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Samia al-Botmeh, Diana Buttu, Raja Khalidi, Rashid Khalidi, and Mouin Rabbani

Chronicles of a Death Foretold: The Kerry Negotiations

[U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has a private chat with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before a meeting in Ramallah, West Bank, on December 12, 2013. Image by US State Department.]

[The following five commentaries were originally published together in Volume 43, No. 3 of the Journal of Palestine Studies.] Rashid Khalidi: Chronicles of a Death Foretold Farsighted observers saw it coming. For them, the apparent breakdown in April 2014 of the initiative launched by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry amid much fanfare nine months earlier, in August 2013, came as no great surprise.  Would U.S. diplomacy have the courage to do something it had failed ...

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Samia al-Botmeh, Diana Buttu, Raja Khalidi, Rashid Khalidi, and Mouin Rabbani


Samia al-Botmeh is an assistant professor in economics, based at the Center for Development Studies at Birzeit University.

Diana Buttu is a lawyer specializing in negotiations, international law, and international human rights law. She was a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Law School, and the Stanford Center for Conflict Resolution and Negotiation.

Raja Khalidi, originally from Jerusalem, was trained as a development economist, with a B.A.(Hons) from Oxford University and M.Sc. from University of London (SOAS). He has conducted research and published and lectured widely since 1980 on Palestinian economic conditions in Lebanon, in the Arab region in Israel and in the occupied territories. He worked with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) from 1985 to 2013 and as senior economist he served as Coordinator of its Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian people, Head of its Debt and Development Finance Branch and Chief of the Office of the Director or the Division of Globalization and Development Strategies. He currently lives and works as an independent researcher in Palestine

Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies in the Department of History at Columbia University. He has taught at the Lebanese University, the American University of Beirut, Georgetown University, and at the University of Chicago, and is past President of the Middle East Studies Association. His books include Sowing Crisis: American Dominance and the Cold War in the Middle East(2009); The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (2006); Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America’s Perilous Path in the Middle East (2004); and Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness(1997; reissued 2010), and he is the author of over a hundred articles on Middle Eastern history. His latest book is Brokers of Deceit: How the US Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East (2013).


Mouin Rabbani is a Contributing Editor of Middle East Report and has published and commented widely on Palestinian affairs and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He was a Senior Analyst of the Middle East with theInternational Crisis Group. Previously he worked as Palestine Director of the Palestinian American Research Centre. He is Co-Editor of Jadaliyya Ezine.