Twenty-five years later, Oslo's promise for peace in the Middle East is unfulfilled

Twenty-five years later, Oslo's promise for peace in the Middle East is unfulfilled

The blame is on a home industry of analysts, ex-negotiators, lobbyists and partisans.

In fact, both sides have failed to negotiate or hold peace talks in peace talks since an attempt by the Obama administration to resume negotiations in 2014 imploded. And both sides undermined early, which in retrospect was an extremely fragile achievement.

It was a far-right Israeli extremist who massacred 29 Muslims in Hebron in 1994, triggering a first wave of bombings, and another who killed Rabin in 1995, seriously endangering Oslo. It was Israel that stopped the agreed withdrawal from the occupied territory and controlled 60 percent of the West Bank. Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza was so abrupt that critics say it contributed to the Hamas takeover.

And Israel has expanded settlements, not only conquering more land, but also demoralizing its Palestinian neighbors, said Daniel C. Kurtzer, a former American ambassador to Israel. "On one side of the street is a Palestinian village, and on the other side is a brand new Israeli city with houses with red roofs, swimming pools, green spaces and trees and on a commanding hill," he said.

But there is also much for the Palestinians to repent of their own choices and actions.

Whatever the justification, the Palestinian violence paralyzed the peace process and led to other lasting setbacks: Israel's re-entry into the cities of the West Bank in 2002 when it destroyed the authority-built wall and created a wall that caused displeasure. and – to achieve the commendable goal of reducing terrorist attacks – allowed Israelis to largely eliminate the Palestinians and the occupation as a whole.

In retrospect, many analysts argue, it was a mistake for the Palestinians to let Israelis resign to final status on key issues of the conflict – permanent borders, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the Palestinian demand for a capital in Jerusalem. It was a mistake not to insist on an explicit clause in the interim agreement that would freeze another Israeli settlement expansion where the Palestinians saw their state. And it was a mistake for the Palestinians to negotiate the recognition of the state of Israel's right to exist and renounce violence for little more than the Israeli recognition of the Palestinian Liberation Organization as a legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

"What they got," said Mr. Kurtzer, remembering a sense of sinking that was seen on the faces of some Palestinians at the 1993 ceremony, "was badly negotiated."

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