Gideon's Blog

In direct contravention of my wife's explicit instructions, herewith I inaugurate my first blog. Long may it prosper.

For some reason, I think I have something to say to you. You think you have something to say to me? Email me at: gideonsblogger -at- yahoo -dot- com

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Friday, July 19, 2002
The inimitable Ruth Wisse has an excellent op-ed in The Jerusalem Post on what is properly called the Oslo War. Most important in her analysis is the acknowledgement, so infrequently heard on the left, that by propping up Arafat Israel bears the responsibility for his crimes, against both the Palestinian people and the Israeli people. Israel can atone for the latter by winning the war. It will be more expensive to atone for the former.

The great error of Oslo was architected by Shimon Peres and his proteges, but it could never have happened without Yitzchak Rabin. Rabin will always remain for me the great tragic figure of Israel's history, Israel's King Lear. Like Lear, anyone decent loved him, and those who hated him were despicable. Like Lear, he was a larger-than-life figure, the first Sabra (native) leader of the nation, a leader in all of the nation's wars; he was, in many ways, the epitome of the Ashkenazi elite who dominated Israel's politics and culture for most of the nation's first 50 years. Like Lear, he loved his children - biological and metaphoric - too much, was too fearful for their fate in 1967 and again in 1993. And like Lear, as a consequence of that too-great love, he catastrophically decided to divide the kingdom, a decision that cost him his life along with the lives of so many of his nation's children. I will always love Rabin, even though I, like Ruth Wisse, was appalled by the decision Israel made to rehabilitate Yasser Arafat at Oslo, because I know all his fateful decisions, good and ill, were made from love - not self-love, but love of the nation.