Making Peace with the PLO: The Rabin Government's Road to the Oslo Accord

Synopsis

After decades of branding Yasser Arafat an arch-terrorist, Israel has embraced the PLO leader as a partner for peace. In this study of one of the most extraordinary examples of secret diplomacy in the second half of the twentieth century, David Makovsky, diplomatic correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, explores the personal, domestic, regional, and international factors that led Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and other top aides to negotiate the peace accords. Makovsky traces key episodes prior to the breakthrough in Oslo- including Israel's deportation of radical Islamic activists in December 1992 and its retaliation against Hizbollah rocket attacks from south Lebanon in July 1993- and examines their impact on the fateful decisions that led to the remarkable diplomatic achievement. Working from exclusive interviews with dozens of Israeli, Palestinian, American, and Egyptian officials, Makovsky depicts in fascinating detail the intricacies of the Israel-PLO bargaining. He also examines lessons learned about Israeli decisionmaking from the Oslo experience and assesses the influence of the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan on the implementation of the Israel-PLO accord.