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.