Remember the elegant "Geneva Accord" booklet that we got in the post? I bet you thought like me: "Gosh, what a lovely printed format!" Then, I bet you thought again: "How much did it cost?" Then your mind resorted to basic arithmetic and perhaps your fingers started playing on the little buttons of the first pocket calculator you could find. "Let's say", you brilliantly computed, "that each brochure costs at least 10 Shekels. Just for the exercise, right?" You paused for a moment and tried to figure out how many "households" we have in Israel. "If an average family consists of 4 persons, and since Israel's population is 6 million, we should have at least 1.5 million households." So you multiplied that figure by the modest sum above and you got 15 million Shekels. "That's not so much," you thought with surprise, "Just under 3.5 million dollars..."
Hold it! What do you mean "not so much"? Do you know how many families you could feed with such a sum? Besides, that campaign was probably far more expensive (have you taken into account the postage, design, editing and who knows what else?) And what is the cost of all the other PR campaigns for the various "peace initiatives"?
You may think I'm being petty. Yet, I mention these small details because they all add up to a very bad picture. Foreign governments don't pay any old Yossi just for a beautiful vision of love and peace. I can prove it. Nobody has ever paid me for my dreams, and I assure you that mine are just as lovely as any other Yossi's.
Ever since Oslo, the so-called "Liberal Left", both in Israel and in the West, was promoting the "Peace Process" with religious fervour, which seemed to make sense at the time. But we now know that Oslo was designed for the very people who any true "Left" is supposed to oppose. Big money was channelled to oil the wheels of the peace machine, but most of it landed in the pockets of those who already owned considerable assets. A wealthy entrepreneur once told me that "Peace Is Good For Business".
Well, I have nothing against business or businesspersons, but I remember how the leaders of the time promised us that Oslo would bring prosperity to our region. And it has. Consider Mr. Arafat's known wealth, for example. Isn't he "in our region"?
May I humbly suggest that one of the main motives for the Oslo Process was greed. An international coalition of politicians, capitalists and generals, was aiming to create "a new Middle East", where little people would gratefully make big money for the few and powerful, in return for new, underpaid jobs. Both governments and corporations planned to turn our region into a perfect source of cheap labour and raw materials, primarily petroleum.
Hey, would-be leftists! Doesn't it ring a bell? Remember the Western powers' conduct, less than a century ago? Can't you see that they only changed their code-names from "Empires" to "Multinationals" and from "Monarchs" to "CEO's"?
But the big guys had a problem. The oil-rich region, with its immense potential for a modern slave work-force, was dominated by bands of fanatics, armed to their teeth with various lethal contraptions. To fight them had become politically incorrect, practically inconvenient and financially unfeasible. So they found the most politically correct, pragmatic and cost effective alternative: Peace Propaganda!
Hey, peace activists! Can't you see that they are cynically using your sincere devotion to noble ideals?
Wouldn't it be reasonable to suggest that the world's oligarchs made an unholy pact in Oslo with an international network of brutes and thugs, waving the flags of peace and prosperity in our dreamy faces.
This is no "Peace Of The Brave", as Dr. Beilin and Mr. Yasser like to call it. This is the Peace Of The Rich, designed to protect their piece of the action.
Just think about it when you look at Ayalon-Nusseiba, Geneva or any new brand-name they make up for Oslo. Perhaps you will agree that the time has come for the little fellows to kick out the big guys, so that we can make true peace among ourselves, enjoy real liberty and prosper in a genuine free economy?
Ehud Tokatly, 18/December/2003