The promise and failure of palestinian-israeli

In the early days of the Oslo peace process, numerous activists in the peace and environmental camps in Israel and the Palestinian Authority called for the creation of joint non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to confront the region’s environmental ills. Such groups are often the largest, best-funded environmental organizations in the Palestinian Authority. Yet they have faced serious challenges of legitimacy, even prior to the current intifada, and have been largely unable to survive conflictual periods with their mandates and organizations intact. This study examines a number of such joint environmental NGOs, assesses their responses to the decline in the peace process, and discusses the failure implicit in the strategy of approaching environmental cooperation primarily as a vehicle for promoting coexistence and peace. Since the founding of the Palestinian during a period of relative calm in the Middle Authority, there has been a proliferation of non- East, but widespread disillusionment with the governmental organizations (NGOs) operating peace process amongst many Palestinians. During this time period, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak met with Palestinian environmental activism, education, and policy Authority President Yasir Arafat in Camp David, under the auspices of the United States, experiences of environmental NGOs in two in an attempt to reach a settlement on the Final Status of Israeli-Palestinian relations. With the building: First, in their contribution to failure of these negotiations, the political and institution-building and policy-making in the security climate deteriorated, with open environmental sector within the Palestinian hostilities breaking out in September 2000 in a Authority. Second, their relationship to the new intifada. Since then, the economic and larger process of expanding civil liberties, societal conditions for Palestinians, particularly developing a functional model of participatory but not exclusively in Gaza, have fallen politics, and furthering Palestinian civil society. precipitously, and the PA itself is in grave This paper argues that while environmental financial difficulty, with severely limited NGOs have recorded small but substantive capacity for governance in many sectors.(1) achievements in civic education and capacity- Perhaps the most interesting environmental building for environmental protection, they NGOs operating in the West Bank and Gaza and forming relationships with the Palestinian participatory policymaking in the Palestinian Authority are binational (Israeli-Palestinian) or This assessment of professional successes indigenous Palestinian organizations in size, and political failures is based on interviews and site visits within the Palestinian Authority and international networks of researchers, policy Israeli-controlled East Jerusalem during summer 2000. Those visits were conducted Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 4 (December 2001) This article examines four NGOs with joint for cooperation on the environment. This Israeli and Palestinian constituencies. All are applied similarly for a range of development funded mostly from the Israeli side or from and aid initiatives, as relayed in one mournful international partners, although all except the anecdote in a Washington Post article. Arava Institute for Environmental Studies claim to be equally Israeli and Palestinian in their orientation and focus. The Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information and its affiliated Joint Environmental Mediation countries that it needed $3.9 million in Service, the Palestinian-Israeli Environmental Secretariat, and Friends of the Earth-Middle East are all geographically located within the West Bank or East Jerusalem in areas claimed by the Palestinians. Despite that fact, they are people per se,” said one aid official, identified mostly with their Israeli and international donors and partners and face subsequent challenges of legitimacy. All conduct their work primarily in English, the language of Israeli-Palestinian relations, and all During the most idealistic periods, when interruption to the Oslo process in the intifada the Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information hosted its first “Our Shared Environment” conferences, speakers were THE DANGER OF PROMOTING
forthright about the attractiveness of linking ENVIRONMENTALISM AS A PROXY
environmentalism to the process of building FOR THE PEACE PROCESS
