Regional Approach & The Arab Peace Initiative
The failure of former Secretary of State John Kerry’s effort to negotiate a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on a bilateral basis has strengthened calls for considering a regional approach involving Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Proponents say that upheaval in the region as well as the multilateral nature of economic and resource-related issues create an opportunity for an arrangement built on shared interests. This re-shaped regional map places Israel strategically on the same side as some of its relatively more moderate neighbors who share a common interest in pushing back the tide of extremism sweeping the region.
Even more broadly, the Arab Peace Initiative still provides a potential game-changing template for conflict resolution yielding dividends not just for Israel, but for the region as a whole in trade, commerce, security and more. Given the perception of the weakness of the political leadership on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides and the fact that so many of the issues (security, Jerusalem, refugees) that are on the table actually have regional dimensions, reconceiving the effort to resolve the conflict in a broader regional context seems to us an important new approach to consider.
Accordingly J Street highlights for policymakers the benefits of adopting a regional approach to resolving the conflict and works with partners in Israel and in the Arab world to explore the possibilities of building on the Arab Peace Initiative.