Introducing the Two-State Coalition

In April 2018, the Geneva Initiative launched the Two State Coalition project – a program aimed at institutionalizing and consolidating the efforts of the Israeli and Palestinian peace organizations. The coalition works to encourage and support the Israeli and Palestinian peace camps by establishing a strong, inclusive and action-oriented coalition of civil society organizations acting in support of the Two-State Solution.

In the months since the project’s start, we worked to recruit organizations to the coalition, conduct initial introductory meetings and draw strategic work plans for the first year of the program. In October, representatives of the member organizations of both the Palestinian and Israeli coalitions met for an intensive two-day workshop, aimed at analyzing and understanding the current political landscape and identifying possible messages and strategies that can influence the situation.

Two-day seminar for Israeli and Palestinian coalition members. Nazareth, October 2018

We believe that civil society in both Palestine and Israel has the potential to be an invaluable force in promoting a negotiated settlement for the conflict. Dozens of Palestinian and Israeli organizations operate today in the areas of peace-building, non-violence and coexistence, working with local constituencies, leaderships and international stakeholders in an effort to promote a negotiated settlement.

Yet, despite having a shared cause and facing similar challenges, each organization acts as if it were alone in the battle for peace. As a result of being fragmented and lacking coordination, the local peace camp is far from reaching its full potential. Collaborative and consolidated efforts are more effective; the whole can be greater and stronger than the sum of its parts.

Our objective is to use the coalition as a platform to introduce peace activists and staff of peace organizations to new approaches and thinking around conflict resolution, conflict transformation and the crucial role of civil society in spearheading change. We aim to do so by providing information and analysis on the concept of reconciliation, why the two-state solution remains the only viable option and how other alternatives are unrealistic or impractical. Additionally, through these activities and generating renewed vigor amongst activists, we hope to keep the two-state solution on the agenda and in public consciousness, primarily among those who are committed to championing and promoting it.

Joint meeting of Israeli and Palestinian coalition members with the French Consul. Jerusalem, October 2018