I’m tired of hearing about Arafat at Camp David. The Palestinians did not turn down peace at Camp David. Peace was already dead. Years earlier at Oslo, when what should have been a peace deal was signed by both parties, the plan was that Israel would pull back to UN 242 borders within five years as the situation was de-escalated. This never happened — instead of pulling back according to the peace agreement, Israel advanced into the territories further and settlements grew by a huge margin though the Palestinians met their requirements under the same agreement. Naturally, the Palestinian people got upset and felt that they’d been double-crossed.
Eight years after the Oslo accord was signed, with tensions increasing beacuse of this illegal growth by Israel contrary to the peace deal they’d signed, leaders met in Camp David to try to come to some new agreement. Arafat was offered less at Camp David than he had already agreed to at Oslo, with important aspects of autonomy still missing from the offer. Israel had already failed to abide by one agreement; now they were offering even a less favorable one. How could Arafat sign on to that?
And for the people who keep claiming he’s a dictator: this is a lie, plain and simple. Arafat was elected in free and open elections and the result was recognized by the western nations. Now for some reason the press wants to declare him a dictator and Israel is claiming that he came to power by force to oppress his own people. And they say this while Israeli tanks line the streets.
Anyone who wants to know how much Israel wants peace need only look at the track record of the Israeli people: Yitzak Rabin signs Oslo peace accord, gets assassinated by his own citizens; Israeli civilian settlements in occupied Palestine increase faster than ever before during the very period in which they were supposed to be pulling out under the same Oslo agreement; Barak offers a lesser peace at Camp David and gets booted out because of it; in his place, Ariel Sharon, the Butcher of Beirut, currently on trial for War Crimes in Europe, gets elected; Sharon launches some of the largest operations in the camps in a decade and yet the Israeli citizens are still not satisfied and will in all likelihood elect Netenyahu next time around.
Considering all of this and the overwhelming force being used by the very modern IDF against ill-equipped Palestinian citizens (who have died at a much higher rate than Israeli citizens during this whole affair), it is no wonder that there is no peace in the region.