Between 23rd and 27th July, Forward Thinking facilitated a series of meetings in Belfast and Dublin for a delegation of opinion shapers from the Likud party in Israel.

Across the five days, the delegation held intensive discussions with a number of groups, including Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and Belfast councillors, Senators and Deputies of the Dáil Éireann (TDs), current and former civil servants and diplomats, former members of nationalist and loyalist paramilitaries, victims of the violence, and representatives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). 

Discussions centred on the role of civil society actors, political advisors and negotiators in creating a context for courageous leadership, the importance of a social peace process alongside a political peace process – both before and after a peace agreement has been reached – and the critical need for inclusive dialogue. The discussions were lent particular relevance due to the continued impasse in negotiations to form a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland, and the potential impact of Brexit on the peace process.