Peace First

A New Model to End War

Uri Savir (Author) | Abu Ala (Afterword by)

Publication date: 09/01/2008

Peace First
Exposes deadly ironies in contemporary efforts to solve global conflicts and presents a radical new model for modern peacemaking Uri Savir has an ambitious, indispensable goal: to bring peacemaking into the 21st century. “Little in today's world,” writes Savir, “is more progressive than modern warfare. Yet little is more archaic than peacemaking.” We remain trapped in a centuries-old mindset, with leaders bargaining warily for concessions and signing treaties that collapse because no one on the ground has any real stake in them.

Drawing on his experiences negotiating the Oslo Peace Accords as well as on trenchant examples from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Northern Ireland, and the former Yugoslavia, Savir argues that an enduring peace is built from the bottom up, not from the top down. He describes a new model based on establishing and nurturing mutually beneficial forms of cooperation beginning on the local level, city to city and organization to organization.

This process of “glocalization”—involving local actors in global issues—is the first step toward constructing a peace ecology: a comprehensive transnational culture dedicated to breaking down the psychological and social barriers between former enemies. These efforts are furthered through the establishment of joint ventures that give each side a tangible stake in maintaining peace. Diplomacy still has a role, but it must reject maneuvering for gain and instead emphasize the advantages both sides will gain with the cultivation of lasting peace.

Throughout Savir provides concrete examples of how these concepts have been put into practice. And he ends with a detailed vision of how this model could bring an enduring peace in one of the world's most war-torn areas: the Mediterranean Basin.
Peace First offers a pragmatic yet revolutionary new approach that promises to end our most intractable conflicts.

Uri Savir has an ambitious, indispensable goal: to bring peacemaking into the 21st century. “Little in today’s world,” writes Savir, “is more progressive than modern warfare. Yet little is more archaic than peacemaking.” We remain trapped in a centuries-old mindset, with leaders bargaining warily for concessions and signing treaties that collapse because no one on the ground has any real stake in them.

Drawing on his experiences negotiating the Oslo Peace Accords as well as on trenchant examples from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Northern Ireland, and the former Yugoslavia, Savir argues that an enduring peace is built from the bottom up, not from the top down. He describes a new model based on establishing and nurturing mutually beneficial forms of cooperation beginning on the local level, city-to-city and organization-to-organization.

This process of “glocalization”—involving local actors in global issues—is the first step toward constructing a peace ecology: a comprehensive transnational culture dedicated to breaking down the psychological and social barriers between former enemies. These efforts are furthered through the establishment of joint ventures that give each side a tangible stake in maintaining peace. Diplomacy still has a role, but it must reject maneuvering for gain and instead emphasize the advantages both sides will gain with the cultivation of lasting peace.

Throughout, Savir provides concrete examples of how these concepts have been put into practice. And he ends with a detailed vision of how this model could bring an enduring peace in one of the world’s most war-torn areas: the Mediterranean Basin. Peace First offers a pragmatic yet revolutionary new approach that promises to end our most intractable conflicts.

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Overview

Exposes deadly ironies in contemporary efforts to solve global conflicts and presents a radical new model for modern peacemaking Uri Savir has an ambitious, indispensable goal: to bring peacemaking into the 21st century. “Little in today's world,” writes Savir, “is more progressive than modern warfare. Yet little is more archaic than peacemaking.” We remain trapped in a centuries-old mindset, with leaders bargaining warily for concessions and signing treaties that collapse because no one on the ground has any real stake in them.

Drawing on his experiences negotiating the Oslo Peace Accords as well as on trenchant examples from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Northern Ireland, and the former Yugoslavia, Savir argues that an enduring peace is built from the bottom up, not from the top down. He describes a new model based on establishing and nurturing mutually beneficial forms of cooperation beginning on the local level, city to city and organization to organization.

This process of “glocalization”—involving local actors in global issues—is the first step toward constructing a peace ecology: a comprehensive transnational culture dedicated to breaking down the psychological and social barriers between former enemies. These efforts are furthered through the establishment of joint ventures that give each side a tangible stake in maintaining peace. Diplomacy still has a role, but it must reject maneuvering for gain and instead emphasize the advantages both sides will gain with the cultivation of lasting peace.

