In Focus

8th Geneva Initiative Advanced Political Course Concludes

“When people hear that I participated in this course they ask if I am a left-winger. I answer that my opinions have not changed, they have widened. Most of the Israeli public is not at all familiar with the history of the conflict, they don't even know where the green line is. I also didn’t know until I participated in this course. We need to unite and push for a comprehensive peace agreement.”

Nahum Ehrlich, a key activist from the Shas political party speaking on behalf of the other graduates at the graduation ceremony for our eighth Geneva Initiative Advanced Political Course for key political activists which took place this week. The course participants include party activists from across the political spectrum.

The course is run with the support of the European Union Partnership for Peace.



Abbas calls on Israel to restart negotiations

Over the weekend Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Israel to restart negotiations with no pre-conditions and stated that he would be prepared to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. His statement has so far been met with silence from the Israeli government, aside from one minister who described the statement as chutzpah (insolent). We call on the international community to quickly determine who is a real partner to an agreement and who is not.


The 20th Israeli Knesset Meets for the First Time

On March 31st, members of the newly elected 20th Knesset were sworn in at the inaugural session of the Israeli Parliament, including 38 graduates of Geneva Initiative activities from seven different parties. Many of the newly elected Knesset members have taken part in our seminars and tours, including Likud MKs Nava Boker, Nurit Koren and Oren Hazan as well as two members of the Geneva Initiative steering committee Maj. Gen.(res.) Eyal Ben Reuven and Prof. Yossi Yonah of the Zionist Union. 

Pictured left and clockwise: MKs Nava Boker, Ksenia Svetlova, Yossi Yonah, MG. Eyal Ben- Reuven, Oren Hazan

We look forward to working with the new MKs from across the political spectrum and continuing to promote a political solution to the conflict in the spirit of the Geneva Initiative. 

Joint Israeli-Palestinian Meeting in Jerusalem

"You are the gas that drives my hope" said one Palestinian youth activist during our joint Israeli-Palestinian round table discussion in Jerusalem on March 29th. She was speaking to the other ~25 Palestinian and Israeli political activists gathered to discuss solutions to the conflict, to promote a return to genuine negotiations and to encourage reconciliation. Both Israeli and Palestinian Directors General of the Geneva Initiative, Gadi Baltiansky and Nidal Foqaha, as well as the Head of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in Israel, Dr. Michael Borchard, addressed the group.

Topics included the situation in Gaza, future steps after Israel's elections, the recent Palestinian cooperation in the Arab League, reinvigorating enthusiasm and understanding for the two state solution, among others. The event was organized in partnership with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Israel.


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