Camp David 2000 Summit

Camp David 2000 Summit

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The Middle East Peace Summit at Camp David of July 2000 took place between United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i Prime Minister Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak is an Israeli politician who served as Prime Minister from 1999 until 2001. He was leader of the Labor Party until January 2011 and holds the posts of Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's government....

, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

. Ultimately, it was an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate a "final status settlement" to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Israeli–Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

.

The summit


President Clinton announced his invitation to Barak and Arafat on July 5, 2000, to come to Camp David
Camp David
Camp David is the country retreat of the President of the United States and his guests. It is located in low wooded hills about 60 mi north-northwest of Washington, D.C., on the property of Catoctin Mountain Park in unincorporated Frederick County, Maryland, near Thurmont, at an elevation of...

 to continue their negotiations on the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 peace process. There was a hopeful precedent in the 1978 Camp David Accords where President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 was able to broker a peace agreement between Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, represented by President Anwar Sadat
Anwar Sadat
Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat was the third President of Egypt, serving from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981...

, and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 represented by Prime Minister Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin
' was a politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Before independence, he was the leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, the Revisionist breakaway from the larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. He proclaimed a revolt, on 1 February 1944,...

. The Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 of 1993 between the later assassinated Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
' was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995....

 and Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 Chairman Yasser Arafat had provided that agreement should be reached on all outstanding issues between the Palestinians and Israeli sides - the so-called final status settlement - within five years of the implementation of Palestinian autonomy. However, the interim process put in place under Oslo had fulfilled neither Israeli nor Palestinian expectations, and Arafat argued that the summit was premature.

On July 11, the Camp David 2000 Summit convened. The summit ended on July 25, without an agreement being reached. At its conclusion, a Trilateral Statement was issued defining the agreed principles to guide future negotiations.http://www.state.gov/p/nea/rls/22698.htm

Trilateral statement (full text)



The negotiations


There were four principal obstacles to agreement:
  • Territory
  • Jerusalem and the Temple Mount
    Temple Mount
    The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

  • Refugee
    Refugee
    A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

    s and the right of return
    Right of return
    The term right of return refers to a principle of international law, codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, giving any person the right to return to, and re-enter, his or her country of origin...

  • Israeli security
    Palestinian political violence
    Palestinian political violence refers to acts of violence undertaken to further the Palestinian cause. These political objectives include self-determination in and sovereignty over Palestine, the liberation of Palestine and establishment of a Palestinian state, either in place of both Israel and...

     concerns

Territory


The Palestinian negotiators indicated they wanted full Palestinian sovereignty over the entire West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

, although they would consider a one-to-one land swap with Israel. They maintained that Resolution 242 calls for full Israeli withdrawal from these territories, which were captured in the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

, as part of a final peace settlement, although Israel disputes this interpretation of Resolution 242. In the 1993 Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 the Palestinian negotiators accepted the Green Line
Green Line (Israel)
Green Line refers to the demarcation lines set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and its neighbours after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War...

 borders for the West Bank but the Israelis rejected this proposal. They wanted to annex the numerous settlement blocks on the Palestinian side of the Green Line, and were concerned that a complete return to the 1967 borders was dangerous to Israel's security.

Barak offered to form a Palestinian State initially on 73% of the West Bank (that is, 27% less than the Green Line borders) and 100% of the Gaza Strip. In 10–25 years, the Palestinian state would expand to a maximum of 90-91% of the West Bank (94% excluding greater Jerusalem). As a result, Israel would have withdrawn from 63 settlements
Israeli settlement
An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

. Israel would only keep the settlements with large populations. All others would be dismantled, with the exception of Kiryat Arba
Kiryat Arba
Kiryat Arba or Qiryat Arba , lit. "Town of the Four," is an Israeli settlement in the Judean Mountains region of the West Bank on the edge of Hebron. Its settlers consist of a mix of Russian immigrants, American immigrants, and native-born Israelis numbering close to 10,000...

