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The Oslo Accords are dead, and the Palestinians killed them

The Oslo Accords are dead. They have been null and void since September 23rd 2011. And in the absence of a framework for peace to which the Palestinians are willing to adhere, it is the prerogative of the Israeli people to act in their own best interests.

Rabin and Arafat shake on it. Washington, September 13th, 1993
Jacob Campbell
On 28 September 2011 09:09

The Oslo Accords are dead.

They are no more. They have ceased to be. They've expired and gone to meet their maker. Bereft of life, they rest in peace. They're pushing up the daisies. They are history. Off the twig. Kicked the bucket. They've shuffled off their mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!

These are ex-accords!

Is that absolutely clear?

Apparently not, because still we hear talk of the Israeli government threatening to torpedo the agreements in retaliation for the Palestinian Authority's unilateral statehood bid.

In June, the Guardian ran with the story "Israel warns Palestinians all deals are off if UN vote goes ahead", and since then the notion of Israel "tearing up" the Oslo Accords has become a popular refrain in the newspaper's coverage of Mahmoud Abbas' plans for Palestinian independence.

And in a testament to the principle that a big lie told often enough soon becomes received wisdom (in which the Guardian is well practiced), even the Daily Mail mentioned in a recent report that "Israeli ministers are threatening to rip up the Oslo accords".

But the truth is that Israel can no more break with the Oslo Accords than Russia could break with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

Now, an expert on international law I am not. But I am - I think it fair to say - literate. And basic literacy is really the only qualification one needs to recognise that the Oslo Accords have been null and void since September 23rd 2011.

The 1993 Declaration of Principles clearly stipulates that a Palestinian state should only be pursued "through the agreed political process".

The subsequent 1995 Interim Agreement ("Oslo 2") goes further, explicitly prohibiting either side from taking "any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations".

If seeking official UN recognition of Palestine as a state isn't attempting to change the status of the Palestinian territories, then what is?

There is no excuse for breaking with protocol in this manner.

Nobody can seriously argue that Israel has not been committed to fruitful negotiations, or the painful concessions which they invariably entail. Generous offers of Palestinian statehood were forthcoming from Ehud Barak in 2000 and Ehud Olmert in 2008, and they were met with rejection on both occasions.

Even Benjamin Netanyahu - a "hawk" by many people's standards - made the unprecedented step of freezing settlement construction for ten months, though that too failed to entice the Palestinian negotiators.

To all but those blinded by their hatred for the Jewish state, it is abundantly clear that the Palestinian Authority - not Israel - has killed the Oslo Accords.

Thus, Israel is both legally and morally unbound by its previous obligations. And in the absence of a framework for peace to which the Palestinians are willing to adhere, it is the prerogative of the Israeli people to act in their own best interests.

For their part, Palestinians will have to live with the consequences of their leaders' transgression.

Jacob Campbell is Press Officer for UKIP Friends of Israel. Visit for more information, or follow @UKIPFOI on Twitter.

Read more on: jacob campbell, ukip friends of israel, UKIP, Oslo Accords, Israel, Palestine, The Guardian, The Guardian and Israel, Abbas, west bank, gaza, UN, Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence, netanyahu, Ehud Barak, and Ehud Olmert
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