Thank you for your conitinued support in this important initative! We have made some great strives over the past few months and hope to start impacting Israeli and Palestinian perceptions of the path to peace.
Since the last report update, we have moved from the preparatory stage to the research phase. As of now, four working groups have started to work on their respective areas of focus, which are as follows:
Government and Common Institutions
Citizenship, Residency and Freedom of Movement
Jerusalem and the Holy Sites
Right of Return, Law of Return and Immigration
A fifth working group, focused on the issue of security, is expected to start its work in the foreseeable future. Each of the working groups is comprised of both Israelis and Palestinians. In addition to the working groups, a steering committee coordinating the whole research process was also formed.
Each working group presented research questions addressing its area of focus and provided a general outline of how it aims to answer their topic. Each group also sketched out the research method it plans to apply (e.g. interviews, comparative analysis) as well as the materials, data, reports etc., that it will study during the course of the research. The groups have also provided a short outline concerning other people they plan to cooperate with while conducting their research (e.g. experts in specific fields such as international law).
The working groups are expected to present drafts of their research in October.
So far many meetings have started, including an introductory meeting taht took place in Beit Jala, Bethlehem, on February 6th, 2014, which was attended by a majority of both Israeli and Palestinian members of the working groups. This meeting was followed up by a conference call. Additionally,another conference call between the leaders of the working groups is scheduled for March 20th. As of now, 20 people in the working groups are working on the project.
With your continued support, we look forward to furthering this important research and advocating to both Israelis and Palestinians the importance of a new alternative for a peace plan, which can answer both peoples' needs.
Thank you again for helping fund "Two States in One Space!"
In the past months IPCRI has continuted researching the categories that have been identified in an earlier stage as key components that need to be addressed as part of a potential peace deal. The ten topics include: governance; residence, citizenship and collective rights; borders; the Gaza Strip; economic union; security; Jerusalem; resources and environment; reconciliation; and the region. For each of these categories contextual data has been gathered and questions have been answered that will help guide the work groups in the next phase of the program.
In particular, there has been a lot of focus on the aspect of economic union. For the economic union aspect, an IPCRI teammember thouroughly researched how an economic union could facilitate isuses between Israel and Palestine and what potential stumbling blocks exist in implementing the union. From this research a 10-page report was developed that is in the editing stage and then will be published thorugh our website's publications database and on our social media presence that reaches over 17,000 fans. Additional work completed includes a risk management report that assessed the political dynamics of the region to assess what changes are possible in the near future and how that could affect the project's research and outreach campaign. Through this report we have analyzed how the project as a whole could face challenges in order to prepare us for mitigating these issues if they arise.
IPCRI has received a large donation from a European Embassy for our "Two States in One Space" program. Together with the help of our Global Giving donors we will be able to continue the project full force starting in January 2014 when we will start the first three working groups. This means that they will begin to generate proposals to solve issues relating to establishing two undivided states within a confederative-like framework. Our hypothesis is that such a framework can bridge the differences between the Israeli and Palestinians and is the best option to answer the desire of both peoples for self-determination. There will also be a launch event after the research groups conclude their findings which will be used to influence policy makers and provide a much needed solution that can lead to sustainable regional peace and stability. These three working groups that are currently funded should have conclusions within the coming year.
However, we are still looking for funding to keep our work going as more than half the topics necessary to reserach are still unfunded. This is especially important now during the current peace talks, because the negotiations will include discussions on the ten categories of our project's research.
So far, IPCRI has defined our hypothesis and started working on creating descriptive categories to clearly define our research, making case studies on confederations, and analyzing the current situation using contextual data. Our hypothesis is that a confederative framework solution can bridge the differences between the Israeli and Palestinians and especially between the main two proposals, the one-state and two-state solutions. This bridge can lead to influencing policy and delivering much needed solutions that are realistic and can lead to regional peace and stability. IPCRI has already researched the different components of a potential peace deal that would need to be addressed, which resulted in establishing the 10 categories of the working groups, which include: governance; residence, citizenship and collective rights; borders; the Gaza Strip; economic union; security; Jerusalem; resources and environment; reconciliation; and the region.
From there, IPCRI examined confederations in general. Introductory research on what is a confederation, how it works, where confederations have been used and where they function and where they fail. IPCRI staff has also researched literature pertaining to confederations in general, and in Israel-Palestine specifically. Combined, these materials will support the working groups’ research and analysis to apply a confederative framework within the region. Regarding analyzing the current situation, IPCRI has started background research on the 10 categories for the research. For each of the topics, IPCRI developed an initial list of questions that need to be answered to guide the start of each working group. For two of the topics, IPCRI has researched contextual data about the current Israeli and Palestinian official positions on what a peace deal must contain, popular Israeli and Palestinian sentiment and fears about the issues and the compromises made during the negotiations in 2007, released in the “Palestine Papers” archive. This information was summarized and will be provided to the working groups and later the public to provide background context about both sides.
Thanks to the help of our GlobalGiving donors, we have been able to start the project, but we are still looking for funding to continue our work. This project is especially important now during the current peace talks, because the negotiations will include discussions on the 10 categories of our project's research.
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