Geneva Team Planning to Promote the Accord

The Israelis behind the Geneva Accord met at ZOA House in Tel Aviv yesterday, one week after returning from Jordan where the initial draft was forged.

They discussed ways to promote the agreement and build public support for it ahead of a putative November ceremony in Geneva. Palestinian and Israeli representatives will not sign the understandings at the ceremony to make it clear that their joint initiative is not intended to "undermine" the government or state, but is a model that proves it is possible for the two sides to craft a permanent status agreement.

Among those who attended yesterday's meeting were new supporters of the initiative, including Prof. Haim Ben Shahar, writer A. B. Yehoshua, former MKs Uzi Baram and Dalia Rabin-Pelosoff, and former Galilee police commander Alik Ron.

Labor Party leader Shimon Peres MK yesterday commented on the details of the proposal, after the former minister and one of the architects of the document, Yossi Beilin, presented him with a copy. Peres welcomed the dialogue, but expressed reservations over those articles dealing with the Palestinian refugees, Palestinian sovereignty over the Temple Mount, and international involvement. "The Geneva Accord is proof that there is someone to talk to," he said, adding that in his opinion, it was better to have an "agreement with two phases, and not one where every article could destroy everything."

Most Labor Party's MKs have not yet signed on to the accord at this stage. MKs Amram Mitzna, Avraham Burg, Yuli Tamir and Colette Avital are the only ones who have so far given it their full support.