In the two decades since the historic, but unrealized, Oslo agreement, the Palestinian leadership under the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has consistently met Israeli demands. The promise that a permanent Palestinian settlement based on UN resolutions 242 and 338 would be founded, and that Israel would withdraw to pre-1967 borders, looks as distant today as it was in 1993.
Palestinians were told to renounce violence and recognize the state of Israel, which effectively amounted to relinquishing Palestinian claims on a full 78 percent of their country, in exchange for Israel merely recognizing the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
The historic and overwhelming compromise of the Palestinian leadership has met all equitable demands that could be imposed on them with regard to recognizing Israel without being reciprocally recognized as an independent Palestine. Aside from being strong-armed into making punishing – even humiliating – diplomatic compromises, the Palestinian people have endured an occupation that displays a callous disregard for human life by killing thousands of Palestinian civilians, including children, in Gaza and the occupied West Bank with near total impunity.