Creating War, Inventing Peace: the History Behind Oslo, Its Implications, and the Arab-Israel Conflict

Date of Graduation

Fall 1995


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


This thesis is an examination of the first Oslo Accord and the events prior to the signing of Oslo II, and their implications for Arab-Israel relations. It surveys the Arab-Jewish, Arab-Israel conflict; the development of "Palestinianism;" and the Palestinian Arab-Israel conflict. The thesis concludes that the advent of an acquired Palestinian identity, and the Palestinian Liberation Organization that propelled it forward, was a strategic element in the Arab war against Israel. Furthermore, it shows that the Oslo Accord was motivated by the different political ambition of two leaders, Yasir Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin, and that this process eventually consummated as "fact" nearly a century of distorted history and construed myths. In doing so, the Oslo Accord legitimized several "sacred cows" of the Middle East. The first being that the Arab-Israel conflict is the major cause of instability in the Middle East. Secondly, it recognized an artificial distinction in the Palestinian Arabs, as well as their unsubstantiated historical claims to Yeretz Israel. Thirdly, it has concealed the real source of Middle Eastern discord, that being inter-Arab rivalry. And finally, Oslo has overshadowed the real problems of the Middle East, such as the Arab identity crisis, the Western Anathema, and the lack of Arab political legitimacy. This thesis illuminates the risks to Israel from the Oslo peace process.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Lewis M Johnson