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August 11, 2016

An Alternative to the French Peace Initiative: A way forward for Israel and its Arab neighbours

Henry Jackson Society
Tom Wilson

Read the report here

The report’s key observations include:

•    The French proposal risks sidelining the importance of direct negotiations, and at the same time repeating policy errors which are likely to exacerbate tensions further.

•    Washington has signalled its reservations about elements of the French initiative. Britain should now distance itself from this plan, and instead make public moves to promote and strengthen cooperation between pro-Western Middle Eastern powers, including Israel and the Gulf States.

•    Britain’s strong ties with the Gulf States and its good relations with Israel place this country in a unique position to advance the development of the new regional alignment that is beginning to emerge. Such moves toward reconciliation between these countries in a troubled region would advance Britain’s own national interests, both for commercial and diplomatic opportunities in the Middle East, and in terms of security.

•    Today, the threat from Iran is the primary security concern, not only for Israel, but also for many of the region’s most influential Sunni powers. The shared strategic interests created by this threat mean that Israel is now entering into an ever closer alliance with key Sunni neighbours. Managed strategically at the diplomatic level, this shift in relations could subsequently open the way to progress on the Palestinian front.