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Can Israelis notice the Palestinians only under tragic and violent circumstances?


Noam Rabinovich - The Geneva Initiative - This weekend’s surge of violence
in the West Bank has reminded Israelis of the existence of Palestinians. It
is time to recognize that Palestinians exist the rest of the time, as well.
If Israel continues to ignore its neighbors, without advancing any kind of
agenda or making progress toward peace, this cycle of violent flare-ups and
loss of life will repeat itself over and over again. As we witness difficult
days on the ground, we are reminded of the necessity and urgency of bringing
this cycle of bloodshed to an end. We mourn the needless loss of life. These
tragic events serve as a reminder of the importance of the work we do; it is
more crucial than ever to bring Israelis and Palestinians together in
educational and partnership forums, to inform people about the feasibility
of promoting the two-state solution and reconciliation, and to confront the
dangers and costs of delaying peace. [ak]



Can Israelis notice the Palestinians only under tragic and violent
circumstances?

From Noam Rabinovich, The Geneva Initiative, noam@heskem.org.il


Dear friends,

This month has seen tragic incidents of violence alongside encouraging
reaffirmations of the two-state solution in international forums. Below are
several key

takeaways from the past few weeks:

(1)

This weekend’s surge of violence in the West Bank has reminded Israelis of
the existence of Palestinians. It is time to recognize that Palestinians
exist the rest of

the time, as well. If Israel continues to ignore its neighbors, without
advancing any kind of agenda or making progress toward peace, this cycle of
violent flare-ups

and loss of life will repeat itself over and over again.

As we witness difficult days on the ground, we are reminded of the necessity
and urgency of bringing this cycle of bloodshed to an end. We mourn the
needless loss of

life. These tragic events serve as a reminder of the importance of the work
we do; it is more crucial than ever to bring Israelis and Palestinians
together in

educational and partnership forums, to inform people about the feasibility
of promoting the two-state solution and reconciliation, and to confront the
dangers and

costs of delaying peace.

(2)

It’s quite unusual for an announcement by an international actor to leave
both Israelis and Palestinians disappointed. And yet, last week’s
announcement by the

Australian government that it recognizes West Jerusalem as the capital of
Israel did just that. The announcement further indicated that Australia
would move its

embassy to Jerusalem only after East Jerusalem is recognized as the capital
of Palestine – following the realization of the two-state solution.

The Israeli response was tepid, apparently out of disappointment that
Australia also reiterated its support for East Jerusalem as the capital of a
future Palestinian

state; the Palestinian response was condemnation for a diplomatic move they
viewed as incomplete.

Despite the dissatisfied response on both sides, it’s important to recognize
the opportunities represented by the announcement: The Australians offer us
a model of

using Jerusalem as leverage to advance the two-state solution. Their
decision reaffirms the most important pillars of a viable future agreement:
two sovereign states

based on the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states. It
seems that the nine-hour time difference isn’t the only way Australia is
ahead of us at the

moment.

(3)

What do Iran, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and Lebanon all have in common?
It turns out that they all support the Geneva Initiative. On December 6, 156
member states

of the United Nations General Assembly called for the implementation of a
two-state solution of “Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace
and security… based

on the pre-1967 borders.” Israel was one of six member states who voted
against the Irish resolution titled “Comprehensive, just and lasting peace
in the Middle East”.

It should not be taken for granted that countries such as Iran and Lebanon,
which are often portrayed by Israeli leaders as sworn enemies of the State
of Israel,

support a resolution that explicitly recognizes Israel and its right to
exist in peace and security. This goes to show that ending the conflict and
achieving peace

between Israelis and Palestinians is the best way to promote regional
stability and normalize relations between Israel and its neighbors. On the
other hand,

maintaining the status quo will only lead to more bloodshed on both sides,
as was tragically apparent this past week.

(4)

We continue to draw encouragement from local and international voices that
express support for the Two-State solution along the general parameters laid
out by the

Geneva Initiative. It is not an easy or short journey, but we are convinced
that determination, persistence, and hard work will lead us in the right
direction towards

peace and reconciliation. There is no better alternative for both peoples.

