Geneva Initiative and J Street Conference at US Congress

 

On Tuesday 1 October 2013, The Geneva Initiative and the Jewish American lobby group J Street organized a special conference at the US Congress in Washington

During the conference, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, MK Yitzhak Vaknin of Shas said: "Any peace agreement that Netanyahu brings to the Knesset will gain the support of 80-90% of Knesset members. The platform for an agreement is the Geneva Initiative and any attempt to evade this platform only distances us from peace." MK Vaknin added that although one fifth of the Israeli public, including many of his voters, oppose the peace process, anyone who wants to reach an agreement with the Palestinians needs to understand that a Palestinian State must be created. "This is in our interest, and until we sign an agreement with the Palestinians we will not have normal relations in the region", he said.
 
 
MK Meirav Michael (left) and Yitzhak Vaknin (centre) at the Conference
 
The conference was also addressed by several Palestinian and Israeli speakers, amongst them Labor MK Meirav Michaeli who said: "Israel has not yet reached an agreement due to fear. We are victims of fear and we have become addicted to the status of being a victim." MK Michaeli called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to act quickly to reach an agreement, and to make the necessary decisions for Israel to become the state that we want.