 (adjacent to the holy city of Hebron
Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

), which would be an Israeli enclave inside the Palestinian state, and would be linked to Israel by a bypass road. The West Bank would be split in the middle by an Israeli-controlled road from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

, with free passage for Palestinians, although Israel reserved the right to close the road to passage in case of emergency. In return, Israel would allow the Palestinians to the use a highway in the Negev to connect the West Bank with Gaza. In the Israeli proposal, the West Bank and Gaza Strip would be linked by an elevated highway and an elevated railroad running through the Negev
Negev
The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The Arabs, including the native Bedouin population of the region, refer to the desert as al-Naqab. The origin of the word Neghebh is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'...

, ensuring safe and free passage for Palestinians. This highway would be under the sovereignty of Israel, and Israel reserved the right to close the highway to passage in case of emergency.

The Palestinians rejected this proposal on grounds that Israel did not offer land in return for the land it planned to annex, the settlements that Israel wanted to annex cut existing road networks between population centers, the settlement blocs that Israel wanted to keep would separate the West Bank into cantons, and that they could not accept Israel still having the capability of controlling freedom of movement inside a Palestinian state.

Jerusalem and the Temple Mount


A particularly virulent territorial dispute revolved around the final status of Jerusalem. Leaders were ill prepared for the central role the Jerusalem issue in general and the Temple Mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

 dispute in particular would play in the negotiations. Barak instructed his delegates to treat the dispute as "the central issue that will decide the destiny of the negotiations" whereas Arafat admonished his delegation to "not budge on this one thing: the Haram (the Temple Mount) is more precious to me than everything else."

The Palestinians demanded complete sovereignty over East Jerusalem and its holy sites, in particular, the Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque also known as al-Aqsa, is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam and is located in the Old City of Jerusalem...

 and the Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock is a shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The structure has been refurbished many times since its initial completion in 691 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik...

, which are located on the Temple Mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

, a site holy in both Islam and Judaism, and the dismantling of all Israeli neighborhoods built over the Green Line
Green Line
- Geographic demarcations :* Green Line, a name for the Gothic Line or "Linea Gotica", a German defensive line in Italy during World War II, renamed the "Green Line" in June 1944...

. The Palestinian position, according to Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

, at that time Arafat's chief negotiator: "All of East Jerusalem should be returned to Palestinian sovereignty. The Jewish Quarter and Western Wall should be placed under Israeli authority, not Israeli sovereignty. An open city and cooperation on municipal services."

Israel proposed that the Palestinians be granted "custodianship," though not sovereignty, on the Temple Mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

, with Israel retaining control over the Western Wall
Western Wall
The Western Wall, Wailing Wall or Kotel is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount...

, a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Temple Mount, and one of the most sacred sites in Judaism outside of the Temple Mount itself. Israeli negotiators also proposed the Palestinians be granted administration, but not sovereignty, over the Muslim and Christian Quarters of the Old City, with the Jewish and Armenian Quarters remaining in Israeli hands, and indicated readiness to consider total Palestinian sovereignty over the Muslim and Christian Quarters. Palestinians would be granted administrative control over all Islamic and Christian holy sites, and would be allowed to raise the Palestinian flag over them. A passage linking northern Jerusalem to Islamic and Christian holy sites would be annexed by the Palestinian state. The Israeli team proposed annexing to Israeli Jerusalem settlement
Israeli settlement
An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

s within the West Bank beyond the Green Line, such as Ma'ale Adumim, Givat Ze'ev, and Gush Etzion
Gush Etzion
Gush Etzion is a cluster of Israeli settlements located in the Judaean Mountains directly south of Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the West Bank, Palestinian territories. The core group includes four agricultural villages that were founded in 1940-1947 on property purchased in the 1920s and 1930s, and ...

. Israel proposed that the Palestinians merge together certain outer Arab villages and small cities that had been annexed to Jerusalem just after 1967 (such as : Abu Dis
Abu Dis
Abu Dis is a Palestinian town in the Jerusalem Governorate, bordering Jerusalem. Abu Dis is due east of the Jerusalem municipal border. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics , the town had a population of approximately 12,100 in mid-year 2006.-Ottoman era:Abu Dis was one of the...

, Alezariye, 'Anata
'Anata
Anata is a Palestinian town in the Jerusalem Governorate in the central West Bank, located four kilometers northeast of Jerusalem. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 'Anata had a population of 9,600 in 2006...

