Press Release: IIACF Hosts Dynamic “Oslo: Twenty Years Later” Event; Experts Discuss What Went Wrong
WASHINGTON – July 19, 2012
The Oslo Accords are “finished and a failure” and new proposals are paramount in order to obtain a lasting and secure peace between Israel and its neighbors.
Participants at a Capitol Hill conference on “Oslo—20 Years Later” disagreed on how to move forward but strongly concurred that the chances of the Oslo Accords being resuscitated and achieving peace in the Middle East are nil. "The Oslo Accords was a stillbirth from the beginning,” said Rabbi Benny Elon, a former Israeli Minister of Tourism and President of the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation, the event’s convenor. “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.
“After 20 years and little positive progress, the time has come to reevaluate our thinking and try a new approach, which is the only hope of moving towards a lasting peace,” the IIACF said in a statement. “Next year in September the world will commemorate 20 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords in Washington, DC. Today the peace process is at a standstill that has lasted for 20 months. Leaders and experts have declared the Middle East peace process to be ‘clinically dead.’ Despite the many indications that the peace process - with the two-state solution as its end goal - is beyond recovery, the question is whether or not alternatives exist.”
In addition to his work on Oslo, Beilin is the originator of the Geneva Initiative, which included a return to the 1949 armistice lines. “Israelis on the left and right increasingly are of the view that the status quo no longer is acceptable,” he commented, adding that it was imperative to move forward on an agreement that would ensure a “sovereign Jewish state, the one place in the world that will accept” all people of the Jewish faith who wish to enter.
Elon is the author of the Israel Initiative, which posits that Jordan is Palestine and supports Israel's annexation of Judea and Samaria, while giving Jordanian citizenship to Palestinian Arabs and rehabilitating the "refugees" with Western aid. “The time has come for all parties involved to stop lying to themselves and deal with the truth,” Elon said. “Waiting and waiting and pretending that Oslo is working, and that we should continue to embrace it, is the very definition of insanity.”
IIACF Executive Director Willem Griffioen observed: “I feel honored that we are hosting such a pivotal event that will begin to address these issues. Having so many important and diverse voices agree to sit together in the House of Representatives may serve to inject new life into a failed process.”