Google full text of our books:


The Brink of Peace:
The Israeli-Syrian Negotiations
Itamar Rabinovich

Paperback | 1999 | $39.95 | £32.95 | ISBN: 9780691010236
304 pp. | 7 3/4 x 10
Add to Shopping Cart

eBook | ISBN: 9781400822652 |
Our eBook editions are available from these online vendors

Reviews | Table of Contents
Chapter 1

Google full text of this book:

A major casualty of the assassin's bullet that struck down Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was a prospective peace accord between Syria and Israel. For the first time, a negotiator who had unique access to Rabin, as well as detailed knowledge of Syrian history and politics, tells the inside story of the failed negotiations. His account provides a key to understanding not only U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East but also the larger Arab-Israeli peace process.

During the period from 1992 to 1996, Itamar Rabinovich was Israel's ambassador to Washington, and the chief negotiator with Syria. In this book, he looks back at the course of negotiations, terms of which were known to a surprisingly small group of American, Israeli, and Syrian officials. After Benjamin Netanyahu's election as Israel's prime minister in May 1996, a controversy developed. Even with Netanyahu's change of policy and harder line toward Damascus, Syria began claiming that both Rabin and his successor Peres had pledged full withdrawal from the Golan Heights. Rabinovich takes the reader through the maze of diplomatic subtleties to explain the differences between hypothetical discussion and actual commitment.

"To the students of past history and contemporary politics," he writes, "nothing is more beguiling than the myriad threads that run across the invisible line which separates the two." The threads of this story include details of Rabin's negotiations and their impact through two subsequent Israeli administrations in less than a year, the American and Egyptian roles, and the ongoing debate between Syria and Israel on the factual and legal bases for resuming talks.

The author portrays all sides and participants with remarkable flair and empathy, as only a privileged player in the events could do. In any assessment of future negotiations in the Middle East, Itamar Rabinovich's book will prove indispensable.


"Rabinovich ably traces the road that Israel and Syria have traveled, and shows what may lie ahead."--Clyde Haberman, The New York Times Book Review

"A model of its genre: a book in which an aware participant provides both the inside skinny and the larger story-both the details known only to those who were there and the historical context . . . neither burdening the reader with unnecessary information nor skimping on important facts."--Daniel Pipes, The Weekly Standard

"Provocative and insightful. . . . This book is a worthy read for those interested in this conflict beyond the superficial."--Booklist

"This valuable, well-written, objective description and analysis of an important issue will appeal to general readers of international politics as well as to students of Middle Eastern affairs."--Choice

"This saga of missed opportunities holds valuable lessons for those seeking peace in the Middle East."--Publishers Weekly

"Rabinovich writes clearly and fair-mindedly about the views of both sides; his readers gain a ringside seat at Arab-Israeli diplomacy at its most difficult."--Kirkus Reviews


More Endorsements

Table of Contents:

1 Trying to Recapture Yesterday's Shadow 3
2 Israel and Syria, Rabin and Asad 14
3 First Cracks in the Ice 54
4 The Wing Beats of History 85
5 Between Amman and Damascus 120
6 The Security Dialogue 163
7 Bitter Harvest at the Wye Plantation 196
Conclusion 235
Postscript 256
Notes 265
Index 273

Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Itamar Rabinovich:

Subject Areas:

Shopping Cart options:

  • For ebooks:

Our eBook editions are available
from these online vendors:

  • Barnes & Noble Nook Store
  • Google Play eBook Store
  • Many of our ebooks are available through
    library electronic resources including these platforms:

  • Books at JSTOR
  • Ebrary
  • Ebook Library
  • EBSCO Ebooks
  • MyiLibrary
  • Dawsonera (UK)

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

     Paperback : $39.95 ISBN: 9780691010236

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan

     Paperback  £32.95 ISBN: 9780691010236

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    Prices subject to change without notice

    File created: 7/11/2017

    Questions and comments to:
    Princeton University Press

    New Book E-mails
    New In Print
    PUP Blog
    Princeton APPS
    Sample Chapters
    Princeton Legacy Library
    Exam/Desk Copy
    Recent Awards
    Princeton Shorts
    Freshman Reading
    PUP Europe
    About Us
    Contact Us
    PUP Home

    Bookmark and Share 
    Send me emails
    about new books in:
    Middle Eastern Studies
    Political Science And International Relations
    Jewish Studies
    More Choices