Roughly halfway through the timeframe of the latest round of talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, there is widespread consensus on both sides that the process will lead to nothing. In a new report, Quilliam analyses the reasons for the failure of negotiators to advance, identifying the prioritisation of ideological positions over strategic interests as a key factor in this failure.

After decades of false hope, Israeli and Palestinian public confidence in the possibility of a working solution has reached a new low. Meanwhile, around the world, extremist Islamist groups exploit the hopelessness felt by supporters of the Palestinian cause by presenting the Israel-Palestine conflict as the prime manifestation of the false ‘West versus Islam’ narrative. They propose violence as the only solution in the face of the failure of official representatives to achieve a fair settlement.

This report examines the reasons for which extremist groups have been able to exploit the conflict as a recruiting tool, arguing that giving increased legitimacy to the Palestinians can undermine the salience of the Palestinian question in jihadi discourse. The report also looks at the role that outside powers such as the US have to play in providing impartial mediation in the conflict.

Quilliam emphasises that the pragmatic adoption of strategic interests as the basis for negotiations will lay the foundations for longer term progress towards peace. Maintaining democratic values and supporting the human rights of all citizens in the region are essential to these interests and to challenging extremism worldwide.

Quilliam President Noman Benotman said:

“The question of the Palestinians has always been at the heart of the jihadi narrative. A strong and credible representation which is seen to prioritise pragmatism over ideology can help to break down this violent discourse and lay the ground for a just solution.”

To read the full report, click here.

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