Next week marks the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords, when then Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat signed an agreement outlining a timeframe for a lasting Middle Eastern peace process. In a now infamous photo, Arafat and then Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands on September 13, 1993, on the lawns of the White House, overlooked by a congratulatory Bill Clinton. The accords saw Arafat, Rabin and Peres awarded the Nobel Peace Prize the following year.
Yet when the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is finally written in full, the Oslo period will go down as one of its darkest chapters.
Far from its promise of a two-state solution, the legacy of the Oslo Accords is little more than the steady advancement of Israeli interests and Palestinian fragmentation.
Since the agreement came into effect, Israel has rapidly deepened its West Bank settlement project while taking active measures to ensure geographic and political division among Palestinians. Israel’s matrix of control over Palestinian life is all but complete as its domination goes virtually unchallenged. [Continue reading…]