peace and mutual tolerance. Robin Twite of IPCRI opened the first volume of Our Shared Bethlehem University, “PNGOs [Palestinian Environment with the following call: NGOs] formed before and during the [original] intifada have tended to be characterized by a sense of strong ideology and activism. PNGOs established with the signing of the Oslo Accords are perceived to be a function of the new political process. PNGOs with a strong sense of ideology tended to survive better and be more effective than those organizations that were contingent on the peace process.”(2) Hassassian’s warning applies a hundredfold for closely together if they are to achieve a those Israeli-Palestinian cooperative NGOs that sprung up in the early-middle 1990s during the most optimistic periods of the peace process. environmental field, but also in the business, health, and social welfare sectors. During the This attitude has dominated much of the early 1990s, Israeli-Palestinian cooperation on the environment was viewed as a helpful proxy for supporting the peace process, and when the Indeed, the plenary session in the 1995 IPRCI peace process withered, so did donor support Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 4 (December 2001) Promise and Failure: Environmental NGOs and Palestinian-Israeli Cooperation (PCH) and the Israel Economic Cooperation International Understanding and Cooperation in the Middle East.” Yet there is a crucial and institutions, with whom it shares office space perhaps deadly counterpoint to this perception. in the East Jerusalem suburb of Wadi Joz. If donors and participants see environmental promoting coexistence and peace, then when national healthcare strategy. In a striking the peace process fails, where does that leave example of Palestinian “embryonism,” nine of the environment? As numerous writings argue, its ten units were eventually recruited into the it has been in crisis since the new intifada new Palestinian Ministry of Health.(6) The began.(5) In conversations, many activists original policy unit is all that remains of PCH working in binational NGOs regretted their as an independent NGO.(7) The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), the flow of the peace process, but few seemed able oldest environmental organization in Israel, is to suggest alternatives. With one notable exception, all the binational environmental PIES depicts joint environmental projects as a means of promoting reconciliation and afterglow of the signing of the Declaration of Principles, when the environment was viewed environmental education and the industrial sector, based on existing networks from the Palestinians could rally together. Since that Economic Cooperation Forum. PIES intends to time, the appeal of cooperative environmental serve as a meeting-place for Israeli and Palestinian environmental NGOs and speaks On the surface, there is a natural attraction to environmental issues as a means of drawing independent Palestinian NGOs, as well as Israeli and Palestinian communities together. other business and government contacts in the As the title of the IPRCI conference noted, environmental field. Like most binational environmental benefits and risks are shared NGOs, PIES has an Israeli and a Palestinian between communities and across borders. It is co-director. In an interview, co-director Imad as impossible for Israelis to draw a curtain Khatib initially described relations with both over Tel Aviv to prevent transboundary air pollution as it is for Palestinians to stop the said that PIES always works with Palestinian and Israeli NGOs to recruit participants for its wastewater into pre-1967 Israel. Around the activities.(8) A major focus of PIES’s work is world, environmentalists call for collective the transfer of expertise and technical skills to responses to transboundary environmental the Palestinian environmental community from threats. These same appeals that motivate the world’s environmental activists—a common While describing governmental relations as ecological heritage facing common threats— generally good, he acknowledged that PIES had registered officially as an NGO neither in Israel nor in the Palestinian Authority. He said PALESTINIAN-ISRAELI
the process was agonizingly slow in the former ENVIRONMENTAL SECRETARIAT
and no clear law existed in the latter. For example, at the time of the interview, the Secretariat (PIES) is the product of binational Palestinian Ministry of Interior was registering cooperation in two other fields, health and economic development. Formed in 1997, PIES international NGOs, but not binational NGOs. is a project of the Palestine Council on Health Khatib was sympathetic to the PA’s need to Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 4 (December 2001) develop institutions, but frustrated by the ISRAEL-PALESTINE CENTER FOR
inability to progress and the existing NGO RESEARCH AND INFORMATION/JOINT
law. Due to these bureaucratic difficulties, ENVIRONMENTAL MEDIATION
PIES was contemplating registering overseas, SERVICE(11)
