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Oslo Accords, A Milestone In Rabin's Legacy

Despite criticisms of the Oslo Accords, and the victims who have fallen on both sides since their signing 20 years ago, the agreement nonetheless opened the way for today's negotiations.  
File photograph of Palestinian President Arafat, Israel's Perez and Israeli Prime Minister Rabin showing their Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.  Palestinian President Yasser Arafat was in a coma and in critical condition in the intensive care unit at a French military hospital after his health suddenly deteriorated, aides said November 4, 2004. Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, (L) Israel's Shimon Perez (C) and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin show their Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in this December 10, 1994
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It was an event destined to transform Israeli politics, more so than any event that preceded it. From that point on, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was to change course. But about a month after the signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn, on September 13, 1993, the agreement reached the Knesset. The right-wing parties, flabbergasted by the move, were beside themselves with anger. They were determined to make it really difficult for Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who had dared to cross the Rubicon.

Just a few years earlier, in 1989, Israeli citizens had been arrested for having contact with Palestinian officials. Now, none other than the prime minister himself, was publicly shaking hands with the man who, for years, had been depicted as an arch-murderer. Pictures of Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat adorned the streets of East Jerusalem, and the flags of Palestine flew from balconies in that part of the city. Israelis, however, were sharply divided over the agreement, with its enthusiastic advocates on the one side, and its opponents, who were resolved to prevent its implementation at all costs, on the other.

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