04 February 2004

What happened at Camp David in 2000?

This article not only offers a nuanced and clarifying explanation of why the talks in Camp David sponsored by Clinton broke down, it also kicks off the discussion with everyone's favorite rhetorical device, the Holy Roman Empire essay question.
In accounts of what happened at the July 2000 Camp David summit and the following months of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, we often hear about Ehud Barak's unprecedented offer and Yasser Arafat's uncompromising no.
For a process of such complexity, the diagnosis is remarkably shallow. It ignores history, the dynamics of the negotiations, and the relationships among the three parties. In so doing, it fails to capture why what so many viewed as a generous Israeli offer, the Palestinians viewed as neither generous, nor Israeli, nor, indeed, as an offer.

9 August 2001 The New York Review of Books

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