Why the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process Failed

Produced by ‘The Ezra Klein Show’

It is too early to talk about a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. With the trauma of Oct. 7 still fresh for the Israeli public and with the ongoing devastation in Gaza, any talk of conflict-ending solutions is cruel fantasy.

But it wasn’t always. Peace efforts in the Middle East have been tried over and over again. It is not a history without breakthroughs. There was a time when a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt would have been unthinkable. But that agreement lives alongside a long list of collapsed negotiations. Why?

[You can listen to this episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” on the NYT Audio App, Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

I wanted to have someone on the show who could help me read this checkered history. Aaron David Miller is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the author of “The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace.” Few people have been as intimately involved in the many Middle East peace processes as Miller. He’s a decades-long veteran of the State Department who has touched peace negotiations under the Reagan, the Clinton and both Bush administrations. His book is the best I’ve read on the peace processes and what went wrong.

In this conversation, we explore the frustrating, uneven history of Arab-Israeli peace efforts, Miller’s hard-won insights about the reality of peace negotiations and the idiosyncratic personalities who have most influenced the prospects for peace in the Middle East.

You can listen to our whole conversation by following “The Ezra Klein Show” on the NYT Audio App, Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts. View a list of book recommendations from our guests here.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Credit…MPI/Getty Images

This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Emefa Agawu. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris, with Kate Sinclair, Mary Marge Locker and Rollin Hu. Mixing by Jeff Geld, with Efim Shapiro. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero. Archival clips from A.P. Archive, NBC, C-SPAN and NBC.

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