The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
These are the days where there is more and more doubt about whether peace in the Middle East is possible. Throughout the years the peace process knew ups and downs, hope and despair. In 1993, negotiations for peace led to the Oslo accord which was expected by its supporters to be the beginning of a new era that would lead to a final status agreement.
Since then, different attempts have been made to reach a comprehensive agreement or at least agreed principles for the agreement under the American umbrella: in 2000 with President Clinton, the Annapolis process with the Bush administration in 2007-2008, and the last round in 2013-2014 with Secretary Kerry in the Obama Administration. The disengagement from Gaza in 2005 was another step that Israel made in order to change the realities, but years later, Hamas controls Gaza Strip. While hopes were created and it looked like the gaps were narrowed each time, an agreement was not achieved.
Since 2014, there is a complete standstill in the negotiations while the Trump Administration is working on what is called “the deal of the century” which Palestinians announced that they are not willing to participate in. Meanwhile, Israel is facing political changes after a pre-election announcement about annexation. Altogether, the future of peace is in question.
Join the four-part study group with Minister Livni in which she will share her personal experience from the negotiations and will explore the following questions:
- What are the roots of the conflict? Is it a religious or national conflict or both?
- Who are the players?
- Israel: the different positions and ideology within Israeli society and among political parties
- Palestinians: between Fatah and Hamas
- The Arab World: What is the role of the Arab world?
- The U.S.A: Does American involvement help or interfere in reaching an agreement?
- The solutions
- Between unilateral steps and agreed solution
- Is “two states for two peoples” the only solution and what does it mean?
- Final status agreement or interim MoU?
- The positions of the parties on the Issues on the table
- Sharing the dilemmas, understandings and misunderstandings during the negotiations
- Why 2014 round exploded.
- What’s next? Are we moving forward or backwards? Are the gaps narrowing or broadening?
Minister Tzipi Livni was the Israeli Vice Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and chief negotiator in the last two rounds of negotiations in 2008 and 2014. She was also a member of the Israeli Security Cabinet during the disengagement from Gaza and the military operations in Gaza. Minister Livni is currently a Fisher Family Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center.