August 21st in 1993 fell out on Shabbat and it was a Shabbat I think I’ll always remember. Our oldest daughter was going away to high school and her school invited all the girls’ families to come for the weekend. They housed us in the junior and senior dormitories which were not the least bit luxurious. Still, the grounds were lovely, the food plentiful, and the warmth of the staff made it possible, once Shabbat was over, to leave our daughter, feeling she was in good hands.
Following Shabbat we packed up our belongings, gathered up our younger children, got into our cars, and turned on the radio to make sure all was all right in the world. It was not.The newscaster announced an agreement had been finalized the day before between Israel and the PLO in Oslo. My memories of that long ago news report are somewhat fuzzy. Nevertheless, I haven’t forgotten the shock of learning that the PLO would establish the Palestinian Authority in parts of Judea and Samaria. They would have limited self-government, including a police force that would be armed with rifles Israel would give them.
I don’t remember how many demonstrations there were with protestors pleading with our government not to give out guns. Our requests fell on deaf ears. Maybe, maybe, I prayed, the negotiators would be proven right and we really would have peace. I had no desire to say, “I told you so”.
|courtesy of mosiacmagazine.com this same sign can be seen at every entrance to PA administrated terrirories|
Signs that were put up at the entrances to the areas run by the PA should have been a clue that something was not right. If, indeed, it was a PEACE plan why would an Israeli’s life be in danger for entering an area under the jurisdiction of the PA? Why was Israel building by-pass roads to keep Israelis away from Arab populations if there was not going to be fighting?
During the course of the next seven years my worries proved to be well-founded. Almost three hundred Israelis were murdered at the hands of Arab terrorists, nearly ten times as many victims than the previous seven years. After each murder the politicians who implemented the Oslo Accords would declare, “This will not stop us in our quest for peace”. To this day none of those politicians have publicly apologized for the mistaken gamble they made by providing terrorists with guns.
Eleven years after the Oslo Accords there was another gamble made with human lives. This time it was decided to make a unilateral withdrawal from all the Jewish settlements in Gaza. Again, there were countless demonstrations. Again, I prayed that I would be wrong and this would indeed bring peace. And again, I was right and now we have had rockets in Tel Aviv.
Now there is another peace initiative. This time the world wants to sign an agreement with Iran, an agreement which would help Iran and threaten Israel. This time I’m not praying that my objections to the deal are mistaken and we’ll have true peace. I’ve learned too much from recent history.
We all know that the deal is not good for Israel. Americans should understand that it’s not good for them, either. The only way to work with a bully is to stand up to him and Iran is a bully. I plead with each and every American to learn from history. Understand the gamble your government wants to take is too big. Do everything you can to defeat the signing of the agreement with Iran. That is your only chance for true peace.