Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Israel Ends Jews' Biblical Claim on the West Bank an Analysis of the Peace Pact Being Signed in Washington Today Explains Rabin's Historic Trade with Arabs

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Israel Ends Jews' Biblical Claim on the West Bank an Analysis of the Peace Pact Being Signed in Washington Today Explains Rabin's Historic Trade with Arabs

Article excerpt

TODAY'S Mideast signing ceremony at the White House marks a historic compromise: broader Arab acceptance of Israel in return for a sizable chunk of what many religious Jews regard as the Biblical land of Israel. The accusation by the Israeli right wing that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is capitulating to Palestinian demands without making any gains - and the retort of Islamic militants that PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat has sold out to Israeli demands - merely underscores that there has been genuine give and take. The second phase of the Israel-PLO peace accord, which marks the beginning of the end of 28 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank, is a year behind schedule. The last two years has seen an escalation in violent clashes between Arabs and Jews and the horror of suicide bombings by Islamic militants. (Why Syria, the next link in peace for Israel, stalls talks, Page 6.) But the constant bickering, walkouts, and high drama that led to the latest agreement are not able to obscure a moment in history: a compromise agreement by the leaders of two peoples to differ, to live apart. "Sometimes, in the real world, moments of messianic importance can look like trivial events," says political scientist and philosopher Shlomo Avineri of Jerusalem's Hebrew University. The bickering and high drama are not able to obscure a moment in history - an agreement to differ, to live apart. The signing of the accord between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, at the some spot two years ago, followed months of secret negotiations in Oslo, Norway. "The Oslo agreement was a historical breakthrough in that it marked the mutual recognition of Israel and the PLO," Professor Avineri said. "But Oslo could have been nothing more than a piece of paper. This {latest} agreement is a breakthrough because it marks the implementation of {the Oslo agreement}." Despite an upsurge of militancy on both flanks, the broad majority of Palestinians and Israelis is coming to accept that the fruits of negotiation and compromise come in stages. Palestinians are beginning to realize that they are moving closer to a Palestinian state and Israelis that they are edging closer to living in peace - albeit a cold peace - with their Arab neighbors. The big-bang fantasy of a Palestinian state is becoming a creeping reality. The relief that comes with shedding the burden of occupation is already evident in the eyes and smiles of young Israeli soldiers at checkpoints on the West Bank. In interviews granted to Israeli media around the signing of the agreement in Taba, Egypt, last weekend, Mr. Rabin launched a marketing campaign to sell his vision to the Israeli public and advance the slow-moving clock of history in the Middle East. His central message was that to be a good Jew, or a good Zionist, it was no longer necessary to hang on to the West Bank. …
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.