The Process: 1,100 Days That Changed the Middle East

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9780679422969: The Process: 1,100 Days That Changed the Middle East

"Meet your Enemy Number One," a nervous Norwegian diplomat said to Uri Savir, the young director-general of Israel's Foreign Ministry, as he introduced him to Abu Ala, one of Yasser Arafat's top aides. They were in Oslo, and this was the first official encounter between Israel and the PLO. The atmosphere was tense. Savir read from prepared notes: "The aim of Israel's elected government," he began, "is to bring about a historic reconciliation with the Palestinian people. We have no interest in only a cosmetic change of the status quo. It is not our wish to control your lives. . . ."
          For more than half a century, both sides had denied the other's right to exist; both had sustained a terrible toll. Yet in the three years that followed that first encounter, after thousands of hours of subtle and complex secret negotiations, they hammered out the blueprint for a peaceful conclusion to a conflict that had seemed irre-
concilable. This book is the Israeli chief negotiator's extraordinary account of those negotiations, their implementation and aftermath, and of the un-
likely partnership that emerged between Yitz-
hak Rabin, Yasser Arafat, and Shimon Peres.
           As the process initiated at Oslo began to re-
shape allegiances throughout the Middle East, Israeli and Palestinian extremists set out to violently destroy what they described as "the threat of peace." This is the inside story of the race between those committed to reconciliation and those who vowed to destroy the peace. It is also a poignant story of the developing relationship between Savir and Abu Ala, both from Jeru-
salem, both committed to their people, to their land, and to peace.
            Will the peace process initiated at Oslo prevail against the assault of extremists and enemies of peace on both sides? The answer to this question, and the future of the peace process, is crucial not just to Israel and the Palestinians, but to the Middle East and the world.

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Review:

The director-general of Israel's Foreign Ministry, who also served as his nation's chief representative in the secret negotiations that led to the Oslo peace accord between Israel and the PLO, offers his insider's account of how the historic agreement came about.

"I believe," Savir writes at the fiftieth anniversary of his homeland's founding, "that for all it has achieved, the Oslo process is the true test of [Israel's] maturity as a strong modern nation able to coexist with former enemies." It was also a test of the ability of Israelis to coexist amongst themselves; Savir brings a valuable perspective on the rivalry between Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin (and how it affected their efforts to unite Israel for peace) and the efforts of opposition leaders to thwart settlement. He takes us throught the peace process step by step, explaining precisely what was achieved to ensure, in the words of his negotiating partner, Palestinian Council leader Abu Ala, they could give "the next generation... a life different from the one we had known."

From the Back Cover:


"This is a brilliant book, written by a brilliant man who did a brilliant job. Rarely will you find another individual such as Uri Savir, who combines a unique level of sophistication with an amazing sense of humor. As a writer, he excels in his ability to remain true to the facts and deal fairly with the cast of characters who participated in the making of this piece of history."

--Shimon Peres

"Uri Savir's personal account of the Oslo process is a fascinating human story, as well as a major contribution to history. We learn of the initial suspicions that characterized the many meetings between Israelis and their former enemies from the PLO. But we also learn of the mutual respect and friendship that soon developed, and the sense of common commitment to peace that helped them overcome many of the difficult obstacles that inevitably emerged as the negotiators moved from abstract principles to concrete proposals. Above all, this book is a sad reminder of what might have been: a real Arab-Israeli peace anchored in mutual respect, something that now seems quite remote."

--William B. Quandt,
professor of government and foreign affairs,
University of Virginia

"Oslo, an extraordinary confluence of hope, hatred, humanity, and tough bargaining, produced a chance for peace in the Middle East. Uri Savir was the key Israeli negotiator there. He tells the true story of what happened like a brilliant novelist."

--Leslie H. Gelb,
president, Council on Foreign Relations

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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