The Other Walls: The Arab-Israeli Peace Process in a Global Perspective

The Other Walls: The Arab-Israeli Peace Process in a Global Perspective

The Other Walls: The Arab-Israeli Peace Process in a Global Perspective

The Other Walls: The Arab-Israeli Peace Process in a Global Perspective

Excerpt

The Arab-Israeli peace process was, when it produced five agreements between 1974 and 1979, a series of negotiations embedded in a larger political process. This book was finished in mid-1985 -- a year of opportunity in the peace process. This introduction to the new edition was finished in mid-1990 -- a moment of more questionable but still potential opportunity. But this is not a book about moments or negotiations. It is about the political process of changing relationships among Israelis, Palestinians, and other Arabs. That process, not the headlines of any moment, remains its focus.

Although this is a book about the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace process, by extension it offers insight into how nations and peoples might build more cooperative relationships in today's world. It applies to both making peace and preserving peace. It applies not only to Arabs and Israelis but also to Americans, Chinese, and Soviets, or to Germans East and West in a larger European community. It applies to Central America, many parts of Africa, northern Ireland, Afghanistan, and Cambodia.

We are on the bridge between two paradigms in trying to understand and act in a rapidly changing world on the eve of the twenty- first century. For four hundred-plus years we in Western civilization have focused on the nation-state as the organizing unit in the interaction of peoples. States will continue to dominate the world stage so far as we can see. At the same time, we are experiencing a slow, uneven, incomplete but steady diffusion of power -- both to new states that do not have the traditional attributes of power and to groupings of people who seem to have no raw power at all. As we speak of a shift from a bipolar to a multipolar world, we are now . . .

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