Oslo 20 Years
Oslo 20 Years
In August 1993, representatives from Israel and the PLO agreed on the text of the Declaration of Principles (DOP), designed to layout a settlement for the conflict. In the last moments of these correspondence, letters were exchanged between the parties, mutual recognition, and the Declaration of Principles was signed on September 13, 1993 at the White House in the presence of the leaders of both parties. The Oslo Agreement led to recognition of the political legitimacy of the two peoples to self-determination, and the parties agreed that the mechanism for implementing the agreement will be based on Statement 242 of the UN Security Council. In the meantime agreements were formed, for dividing sectors A, B and C, as well as economic and security agreements, to regulate the daily life for a transitional period of time.
However, the two decades that followed the festive signing of the Declaration of Principles, showed that the two sides were shunned by the Oslo process: suspicion and manipulation characterized the attitude of Israel and the Palestinians throughout the entire process. Examining the nature of decisions taken by the leadership of Israel and the PLO at the entrance to the Oslo process, indicates that the two leaders had no strategy to reach the stated goal of bringing peace between their peoples. They lacked a complete and coherent approach that defines the prime-most destination of the process, combined with appropriate courses of action necessary to reach the target, including reaching the historical and national decisions required.
Failure of the leaders of Israel and the PLO to design an appropriate framework for balanced negotiations, based on common goals and interests that would serve them in peace, still does not set aside the historical importance of the Oslo process. The process that led to the historical recognition between Israel and the PLO that remains intact, and brought the parties to the table for the first time in their history, to adress formally and directly the issues underlying the conflict between them.
This publication gathers the works of academic researchers in different research areas as well as former officials in the political, security and legal systems, who took an active part in the Oslo process through its various stages. The authors examine from their own perspective and outlook, and in perspective of two decades that have gone by, the meaning and implications of the Oslo process, Israel and the Palestinians, and assess the reasons why the process has not yielded a peace agreement yet.