Diplomacy: Arafat walked out on the most wide-reaching, once-in-a-lifetime peace proposal ever offered by Israel —a deal that crossed long-entrenched Israeli red lines. Without attempting to negotiate, Arafat brought an end to the Camp David II Summit by walking out. Barak withdrew his now-or-never offer. President Clinton later put the blame squarely on Arafat's shoulders.
Violence: On September 28, 2000—two months after rejecting statehood side-by-side with Israel – Arafat broke any pretense of keeping his 1993 vow to reject terrorism and negotiate a peace. He launched what the Palestinians label the al-Aqsa Intifada— an out-and-out guerrilla war against Israel . Empty rhetoric about “the peace of the brave” was replaced by calls for a jihad— the holy war against Israel .
The summit was an attempt to bridge the gap between Palestinians and Israelis by finally dealing with the fine details in permanent status talks. President Clinton brought Israeli Prime Minister Barak and PA Chairman Arafat to the site where Egyptians and Israelis had negotiated their historic 1978 peace treaty: Camp David . The Israeli Prime Minister offered the Palestinians control of 100 percent of Gaza , 92 percent of the West Bank and 3 percent of Israeli territory adjacent to Gaza —and independence. Barak even offered Palestinians control over East Jerusalem, including most of the Old City and religious sovereignty over the Temple Mount . All Israel asked in return was that Arafat declares the “end of conflict” and agree that no future claims on Israel would be made.
“Arafat's War,” — as Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer preferred to label the second Intifada, also known as the ‘Oslo War' — was the logical conclusion of the stage-by-stage tactics adopted by the PLO in 1974: getting Israel to weaken itself by promising peace by making concessions that would establish a PLO bridgehead in the West Bank and Gaza from which they could launch a frontal attack on the Jewish state. The PA's strong Palestinian police force (armed by Israel , ostensibly so that Arafat would have ammunition and arms to restrain rejectionist extremists in his own camp) was unleashed against Israeli soldiers and civilians.
Diplomacy: In May 2000, Israel unilaterally withdrew from its self-declared security zone in southern Lebanon , which had been created in the wake of the 1982 “Peace in the Galilee” operation to prevent the kind of brutal terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians that the PLO had carried out in the 1970s and launched from war-torn Lebanon .
Diplomacy : In 1969, the Cairo Agreement between Lebanon and the PLO was signed. It granted Palestinian Arabs in Lebanon the right to bear arms to carry on their war against Israel . Lebanese authorities signed the Cairo Agreement under the combined pressure of Egypt , Syria and hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs, whose refugee camps had become hotbeds of discontent and become a destabilizing force in Lebanon . The PLO took advantage of the ethnic rivalries and political weakness of its host country to slowly degrade the integrity of Lebanese sovereignty, and created an unofficially autonomous PLO region in southern Lebanon in everything but name.
As a result, the PLO secretly adopted a stage-by-stage plan in 1974 to achieve its goals. Stage One called for using violent struggle as a means of establishing a “combatant national authority” over any territory liberated from Israeli rule. Stage Two envisioned using the territory of the national authority as a base for attacks on Israel . That in turn would lead to provoking all-out war “to liberate all Palestinian territory” - or destroy Israel . Many observers believe application of that strategy was the basis of the PLO's bogus concession to recognize Israel in the 1993 Oslo Accords. The Accords established the Palestine National Authority (or PA), which gave the PLO a foothold in the West Bank, and Gaza —the objective of the PLO's Stage One.
From that perspective, the breakdown of the peace process and outbreak of Arafat's war in September 2000 can be better understood. For it was only after Israeli concessions had reached their limit in July 2000 at Camp David that Arafat (prematurely) opted to launch Stage Two. In fact, in June 2001, the late Faysal Al-Husseini, a key member of the PLO inner circle, revealed in an interview in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Arabi that the Oslo Accords were what he labeled—“a Trojan Horse,” explaining:
In 1974 the Arab states (except Jordan ) recognized the PLO as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian People.” That made Palestinians formally responsible for their own destiny for the first time since the end of the 1948 war. Yet it did not mean a change in tactics as they continued to subscribe to a belief that “the Zionist entity” must be destroyed. On the other hand, Palestinians were acutely aware of their Arab brethren's failure to defeat Israel during the Yom Kippur War, even under optimal conditions.
Diplomacy : What ultimately led to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's dramatic decision in 1977 to recognize Israel and negotiate a peace treaty? In part it was the result of the Yom Kippur War, but it was also the result of the human dynamics of direct negotiations between military representatives at ‘Kilometer 101' in the Sinai Desert as Israeli and Egyptian forces disengaged.
Diplomacy : The goal of the Litani Campaign was to reestablish Lebanese control on the border, in spite of the ongoing Lebanese civil war. Instead, an ineffectual international peacekeeping force (UNIFEL) was established in southern Lebanon . Once Israel troops had withdrawn, UN troops filled the power vacuum. Their presence failed to prevent terrorism entirely, and periodic shelling of Israeli settlements in the Galilee with Soviet-supplied Katyusha rockets continued.
Violence : In 1973, the Syrians and the Egyptians launched the Yom Kippur War but were badly defeated by Israel . Considering the dire military position Israel found itself in after the first few days of the war, the speed with which the Israel Defense Force (IDF) was able to bounce back and reverse its fate in the field was remarkable. Egypt , which initially had refused a cease-fire, accepted it eagerly when Israeli forces regained the initiative. And so did Syria .