presumably in the United States, instead of Research and Information, has unusual stature The difficulty of registering has more than symbolic significance. Many of the world’s binational NGOs were formed in the early most prominent international environmental 1990s following the Madrid and Oslo Accords, IPCRI was formed during the worst days of International and the World Wide Fund for the intifada in 1988, before the peace process Nature (WWF) have partnerships only with existed. In its literature, IPCRI draws an registered organizations. While Khatib boasted explicit contrast between it and similar of PIES’s solid relations with the Royal organizations that arose after the Declaration Society for the Conservation of Nature in Jordan, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in Switzerland, these ties were on a personal, not institutional, level. Most of the initial funding for PIES came from the Dutch Representative Office in Ramallah. In the first year of operations, in addition to organizations and institutions, academic the initial support of Dutch seed money, PIES Swiss, South African, Norwegian, Canadian and Irish governments, as well as prominent liberal pro-peace Jewish philanthropies in the assassination and the election of a right- Despite the high levels of political and financial support that PIES has enjoyed, Khatib stressed the uncertainty of the future of PIES’ work, when interviewed during the Camp David negotiations between Barak and difficult period IPCRI’s agenda swelled Arafat. “Politics interfere with every aspect of with new initiatives as did its legitimacy our lives,” he said, stressing the vulnerability in the eyes of the Israeli and Palestinian vicissitudes of security concerns.(10) This vulnerability is noteworthy because PIES’s Based originally in East Jerusalem, IPCRI two honorary co-presidents were Leah Rabin, relocated to Bethlehem after the Palestinian widow of the former prime minister, and Dr. Authority assumed control of the city. IPCRI’s Fathi Arafat, brother of Yasir Arafat. If an two co-directors are American-born Israeli Dr. institution with the funding and political Gershon Baskin and Palestinian Dr. Zakaria al- Qaq, with additional staff and management for vulnerability of its work to political crisis, it its five divisions of operations: Strategic bodes poorly for NGOs with less prominent or Affairs, Peace Intelligence, Pathways Into Reconciliation, Law and Development, and Water and Environment. With this varied range of activities, IPCRI is engaged in Israeli- Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 4 (December 2001) Promise and Failure: Environmental NGOs and Palestinian-Israeli Cooperation Palestinian research and dialogue from the level high profile with its Our Shared Environment of high school peace education classes to off- seminars and workshops, and benefited from the-record workshops with senior Israeli and high levels of cooperation with leading Israeli Palestinian legislators and military personnel. and Palestinian researchers and activists. Its range of publications covers such fields as Laskier credits this initial effort for raising civil society, the future borders of Jerusalem, awareness both domestically and internationally economic development and cooperation, and religion in public life. The breadth of IPCRI’s environment.(14) The range of IPCRI-affiliated activities runs from such seminars to training Palestinian and Israeli governments, as well as programs in solid waste or nature reserve makes IPCRI’s role a significant one in its activities are at the policy and training level, At the time of its foundation, IPRCI stated with the goal of developing capacity in a range of management issues. IPCRI operates at an institutional rather than implementational level, • IPCRI would be established as a fully joint with participants from environmental NGOs, organization based on equal partnership and business leaders and ministries, but does participate in some implementation activities, • IPCRI would be managed by two directors - such as a wastewater project in Hebron.(15) 1 Israeli, 1 Palestinian and on the basis of • IPCRI would have a Board of Directors environmental initiative, in cooperation with comprised of equal numbers of Israelis and the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) of Palestinians, with two Chairmen, 1 Israeli introduce the techniques of environmental • IPCRI's work would be constructive in conflict resolution to the Middle East by nature, aimed at proposing political policy training Palestinians and Israelis. Its goal is to • IPCRI would direct itself at enlisting the support and the involvement of people from prevent political and cultural conflicts from the center of both societies and not from the exacerbating environmental disputes—and vice-versa. The project is funded by the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, a major funder of IPCRI has kept these principles at the fore, environmental projects worldwide, and training while acknowledging greater ease on garnering has begun with ten Israeli and ten Palestinian support and participation from the Israeli side participants despite the intifada. The training than the Palestinian. IPRCI has the unusual sessions led by CBI’s Dr. Lawrence Susskind distinction of registration both in Israel and the took place in Turkey in December 2000, which PA, having been “grandfathered in,” despite the illustrates the need to set binational activities general Palestinian unwillingness to registering outside the context of the conflict. While training has occurred, JEMS’s pilot mediation program, founded in 1992, is directed by Robin Jerusalem-Ramallah road and joint sewage Twite, O.B.E., a Briton who has spent much of management in the Qalqilya (PA)-Kfar Saba his life in Israel. The program began with a Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 4 (December 2001) significantly