Between 20th – 25th April, Forward Thinking facilitated a series of meetings in Dublin, Belfast and London for a delegation of young activists and political advisors from the Israeli Labor party. This visit was organised as part of the Irish Peace Process Programme, an initiative which brings delegations from key constituencies in Israel to Belfast and Dublin to to discuss experiences of the conflict and the subsequent peace process.
Across five days, the delegation held intensive discussions with a number of groups, including representatives from a cross-section of political parties in Northern Ireland, young party activists, academics, former paramilitaries, civil servants and representatives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). The visit concluded with a visit to the Houses of Parliament to meet Fabian Hamilton, Labour MP for Leeds North East.
Discussions centred on interpretations of the meaning of security, the role of political advisors and negotiators in creating a context for courageous leadership, the necessity of a social peace process alongside a political process, and the critical need for inclusive dialogue. The discussions were lent particular relevance due to the impasse in negotiations to form a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland, and the potential impact of Brexit on the peace process.