Pathways to Peace

America and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Foreign policy analyses written by CFR fellows and published by the trade presses, academic presses, or the Council on Foreign Relations Press.

More on:

Middle East and North Africa


Human Rights

Politics and Government

The recent upheavals in the Middle East are challenging long-held assumptions about the dynamics between the United States, the Arab world, and Israel. In Pathways to Peace, today's leading experts explain these changes in the region and their positive implications for the prospect of a sustained peace between Israel and the Arab World.

In his chapter, "Integrating the Top-down with the Bottom-up Approach to Israeli-Palestinian Peace," CFR Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow Robert Danin analyzes the "bottom-up" approach to peacemaking, focusing on Palestinian state-building and institution-building. Danin suggests that rather than concentrate exclusively on negotiations, future American peacemaking must integrate "top-down" diplomacy with "bottom-up" support to develop and enhance the economic, security, and governing institutions of a Palestinian state. He notes the integral, mutually reinforcing connection between ground-up and top-down approaches to the peace process—one cannot succeed without the other.


Reviews and Endorsements

Now, nearly two decades after Rabin and Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn, Pathways to Peace offers a forward-looking assessment of the relationship between Israel, Palestine, and the United States. Through its diverse perspectives, this volume reminds us that cooperation must be rooted in shared responsibilities and shared benefits, and that the peace of the brave is still within reach.

President Bill Clinton

This is absolutely the right time for a book of essays that reinforce the urgent necessity of lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. This book is the antidote to the fatalism and pessimism; and above all it shows that with will and courage, a solution can be found. These are serious practical essays in policy making. You can agree or disagree with all that is written. But the essential urgency of the case is undeniable and brilliantly set out here.

Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (1997-2007), Quartet Representative to the Middle East since 2007

Pathways to Peace is an extraordinary expression of wisdom on the urgent need for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Europeans, as well as Israelis, Palestinians, and Americans, would be well-advised to act on the smart policy recommendations in this book. Imagine the impact on a rapidly changing Middle East of Israeli-Palestinian peace!

Javier Solana, Foreign Minister of Spain (1992-93), Secretary General of NATO (1995-99), EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy (1999-2009), currently President of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics

A realistic and relevant set of cogent contributions from some of the most respected and experienced practitioners and thinkers on the Middle East peace process. This is a book not just for our leaders, but for all global citizens. Most important inventory I've read of thoughts and observations on this combustibly dangerous elusive issue.

Chuck Hagel, U.S. Senator (1997-2009), Distinguished Professor, Georgetown University

Explore More on CFR



Saudi Arabia pressed Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign to try to weaken Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon. The path to resolving the crisis could run through Yemen.


A growing number of countries are legalizing same-sex marriage amid a steady advance in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, but opposition remains strong in many countries.