On July 31, 2013 AJEEC-NISPED (the Arab Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation- Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development) and the One Voice Movement organized a historic meeting at the Knesset between 33 Members of Knesset from the Lobby Advocating Resolution of the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Palestinian representatives from the Civil Dialogue Committee of the Palestinian Authority. For the first time ever, the Israeli and Palestinian flags stood side by side in the Knesset.
Mr. Mohamad Madani, head of the Palestinian Committee for Civil Dialogue and leader of the Palestinian delegation, said, “the meeting’s purpose is to share the Palestinian public’s perspective with Israeli society and gather public support for political negotiations”. Mr. Madani invited the MKs to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian President Abbas. Also attending the meeting on the Palestinian delegation were Mr. Abdallah Abdallah, head of the Political Committee of the Palestinian Legislative Commission, Mr. Ashraf Alajrami, former Minister of Prisoner Affairs and Mr. Walid Salem, Director of theCenterofDemocracyand Community Development (CDCD).
Many of the speakers emphasized the necessity of adopting the Arab Peace Initiative as a basis for creating a viable solution for theMiddle East. They said that for the past 11 years, the Initiative has been sitting idly on the Israeli government’s table with no response from the government.
Deputy Director of AJEEC-NISPED Mr. Ariel Dloomy told the meeting about the network of civil society organizations that was established to promote the Initiative as a regional solution. The network was established jointly by AJEEC-NISPED and CDCD and includes active members fromJordan,Egypt,Palestine,Israel,Syria,LebanonandSaudi Arabia.
We hope that this first meeting in the Knesset will serve as a significant catalyst for finding a regional solution within the spirit of the Arab Peace Initiative.