President Clinton will host a summit meeting at Camp David with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Yasir Arafat, Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, beginning July 11. The purpose of the summit is to produce an agreement that resolves the issues that have been at the core of tensions between Israelis and Arabs for more than half a century. But given the complexity of the conflict, there are doubts as to whether a summit can end the long-standing impasse before a September 13 deadline that the parties have set for themselves, and whether any agreement reached at Camp David will be acceptable to a majority of Israelis and Palestinians.
Foreign policy experts will address the following questions:
- Why a summit now? What is motivating the parties?
- What are the principal issues remaining? Do reasonable compromises exist?
- What are the prospects for success? The consequences of failure?
- Is either Ehud Barak or Yasir Arafat strong enough to sell any agreement at home?
- What should President Clinton and the United States do—and avoid doing—as hosts of the summit?
- What can be learned from previous summits, especially the Camp David negotiations between Israel and Egypt?