the White House with Israeli “peace activists” protesting the peace ceremony at the White House. The EU is boycotting the peace ceremony. And sitting in the audience with me are politicians and leaders like Zionist Organization of American President Mort Klein; Senator Ted Cruz; radio host Mark Levin and former presidential candidate and Evangelical leader Gary Bauer whom I met with over the past decades to discuss the dangers of fake peace for Israel, for the United States and for prospects for true peace ever being achieved between Israel and the Arab world. Like me, they were devoted to ending the lie that peace is possible with people who justify the murder of innocent Israelis as a form of “legitimate resistance.” They too were reviled by the “peace camp” for speaking the truth.

Many of the guests made great efforts to come to the White House even in the midst of the global pandemic because it is clear that this peace is something else. As people like Mossad director Yossi Cohen have said, it only seems like this event happened suddenly. It didn’t. It is the outgrowth of years of work by dedicated officials from all sides who quietly and carefully cultivated ties based not on lies but on real common interests and common concerns. The UAE, Bahrain and Israel have come together because of the courageous leadership of President Donald Trump and his advisers who were willing to acknowledge the reality on the ground and listen to the voices those who opposed what happened at the White House 27 years ago. Trump and his team were willing to break ranks with generations of American policymakers who insisted that terrorists are the true peacemakers, the road to peace is appeasement, and those who look for mutual respect, human decency and shared interests as the basis of peace are right-wing warmongers.

This peace is not a function of Netanyahu changing his tune as his Likud predecessors Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert and others did, and joining the chorus of the fake peace camp. This peace owes to Netanyahu staying true to the core truths that stood at the root of the anti-Oslo protests. You cannot make peace with people who justify your murder and seek your destruction. You can only make peace with those who accept you as you are for what you are.

This peace is real peace. It is a peace to celebrate and cultivate. It is a peace based on respecting, and missing and loving and never forgetting the victims of the political theater that happened here 27 years ago. Where this peace will lead is unclear. The sky is the limit. But unless something goes terribly wrong, it will not lead to more Jewish victims of fake peace.

Caroline Glick is an award-winning columnist and author of “The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East.”

 

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