Is the peace process a process for peace? A retrospective analysis of Oslo

Is the peace process a process for peace? A retrospective analysis of Oslo – peace agreement between Arab countries and Israel being forged in Oslo, Norway

Elaine C. Hagopian


Oslo is not presently a process for peace; Oslo is a process for agreements which are creating volatile conditions on the ground. Nonetheless, Oslo may lead to peace based on principles different from those found in the September 1993 Declaration of Principles and the agreements and protocols derived therefrom. That is, the conditions produced by Oslo will force a new process over time to emerge that will lead to a resolution of the problem in ways unanticipated by Oslo.

The analysis which follows is premised on the belief that a viable peace is desired, and that therefore a different peace process must emerge to effect this. It is further premised on the acceptance of the fact that both Israelis and Palestinians feel, claim and understand with absolute conviction that they have national rights to sovereign statehood in Israel/Palestine. Indeed, both rights have been recognized internationally, although, as developed herein, the Oslo process is eroding the Palestinian legal claim to sovereign statehood.

The historical context of the actual nature of the conflict is revisited, and it will include an examination of the various proposals offered since 1967, allegedly to resolve the conflict. This is done not to go over old ground, but rather to refocus attention on the existential and essential contours of the problem. At present, there is a tendency to view Oslo-induced agreements in a vacuum while elucidating their particulars as though they were victories for real peace. Only the thread of history can expose the contemporary tragedy produced by the Oslo process. That thread is defined by two words: removal [or disposal] and reassertion. That is, the Zionist movement has sought to remove Palestinians physically and legally from national claims to Palestine, and the Palestinians have sought to reassert their internationally recognized claims. Over time, and as a result of Oslo, it appears that the Zionists are close to their goal. Conversely, the Palestinians appear to have sustained a fatal blow to their right to national reassertion. In the end, and after more turmoil and struggle, a whole new dynamic may develop that will challenge the “appearances.”


Zionist Expansion into All of Palestine

Once the Zionist movement fixed on Palestine as the location to establish a Jewish state as a solution to European anti-Semitism, it had to deal with three problems:

1. how to establish itself on the land legitimately and expand into all of Palestine,

2. how to remove or significantly reduce the majority Palestinian Arab population indigenous to Palestine; and

3. how to ensure absorption of dispersed Palestinians elsewhere in the Arab World so as to eliminate Palestinian claims to Palestine.

What follows chronicles and analyzes how Israel has tried to deal with these three problems, and how the latter two – demography and diaspora – have plagued Israeli efforts to complete full and unchallenged political sovereignty over Palestine. It also chronicles and analyzes Palestinian responses and efforts at national reassertion.

Establishing Itself on the Land. The 1917 Balfour Declaration gave an opening to initiate solution of the first problem, and culminated later in the 1948 Zionist Declaration of Independence. With the Balfour Declaration in hand, the Zionist movement presented a map in 1919 to the Paris Peace Conference defining Israel, a slimmed down version of various maps of “Eretz Israel.” Beyond getting a foothold in the area, the problem was how to fill out that map which covered all of Palestine, southern Lebanon up to Sidon, the southern Biqa’ valley, including the Litani River waters, the Hawran Plain of Syria which encompassed the Golan Heights and the headwaters of the Jordan River, and part of Jordan east of the river bordering the outskirts of Amman, Maan and Aqaba. In what follows, I will focus only on Palestine which Israel succeeded in completely occupying after the 1967 war. (Israel does now occupy southern Lebanon and the Golan Heights. It is not clear if Israel will remain physically in Lebanon. Regarding the Golan Heights, Israel presently has thirty-two settlements there with 15,000 Israelis. On 14 December 1981, it formally extended Israeli Law to the Heights which meant de facto annexation. It is not certain that Israel will withdraw from Golan or a part of it. And Israel presently has a very favorable peace agreement with Jordan which allows considerable license in its relations with that country.)

On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 181 calling for the partition of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states. As is now well known, Ben Gurion accepted the partition plan tactically, as part of his strategy to gain all of Palestine. What he really accepted was the establishment of a Jewish state, but he did not actually accept the idea of an Arab state, borders, Jerusalem as a corpus separatum and other arrangements. Indeed, Ben Gurion stated as early as the original 1937 partition plan that “. . .as a result of the creation of a [Jewish] state [on a piece of Palestine], we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine.”(1) This policy continued to dominate his thinking when the 1947 partition plan was passed.(2)

Removal/Reduction of Palestinians. The 29 November 1947 partition plan, Resolution 181, was never implemented. Israeli and Arab military actions broke out immediately after the passing of 181. On 14 May 1948, the Jewish People’s Council led by Ben Gurion met at the Tel Aviv Museum and issued its Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. The Declaration was carefully worded so as to draw on Resolution 181 as a legitimating document for the creation of a Jewish state, but gave no mention of partition or the other components of the Resolution. Specifically, the Declaration read:

On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable.(3)

Between 29 November 1947 and 14 May 1948, more than 200,000 Palestinians were dispossessed of their properties and dispersed.(4) In the war of 1948 that followed the Zionist declaration of statehood, another 550,000 to 600,000 Palestinians were dispossessed of properties and dispersed. By the end of the war, Israel was in full control of 78% of Palestine from which approximately 750,000 to 800,000 refugees were dispersed. The total Palestinian population at that time was estimated to be about 1.4 million.(5) In the conquered 78% of Palestine which came to be recognized internationally as Israel, 125,000 to 150,000 Palestinians managed to remain. . .Those remaining ultimately became citizens of Israel, albeit second-class citizens, and today number some 900,000 to 1 million, approximately 18% to 19% of the Israeli population.

Resettlement. The Zionists consistently believed” . . . that the Palestinian problem would disappear through a transfer of population to neighbouring Arab countries; and . . . that the pro-Western regime of Jordan [then under King Abdullah who cooperated with the Zionists] would solve the Palestinian problem.”(6) The United Nations Relief and Works Administration for Palestine (UNRWA) was used by Great Britain and the U.S. to attempt to facilitate Palestinian resettlement by funding major projects that would employ Palestinian refugees in place, and lead to their resettlement in those locations.(7) From 1952 to 1962, the United States and Great Britain were the largest donors to UNRWA (72% and 19% respectively), and therefore made its major decisions. They reduced aid when their efforts to resettle Palestinians did not work.

From 1948 to 1967, the Zionists did establish a Jewish state, did remove most of the Palestinians, but did not succeed in seeing them permanently resettled. Nonetheless, they were outside of Israel, albeit as refugees demanding their right to return.

