Last updated on: 5/19/2008 2:10:00 PM PST

Was Israel Responsible for the Failure of the Oslo Accords?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Michael Rubner, PhD, Professor of International Relations at James Madison College at Michigan State University, in an Oct. 1998 book review featured in the Middle East Policy Council Journal, "Review Essay: The Oslo Peace Process through Three Lenses," wrote:

"There is mounting evidence that neither the Palestinian Authority nor Israel has lived up to its obligations under the Oslo accords. In addition to its failure to curb terrorism, the PA unilaterally increased the number of its armed security personnel from 9,000 to 16,000. Although Israel committed itself in the 1995 Oslo II accord to implement a total of three redeployments from the West Bank by mid-1997, the second and third withdrawals have yet to take place a full year after the mutually agreed deadline. Likewise, the so-called 'final-status' negotiations covering Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, and relations between the Palestinian entity and other neighbors that were slated to begin no later than May 4, 1996, have yet to take place."

Oct. 1998 - Michael Rubner, PhD 

Amos Oz, Professor of Hebrew Literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in a Jan. 10, 2003 Ha'aretz newspaper article by Ari Shavit titled "Reality Bites," offered the following:

"I maintain that Oslo was not given even a day's grace. Immediately, even before the ink was dry, the one side planned jihad and the brainwashing for jihad, while the other planned settlements. Therefore, I don't think Oslo failed, because Oslo was never tried."

Jan. 10, 2003 - Amos Oz 

PRO (yes)

Francis A. Boyle, PhD, Professor of Law at the University of Illinois, in a July 3, 2002 Counterpunch editorial titled "Obituary for the Oslo Accords R.I.P. Sept. 13, 1993 - Sept. 28, 2000," wrote:

"The Israeli/American destruction of Oslo was only a matter of time. There was never any good faith on the part of the Israeli government and the United States government when it came to negotiating a just Middle East peace settlement with the Palestinians going all the way back to the preparatory work for the convocation of the 1991 Madrid Conference by the Bush Sr. administration. American bi-partisanship at work directed against Palestine and the Palestinians."

July 3, 2002 - Francis Boyle, PhD 

Avi Shlaim, PhD, Professor of International Relations at St. Antony's College at Oxford University, in his 2001 book The Iron Wall, wrote:

"The Oslo accords should not be adjudged a failure. They did not collapse under the weight of their own contradictions, as critics liked to argue; the process was subverted by Binyamin Netanyahu and his colleagues in the ultranationalist camp. By subverting the Oslo accords, Netanyahu inflicted serious damage not only on the Palestinians but on his own country and on the Middle East as a whole."

2001 - Avi Shlaim, PhD 

The Palestine Liberation Organization's Negotiations Affairs Department, in a statement on its website (accessed May 2004) titled "Israel’s Violations of the Oslo Agreements," stated the following:

"In 1993, the PLO made the decision to pursue Palestinian independence through negotiations and accordingly, the PLO and Israel signed a number of agreements between 1993 and 1999, known collectively as the 'Oslo Agreements.' Despite the signing of the Oslo Agreements, Israel has repeatedly violated both their word and their core principles."

May 2004 - Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department (PLONAD) 

Robert I. Friedman, the late investigative journalist, in a Dec. 6, 2001 commentary in The Nation titled "And Darkness Covered the Land," wrote:

"The Oslo agreements were a sham. Although the language did not promise a settlement freeze, the understanding on the Palestinian side was that Oslo would eventually lead to Israeli withdrawal from the territories. In fact, the accords turned into a state-run land grab of astounding proportions, leaving many Palestinians feeling that the Israelis had bargained in bad faith."

Dec. 6, 2001 - Robert I. Friedman 

CON (no)

Shlomo Ben-Ami, PhD, Israeli representative at the Camp David peace talks, in a May 7, 2004 Haaretz interview "End of a Journey," stated the following:

"The basic assumption that has been shared by the Americans, the Europeans and the Israeli center-left for years: that Oslo created a rational order in the Middle East based on give-and-take, which in the future would lead to an acceptable compromise...

In retrospect, this turned out to be a mistaken assumption, It turned out that for Arafat it was a huge camouflage net behind which he fomented, and continues to foment, political pressure and terrorism in different dosages in order to undermine the very idea of two states for two nations."

May 7, 2004 - Shlomo Ben-Ami, PhD 

Benny Morris, PhD, Professor of History at Ben-Gurion University, in a Jan. 9, 2004 Ha'aretz interview stated the following:

"Oslo had to be tried. But today it has to be clear that from the Palestinian point of view, Oslo was a deception. Arafat did not change for the worse, Arafat simply defrauded us. He was never sincere in his readiness for compromise and conciliation."

Jan. 9, 2004 - Benny Morris, PhD 

Meyrav Wurmser, PHD, Director of the Center For Middle East Policy, Hudson Institute, in her Sep. 25, 2003 opening remarks on the topic "Whither the Road Map on Middle East Peace," stated:

"Oslo is now being recognized as a grave historic error of both Israel and the West. Although Oslo is now gone, Israelis and Palestinians still live its consequences. The Israelis in the form of daily terror, the Palestinians in the form of daily misery created by an irresponsible Palestinian regime that continues to support terror."

Sep. 25, 2003 - Meyrav Wurmser, PhD 

Charles Krauthammer, MA, MD, syndicated columnist with the Washington Post, in a Sep. 25, 2003 Hudson Institute forum titled "Whither the Road Map on the Middle East Peace," stated:

"The entire intent of the Oslo Accords, on the part of the Palestinian people, on the part of Arafat, was to establish a state to carry out the two-phase plan...which was to accept any piece of territory in Palestine from which to wage the war."

Sep. 25, 2003 - Charles Krauthammer, MA, MD