These declarations were made by Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel from 1999 to 2001 on Mar/5/1998. He said it a year and a half before he received the rejection of his offer of creating two states and the beginning of the Second Intifada. It was a time where big efforts were made to maintain the spirit of the Oslo Accords, despite the violent sabotage from Hamas and the deterioration of the mutual trust between Israelis and Palestinians. Barak’s declarations were a message for the Israeli society about the need to reach historical commitments in exchange for peace and, at the same time, maintain a lucid and empathetic view over reality. The laborist ex-Chancellor Shlomo Ben-Ami, in his book Scars of War, Wounds of Peace, described the emotional consequences for the Palestinians produced by the attacks and combats against them from “Zionist” soldiers before and after 1948.
The expressions of Barak or those of Ben-Ami are proof of the level of maturity of the Israeli side. Both, Barak and Ben-Ami, judged that Arafat’s rejection of the Israeli proposals from the year 2000, was marking the turning point in the expectations that the Palestinian side would move towards peace commitments. It would be useful to have symmetric examples of the declarations and comprehension of the Israeli motivations in the Palestinian field. Normally, these end up in assassination or in a fatwa or religious decree that authorizes the execution of the “traitor”. One of the reasons why Barak did NOT become a terrorist is that Zionism opted for constructive pragmatism. The other reason is that the Jewish pragmatism derived in that sympathies for terrorism were forcefully repressed and not encouraged.