from other chapters. While program and JEMS continue to operate during national chapters are usually founded when the intifada can be seen as cause for optimism, local environmentalists agree to campaign but on a very basic level its work has been together on crucial issues, FoEME developed severely curtailed. The office which houses the from Bromburg’s initiative to create an organization in Bethlehem is often closed umbrella organization operating regionally. because it is on the main Jerusalem-Bethlehem According to Paul Wapner, FoE’s global road near border police stations, and clashes are structure is confederational, with individual frequent. As a result, IPCRI has relocated to the policies, funding priorities, and so on. They are Institute, in Area C (full Israeli control) bound to the global organization “only in name and orientation,” and frequently join FoE- Palestinian staff members cannot always cross International only after years of independent borders to attend meetings or do research, and operation on the local or regional level. Groups the necessity of training JEMS participants that apply for membership are reviewed and overseas is indicative of the stress that the then put on a one-year-long probation period While there are options to conduct business electronically via e-mail and the telephone, FoEME is registered in the United States as much of IPCRI’s mission can be characterized a 501(c)3 non-profit, due to the difficulties of by the wish for Israelis and Palestinians to work registration in Israel and the Palestinian together cooperatively and develop productive Authority. Most of its funding is from Western ties. Nonetheless, staff of CBI and IPCRI report consulates and representative offices, and pro- that JEMS has taken off successfully, and other peace Jewish groups in the United States. Additional supporters include European and environmental community confirm that IPCRI and JEMS stand almost alone in that regard range of peace groups. Palestinian co-director Anis Salah says that EcoPeace originally presented its mission as “support[ing] peace FRIENDS OF THE EARTH-MIDDLE
through environmental issues,” a portrayal that quickly became unsustainable as the peace process sputtered. Following the transformation founded by South African-born Israeli Gideon environmental forums (FoE-International, the binational NGOs described above, FoEME is a four-nation partnership of Israelis, Palestinians, Egyptians and Jordanians, headquartered in became more central to FoEME’s mission.(18) FoEME’s objectives include strengthening EcoPeace, as it was first known, was the first- ever umbrella organization comprising such a governments, assessing the transboundary membership, and its peak had more than 200 environmental implications of development partner organizations. In 1998, EcoPeace projects, forging a common environmental became the Middle East chapter of Friends of agenda among NGOs, information collection the Earth-International, the world’s largest development and peace in the region.(19) Some particular projects include renewable energy chapter that operates on a regional rather than “solar villages,” a regional development plan national level, and its formation differs for the Dead Sea basin, a sustainable tourism Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 4 (December 2001) Promise and Failure: Environmental NGOs and Palestinian-Israeli Cooperation initiative in the Gulf of Aqaba, and research on ceased, as Arab professionals who cooperate the environmental implications of trade and with Israelis are blacklisted and boycotted. According to Salah, interviewed at FoEME’s ARAVA INSTITUTE FOR
East Jerusalem office, FoEME is trying to ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
define new links between funding agencies and the Ministry of Environmental Affairs, via the Studies (AIES), housed in a kibbutz in the southern deserts of Israel, qualifies for NGOs. Salah described this World Bank forum inclusion here only because of its key role in educating Palestinian environmentalists. greatest impact on PA policies, because their AIES’s board of directors and staff are all either Israeli or American, its registration as an NGO At the time of the interview, Salah described both NGOs and MEnA as “in a good mood” registration as well), and its program of about cooperation in a range of implementation instruction is in English. Since 1996 a mixed sectors, although Salah regretted that the class of Israeli Jews and Arabs, Palestinians, ministry had developed all its regulations from Easterners have been taught a wide curriculum participation.(21) Salah repeated the frequent of graduate-level environmental science, claim that his NGO’s relations to MEnA and management, law, policy and ethics in the other ministries were dependent on personal kibbutz overlooking the Jordanian border. connections, rather than a solid institutional Given its unique location, among its academic specialties are coral reef management in the Assembly is open to all regional environmental Gulf of Aqaba, sustainable agriculture, and NGOs, which vote on core priorities for the desert ecology. With a student body of around 30-40 students per semester, AIES has taken its secretariat to implement policy. The secretariat classes on field trips through Israel, the and staff conduct most activities, while Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Sinai.