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The Middle East Peace Process is a Charade: An Intelligence Squared Debate

Intelligence Squared will be hosting a debate - 'The Middle East Peace Process is a Charade', speakers include Edward Luttwak and Martin Indyk.


Regular tickets are priced at £25:
They've been at it for decades, trying to hammer out a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine and what have they got to show for it? Absolutely nothing. Israeli and Palestinian leaders still show up for peace talks because they have to prove to the world – and the U...S in particular – that they have good intentions. But don't we all really know that it's a game, a farce, a charade? That some of the key demands on the table - the right of return, control of East Jerusalem – are demands the Palestinians will never drop and the Israelis will never accept. That even if by some miracle the leaders did agree, they’d never carry their people with them. Hamas won't accept a deal bartered by Fatah, religious Jews will always insist on retaining the settlements in the West Bank and no democratically elected government could gainsay that and stay in office.

This, at any rate, is the story told by the pessimists. But for the optimists it’s the very desperateness of the situation which ratchets up the need for some kind of a deal to be made and thus makes the peace process more plausible. Israel’s leaders simply can’t afford to wait for the demographic time bomb to explode: moderate, secular Israelis are being out-bred both by Israeli Arabs and by the Jewish religious right. They desperately need to come to a settlement before its too late. Which story is the more credible? Come to the debate and make up your own mind.

Speakers include:

For the motion:
Mustafa Barghouthi - Palestinian democracy activist and Member of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991. He was a presidential candidate in 2005.

Shlomo Ben-Ami - Israeli politician and historian. He was foreign minister at the time of the negotiations at Camp David and after.

Edward Luttwak - Historian and military strategist whose books include Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace.

Against the motion:
Martin Indyk - Former US ambassador to Israel and author of Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East.

Jonathan Paris - Middle East analyst, former peace processor with the Council on Foreign Relations and author of the forthcoming Prospects for Iran and the Region.

Remaining speaker to be announced.
Speakers subject to change

Richard Lindley - Journalist and former Panorama reporter.


Jonathan Paris | talks
Martin Indyk | talks
Mr Edward Luttwak | talks
Shlomo Ben-Ami | talks
Mustafa Barghouthi | talks


Date and Time:

21 September 2010 at 6:45 pm


2 hours



Methodist Central Hall Westminster
Storey's Gate

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Organised by:

Intelligence Squared
See other talks organised by Intelligence Squared...



Regular tickets are priced at £25

Available from:


Additional Information:

Doors open at 6:00 pm. The debate starts at 6:45 pm and finishes at 8:30 pm

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