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The missing peace : the inside story of the fight for Middle East peace /
Dennis Ross.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York, N.Y. : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004.
description
xvi, 840 p.
ISBN
0374199736
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
New York, N.Y. : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004.
isbn
0374199736
catalogue key
5214156
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Lionel Gelber Prize, CAN, 2004 : Nominated
Excerpts
Excerpt from Book
Excerpt fromThe Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace, by Dennis Ross. Copyright 2004 by Dennis Ross. To be published in August, 2004 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved. PROLOGUE The End IT WAS JANUARY 2, 2001. Yasir Arafat was due at the White House in thirty minutes, and I was about to go into the Oval Office to brief the President. No matter how many times I had done this, no matter how many times Arafat had come, there was always a sense of anticipation. Each time the objective had been to advance the process, to move the ball down the field. But it was different this time. This time we faced the moment of truth. It was too late to think in terms of process. President Clinton had seventeen days left in office. Now we had to know: Could Yasir Arafat end this conflict? Could he accept the ideas, the proposals, the President had presented ten days ago? Already he had missed the deadline we had sought to impose on both sides for a response to the President's ideas. As usual, Chairman Arafat had equivocated. He had questions. He sought clarification. He wanted further discussions. He hoped that I would meet with the negotiators on each side and clear up misunderstandings, and he even succeeded in getting President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt to make this request to President Clinton. All this in response to an unprecedented set of ideas that would have produced a Palestinian state in all of Gaza and nearly all of the West Bank; a capital for that state in Arab East Jerusalem; security arrangements that would be built around an international presence; and an unlimited right of return for Palestinian refugees to their own state, but not to Israel. The ideas represented the culmination of an extraordinary effort to reach a final Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Thousands of miles had been covered, figuratively and literally. Thousands of hours of discussions had taken place. And, without exaggeration, thousands of arguments had been made, dissected, and examined in trying to understand what each side could and could not live with. The Clinton ideas were not about what each side wanted; they were about what each side needed. The Clinton ideas were a "first" and a "last." Never before had the United States put a comprehensive set of proposals on the table designed to end the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians--or at least shrink the differences on all the core issues to a point where a final deal could be hammered out quickly. We had come close to doing so in July five months earlier at the Camp David summit. But there, our ideas were not comprehensive--as we presented proposals neither on security arrangements nor on Palestinian refugees. Moreover, the ideas at Camp David were a mix of what Ehud Barak told us he could accept on withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza and what we thought might resolve the sensitive issue of Jerusalem. Now, while our ideas should have come as no surprise to either side, they represented our best judgment of what each side could accept in the end. We could not do better. Painful concessions were required on each side. Historic myths would have to give way to political necessity and reality on each side--with Israel giving up two core beliefs: that all of Jerusalem, including the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, would be Israeli, and that the Jordan Valley must never be surrendered. For their part, the Palestinians had to give up the myth of "right of return" to Israel--the animating belief of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian diaspora throughout their history. There could be no more haggling. Discussion within the parameters of the President's ideas was acceptable; trying to redefine these parameters was not. That is what President Clinton had told both Israeli and Palestinian negotiators on December
First Chapter
Excerpt from The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace, by Dennis Ross. Copyright © 2004 by Dennis Ross. To be published in August, 2004 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.


PROLOGUE


The End


IT WAS JANUARY 2, 2001. Yasir Arafat was due at the White House in thirty minutes, and I was about to go into the Oval Office to brief the President. No matter how many times I had done this, no matter how many times Arafat had come, there was always a sense of anticipation. Each time the objective had been to advance the process, to move the ball down the field.

But it was different this time. This time we faced the moment of truth. It was too late to think in terms of process. President Clinton had seventeen days left in office. Now we had to know: Could Yasir Arafat end this conflict? Could he accept the ideas, the proposals, the President had presented ten days ago?

Already he had missed the deadline we had sought to impose on both sides for a response to the President's ideas. As usual, Chairman Arafat had equivocated. He had questions. He sought clarification. He wanted further discussions. He hoped that I would meet with the negotiators on each side and clear up misunderstandings, and he even succeeded in getting President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt to make this request to President Clinton.

All this in response to an unprecedented set of ideas that would have produced a Palestinian state in all of Gaza and nearly all of the West Bank; a capital for that state in Arab East Jerusalem; security arrangements that would be built around an international presence; and an unlimited right of return for Palestinian refugees to their own state, but not to Israel.

The ideas represented the culmination of an extraordinary effort to reach a final Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Thousands of miles had been covered, figuratively and literally. Thousands of hours of discussions had taken place. And, without exaggeration, thousands of arguments had been made, dissected, and examined in trying to understand what each side could and could not live with. The Clinton ideas were not about what each side wanted; they were about what each side needed.

