In conjunction with its partner organisation The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR), ORG convenes meetings which prioritise inclusive strategic thinking. The project provides space for Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and the diaspora and from across the political spectrum to develop policy discussions which help inform and guide the national project. Senior Palestinian political figures remain part of the group, as well as leading academics and thinkers.
You can find the publications of the PSG published on its website. While ORG facilitates the PSG, the group members have ownership over the content of the discussions and any outputs, therefore, positions expressed in any material published by the group do not necessarily represent the views of ORG.
The impact of the PSG has been noted by analysts who reveal that the group were instrumental in developing a more sustainable Palestinian strategy parallel to the struggling peace process.
In his 22 January 2015 analysis after the collapse of the Kerry talks, Zack Beauchamp states:
“The Palestinian narrative points to a broader problem underlying the peace talks: the Palestinian leadership has all but lost faith in the American-led peace process — causing them to instead pursue a strategy that's dramatically different than anything they've attempted in the past 20 years.
The Palestinians have been considering such a move since at least 2008. That year, a group of senior Palestinian political and civil society leaders met to write a report on the peace process under the auspices of the Palestine Strategy Group (PSG) ….
Within roughly a year, the Palestinian Liberation Organization's executive committee began exploring an idea in line with the PSG approach, asking the UN to formally recognize Palestine as a state.”
In 2012 the UN granted Palestine non-member observer state status and today over 70% of UN member states and two non-member states recognise the State of Palestine.
Mandy Turner and Cherine Hussein state in their 2015 publication:
“The publication of a document by [the PSG] in August 2008, the production of which involved many members of the Palestinian political elite (and whose recommendations were studiously discussed at the highest levels of the PA and PLO), showed widespread discontent with the bilateral negotiations framework and suggested ways in which Palestinians could ‘regain the initiative’….A former member of the PLO Negotiation Support Unit told Turner in an interview that Saeb Erekat [chief negotiator for the Palestinian government] often referred to the options outlined in the [PSG] paper [Regaining the Initiative]”.
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The Palestine Strategy Group project is supported by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry; details are available here.
The Palestine Strategy Group project is supported by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry.
Photo credits © Judah Passow
Gabrielle Rifkind is a senior consultant to the Strategic Peacebuilding Programme (fomerly Middle East Programme), which she founded and directed until 2015. She is the Director of the Oxford...
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. ...
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...
Dr Khaled Hroub works as an advisor on Oxford Research Group's (ORG) Strategic Peacebuilding Programme. Khaled is a leading expert on Hamas, Islamic movements and the politics of identity. He teaches...
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...