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The Truth About Camp David: The Untold Story About the Collapse of the Middle East Peace Process

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The collapse of both sets of Arab-Israeli negotiations in 2000 led not only to recrimination and bloodshed, with the outbreak of the second intifada, but to the creation of a new myth. Syrian and Palestinian intransigence was blamed for the current disastrous state of affairs, as both parties rejected a "generous" peace offering from the Israelis that would have brought pe The collapse of both sets of Arab-Israeli negotiations in 2000 led not only to recrimination and bloodshed, with the outbreak of the second intifada, but to the creation of a new myth. Syrian and Palestinian intransigence was blamed for the current disastrous state of affairs, as both parties rejected a "generous" peace offering from the Israelis that would have brought peace to the region. The Truth About Camp David shatters that myth. Based on the riveting, eyewitness accounts of more than forty direct participants involved in the latest rounds of Arab-Israeli negotiations, including the Camp David 2000 summit, former federal investigator-turned-investigative journalist Clayton E. Swisher provides a compelling counter-narrative to the commonly accepted history. The Truth About Camp David details the tragic inner workings of the Clinton Administration's negotiating mayhem, their eleventh hour blunders and miscalculations, and their concluding decision to end the Oslo process with blame and disengagement. It is not only a fascinating historical look at Middle East politics on the brink of disaster, but a revelatory portrait of how all-too-human American political considerations helped facilitate the present crisis.


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The collapse of both sets of Arab-Israeli negotiations in 2000 led not only to recrimination and bloodshed, with the outbreak of the second intifada, but to the creation of a new myth. Syrian and Palestinian intransigence was blamed for the current disastrous state of affairs, as both parties rejected a "generous" peace offering from the Israelis that would have brought pe The collapse of both sets of Arab-Israeli negotiations in 2000 led not only to recrimination and bloodshed, with the outbreak of the second intifada, but to the creation of a new myth. Syrian and Palestinian intransigence was blamed for the current disastrous state of affairs, as both parties rejected a "generous" peace offering from the Israelis that would have brought peace to the region. The Truth About Camp David shatters that myth. Based on the riveting, eyewitness accounts of more than forty direct participants involved in the latest rounds of Arab-Israeli negotiations, including the Camp David 2000 summit, former federal investigator-turned-investigative journalist Clayton E. Swisher provides a compelling counter-narrative to the commonly accepted history. The Truth About Camp David details the tragic inner workings of the Clinton Administration's negotiating mayhem, their eleventh hour blunders and miscalculations, and their concluding decision to end the Oslo process with blame and disengagement. It is not only a fascinating historical look at Middle East politics on the brink of disaster, but a revelatory portrait of how all-too-human American political considerations helped facilitate the present crisis.

30 review for The Truth About Camp David: The Untold Story About the Collapse of the Middle East Peace Process

  1. 5 out of 5

    John

    This book is a well researched, documented, written and revealing insight into the dysfunctional and damaging role the US plays in the search for peace in the Middle East. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in understanding how the foreign policy of the US in the Middle East does not serve US national interest but is driven by domestic Israeli and US politics.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Simon Wood

