Dan Poraz Profile picture
13 Sep, 34 tweets, 11 min read
On Tuesday #Israel will sign on normalization agreements with two Arab states.

So why did normalization and peace with the #Palestinians never come about?

The Oslo Accords between Israel & the Palestinians were signed #OnThisDay in 1993.

THREAD about what went wrong >>
Basically, after decades of violent conflict, the Israeli government agreed to exclude the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from its terror list and to recognize it as the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people >>
In return, and after decades of denial, the PLO recognized Israel’s right to exist. Yasser Arafat, PLO’s chairman, agreed to amend the organization’s charter that explicitly called for Israel’s destruction.
The problem with Arafat was that he was literally using doublespeak >>
In English, he was speaking peace but in Arabic, it was a total different ballgame.
In 1994, just a few months after Oslo was signed, Arafat held his infamous ‘Johannesburg speech’.
The Oslo agreement, Arafat said, was no different than the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah >>
The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah was a truce agreement between Prophet Muhmmed and his followers, and the Quraysh tribe of Mecca.
The treaty was annulled by Muhmmed, two years after it was signed so Muhmmed’s Islamic army conquered Mecca. Not the best example of a respected agreement >>
Arafat also explained how Oslo is merely one step of PLO's ‘Ten Point Program’, a way for ultimately achieving the end goal:
a free Palestine, “from the river to the sea”, i.e, no Isreal.
Just like all the green in the organization’s logo - a Palestine instead of Israel >>
In that speech, on the eve of “an era of peace”, Arafat denied any Jewish claim to Jerusalem and stated that Jihad is the only way to liberate Jerusalem from the Jewish occupiers >>
But even before the Johannesburg speech -
on the very same day Oslo was signed (13.09.93), Arafat, on a radio broadcast, promised the Palestinian people that the agreement with Israel is nothing more than a strategic maneuver and a piece in the ‘10 Point Program’>>
Most chose to listen to the Arafat speaking English, because we wanted peace. And so, most chose to cover their ears and mute Arafat in Arabic.
“It’s a cultural gap”, some tried to explain the doublespeak >>
Oslo did not bring peace but rather introduced an emerging phenomenon - the suicide bomber.
On 19th of October 1994, a Hamas suicide bomber detonated himself inside a crowded bus. 22 Israelis were killed. A total of 38 were killed in suicide attacks that year >>
The following year, 40 Israeli citizens were murdered in suicide bombings.
At this point, for some Israelis ‘Oslo’ still meant a hope for peace, but for others ‘Oslo’ was starting to mean blown up busses, shattered cafés, terror, death and misery >>
The sad fact was that more innocent Israelis had died in terror attacks in the 3 years after the signing of the Oslo Accords, than in the 3 years prior to signing them. The hope for peace had gradually transformed into a reality of violence and despair >>
Shamefully, there were also Jews who crossed all lines of legitimacy and used violence to thwart Oslo.

“Violence erodes the basis of Israeli democracy” said late PM Yitzhak Rabin >>
In 1994, Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli physician, walked into the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, a holy place for both Jews and Muslims, and opened fire on innocent Muslim worshipers. 29 were killed before Goldstein himself was >>
This was the deadliest act of terror ever to be carried out by a Jew, and an event that left the Israeli society in deep shock. The horrendous act was immediately condemned by the entire political spectrum in Israel. The government appointed a special commission to inquire it >>
On November 4 1995, a Jewish extremist law student assassinated PM Yitzhak Rabin during a peace rally in Tel Aviv.
The assassin, Yigal Amir, opposed the government’s policies, especially the Oslo Accords >>
The assassination of the PM was a national trauma leaving wounds, some have not yet been healed.
Following the assassination, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres was sworn as the new PM, committed to keep implementing the Oslo Accords on the path to peace >>
But terror kept raging.
In the elections of 1996, the Likud party won, and Benjamin Netanyahu became PM.
Although opposing the Oslo Accords from the beginning, Netanyahu made a commitment that his government will respect all agreements signed by the previous >>
And indeed, in 1997, Netanyahu’s government signed the Hebron Protocol according to which, the IDF will withdraw from 80% of the city and transfer responsibilities to the PLO. The remaining 20% were where the ancient Jewish community of Hebron was living for centuries >>
A blame game was going on. While the Palestinians blamed Israel for not withdrawing from all territories in line with the agreement, Israel blamed the Palestinian Authority, namely Yasser Arafat, for not doing anything to prevent terror and violence >>
In the elections held in 1999, Labour Party led by Ehud Barak won over Netanyahu’s Likud.
PM Barak implemented all the withdrawals Israel committed to in the Accords >>
“We’ll fight terrorism as if there is no peace and we’ll make peace as if there is no terrorism”, Yitzhak Rabin said.

And all those years terror was raging.

On February 25, ‘96, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus in Jerusalem. 26 passengers were killed >>
A week later, on March 3, the same bus line in Jerusalem blew up again, this time leaving 19 dead. The next day, March 4, a suicide bomber blew himself up near Dizzengof Centre in Tel Aviv. 13 people were killed >>
On March 21, ‘97, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in a café in Tel Aviv. 3 young women, including the mother of this baby, were killed.
On July 30, 2 Palestinians blew themselves up in the Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem, killing 16 >>
On September 4, three suicide bombers blew themselves up in downtown Jerusalem.
5 Israelis were killed.
The last 2 years of the millennium were relatively calm with no major terror attacks, thus allowing Israel and the PA to negotiate again towards a final agreement >>
Israeli PM Barak and Palestinian chairman Arafat met in Camp David in July 2000. Barak came with a clear objective to reach a final peace agreement. All issues were on the table - territory, Jerusalem, refugees >>
During the Camp David Summit, the Palestinians rejected every single draft proposal the Israelis presented. Arafat showed no intention to end the conflict. Rejecting on the one hand, and not putting forward any counter proposals on the other >>
Shlomo Ben Ami, who served as Israel’s Foreign Minister at the time told how “President Clinton became boiling mad and started shouting terribly. He told Abu Ala that this wasn't a speech at the UN, and that the Palestinians had to come up with positive proposals of their own” >>
Years later, Clinton said he had “killed himself to give the Palestinians a state” he explained the deal included “all of Gaza, 97% of West Bank, compensating land in Israel, you name it. We had all of the Muslim countries willing to normalize relations with Israel” >>
But an agreement was not reached and Arafat took a calculated decision to go back to the path of violence. Unlike the years between Oslo and Camp David, in which Arafat claimed he was making efforts to fight terror, after 2000 Arafat was directly coordinating and promoting it >>
The second Intifada broke, and all hell broke loose with it. In less than 5 years, around 1,000 Israelis were murdered in terror attacks. Violence had reached frightening peaks and the optimism of Oslo had become into a staggering tragedy >>
Still, Oslo did change reality on the ground in a most profound way -
Since 1996, more than 90% of the Palestinians in the West Bank are self governed by a Palestinian government; And since 2005, 100% of Palestinians in Gaza are self governed >>
The peace deals with 🇦🇪 and 🇧🇭, show us that normalization with 🇮🇱 won’t be hijacked by the Palestinians anymore.
Lastly, the peace deals do not come on the expense of the Palestinians. Israel’s hand is still, as always was, reached out for peace.

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More from @PorazDan

24 Aug
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Testimony from elderly Palestinian woman who remembers.
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Read 325 tweets

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