An Alternative to the French Peace Initiative

By Tom Wilson

The French peace proposal risks sidelining the importance of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and at the same time repeating policy errors which are likely to exacerbate tensions further, according to a new report today from the Centre for the New Middle East at The Henry Jackson Society.

The report also sets out how:

  • 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.

To read the full report, click here.


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