JERUSALEM, Oct. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ –
A group of influential business leaders from the United States and the United Kingdom, led by OneVoice Founder Daniel Lubetzky [http://www.onevoicemovement.org/about-onevoice/daniel.php ] and actor Jason Alexander, met with members of the Knesset’s Two-State Solution Caucus [http://blog.onevoicemovement.org/one_voice/2011/01/knessets-two-state-solution-caucus-launches-amid-political-shakeup-.html ] in Jerusalem on Monday.
The delegation, which includes Fred Schaufeld of NEW Customer Service Companies, Alan Meltzer of The Meltzer Group, and James K. Cummings of The Nathan Cummings Foundation, joined more than a dozen Knesset members at Jerusalem Hall in a discussion on the lack of political will to finalize a peace agreement, despite overwhelming consensus within Israeli society for the two-state solution. OneVoice Israel [http://www.onevoice.org.il ] staff and youth leaders were also present.
“We have a majority for the two-state solution-I promise you, it is there,” said MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima), head of the Two-State Solution Caucus. “But we need a brave leader who is willing to mobilize this consensus.”
Knesset members from Kadima, Labour Party, and Meretz echoed Hasson’s sentiments. Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Shlomo Molla [http://blog.onevoicemovement.org/one_voice/2011/10/mk-molla-give-up-preconditio ns-for-peace-to-reignite-negotiations-.html ] (Kadima) said that the “alternative to a two-state solution isn’t a one-state solution… The alternative is a very rapid and potentially destructive deterioration of the situation in the region.”
OneVoice leveraged its extensive network of entrenched youth activists this year to empower and mobilize the people on both sides to propel their leaders to take bold action for peace. The delegation’s visit comes on the heels of OneVoice Israel’s landmark event [http://blog.onevoicemovement.org/one_voice/2011/10/top-israeli-figures-talk-str aight-with-citizens-at-onevoice-event.html ] outside Tel Aviv’s Cinematheque last week that saw 500 Israelis talk ‘dooghri’ (straight) with 30 prominent government and civil society leaders.
“OneVoice talks about empowering the moderates, but moderates have a bad rap because they’re seen as tepid,” said Jason Alexander, a member of OneVoice’s Entertainment Council [http://www.onevoicemovement.org/board/entertainment-council.php ]. “The moderates need to become the passionate. When moderates become passionate, extraordinary things can happen.”
The Knesset members called on the delegation and the U.S. Jewish community to stand behind the moderate majority who want peace, but stressed only Israelis and Palestinians can resolve the conflict by negotiating a final and permanent peace agreement.
“Too many people think that the price we need to pay for a two-state solution is too steep,” said OneVoice Israel Executive Director Tal Harris [http://www.twitter.com/talharris1 ], during his concluding remarks. “But without it, the final price we will have to pay to the extremists is to give up on either the Jewish or democratic nature of the State of Israel.”
The delegation also met separately with Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor and former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, as well as the U.S. Consul General Daniel Rubinstein. They are set to meet with top Palestinian officials on Tuesday and attend OneVoice’s town hall meeting in the West Bank city of Qalqilya on Wednesday.
OneVoice [http://www.onevoicemovement.org ] is an international grassroots movement that aims to amplify the voice of Israeli and Palestinian moderates, empowering them to demand a two-state solution. The movement educates and trains Israeli and Palestinian youth in leadership skills, non-violent activism, and democratic principles.
SOURCE: The OneVoice Movement
CONTACT: Ivan Karakashian, Communications Director, PeaceWorks
Foundation, OneVoice Movement, +1-212-897-3985 x 124, fax +1-212-897-3986,