Friday, July 1, 2011

Oslo Accord

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In today’s society the television plays a major role in our lives. We sit down on the couch and are transfixed by what is taking place in Iraq and before this we all watched, with the same horror, as Palestinians and Israelis blew up each others children. We also watched the World Trade Center Towers crash down right before our own eyes. Terrorism persistently murdered thousands of civilian Americans and Saddam Hussein is killing his people. Israel is occupying the Palestinian lands, the United States is invading Iraq and terrorists are slaughtering tourists in some Islamic countries. How can this be stopped?

One issue receiving great national attention is the Middle East Peace Process. The Peace Process was an attempt to resolve the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. This essay discusses the details of the Peace Process and its effort to create world peace. This essay will bring you through the historical background between Palestine and Israel; it will thoroughly describe the peace process, discuss why the peace process failed and what can be done to achieve peace in the world.

What is the historical background of Israel and Palestine?

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The Palestine problem became an international issue towards the end of the First World War. The Balfour Declaration issued by the British Government in 117, expressing support for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. Throughout the years of 1-147 a large scale of Jewish immigration took place. But the Palestinians demanded for independence and resistance to Jewish immigration. The Palestinians could not find independence because the British government had control over their government. Eventually, their struggle for independence led to a rebellion in 17, followed by continuing terrorism and violence from both sides during and immediately after World War II. The Israelis have always wanted to maximize Israeli territory, and they view the possibility of a Palestinian state with disbelief. Israeli governments built thousands of housing units in the occupied territories throughout the peace process. Meanwhile, the Palestinians will not allow this expansion to take place and therefore this causes war between the nations. The West bank and the Gaza strip are the two principle areas, in which the nations are fighting for, as well as Jerusalem, Jordan and Egypt. After World War II the Palestine problem rapidly spread into the Middle East dispute between the Arab States and Israel. From 148 there have been wars and destruction, forcing millions of Palestinians into exile, and engaging the United Nations in a continuing search for a solution to a problem which came to possess the potential of a major source of danger for world peace. The Partition plan was then developed. It proclaimed its independence as Israel and in the 148 war Israel expanded to occupy 77 per cent of the territory of Palestine. Israel also occupied the larger part of Jerusalem. Jordan and Egypt occupied the other parts of the territory assigned by the partition resolution to the Palestinian Arab State which did not come into being. In November 167 the United Nations called on Israel to withdraw from territories it had been occupied. In June 18, Israel invaded Lebanon with the declared intention to eliminate the PLO. This was a war that lasted a few years, resulting in many casualties. In December 187, a mass uprising against the Israeli occupation began in the occupied Palestinian territory it was at this point when something had to be done. The Peace Process then began in 1.

On September 1th, 1, Yassar Arafat and Rubin shook each other’s hands when they signed the Declaration of Principles. The Programme’s priorities are to enhance the social and economic lives of Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Projects include construction and social development, business loans, training programmes, upgrading schools and womens and youth activity centers and addressing difficult problems of environmental health. At the very beginning of the process in January 1, all participants agreed not to delve into historical grievances and to maintain secrecy in order to maximize opportunities for unrestrained exchange of views that could be withdraw without bringing upon themselves political costs. The goal was to achieve just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement through direct negotiations in two cases which are between Israel and the Arab States, and between Israel and the Palestinians. On 10 September 1, Israel and the PLO exchanged letters of mutual recognition. The PLO recognized Israels right to exist, and Israel recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people. A critical point was reached in mid-July 1, when both sides agreed to proceed in three consecutive stages an initial Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Jericho, a five- year temporary arrangement for the West Bank and Gaza, and final-status negotiations. The PLO agreed to exclude Jerusalem from the area of interim Palestinian self- rule. The PLO also exempted Jewish settlers and Israeli military installations from Palestinian control. In August 15, Arafat agreed to three additional Israeli withdrawals from the West Bank over an 18-month period without securing any clarifications or assurances about their size and locations. Israel eventually agreed to withdraw from Jericho and Gaza within three months. The accord provided for Israels withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area, and granted Palestinians a measure of self-government for the first time. A 4-member Palestinian authority was established, with legislative and executive powers. Palestinians were also to establish their own police force of up to ,000 officers. In February 14, Arafat insisted on the removal of the approximately 500 Jewish settlers from the heart of the city. The Palestinians then demanded exclusive control of the Allenby Bridge across the Jordan River and over the roads between Gaza and Jericho. As you can see at the beginning of the Peace Process the two nations were agreeing successfully, and a lot of progress took place. But eventually violence took over, and the assassination of Rubin took place. Everything began to break down. The first mistake of the Oslo Accord was that Arafat could not prevent the deaths of 15 Israelis at the hands of Palestinian militants during the first six months of autonomy. Rabin ordered the closures of the territories in October 14, thereby committing the mistake of imposing punishment on all Palestinians and aggravating the already high levels of unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza. A second accord was then signed, hoping things could get better. On October 6, 15, a few days after Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo II accord, Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu announced at a large protest demonstration in Jerusalem that the agreement was an act of surrender and constituted a danger to the existence of the state of Israel. There were a series of terrorist bombings in the core of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv left 55 Israelis dead and scores injured in late February and early March 16, it was Arafat’s fault for the blood shed. In January 17, 80 percent of the city of Hebron came under Palestinian jurisdiction. Furthermore, several thousand Palestinian prisoners and detainees were released by Israel over the past five years, and the ground was laid for more intensive economic cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and the Jewish state. There have been positive situations of the two nations working through there issues, but at the same time many negative set backs have taken place through out the years. Since 1, well over 100 Israeli civilians were killed and more than 500 injured in terrorist attacks perpetrated by Palestinian opponents of the peace process. Therefore the Peace Process helped the nations sort through a few issues, but mostly it just made things worse. While the Oslo process has failed, the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians will continue. It has been said that if the Palestinians and Israelis had control of the border crossing points, the actual territory in Jericho and its environs from which Israel was expected to withdraw, and the nature of security arrangements then it’s quite possible the peace process would have been successful. Neither the Palestinian Authority nor Israel Authority has lived up to its obligations under the Oslo accords. Palestine and Israel must realize what they have done wrong so they can make the future peace process a successful one.

