Discuss how the Oslo Accords are to be considered a major milestone in the development of the Arab- Israeli Conflict.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would say that one reason why the Oslo Accords are so significant is because it was a moment where diplomacy worked.  In a more elemental framework, diplomacy was actually attempted in the Arab- Israeli conflict.  I think that if one were to examine the most intense political conflicts around the world, the Arab- Israeli conflict would be at the top of the list.  For these two warring groups sit down at the negotiation table is significant enough, a major moment in their mostly animosity- driven relationship.  To draft a significant peace accord in the midst of this is something that represents a milestone.  Another reason why I think it is a milestone is that iconic image of Arafat and Rabin shaking hands with Clinton standing in back of them.  This public ceremony sent shockwaves throughout the world and it also represented a moment where diplomacy and the dialogue of peace and cessation of militarism was evident in this moment.  For this reason also, I consider it a milestone in that both sides acknowledged one another in a public format through diplomacy and negotiation.  I think that it can also be seen as a milestone because it is so very far from where the situation is right now.  The prospect of both sides sitting down almost 20 years ago is simply inconceivable with the intensity of animosity between both sides right now.  The very fact that this particular topic evokes so much heated discussion between people represents how the Oslo Accords was a milestone as both sides converged, if only for a geological instant, in peace and in the hopeful cessation of aggression.  This is something that is a milestone because it represents a point that should be achieved and an ideal worthy of pursuit.


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