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A Year in the Arab Israeli Crisis
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A Year in the Arab Israeli Crisis
Tuesdays 8.00-8.40pm
Behind the scenes in the Middle East
The conflict that poisons the Middle East and relations between Islam and the West. Today presenter Ed Stourton has spent the last 12 months following the dramatic changes in the region from the inside.
Ed Stourton
Ed has talked to Israeli and Palestinian cabinet ministers and diplomats and their advisors from all over the world on a day to day basis. He has watched them reacting to events including the death of Yasser Arafat, the re-election of George Bush and the preparations for the Israeli pull out from Gaza. This series tells the story, the story of one of the most momentous years in the Middle East.
1. 19 April 2005 - Summer: Worse Than Misery as Usual

The Palestinian Authority is in meltdown and the Israelis are going it alone: Recording for the first programme began inside the Israeli Foreign Ministry in July 2004 just as the International Court of Justice ruled against the Israeli barrier in the West Bank. The peace process is paralysed, the Palestinians are in disarray and the Israelis are determined to go it alone.
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2. 26 April 2005 - Autumn: Unchartered Territory.

The United Nations General Assembly - the Road Map is in the bottom drawer and America's mind is elsewhere. Diplomats gather from all over the world for the United Nations Annual General Assembly. The Israelis, despite the worries of many in the Middle East and in Europe, are pressing ahead with unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Hopes are pinned on the Americans but their eyes are focused on the presidential elections in November.
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3. 3 May 2005 - Winter: Turning Point

Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan passes through the Knesset, Arafat dies and Mahmoud Abbas is his obvious successor. There is delight in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, as President Bush is re-elected. Prime Minister Sharon, however, is engaged in continual guerrilla warfare as members of his own Likud party rebel and the religious right quit his national coalition. The death of Yasser Arafat opens a new window of opportunity.
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4. 10 May 2005 - Spring: A New Leaf

There's a new Palestinian president. America re-engages and Britain weighs in with the London meeting. Israel concentrates on its planned pull out from the Gaza Strip.......There's talk of a new peace. The British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw meets up with the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as America confirms its commitment to re-engage in the Middle East peace process. The Palestinians have got a new president, but the Legislative Council is unhappy with Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia's new cabinet.  A bomb goes off in Tel Aviv only days before leaders from all over the world converge on London for an international meeting aimed to bolster support for the Palestinian Authority.

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In making this series Ed spoke to:
Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority President
Yonatan Bassi, Israeli Disengagement Director
Giora Eiland, Israeli National Security Adviser 
Saeb Erekat, Chief Palestinian Negotiator,
Salam Fayyad, Palestinian Finance Minister
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit,
Israeli Ambassador to UN Dan Gillerman
Tommy Lapid, former Israeli Justice Minister,
Hassan Abu-Libdeh, Palestinian Cabinet minister
Terje Larsen, former UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process
David Manning, British Ambassador to the USA
Marwan Muasher, Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister
Ehud Olmert. Israeli Vice Prime Minister  and Minister of Trade and Labour,
Shimon Peres, Israeli Vice Premier
Kieran Prendergast, adviser to UN Secretary General
Nasir al-Qidwa, Palestinian Foreign Minister
Sylvan Shalom, Israeli Foreign Minister 
Nabil Sha'ath, Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister
Jack Straw, British Foreign Secretary
Baroness Symons, British foreign minister
And many more. . . .
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A Year in the Arab Israeli Crisis

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