For nearly twenty years, Aaron David Miller has played a central role in U.S. efforts to broker Arab-Israeli peace. His position as an advisor to presidents, secretaries of state, and national security advisors has given him a unique perspective on a problem that American leaders have wrestled with for more than half a century. Why has the world’s greatest superpower failed to broker, or impose, a solution in the Middle East? If a solution is possible, what would it take? And why after so many years of struggle and failure, with the entire region even more unsettled than ever, should Americans even care? Is Israel/Palestine really the “much too promised land”?
As a historian, analyst, and negotiator, perhaps no one is more qualified to answer these questions than Aaron David Miller. Without partisanship or finger-pointing, Miller lucidly and honestly records what went right, what went wrong, and how we got where we are today. Here is an insider’s view of the peace process from a place at the negotiating table, filled with unforgettable stories and colorful behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Here, too, are new interviews with all the key players, including Presidents Carter, Ford, Bush forty-one, all nine U.S. secretaries of state, as well Arab and Israeli leaders, who disclose the inner thoughts and strategies that motivated them. The result is a book that shatters all preconceived notions to tackle the complicated issues of culture, religion, domestic politics, and national security that have defined—and often derailed—a half century of diplomacy.
Honest, critical, and certain to be controversial, this insightful first-person account offers a brilliant new analysis of the problem of Arab-Israeli peace and how, against all odds, it still might be solved.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Family & Relationships eBook: The Much Too Promised Land|
|Release Date: 03-25-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The Much Too Promised Land
A Negotiator's Tale
The room was packed. Secretary Baker's press secretary and close advisor, Margaret Tutwiler, had seen to that. Late Friday afternoon in Jerusalem-usually a time of quiet preparation for the Jewish Sabbath-had suddenly seen a frenzy of excitement. As scores of journalists had gathered in the banquet hall of the King David Hotel to await the arrival of the American secretary of state and the Russian foreign minister, anticipation was high.
The two men now entering the hall could not have represented a greater contrast in style or power. Boris Pankin, clad in a dark boxy Soviet-era suit out of the 1950s, embodied a once great empire in decline. Hungry for prestige and respectability, the Russians seemed not to care that they were being used as a decorative ornament in a ceremony orchestrated by the United States. And if they did care, they weren't complaining.
By contrast, Secretary of State James Addison Baker III was riding high. Tall and self-assured, he wore a dark suit, a crisp white shirt, and a trademark boldly colored tie. He had reason to be confident. Baker represented a country that was enjoying unprecedented influence in a region still shaken by America's lightning military victory over Iraq's Saddam Hussein.
On that late Friday afternoon, October 18, 1991, Baker and Pankin, on behalf of their presidents, Bush and Gorbachev, announced that formal invitations would be sent to Israel and to the Arabs to attend a historic peace conference in Madrid. That fall the United States was the only great power in an arc of small ones that stretched from Rabat to Karachi. If there was to be an American moment in the Mid