I have long said that the Oslo terrorist accords, known as the “Oslo Peace Accord,” was the single worst mistake Israel ever made. Before Oslo, Israel was golden. After Oslo and the sanction, norming and legitimization of a genocidal terrorist group, it would be a slippery slope from “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” to signing treaties with them.
The godfather of modern terror, Yasser Arafat, just hour before signing the damning accord, demanded the agreement be amended. Arafat refused to sign the agreement as drafted in Oslo – which identified the Palestinian signatory as “the Palestinian team within the joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation” – and demanded that the Palestinian signatory be explicitly identified as the terrorist “the Palestinian Liberation Organization” (PLO). Yitzhak Rabin agreed to the terrrorists’ demands, and the rest is history, terrible, awful history.
Like Ayatollah Khomeini:
Gamal Abdul Nasser:
Abbas’s Book ‘The Road To Oslo’: The Signing Of The Oslo Accords Was Delayed Until The PLO Was Named The Official Signatory For The Palestinian Side
By: Yigal Carmon*
The story of the signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993 was reported in many Western and Israeli news outlets. According to these reports (and as also noted in my article “The Story Behind the Handshake”), the signing was delayed because Arafat refused to sign the agreement as drafted in Oslo – which identified the Palestinian signatory as “the Palestinian team within the joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation” – and demanded that the Palestinian signatory be explicitly identified as “the Palestinian Liberation Organization” (PLO). Yitzhak Rabin’s intent, when the agreement was concluded in Oslo, was apparently to avoid naming the PLO in the Accords. He accepted the reality that the Palestinian delegation to the talks was directed by Arafat, but he intended to sign the agreement with this delegation and not with the PLO. The language of the agreement – which was initialed on August 20, 1993 – reflected this.
However, on September 9, the Israeli government and the PLO exchanged letters of recognition (see Appendix). Once mutual recognition was established, the PLO demanded to be the signatory, while the Israeli government refused this demand. On September 13, the day of the signing itself, the Palestinian delegation stepped up its pressure, and there were frantic multilateral negotiations over the PLO’s demand, until the Israeli side finally succumbed at the very last moment before the signing.
The name of the Palestinian signatory was amended in the two places it appeared in the agreement: in the first and the last pages. The last page was retyped by the White House minutes before the start of the signing ceremony. The first page was amended by hand, by crossing out the words “the Palestinian team” and inserting “the PLO” in their stead.
Abbas’s book Through Secret Channels: The Road to Oslo, which recounts the story of the Oslo Accords, including a detailed account of the critical hours before the signing, contains a photo of the document with the phrase “Palestinian team” crossed out by hand and replaced by “PLO.” However, in the copy of the Oslo Agreement in the Israeli State Archives, the original first page with the handwritten amendments is missing, and in its stead is a typed page with the correction – thus creating the false impression that from the outset the PLO had been the intended signatory. Apparently, those involved in the Oslo agreement replaced the original page with a typed version in order to eliminate the evidence of their last-minute capitulation. ‘Abbas, proud of the PLO’s achievement in strong-arming Rabin and the Israeli government, presents the amended first page in its original form.
The following is the section from the English translation of ‘Abbas’s book describing the events of September 13, 1993, the day of the signing of the Oslo Accords, as recounted by Hayel Al-Fahoum, a member of the Palestinian delegation in Washington and director of the West European Section at the PLO Political Department.
The cover of the Arabic version of ‘Abbas’s book (Mahmoud ‘Abbas, The Road to Oslo – The Agreement Signatory Reveals the True Secrets of the Story of the Negotiations, Beirut: Sharikat al-Matbu’at lil-Tawzi’ wal-Nashr, 1994)
Arafat Hours Before The Signing: If The Agreement Isn’t Amended, We Will Not Sign It
“The American Administration announced that the signing [of the Oslo Accords] would take place on Monday, September 13, and that Foreign Minister Shimon Peres would sign the accord for Israel. But, as usual, we, the Palestinians, did not decide who on our side would sign it. Our Foreign Minister, Farouq al-Qaddoumi, should have been the one to sign, but because he opposed the accord he refused to do so. Meanwhile, Arafat wanted to attend the ceremony, which of course required Rabin to be present too. As a result, intense contacts took place during the forty-eight hours that preceded the signing ceremony. The two men were eventually invited to attend, while I was asked to sign in the name of the PLO. I had some reservations about going, but many people made efforts to remove them. That was how some hours later I was on the royal Moroccan jet that carried our delegation to Washington on Sunday, 12 September 1993. The next forty-eight hours we spent in Washington were filled with much activity: meetings, contacts and official functions. Let us look at some of the events of the day.
“When the Declaration of Principles was initialed in Oslo on 20 August 1993 there was no mutual recognition between the PLO and Israel, and as a result the preamble stated that the agreement was between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestinian team in the Jordanian-Palestinian delegation to the Middle East Peace Conference representing the Palestinian people. This was natural since the negotiations in Washington had begun and had proceeded in this manner. But after the letters of mutual recognition had been signed the preamble was supposed to be changed so that the ‘Palestinian Liberation Organization’ would be substituted for ‘Palestinian’ team. PLO was also to be substituted for ‘Palestinian’ in other parts of the document. We arrived in Washington thinking that the amendment would be automatically without question or negotiation. The Palestinian delegation in Washington had not taken any steps to make the amendment on the grounds that we should tackle the matter ourselves with the Israelis, Americans and Norwegians. We then sensed that the Israelis were not prepared to make any change in the document on the pretext that time was short and that no amendments could now be made as it was now the White House ready for signing. Hayel al-Fahoum, a member of the Palestinian delegation in Washington and director of the West European Section at the PLO Political Department, recorded the final hours before the signing ceremony in these words:”
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