"ISRAEL HAS ABANDONED OSLO MESSIANISM"
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres's vision of a "new
Middle East," as espoused over the last decade, is
a lethal form of secular messianism that has led to
the worst bloodletting in Israel's history, internationally acclaimed
American columnist Charles Krauthammer said. "Israel has at long last awoken from the most
devastating messianic reverie, the Oslo Agreements," Krauthammer said at a
Jerusalem lecture, where he was presented with Bar-Ilan University's annual Guardian of Zion Award.
Calling the 1993 Oslo Accords "the most catastrophic and self-inflicted
wound by any state in modern history," which was based on "an extreme
expression of post-Zionistic messianism,"
Krauthammer said that the secular messianism espoused
by Peres was more dangerous than the religious messianism
of Gush Emunim or certain followers of the Lubavitcher Rebbe because of its
impact on shaping contemporary Jewish history. "For the messianic Israeli
left, Oslo was more than a deal, it was a ratification [in their minds] of a
new era in modern history, a new era in human relations and a radical break in
history which they declared was occurring not at some
point in the future, but now," he said. "In the 1990's America slept and Israel dreamed," said Krauthammer, whose
weekly syndicated column for The Washington Post Writers Group which now
appears in over 100 newspapers, including The Jerusalem Post, won him a
Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for distinguished commentary. "The US awoke [after the terror attacks on America] in September 2001 and Israel awoke [after the start of Palestinian
violence] in September 2000," he said. "Like the Israeli Left, the US in the 1990s was intoxicated with the idea
that history had changed from military conflict to a world of markets and
technology. September 11 abolished that illusion and taught us that there are
who care nothing about economics, and like in the old history of war of one God
against another, will use all military means to attain their goals," he
Krauthammer, one of the few American columnists to warn from the start that the
Oslo peace accords were a fraud and deception that were doomed to failure, said
that talk of
Israeli-Palestinian economic and technological cooperation as espoused in Oslo
was an "insane" idea which was based on a "dangerous
mirage" of those who sought to transpose the entirely different idea of EU
cooperation on the Middle East.
"Israel labored seven long years until reality declared itself with former
prime minister Barak's astonishing conciliatory offer
at Camp David [in July 2000], which was met by Arafat with suicide bombings and
terrorism," he said. Declaring that peace is "not impossible,"
but contingent on an Arab willingness to live in coexistence with the Jewish
state, Krauthammer said: "The idea that one can strike a real peace
agreement with [Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser]
Arafat without a Sadat-like acceptance of the Jewish
state is an illusion."
In contrast to the Oslo Accords, which were dependent on the will of Arafat,
Krauthammer said "Zionism was a movement based on self-reliance,
self-realization, and a refusal to depend on others.
Zionism accepted the world precisely as it is, and because of that, Jews saw
that they had no future in the Diaspora and that they must go and build a state
for themselves in Zion."