I’ve seen some posts about the Oslo Accords and how it is some anniversary today of them. I even saw photos. It got me thinking. Some are sad that it didn’t work out but I look back and think of that “hope for peace” and realize how naive that time was. It was the 90s with an ascendant US; after the Cold War, many countries were transforming to democracies and conflicts fueled by the Cold War were ending, generally on terms the US dictated.
But the ghosts of some of these agreements would linger on. You can’t wave a magic wand and have peace if one side or both don’t want to invest in it. The peace agreements between Israel and Jordan didn’t come along with the leadership in places like Amman pushing the people to be tolerant and have peace. Unlike in the Gulf where Jews can west a kippah and have a holiday, these peace agreements were hollow. Same with the Oslo Accords. This is like if the peace after WWII had involved Germany and France continuity educate generations to hate eachother and want to take back land from the other. That’s the false peace of 1919, or the false peace that created Ireland but also fueled the Troubles in the North. Peace that is formed but leaves major questions unanswered, such as territorial claims, will likely result in war postponed. That is what has happened between Armenia and Azerbaijan, it’s why Cyprus is not whole; it is why Ankara is invading Syria; it is why Russia is invading Ukraine and why there are still disputes in Northern Ireland and Kosovo. Because some peace is different than other peace and some is imposed. Y force and some is built on a lie.
So there was this Oslo peace but one side entirely rejected it and kept reaching generations that Israel didn’t exist, that they would reconquer the land, that all refugees would return and that Israel was “48 lands” and that Tel Aviv was a “settlement.” This was a peace based on genocidal views being pushed like a drug to tbr next generation so the oligarchs of “peace” could profit in power. It set up a dictatorship in Ramallah based on force to keep people down, and this was predicated on the idea that the people need to drug of extremism to distract them. Well unsurprisingly it burst into war in 2000 and has continued on like that.
You just can’t have peace based on one side denying them others existence, one side disrespecting the religious places of the other or denying the Holocaust. I sat through many meetings linked to the fake peace…where I’d even hear peace profiteers of the peace industry say antisemitic things, the most vile things…and repeat ignorant conspiracies…and these were the “moderates”….with the extremists it was just posters of mass murdered as “martyr” or adoration of Saddam Hussein. It’s not peace when your partner idolizies Saddam and cheers his missiles. It’s not war maybe, but it’s not peace.
I remember back during the Second Intifada how the “peace” types cheered the bus bombings or excuses them as “struggle” or advised the bombers to do it on one side of the Green Line. I was shocked to hear the academics who always excused genocidal views and mass murder. I thought “this is why the peace didn’t work.” Because you can’t have a peace where both sides, or one side, is taught to hate, where every map erases the other side. That’s not peace. It’s a version of war postponed.
Oslo was a scam sold by profiteers who never believed in it and sold it so that the extremists could continue to go on teaching hate; no one ever tried to reverse that. They had ample time as well. UNRWA schools could have taught tolerance for Jews and taught the Holocaust. They didn’t. They pushed nationalism. Israeli schools erased the Green Line. In fact since Oslo people grew more part, the false peace led to more segregation and more walls, no less; the more people talked peace and profited off peace groups, the less peace there was.
So when we look back we can learn. You can’t have a fake peace. Peace is about tolerance and respect and not reaching hate while pretending; not profiting while encouraging extremism.
I spent time seeing the charade of peace and it struck me as grotesque how far people went to excuse hatred as a form of peace, denial of the other a peace, erasing the history of the other as peace, calling a bus bombing “armed struggle” isn’t peace its using peaceful words to cover up hate and that’s why there was no real peace. A soldier who massacred children at the “island of peace” was greeted with cheers upon returning home. You can’t have an island of peace when massacring kids is considered heroism. We were told to accept that under the guise of “they don’t know better” or “they need extreme nationalism, that’s how they are distracted”….when you have to bribe people by addicting then to extremism and fascism it’s not peace it’s just postponed war. When one society has 98% hatred for the other and only a few elites can “meet in coexistence” this is not peace. Coexistence has to happen at the bottom, not only at the 5 star hotel. Peace based on deception is not durable. And peace where one side is sold “justice” and they think justice is more war and conquest is not peace, it’s war. And some use the world peace to mean conquest and war, and so for them peace is conquest and that’s not peace.