Sunday, September 17, 2006

Dennis Ross on The Missing Peace

What went wrong at Camp David? Read Pejman Yousefzadeh's review of Dennis Ross's exhaustive book The Missing Peace, a description of what led to the failure of the 2000 negotiations.

It's difficult to believe that it was only six short years ago that a negotiated peace in the Middle East seemed possible, around the corner, close at hand. Ross, who was Middle East negotiator for the US at Camp David and during the twelve years leading up to it, feels there's plenty of blame to go around.

But there's no doubt who the major obstacle was, and that was Arafat. According to Ross, Arafat simply could not countenance ending the conflict; his whole life was built on it as the foundation of his power, and, as Ross stated, to end the conflict is to end himself. So, no deal, no matter how reasonable the concessions, how hardworking and accommodating the diplomats.

Arafat himself is now ended, since no one is immortal, even supreme egotists and power-mad tyrants. But the conflict he refused to end--or to at least ameliorate--shows no signs of abating.

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