Vice President Mike Pence heads to Egypt, Jordan and Israel with little diplomatic quiet, and even less hope, on the Israeli-Palestinian front. President Abbas has declared the Oslo peace process dead, and the U.S. mediating role over, President Trump has broken with international consensus on Jerusalem, and pointedly not endorsed a two-state solution since coming to office, and Prime Minister Netanyahu has now hedged on his commitment to the end goal of a Palestinian state.
Today, President Trump—for the second time while in office—exercised his waiver authority on the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act. The law calls for the United States Embassy, currently located in Tel Aviv, to be moved to Jerusalem, in recognition of that city as Israel’s capital. The choice to waive enactment in the name of national security interests hits the president’s desk every six months and, beginning with President Clinton in 1998, has been continuously exercised by each president. But this time was different.
With the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a centerpiece of his first official trip abroad, President Donald Trump is staking out some delicate terrain. Unlike his predecessors, Trump has taken the risky step of highlighting the importance of religion to his policy goals with stops in Saudi Arabia, ...
Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, drawing on his experience negotiating the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland and trying for an accord between Israelis and Palestinians, said ending violent conflict requires two critical components: committed political leadership and grassroots efforts that build bridges between peoples.
To hear voices of peace challenged by a surge of violence, simply listen to a conference call held by Arab and Jewish parents in Jerusalem who are involved in the program Kids4Peace. The bonds formed over the years their children attended the group’s dialogues and camps are at once strained and sturdy, resolute and despairing and frayed by fear. For the program’s staff, one posted message reflects their defiance at this moment in the Arab-Israeli conflict: “We will not be defeated. Nothing is...
Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding: Illuminating the Unseen examines the obstacles and opportunities that women religious peacebuilders face as they navigate both the complex conflicts they are seeking to resolve and the power dynamics in the institutions they must deal with in order to accomplish their goals.
Inbar Shaked Vardi and Mouran Ibrahim are 14 years old but speak in a way that many adults in the maelstrom of the Middle East can’t muster – of Arab-Jewish “shared living,” a step even beyond mere co-existence. When their school, the flagship Max Rayne campus of the Hand in Hand Jewish-Arab bilingual school network in Israel, was attacked recently, their outlook on the world was tested once again.
While in Israel two weeks ago, as sirens sounded, rockets and missiles flew, and the sadly-certain descent began to where the two sides find themselves today, I heard a common refrain from a range of partner organizations and other civic activists working on peacebuilding in Israel: The current fighting will end, hopefully tomorrow, maybe in a week or a month. But when it does, the underlying dynamics and problems remain to be addressed. Our work can't stop.
USIP’s Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen assesses the fallout from the Israeli air strikes in Syria, and the likelihood for an acute regional crisis. Israel has not formally confirmed its role in the two airstrikes on Syrian targets earlier this month, but unofficial Israeli acknowledgement, and intelligence corroboration (including from the U.S.) confirm that Israel was behind the bombings.
Ahead of President Obama's trip to the Middle East, Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen, USIP’s senior program officer working on issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict discusses broader context.