The June 1967 war netted Israel the remaining 22% of Palestine Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights and the Egyptian Sinai. But the rest of Palestine, the remaining 22%, had a population in 1967 that numbered over one million Palestinians [today numbering some 2.5 million]. They did not flee for the most part, although there are thousands who became recognized as “displaced persons” and are primarily located in Jordan. The large number of Palestinians in the conquered territories recreated the demographic problem for Israel. From 1967 on, the problem for Israel was how to retain the occupied territories, which they called “Administered Territories” of Samaria, Judea, and Gaza, without absorbing the Palestinian population into the Jewish State with an already significant Palestinian minority from 1948. Demographics joined resettlement as threatening issues for Israel. The Palestinian challenge to exclusive Israeli sovereignty in Palestine intensified after the 1967 war both by the newly occupied and the diaspora Palestinians. At the end of the 1967 war, Palestinians were found under three jurisdictions:

1. as citizens of Israel working within the system for equality based on having Israel be a state of its citizens rather than a state of the Jewish nation only;

2. as refugees primarily in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and in camps in Gaza and the West Bank (1948 refugees) demanding their right of return under Resolution 194; and

3. under occupation in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem where Israeli withdrawal is sought.

The post-1967 peace plans have focused primarily on what to do with the third jurisdictional category, with the implicit assumption that refugees would be resettled elsewhere, and that the citizens would remain second-class citizens, or perhaps even be encouraged to leave.

Palestinian Reassertion

From 1948 to 1967, the independent Arab states represented Palestinian rights and sought redress for them through the United Nations. The 1949 United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 194 which recognized the right of return or compensation for the 1948 Palestinians. Resolution 194 has never been implemented. Palestinians did engage in resistance activity, but the main effort for their rights was led by the Arab States and through diplomacy.

Given the inability of the Arab states to achieve their rights, Palestinians became restive in the 1960s. The League of Arab States, encouraged by Egyptian President Gamal Abdui Nasser, created the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1964 in order to give Palestinians a voice and to mute their anger. Basically, the PLO was allowed a voice, but it was structurally and financially controlled by the major Arab states, especially Egypt. After the 1967 war in which the confrontation states of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan were decisively defeated, Palestinian guerrilla groups became popular for their confrontations with Israeli forces in the newly occupied territories, where local Palestinian resistance was also evident. It was Yasser Arafat’s 1965-organized Fateh group that received the greatest attention. In 1969, the guerrilla groups were integrated into the PLO, and Arafat and his popular Fateh group came to dominate the PLO. The period of 1967 to 1973 was the most active period of the armed struggle strategy by Palestinians, which while highly publicized, was basically ineffective. During this period, the Palestine Liberation Organization articulated a policy of securing a democratic secular state in all of liberated Palestine for Muslims, Christians, and Jews, i.e. transforming Israel as an exclusive Jewish state into an inclusive Palestinian/Israeli state.

The October 1973 war initiated by Egypt and Syria, coupled with an oil embargo by the Gulf states, created conditions that allowed the Arab regimes to persuade Arafat to pursue a strategy of diplomacy rather than armed struggle [which the Arab states themselves often saw as threatening the stability of their regimes]. The Arab states were able to have Arafat invited to the United Nations to deliver his speech about embracing the olive branch instead of the gun. Subsequently, the PLO was granted observer status at the United Nations. It was at this point that the position of the Palestinian movement began to change from seeking a democratic, secular state in all of Palestine to accepting the notion of a two-state solution with the 1967 Israeli occupied territories implied as the location of the Palestinian state.

The Palestinians lost Palestine, but they refused absorption elsewhere, and they did not give up the right of return and reassertion of their national rights in Palestine. During the 1970s and early 1980s, they continued guerrilla activities against Israeli targets, but focused as well on diplomatic efforts.


The Carter Administration came to understand that real peace and stability in the area required a resolution of the Palestinian problem in addition to peace between Egypt and Israel and other Arab states. He had preferred a comprehensive approach, but Camp David was the best he could facilitate.(8)

The Camp David effort resulted from the historic trip that Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat made to Jerusalem in November 1977. Upset by the stalemate that resulted after the 1973 war with few gains for Egypt, Sadat sought to break it with his visit to Jerusalem and his address to the Knesset. In addition to Egyptian concerns, Sadat also emphasized the need for the recognition of the “full rights” of Palestinians. Anxious to preempt any American and/or Arab proposals regarding the Palestinians, Israeli Prime Minister Begin offered his own plan in December 1977. Begin’s plan found its way into the “Framework for Peace” section of the Camp David Accords. Indeed, it was Begin who gave form to what had been previous post-1967 Israeli plans for Palestinian autonomy in the territories. [See pages 16-17 for maps of these options]. And autonomy has been the only option presented by Israel, and the Palestinians of the territories have been the only segment of the Palestinian population to be actually addressed by the autonomy plans.

Begin believed his plan reconciled Zionist expansionism and the demographic imperative recreated in the territories by separating the fate of the Palestinian population from that of the land. That is, the population would have some “self-rule”, but the land would effectively continue to be controlled by Israel.(9) Although Begin made his concept of autonomy for the people and not the land orally clear, and that autonomy was not in all of the territories, the Camp David Framework for Peace was not as clear. Palestinians interpreted the Framework to mean all of the West Bank and Gaza. The particular wording of the Framework that was the basis of contention included the following:

Egypt and Israel agree that, in order to ensure a peaceful and orderly transfer of authority, and taking into account the security concerns of the parties, there should be transitional arrangements for the West Bank and Gaza for a period not exceeding five years. In order to provide full autonomy to the inhabitants, under these arrangements the Israel military government and its civilian administration will be withdrawn as soon as a self-governing authority has been freely elected by the inhabitants of these areas to replace the existing military government.

[Further on in the Framework] The parties will negotiate an agreement which will define the powers and responsibilities of the self-governing authority to be exercised IN [emphasis added] the West Bank and Gaza. A withdrawal of Israeli forces will take place and there will be a redeployment of the remaining Israeli armed forces into specified security locations. The agreement will also include arrangements for assuring internal and external security and public order.(10) [The last sentence refers to the Israeli right to have its forces enter and take action in the proposed Palestinian autonomous area. It is a sentence that appears in similar form in all later Israeli documents.]

