Sunday, May 2, 2010

The false religion of Mideast Peace and Why I'm no longer a Believer

by Aaron David Miller
From "Foreign Policy"

On October 18, 1991, against long odds and in front of an incredulous press
corps, U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III and Soviet Foreign
Minister Boris Pankin announced that Arabs and Israelis were being invited
to attend a peace conference in Madrid.

Standing in the back of the hall at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem that
day, I marveled at what America had accomplished. In 18 months, roughly the
time it took Henry Kissinger to negotiate three Arab-Israeli disengagement
agreements and Jimmy Carter to broker an Egypt-Israel peace treaty, the
United States had fought a short, successful war -- the best kind -- and
pushed Iraq's Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. And America was now
well-positioned to bring Arabs and Israelis across the diplomatic finish

Or so I thought.

Baker, who lowballed everything, was characteristically cautious. "Boys," he
told a few of us aides in his suite after the news conference, "if you want
to get off the train, now might be a good time because it could all be
downhill from here." But I wasn't listening. America had used its power to
make war, and now, perhaps, it could use that power to make peace. I'd
become a believer.

I'm not anymore.

Etymologists tell us that the word "religion" may come from the Latin root
religare, meaning to adhere or bind. It's a wonderful derivation. In both
its secular and religious manifestations, faith is alluring and seductive
precisely because it's driven by propositions that bind or adhere the
believer to a compelling set of ideas that satisfy rationally or
spiritually, but always obligate.

So Why Have We Failed?

Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians who've tried and failed to make peace
answer three crucial questions.

And so it has been and remains with America's commitment to Arab-Israeli
peacemaking over the past 40 years, and certainly since the October 1973 war
gave birth to serious U.S. diplomacy and the phrase "peace process" (the
honor of authorship likely goes to a brilliant veteran State Department
Middle East hand, Harold Saunders, who saw the term appropriated by
Kissinger early in his shuttles). Since then, the U.S. approach has come to
rest on an almost unbreakable triangle of assumptions -- articles of faith,

By the 1990s, these tenets made up a sort of peace-process religion,
a reverential logic chain that compelled most U.S. presidents to involve
themselves seriously in the Arab-Israeli issue. Barack Obama is the latest
convert, and by all accounts he too became a zealous believer, vowing within
days of his inauguration "to actively and aggressively seek a lasting peace
between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as Israel and its Arab

Like all religions, the peace process has developed a dogmatic creed, with
immutable first principles. Over the last two decades, I wrote them hundreds
of times to my bosses in the upper echelons of the State Department and the
White House; they were a catechism we all could recite by heart. First,
pursuit of a comprehensive peace was a core, if not the core, U.S. interest
in the region, and achieving it offered the only sure way to protect U.S.
interests; second, peace could be achieved, but only through a serious
negotiating process based on trading land for peace; and third, only America
could help the Arabs and Israelis bring that peace to fruition.

As befitting a religious doctrine, there was little nuance. And while not
everyone became a convert (Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush willfully
pursued other Middle East priorities, though each would succumb at one
point, if only with initiatives that reflected, to their critics, varying
degrees of too little, too late), the exceptions have mostly proved the
rule. The iron triangle that drove Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter,
George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and now Barack Obama to accord the
Arab-Israeli issue such high priority has turned out to be both durable and
bipartisan. Embraced by the high priests of the national security temple,
including State Department veterans like myself, intelligence analysts, and
most U.S. foreign-policy mandarins outside government, these tenets endured
and prospered even while the realities on which they were based had begun to
change. If this wasn't the definition of real faith, one wonders what was.

That Obama, burdened by two wars elsewhere and the most severe economic
crisis since the Great Depression, came out louder, harder, and faster on
the Arab-Israeli issue than any of his predecessors was a remarkable
testament to just how enduring that faith had become -- a faith he very
publicly proclaimed while personally presiding over the announcement of
George Mitchell as his Middle East envoy in an orchestrated ceremony at the
State Department two days after his swearing-in.

