People to People: Examining Grassroots Peacebuilding Efforts Between Israelis and Palestinians

People to People: Examining Grassroots Peacebuilding Efforts Between Israelis and Palestinians

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

By: Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen

Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen, director of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict program, testified on July 21, 2021 at the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism's hearing on "People to People: Examining Grassroots Peacebuilding Efforts Between Israelis and Palestinians." Her expert testimony as prepared is presented below.

Type: Congressional Testimony

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Palestinians’ Divided House Hampers Peace

Palestinians’ Divided House Hampers Peace

Thursday, July 1, 2021

By: Robert Barron;  Adam Gallagher

In a scene reminiscent of the uprisings that swept the Middle East 10 years ago, Palestinian protesters took to the streets over the weekend, chanting, “The people want to bring down the regime.” The recent death of activist and Palestinian Authority critic Nizar Banat while in the custody of Palestinian security forces was the proximate cause for the unrest. But Palestinians’ disenchantment with their leadership has much deeper roots. Fifteen years after the last national elections, the Palestinian polity is as fractured as ever, adding but another obstacle to resolving the seemingly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernancePeace Processes

Biden’s Implicit Warning to Israelis and Palestinians

Biden’s Implicit Warning to Israelis and Palestinians

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

By: Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen

As a new government takes power in Israel, questions emerge about its collective ability and will to move the needle in a constructive direction on the ongoing occupation and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The narrow coalition, spanning a broad political and ideological spectrum, consists of avowed opponents of a Palestinian state — Prime Minister Naftali Bennett among them — alongside staunch advocates for the two-state solution. The governing coalition also assumes its role in a divided society on several fronts following 12 consecutive years with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the helm.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

The Current Situation: Israel, The Palestinian Territories, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

The Current Situation: Israel, The Palestinian Territories, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Thursday, June 17, 2021

For more than 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. Large-scale violence ebbs and flows, leaving communities insecure and enabling the conflict to persist as a rallying tool for extremist actors, thereby demanding continued U.S. and international attention.

Type: Fact Sheet

Can the ‘New Normalizers’ Advance Israeli-Palestinian Peace?

Can the ‘New Normalizers’ Advance Israeli-Palestinian Peace?

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

By: Ambassador Hesham Youssef

The recent outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence raised renewed discussion on how Arab states that inked normalization agreements with Israel in 2020 can advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The “new normalizers” (UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco) may be weighing the pros and cons of heavily involving themselves in efforts to resolve this protracted conflict but should not dismiss the opportunity. They can and should play a more proactive and constructive role, which would enhance regional stability and prosperity and advance the normalizers’ own interests. It will be up to the international community, the Palestinians and regional stakeholders to bring them into the peacemaking fold.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

10 Things to Know: Biden’s Approach to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

10 Things to Know: Biden’s Approach to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Thursday, June 10, 2021

By: Ambassador Hesham Youssef

Coming into office, the Biden administration was clear that the Middle East would largely take a backseat in its foreign policy agenda. But recent developments in Jerusalem and the 11-day war on Gaza forced the Israeli-Palestinian conflict back into the forefront of international attention and revealed elements of the administration’s approach to the conflict. U.S. policy on the conflict has long been a point of bipartisan harmony, with more consensus than contention. The Biden administration’s emerging policy largely aligns with past administrations’ policies, with a few notable differences. But can this approach advance peace amid this protracted conflict?

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

Can Israel’s New Coalition ‘Change’ the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

Can Israel’s New Coalition ‘Change’ the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

Thursday, June 3, 2021

By: Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen

With minutes to spare before his mandate to form a coalition expired, Yair Lapid, the leader of Israel’s center-left Yesh Atid party, announced that he had formed a governing bloc. This announcement could usher in an Israeli government that, for the first time in 12 years, is not led by Benjamin Netanyahu. The down-to-the-wire negotiations befit the prior two years of Israeli political drama — with four elections held since April 2019. While this potentially portends a new, post-Netanyahu chapter in Israeli politics, it is unlikely that the ideologically disparate coalition cobbled together by Lapid —with Naftali Bennet, a hard-right politician, at its helm — will yield significant progress toward peace.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace ProcessesDemocracy & Governance

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Amid a New Reality and a New Region

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Amid a New Reality and a New Region

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

By: Ambassador Hesham Youssef

Thirty years ago, the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference aimed to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict and initiated what we now think of as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Three decades later, the world and the region have undergone tectonic changes, bearing little resemblance to 1991 when the Cold War came to a close. Yet, Israeli and Palestinian leaders are still dealing with their conflict as if it is business as usual. The time has come for them to take a more sober look at the global and regional trends that spell trouble for them and their peoples. Without such a reorientation from leadership on both sides, it is likely that there will be continued and escalating rounds of violence like what we witnessed this past month.  

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes