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- Author: Orit Gal
- Publication Date: 06-2008
- Content Type: Policy Brief
- Institution: Chatham House
- Abstract: At the beginning of the Oslo Process the greatest challenge was the question of Palestinian statehood; negotiation of the refugee issue was postponed until the later stages. Over a decade later, Palestinian statehood is generally accepted as a given, and the refugee issue has taken centre stage. The Israeli perspective, from a leadership standpoint, is seemingly characterized by a sense of being overwhelmed, owing to the complexity of elements making up the refugee issue, the multiplicity of actors involved, and a heightened sense of uncertainty as to the consequences of any negotiated settlement. More strategic work is needed at the political and policy-making level to determine the resolution level required for the agreement itself. Much of the detail involved will have to be developed outside the main negotiation framework. More research and strategy development work is needed concerning the Israeli public domain, to assess existing attitudes and possible avenues for widening the public discourse. To this end, the Israeli media should also be encouraged to present the different debates and elements of the issue. There is a need for an international task force of leading experts working alongside the negotiation process and translating both sides' strategic options into operational frameworks. Such support could ease the load on the actual negotiating parties, thereby facilitating the decision-making process.
- Topic: International Cooperation, Migration
- Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
- Author: David Makovsky
- Publication Date: 03-2007
- Content Type: Policy Brief
- Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
- Abstract: Next week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will return to the Middle East, where she plans to meet Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas for what has become a monthly trilateral session. The question is whether Rice still believes both parties can actually agree on a so-called "political horizon" -- namely, the definition of actions to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The odds have slimmed to nearly nil since the idea was first discussed by Rice and Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni at a December 2006 meeting. That was prior to the Mecca accord, where the concept of a Palestinian national unity government was conceived. Meanwhile, both Fatah and Hamas have announced that they are ready to form such a government.
- Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation
- Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine