Secret Channels: The Inside Story of Arab-Israeli Peace Negotiations

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9780006383376: Secret Channels: The Inside Story of Arab-Israeli Peace Negotiations

The "Oslo Agreement" of September 1993 focused the world's attention on clandestine talks between Israeli and Arab representatives. This work examines the history of covert Middle Eastern negotiations and illuminates Arab attitudes.

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Review:

Drawing on his years of experience as a journalist, editor, and advisor to Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Mohammed Heikal gives an insider's view of 100 years of secret peace negotiations between Arabs and Israelis in his book Secret Channels; the picture he paints is not especially flattering for either side. But Heikal reserves his greatest indignation for the Arab leaders whose bungling, cowardice, and outright betrayals brought about a peace that Heikal claims sacrificed Palestinian interests in exchange for meaningless Israeli concessions. Sadat in particular receives the brunt of Heikal's ire, coming off as a vain, narcissistic, and easily manipulated "showman." Offering a passionate critique of the recent peace process without demonizing Israel or Israelis, Heikal's impressively detailed account fills an important gap in the existing literature of Arab-Israeli conflict.

From the Publisher:

Mohamed Heikal examines the history of covert Middle Eastern negotiations and illuminates the Arab attitudes which have often seemed baffling to the outside world. Why did President Nasser, the greatest of Arab Nationalist leaders, secretly encourage King Hussein of Jordan to reach an agreement with Israel? What lay behind Yasser Arafat's decision to back Saddam Hussein after his invasion of Kuwait? Why did Arafat settle for terms with Israel in 1993 that were no better than those on offer many years earlier, and why were Islamic militants determined to wreck that agreement? Heikal's perspective is that of a true insider, personally acquainted with most Arab lead-ers, and at times directly involved in their decision-making processes.

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