When Prof. Alexis Keller revealed to his father, the Swiss diplomat Pierre Keller, that he was participating in an initiative to reach understanding between Israel and the Palestinians, his father thought he was crazy. That was two and a half years ago. Keller the father was not the only one. The dean of the philosophy faculty at the University of Geneva, Prof. Pierre Alain, thought likewise. But the latter became enchanted with the idea and decided to help Alexis Keller to set up the first tentative contacts at the university and at the Keller family chalet in the Alps.
The two had previously conducted a seminar with academics on the subject "What is a just peace?" In order to give the seminar some meat, they thought it wise to invite political personalities, too, and the choice fell on Dr. Yossi Beilin, whose political initiatives had fired their imagination. The fact that Beilin was no longer an MK in 2001 had both advantages and disadvantages. He had no official position but he also was not bound by party dogma.
That was the start, and following the seminar, Alexis Keller, now armed with a Swiss diplomatic passport, made more than 10 visits to Israel and the PA.
Today Keller believes that even if the Geneva Accord is officially rejected, it will remain the model for any future agreement.