Nov 2014
2,486
321
Florida
#21
You're so ......... wrong.

It's now clear: the Oslo peace accords were wrecked
by Netanyahu's bad faith

Avi Shlaim

Exactly 20 years have passed since the Oslo accords were signed on the White House lawn. For all their shortcomings and ambiguities, the accords constituted a historic breakthrough in the century-old conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine. It was the first peace agreement between the two principal parties to the conflict: Israelis and Palestinians.

The accords represented real progress on three fronts: the Palestine Liberation Organisation recognised the state of Israel; Israel recognised the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people; and both sides agreed to resolve their outstanding differences by peaceful means. Mutual recognition replaced mutual rejection. In short, this promised at least the beginning of a reconciliation between two bitterly antagonistic national movements. And the hesitant handshake between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat clinched the historic compromise.

Critical to the architecture of Oslo was the notion of gradualism. The text did not address any of the key issues in this dispute: Jerusalem; the right of return of 1948 refugees; the status of Jewish settlements built on occupied Palestinian land; or the borders of the Palestinian entity. All these "permanent status" issues were deferred for negotiations towards the end of the five-year transition period. Basically, this was a modest experiment in Palestinian self-government, starting with the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho.

The text did not promise or even mention an independent Palestinian state at the end of the transition period. The Palestinians believed that in return for giving up their claim to 78% of historic Palestine, they would gain an independent state in the remaining 22%, with a capital city in Jerusalem. They were to be bitterly disappointed.

Controversy surrounded Oslo from the moment it saw the light of day. The 21 October 1993 issue of the London Review of Books ran two articles; Edward Said put the case against in the first. He called the agreement "an instrument of Palestinian surrender, a Palestinian Versailles", arguing that it set aside international legality and compromised the fundamental national rights of the Palestinian people. It could not advance genuine Palestinian self-determination because that meant freedom, sovereignty, and equality, rather than perpetual subservience to Israel.

In my own article I put the case for Oslo. I believed that it would set in motion a gradual but irreversible process of Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and that it would pave the way to Palestinian statehood. From today's perspective, 20 years on, it is clear that Said was right in his analysis and I was wrong.

In 2000 the Oslo peace process broke down following the failure of the Camp David summit and the outbreak of the second intifada. Why? Israelis claim that the Palestinians made a strategic choice to return to violence and consequently there was no Palestinian partner for peace. As I see it, Palestinian violence was a contributory factor, but not the main cause. The fundamental reason was that Israel reneged on its side of the deal.

Sadly, the Jewish fanatic who assassinated Rabin in 1995 achieved his broader aim of derailing the peace train. In 1996 the rightwing Likud returned to power under the leadership of Binyamin Netanyahu. He made no effort to conceal his deep antagonism to Oslo, denouncing it as incompatible with Israel's right to security and with the historic right of the Jewish people to the whole land of Israel. And he spent his first three years as PM in a largely successful attempt to arrest, undermine, and subvert the accords concluded by his Labour predecessors.

Particularly destructive of the peace project was the policy of expanding Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory. These settlements are illegal under international law and constitute a huge obstacle to peace. Building civilian settlements beyond the Green Line does not violate the letter of the Oslo accords but it most decidedly violates its spirit. As a result of settlement expansion the area available for a Palestinian state has been steadily shrinking to the point where a two-state solution is barely conceivable. [in 2013]

The rate of settlement growth in the West Bank and Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem is staggering. At the end of 1993 there were 115,700 Israeli settlers in the occupied territories. Their number doubled during the following decade.

Today the number of Israeli settlers on the West Bank exceeds 350,000. There are an additional 300,000 Jews living in settlements across the pre-1967 border in East Jerusalem. Thousands more settlement homes are planned or under construction

More:It's now clear: the Oslo peace accords were wrecked by Netanyahu's bad faith | Avi Shlaim
Arafat was never going to sign a peace deal

Think Again: Yasir Arafat

Arafat didn't negotiate - he just kept saying no
 
Dec 2016
4,116
2,125
Canada
#22
All the Scriptural details aside, and btw I agree with you on them, the continual two-facedness of declaring support for a two-state solution while continuously expanding "settlements" while continuously agreeing to forestall "settlements" until an agreement is reached have indeed, with no rational basis to believe otherwise created a situation with no solution short of the genocide of one side by the other, and the Zionists have nukes.

