GI in the News: Minister from Shas meets with senior Palestinians

By Itamar Eichner, Yediot Ahronot

via Yediot Ahronot (translated by Geneva Initiative staff)
Last week, the Geneva Initiative brought together a Government Minister and members of Knesset from the ultra-orthodox Shas party to meet with senior Palestinians in Budapest, to discuss the peace process and create an open dialogue. Below is the coverage received in the Israeli press by one of the most widely read newspapers.
In the context of the political deadlock between Israel and the Palestinians, this week a meeting took place between Minister and members of Knesset from Shas with senior Palestinians, under the guise of the Geneva Initiative organization.
The meeting took place last week in Budapest. On the Israeli side were: Minister Yaakov Margi, MK Amnon Cohen, Treasurer of Shas Yehuda Ohanan, Attorney for Shas David Glass, and Col. (res.) Shaul Arieli, one of the senior members of the Geneva Initiative. The government approved the trip for Minister Margi to join the meeting.
From the Palestinian side were senior Palestinians and former officials.
Minister Margi told “Yediot Aharonot” that the meeting was very successful and that the Palestinians that they met with had a practical approach. “It was a good atmosphere. They understood that Shas does not “hate Arabs”, and that we are open and practical. Our approach, according the Rabbi Ovadia, is that the sanctity of the human being comes first”
Margi said that the issue of Jerusalem is a problem, and yet there is certainly an understanding that we have found a formula that everyone can live with. “I believe that if the mandate of the negotiation teams will be that they must return with an agreement and they will work without any media and pressure – they can overcome the core problems and reach a peace agreement.”