IPCRI, founded in Jerusalem in 1988, is the only joint Palestinian-Israeli public policy think-tank in the world. It is devoted to developing practical solutions for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.



During these days of crisis IPCRI continues to work diligently in pursuit of opportunities to get the sides back to mutual understanding and respect. IPCRI believes that the sides must resolve their differences through dialogue and negotiations.

Just a few months ago, we were nearer to a peace agreement than ever before. We still believe that there is a tiny window of opportunity that remains open. We call to immediately stop the bloodshed.

Palestinians and Israelis will continue to live in this land. No one will succeed in bringing the other to their knees - we must find the way to live together in peace. We must not lose hope that this is possible. Every Palestinian and every Israeli should express the desire to live for this beloved land.

IPCRI will continue to work for peace. The office of IPCRI remains open during this time and remains a place where Palestinians and Israelis continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder for peace, dignity and understanding.

IPCRI After the Beginning of the Intifada


Israel and the Palestinians have seemed to miss another opportunity for peace.  The Oslo peace process now belongs to history.  The majority of the Israeli and Palestinian publics support military acts by their own side against the other. Almost no one believes that peace is possible.  Most Israelis and Palestinians believe that there is no partner for peace on the other side.

What can and what should an Israeli-Palestinian peace organization do today?
What is our mandate?
 

IPCRI is a joint Israeli-Palestinian think-tank that was founded before there was a peace process.  IPCRI has always worked ahead of the “camp” attempting to set the agenda and to move the process of peacemaking forward.  IPCRI’s main task has not changed:

IPCRI still believes that there must be peace between the people of Israel and the People of Palestine.
  • IPCRI believes that a peace treaty must be signed between the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine.
  • IPCRI believes that peace agreements must be reached between the sides through negotiations.
  • IPCRI believes that international law and United Nations Resolutions as already agreed upon between the sides serve as the basis for negotiations and peace agreements between the sides.
  • IPCRI believes that the people of Israel and the people of Palestine should reach out to each other to create peace between themselves through people-to-people dialogues and coopeative activities.
  • IPCRI believes that leaders must lead and not follow.  IPCRI believes that the leaders of the region have to overcome their differences and return to the negotiating table to resolve all outstanding issues between them.
  • IPCRI believes that peace can only exist through cooperation between the sides.  One-sided unilateral steps taken by either side will not help the process.
  • IPCRI condemns the use of violence by anyone.

According to these principles IPCRI will continue to undertake the following:

  • Educate towards peace.
  • Organize, facilitate, run joint meetings of Israelis and Palestinians in every forum possible.
  • Propose solutions and alternative policies to the decision makers on both sides aimed at making peace.
  • Mediate disputes, environmental and others.
  • Bring Israelis and Palestinians together to think together in sane, rationale and safe forums.






Faisel Husseini



"www.oslo.plo.israel.fact"
What Went Wrong

Oslo . The PLO (PA) . Israel . Some Additional Facts




See Update on IPCRI Activities and Analysis of Current Situation




A Draft Final Status Proclamation


Download IPCRI Publications



Negotiating the Israeli Settlements
The Centrality of the Settlements in the Battle for Peace



The End Game Rules Leading to Peace or to a very Dead End
November 11, 2000



Israeli-Palestinian Discussion on Environmental Issues and Concerns
Run by IPCRI and WeCUP - West Bank Clean Up Project



Conferences and Events of Other Organizations




About IPCRI
How Was IPCRI Born?
IPCRI's History and Lessons
Does All This Talk Really Make A Dent?
Is IPCRI Still Needed?


How Does IPCRI Work?
Exploration and fact-finding
Developing ideas
Personalities and Supporters




WHAT IS IPCRI?

IPCRI, founded in Jerusalem in 1988, is the only joint Palestinian-Israeli public policy think-tank in the world. It is devoted to developing practical solutions for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

IPCRI deals with the cardinal issues in the Israeli-Arab conflict - issues where the two sides find themselves at loggerheads, and where cooperation is necessary.

We concern ourselves with all the major stumbling blocks that divide Israelis and Palestinians:



* What is the nature of the final status agreement that the two sides must reach - two states, confederal and power-sharing arrangements, links with Jordan etc.

* Where should the borders between the two entities be drawn?

