Plans for Peace: Negotiation and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Plans for Peace: Negotiation and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Plans for Peace: Negotiation and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Plans for Peace: Negotiation and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Synopsis

This analysis and history of the Arab-Israeli conflict is unique in linking major issues and peace plans to negotiation theory and strategy. The text analyzes the framework of the Arab-Israeli conflict, how it has built up, and how it has been maintained. The structure of the negotiation process is then viewed in the same way. Key elements in the Arab-Israeli conflict are considered historically and related directly to the process of negotiation and to theories about positional and principled bargaining and tactics needed in a pre-negotiation period and during negotiation to produce more successful results.

Excerpt

Middle East politics operate in a dynamic arena where old and long-standing issues continue to resurface as significant dimensions in contemporary crises. The decade of the 1990s was ushered in with a host of unresolved political, economic, and demographic problems accompanied by feelings of frustration, deep anger, and despair among many people. Fro+m the intifada to the Gulf War, once again the place of Israel and the fate of the Palestinians appeared as important aspects within the broader challenge to the global community of devising ways to structure and ensure stability across the entire geographic region.

Protracted hostilities, religious passions, invasions, occupations, and violence have created policy problems for all interested states--those in the immediate vicinity and beyond--forcing them to define their respective principles of national security in the context of balancing levels of political linkage across a multitude of conflict events. The transitional age of the international system, denoted by changing alliance patterns and revised domestic and foreign policy agendas, has effectively weakened the previous framework of bargaining rules that existed in Middle East politics and contributed to an overall sense of uncertainty about the future. Neither a strong, widely respected leader nor an all-embracing ideology that could inspire and guide peaceful political change into a new regional world order has yet emerged.

Within the Palestinian movement and for the Israeli government, questions are being raised about the direction of leadership and the constellation and power of positions advocated by militants and moderates in both camps. Militant sentiments tend to reduce any potential for negotiated solutions, yet experience with violence tends to negate the possibility for growth among moderates. The whirlwind of emotional outcry and seething tensions that dominate the region make it impossible to predict the form of any final settlement. There may be a possibility . . .

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