Photo: Reuters
Rabin (L), Clinton and Arafat at signing
Photo: Reuters

Oslo – a missed opportunity

Op-ed: Israel-PA deal could have led to flourishing Mideast, but continued occupation ruined everything

The Palestinians are threatening to cancel the Oslo Accords. On the Israeli side, unbridled attacks on the agreement have crossed all red lines. They stem from maliciousness, distortion of facts, lack of understanding and ignorance of those who want to hide and blur the truth.


Oslo introduced the basic principles for the recognition of a Palestinian state, a "destiny" which no government can avoid. The entire world recognizes the Palestinians' right to their own state. This is mentioned in the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the General Assembly. Eventually, a Palestinian state will be established in spite of the efforts of those who are against it. The only alternative is a bi-national democratic state, a solution that would signify the end of Zionism.


Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed the Oslo Accords in 1993, after years of war. For the first time the Palestinians agreed to recognize the State of Israel and withdrew their staunch opposition to the division of the land into two states.


The UN's partition plan, which was adopted by the General Assembly on 29 November 1947, offered the Palestinians 50% of the land between Jordan and the sea, but they refused and launched a war in which they were defeated. In Oslo the Palestinians agreed to receive only 27% of the territory, along with a solution to the Jerusalem and refugee issues. In doing so, they rescinded their support for the infamous Khartoum Resolution, which declared a boycott on Israel and called to remove the Jewish state from the region. However, the Oslo deal did not result in a two-state solution.


Has Israel fulfilled its part of the agreement? The answer is no. Oslo's goal was to gradually diminish the occupation until it was no longer, but we continued to be an occupying nation. We expropriated lands and continued to abuse the Palestinians and take away their most basic human rights, which Israel pledged to respect when it adopted the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the meantime, the settlements in the West Bank continued to flourish, in complete violation of the agreement.


The Palestinians also violated the Oslo agreement by launching major terror attacks on Israel and its citizens. Perhaps because they could not rein in the extremists, or maybe they believed they could force Israel into ending the occupation. The terror emanating from the West Bank ceased only with the election of Mahmoud Abbas as president of the Palestinian Authority, and the Palestinians have been living up to their end of the agreement for years.


The Oslo deal undoubtedly paved the way for the peace agreement between Israel and Jordan and allowed for the continuation of the peace treaty with Egypt (even if it is a cold peace. How can it be a warm peace when we oppress their Palestinian brothers?). It was only due to the Oslo agreement that the Saudis proposed a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and most of the region's Arab countries, on the condition that Israel agrees to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. The peace initiative, had it been accepted, could have turned the Middle East into a flourishing economic paradise, encouraged democratic forces in the region and allowed Israel to form a coalition of Arab states against Iran. But Israel's governments did not accept the challenge.


Oslo gave Israel wall-to-wall international support, the likes of which it had not seen since the state's inception. This support almost unraveled almost completely due to the continued occupation. The bible has not become a legal document accepted worldwide, just as the Koran and the New Testament haven't. The world cannot accept the deed given to the Jewish nation by its god. Those who truly believe in the divine promise to the people of Israel should open the Book of Genesis and read God's blessing to Ishmael, the son of Abraham.


Those who initiated the Oslo agreement are not to blame for the fact that the land which was supposed to be the safest for the Jewish people has become a threat to the nation's existence. It's a shame that Oslo did not bear fruit. It's a shame that its enemies undermined it.



פרסום ראשון: 09.21.12, 13:30
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