Maryknoll: Oslo Accords

Posted on Oct 5, 2018

The Oslo Accords were signed in Washington, D.C. on September 13, 1993, with great hopes that a process had begun to make it possible for two peoples, Israelis and Palestinians, to share to share one land with security and peace. However in the words of Amos Levi: “The Oslo Accords have perpetuated the occupation. They have given Israel another 25 years at least of uncontrolled settlement activity and brutal occupation – maybe even another 50, maybe even 100, maybe the eternity of apartheid.” Much has changed, however, but not for the better: Israeli and U.S. governments have continued their support of ever-increasing settlement activity on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, destroying any possibility of a viable “two state solution”; the present U.S. government has given up any pretense of being an “honest broker”; an equal number of Palestinians and Jews are now living between the Mediterranean and the Jordan; Israel has become an apartheid state overseeing the total population in this area with political and military control; the people of Gaza have become desperate and the leadership of the West Bank is increasingly ineffectual. The prospect of military violence, civilian casualties, and Middle East chaos is greater now than it was 25 years ago. The Oslo dream has become a nightmare.

The six featured articles and the related links in this issue of the Middle East Notes focus on Mahmoud Abbas’s and Benjamin Netanyahu’s speeches on Thursday (9/27/2018) to the UN General Assembly; critique of the Oslo Accords; the Trump administration’s policies that have abandoned the facade of neutrality in rubber-stamping the Israeli government’s agenda; a brief history of the 1947partition and the present Trump presidency’s support for Israel; the growing number of older U.S. Jews who have become alienated from a present Israeli government that doesn’t share their liberal values; a Pax Christi International statement in observance of the 2018 World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel addressed to the situation of youth and children; links to recent CMEP Bulletins; and links to a podcast and book recommendations.

Please note: Opinions expressed in the following articles do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.
  • Noa Landau reports in Haaretz that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday that there would be no peace without a “an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
  • The Editors of The Nation Magazine printed an article stating that a quarter-century after Oslo, Israel is consolidating its domination of the Palestinians, but the global resistance movement is growing.
  • Dalia Hatuqa writes in Foreign Policy that the Trump administration’s policies don’t represent a radical shift. The White House has simply abandoned the facade of neutrality and rubber-stamped the Israeli government’s agenda.
  • Fathi Nemer in Mondoweiss provides a brief history of the 1947 partition while stating the Trump presidency has been very good for Israel. Settlement construction is booming, the annexation of occupied East Jerusalem has been legitimized, and even attempting to discuss Israel’s obligations under international law is met with extreme hostility. 
  • Dina Kraft notes in Haaretz that the U.S. media may have focused on young American Jews’ disconnect from Israel, but a growing number of older U.S. Jews have also become alienated from a government that doesn’t share their liberal values.
  • Pax Christi International in a statement in observance of the 2018 World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel addressed the situation of youth and children, in keeping with their official theme, “Youth and Children: Raising Hope and Making Change.”
  • Links to recent Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Bulletins.
  • Podcast & Book Recommendations

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
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