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Edited by Barry Steiner

The essays in this book, originally published in a special issue of the journal International Negotiation (vol. 23.1, 2018), are intended to enhance America's ability to mediate Israel-Palestine conflict. Every American president for the last thirty years, down to Donald Trump, has chosen to engage in this effort. To help understand and evaluate these efforts, and to focus upon the more promising mediation directions, these essays analyze mediation options in detail.
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.
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Edited by Anthony Axon and Susan Hewitt

The book series Contemporary Archive of the Islamic World offers political and economic reports about the countries of the Islamic world from the mid-1970s until the present-day. Originally published in a yearbook format covering the entire Middle East each year, the present series offers the accumulated contributions per country for all available years. These country surveys were authored by knowledgeable insiders – academics, journalists, politicians, etc. – whose reports are both reliable and accessible. The series is an invaluable resource for researchers and is also suitable for classroom use.
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Marinos Sariyannis

In A History of Ottoman Political Thought up to the Early Nineteenth Century, Marinos Sariyannis offers a survey of Ottoman political texts, examined in a book-length study for the first time. From the last glimpses of gazi ideology and the first instances of Persian political philosophy in the fifteenth century until the apologists of Western-style military reform in the early nineteenth century, the author studies a multitude of theories and views, focusing on an identification of ideological trends rather than a simple enumeration of texts and authors. At the same time, the book offers analytical summaries of texts otherwise difficult to find in English.
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Edited by Anthony Axon and Susan Hewitt

The first of a new series, the Contemporary Archive of the Islamic World, this title draws on the resources of World of Information, a British publisher that since 1975 has published analyses of the politics and economics of all the Middle East countries.

For decades Syria lay at the heart of Middle Eastern affairs. Under Assad rulers, and sharing a border with Israel, Syria’s fortunes have been complex. Strategic alliances were formed and fell apart. Domestic rebellions were quelled, often violently. Since 2011, Syria has been in the world’s headlines every day, riven by a civil war that has risked bringing the world’s major powers into open conflict.

The CAIW provides an essential background to a complex international problem.
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Walid Salem

Abstract

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.

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Galia Golan

Abstract

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.

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Barry H. Steiner

Abstract

This article, a corrective to long-time frustration experienced by the United States in mediating Israel-Palestine differences, argues for American recognition of a Palestinian state to reach a two-state solution. Recognition, though not even-handed, constitutes legitimate mediation, as confronting one or another primary antagonist can be a useful mediation strategy. Though Israel is likely to object to US recognition of Palestine, analysis suggests the objection is not likely to lead to a break in Israel-American relations, which would jeopardize the valued Israel-American alliance. Recognition as a fallback option is recommended for the Trump administration’s way forward in mediating the conflict.

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Amira Schiff

Abstract

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.

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I. William Zartman

Abstract

This issue contains an examination of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations with an effort to break through the deadlock strategically. It analyzes the past record of failure and addresses the basic problem of asymmetry. Despite the solutions that have been advanced for all the specific issues, it is the forward-looking matter of trust that is the impediment to productive negotiations. The declaration of a Palestinian state and its recognition by the international community are now the basic elements necessary to break the asymmetry of the parties. A second element – allegedly favored by the Trump administration – is to reduce a symmetry by enlarging the playing field to include surrounding states, as proposed in the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

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Anthony Axon and Susan Hewitt