Exactly twenty years to the date, millions of viewers around the world were glued to their TV screens witnessing an event which many thought never would happen. On the lawn of the White House the leaders of two sworn enemies, the Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, and the Leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO),Yasser Arafat, shook hands in public and signed a declaration of principles to bring a peaceful end to the tragic conflict between their peoples.
Most observers of this historical day shared the opinion that they were witness to the beginning of the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Needless to say, we were all wrong. Two decades later these distant memories seems to fade away, leaving behind them a trail of despair, mutual distrust and cynicism about whether peace between the Israelis and Palestinians can ever be achieved.
Begging the question
Most observers of this historical day shared the opinion that they were witness to the beginning of the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Needless to say, we were all wrong.Yossi Mekelberg
The first one, as was agreed in 1993 in Oslo and signed in Washington, was more about process(es) and incremental progress edging towards a solution. It only implied the nature of the final agreement, but failed to outline its details explicitly and publicly. This approach tried to overcome the lack of trust and fear through confidence building measures leading gradually to a final agreement which addressed all the core issues of borders. These core issues are comprised of future borders (including the swap of land); security for both people; Jerusalem as the capital of both states; settling in a fair and just way the refugees predicament; minimizing the settlements as an obstacle to a viable Palestinian state; and ensuring natural resources are distributed fairly.