On September 10, 1993, after decades of mutual animosity, Yitzhak Rabin, the prime minister of Israel, and Yasir Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), exchanged letters of mutual recognition. Three days later, against the backdrop of the White House, the two former archenemies shook hands on the occasion of the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles. These historic events could be the beginning to an end of a century of bloodshed between Arabs and Jews, Palestinians and Israelis. Israel avoided negotiations in the decade that followed the Lebanon war because of the political change that occurred in the country in 1977: the replacement of Labor by the Likud as the dominant party in Israel and the emergence of a number of right-wing parties. Israel, the only stable democracy in the Middle East, was nearly evenly split between those who supported territorial compromise in the name of peace and those who opposed any territorial compromise even for peace.