OpinionColumn

The Oslo deception: New evidence

New testimony by a Palestinian Authority MP once again proves that to Yasser Arafat, the “two-state solution" was merely the first stage in a plan to eliminate Israel.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas addresses a rally in Ramallah commemorating the fifth anniversary of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's death, Nov. 11, 2009. Photo by Issam Rimawi/Flash90.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas addresses a rally in Ramallah commemorating the fifth anniversary of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's death, Nov. 11, 2009. Photo by Issam Rimawi/Flash90.
Itamar Marcus. Credit: Courtesy.
Itamar Marcus
Itamar Marcus is the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch.


As today’s 30th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords approached, Palestinian Media Watch uncovered yet another statement by a Palestinian leader admitting, or more correctly bragging, that PLO leader Yasser Arafat successfully deceived the Israeli leadership into signing a peace agreement he had no intention of fulfilling.

According to Palestinian Authority MP Munib al-Masri, Arafat’s intention from day one was for the Accords to serve as another step in his plan to destroy the State of Israel.

In a recent interview, al-Masri said that Arafat had told him that the agreement was only intended to serve as “a temporary solution.” The “two-state solution,” said al-Masri, was to have served only as the “first stage” in a wider plan.

“When Arafat presented the two-state solution at Oslo, I was very angry at him, because it said 22% for the Palestinians and the rest for the Israelis. I came to him in Tunis, and he told me: ‘[Calm] down.’ Our thought in all this was the two-state solution as a first stage… a temporary solution, until [the Palestinians] will live comfortably and are satisfied, and there will be the right of return and the like, and we will live in one democratic state [i.e., in place of Israel],” he said.

PMW has exposed many testimonies of people close to Arafat confirming that the PLO leader was never a sincere peace partner. Already in 1994, right after signing the Accords, Arafat compared the agreement the Hudaybiyyah peace treaty signed by the Prophet Muhammad—a 10-year truce between Muhammad and the Quraish Tribe of Mecca, which Muhammad broke two years later when he attacked them and conquered Mecca.

“This agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our Prophet Muhammad and Quraish, and you remember the Caliph Omar had refused this agreement and considered it ‘Sulha Dania’ [a despicable truce],” said Arafat.

“But Muhammad had accepted it and we are accepting now this [Oslo] peace accord,” he added.

Palestinian journalist and editor Abd al-Bari Atwan, who met with the Palestinian leader when he was in exile in Tunis, has also confirmed that Arafat told him that he merely wanted to use the Oslo Accords as a way to bring back “the PLO and the resistance” to “Palestine”—in other words, as a way to return terror to Israel.

In a 2018 article on the independent Arabic news website Rai Al-Youm, Atwan wrote:

“I remember that he [Arafat] took me aside when we left his office in the Jugurtha neighborhood of Tunis—on the pretext of going out for a walk and in order to get away from the listening devices—and he told me: ‘I want to tell you something that I ask you not to quote or attribute to me, except after my death.’ He let out a sigh and said: ‘I am entering Palestine through the door of Oslo, despite all my reservations, in order to return the PLO and the resistance to it, and I promise you that you will see the Jews fleeing from Palestine like mice fleeing from a sinking ship. This will not happen in my lifetime, but it will happen in your lifetime.’”

One of the clearest declarations that Oslo’s purpose was to facilitate terror was reported by PMW just months before Arafat launched the 2000 Intifada, and it was articulated by a P.A. government minister.

P.A. Minister of Supplies Abd al-Azis Shahin told Al-Ayyam on May 30, 2000 that “The Palestinian people accepted the Oslo Accords as a first step and not as a permanent settlement, based on the premise that the war and struggle in the land is more efficient than a struggle from a distant land [i.e. Tunisia]…. The Palestinian people will continue the revolution until they achieve the goals of the ‘65 revolution… [i.e., the destruction of Israel].”

Shahin could not have been more explicit. The PLO had trouble directing terror from Tunisia, and signed the Oslo Accords to solve this problem. The terror that has plagued Israel for the last 30 years was facilitated by Israel when it agreed to the creation of the Palestinian Authority.

An even earlier promise of terror came from the top of the P.A. leadership. In 1996, Nabil Shaath, chief PLO negotiator for the Oslo Accords, assured Palestinians that the automatic rifles that Israel gave the P.A. police would be turned against Israelis.

In a recording of a private meeting exposed by PMW on Jan. 15, 1996, Shaath said:

“This is the strategy… If and when Israel says ‘enough’—namely, ‘We won’t discuss Jerusalem, we won’t return refugees, we won’t dismantle settlements, we won’t withdraw to the [1967] borders’—in that case we will return to violence. But this time, it will be with 30,000 armed Palestinian soldiers and in a land with elements of freedom.” []

Israelis look at the great tragedies that were enabled by the Oslo Accords, including more than 2,000 Israelis murdered in three decades of Palestinian terror with no end in sight, and categorize the Oslo Accords as a monumental failure, while the Palestinians look at the terror and hail Oslo as a success for that exact reason.

Ziyad Abu Ein, then P.A. Deputy Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, explained on Iran’s Al-Alam television on July 4, 2006: “Oslo is the effective and potent greenhouse which embraced the Palestinian resistance. Without Oslo, there would never have been resistance. In all the occupied territories, we could not move a single pistol from place to place. Without Oslo and being armed through Oslo… we would not have been able to create this great Palestinian Intifada.”

Another Fatah leader agreed that Oslo’s success was the terror it facilitated. Sultan Abu al-Einein, then member of the Fatah Central Committee and subsequently an adviser to Abbas, explained on Al-Quds television on April 6, 2009, that: “The arms [more than 40,000 rifles] that were used against the Israeli enemy in Gaza and in other places were brought [into the P.A.] in accordance with [the Oslo] Accords. When we refer to the negative aspects of the Oslo Accords, we should also look at their other aspects.”

Oslo was a trap that fundamentally changed Israel’s security predicament from then until today. For the PLO, the Oslo Accords were an overwhelming success at facilitating terror. For Israel, the Oslo Accords didn’t fail—the peace process Israel imagined never even existed.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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