What went wrong? Learning from the mistakes of Oslo | + Magazine
May 30, The old warrior, Yitzhak Rabin, had realised that Israel needed peace. ..  The next day, at a Geneva press conference, Yassir Arafat met the test set This is not said as a criticism of others; it is more a criticism of myself .. We believe that the PLO has met Israel halfway on important issues and it. Nov 11, I had met Arafat during a visit to Tunis five years previously, had He stopped halfway up, turned to the crowd, began to speak – and was immediately interrupted. The room in which Rabin appeared was meticulously prepared, with a and the man next to me, translating, struggled to find the right word. Back to Avalon is the sixth solo album from soft rock singer Kenny Loggins. Released in , it For the Black Eyed Peas song, see Meet Me Halfway.
Address final status issues. While core issues might wait until the end of the negotiations, they must be solved in the current process, says Abusada: There cannot be an agreement without solving these two.
Shared final status vision. It seems obvious, and the sounds coming out of Washington do appear geared towards final status, but the point is more complex. Hiba Husseini, a Palestinian attorney who chairs the Legal Committee to Final Status Negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis and has been a legal advisor to the peace process negotiations sincesays that the overall final status vision should be hewn from shared perspectives and common needs, not exclusive, zero-sum interests of each side.
Water, for example, is a shared resource with obvious importance to both: We say, we have right to the water. So we are stuck and Israel is stuck. The end result is that Israel uses water resources and sells our water back to us.
“Norwegians? Who needs Norwegians?”
Anat Lapidot-Firilla, the academic director of the Mediterranean Neighbours program and a senior research fellow at the Van Leer Institute believes that Oslo failed to establish a body charged with actually implementing peace — not something run by government ministries, but a body with authority, some measure of independence and, she specifies, substantial funding: Watch out for spoilers. Look behind you, the enemy is not always in front of you.
Lapidot-Firilla speaks of the need to address larger dissatisfied groups beyond just radical or extreme individuals. She recommends engaging those who feel affected, offended or hurt by the agreement. The Gaza withdrawal included the same mistake: Oversee implementation, solve problems on the ground. Fast phases or none at all. I will take the liberty of adding the final criticism.the black eyed peas - meet me halfway @ victoria's secret fashion show
Agreements cannot be isolated from their context, and the Middle East is a place of hot tempers and short fuses; the only predictable thing is the unpredictable. No implementation stretched out over six years can expect to face the same challenges of six years earlier.
Arafat didn't negotiate - he just kept saying no
The phased element of Oslo, I believe, was a result of the fundamentally interim nature of the accords. Through a series of secret talks held in and around Oslo, representatives of the Israeli and Palestinian leaders had managed to agree on a Declaration of Principles that paved the way for the establishment of the Palestinian Self-Government Authority and mutual recognition between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization PLO. A major turning point had been reached in Palestinian—Israeli relations.
Rarely had the Middle East witnessed such a moment of hope as on that bright September day. The President of the United States, Bill Clinton, was present as a witness — together with engrossed audiences throughout the world, watching this major event on their television sets. Few parties had ever been enmeshed in a more vicious spiral of hostilities than the Israelis and their Palestinian neighbours. Countless previous efforts by individuals, organizations, and large and small states to open up direct channels of dialogue between Israel and the PLO had all ended in failure.
What had made Norway, of all countries, suitable for such an extraordinary task? The proper framework and the proper context must first be established, and several important questions answered. Why did the Israelis and the Palestinians go to Oslo in ? What motivated them to sign the historic peace agreement in Washington that autumn day in ? And, most important of all: In addition to many individuals, organizations, and large and small states, the major superpower in the region — the USA — had been attempting for years to stop the fighting over the lands both parties claimed were theirs and theirs alone.
The Middle East conflict was definitely ripe for mediation. Israeli and Palestinian leaders needed and wanted peace; they saw their interests best served by a peaceful solution. This attitude was triggered by fundamental changes internationally, regionally and nationally, and constituted the basis for making the Oslo Back Channel possible. However, this ripeness does not explain why it was Norway, and not some other, and perhaps, more powerful actor, that succeeded in bringing the two parties together.
The Israeli Labour Party had just won the election. The old warrior, Yitzhak Rabin, had realised that Israel needed peace. For years he had claimed that Israel would have to enter into a dialogue with the PLO, but he had been met with little sympathy.
During his visit, Egeland was to try to find out whether there was any possibility of secret negotiations. For Beilin it would have been political suicide — as well as contravening Israeli law — to become directly involved in any kind of direct contact with the PLO. Instead he suggested two Israeli academics, Yair Hirschfeld and Ron Pundak, as suitable for the mediation task. These two were already in frequent contact with Palestinians. They could easily talk with the PLO.
