When it comes to the peace process, conventional wisdom has always asserted that extremists are the reason for its failure.
Eric Budd disagrees. Budd believes that extremists are predictable and that they can be dealt with and argued with. From the very first page of his book to the last, the author argues that it is the moderates who killed the Oslo Accords.
Budd argues his controversial point of view well. After all, he reasons, it is the moderates who are the political players. They are the ones involved in the process of back and forth. The hawks rejected all ideas of peace and the doves were unrealistic. So that left the moderates — in Israel, that was Rabin and for the Palestinians, it was Abbas.
The author asserts that both Rabin and Abbas were ambivalent during the period of the Oslo Accords and their ambivalence prevented them from coming to a serious agreement.
His argument is based on three principles. First, when there is asymmetrical power, the powerful side will use the imbalance to help their side. Next, because there is ambivalence neither side will want to push for a resolution. And last of all, moderates will be stuck in the ambivalence and not be able to create a deal.
Whether Budd is correct or not, his thesis is fascinating. The book is filled with documents and footnotes, giving the reader the ability to decide based on the original material.