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Summary: Track II Diplomacy: The Work of Healing History

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from Changing Nature of Diplomacy 2006,  7 (2)

In this chapter, Montville discusses the role of public opinion in the healing of history. He says the creation of an environment in public opinion that makes it safer for political leaders to take risks for peace is key. This is the most neglected part of the track two concept and the most promising for real peacebuilding. Montville goes on to highlight the role of public opinion in the case of Northern Ireland conflict.

Next, attention is turned to Israel, the Palestinians, and healing the Jewish-Christian-Muslim relationship. In this section, he asserts that efforts made at the leadership level must be pursued in conjunction with a strategy to create support in public opinion for peacemaking.  “Governments sign treaties, but only the people in conflict can make peace.” He goes on to list several track two activities, which make an important contribution to healing historic wounds in the Abrahamic relationship.