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Private peace entrepreneurs in conflict resolution processes

Can private citizens serve as self-appointed peacemakers and influence diplomatic relations between parties to a conflict? The book analyzes the international phenomenon of private peace entrepreneurs (PPEs) – private citizens with no official authority who initiate channels of communication with official representatives from the other side of a conflict in order to promote a conflict resolution process. It combines theoretical discussion with historical analysis, examining four cases from different conflicts: Norman Cousins and Suzanne Massie in the Cold War, Brendan Duddy in the Northern Ireland conflict, and Uri Avnery in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The book defines the phenomenon, examines the resources and activities of private peace entrepreneurs and their impact on the official diplomacy, and explores the conditions under which they can play an effective role in peacemaking processes.

The book highlights the ability of private individual citizens – who are not politicians, diplomats, or military leaders – to operate as influential actors in international politics in general, and in peace processes in particular. Although the history of internal and international conflicts reveals many cases of private peace entrepreneurs, some of whom played a critical role in conflict resolution efforts, the literature has yet to give this important phenomenon the attention it deserves. The book aims to fill this gap, contributing to the scholarship on conflict and peace, diplomacy, and civil society. It also makes a historiographical contribution by shedding light on figures excluded from the history textbooks, and it offers an alternative perspective to traditional narratives concerning the diplomatic history of the conflicts.

Lior Lehrs

promote his ideas for peace in the Middle East. This chapter deals with the activity of Avnery as a PPE, and with the dialogue channels he established. His unofficial diplomatic activity started in the 1950s, but the focus of the chapter touches on Avnery's contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization, beginning with his meetings with PLO official Said Hammami in 1975, through the establishment of a channel between ICIPP members and Issam Sartawi and other PLO members, to Avnery's direct dialogue with PLO chairman Yasser Arafat in the early

in Unofficial peace diplomacy
Jeremy Pressman

The flipside of thinking military force is the best policy tool available to achieve national aims has often been the notion that negotiations and concessions are an inferior means, one that signals weakness and leads to being taken advantage of by one’s rival. In addition, structures of violence and coercion exert themselves, thereby undermining or leading to the premature closure of negotiating opportunities. In short, ideas and institutions combine to undermine diplomatic pathways. If a government or organization really have wanted to try to change the direction of Arab–Israeli or Israeli–Palestinian relations by de-emphasizing the reliance on military force, violence, and coercion, there were numerous moments that could have been creatively built upon to effect change. Case studies of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s ten-point programme in 1974, the Arab Peace Initiative in 2002, and Israel’s disengagement in 2005 illustrate missed opportunities and some of the muddled signals that go along with those moments.

in The sword is not enough
Drawings by Dia al-Azzawi

crackdown by the Jordanian Armed Forces against the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in September 1970, referred to in Palestinian history as Black September. Palestinian guerrilla warfare had been on the rise as a popular armed struggle against Israel, particularly in the aftermath of the devasting Arab-Israeli war in 1967. Precipitated by the success of the ‘Battle of al-Karama’ in 1968, a

in Transnational solidarity
Math Noortmann
Luke D. Graham

: the recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) based on the right to self- determination; the recognition of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) based on the Oslo Agreement between Israel and the PLO; and the recognition of Palestine as an ‘observer’ non-member state of the UN by the UN General Assembly (UNGA). 18

in The basics of international law
Abstract only
Matt Qvortrup

was a time of optimism there and elsewhere too. In the early 1990s, the Israeli government had concluded a deal with the Palestine Liberation Organization, which included a commitment (in principle) to establishing an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza. Barely out of grad school, I found myself at meetings with centre-left Israeli Cabinet ministers and with

in I want to break free
Jeremy Pressman

. At the same time as some West Bank Palestinians wanted to talk with Israel in 1967, the Palestine Liberation Organization was pursuing armed struggle against Israel. So it is not just that there are many voices but also the contradictory or clashing content of some of the other voices that matters. Moreover, for bargaining reasons, a leader open to con­ cessions may want some aggressive noise so that they can claim limited manoeuvrability if negotiations commence. ‘I cannot make deeper concessions’, that leader might say, ‘because, as we all know, I am being

in The sword is not enough
Jeremy Pressman

’. Menachem Begin, the Israeli prime minister, spoke in similar terms: ‘Now we make peace, the cornerstone of cooperation and friendship’. Years later, at the White House signing of the first Oslo agreement in September 1993, Israel’s prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, embraced a future that moved away from the reliance on military force: ‘We wish to open a new chapter in the sad book of our lives together, a chapter of mutual recognition, of good neighborliness, of mutual respect, of understanding’. Moments later, Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation

in The sword is not enough
Arabs, Israelis, and the limits of military force

The Arab–Israeli conflict has been at the centre of international affairs for decades. Despite repeated political efforts, the confrontation and casualties continue, especially in fighting between Israelis and Palestinians. This new assessment emphasizes the role that military force plays in blocking a diplomatic resolution. Many Arabs and Israelis believe that the only way to survive or to be secure is through the development, threat, and use of military force and violence. This idea is deeply flawed and results in missed diplomatic opportunities and growing insecurity. Coercion cannot force rivals to sign a peace agreement to end a long-running conflict. Sometimes negotiations and mutual concessions are the key to improving the fate of a country or national movement. Using short historical case studies from the 1950s through to today, the book explores and pushes back against the dominant belief that military force leads to triumph while negotiations and concessions lead to defeat and further unwelcome challenges. In The sword is not enough, we learn both what makes this idea so compelling to Arab and Israeli leaders and how it eventually may get dislodged.

Abstract only
Jeremy Pressman

to pursue talks and to consider making concessions. Second, the commitment to military force is manifest in governmental and organizational institutions. These institutions, in terms of both the ideas they advance and their standard operating procedures, make negotiating breakthroughs less likely. There have been real opportunities that have been missed, as illustrated by the 1974 statement from the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the Gaza disengagement. We should bear in mind that dominant ideas are not per­ manent. Yes, some

in The sword is not enough