1. Nothing meaningful can happen in the peace process until after the Israeli election.
2. A Kadima led coalition offers the best hope for a settlement.
3. Domestic policies are of secondary importance in elections - defence and security matter most.
4. A three state solution may be a more realistic long term solution than a two state one.
5. Religious tolerance is much more entrenched than we in Europe are led to believe - especially in Jerusalem
6. No peace settlement can be reached without an agreement on the future of Jerusalem
7. The Israeli electoral system guarantees political instability. There should be a 5% threshold to get seats in the Knesset and a constituency link should be established.
8. If the Israelis relaxed travel restrictions from the West Bank it would be a tremendously symbolic move.
9. A major challenge to the Israelis is to do something about the 70% of men who are not in employment - they're not unemployed, just not economically active.
10. If Hamas makes progress in any future Palestinian Authority elections the peace process will be doomed.
11. The Palestinian Authority and its President are seen as weak and not capable of delivering an agreement. Their challenge is to counter that perception.
12. The Palestinian Authority has been effective in policing the streets of the West Bank in the last twelve months and been able to impose law and order in a way it had failed to do before.
13. Many Arab governments are supportive of Israel behind the scenes.
14. There are far more informal backchannels between Arab states and Israel than most people know about.
15. Iran is the biggest hurdle to peace. Most Israelis would be supportive of a military strike against Iranian nuclear installations.
16. Egypt and Jordan are of decreasing importance in the politics of the region.
17. West Bank refugees are not interested in financial support. Everything comes back to the fact that they feel wronged.
18. The USA is seen as vital to the future of the region by both the Israelis and Palestinians. Israelis feel that only the US has the power to deal with Iran. Israelis are quite happy to talks to take place but feel the military threat needs to be available too.
19. If Israel didn't have to spend 17% of its public spending and 8% of its GDP on defence and security it would be among the most prosperous nations in the world.
20. Israeli food is some of the best I have ever eaten, and the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv is highly recommended!