Conference for Russian speaking community leaders at Afula

On May 15, GI hosted a conference for Russian speaking community leaders from Northern Israel at Afula with GI Israeli and Palestinian representatives.


About 150 leaders from the Russian-speaking community in the North attended the conference in Afula. The event began with a background of the principles of the Geneva Initiative. After opening remarks, the audience was addressed by a panel of speakers moderated by Nino Avsedze. Speakers included MK Orit Zuaretz (Kadima), Col. (res.) Shaul Arieli, and journalist Elias Zananiri, who is the senior assistant to Mohammed Dahlan of Fatah.
Below are several quotes by the guest speakers:
GI Signatory, Col. (Res.) Shaul Arieli: "Signing a permanent-status agreement means securing Israel's interests, and knowing that it enables the Palestinians to have achievements of their own."
MK Orit Zuaretz (Kadima): "If we don't succeed in reaching an agreement by ourselves, we will have to accept an agreement that someone else imposed on us".
Palestinian Journalist, Elias Zananiri: "The Geneva Initiative created a path for peace. Every leader that wants a two-state solution can use the GI as a reference. The problem is a lack of an Israeli partner. The problem is that the Israeli PM does not want to approach negotiations in the same way Olmert did".
The overall conclusion from the panel was that to achieve peace there must first be an agreement. This was the way it worked between Jordan and Egypt, and will also be the manner in which it will work for the Israelis and Palestinians.

Panelists from left to right: Nino Avsedze, Elias Zananiri, MK Orit Zuaretz (Kadima), Col. (res.) Shaul Arieli

Local representative making opening remarks

Russian-speaking participants of GI conference in Afula