There were some behind the scenes efforts to have the PLO recognize Israel and accept U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 in return for the Carter Administration’s recognition of the PLO. Carter was bound by the 1975 Kissinger promise of nonrecognition of the PLO until it accepted 242 and recognized the right of Israel to exist. Arafat refused based on a lack of recognition in 242 of Palestinian rights to self-determination, and Begin’s adamancy regarding the territories. Carter himself stated in a 15 December 1977 meeting with Arab-American community leaders that: “‘The PLO refused to accept 242, and we can’t go anywhere with the Palestinians without this acceptance.’ He noted that he preferred no Palestinian entity and that it would be better to solve the problem within a Jordanian framework. He said the PLO was given every opportunity to accept 242 and Arafat came close, but did not accept it . . . . ‘the PLO has been negative on 242 and on renouncing its covenant article calling for the “destruction of Israel,” and it has thereby isolated itself. The Palestinians are held with decreased esteem in the Arab World.’ He noted that when he spoke with President Assad in Geneva, and also with Fahd and others to moderate the PLO, they were unable to deliver the PLO. Thus, the PLO has eliminated itself from future negotiations. He also noted that the Arab Governments had not called for a Palestinian state.” In fact, before Carter entered the room to meet with Arab-Americans, and unbeknownst to them, he announced to the press that the PLO had excluded itself from the peace process. This period is best remembered by National Security Affairs Advisor to Carter, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski’s famous “Bye, bye PLO”.(11)

Israel made gains as a result of Camp David. Egypt was removed as the major confrontation state which allowed Israel ultimately to deal with Arab states individually, a process that became well defined in the Madrid/Oslo frameworks. In return, Egypt got back the Sinai Peninsula. However, nothing came of the Camp David Framework for Peace to address Palestinian national rights. In fact, Israel invaded southern Lebanon in 1978 in the midst of the Camp David negotiations in an effort to destroy the PLO which was recognized in stages by the international community – except the United States and Israel as the sole, legitimate national representative of the Palestinians. By attempting to render the PLO inoperative, Begin was aiming at reducing the status of Palestinians in the occupied territories from part of a national group, to a separate ethnic minority subject to whatever arrangements Israel offered for some sort of autonomy. The invasion did not succeed.(*)

Israel invaded Lebanon again in 1982 with the same purpose, especially since it was coming under increased international pressure to recognize and deal with the PLO. [Israel also believed that the invasion would result in Lebanon’s recognition of Israel by a right-wing, pro-Israel Lebanese government. That did not happen.] Although the PLO was forced to leave Lebanon, and its forces were scattered, it continued to exist in Tunisia as a weak and wounded organization. Clearly, Begin and his colleagues were again attempting to dispose of the Palestinian claims through a combination of war and the Camp David process. However, the Palestinian leadership still refused to relinquish Palestinian national reassertion rights even in the condition of disarray and fragmentation in which it found itself.


With PLO forces scattered and tattered, Palestinian resistance in the occupied areas took on a new form: stone throwing at Israeli forces combined with strikes. Israeli forces, under the direction of then Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin attempted to control the uprising by use of extraordinary violence, especially that of breaking Palestinian bones. The Intifada brought considerable attention to the Palestinian plight, while capturing Israeli oppression on film. Given the favorable world climate, Arafat was enjoined by Palestinians in the occupied territories, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), and other parties to explicitly recognize Israel and accept the historic compromise of a two-state solution based on the principle of the U.N. partition plan, Resolution 181. This he did on 15 November 1988 and in a subsequent press conference. The key paragraphs in that declaration are the following:

Despite the historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian Arab people resulting in their dispersion and depriving them of their right to self-determination, following upon U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 (1947), which partitioned Palestine into two states, one Arab, one Jewish, yet it is this Resolution that still provides those conditions of international legitimacy that ensure the right of the Palestinian Arab people to sovereignty and national independence.

. . . It calls upon all peace-and freedom-loving peoples and states to assist it in the attainment of its objectives, to provide it with security, to alleviate the tragedy of its people, and to help to terminate Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

In pursuance of resolutions adopted by Arab summit conferences and relying on the authority bestowed by international legitimacy as embodied in the resolutions of the United Nations Organization since 1947 [which include Security Council Resolution 242 and 338];. . . .

The Palestine National Council. . . hereby proclaims the establishment of the State of Palestine . . . . (12)

In effect, Arafat, speaking on behalf of the PLO and the Palestine National Council which voted to accept the terms of the Declaration, accepted UN Resolution 242, and he called for peaceful coexistence. The United States opened a dialogue with the PLO thereafter, since the terms of the Kissinger formulation had been met. This prompted Israeli Prime Minister Shamir to offer a Peace Initiative on 14 May 1989 formulated by him and Defense Minister Rabin aimed at precluding Palestinian statehood discussions and an international peace conference. The plan consisted of four basic points: 1) strengthening the peace with Egypt as a regional cornerstone; 2) promoting full peaceful relations with the Arab states; 3) improving refugee conditions through international efforts [this meant resettling refugee Palestinians in host and other Arab countries, effectively killing Resolution 194, the Right of Return to homes and property in what became Israel in 1948]; and 4) elections and interim self-rule for the Palestinians Arabs [i.e. autonomy for the people in the Israeli occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza – not sovereignty over the land – to solve the demographic problem while keeping Israeli control over the land and resources therein]. It was premised on the following principles: 1) negotiations to be based on the “principles” of the Camp David Accords; 2) no Palestinian state; 3) no negotiations with the PLO; and 4) no change in the status of Judea, Samaria and Gaza other than in accordance with basic guidelines of the Government.(13)

What was gained and lost by both sides by the 1988 Declaration? The PLO, authorized by the Palestine National Council, recognized Israel effectively within the pre-1967 borders, and hence legitimated Israel’s exclusive claim to that 78% portion of former Palestine. The PLO did not, however, give up General Assembly Resolution 194 on the right of Palestinian refugee return and compensation, which the Israelis continued to reject because it would recreate the demographic problem within Israel proper. The Palestinians focused on reassertion of their national rights to sovereign statehood in the occupied territories of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem which were internationally recognized as occupied territories. Arafat and the PLO gained credibility, but without leverage. Israel was able to stave off a “land for peace” engagement with the Palestinians. Indeed, Shamir argued Israel had fulfilled the vague 242 Resolution – referring as it did to occupied Arab lands – by returning Sinai to Egypt. In short, Palestinians forfeited their right to all of Palestine and the creation of a democratic secular state therein, and reduced their claim to 22% of former Palestine, a solution nonetheless unacceptable to Israel.


