The so-called “peace process” between the State of Israel and the Palestinians was doomed to fail from the beginning. Initiated in 1993 as the “Oslo Accords,” the set of agreements signed by both parties have effectively normalized Israel’s colonialism and occupation of Palestine. They have led to an increase in Israeli settlements and have reinforced the oppression and marginalization of Palestinians by the Israeli government.
In presenting Israeli and Palestinian narratives about the conflict as two equally valid positions, Oslo muted Palestinian suffering. Colonizer and colonized appeared as two comparably strong parties, transforming the question of Palestine from one about colonization to one of diplomacy.
While the United States helped broker the accord, it has maintained strong bias toward Israel throughout.
In an article entitled “The Veiled Danger of the ‘Dead’ Oslo Accords,” published in the Palestine Chronicle, Ramzi Baroud evaluates the consequences of Oslo and why they wont “go away”:
It remains a problem because the intellectual foundation that led to its conception is still firmly in place – where only Israel matters and the aspirations of the Palestinian people are still inconsequential.
The late Palestinian Professor, Edward Said, was not prophesying when he warned of the disastrous future consequences of Oslo as it was being signed. He was dismissed by mainstream media and pundits as radical, lumped with the other ‘enemies of peace’ on ‘both sides’. But, he, like many other Palestinians, was right.
The colonization of Palestine, for the first time, was accelerating with the consent of the Palestinian leadership. The PLO was turned into a local body with the inception of the Palestinian Authority in 1994. The rights of millions of Palestinian refugees in the diaspora were relegated. The West Bank was divided into areas A, B, and C, each governed by different rules, mostly under the control of the Israeli military.
Unfortunately, Abbas and his Authority are still reveling at the expense of the space that is Oslo, not the ‘accords’ – provisions, stipulations and heaps of paper – but the corrupt culture – money, perks and unmitigated defeat.
Read Baroud’s full account here.