Hirschfeld tells the fascinating story of how, together with a handful of colleagues, he served from 1978 through 2014 as a private "foreign ministry" for Yossi Beilin and Shimon Peres both before, during, and after they served as Israeli deputy foreign minister and foreign minister, respectively. During that time, Hirschfeld assisted them in track-two diplomacy and exploring new ideas and models of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute through informal discussions with Palestinians and others. (This reviewer was asked to join the small Israeli team that met in Oslo with the Palestine Liberation Organization to help negotiate the Oslo agreement.)
Hirschfeld has been committed to track-two diplomacy, mostly related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, for more than thirty-five years, concurrently wearing several hats in the process: academic, think tank, and political.
In addition to the Oslo talks, Hirschfeld tells about his other track-two diplomacy discussions, including a 1979-88 attempt with Jordan and the 1994-95 Beilin-Abu Mazen understanding.
Because history books are normally written by track-one players, this book provides a unique inside view of the intensive and continuous track-two activity that is hidden from the public eye. It offers a wealth of information that has not yet been covered by any other publication on the Middle East peace process.