ABOUT THE BOOK
On June 25, 2006, Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit was kidnapped
by a group of Gaza militants. The abduction, which drew international
headlines and shook the Israeli public, sent Israel and Hamas into five
years of hardline bargaining and stalemated discussion. Decades of
animosity and distrust thwarted any attempt at a prisoner exchange.
THE NEGOTIATOR is the firsthand account of
Gershon Baskin, an American-Israeli peace activist who made it his
mission to liberate Gilad Schalit. Acting on his own initiative and in
no formal capacity, Baskin drew on his ties to Hamas to create a secret
back channel between the two sides. Through behind-the-scenes
negotiations and clandestine meetings, nightly e-mails and frantic text
messages, a great deal of persistence and no small amount of chutzpa,
he succeeded where official mediators had failed, paving the way for the
deal that – ultimately – brought Gilad home.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR GERSHON BASKIN is an American-Israeli
political and social activist. In 1982, he became Israel’s first civil
servant responsible for Jewish-Arab relations in the Ministry of
Education, and has advised two Israeli prime ministers on the peace
process. Baskin founded the Institute for Education for Jewish-Arab
Coexistence, which he directed for seven years, and the Israel
Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI), which he
co-directed for twenty-four years. He writes a weekly column,
“Encountering Peace,” for TheJerusalem Post. Baskin has a PhD in international relations. He is married, has three children, and lives in Jerusalem.