In This Review

Practical Peacemaking in the Middle East, 2 vols
Practical Peacemaking in the Middle East, 2 vols
Edited by Steven L. Spiegel and David J. Pervin
Garland Publishing, 1995, 262403 pp.
Israeli-Palestinian Security: Issues in the Permanent Status Negotiations
Israeli-Palestinian Security: Issues in the Permanent Status Negotiations
By Jeffrey Boutwell and Everett Mendelsohn
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1995, 124 pp.

As part of the negotiating process begun in Madrid in October 1991, Arabs and Israelis, along with representatives of many other countries, have been pursuing a track of multilateral diplomacy that deals with practical issues such as arms control, water, economic cooperation, and so forth. The Spiegel and Pervin volumes are based on papers tackling these issues that were presented at a conference in 1993 and reflect a wide variety of views, many those of Israeli and Arab authors. If the diplomats ever succeed in hammering out an acceptable political framework for peaceful coexistence, these matters and others will need to be addressed. There is little reason to believe, however, that much progress can be made in the absence of a political breakthrough.

The slim volume from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is of special interest because it summarizes lengthy discussions between some of the leading strategic thinkers on Israeli-Palestinian matters, including Israelis and PLO members, before Oslo made such contacts commonplace. Subjects such as the status of Jerusalem, settlements, and unconventional weapons are discussed here, and a number of original ideas are put forward. For value per page, a good volume to consult.