Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)


ACPR Research – Summary


After Oslo – The Quest for Political Stability:
A "Politically Incorrect" Paper
on an Apparently Correct Solution

Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto
Policy Paper No. 48, 1998

When, rather than if, the Oslo process breaks down or the Arafat autonomous or independent entity malfunctions, tensions and resulting violence will revert the situation "back to square one".

The analysis of the relevant factors suggests that in spite of monumental political obstacles, the way to achieve a durable, stable political equilibrium between Israel and its Middle Eastern Islamic neighbors is a joint Israeli Jordanian involvement in Judea, Samaria and Gaza that will assume the form of Jordanian municipal enclaves in an area whose Source of Authority is Israeli.

The "Oslo peace process" aims at achieving peace between the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza and Israel by trading tangible land for intangible, reversible concessions that may be summarized as peace. Not backed by “collaterals” and given the Middle East circumstances, the reversibility of the Arab concessions is tantamount to a guarantee of instability.

Since it does not cater to the two basic prerequisites of peace, namely the upkeep of an adequate level of Israeli deterrence vis-à-vis pan-Arab and Iran's threats (of guerrilla/terror, conventional and total wars) and to the creation of an adequate environment for the emancipation of the Arab population of Judea, Gaza and Samaria, it is bound to fail.

It is also bound to fail because of Israeli mismanagement, the Israeli side having lost almost all its "trump cards" before the real major issues were brought to the negotiation table.

Were the Oslo process to succeed, against the odds, and an Arafat entity, i.e. a third Palestinian entity (after Israel and Jordan) be established, chances are overwhelming that that entity, be its status one of autonomy or independence, will fail to deliver both peace and a conducive environment for a comprehensive emancipation of its Arab population.

The result of the failure of Oslo or that of the Arafat entity will be unrest, translated into a "twilight", i.e. a "stable state of instability" with negotiations, terror and, maybe, war intertwined.

Unrest will breed Israeli containment that will, in turn, generate a vicious cycle leading to intensified violent confrontation.

The State of Israel will have to live, as it did in the past, with a "twilight" situation, yet will also have to look, as it did in the past, for a stabilization of the political equilibrium.

It is suggested that, following the Oslo or the Arafat entity's failure, a Jordanian orientation be seriously, conscientiously and persistently contemplated in spite of the obvious many difficult personal, political and possible, international obstacles.

The overlapping of the peace territorial imperatives, that is the Israeli grand deterrence topographical imperatives and the territory earmarked for the stateless Western Palestinian Arabs, demand an unconventional approach.

The logic is that having one Jewish Palestine and one Arab Palestine bound together by strategic, economic and historic commonality of interests, treading toward a possible confederation, would ensure stability.

This paper attempts to discuss the present state of affairs, probable trends and the merits or demerits of three alternatives, probably the only ones existing.

For the complete text of this article, click here.