The Clinton ideas were a "first" and a "last." Never before had the United States put a comprehensive set of proposals on the table designed to end the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians--or at least shrink the differences on all the core issues to a point where a final deal could be hammered out quickly. We had come close to doing so in July five months earlier at the Camp David summit. But there, our ideas were not comprehensive--as we presented proposals neither on security arrangements nor on Palestinian refugees. Moreover, the ideas at Camp David were a mix of what Ehud Barak told us he could accept on withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza and what we thought might resolve the sensitive issue of Jerusalem.

Now, while our ideas should have come as no surprise to either side, they represented our best judgment of what each side could accept in the end. We could not do better. Painful concessions were required on each side. Historic myths would have to give way to political necessity and reality on each side--with Israel giving up two core beliefs: that all of Jerusalem, including the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, would be Israeli, and that the Jordan Valley must never be surrendered. For their part, the Palestinians had to give up the myth of "right of return" to Israel--the animating belief of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian diaspora throughout their history.
There could be no more haggling. Discussion within the parameters of the President's ideas was acceptable; trying to redefine these parameters was not.

That is what President Clinton had told both Israeli and Palestinian negotiators on December 23, 2000, when he presented the ideas to them. He told them if either side could not accept the ideas, they would be withdrawn and would leave with him when he left office. By December 27, he needed to know whether they were prepared to accept his ideas.

Yet here we were on January 2, 2001, having received Barak's affirmative answer on the twenty-seventh, but still not having heard anything but evasions from Arafat. Notwithstanding Arafat's efforts to engage us on "clarifying" the ideas, we had held firm and not done so. But we had also not withdrawn the President's proposal. We had not pulled back from this process, fearing, as we had so often during the Clinton years, that to do so would trigger a crisis, or an explosion, or a serious deterioration into violence. By not pulling back, we continued to keep alive the hope that a final agreement might yet be possible by January 20.

By this time, however, I had grave doubts that an agreement remained possible. After all, Arafat was equivocating in circumstances in which there was no more time, at least for Clinton; in which he had the backing for accepting the Clinton proposal from nearly every significant Arab leader, President Mubarak of Egypt, Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah of Jordan, President Ben Ali of Tunisia, and King Mohammad of Morocco; and in which Barak's acceptance of the Clinton ideas would disappear in the near certainty of his looming electoral defeat--a defeat that might only be averted by Palestinian acceptance of the President's ideas and the conclusion of a peace agreement. The stakes were clear and the choices stark, or so they should have been to Yasir Arafat.

This was my message to the President as I entered the Oval Office. If Arafat was posturing to try to get more, he had to be told that he was in danger of losing everything, and, I told the President, he must "hear that from you...and he must have no doubts that you have taken it to the limit and this is it." He must hear from you that "you worked your ass off" and presented something that no other U.S. president had ever been willing to propose--namely, a balanced package designed to end the conflict that tilted toward the Palestinians on territory and Jerusalem and tilted toward the Israelis on security and refugees. You had done your best, and there was nothing more you could do. It was now time for the Chairman to decide.

In closing, I reminded the President that Arafat never made a decision before he had to. He always waited until one minute to midnight. Unfortunately, I said, it was now three in the morning, and you need an answer in this meeting: Is it yes or no? Anything else, and Arafat was telling you he could not do a final deal, and he must know that is the conclusion you will draw.

"I got it," the President said.

