The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Internal Challenges on the Road to Peace

Certain domestic Israeli and Palestinian concerns have strong implications for the broader conflict, and for international efforts toward a peaceful resolution.  Through a series of panels and related publications over the course of the year, USIP will explore such critical yet oft-neglected internal dynamics.

Certain domestic Israeli and Palestinian concerns—from state institution-building and secular-religious divides, to coalition politics and educational reform—have strong implications for the broader conflict, and for international efforts towards a peaceful resolution.  Through a series of panels and publications in 2010-2011, USIP will explore such critical yet oft-neglected internal dynamics.

 Series Goals

  • Analyze issues of internal significance to Israelis and Palestinians and their implications for achieving a peaceful resolution to the conflict;
  • Promote debate and discussion around the impact of these issues on the ability to build consensus toward a negotiated solution among the Israeli and Palestinian publics;
  • Contribute to the field of analysis and awareness surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by emphasizing the interplay between top-down and bottom-up processes

About this Series

With the resumption of direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians in September of 2010, focus on the conflict became centered once again on government-to-government peace process efforts and the paradigm of bilateral – and in some cases multilateral – relations and negotiations.  Such an emphasis, while key to efforts to resolve the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian and Arab conflict, can obscure the multitude of challenges that the individual parties face internally and the socio-political dynamics that contribute to the life of the conflict yet potentially offer opportunities for resolving it. 

Whether it is the growing tensions in Israel between the Jewish and Arab citizens of the state, or deepening political and ideological divides between secular and religious segments of society, the split in Palestinian leadership between Hamas and Fatah,  factious politics within the ruling parties, or the challenges of building a state within such a fractured and fraught context, such issues, call for serious consideration.

Upcoming panel topics for 2011 include:

Palestinian Nonviolent Resistance: The Budrus and "BDS" Effect

Arab Citizens of Israel: Assessing Mintority-State Relations

Palestinian Politics: The Conflicts Within

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Project Chairs (HTML): 

Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen | Senior Program Officer
U.S. Institute of Peace