, A-Ram
A-RAM
A-RAM, Advanced-Random Access Memory is a new DRAM memory based on single-transistor capacitor-less cells. A-RAM was invented in 2009 at the University of Granada, UGR in collaboration with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS . It was conceived by Dr. Noel Rodriguez , Prof....

, and eastern Sawahre) to create the city of Al-Quds, which would serve as the capital of Palestine. Israeli neighborhoods within East Jerusalem would remain under Israeli sovereignty. Outlying Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem would come under Palestinian sovereignty, and core Arab neighborhoods would remain under Israeli sovereignty, but would gain autonomous powers. Palestinian Jerusalem would be run by a Palestinian civilian administration, with the possibility of merging it to Israeli Jerusalem, in which case Palestinian Jerusalem would be governed by a Palestinian branch municipality within the framework of an Israeli higher municipal council.

Palestinians objected to the lack of sovereignty (they were only offered administrative control) over Islamic holy sites (meaning that those were legally still under Israeli sovereignty), while Israel would be able to retain sovereignty over Jewish holy sites. They also objected to Israel retaining sovereignty over certain culturally or religiously significant Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem (such as Sheikh Jarrah
Sheikh Jarrah
Sheikh Jarrah is a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem on the road to Mount Scopus.-History:Sheikh Jarrah was established on the slopes of Mount Scopus, taking its name from the tomb of Sheikh Jarrah. The tomb, dated to 1201, is the burial place of Husam al-Din al-Jarrahi, an...

, Silwan
Silwan
Silwan or Wadi Hilweh is a predominantly Palestinian village adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem. In recent years a small Jewish minority of 40 families has settled in the area. The village is located in East Jerusalem, an area occupied by Jordan from 1948 until the 1967 Six-day War and by Israel...

 and At Tur), and to the right of Israel to keep Jewish neighborhoods that it built over the Green Line in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claimed block the contiguity of the Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

Refugees and the right of return


Due to the first Arab-Israeli war, a significant number of Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes inside what is now Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. These refugees
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

 numbered 420,000 - 756,000 at the time. Today, they and their descendants number about four million, comprising about half the Palestinian people
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

. Since that time, the Palestinians have demanded full implementation of the right of return, meaning that each refugee would be granted the option of returning to his or her home, with property restored, or accept compensation instead. Israel rejected the calls, fearing that the sheer number of refugees would demographically overwhelm the country.

Israelis asserted that allowing a right of return to Israel proper, rather than to the newly created Palestinian state, would mean an influx of Palestinians that would fundamentally alter the demographics of Israel, jeopardizing Israel's Jewish character and its existence as a whole. The Israelis also argued that a larger number of Jewish refugees had fled or were expelled from Arab countries since 1948, were never compensated, and that most of them ended up in Israel.

At Camp David, the Palestinians maintained their traditional demand that the right of return be implemented. They demanded that Israel recognize the right of all refugees who so wished to settle in Israel, but to address Israel's demographic concerns, they promised that the right of return would be implemented via a mechanism agreed upon by both sides, which would try to channel a majority of refugees away from the option of returning to Israel. Each refugee, however, would have the option to return to Israel. According to U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Korbelová Albright is the first woman to become a United States Secretary of State. She was appointed by U.S. President Bill Clinton on December 5, 1996, and was unanimously confirmed by a U.S. Senate vote of 99–0...

, some of the Palestinian negotiators were willing to privately discuss a limit on the number of refugees who would be allowed to return to Israel. Palestinians who chose to return to Israel would do so gradually, with Israel absorbing 150,000 refugees every year.

The Israeli negotiators denied that Israel was responsible for the refugee problem, and were concerned that any right of return would pose a threat to Israel's Jewish character. In the Israeli proposal, a maximum of 100,000 refugees would be allowed to return to Israel on the basis of humanitarian considerations or family reunification. All other people classified as Palestinian refugees would be settled in their present place of inhabitance, the Palestinian state, or third-party countries. Israel would help fund their resettlement and absorption. An international fund of $30 billion would be set up, which Israel would help contribute to, along with other countries, that would register claims for compensation of property lost by Palestinian refugees and make payments within the limits of its resources.

