Rabin's legacyToday, the 11th day of the Jewish month of Cheshvan is observed annually as the anniversary of the death of Yitzchak Rabin (even though he actually died on the 12th).
One of the features of the observance is the teaching of something called Moreshet Rabin (Rabin's legacy) in the schools. During most of the years after Rabin's death, the Education Ministry was under the Left's control, and Rabin's legacy was re-done into the 'peace process.' Unfortunately, with the Right in power, things haven't changed much.
The foreign ministry has a special briefing page on its web site for Rabin's death each year and somehow this speech - which was his last major policy address to the Knesset before he died - keeps getting left out (Hat Tip: IMRA). Here are some highlights with a few comments interspersed.
Members of Knesset,Note that the 'settlement blocs' are in addition to what we refer to as the 'settlement blocs' today - Gush Etzion, Maaleh Adumim, the Modiin area (which actually straddles the 'green line') and Ariel. It is clear that what Rabin envisioned was, for example, a 'settlement bloc' that would include places like Beit El, Ofra and Shilo, which are fairly close together and are now outside the 'security fence.'
The agreement before you is the continuation of the implementation of the agreements which were signed between the Government of Israel and the Palestinians. The first agreement which was brought to you was the Declaration of Principles, which was signed in Washington on 13 September 1993.
The second agreement which was presented to you is called the Cairo Agreement, which was signed in Cairo on 4 May 1994. Both of these agreements were ratified by the Knesset.
Both of the previous agreements, and the third which was submitted today, separately and together, give expression to the policy of the current Government, and to its path of promoting peace in the Middle East. As is known, when we formed the Government, over three years ago, we said that we would aspire to reach a permanent solution to the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict. And today, this Government brings, in addition to the signing of the peace treaty with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan -- which would not have been achieved without the agreement with the Palestinians -- a significant breakthrough in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and an attempt to put an end to decades of terrorism and blood.
Members of Knesset,
We are striving for a permanent solution to the unending bloody conflict between us and the Palestinians and the Arab states.
In the framework of the permanent solution, we aspire to reach, first and foremost, the State of Israel as a Jewish state, at least 80% of whose citizens will be, and are, Jews.
At the same time, we also promise that the non-Jewish citizens of Israel -- Muslim, Christian, Druze and others -- will enjoy full personal, religious and civil rights, like those of any Israeli citizen. Judaism and racism are diametrically opposed.
We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. [Note that Rabin did not envision a 'Palestinian state.' What he envisioned was something more along the lines of the autonomy plan that was approved by Menachem Begin as part of the Camp David accords with Egypt. CiJ] The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.
And these are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision and want in the permanent solution:
A. First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma'ale Adumim and Givat Ze'ev -- as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, [Maaleh Adumim and Givat Zev both remain outside the city limits of Jerusalem. CiJ] while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths.
B. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term. [The Jordan Valley is to the east, and the edge of the Jordan Valley is the Jordan River, which is the Jordanian border. Obviously, Rabin had no intention of letting the 'Palestinians' govern that either. CiJ]
C. Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the "Green Line," prior to the Six Day War.
D. The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one in Gush Katif.
The PLO, those in it subject to the authority of its chairman, Arafat, has stopped the terror against us, as they committed themselves in the Declaration of Principles. And yet, other terrorist organizations, continue to attack us, because it is their political aim to murder Israelis, because they are Israelis, through acts of terror, in order to cause the cessation of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Because this is their aim, we have no intention of shirking from the efforts toward peace, even if the acts of terrorism continue to harm us. We, on our side, will make every effort against the terrorists.Well, he was dead wrong about the PLO (and rumor had it that he suspected it, and that had he lived, he would have ended the entire 'peace process' because of the PLO's terror).
I want to emphasize a number of subjects:Of course, we have never gone beyond the interim agreement. This was the last agreement signed with the 'Palestinians.'
As a Jewish nation, we must, first and foremost, pay attention to the holy places, to our religion, tradition, and culture. We were strict about this in the Interim Agreement.
