The Peace Puzzle - Preface and Epilouge.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
Jennifer Levine

The Peace Puzzle Notes Preface: - The authors formed a study group in 2006 on Arab-Israeli peacemaking, supported by the United States Institute of Peace - Was aimed at developed a set of best practices for American diplomacy - Interviews were done with a lot of people from a variety of diplomatic and political backgrounds, and development performance assessments of the various administrations of the post-Cold war period - Focus: to explain and to assess the role of the United States - This book focuses on critical junctures and decision points for the United States, and includes the most critical inflection points Epilogue: - The united states does not bear sole responsibility for the persistence of the Arab-Israeli conflict or for the inability of the parties to resolve their differences through a negotiated peace settlement - The conflict is rooted deeply in ancient and modern history - Obama emphasized the importance of bridging the narratives that separate the parties, both have been shaped by exile, both believed they have been victimized, seek vengeance, have security concerns - The truth is that these narratives will continue to separate these parties until the proximate issues have been addressed: territory, borders, security, water, refugees, settlements and Jerusalem - The centralities of the American role and its successes and failures have constituted the main subject of this volume. - There are serious and far reaching lessons to be learned from the past 20 years of American diplomacy, lessons that might help in the future to reach peace settlements - Without peace and recurring conflict, American resources are drained and our diplomatic strengths are dissipated by chasing cease-fires and temporary fixes - The challenge for the USA is to craft a policy and a strategy that speaks to the core issues in dispute - To accomplish this, presidents must create opportunities with a diverse and experienced team - The peace process evokes a lot of emotion at home and thus any administration must strive to stay bipartisan, to consider the kinds of concessions, albeit not in the form of increased pressure on Israel - The rise of the Arab spring in 2011 has presented new challenges for American peace between supporting human rights, and protecting American interests - There are at least 2 issues with which the united states will have to contend in designing its future approach to Arab-Israeli peace - First, the revolutionary short/long term consequences that are occurring in Egypt. o Egypt and its relations to the united states have been an anchor to the American approach to the middle east o The fall of Mubarak has immediate consequences, his leadership was Israel’s chief ally o Mubarak was keen on promoting American policy and keeping Palestine and Hezbollah in check o The military knows this, has been in talks with Israel on keeping the treaty alive as it is in interest to the US, who continues to provide military, economic, and political support o But due to growing opposition support, they are les qualifies to go against prevailing Egyptian sentiments - Second, the impact of the Arab spring on Palestinian politics o Mahmoud Abbas must respond to the sentiments of Palestinians and other Arabs o Support for Hamas is strong amongst public opinion, but at the same time it is more complicated o Hamas has found more sympathy in Egypt, with the election of an islamist parliament, but the instability in Syria has left Hamas vulnerable o Hamas leader Khaled Meshal even touted the utility of peaceful, rather than militant, protests o Fatah and Hamas must find a way to coexist politically o There are also opportunities for American diplomacy if there is a will to move forward. o In the short term, no Egyptian rulers are likely to seek foreign policy confrontation or war as their need to address the economic and political concerns trumps all o The point
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