In an attempt to understand America’s diplomatic influence in the Middle East, Martin Indyk (former United States Ambassador to Israel) gives a very complex history about diplomatic negotiations to broker peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors in his new book titled: Master of the Game: Henry Kissinger and the Art of Middle East Diplomacy.
It’s a monster of a book that highlights the unique challenges faced by both Kissinger and his successors. The author traces the historical challenges of brokering peace between Israel and Palestine—featuring all the leading players, including Anwar Sadat, Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, Hafez al-Assad, and Henry Kissinger. Based on the newly available documents from both the US and Israeli archives and extensive interviews with Kissinger, this book is a guide of how and how not to negotiate peace from a historical perspective.
In light of the recent Abraham Accords and the importance of strengthening peace in the Middle East, I found it very interesting while currently representing the US at the world expo in the UAE, where both Israel and Palestine have pavilions and audiences.
It was particularly fascinating to pour through the details of these iconic peace agreements in civilizations’ history and read about the Nixon administration’s first term with Henry Kissinger as the “Master of the Game.”
This book has some incredible lessons that could be used today, not just when it comes to understanding the challenges that face the region, but also when it comes to the real art of diplomacy. It’s a perceptive and provocative read.