Oslo at 25

Pace, M. (Speaker), Ilan Pappe (Speaker), Richard Dalton (Speaker), Claire Short (Speaker), Clayton Swisher (Speaker), Alaa Tartir (Speaker), Amelia Smith (Speaker), Nadia Naser-Najjab (Speaker), Stephanie Latte Abdallah (Speaker), Kammel Hawwash (Speaker), Karen Abu Zayd (Speaker), Omar Dajani (Speaker), David Hearst (Speaker), Virginia Tilley (Speaker), Jeremy Wildeman (Speaker), Wadah Khanfar (Speaker), Jamal Khashoggi (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conference

Description

The Oslo Accords signed in 1993 were supposed to end in a final settlement of the Palestine- Israel conflict after an interim period of five years. That objective never materialised with the seven ‘permanent status’ issues yet to be negotiated. The Declaration of Principles (DOP) lists them in the
following order: (1) Jerusalem, (2) refugees, (3) settlements, (4) security arrangements, (5) borders, (6) relations and cooperation with other neighbours, and (7) other issues of common interest.

From the onset, it was clear that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the State of Israel had two contradictory visions of the process. While the former envisaged an end to Israel’s settler colonialism, the latter saw it as an opportunity to create a system of indirect rule over the territories occupied in 1967.

Whereas there were 260,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1993; today they number more than 600,000. The obvious question, therefore, is that if Israel was really committed
to peace, why did it invest so heavily in the construction and maintenance of new settlements in the occupied territories.

In normal circumstances, where the rule of law is upheld and mediation was conducted in good faith, this situation could not have persisted. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 clearly prohibits countries from moving their population into territories occupied in war (Article 49).

Hence, it was inevitable that the disregard of international law in the Oslo process would lead to a dead end.

With its total control over all of historic Palestine and rejection of a Palestinian state in the territories occupied in 1967, Israel has created an apartheid reality in which two peoples occupy the same land but with one people, Israelis, totally dominating the other, Palestinians. The latter are completely surrounded by walls and checkpoints, trapped within fragmented enclaves.

Indeed, to the same degree that the Palestinians did not achieve their independence and statehood, so too the Israelis have failed to realise their exclusive and democratic Jewish state, with a Jewish majority.
Period29 Sep 2018
Event typeConference
LocationLondon, United Kingdom

Keywords

  • Oslo accords
  • Palestine
  • Israel
  • international law
  • settler colonialism
  • occupation
  • apartheid
  • peace
  • war
  • conflict