Kind regards,

Noam Rabinovich
Director of Foreign Relations, Geneva Initiative
Tel: +972 (3) 6938780
noam@heskem.org.il | http://www.geneva-accord.org

Month in Review
Confronting the Jerusalem cold and its reality

On November 23, a group of young activists, journalists, and politicians
braved the rain to learn about the Geneva Initiative’s vision for Jerusalem
from Dr. Shaul

Arieli. Dr. Arieli is an unparalleled expert on the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict whose knowledge and passion goes well beyond academia: he described
walking through

Jerusalem for three days with a Palestinian partner and a map, outlining the
future borders of the capital city down to each individual house. The tour
focused on the

various challenges that Jerusalem presents in the conflict and the specific,
practical solutions that the Geneva Initiative offers on each issue. Dr.
Arieli brought us

to four lookout points around the city (Modi’in, the Tomb of Samuel, Mount
Scopus, and Mount of Olives) and explained the significance of each area.
The tour was made

possible through the support of our partner, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

For more details about the tour, see our website.
sha
sh_0
Transitional Justice Symposium at Hebrew University

Director General Gadi Baltiansky and Mostafa Elostaz represented the Geneva
Initiative at an international symposium on global politics and transitional
justice at the

Hebrew University. The symposium brought together local and international
scholars and practitioners engaged in transitional justice initiatives. Mr.
Baltiansky

presented the value of adding the components of reconciliation, transitional
justice, and narratives from the past to the discourse surrounding the
resolution of the

Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The symposium was organized by the Minerva
Center for Human Rights and Fried-Gal Transitional Justice Program at the
Hebrew University of

Jerusalem’s Faculty of Law, in cooperation with the Embassy of Switzerland
in Israel.
lecture2
g
Coming Up
December: A lecture to members of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles

The delegation is arriving for a tour of Israel, with an emphasis on
understanding the situation of minority groups in Israel. The initiative`s
director, Mr. Gadi

Baltiansky, will address the Federation members on political issues at the
Geneva Initiative`s office in Ramat Gan.

December: Two-day seminar on Gaza for Young Activists

“From Gaza to Geneva: Disengagement to Return Protests” is a seminar for
prominent political activists interested in studying the current situation
in the Gaza Strip.

Seminar participants will engage with the following complex and increasingly
pressing questions: How did we get to this point? How will the next Israeli
administration

deal with the political and humanitarian crisis in Gaza? The seminar will
include a tour of the area around Gaza, lectures by Palestinian and Israeli
experts, and

discussions about possible solutions for the current situation. The latter
will address how the Geneva Initiative’s vision fits into the various
proposed solutions to

the ongoing crisis. The seminar will be based in Ashkelon.

December: Three-day seminar for Israeli and Palestinian Businesspeople

Israeli and Palestinian businessmen and women will come together for a joint
seminar in Sofia, Bulgaria, with the purpose of advancing economic
cooperation. The

seminar will emphasize the policy angles that shape the economic reality on
both sides and different possibilities for cooperation. The participants are
business

people who have partnered in the past, or are committed to cooperating in
the future, with business people from the other side.

January: Two-day seminar for journalists

In January, a group of Israeli journalists will attend an intensive seminar
on the current policy challenges relating to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict and the ways

in which media can and does affect the political process. The seminar will
include a tour in the West Bank, a meeting with a senior Palestinian
political figure, and

lectures by experts on the conflict and how it is reported in the media.
Must Read
`US, Israeli, Palestinian leaders more hawkish than their peoples`

Geneva Initiative’s Dr. Yossi Beilin points out the significant gaps between
political leadership and popular opinion among Israelis, Palestinians, and
Americans on

Al-Monitor.

Read the full article here.
Two State Index goes up 1.9% in November
TSINov
Israel and Hamas found themselves on the verge of war before restoring a
fragile ceasefire. The Gaza escalation unleashed a political crisis in
Israel. Israel

unleashed unprecedented moves targeting East Jerusalem. In the U.S. midterm
elections, Democrats take control of the House. These developments raised
the Two-State

Index by 1.9% this month. Here`s why.

Think we missed something this month? Click here to send us tips and
comments.
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This message was sent byNoam Rabinovich, The Geneva Initiative, 33
Jabotinsky Street, noam@heskem.org.i
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