Former U.S. Peace Negotiator: Conditions for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Are Not Present

(Carnegie Middle East Center-Lebanon) Aaron David Miller interviewed by Michael Young - Since leaving government in 2003, my analysis of the peace process has been annoyingly and consistently negative. Partly, that was because I was no longer charged with coming up with ideas that I knew could never work. But largely it was based on what I saw with my own eyes and that I still see today. You want serious negotiations that might have a chance of producing a two-state solution? Then you need three things that have never been present in the history of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. First, leaders who are masters of their political houses, not prisoners of them and their respective ideologies, and have vision and pragmatism. Second, a sense of real urgency - pain and gain - which makes the benefits of changing the status quo more attractive than the risks of maintaining it. And finally, a third party, likely the U.S., that has the will and skill to serve as a broker if both sides are willing to get serious. None of these factors is present today. The lesson of my years working on negotiations is stark and compelling. Every breakthrough - between Egypt and Israel, between Israel and the Palestinians, between Israel and Jordan - was initially reached in secret, without the knowledge of the U.S. The moral of the story is that you can't make bricks without straw. Local ownership is critical. Aaron David Miller, currently vice-president for new initiatives and director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, served in the State Department for two decades as a negotiator on Middle Eastern issues.

2018-04-27 00:00:00

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