Peace Is Possible: Conversations with Arab and Israeli Leaders from 1988 to the Present
S. Daniel Abraham, , foreword by President Bill Clinton. . Newmarket, $24.95 (240pp) ISBN 978-1-55704-702-1
It's rare to find a political activist who is able to hold two conventionally opposed views in mind, yet throughout most of this book, Abraham (founder of the Center for Middle East Peace & Economic Cooperation and former chairman of Slim-Fast Foods) manages to do just that. Without denying his Zionist underpinnings, he addresses the concerns of both Jews and Arabs. Reflecting nearly 20 years of private diplomacy, his book is neither scholarly nor analytical; it reads more like the private diary of a thinking man with incredible connections to virtually everyone of influence in Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian and Jordanian politics. This intimate style can serve as a strength; it allows Abraham to maintain a straightforward tone devoid of grandstanding. Answering detractors who suggest that territorial compromise could threaten Israel's safety, he writes simply: "I can only say that the 1967 borders are a blessing in comparison to the borders Israel now has. I know that to many these words sound jarring, but I assure you, they are true." Likewise, Abraham has a refreshing ability (or naïveté?) to humanize leaders more frequently lionized or demonized. Easily read in an afternoon, this volume doesn't provide new information, but it gives an uncommon perspective on what we already know.
Reviewed on: 01/30/2006