European Parliament, Brussels
19th October 2017
To register for the public conference, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To support us getting local Israeli and Palestinian speakers over to Brussels, please donate here.
Introduction & Rationale
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to have no end in sight. For too long, politics has attempted to shape the people, rather than the people shaping politics. Considering alternative approaches to the transformation and resolution of the conflict remains a political taboo, despite many initiatives on the ground being led by ordinary Palestinians and Israelis in an attempt to find a peaceful and just solution for both peoples.
The event aims to help break this taboo to allow for an open and unconstrained debate that includes a wide variety of local views on the needs that the political organisation of Palestine & Israel should fulfil. There are numerous advocates of different approaches on the most viable organisation of governance, whether in academia, civil society or at grass roots level, and the exchange of ideas is burgeoning. By failing to provide a platform for dialogue, ideas emerging from these sections of society often do not reach the policy debate, whether in Palestine & Israel or at EU level. This is to the detriment of the debate.
With this event, the European Platform for Middle East Dialogue (EPMED) will aim to provide such a platform, allowing actors from various sections of society to present their ideas on this issue. By organising the event in the European Parliament, one of the preeminent international forums for dialogue, the event will have political credibility. EPMED hopes that by empowering local perspectives at EU-level, the EU policy debate on relations with Israel and Palestine can take account of a wider variety of narratives on how to move towards needs-based solutions.
We are joined in this endeavor by PATRIR, the Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania. PATRIR is a member of the PeaceTraining.EU consortium, and was awarded the Luxembourg International Peace Prize for ‘Outstanding Peace Organisation’ on June 30th 2017 in the historic European Parliament in Luxembourg. PATRIR is committed to a world in which conflicts are transformed constructively, through peaceful means in which individuals, communities, countries and local, national, regional and international organisations and actors are empowered to address conflicts effectively, and work together to do so.
The event will be followed by a closed door one day workshop for the local speakers, led by Kai Brand-Jacobsen, Director of Peace Operations at PATRIR.
The workshop will:
- Identify jointly the key challenges, obstacles and difficulties they face; the realities which can make achieving change / impact difficult;
- Identify jointly the strengths and what is being done well / what is being achieved, and opportunities for greater impact;
- Work together on key strategic issues which affect whether they can / will have impact;
- Identify key recommendations and priorities together