As part of a two-hour rant Sunday, Palestinian President Abbas declared that the Oslo Accords signed with Israel almost 25 years before were now dead. That was a false statement because those accords were dead before the ink on Yasser Arafat’s signature was dry.
That famous handshake on September 13, 1993. When I close my eyes, I can still see supposedly reformed terrorist Arafat, grasping the palm of Prime Minister Rabin. I remember saying the Shehechayanu prayer, thanking G-d for keeping me alive and letting me see this glorious day. The whole world was full of optimism. Even Clinton’s Secretary of State, the usually dour Warren Christopher stepped up to the microphone to gloat, saying that the impossible was now possible.
On that day, Israel supporters let themselves believe that 45 years of attacks against Israel peace were over; peace was finally within arm’s reach. Once the agreement with the Palestinians was finalized, there was no excuse remaining; the other Arab nations had to fall into line.
As part of Oslo, the two groups signed “Letters of Mutual Recognition”—the Israeli government recognized the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and the letters required that the PLO’s Palestinian National Charter (PNC) was to be amended to recognize Israel’s right to exist and renouncing violence. But this was never done, and thus the original Charter stands to this day.
Twenty-five years after Oslo, Article 19 of the PNC still states, “the establishment of Israel is fundamentally null and void.” Article 20 continues to deny the existence of the Jewish people as a nation and any ties that it might have to the Land of Israel. Which is a continued rejection of the original partition plan. UN Resolution #181 calls for the creation of Jewish and an Arab States.
Despite Oslo, the PNC’s Article 22 still asserts that Zionism is “fascist” and “the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence and will contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East.” And the 9th Article still calls for violence, “Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine.”
The Oslo accords called for the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to rule themselves, thus after it was signed, the Egyptian-born terrorist Yasser Arafat was allowed to travel to the disputed territories with the purpose of organizing a government and leading them to peace.
According to the Jerusalem Post (Nov. 18, 1994) from the very beginning, Arafat assured Arab audiences that his agreements with Israel are part of the PLO’s phased destruction of Israel plan adopted in 1974, which the PLO seeks to destroy Israel step by step: first by taking control of the administered territories, then by conquering the rest of Israel. On the very day he signed the Oslo accords, Arafat went on Jordanian television (which at the time was the only TV seen in the disputed territories) and explained the accords as a phase in the implementation of the 1974 plan.
Oslo didn’t stop terrorism, in the two years between the signing of Oslo and the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin, there were ten Palestinian terrorist attacks killing 75 Israelis and wounding another 242. The crazed zealot who killed the Prime Minister did so because he hated the Oslo Accords, but by killing Rabin he may have saved Oslo…