Over the last decade, alongside a continued stalemate in official negotiations, there has been a gradual decrease in interaction between Israeli and Palestinian societies. The lack of public awareness about the other side feeds a cycle of misconceptions, in which neither side trusts or understands the other. Each side finds it a taboo to acknowledge the other’s needs, and any partnership is perceived as futile or meaningless. Furthermore, lessons from other conflicts from across the world seem irrelevant while every side is trapped by its own national narrative. As a result, this public ignorance is utilized by extremists to demonize the other side and raise the political price for policymakers to engage in developing a fruitful peace process. If this division and misinformation continues, the minimal contact between the Israeli and Palestinian publics together with their growing ignorance of the other side ensure the continuation of repeated rounds of violence.

Open forums are one of the main tools for dealing with this situation. They involve both Israelis and Palestinians in an active process to identify new points of view and encourage them to examine their reality in a broader context instead of laying blame for the conflict squarely and solely on the other side. In light of the escalation of violence and the rise of extremism in both sides, it is of utmost importance to create a foundation of public knowledge through which members of the public can educate themselves about the conflict and the reasons for the violence. For decreasing the violence, both communities must be cognizant of the reality and aware of lessons from across the world, as well as the priorities of the other side, so as to willingly and fairly offer viable solutions.

On June 1st, 2016, IPCRI launched its new series of forums, focusing on the various dimensions of the conflict. In the inaugural event, titled "Saving Gaza - What are the future prospects for Gaza?", over 50 participants from various embassies and local organizations gathered to listen to Dr. Steen Lau Jorgensen - Country Director of the West Bank and Gaza at the World Bank, Dr. Shaddad Attili - Former Palestinian Minister of Water, Audrey Adams - Team Leader at the Office of the Quartet, and Dr. Kobi Michael from the Institute for National Security Studies. The discussion focused on central concerns regarding the future of Gaza and identified potential opportunities for international partnerships.

The second IPRCI gathering dealt with the topic "Trade not aid- the economic opportunities for a sustainable future." The speakers' list included Dr. Bashir Bashir from the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Barak Greenapple - Political and Economic Adviser at the local Office of the Quartet, Samir Hulileh - Chief Executive Officer of Palestine Development and Investment Ltd. (Padico), and Sivan Keren - Project Manager at the Peres Center for Peace.

In September 2016, IPCRI hosted "The 3rd IPCRI Forum on the Current Role of Women In the Peace Process." With opening remarks from MK Ksenia Svetlova, Nivine Sandouka - Co Director at IPCRI and Expert in Gender Mainstreaming, Netta Loevy- Coordinator at Itach Maaki, and Alexandra Rydmark from the Embassy of Sweden. This forum focused on UNSCR 1325 and the role of women in the peace process.

On Wednesday, November 16th, 2016, IPCRI held an open forum that focused on the peace process in Northern Ireland and the lessons that can be learned regarding the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. Entitled “From Extremism to Inclusion: How Hardliners Joined the Peace Process in Ireland,” it focused on the root causes of extremism and included guest speakers Rev. Dr. Gary Mason, Dr. Dalia Scheindlin, Mrs. Ariel Heifetz Knobel, and Mr. Aziz Abu Sarah.

In December, IPCRI gathered prominent speakers in order to discuss "The US Elections and the Future of the Middle East." After opening remarks by Dr. Gershon Baskin, Co-Chairman of IPCRI, and Dr. Nimrod Goren, Head of the Mitvim Institute, the participants Dan Rothem, Rebecca Bornstein and Mofid Deak presented their assessments on American foreign policy in the Middle East under the presidency of Donald Trump. The forum was chaired by Suheir Jamil, a former researcher at the International Crisis Group, and was supported by the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

In February 2017, IPCRI held a forum on Jewish Radicalism entitled "Violence, Revenge and Redemption." The discussion was moderated by Natan Odenheimer, a journalist and Mandel Scholar at Hebrew University. It took place thanks to the participation of Tehila Frideman-Nachalom, Pnina Pfeuffer and Perle Nicole, as well as to the attending public, who asked stimulating questions.

Most recently, IPCRI hosted a successful forum on the opportunities and challenges of the Palestinian high-tech and startups scene, with the participation of Zika Abzuk, Montaser Amro, Jesse Divon and Sari Taha. Their enlightening presentations on their own experience in enhancing the Palestinian technical economy were followed by a discussion with the audience as well as with productive encounters between prominent Israeli and Palestinian actors of the High-Tech sector.

To watch the videos of our Forums, pleast visit our Multimedia page.

Current Projects

 

IPCRI is currently focusing on building partnerships between Israelis and Palestinians on all three levels, from the individual, to the community, to the government. To achieve this, we are working specifically in the fields of trade facilitation, media literacy, regional committees, and entrepreneurship.

 

Trade Facilitation

Over the last two decades, the Palestinian trade is restricted by arrangements dictated by the Paris Protocol. The decision about the “Customs Union” for example, made the Palestinian National Authority a confined market, in which Israeli imports accounted for 70-75% of all Palestinian Imports and 85-90% of its exports over the most of the 2000’s. Furthermore, different constraints on Palestinian exports to non-Israeli markets made Palestinian producers less competitive and had drastic effect on the economic development of the Palestinian territories.

As the Palestine is an infant economy, it can generate sustainable long term growth mainly through developing its export. Thus, accordingly, Palestinian traders must be adequately prepared to deal with regional exporting and importing procedures. However, Palestinian traders rely on Israeli systems and facilities, which operate in a foreign language and offer a limited access to relevant Israeli authorities. As a result, Palestinian authorities, and the local private sector, lack the regular updates regarding new changes in the supply chain, in the fluctuations of tariffs or in new regulations imposed by Israel.

