Con­flict­ed are the Peace­mak­ers: Israeli and Pales­tin­ian Mod­er­ates and the Death of Oslo

Eric N. Budd
  • Review
By – September 5, 2014

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.

Relat­ed content:

Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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