* How to solve the intractable question of Jerusalem, the Holy City claimed by two nations and three monotheistic religions?

* What should happen to Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip?

* How to guarantee the physical security of Israeli and Palestinian citizens against violence perpetrated by extremist opponents of the peace process on both sides?

* How to stimulate the economic development of the Palestinian territories in a way beneficial to both sides?

* How to solve the dearth of domestic, agricultural and industrial water for in our area?

* How to protect our vulnerable environment?

* How to educate two traumatized nations toward peaceful coexistence?


IPCRI's approach is both head-on and hands-on:

* confront the issues

* propose a variety of alternative solutions

* forward these to the responsible quarters

* stimulate their discussion both among experts and among the public.



We believe that the dilemmas must be agressively confronted and not postponed. IPCRI concentrates both on process and final outcome. IPCRI is not itself committed to any specific outcome; we do prefer solutions entailing equality between parties, cooperation, reciprocity of obligations and benefits - in a word, solutions that move the peace process as a whole forward.




A group of Israelis and Palestinians at an IPCRI Final Status Meeting
Cyprus, May 2000



HOW WAS IPCRI BORN?

The idea of IPCRI was born in 1988 at the onset of the intifada, the Palestinian uprising. Building bridges of communication between Israeli and Palestinian intellectuals became more urgent than ever. A need was felt for the creation of an organization that would squarely address the issue: how to bring about a peace process that will satisfy both the Palestinians' legitimate right of self-determination and Israel's equally legitimate security concerns. The cause of peace would be best served if some party could reach policy makers and decision makers on both sides ... and have concrete approaches ready. This is why IPCRI was established.



BUT DOES ALL THIS TALK REALLY MAKE A DENT?


Starting with the discreet blessing of a number of Israeli and PLO leaders, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators and specialists tested new ideas through IPCRI - and discovered new areas of agreement! Influence may be hard to measure, yet IPCRI is proud of its achievements. Security specialists convening under our auspices stimulated the opening of the Oslo channel. Informal "pre-negotiation" in IPCRI's economy roundtable contributed to liberalizing Israel's economic policy in the West Bank. IPCRI's water master plan is considered at the bilateral and multilateral negotiations. IPCRI helped develop new policies with regard to the liberalization of freedom of movement for Palestinian laborers and merchants. IPCRI conducted the first ever major study assessing the needs and desires of the Palestinian refugees in camps throughout the West Bank and Gaza. IPCRI conducted the first ever joint training course for Palestinian and Israeli police officers. IPCRI developed together with Palestinian and Israeli environmental official a "priority list" of important environment projects. There are many more - often intangible - areas where IPCRI has made its voice heard. IPCRI has the ear of those whose opinion counts.



IS IPCRI STILL NEEDED?

Since 1993 Israel and the Palestinians are negotiating at an official level. Ultimately, solutions must be decided upon in a diplomatic process. But IPCRI's work is now more important than ever. The signature under official agreements is but the tip of the iceberg. It is preceded by much, often informal, preparation. Israeli-PLO talks continue to reveal fresh areas of disagreement. A host of practical problems await solution. Many sensitive topics - from the new Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem to the received truths in history schoolbooks - have hardly yet been touched. IPCRI's contribution remains indispensable.



Dr. Zakaria al Qaq, IPCRI Co-Director

HOW DOES IPCRI WORK?


Peace with justice for all sides, economic prosperity together with respect for human rights, dialogue with tolerance of diversity - that is the vision that inspires IPCRI. But these ideals can only be turned into reality by perseverance, hard work, and sober thinking. Steadfastness of purpose must be met with a willingness for pragmatic compromise. IPCRI combines the heart with the head.

Here's how :

Exploration and fact-finding

Whether to collect facts, compare situations, prepare activities, IPCRI staff or commissioned experts go out in the field to gather their data. Pollution measurements, unemployment figures, opinion polls ... all are grist to IPCRI's mill. We have had our staff compare different elections systems, sent a mission of prominent Jerusalemites to see how coexistence works in Brussels, and went to Jordan preparing for business cooperation. IPCRI has six departments working in a broad range of fields.

1. The Strategic Analysis Department - (SAU) deals with final status issues such as: the future Israeli settlements, security, sovereignty, borders, the future of Jerusalem, and the refugees issue.