As an aside, the Religious Right may believe in the Gospel, but they certainly don't act according to it.
Yes, the two state solution someone like Netanyahu is talking about is exactly the same as the post-Apartheid solution that the white separatists in South Africa envisioned long ago now. Except in their case, they were going to create a multitude of little "Bantustans" that would also be independent-in-name-only as their tiny enclaves would be surrounded by territories claimed by the apartheid government!

It's no different in Israel...where the West Bank Palestinian territories are tiny fragments cut off from each other by Israeli roads, walls and barricades, so that they need special permits and have to pass through customs inspections just to get from one Palestinian enclave to another. Once Menachem Begin (the first Likud president) announced the building of settlements for more than 100,000 Jews invited in to Israel in the late 70's, after Jimmy Carter's failed peace deal, it was clear that occupied West Bank territories would never be brought into accordance with UN Resolution 242, and clear out illegal Jewish settlements needed to establish a viable Palestinian state! Since then, it's been more of the same! Only mystery to me is how and why Israel is rarely subject of criticism or barely mentioned in western media these days, while idiot lackies in political office keep trying to draw up new laws criminalizing cooperation with the Boycott/Divestment and Sanctions movement, which is just following the path taken by freedom fighters in South Africa back in the day.
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Dec 2016
4,116
2,125
Canada
#23
Wow, such a long discourse written by your pen and I commend your slimy ass at great risk of being banned. : )
I'm not going to bother making the argument with this crazy zealot, but there are some anthropologists studying the region, who believe that the 'Palestinians' are not Arabs, but mostly the same tribal groups who were living in that area for thousands of years. And they were practicing Judaism almost exclusively until the Roman attack in year 70 c.e. that destroyed the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem.

In the decades and centuries that followed, the majority of Palestinian Jews had converted to Christianity and then to Islam under coercion applied by the government of the first Islamic caliphate....but there always remained a sizable minority who continued to practice Judaism. So the notion that they all left and then returned is bogus! But unless there is a lot more genetic analysis, the question of origins and migrations will never be settled to everyone's satisfaction.
 
Oct 2017
164
8
Israel
#24
I'm not going to bother making the argument with this crazy zealot, but there are some anthropologists studying the region, who believe that the 'Palestinians' are not Arabs, but mostly the same tribal groups who were living in that area for thousands of years. And they were practicing Judaism almost exclusively until the Roman attack in year 70 c.e. that destroyed the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem.

In the decades and centuries that followed, the majority of Palestinian Jews had converted to Christianity and then to Islam under coercion applied by the government of the first Islamic caliphate....but there always remained a sizable minority who continued to practice Judaism. So the notion that they all left and then returned is bogus! But unless there is a lot more genetic analysis, the question of origins and migrations will never be settled to everyone's satisfaction.
Only one of dozen Palestinian tribes recognizes its Jewish ancestry. All the others believe that they are descendants of Arabia tribes, or of Salah ad Din settlers (Saladin's army consisted of Turks, Circassians and Kurds). The rest consider themselves the descendants of 17-20 century settlers from Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan, Egypt, Maghreb, Iraq, Bosnia, etc. Such is the opinion of the PALESTINIANS who remained in Palestine.

Regarding "first Islamic Caliphate", so the policy of the First caliphs was not to convert Christians and Jews to Islam. The reason was quite practical: the Muslims had exempt from "jizya", the taxes paid by Christians and Jews. The Fatimide Caliph al Hakim broke this rule but after his misterious disappearance all his reforms were recalled. The crusaders annihilated or expelled most of local Muslims and the Jews, while the Muslims did the same with local Christians. An ancient Palestine population was replaced by new settlers of Muslim, Christian and even Jewish faith. In the Middle Age there was demographic overturn in Palestine. It seems, that Diaspora Jews preserved just ancient genomes, while the ancestors of the Palestinians were of Semitic but not local origin.
 
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