Israelis and Palestinians are currently some distance from participating in productive bilateral negotiations. The US Administration has begun to examine how they might bring the sides together but has yet to announce any details. The BICOM research team has examined options for British involvement to boost Israeli-Palestinian relations.
Based on discussions with current and former British and Israeli officials involved with Israeli-Palestinian peace making, this analysis presents a series of proposals and recommendations for an effective UK role working towards a two-state solution.
- The role of the UK, in concert with others in the international community, should be to create the conditions in which the peace process is most likely to succeed, resulting in a two-state solution that reconciles the national aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians.
- There are a number of areas in which the UK is well-suited to making a practical difference with respect to creating an environment conducive to peace-making. These include: increasing funding for the training of Palestinian security forces and promoting civil society initiatives among Israelis and Palestinians that foster a constituency of peace.
- The UK should increase funding for coexistence projects, and work to increase the capacity of civil society organisations, in partnership with properly vetted groups already operating.
- The UK should use its standing as a world power, its role on the UN Security Council, and its close relationship with Arab states in the region to promote new opportunities for diplomatic engagement.
- Continued UK financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) should be based on the implementation of appropriate measures to ensure that financial aid reaches the appropriate recipients and that funds are not misused.
- At a time when budgets are under pressure, the UK should ensure its support for international initiatives have a positive impact on improving the conditions for a future agreement.
The full paper is available as a PDF below.