The Geneva Initiative launches a new political course in Ashkelon

After concluding several successful political courses across the country (including in Afula, Ashdod and Ramat-Gan), the Geneva Initiative opened a new course in the southern city of Ashkelon in February. The course will run through and will culminate in a workshop with graduates of a parallel Palestinian course.
 
The course attracted a very diverse group of highly politically active participants, including members of the local council, managers of educational and cultural centers operating in the city and party activists from very diverse ideological backgrounds. The participants have already had a chance to meet with Yossi Beilin, the Israeli chairperson of the Geneva Initiative, who briefed them about the feasibility of the two-state solution in light of recent domestic, regional and international developments. Beilin's optimistic approach and messages were met with very enthusiastic questions and comments. The participants raised issues such as: how do we convince people in our community that the two-state solution is still feasible? What are the advantages of bilateralism, as opposed to unilateral actions? And how should we raise the issue of ending the conflict when addressing people who deeply oppose the two-state solution? 
 
Next on the agenda: a series of lectures on various aspects of the conflict and proposed solutions, learning from peace building efforts in other conflicts, a tour of East Jerusalem and a half-a-day meeting with Palestinians from parallel constituencies.

 

Geneva Initiative Israeli chairperson Yossi Beilin, and reconciliation and transitional justice expert Dr. Galit Desheh, addressing the course participants 

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