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After Oslo

The Oslo agreement was based on a territorial compromise which would be acceptable to both Israelis and Palestinians. But as the peace process falters, the "two-state solution" implicit in Oslo may have to give way to a unitary "binational state" as the only way of reconciling competing national claims

Five years ago, on 13th September 1993, the White House lawn was the scene for one of the most extraordinary acts of contemporary political theatre. After months of secret negotiations in Norway between Israel and the PLO, the US assembled a select audience to bear witness to what has become known as the Oslo agreement and Bill Clinton finally nudged Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin into a historic, if reluctant, handshake with PLO chairman Yasser Arafat.

Oslo’s promise lay in the prospect of unprecedented political and psychological engagement between Israel and the PLO and the hopes this raised for peace. The…

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