At first, it seemed that Obama, the poster president for America's
engagement with the world, had found a cause uniquely suited to his view of
diplomacy, one whose importance had been heightened by his predecessor's
neglect of the issue and the Arab and Muslim attachment to it. Even before
the Gaza war exploded three weeks prior to his inauguration, Obama had been
bombarded by experts sagely urging a renewed focus on Middle East peace as a
way to regain American prestige and credibility after the trauma of the Bush
years. The new president soon hit the Arab media running as a kind of
empathizer-in-chief, ratcheting up expectations even as Israelis
increasingly found him tone-deaf to their needs.

Obama surrounded himself with key figures, such as chief of staff Rahm
Emanuel and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who believed deeply in the
peace religion. He named as his chief peacemaker Mitchell, a man with real
stature and negotiating experience; and his national security advisor is
James L. Jones, himself a former Middle East envoy who made the stunning
pronouncement last year: "If there was one problem that I would recommend to
the president" to solve, "this would be it."

All these veteran leaders were not only believers, but had extra reason to
encourage a tougher line toward Israel; they had seen the Benjamin Netanyahu
movie before and were determined not to let their chance at Middle East
peace end the same way. In his first turn as prime minister in the 1990s,
the brash hard-liner Netanyahu had driven Bill Clinton crazy. (I remember
being briefed on their first meeting in 1996, after which the president
growled: "Who's the fucking superpower here?")

Confronted with Netanyahu again, Obama and his team needed no encouragement to talk tough on the
growing Israeli settlements in the West Bank, an issue that experts inside
and outside government were clamoring for Obama to raise as the first step
in his renewed push for peace.

At the time, it looked to be a magical convergence of leader and moment: The
Arab-Israeli issue seemed perfectly suited to Obama's transformational
objectives and his transactional style. If Obama wanted to begin "remaking
America," why not try to remake the troubled politics of peace, too? After
all, this was the engagement president, who believed deeply in the power of

Obama was not alone in his belief, of course. The peace-process creed has
endured so long because to a large degree it has made sense and accorded
with U.S. interests. The question is, does it still? Does the old thinking
about peacemaking apply to new realities? Is the Arab-Israeli conflict still
the core issue? And after two decades of inflated hopes followed by violence
and terror, and now by directionless stagnation, can we still believe that
negotiations will deliver?

Sadly, the answers to these questions seem to be all too obvious these days.
And Obama's first 15 months as a disciple of the old creed tells you why. In
2009, the president pushed the Israelis, the Arabs, and the Palestinians to
get negotiations going and was rebuffed by all three. He later told Time
magazine ruefully that "we overestimated our ability to persuade." In March
of this year, provoked by the Netanyahu government's incomprehensible
announcement of new housing units in East Jerusalem smack in the middle of
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Israel, Obama pushed the Israelis
again, harder this time, though it seems without much of a strategy to put
the crisis to good use.

Obama is clearly determined not to take no for an answer. Fresh from his
victory on health care, he's King of the World again and in no mood to let
the King of Israel frustrate his plans. This willfulness is impressive, and
it makes it even more imperative now that he's engaged in the faith to give
that old-time religion a fresh look, based not just on what's possible but
on what's probable. We don't have the right to abandon hope, but we do have
the responsibility to let go of, or at least temper, our illusions.

I can't tell you how many times in the past 20 years, as an intelligence
analyst, policy planner, and negotiator, I wrote memos to Very Important
People arguing the centrality of the Arab-Israeli issue and why the United
States needed to fix it. Long before I arrived at the State Department in
1978, my predecessors had made all the same arguments. An unresolved
Arab-Israeli conflict would trigger ruinous war, increase Soviet influence,
weaken Arab moderates, strengthen Arab radicals, jeopardize access to Middle
East oil, and generally undermine U.S. influence from Rabat to Karachi.
From the 1940s through the 1980s, the power with which the Palestinian issue
resonated in the Arab world did take a toll on American prestige and

Still, even back then the hand-wringing and dire predictions in
my Cassandra-like memos were overstated. I once warned ominously -- and
incorrectly -- that we'd have nonstop Palestinian terrorist attacks in the
United States if we didn't move on the issue. During those same years, the
United States managed to advance all of its core interests in the Middle
East: It contained the Soviets; strengthened ties to Israel and such key
Arab states as Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia; maintained access to Arab
oil; and yes, even emerged in the years after the October 1973 war as the
key broker in Arab-Israeli peacemaking.

