In 1988 The Washington Institute's Building for Peace provided a rationale for a new approach to Arab-Israeli peace-making built around the idea that negotiations can only succeed when conflicts are "ripe" for resolution. Some of this philosophy still pervades this new report, with the important difference that the authors now believe the time is indeed ripe. They still worry that impatient American negotiators will pressure Israel or coddle the Syrians or the PLO, but on the whole they want to see an active American role in helping the parties to find common ground. This report, calling for continuity and cautious American engagement, will not make the waves its predecessor did but it provides an intelligent, if sometimes debatable, analysis of the parties' positions and suggestions for what the next administration should do. As with the previous report, this one is endorsed by so many politically ambitious people that someone in the next administration will almost certainly have signed on to these ideas.
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