University News

Palestinian diplomat lambasts Oslo Accords’ legacy

Ashrawi faults Israel and the international community for impeding a two-state solution in the Middle East

By
Contributing Writer
Thursday, September 26, 2013

Palestinians will remain in a “situation of captivity and enslavement” if Israel does not move toward a two-state solution, said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee, to a half-filled Salomon 101 Wednesday.

Ashrawi’s lecture — entitled “Oslo: Process versus Peace” — was sponsored by the Department of Middle East Studies in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords signed between Israel and Palestine.

The accords marked the first time the governments of Israel and Palestine recognized each other as legitimate entities. Israel promised to withdraw from Jericho and Gaza, and Palestine called for an end to acts of terror against Israel.

Twenty years later, the number of Israeli settlers on the West Bank has grown, and divisions similar to “an apartheid system” have emerged, Ashrawi said.

Ashrawi attributed what she called the Oslo Accords’ failure to sustain peace to five fundamental flaws in the pact.

The agreement was signed in secret, preventing the people of Israel and Palestine as well as the international community from knowing its terms, Ashrawi said. Both sides agreed to the accord without consulting any legal advisors, she added.

Ashrawi also faulted the pact for focusing only on “peripheral issues.” The two sides took an “administrative approach, not a territorial approach,” with negotiators attempting to improve Palestinians’ quality of life under Israeli authority and ignoring Palestinians’ desire for a separate state, Ashrawi said.

Another key problem with the accords was the division of Palestinian communities, causing a refugee situation where many were placed  “in limbo” in Jerusalem under Israeli control, Ashrawi said.

The accords  laid out an overly gradual peace process, Ashrawi said, linking the agreement’s long timeline to ongoing land and resource theft by the Israeli government. Without firm deadlines, “temporary became permanent” for oppressive conditions, Ashrawi said.

“(Palestinians are) the ones who launched the peace process,” Ashrawi said. A lifelong diplomat and human rights activist who claimed to have never lost an election, Ashrawi stressed that her side is ready for an end to conflict. “We will make peace, we want to make peace, but it must be peace with justice,” she said.

But Palestinians must work on the “internal improvement” of their own government to prevent losing further control of the region’s future, Ashrawi said.

From the PLO’s standpoint, peace cannot be obtained without the “devolution of occupation and evolution of statehood,” Ashrawi said. “One side has all the power and the other has none, except for moral and legal power.”

In order to overcome these challenges, the international community must help, Ashrawi said, criticizing the United States’ role in the conflict. She blamed Secretary of State John Kerry for what she called an ineffective new round of peace talks that resemble the Oslo Accords. Kerry should not be holding negotiations between Israel and Palestine in secret, Ashrawi said, because any resolution will not be legitimate without popular support.

Palestine prefers a “multilateral approach” with multiple nations involved, rather than a U.S.-driven process, Ashrawi said, calling U.S. diplomats “lawyers for Israel, instead of intermediaries” between the two sides.

The international community has placed unreasonable demands on Palestinians to fix regional security concerns before they can gain sovereignty, Ashrawi said. “Palestinians have to prove that we are worthy, that we deserve a state,” she said. She also blamed communications with Israel, adding that Israeli negotiators want “unconditional talks” only after their own conditions — including complete control over Jerusalem — are met.

Palestinians want a return to the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, Ashrawi said.

Ashrawi responded to an audience member’s question about the potential integration of both sides into one democratic state by saying a one-state solution would not work because Palestinians would still face discrimination by Israeli officials and subsequently emigrate.

Assessing Americans’ exposure to the conflict’s current status, Ashrawi praised social media for establishing a way for the U.S. public to gain information outside of what she called “biased” coverage from mainstream news outlets.

  • Arafat

    Modern Muslims have religious conflict with: Hindus in Kashmir;
    Christians in Nigeria, Egypt, and Bosnia; atheists in Chechnya; Baha’is in
    Iran; Animists in Darfur; Buddhists in Thailand; each other in Iraq, Pakistan,
    Somalia, and Yemen; Jews in Israel; Why is Islam involved in more sectarian and
    religious conflicts than any other religion today? In fact, why is Islam the
    only religion in conflict with every single one of today’s major world
    religions?

    But you think belligerent pugnacious Islam has legitimate grievances in this
    constant conflict, and that, for example in Palestine, Islam is just defending
    its own reasonable interests?

    No, not at bottom. At bottom what we have in Islam is a violent, expansionist
    totalitarianism. That’s why Islam is in conflict all over the world with every
    other religion.

  • Arafat

    Israel knows full well how indoctrination can poison the well
    for peace.

