The fatal mistake that damned the Oslo Accords

The fatal mistake that damned the Oslo Accords

During the interim years of the Oslo Accords, the Israeli settlement activity was allowed to continue unhindered, with the number of settlers increasing from 110,000 on the eve of the 1993 agreements to 185,000 in 2000, during the final status negotiations, to 430,000 today. This increase seriously undermined the idea that Israel was sincere to make way for a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

Meanwhile, Palestinian leaders have continued to strive for what they called the "Right to Return", demanding that ever-increasing numbers of Palestinians settle in the territory of before 1967 Israel, making the Jews a minority in an Arab country. Nearly 3 million Palestinians were registered with UNRWA as refugees in 1993, a number that rose to 3.8 million in 2000 and today stands at 5.3 million. Palestinian leaders never dared to confront their people to tell them that as part of a final peace agreement, just as Jews are expected to leave their settlements east of pre-1967 rules, Arab Palestinians are expected to renounce their claim to settle west of those settlements. lines. Like settlements, it undermined the idea that Arab Palestinians had finally made peace with the presence of a sovereign Jewish people in any part of the country. These two major obstacles to peace – the Israeli settlements and the right to return – each representing a form of territorial maximalism and the ideological denial of the other's right to self-determination in the country, were growing under the umbrella of constructive ambiguity .

Jerusalem too fell prey to destructive ambiguity. Israeli leaders continued to continue the lie of a "united Jerusalem", failed to prepare the Israelis for the necessary division of Jerusalem into an Israeli capital and a Palestinian, and the Palestinian leaders extended their decades. long rejection of the idea that Jews have any historical, cultural, national or religious connection with Jerusalem.

Twenty-five years after that hopeful Oslo moment, it is not necessary to rediscover the final goal, but we need a new path to get there. The two-state solution remains the only option that recognizes the national rights of both peoples and each offers a degree of justice. Whatever party thinks about the fabricated nature of the other, both parties can agree that they deserve to live in a state where they can control their own destiny.

To get there, the parties must approach the negotiations not as a marriage, but as a divorce. Serious peace activists have to let go of vague and vague concepts like "trust" and "trust" and behave more like hard divorce lawyers who describe every detail. Instead of destructive ambiguity we need constructive specificity. For example, President Trump would have shown a greater favor to the Israelis, the Palestinians and the cause of peace than to the ambiguous term "Jerusalem & # 39; to use, alone West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, while making it clear that he is open to acknowledging the Arab East- Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. President Obama would have really served the cause of peace if he had linked his promotion of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which made it clear that Jews should not settle. East- of the line from before 1967, with an equally strict resolution that made clear that Palestinians could not settle West of the pre-1967 line by the requirement of return, condemning both forms of maximalism as unlawful and harmful to a negotiated and just peace.