Throughout Savir provides concrete examples of how these concepts have been put into practice. And he ends with a detailed vision of how this model could bring an enduring peace in one of the world's most war-torn areas: the Mediterranean Basin.
Peace First offers a pragmatic yet revolutionary new approach that promises to end our most intractable conflicts.

Uri Savir has an ambitious, indispensable goal: to bring peacemaking into the 21st century. “Little in today’s world,” writes Savir, “is more progressive than modern warfare. Yet little is more archaic than peacemaking.” We remain trapped in a centuries-old mindset, with leaders bargaining warily for concessions and signing treaties that collapse because no one on the ground has any real stake in them.

Drawing on his experiences negotiating the Oslo Peace Accords as well as on trenchant examples from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Northern Ireland, and the former Yugoslavia, Savir argues that an enduring peace is built from the bottom up, not from the top down. He describes a new model based on establishing and nurturing mutually beneficial forms of cooperation beginning on the local level, city-to-city and organization-to-organization.

This process of “glocalization”—involving local actors in global issues—is the first step toward constructing a peace ecology: a comprehensive transnational culture dedicated to breaking down the psychological and social barriers between former enemies. These efforts are furthered through the establishment of joint ventures that give each side a tangible stake in maintaining peace. Diplomacy still has a role, but it must reject maneuvering for gain and instead emphasize the advantages both sides will gain with the cultivation of lasting peace.

Throughout, Savir provides concrete examples of how these concepts have been put into practice. And he ends with a detailed vision of how this model could bring an enduring peace in one of the world’s most war-torn areas: the Mediterranean Basin. Peace First offers a pragmatic yet revolutionary new approach that promises to end our most intractable conflicts.

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Visit Author Page - Uri Savir



Uri Savir, one of Israel's most senior diplomats, was Israel's chief negotiator during the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, between 1993 and 1996. In his role as director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, he also negotiated with Jordan, with Syria, and in the multinational peace tracks in the Middle East. Prior to this, Savir was Israel's consul-general to New York and held various diplomatic positions in North America.

Savir is a graduate of the International Relations department of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has worked for twentyfive years beside his mentor, Israel's current president, Shimon Peres. In 1996, Peres and Savir cofounded the Peres Center for Peace. In 1999, Savir was elected to the Knesset (Israeli parliament), where he served as the chair of the Subcommittee for Foreign Relations in the Defense and Foreign Relations Committee.

In 2001, after resigning from political life, Savir established the Glocal Forum, an Italy-based nongovernmental organization dealing with intercity relations in favor of peace and development. Simultaneously, he served on the board and was acting chairman of the largest free-sheet newspaper in the world, Metro International.

He is husband to Dr. Aliza Savir, father of the author Maya Savir, and grandfather to four. He is the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Process: 1,100 Days That Changed the Middle East.



Afterword by Abu Ala

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Shimon Peres
Foreword by Dennis Ross
Introduction: Making Peace in a World at War

Part I: The Challenge: Archaic Peace
Chapter 1. Old-Fashioned Peacemaking
Chapter 2. The Oslo Rollercoaster: A Mixed Model

Part II: A New Model: The Four Pillars of Modern Peace
Chapter 3. Participatory Peace and Glocalization
Chapter 4. Peace Ecology
Chapter 5. Peacebuilding
Chapter 6. Creative Diplomacy

Part III: The Modern Process: Steps to Lasting Peace
Chapter 7. The Peace Barometer
Chapter 8. Peacemakers
Chapter 9. Planning
Chapter 10. Negotiation
Chapter 11. The Peace Treaty
Chapter 12. Implementation
Chapter 13. International Roles and Reforms

Part IV: On the Ground: Pax Mediterraneo
Chapter 14. Peace in the Mediterranean Area: What Will It Take?
Chapter 15. Cities and Youth
Chapter 16. Human Rights and Peace Education
Chapter 17. Joint Economic, Social, and Environmental Ventures
Chapter 18. Borders, Security, and the International Community
Conclusion: A New Vision for 2020
Afterword by Abu Ala (Ahmed Qurei)
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index
About the Author

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Excerpt

Making Peace in a World at War

THIS BOOK IS THE RESULT OF MY PERSONAL AND NATIONAL distress.

