From right to left on the picture: Guy Mettan, President and Founder of the Geneva Press Club, Koby Huberman, co-founder of the Israeli Peace Initiative and Massia Kaneman, President of JCall Switzerland
From right to left on the picture: Guy Mettan, President and Founder of the Geneva Press Club, Koby Huberman, co-founder of the Israeli Peace Initiative and Massia Kaneman, President of JCall Switzerland

Some of you are quite aware of my sympathies and collaboration with the JCALL movement. I have written and will keep writing a number of reports regarding this movement of the Jewish Diaspora facing reality and deeply attached to Israel as a land of peaceful coexistence with its Arab neigbours, faithful to its ethical values and aware of its past, present…and future.

Upon the excellent initiative of JCall Switzerland’s Past President, Marko Weinberger, Koby Huberman and Ygal Tamir were invited to present the Israeli Peace Initiative, their low profile yet extremely interesting thinktank which acts as a framework in which the various groups belonging the Pragmatic Peace League (i.e. to quote JCALL EU Secretary David Chemla: we don’t need to love each other, simply to both enjoy living next to each other).

Personnally, I have quite a few Palestinian and Israeli friends I really love and they totally share my views. The world is fuller of those silent friends that the media suspect…Anyhow, here’s the verbatim of Koby’s presentation at the Swiss Press Club. Anyone using this is kindly asked to acknowledge the source but perfectly free to exploit it in any way. below this paper, please find the link to the JCall related papers I wrote in the past.

Last but not least, I will attend a Haaretz event on July 8, 2014. I will post a link as soon as I find one but sure hope to meet my relatives and friends in the region between July 5 and 9, 2014

Guy Mettan regarding the call to European leaders

Koby Huberman talking to Guy Mettan, Founder and President of the Geneva Press Club.

Before giving you the floor please sign our golden book of the Geneva Press Club
Massia Kaneman
1er round de négociation a échoué. Le maintien du statu quo risque de déboucher sur des conditions dramatiques. Explosion d’une troisième intifada reste un grand risque.
Exigences de Natanyaou ont poussé le Fatah dans les bras du Hamas.
Proposition d’un accord cadre pour la solution à deux états.
Face à cette situation de blocage, invitation de deux leaders de l’Israel Palestine initiative. Réponse positive à l’initiative de paix arabe lancée en 2002. Dépasser le simple cadre Israélo Palestinien pour l’étendre à tout le monde arabe. avec Igal Rabin
She introduces the two speakers:
Koby est un specialiste dans l’entreprenariat social. Auteur Strategy Leadership and the Soul, il est convaincu du rôle que peut jouer le citoyen dans le processus de paix. Passerelles entre les société civiles
Tamir specialisé dans la technologie de l’eau et du pétrole. Haut gradé militaire. Engagé dans l’action sociale.

We will present a balanced view and some place for optimism and hope.
Cofounders of the IPI: himself and Yitzhak Rabin’s son
CSO, non political, 700 signatories of all walks of lifes, from Meretz to Likoud all sharing one conviction: for Israel and palestinians to end the conflict, we must reached a regional approach
2011: our response to the arab peace initiative and we’ve been pushing

Because all other approaches have consistantly failed. No agreement has been reached, and this is a consistant pattern and it does not relate to the personality of the prime minister of Israel or on the palestinian side. Something underneath needs to be understood. Bilateral model is doomed to fail.
1-Proper support of all arab world
2-future of temple mount is a moslem-Israel issue not palestinian-israel one. Jordanian, Saoudi and Morrocan Kings are the descendents of Prophet Mohamed.
3-Same goes for security problem; Israeli concessions cannot be paid for by the Palestinians because the latters are demiliterized and a young state. All extremists spoilers will backlash, so in order to constrain those straights, Isreal cannot act alone and needs to involve all the arab states.

In such conditions, a regional approach is mandatory.
We keep refering to the Arab Peace Initiative because it offers a breakthough approach: unprecedented formula: if Israel withdraws from Palestinian Territories, it will be granted the diplomatic benefits from the 22 states which signed the agreement. 2002 and then adopted by 57 arab states overall: it provides a legitimacy to Israel. It reflects a huge transformation of the thinking of the Arab World.
This is a genuine initiative from 22 heads of States.
Israel’s duty and responsibility was to respond, but the government didn’t respond, yet since it was addressed to the people of Israel we decided to respond and we accepted it as a framework going forward. Since then, we were hugged by the Arab World and welcomed by all people all over the Arab world and to leading thinkers

Guy Mettan (standing), Koby Huberman (listening to him), Massia (deep in her thoughts, hope or no hope?) and Ygal Tamir (are you talking to me?!)


Kerry brought the Arab League into the picture, he embraced this Arab Initiative approach. He might not have failed. It might be a pause and not a death sentence.
Kissinger’s approach worked.
Jean Baker managed the Madrid conference
So, because we come from the region, we know that we need to be patient.
We saw the support from the Arab League and its willingness to more flexibility.
Netanyaou agreed the formula of the 2 states solution and if these negociations resume, we know that this solution will be a basis.

from right to left, Guy Mettan, Koby Huberman, Massia Kaneman and Ygal Tamir
from right to left, Guy Mettan, Koby Huberman, Massia Kaneman and Ygal Tamir

Kerry managed to bring significant Israeli concessions yet to be published. But we acknowledge the fact that nternal politics took over everywhere: Abu Mazen decided to refuse to respond to the American suggestions and to wait with the negociation. Netanyaou prefered to opt for the Jewish State solution. Arab league are now focusing on matters of higher concern regarding Syria etc…

There was no heavy involvement from Obama (only Kerry was active). No death nor poison pill to the peace process though.

