chapter  6
Oslo I: Breakthrough and Failure
Pages 24

The Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization constituted the most significant breakthrough since the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement. Moreover, they were perhaps the most important breakthrough altogether for Israel inasmuch as these Accords opened the way to resolution of the issue at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the conflict with the Palestinians over Palestine/Eretz Israel. The Oslo Accords became possible, first of all, because of the November 1988 PLO decision to declare a state (with East Jerusalem as its capital) based on United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 181 that had called for the creation of “a Jewish state and an Arab state” in Palestine, to accept United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 242 that carries with it the right of all states in the region “to live in peace within recognized and secure borders,” and to reject the use of violence or terror. This decision was followed by more explicit renunciations of terror, virtually dictated by the Americans, in a speech by Arafat to a 13 December 1988 UN meeting in Geneva, as well as in a press conference three days later, which included the explicit recognition of Israel’s right to exist.1