The Negotiators: The story of one promising initiative known as the Road Map is telling.
The staggering violence between Israelis and Palestinians over the past month has rekindled a question that has long vexed professionals in the negotiating business: Why have efforts to mediate peace between the two sides failed again and again?
To explore that question, we look back to an initiative 20 years ago known as the Road Map, which seemed to hold particular promise. Sponsored by some of the world’s major players—the United States, Russia, the United Nations, and the European Union—the Road Map sketched out a two-year path to peace that included independence for the Palestinians and security assurances for Israel.
But, like previous peace plans, this one also was never implemented.
Peter Bartu was a political advisor to the United Nations in Jerusalem at the time and helped mediate between Israelis and Palestinians. The story he tells on the show this week provides a forensic analysis of one particular plan that failed. But it also helps explain a broader history of diplomatic failures in the region.
One of Bartu’s revelations: British Prime Minister Tony Blair pushed the United States to accept the Road Map in exchange for supporting the United States’ invasion of Iraq. But once the invasion got underway and troops became bogged down, the United States lost interest.
Bartu is now a senior research scholar at the University of California, Berkeley Center for Middle Eastern Studies and a lecturer in the school’s global studies program.
The Negotiators, hosted by FP’s Jenn Williams, is a collaboration between Doha Debates and Foreign Policy.
About The Negotiators: Conflicts don’t just get resolved on their own. Most are settled through a grueling process of give and take, usually behind closed doors. On the podcast The Negotiators, Foreign Policy is teaming up with Doha Debates to put listeners in the room. Hosted by FP deputy editor Jenn Williams, each episode features one mediator, diplomat, or troubleshooter, describing one dramatic negotiation. You’ll hear about a nuclear standoff, a hostage crisis, a gang mediation, and much more: successes and failures that shaped people’s lives. See All Episodes
More The Negotiators episodes:
The Maestro of Mediation
The Negotiators: William Ury has helped resolve some of the world’s most intractable conflicts. Here’s how he does it.
From Humanitarian Catastrophe to Peace in Yemen?
The Negotiators: As warring factions inch closer to a deal, mediators in Yemen describe what it takes to end a grueling war.
The Water Agreement That Helped Avert a Monumental Resource Crisis
The Negotiators: How U.S. states bordering the Colorado River clinched a new deal.
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