On July 16, 2000, as President Bill Clinton was huddled with then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat at Camp David, attempting to hammer out a final peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, 150,000 Israelis turned out in Tel Aviv's Kikar Rabin, to hear Ariel Sharon and other leading Israeli Jabotinskyite fanatics denounce peace and call for Barak's ouster.
Five years earlier, a similar mobilization of radical West Bank settlers, "Greater Israel" racists, and "Jewish underground" terrorists was directed against then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the architect of the Oslo peace accords, and set the preconditions for his Nov. 4, 1995 assassination. The assassin, Yigal Amir, came from the ranks of the Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu-led anti-Rabin mob.
The July 2000 protest rally against a Barak "sellout" at Camp David marked the public launching of Ariel Sharon's drive to overthrow the Barak Labor Party-led government, trash the peace process, and launch a regionwide "strategy of tension"—which had been designed in 1996, by American advisers to Sharon's Likud party, who now happen to be senior Bush Administration officials, centered in the offices of Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Their goal: to bury the Oslo peace process in a sea of Palestinian and Arab blood.