Middle East Peace Negotiator Shares His Experiences with Students

Middle East Peace Negotiator Shares His Experiences with Students
Lynn Safranek
Law School Office of Communications
February 17, 2011

Chicago Law students gained insight into what it would be like to be at the negotiating table in the most intense disputes in recent world history with a visit from Daniel Taub, the principal deputy legal adviser for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Taub has served as a longtime member of Israel’s negotiating teams in talks with Syria and the Palestinians. At a February lunchtime talk organized by the Jewish Law Students Association, he told Chicago Law students about the changing role of international law and lawyers in the Middle East peace process. Taub's trip to the United States was sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League.

In the earliest round of negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, Taub said, it was amazing to finally have both sides in the same room. “It was a remarkable experience, but there was a tremendous amount of hesitation and caution and misunderstanding because at that stage we didn’t really know each other that well,” he said.

The role of lawyers then was to act as bridge builders between the two sides; lawyers reached out to each other using their common skill sets and resources, Taub said. It also helped that many of the issues at stake involved legal language, with lawyers tackling questions such the definition of self de