Excerpted from The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace by Dennis B. Ross
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2004-07-12:
This is the ultimate insider's account of the roller-coaster ride of the Middle East peace process from 1988 to the breakdown of talks in 2001. More than anything else, Ross, the chief U.S. negotiator for Presidents Bush 41 and Clinton, has written an epic diplomat's handbook. We see the moves and countermoves on both sides, the preparation that goes into any statement or gesture, the backroom wheeling and dealing and the dance of language and meaning. Ross lays out, in painstaking detail, the "one step forward, two steps back" approach that finally led to such breakthroughs as the handshake on the White House lawn. He offers detailed accounts of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, the rise and fall of Benjamin Netanyahu and a picture of Arafat "seeking to have it both ways... La-Nam (no and yes in Arabic)." Ross's critical eye paints a vivid picture of the very different characters and strategies of Arafat, Barak and Clinton, and what led to the failure at Camp David. While Ross lands in the blame-Arafat camp, he is not without criticism of Barak and Clinton. Tragically, for all those who follow this region, Ross's book does not present a hopeful picture; the litany of failures sounds like a broken record: "We left the region hopeful, but that hope was premature"; "Once again, however, our best-laid plans went awry." Sure to garner its share of controversy and media attention, this work of history in the making is essential reading for anyone interested in why we are where we are in the Middle East. Maps not seen by PW. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2004-04-15:
From the chief peace negotiator for George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"The Missing Peaceis the definitive and gripping account of the sometimes exhilarating, often tortured twists and turns in the Middle East peace process, viewed from the front row by one of its major players, Dennis Ross. No one worked harder for peace than Dennis. He gave it everything he had and served our nation very well. Now he has provided us with a rich account of what happened that is essential to understanding both the past and the possible paths to the future." --President William J. Clinton "The Missing Peaceis a brilliant behind-the-scenes account of history in the making. Only Dennis Ross could have written such a lively, provocative and insightful book. This definitive telling of a fascinating and tragic tale will be indispensable to any serious student of the Arab-Israeli dispute." --Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State "I've never known anyone so deeply committed to the cause of peace in the Middle East as Dennis Ross. This book reflects not only that dedication but his brilliance in writing about it in a colorful and comprehensive way." --Warren Christopher, former U.S. Secretary of State "The Missing Peaceis amazing narrative. Ross, who knows Mideast diplomacy better than any other American, does something essential if there is ever to be peace: quite simply, he tells the truth. In doing so, he dispells the myths that block a deal. This is the one essential book that should be read by everyone who cares about this crucial topic." --Walter Isaacson, President of the Aspen Institute and author ofBenjamin Franklin: An American Life "Few Americans have had a more intimate involvement with the complex issues that divide the Middle East than Dennis Ross, as U.S. envoy and chief negotiator under two Presidents.The Missing Peacepresents a candid, thoughtful and detailed picture of the process and the participants." --Dr. Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State "Dennis Ross was at the heart of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for twelve momentous and tumultuous years. He provides in fascinating detail his account of what happened and his reasoning as events transpired. He rendered a great public service as tireless negotiator and has done so again with this well-written and instructive book--a classic must-read for anyone interested in the Middle East." --George Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of State "The Missing Peaceis imbued with wisdom, and it analytical content is vital in helping understand the complex facets of the Middle East. It is written with a mix of empathy and sadness, in character with the conflicting nature of the region." --Shimon Peres, former Israeli Prime Minister
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Library Journal, April 2004
Booklist, June 2004
Library Journal, July 2004
Publishers Weekly, July 2004
Globe & Mail, August 2004
Los Angeles Times, August 2004
New York Times Book Review, August 2004
Washington Post, August 2004
Chicago Tribune, September 2004
New York Times Book Review, June 2005
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
In this work, Dennis Ross tells the inside story of the fight for peace in the Middle East.
Main Description
A gripping personal narrative of the struggle for Israeli-Palestinian peace Dennis Ross, the chief Middle East peace negotiator in the presidential administrations of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, is that rare figure who is respected by all parties: Democrats and Republicans, Palestinians and Israelis, presidents and people on the street in Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Washington, D.C. The Missing Peaceis far and away the most candid inside account of the Middle East peace process ever published. The maneuverings of both sides, and of the United States as well, are described. For the first time, the backroom negotiations, the dramatic and often secretive nature of the process, and the reasons for its faltering are on display for all to see. Ross recounts the peace process in detail from 1988 to the breakdown of talks in early 2001 that prompted the so-called second Intifada. It's all here: Camp David, Oslo, Geneva, Egypt, and other summits; the assassination of Yitzak Rabin; the rise and fall of Benjamin Netanyahu; the very different characters and strategies of Rabin, Yasir Arafat, and Bill Clinton; and the first steps of the Palestinian Authority. The issues Ross explains with unmatched clarity--negotiations over borders, Israeli security, the Palestinian "right of return"--are the issues behind today's headlines.The Missing Peaceexplains, as no other book has, why Middle East peace is so difficult to achieve.
Short Annotation
A gripping personal narrative of the struggle for Israeli-Palestinian peace Dennis Ross, the chief Middle East peace negotiator in the presidential administrations of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, is that rare figure who is respected by all parties: Democrats and Republicans, Palestinians and Israelis, presidents and people on the street in Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Washington, D.C.
Unpaid Annotation
The chief Middle East peace negotiator for the presidential administrations of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton shares a gripping personal narrative of the struggle for Israeli-Palestinian peace. In far and away the most candid inside account of the Middle East peace process ever published, Ross recounts the peace process in detail from 1988 to the breakdown of talks in early 2001.
Table of Contents
Why Israelis, Arabs, and Palestinians see the world the way they dop. 15
The road of Madridp. 46
Rabin, presidential transition, the Syrian pocket, and Oslop. 88
From Oslo to the Palestinian authorityp. 122
The evolution of the Syrian talksp. 137
King Hussein fulfills his grandfather's legacyp. 164
The interim agreementp. 188
The Rabin assassination : would tragedy produce opportunity?p. 209
Was Asad up to it?p. 216
Could the peace process be saved?p. 246
Bibi wins : will peace lose?p. 256
The endless Hebron shuttlep. 269
One last push to settle Hebronp. 293
From breakthrough to stalematep. 323
The 13 percent solutionp. 349
Prelude to Wyep. 398
The Wye summitp. 415
Bibi surrenders to the right and loses the Israeli publicp. 460
Great expectations for Barakp. 495
"Syria's my priority"p. 509
Asad's surprisep. 536
The rise and fall of the Israeli-Syrian dealp. 549
From stalemate to Camp Davidp. 591
The Camp David summitp. 650
The Denouements : from Camp David to the Intifada to the Clinton ideasp. 712
Learning the lessons of the past and applying them to the futurep. 759
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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