There are two other factors that I feel are an indictment of him. The first is that, in truth, while he renounced terror, he never discredited it. He sent a letter on September 9, 1993 to the foreign minister of Norway to commit to renouncing terror, which was what then opened the pathway to Israeli recognition of him. But throughout the Oslo process he glorified suicide bombers and called them martyrs. You can't have it both ways. He made violence as a tool still acceptable. Even when he would announce that he would have zero tolerance for terror, he never condemned the groups that carried out the terror by name.

And he still doesn't.
Still doesn't.

So all the talk in the nineties about how Arafat was a changed man since he founded the PLO.was that just naïve?
Well, the fact that he recognized Israel even though there were, as a result, death threats against him from Palestinian extremists, that gave him a kind of credibility to us. But when you really look at the process and what he did in it, he would control the terror groups from time to time, but he would never discredit the use of terror.

Did Arafat have a special relationship with [the late Israeli Prime Minister] Yitzhak Rabin? Would things be different if Rabin hadn't been assassinated?
Arafat certainly feels that. Now, it may be his convenient revisionism after the fact. I would say that Rabin came to a point where he did respect him. And the reason he did is because he felt that Arafat actually was taking tough steps against groups like Hamas, which he did from time to time. What's interesting is that every single time Arafat would crack down on Hamas, they'd back down. Every time. But though he cracked down on Hamas, he never discredited them. If you're going to crack down on them, you have to crack down on them not in an arbitrary way, but you use the fact that they are a threat to the Palestinian cause as a justification for it. You tell them that when they kill Israelis, they kill our chance to be able to achieve a Palestinian state. They are doing things that are a threat to our fundamental interest. Nothing like that was ever said, yet that is precisely what should have been said. You have to say that this is a group that is a threat to our interests and therefore we are not going to tolerate it.

So did you ever tell Arafat, "This is what you need to say?"
Absolutely.

How did he react?
He would tell me he would. But never did.

You reveal things about the peace process in the book that weren't previously reported in the press or previously published. What are some of the most important new revelations?
Well, I think one of them is how close we actually were on the Syrian track [to a peace deal between Israel and Syria]. The actual gap on where the border would be was probably on the order of 3-400 meters. When Asad was ready to do such a deal, Barak was not, mostly because he saw he needed more time to line up his political ducks. The nature of the opposition within Israel surprised Barak, but at the very moment when Asad was ready to do the deal, Barak wasn't, and when Asad was no longer ready to do the deal, unfortunately that's when Barak was ready. So there's that whole interplay, which is unknown. I actually have a map in the book that shows what the Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights would have looked like. There's also a story I tell that Asad actually allowed us to send a forensic team to excavate in a Damascus cemetery for the remains of Israeli missing in actions, something that has never been known. That was unprecedented for someone like Asad.

One other interesting story, apart from everything that happened at Camp David, is the terms and some other points I reveal about the Clinton ideas [Clinton's last-ditch efforts to negotiate with Barak and Arafat before leaving office, in late 2000 to early 2001]. The night before we presented the ideas, I had a visit from Muhammad Dahlan, one of the lead negotiators for the Palestinians, who asked me to tell him what we were going to tell the Palestinians the next day. What he literally said was "What are you going to make us eat tomorrow?" Meaning, "What are we going to find difficult to swallow?" I wasn't going tell him everything, but I told him what would be hard because he didn't need to know what was going to be easy. This is literally at midnight, ten hours before we were going to present these ideas, and I described the ideas to him and he grimaced. He said, "Can't you make it easier?" And I said, "No, because frankly, Barak is being asked to swallow much more than you and I don't even know if he could deliver." But I did tell him, "But I will tell you what I will do. We have no interest in putting a set of ideas on the tables that you have to reject. I also have no interest in having the last act of the Clinton administration be a failure. So if you tell me you can't accept these ideas, then I will tell the president not to present them. And I will even give you until tomorrow morning, but I have to know by eight in the morning." He thought for a moment and said, "No, go ahead and present them." He thought that in the end he and others could get Arafat to accept them. That's never been revealed before.