The Abyss: Bridging the Divide between Israel and the Arab World by Eli Avidar
Eli Avidar looks into the abyss that divides Israel from its Arab neighbors, in order to understand the inherent flaws, prevailing misunderstandings, and tragic mistakes that characterize the relations and bloodletting, and how, if at all possible, to bridge the differences. In doing so, he offers a new perspective about the reality of the Middle East and all the cliches that have transformed the Hebrew-Arab lexicon into a complex and hopeless minefield. It raises the question of whether the ongoing violent conflict between Israel and its neighbors might also be the result of a serious short circuit in communications. Is it possible that Israel, which has invested efforts and resources in knowing its adversaries, never even bothered to properly understand their language and their culture? Is it possible that Israeli leaders, who made their way to the top through the military and were privileged to know the most deeply hidden intelligence secrets, never learned to send messages of peace and reconciliation that the other side could respect and understand? Spanning six decades, the book explains why the main diplomatic initiatives have so far failed to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and what needs to be done to break out of the vicious circle of ignorance and mutual suspicion that characterizes the conflict. Avidar uses his experience as diplomatic advisor to former foreign minister Ariel Sharon and as head of Israel's representative office in Qatar to reveal secret diplomatic meetings as well as the dynamics of the unique and complex diplomacy of the Middle East. He also tells about the activities of the 504 division of the Israel Defense Forces Intelligence Unit, in which he served as an operator of agents.