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The Oslo Accords were an attempt in 1993 to outline what could be done to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestinians who objected to its existence, and there were secret talks in Oslo, Norway, followed by a formal agreement signing with much fanfare in Washington.
Olso II followed a couple years later after more negotiations in Paris.
But what has the actual impact been? And why is there still, 20 years later, no peace?
On Sunday, Sept. 29, The American Freedom Alliance, a Los Angeles based think-tank and activist network, will hold an international conference on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the accords between the state of Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
The events will, according to organizers, “examine the impact of the agreement on both the Middle East and world history.”
Taking part in discussions will be Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bret Stephens, former State Department official Aaron David Miller, Middle East commentator Daniel Pipes and authors Nonie Darwish and Walid Shoebat, along with more than a dozen others.
The first accord was hailed in September 1993 as an historic breakthrough in the intractable Arab-Israeli conflict. They were brokered by Norwegian diplomats and signed on the White House lawn, promising the development of a political and economic infrastructure which would end nearly 50 years of armed conflict and inaugurate a period of peace and prosperity for the entire region.
The Alliance, however, reports, “The outcome … was something less than salubrious. Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians lost their lives and many more were maimed in deadly Palestinian terrorist attacks and concerted Israeli campaigns to repulse them. Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister who signed the Accords, was assassinated in 1995, and Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, ended his life a virtual prisoner in his Ramallah compound after the Israeli military discovered incontrovertible evidence of his complicity in terror attacks.”
Progress toward peace simply halted, it reported, and many analysts today consider the effort a failure.
The Alliance explains, “The conference is premised on the understanding that the Accords failed in their principal intention of bringing peace to the region. It will examine the root causes of this failure and will address the costs and consequences for both Israelis and Palestinians as the hope and expectations of 1993 gave way to the terror, destruction and despair of the succeeding years.”
The Alliance promotes, defends and upholds Western values and ideals, through workshops, conferences and the distribution of information.