Palestinian Politics and the Middle East Peace Process
Consensus and Competition in the Palestinian Negotiating Team
Eight years after the second Palestinian uprising, the Oslo accords signed in 1993 seem to have failed. The reasons for the failure continue to fascinate students, politicians, researchers and policymakers alike. This book explores one of the major aspects of the bilateral peace process – the composition and behaviour of the Palestinian negotiating team, which deeply impacted the outcome of the negotiations between 1991 and 1997. It focuses on the dynamics between the PLO leadership outside the occupied Palestinian territories and the grassroots leadership within the areas under Israeli control that led to conflicts of interest at the time of the final agreement. As the author was a part of the Palestinian leadership in the occupied territories, and was present during the negotiations process in Madrid and Washington DC, the book contains original, unpublished accounts, including those of the Washington bilateral negotiations and crucial internal Palestinian meetings. It is an excellent resource to gain an understanding of Palestinian behavior during peace talks, deterioration in peace-making efforts, the resulting radicalization, and the growing tendency towards violence.
Table of Contents
1. The Literature Survey 2. The Emergence and Nature of the Palestinian Leadership 3. Palestinian Participation in the Peace Process: The Madrid Conference and Washington Negotiations 4. The Oslo Agreement - 1993 5. The Negotiations over the Implementation of the Declaration of Principles 6. Palestinian Leadership and Palestinian Authority
Ghassan Khatib is Vice President and lecturer at Birzeit University, Palestine. He founded, and was the Director of the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre. He was also formerly a member of the Joint Working Group on Israeli-Palestinian Relations at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, USA.
Overall this book adds a significant and distinctive contribution to the scholarly work on Palestine and provides various hints and insights to what went wrong over the last two decades in the Middle East peace process and what can be learnt so as to avoid the mistakes in the future. At the end of the day it remains an inspiring book for an uninspiring peace process.
Alaa Tartir - London School of Economics, JCTS