Building a Sustainable Peace: The Limits of Pragmatism in the Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations

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VOL. 28

1998/99

No. 1
P. 36
Articles
Building a Sustainable Peace: The Limits of Pragmatism in the Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations
ABSTRACT

This article argues that the strictly pragmatic, step-by-step approach of Oslo has reached a dead end and that cajoling the parties into signing an agreement is now irrelevant. To move the peace process to a successful conclusion, the parties must now commit themselves to a principled solution whose key elements include prior commitment to a genuine two-state solution as the end point of the final status negotiations, provision of meaningful citizenship to the Palestinians of the territories and the refugees, and mutual acknowledgment of the others nationhood and humanity. Such a proposal though seemingly utopian, represents the most realistic option at the present juncture.

Herbert C. Kelman is the Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics at Harvard University, director of the Program on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and co-chair of Harvard's Middle East Seminar. This article is based on the 1997 Lifetime Contributions to Peace Award address, presented at the meetings of the American Psychological Association in August 1998.