REMEMBERING RABIN

What is there to talk about with the PLO? … Agreeing to talk with the PLO means getting used to the idea of a third state between Israel and Jordan.

– Rabin’s 1989 response to the PLO’s acceptance of UN resolution 242; quoted in Efraim Inbar, War & Peace in Israeli Politics: Labor Party positions on national security (Boulder, CO. & London: 1991), p. 75.

We ourselves obtained this concession from the Palestinians… without any American promises as in the Camp David agreements. Jewish settlements will be placed under an exclusive Israeli jurisdiction; the [Palestinian] Autonomy Council will have no authority over them. The forces of the Israeli army will be redeployed in locations determined only by us, unlike the Camp David agreements which mandated a withdrawal of the Israeli army forces. In the agreement we reached we didn’t consent to use the formula ‘withdrawal of Israeli army forces’ except when it applied to the Gaza Strip…

I prefer the Palestinians to cope with the problem of enforcing order in Gaza. The Palestinians will be better at it than we were, because they will allow no appeals to the Supreme Court and will prevent the [Israeli] Association for Civil Rights from criticising the conditions there by denying it access to the area. They will rule there by their own methods, freeing – and this is most important – the Israeli soldiers from having to do what they will do.

– Rabin on the virtues of the Oslo accord; quoted in Jimmy Carter, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid (New York: 2006), pp. 136-37.

If we find a partner for peace with the Palestinians, they will run their internal affairs without the High Court of Justice, B’Tselem, or all sorts of groups of mothers and fathers and bleeding hearts.

– Rabin explains what he’s looking for in a Palestinian partner; quoted in Norman G. Finkelstein, Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish romance with Israel is coming to an end (New York: 2012), p. 226.

The first priority is to use force, might, beatings.

– Rabin’s prescription for crushing the first intifada (1987-1993), an overwhelmingly nonviolent civil revolt against Israel’s occupation; quoted in “What Israel is losing,” New York Times (24 January, 1988). In the three days following Rabin’s announcement, the New York Times reported, more than 200 Palestinians were treated for broken bones or other serious injuries from beatings. Save the Children estimated that, in the first two years of the intifada, fully seven percent of Palestinians under the age of 18 were injured due to shootings, beatings, or tear gas. (Wendy Pearlman, Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement (Cambridge: 2011), p. 114)

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