Israeli-Palestinian Peace "Difficult, but Doable," Says William Quandt

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Israeli-Palestinian Peace "Difficult, But Doable," Says William Quandt

The United States needs to engage in a new round of diplomacy with the Israelis and Palestinians and shouldn't be concerned that it might be construed as caving in to terrorism, William B. Quandt told a San Francisco World Affairs Council audience Nov. 7. "If it's the right thing to do, you just do it," said the University of Virginia professor of government and foreign affairs and vice-provost for international affairs. As the Carter administration's senior director at the National Security Council, Quandt was actively involved in the negotiations leading to the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement. Achieving a peace agreement in the short term would be difficult, he said, but in the long term "it was doable."

Quandt described the talks held at Camp David in July 2000 as "weird negotiations" because, he said, a map was never used for dividing territory. Instead only percentages were discussed. In his opinion, however, the parties "were close," and these failed negotiations could be used as a starting point for new talks.

During the hour-long lecture and question-and-answer session, which was co-sponsored by the Women's Interfaith Dialogue on the Middle East, Quandt discussed the events of Sept. …