Lessons learned from the negotiations: From the Madrid Conference until today


Mr. Masri began with introducing his definition of negotiations which is based on the readiness of both sides to compromise and recede. He confirmed that any dispute which the world witnesses should include one form of negotiations, while emphasizing on negotiations as a discipline and not as a Palestinian experience, and  the importance of leaving out the idea of negotiations as a sin. Later on, he elucidated one of the main principles of negotiations, which according to him, Palestinians did not follow during the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. One of the main principles of negotiations is depicted in the preparedness of both sides to compromise, while having a background and clear expectations, and emphasis on the existence of red lines that should not be crossed.

Moreover, Mr. Masri affirmed the importance of having a timetable for negotiations, because negotiations shouldn’t last forever. Even if negotiations extended, one should be cautious of the change of the negotiating teams which within the passage of time may become an open strategy to the apposing team. In case a mediator was present, one should be sure that he/she is honest with taking the needed procedures which monitors the implementation of the commitments required form both parties.

Mr Masri also indicated the importance of realizing that any negotiation reflects in terms of content, the imbalance of power which controls the nature of negotiations. He then confirmed the significance of putting forward alternatives and plausible scenarios which assist in the success of negotiations, or in worse cases helps in leaving the negotiation process with minimum damage.

Later on, Mr. Masri discussed lessons learned from the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian- Israeli negotiations through referring to the past experience of the Madrid Conference until today. He gave a critical reading of the main stages of negotiations, and during the end of the lecture he answered students’ questions and discussed matters of negotiations and diplomacy with them.

Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 11