    Just south of Israel’s border, in Gaza, the Hamas government has
    created an atmosphere of extremism that vilifies Israelis and Jews to the next
    generation.

    Gaza Kindergarten graduations feature “terrorist dress-up,”
    where five-year olds stage plays that glorify jihadists and suicide bombers.

    Families in Gaza watch public television sermons featuring Hamas
    ministers like ‘Atallah Abu Al-Subh, who recently claimed that (and I quote)
    “the Jews are the most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the
    face of the Earth.”

    Incitement is no less prevalent under Abbas in the West
    Bank as it is under Hamas in Gaza. Under the PA, students learn
    history from textbooks that glorify terrorists – and learn geography from
    atlases that erase Israel from the map.

    Sports facilities, streets, and public buildings are named after
    terrorists, such as Dalal Mughrabi, a woman who led an attack on a bus that
    killed 38 Israeli civilians – including 13 children.

    Imagine if the Norwegian government named a playground after
    Anders Breivik – or if the US named a park after Charles Manson. What kind of
    message would it send to the children who play there?

  • Arafat

    There is no “Palestine”. There might have been, but they chose war instead-
    time and again:

    The would-have-been “Palestinians” would have had a state IN PEACE in 1937 with the
    Peel Plan, but they violently rejected it.

    They would have had a state IN PEACE in 1939 with the MacDonald White Paper, but
    they violently rejected it (and Jews would have even been restricted from
    BUYING land from Arabs).

    They would have had a state IN PEACE in 1948 with UN 181, but they violently
    rejected it (and actually claimed that the UN had no such mandate!).

    They could have had a state IN PEACE in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza from 1948-1967
    without any Jews- because the Arabs had ethnically cleansed every last one; but
    they violently rejected it. In fact, that’s exactly when they established Fatah
    (1959) and the PLO (1964).

    They could have had a state IN PEACE after 1967, but instead, the entire Arab world
    issued the Khartoum Resolutions:

    A. No peace with Israel

    B. No recognition of Israel

    C. No negotiations with Israel

    They would have had a state IN PEACE in 2000 with the Oslo Accords, but they
    violently rejected it- as always.

    And as soon as Israel pulled every single Israeli out of Gaza, what did the
    would-have-been “Palestinians” do? They immediately started shooting thousands
    of missiles into Israeli population centers, they elected Hamas (whose official
    platform calls for jihad with no negotiations until Israel is destroyed) to
    rule them, and they have dug tunnels crossing into the Negev to kill and kidnap
    Israelis.

    And even afterwards, Ehud Olmert made his subsequent generous offer that went far beyond even that of Barak. The would-have-been “Palestinians” rejected it.

    They had many chances.

    They threw them all away because destroying Israel was higher on their priority
    list. It still is.

    Oh well. That’s their choice.

  • mxm123

    Yay !!! Arafat , our paid IDF blogger, has arrived.

    What Arafat won’t tell you is when Israel was created there were no Arabs at the table. Kinda like a third party seizing half your house without your consent. Why would the natives of that region agree to any agreement over the dispossession of their lands.

    And then of course our paid shill (Arafat) goes on and on with meaningless dates.

    Gaza. You mean the place Israel withdrew from without any cooperation with the Palestinians. Oh and now blame the Palestinians because Hamas took over. Lovely. Weill to make up for it Israel relocated settlers from Gaza in the West Bank. How nice.

    Alas. Nary a word from our paid shill about the continual land thefts by Israelis from Palestinians in the West Bank.

    • Arafat

      That’s rich – “…blame the Palestinians because Hamas took over.”

      Let’s ignore context is what you are doing. Hamas-like clones can be found everywhere in the Islamic world. It does not take an Israel to foment them it just takes Islam.

      Here is a partial list of Hamas-like clones all courtesy of Islam (not Israel):

      Abdullah Azzam Shaheed Brigade

      Abu Sayyaf

      Active Islamic Youth

      Aden-Abyan Islamic Army

      Ahlehadeeth Movement Bangladesh

      Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah (organisation)

      Akromiya

      Al Adl Wa Al Ihssane

      Al Ghurabaa

      Al Islah

      Al-Muhajiroun

      Al-Mukmin Islamic school

      Al-Qaeda in Iraq

      Al-Shabaab (militant group)

      Ansar al-Sharia (Egypt)

      Ansar al-Sharia (Mali)

      Ansar al-Sharia (Mauritania)

      Ansar al-Sharia (Tunisia)

      Ansar Dine

      Ansaru

      Army of Islam

      Bahrain Freedom Movement

      Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish

      Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters

      Benevolence International Foundation

      Black Hand (Palestine)

      Boko Haram

      Bosnian mujahideen
      ……………………
      This tallies 28 Islamist groups before we even get to the letter “C”.

