Ingredients of a Successful Track Two Negotiation

Yuval Benziman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


During three days in 2003, an Israeli-Palestinian group met in London to negotiate the draft of the "Geneva Initiative," which offered a potential final status agreement between Israel and Palestine. In this article, I analyze the video recording of these unofficial negotiations and examine how the framing and conduct of the talks enabled significant progress toward reaching an agreement. I describe six main framing techniques used by the mediators: calling the meetings an "exercise," which reduced restraints on the participants and enhanced their flexibility, avoiding deep historical issues to focus solely on future-oriented pragmatic solutions, allowing the participants to discuss any topic they chose while deliberately avoiding crucial narrative issues, convincing the participants that this track two negotiation was crucial for the future of official Israeli-Palestinian relations, accentuating the parties' understandings and agreements with each other, and building a sense of superordinate group identity among the participants, to encourage cooperation. These components were the key "ingredients" for the first - and still the only - (unofficial) detailed proposal for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. They provide lessons that could improve the success of other track two negotiations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)49-62
Number of pages14
JournalNegotiation Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The President and Fellows of Harvard College.


  • Framing techniques
  • Geneva Initiative
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Negotiation
  • Track two negotiations


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