This program offers to provide a facilitated process for the Palestinian supply chain (Import/Export) through capability building program for Palestinian businesses. IPCRI will focus a significant reduction of local trade costs, delivery of significant knowledge upon the supply chain and the creation of transboundary partnerships.

 

Media Literacy Initiative

The strengthening of Palestinian democracy must be seen as a key pillar of any national development or negotiated peace process. As the media serves as the “watchdog” of democracy and can become a tool for developing political pluralism, Palestinian media literacy must be enhanced in order to keep the media accountable. Moreover, as the social media is highly popular among the Palestinian population, the development of tolerant and open social media is essential for the democratization of the Palestinian political culture.

The IPCRI Media Literacy Initiative, in cooperation with MEMLI (The Middle East Media Literacy Initiative) and the University of Chicago's Center for Middle Eastern Studies, will provide a Media Literacy and Civil Discourse Program for youth living in the West Bank. Digital Citizenship and 21st Century skills will be included, to teach youth how they fit into the opportunities provided in the Human Economy and reach their highest potentials. Social and Emotional Learning will be the methodology throughout the course. Through this intensive 32-hour course, students will be empowered to evaluate the mechanisms of media construction and bias, to innovate and collaborate with one another through better communication skills and to understand the benefits of accountable social media use. At the end of the course, 80 young adults across the West Bank will graduate from the program, and 16 young adults will be trained to deliver the curriculum to other groups around the country and be paid for this part time work.

As a result, a group of agents will be empowered to better scrutinise media and its impacts, to be responsible digital citizens and to practice the values of pluralism and democratic values through increased social and emotional intelligence and civil discourse and debate both on and offline.

For more information about this project, please go to http://www.memli.org/.

 

Regional Committees

Negotiations have become futile in the national scale. However, regional interactions are taking place in regular basis across the country. As a result, regional system of interests is being created offer a breakthrough in reaching a common understanding. IPCRI aims in creating regional track 2 committee which will negotiate the future of local sub-regions through incorporating various stakeholders. In this way, a mediation process can be created gradually and eventually confront the major issues through local agreements.

 

Entrepreneurship

A sustainable economy is based on building stable and independent enterprises which will generate income to the local system and would increase employment. IPCRI supports local entrepreneurship through offering consultancy, creating win-win partnerships and in identify key opportunities for development.

Here are our latest published pictures and videos. For all our photos, please visit our Facebook page and for our videos visit our Youtube channel.

Forum Videos

Violence, Revenge and Redemption: A close look at Jewish radical violence (February 2017)

Discussion and Q&A

The US Elections and the Future of the Middle East (December 2016)

                                

From Extremism to Inclusion: How Hardliners Joined the Peace Process in Ireland (November 2016)

The Current Role of Women in the Peace Process (September 2016)

Click on "Playlist" in the screen below to see a full list of IPCRI's videos.


Pictures from our past activities

The Jerusalem-Belfast Forum:

Photos of our past Breaking Down Walls Tours:

Ramallah, May 2014

Internships

IPCRI interns have the unique opportunity to both engage in policy-relevant research on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to meet with and engage many of the personalities that shape its dimensions.

IPCRI accepts interns throughout the year. Applications for internships are accepted on a rolling basis. If you are interested in working with IPCRI please indicate the dates you will be available. On average potential interns apply up to half a year before their available dates. However, occasionally a place might open up shorter in advance.

Potential interns must meet the following requirements:

    • Interns must be able to stay with IPCRI for a minimum of three months; though longer availability is preferred.
    • Candidates should be enrolled in a Graduate program relevant to IPCRI's field of activities.
    • Interns must be comfortable with working independently and taking on responsibility. IPCRI does not have a sufficient staff to supervise interns on a day-to-day basis.
    • Applicants must be able to write at an academic level in English. Knowledge of Russian is an asset.

Experience in fundraising, social media strategies as well as proficiency in Hebrew or Arabic are considered a plus. Please note that IPCRI's internships are not paid. IPCRI is not in the financial position to reimburse housing or travel costs.

IPCRI interns typically engage in the following kinds of work:

    • Organizing and attending IPCRI events, including meetings of the Strategic Thinking and Analysis Team (STAT), Wednesday Afternoon Public Meetings, the Economic Working Group, Peace Education Conferences, and others.
    • Administration:
      • Preparation for conferences
      • Reporting on events and project activities

Current openings are:

    • Research Internships. IPCRI is occasionally engaged in a variety of research projects, both independently and in cooperation with other institutions. The IPCRI staff can offer its wealth of knowledge and its access to an expansive network, but is often unable to closely monitor independent projects. Interns interested in doing research in a particular field should be prepared to manage themselves as IPCRI maintains a very open organizational structure. Applicants for a research internship should therefore have a proposal and an external academic tutor.
    • Fundraising. IPCRI is seeking experienced interns to contribute to writing grant applications and extending its network of partners. 
    • Shared internship in collaboration with The Forum for Regional Thinking. This internship gives the opportunity to gain experience in developing projects in a community level together with being a part of an emerging think tank dedicated to Middle East history and politics. 
    • Web designer. IPCRI plans to develop and re-design its website and thus seeks an intern experienced website-hosting platforms.
    • IPCRI is notably, but not exclusively, looking for native Russian speakers.

Applying:

    • To apply for an internship, send your resume, dates of availability, and answers to the two questions below to: office@ipcri.org. Please specify either the position you are applying for or your range of interests.
      • What do you seek to gain from your internship at IPCRI?
      • Which of your qualifications should we keep in mind while evaluating your application?
    • Please keep your answers to both questions under 500 words (total for both).
    • If you have any questions, please feel free to contact: office@ipcri.org