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.
On October 18, 2011, during the holiday of Sukkot, Gilad Schalit returned home after 1,941 days in Hamas captivity. Many hearts were filled with joy and pride. “The Negotiator: Freeing Gilad Schalit from Hamas” is the story of an unprecedented secret communication channel that made a decisive contribution towards the release of Gilad Schalit. The book includes more than 280 pages of letters and documents that were exchanged between Dr. Gershon Baskin and significant role players in Israel, in the Hamas and around the world. For over five years, Gershon Baskin dedicated and risked his life towards achieving a goal that had both national and human significance, to redeem the life of a human being who was confined in captivity.
Hardcover * 305 pages * ISBN 978 159 264 3493 *
US $24.95 * CAN $27.95 * UK £18.99
Publication Date: December 1, 2013
Gershon is an advisor to Israeli, Palestinian and International Prime Ministers on the Middle East Peace Process and the founder and director of IPCRI, the Israeli-Palestinian Public Policy Institute. He was the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel between Israel and Hamas for the release of 1,027 prisoners – mainly Palestinians and Arab-Israelis of which 280 were sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various attacks against Jewish targets that resulted in the killing of 569 Israelis in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit. Gershon is actively involved in research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, environmental security, political strategy, peace education, economics, culture and in the development of affordable solar projects with the goal of providing clean electricity for 50 million people by 2020.