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Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace, Second Edition

Patterns, Problems, Possibilities

Laura Zittrain Eisenberg and Neil Caplan

Publication Year: 2010

Thoroughly updated and expanded, this new edition of Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace examines the history of recurrent efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict and identifies a pattern of negative negotiating behaviors that seem to repeatedly derail efforts to achieve peace. In a lively and accessible style, Laura Zittrain Eisenberg and Neil Caplan examine eight case studies of recent Arab-Israeli diplomatic encounters, from the Egyptian-Israeli peace of 1979 to the beginning of the Obama administration, in light of the historical record. By measuring contemporary diplomatic episodes against the pattern of counterproductive negotiating habits, this book makes possible a coherent comparison of over sixty years of Arab-Israeli negotiations and gives readers a framework with which to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of peace-making attempts, past, present, and future.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Series: Indiana Series in Middle East Studies

List of Maps

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pp. ix-x

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Preface to the Second Edition

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pp. xi-xiv

This book seeks to provide a historical backdrop and framework for understanding the still unfinished business of Arab-Israeli peacemaking. We conceived of it as an alternative to the flood of instant analysis and interpretation that invariably accompany current events in the often unpredictable Arab-Israeli arena. The book represents our conviction that today’s headlines follow naturally from the course ...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xv-xvi

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Introduction. Historical Patterns: Bad Habits Are Hard to Break

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pp. 1-32

Most observers are aware that Arab-Israel enmity has a long and violent history. Less well known, however, is the equally long history of attempts to achieve peace. The earliest serious attempt at negotiation dates back to 1913–1914, when representatives of the Zionist Organization and members of the Arab Decentralization Party met in Cairo and Beirut to plan for Palestine’s future as Ottoman rule over ...

Part One. The Arab-Israeli Peace Process: Beginnings

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pp. 33-34

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1. Hot Wars and a Cold Peace: The Camp David Accords, 1977–1979

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pp. 35-51

The 1977–1979 Camp David peace process is one of the best known and most written-about negotiation episodes between Arabs and Israelis. The name refers to the U.S. presidential retreat that was the site of intensive tripartite Israeli-Egyptian-American negotiations in September 1978,1 but actually encompasses several stages of a complex peace process that ultimately produced three separate agree-...

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2. Mission Impossible: The 1983 Israel-Lebanon Agreement

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pp. 52-72

The Israel-Lebanon Agreement of 17 May 1983 (document 44) is what we might call a perfect failure. The negotiations leading to this agreement involved virtually all the characteristics of the early pattern of unsuccessful Arab-Zionist encounters. The presence of so many elements that permitted negotiations to persist for the wrong reasons—that is, those other than for actually making peace—allowed these...

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3. Premature Peacemaking: The 1987 Hussein-Peres London Document

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pp. 73-92

In 1987, Jordan’s King Hussein and Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres personally drafted an accord in a secret London meeting, the culmination of many months of intense communication between the two men and their trusted aides. The London Document of 11 April 1987 (document 48) envisioned an international conference followed by bilateral Arab-Israeli negotiations. It broke new ground in a number of ...

Part Two. The Arab-Israeli Peace Process: Madrid and After

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pp. 93-94

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4. Setting the Peace Table: The Madrid Conference and Washington Talks, 1991–1993

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pp. 95-115

On 30 October 1991, official Arab and Israeli delegates gathered together around a common negotiating table in Madrid, Spain. The Madrid Conference represented a victory for those who championed a multilateral format and a comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It also reflected the recent victory of the U.S.-led multinational coalition in liberating Kuwait from Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein, ...

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5. Out of the Shadows and into the Light: The Jordanian-Israeli Peace Process, 1991–1994

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pp. 116-134

The Peace Treaty of 26 October 1994 (document 76) between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is one of the most promising negotiated settlements to emerge in the post-Madrid period. The treaty is actually the fourth in a series of Jordanian-Israeli agreements that grew out of their work together in the bilateral talks set in motion at the Madrid Peace Conference of October 1991.1 The...

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6. Falling Short of the Heights: Israel and Syria, 1991–2000

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pp. 135-162

For many years Syria prided itself on leading an Arab front opposed to negotiations with Israel. Yet, as we saw in chapter 4, Syria surprised observers by participating in the 1991 Madrid Conference and then sent a delegation to follow-up talks held at the U.S. State Department. From the summer of 1993 until the spring of 2000, Israelis, Syrians, and Americans became engaged in no less than three concerted ...

Part Three. The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process: Oslo 1993 and Beyond

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pp. 163-164

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7. Breakthrough: The Oslo Accords

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pp. 165-189

The stunning revelation of a secret agreement in September 1993 between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) completely recast the anatomy of the Arab-Israeli peace process and seemed to promise, for the first time, a break-through between the principal protagonists at the very core of this century-old conflict. The fact that direct PLO-Israeli negotiations had taken place was startling ...

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8. Breaking Down: Oslo Collapses

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pp. 190-221

It would not be spoiling the end of the movie to reveal at the beginning of this chapter that Oslo did not live up to the high hopes it had engendered. In fact, back-sliding and provocations by many parties undid much of the early progress the Oslo architects had made toward Palestinian-Israeli peace. The iconic photograph of Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat shaking hands in front of a beaming Bill Clinton on the ...

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9. Broken beyond Repair?: Camp David II and the Second Intifada

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pp. 222-252

By the summer of 1999, pundits were asking whether the Oslo peace process required resuscitation or an autopsy. Voting for the former, the Israeli electorate resoundingly rejected the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu and in July 1999 made Ehud Barak the country’s new prime minister. Having risen to the pinnacle of prestige and power in the Israeli military, Barak now set his sights on ambitious political ...

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Conclusion. Peace as a Process

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pp. 253-282

One of the most misused phrases in the lexicon of the Arab-Israeli conflict is “peace process.” For years it has been used to describe every non-battlefield encounter between the two sides and every American foray into Arab-Israeli affairs, regardless of purpose or outcome. But was “peace” really the common objective? And how often was a “process”—a series of actions or operations leading toward a particular ...

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Epilogue. Rebuilding Amid the Rubble

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pp. 283-300

Historians generally enjoy the luxury of pursuing their work unfettered by the hazards of current events. The thesis of this book, however, is that an application of our framework for analysis to ongoing and future Arab-Israel negotiations will continue to clarify the forces at work behind the headlines and beyond these case studies. Thus it may be useful at this point to offer an epilogue in which we review ...

Appendix A. Timeline

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pp. 301-310

Appendix B. Documents Online

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pp. 311-316


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pp. 317-380


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pp. 381-318


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pp. 419-431

E-ISBN-13: 9780253004574
E-ISBN-10: 0253004578
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253222121

Page Count: 452
Illustrations: 37 b&w illus., 11 maps
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: Second Edition
Series Title: Indiana Series in Middle East Studies