The Oslo Agreement as an Obstacle to Peace
The most sophisticated American and Israeli Jewish opponents of the Oslo peace process pay lip service to the agreement while ignoring its political content and insisting that it be understood as a legal document and as a basis for pushing Israeli prerogatives and punishing Palestinian "violations." Substituting adversarial legal standards for the modus operandi of a political partnership is thus a calculated technique for destroying the credibility of the Oslo process and ensuring its demise. Right-wing opponents of Oslo in Israel and in the American Jewish community have implemented this strategy doggedly, with enormous sophistication, and with substantial success.
IAN S. LUSTICK is professor of political science at University of Pennsylvania and the author of a number of books, including For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1988) and Unsettled States, Disputed Lands. Britain and Ireland, France and Algeria, Israel and the West Bank-Gaza (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993). This essay was presented as a working paper at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting in Washington on 31 August 1997.