A month ago a journalist approached me and asked whether I identify similarities between Golda Meir and Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich. "What are you talking about," I said angrily. "Even someone who isn't crazy about Yacimovich wouldn't compare her to a nightmare."
A demon urged me to read the book by Yigal Kipnis, "1973, Haderekh Lemilhama" ("1973, the Road to War" ) - on Yom Kippur of all days. And once again my fury stuck in my throat. I walked around my house as though in a prison, I shouted and cursed: "Don't forget that Golda is already dead," remarked my wife, "and it's a shame for you to die too now because of her."
While he was writing, Kipnis came to find out: What do we know about the diplomatic failure, to which the intelligence failure pales in comparison. Only Golda, Moshe Dayan and Yisrael Galili were in on the secret of the Egyptian peace initiative, and Golda informed Kissinger, "We won't accept it," and even urged him to kill time, to make sure that "this thing will disappear."
What should we call the woman who rejected the peace that was within her reach - a warmonger? A woman drunk with power? Whatever the case, the blood of the 2,650 dead is on her hands. And not everyone who remained alive returned from there either; and Israel did not return to itself.
"As far as I'm concerned," I said to Kipnis, "the transcripts of the talks and the secret memos you have confirm what I knew." Early in 1973 Arnaud de anyone who rejects Abbas and the Arab peace plan is another link in the chain of Israeli rejection. Shelly is not Golda at the moment, but she is liable to be soon, after the war, which she has made no effort to prevent.
Borchgrave, the political editor of Newsweek at the time, visited me and asked me to tell Golda what he had heard from Sadat: The Egyptian president is once again showing interest in a peace treaty, although so far he hasn't received a serious response from the United States or Israel. For some reason de Borchgrave thought I was the person to convey the message.
I immediately traveled to Jerusalem and met with Golda, who poured cold water on my enthusiasm: "And do you know what Sadat wants in exchange?" "He'll probably want to restore Sinai to Egyptian sovereignty," I replied. "And do you, Yossi, think that I'll agree to give it to him? If that's what you think, then you don't know me at all," she summed up. I left in disgrace, and swore to play an active role in her ouster.
Eventually, at the first opportunity, during Sadat's visit to Israel, she said in anger mixed with pride: "To me he wouldn't have come," and the members of the Labor Party bureau were amazed at what they heard.
When I finished reading Kipnis' well-documented book, I thought about Shelly Yacimovich. Although she is not a prime minister, nor a leader of the opposition, at the moment she is the main candidate opposing Netanyahu. And in her silence, which is like a confession, she is cooperating with him. Once, everyone spoke about peace and nobody spoke about justice, and now the mention of peace is to be avoided like the plague. As though a blessed rain can fall from a sky clouded with missiles and planes.
Mahmoud Abbas, like Sadat, is now the despised beggar in Washington and Jerusalem, and the abandoned Arab peace plan is the present day version of the Egyptian plan. And anyone who rejects Abbas and the Arab peace plan is another link in the chain of Israeli rejection. Shelly is not Golda at the moment, but she is liable to be soon, after the war, which she has made no effort to prevent.
The chairwoman of Labor has disciples and followers, including the members of the Dror Israel movement, which in recent years has assumed the form of a religion of believers with a guru. Now it is insisting on holding an alternative memorial service of its own for Yitzhak Rabin. Two rivals are holding the shroud, to the delight of those following the black coffin and those standing on the balcony.
Dror Israel is also sick and tired of the slogan "Yes to peace, no to violence," which accompanied Rabin in his final hours on the square. It has also joined the deniers of peace, and prefers to raise a different flag - one that's better suited to Shelly's message - by claiming that Rabin was assassinated because of his socialist agenda.
The Israeli Labor movement has never been a one-banner party, nor will it be. The reality of our life and death requires it to advocate a more complex and balanced agenda, which is less simplistic and populist. That is why anyone who still recalls what Golda did to us, and what Rabin tried but was unable to do - to our detriment - will avoid participating in this alien rally.
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