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Brokers Of Deceit Essay

1364 words - 6 pages

Over twenty years ago, Israeli’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasir Arafat, unveiled the Oslo Peace Process under the watchful eye of US President Bill Clinton. The Oslo Peace Process was said allow for a final end to the conflict which was passed from one generation to the next. Two decades later, Israeli and Palestine are no closer to reaching a state of non-violence, tolerating countless more to be added to the death toll. Throughout his book Brokers of Deceit, Khalidi makes evident that American diplomatic efforts to end the conflict, have not helped. In fact, he states that the United States’ “efforts in the Middle East have, if ...view middle of the document...

In Khalidi’s first chapter, he begins with the first of the three moments of clarity. During the Carter administration, Khalidi described Jimmy Carter as a grounded liberal who was the first president to express the need for a Palestinian homeland (Khalidi 2013, 3). Being quite progressive, his administration “also alluded to political and national rights for the Palestinians by suggesting that it might be possible to ‘permit self-determination by the Palestinians in deciding their future status’” (Khalidi 2013, 3). Khalidi saw a brief instant of hope, where there would have been the opportunity to implement the provisions of the 1978 Camp David accords that related to Palestinian autonomy (Khalidi 2013, xiv). Ultimately, in attempts to appease the right-wing Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, as well facing pressure from US lobby groups, President Carter was reluctant to deviate too far from Begin's suggestions, essentially letting him set the agenda of the Camp David Accords (Khalidi 2013, 6). As a result, the Camp David Accords excluded the PLO from negotiations, allowed for only a very limited autonomy of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and also unremitted Israeli occupation (Khalidi 2013, 28).
The second chapter of Brokers of Deceit continued on the same lines as the first, and outlined the second moment of clarity acknowledged by Khalidi. Taking place between 1991-1993 and in the context of the Madrid-Washington Conference, according to Khalidi, US foreign policy under the duress of the Bush and Clinton administrations, had the possibility of establishing a comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict (Khalidi 2013, 30). In the wake of the gulf war, the initial push to renew talks lead to the conference in Madrid, which in itself was seen as a historic success. Having a delegation for all possible parties, such as the USSR, Israel, and even a delegation representing the interests of Palestinians, the talks also held in Washington and Oslo had tremendous potentiality. Unfortunately, as Khalidi points out, the negotiations were dragged on by Israel in hopes of avoiding certain sensitive issues to the extent that, what was once thought as historic talks, did nothing more than “restatement of the original inflexible ideas that Begin had come to Camp David with fifteen years before” (Khalidi 2013, 58). Moreover, the United States delegation inflamed the situation further by treating the Palestinian leadership as second grade, saturating the relationship with “suspicion and mistrust” (Khalidi 2013, 35), obstructing the process of negotiations.

Beginning to wrap up Brokers of Deceit, Khalidi critiques the US government under President Obama’s leadership. He explains that the Obama administration has been criticized as taking an unsatisfactory stance as a supporter of the Israeli camp, compared to “several of his predecessors where actual policy initiatives are concerned” (Khalidi 2013, 82). As a...

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