President George Bush and Secretary of State James Baker saw the Gulf war as an opportunity to dissolve the Palestinian problem. Arafat and the PLO had become isolated from the Arab states for their perceived support of Saddam Hussein. Clearly, Arafat’s ill-informed leadership led to a further weakening of the PLO. The Madrid conference offered a framework for peace negotiations developed by United States Secretary of State James Baker, which was actually a synthesis of previous U.S. proposals, especially that of Camp David. The opening meeting was held on 30 October 1991. It precluded an international conference preferred by the Palestinians. It included a weakened USSR as co-sponsor with the United States, the United Nations in observer status, and high level representatives from Israel (Prime Minister Shamir), a joint Palestinian/Jordanian delegation, Syria and other Arab states, along with a number of observer states. The Madrid framework allowed for bilateral negotiations, favored by Israel and the United States, between Israel and the relevant Arab states, and offered the facade of multilateral talks on regional issues such as the environment and water, and also included refugee issues.

Shamir resuscitated his 1989 initiative which was derived from Camp David, and recycled it at Madrid with no intent of any real negotiations with Palestinians, as he admitted later. The Palestinian delegation, representing only the Palestinians in the occupied territories, were joined to the Jordanian delegation. The PLO was not recognized as the negotiating partner. Nonetheless, Arafat, as head of the PLO, instructed the Palestinian delegation. It was told to gain an admission from Israel that it was an occupying power, and hence by logical extension, it would have to yield the territories at some point to a Palestinian state even after a period of autonomy. Israel rejected this. The secret talks in Oslo with Arafat were made possible when Arafat agreed to drop the admission of occupation demand, hence moving him into the Israeli/American orbit for acceptable discussions. In return, Arafat as head of the PLO was recognized as the negotiating partner.(14)

For Israel, Oslo offered a new strategy for disposing of Palestinians and their challenge to Israeli legitimacy without yielding the territories, seen as integral parts of Eretz Israel. For Arafat, Oslo was seen as the beginning of Palestinian reassertion on the occupied territories, even if the terms of Oslo were inadequate. He was convinced that by getting a foot in the door, he could then develop the territories into a Palestinian state. Oslo continued the historical removal(disposal)/reassertion conflict, but more exclusively by diplomacy and was limited to the immediate bilateral parties, with the United States as chief broker.


The Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, 13 September 1993

The “mother” document of the Oslo process represents continuity with the Israeli policy initiated by the Labor government post-1967, and first formulated in the “unofficial” Labor Party Allon plan [see page 16 for Allon Plan map]. The Begin and Shamir plans grew out of this tradition. The DOP is a sophisticated legal refinement of Begin’s Camp David offering. In theory, it is based on 242 – interpreted differently by Palestinians and Israel. It firmly establishes autonomy over specific services for Palestinians located in specified areas without recognizing Palestinian sovereignty over the areas. As Joel Singer, legal adviser of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and allegedly the author of the DOP noted:

. . . on the establishment of the [Palestinian] Council, . . . the Israeli Civil Administration will be dissolved; the Israeli military government, on the other hand will not be dissolved . . . .

. . . with the dissolution of the Civil Administration, the military government will simply resume all the powers and responsibilities of the Civil Administration not transferred to the Palestinian Council In this context, the fact that the military government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip will continue to exist is very significant. It emphasizes that, notwithstanding the transfer of a large portion of the powers and responsibilities currently exercised by Israel to Palestinian hands, the status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip will not be changed during the interim period. These areas will continue to be subject to military government. Similarly, this fact suggests that the Palestinian Council will not be independent or sovereign in nature, but rather will be legally subordinate to the authority of the military government . . . .

This provision resolves one of the ambiguities left open by the autonomy arrangements contained in the Camp David Accords. In these accords, which spoke of the military government being “replaced” by the Palestinian self-governing authority, it was left unclear as to where the source of authority lay, and in whom any residual powers would vest.(15)

Under the Camp David wording – which was corrected in the DOP – the Israeli Civil Administration and the Military Government were to be withdrawn. In the DOP, the Israeli military remains, a much more favorable Israeli position

Oslo also reinforced the right of Israel to retain control over foreign relations and external security as well as keeping the responsibility “for overall security of Israelis for the purpose of safeguarding their internal security and public order” (Article VIII of the DOP). The latter in essence means that Israel reserves the right to have its forces enter Palestinian autonomous areas if it relates to internal security for Israelis.

The most important legal aspect of the DOP is the fact that Arafat agreed to a Gaza and Jericho first arrangement and to defer the issues of Jerusalem, settlements, borders, refugees and other matters such as water to final status talks By so doing, Arafat de facto recognized the territories as “disputed territories” which weakened the Palestinian claim to legitimate reassertion on the whole of the occupied territories, and the juridical force of previous U.N. resolutions on the inalienable rights of Palestinians. Hence, Israel could “legally” claim veto power over Palestinian attempts to establish legitimate sovereignty in Palestine. The Palestinian claim shrank from reassertion in all of Palestine, to the occupied territories, to whatever it could negotiate with Israel.

Protocol on Economic Relations between the Government of the State of Israel and the PLO, representing the Palestinian people, Paris, 29 April 1994 (Annex IV, Gaza-Jericho Agreement).

This protocol establishes the fact that economic cooperation means that Israel will be able to ensure the continued dependency of the Palestinian economy on that of Israel. This is aimed at preventing Palestinian economic development which could undergird a state.

The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Washington, D.C., 28 September 1995

This document establishes West Bank zones: A, B, C. In A, Palestinian authority over the specified services and policing functions is extended to West Bank cities with concentrated Palestinian populations. Zone A is approximately 3% of the West Bank. In B, approximately 24% of the West Bank, Palestinian authority is extended to services only, and Israeli forces are in primary control. In C, approximately 73% of the West Bank, Israel has full control. Settlements, bypass roads, military bases and some Palestinian villages are found in this zone, as well as land areas that could be developed. Under this agreement, Israel continues to control water, and it deferred water ownership issues to final status negotiations. The Israeli Military Government is reconfirmed as the ultimate source of authority in the whole territory (Article I(5)).

Hebron Protocol, 15 January 1997

Hebron was the last of the densely populated Palestinian cities to experience Israeli redeployment. This was due to the 400 plus Israeli setters in the heart of the city, and to conflict over access to, and control of sacred sites. The protocol affirms three principles implicit in all previous Oslo-induced documents and the Israeli facts on the ground.

1. The protocol provides official legitimacy to the presence of settlers in the Palestinian land area by Palestinian agreement of total and unconstrained Israeli control over 20% of Hebron which in addition to the Israeli settlers includes some 15,000 Palestinians.

2. It establishes clear double standards by ensuring the settlers better treatment and preferential access to the entire city, and reinforces the responsibility of Israel for internal security related to Israelis and public order (Article X (4)).