Why were the Israelis motivated to make negotiations with Palestine in 1?

Firstly, by late 1 and early 1, it had become obvious to the Rabin government that the PLO had been brutally weakened by the end of the Cold War and by the aftermath of the Gulf War. The PLO was forced to shut down several institutions and to limit many of its activities in the occupied territories. In April 1, Rabin was convinced that Arafat would block progress in his territory as long as the PLO was needy of direct participation in the negotiations. Rabin felt threatened by Arafat and therefore agreed to the Accord. Rabin expected to get three important benefits for Israel as a result of the direct negotiations with the PLO. The first deal with the PLO would reduce the incidence of terrorism and thereby enhance the personal security of Israeli citizens. Secondly, striking a bargain with Israel would give the PLO added encouragement to combat radical Islamic groups committed to the destruction of the Jewish state, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. And lastly, reaching an agreement with the PLO would enhance prospects for resolving longstanding disputes between Israel and neighboring Arab states.

Why were the Palestinians motivated to make negotiations with Israel in 1?

Israelis negotiations directly with the PLO stemmed from security considerations and the PLOs participation in the Oslo channel represented the termination of the organizations longstanding quest was for recognition, legitimacy and the eventual creation of an independent Palestinian state. In the PLOs initial view, the secret Oslo channel would not replace, but rather establish some common ground and work in tandem with the official talks in Washington. PLO leaders entered the Oslo process believing that their fulfillment with an interim agreement for the territories would inevitably result in Palestinian statehood.

The story of Palestine and Israel is long, complex and continuous. This essay is to help you understand the principle idea of what has taken place over the past century in the Middle East. Do you think Palestine and Israel will ever find peace? It is hard to say. The War seems to be unstoppable; they must eliminate the war over land and begin to respect one another. It seems to be an issue that will never be cured, unless some how these nations figure out away to solve it.

Martin Luther once said “It cannot be disputed that full scale Nuclear war would be utterly catastrophic. Hundreds of millions of people would be killed outright by the blast and heat and by the ionizing radiation produced at the instant of the explosion. All of this leads me to say that the principal objective of all nations must be the total abolition of war, and a definite move toward disarmament. War must be finally eliminated or the whole of mankind will be plunged into the abyss of annihilation. This quote relates perfectly to the issue of Palestine and Israel. This quote states that if war is eliminated, then these two nations can take an affirmative step forward and from this point peace between them can be established. In a today’s world it is extremely difficult to find peace but if we all worked together, like a team then life would be harmonious and joyful.


1. Department of Public Information, October 1st,14,

. Columbia Encyclopedia, sixth edition, New York, Colombia Press, copyright 001

. Avi-Yonah, A History of the Holy Land (tr. 16); Esco Foundation for Palestine.

4. J. C. Hurewitz, Struggle for Palestine (150, repr. 168)

5. , “ Arafat’s first step back to the road of Peace”, April , 00.

6. Mazen, Abu, “ Peace through Negotiation” , April 1st, 00.

7. Middle East Policy, Volume V1, Number , October 18

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