We think beyond bilateral in all areas, political, region and economic

Our rational is the only way to confront the risk by Iran and terrorists. 67 borders but 67 billion shekels, huge transformation of Middle East economics and new set of dynamics. Otherwise unemployment by 2025, migration.

OPTION 1 as we speak, the US is recalculating its options. Kerry is meeting Abbas in London to discuss proactive ways to

Let’s remember that Hamas has never accepted the Arab Peace Initiative.

OPTION 2: let the parties experience the lack of negociation

OPTION 3: withdraw from the scene with a detailed proposal crafted by the US and let the parties digest a new obama plan.

OPTION 4: regional restart and use the API to engage in a much wider negotiation.

Huge opportunity to engage the major players in the region! Israel, Saoudi Arabia, UAE, Palestinials, Egypt and a few Arab States are confronting the destabilizers led by Iran, Hezbollah, Brotherhood etc…Time to solidify the destabilizers. Strategic context. Right time, framework, we have the necessary amount of failure to start a new initiative.

We took the API which was intently vague and told our arab colleague we’d interpret it and you’ll let us know if our rationale is the same as yours. We will not give up any strategic interest of the state of Israel when we drew the IPI. We involved all heads of States.

In summary, we accept and interpret the API to present an israeli view. There’s a huge overlap. Land swap: 7%. East Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestinian State.
We still have differences but they are negotiable.

Regarding Syrian conflict, is it blocking? First of all we should acknowledge the tragedy occurring in Syria. The focus of the Arab league has changed the priorities. We share common threats now.
Yigal Tamir

I define myself as an optimistic realistic. For the last three years, talking to decision makers, ex generals, retired generals. They are very close to PM. We really have a product! The question is how fast we are going to market it, but this is the right concept.

Israel society understands that they can have better life in standards and quality if they are a moral society. Fruit of regional peace: working with new markets will bring new eco opportunity, tourism, new investments, reducing the budget of defence,

(DRM) Following this Press Conference, I had lunch with Koby together with Guy Mettan and most members of the JCall Committee (of which I’m a retiring member). I asked questions regarding the capital letters words and here are his responses.

It’s hard enough to be a prophet for the future let alone be a prophet for the past.
Geneva Peace Initiative were the first signatories of the IPI, not only did they support us but we work together. They officially announced that they endorse us.

Why didn’t Israel respond to the API? API was presented as a take it or leave it. Since 2007, Arab leaders reppositioned their initiative and made it negotiable.
Refugees clause considered as an acceptance of the right of return.
Agenda in Israel was not to reach an agreement but just to reach some peace and stability.

Frederic Kwinter regarding scepticism: decifering the mood in Israel is beyond science. We are sceptics since 2000 years. Such a scepticism has been strengthened by the second intifada and terrorist attacks. We withdrew from Gaza and all we got were attacks. however, it is a mistake to look at the Israeli public as one cohesive component. 28% CENTER, 51 as right wing.
Trust palestinians? 85% Israelis don’t .2-state solution: 70% say yes….
Good news: Questions about regional approach: on each component no, on overall yes!

Pragmatic people on the right 26% agree. We are not focusing on the left and the center, but on these pragmatic people on the right.

Turkey is no part of the Arab league but of the OIC. They can play a major role in the region. It is in a weaker situation than 5 years ago and yet crucial.

He also reminded that Palestinian terrorism started in 1964 even before any Israeli occupation. Having said that, the occupation must end and every day it continues is derailing the peace prospect. So are all the terrorist attacks.

BOYCOTT: it’s countereffective. He’s against it
THINKTANK: yes, it’s a thinktank that suggests actions for other socio-economic partners.
OTHER GROUPs for example Nathan Sharoni: they are friends and support IPI. He invites all Jews from around the world to attend the Haaretz meeting on July 8th.


IPI References:



JCALL-EU website



JCALL : debate with Martine Gozlan, author of Israël contre Israël

JCALL on JStreet and JCall

JCALL on Vincent Peillon, a supporter of JCall

JCALL on Netanyaou and JCall

JCALL on my visit in Israel in 2013 with JCALL  (1)

JCALL on the Water issue in the region (Conference of 2P2E association in Angers, France)

JCALL  on Jacques Attali and a multilingual JCALL

JCALL on JCALL in Switzerland

JCALL on Diaspora Jews and JCall

JCALL on JCALL’s initial steps and its cosmopolitan perspectives

JCALL on our initial conference in Geneva with René Schwok

JCALL on Rabbi David Meyer’s conference on the theme: “the bible isn’t a land register

JCALL on exerpts from JCall’s book Les Raisons d’un Appel.

JCALL expressing my personal gratitude to JCALL for existing, thus to David Chemla for his tireless combat.

JCALL on Freudian considerations on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, during my visit to Israel in 2013 (2)

JCALL on my last report on my trip in Israel in 2013 (3)

Comments welcome as usual!


2 thoughts on “The Israeli Peace Initiative was in Geneva on May 15, 2014

  1. eh bien, si on ne t’avait pas, késkon ferait ! magnifique rapport et très belle photo


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