Sher, Gilead 1953-

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Sher, Gilead 1953-


Born June 2, 1953, in Tiberias, Israel; son of Yoel and Aviva Sher; married Ruth Kaplansky, August 23, 1977; children: Guy, Neta, Carmel, Maya. Education: Hebrew University, L.L.B., 1980; attended courses at Harvard University and the World Bank.


Office—Aaronsohn Sher Aboulafia Amoday & Co., 20 Lincoln St., Tel Aviv 63174, Israel. E-mail—[email protected]


Lawyer. Israel Broadcasting Authority, Jerusalem, senior editor, correspondent, and radio anchorman, 1977-1988; Gilead Sher & Co., Law Offices, Jerusalem, Israel, founder, 1989-2004; Israel Defense Forces, colonel, 1993-2006; Government of Israel, Jerusalem, head of negotiation team, 1999-2001; Office of the Prime Minister, Jerusalem, chief of staff and policy coordinator, 2000-01; Aaronsohn, Sher, Aboulafia, Amoday & Co., Law Offices, Tel Aviv, Israel, senior founding partner, 2004—. Guest lecturer at the Wharton School of Business, Philadelphia, PA, 2001—. Military service: Israel Defense Forces, colonel, 1993-2006.


Israel Black Belts Council, Israeli Bar Association, Council for Peace and Security, MEITAR (board member, 1996—), Israel-British Business Council, Citizen Empowerment Center in Israel (board member, 2002—), Sam Spiegel Film & TV School, Israel Shotokan Karate Association (president, 2006—), Association for Civil Rights in Israel (board member, 2007—), Budo for Peace Organization (board member, 2007—).


Decorated Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Merite, France.


Be-merhak Negiah: Ha-masa-u-matan Le-shalom, 1999-2001: Edut, Yediot aharonot: Sifre hemed (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 2001, published as The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations, 1999-2001: Within Reach, Routledge (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Haaretz, Ynet, Jerusalem Post, Yedioth Aharonot, Jewish Chronicles, Bitterlemons, and Koteret Rashit.


Gilead Sher was born June 2, 1953, in Tiberias, Israel. He attended law school at Hebrew University, and also took individual finance courses, both at Harvard University and at the World Bank. Sher also spent time in the Israel Defense Forces, earning the post of colonel. He worked first as a radio journalist, serving as an anchorman, editor, and on-air correspondent for the Israel Broadcasting Authority in Jerusalem. His interest in law prevailed, however, and Sher founded the Gilead Sher & Co., Law Offices in Jerusalem. Sher went on to play a vital role in Israeli government and in peace negotiations during the 1990s under Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin. He served as the prime minister's chief of staff and policy minister, and during the 1999-2000 peace summit at Camp David, he acted as the chief negotiator. The President of France appointed Sher Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Merite, in recognition of his efforts in aiding the peace process in the Middle East. Following his political contributions, Sher became one of the founding partners of the law firm Aaronsohn, Sher, Aboulafia, Amoday & Co. As a lawyer, he continues to offer whatever assistance he can to national security issues, often participating in sessions to help brainstorm ways to maintain peace and safety. In addition, he takes time out to teach classes and lecture on a range of subjects, including courses in dispute resolution and negotiations in times of crisis, which he teaches periodically at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He also is a member of the Israel Black Belt Council and a karate instructor, and participates in both the Council for Peace and Security and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. He sits on the board of a number of organizations whose purpose is to promote business dealings between Israel and other nations.

In 2006, Sher's The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations, 1999-2001: Within Reach was published, a full five years after its initial publication in Israel. The book offers readers a step-by-step look at the peace negotiations as he experienced them, while attempting to refrain from passing judgments or revising the experience through hindsight. Rather, the account shows clearly that Sher worked diligently in order to bring about peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but at the same time remained clearly on the side of Israel's best interests. He looked upon peace as the ultimate goal, but only insofar as it would fit with what Israelis would be willing to accept in terms of compromise. Sher discusses his reactions to the Americans involved in the peace negotiations, blaming many of them for their failure to support the end goal, and while on the whole he is positive regarding the role of then-President Clinton, he also notes that not all of Clinton's actions were in the best interest of the process, and that they in fact most likely contributed to the unwillingness of the Palestinians to bend during the negotiations. Aluf Benn, in a review for Foreign Policy noted: "The American hosts, asserts Sher, should have imposed more discipline on the summit. ‘Many beginnings of structured, concrete, asser- tive processes simply faded out without continuity.’ Arafat ultimately balked at the Israeli offers, and Clinton called off the summit." Raymond Helmick, in a review for Tikkun, commented on the insight into Sher himself that comes through in his writing: "One cannot question the tremendous effort Sher made to reach a settlement, or his disappointment at its failure within this period. But for all his sincerity, it is clear throughout that Sher saw this pursuit of peace as an exercise in power."



Sher, Gilead, The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations, 1999-2001: Within Reach, Routledge (New York, NY), 2006.


Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, February, 2007, K.M. Zaarour, review of The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations, 1999-2001, p. 1052.

Foreign Policy, January 1, 2002, Aluf Benn, "Grasping for Peace, Madrich Le'yona Ptzu'a," p. 82.

Middle East Journal, summer, 2007, "Palestinian Statehood: Aspirations, Needs, and Viability after Oslo," p. 521.

Reference & Research Book News, May, 2006, review of The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations, 1999-2001.

Tikkun, July 1, 2006, Raymond Helmick, "Above the Law," p. 66.


Aaronsohn Sher Aboulafia Amoday & Co. Web site, (March 25, 2008), author profile.