The Failure of the Oslo Accords of 1993

Any peace negotiation is entirely contingent on how willing each side is to compromise, negotiate and to follow through on their agreements.  In those terms, it seems that the Oslo Accord of 1993 was doomed to fail almost before it started.  From the very beginning, Prime Minister Netanyahu (who followed Yitzak Rabin who negotiated the Oslo Accord) was determined and even built a political platform on preventing the agreements negotiated in the accords from taking place at practically any cost.[1]  Even the exchange of recognition letters between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization were slanted, and clearly showed bias towards Israel.  Yasir Arafat, representing the PLO, had to recognize the State of Israel’s right to exist and to renounce terrorist activities perpetrated on the Palestinian side.[2]  In exchange, however, Israel did not have to recognize the Palestinian right of independence or of self-determination.[3]  In addition, although a Palestinian civil authority would be established, its authority was overridden by Israel’s military authority.[4]

One of the key points of contention, however, was the city of Jerusalem – particularly East Jerusalem.  Israel claimed Jerusalem as its capital, and the Palestinians wanted East Jerusalem – the home of the Dome of The Rock – to be the capital of the future Palestinian State.[5]  When Israel annexed all of Jerusalem in the war of 1967, it immediately began building settlements, destroying Palestinian settlements there and expanding the sphere of influence of Jerusalem proper for an additional 105 kilometers.[6]  Yitzak Rabin sought to consolidate the territory Israel wished to keep permanently prior to the accord being implemented, making at least part of the implementation not only impractical, but impossible as well.[7]

Given the duplicitousness of Israeli government leaders, and the relatively powerless Palestinian leadership to do anything about it, the Oslo Accords of 1993 could not possibly have been put into practice or enforced, at least not as a whole.

[1] Charles D Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict 9th Edition, (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2017), 435.

[2] Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 436.

[3] Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 436.

[4] Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 437.

[5] Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 439.

[6] Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 439.

[7] Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 440.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s