(23) informing and consulting with member NGOs. intifada. “We don’t see any public activity environmental NGOs, including former and taking place—certainly not for the next three current staff on IPCRI, the Hebron-based Rural months and maybe not for the next six months,” said Bromberg in an interview in November FoEME. Indeed, one of the objectives of the 2000.(22) That period will surely be extended Institute is to create a network of trained leaders further in the current political climate. in the environmental field who can conduct a FoEME’s project to declare the Dead Sea basin dialogue across borders in the Middle East, a World Heritage and Biosphere Reserve in the forming a nexus for future cooperation. With United Nations Economic and Social Council the intifada, borders have been closed off to has fallen through, as has its work on a potential Palestinian students and faculty, and Jordanian-Israeli cleanup of the Gulf of Aqaba pressure within Egypt and Jordan has dissuaded and its opposition to a planned USAID funded most students from attending. “We thought about whether we should just cancel the whole Jerusalem office in which this interview took thing,” said program director Miriam Ben- place was closed due to fears of violence and no updates of the FoEME website and or new Founder Dr. Alon Tal, the American-born publications have emerged since early 2000. founder of numerous Israeli environmental Reportedly, all cooperation with Egypt has initiatives, explains that AIES continued Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 4 (December 2001) operation with a smaller student body and Israeli environmental policy NGOs. The Arava community, a previously under-served sector, Center, for example, has completed studies on but that funding from pro-peace NGOs in North America and Israel has fallen precipitously.(25) Tal has also launched the Arava Center for recognition that Israel’s own environment has environmental policy concerns of the developed languished despite high degrees of funding and awareness. The Center has completed eight development-oriented environmental problems projects under contract to public and semi- like access to clean water and adequate grain, public agencies, including the Israeli Ministries have been solved within Israel, even though this of Environment and Health and the Jewish environmentalism has developed along similar INHERENT PROBLEMS FOR paths and with similar influences as European
COOPERATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL and American predecessors, with partial
successes and numerous failures.(28) Israeli LEGITIMACY IN THE PALESTINIAN
sizable enough constituencies to have true As the discussion in this article indicates, impacts on policy. Few Israeli environmental cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians in NGOs concentrate on environmental justice, the environmental sector began with great basic environmental education, or development, optimism in the early and middle 1990s, but has which limits their ability to find common fallen sharply in the current political climate. ground with Palestinian colleagues for whom The vulnerability to outside political and security crisis is clear, and indeed has been so As long as the Israeli-Palestinian disparity in since previous crises during the Netanyahu prosperity and living conditions continues to administration and conflicts over Hebron and widen, it will remain difficult for Israeli and the Israeli tunnel along the Tunnel Mount. Palestinian environmental NGOs to develop During all these periods, binational cooperation has been severely curtailed, but has always environmental protection vis-à-vis development, recovered. The current intifada may follow a there are special concerns frequently noted in similar pattern, but in the death toll, economic the difficulties of cooperation between NGOs in dislocation, and political hostility, it seems the developed and developing world. Lawrence Susskind discusses the “North-South split” as one of the three serious obstacles to global binational NGO cooperation is staggeringly cooperation on the environment, along with vulnerable to renewed hostility between Israel sovereignty and the need to find adequate and the Palestinian Authority lies a more deep- incentives to conserve.