Organizational Profile

 

Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies is an independent think tank that envisions a fresh start for Israel among the nations. It aims to reshape Israel's relations in the Middle East, Europe and the Mediterranean, by promoting new paradigms for Israel's foreign policies, enhancing Israel's regional belonging, and advancing Israeli-Arab peace. Mitvim was established in May 2011.

Why Mitvim?

In Hebrew, the word mitveh means a sketch or a blueprint. It is often used in relation to parameters and proposals geared to promote Israeli-Arab peace. We are using the plural form of the word, mitvim, in order to underscore the Institute's commitment to explore, formulate and advocate multiple policy paths that advance a progressive, inclusive and integrative approach to Israel's regional foreign policies.

Rationale and Need

The ongoing Israeli-Arab conflict holds Israel's foreign policies hostage. It causes Israel to be regionally isolated and under frequent international criticism. In the wake of the continued failure of the peace process, Israel's image and standing in the world have been deteriorating and its relations with several strategic partners have been damaged. Israel's over-militarized foreign policy has been focusing on eliminating potential threats, rather than on building relations and seeking opportunities for peace and regional belonging. At the same time, Israel is becoming increasingly hawkish, conservative and nationalistic, with more and more Israelis being short on hope and impatient with minority and alternative voices. There is a need for a new discourse that will center on big ideas, broad regional horizons and visions for a peaceful future, and for new policies that will improve Israel's global standing. The Israeli pro-peace and progressive camp is currently not well-positioned to lead this process of change. Politically, the camp has a low representation in the Knesset. And despite some success in promoting the concept of a two-state solution, it is losing the "war of ideas." Indeed, frustrated at its failure to articulate political agendas that will appeal to broader publics, it often adopts hawkish terminology. Clearly, the re-building of this camp requires supportive policy institutions that can develop and promote new ideas and policy paths. Such institutions are currently almost non-existent, especially on foreign policy issues. While the political right enjoys the support of some heavily-funded think tanks, most Israeli think tanks cherish neutrality and refrain from taking sides on potentially divisive political issues.

Objectives and Goals

A. To promote a paradigm shift in Israel's foreign policy

1. Introduce a coherent peace-oriented and multilateral foreign policy paradigm

2. Make foreign policy considerations more prominent in Israeli decision-making

3. Transform Israel's inward-looking culture

B. To promote regional-belonging for Israel

1. Enhance knowledge and understanding of regional issues
2. Define Israel's desired relations with its adjacent regions
3. Advance regional-belonging possibilities

C. To promote Israeli-Arab peace

1. Engage in policy dialogue with Arab and Muslim think-tanks
2. Identify, create and maximize opportunities for peace
3. Provide process-expertise to support peace-making efforts

Strategy of Action

Mitvim works at the political, diplomatic and public levels. It is comprised of Israeli experts, strategists, scholars, and journalists, who bring fresh and innovative thinking. Mitvim's main target audiences are the Israeli policy-elite and general public. Mitvim also targets regional and international policy, diplomatic and media circles that are influential to Israel's regional foreign policies. Special effort is invested in bringing the Mitvim voice to the Arab media. Mitvim engages in the various phases of the policymaking-cycle and promotes the actual crafting of the regional realities it aspires for. Mitvim generates knowledge, articulates ideas, plans policies, advocates recommendations, and facilitates implementation. It does so by:

A. Creating analytical frameworks, through Monitoring domestic, regional and international developments; Analyzing their policy implications and effects; and Researching theoretical, comparative and long-term issues.

B. Experimenting with policies, through Anticipating future developments using scenario building; Testing new ideas and their impact using simulations; and Devising proposals for policies, processes and mechanisms.

C. Bringing people together, through Engaging domestic and international actors in participatory processes; Convening workshops, conferences, dialogues and task groups; and Debating desired realities, policy-options, structures and models.

D. Getting the messages across, through Publishing policy papers, research findings and a policy journal; Briefing stakeholders in the political, diplomatic, public and private sectors; and Promoting ideas and policies using networks, campaigns and the media.

The Mitvim Institute 2012 Annual Report

 

The Mitvim Institute 2013 Annual Report

 

 

 

 

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