The First Intifada, the Oslo Accords, and the Escalation of Terror: Causalities Revisited

35 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2015 Last revised: 1 Feb 2015

See all articles by Konstantin Yanovskiy

Konstantin Yanovskiy

Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy

Ilia Zatcovetsky

Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology

Vadim Rotenberg

Tel Aviv University

Date Written: January 15, 2015

Abstract

The analysis of events of the First Intifada focused on the question of how well founded the decisions made at the time were to introduce radical changes in the terror-fighting strategy. Most sources treat the process at Oslo as an outgrowth of Israel’s inability to suppress the Arab riots. We will consider an alternative interpretation in addition to this widespread view. The alternative approach will be based on understanding Oslo as the outcome of developments dictated by certain interests within Israel. The magnitude of the events of 1987-1990 does nothing to explain the leadership’s refusal to come up with a strategy for fighting terrorism in favor of choosing a strategy of pacification instead. Most of the steps taken by the Israeli leadership in the course of the conflict cannot be adequately explained without taking into account the struggle for power and the evolution of the leftist elite’s interests after their loss of the monopoly of power in 1977 — along with their loss of motives for defending the country or the security of its citizens. Citizen security saw a drastic drop in the priority status it had formerly enjoyed as a state objective. This came in the wake of the disintegration of mechanisms of responsibility and the interest taken by the authorities in providing security.

The Oslo Accords were in no way dictated by the First Intifada; even so, the Intifada is used extensively as a means of Oslo legitimatization. In actuality, one and the same process and one and the same political choice led to both the Oslo Accords and the terror boom.

Keywords: First Intifada, Security, Terror incentives, weakness signals

JEL Classification: D74, D78, H56

Suggested Citation

Yanovskiy, Konstantin and Zatcovetsky, Ilia and Rotenberg, Vadim, The First Intifada, the Oslo Accords, and the Escalation of Terror: Causalities Revisited (January 15, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2550441 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2550441

Konstantin Yanovskiy (Contact Author)

Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy ( email )

Gazetny pereulok, 3-5
Moscow, 125993
Russia

Ilia Zatcovetsky

Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology ( email )

Technion, Haifa 32000
Israel

Vadim Rotenberg

Tel Aviv University ( email )

Tel Aviv University
Ramat Aviv, 69978
Israel

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