3. It further separates jurisdiction over land and over people.(16)

That is, the Palestinian Authority will cover civil services for Palestinians in the Jewish area, but it will not have jurisdiction over the land – and jurisdiction in any case should not be confused with sovereignty. Furthermore, as Netanyahu noted in his “Statement to the Knesset on the Protocol,”

The second important issue [the first being that future negotiations are to be based on reciprocity, i.e. that Palestinians meet defined obligations for negotiations to proceed] that was clarified in the agreements and documents achieved in the course of these negotiations is that the implementation of the redeployments will be an Israeli decision that will not be a matter for negotiation with the Palestinians. This is also the way in which the United States interprets the agreement. [Emphasis added].(17)

Netanyahu went on to state that Israel can also redefine the new time-frame for redeployment based on the test of reciprocity.

The recognition of the exclusive right of Israel to decide on redeployments further erodes the Palestinian claim for legitimate reassertion in and on Palestinian land. That is, it shrank further from the Oslo DOP-established low of disputed lands that need to be negotiated, to Israeli lands on a portion of which Israel may allow Palestinian autonomous rule. In a recent analysis by Lamis Andoni, she points out that indeed, United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher’s letter attached to the Hebron Protocol affirming U.S. agreement on the right of Israel solely to determine areas from which it would redeploy “could prove to be the final blow to Resolution 242.”(18)


A glance at the “Israel Advanced Proposals and Options for the Final Status of the Palestinian Territories” maps [see pages 16-17] demonstrate the absurdity of Israeli attempts to deal with the renewed demographic problem resulting from the 1967 war without giving up the occupied territories. Some version of either option B, C, E, or F appears to be what the Israeli leadership may be prepared to offer for some sort of Palestinian “entity.” The publication of recent documents give clear indication of the direction in which the final status “negotiations” may go regarding the issue of land area.

Further Redeployments (FRD): The Next State of the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement – Legal Aspects, 19 January 1997.

Building immediately on the gains made by the Hebron Protocol and attached minutes, letters, and notes, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued this document. In it, Israel reaffirms that it alone will determine the extent of redeployment, and grounds its legal argument in the 1995 Interim Agreement as well as Christopher’s letter to Netanyahu attached to the Hebron Protocol. Summarizing the “legal” arguments regarding redeployment and extension of Palestinian authority in the territories, the document states:

The extent of the first two stages of the redeployment is left to be determined by Israel, while at the conclusion of the third and final phase the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Council is to cover some, but not necessarily all, West Bank and Gaza Strip territory. in those areas in which the FRD take place, permanent status issues – among them settlements, military locations and borders – will remain under Israeli jurisdiction, as will other areas required for the exercise of Israel’s overall responsibility for Israelis and borders.

Following the completion of the FRD process, Israeli forces in the FRD areas will have redeployed to specified military locations to be determined by Israel. The Interim Agreement places no restriction on the number of forces in these areas, or their ability to move outside these areas, while fulfilling security responsibilities in accordance with the Agreement.

The interim agreement does not require that areas transferred to Palestinian jurisdiction in the FRD process will enjoy the status of Area A. The FRD provisions of the agreement indicate that there will still be areas with the status of Area B, i.e., Israel will still have the overriding responsibility for security in these areas. [Emphasis added]. (19)

The Beilin/Eitan (Labor/Likud) Agreement, 22 January 1997

Members of both parties spearheaded by Yossi Beilin and Michael Eitan worked for several months to produce a solution acceptable to most party members. Commenting on the Beilin/Eitan draft, Tayseer Khalid wrote:

The document begins with the assumption that the Camp David accord with Egypt, and the Oslo Agreement with the PLO have created a historic platform for dialogue between what the document calls the “Jewish national movement in the land of Israel,” and the “national movement of the Arabs OF [emphasis added] the land of Israel.” Thus, from its outset, the document strips the Palestinian national movement of its identity, by considering it the movement of a foreign element living on the “land of Israel,” and not the national movement of a people living in their homeland, fighting for their legitimate rights.

. . . the document allows for the founding of a Palestinian entity, but an entity which would be subject to an endless list of restrictions and regulations. The Palestinians could call this entity a state, believes Beilin, but it would be an entity subject to Israeli control The entity could also be called an area of extended self-rule, according to Eitan, but self-rule under Israeli sovereignty. Beilin’s “Palestinian state: would be founded on a section of the land Israel occupied in 1967, excluding Jerusalem, “Israel’s capital, within its municipal borders,” as does Michael Eitan’s “extended self-rule.”

This Palestinian entity would be the final solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which would create a state of peace. But even amidst this state of peace, the document states that Israel should retain the ability to safeguard the interests of its people and its security needs. Thus, each peace agreement concerning final-status arrangements “should not contain a pledge to uproot Jewish communities [i.e., settlements] in the western land of Israel” [here accepting the notion that western Israel is the whole territory west of the Jordan River, with the implication that Jordan is the eastern land of Israel] or “harm the settlers’ rights to retain their Israeli citizenship, and to remain connected, both as individuals and communities, with the state of Israel,” according to the document.(20)

“On another sensitive issue, the future of the millions of Palestinian refugees, the joint document reiterated that Israel would retain the right to prevent them from returning to Israeli territory.”(21) A recent book on the issue of Palestinian refugees, representing in part U.S. State Department deliberations about the issue, has not been embraced by Israel to date although its position is favorable to Israel. The author, Professor Donna E. Arzt of Syracuse University maintains, in essence,

. . . that Middle East peace can only be achieved when all Palestinian refugees are offered dual citizenship, compensation for lost property [to be shared on a “no fault” basis by all parties involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and that they should also share responsibility for refugee absorption], and voluntary residence in either a future Palestinian state [entity] or other Arab states, the broader international community, or, ‘on family reunification grounds’, repatriation in Israel.(22)

The author suggests no more than 75,000 refugees maximum be readmitted to Israel and Jerusalem. Reportedly, Israel favors resettling a large portion of the refugees, especially those in Lebanon, in Iraq. The official Iraqi News Agency reported that a decree by Iraq’s top government body, the Revolutionary Command Council said that, “All Arabs, except Palestinians, are allowed to request from the Interior Ministry to be granted Iraqi citizenship.”(23) “The Arab League has long demanded that no Arab country grant citizenship to Palestinians, saying that Palestinians must return to their homeland.”(24)

Finally the Beilin/Eitan document urges the Israeli government to give up as little land to the Palestinians as possible during interim-phase redeployment, since the borders created through the interim phase redeployment will set the final-status boundaries for the Palestinian entity. The document concludes: “If the borders are not finalized before the third redeployment, Israel will [only offer up] to 50% of the West Bank. . . designated as territories A and B.”(25)

In response to a question regarding the Beilin/Eitan document’s importance for final status negotiations, Dr. Aaron Miller of the U.S. Department of State said on 11 February 1997 at a Harvard University seminar that the document would be important in further negotiations.