Today, I couldn't write those same memos or anything like them with a clear
conscience or a straight face. Although many experts' beliefs haven't
changed, the region has, and dramatically, becoming nastier and more
complex. U.S. priorities and interests, too, have changed. The notion that
there's a single or simple fix to protecting those interests, let alone that
Arab-Israeli peace would, like some magic potion, bullet, or elixir, make it
all better, is just flat wrong. In a broken, angry region with so many
problems -- from stagnant, inequitable economies to extractive and
authoritarian governments that abuse human rights and deny rule of law, to a
popular culture mired in conspiracy and denial -- it stretches the bounds of
credulity to the breaking point to argue that settling the Arab-Israeli
conflict is the most critical issue, or that its resolution would somehow
guarantee Middle East stability.

The unresolved Arab-Israeli conflict is still a big problem for America and
its friends: It stokes a white-hot anger toward the United States, has
already demonstrated the danger of confrontation and war (see Lebanon, 2006;
Gaza, 2008), and confronts Israel with a demographic nightmare. But three
other issues, at least, have emerged to compete for center stage, and they
might prove far more telling about the fate of U.S. influence, power, and
security than the ongoing story of what I've come to call the
much-too-promised land.

First, there are the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where tens of thousands
of Americans are in harm's way and are likely to be for some time to come.
Add to the mix the dangerous situation in Pakistan, and you see volatility,
threat, and consequences that go well beyond Palestine. Second, though U.S.
foreign policy can't be held hostage to the war on terror (or whatever it's
now called), the 9/11 attacks were a fundamental turning point for an
America that had always felt secure within its borders. And finally there's
Iran, whose nuclear aspirations are clearly a more urgent U.S. priority than
Palestine. Should sanctions and/or diplomacy fail, the default position --
military action by Israel or even the United States -- can't be ruled out,
with galactic consequences for the region and the world. In any event, it's
hard to imagine Netanyahu making any big decisions on the peace process
until there's much more clarity on what he and most Israelis regard as the
existential threat of an Iran with a bomb.

As Obama surely reckoned, moving fast on Arab-Israeli peacemaking would help
the United States deal with these issues. But that linkage wasn't compelling
when Bush used it to suggest that victory in Iraq would make the
Arab-Israeli conflict easier to resolve; it's not compelling now as an exit
strategy from Iraq either, as if engaging in Arab-Israeli diplomacy will
make the potential mess we could leave behind in Iraq easier for the Arabs
to swallow.

Nor can the Arab-Israeli issue be used effectively to mobilize
Arabs against Iran, because the United States could never do enough
diplomatically (or soon enough) to have it make much of a difference.
Finally, linking the United States' willingness to help the Israelis with
Iran to their willingness to make concessions on Jerusalem and borders isn't
much of a policy either. If anything, it risks the United States losing its
leverage with Israel on the Iranian issue and raising the odds that Israel
would act alone.

Surely the United States can do more than one thing at once, the
foreign-policy equivalent of walking and chewing gum at the same time. But
America must also do multiple things well. Obama can't have an inch-deep and
mile-wide approach in which he commits to everything without a cruel and
unforgiving assessment of what's really possible and what's not. Nor can the
United States afford another high-profile failure based on what a brilliant
and committed Clinton told us shortly before we went to Camp David: "Guys,
trying and failing is a lot better than not trying at all." This is an
appropriate slogan for a high school football team; it's not a substitute
for a well-thought-out strategy for the world's greatest power. Obama
already has made a commitment to the American people to end two wars, keep
them safe from attack at home, and stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear
weapon, not to mention tackling the challenges of a severe recession and
growing deficit.

Governing is about choosing; it's about setting priorities, managing your
politics, thinking strategically, picking your spots, and looking for
genuine opportunities that can be exploited -- not tilting at windmills. And
these days, Arab-Israeli peacemaking is a pretty big windmill.
Even if you could make the case for the centrality of the Arab-Israeli
conflict, could you make peace?

