Monday, May 31, 2010

The Victory Of Yigal Amir

At times like this, I'm reminded of how horrifyingly successful Yigal Amir was in his 1995 assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. I wonder how the world would look today if the Prime Minister who signed the Oslo Accords lived on to promote reconciliation between Israel and the Muslim world.

You'd hope that after assassinating a Prime Minister, the Israeli right would be discredited. Instead, they've done quite well politically and determined the direction of Israeli policy. I have to imagine that Yigal Amir is sitting in his jail cell quite proud of what he's accomplished.


Rashad said...

It's an interesting counterfactual, but honestly, I'm not sure how different things would be. Settlement expansion continued and I think actually increased under Peres (not that this was part of Oslo, but it certainly violated the spirit of Oslo and showed Palestinians how interested the Israelis were in pursuing peace).

Every palestinian suicide bomb pushed the country to the right, and if I recall correctly it was a wave of them that helped propel Netanyahu to victory in 1996.

The Oslo accords also came to be seen as a giveaway to the Palestinians that got Israel nothing. Its very possible that Rabin would have lost to Netanyahu just as his successor Peres did, just a few years down the road.

I think the only real difference would be the moral standing that he had, and even out of the prime minister's office he may have been able to keep Israeli public opinion from moving so far right. If he stuck to lines like this: “We who have fought against you, the Palestinians, we say to you today, in a loud and a clear voice, enough of blood and tears ... enough!” he may have had an effect.

Rashad said...

Oops, meant to say Rabin, not Peres in that first paragraph.