Oslo Fail: 30 Years after 'Peace' Agreement, Experts Contend it was Flawed All Along
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JERUSALEM, Israel – Decades after a celebrated peace agreement, violence continues between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Today, as the world prepares to mark the 30th anniversary of the Oslo Accords, many believe the agreement never had a chance of success.
In 1993, President Bill Clinton had great hopes for the Oslo Accords.
Legal analyst Maurice Hirsch described for CBN News what the accords were supposed to accomplish. "The goal was to bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians, to stop the bloodletting on both sides, and to really get to a situation where both sides could live together peacefully – one next to the other," Hirsch said.
On September 13, 1993, P.L.O. Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime MInister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands on the White House Lawn after signing the deal that Clinton himself referred to as "a brave gamble."
Hirsch recalled, "Whilst the Israel and the Israeli representatives were so desperate for peace, so hungry and really thirsty to bring about this new generation, this new Middle East, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (and) Yasser Arafat remained terrorists throughout the process."
Hirsch believes the accords never had a chance because the Palestinians don't consider them as peace agreements.
"Yasser Arafat, soon after they were signed, likened the accords to the Hudaybiyyah agreement that Muhammad signed (14 centuries ago), which he then used almost as a Trojan horse, to conquer Mecca," Hirsch explained. "The P.L.O. never gave up on what it said was its 10-point plan. This was a plan that had been adopted already in the 1970s that says, we will take any territory given to us, and then use that territory as a basis to continue attacking Israel and to bring about its ultimate demise."
Italian journalist Fiamma Nirenstein interviewed Arafat shortly before the signing.
"I took out a map of Israel," she recounted to CBN News. "I gave it to him with a pen in the other hand, and told him, 'please draw a line where you want the border of the Palestinian state to be drawn.' He got furious at me. He started shouting, actually, and asking me, because he didn't expect something like that. He was trying to be kind during the interview, so he didn't expect this sudden 'attack,' and he answered really in a furious way – there was nothing really pacifist in his mind."
Nirenstein said that from Arafat's point of view, he saw the agreement as another way to attack the existence of Israel, a subject she wrote about many times.
"But it was almost a mortal sin not to agree with the idea that we were going through a period that was supposed to become one of the best – and most important – moments in the history of peace," she said.
By believing Arafat had actually changed, Nirenstein says it appeared Israel ignored his years of terror, such as the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
"Israel was mesmerized by the idea of becoming a normal country while (the recollection of Palestinian violence) was vanishing in the air, even the memory of how terrible all of these years until the very moment when they had to meet.
Peace from the accords not only didn’t materialize, it got blown out of the water less than 10 years later by the Second Intifada, or Palestinian uprising.
NIrinstein explained, "What was most astonishing for me was not only the dismissing of all the terror against the Jews and all the Jews that were killed, the innocent people, during the peace process. Not only this, you know, what was the most amazing thing was how Israel was implementing, implementing, implementing while the other side was doing nothing."
Since the 1993 signing, Palestinian terrorists have killed some 2,000 Israelis.
According to Hirsch, the result hasn't been good for the Palestinian people, either.
"In 30 years, they've managed to take the Palestinian Authority from a society which wanted peace to reeducate them, to brainwash them into hating more and more Israel, and then sending their children literally to die," Hirsch remarked.
Watchdog groups such as Palestinian Media Watch regularly document how Palestinian television, school textbooks, and youth camps encourage violence against Israel.
"They've given (their children) knives and guns in their hands and sent them to kill Israelis, and then when they die, they use them almost as cannon fodder to attack Israel, Hirsch insisted. 'Well, look how many Palestinian children Israel has killed completely,' without context, complete – without saying, 'Well, we sent them to die in order to use them to attack Israel.'"
In spite of this, Palestinians and their allies have managed to convince many in the international community that Israel is the villain.
"You know how – just defaming Israel at the very core of its existence, saying that it is an apartheid state, that it committed the genocidal acts thing, you know, just trying to delegitimate Israel from the side of the human rights," she maintained.
And now, evidence is emerging of a third party – Iran – financing and organizing this hatred, instead of what has appeared to be Palestinians carrying out isolated attacks.
"These are people that are connected by the money, the weapons and the hate for Israel," Hirsch reported. "That is typical of an international ring that has its main center in Iran. Iran has entered the game."
Hirsch sees the best way forward is to convince world leaders by first getting them to acknowledge that the Oslo paradigm has failed.
"We have to see that peace, for example, between Israel and Saudi Arabia is first and foremost an interest of both countries, (as opposed to) the Palestinians' Mahmoud Abbas, who has denied his people a democracy, has incentivized and rewarded terrorism, has rejected every single offer for peace that Israel has made," Hirsch proposed.
Nirenstein adds that while continuing U.S. support for Israel is positive, the Jewish state's only hope is to be strong in itself.
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