From a personal perspective, I wrote this book while recovering from a severe stroke. It is believed that distress sharpens one's thinking; this was certainly my experience. In writing this book I was reconnecting with life. For me, there is no stronger expression of life than yearning for peace.

In national terms, this book emerged from a place of disappointment regarding the implementation of the Oslo Accords. As chief negotiator for Israel, I was profoundly invested in the process. Yet, despite the agreement's historical achievements, both Israelis and Palestinians are still trapped within a culture of conflict; the region remains pitted with emotional and practical obstacles to peace.

This distress, I believe, is not mine alone; the struggle of Israel and Palestine is symptomatic of the struggles in the world at large. In 1945, there were fewer than 20 high- and medium-intensity conflicts worldwide. By 2007, that number had risen to one hundred thirty, including twenty-five “severe crises” and six wars characterized by massive amounts of violence, according to the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research's Conflict Barometer 2007.1 A vast majority of the more than one hundred partial and full peace agreements signed over the past two decades2 have endured severe sustainability issues or have simply fallen apart. And despite the fourteen Nobel Peace Prizes that have drifted through the Middle East, South Africa, and Northern Ireland,3 not one region fully enjoys the true fruits of peace. 2

In this light, our future as a species looks dim indeed. But I believe our current path is defined less by the inevitabilities of human nature and more by structural failures in the way we make peace. Consider: Little in today's world is more progressive than modern warfare. High-tech intelligence-collection methods, laserguided missiles that surgically destroy targets, vision-enhancing technology that enables night missions, and other devices straight out of science fiction offer warmakers a buffet of enticing tools that were not available during the World Wars, let alone during nineteenth-century battles.

On the other hand, few things are more archaic than today's peacemaking strategies. Contemporary peace processes and treaties mirror those of the past; our strategies have been left stranded somewhere in the nineteenth century. I do not mean that modern technologies are not manifest in current peace efforts; computers and the Internet are integral parts of planning and negotiations. But while the social, political, and economic elements of societies have evolved to encompass globalization, modern technology, and communication, peacemaking as a strategy has remained stagnant.

The inability of peacemakers to cope with progress is linked to the traditional character of peacemaking. Throughout human history, peacemaking has served to unravel the historical knots of military issues, security, and the distribution of power and physical assets, such as land and natural resources in colonial times; rarely has it established the groundwork for a future peace. The fact that many of today's peacemakers are yesterday's warmakers—or worse, simultaneously operate as warmakers—makes force seem like a realistic way to “keep the peace.” Thus, strategic security considerations maintain their status as the centerpiece in the transition from violence to nonviolence, and peace is merely perceived as the time between wars.

This cannot continue. As long as we view peace as simply one point on a continuum of war, we will never create real, lasting peace. We are still convinced that behind every conflict lies a culprit—but 3 the enemy is not the Other; it is our own archaic definition of what peace is and how to achieve it.

We stand today at a crossroads. In one direction lie conflict, mistrust, and hostility. If we continue down this path, as we have done for ages, the following scenario is not unlikely: A chemical terror attack on a Tel Aviv subway sparks a series of targeted bombings against the Iranian Embassy in Beirut. As Lebanese emergency personnel clear away the wreckage, hundreds of thousands of people demonstrate in front of the US Delegation in Tehran. Iran's president threatens to attack US military forces stationed on the Golan Heights, and the US president announces a high alert situation and threatens the use of nuclear weapons against Iran. CNN broadcasts a special appeal by religious leaders to prevent an apocalypse; the United Nations deems the world on the verge of disaster.

But there is another path, one that leads to a future of cooperation and understanding. This book points the way toward this new direction—a revolutionary model for modern peace. It reflects the changes wrought by globalization, including the erosion of the nation-state's power and the consolidation of power within the private sector and civil society. It lays out a road map for transition from an outmoded definition of peacemaking to a modern one, from an exclusive to a participatory process, from a culture of war to a culture of peace.

