Mideast Peace: Paving the Way

Earlier U.S. plans for Israel-Palestine peace attempted to stop the violence but failed.

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The Zinni Plan

The Tenet plan did not have any more success than the Mitchell plan, and it was followed in turn by the Zinni plan, promoted by U.S. envoy Anthony Zinni, who was sent to the area in order to persuade the two sides to adopt the Tenet plan.

None of these diplomatic initiatives managed to gain any traction with respect to the main issue of which side would blink first in its estimation. Israelis believed that offering political concessions prior to a cease-fire would be tantamount to rewarding Palestinian violence;  Palestinian leaders were equally firm in their insistence that without some tangible achievement, the Palestinian public would not accept a declared cessation of fighting.

Even worse, some observers and journalists began ridiculing the indirect way diplomatic efforts were being presented--the Zinni plan was intended to pave the way for the Tenet plan, which might finally enable the implementation of the Mitchell plan. In the end, none of these plans went very far.

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Ziv Hellman is a Jerusalem-based writer and mathematician. A former editor at the Jerusalem Post, Ziv was a founding member of Peace Watch--the watchdog group reporting on the implementation of the Oslo Agreements. He also led the Israeli elections observer team evaluating the Palestinian Authority elections.