The long, tortuous history of the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli conflicts has witnessed numerous tragic episodes, but rarely a moment as hopeful as the handshake between the leaders of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization on September 13, 1993. Sadly, however, the conflict lives on and terror still claims the lives of innocents. But the accord signed between Israel and the PLO that day, along with the letters of mutual recognition that accompanied it, reshaped and redefined the conflict in fundamental ways.
This book offers the key elements of the story behind that handshake--how and why the leaders of Israel abandoned a policy of rejecting the PLO as a terrorist gang bent on Israel's destruction for a diplomatic approach founded on the belief that the PLO and its longtime leader, Yasser Arafat, were essential partners in the experiment of peacemaking. David Makovsky brings to bear years of experience as a media correspondent--during which he observed the mechanics of the Rabin government on a daily basis--to shed new light on the often combustible mix of policy, politics, and personalities that defines the Israeli decision-making process.