October 3rd, 2013
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The Oslo Accords were signed in on September 13th, 1993, intended to usher in an end to terror, and a period of peace making between Israel and a legitimate authority of the Palestinian people. Unfortunately, the subsquent years proved to be filled with less peace and less stability. The establishment of Palestinian Authority infrastructure and their rule over actual territory has resulted in Palestinian security forces doubling as terrorists, and authority-run media which conducts continued incitement against Israel and the Jewish people.
Since the signing of the Accords, the Palestinian cause has been split between the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority in the territory of Judea and Samaria, and the Hamas-controlled proto-statelet of Gaza, under Islamist rule. Instead of one Palestinian interlocutor which could be treated with in order to produce a lasting peace, the two factions struggle for dominance, neither committed to a true and lasting peace.
Meanwhile the region itself has changed dramatically. Regimes once thought of as pillars of the Middle East, such as Assad in Syria, and Mubarak in Egypt are struggling for power, or already ousted. The rise of Islamism, always a force of Arab politics, now in a position where it may control real territory for the first time. Now twenty years later, even some of the most stringent supporters of Oslo have been forced to admit that the Accords were, and are, an abject failure.
The question The Endowment for Middle East Truth now proposes is, “What lessons should be learned from the Oslo Accords, and what comes next?”
To help us answer that question, EMET is convening a panel with four of the best and brightest American and Israeli observers of the Peace Process. They’ll walk us through, why Oslo failed, what could have been done differently, and what should be done in order to move forward.
Danny Danon: Deputy Speaker of the 18th Israeli Knesset, Chairman of the Likud Party Central Committee, and Deputy Minister of Defense. MK Danon is widely consider a powerful force in Israeli politics, Daniel Pipes described Danon in a recent Washington Times piece, as “not being an ordinary politican…” but possessing “a devotion to principle, a mastery of tactics, and the ability to articulate a vision…” having “remained true to the core principles of his party and his country.” MK Danon is the author of Israel:Will to Prevail (Palgrave, 2012), which articulates a vision for a new Israeli foreign policy.
Daniel Pipes: A former official in the U.S. departments of State and Defense, Daniel Pipes has taught at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, the U.S. Naval War College, and Pepperdine University. Mr. Pipes is the author of twelve books on the Middle East, Islam, and other political topics. He writes a bi-weekly column for many newspapers and leading Internet sites; his writings have been translated into 35 languages. Mr. Pipes frequently discusses current issues on television and radio. He has received two Presidential appointments, has testified before many congressional committees, and has served on five presidential campaigns.
Ambassador Yoram Ettinger: Ambassador (ret.) Ettinger is an insider on US-Israel relations, Mideast politics and overseas investments in Israel’s high tech. He is a member of the American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG), which has documented dramatic flaws behind demographic fatalism on one hand and a Jewish demographic momentum on the other hand. He serves as a consultant to members of Israel’s Cabinet and Knesset, and regularly briefs US legislators and their staff on Israel’s contribution to vital US interests, on the root causes of international terrorism and on other issues of bilateral concern. Ambassador (ret.) Ettinger served as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel’s Embassy in Washington (with a rank of an ambassador), Israel’s Consul General in Houston and Director of Israel’s Government Press Office.
Jonathan Tobin: Jonathan S. Tobin is Senior Online Editor of Commentary magazine as well as serving as chief politics blogger. From January 2009 to April 2011, he was executive editor of the magazine. Prior to coming to Commentary, Tobin was editor in chief of the Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia and the Connecticut Jewish Ledger. His writing has appeared in the New York Post, the Jerusalem Post, the Weekly Standard, the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, USA Today and many other publications. In 2006, he received the unique distinction of being named both the best editorial columnist and the best arts critic in Philadelphia by the Society of Professional Journalists. He has lectured on campuses and to organizations around the country and has appeared on CNN, FOX News Channel, the FOX Business Channel, the BBC, PBS, Pacifica and numerous other media outlets.
Lunch (All Dietary Laws Observed)