The Wages of Oslo
Until 6:45 A.M. on February 25, 1996, supporters of the Oslo agreements between Israel and the PLO believed that history was on their side. Prime Minister Shimon Peres, the accords’ true begetter, had declared in a New York Times interview, “The hunting season has ended in history.” And on February 23 of this year, he was quoted more concretely as saying:
With the Palestinians everything is going well. All the commentators and experts who have been forecasting terrorism have been proved wrong. There have been no terrorist strikes. Arafat has dismantled the PLO’s own terrorist network and is fighting seriously against terrorism.
Forty-eight hours later, the first of a series of six terrorist strikes hit Israel. Within eight days, suicide bombers had blown themselves up in two Jerusalem buses, at a soldiers’ pick-up station in Ashkelon, and on a crosswalk in a Tel Aviv shopping center; an Islamic fanatic had plowed his car into a crowd waiting at a bus stop in Jerusalem; and five youths loaded with explosives had been apprehended while trying to penetrate an Israeli settlement in the Gaza district.
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