Due to developments in the international diplomatic arena, as well as the information revolution, foreign relations are no longer the sole purview of government officials. Increasingly, civil society organizations, businesses and private entrepreneurs are playing a pivotal role in international relations among states.
Nevertheless, Israeli foreign policy is still considered the exclusive domain of experts. Indeed, significant sub-groups of the population – women, Palestinian citizens of Israel, ultra-Orthodox Jews, new immigrants and residents of the country’s geographic periphery – do not participate meaningfully in the Israeli public debate concerning foreign affairs, let alone the corresponding decision-making process.
In light of this, the Mitvim Institute and the Israel Democracy Institute convened a workshop comprised of experts to explore ways to advance a more inclusive Israeli foreign policy, through increasing the involvement of diverse population groups. The workshop was attended by scholars, diplomats and representatives of relevant population groups. The discussion centered around the need for a broader debate on foreign policy issues, the challenges and barriers that prevent certain groups from getting involved, and the added value that each group can bring to the foreign policy debate.