First, an Economic Peace

Revisiting Israel and Palestine's Paris Protocol

The West Bank Jewish settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah, July 18, 2013. Baz Ratner / Reuters

On September 30, just as he had warned a week earlier, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dropped a “bombshell” at a speech before the UN General Assembly. In somewhat vague terms, Abbas said, “We declare that as long as Israel refuses to commit to the agreements signed with us...they leave us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to the implementation of these agreements.” By “agreements,” Abbas meant the Oslo Accords, signed in 1993 and 1995, which are considered the cornerstone of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The accords established the Palestinian Authority and laid out a five-year timetable for the resolution of disputes between Israel and Palestine. Since then, peace has stalled in light of Hamas-sponsored terrorist attacks against Israel, the exchange of rocket fire between the two, intifadas, and the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Abbas likely wasn’t talking about

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