On Monday 30th November, Forward Thinking, in cooperation with the Menachem Begin Heritage Centre, convened a second conference to explore historical and contemporary peace agreements and their implications for the Israeli-Arab conflict and broader region.

The aim of the conference was to contribute to debates in Israel on how to best initiate aprocess that could lead to a durable resolution to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Due to current Covid-19 public health restrictions, the 2020 conference took place in the form of a series of online roundtables.

25 senior Likud MKs, Ministerial Advisors and officials took part. The conference successfully provided a forum where delegates could take a closer look at some of the many challenges, issues, mistakes and achievements of past and present agreements. By the end of the conference participants had a deeper understanding of the experiences from the Irish peace process; Israel-Egypt, Israel-Jordan and the recently signed Abraham Accords. From an American perspective, delegates better understood the lessons that have been learned and unlearned from past U.S. led peace efforts between Israel and Palestine.

Speakers shared their insights on the need for respect for the other; the ripeness and atmosphere for agreements to take place; the role of bold political leadership; the need for discrete channels of communication and the role of trust in a process.

The speaker’s insights provided an important opportunity for participants to think through their own context as leaders within the Likud party. At the end of the conference, delegates identified a number of themes for further discussion which Forward Thinking will seek to develop in consultation with participants