Here are several examples:
A. In the Cave of the Patriarchs, the current arrangement for security and the Jewish and Muslim prayers will continue as is. We agreed that we would examine the overall arrangements in Hebron after three months. We do not intend to change anything at the Tomb of the Patriarchs. [I don't recall what the 'current arrangement' was in 1995, but I can tell you that today, the largest hall - the Yitzchak Hall - is closed to Jewish worshippers most days of the year. CiJ]
B. At Rachel's Tomb, the principle was determined that worshippers and visitors would not encounter Palestinian police, neither on their approach to the Tomb nor during their prayers. The main road to Rachel's Tomb from the Gilo area up to the tomb itself [which is about 500 meters long. Gilo is in Jerusalem. CiJ], will be the responsibility of the IDF. Guarding Rachel's Tomb compound will be the responsibility of the IDF (or the Border Police), including three guard-posts outside the compound, which overlook the parking lot. Moreover, security for the area will be provided by joint Israeli- Palestinian patrols activities, in order to preserve the peace and security of those coming to Rachel's Tomb. [I don't know how many of you noticed the structure in the video Thursday morning, but until about 2000 or 2001, all those long hallways you saw did not exist, and the entrance to the tomb from the street was where you saw people going under a sign in Hebrew that said "Kever Rachel" (which means "Rachel's tomb). All the other structures were put up when the 'Palestinians' starting firing on the tomb in 2000. CiJ]
C. We have found a solution to the matter of Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. As is known, the students of the yeshiva and their teachers at Joseph's Tomb are there only during the day, and do not remain there at night. The current agreement will enable students to travel daily to the Tomb. The inside of the Tomb will be guarded by armed Israelis. The area will be guarded by the Palestinian Police according to the currently existing format and according to the procedures for movement and prayer at the "Shalom al-Yisrael" synagogue in Jericho. These arrangements have been in place in Jericho for a year and five months. There was one incident. A single Jew was prevented from praying. [The 'Palestinians' destroyed both of those sites in 2000. An IDF soldier bled to death in Joseph's Tomb because the government refused to allow the IDF to retake the tomb to save the soldier's life. Today, there is very limited access to those sites in coordination with the IDF, and neither site is as it once was. CiJ]
As for the other Jewish holy places -- most of them are located in Area B, which is under the overall security control of the IDF.
And as for the archaeological sites, we found a solution by mutual agreement, that no changes whatsoever will be made at any archaeological site, without the agreement of both sides.
I must emphasize that we have not committed ourselves, and I repeat, we have not committed ourselves to the scope of the redeployment at each stage. Most importantly, it was defined in the agreement that the restrictions on the completion of the redeployment are issues that will be discussed during the negotiations on the permanent settlement, as is stated in the Agreement itself, and I qoute: "During the further redeployment phases to be completed within 18 months from the date of the inauguration of the Council, powers and responsibilities relating to territory will be transferred to Palestinian jurisdiction that will cover West Bank and Gaza Strip territory, except for issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations." [In other words, Israel made NO commitments regarding permanent borders. CiJ]
[Quoting from the agreement] 2. "Nothing in this Agreement shall prejudice or preempt the outcome of the negotiations on the permanent status to be conducted pursuant to the DOP. Neither Party shall be deemed, by virtue of having entered into this Agreement, to have renounced or waived any of its existing rights, claims. or positions."
"Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent solution negotiations."
I want to remind you: we committed ourselves, that is, we came to an agreement, and committed ourselves before the Knesset, not to uproot a single settlement in the framework of the interim agreement, and not to hinder building for natural growth.
Members of Knesset,The PLO was supposed to amend its covenant to recognize Israel's 'right to exist.' Of course, it still has not done that fourteen years later.
We are aware of the fact that the Palestinian Authority has not -- up until now -- honored its commitment to change the Palestinian Covenant, and that all of the promises on this matter have not been kept. I would like to bring it to the attention of the members of the house that I view these changes as a supreme test of the Palestinian Authority's willingness and ability, and the changes required will be an important and serious touchstone vis-a-vis the continued implementation of the agreement as a whole.
The relevant article speaks about this:
"The PLO undertakes that, within two months of the date of the inauguration of the Council, the Palestinian National Council will convene and formally approve the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant, as undertaken in the letters signed by the Chairman of the PLO and addressed to the Prime Minister of Israel, dated September 9, 1993 and May 4, 1994."
Read the whole thing.
After Rabin's speech, the interim agreement passed the Knesset 61-59, with the two deciding votes being provided by two defectors from the right wing Tzomet party(Alex Goldfarb and Gonen Segev), who were paid off with government ministries.
The Left teaches that Rabin's legacy is the 'peace process.' But this speech shows that Rabin's conception of the 'peace process' was nothing like the Left's conception. What Rabin envisioned was far less than what Ehud Barak offered at Camp David in 2000 and at Taba in 2001, and far, far less than what Ehud Olmert offered to Abu Mazen in September 2008. Would Rabin have 'come around' to what the 'Palestinians' have demanded? Let's say that's highly questionable.
The Left doesn't mourn Yitzchak Rabin. They use his death as an excuse to mourn the 'peace process' and the 'Palestinian state' to which they thought it would lead that would allow us - in their conception - to live like all the other nations. They put words into Rabin's mouth to give the illusion that he thought as they think. But the Left's entire concept is a delusion. And so too, unfortunately, is peace.