Secret Channels: Inside Story of Arab-Israeli Peace Negotiations

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9780006383376: Secret Channels: 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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The 'Oslo agreement' of September 1993 focused the world's attention on clandestine talks between Israeli and Arab representatives. Yet, as 'Secret Channels' makes clear, such contacts are not a recent development. The Arab masses' implacable opposition to any dealings with Israel has always made secrecy imperative, and Arab leaders have met violent deaths because talking to Israel was regarded as treachery, a breach of a cause made sacred by the suffering of the Palestinians in 1948. Mohamed Heikal examines for the first time the history of covert Middle Eastern negotiations, and illuminates 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?

Mohamed Heikal's perspective is that of a true insider, personally acquainted with most Arab leaders, and at times directly involved in their decision-making processes. In 'Secret Channels' he poses disturbing questions about recent accords, and demonstrates that, far from moving towards understanding, Israel and the Palestinians may be on course for further collisions.

'Unforgettable…astonishingly candid in telling us the real story of what happened. Better one Heikal book than hundreds of 'expert' treatises on the Middle East'
EDWARD SAID,'Observer '

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Heikal, Mohamed
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Mohamed Heikal
Published by Harpercollins Pub Ltd (1997)
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