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Inside the Heads of the Washington Peace Talkers

Revisiting Q&As with Tzipi Livni, Maen Rashid Areikat, and Shimon Peres

by
Liel Leibovitz
August 01, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 30: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) makes a statement with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (L) and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat (R) during a press conference on the Middle East Peace Process Talks at the Department of State on July 30, 2013 in Washington, DC.(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 30: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) makes a statement with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (L) and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat (R) during a press conference on the Middle East Peace Process Talks at the Department of State on July 30, 2013 in Washington, DC.(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

This week, senior Israeli and Palestinian officials are meeting in Washington, D.C. for what appears to be the most serious effort in years to restart the moribund peace process. We would love, of course, to report from inside the negotiations room, but like all such
endeavors the talks are hermetically sealed off, with the exception of a few photo-ops here and there. No worry—we’ve something even better.

Over the last three years, Tablet’s literary editor, David Samuels, has sat down for intimate Q&As with key figures on both sides, including Israeli president Shimon Peres, Israeli minister of justice and chief negotiator Tzipi Livni, and Maen Rashid Areikat, who represents the Palestinian Liberation Organization in Washington. For insights into their personalities, and for possible clues as to where this current round of talks may be headed, you’ll find no better source.

Liel Leibovitz is editor at large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One.

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