The Middle East Peace Process Beyond Israeli Disengagement

Oxford Think Tank Outlines Reform Priorities for Lasting Peace

(Oxford, 15 August 2005) Recognizing the immense human costs of the conflict and the consistent fragility of the peace process between Israel and Palestine, it is vital that rapid progress now is made on critical reforms to transform the Israeli disengagement from Gaza into all parties' reengagement with the roadmap for peace, says a think tank based at the University of Oxford.

"Ariel Sharon cannot dig in his heels after having pulled out of Gaza but will have to also deal with settlement building in the West Bank, the construction of the Wall, and urban planning policy in and around Jerusalem," says Simon Roughneen, a senior Middle East analyst at the Oxford Council on Good Governance. "At the same time it is equally clear that Mahmoud Abbas must get the Fatah house in order, in particular restructuring and modernizing the security forces to curb the Hamas threat to Israeli citizens," he adds.

"Both the Israelis and the Palestinians still have a long way to go to achieve lasting peace and it is important that they at the current critical juncture receive full support from the EU and the US,” says Roughneen, who has edited a new special issue of the Oxford Journal on Good Governance on the impact of the Israeli disengagement on the Middle East Peace Process, which features contributions from Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Michael Ancram, Naomi Chazan, Yossi Mekelberg, and other leading experts from around the world.

Oxford Journal on Good Governance (PDF)