Virtual Peace?

Susan McGregor analyzes how the back-and-forth shuttling of peace documents could be facilitated by technology in the future. She offers as an example the process attempted by the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government, in "the first single-document negotiation process to be implemented 'totally virtually.'" But she insists that sometimes the human element is the one that matters most:

Though much of the Camp David negotiations ostensibly took place on paper, President Carter himself said “there is a personal, emotional factor that goes into a final success story.”

Three days before the accords were signed, Israeli Prime Minister Begin announced that he would be withdrawing from the negotiations. He had taken an oath that he would never dismantle an Israeli settlement, and the discussions had reached an impasse. Before departing, he sent eight photographs to Carter for his signature: commemorative photos of himself with Carter and the Egyptian President Sadat. Later that day, Carter personally delivered the photos to Begin, each inscribed with the name of one of Begin’s eight grandchildren, as well as the president’s signature.

Begin, moved to tears by the personal gesture, agreed to return to the negotiating table.