    THE FACTS OF THE MATTER Clayton Swishers "The Truth About Camp David" tells the story of the - apparent - frenzy of peace negotiations that occurred during the tail end of the Clinton administration after the overtly intransigent Benyamin Netenyahu was replaced by Labours Ehud Barak. If you get your news from mainstream organisations, say the BBC, then chances are you will shrug your shoulders or shake your head at the outcome of the Israeli- Syrian and Israeli-Palestinian talks: can't these guys THE FACTS OF THE MATTER Clayton Swishers "The Truth About Camp David" tells the story of the - apparent - frenzy of peace negotiations that occurred during the tail end of the Clinton administration after the overtly intransigent Benyamin Netenyahu was replaced by Labours Ehud Barak. If you get your news from mainstream organisations, say the BBC, then chances are you will shrug your shoulders or shake your head at the outcome of the Israeli- Syrian and Israeli-Palestinian talks: can't these guys ever live at peace! If you read a newspaper that's sympathetic to the Israeli position (i.e. practically any newspaper in the U.S. and a good few here in the U.K.) then you probably feel, to quote the much cited remark of Abbas Eban, that the "Palestinians never miss a chance to miss peace." The great achievement of Clayton Swishers remarkable book is to explode these twin myths of "equivalence" between the parties, and Palestinian intransigence-Israeli victimhood. Instead the reader is presented with the real story, the product of Swishers detailed research and scores of hours of interviews with the participants. It is one in which the U.S. is the dishonest broker, the Israelis behave like burglars expecting to hang onto half the loot in peace, and the Palestinians (and Syrians) are cajoled, coerced, misled and marginalised and finally cast as villains. The early part of the book details the fruits of Baraks Syria first policy that led to the non-event summit in Geneva which came about when president Assad was misled by the Americans into believing the Israelis were ready to honour former prime-minister Rabins committment to comply with international law and exit the Golan. The larger and later part concerns the build-up to the Camp David summit as well as a detailed account of the event itself. The personalities, procedure and substance of the negotiations are clearly narrated in a straight-forward prose. The main actors are undoubtedly foregrounded: their past involvements with the Israeli-Arab conflict as well as what they say and do during the negotiations are covered in detail. Particularly fascinating are the accounts of the senior U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross (more pro-Israel than many on the Israeli side) and Ehud Barak. This is complemented with a substantial amount of attention to the reality within the Occupied Territories, Israel proper and (to a lesser degree) the United States. The final part of the book looks at the post summit spinning that laid the blame firmly at the Palestinian door, and how the path was firmly set for the second Intifada to eventually explode. This is a substantial and important work that along with Edward Saids trilogy on the peace process ("Peace and Its Discontents", "The End of the Peace Proces'] and "From Oslo to Iraq and the Roadmap"), Tanya Reinharts "The Road Map to Nowhere" and Jonathan Cooks "Disappearing Palestine" provide a clear and moral account of the Israeli-Palestine conflict in the 1990's and 2000's. Well recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Simon Brass

    Well researched and thorough. Hard at times to keep track of all the back and forth of names, ideas, refutations, and arguments. However, the author is simply attempting to report the events as they occured. It's hard not to take away strong feelings of cynism given that Camp David II is often viewed as the closest the sides have come to an agreement. As articulated by the author I didn't get the sense that a deal was remotely close at any point in the negotiations and the question is left open Well researched and thorough. Hard at times to keep track of all the back and forth of names, ideas, refutations, and arguments. However, the author is simply attempting to report the events as they occured. It's hard not to take away strong feelings of cynism given that Camp David II is often viewed as the closest the sides have come to an agreement. As articulated by the author I didn't get the sense that a deal was remotely close at any point in the negotiations and the question is left open as to whether the summit was simply a waste of time and/or actually severely damaging to the long term prospects for peace.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ciaran Mcfadden

    One of the best books about the "Middle East peace process" !! Firmly nails the lie that it was the Palestinians at fault for the collapse of the Camp David summit and also exposes the ridiculous belief that the USA are honest brokers in the search for peace !

  5. 4 out of 5

    LPenting

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mohamed

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bara' Mansour

  8. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  11. 5 out of 5

    Reem

  12. 4 out of 5

    Riley

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carlos Riquelme

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amir

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dave Seminara

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hrishi

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lena

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ali

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wael

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Ghassan

  21. 4 out of 5

    Raphael Cohen-Almagor

  22. 5 out of 5

    Justin

  23. 4 out of 5

    حسان أبوصلاح

  24. 5 out of 5

    Skander Halim

  25. 5 out of 5

    ZoBlitz

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jacob David

  27. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  28. 4 out of 5

    Eric Simms

  29. 4 out of 5

    Adam

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karim

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