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September 30, 2013 7:00 am

Oslo Accords Debated at Los Angeles Conference

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Bill Clinton, Yitzhak Rabin, and Yassir Arafat at the Oslo Signing Ceremony, September 13, 1993. Photo: Wikipedia.

JNS.org – LOS ANGELES—The debate on the merits of the Oslo Accords, whose 20th anniversary passed in mid-September, continued at a Sept. 29 conference in Los Angeles.

Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes said at the “Oslo @ Twenty” conference, organized by the American Freedom Alliance, that Israel’s key mistake is indicated by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s statement, “One does not make peace with one’s friends. One makes peace with one’s enemy.”

“One cannot ‘make peace with one’s enemy,'” Pipes said. “Rather, one makes peace with one’s former enemy.” The Palestinians “were never defeated,” and if both sides in a conflict have aspirations to win, the conflict continues, he explained.

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Israel “owns peace” as the party in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that can both control its army and deliver peace, yet acted as the buyer in the Oslo Accords even though the Palestinians had no peace to sell, said David Suissa, president of the Tribe Media Corporation. Suissa’s take differed from the one offered by Bret Stephens, deputy editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal, who said peace “is in the hands of the Arab world to give.”

While it is easy to criticize the Oslo Accords, the greater challenge is to develop a persuasive alternative to a two-state solution, something nobody has done yet, Stephens said.

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