- - Wednesday, October 14, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Anew wave of terrorism is sweeping through the streets of Israel as innocent civilians now face the growing threat of a random stabbing by a Palestinian terrorist. There is a growing concern that this rise in violence is the beginning of a third Intifada.

In his recent address to the United Nations, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas spouted out a list of claimed Israeli violations of the Oslo Accords, which outlined a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, and then claimed that the accords would no longer bind the Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Abbas accused Israel of not committing to the agreement and went on to say that the Palestinian Authority “will not remain the only ones committed to the implementation of these agreements.” Mr. Abbas cited Israel’s refusal to “cease settlement activities” as a violation of the agreement. Many commentators parrot his settlement claims and continue to blame Israel for the breakdown of the accords.

However, despite the continuous bristling by Mr. Abbas over the presence of Israeli Jewish communities in the West Bank, their existence does not violate the accords. I repeat, the existence of Israeli Jewish communities in the West Bank does not violate the accords. There are no provisions in the Oslo accords that call for a cessation of Jewish communities in the region. Moreover, there is no international law that can bar a Jew from moving there if he chooses to do so. The arrangement, which was agreed upon by both parties, has always been that the status of these Jewish communities is to be determined through final status negotiations.

There have always been Jews living on that land. There has been a long and concerted effort over the years to falsely paint Jews as colonial occupiers with no connection to the land. However, the only time Jews have not lived in that area is during a 19-year period between 1948 and 1967, when the Egyptian and Trans-Jordanian governments (who were illegally occupying the land owing to the international community’s indifference) forced Jews out. Prior to that, the High Contracting Parties with legal stewardship over the area promised that land to the Jews, in recognition of their historic connection to the land.



The Palestinians, however, from its inception, never bound themselves to the agreement. The Palestinians have violated the agreement at every opportunity.

The agreements explicitly forbid the Palestinian Authority from conducting foreign relations (Article IX). Yet, for decades, Palestinians and their allies in the U.N. have been pushing resolutions through the body, bastardizing norms within international law to push their false narrative

Since the beginning of the accords, the Palestinian Authority has engaged repeatedly in diplomacy on every level. Every PA attack on Israel on the international scene and every attempt to change their status with the U.N. violated the agreement. In 2012, the Palestinians unilaterally sought an upgrade to their status at the U.N. In April, Mr. Abbas signed applications to join 15 international treaties and conventions, though they are flagrantly violating the vast majority of them.

Additionally, there are specific provisions in Oslo stating that the Palestinian Authority is obligated to abstain from hostile propaganda and the incitement of violence (Article XXII). Nonetheless, this behavior has been a constant since Oslo’s inception. For the past two decades, Palestinians not even tried to live up to this part of the agreement. They have regularly praised terrorists, such as Hamas’ chief bomb-maker, Yihya Ayyash, whom then-PA President Yasser Arafat honored in 1996 and called a martyr. Last year, Mr. Abbas‘ Fatah movement encouraged a “car intifada” and posted numerous cartoons and statements calling for this violence, which resulted in the ramming deaths of several people, including a three-month old baby girl. Additionally, recently released documents reveal that the Palestinian Authority has been paying millions to convicted Hamas terrorists for years.

These actions, plus countless others, are a direct and flagrant violation of the accords.

It would behoove the international community to realize that having Jewish neighborhoods in the West Bank is neither a violation of the Oslo Accords, nor what is killing it. Rather, the fact that one side would rather encourage people to commit vehicular homicide or stab people than to have Jewish neighbors is what is killing Oslo.

Additionally, the international community needs to start seeing through Mr. Abbas‘ rhetoric and finally recognize that the Palestinians have been blatantly violating the accords since the day they were signed.

Alex VanNess is the manager of public information at the Center for Security Policy.

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