A.M. Rosenthal, “Israel’s Red-Line Map”(26)

The New York Times columnist, A.M. Rosenthal, apparently gained access to the map that Netanyahu presented to President Clinton. “It showed territory he [Netanyahu] said Israel would insist on holding as essential to the defense of the country.” Rosenthal further noted that “West Bank land would be divided about half and half between Israeli and Palestinian control. Towns, cities and about 99 percent of the population would be under Palestinian rule.”(27) This again reaffirms the talk and documents coming out of official Israel.

As the 7 March 1997 first redeployment date approached, the Israeli government announced its intentions to redeploy from 9% of the West Bank. This was misleading since 7% was simply to change from status B where the Palestinian Authority already has authority over social services, to status A which would allow it to exercise security control as well. Only 2% of Area C would be new, and it would become part of Area B. The Palestinians had expected that Israel would redeploy from an additional 30% of the West Bank in this first of three redeployments. As a result of the meager offer as well as the determination of Israel to add another enclosing settlement in East Jerusalem on Jebel Abu Ghneim, Arafat has refused to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu for final status talks unless he halts construction on the new settlement. Netanyahu has refused thus far. The reported, but not formally offered,(28) Israeli granting of landing rights for Arafat’s aircraft at the Dahaniya airfield in the Gaza Strip, a much delayed decision, was dangled as a carrot to veil the stick.


In June 1967, Netanyahu’s Allon Plus Plan was revealed. Israel would retain Greater Jerusalem and its post-1967 expanded municipal boundaries including Ma’ale Adumim and the Etzion Bloc; the corridor from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be expanded; the Jordan Valley would be annexed along with all existing and new settlements in the area; and a “security belt,” that is parallel to the Green Line separating pre-1967 Israel and the West Bank would extend eastwards to incorporate all the settlements beyond that line. Palestinians would be offered 40% of the West Bank and approximately 50% of Gaza for some sort of entity. The 40% West Bank area would not be a contiguous land mass. It would be crosscut horizontally and vertically by bypass roads for Jews only. The only connection between the parts of this entity, including the section in Gaza, would be by designated roads. Israel would redeploy its forces from those areas with the option to re-enter if “security” problems developed. Israel would continue to control water resources, borders, external and internal defense, and major economic transactions. Numerous other restrictions would also be imposed, effectively incarcerating and suffocating Palestinian social, political and economic development. This plan has similarities to the Beilin/Eitan Agreement.(29)

Arafat’s previous acquiescence to Israeli terms has weakened his position, even as a large segment of the international community recognizes Israeli excesses in the present process. Arafat’s continuing to accede to Israeli terms will further estrange him from the Palestinian people who are already disenchanted by the vast corruption in his government and his inability to extract gains from the Israelis. Not to accede to Israeli terms – even when sugar-coated with minor concessions due to be made in any case – may lead to additional Israeli infringements on Palestinian life that result in violence. Much would seem to depend on what role the regional actors, the European community, and the United States play.

As of this writing (August 1997), the Oslo process is at a standstill. The United States is attempting to redefine the process to quicken the pace of final status negotiations. More concessions are being requested from the Palestinians in order to restore the talks.


Many observers have noted correctly the similarities between pre-Mandela South Africa and Palestine, especially as they relate to Israeli apartheid practices, and their anticipated outcome of a Bantustan-like Palestinian entity. Additionally, however, I would like to draw comparison and contrast with the African-American experience. After years of slavery, emancipation was declared by Lincoln in 1863. Legal freedom did not mean actual freedom, but nonetheless emancipation was followed by a Reconstruction period lasting some ten years. During this period, African-Americans from the south were elected to high positions in government, introduced public education in various states, wrote lasting state constitutions, and began to exercise their citizenship rights. However, as the North sought commercial relations with the South, Northerners tempered their insistence on equality for African-Americans. The white Southerners aggressively reasserted their dominance and promoted legal segregation. The Post-Reconstruction period was hard on African-Americans, but even so, they somehow began to rebuild communal bonds and institutions which later, particularly after World War II allowed them to mount yet another drive for equality. Although the present situation in America is far from ideal, and racism remains strong, African- Americans have nonetheless developed a reservoir of leadership, political acumen, and more access to power than before, and can continue their drive for equality.

The Palestinians after 1948 never experienced emancipation from refugee and occupation statuses in spite of international [abolitionist] recognition of their plight. Oslo was portrayed as the equivalent of the Reconstruction period that would eventually lead to emancipation and continued construction. Instead, the agreements contained in the Hebron Protocol put the final nail in the coffin of any real hopes for Reconstruction followed by emancipation. The Palestinians find themselves in a Post-Reconstruction period without ever having experienced emancipation or Reconstruction, and are “legally” incarcerated by Oslo. The real question for them is can they, like African-Americans, begin to regather and rebuild communal and institutional bonds to reassert their historical drive for national rights to statehood in Palestine? Their task is more difficult, given that they live under three different types of jurisdiction, and they are monitored not only by Israel, the United States, and specific Arab governments, but also by the Palestinian Authority under Arafat.


The Stirrings: The Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization

The Palestinian Authority under Arafat is responsible for the autonomous areas in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestine Liberation Organization is the umbrella organization representing Palestinians in the territories and the diaspora, and traditionally it was the representative vehicle for Palestinian national rights to sovereign statehood in Palestine. Arafat is Chairman of the PLO. What concerns Palestinians, given Arafat’s record to date, is that in addition to signing agreements that have effectively negated all U.N. resolutions supporting Palestinian national reassertion rights, he will also sign away the Palestinian right to return contained in Resolution 194. Hence, segments of the Palestinian population are initiating efforts to rescue the PLO from Arafat, and reassert their juridical right of return, and to sovereign statehood in Palestine.

Even if Arafat and his colleagues still embrace hope for a Palestinian state, it seems quite clear from the documents available that that goal is unobtainable no matter what name Israel attaches to the “entity.” Moreover, the right of Palestinian return appears to be diminishing daily due to the Oslo process. Nonetheless, there are the beginning signs of Palestinian “Post-Reconstruction” regrouping and rethinking of strategy.

Organizing a Strategy of Return.

Quite a number of Palestinian intellectual and popular leaders have initiated discussions within the diaspora Palestinian community regarding restoration of the internationally recognized Palestinian juridical right of return and national sovereignty. They have differentiated the PLO from the PA, and by implication, wish to reappropriate it as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. A recent article by Naseer Aruri defined the context of the task.(30) Efforts continue by these leaders to organize a forum for discussion about the right of return that will advance planning and strategy.

