Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

"OneVoice" for Peace

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

"OneVoice" for Peace

Article excerpt

Mohammad Darawshe and Daniel Lubetzky discussed their OneVoice outreach program at the San Francisco World Affairs Council on Sept. 22. Through OneVoice, the Palestinian Israeli and Mexican-born Jewish American hope to empower ordinary Israelis and Palestinians to resolve their 55-year-old conflict, a feat that has eluded leaders on both sides for decades.

"Building trust is the first step," explained Darawshe, the group's Middle East director. More than 23,000 individuals have signed the OneVoice Proclamation of Principles, he noted, which proclaims support for coexistence and mutual recognition between Israelis and Palestinians. Previous peace agreements--including the recent road map--were doomed to failure, he charged, because "there was no trust on either side that the other would deliver."

The organization, an initiative of Lubetzky's PeaceWorks Foundation, has assembled a group of Israeli and Palestinian experts to prepare proposals on the core issues which have divided the parties, Darawshe said. Members of the steering committee include Yasser Abbas, son of former Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, and Peleg Reshef, chairman of the World Union of Jewish Students. Attempting to garner widespread grassroots support, Dr. …

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