In This Review

U.S.-PLO Dialogue: Secret Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution
U.S.-PLO Dialogue: Secret Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution
By Mohamed Rabie
University Press Of Florida, 1995, 203 pp

The Arab-Israeli peace process has been a series of mediated or negotiated agreements embedded in a larger political framework. While the official dimension has produced formal documents, for over two decades citizens outside government have organized countless unofficial meetings and mediation efforts, without which the Oslo accords might not have been reached. Rabie's fascinating book recounts one story from a small corner of the unofficial peace process where "insiders working from outside government," as he calls them, produced a precise formulation to help the U.S. government and the PLO begin a formal dialogue. Most unofficial meetings concentrate on helping citizens on both sides of a conflict understand each other more fully. In this case, however, Rabie and former senior National Security Council staff member William Quandt worked closely with political authorities. In addition to telling his story of frustration and success, Rabie introduces a series of vignettes depicting difficult moments in the Palestinian experience as well as personalities who have made Palestinian history.