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Press Release
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
April 24, 2008 - 12:00am

On Friday, April 18, the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) hosted a discussion with veteran US peace negotiator Aaron David Miller about his new book “The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace” (2008, Bantam Books). Miller served as an adviser to six secretaries of state and is now public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Miller told the audience at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace that peace between Israel and the Palestinians is not only a vital US national security interest but is more important now than at any time since the late 1940s. He was not optimistic about the likelihood of any agreements in the immediate future, but said that efforts to build on the resumption of talks at Annapolis last fall were essential. In both his book and his remarks, Miller urged the United States government to “make the issue a top and ongoing priority.”

Miller recounted his experiences in the quest for Middle East peace, focusing in particular on the failed Camp David summit in the summer of 2000. He said that all parties shared the blame for the failure, but that the United States, as host, had a special responsibility to ensure that it succeeded. He reiterated his long-standing criticism that the United States acted more as Israel’s advocate then as an honest broker, but also criticized errors made by then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian President Yasir Arafat. In an overview of the character of the past two US administrations, Miller told the audience that President Bill Clinton was “all tactics but no strategy” while President George W. Bush has been “all strategy but no tactics.”

Miller said that pro-Israel pressure groups were exceptionally effective and well organized, including many highly motivated Christian evangelicals, but that a determined president could overcome efforts to block US policies that moved both sides towards a successful peace agreement. He also urged the Arab-American community to stop simply complaining about US policies but to engage with the political system and “get in the game.”


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017