2 readers online now  |  69 million page views

"Learning from Oslo" - New York Post - 10th June 2003

Reader comment on item: [The Road Map:] Learning from Oslo

Submitted by James Connolly (United Kingdom), Jun 15, 2003 at 16:30

Hi Daniel Pipes

I have just finished reading your interesting article entitled "Learning from Oslo" (New York Times, 10th June 2003) in which you rightly point that lessons must be learnt from the abortive Oslo process, and that the United States has a key role to play in this process. However, we would most likely differ on what exactly those mistakes were, and how the United States can help prevent history from repeating itself.

The most obvious point I would make about your article is that I too believe United National resolutions should be upheld, by force if necessary. However, you cannot hold Iraq (or any other country) to account, if you do apply this rule universally. I am of course referring to the United States unwillingness to hold Israel to abide by the plethora of UN resolutions citing its conduct in both the Israeli-Palestinian and wider Arab-Israeli conflict arena. Further, the United States has, on many occasions, blocked (proposed) UN resolutions that would have been critical of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip. In essence if you argue for international law & UN resolutions to be binding on all nations, then it must be that, with no exceptions!

Let me say before I continue that I do not wish the destruction of Israel, I do not condone suicide bombing or any form of terrorism, and my only wish is that Israeli's and Palestinian's will one day be able to live peacefully side-by-side.

I also believe that the United States role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to actively promote peace by using both carrots and sticks to induce BOTH sides to make the "painful" steps and concessions that are necessary for a negotiated settlement to be concluded. No doubt the recent terrorist attacks by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa martyr brigades will not help bring this closer, but neither does the Israeli army's policy of targeted assassinations which incites hatred and has killed many innocent civilians. I think you must also tried to understand why the suicide bombers are carry out such attacks - they cannot be justified, nor will they be by myself - BUT in the suicide bombers minds at least there is a reason, this is that they believe that they are no closer to achieving their national aspiration of a independent homeland on the West Bank (of the Jordan) and the Gaza Strip. I believe that the violence will only end once Israel's occupation has.

The United States has a critical role to play in this process, by placing pressure on Israel to live up to its side of the bargain - outlined in President George W. Bush's 'road map' (for peace). It was Bush senior's pressure on Yitzhak Shamir's Likud government that helped kick start the Oslo process in the early 1990s. The Oslo process did not falter because of failing only on the Palestinian side, but because Israel too refused to carry out its obligations and the United States seemed either unwilling, or unable to pressure Israel to do so.

If this new process, which could perhaps be called "Madrid II" as this is where the Mid-East quartets 'road map' was born, is to succeed then it will take the full commitment or ALL sides. The Palestinians must end the violence, Israel must end its occupation (of the West Bank and Gaza) and the United States needs to 'ride herd' (in the words of President George W. Bush) to ensure that they BOTH sides live up to their side of the bargain.

It will not be easy, but I hope that this process will succeed in giving Israel the peace and security it desire, and an independent (and continuous) state for the Palestinian people on the West Bank and Gaza.

Yours sincerely,

James Connolly
London, United Kingdom
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to "Learning from Oslo" - New York Post - 10th June 2003 by James Connolly

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)