And, if anything happened to get leaked or if the negotiations should break down, they could deny the whole mission. With Fafo as host and the Norwegian Foreign Ministry paying the bill, a modest start was made. Several books and articles have already been published on Norway and the special Norwegian participants who managed to start the secret back channel and to help negotiate this serious attempt at peace.
Myths have also been created. As in fairy tales, there is a strong focus on the role of the players, followed by personality-centred explanations: His pleasant and elegant wife, Mona Juul, represented the specialist, working with Middle East questions in the Foreign Ministry.
Jan Egeland, handsome, result-oriented and idealistic by nature, had written a thesis in political science about how small states could create results in international politics that were unattainable for the superpowers. Now he wanted to test his theory in practice. This unique chemistry between the Oslo participants was an important part of the Norwegian channel. A special relation of trust and confidence existed; they were all linked together by a kind of common fate.
Other factors are also cited to explain the success: If it became necessary, the parties could deny that negotiations had taken place. In addition, no one following the peace talks in Washington would ever suspect that a peripheral country like Norway could have any role, whatsoever, to play in the Middle East. However, the explanations normally given of the Oslo Back Channel and the superficial sketch set out here must be put into a broader framework. In all that has been written, surprisingly little emphasis has been put on the very special relationship between Norway and the Middle East conflict throughout the post-war period.
Recent research has shown that a very special relationship did indeed exist between Norway and Israel, long before the exciting days of the secret Norwegian back channel. Or is it decisive in explaining how Norway could play such an important role?
“Norwegians? Who needs Norwegians?” - thefreeemoticons.info
If these important research questions are to be answered in any meaningful way, the political past first has to be unearthed, elaborated and explained. The crucial beginnings, the decisive formative years of the Norwegian—Israeli relationship in the s and s, of utmost importance for the understanding of the whole post-war period, will be looked into.
Then, the significance of the change in the Norwegian Middle East policy from the s and onwards will be discussed. Was there a gradual change in Norwegian Middle East policy from the s? Did Norway manage to maintain the old friendship with Israel while, at the same time, establishing close contacts with the Palestinians? Or was there merely a rhetorical shift? The road to Oslo Ideally, mediation takes place when the implicated parties find that the costs of continued confrontation are too high.
An intractable conflict like that in the Middle East has over the years attracted many attempts at mediation. In the all too recent past, they have failed. Neither the conflict nor the timing have been ripe. The important parties had not been sufficiently willing to search for a peaceful settlement. Unlike the ripening of a fruit, the development of ripe moments in a conflict is neither a predictable nor a smooth process.
In a conflict, ripe moments can come and go quickly if not spotted and acted upon. All parties involved need to be open to the idea of a peaceful solution and see their interests served by such a solution.
The perceptions and the dispositions of the parties are of utmost importance. In the Middle East conflict, potential mediators have tried for years to convince the parties that a peaceful solution was both desirable and possible. But as long as the parties themselves did not share this perception, such exhortations were to no avail. The ripeness of a conflict, it has been claimed, is one of the most significant factors behind a successful mediation process.
Indeed, it has been held to be even more significant than the status or identity of the mediator, in this case Norway. However, ripeness theory mainly explains why the parties are willing to enter into negotiations, not the negotiation process in itself or its outcome. There is disagreement as to whether such a mutually hurting stalemate existed prior to the opening of the Oslo Back Channel, and consequently whether it can be used to explain the outcome.
It has been argued that both sides had been experiencing a hurting stalemate. True, the Arab states had narrowly averted a catastrophe in the Gulf War. This might have been a component of a ripe moment, but it was not associated with a particularly painful deadlock. The conflict seemed ripe for a settlement, a historic compromise that ultimately would result in partition and a two-state solution. If this interpretation is correct, it is important to determine the short and long-term interests and developments that worked to create the necessary ripeness.
Oslo was a successful experience precisely because it took place just when changes in political circumstances, nationally and globally, made perceptions of gains, losses and risks so very different from what they had been for more than thirty years.
In addition to many individuals, organizations, and large and small states, the major superpower active in the region — the USA — had for years attempted to stop the fighting over the lands both parties claimed were theirs and theirs alone. It set in motion a gradually evolving process over more than two decades that ultimately led to the Oslo accord. The famous UN Resolutionunanimously adopted by the Security Council on 22 Novemberbecame an important instrument in every negotiation and mediation attempt that was to follow.
However, the ambiguities in the text of the resolution, necessary to get all the parties to accept it, led to the Israelis using Resolution to oppose withdrawal from the Occupied Territories.