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The Israeli-Palestinian Issue
The Triangle Papers: 38
Garret Fitzgerald

This report was prepared for a meeting of the Trilateral Commission in Washington, D.C., in April 1990. At the time, new developments in the international scene offered hope of progress in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian issue. The political changes sweeping the Soviet Union, epitomized by the sudden collapse of the Berlin Wall, had led to a softening of the communist superpower's position on the Middle East. The spread of Islamic fundamentalism and the growing strength of the Iraqi army made other Arab countries more receptive to the idea of talks. Palestinian leaders began to believe that negotiations might be more productive than violence.

The report discusses these changes and summarizes the policy divisions among Israel's major political parties. It lists the procedural hurdles that had to be overcome before Israelis and Palestinians could even meet at the negotiating table and outlines the main issues that had to be resolved to achieve a long-term solution. It also suggests ways for the international community to help the peace process along.

The findings presented in the report were based on discussions with members of the Trilateral Commission, diplomats and officials, specialists, and representatives of Jewish and Arab organizations. The names of the individuals are listed at the end of the report.

Garret Fitzgerald is former prime minister of Ireland, former president of the European Council, and European deputy chairman of the Trilateral Commission. The Japan Center for International Exchange is the Japanese secretariat to the Trilateral Commission.

Chapters

New York, Paris, and Tokyo: The Trilateral Commission, 1990

ISBN 0-930503-66-X; 46 pages; paper; $6.00

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