Principle 6. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD IS SUSPENDED.
Suspense put pressure on performance. Thinking could happen before rather than after politics. Boundaries of the conflict, although artificial, were made clear for the moment–and being clear, were more accessible to negotiation or problem solving.
“Nobody was ever sure whether what one high US aide called ‘Carter’s gigantic effort’ was succeeding, or if there was serious trouble. Except for White House Secretary Jody Powell’s terse briefing on non-substantive matters, there was nothing to go on. Nothing for a frustrated world-wide press corps of some 350 to report. Unusual was the meeting’s nearly total isolation from the probes of the world’s press. It may well have been the rule of strict secrecy that enabled the conference to go on as long as it did and thus made possible the dramatic turnabout period. Not having to face a barrage of questions from newsmen, the participants had no need to posture or issue self-serving, and, sometimes, inflammatory statements.”
Principle 7. INTEREST-BASED, MEDIATOR CONTROLLED PROPOSALS WRITTEN OVER AND OVER.
They used a single text negotiation strategy suggested by Professor Roger Fisher of Harvard Law School. This method lets people make repeated, unbinding additions to a single document, and permits people with different interests and power to state their positions, remain flexible, and gradually accumulate agreements. The mediator controls the process and presents it for a ‘yes-no’ only when convinced it cannot go further.
“Aide Harold Saunders, after night-long labors, produces a first draft of American proposals. AmerIcans spent eleven days working through three more drafts. There were ultimately twenty three.”
Principle 8. SPRITUALITY OF KEY ACTORS IS A REQUIRED FOREGROUND.
The Camp David conference allowed the parties to use the conceptual, emotional, and procedural resources at their disposal. The spirituality of the main players, their ability to agree on higher values even as they disputed issues, provided a further bridge. The crisis of modern times is often referred to as a crisis of spirit. This spirituality, usually unexpressed in government and business offices, was present at Camp David and seemed to ease surface tensions.
“What was perhaps most unusual of all was the very cast of characters. For Carter, a born-again Baptist, the strength of his faith may have inspire him to convene the session even while knowing its possible collapse would dim further hopes for peace. As Carter perhaps optimistically said, ‘the potential benefit–a major step toward resolving the Arab/Israeli conflict was greater than the risk.'”