This project is based on the idea that the peace process needs a sustainable frame in which the world of conflict resolution intersects with the world of realpolitik. Members of the advisory board would make a serious commitment to keeping the peace process on track whatever the level of violence or provocation in the region. Over time the table could evolve into a semi-permanent forum for the wider region to facilitate cooperation on regional security issues such as water, the environment, the nuclear question and early warning in potential areas of conflict.
The parameters of the political endgame of the Palestine-Israel conflict are well known. What we do not know is how to get there. The international community has an important role to play as a third party in creating the opportunities in which a peace is to be established. The parties involved in the conflict, whilst knowing the political exits, are not in a frame of mind to create a durable peace that serves the interests of all.
The cause of peace has continually been derailed by a series of unilateral, reactionary measures that only serve to deepen cycles of mistrust, hatred and violence. These measures have perhaps often seemed unavoidable. One effective way of mitigating the damage they inflict on the wider narrative of peace-building would be to put in place a mechanism, such as a Semi-Permanent Conference Table, created by the international community that actively maintains a durable peace process involving all the stakeholders in the conflict.
Gabrielle Rifkind is the Director of the Oxford Process programme at Oxford Research Group (ORG), which leads on preventive diplomacy work and high-level mediation. She is a group analyst and...