For 70 years, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has affected the Middle East landscape. A comprehensive diplomatic solution has defied international efforts, leaving publics disillusioned about the prospect of peace. Through analysis, dialogue and joint action at the policy, institutional and grassroots levels, the United States Institute of Peace works to strengthen diplomatic peacemaking efforts; enhance community security for Israelis and Palestinians; empower Palestinian and Israeli civil society actors to build trust within and between their societies and build institutional capabilities that prepare the ground for a just, peaceful and sustainable solution to the conflict. Learn more in USIP’s fact sheet on The Current Situation: Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.
With the Israeli-Palestinian peace process at a standstill, USIP’s Ambassador Hesham Youssef talks about a new, diverse quartet of states that can help reinvigorate talks, saying, “joining hands, they can influence both the Arab position and the European position.”
Good news for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking seems rare, but this month’s diplomatic initiative by four states influential in Europe and the Middle East is a constructive development that should continue. On July 7, Egypt, France, Germany and Jordan joined to oppose Israel’s declared intent to annex territory that it has occupied since 1967. Vital actors, including Arab states and the European Union, have been unable to stop the march toward annexation and the attendant risks of renewed violence. Yet a partnership of key Arab and European states—the latest in a string of diplomatic “quartets” on the conflict—offers a foothold on which to build.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has long been a cornerstone of Middle East stability, wielding significant political and strategic influence in the region. As a small country with a weak economy bordered by Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories, adroit diplomacy is one of its key national resources. Now, Jordan faces a fresh diplomatic challenge: the potential impact of President Trump’s plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on its strategic interests and very future. In the months ahead, Jordan—a crucial partner to the U.S., Israel, and the Palestinians—faces a critical juncture in its relations with both the U.S. and Israel coupled with unprecedented internal challenges.