In This Review

The Process: 1,100 Days That Changed the Middle East
The Process: 1,100 Days That Changed the Middle East
By Uri Savir
Random House, 1998, 320 pp

Uri Savir served as Israel's chief negotiator in the Oslo talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from 1993 until his resignation from the Israeli Ministry of foreign Affairs following the defeat of the Peres government in the 1996 election. This is therefore an insider's account of a major diplomatic development, and it is a gem. Savir reconstructs not only the actions taken but also the strategy and, more important, the mindset governing the Israeli negotiators. He perceptively and empathetically appraises the positions and personalities of his Palestinian interlocutors. The respect and friendship that he relates as having developed with his Palestinian counterpart, Ahmad Quray, is touchingly set out. This is a vividly etched case study demonstrating the many difficulties and the few advantages of negotiations between the weak (PLO) and the strong (Israel), each constrained by past perceptions and their own public opinion. The negotiating style of both Israelis and Palestinians has seldom been better revealed.