The concepts in this book have been distilled from a lifetime of experience. My professional life has been dedicated to peacemaking and peacebuilding; I am a man obsessed. I have endeavored to make peace with the Palestinians as Israel's chief negotiator of the Oslo Accords, and with Syria and Jordan as the head of our foreign ministry. I also have attempted to build peace through the establishment of two nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the Peres Center for Peace in Tel Aviv and the Glocal Forum in Rome. These NGOs have supported activities that foster cooperation between enemies and former enemies in the Middle East; in the African nations of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone; in 4 the European regions of Northern Ireland and the former Yugoslavia; and in the Asian nations of Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan.

Over the years, I have received invaluable guidance from individuals who have combined passion and practicality in their tireless efforts toward peace: my late father, Leo Savir, who was a brilliant and sophisticated soldier for peace; my political father, Shimon Peres, a great visionary, an unmatched statesman, and a man of the world; my wife, Aliza, who carries the torch of peace and possesses a wonderful gift of abstraction; my daughter, Maya, with her most pure values; and many friends and colleagues, including Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, a man of integrity; Yossi Ginossar, who is not with us today but who pushed hard for peace and reconciled defense with human understanding; my partner at the Peres Center for Peace, Dr. Ron Pundak, who is a significant individual in the realm of civil society; Abu Ala, my Palestinian counterpart, who, while he sat on the other side of the table, taught me a great deal through his wisdom and creative peacemaking; James Wolfensohn, the former president of the World Bank, a man of peace who understands better than anyone the link between economic development and peacemaking; Terje Rod-Larsen, the facilitator of the Oslo process and a man of true peace and humanity; Dennis Ross, the most committed and wise peace mediator in the US administration; and many more.

Influenced by these and other individuals, my approach to peacemaking is based on an ideological framework that places equality between human beings at its pinnacle; this is an equality that cannot exist in war. I am not a pacifist. I know that there are just and ultimately beneficial wars, but I believe these wars are limited. War is not heaven-sent but man-made; it is a product of human nature and is thus shaped by human desires, such as the preservation of identity, greater control over territory, and the expansion of resources. Paradoxically, many feel comfort in the culture of conflict—the comfort of the status quo.

However, I believe the greatest desire of a human being is the desire to survive. This desire must be translated into the most basic 5 right, to live and let live—in other words, the right to peace. From this perspective, peace is not only a strategic objective but also a fulfillment of our most fundamental human desires.

Both the United States and Israel have recently learned firsthand the difficulty of fighting wars against guerilla forces and against terror. It is perhaps the first time in history that developing countries or independent groups have the ability to endanger world peace. In an era in which the weak have become strong—based on fertile grounds of fundamentalism, fed by poverty, religious extremism, and the proliferation of unconventional weapons—peace has become the most necessary and useful wall of defense. Military power in the traditional sense no longer deters rogue armies, as the United States has learned from Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Making peace has not become easier, but it is an imperative.

The US administration emphasizes political reform and democratization as conditions for peace. The importance of democracy is indisputable, but it is not enough to ensure either short- or long-term peace. It is true that democracies have rarely waged war against each other, but it is also true that democracies have waged wars, some necessary, some less so. Furthermore, in situations of social and economic frustration, pro-peace forces can be outvoted in democratic societies; free elections can bring fundamentalist and extremist regimes to power—just look at the 2006 parliamentary elections in the Palestinian Authority.

Iraq is another case in point. Despite massive military attacks and the imposition of “democracy,” the United States has been unable to bring peace to the region. The insurgency—acting in opposition to coalition forces, their Iraqi partners, and innocent civilians—has not diminished. Iraq without Saddam Hussein is further from peace than was ever anticipated. The combination of frustration, poverty, and hostility, married with terrorism and the upsurge of nonconventional weapons, has rendered the traditional balance of power irrelevant. Iran is yet another prime example of this power inversion.

