THE USA AND THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT OF 1991-2008. INSTRUMENTS, POSSIBILITIES AND LIMITATIONS OF THE AMERICAN MEDIATOR (USA wobec konfliktu izraelsko-palestynskiego 1991-2008. Instrumenty, mozliwosci i ograniczenia amerykanskiego mediatora)
At the beginning of the 1990s it seemed that the peace process in which the American mediator was engaged would lead to a final agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. Subsequent American administrations had at their disposal instruments that enabled them to influence the sides of the conflict, but the calming of the conflict depended mainly on Israelis and Palestinians themselves. The American side, however, had more understanding for the arguments of the Israeli governments than for Palestinian postulates. Even the personal involvement of President Clinton could not break the growing impasse during the summit at Camp David. The mediations were an evident failure as they did not bring a significant change in the optics of the conflict - mutual mistrust remained and did not disappear even after American diplomacy gave guarantees for Israel and Palestinian Autonomy. The 'road map' presented by President G.W. Bush, which was to create a broad framework for a future agreement did not lead to a breakthrough, similarly to the conference in Annapolis (November 2007). The Republican administration almost from the beginning approved the policy of the Israeli authorities and one-sided initiatives such as withdrawal from Gaza or the construction of the so-called security fence. The complicated situation aggravated further after the victory of Hamas in the election of 2006, not to mention the conflict of Israel and Hamas in Gaza at the turn of 2008/2009. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will certainly require a more intensive mediatory involvement of the USA as part of a new American strategy towards the Near East.
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