Among Palestinian refugees of 1948 in camps in the West Bank and Gaza, popular conferences are being held and declarations issued. Typical of such conferences is the one held in Deheishe Camp in the Bethlehem District. Among the decisions and recommendations made were the following:

Time has come for the refugee community to organize itself in popular committees and to design a strategic program of struggle based on the hidden capacities of the people – the refugees themselves – who, with their unity, patience, and clear objectives, have maintained the struggle for their national rights.

The refugees in the Bethlehem district express their concern and a warning of the implications of the weakness of the Oslo agreements in the refugee issue, and state their readiness to continue and to renew the struggle for the transfer of the negotiations on the refugee question from the current bi-lateral forum to the hall of the United Nations

Based on the above, we the participants in the conference declare to the public and swear to our people and to our refugee brothers all over the diaspora, that we will continue the struggle for the implementation of UN Resolution 194 which states our right to return and to compensation. The strength of this resolution derives from the international consensus prevailing for decades. . . [a number of UN Resolutions are cited].

Any negotiations or programs on the refugee question which bypass the international resolutions and decisions on our right to return to our homeland and property . . . will receive, from our side, nothing but struggle and resistance.

By this call for action and struggle for the implementation of the international resolutions, we demand from the bodies [i.e. refugee councils] to be elected, as well as from the PNA [i.e. the Palestinian National Authority under Arafat], to join efforts against the calls for the solution of the refugee question in regional frameworks [resettlement] . . . .

Based on study of past experience, the PNA must reconsider its negotiation program and method All negotiations on the refugee question must be channeled back to the arena of the United Nations and its bodies, so as to pressure the UN and the international community to implement the legitimate resolutions and all relevant human rights declarations. [The PNA must] take its source of power from the people, and stand up against any effort to cancel, or change these resolutions.

We demand that the PNA and the PLO, the only legitimate representative of our people, set initiatives to support the efforts for the establishment and development of bodies of coordination between the camps and dispersed refugees, so as to confront the schemes aimed at transforming us into separate communities in different countries.(31)

While acknowledging the Palestinian Authority, the refugees were putting Arafat on notice that they were expecting his noninterference with their effort. Arafat immediately organized a ministry under the PLO to “oversee” refugee issues, in essence to try to exercise control over the refugees and their initiatives.

Resurrecting the Binational Democratic Secular State

Whatever the final shape of the Palestinian entity, it is clear that conditions will become more volatile. What is being recognized today is that no matter what the entity is called, it will still be subject to Israeli interests and ultimate authority. Hence, it is clear that the whole of Israel/Palestine is already one state – a binational state – with Palestinian enclaves – mini-Bantustans if you will – to be formalized in final status negotiations if they ever resume. It can be safely assumed from the above documents that the Israeli government will continue to set the terms of Palestinian life. The Palestinian Authority even if later it is called a “government” – is and will be the instrument of Israeli state authority. When it fails to meet the terms stemming from the Israeli interpretation and reinterpretation of the Oslo agreements and protocols, and with the acquiescence of the United States, it can “legally” be bypassed by the Israeli government to assure those terms. If Israel is the effective power and authority, then the anticipated Palestinian entity can not ever be defined as independent and sovereign. The subservient terms that will be imposed on the Palestinian entity, piled on top of the already deteriorating conditions of Palestinian life, will ultimately lead to a popular Palestinian demand for equal rights in the Israeli/Palestinian state.

Indeed it has become absurd to observe the micro slicing of bypass roads, streets and neighborhoods to remove Palestinians from sight and allow them the least amount of land, with the least amount of resources, and the least amount of authority over their lives. It is simply not a workable solution. And with the demise of a real two-state option, it becomes clear that Palestinians will struggle for equality within the existing state.

Only in one democratic state with equal citizenship for both peoples can the freedom of movement, access to equitable water resources, participation in decision-making and economic development take place. Freedom of movement in Jerusalem and full access to all sacred shrines would be natural. Only in one democratic state can the issue of the refugees ultimately be resolved, and the inequality of Palestinian citizens of Israel and those under occupation/autonomy be rectified. Then, and then only, will Israeli Jews be relieved of the burdens attached to the denial of Palestinian rights. The state would most likely be a binational state, a sort of federation of Jewish and Palestinian nations.

Realization that a binational state is the only solution will occur by default and not by Israeli or U.S. intent. There will probably be much struggle over a prolonged period before this happens. The length of time and the degree of violence will relate in part to how well the “Post-Reconstructionist” Palestinians recreate themselves and engage the international community and Israelis in this effort. There are already a number of discussions taking place about it, working papers being developed, and conferences being planned. For example, a recent meeting of Palestinian intellectuals and NGO leaders held at the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine devoted a long session to discussing this option and its feasibility. The Hebron Solidarity Committee, with Palestinian and Israeli membership, has a single democratic state as its official position. Several conferences in Washington, Europe and elsewhere are being planned for the Fall of 1997 and Winter of 1998 to deliberate on options for peace in the area which include discussion of the single state option.

A number of recent articles speak to a binational state. Among them are: Jenab Tutunji and Kamal Khaldi, “A Binational State in Palestine: the Rational Choice for Palestinians and the Moral Choice for Israelis,”(32) and one by a Palestinian citizen of Israel, As’ad Ghanem, “The Only Solution: One Egalitarian, Bi-national State.”(33) After noting that Palestinian citizens of Israel have not been able to achieve equality in the state because it is a state of the Jewish nation and not of its citizens, Ghanem concludes that a binational state is the only answer for Palestinians everywhere. He notes:

The only viable alternative is one egalitarian, binational, sovereign state on all the territory of Palestine/Eretz Israel. . . . Sovereignty and government would be shared, with all that implies.(34)

Palestinian citizen of Israel and Member of the Knesset, Azmi Bishara, has long held this position as the only viable and moral one to solve both the Palestinian and Jewish national problems.

In a recent edition of Middle East International, the editor observed that the ideological bravado of the Palestinian Covenant aside, “. . .the one-state solution it envisaged still looks far more feasible, and equitable, than the task of devising a workable territorial separation of Jew and Arab in what was once Palestine.”(35) No matter how much Israeli leadership has tried to remove/dispose of the Palestinians and their national claims, and no matter how much Palestinians have sought to reassert themselves within Palestine, ultimately, it seems that they will have to share the country equitably sooner or later. The present 3.5 million Palestinians – including the Palestinian citizens of Israel – cannot forever be bottled up by the present 5 million plus Israeli Jews. The one democratic state solution for two nations is both logical and humane. But the question remains, can Palestinians regroup themselves and develop a strategy to encourage a revival and develop further the 1940s Jewish binational movement to effect this goal with and for both peoples, or must the area experience prolonged and spontaneous conflict before rational minds apprehend the binational solution?

