Thu 14 Sep 2023 10:00 am - Jerusalem Time
Thirty years since the Oslo sin
Exactly thirty years after the signing of the Oslo Accords, we have the right not only to evaluate that experience, which left profound effects on the Palestinian situation, but also to evaluate the starting points, intellectual motives, and visions that led to the Oslo approach, which is still continuing, forming today a point of contention. Fundamentalism in the Palestinian arena.
Perhaps one of the problems with the Palestinian situation is that the forces practicing the Oslo approach avoid (or refuse) to engage in a serious intellectual or political debate about the correctness or safety of this approach, but rather are content to hide behind one pretext, which is “realism” in dealing with a difficult and complex political situation.
The Oslo Accords were a great trap cleverly set up by the Zionist movement and the official Palestinian leadership, with the aim of absorbing the results of the first intifada, which changed the balance of power on the ground, and forced Israel to enter into negotiations with the Palestinian side, and to create a deep rift in the Palestinian arena, and buy time to perpetuate the occupation, expand settlement, and build The apartheid system is racist, its purpose is to liquidate the rights of the Palestinian people, and to extract Palestinian, Arab and international legitimacy for the Zionist colonial settlement project.
The Palestinian side committed seven strategic mistakes in the Oslo negotiations and agreement:
First, signing the agreement without requiring a halt to settlement activity, as was insisted by the official Palestinian delegation in Washington, which had the secret Oslo negotiations conducted behind its back, without its knowledge, and without consulting it.
This mistake was considered the greatest sin of that agreement, and the conclusive evidence of this is the increase in the number of colonial settlers from 121 thousand when the agreement was signed to 750 thousand today. They have 14 members in the Israeli Knesset and have come to represent a fascist political force that has a decisive role in the Israeli government led by the fascists Smotrich and Ben. Abundant.
Secondly, the lack of equality between the two sides, as the Palestine Liberation Organization recognized Israel and its right to exist in exchange for merely recognizing the PLO as the representative of the Palestinians. Rather, the Palestinian side accepted the labeling of its national struggle and armed resistance as terrorism, and pledged to abandon it, and accepted recognition of Israel without specifying its borders, and without Any guarantees of the right of return for Palestinian refugees who were displaced from their homes through the Nakba and brutal massacres.
Third, the agreement was partly transitional without specifying the final result of ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state. Rather, it included an acceptance to make fundamental issues, such as refugees, the right of return, Jerusalem, borders, illegal settlement, and the waters of the occupied territories, disputed issues, and the six years turned into ending The negotiations lasted for thirty years, and after Israel guaranteed that the 48 Israeli-decided lands graduated from considering the occupied lands as disputed lands upon signing the agreement, to Jewish lands reserved for the Jews, and then approved the Jewish State Law, which considered the right to self-determination in the entire historical land of the Palestinians, Which they call the Land of Israel, restricted to Jews only.
Israeli governments have graduated from procrastinating negotiations for many years, as former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir promised, to stopping them completely since 2014, and claiming that there is no Palestinian partner.
Thus, through settlement expansion, Israel robbed the land and took away, through the political process, the only thing it granted to the leadership of the PLO in the Oslo Accords, which is its right to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians.
Fourth, one of the biggest mistakes was accepting the division of the occupied territories into divisions “A, B, and C.” This allowed Israel to isolate 62% of the West Bank, called Area C, and allocate it entirely to settlement expansion, and to divide the remainder into 224 ghettos isolated by barriers, and Settlements, the wall, and racist roads forbidden to Palestinians.
Fifthly, accepting the doctrine and principle of security coordination with the occupation authorities, which placed the authority and official leadership in a dilemma of contradiction and conflict with its people and with the Palestinian resistance forces.
Sixth, the Oslo Accord created fragmentation of the Palestinian people and a deep political rift and division in the Palestinian arena. It became the basis for many other divisions, such as the division between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and between the Fatah and Hamas movements, but the most dangerous was creating a deep rift between the components of the Palestinian people inside (the 1948 territories) and abroad and the occupied territories.