Israeli security concerns


The Israeli negotiators proposed that Israel be allowed to set up radar stations inside the Palestinian state, and be allowed to use its airspace. Israel also wanted the right to deploy troops on Palestinian territory in the event of an emergency, and the stationing of an international force in the Jordan Valley. Palestinian authorities would maintain control of border crossings under temporary Israeli observation. Israel would maintain a permanent security presence along 15% of the Palestinian-Jordanian border. Israel also demanded that the Palestinian state be demilitarized with the exception of its paramilitary security forces, that it would not make alliances without Israeli approval or allow the introduction of foreign forces east of the Jordan River, and that it dismantle terrorist groups. One of Israel's strongest demands was that Arafat declare the conflict over, and make no further demands. Israel also wanted water resources in the West Bank to be shared by both sides and remain under Israeli management.

Reasons for impasse


Both sides blamed the other for the failure of the talks: the Palestinians claiming they were offered little more than cantons of territory, and the Israelis claiming that they could not reasonably offer more territory.

According to The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East, "most of the criticism for [the] failure [of the 2000 Camp David Summit] was leveled at Arafat". Ehud Barak stated that he offered Arafat an eventual 91% of the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

, and all of the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

, with some Palestinian control over Eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods as a capital of the new Palestinian state; in addition, all refugees could apply for compensation of property from an international fund to which Israel would contribute along with other countries. The Palestinians wanted the immediate withdrawal of the Israelis from the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and only subsequently the Palestinian authority would dismantle the Palestinian terror organizations. The Israeli response as stated by Shlomo Ben-Ami
Shlomo Ben-Ami
Prof. Shlomo Ben-Ami is a former Israeli diplomat, politician and historian.-Biography:Ben-Ami was born in Tangiers, Morocco, and immigrated to Israel in 1955....

, then Israel's Minister of Foreign Relations who participated in the talks, was "we can't accept the demand for a return to the borders of June 1967 as a pre-condition for the negotiation."

Clinton blamed Arafat after the failure of the talks, stating, "I regret that in 2000 Arafat missed the opportunity to bring that nation into being and pray for the day when the dreams of the Palestinian people for a state and a better life will be realized in a just and lasting peace." The failure to come to an agreement was widely attributed to Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

, as he walked away from the table without making a concrete counter-offer and because Arafat did little to quell the series of Palestinian riots
Al-Aqsa Intifada
The Second Intifada, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada and the Oslo War, was the second Palestinian uprising, a period of intensified Palestinian-Israeli violence, which began in late September 2000...

 that began shortly after the summit. Arafat was also accused of scuttling the talks by Nabil Amr
Nabil Amr
Nabil Amr is a former information minister in the Palestinian National Authority, and previous ambassador to Egypt. He was an outspoken critic of Yasir Arafat, especially regarding his behavior at the 2000 Camp David Summit....

, a former minister in the Palestinian Authority.

Although in U.S. media Barak's offer was often portrayed as being "generous," the Israeli group Gush Shalom
Gush Shalom
Gush Shalom is an Israeli peace activism group founded and led by former Irgun and Knesset Member and journalist, Uri Avnery, in 1993...

 stated that "the offer is a pretense of generosity for the benefit of the media", and included detailed maps of what the offer specifically entailed. Among Gush Shalom's concerns with Barak's offer were Barak's demand to annex large settlement blocs (9% of the West Bank) with no Israeli land given to a proposed Palestinian state in return, the lack of contiguity that the settlement blocs cause for a Palestinian state, lack of trust in the commitment and/or possibility of the Israeli government to evacuate the thousands of non-bloc Israeli settlers in the 15-year timeline, limited sovereignty for Palestinians in Jerusalem (the historically important Arab neighborhoods such as Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan,and At-Tur would remain under Israeli sovereignty, while Palestinians would only have sovereignty over the outer Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem), the lack of Palestinian sovereignty over holy sites in Jerusalem (Palestinians would only receive "administrative control" over their holy sites, and the Old City's Muslim and Christian Quarters, however Israel was to receive complete sovereignty over Jewish holy sites, and the Old City's Jewish and Armenian Quarters).

