Would Yitzḥak Rabin Have Remained Loyal to a Broken Peace Process?

It is a commonplace among supporters of the Israeli left that, had Yitzḥak Rabin not been murdered in 1995, he would have somehow seen the Oslo Accords to their conclusion and ended the conflict with the Palestinians. In this view, Rabin’s assassin killed both the prime minister and the peace process. Jeff Jacoby has his doubts:

Oslo was a disaster from the outset, arguably the worst self-inflicted wound in Israel’s history. . . . More Israelis were killed by Palestinian terrorists in the 24 months following the famous handshake on the White House lawn than in any similar period in Israel’s history. In public, Rabin professed to be undaunted. . . . But privately, Rabin was having grave doubts. . . .

Amid the emotional public backlash that followed Rabin’s assassination, any repudiation of Oslo would have been deemed a victory for his assassin. . . . The Oslo process [thus] continued. Follow-up agreements were negotiated and signed. But fresh concessions from Israel only encouraged fresh violence from the Palestinians. . . . Had Rabin lived, the Oslo calamity might have been reversed long ago and the “peace now” delusion abandoned as a gamble that failed. But the bullets that killed a courageous prime minister also killed the chance of undoing his greatest blunder.

Read more at Boston Globe

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli politics, Moshe Yaalon, Oslo Accords, Yitzhak Rabin


How America Sowed the Seeds of the Current Middle East Crisis in 2015

Analyzing the recent direct Iranian attack on Israel, and Israel’s security situation more generally, Michael Oren looks to the 2015 agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear program. That, and President Biden’s efforts to resurrect the deal after Donald Trump left it, are in his view the source of the current crisis:

Of the original motivations for the deal—blocking Iran’s path to the bomb and transforming Iran into a peaceful nation—neither remained. All Biden was left with was the ability to kick the can down the road and to uphold Barack Obama’s singular foreign-policy achievement.

In order to achieve that result, the administration has repeatedly refused to punish Iran for its malign actions:

Historians will survey this inexplicable record and wonder how the United States not only allowed Iran repeatedly to assault its citizens, soldiers, and allies but consistently rewarded it for doing so. They may well conclude that in a desperate effort to avoid getting dragged into a regional Middle Eastern war, the U.S. might well have precipitated one.

While America’s friends in the Middle East, especially Israel, have every reason to feel grateful for the vital assistance they received in intercepting Iran’s missile and drone onslaught, they might also ask what the U.S. can now do differently to deter Iran from further aggression. . . . Tehran will see this weekend’s direct attack on Israel as a victory—their own—for their ability to continue threatening Israel and destabilizing the Middle East with impunity.

Israel, of course, must respond differently. Our target cannot simply be the Iranian proxies that surround our country and that have waged war on us since October 7, but, as the Saudis call it, “the head of the snake.”

Read more at Free Press

More about: Barack Obama, Gaza War 2023, Iran, Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Foreign policy