|Al-Ahram Weekly On-line
17 - 23 September 1998
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
Murder most foul
By commissioning the murder of the Awadallah brothers last week, Israel has articulated in the clearest terms its true assessment of the Oslo Accords. It dispensed with arrests or a trial, as though the object of Oslo was to incapacitate Palestinian power: to make the Palestinian Authority responsible for Israeli security, while allowing Israel to occupy more Arab territory and to continue humiliating the Palestinians.
Policies aimed at subduing the Palestinians have been compounded by administrative corruption and the "pro-peace" movements generated by the Oslo Accords. These accords encouraged Israel to occupy more Palestinian land and to enhance its influence on the international scene. Had the Arabs conducted their negotiations in Oslo and elsewhere with greater skill, Netanyahu would have never dared violate the agreement as he did.
Oslo distracted international attention from the real conflict, soured Arab public opinion, revealed the Arab negotiators' ignorance, and highlighted Arab disillusionment with politics. Because of Oslo, Israel was able to divide the Palestinians, the better to rule them.
Oslo has been substantially reduced by the Hebron agreement and the US initiative; the latter is being subjected to further debilitation. No development reveals the failure of Oslo more clearly than the PA's threat to declare the Palestinian state unilaterally next May.
Oslo is dead. Its consequences prove how dangerous it is to trust a mediator whose heart is with the enemy.
*This week's Soapbox speaker is director of the Arab Centre for Development and Futuristic Research.