Saturday, July 24, 2010

Netanyahu Admits to Destroying the Oslo Accords



In this video - filmed mostly (starting at about 2:50) when Prime Minister Netanyahu thought the cameras were off - he admits to sabotaging the Oslo accords in his first term as Prime Minister in the late 1990s. He also boast that he deceived the US president at the time, Bill Clinton, into believing he was actually helping implement the Oslo accords. And he dismisses the US as "easily moved in the right direction."

He also suggests that, far from being defensive, Israel’s harsh military repression of the Palestinian uprising was designed chiefly to crush the Palestinian Authority led by Yasser Arafat so that it could be made more pliable to Israeli interests.

His whole performance is as one who believes that there is no chance of peace with the Palestinians ever, and that lawyerly tricks, delays and obfuscations are all part of the game Israel must play to keep as much of the occupied territories as possible.

Personally, I don't see any reason to believe Netanyahu has changed.

Moreover, the fact that this video - released on Israeli T.V. last week - has caused so little fuss in Israel, forces one to assume that the average Israeli now agrees with Netanyahu's basic approach. It confirms that a once proud principled and idealistic people have become completely cynical. When everyone expects leaders to be devious and lie, democracy cannot be in a very good state.

What is surprising however, is that no American commentators have picked this up. It is not everyday that a foreign Prime Minister is caught on tape boasting about having America wrapped around his little finger, and about lying to an American President.

For more on this story you can read Gideon Levy in Haaretz.

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