Seventh, the Oslo Accords opened the door wide for Arab and international normalization with the occupying entity and apartheid.
From an intellectual standpoint, the Oslo approach (and agreement) was built on three illusions: the illusion of a compromise solution with the Zionist movement, the illusion of a two-state solution as an alternative to the original Palestinian strategic goal of establishing a single democratic state in all of historic Palestine, and the illusion of the American role in achieving those solutions. They are all illusions that thirty years have proven to be false.
If the belief in the illusion of a compromise solution with the Zionist movement was justified as an argument when the Oslo Accords were signed as a result of international pressure and the difficult circumstances that the Palestine Liberation Organization was experiencing, then continuing to adhere to it and betting on the negotiation approach, after all these years, and after everything the movement did Zionism and the rulers of Israel, even those who supported the Oslo Accords, including the assassination of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the martyr Yasser Arafat, and the claim that there is no Palestinian partner, represents an unforgivable sin, and has no justification at all.
Israeli operations after "Oslo"
Israel systematically and premeditatedly carried out six operations after the signing of the Oslo Accords, which are:
1) Complete separation of Gaza and the West Bank.
2) Separating Jerusalem from the West Bank and the rest of the occupied territories.
3) Deepening and expanding settlement without stopping, with the aim of devouring, Judaizing and annexing the West Bank, and transforming it from a Palestinian environment in which there are strange settlement objects, into an Israeli settlement environment within which Palestinian cities and villages are isolated as foreign objects.
4) Blockade, economic strangulation, and absolute control over land, water, borders, natural resources, airspace, and electromagnetic space.
5) Continuous pressure on the Palestinian Authority to force it to separate from the national liberation movement, contain the Palestine Liberation Organization within it, and use all means of local and international pressure to transform it into a security agent for the occupation.
6) Dismembering the Palestinian territories and turning them into isolated ghettos, and establishing the racist apartheid system as a tool for coexistence with the Palestinian demographic reality that it could not abolish, even though it does not stop dreaming of ending it through new ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people.
These six operations undermined the remaining prospects for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, as they were used to kill what was called the “two-state solution,” in full view of an international community biased toward Israel, which continues to talk about the “two-state solution” without exerting any actual pressure to stop the Zionist settlement that is destroying... That's the solution.
Was the Oslo Accord a success or a failure?
The answer is that it was a failure and frustration for the Palestinian side, and a genius success for the Zionist movement because it allowed it to continue the occupation and perpetuate the apartheid system without costs, but rather with profits, the last of which was the shameful normalization with the Arab environment.
No one can deny that rational Palestinian voices, wise nationalism, and Palestinian forces warned against that agreement when it was signed, and warned against continuing with it, most notably the voices of Haider Abdel Shafi, Edward Said, and many others. Nor can anyone deny that the overwhelming majority of the sons and daughters of the Palestinian people today oppose not only the Oslo Agreement, but also the continuing Oslo approach, including some who were taken by illusions of the expected peace, and then woke up to the pain of bitter reality.
The first to oppose this approach was the generation of Palestinian youth that was born after the signing of the agreement, and today is at the forefront of the valiant Palestinian resistance to the injustice of the occupation and the brutality of racial discrimination.
What is required is Palestinian
Today, we cannot turn back the wheel of history and cancel the sin of Oslo, even if we wish to do so, but we can demand an end to it, stop the approach that led to that sin, and replace it with a Palestinian national strategy of resistance struggle that reunites the energies of the Palestinian people and its components, and reformulates its national program and vision to include Not only ending the occupation and the return of all Palestinian refugees whose cause was marginalized, but also overthrowing the entire racist apartheid system and the entire settler-colonial project in all of historic Palestine, and retracting all the free concessions that were made to the Zionist movement in exchange for nothing, except the satisfaction of the interests of a small minority at the expense of Its people, meeting the bureaucratic needs of institutions that have become alienated from it, and sending one clear message to the entire world, that the Palestinians will not accept the humiliation of enslavement to the occupation and the apartheid system, and that the only alternative to the reality of a single apartheid state is a single democratic state in which the people of Palestine realize their right to complete freedom. Dignity and self-determination.
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