Dear friends and colleagues,

I am pleased to share with you Mitvim's 2012 activity report.

Mitvim is a progressive foreign policy think tank, established in mid-2011, with the aim of enabling Israel a fresh start among the nations. It works to reshape Israel's relations with the Middle East, Europe, and the Mediterranean through advancing a paradigm shift in Israel's foreign policy, advancing Israel's regional integration, and advancing Israeli-Arab peace.

Toward these goals, Mitvim has carried out the following actions in 2012:

1. Publications Series

"Israel and the Arab Spring: Opportunities in Change" is a forthcoming series of ten articles written by members of a Mitvim task-team that has been working since 2011 to identify and analyze the opportunities for Israel in the changing Middle East. This publication series will be distributed, in both Hebrew and English, starting January 2013. The 2012 summary of the "Opportunities in Change" project can be read here.

"Impressions from the Region" is a publication series that presents Israeli insights from international policy conferences in which Arab and Muslim experts also took part. At times when channels for communication between Israel and its neighbors are limited, we find it crucial to distribute this information as a tool for promoting an Israeli foreign policy that encourages peace and regional belonging. This publication series can be read here.

"The US and Us: The Mitvim-DC Monthly" is a monthly report on US-Middle East issues, launched in December 2012. Each report includes an analysis, a roundup of commentaries, and a profile of a major US policymaker. The series is of particular importance as the second Obama administration takes shape – a time in which personnel changes and policy re-evaluations regarding Israel and the Middle East are taking place.

2. Israeli-Turkish Policy Dialogue

In September 2012, at a time when Israeli-Turkish relations were severely strained, Mitvim and the Global Political Trends (GPoT) Center conducted a policy dialogue in Istanbul, Turkey. The dialogue enabled experts from both countries to analyze the Arab Spring, the Syrian crisis, and the prospects for mending Israeli-Turkish relations. Click here to read the concluding report and the event's media coverage.

Prior to the event, Mitvim initiated a public opinion poll on Israeli-Turkish relations. The results, aired on Israel's TV Channel 2 News, showed that a majority of Israelis is in favoring of issuing an apology to Turkey regarding the flotilla incident, as part of a broader agreement between the countries.

3. Workshops in Israel

The US Presidential Elections: What is on the Agenda?
October 2012, in cooperation with the US Embassy and the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation
Speakers: Former US Congresswomen Pat Schroeder and Connie Morella

Spoilers of Peace and the Dilemmas of Conflict Resolution
July 2012, in cooperation with the US Embassy
Speakers: Prof. Miriam Elman (Syracuse University) and Att. Gilead Sher (Blue White Future)
The workshop resulted in a joint Mitvim-Syracuse University publication on the topic.

Peace NGOs in the Turkish-Armenian Conflict: Lessons for the Israeli Peace Camp
May 2012, in cooperation with the Geneva Initiative
Speakers: Dr. Burcu Gültekin-Punsmann (TEPAV Institute, Turkey) and Dr. Ron Pundak (Israeli-Palestinian Peace NGO Forum)

The Arab Spring and Opportunities for Israel
April 2012, in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation
Speaker: Prof. Elie Podeh (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Mitvim)

4. International Conferences

Europe and Turkey in the Context of a Changing Middle East
Berlin, Germany; December 2012; Participated by Dr. Nimrod Goren

Regime Change in the Arab World and Turkey: Debating Institutional Experiences
Çeşme, Turkey; June 2012; Participated by Prof. Moshe Ma'oz

The Middle East in Flux, the Economic Crisis and the Rise of China
Washington DC, USA, May 2012; Participated by Mr. Yonatan Touval

Turkey's New Global Activism
Istanbul, Turkey; April 2012; Participated by Dr. Nimrod Goren

The Arab Spring One Year After: Challenges, Prospects and Strategies for Change
Brussels, Belgium; March 2012; Participated by Mr. Kamal Hassan

5. Policy Briefings

Mitvim conducted briefings and policy exchanges on regional affairs with a number of foreign Embassies here in Israel, including those of the United States, Egypt, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria; with Israeli Governmental Ministries – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Strategic Affairs, and Ministry of Regional Cooperation; and with representatives in Israel of leading media outlets from the Arab world.

6. Lectures

Mitvim has held lectures to groups including: Israeli-Palestinian Young Business Leaders Forum; Forum for Liberal Thinking; International Dialogue Initiative; Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, USA; Politikva - Young Social Democratic Leadership in Israel; Geneva Initiative; J Street; Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya; Willy Brandt Center, Jerusalem; Jerusalem Pre-Military Leadership Program.

7. Op-eds

Op-ed articles by Mitvim experts have been published in various Israeli and international media outlets, including the New York Times, Haaretz, YNET, the Guardian, the Atlantic, and the Times of Israel. A collection of English-language op-eds by Mitvim experts can be read here. Mitvim experts have been frequently interviewed by the print and electronic media on regional affairs and on Israel's foreign policy.

8. Partnerships

Mitvim has signed partnership agreements with the Global Political Trends (GPoT) Center in Turkey and with the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC) at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Mitvim has also joined as an observer the EuroMeSCo (Euro-Mediterranean Study Commission) network.

We would like to thank the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation and Mr. Orni Petruschka for their continued financial support to Mitvim's work; to Dr. Eyal Bressler & Co. for providing us with pro-bono office space and legal services; and to SHATIL for assisting us with continued organizational consultancy services.

9. Follow and Support Mitvim

You can follow Mitvim's work through our web-site, Facebook page, Twitter account, and Flickr photo gallery. We need your support to increase our visibility and impact in 2013, and invite you to join us in promoting a fresh start for Israel among the nations. You can donate to Mitvim via PayPal, or make a tax-exempt contribution through the New Israel Fund.

Please feel free to share with us your thoughts regarding our mission and work. We value your input and are looking forward to it. All of us at Mitvim wish you and your loved ones a very happy New Year.


Dr. Nimrod Goren
Chair, Mitvim
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