Negotiations by Other Means: Track II, Unilateral Action, Robust Third Party Role and Islands of Coordination in the New Middle East

Event Date: Monday March 4, 2013
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Pound Hall 101, Harvard Law School

The Program on Negotiation’s Middle East Negotiation Initiative is pleased to present


Negotiations by Other Means:
Track II, Unilateral Action, Robust Third Party Role and Islands of Coordination in the New Middle East


Ambassador Dore Gold

President, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Ambassador Alan Baker

Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Ghaith al-Omari

Executive Director, the American Task Force on Palestine

 And chaired by:

Robert H. Mnookin

Samuel Williston Professor of Law

Chair, Program on Negotiation

Monday, March 4, 2013

7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

New location: Pound Hall 101

Harvard Law School Campus

About the Event:

As direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations appear to have ground to an indefinite halt, attention has shifted to other, less conventional methods for achieving mutually desirable outcomes for the two peoples. These include Track II diplomacy, isolated areas of coordination, a pro-active role of the third party and even unilateral action. Paradoxically, all these less traditional diplomatic moves have often been cited as obstacles to a negotiated solution, as well as steps to benefit both parties and incentivize cooperation, when used constructively.

Tonight’s panelists all have experience both with direct Israeli-Palestinian talks and with each of these alternative routes. They will draw on those experiences to suggest ways these alternative means can be used to the most constructive effect, while also discussing the dangers of their misuse. The discussion will shed light on what may be an under-explored route back to fruitful negotiation or at least more stable and thriving for both Israelis and Palestinians.

About the Panelists:

Ambassador Dore Gold

is President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He was the eleventh Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations (1997-1999) and served as Foreign Policy Advisor to Benjamin Netanyahu during his first term as Prime Minister of Israel, in 1996-1999.  Ambassador Gold also served as an advisor to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Ambassador Gold was a member of the Israeli delegation at the 1998 Wye River negotiations between Israel and the PLO, outside of Washington. He negotiated the Note for the Record, which supplemented the 1997 Hebron Protocol, and in 1996 concluded the negotiations with the U.S., Lebanon, Syria, and France for the creation of the Monitoring Group for Southern Lebanon. In 1991, he served as an advisor to the Israeli delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference. From 1985 to 1996 he was a senior research associate at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, Tel Aviv University, where he was Director of the U.S. Foreign and Defense Policy Project. Dr. Gold received his BA (’75), MA (’76), and PhD (’84) from Columbia University.

Ambassador Gold has written numerous books and articles on the Middle East. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Ofra, and their two children, Yael and Ariel.

Ambassador Alan Baker, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is one of Israel’s leading international law experts. He served as the Legal Counsel and Deputy Director General of Israel’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs between 1996 and 2004, followed by four years as Israel’s ambassador to Canada. He joined the Foreign Service after spending several years as a military prosecutor and subsequently senior legal adviser in the Israel Defense Force’s International Law Division. Between 1985 -1989 he was seconded to the UN Headquarters Office for Legal Affairs as a Senior Legal Officer.  During his 35-year period of government service he was directly involved in Middle East peace process negotiations and the drafting of the various peace treaties and other agreements between Israel and its neighbors. Since 1989 Ambassador Baker has served as one of the Israeli members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

Ghaith al-Omari is Executive Director at the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP). Prior to that, he served in various positions within the Palestinian Authority, including Director of the International Relations Department in the Office of the Palestinian President, and advisor to former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. In these capacities, he provided advice on foreign policy — especially vis-à-vis the United States and Israel — and security. He has extensive experience in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, having been an advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team throughout the permanent status negotiations (1999–2001). In that capacity, he participated in various negotiating rounds, most notably the Camp David summit and the Taba talks. After the breakdown of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, he was the lead Palestinian drafter of the Geneva Initiative, an unofficial model peace agreement negotiated between leading Palestinian and Israeli public figures. Mr. al-Omari is a lawyer by training and a graduate of Georgetown and Oxford universities. Prior to his involvement in the Middle East peace process, he taught international law in Jordan and was active in human rights advocacy.


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