Oslo Accords

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The Oslo Accords are a pair of interim agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO): the Oslo I Accord, signed in Washington, D.C., in 1993; and the Oslo II Accord, signed in Taba, Egypt, in 1995. They marked the start of the Oslo process, a peace process aimed at achieving a peace treaty based on Resolution 242 and Resolution 338 of the United Nations Security Council. The Oslo process began after secret negotiations in Oslo, Norway, resulting in both the recognition of Israel by the PLO and the recognition by Israel of the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and as a partner in bilateral negotiations.

Among the notable outcomes of the Oslo Accords was the creation of the Palestinian National Authority, which was tasked with the responsibility of conducting limited Palestinian self-governance over parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; and the international acknowledgement of the PLO as Israel's partner in permanent-status negotiations about any remaining issues revolving around the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Quotes

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  • Israel is now waging a war against civilians, pure and simple, although you will never hear it put that way in the United States. This is a racist war and, in its strategy and tactics, a colonial one as well. People are being killed and made to suffer disproportionately because they are not Jews. What an irony! Yet CNN never refers to “occupied” territories (always rather to “violence in Israel,” as if the main battlefields were the concert halls and cafés of Tel Aviv and not in fact the ghettos and besieged refugee camps of Palestine that have already been surrounded by no less than 150 illegal Israeli settlements). For the past ten years, the great fraud of Oslo was foisted on the world by the United States, with hardly an awareness that only 18 percent of the West Bank was given up, and 60 percent of Gaza. No one knows geography, and it’s better not to know, since the reality on the ground is so astonishing, considering the verbal hoopla and self-congratulation. And that pseudo-pundit—the insufferably conceited Thomas Friedman—still has the gall to say that “Arab TV” shows one-sided pictures, as if “Arab TV” should be showing things from Israel’s point of view the way CNN does, with “Mideast violence” the catchall word for the ethnic cleansing that Israel is wreaking on the Palestinians in their ghettos and camps. Has Friedman (or CNN, for that matter) ever tried to point out the difference between an attacking army fighting a colonial war on the territory of the people it has occupied for thirty-five years, and the people defending against that butchery? Of course not, for indeed why should Friedman ever bother to say honestly that there is no Palestinian occupation, there are no Palestinian F-16s, no Apache helicopters, no gunboats, no Merkava tanks, in short, no Palestinian occupation of Israel. So much for Friedman’s credentials as an honest commentator and reporter, who has utterly failed in unadorned terms both to explain the U.S. view and to understand the Arab and Palestinian cause. Can he not see that he and his writings are part of the problem, that in their maundering selfjustifications and their dishonesty, showing no sign of the self-criticism he keeps hectoringly expecting of others, he actually aggravates the ignorance and the misperceptions rather than reducing them? Poor journalist and educator, he.
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