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Occupation magazine - Activism
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500 Israelis and Palestinians hold Grassroots Negotiations in Tel Aviv
500 Israelis and Palestinians to hold Grassroots Negotiating Congress in Tel
Tel Aviv - Rothschild Boulevard, opposite Habima Theater
Friday, July 22, 2016, 10 am – 4 pm
The largest in the series of grassroots negotiations organized by “Minds of
Peace”:will take place on Friday, July 22, in downtown Tel Aviv. No less
than 500 people – half of them Israelis, half Palestinians – will sit down
for six hours on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard, to discuss all issues of
the prolonged conflict and try to reach a solution.
The format remains essentially the same as at several earlier such events:
Each congress invites an Israeli delegation and a Palestinian delegation to
negotiate solutions to the conflict. The negotiations are conducted in front
of an audience which is invited to participate in the peacemaking process.
This time, with 250 Israelis and 250 Palestinians involved, there will be
20 tables plus a plenary table.
Over the past month, organizers had made considerable efforts to get permits
for the West Bank Palestinian participants to enter Israel and attend the
Tel Aviv event. This was far from easy. Unfortunately, it proved virtually
impossible to get permits for Gazans who wanted to take part, and their
voice will be missing from this event.
Obviously, neither delegation is in any way empowered or authorized to
actually negotiate and reach a binding agreement. Rather, the purpose of
this event – as of previous ones – is to show that unofficial Israelis and
unofficial Palestinians, representing a wide cross-section of the grassroots
of their respective societies, can sit down in amity, tackle even the most
difficult issues and reach agreement – even under the present highly
inauspicious conditions of violence, bloodshed and deep mutual distrust.
This event is an important step towards the establishment of a major
Israeli-Palestinian Grassroots Negotiating Congress with political power. It
is the organizers’ hope that the success of such unofficial negotiations
would help inspire – and push – the official leaderships on both sides
eventually reach a binding agreement – and implement it!
The initiative is led by Dr. Sapir Handelman - an Israeli who received the
Peter Becker Award in Peace & Conflict Studies. Dr. Handelman and his
colleagues have successfully led 29 small and mid-scale Israeli-Palestinian
public negotiating congresses around the US and Canada, in the West Bank,
and in open public places in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem.
To view the agreements and videos visit: www.mindsofpeace.org and the ‘Minds
of Peace’ Facebook page.
Israeli – Palestinian Public Grassroots Negotiating Congress, Hamashbir
Plaza, Jerusalem, August 22-23, 2013
For more information:
Dr.Sapir Handelman: +972-50-307-6927
Below are two short videos. The first in English defining the initiative,
documenting segments of an earlier Tel Aviv congress
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