Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Featured Publications & Tools
- "The Peace Puzzle:" A New Book Aims to Set the Record Straight on U.S. Peacemaking in the Middle East
A USIP study group generates a fresh look at the American role in Arab-Israeli peacemaking from the Madrid conference to George Mitchell’s efforts in the administration of President Barack Obama. The authors will gather in a forum at the Institute on Feb. 19 to discuss the project.
USIP’s Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen provides an update on the recent political upheaval in Israel and how that may impact the prospects for peace in the Middle East.
This week’s parliamentary elections catapulted Yair Lapid, relatively unknown outside Israel, into a surprising position of influence as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to form the next government. USIP’s Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen examines the possibilities.
On Monday night, Israelis went to bed with a lame duck Knesset, set to dissolve in advance of early elections in September. They awoke Tuesday morning to an overnight unity deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the ruling Likud party, and Shaul Mofaz, the new leader of Likud’s main rival, Kadima. USIP's Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen assesses how Israel's new coalition government could affect the peace process.
Attempts to revive the stalled peace process bore no fruit in 2011. USIP's Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen recaps 2011 and looks ahead to challenges in 2012.
The January 2012 Prevention Newsletter features a spotlight on U.S.-Iran relations: Iran seems to be on a collision course with the international community. The U.S. and its allies have to find a way to respond effectively to Iran, without feeding the very forces seeking conflict with the West.
USIP leaders explain the effect that events around the world and here at home will have on the U.S., and the contributions the Institute can and does make during a time of tremendous challenge – and opportunity.
Though there will be no breakthroughs on Middle East peace over the coming American election year, U.S. leaders will need to summon the “political will and determination” to again take up the vexing quest for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement when political conditions in the region allow, former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, told a conference at USIP on November 2, 2011.
Latest from USIP on Israel and the Palestinian Territories
- May 8, 2013 | Publication
USIP’s Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen assesses the fallout from the Israeli air strikes in Syria, and the likelihood for an acute regional crisis.
- April 16, 2013 | Publication
“Every time I walk out of my house, I never think that I can return,” said the petite activist whose diminutive frame belied the threats she’s faced down as a land-rights campaigner in Cambodia. She joins a Palestinian businesswoman and a Brazilian police chief to discuss what drives them to push for change in their societies.
- April 4, 2013 | Event
The U.S. Institute of Peace, in collaboration with Vital Voices Global Partnership and the Bernstein Family Foundation, convened a panel discussion with women leaders from Brazil, Cambodia, and Palestine on April 4 at USIP. These 2013 Vital Voices Global Leadership Award honorees offered unique perspectives on working with government and civil society, and on the importance of an enabling environment that supports their work.
- March 18, 2013 | Publication
Ahead of President Obama's trip to the Middle East, USIP’s Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen discusses broader context.
USIP addresses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by engaging on the ground in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and providing analysis and input to U.S. government stakeholders on policy options and approaches.
Current activities include:
Israeli-Palestinian Security Cooperation
Senior Scholar in Residence Neil Kritz spends two weeks per month on the ground in Israel and the West Bank. Working out of the Quartet’s East Jerusalem office, Neil provides assistance to the Palestinian Authority in its efforts to reform and build capacity in the justice and security sectors. He also facilitates Israeli and Palestinian dialogue and cooperation around shared legal and security concerns.
Bridging Internal Divides
USIP is working with Dr. Alick Isaacs, Ms. Sharon Leshem-Zinger, and Dr. Avinoam Rosenak to support the Siyach Shalom “Talking Peace” initiative in Israel. For more than two years, Siyach Shalom has been bringing together prominent and ideologically-disparate members of Israeli Jewish society from the religious leaders of the settlements to secular left-wing peace activists. Through regular facilitated dialogue sessions, these individuals are working together to reconstitute a more inclusive peace movement in the country. In its reach throughout Jewish Israeli society, and in the depth of discussion and cooperation generated, this project is breaking new ground in Israel. Read more about Talking Peace in the Jewish Journal and Haaretz.
Enhancing Conflict-Sensitive Policing
USIP has awarded a grant to the Abraham Fund Initiatives to enhance conflict sensitive police training and practice in Israel. The project will develop models of participation and cooperation with Arab society by including Arabs in police training and developing frameworks for dialogue and partnership. It will also develop curricular materials and conduct training on methods of policing that prevent conflict and build trust in divided societies. Through research, publications and dissemination activities, the project will conduct educational outreach, expanding internationally-relevant knowledge about policing in divided societies. Read USIP’s Grant Highlight on the Arab Society Police Initiative in Israel.
Advising the Policy Community
USIP provides analysis and input on U.S. policy options through a variety of channels. In addition to our experts providing regular briefings to Congressional offices and Administration officials, USIP convenes a Senior Working Group on Middle East Peace, co-chaired by former National Security Advisers Samuel R. Berger and Stephen J. Hadley, and the Study Group on Arab-Israeli Peacemaking, chaired by Ambassador Daniel C. Kurtzer. The study group’s second book, which assesses U.S. policy on and involvement in Arab-Israeli peace negotiations from 1989 to 2011, is forthcoming in fall 2012. The group's first book was Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: American Leadership in the Middle East.
Publications & Tools
- Progress in Peacebuilding: Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict
- 2011 Year in Review: Palestine/Israel Outlook
On the Issues with Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen
- Watching from the Sidelines: Israel and the Syrian Uprising
PeaceBrief by Ehud Eiran
- Spotlight on the Palestinian Quest for Statehood
USIP Prevention Newsletter
- At USIP, Baker Calls for "Determination" on Middle East Peace
- A Troubled Palestinian Economy
News Feature by Thomas Omestad
- The Arab-Israeli Peace Process: Why It's Failed Thus Far
Learn more about USIP's Twenty Years After Madrid Conference
(Photo above right: The Bahai Gardens in Haifa, Israel. Photo credit: Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen/USIP.)
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