      I love these Muslim apologists who blame radical Islam on Israel, America, imperialism or colonialism but never on Islam. This despite the fact that the original Muslim – yes that’s right their prophet Mohammed – was in fact a terrorist.

      If one reads the Qur’an, Hadiths and Sunna it’s obvious why Islam and terrorism go hand-in-hand. Mxm the Muslim apologist either knows nothing about Islam or is lying about it.

      Mxm why don’t you convey for us the Hadiths describing what Mohammed and his men did to the unarmed villagers of Qurayza. You know how they beheaded more than 600 men and boys, enslaved all the women, etc…

      Hamas does not need Israel as an excuse to exist. All it needs is Islam.

      • mxm123

        Yay, its Arafat, our paid IDF blogger. How wonderful, the IDF has provided its employee bloggers to post lists of Muslim organizations and called them all terrorist. I thought muslims were equal citizens of Israel. Oh wait, that’s just for propaganda.

        Now Arafat does not want to talk about Israeli settlers a.k.a fanatical Jews stealing land from Palestinians. I guess the IDF won’t let him. Because after all the IDF is the organization that provides the guns to enable such ethnic cleansing. Just keep blaming Muslims in other countries which have nothing to do with the conflict.

        So Yay for ethnic cleansing and its paid sponsors. The IDF.

        • Arafat

          Ethnic cleansing, eh?
          Just proves what a brainwashed liar you are. The Muslim population in Israel is soaring. There is no ethnic cleansing going on in Israel, but there is in Egypt where the Muslims are killing off the ancient Christian Coptic community, and in Syria where the Muslims are killing off what remains of the ancient Assyrian community, and in Pakistan where the Hindus are being ethnically cleansed from their ancient ties to that land, and in southern Thailand where Buddhist beheadings are becoming a common occurrence.
          mxm123, it is a shame the Brown editorial staff allows your cruel lies to be published. I don’t mind refuting them, but I understand the power of Goebbel’s-speech and how big enough lies told by big enough scum bags like you and Goebbels eventually become accepted as truth.
          A big thanks to Brown’s editorial staff for enabling this to happen.

          • mxm123

            Talk about A, and Arafat our paid IDF blogger talks of B.

            Ethnic cleansing. Oh common Arafat, how come u never discuss Israelis stealing land from Palestinians. Think Brown students are so stupid to not know the distinction between Palestinians and Israeli Muslim.

            Goebbels would have nothing on the IDF and its paid bloggers like you.

          • Arafat

            o
            No Palestinian is being kicked out, but I assume
            you are referring to 1948.

            The Arabs of Palestine fled at the urging and fear
            mongering of their own leaders, who promised that after the Jews were wiped out
            they could return. You can listen to their testimonies—their very own words—on
            youtube: watch?v=FuGqpFxogRg ; watch?v=cn4r7ZjG9Nc .

            In contrast, no Jewish leader told the 850,000
            Jews in Arab countries to move out temporarily so the Arabs in their lands can
            be exterminated, and then they can return. And in many of these lands, e.g.,
            Mesopotamia, the Jews predated the Arabs by more than 1,200 years.

            These Jewish refugees were absorbed by Israel,
            unlike their 750,000 Arab counterparts who fled Palestine and were refused
            settlement and rights among their very own Arab brethren.

            By 1950, “Saturday” was largely complete. The Jews
            were gone. Today “Sunday” is taking place, and Christians are fleeing Arab
            lands in droves. As the current Arab saying goes, “After Saturday comes
            Sunday.”

            Palestinians could have stayed if they had not
            listened to the exaggerated scare stories of Hazam Nusseibeh and Hussayn
            Khalidi of the Higher Arab Executive, who had actually intended with their
            horror stories to draw in more Arabs to the fight.

            The Jews in the Arab countries could NOT have
            stayed. It was either fleeing as refugees (and losing an untold fortune that
            had been built over many generations) or facing death.

            They fled.

            They lost all their land, business and property,
            and became penniless refugees in Israel.

          • mxm123

            Here we go. Arafat our paid IDF blogger giving us the “Goebbels” treatment.

            Think Brown students are stupid enough not to know about Israeli settlers and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the West Bank. Quit your unending and nonsensical posts. Well i guess u need to get paid. So i guess we’ll have to live with your ahem baloney.

  • camelfat

    Ineffective people (at Brown) organized a discussion with ineffective people (diplomats) to talk about people who screwed up (Palestinians), so that we could together revel in being screwed and ineffective. Invite that diplomat to join the Brown board of trustees. Any change there would be an improvement.