- Published: Monday, 03 December 2012
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The Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) was founded in Jerusalem in 1988 to promote dialogue among and between Israeli and Palestinian civil society. Back then and for more than a decade, it was the only joint Israeli-Palestinian think tank in the world. In 2013, the center established the “Israel-Palestine: Creative Regional Initiatives” department, as its focus shifted from research oriented programs to a more on-the-ground work and public outreach.
IPCRI is devoted to developing practical solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As we recognize the rights and ambitions of the Jewish and Palestinian peoples to fulfill their national interests of self-determination, we promote the basis of “two states for two peoples” as the framework of a solution.
IPCRI has 2 departments: Research and Information, and Sustainable Partnerships. Through its “Research and Information” projects, IPCRI aims to develop and advocate practical political solutions to decision-makers and officials concerning the most divisive issues of the conflict such as Jerusalem, borders, economic relations, environmental concerns and security. It also aims to strengthen the support base for peace through its innovative ideas and Track II Diplomacy efforts, which bring together prominent Israelis and Palestinians to work together on various issues. IPCRI's activities stimulate debate and inform the public about the possibilities for peace and include research projects, round table discussions, conferences, and public forums, which encourage creative problem solving and promote mutual interests.
IPCRI’s “Sustainable Partnerships” initiatives aim to develop and strengthen the public support for peace and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians as we believe that a just and sustainable resolution will only come about when there is public support and the capacity to create such peace. IPCRI's sustainable partnerships have one main objective; transforming the conflict into neighboring relations according to mutual interests. We believe that in order to reach a safe and sustainable reality, we must increase the interactions between Palestinians and Israelis in a variety of fields for strengthening the regional tolerance and fostering a climate of peace. We are investing in increasing partnerships on various realms such as economic, academic and professional and operate upon two main values; Mainstreaming Israeli-Palestinian interactions in order to fight racism and segregation and developing trans-boundary capacity for enabling ongoing and long term Israeli-Palestinian cooperation. Only when both people will develop a common language a true reality of peace would be possible.
IPCRI was launched in 1988 to promote dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian civil society. In December 1987, after 20 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian territories erupted in a mass popular revolt (the first Intifada) for freedom and for internal social and political reforms. The Intifada emerged from the most dispossessed part of Palestinian society, the refugee camps. It was in this political and social climate that the idea behind IPCRI was constructed to build bridges of communication and cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian civil society.
In March 1988, in the fourth month of the Intifada, Gershon Baskin, founder and co-director of IPCRI, published advertisements in 3 Palestinian newspapers. The ads read:
"If you believe in the possibility of Palestinian-Israeli peace on the basis of a two state solution, if you believe that Palestinians and Israelis can work together on programs of active conflict resolution, if you're a person with initiative, a university graduate, and you're curious, call me"
The Intifada prompted a reassessment of the status quo and demonstrated the need to address the fundamental issue of how to bring about a peace process that would satisfy both the Palestinians legitimate right of self determination and Israel's legitimate security concerns. The advert prompted over 50 phone calls and numerous meetings between Israelis and Palestinians, producing the ideas, principles and networks which would lead to the formation of IPCRI.
Research and Information:
Through our “Research and Information” projects, IPCRI aims to develop and advocate practical political solutions to decision-makers and officials concerning the most divisive issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict such as Jerusalem, borders, settlements and security. We also aim to strengthen the support base for peace through our innovative ideas and Track II Diplomacy efforts, which bring together prominent Israelis and Palestinians for joint cooperation. Our activities stimulate debate and inform the public about the possibilities for peace and include research projects, roundtable discussions, conferences, and public forums, which encourage creative problem solving and promote mutual interests.
This branch of IPCRI is responsible for informing the public about all events and research undertaken by IPCRI. By providing video, audio and textual information to the public, this department is fundamental in raising awareness about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and promoting a mutually acceptable peace agreement. IPCRI also provides a large database of information about IPCRI's past and present projects, provides updates and newsletters about recent events, and publicizes upcoming workshops, conferences and meetings between Israelis and Palestinians.
IPCRI’s “Sustainable Partnerships” initiatives aim to develop and strengthen the public support for peace and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians as we believe that a just and sustainable resolution will only come about when there is public support. IPCRI's sustainable partnerships initiatives have two main objectives; transforming the conflict and creating a shared environment. Our activities include both peace education and people-to-people conflict reconciliation programs, which help lay the foundation for post-conflict peace building.
A large part of our peace building work focuses on the environment. IPCRI’s Environment Department was founded in 1994 and aims to facilitate joint Israeli-Palestinian work on pressing environmental concerns, and encourage sustainable development and understanding between the two peoples. IPCRI's Environment department focuses primarily on researching the effects of environmental degradation on Israel and Palestine, on the development of environmentally conscious infrastructure in the West Bank and Gaza, and on promoting the environmental benefits of cooperation between Israel and Palestine. The Center for Environment's projects help Palestinians build the sustainable and independent infrastructure that is a pre-requisite for a future state. IPCRI has most recently been involved in projects focused on climate change research in the Jordan Valley, agriculture in Gaza, water and sanitation in the northern West Bank, and solar energy in villages south of Hebron, improving Palestinian agricultural export abilities and increasing domestic food production through aquaponics.
Since its inception, the Environment Department has secured the active involvement of Israeli and Palestinian ministries and agencies, academics from all the major universities in Israel and Palestine, NGO representatives and private businesspeople. Please contact us directly if you would like to learn more about our work or partnership opportunities.