Why Oslo Failed: Confronting “Peace Now”

by Louis René Beres (November 2015)

Intifada,” the Palestinians had been seeking only a One-State Solution.


remains a not-so-coded message for accelerating Israel’s incremental destruction. Prima facie, this seemingly-benign and “just” expectation clearly represents complete rejection of Israel’s physical continuance as a sovereign state.

implementation upon any specific treaties or pacts. Sometimes, they are even binding perpetually, as “jus cogens” norms, to introduce specific legal terminology of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

the basic and universally-binding requirement to extradite major criminals (Hostes humani generis, or “Common enemies of humankind”) lies most enduringly in “Natural Law.”

release Arab terrorists in an oddly vain search for Palestinian “good will,” and because PA Presidents Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas both knew that there would likely never be any sufficiently tangible Israeli sanctions for Palestinian non-compliance.

None at all.

If this failure were not serious enough, these starkly anti-American Palestinian terrorists, all of whom had openly celebrated 9/11 harms against the United States, were subsequently trained by American intelligence agencies, and later, by the Pentagon. For easy corroboration, the reader need only search the internet for a program headed by U.S. General Keith Dayton. It was General Dayton, under two American presidents, who led the incoherent and expensive American effort to train Fatah “security forces” in nearby Jordan.

Credo quia absurdum. “I believe because it is absurd.” Somehow, American presidents and European political leaders had earlier believed that “moderate” Fatah could be suitably employed as an effective sub-contractor against more “extremist” Hamas. From any informed American or Israeli point of view, such thinking was always incomprehensible. As everyone in the region should readily understand, there had never existed an iota of consequential difference between the two core Palestinian terror organizations.

There is a long and detailed early history here, a deeply humiliating narrative of error, from which only the Arab side has seemingly learned anything important. To begin, Osama Abu Tayeh was arrested by the PA for March 1996 bombings in Jerusalem. Rejecting Israeli requests for extradition, the PA proudly hired Tayeh for the Palestinian Police, in October, 1996.

Palestinian heroes, all.

A clear and completely forgotten example would be the active Palestinian Liberation Army (PLA) assistance extended to Saddam Hussein’s torturers, during and after the 1991 Gulf War. As the world has already forgotten the irrepressible jubilation of Palestinian celebrations on 9/11, so too has it pushed out of its memory the intimate and mutually supporting ties that had existed earlier, between PA President Yasser Arafat, and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Today, as the world must witness the complete collapse of civil order in Iraq and Syria, a vital lesson still seems elusive. It is that any Palestinian state, soon after de jure independence, would almost surely fall to even more vicious bands of Sunni terrorists, most plausibly, ISIS or ISIS-affiliates. Then, a once predictive mantra will have become retrospective:

Following Operation Desert Storm many years back, Amnesty International identified at least thirty different methods of torture used by the Iraqis and their close Palestinian allies. These methods ranged from burning alive, to electric shock, to gang rape, to forcible starvation. In one instance reported (2003) in The New Yorker, more than 2000 women and children were crammed into a single large room, and given nothing to eat or drink.

If you liked Iraq, you will love Palestine.

Once again, this limitation stems from a broader prohibition that binds all states, namely, the persistently overriding claims of pertinent rules derived from Higher Law, or the Law of Nature. Although PA inaction on extradition is not, strictly speaking, a pardoning or immunizing action, it has exactly the same practical effect.

Such an implication could have substantial practical results. Although it is unclear that punishment, which is central to all justice, necessarily deters future crimes, the deliberate protection or exoneration of any terrorist necessarily undermines the universal obligation to incapacitate that particular criminal from committing any further acts of murder. In the case of protected Palestinian terrorists, hundreds of Israelis who are alive today may still be murdered tomorrow as a direct result of the steady PA refusal to extradite or prosecute.

Terrorism is a crime that can and must be punished. In the absence of a reliable expectation that terrorists will be extradited or prosecuted, international criminal law would simply fail to operate. To ensure that such any such expectation will be fulfilled, and that international criminal law will work somehow, all states should finally and insistently demand that pertinent Israeli extradition requests be honored, precisely as the law demands.

First published in INN.


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