Americans are optimists. Our idealism, pragmatism, and belief in the primacy
of the individual convince us that the world can be made a better place.
Unlike many countries that grapple with existential questions of political
identity and physical survival, Americans today don't live on the knife's
edge or hold (whatever our Puritan or Calvinist beginnings) a dark
deterministic view of human nature.

All this drives our conviction that talking is better than shooting. Rodney
King-like, we believe that if people would only sit down and discuss their
differences rationally and compromise, a way might be found to accommodate
conflicting views. After all, America is the big tent under which so many
religious, political, and ethnic groups have managed to coexist, remarkably
amicably. Perhaps this spirit is best embodied by Obama's Mideast envoy
George Mitchell, who once told me that any conflict created by human beings
could be resolved by them. Mitchell is truly convinced that solutions can be
found and that serious diplomacy is what you do until that time comes. But
he ended his first foray into Arab-Israeli diplomacy with three emphatic
no's: from Israel on a comprehensive settlement freeze, from Saudi Arabia on
partial normalization, and from the Palestinians on returning to

Much of our earlier experience in the tough world of Arab-Israeli
peacemaking seemed to bear out Mitchell's initial conviction. In the time
from the 1973 war to 1991, two Republican secretaries of state (Kissinger
and Baker) and one Democratic president (Carter) succeeded in hammering out
a series of Arab-Israeli agreements that established America's reputation as
an effective, even honest, broker -- seeming to validate the simple
proposition that negotiations can work.

If there was anyone who represented the faith in that proposition, it was
me. I recall giving a talk in Jerusalem in the fall of 1998, after Clinton
had brokered the Wye River accords (never implemented), in which I argued
that Arab-Israeli negotiations and the move toward peace were now
irreversible. That remark, one of the great howlers of the decade, prompted
a note from Efraim Halevy, then Israel's deputy Mossad chief, rightly
questioning my logic, and though Halevy was too polite to say it in his
note, my judgment as well. Still I believed.

And I continued to do so, all the way through the 1990s, the only decade in
the last half of the 20th century in which there was no major Arab-Israeli
war. Instead, this was the decade of the Madrid conference, the Oslo
accords, the Israel-Jordan peace treaty, regional accords on economic
issues, and a historic bid in the final year of the Clinton administration
to negotiate peace agreements between Israel, Syria, and the Palestinians.
But for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the Arab,
Palestinian, Israeli (and American) unwillingness to recognize what price
each side would have to pay to achieve those agreements, the decade ended
badly, leaving the pursuit of peace bloody, battered, and broken. Perhaps
the most serious casualty was the loss of hope that negotiations could
actually get the Arabs and Israelis what they wanted.

And that has been the story line ever since: more process than peace.
Looking ahead, that process looks much, much tougher -- and peace more and
more elusive -- for three reasons.

First, Arab-Israeli peacemaking is politically risky and life-threatening.
Consider the murders of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin. At Camp David, I heard Palestinian leader Yasir
Arafat say at least three times, "You Americans will not walk behind my
coffin." Leaders take risks only when prospects of pain and gain compel them
to do so. Today's Middle East leaders -- Israel's Netanyahu, Syria's Bashar
al-Assad, and Palestine's Mahmoud Abbas -- aren't suicidal. It was
Netanyahu, after all, who once told me: "You live in Chevy Chase. Don't play
with our future."

Second, big decisions require strong leaders -- think Jordan's King Hussein
or Israel's Menachem Begin -- because the issues on the table cut to the
core of their political and religious identity and physical survival. This
requires leaders with the legitimacy, authority, and command of their
politics to make a deal stick. But the current crop are more prisoners of
their constituencies than masters of them: Netanyahu presides over a divided
coalition and a country without consensus on what price Israel will pay for
agreements with Palestinians and Syria; Abbas is part of a broken
Palestinian national movement and shares control over Palestine's guns,
authority, and legitimacy with Hamas. It's hard to see how either can
marshal the will and authority to make big decisions.

