Geneva Initiative Annexes
Geneva Initiative Annexes

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What's next on the political horizon: Israeli Politics and the Peace Process

On December 17th, 40 ambassadors, deputy heads of mission and other diplomats based in Israel convened at the Geneva Initiative offices for an informational meeting on Israel's upcoming elections and the peace process.

 

The participants included representatives from 25 countries as well as several international organizations.

The meeting focused on two subjects: one, an overview of the domestic political map and how that map may change due to the upcoming March 17th elections and, two, the role of the international community in influencing elections and the peace process, especially with the UN Security Council resolution on the horizon.

The diplomats heard from Amir Tibon, the Chief Diplomatic Correspondent at Walla News, and Gadi Baltiansky, Director General of the Geneva Initiative, who outlined several main challenges facing the Israeli and international publics in the coming months. With party primaries and potential political alliances dominating the discourse, very little has been publicly said about the peace process since elections were announced. However, internal and external factors such as violence, Arab voters turning out to vote, and the UN Security Resolutions may force the issue to the forefront of the electoral discourse.

Both Baltiansky and Tibon urged the international community to focus on what is good for peace instead of focusing on the endgame of Israeli elections. "Do not focus on which resolution or statement will have one impact or another on the Israeli elections" Baltiansky said. "Focus on what is good for peace in the long term."

Tibon stressed: "The international arena is important to Israelis - it still makes headlines. If Israelis feel that Netanyahu is leading us to be alienated by the world, then that could have an effect on the elections. It could lead Israelis to ask the question: 'are we doing something wrong?’ If it feels to Israelis that the Security Council resolution could lead somewhere, it could get them out to vote."

In the end "peace is more important than the results of an election" said Baltiansky. "And steps by the international community that help to define the basis for negotiations will be helpful in reaching an agreement.”