The Geneva Initiative launches a new political course in Ashdod

After concluding a great political course in Afula, the Geneva Initiative opened a new course in the southern city of Ashdod. The course ran through November, and will culminate in a workshop with graduates of a parallel Palestinian course.


The first meeting featured Yechiel Lasri, current mayor of Ashdod, former Likud MK, and a Geneva Initiative graduate himself. Lasri welcomed the participants, and told them that "the conflict with the Palestinians is not a political issue nor is it a religious one. It's simply a question of having a brave leadership". The first meeting also hosted Geneva Initiative Israeli chairperson Yossi Beilin and Director General Gadi Baltiansky, who talked about the core issues of the conflict and presented the solution proposed by the Geneva Initiative.

As part of the course, the participants learned about the history of the conflict and proposed solutions; heard about current security challenges and how the Geneva Accord addresses them from leading Israeli security experts such as Col. (Ret.) Shaul Arieli, Brig. Gen. (ret.) Israela Oron and Gen. (res.) Gideon Sheffer; met with former Palestinian Minister of Prisoners and current resident of Gaza Hisham abed al Razak; and toured the greater Jerusalem area to get a better sense of realities on the ground and how might a peace agreement look like. Next on the agenda: a meeting with a parallel political course that was held by the Palestinian office of the Geneva Initiative, in Ramallah.


This course was made possible through the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development.