Rabin: No Palestinian state
New York – Now that the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is being commemorated, it is appropriate to recall Rabins last address to the Knesset, delivered on October 5, 1995 (one month before his murder) explaining his vision for the peace process with the Palestinians which explicitly excluded Palestinian statehood. In particular, the vital conditions and red lines that Rabin declared on Israeli concessions have been often missing from public discussion and have been shed from Israeli policy. Excerpts from Rabins speech:
- No Palestinian State: The State of Israel … will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state
- No return to pre-June 1967 borders: The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.
- Control of Jordan Valley: The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.
- Blocs of settlements: The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one in Gush Katif.
- All settlements remain intact during interim period: I want to remind you: we committed ourselves, that is, we came to an agreement, and committed ourselves before the Knesset, not to uproot a single settlement in the framework of the interim agreement, and not to hinder building for natural growth.
- Security in interim period: The responsibility for external security along the borders with Egypt and Jordan, as well as control over the airspace above all of the territories and Gaza Strip maritime zone, remains in our hands.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, One only has to read the text of Yitzhak Rabins last address to the Knesset to see how tragically far we have come from Rabins conditions for seeking peace with the Palestinian Arabs that he spelt out shortly before his assassination. Instead of a Palestinian entity, Israel is in a negotiating process designed to lead to a Palestinian state.
Instead of insisting on retaining the vital security provided by the Jordan Valley, Israel already in 2000 proposed giving this away. Instead of establishing blocs of settlements, Israel has uprooted Gush Katif, which was supposed to be a model for settlements to follow. Instead of keeping all settlements intact before reaching a final settlement, the Gaza settlements are gone and their residents removed, although a final settlement is as far off as ever. And instead of security control of the borders with Egypt and Jordan, terrorists and weaponry are being smuggled from Egypt.
From each and every one of these important conditions laid out by Rabin, Israel has backed away and made huge concessions which have only emboldened terrorists committed to Israels destruction and endangered Israel further without improving the prospects of peace. The ZOA always believed that the Oslo process was misconceived and would not lead to peace, but at least some of the harm done could have been avoided if Rabins conditions had been enforced. We strongly urge the Sharon government to heed Rabins conditions and where still possible to act in accordance with them.