Two books published in 2004 placed the blame for the failure of the summit on Arafat. They were The Missing Peace
The Missing Peace
The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace is a 2004 non-fiction book by Dennis Ross on the history of and his participation in the Israeli–Palestinian peace process and the Arab-Israeli peace process. Ross, an American diplomat, was the Director of Policy Planning in...

by longtime US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross
Dennis Ross
Dennis B. Ross is an American diplomat and author. He has served as the Director of Policy Planning in the State Department under President George H. W...

 and My Life
My Life (Bill Clinton autobiography)
My Life is a 2004 autobiography written by former President of the United States Bill Clinton, who left office on January 20, 2001. It was released on June 22, 2004. The book was published by the Knopf Publishing Group; the book sold in excess of 2,250,000 copies...

by President Clinton. Clinton wrote that Arafat once complimented Clinton by telling him, "You are a great man." Clinton responded, "I am not a great man. I am a failure, and you made me one." During a lecture in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Ross suggested that the reason for the failure was Arafat's unwillingness to sign a final deal with Israel that would close the door on any of the Palestinians' maximum demands, particularly the right of return
Right of return
The term right of return refers to a principle of international law, codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, giving any person the right to return to, and re-enter, his or her country of origin...

. Ross claimed that what Arafat really wanted was "a one-state solution. Not independent, adjacent Israeli and Palestinian states, but a single Arab state encompassing all of Historic Palestine".

Clayton Swisher wrote a rebuttal to Clinton and Ross's accounts about the causes for the breakdown of the Camp David Summit in his 2004 book, The Truth About Camp David. Swisher, the Director of Programs at the Middle East Institute, concluded that the Israelis and the Americans were at least as guilty as the Palestinians for the collapse. MJ Rosenberg of the Israel Policy Forum, a think-tank in Washington, praised the book: "Clayton Swisher's 'The Truth About Camp David,' based on interviews with [US negotiators] Martin Indyk
Martin Indyk
Martin Sean Indyk is Vice President and Director for Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Indyk served as United States ambassador to Israel and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs during the Clinton Administration. He is known as the framer of the U.S...

, Dennis Ross and [Aaron] Miller himself provides a comprehensive and acute account -- the best we're likely to see -- on the [one-sided diplomacy] Miller describes."

Norman Finkelstein
Norman Finkelstein
Norman Gary Finkelstein is an American political scientist, activist and author. His primary fields of research are the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust. He is a graduate of Binghamton University and received his Ph.D in Political Science from Princeton University...

 published an article in the winter 2007 issue of Journal of Palestine Studies
Journal of Palestine Studies
The Journal of Palestine Studies is an academic journal established in 1971. It is published and distributed by University of California Press on behalf of the Institute for Palestine Studies. The current editor is Rashid Khalidi of Columbia University....

,
excerpting from his longer essay called Subordinating Palestinian Rights to Israeli "Needs". The abstract for the article states: "In particular, it examines the assumptions informing Ross’s account of what happened during the negotiations and why, and the distortions that spring from these assumptions. The article demonstrates that, judged from the perspective of Palestinians’ and Israelis’ respective rights under international law, all the concessions at Camp David came from the Palestinian side, none from the Israeli side."

Alan Dershowitz
Alan Dershowitz
Alan Morton Dershowitz is an American lawyer, jurist, and political commentator. He has spent most of his career at Harvard Law School where in 1967, at the age of 28, he became the youngest full professor of law in its history...

, an Israel advocate and a law professor at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, said that the failure of the negotiations was due to "the refusal of the Palestinians and Arafat to give up the right of return. That was the sticking point. It wasn't Jerusalem. It wasn't borders. It was the right of return." He claimed that President Clinton told this to him "directly and personally."

In 2006, Shlomo Ben-Ami stated on Democracy Now!
Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! and its staff have received several journalism awards, including the Gracie Award from American Women in Radio & Television; the George Polk Award for its 1998 radio documentary Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship, on the Chevron Corporation and the deaths of...

 that "Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well. This is something I put in the book. But Taba is the problem. The Clinton parameters are the problem" referring to his 2001 book Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy. .

