Aspects of the Washington Israel-PLO Agreement

By Muray, Leo | Contemporary Review, November 1993 | Go to article overview

Aspects of the Washington Israel-PLO Agreement


Muray, Leo, Contemporary Review


With the Washington Agreement, Israel, the PLO and the countries that support it, have set up the field for a five years' hurdle race. At every hurdle that one of the runners does not jump the race can end.

To start with, Israel is to transfer authority from its Military Government and Civil Administration to ~authorized Palestinians' in five spheres ranging from education to tourism. There is to be a Joint Israeli-Palestinian Liaison Committee plus an Economic Co-operation Committee that is to work on 13 specified sectors of the social structure from Water and Finance to the Media.

It is not said who selects and empowers these ~authorized Palestinians' and whether the Israelis will have a word. But it is obvious that it is Yassar Arafat and his faction of Fatah, the PLO key organization, that will decide. Revealingly, at the last minute, before Mr. Abbas, Arafat's current chief adviser, signed the Washington Accord, Arafat insisted that in the references to the Palestinian side in the text the term ~Palestinian' must be changed to ~PLO'. Thus Palestine was everywhere identified with the PLO, in fact with the Arafat faction of Fatah.

Another factor enters here. The PLO is made up of several Palestinian organizations of which Fatah is one. The PLO has several central bodies of which the General Assembly of around 600 members is the basic one that adopted years ago its Charter that calls for the elimination of the state of Israel and formally this has not been changed. Arafat's officials explained before the Washington Accord that it would take too much time to assemble it. But it has not been called yet after the meeting. Again, the top Executive Council gave Arafat only a tiny majority for the Washington Accord with non-Fatah members being absent and even some Fatah members like Mr. Kadoumi, the Foreign Affairs ~Minister', having resigned in protest.

It is obvious that Arafat wants to have complete control of the procedure on the Palestinian side in order to ensure that only his own Slipporters are selected for the various Committees and bodies. It is generally recognized that there is strong opposition to the Washington Accord among some Palestinians of all sections of society and that it will not be easy for Arafat's staff to find the score of delegates and officials that are needed. It is also obvious that the Israelis will have to have a say in the selection of members of these Committees and Authorities.

There is, of course, a remarkable and hardly discussed anomaly in that Washington Accord that creates serious uncertainties. It has hardly ever happened that a state, Israel, has made a formal, binding accord with a political organization, especially when such an accord covers a detailed programme of action over a period of years. Arafat's insistence on the term ~PLO' instead of Palestine makes that anomaly more tricky. Nothing is being said about the PLO ratifying the Accord. The Accord leaves it to an ~Interim Agreement' to specify the structure and powers of the ~Palestinian Council' to be elected not later than July 13th, 1994. This Council is to have legislative and executive authority. It is to start negotiations for a permanent settlement with Israel on December 13th, 1995, at the latest.

Now that new Council will not be the PLO. Therefore it will not be bound, or expected to be bound, by the Permanent Settlement that is supposed to have been worked out by then. It is likely to demand changes. And nobody could blame it. Thus, by insisting on the PLO and not Palestine being the partner in the five years progress towards that undefined ~permanent settlement' Arafat obtained freedom of argument, action and responsibility by his last minute manoeuvre that exploited the commitment President Clinton had entered into. In essence it means that in December 1995 the new Council can refuse to ratify what has been worked out and ask for more, especially regarding a Palestine state which the Israelis have been careful not to agree to in the Accord.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Aspects of the Washington Israel-PLO Agreement
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.