Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

 See the
Conversations with History Blog

See a webcast of this interview:
 Beilin & Husseini

A Dialogue on the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process, with Faisal Al Husseini
and Yossi Beilin; 9/15/98 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our distinguished guests today are Faisal Abdel Qader Al Husseini and Yossi Beilin.

Faisal Husseini was born in Baghdad in 1940. The son of a prominent Palestinian leader, he studied in Cairo, Beirut, Baghdad, and Aleppo, and became active in Fateh, the largest constituent organization of the PLO. Before the start of the Madrid Peace Conference in October of 1991, Mr. Husseini led a Palestinian delegation that met with then-Secretary of State James Baker to lay the groundwork for the start of peace talks between the PLO and Israel. He was named head of the Palestinian team to the Middle East Peace Conference. Mr. Husseini's offices in Jerusalem's New Orient House are the headquarters of the Palestinian delegation to the peace talks. He is a member of the PLO Executive Committee in charge of Jerusalem affairs and a close aide of Palestine National Authority President Yasser Arafat.

Yossi Beilin was born in Petah Tikvah in 1948. After his compulsory Israeli army service, he studied literature and political science at Tel Aviv University, where he earned his doctorate. Following careers as a journalist and political science researcher and lecturer, he became Labor Party spokesman and later became cabinet secretary, political director-general of the Foreign Ministry, deputy finance minister and deputy foreign affairs minister. He was chosen to head the Israeli team of negotiators by then Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. Now a member of Knesset, Israel's parliament, he sits on its Law Committee and the Committee on the Status of Women and continues to work for implementation of the Oslo Peace Accords.

  1. A Palestinian Odyssey ... father's history ... 1948 war ... education and activism ... learning the Israeli story
  2. An Israeli Odyssey ... humanism and nationalism ... origin of problem vs. solutions ... deciding to make peace
  3. Initiation of the Bilateral Peace Process ... unorganized beginnings ... Norway's role ... effect of Israeli elections ... effect of the Intifada
  4. Significance of the Oslo Process ... mutual recognition ... a Palestinian entity ... leading the people ... a dream that stands to the challenge ... compromise and pragmatism ... taking the long view
  5. Lessons of the Peace Process

© Copyright 1998, Regents of the University of California

Photos by Jane Scherr. Site questions: Email iis_webmgr at