chapter  1
Pages 9

The virtual abandonment of Oslo became, actually, a factor favorable to a positive change and revival of the initial Oslo breakthrough. While Netanyahu, who won the May 1996 elections by a very narrow majority, announced the Likud-led government's willingness to continue the Oslo agreements, he did almost nothing in the way of implementation. While there was widespread dissatisfaction with the Netanyahu government on domestic issues, the loss of any forward momentum, accompanied by clear signs of American frustration with Israel, was at least one factor in the decisive electoral victory of Ehud Barak and his party in the May 1999 elections. Domestic political factors also contributed to the inauspicious convening of the Camp David summit. Barak's coalition had been steadily losing no-confidence votes in the Knesset; coalition partners were voting against government-supported bills. The Camp David and post-Camp David peace efforts were not a total failure.