http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/renew-talks-with-the-plo-ask-plo-ratification-of-oslo-accords/

Most recently, US Secretary of State Kerry passionately called for the renewal of talks with the PLO. Former President Clinton, who hosted the PLO – Israel ceremonies on the White House lawn twenty years ago, is en route to Jerusalem for high profile lectures where he will call also call for for renewal of negotiations. And Shimon Peres, Israel’s president, who served as Israel’s foreign minister at the outset of negotiations with the PLO two decades ago, is about to convene thousands of dignitaries at a conference at the President’s mansion that will call to jump start negotiations with the PLO.

Veteran observers of middle east politics may ask: what is there to negotiate about?

Indeed, there an item on the table that is hardly a minor detail: The Palestinian Liberation Organization DID NOT RATIFY the Oslo Accord after Arafat and Abbas signed the accord on the White House lawn.

On September 13, 1993, at the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin and Israeli Foreign Minister Simon Peres signed the “Declaration of Principles” (the DOP) between Israel and the PLO together with Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas of the PLO. The agreement, which had been hammered out in Oslo, stipulated mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO. It required the PLO to cease and desist from terrorism, and for the PLO to nullify its covenant, which calls for Israel’s destruction.

The Israeli Knesset ratified the accord by a vote of 61 to 50, with 9 abstentions, a week later. However, what received hardly any attention was the fact that on October 6, 1993, the PLO executive did not ratify the Oslo accord, for lack of a quorum.

Very few people know or remember that Pinchas Inbari, the only Israeli correspondent covering the PLO in Tunis at the time, writing for the Israeli left-wing Hebrew newspaper Al HaMishmar, broke the story that Arafat announced in Tunis that he could not get a quorum of the executive council of the PLO to ratify the Declaration of Principles of the Oslo Accords. Al HaMishmar then ran a headline on October 7, 1993 which reported that the PLO did not ratify the peace accord that Arafat and Abbas had signed together with Peres and Rabin only a few weeks before, with US and Russia as co-signers.

Carrying Al HaMishmar in my hand, I walked into the office of the Israel Government Press Office director at the time, Mr. Ori Dromi, and showed him the headline of PLO non ratification of the Oslo accords. Dromi, an appointee of Prime Minister Rabin, made it clear that from the point of view of the Israeli government, this meant that Arafat signed the accord on his own, without the sanction of the PLO.

The rest of the Israeli media, however, did not report that the PLO never ratified the accord, but the Israeli government acted as if the PLO had done so.

Inbari was scheduled to appear on a popular morning KOL YISRAEL radio show when he got back from Tunis.

However, the Prime Minister’s office asked Kol Yisrael to cancel that appearance.

Instead, the Israeli government dispatched then deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, Yossi Beilin, to fly to Tunis to thank Arafat for facilitating the ratification ofthe Oslo accord, which the PLO never did.

Why is this important: According to the Israeli law, since the PLO did not ratify the Oslo accord which renounce terrorism, the PLO and Fatah were not stricken from Israeli law books as “a terrorist entity”, a status that the PLO received on March 1, 1980. And if you check the law books today, you will find that the PLO is still defined in Israeli law as a terror entity, because the PLO never ratified the Oslo accord.

The same goes for American law. In March, 2002 US government designated the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades of the Fatah as a terror organization. That terror designation was never changed. Under US law, any government that aids and abets an organization defined as a terror organization will forfeit US foreign aid assistance.

The other concrete commitment made by the PLO on the White House lawn was that it would officially cancel the PLO Covenant, which calls for Israel’s destruction.

On two occasions, the Palestinian National. Council gathered to discuss the PLO Covenant – on April 24, 1996 and on December 14, 1998. On neither occasion did the PNC cancel the PLO Covenant.

In other words, there is a real reason to renew negotiations with the PLO.

The first items on the agenda would be to ask that the PLO finally ratify the Declaration of Principles of non violence and mutual recognition which constituted the essence of the Oslo Accord. The other request would be to cancel the PLO Covenant, which calls for Israel’s destruction.

Reasonable requests, no?

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

1 COMMENT

  1. The Palestinians need to pretend to make peace so they can continue to garner support from the international community. Israel needs to pretend to make peace so it won’t see like to aggressor. All that’s accomplished it to pander to the delusions of the far left, but unfortunately they have a lot of power, wealth and influence so it looks like we are all going to have to dance a little jig for them.

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