2. The Law and Development Department (L&D;) deals with issues of civil society and commercial law reform and the economic relations between the sides.

3. The Environment and Water Department (E&W;) deals with issues such as land and water pollution, transportation policy, use of pesticides, other public health issues and the allocation of water.

4. The Pathways Into Reconciliation Department (PIR) . This is a multinational peace education project, teaching skills to defuse, manage, and solve conflicts and educate towards universal values of peace, human rights and tolerance as well as conflict-solving skills.

5. JEMS - Joint Environmental Mediation Services. JEMS is IPCRI's newest initiative. JEMS is a joint project of IPCRI and CBI - the Consensus Building Institute. JEMS aims to introduce the techniques of environmental conflict resolution to the Palestinian Territories (West Bank and Gaza) and to Israel. JEMS will train teams of Palestinian and Israeli practitioners in these techniques; and will develop an institution that can provide mediation services on an ongoing basis to Israelis and Palestinians engaged in environment-related disputes, particularly in border areas.


Link to CBI



Dr. Gershon Baskin, IPCRI Co-Director



Developing ideas

IPCRI's approach is practical and realistic. We generate - as much as we help others generate - alternative solutions. IPCRI produces ideas, and provides a safe forum for Israeli and Palestinian experts, policy advisers, etc. to engage in creative problem solving - exploring options and outlining solutions. Participants are encouraged to discover mutual interests. They are challenged to bring to fruition the living solutions that lie waiting underneath the old antagonisms. IPCRI works mostly in the following ways :

• Roundtables: ongoing, periodic dialogues between Israeli and Palestinian experts in seven specialized fields: economic cooperation, water management, environment, the future of Jerusalem, civil society, collective identities, and business law.

• Conferences : IPCRI conferences have been held in Jerusalem, Taba, Cairo, London, Oxford, Turkey, Gaza, and elsewhere on topics like : water management, Jerusalem, regional tourism, industrialization, environment, civil society, business law, hospital waste management, agricultural trade, the future of the Israeli settlements, security and strategic planning, Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian Trade agreements, and more.

• Commissioned research has reached the interested public in a whole gamut of useful publications, ranging from labor migration in the Middle East to the strategic choices facing Palestinian negotiators, and from our regional water master plan to models for confederation.

• Library and database filled with publications, periodicals and news-clippings on the Palestinian territories, the Peace Process, economics and peace, Jerusalem, environment and water, settlements, refugees, security, tourism, and agriculture.

Outreach Most often results are directly channelled to the appropriate authorities, and sometimes, where useful, to the general public. IPCRI has come out with detailed, pragmatic and implementable proposals about the future of Jerusalem, solving the dearth of water, coping with internal security challenges, trade arrangements, investment legislation, and much more. A host of material has found its way into our publications. IPCRI follows current events, and offers the leadership of both sides running comment, analysis and recommendations. IPCRI regularly participates in conferences and activities of other think-tanks. At other times, we ourselves initiate high-level meetings to foster agreement, and will do some quiet lobbying.





IPCRI is small, but influential. A cross-section of our participants shows a mix of high-level individuals with direct access to decision makers on both sides. IPCRI is also in permanent contact with the diplomatic community of all countries that deal with the Middle East peace process. While IPCRI's past work has been mainly low-profile, our public outreach is growing.

Israelis and Palestinians have to live together and there will always be a role for an NGO which encourages creative cooperations between them.

The History and Lessons from IPCRI's Establishment




The IPCRI Logo




"In the land of Israel the Jewish
people was born, its spiritual,
religious and national identity was
formed..."
The left page reproduces the
first sentence from the Israeli
Declaration of Independence
(1948).
"Palestine, the land of three
monotheistic faiths, is where the
Palestinian Arab people was born,
on which it grew, developed and
excelled..."
The right page reproduces the first sentence
from the Palestinian Declaration of
Independence (1988).



If you have any questions or comments, we can be reached:

If you have any questions or comments, we can be reached:

By Phone:
972-2-676-9460

By Fax:
972-2-676-8011

By E-Mail:
IPCRI Main Email Address
Email for Gershon Baskin
Email for Zakaria al Qaq
IPCRI Peace Education Program
IPCRI Environmental Program


By Snail Mail:
P.O. Box 9321 Jerusalem 91092, Israel

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This page was last updated April 2001