Israeli activists visited Ramallah & met with senior PA officials to hear history of negotiations and exchange political positions & arguments.
On the menu: meetings, kosher meals, &
for social networks.
By Elior Levy
RAMALLAH – Dozens of activists and members of the Likud and Shas parties descended Sunday morning from a bus parked near the Mukata in Ramallah, on their way to a meeting with senior Palestinian officials organized by the Geneva Initiative.
The Israelis were ushered into the building’s conference room, where they were greeted by the Secretary General of the PLO Executive Committee, Yasser Abd Rabbo, and Fatah officials Nabil Shaath and Muhammed Madani. Shaath, smiling and welcoming, opened the meeting by wishing a speedy recovery to Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, and did not hide his excitement for the unusual gathering.
“This is a first meeting of its kind, in a long time. I do not believe we can reach an agreement only through US mediation. I believe that peace through a two-state solution is possible and we have not lost our hope to reach an agreement,” Shaath said.
In between, some of the guests left the room and toured the first floor of the building and the entrance, taking photos alongside Palestinian flags and pictures of Abbas, which they quickly uploaded to social networks.
Shlomo Madmon, a member of the Likud Central Committee, said that he visited Ramallah two years ago. “At that time, I was the only Likudnik. Today there are almost fifty people here from the Likud and this means that something has happened.”
In general, most of the participants made it clear to the Palestinian spokesmen that the ideology on which they were raised could not remain blind to what was happening on the ground.
“When I came to Israel as a refugee from an Arab land, they taught me that Hebron and Nablus were the land of Israel, but when you live here, you understand that no ideology can win over reality,” said Madmon.
Attorney David Glass, a senior consultant and associate of Shas and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, stressed the great importance of the presence of both the Likud Central Committee and Shas activists, because as he understood it, peace needed the support of the two nations to strengthen their leaders.
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View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4402292,00.html