Searching for the Point of No Return in the Failure of the Oslo Peace Process
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Millions of people live in Israel and the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. The Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization, representing Palestinians, signed the Oslo Accords in 1993 and put an official end to the Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation, today known as the First Intifada. Many hoped that the Oslo agreement would become the foundation for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, the attempts to achieve peace failed, and another uprising, the Second Intifada, followed in 2000. The paper examines the reasons why the process did not lead to the settlement of the conflict. An examination of the failure should give us insights to the failure and lessons for future negotiations. The premise of the thesis is that people’s lives are valuable regardless of their class, religion or ethnicity, and the paper does not address matters of religion. The paper consists of four parts: introduction; presentation and analysis; conclusion; and suggestion. To present my arguments I hypothesize that Palestinian extremist organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad destroyed the Oslo peace process by carrying out a series of suicide bombings. I then present two antitheses: 1) The Israeli occupation policy and settlement activities fueled the Palestinian extremists to a certain extent and 2) The PLO failed to renounce violence. I conclude the suicide bombings by Hamas and Islamic Jihad damaged the peace process badly. However, the Israeli occupation policy and settlement activities drove the Palestinian extremists to a certain extent. Also, the PLO failed to renounce violence. I suggest that in future negotiations, Israel halt the settlement expansions and the Palestinian representatives unequivocally renounce violence throughout the process. Such stances will enhance the chance for peace regardless of extremists’ attempts to ruin the process. I further suggest Israelis and Palestinians establish and maintain open dialogue as a peace process moves forward. The research is based on literature, interviews, and observations.