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Israeli group looks to bring peace back into agenda


May 17, 2018
JFJFP
Geneva Initiative holds conference as a small light of hope

Geneva Initiative conference, 10 May 2018

Mazal Mualem,in Al Monitor, writes, “On the afternoon of May 10, some 150 people gathered for “Palestinian-Israel Dialogue” in the conference hall of the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv. For the most part, the conference participants identified with the hard core of the Israeli left, including Meretz members and supporters of the Geneva Initiative, which organized the event. They had come to talk about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in the wake of the decision to open the US Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14 and the deterioration of the security situation in Gaza. The participants paid rapt attention to Elias Zananiri, the deputy chair of the Palestinian Committee for Interaction with the Israeli Society, Meretz Chair Tamar Zandberg and former party chairman Yossi Beilin, one of the architects of the Geneva Initiative. Listening to them, they were filled with hope.”

“Anyone watching from the sidelines might think that this limited gathering was detached from all reality. Israeli fighter jets had attacked Iranian targets in Syria one night before, and Israelis living in the Golan Heights were waiting nervously for the response. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the right were soaring in the polls to unprecedented new levels, yet the organizers of the event insisted on remaining loyal to their vision of a two-state solution. They refused to abandon all hope.”…

“On the afternoon of May 10, some 150 people gathered for “Palestinian-Israel Dialogue” in the conference hall of the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv. For the most part, the conference participants identified with the hard core of the Israeli left, including Meretz members and supporters of the Geneva Initiative, which organized the event. They had come to talk about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in the wake of the decision to open the US Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14 and the deterioration of the security situation in Gaza. The participants paid rapt attention to Elias Zananiri, the deputy chair of the Palestinian Committee for Interaction with the Israeli Society, Meretz Chair Tamar Zandberg and former party chairman Yossi Beilin, one of the architects of the Geneva Initiative. Listening to them, they were filled with hope.

“Anyone watching from the sidelines might think that this limited gathering was detached from all reality. Israeli fighter jets had attacked Iranian targets in Syria one night before, and Israelis living in the Golan Heights were waiting nervously for the response. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the right were soaring in the polls to unprecedented new levels, yet the organizers of the event insisted on remaining loyal to their vision of a two-state solution. They refused to abandon all hope….Almost 15 years later, the Geneva Initiative still survives, under much more difficult circumstances. Yet the very fact that it survives is worthy of respect. It is especially important, when Israel’s center left, which should be raising it as a banner issue, refuses to do so clearly and confidently. In that sense, Meretz also has a major role as a left-wing Zionist party in advancing this agenda. Its stubborn adherence to the peace process and a two-state solution is worthy of admiration.” (more…)

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