Third, even with strong leaders, you still need a project that doesn't
exceed the carrying capacity of either side. In the past, U.S. diplomacy
succeeded because the post-1973-war disengagement agreements, a separate
Egypt-Israel accord, and a three-day peace conference at Madrid aligned with
each side's capabilities. Today, issues such as Jerusalem (as a capital of
two states), borders (based on June 1967 lines), and refugees (rights,
return, and compensation) present gigantic political and security challenges
for Arabs and Israelis. One accord will be hard enough. The prospect of
negotiating a comprehensive peace; concluding three agreements between
Israel and the Palestinians, between Israel and Syria, and between Israel
and Lebanon; dismantling settlements in the Golan Heights and West Bank; and
withdrawing to borders based on June 1967 lines seems even more fantastical.
Bottom line: Negotiations can work, but both Arabs and Israelis (and
American leaders) need to be willing and able to pay the price. And they are

Under these circumstances, the refrain from many quarters is that America
must save the day. If the Arabs and Israelis are too weak or recalcitrant,
then the United States must support and/or push them to make the deal.
Such forceful U.S. diplomacy succeeded in the past. Indeed, it's a stunning
paradox that with the exception of the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty,
every other successful accord came not out of direct negotiations, but as a
result of U.S. mediation. The Oslo accords, often touted as the miracle
produced by direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians, proved to be a
spectacular failure. All that's missing now, the argument goes, is the
absence of American will.

I understand the logic of this view, and having spent more than 20 years in
frustrating talks with the Arabs and Israelis, I can also see how it can be
emotionally satisfying. But because I know a thing or two about failure and
don't want to see the United States fail (yet again), I simply don't buy the
argument. If I genuinely believed America could impose and deliver a
solution through tough forceful diplomacy, I'd be more sympathetic -- but I
don't. And here's why:

Ownership: Larry Summers, Obama's chief economic advisor, said it best: In
the history of the world, no one ever washed a rental car. We care only
about what we own. Unless the Arabs and Israelis want political agreements
and peace and can invest enough in them to give them a chance to succeed, we
certainly can't. The broader Middle East is littered with the remains of
great powers that wrongly believed they could impose their will on small
tribes. Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran... need I continue? Small tribes will always
be meaner, tougher, and longer-winded than U.S. diplomats because it's their
neighborhood and their survival; they will always have a greater stake in
the outcome of their struggle than the great power thousands of miles away
with many other things to do. You want to see failure? Take a whack at
trying to force Israelis and Palestinians to accept an American solution on

The negotiator's mystique: It's gone, at least for now. When Americans
succeeded in Arab-Israeli diplomacy, it was because they were respected,
admired, even feared. U.S. power and influence were taken seriously. Today,
much of the magic is gone: We are overextended, diminished, bogged down.
Again Summers: Can the world's biggest borrower continue to be the world's
greatest power? Our friends worry about our reliability; our adversaries,
including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran, believe they can outwait and
outmaneuver us. Nor does there appear much cost or consequence to saying no
to the superpower. After Obama and Mitchell's fruitless first year, I worry
that the mediator's mystique of a Kissinger or a Baker, or the willfulness
and driving force of a Carter, won't return easily.

Domestic politics: The pro-Israel community in the United States has a
powerful voice, primarily in influencing congressional sentiment and
initiatives (assistance to Israel in particular), but it does not have a
veto over U.S. foreign policy.

Lobbies lobby; that's the American way, for better or worse.

Presidents are supposed to lead. And when they do, with a
real strategy that's in America's national interests, they trump domestic
politics. Still, domestic politics constrain, particularly when a president
is perceived to be weak or otherwise occupied. This president has been
battered of late, and his party is likely to face significant losses in the
2010 midterm elections. Should there be a serious chance for a breakthrough
in the peace process, he'll go for it. But is it smart to risk trying to
manufacture one? The last thing Obama needs now is an ongoing fight with the
Israelis and their supporters, or worse, a major foreign-policy failure.
U.S.-Israeli relations: America is Israel's best friend and must continue to

Shared values are at the core of the relationship, and our intimacy with
Israel gives us leverage and credibility in peacemaking when we use it
correctly. But this special relationship with the Israelis, which can serve
U.S. interests, has become an exclusive one that does not. We've lost the
capacity to be independent of Israel, to be honest with it when it does
things we don't like, to impose accountability, and to adopt positions in a
negotiation that might depart from Israel's. It's tough to be a credible
mediator with such handicaps.