Another theory popular among global actors suggests that 6 economy is the key to peace; with regional and local economic development at stake, both sides in a conflict will have too much to lose and will therefore opt for peace. Theoretically, this is true. In reality, however, economic development is an important but not a sufficient—or even a realistic—condition for peace. Conflict states, such as those in the Middle East and Africa, often experience massive socioeconomic gaps as a result of inflated defense budgets.4 Poor populations suffer the most under these conditions, as military spending takes priority over educational and health development. As a result, the poor understandably view peace as the revolution of the rich, and they rebel against it. Thus, regional economic development before peace is extremely difficult—virtually impossible. Legal and psychological barriers often prevent cooperation, and instability prevents external investment, especially by the private sector, which does not tend to take risks in unstable regions.

Besides, time is precious; peace cannot simply be the domino effect of other processes—it must come first. The international community must make an astute and innovative shift in its approach to peace: peacemaking must be modernized to reflect the new world order and should be set as the first priority on the international agenda.

To begin, we must recognize that governments, within the current framework of the international system, will not be the champions of peace. Governments may facilitate peace, but first the international system must be reformed to create a peacemaking coalition in which governments will serve as but one of the major players. Even then, there are limits to the argument that the new world governance of globalism and regionalism will resolve issues of war and peace.

On the contrary, peacemaking must be decentralized, and world citizens—through the medium of local governments and nongovernmental organizations—must be willing and able participants. Peace can thus become democratized, and a participatory process involving the hearts and minds of individuals can be ingrained within the international system. Peace must be engaged at the 7 grassroots. It can never be sustained purely by a balance of power; it is sustainable only if a society wills it. This is crucial in conflictladen regions, where the potential for violent opposition is inherent. Put simply, it is easier to democratize peace than to democratize autocratic societies.

After we change our approach to security and the distribution of power and assets during peacemaking, governments and societies will have to confront complex and urgent notions of stabilization from an alternative perspective. The motivation to not employ weapons is more crucial than a state's capacity to develop and use them; hence, the routine security element that is still considered the focal point in a transition from violence to peace has become less pertinent.

In essence, modern peace depends on the mobility that societies stand to gain from peace rather than on the power that emanates from the use of violence. Social, economic, and cultural attributes are critical to redirecting countries toward a culture of peace. Throughout this book, I focus on new and broader definitions of security, social mobility, the creation of a culture of peace, and integrative and cooperative regional economic development. Ultimately, I present a new model for peace leadership that deals with peace as both a means and an end—including the creation of a participatory political system and the necessary reform of the international peace support system.

Part I of this book analyzes the current problems with peace, identifying obsolete elements and structural weaknesses of traditional peace processes and treaties during the last century. Current peacemaking efforts are plagued by outdated perceptions and security dogmas that lack notions of social mobility, that bureaucratize the process, that represent a revolution of the elite, and that promote suspicion and hostility; these efforts must be modernized in light of the evolving international system. I also highlight the Oslo process in retrospect, because this is the peace process with which I was most involved and because it represents a mixed model of both outdated and modern peacemaking elements.8

Part 2 introduces an innovative model for modern peace that opens the “closed doors” of most diplomatic encounters and invites all members of society to contribute to the creation of lasting peace. Although the suggestion might seem surprising coming from a veteran of secret diplomacy, experience has taught me that the modern house of peace must be built on the following four pillars: participatory peace and glocalization, peace ecology, peacebuilding, and creative diplomacy.

Participatory peace and glocalization integrates local agents into global issues. Current peacemaking involves narrow groups of leaders and diplomats—often the same people who lead war efforts in the first place. To achieve sustainable peace, we must decentralize the process and involve people from all segments of society. The ideals and goals of peaceful cooperation can be introduced by national governments, but local actors—city mayors, heads of local organizations, and members of civil society—will ensure their implementation. Cities can be linked by tourism, trade, youth projects, and more, creating a “glocal” web of entities invested in lasting peace.

