Oslo: Twenty Years Later Event Recap
By Enia Krivine
Director of Congressional Affairs
Election season has kicked into high gear in Washington DC. The United States Congress goes into recess in August and the Members will return to their districts to campaign for reelection. As our legislators brace themselves for the November elections, it seems that some issues are placed on the back burner. One of those important issues is the Arab Israeli conflict.
However this year, before the Members of Congress concluded the business of the 112th Congress, the Israel Allies Foundation, under the leadership of Rabbi Benny Elon, held an event on Capitol Hill to have a frank conversation about the failure of the Middle East peace process. Oslo – 20 Years Later took place on July 19th in Longworth House Office Building. The purpose of the event was to bring together leaders and experts to evaluate the past 20 years of negotiating for a two state solution.
The event consisted of two panels, with representation from the political right and the political left on each panel. Although there was disagreement on how to move forward towards a lasting peace between Israel and her neighbors, it was clear that there was consensus on one point: the Oslo Accords are “finished and a failure."
"The Oslo Accords was a stillbirth from the beginning,” said Rabbi Benny Elon, a former Israeli Minister of Tourism and President of the Israel Allies Foundation. “We created a ticking bomb and it was only a matter of when it would explode.”
Danny Danon, a Likud Member of the Knesset, added: “I make a new proposal of three countries: Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. Establishment of a Palestinian state in the heart of the country is like establishing an Al Qaeda state in Washington."
In addition to Elon and Danon, participants at the IIACF conference included former Minister of Justice and Oslo architect Yossi Beilin, Jerusalem Post Deputy Managing Editor Caroline Glick, veteran State Department peace negotiator and Woodrow Wilson International Distinguished Scholar Aaron David Miller, American Task Force on Palestine Executive Director Ghaith al-Omari, Foundation for Defense of Democracies Vice President of Research Jonathan Schanzer, and several Members of Congress.
The IIACF was honored to host such a pivotal event, which brought important and diverse voices agree to sit together in the House of Representatives with the hope of injecting new life into the failed peace process.