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Edward Said's spectre and the end of Oslo

20 52 29
06.06.2020

When the disastrous Oslo Accords were signed in 1993 on the White House lawn in Washington, some voiced scathing criticism and deep concern about its provisions and the major concessions the Palestinians were forced to make.

The Palestinian signatories, led by Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat, and their supporters charged back with the question: What is the alternative? They perhaps thought this would be the knockout question that would settle the debate and obscure the fact that the accords were a continuation of the settler-colonial nature of the relationship between the Israeli oppressors and the Palestinian oppressed.

The late Edward Said, a staunch opponent of the deal, took up the challenge in October 1993 and wrote a prophetic article in the London Review of Books titled The Morning After. Relying on what he called "common sense", he predicted the tragic situation that unravelled after 1993; nothing more, nothing less.

In his very eloquent style, he wrote: "In order to advance towards Palestinian self-determination - which has a meaning only if freedom, sovereignly and equality, rather than perpetual subservience to Israel, are its goal - we need an honest acknowledgment of where we are."

What he found particularly "mystifying" at the time, was "how so many Palestinian leaders and their........

© Al Jazeera