(29) Although he stresses that “unofficials” including the non- cooperative environmental ventures. The two governmental community have key roles to play political entities are at such different levels of in the international environmental treaty system, Susskind primarily addresses state-to-state education that priorities in one sector are likely relations and international organizations. But to be discounted or ignored in the other. Cases related differences between developed-world can be seen in the work of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, the Arava Center for similar difficulties. Environmental NGOs in the Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 4 (December 2001) Promise and Failure: Environmental NGOs and Palestinian-Israeli Cooperation developed world are characterized as principally IPCRI’s Our Shared Environment conferences, concerned about biological diversity, climate Arava Institute alumni networks, and FoEME’s change, endangered species of animals and general secretariat of regional environmental plants, or diffuse global concerns, while NGOs in the developing world frequently advocate on invaluable roles in linking professionals and issues of displacement of indigenous people, destruction of livelihoods, erosion or loss of agricultural land, urban air pollution, shortages When the peace process falters, however, all these forums in which environmental networks can be created have collapsed. The fundamental But while disparities between the “North” problem is the shaky legitimacy within the and “South” are easy to conceptualize, albeit Palestinian Authority of cooperative NGOs simplistically, they are rarely as pronounced, whose funding and direction emerge from Israel visible, or in such close proximity as in Israel or Jewish sources. It is notable that IPCRI, and Palestine. Impoverished rural Palestinian FoEME, and the originating institutions for villages with inadequate water or sewage sit a PIES were formed by Israelis or international few kilometers across the Green Line from well- supporters of the peace process, rather than tended, prosperous Israeli towns. Under such Palestinians. While all the aforementioned conditions, even the most well-meaning NGOs, organizations have Palestinian co-directors and wishing to cooperate to mutual benefit, are staffing, they have never been seen as wholly likely to reach profoundly different conclusions legitimate in the Palestinian Authority or on environmental or development priorities. among the general Palestinian population. Other difficulties that are likely to arise Comparing the relative abilities of solely- between Israeli and Palestinian NGOs include Palestinian think tanks and environmental management structures and funding. According advocacy groups, these binational groups fail in to Nitza Nachmias and Amiram Bogot, Israeli NGOs are heavily dependent on state funding political strife, as the intifada makes abundantly via allocations or contract vehicles, and stake out policy issue areas or provide social services Most recently, word has emerged that the as “franchises” for the state, whereas Palestinian NGOs provide the bulk of social actively worked to make life difficult for NGOs services instead of the PA, with funding from outside donors.(31) They see similarity between According to Gershon Baskin of IPCRI, the Israeli and Palestinian NGOs only in the realm Minister of NGO Affairs is “actually leading of advocacy for rights or empowerment. These the battle against joint activities, and differences in structure, organization, audience, Palestinian institutions that engage in such activities are targeted for punishment and challenges for Israeli and Palestinian NGOs boycott.”(32) The recent track record of attempting to cooperate in the environmental field, and for those binational NGOs with joint fundamental unsustainability of the current model for binational cooperation, especially as The final factor that emerges throughout the political strife exacerbates differences in discussion of binational NGOs is the struggle environmental and developmental priorities. for legitimacy in Palestinian affairs. When relations have been generally positive and the CONCLUSION
peace process has advanced, binational NGOs Binational and cooperative environmental have played leading roles in bringing together NGOs, formed with great fanfare and abundant leading scholars, advocates and policymakers. funding in the post-Oslo period, have proven Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 4 (December 2001) severely vulnerable to downturns in the peace and professional and academic cooperation on process. While they recorded notable initial policy, may be more effective than trying to successes in developing much-needed arenas jointly develop environmental management for networking for environmental professional and advocates, these NGOs have been less capable of jointly implementing projects, and *Michael Zwirn is an environmental policy their work in the Palestinian Authority is analyst with longstanding interest in subject to continual struggles for political conservation and sustainable development in legitimacy. Most binational NGOs have given the Middle East. He holds a master's degree in up on registering officially in the PA, and their International Environment and Resource Policy ability to influence Palestinian policy suffers from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and was a These difficulties can be blamed generally student at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel during its first year of cooperation to continue during political and operation in 1996-1997. In summer 2000, he military strife, but background issues also worked in the environmental program of the contribute to the faltering success. The Israel/Palestine Center for Research and environmental priorities of Israeli Information. He resides in Portland, Oregon. environmentalists may appear irrelevant or abstract to Palestinian activists, who must address more fundamental development needs. 