Sitting around one oval table for the first time at the Madrid Conference in 1991, historic Arab and Israeli enemies pledge to work toward regional peace and security. From Madrid onward, Middle East diplomacy has been pursued on two tracks-between Israel and its immediate neighbors, and among all the countries of the region. This book reveals, for the first time, an insider's account of the true significance of the Madrid Conference and how a revolution in Middle Eastern affairs was wrought there. Making Peace details the debates, doubts, reversals, and accomplishments that crystallized at the Madrid Peace Conference in October 1991. In the months leading up to this historic event, Eytan Bentsur, today Director-General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, worked closely with his counterparts from other countries to find a formula that might bridge the bitter and seemingly intractable rivalry between Israelis and Arabs. This formula was to become kwn as the famous two-track approach and is an important source of the incredible progress made toward regional peace and security in recent times. Arguing persuasively that the Middle East peace revolution was triggered by the Madrid gathering, Bentsur sheds new light on the leading personalities and ideas that made the conference a success and a foundation for future progress. An Israeli official who belonged to an avowed peace group within a hesitant government, Bentsur devised new formulas that made the advantages of peace more palpable to a national leadership and public that were sometimes obsessed with the problems of the peace process. The book elucidates the origins, rationale, and impact of the two-track approach. It is a gripping, behind-the-scenes account of diplomatic efforts in the cause of peace in a war-torn part of the globe.
EYTAN BENTSUR is Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs./e