Michael Boyden

October 7th and Oslo

What exactly was Prime Minister Netanyahu implying when he is reported as having stated that the number of Israelis murdered on October 7th was equivalent to that of those killed by Palestinians since the signing of the Oslo Accords?

Did he mean that in one day the Palestinians managed to slaughter as many people as had been killed by them since the Accords were signed in 1993? Or was he attacking Merav Michaeli and suggesting that she and the Left should keep quiet, because they had also been responsible for the death of innocent Israelis?

Perhaps he was saying: “You made mistakes and I made mistakes.” In other words, “You believed that it was possible to make peace with the Palestinian Authority, and I believed that Hamas would not attack Israel if we allowed Gazans to work in Israel and Qatar to supply them with money.”

In any event, the comparison is odious. Yitzhak Rabin z”l was motivated by a desire to bring the Israel/Palestinian conflict to an end. Whether one agreed with his vision or not, no one can deny that his intentions were well meant.

The massacre on October 7th took place, as everyone agrees, because of a misperception by Israel’s political, intelligence and military leadership of Hamas’s plans.

There is no doubt that the Labour party has paid a heavy political price for the failure of the Oslo Accords, although we have to thank them for the relative quiet and stability on the West Bank and the intelligence co-operation that still exists between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Nothing good came out of October 7th, only suffering and misery. One can only hope that Likkud will pay a heavy price for what took place just as Labour had to pay for the failure of the Oslo Accords to bring about the peace for which we hoped.

About the Author
Made aliyah from the UK in 1985, am a former president of the Israel Council of Reform Rabbis and am currently rabbi of Kehilat Yonatan in Hod Hasharon, Israel.
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