Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace

American Leadership in the Middle East
April 2008
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As Washington struggles to revive the Arab-Israeli peace process, Kurtzer and Lasensky offer the definitive guidebook on how to broker peace in the Middle East. Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace sets forth a compelling, interests-based framework for American engagement in the peace process; provides a critical assessment of U.S. diplomacy since the end of the Cold War; and offers a set of ten core “lessons” to guide the efforts of future American negotiators.

This concise volume is the product of the United States Institute of Peace’s Study Group on Arab-Israeli Peacemaking, which brings together some of America’s most respected and experienced authorities in the field: William B. Quandt (University of Virginia), Steven L. Spiegel (University of California-Los Angeles), and Shibley Telhami (University of Maryland and the Brookings Institution). The book draws on nine months of groundbreaking consultations with dozens of statesmen, political leaders, and civil society figures who have defined Middle East peacemaking in recent years.

"Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace focuses on the Clinton and the two Bush presidencies, presenting a manual on what future officeholders should and should not impressive and refreshingly concise book."

- New York Review of Books

"...a trenchant guidebook"

- Newsweek

"Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace is a tour de force that deserves wide readership not only in the official, journalistic, and think tank worlds but also in academia. This book should be widely utilized as a teaching tool by professors who want to add real life practices to the plethora of academic theory about conflict resolution and peacemaking."

The Honorable Samuel W. Lewis, former United States ambassador to Israel and former director of the Policy Planning Staff, U.S. Department of State

“In a direct and diplomatic analysis, this book dissects the past decades of U.S. inadequacies and outlines the requirements for an effective U.S. policy in the Middle East. It is the ‘1975 Brookings Report’ of the next election, and it points sternly and creatively to the lessons and opportunities that we will be criminal to ignore. The United States Institute of Peace has done the nation a service in sponsoring the project, and the authors and their team have done the world a favor in looking so clearly into the past and the future.”

I. William Zartman, Jacob Blauestein Professor of International Organization and Conflict Resolution, Johns Hopkins University—SAIS

“This rigorous, non-partisan, no-holds-barred analysis of the most recent twenty years of U.S. effort in Middle East peacemaking is essential reading for practitioners and scholars. The operational implications have powerful potential in the hands of leaders who care about the results as well as the politics of American statecraft in the region.”

Chester A. Crocker, James R. Schlesinger Professor, Georgetown University

“I commend the authors of this book for their balanced and critical analysis of the U.S. role in one of the most pernicious conflicts of our time. The book publishes at a critical juncture for U.S. leadership in the Middle East. Its insights will be invaluable for many years to come.”

Joschka Fischer, former foreign minister and vice chancellor of Germany

Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace comes at a pivotal moment for U.S. foreign policy. While delivering a critical assessment of the United States’ mixed record in mitigating the conflict, this study reasserts America’s crucial role in the Middle East peace process and provides a solid framework from which American policymakers and mediators can work to facilitate a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace settlement.”

George J. Mitchell

“This volume is the most forceful, thorough, concrete, and concise analysis of the U.S. performance in the Arab-Israeli peace process since it was born as a political process in 1974. The sharp call for energetic, determined, and disciplined perseverance in pursuit of the clear-cut U.S. interest in an Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace sets the bar for our next president. It's a superb statement.”

Harold Saunders, former assistant secretary, U.S. Department of State

". . . a well-reasoned, realistic study setting out what works and what does not in this distinctive diplomatic arena. Today's leadership (and tomorrow's) could usefully build on the lessons presented here."

- Foreign Affairs

"A 'tour de force'. . .[Kurtzer and Lasensky] dissect with a surgeon's scalpel the moves made by past and present U.S. administrations in their efforts to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. . .The only way that the next U.S. administration can succeed whether its predecessors have failed is if it takes to heart the ten lessons of Kurtzer and Lasensky and their recommendations."

Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs

". . .A fine evaluation of U.S. diplomacy. . ."

New York Times

Daniel C. Kurtzer

Daniel C. Kurtzer is a former United States ambassador to Israel and Egypt, and currently holds the S. Daniel Abraham Chair in Middle East Policy Studies at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Scott B. Lasensky

Coauthor of Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace (USIP Press, 2008), Scott B. Lasensky is a senior program officer at the Institute's Center for Conflict Management and directed USIP's Iraq and Its Neighbors initiative.

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