This essay, based on the author’s talk presenting a recent book, Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East, examines the dynamics of U.S. policy formation on Palestine, mainly through the lens of three “clarifying moments” in the history of U.S. involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The first of these moments concerns efforts to revive and modify the Palestinian autonomy provisions of the 1978 Camp David Accords as an element of the 1982 Reagan Plan. The second examines Israeli-U.S. connivance during 1991–93 Madrid/Washington Palestinian-Israeli negotiations as revealed in confidential documents, and the third focuses on President Barack Obama’s retreat during the second half of his first term from positions staked out earlier. More generally, the essay looks at the underpinnings and continuity of U.S. policy and how it has evolved.

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