Abbas to Israel: “What About Oslo?”
Vol: 54 Issue: 27 Monday, March 27, 2006
Israel has refused to continue negotiations with the Palestinian Authority now that it is dominated by Hamas, a reasonable move, given Hamas’ singular political goal of Israel’s destruction.
Even Russia and the EU are uncharacteristically sympathetic to Israel’s predicament, which has Mahmoud Abbas sweating bullets.
Nobody is pressuring Israel, and Abbas is finding himself increasingly irrelevant, both at home and abroad.
On Friday, he admitted in an interview that he has proposed secret “back channel” talks, saying he believes there is a chance he can negotiate a final peace deal with Israel.
Of course, there’s the Hamas problem, but Abbas has a solution. Abbas said that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians could be carried out through the PLO, which signed the Oslo Accords with Israel in 1993. (Abbas is also head of the PLO)
The Oslo accords created the Palestinian Authority in the first place and Abbas’ proposal would turn the clock back, essentially restarting the Oslo process from the beginning.
“We are in a historic period, in which we must decide whether we will move toward peace and a better future for our children. I can promise that you have a partner for this peace,” Abbas told the Israeli daily Ha’aretz in an interview that was published Friday.
There is political will on the Israeli side, although not much. Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he wants to establish Israel’s borders within four years, preferably through negotiations with the Palestinians.
But if there is no possibility for reaching an agreement, Israel would establish its borders unilaterally. And Olmert appears well on his way to an electoral victory, according to Israeli polling estimates.
According to Abbas, he made a proposal to former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and to Washington that Israel and the Palestinians open “a back channel of talks, far from the spotlight.”
He said he was convinced that an agreement could be signed between Israel and the Palestinians within a year.
I was initially amused at Abbas’ attempt to grab the spotlight. What caught my attention, I suppose, was reading all about Abbas’ ‘secret’ plan in a newspaper.
Hamas is completely devoted to its goal of Israel’s destruction, which makes any effort on the part of Abbas laughable, despite his contentions. Hamas was elected by a majority of voters.
Abbas essentially got his job in the typical Middle Eastern manner — he inherited it first and then got himself elected afterwards.
It is Hamas, and not Abbas, who has all the power in the Palestinian Authority. Whatever deal Abbas might work out would require the approval of the Hamas-dominated legislature. That isn’t gonna happen, so why waste time negotiating with the PA?
Upon further reflection, however, there is more to this than Mahmoud Abbas simply trying to re-establish his relevance on the world stage. Much more.
I have been waiting for the process to come full circle and revisit the Oslo framework once again.
I have a private formula I use as a kind of temperature gauge for where I believe we are on the Bible’s timeline. Something along the lines of, “If we are as far along as I think we are, then this is what should be coming next.”
If it comes together the way Scripture says it will, then I can put a checkmark beside that. If not, then we’re a bit further behind than I thought.
For example, I never expected Oslo to work. It was too early on the Bible’s timeline. Daniel predicted,
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people OF THE PRINCE THAT SHALL COME shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” (Daniel 9:26)
Daniel’s prediction is in two parts and covers two distinct periods in history. The Messiah was ‘cut off’ at the end of the sixty-ninth week of Daniel. (See Daniel’s 70th Week in today’s ‘deja vu’ section of the website)
Forty years later the Romans destroyed the Temple, massacred most of the Jews in Jerusalem and exiled the rest.
The secular historian Flavius Josephus wrote an eyewitness account in which he said the blood flooded the streets, in some places to the depth of a horse’s bridle.
Daniel also alludes in this verse to the Seventieth Week, which takes place at the other end of history, culminating with the Second Coming of Christ.
The ‘prince that shall come’ is the antichrist, and Daniel identifies him with the Roman Empire. The EU’s revived Roman Empire was in its infancy in 1993 when Oslo was signed. We weren’t that far along the timeline yet in 1993.
Of the Seventieth Week, Daniel predicted;
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27)
Daniel doesn’t say the antichrist negotiates or brokers a covenant between Israel and her enemies. Daniel says he CONFIRMS it. To confirm anything, it must first be in place, or the word ‘confirm’ is meaningless.
You must first have a dentist’s appointment before you can confirm it.
Daniel identifies the covenant as being of seven year’s duration. Oslo’s terms called for a series of steps to culminate in Palestinian statehood and an agreed-upon final status for Jerusalem, setting a deadline of September 13, 2000, seven years to the day from the Rose Garden signing ceremony.
Since the antichrist didn’t negotiate the deal (and the Church was still here), the Oslo deal didn’t qualify, exactly. But it sure was close.
Oslo was predicated on a formula of ‘land for peace.’ Daniel predicted the antichrist’s covenant would ‘divide the land for gain’. (Daniel 11:39)
But it was too early, so, based on my private ‘if we are as far along as I think’ formula, Oslo had to fail the first time around. And it did.
But, following the same formula, the next relevant development would come once people started talking about reviving the Oslo framework.
I’ve been out on that limb alone for some time now, writing of a revival of Oslo as a major piece of the puzzle that HAD to come — if we were as far along the Big Picture timeline as I believed then. And if I was understanding the Scriptures correctly insofar as Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 Weeks was concerned.
Conventional wisdom said Oslo was as dead as Yasser Arafat. Now we’re talking about Israel, Oslo and the PLO all over again. It confirms that I am barking up the right tree.
This development, I believe, sets the stage for the ‘prince that shall come’. Not today, or tomorrow. (We’re not that far along the timeline yet.)
Reviving the Oslo framework between Israel and the PLO just starts the negotiation process anew — it is a long way from being ready to ‘confirm’ — but it does set the clock to ticking.
There are still a lot of missing puzzle pieces, but the Big Picture is getting clearer.
And, before the last piece falls into place, we’re outta here. That’s pretty close.
“And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:2)
Kind of takes your breath away, don’t it?