One Million Palestinians and Israelis Call for Peace Talks
August 2, 2007 – 8:00am IDT
Mid East: One Million Palestinians and Israelis Call for Immediate, uninterrupted Negotiations for Two-state Solution
Dennis Ross, Saeb Erakat, Muhammad Ali, Dov Lautman, Klaus Schwab
Among Global Leaders Supporting Grassroots OneVoice Movement
Landmark Public Summits in Jericho + Tel Aviv 10.18.07
Message to Abbas and Olmert: Moderate Majority Silent No Longer
Jericho/Tel Aviv, August 1, 2007 – Frustrated with ongoing instability in the region, the recent crisis in Gaza and lack of progress, the OneVoice Movement today announced that nearly 500,000 Palestinian and Israeli citizens have united to demand immediate, ongoing, uninterrupted negotiations until a comprehensive two-state agreement is achieved. OneVoice has committed to recruit one million signatories to join the movement by October.
On October 18, 2007, Israeli and Palestinian citizens – together with international supporters – will mobilize to call for a two-state solution and an end to the occupation and terror. OneVoice, a non-partisan mainstream nationalist movement working in Israel and Palestine for an end to the conflict, will organize separate, simultaneous public summits in Tel Aviv, Jericho and Jerusalem, with international “Echo” events in London, Washington D.C. and Ottawa. The summits will be broadcast via satellite for the world to see the international solidarity towards ending the conflict. Hundreds of thousands are expected to participate and to add their signatures to the OneVoice mandate for a two-state solution.
“The people need to start leading the way, to create the conditions necessary for their elected representatives to fulfill the will of the moderate majority,” said Daniel Lubetzky, Founder of the OneVoice Movement. “Excuses and disclaimers won’t get us anywhere. Each of us needs to ask, what can I do to help end the conflict? What am I willing to do to ensure negotiations do not stop until the Heads of State achieve an agreement that can be presented to the people?”
Bringing together international co-producers Michael Lang (Woodstock Productions) and Chris Wangro (Zaragunda Inc.) with the top Israeli and Palestinian production teams, programs for the One Million Voices to End the Conflict public summits will include live statements from foremost dignitaries and religious leaders, a variety of international and regional musical talent, messages from celebrities and luminaries, a magical performance by David Copperfield and raw commitments from OneVoice activists on the ground. The events will create an unprecedented shared reality, in which the Israeli, Palestinian and international communities are linked by their commitment to end the conflict.
In 2004, as a result of ground-breaking citizen negotiations, OneVoice revealed that 76 percent of both Palestinians and Israelis support a two-state solution. By late 2005, over 150,000 Palestinian and Israeli citizen negotiators had achieved consensus on Ten Pillars for Conflict Resolution. However, to date moderates on both sides have kept silent, allowing a small minority of violent extremists to hijack the will of the people and capture global media attention.
“The most difficult thing in this region is to be a person of peace and moderation, especially at times when people are being killed,” said Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator. “Sanity, wisdom and courage tend to disappear when violence is prevalent. Peacemaking is not just about negotiating an agreement – it’s about having the people demand peace. OneVoice’s initiatives on October 18 are a major step towards making that happen.”
“OneVoice’s October 18th events are poised to inject the political situation in the Middle East, rife with complexities and contradictions, with a new hope by enabling the Israeli and Palestinian people to take part in the process,” said Ambassador Dennis Ross. “There have been failures of leadership on both sides, but what the OneVoice Movement is doing goes beyond blaming politicians, focusing in on the people of this region, empowering and mobilizing them to build a bold, absolute mandate for an end to the conflict.”
By organizing the moderate majority, OneVoice aims to empower its signatories to challenge the current dynamic of weakened leaders and divided populations. The public summits on October 18th will serve as a mandate for Palestinian President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, both of whom were elected on a platform for a two-state solution, to make a sustained push for peace. As momentum builds towards the event, OneVoice aims to expand its support base to one million, thus bringing together One Million Voices to End the Conflict.
International support is growing for the OneVoice Mandate and for October 18th One Million Voices To End the Conflict public summits. The list of global luminaries who have proclaimed their support for OneVoice continues to expand. Board members and supporters thus far include:
· Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and President of the World Economic Forum
· Muhammad Ali, philanthropist and former heavyweight boxing champion
· Sheikh Taysir al Tamimi, Chief Palestinian Islamic Justice
· Rabbi David Rosen, Chairman, International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations
· Ambassador Dennis Ross, Mideast Envoy during Clinton and Bush Administrations
· Saeb Erakat, Head of Negotiations, Palestinian Authority
· Dov Lautman, foremost Israeli business leader and winner of Israel Prize
· Stuart Eizenstat, former US Deputy Secretary of Treasury and Undersecretary of State
· Samer Khoury, foremost Palestinian business leader; CEO, Consolidated Contracts International
OneVoice Palestine Executive Director Nisreen Shaheen said, “With the Arab Initiative on the table and the entire world’s attention on the Middle East, ordinary people have an extraordinary opportunity to make their voices heard.”
Dr. Fathi Darwish, OneVoice Palestine Director General, added, “We need to create a sense of urgency among all parties involved – Israelis, Palestinians, and people everywhere – to once and for all end the occupation and the violence and suffering on all sides and enable Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace.”
About the OneVoice Movement:
The OneVoice Movement is a mainstream nationalist grassroots movement with nearly 500,000 Israeli and Palestinian signatories, and 3,000 highly-trained youth leaders. It aims to amplify the voice of the overwhelming but heretofore silent majority of moderates who wish for peace and prosperity, empowering them to demand accountability from elected representatives and work toward a two-state solution. OneVoice counts on its Board over 60 foremost dignitaries and business leaders across a wide spectrum of politics and beliefs, joining as OneVoice against violent extremism and for conflict resolution. Learn more by visiting www.onevoicemovement.org.
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