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Durham e-Theses
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The impact of the composition and behaviour of the Palestinian leadership on the outcome of the Madrid and Washington negotiations 1991-1997

Khatib, Ghassan (2007) The impact of the composition and behaviour of the Palestinian leadership on the outcome of the Madrid and Washington negotiations 1991-1997. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis examines the composition and behaviour of the Palestinian leadership during the peace process, from the Madrid conference in 1991 to the breakdown of Oslo in 1997. Through an historical survey, an assessment of the structure and documents of the peace process, and an analysis of the strategies of the Palestinian leadership, it demonstrates that the invitation to the peace process arrived when the Palestinian leadership in exile outside was at its weakest, simultaneously seeking to further weaken it by restricting participation in the peace talks to Palestinians from the OPT except East Jerusalem. The outside leadership decided to fall back on the strong political support and loyalty of the leadership by appointing a delegation from inside in order to avoid the political danger of exclusion and marginalization. The Palestinian delegation from inside was selected from individuals with credibility and the credentials of struggle, which meant that they were loyal to the inside's main source of power, the Palestinian public in the OPT. Thus the relationship between the inside and outside leaderships was complementary: the inside needed the legitimacy and political access of the outside, and the outside needed the unity and representation of the inside. This mutual opportunism exposed, however, each leadership's differences in structure and priorities, which stemmed from their different realities. Because its priorities and approach prevailed, the outside manipulated the inside delegation to encourage secret but direct talks between the PLO and Israel in Oslo, in parallel with the talks in Washington. The Oslo talks’ lack of structure and terms of reference, the absence of a third party, as well as the missing expertise of the negotiators from the OPT, who had personal knowledge of both the Israelis and the terrain, led to weak Palestinian performance and a weak agreement. This, combined with an unfavourable environment created by Israel's expansion of illegal settlements, the asymmetry of power, and the biased position of the us mediator, led to a flawed implementation of the agreement. Among the unfortunate outcomes was the creation of a Palestinian Authority that was structurally dependent on and compromised by Israel, which thereafter affected the Palestinian leadership's implementation of subsequent agreements. Thus, the thesis concludes that a vicious cycle was created where problematic structure, delegation composition, and the leadership and delegation's behaviour led to poor process,

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2007
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:32

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