Scrapping Oslo

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A front page article in the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv from 14 September discloses that Foreign Minister Lieberman has decided to re-evaluate the nineteen-year-old Oslo Agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. According to Lieberman: “There is no sense in keeping Abu Mazen’s rotten regime on artificial breathing.”

So the Foreign Minister ordered the Foreign Ministry management to examine an alternate model for relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority against the background of the problems in reaching a permanent settlement.

Lieberman harshly attacked the PA Chairman. “There is a basic mistake in dealing with Abu Mazen and his regime. The Palestinians blame Israel for everything just like all the corrupt regimes in the Arab world do all the time. Abu Mazen is not adapted to impose order in the PA. He and his regime are living on borrowed time. He lost all his credit with the Palestinian people.”

Is Foreign Minister Lieberman’s proposal to find an alternate model for relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority feasible? There is no question that something is indeed rotten in the Palestinian Authority. It stopped adhering to the principle of bilateral negotiations three years ago. Instead of engaging in bilateral negotiations with Israel as it did in the 1990s, the PA adopted a unilateral track to achieving statehood recognition through the UN. Since embarking on their UN initiative, the PA has closed the door on bilateral negotiations. The PA’s hostility to Israel takes other more explicit forms, such as gross incitement against Israel in their media. The school books and maps in the Palestinian Authority education system erase Israel’s existence and replace it with the state of Palestine. The Palestinian Authority routinely names summer camps and city squares after terrorist murderers.

Oslo was supposed to be a vehicle for negotiating two states for two peoples. But today the Palestinian Authority’s underlying policy is the elimination of Israel. Their refusal to back down on their demand for the Palestinian refugee right of return, for example, is prime evidence of their deeply imbedded hostility to the existence of the Jewish state. They even refuse to recognize that Israel is the Jewish State.

One also needs to bear in mind that while the Israeli government may want to change its relationship with the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian Authority surely seeks to maintain the status quo. The European Union, the Quartet, the US, the Arab world, provide the Palestinian Authority with huge transfusions of financial and political support. FM Lieberman may call this support “artificial breathing” for a sick body. But this is the reality with the PA. It may be sick but it refuses to die – or change.

Nonetheless, there are three options related to changing Israel’s relationship to the Palestinians – the status quo ante, the Jordanian option, and the Eight State Solution.

The status quo ante is the situation that existed before Oslo in 1993. The civil administration oversaw administration of the needs of life for the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza. Of course Gaza is out of the picture since the Hamas terror gang took over the territory there. So if there is a return to the status quo before 1993, the civil administration will only be occupied with the West Bank Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority would be abolished and Palestinian statehood or any self-determination at all would be an old story, not a realistic prospect by any means. Israel lived with this status quo from 1967 to 1993 – 26 years. The process was interrupted in the late 1980s by the first intifada.

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  • Indioviejo

    When all prospects for peace have been explored and exhausted, here comes an idea that opens new hope and possibilities for peace. It is worth fleshing it out and going with it directly to the West Bank Arabs, because it is they who need to make this happen for themselves and their descendants.

  • Marty

    The palestinians are a nation tainted with a hatred of Jews and Israel that has become almost genetic and is passed on from one generation to the next. Israelis have done all that can or ought to do. The security fence/wall is all that has reduced palestinian terrorism and helped to establish a nervous but real peace. There is no point in going any further. Israelis can only commit national suicide by any further concessions to people who very much want them dead. As much of Samaria and Judea should be retained that is necessary to security. The palestinians can have remains and keep hating instead of building an economy.

  • Bert

    It is not the responsibility of Israel to solve an intractable problem created by the Arabs. All Arabs inside Israel are occupiers with NO historic, legal or moral right to one inch of Israel. The Arabs should go elsewhere and solve their problems by themselves. Muslims control over 50 countries and ten million square miles – more than enough space for the so called Palestinians. The REAL problem are the corrupt Jewish leaders who lie against themselves and fear to tell the truth in behalf of Jewish rights.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The Palestinians need to wander for fourty years in Egyptian deserts and then settle down
    in Jordan or the Sahara……………………………Williaim

  • PermReader

    Awaiting permanent agreement with the swindlers in the middle of flaming Mid East.