Anyone who has followed Israeli politics and the “peace process” since the infamous handshake between the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on the White House grounds, Sept. 13, 1993, knows all about the Oslo Accords. Or thinks they do.
This thoroughly researched and beautifully produced documentary not only reminds us of the powerful hope that was launched by the Oslo process, but also of the mind-boggling tragedy of the assassination of Rabin and the resulting tragic squashing of those hopes. Using original video of the secret, unsanctioned negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian diplomats, narration of their diaries and recent interviews, “The Oslo Diaries” tells the inside, behind-the-scenes story of this historic — if controversial — agreement.
We see the intense human, personal aspects of peace-making between longtime foes who become lifelong friends. These individuals – now often vilified and called traitors – knowingly accepted personal and political risks for peace. The film reminds us of how close Israel and the Palestinians were to making progress towards peace.
“The Oslo Diaries” lets us hear from the diplomats who rose to the challenge, as they look back on the experience.Watching “The Oslo Diaries” is an emotional rollercoaster that cannot leave a viewer unaffected. In the end, the movie makes us wonder, “Is this a tale of triumph or defeat?”
The answer is up to you, the viewer.
Jan Jaben-Eilon is a long-time journalist who has dual citizenship in the United States and Israel.