Press Releases

Oslo Peace Process marks 30 years of Entrenching Israel’s Colonial-Apartheid Regime
Oslo Peace Process marks 30 years of Entrenching Israel’s Colonial-Apartheid Regime

As today marks the 30th anniversary on signing the “Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements'' also known as Oslo I, within the Oslo peace process, between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) on 13 September 1993, BADIL reiterates its survey results in which 93 percent of Palestinian youth indicated that the Oslo peace process is, a failure. Furthermore, the survey demonstrated that the youth are aware of both the Palestinian cause’s decline at the national, regional, and international levels as well as the growing legitimization of the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime which is one of the many strategic gains that Israel has acquired as a result of the peace process.

Rather than establishing a semi-autonomous Palestinian governing authority and setting up a framework for further negotiations, the Oslo Accords have not achieved its purported ultimate goal of reaching peace and a final settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. Based on BADIL’s survey “Palestinian Youth Perspectives on the Oslo Peace Process: Successes, Failures and Alternatives” Palestinian youth believe that the Oslo peace process has enabled Israel in continuing its colonial-apartheid enterprise unabated in Mandatory Palestine. This has come at the expense of the Palestinian people’s security, safety, economic stability, collective identity and the continued denial of their inalienable rights; most significantly the rights to self-determination and return.

The Oslo peace process has contributed to further fragment the Palestinian people, land and economy. Israel’s closure and permit regime, checkpoints, colony expansion, de facto and de jure annexation restricts freedom of movement of both people and goods inside and outside Mandatory Palestine. This has in turn created sub-economies within the Palestinian economy, comprising east Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, West Bank and the Palestinian economy inside Palestine 1948. Indeed, the Oslo peace process ensured that it functions as yet another channel to entrench the Israeli-Zionist colonial enterprise, as Palestinian youth strongly assert that the Oslo peace process has failed, an overwhelming 92.9 percent of them identify the expansion of Israeli colonies as a manifestation of this failure, with a staggering 80.2 percent of them perceive the escalating implementation of discriminatory policies as another glaring example of this failure, among other concerning issues.

Accordingly, it is evident that the Oslo peace process’ goal as a whole was not peace; rather, it was keeping the process on life support for as long as possible and to resuscitate it whenever needed. Through this, Israel was able, and continues to be able to manipulate that which is internationally unlawful into a de facto reality which subsequently defers Palestinian rights to self-determination and return to the realm of fantasies.

In effect, Israel utilizes the Oslo peace process as a mechanism to further entrench its system of domination by: (1) transferring its responsibilities as the occupying power to the Palestinian Authority and the international community, while expanding its colonial-apartheid regime over the Palestinian people, (2) forging an illusion of peacemaking to anesthetize the international community’s concerns, such as the notion that any ‘clashes’ between Palestinians and Israelis are perceived as temporary distractions and detractions, while (3) perpetuating and exacerbating illegal facts on the ground, including, but not limited to, construction of colonies, colonizer-only roads, and the Apartheid Wall.

Consequently, as three decades have elapsed since the start of the Oslo peace process, the ongoing Israeli impunity reinforced by the lack of accountability and international sanctions against Israel’s blatant crimes and violations, have continued to facilitate the undermining of Palestinian people’s individual and collective rights, especially the rights to self-determination and return. This not only underscores the failure of the Oslo peace process, but continues to entrench Israel’s colonial-apartheid regime within an ongoing status quo. BADIL believes that reaching a just solution for the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime requires enforcing a human-rights-based decolonization approach supported  by serious measures taken by the international community, third state parties, civil society and solidarity movements to ensure the full realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and return.