Conflicts Forum Receives Grant From the European Union

In partnership with The Middle East Policy Initiative Forum and the Oxford Research Group

“From Crisis to Opportunity: Inclusive Approaches to the Arab-Israeli Conflict” - a project funded by the European Union under its Partnership for Peace Programme

We are pleased to announce that the European Union has awarded €500,000 over two years starting in 2007 for a project to help develop more inclusive and legitimate approaches to transforming the Middle East conflict.

“From Crisis to Opportunity” aims to support a new, inclusive approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict by opening consultations among legitimate yet opposed stakeholders through civil society-brokered dialogue, analysis and engagement. The goal is to explore accommodations grounded in real support in the societies. The action will engage rooted elements of Palestinian and Israeli society and stakeholders from the wider region, including faith-based movements. Two workstreams -- one focused on regional dialogue, one on the Israeli-Palestinian arena -- form an integrated programme of research, consultations, publication, workshops and dissemination.

The project is to be overseen by Oxford Research Group (ORG) and delivered in partnership with the Middle East Policy Initiative Forum. It will be led by a strong team of international experts:

Alastair Crooke is Director of Conflicts Forum. Previously he was Security Advisor to Javier Solana, the European Union Head of Foreign and Security Policy and played a key role in negotiating the Palestinian ceasefires of 2002 and 2003.

Mark Perry is Director of Conflicts Forum and has three decades of experience as a military, intelligence and foreign affairs analyst and adviser. He was political director of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and is the author of A Fire in Zion, among many other books.

Gabrielle Rifkind is Human Security Consultant to ORG and Process Director of the Middle East Policy Initiative Forum. She is a group psychotherapist, and initiator, facilitator and mediator of Track II processes including senior policymakers and opinion formers from Europe, the USA, and the Middle East. She co-authored Making Terrorism History with Scilla Elworthy.

Paul Hilder is Policy Director of Middle East Policy Initiative Forum, a founder of openDemocracy.net and senior fellow of the Young Foundation. He has convened high-level processes including the Amman Roundtable on Human Security, co-edited Peace Fire: Fragments from the Israeli-Palestinian Story and wrote ORG’s "Iraqi Liberation report."

Geoffrey Aronson is Director of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is an author and analyst who writes extensively on strategic, diplomatic, defence, trade, environmental, and nuclear issues. He has advised the EU, the World Bank and Canada on Israel-Palestine.

At a sensitive juncture in Middle-Eastern affairs, Conflicts Forum is pleased to be able to participate in this substantial and innovative collaborative initiative.



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