The failure of the most recent peace efforts in the Israeli Palestinian conflict, by Secretary of State Kerry, followed by the Palestinians’ decision to pursue the unilateral track, underlines the need to examine the factors that led to this failure and to draw lessons that perhaps will provide a better understanding of what is possible to achieve in a future negotiation. The following analysis indicates that the failure of the process can be attributed to structural factors, substantive factors and the third party’s conduct, including setting a goal that was unrealistic, asymmetrical conduct and a lack of understanding of the complex political and cultural factors on both sides. Any attempt to resume the peace talks between the parties will have to take these factors into consideration.

Author Bio(s)

Amira Schiff is faculty in the program on Conflict Management and Negotiation in Bar-Ilan University. She has published articles on peace processes taking place in ethno-national conflicts such as the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the conflict in Aceh, the conflict in Sri-Lanka and in Cyprus.


Israeli Palestinian conflict, game theory, mediation

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