In his book, The Oslo Syndrome, Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School is the graduate medical school of Harvard University. It is located in the Longwood Medical Area of the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts....

 professor of psychiatry and historian Kenneth Levin summarized the failure of the 2000 Camp David Summit in this manner: "[D]espite the dimensions of the Israeli offer and intense pressure from President Clinton, Arafat demurred. He apparently was indeed unwilling, no matter what the Israeli concessions, to sign an agreement that declared itself final and forswore any further Palestinian claims." Levin argues that both the Israelis and the Americans were naive in expecting that Arafat would agree to give up the idea of a literal "right of return" for all Palestinians into Israel proper no matter how many 1948 refugees or how much monetary compensation Israel offered to allow.

Berkeley political science professor Ron Hassner has argued that it was the failure of participants at the negotiations to include religious leaders in the process or even consult with religious experts prior to the negotiations that led to the collapse of the negotiations over the subject of Jerusalem. "Both parties seem to have assumed that the religious dimensions of the dispute could be ignored. As a result, neither party had prepared seriously for the possibility that the Temple Mount issue would come to stand at the heart of the negotiations." Political Scientist Menahem Klein, who advised the Israeli government during the negotiations, confirmed that "The professional back channels did not sufficiently treat Jerusalem as a religious city... It was easier to conduct discussions about preservation of historical structures in the old city than to discuss the link between the political sanctity and the religious sanctity at the historical and religious heart of the city."

According to Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 leader Mahmoud al-Zahar
Mahmoud al-Zahar
Mahmoud al-Zahar is a co-founder of Hamas and a member of the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip. Since the formation of the Hamas/"Change and Reform" government in the Palestinian National Authority in March 2006, al-Zahar has served as foreign minister in the government of prime minister Ismail...

, when Arafat realized that the Summit negotiations would not result in the meeting of all of his demands, he ordered Hamas as well as Fatah and the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, to launch terror attacks against Israel.

Clinton Parameters



In a last attempt to bring Middle East peace before his second term ended in January 2001, Clinton wrote a proposal to Barak and Arafat, laying down the parameters for future negotiations.http://www.fmep.org/documents/clinton_parameters12-23-00.html Barak accepted the parameters (with some reservations that were within those parameters) by Clinton's deadline. Arafat, after a delay that went beyond the Clinton deadline, declined, according to Ambassador Dennis Ross, the special Mideast envoy.

Clinton's initiative led to the Taba negotiations
Taba Summit
The Taba summit were talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, held from January 21 to January 27, 2001 at Taba in the Sinai peninsula...

 in January 2001, where the two sides published a statement saying they had never been closer to agreement (though such issues as Jerusalem, the status of Gaza, and the Palestinian demand for compensation for refugees and their descendants remained unresolved), but Barak, facing elections, resuspended the talks.http://www.mideastweb.org/lastmaps.htm The increased violence of the Second Intifada led to a sharp swing to the right in Israeli politics; Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak is an Israeli politician who served as Prime Minister from 1999 until 2001. He was leader of the Labor Party until January 2011 and holds the posts of Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's government....

 was defeated by Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

 in 2001.

Public opinion towards the summit


The Palestinian public was supportive of Arafat's role in the negotiations. After the summit, Arafat's approval rating increased seven percentage points from 39 to 46%. Overall, 68% of the Palestinian public thought Arafat's positions on a final agreement at Camp David were just right and 14% thought Arafat compromised too much while only 6% thought Arafat had not compromised enough.http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2000/p1a.html

Barak did not fare as well in public opinion polls. Only 25% of the Israeli public thought his positions on Camp David were just right as opposed to 58% of the public that thought Barak compromised too much. A majority of Israelis were opposed to Barak's position on every issue discussed at Camp David except for security.http://truman.huji.ac.il/upload/truman_site_poll01_July2000.pdf

External links


General


Maps


New York Review of Books series


Views and Analysis


Further reading

  • Bregman, Ahron
    Ahron Bregman
    Ahron Bregman is a British-Israeli political scientist, as well as a writer and journalist, specialising on the Arab-Israeli conflict.-Biography:...

    Elusive Peace: How the Holy Land Defeated America.