Edited by Barry Steiner
I. William Zartman accentuates special challenges of third party mediation. Amira Schiff critiques John Kerry’s mediation effort made on behalf of the Obama Administration. Galia Golan outlines mediation requirements in light of past American mediation efforts. Walid Salem suggests a new paradigm centered upon symmetry rather than asymmetry to assist Israel-Palestine peacemaking. And Barry Steiner studies a specific mediation action proposal.
Edited by Marianne Bøe
Legal Theory, Codification, and Local Practice
With Special Reference to the Reign of Murad Giray (1678-1683)
Edited by John Bowen and Arskal Salim
Third party mediation is critical in pushing forward a new peace process that is based on Israeli and Palestinian compliance in fulfilling previous agreements, including an Israeli freeze on settlements. The freeze will be part of a transformative constructionist process that will allow both sides to negotiate from a more symmetrical position. It will also create more trust among the Palestinians by communicating that Israeli intentions are not about grabbing their land while discussing peace.
Inasmuch as the 2015 Israeli elections brought to power a Netanyahu-led coalition even more ideologically opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state than the previous coalitions, the absence of political will to reach agreement would appear to prejudge the outcome of any future negotiations should they take place. For this reason, recommendations to improve American mediation efforts remain in the realm of theory, but nevertheless may provide useful suggestions for the more basic step of returning the sides to serious negotiations.
This article examines the factors that contributed to the failure of the last major effort, which was carried out by US Secretary of State John Kerry, to facilitate a Final Status Agreement to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The analysis is based on an understanding that every effort to resolve this intractable conflict, even if unsuccessful, is worthy of examination, which can yield interesting observations and insights that may inform future attempts to find a solution. As President Trump’s administration makes intensive efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, and the US Middle East negotiation delegation shuttles intensively between the parties and between major regional actors to explore the possibility of renewing official negotiations, this seems like an opportune time to review the major factors that affected the outcome of the previous peace talks.