MAKING PEACE WITH THE PLO: Policy and Politics in the Rabin Government by David Makovsky

MAKING PEACE WITH THE PLO: Policy and Politics in the Rabin Government

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Jerusalem Post and U.S. News and World Report correspondent Makovsky's probing examination of how the 1993 accord between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) came to be. Makovsky's book is part journalism, part textbook. The journalistic part, and the meat of the book, is the author's step-by-step account of the secret negotiations between Israel and the PLO that began in January 1993 and culminated in the September 1993 signing of the Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn. Relying primarily on interviews with key players, Makovsky has pieced the process together in exhaustive detail. Among his revelations is the failure--could it have been deliberate?--of US officials to follow up on numerous hints that the secret talks were going on. He also reveals the intricacies of Israeli negotiating tactics, including withholding recognition of the PLO until the last minute to extract the most possible concessions. More textbookish is Makovsky's examination--mostly from the Israeli point of view--of the politics, personalities, and history that made the clandestine talks possible; readers who have closely followed events in the Middle East will find this section to be a rehash of numerous op-ed and analysis pieces. Tying the two parts together is Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Makovsky offers extensive documentation to show that Rabin was far more involved in the talks than has been generally reported; the author then explores at length the political and personal reasons why the prime minister reversed his seemingly adamant position against negotiating with the PLO. By gathering a great deal of information in one place--including an appendix containing copies of crucial documents--and revealing some new facts, Makovsky provides a valuable resource for writers and researchers interested in the details of Middle East peacemaking.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1996
Page count: 241pp
Publisher: Westview