© Judah Passow 2002

Middle East

The Middle East Programme facilitates inclusive dialogue, often engaging with groups who sit outside the official diplomatic process, to explore support for the end of conflict. Our work takes realpolitik and the competing forces present in any political process into account. For over a decade, the Middle East Programme at Oxford Research Group has been facilitating high-level and sustained strategic dialogues. 

A hub of best practice, we bring together a community of international experts who share our philosophy to participate in dialogue and contribute to our workshops and policy reports. Our work encourages a deeper appreciation of the causes and drivers of conflict in the Middle East and seeks to challenge established ways of thinking through creative approaches to conflict resolution.

Our work provides spaces in which groups who disagree may begin to build dialogue and find common interests. We firmly believe that in order to contribute to the end of a conflict, we need to understand not just the symptoms - including violence - but where the root causes lie. We seek to identify these root causes by facilitating dialogue that is inclusive of all involved constituencies. Whenever relevant we liaise with governments at the highest political level to increase their awareness of the underlying drivers of conflict and how this needs to shape their policy.

Although the programme supports creating the right conditions for dialogue, it is the communities themselves that advance and own the work. Oxford Research Group facilitates dialogue and encourages the use of conflict resolution methodologies such as strategic scenario planning and managing radical disagreement. These methodologies encourage strategic rational calculations that assist in creating a pathway to the end of conflict.


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Gabrielle Rifkind

Gabrielle Rifkind is the Director of the Middle East programme at Oxford Research Group (ORG). She is a group analyst and specialist in conflict resolution. Gabrielle combines in-depth political...

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Dr Refqa Abu-Remaileh

Refqa Abu-Remaileh works for ORG as a consultant on the Palestine-Israel projects, having worked previously as Middle East Programme Manager. She is an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral...

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Dr Bashir Bashir

Bashir Bashir works with ORG as a consultant on its strategic thinking projects in Israel and Palestine. He is a Research Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, our local partner. ...

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Marzuq Halabi

Marzuq Halabi is the Local Coordinator of the Palestinian Citizens of Israel Group under the Middle East Programme at Oxford Research Group (ORG). He is a journalist, writer, political advisor and...

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Sara Hassan

Sara Hassan is the Programme Manager for Oxford Research Group's (ORG) Middle East programme. Prior to joining ORG, she spent four years as a Middle East Analyst with IHS Global Insight’s country...

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Dr Yonatan Mendel

Yonatan (Yoni) Mendel is the Director of the Israeli Strategic Forum (ISF), a project of Oxford Research Group (ORG). Yoni is the Projects Manager of the Mediterranean Unit at the Van Leer...

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Dr Sharri Plonski

Sharri Plonski is the Coordinator of the the Israeli Strategic Forum (ISF). Sharri is a specialist in Israeli and Palestinian issues and has been a key contributor to our Middle East Programme....

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Professor Oliver Ramsbotham

Oliver Ramsbotham is a Consultant on Oxford Research Group's (ORG) Middle East Programme. He was Chair of the Board from April 2007 until July 2013.

Oliver is a specialist on...

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Professor Paul Rogers

Paul Rogers is Oxford Research Group's (ORG) Global Security Consultant. He has worked in the field of international security, arms control and political violence for over 30 years.


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Ayeisha Thomas-Smith

Ayeisha Thomas-Smith joined ORG in 2015 as a Programme Assistant on the Middle East Programme. Ayeisha has been involved with numerous campaigning and activism projects, and is currently...

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Dr Husam Zomlot

Husam Zomlot is co-founder and co-ordinator of the Palestine Strategy Group. He serves as ambassador at large for the Palestinian government and adjunct professor and co-chair of the School of...

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Lord John Alderdice

Lord Alderdice is a medical doctor, psychiatrist and psychotherapist who has been active in politics since the 1970s. He was a key negotiator of the Good Friday Agreement. He sits as a Liberal...

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Yossi Alpher

Yossi Alpher is Advisor to Oxford Research Group's (ORG) Middle East Programme. He was Co-founder and Co-editor of the bitterlemons.net family of internet publications. Alpher is a former...

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Ahmed Badawi

Ahmed Badawi is Co-founder and Executive Director of TRANSFORM: The Interdisciplinary Centre for Conflict Analysis, Political Development and World Society Research. He was Project Director (Israel/...

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Richard Barrett CMG OBE

After a 30-year career with the British Government that included postings in Canada, Jordan, Turkey, and to the United Nations in New York, Richard Barrett was appointed by the UN Secretary-General...

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Michael Brearley

Michael Brearley is a psychoanalyst. He was a professional cricketer who captained England between 1977 and 1981. He has long had an interest in how to get teams to cohere, and how to deal with...

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Sir Richard Dalton

Sir Richard Dalton is Advisor to Oxford Research Group's (ORG) Middle East team. He was formerly a member of the British Diplomatic Service. Richard Dalton has served as Consul-General in Jerusalem (...

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Brig. Gen. Amira Dotan

From 1965 to 1988, Amira Dotan served in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) finishing as the Head of the Women’s Corps with the rank of Brigadier General, the first woman in the Israeli history to...

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Sir Vincent Fean

Vincent Fean spent 38 years in the British Diplomatic Service, latterly as Ambassador to Libya (2006-10) and Consul-General, Jerusalem (2010-14). Now retired from the Diplomatic Service, he focuses...

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Dr Tony Klug

Tony Klug is a special advisor on the Middle East to the Oxford Research Group and an international board member of the Palestine-Israel Journal. He has written extensively about Arab-Israel...

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Ambassador Daniel C. Kurtzer

Daniel C. Kurtzer holds the S. Daniel Abraham Chair in Middle East Policy Studies at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He served in the United States...

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Nicolas Pelham

Nicolas Pelham is The Economist’s correspondent in Jerusalem. He spent five years as a senior analyst for International Crisis Group, reporting on Iraq, Lebanon and Israel/Palestine, and covered...

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Giandomenico (Gianni) Picco

Gianni Picco is Consultant and Advisor to Oxford Research Group (ORG). He worked for some 20 years (1973-92) at the United Nations. Gianni Picco led the task force which secured the cease-fire...

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Sir Malcolm Rifkind

Sir Malcolm Rifkind served in the Foreign Office from 1982-86 as a Minister of State and from 1995-97 as Foreign Secretary. From 1992-95 he was Secretary of State for Defence. He is currently MP for...

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Baron Paul von Maltzahn

Paul von Maltzahn, born 1945 in Demmin, Pomerania, was raised in Holland. He has read Law and Arabic in Heidelberg, Munich and Hamburg. After having taken his Law Degree 1968 in Hamburg he studied...

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Patrick Wilson

Patrick Wilson is a former Foreign & Commonwealth Office diplomat who specialised predominantly in the politics of the Arab world. In later years he specialised in conflict resolution with the...

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Ofer Zalzberg

Ofer Zalzberg is a Senior Analyst with the International Crisis Group's Middle East and North Africa Program. His current interests and areas of specialisation are the theory and practice of conflict...

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