1. Copans, Laurie. "Palestinian Authority The meeting grounds for Israeli-Palestinian Disintegrating, US Envoy Warns." Associated projects have frequently been ecosystem and biodiversity issues, which provide ample 2. Hassassian, Manuel. Speech given June 29, opportunities for environmental education, but do not meet the basic environmental needs of (editors). The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Peace-Building Between Additionally, the different funding systems and Palestinians and Israelis. PRIME, Beit Jala, structures of Israeli and Palestinian NGOs may play a contributory role to the difficulties of 3. Hockstader, Lee. "Sanctions Suffocating binational NGOs or cooperative ventures in Gaza Fragile Economy."Washington Post, The success of such NGOs in the future will 4. Twite, "Toward a Common Future," in Twite likely depend on the creation of lasting and Menczel, Our Shared Environment, institutional and personal ties between Israeli and Palestinian environmentalists, like those 5. Hausman, Tamar. "Environment Also created through IPCRI’s conferences, FoEME’s Intifada Victim" and "Eco Think Tank Fills secretariat of NGOs, and the Arava Institute’s State Gap," Ha’Aretz (English edition), January 12, 2001. See also Palestinian Ministry of maintained and cultivated vigorously in order Environmental Affairs (MEnA). "The Impact of to withstand the security and political crises the On Going Israeli Military Aggression On that erupt all too frequently. It does not seem Health and Environment in Palestine." likely that Israeli and Palestinian NGOs will have the same priorities in environmental 6. The notion of "embryonism," refers to the management priorities, however, due to the vast expectation that alternative organs of power— disparity in wealth and development. For that universities, newspapers, municipal councils, reason, a wise allocation of efforts favoring banking cooperatives, plus social service binational awareness and education campaigns, Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 4 (December 2001) Promise and Failure: Environmental NGOs and Palestinian-Israeli Cooperation occupation to further Palestinian identity and 17. Wapner, Paul. Environmental Activism and meet collective social needs. In the ideal, World Civic Politics. State University of New Palestinian scholars and activists envisioned that, "When the historical moment comes, these 18. Interview with Anis Salah, Shu’fat, July 19, ‘embryonic’ institutions [would] act as the nascent alternative state in the making. Any future Palestinian state [would] have to establish its power base on foundations of these "Building Partnerships to Promote Ecologically nascent organs." (Abdul Hadi, Mahdi. "Identity, Sound Development in the Middle East." Pluralism and the Palestinian Experience." In 21. Interview with Anis Salah, Shu’fat, July 19, Abdul Hadi, Dialogue on Palestinian State- Building and Identity, p. 23.) To this, Salim 22. Fletcher, Elaine Ruth. "An Environmental Tamari remarked derisively, "This strategy Partnership Pays the Price of War." Eretz, proved to be completely mistaken." (Tamari, Salim. "Government and Civil Society in 23. This discussion is based on my experiences Palestine." In Abdul Hadi, Dialogue on as an AIES student in its first year of operation Palestinian State-Building and Identity, p. 30) 7. Interview with Dr. Abdel Rahim Abu Saleh, 24. Hausman, Tamar. "Environment Also Intifada Victim." Ha’aretz, January 12, 2001. 8. Interview with Imad Khatib, Wadi Joz, July 9. Palestinian-Israeli Environmental Secretariat 26. Hausman, Tamar. "Eco think tank fills state gap." Ha’aretz, January 12, 2001. Activities Report for the Period July 1997- 27. Arava Center for Environmental Policy February 1999. Wadi Joz, Jerusalem, 1999. 10. Interview with Imad Khatib, Wadi Joz, July 28. Laskier. "Israeli Activism American-Style." 29. Susskind, Lawrence. Environmental 11. This section is based on my experiences as Diplomacy: Negotiating More Effective Global Agreements, Oxford University Press, Oxford participated in some of the projects discussed 30. Porter, Gareth and Brown, Janet Welsh. Global Environmental Politics (Second Edition), Westview Press, Boulder, 1996, p. 12. IPCRI. "A Vision for the Future of IPCRI: A concept paper for the years 2000-2010." 31. Nachmias, Nitza and Bogot, Amiram. "The Role of NGOs in Developed and Developing 14. Laskier, Michael M. "Israeli Activism Countries: Comparing Israeli and Palestinian NGOs." International Society for Third-Sector Environmental, and Peace Organizations as Research Fourth International Conference, Pressure Groups for Social Change, 1970s– 1990s." Israel Studies, Volume 5, Number 1. Baskin, IPCRI mailing list, April 19, 2001. 16. Interview with Hillel Shuval, Medford, Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 4 (December 2001)


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