Fighting with Israel is an occupational reality. It's part of the mediator's
job description. Every U.S. president or secretary of state who succeeded
(and some who didn't) had dust-ups, some serious, with Israel. (Remember how
Bush 41 and Baker used housing loan guarantees?

In 1991, the United States denied Israel billions in credit to borrow at reduced interest rates because
of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's determination to build settlements.) But
the fight must produce something of value -- like the Madrid conference --
that not only makes the United States look good but significantly advances
the negotiations. In short, we need a strategy that stands a chance of
working. Otherwise, why would any U.S. president want to hammer a close ally
with a strong domestic constituency?

And this was the problem with Obama's tough talk to Israel on settlements.
Not only was the goal he laid out -- a settlements freeze including natural
growth -- unattainable, but it wasn't part of a broader strategy whose
dividends would have made the fight worthwhile. Going after the Israelis
piecemeal on settlements to please the Arabs or to make ourselves feel
better won't work unless we have a way of achieving a breakthrough. That a
tough-talking Obama ended up backing down last year when Netanyahu said no
to a comprehensive freeze tells you why.

And that remains the president's challenge after the Biden brouhaha over
housing units in East Jerusalem. In the spring of 2010 we're nowhere near a
breakthough, and yet we're in the middle of a major rift with the Israelis.
Unless we achieve a big concession, we will be perceived to have backed down
again. And even if the president manages to extract something on Jerusalem,
the chances that Netanyahu will be able to make a far greater move on a core
issue, such as borders, will be much reduced. Unless the president is trying
to get rid of Netanyahu (and produce a new coalition), he'll have no choice
but to find a way to cooperate with him.

Now Obama faces a conundrum. A brilliant, empathetic president, with a
Nobel Peace Prize to boot, has embraced the iron triangle and made America
the focal point of action and responsibility for the Arab-Israeli issue at a
time when the country may be least able to do much about it.

Trying to compensate for the absence of urgency, will, and leadership among
Arabs and Israelis by inserting your own has always been a tough assignment.
The painful truth is that faith in America's capacity to fix the
Arab-Israeli issue has always been overrated. It's certainly no coincidence
that every breakthrough from the Egypt-Israel treaty to the Oslo accords to
the Israel-Jordan peace agreement came initially as a consequence of secret
meetings about which the United States was the last to know. Only then, once
there was local ownership or some regional crisis that the United States
could exploit, were we able to move things forward.

Right now, America has neither the opportunity nor frankly the balls to do
truly big things on Arab-Israeli peacemaking. Fortuna might still rescue the
president. The mullahcracy in Tehran might implode. The Syrians and Israelis
might reach out to one another secretly, or perhaps a violent confrontation
will flare up to break the impasse.

But without a tectonic plate shifting somewhere, it's going to be tough to
re-create the good old days when bold and heroic Arab and Israeli leaders
strode the stage of history, together with Americans, willing and able to do
serious peacemaking.

I remember attending Rabin's funeral in 1995 in Jerusalem and trying to
convince myself that America must and could save the peace process that had
been so badly undermined by his assassination. I'm not a declinist. I still
believe in the power of American diplomacy when it's tough, smart, and fair.
But the enthusiasm, fervor, and passion have given way to a much more sober
view of what's possible. Failure can do that.

The believers need to re-examine their faith, especially at a moment when
America is so stretched and overextended. The United States needs to do what
it can, including working with Israelis and Palestinians on negotiating core
final-status issues (particularly on borders, where the gaps are narrowest),
helping Palestinians develop their institutions, getting the Israelis to
assist by allowing Palestinians to breathe economically and expand their
authority, and keeping Gaza calm, even as it tries to relieve the
desperation and sense of siege through economic assistance.

But America should also be aware of what it cannot do, as much as what it can.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who probably didn't know much about the Middle East,
said it best: "There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, then in
half the creeds."

And maybe, if that leads to more realistic thinking when it comes to America's view of Arab-Israeli peacemaking, that's not such a bad thing.

Aaron David Miller served as an advisor on the Middle East to Republican and
Democratic secretaries of state. He is currently a public policy scholar at
the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the author of The
Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace.

See the original article in Foreign Policy
See more on this at Israel Behind the News

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