Oslo hasn’t even allowed for a cold peace.
This past month marks 40 years since the Egypt-Israel Camp David Peace Accords and 25 years since the PLO-Israel Oslo Accords. Washington ultimately brokered both accords but they differed dramatically in their implementation. While the Egyptian-Israeli peace remains cold and formal, it is still a relative success. Instead of facing each other in the military battlefield, there are diplomatic relations, extensive intelligence sharing, and anti-terrorism cooperation between Jerusalem and Cairo.
By contrast, the Oslo Accords with PLO largely constitute a failure. Peace between Jerusalem and the Abbas regime in Ramallah appears more distant than ever. Several key differences explain why Camp David succeeded while Oslo failed.
The Camp David Peace Accords were signed by two countries: Egypt and Israel. By contrast, the Oslo Accords were signed by one country — Israel — and a non-state terrorist organization, PLO. The Egyptian-Israeli peace was relatively straightforward in its implementation: Israel ceded the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in return for a formal peace agreement with Cairo. While hostility towards the Jewish state remains strong in the streets of Cairo, Egypt’s political leadership continues to honor the agreement with Israel, which also provides it with much needed U.S. aid and Israeli technologies.