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Is the Palestinian Authority really a 'fig leaf' for Israeli occupation?

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The solution? Disband the PA and jolt the international community into reviving peace diplomacy toward a two-state solution, argues Yossi Beilin, the Israeli architect of Oslo.

''It is an electric-shock treatment because no one can ignore it," says Mr. Beilin in an interview. "If you come to Israel and say, 'Hey, the vacation is over, you can't benefit from me unilaterally, you cannot prolong Oslo forever, that it's over, than that is something. Even Obama will have to wake up.''

Mr. Beilin, who was Abbas's partner in the secret talks leading up to Oslo, called on the Palestinian leader in an open letter last month to dismantle the PA and return the residents of the West Bank to direct and full Israeli occupation. For the sake of Palestinians, ''and for the sake of peace, you cannot let this farce continue,'' he wrote.

Oslo was designed as an interim arrangement to last for five years, until a final status agreement could be reached covering the thorniest conflict issues including refugees, Jerusalem, and borders by 1999, Beilin recalls. He says the Oslo agreement was meant to be a mere ''corridor'' to a permanent peace solution but has turned into a permanent arrangement, or "living room." He blames Israeli and Palestinian hard-liners anxious to avoid a territorial compromise.

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