He thought "the peace accords 20 years ago could work, but Israel used them as cover for its colonial project in Palestine"
promised at least the beginning of a reconciliation between two bitterly antagonistic national movements.
Critical to the architecture of Oslo was the notion of gradualism. The text did not address any of the key issues in this dispute: Jerusalem; the right of return of 1948 refugees; the status of Jewish settlements built on occupied Palestinian land; or the borders of the Palestinian entity. All these "permanent status" issues were deferred...
And, more importantly,
The text did not promise or even mention an independent Palestinian state at the end of the transition period.
But if this is all true, which it is, why is he upset?
In October 1993, he wrote that he
believed that [the Oslo Agreement] would set in motion a gradual but irreversible process of Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and...I was wrong.
And now asserts:
In 2000 the Oslo peace process broke down following the failure of the Camp David summit and the outbreak of the second intifada...The fundamental reason was that Israel reneged on its side of the deal...Binyamin Netanyahu [held to a]...deep antagonism to Oslo, denouncing it as incompatible with Israel's right to security and with the historic right of the Jewish people to the whole land of Israel...
which, of course, it was.
And it still is.
What deeply irks him is that while
Building civilian settlements beyond the Green Line does not violate the letter of the Oslo accords but it most decidedly violates its spirit...a two-state solution is barely conceivable.
One question for Shlaim is:
if Arab building construction in Israel could be considered, and if not right now, then in the future, as inimical to Israel's existence and/or security, and the irredentist trends increase, even if gradually, this is a real possibility, and so does Israel expel Arabs, dismantle their communities, etc.?
Or is his love of Palestine - or dislike of 'colonial Israel'- so great that he can not grasp his hypocritical thinking?
Were Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin and crew so incapable of even setting in place a proper plan according to their approach which gits with Shlaim?
Are we all mixed-up?