In a 1978 article, the late I.F. Stone asked, “How can we [Jews] talk of human rights and ignore them for the Palestinian Arabs? How can Israel talk of the Jewish right to a homeland and deny one to the Palestinians? How can there be peace without some measure of justice?”(36) He concluded, “This [a binational state] is the path to reconciliation, and reconciliation alone can guarantee Israel’s survival. Israel can exhaust itself in new wars. It can commit suicide. It can pull down the pillars on itself and its neighbors. But it can live only by reviving that spirit of fraternity and justice and conciliation that the Prophets preached and the Other Zionism [here he refers to the bi-nationalists and those who favored equality for Palestinian Arabs] sought to apply.”(37)

* As a footnote to the history of this period, it should be noted the PLO Beirut Representative, Shafiq El Hour, was granted a visa by the U.S. State Department to visit certain American campuses in 1979. The pro-Israel lobby opposed the granting of the visa, but it was issued. The real purpose of the trip was to talk with academic “proxies” who could “represent” Israeli thinking on the Palestinian question. El Hout publicly announced in a seminar at Harvard University that the PLO was focused now only on the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem as the location of the Palestinian State. This was based on the PLO position that had evolved since 1974 and was reinforced by the Palestine National Council in 1977. In private conversations with academics and various non-academic Zionists, he found no positive response to his explorations. [The author was responsible for escorting El Hout to various meetings, to which she was also invited.]


1. Simha Flapan, Zionism and the Palestinians, Croom and Helm, London, 1979, p. 265.

2. Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, Pantheon Books, New York, 1987, especially pp. 15-53.

3. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, May 14, 1948, p. 2 []

4. Norman G. Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, New York, Verso, 1995, especially pp. 51-87.

5. Janet L. Abu-Lughod, “The Demographic Transformation of Palestine,” in Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, The Transformation of Palestine, Northwestern University Press, Evanston, IL, 1971, p. 156.

6. Flapan, Zionism, p. 354.

7. Benjamin N. Schiff, Refugees unto the Third Generation: UN Aid to Palestinians, Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, 1995.

8. Michael W. Suleiman, (ed.), U.S. Policy on Palestine from Wilson to Clinton, AAUG, Washington, D.C., 1995; and Naseer Aruri, The Obstruction of Peace: The U.S., Israel. and the Palestinians, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine, 1995.

9. Fayez A. Sayegh, “The Camp David ‘Framework for Peace’: An Agreement on Procedures or a Declaration of Principles,” in Faith Zeadey, (Ed), Camp David: A New Balfour Declaration, Special Report, No. 3, February 1979, AAUG, Washington, D.C., pp. 13-23.

10. The Camp David Accords, September 17, 1978, “The Framework for Peace in the Middle East,” p.3.

11. Taken from the author’s notes of the meeting with President Carter, 15 December 1977. Also see, Jane J. Terry, “The Carter Administration and the Palestinians,” in Suleiman, U.S. Policy, pp. 163-172.

12. Reproduced in the Journal of Palestine Studies, Volume 18, No. 2, Winter 1989, “Documents and Source Material, pp. 213-216.

13. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel’s Peace initiative, May 14, 1989, pp. 1-2.

14. Aruri, Obstruction of Peace, pp. 169-216.

15. Joel Singer, “The Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements: Some Legal Aspects,” in Justice, February 1994, p. 6.

16. JMCC, Palestine Report, 25 January 1997.

17. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Statement to the Knesset by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Protocol Concerning Redeployment in Hebron, 16 January 1997, p.3. Also see Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Letter Provided by U.S. Secretary of State Christopher to Benjamin Netanyahu at the Time of Signing of the Hebron Protocol.

18. Lamis Andoni, “Hebron – the danger of a precedent,” in Middle East International, 7 February 1997, pp. 17-18.

19. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Further Redeployments: The Next Stage of the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement, Legal Aspects, 19 January 1997, pp. 2-5.

20. Tayseer Khalid, “The Truth about the Beilin-Eitan Agreement,” Palestine Report, 7 February 1997.

21. Serge Schmemann, “Israeli Legislators Draft Bipartisan Peace Plan,” The New York Times, 26 January 1997.

22. George S. Hishmeh, “Solution to Palestinian Refugees Seen in Dual Citizenship,” USIA Newsgroup, 28 January 1997, a review of Donna E. Arzt, Refugees into Citizens, Council of Foreign Relations, New York, 1996.

23. Quoted from the IINS News Service, Israel, 28 July 1997, AP/Dow Jones and forwarded by electronic mail by the SNS News Headlines Services to list subscribers.

24. Ibid.

25. Unofficial photocopy of the National Agreement Regarding the Negotiations on Permanent Settlement with the Palestinians, 4 pp.

26. The New York Times, 18 February 1997.

27. Ibid.

28. Associated Press Release, 17 March 1997, by Said Ghazali writing from Jerusalem.

29. Haim Baram, “Netanyahu’s ‘Piece’ Plan,” Middle East International no. 552, 13 June 1997, pp. 3-4.

30. Naseer Aruri, “Palestine – how to redress the wrongs of OSLO?”, Middle East International, 25 October 1996.

31. “Recommendations and Decisions Issued by the First Popular Refugee Conference in Deheishe Refugee Camp/Bethlehem, reproduced in Article 74, Issue No. 17, September 1996, Alternative Information Center, Jerusalem.

32. In International Affairs, vol. 73, no. 1, 1997, pp. 31-58.

33. In News from Within, volume 13, no. 1, January 1997, pp. 12-15.

34. Ibid, p. 15.

35. Middle East International, 24 January 1997, p. 1.

36. I.F. Stone, Underground to Palestine and Reflections Thirty Years Later, Hutchinson and Co., London, 1979, p. 235. Stone felt that either two equal states in Palestine must emerge or a binational one. In a sense, the Israelis have missed the opportunity to resolve the problem with a real two state solution, and have now created conditions which can only be resolved by a democratic binational state.

37. Ibid, p. 260.

Elaine C. Hagopian is Professor Emerita of Sociology, Simmons College, Boston. She is also a past president of the Association of Arab-American University Graduates. An earlier version of this article was presented in February 1997 at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

COPYRIGHT 1997 Association of Arab-American University Graduates and Institute of Arab Studies

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