Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Gershon Baskin, "Who is thinking about the 'day after'?" ICPRI, January 12, 2009

Our lives begin to end when we become silent about something that matters.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

We are writing to you on day 18 of the conflict in Gaza—a time that is once again testing the endurance of those who are committed to the cause of peace. We are Israelis and Palestinians working together for peace, even as this horrific war rages on. We are here, outreaching to you in cities and towns throughout the world, urging you to raise your voice about something that matters vitally to our global health and security.

There are those who say that this latest outbreak of conflict was a “war of no choice” and others who claim that dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution. The war has added to the suffering, the destruction and the death of hundreds of people, including a large number of innocent civilians. There are those who underscore that hundreds of thousands of innocent Israelis have been subjected to the terror of indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza—an unbearable situation that no government could be expected to tolerate. And there are those who focus on the one and a half million Palestinians in Gaza have been subjected to the terror of economic and physical siege—an unbearable situation that no people could be expected to tolerate. Whether or not this war was unavoidable is debatable; what is clear is that this situation is causing intolerable suffering. And that it is the product of short-sighted, ill-conceived policies that lack the long-term traction of a committed strategic planning process.

This war will end. There will be a renewed ceasefire. The international community, the United States, the European Union, neighboring Arab States and others will collaborate to find solutions and restore a relative sense of calm. Our question is this:

Who is thinking about the “Day After”?

IPCRI is thinking about the day after. From the beginning of the breakdown of the ceasefire—three weeks before the war began—IPCRI actively advanced proposals for a renewed ceasefire. IPCRI conducted unofficial talks with local and international leaders; passing messages to intermediaries close to the Hamas leadership, members of the Palestinian Authority, members of the Israeli government, the Egyptian mediator, and senior advisors and officials from the United States, the European Union and the United Nations. Since the launch of the war, IPCRI has worked tirelessly to develop proposals for a comprehensive agreement which would involve both local and international stakeholders in putting and end to the war. With your voice and support, we can continue to involve the international community in these efforts.


IPCRI is a joint Israeli-Palestinian public policy think-tank committed to a two-state solution to the crisis in the Middle East. We translate research into on—the—ground negotiation, policy consulting, peace education and environmental sustainability projects. IPCRI has remained a leader in third sector efforts to advance peace for more than twenty years by continually generating new ideas and adapting to changing realities on the ground. Rooted in a model of Palestinian—Israeli cooperation, we are able to bring a unique analysis of the conflict to the world community. Since the latest outbreak of war, local and international media have been calling on senior staff for interviews five to ten times a day. And perhaps most important, in the dark days of conflict IPCRI is an unwavering source of hope and inspiration.

What is IPCRI doing in response to the current conflict?

IPCRI is currently:

§ Convening Negotiations Support Teams to advise official negotiating teams on how to bridge gaps and reach win-win agreements on permanent status issues, including refugees, borders and security.

§ Advancing long-term strategic policy planning for peace through STAT, IPCRI’s Strategic Thinking and Analysis Team, composed of senior Israeli and Palestinian strategic planning experts.

§ Advancing the development of Israeli—Palestinian cross—boundary business through the Israeli—Palestinian Business Forum (IPBF) created by IPCRI in 2008.

§ Completing the low-cost environmental sanitation project for the Palestinian village Um el-Rehan—a model that uses “constructed wet lands” technology for sewage treatment—and then rolling out efforts to duplicate the system in many other Palestinian rural villages.

§ Convening 25 public meetings to advance public debate and involvement in the Israeli—Palestinian civil society peace process.

§ Producing digitally indexed compendiums for negotiators that will consolidate hundreds of policy proposals and recommendations from think-tanks and research centers around the world.

§ Conducting four peace education conference weekends that bring together up to 200 Israeli, Palestinian and international peace activists and educators.

§ Organizing and convening the Israel—Palestinian—Jordanian International Conference on Our Shared Environment.

§ Conducting the second annual Walk the Green Line, a three-day experiential learning program enabling participants to meet with a range of high level policy makers, experience the land and people, and support IPCRI’s work.

How can you be empowered to bring an end to the conflict?

IPCRI’s supporters make this work possible—bottom line. You advance the agenda outlined above by financially sustaining our work and disseminating alternative ideas for peace and conflict resolution throughout the world. By investing in our work, you directly enable our joint Palestinian—Israeli staff to outreach to hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians anxious to participate in these activities. By investing in IPCRI, you focus attention on the primary national strategic interest of both peoples: to reach a sustainable peace through two states for two peoples. By investing in IPCRI, you put your heart into sustaining hope when it is at its most fragile.

In light of the global economic crisis, IPCRI has taken every possible step to maximize efficiency and streamline our work. We have convened a panel of pro bono consultants to support our skeleton staff in implementing our strategic activities, cut expenses, and developed a financial plan to enhance your contribution with income-generating environmental projects. Through this work, we will be able to fund a great deal of IPCRI’s core expenses.

Please stand with us now—and with the people of Gaza and Southern Israel—to end this conflict and return our focus to building a lasting peace in the Middle East. Now is the time not be silent about something that matters. Now is the time to take action. History shows us that together, we can.

To learn more about IPCRI's history, mission and current work, please visit

Thank you and best wishes for a peaceful 2009,

Gershon Baskin and Hanna Siniora, Co-CEOs

How you can contribute

Online – Click on:

§ One time contributions can be made online with a credit card.

§ You can also make a subscription contribution that will be deducted from your credit card once a month. Please consider making a contribution of $25 a month or more. The subscription contributions provide us with increased stability and enable effective planning.

In the United States

IPCRI is supported by the Friends of IPCRI, USA, a tax deductible registered public charity. Checks can be sent to:

The Friends of IPCRI - USA, Inc.
12675 Coral Lakes Drive
Boynton Beach, Fl 33437
United States of America

In the UK

You can support IPCRI via the British Shalom-Salaam Trust (charity 1103211) by cheque payable to BSST and sent to:

P O Box 39378
London SE13 5WH

Please make sure to indicate “IPCRI” in the memo section of the check.

By bank transfer to HSBC sort code 40-04-15 - account no 11576585 - international bank account number GB22MIDL40041511576585

Please quote your surname, initial and IPCRI

By credit card via CAF (they claim gift aid and deduct 5% of the total) quoting IPCRI in their instruction box.

If paying by credit card or bank transfer, please email with the amount and date, so we can ensure the transaction and allocation are processed correctly.

You can increase your donation by 28% by sending BSST a Gift Aid Declaration.

If you haven't already completed one, please include the declaration with your cheque, or email to "I wish that this and any future donations to the British Shalom-Salaam Trust (charity no 1103211) be treated as gift aid donations until further notice." (Donors should make this declaration only if they pay UK income tax or capital gains tax at least equal to the amount of tax recoverable by the British Shalom-Salaam Trust.) NB your postal address must be included.

From the Rest of the World

Please send a check to:

PO Box 9321
Jerusalem 91092

Gershon Baskin, Ph.D. and Hanna Siniora Co-CEOs, IPCRI
Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information
P.O. Box 9321, Jerusalem 91092

Tel: +972-2-676-9460 Fax: +972-2-676-8011

Cellphone: +972-(0)52-238-1715

Contribute to Peace - Contribute to IPCRI
Recommend this Post

Sphere: Related Content