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February 2010 Newsletter
Updates from our Israeli Office
Updates from our Palestinian Office

Dear friends,

Below please find our monthly report for February 2010.

The past month was characterized by an increasing buzz about Israel's approaching a bilateral/ apartheid-like state. Comments to this effect were voiced by both local leaders (such as Defense Minister Barak and Opposition Head Livni) as well international figures such as Former State Secretary Baker who stated that "Israel will be unable to maintain both its Jewish and democratic character while occupying the West Bank" (February 22nd, 2010) . In this context the Geneva Initiative embarked on a mass media campaign in Israel's national dailies. Accompanying our print campaign is a short, comic clip starring GI Co-Architect Yossi Bielin. For those of you who haven't seen the clip yet – or who would like a second laugh – click here to view an L.A. Times report featuring the clip along with a commentary. Please help us get the message across to as many people as possible by forwarding it those who you think would find interest in it.

One local and one international activity which I would like to draw your attention to, which are further elaborated on in the report below, are our local leadership conference in Dimona and our representatives' meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Slovakia. In the former activity Likud Minister Eitan stated that the differences between himself and the Geneva Initiative are small and that speaking about greater Israel is deception (Ha'aretz front page; February 8th, 2010); in the latter, GI representatives presented the Geneva Initiative annex book to Slovak FM Miroslav Lajcak, days before the Minister's visit to the region during which he met senior officials.

Also during the month: our Palestinian colleagues held a prestigious one day conference about the prospects and alternatives for negotiations where the Geneva Initiative annex book was presented, and poll reported on in Al Quds determined that 64% of Gazans support negotiations with Israel and 67% support a peace agreement with Israel as opposed to a temporary "Hudnah".

Finally, the Geneva Initiative and the state of Israel lost a dear friend this week with the passing of Dr. Dave Kimche – former Director-General of Israel's Foreign Ministry, former Mossad executive, GI Signatory and a man of many other prestigious titles. We will continue to work towards ending the conflict along the parameters which Dr. Kimche helped define in the Geneva Accord and which he enthusiastically supported.

With best regards,

Michal Radoshitzky
Director of Foreign Relations
Geneva Initiative
T: +972-3-693-8781
F: +972-3-691-1306
M: +972-508-343-128





 GI Signatory Dr. Dave Kimche
  Yes to an Agreement An israeli-Palestinian Initiative to End the Conflict

Geneva Initiative campaign in the national dailies

During February we launched a mass media campaign in Israel’s four national dailies: Ha’aretz, Yediot Ahronot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom. The campaign comprises of a number of different versions of visuals with accompanying messages relating to the recent buzz about the danger of Israel’s transformation into a bilateral or apartheid state. The campaign centers on a series of images dramatizing the consequences attending Israel if it failed to reach a peace agreement with its neighbors and below each visual is the alternative: a division of the land along the parameters of the Geneva Accord (1967 borders with land swaps, division of East Jerusalem, security arrangements, a comprehensive solution to the refugee problem, etc.)

Different versions of our mass media campaign playing on symbols and phrases well known to the Israeli public and carrying the message that for Israel to remain a Jewish and democratic state a Geneva Initiative style agreement must be concluded


Geneva Initiative Outreach to Local Leadership

As part of our ongoing outreach to Mayors and local leadership across Israel, during February the Geneva Initiative headed down to the city of Dimona in the Negev where our representatives were hosted by Mayor Meir Cohen. Speakers at the event included Minister Michael Eitan (Likud) who stated that the differences between him and the Geneva Initiative are small, GI Co-Architect, Yossi Beilin, GI Signatory Shaul Arieli and Palestinian GI representative, Former PA Minister Sufyan Abu Zaidah.
The event was extensively reported on in Ha'aretz as well as online and in the Negev's local radio station.

Ha'aretz front page reporting on Geneva Initiative's local leadership event in Dimona, headline: Minister Eitan at Geneva Initiative conference: "speaking about greater Israel is deception" (February 8th, 2010).


Geneva Initiative engages Israel's Political leadership

During February the Geneva Initiative ran two parallel leadership training courses to c.100 position-holders and political activists from Kadima, Likud and Labor. During the course of the month the first cycle of the course completed its studies and the course's second cycle began. Briefings for participants included speakers such as Al Jazeera Bureau Chief, Walid Al Omary on Israel in the Arab media; Former PA Minister Sufyan Abu Zaidah who presented the Palestinian perspective and GI Signatory Dr. Ron Pundak who spoke about the influence of Western States on the peace process.
In addition, participants took part in a tour demonstrating our solution to the issue of borders around the Jerusalem Envelope.

(Left) GI Signatory Ron Pundak and (center) Former PA Minister and GI Palestinian representative, Sufyan Abu Zaidah briefing Kadima, Likud and Labor position-holders as part of our political leadership training course. Right: Col. (Res). Shaul Arieli guiding a tour to demonstrate GI's border solution to 43 Likud activists and position-holders

Also during the month a separate tour was held for 43 Likud activists and position-holders in order to educate them about the Geneva Initiative's border solution in the West Bank (Sharon-Shomron area). The tour was reported on in the Likud party's website by Shlomo Madmon, Head of the Likud Branch in Kfar Saba.


Outreach to Russian-speaking leadership

During the month we held a tour for 53 leading members of the Union of Russian-speaking leaders from the Ukraine who reside in Netanya. The tour was guided in Russian by Col. (Res.) Lev Niv and demonstrated the Geneva Initiative's border solution around the Jerusalem Envelope. Participants included activists from the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party as well as from the Labor party.


International Advocacy

As part of our ongoing outreach to the international community during February our representatives met a key figures both in Israel and abroad.
In Slovakia, GI Israeli and Palestinian Director-Generals, Gadi Baltiansky and Nidal Foqaha respectively met with Slovak Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miroslav Lajcak, days before the Minister's visit to the region during which he met senior officials. In addition, the two presented the Geneva Initiative annexes in a conference hosted by the Slovak Foreign Policy Association and in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Geneva Initiative's policy line was further echoed in media interviews and coverage of the event, and can be accessed by clicking here.

GI Israeli and Palestinian Director-Generals, Gadi Baltiansky and Nidal Foqaha presenting the Geneva Initiative annex book to Slovakia Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miroslav Laj??k days before his visit to the region

In Malta, GI Co-Architect Yossi Beilin spoke at a conference in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace jointly held by the UN and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean. Dr. Beilin presented the Geneva Initiative in a panel entitled "Breaking the status quo: Creating a political climate conducive to the advancement of the peace process". Conference participants included Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister, H.E. Cemil ?i?ek; Jordan FM, H.E. Nasser Judeh; Head of the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department, Sa'eb Erakat; Head of the PLC Fatah Caucus, Hon. Azzam Al-Ahmad and Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, League of Arab States, H.E. Mr. Hesham Youssef, among others.

In Israel, GI Director-General, Gadi Baltiansky addressed a delegation of five US Congress Representatives who came to the region with J Street and Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) to explore the role of an active U.S. diplomatic leadership in bringing about a two-state solution. Baltiansky provided the Geneva Initiative's analysis on recent developments and addressed the issue of US involvement in solving the conflict.


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