The Oslo Accord

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VOL. 23


No. 3
P. 24
The Oslo Accord

Despite all its limitations and ambiguities, the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Governing Arrangements (DOP) for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Jericho marked the mother of all breakthroughs in the century-old conflict between Arabs and Jews in Palestine. Future generations will look back on Monday, 13 September 1993-the day the DOP was signed on the South Lawn of the White House and sealed with the historic handshake be- tween Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasir Arafat-as one of the most momentous events in the twentieth-century history of the Middle East. In one stunning move, the two leaders redrew the geopolitical map of the entire region.

Avi Shlaim is a reader in international relations and a Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford. He is the author of Collusion Across theJordan (1988) and The Politics of Partition (1990). His War and Peace in the Middle East. A Critique of American Policy will be published by Viking in June.