In Focus

The Geneva Initiative welcomes the Paris Peace Conference

The Geneva Initiative, an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Organization, warmly welcomes the upcoming international conference in Paris, and deeply appreciates the efforts made by France and the participating governments to help the two sides advance a process leading to peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. 

We at the Geneva Initiative firmly believe that the two-state solution is the only solution that can bring peace, security, freedom and hope to both nations. We call the conference participants to affirm their unequivocal commitment to the vision of two states living side by side in peace and security based on resolutions 242 of 1967, 338 of 1973, and also recalling relevant UNSC resolutions including 2334 and highlighting the importance and relevancy of the Arab Peace Initiative.

The ongoing bloodshed in our region tragically demonstrates the urgency of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We strongly condemn any violent action, regret any loss of life and call the international community to help put an end to this cycle of violence and open a new era in the history of Israeli-Palestinian relations.  

We recognize that the two-state solution cannot be fully implemented immediately. However, we are confident that the peace plan put forward by the Geneva Initiative, which is remarkably similar to the six principles of peace presented recently by Secretary of State John Kerry, demonstrates that a two-state solution that genuinely addresses both peoples' interests is still feasible. We call upon the conference participants to present practical ways leading to the realization of the two-state solution, and assure them that the majority of Israelis and Palestinians still support the two-state solution. As an Israeli-Palestinian civil society organization, we will support and cooperate with any international initiative that will aim to promote this solution. 

The Geneva Initiative is looking forward to working together with any international actor who is willing to advance the two-state solution. On behalf of the silent majority on both sides, we say to you today: we are not giving up on peace. Please do not give up on us. 

In the photo: GI's Palestinian and Israeli Directors meeting Pierre Vimont, the French Special Envoy for the Middle East peace process




The Geneva Initiative welcomes Secretary Kerry's speech

The Geneva Initiative warmly welcomes Secretary Kerry's speech. In recent months, we have persistently advocated for the Obama administration to present parameters for peace, and were pleased to learn that this suggestion was embraced.
It is true that this speech could have been much more impactful had it been carried out earlier. Still, its importance cannot be overstated. Together with UNSCR 2334 on settlements, in the past week not only did the international community accurately and publicly identify the persisting problems, challenges and barriers to peace; it also pointed to the solution: credible negotiations on all final status issues, leading to a permanent peace agreement based on the two-state solution. Kerry's six principles for peace present the only feasible and realistic way forward. In fact, the exact six principles were agreed to by Israelis and Palestinians as part of the Geneva Initiative negotiations. This is no coincidence: despite several alarming trends and the fast changing reality in the West Bank, a Geneva Initiative style two-state agreement remains the only practical solution to the conflict.
We are encouraged by the backing of the international community, and will continue to work at full speed and on all fronts to promote a negotiated permanent status agreement which will end the violence and ensure prosperity for both Israelis and Palestinians.


Five comments on UNSCR 2334

The Geneva Initiative was pleased to learn that the UN Security Council passed on Friday Resolution 2334. Here are five thoughts we think are particularly worth considering about the Resolution:

1. It’s a reminder that the world has not forgotten about Israel and the Palestinians. It acts as a reminder that Israeli settlements continue to be illegal and unacceptable in the eyes of the world, and that even Israel's closest allies recognize that they constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of peace.
2. It distinguishes between Israel and the settlements. The resolution rightly calls upon all states to distinguish in their relevant dealings between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967. This is an important distinction that is good for Israel, good for the rule of law and good for peace.
3. It recognizes the desirability of negotiated borders - even if not identical to the 1967 lines. The Resolution asserts that the world will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations. Meaning: a Geneva Initiative-style border, based on the 1967 lines with land swaps as agreed to by Israelis and Palestinians through negotiations, is fully acceptable.
4. It encourages diplomacy and dialogue, and condemns violence. The Resolution condemns all acts of violence against civilians, acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction. The passing of the Resolution also offers a much needed boost to Palestinian President Abbas, and demonstrates the effectiveness of the diplomatic efforts made throughout his presidency. The Israeli and Palestinian peace camps can also draw some encouragement from 2334: it reminds peace supporters that their struggle is not just recognized but also backed by the international community.
5. There is more work to be done. As many have already pointed out, despite being a very important Resolution, 2334 is short of having any immediate, concrete implications for the peace process. To make this a truly historical moment, the international community must build upon this success by seizing every opportunity in the upcoming months to bring the parties back to the negotiating table for a credible, genuine dialogue leading to a comprehensive final status agreement.


Members of Knesset, former security officials and senior Palestinian figures at a Geneva Initiative Seminar

The formal political process has long been deadlocked, but we continue to work relentlessly to keep a high level, open and constructive dialogue going. On December 15-17, we brought together a group of Israeli and Palestinian senior policy makers and former officials for an intensive series of discussions on the current political and security situation, the conflict and ways to promote a two-state solution.
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