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Failure at Camp David: Understanding the collapse through the negotiation processLana Sawalha
This paper expands on various critiques of the failure of the Camp David Summit in 2000 by analyzing the peace process from a historical and theoretical perspective. First, it will examine the history of the Middle East conflict and how it was thrust unto the international agenda, along with the failed attempts over the past six decades to reconcile the severed relationship between the Israelis and the Palestinians through negotiation. By understanding the peacemaking strategies employed by the US, Israel and Palestine, this paper contends that the legacy of peacemaking in the Arab-Israeli Conflict has far reaching impact on how international negotiators operate today. With particular focus on the Clinton Administration and US negotiators, combined with the leaders and negotiators of Israel and Palestine, this paper will attempt to recognize and answer why the United States failed at Camp David in 2000. This is done by examining (1) the nature and causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; (2) the countless attempts and methods at establishing peace in the region; (3) the negotiation process in international relations, particularly looking at the pre-negotiation, main negotiation, and post-negotiation phases at Camp David; and (4) U.S. policy towards the Arab-Israeli conflict, with particular focus on the Clinton administration's second term and the US role as an 'honest broker.' The paper will conclude that the special American-Israeli relationship, prior and during the negotiations at Camp David, resulted in partiality towards the Palestinians. Arafat and Barak disagreed on several issues and the American negotiating team was unhelpful as the third-party mediator. Clinton allied his position alongside Barak and blame was pointed at Arafat for not accepting the offers presented. Furthermore, the claim that no counter-offers were presented resulted in the uproar of violence that led to the Second Intifada, branding the Camp David Summit as the "greatest missed opportunity" by people worldwide.
Social sciences; Middle Eastern history; American history; Political science; International law; 0615:Political science; 0337:American history; 0333:Middle Eastern history; 0616:International law
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