Peace ecology involves a transition from a psychological and cultural environment of war to one of peace, based on common values, tolerance, and coexistence. Societies, like individuals, often define themselves by how they are different from others; during conflict, these differences become amplified and are used to justify aggression toward the enemy. By opening lines of communication and emphasizing commonalities rather than differences, those physical and psychological barriers can be dissolved. Media campaigns and cooperation between conflict groups are critical elements of infusing post-conflict societies with notions of human rights and equality.

Societies and governments act according to the dominant values and myths of the day, which is why peace ecology must address a society's beliefs and ideals at its roots. People must consciously move from a culture of war—defined by nationalistic values and hostility toward the enemy—to a culture of peace, in which coexistence 9 with the former enemy is seen as beneficial. The shift can germinate both externally, through international and regional players, and internally, within the conflict area.

Peacebuilding focuses on cooperative activities and projects that build physical, financial, and social bridges between former enemies. Real peace is not merely the absence of war; it is the creation of links between adversaries where no links existed before. Cooperation in joint ventures generates more effective partnerships and cements common interests between former enemies. Projects such as infrastructure development in border cities, water- and energysharing programs, and the expansion of cross-border industries can narrow socioeconomic gaps between regions and thus diminish poverty-fueled frustrations. Youth and sport programs promote positive interactions between conflict groups. Overall, open borders introduce globalization and intersocietal cooperation in industries such as tourism, information technology, sports, and entertainment. Peacebuilding establishes cooperative development as a building block, rather than an afterthought, in a region's peace strategy.

Creative diplomacy has a simple goal: to make everyone feel that they've won. Current negotiations often seem like tug-of-wars, with each side pulling as hard as it can to “win ground” and make sure it doesn't “lose out” on important concessions. The term compromise has negative connotations, when in fact it should be considered a truly positive engagement. In creative diplomacy, the tug-of-war rope is dropped and peacemaking instead focuses on the positive developments both sides will experience with the cultivation of lasting peace. This kind of interaction requires innovation and flexibility to overcome stubbornness, biased interpretations of historical events, and aggressive security arrangements. Creative diplomacy deals with security more sophisticatedly, reconciling military and civilian needs.

These four pillars are naturally interrelated and are to some degree interdependent. I call them “pillars” because they are the foundation on which modern peace must rest.

Part 3 presents methods for incorporating these four essential 10 pillars into a modern peace process. I lay out the conditions that have been proven to be conducive to peace and propose the planning of a new peace that involves analysis of public attitudes, innovation of negotiation and implementation techniques, and the creation of local, regional, and international peacemaking structures.

Part 4 integrates the concepts of parts I through 3 into a real, attainable peacemaking model for the Mediterranean region. This Pax Mediterraneo pertains to conflicts in Israel and Palestine, the Middle East, the former Yugoslavia, and Cyprus as well as to tensions between the northern and southern regions—southern Europe and northern Africa. As an extended case study, part 4 will be especially useful for students and practitioners of peace.

Finally, the conclusion outlines a new vision for the year 2020.1 share the thoughts and hopes of some of humanity's greatest social and political figures, including Nelson Mandela, Shimon Peres, Mikhail Gorbachev, and others.

Peacemaking is about life and death. It demands that we honestly challenge our motives, values, and perceptions if we are to create and sustain real peace. The arguments in this book are based on empirical evidence from my extensive peacemaking experience as well as practical analysis from many peacemaking luminaries. Inherent in my subject matter is a Middle East bias. However, given the centrality of the Middle East conflict and the participation of virtually all major international players in the region, I do not believe that such a bias detracts from the global relevance of my proffered peacemaking model.

In fact, the Middle East faces the same critical battle as the rest of the world: the battle for peace in an environment full of obstacles, suspicion, and hostility. Just as there can be a “necessary war,” so is there a “necessary peace.” Our most brilliant minds must be directed toward such a battle—not peace at all costs, but a comprehensive, participatory peace that integrates the practical interests of all sides of the conflict and all parts of society. Such is the purpose of this book. 11

I am driven by both passion and pragmatism in my efforts toward a modern peacemaking model. The need for a new architecture of peace is clear, as are the consequences if we fail in our peacemaking efforts. When I consider the future of my four grandchildren, I wonder whether they will grow up in a culture of peace or in the throes of World War III. Will their generation experience headlines of hope or headlines of chemical attacks, nuclear threats, and widespread destruction?

