The Peace Process: From Breakthrough to Breakdown
Written by Afif Safieh
Saqi Books, 285 pages, ISBN978-0863564222
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Afif Safieh is uniquely qualified to tell the inside story of the Palestinian view of their struggle for a viable independent state. He was born in Jerusalem in 1950 and has held a variety of diplomatic posts for more than thirty years. He served alongside Yasser Arafat in exile and became the Fatah Commissioner for International Relations. From the Beirut office he was in charge of Palestinian relations with the United Nations and with the European Union. Later he served as Head of Mission in London, Washington and Moscow, as well as the Holy See and The Netherlands. During his service in The Netherlands from 1987 to 1990, he was involved in the Stockholm negotiations which led to the first official and direct American-Palestinian dialogue.
In this book he gathers together the articles, lectures and interviews which reveal the development of the Palestinian thinking and diplomacy in the last three decades. During this time he met and worked with all the principal political leaders, Jimmy Carter and George Bush, John Major and Tony Blair, the Israeli leaders and Pope John Paul ll. His writings have brought a warm response from many critics. Avi Shlaim describes the book as ‘intellectually powerful’ and the writer as ‘articulate and eloquent’. Lord David Steele is relieved to find someone who can negotiate on the unresolved Middle East conflicts and retain ‘sparkling good humour’ and Judge Eugene Cotran welcomes his deep knowledge of history and the ‘dignity and humanity of his search for a just peace for all Palestinians’.
Featured in Bible Lands magazine, Winter 2010