The New Middle East, by Shimon Peres
Elise Boulding, a mother-figure in the 1960′s peace movement in the United States, used to urge her followers to “Imagine Peace.” The idea was that if you imagined hard enough, and in enough detail, the image would become reality. This book by Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister of Israel and chief architect of the peace agreement with Yasir Arafat, is based precisely on such an exercise; having “imagined” a political paradise, Peres proceeds to confuse it with reality.
The book is a blueprint for a reconstructed, democratic Middle East. After introductory sections on the secret negotiations with the PLO—Peres says he embarked on them when it became clear that the PLO controlled the Palestinian delegation to the talks begun at the Madrid conference over two years ago—and on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, he sets forth his vision of the future. He foresees a new regional superstructure, providing security and economic prosperity “for all people and all nations of the Middle East.” To this end, there are chapters on “Sources of Investment and Funding” (Peres wants Europe, the U.S., and Japan to make “large-scale, concentrated” investments); on agriculture (the Middle East will “change color from brown to green”); on water (canals, pipelines, and containers will provide a regional system); on transportation (railroads, free ports, an Israeli-Jordanian Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal); and on tourism (open borders will foster a huge increase of visitors).
About the Author