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Beyond the Handshake

Beyond the Handshake: Multilateral Cooperation in the Arab-Israeli Peace Process, 1991-1996

Dalia Dassa Kaye
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Beyond the Handshake
    Book Description:

    Arabs and Israelis have battled one another in political and military arenas, seemingly continuously, for some fifty years. The 1991 Madrid Peace Conference sought to change this pattern, launching bilateral and multilateral tracks in the Arab-Israeli peace process. As a result, a broad group of Arab states sat down with Israel and began to cooperate on a wide range of regional issues in what became known as the Middle East multilaterals. Yet why did enemies reluctant even to recognize one another choose to cooperate on regional problems? And once this process began, what drove the parties to continue such cooperation or, in some cases, halt their cooperative efforts? Beyond the Handshake addresses these fundamental questions, exploring the origins of the multilaterals and the development of multilateral cooperation in the areas of arms control and regional security, economic development, water management, and the environment. Dalia Dassa Kaye, challenging conventional concepts of cooperation, argues that multilateral cooperation in the Middle East must be appreciated as a process of interaction rather than solely as a set of outcomes. Presenting theoretical insights of value to students of regional and international relations, Beyond the Handshake provides a unique look at the evolving nature of Arab-Israeli relations and exposes the foundation the multilateral peace process laid for future regional cooperation in the Middle East.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-50532-1
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xi-xxiv)

    Arabs and Israelis have battled one another in political and military arenas, seemingly continuously, for some fifty years. Yet recently, and within the span of only a few years, a broad group of Arab states sat down with Israel and began to cooperate on a wide range of regional issues in a multilateral setting. Why? How did enemies reluctant even to recognize one another choose to cooperate on substantive problems? What changed to enable such cooperation? How do such cooperative processes operate? And what forces stood, or stand, in the way of continuing cooperation? This book systematically addresses these fundamental...

  5. 1 Explaining Regional Multilateral Cooperation
    (pp. 1-29)

    Arab and Israeli participants in the multilateral peace talks invariably would describe their endeavor as cooperative, a novel exercise in cooperation. How else to describe the hundreds of meetings, dozens of projects, tens of activities aimed at solving regional problems? And yet, what formal institutions and policy adjustments have they to show for their work? Have they successfully solved any specific, major regional problem? Indeed, how can one define a process as cooperation if the tangible outcomes are few, the actual adjustments in policy modest? Could it be that, despite the participants’ own understanding of their activities, they were not...

  6. 2 The Historical Record: Pre-Madrid Regional Cooperation
    (pp. 30-43)

    The Arab-Israeli multilaterals are not only distinct from the bilateral peace process, but they are also a departure from previous peace-making efforts focused on the substantive issue areas included in the multilateral talks. Before proceeding to the emergence and development of the multilaterals, it is worth highlighting some of these historical differences in order to understand the unprecedented nature of this process and the extent to which regional relations changed after the Gulf War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. At the same time, these pre-Madrid efforts also foreshadow many of the difficulties the multilateral working groups would face...

  7. 3 The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Multilateral Talks
    (pp. 44-75)

    Why was a multilateral regional forum made part of the process of Arab-Israeli peacemaking at Madrid? What forces best explain how such an unprecedented cooperative process originated in the polarized context of Arab-Israeli relations? To account for the origins of the multilaterals and its working groups, this chapter first presents an overview of the international and regional context in which this process emerged, including the developments leading up to the Madrid conference of October 1991 and the motivations of key regional parties for agreeing to attend the first multilateral organizational session in Moscow in January 1992. The chapter then turns...

  8. 4 Regional Security Cooperation
    (pp. 76-109)

    If balance of power, zero-sum politics has an archetype, the Arab-Israeli arena would seem to provide an obvious candidate. For some, even the tremendous changes brought about by the end of the Cold War and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait did not fundamentally alter the regional security environment. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction among authoritarian and often internally unstable regimes and the continued flow of conventional weaponry to the Middle East make for an extremely dangerous environment.¹ Middle East countries surpass all other developing regions, and even some industrial states, in both quantity and quality of their military...

  9. 5 Regional Economic Cooperation
    (pp. 110-157)

    The Regional Economic Development working group (REDWG) and the parallel Arab-Israeli cooperative economic forums that developed in the aftermath of the Israeli-Palestinian Oslo Accord constitute something of a success story for the multilaterals. To be sure, measuring success in this process requires different criteria than for many other regional forums, where tangible outcomes like economic growth and development are standard indicators. While a narrowing of the economic disparities in the Middle East may ultimately be required for durable peace and regional stability, the REDWG process cannot be judged solely according to these long-term economic needs and goals. Although the American...

  10. 6 Water and Environmental Cooperation
    (pp. 158-183)

    Project-oriented and intended to demonstrate positive, concrete returns on peacemaking efforts, the Water and Environment working groups, of all the multilateral working groups, held out the highest expectations for tangible progress. Water and environmental cooperation focused on projects that could potentially improve the living conditions of millions of people—sewage treatment plants, desalination to increase regional water supplies, oil spill centers to prevent and respond to crises affecting common waters, and a wide variety of regional infrastructure projects. Moreover, both topics—but particularly the problem of water scarcity—posed readily understood threats to Arabs and Israelis and thus provided fertile...

  11. 7 Conclusion
    (pp. 184-198)

    The cooperative processes described in this study would have been unthinkable before the 1990s. While these cases of regional multilateral cooperation produced mixed results, they challenge traditional conceptions about the nature of Arab-Israeli relations and how international relations theories are to explain cooperation in such regions. The Arab-Israeli multilateral peace process demonstrated the ability of regional actors to move toward cooperative postures in part because of the altered strategic environment which emerged in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Persian Gulf War. The multilaterals produced new forums for Arab-Israeli interaction that would have been impossible...

  12. Appendix A: Concluding Remarks by Secretary of State James A. Baker III Before the Organizational Meeting for Multilateral Negotiations on the Middle East (January 28, 1992)
    (pp. 199-202)
  13. Appendix B: Article 4: Security. Treaty of Peace Between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (October 26, 1994)
    (pp. 203-205)
  14. Appendix C: Declaration of Principles and Statements of Intent on Arms Control and Regional Security
    (pp. 206-209)
  15. Appendix D: Statement by the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf on the Cancellation by the GCC of the Secondary/Tertiary Arab Boycott of Israel (October 1, 1994)
    (pp. 210-210)
  16. Appendix E: Casablanca Declaration Middle East/North Africa Economic Summit (October 30–November 1, 1994)
    (pp. 211-215)
  17. Appendix F: Amman Declaration Middle East/North Africa Economic Summit (October 29–31, 1995)
    (pp. 216-219)
  18. Appendix G: Cairo Declaration Middle East/North Africa Economic Conference (November 12–14, 1996)
    (pp. 220-222)
  19. Appendix H: Declaration on Principles for Cooperation Among the Core Parties on Water-Related Matters and New and Additional Water Resources The Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources Oslo (February 13, 1996)
    (pp. 223-229)
  20. Appendix I: The Bahrain Environmental Code of Conduct for the Middle East (October 25, 1994)
    (pp. 230-234)
  21. Notes
    (pp. 235-293)
  22. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 294-310)
  23. Index
    (pp. 311-320)