The history of the Oslo Accords must be re-read

Abdulrahman al-Rashed
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Most of those who wrote about the Oslo Accords - which no one celebrated on its 20th anniversary last week - did so to mourn it as an agreement that died but has not yet been buried.

They are right when they say that the agreement has been dead for a long time, but they are wrong when they say it was killed only by Israelis. The Oslo Accords’ killers are many. They include Saddam Hussein, Hafez al-Assad, the latter’s unsuccessful son Bashar al-Assad, Muammar Qaddafi, Iran’s mullahs and Hezbollah, the group that dubbed itself the rejection front and deceived Arabs for decades.


The Oslo agreement was not a sinful one, but the fruit of the Palestinian people’s 50 year struggle. It was the certain result of the international pressures in support of the Palestinian people’s rights. Or so was the aim. Israel only accepted the agreement after it was obliged to. Angry Israelis considered signing it as defeat and treason and an act that empowered the Palestinians. They punished their premier, Yitzhak Rabin, by killing him two years after he signed the agreement with late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafet.

Sabotaging the agreement

Assad and the Iranians, through their Palestinian groups, took it upon themselves to sabotage the agreement because they knew that it would kill the Palestinian chicken that laid them the golden egg and granted them legitimacy. What is Assad’s raison d'être in Syria or the Arab world? What is Hezbollah’s raison d'être? And what is Hezbollah’s excuse for taking over the Lebanese state by arms? All of them exist because they pretend to be defending the Palestinian cause!

They are right when they say that the agreement has been dead for a long time, but they are wrong when they say it was killed only by Israelis

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Even before this deal was sealed, these parties fought Arafat and attempted to assassinate him both physically and morally, because he refused to be dictated to. They orchestrated Palestinian opposition against him, like Ahmad Jibreel and Abu Nidal. Hafez al-Assad fought the Palestinians because they were an obstacle preventing him from controlling Lebanon. He besieged them in their camps and assassinated their leaders. He also, in coordination with one of the factions affiliated with him, planned the assassination attempt against the Israeli ambassador to London. He did so in order to grant Ariel Sharon an excuse to invade Lebanon. In 1982, Sharon besieged the Lebanese capital, Beirut, drove Arafat out and eliminated the Palestinian Liberation Organization. After Arafat was driven out, Hezbollah raised the slogan of Palestine in order to establish for Iran an armed colony in the name of Palestine.

The Oslo Accords established a state for Palestinians in the occupied lands, in the West Bank and Gaza. But Syria, Iran and Qaddafi, at different times, funded operations aiming to sabotage the agreement and to destabilize the Palestinians’ return from their exile in Tunisia to Jericho and the rest of the West Bank and Gaza. Systematic suicide bombings against Israeli civilian targets were carried out to sabotage the agreement. The former three cooperated with extremist Jews to undermine the internationally supported Oslo Accords that aimed to establish a Palestinian state.

Yes, Oslo the agreement has been killed. Its orphans, Abu Mazen and the authority in Ramallah, don’t have much to do. Iran and the Assad regime succeeded in forcing the Palestinians to reach a state in which they bargain over little compared to what Arafat, Rabin and Clinton bargained for 20 years ago. During the Assad-Iranian sponsored two decades of terrorism against the agreement, the rejection front heroes never submitted an alternative project. They neither fought Israel nor supported the Palestinians.

This is a summary of real history and not the forged version which they taught to our generation for decades. It is one chapter of a long forged history, fueled by a propaganda machine that works for regimes which have been revolted against by their own people.


Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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