The realization of either Armageddon or redemption depends on whether the world is able to create real, sustainable peace. The process of solving conflict and ending instability must begin in the endeavor for peace. Peace first.

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Endorsements

“Through Peace First Uri Savir proves that he is one of the chief stewards of the temple of peace. He continues to fulfill his duties with great perseverance, and he dedicates his intellectual life to finding solutions to conflict and unearthing the origins of the idea that tyrannizes him—peace.”
—Abu Ala (Ahmed Qurei), former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority

”When Uri Savir says it is time to modernize our approach to peace, he is surely correct. One thing is for sure: leaders trying to resolve historic conflicts need help from within and from without to marshal the wherewithal to confront both history and mythology. Uri Savir is certainly doing his part to help.”
—Ambassador Dennis Ross, Ziegler Distinguished Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of Statecraft, and How to Restore America's Standing in the World

“In this book, Savir outlines a radical and innovative approach to the peace process in an effort to change the paradigm and move peace forward. In an era where new ideas seem in short supply, Savir soldiers on, with creativity, integrity, and a never-ending commitment to bring much-needed peace to the region.”
—Dr. Marwan Muasher, Senior Vice President, External Affairs, World Bank and author of The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation

“This is a wise and compelling reassessment of approaches to negotiating the resolution of conflicts in an ever-more-complex international environment. Uri Savir's emphasis on combining the global with the local makes a unique contribution to the challenge of peacemaking in the Middle East and beyond.”
—Martin Indyk, Director, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution, and former U. S. Ambassador to Israel

“A thoughtful examination of the challenge of peacemaking in a world where shifting parameters —the rise of non-state actors, the increase in international terrorism, the advance of military technology, the growing rift between the Western and Islamic societies, the rise of extremism —have created a new strategic paradigm. A serious and insightful case for a new approach to conflict resolution,”
—Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, European Union

“Israel's pre-eminent diplomat, Ambassador Uri Savir, has authored a highly innovative perspective on how international state-to-state diplomacy has to be supplemented by a people-to-people approach. The grand master of Middle Eastpeace negotiations has again proved his groundbreaking diplomatic stature through a city-to-city angle in our age of urbanization.”
—Terje Rød-Larsen, President, International Peace Institute

“Drawing from his rich personal experience, Savir has the courage and the vision to explain why narrow, conventional approaches to security are bound to prove insufficient in the 21st century. I particularly welcome Savir's proposal for a Pax Mediterraneo that embraces everybody in the region, without exception—a task that seems to me more urgent than ever.”
—Miguel Moratinos, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Spain

“In Essaouira-Mogador, my tiny hometown, I was educated by my rabbis and teachers to first take care of my neighbors. Today my neighbor is Palestinian... By fighting for a just and decent peace between Palestine and Israel I am fighting for my own heritage... On this frustrating but illuminating road to peace Uri was one of the very few colleagues and dear friends who paved the way.”
—Andre Azoulay, Counselor to the King of Morocco

“A timely and valuable book... Uri gives us a rich menu of new and creative models for peacemaking. A must read for scholars and negotiators involved in vital issues of peacemaking.”
—Toni G. Verstandig, Senior Policy Advisor, Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation, and Executive Director, Aspen Institute's Middle East Strategy Group

“Uri Savir's book Peace First is a creative and courageous new model for peace- making in our world. The book has depth and compelling analysis —a must-read for anyone concerned with bringing peace to the countless war-torn regions across the globe.”
—Quincy Jones, music impresario and founder of the Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation

“Uri Savir's commitment and expert knowledge can never be questioned. In Peace First he has discovered the clearest and most possible path toward peace. It should be required reading for every diplomat.”
—Kathleen Turner, actress

“Peace is the process that begins in the individual heart. It is a need to live with- out grief, despair, or expectation. A desire to give with release. It is the ecstasy of tranquility.”
—Sharon Stone, actress

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