MK Ayman Odeh at Israel Peace Conference: We Need to Free Both Israelis and Palestinians From Occupation

Follow all the discussions, speeches and interviews from Haaretz's second Conference on Peace - live from Tel Aviv.

From left: Haaretz Publisher Amos Schocken, President Reuven Rivlin and Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Israel Conference for Peace.
Tomer Appelbaum

7:05 P.M. Israeli journalist Amit Segal argues that young Israelis vote for the right because religious people have more children, while Polly Bronstein argues it's due to the down and out Israeli left.

Journalist Ayman Siksek argues that peace isn't popular because it wasn't as exciting a concept as it was 20 years ago.

6:32 P.M. Meretz MK Zahava Galon says Israelis cannot give into despair and must negotiate with the Palestinians. Galon wondered why Israelis were surprised by the EU's move to label settlement products, asking if the government thought that no one had noticed the occupation

Galon continued, saying that without the labeling of settlement products, all Israeli products would have needed to be labeled. Galon added that there is an international and domestic price for the occupation, which is what Israelis are currently seeing.

Galon called on recognizing the state of Palestine at the UN while moving toward final-status negotiations, showing real plans for peace. Galon added that Abbas doesn't need to recognize Israel as a Jewish state - it's our decision how we define ourselves.

6:25 P.M. Shas MK Yakov Margi says there is a feeling that Israel's leaders are trying to one up each other "over who is more radical." According to the lawmaker, "you can get applause if you eye the radical side. But is that where the brain is? No."

MK Margi said that "we are a controlling nation and must be generous, brave and honest. The people want an agreement and process." He then turned Joint Arab List chief Ayman Odeh and told him: "We cannot do without you, but you must also be brave. Let's not miss another chance." He said that Israel has failed to "open its heart, mind and pockets" towards its Arab citizens.

5:42 P.M. Palestinian writer Ala Hlehel says that the only issue of consensus in Israel is the deep hatred against Arabs. Joint Arab List MK Aida Touma-Suliman adds that "we want liberation of our nation from occupation."

5:20 P.M: New Israel Fund President Talia Sasson calls out the Israeli government's incitement. After accusing Netanyahu of being among those who incited for Rabin's murder, Sasson says the right-wing has managed to delegitimize the left while turning democracy into a dirty word.

5:10 P.M. Chairman of the Israel's sole Israeli Arab party, the Joint List, says "we need to free both peoples - Israelis & Palestinians - from the occupation," adding that he doesn’t think in terms of one nation conquering another nation, but rather of "a regime that enslaves both nations."

4:45 P.M Martin Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and peace envoy, said that with a settlement freeze, Palestinian President Abbas could be a partner for peace "tomorrow." He also called on Israelis not to think of themselves as victims, saying that despite Judaism's history of victimhood, Israel is a strong state in every dimension.

Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin talks at the Israel Conference on Peace, Thursday November 12, 2015.
Tomer Appelbaum

Indyk added that the United States' role as Israel's second line of defense is essential.

3:44 P.M. MK Merav Michaeli (Zionist Union) says that "since Rabin, there hasn't been a real political will to reach a real solution to the conflict." Michaeli adds that any such solution has to include "mutual recognition" of each side's narratives.

Michaeli further states Israel has to deal with the issue of the Palestinian refugees. "Israel must be part of coalition that finds a solution to this problem," she says.

3:20 P.M. Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi accuses the current Israeli administration of being the most extreme it has been since Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was in power. "It's so extreme that Bibi is the moderate," he says.

Tibi asserts that Prime Minister Netanyahu "will never allow an independent Palestinian state, he is not a partner for peace."

 He adds: "The most Netanyahu can offer Abbas is far from the minimum Abbas can accept."

1:49 P.M. Former Turkish ambassador to Israel Namik Tan: Netanyahu is not the best partner for peacemaking efforts.

1:26 P.M. MK Amir Peretz (Hatnuah): Only 40,000 Israeli settlers live in areas outside blocs or East Jerusalem that wouldn't be included in an agreement.

1:18 P.M. Tourism Minister Yariv Levin says calls "Territories for peace" a "complete distortion."

"Peace negotiations must be based on realistic conceptions that hold the Palestinian side accountable too," he says. "Talk of two-state solution is detached from reality."

Addressing the Israeli left and UN Secretary General Ban-Ki moon, Levin says "Your way has failed, we need a different way." Audience members heckle the minister, asking him, "What's your solution?"

Referring to the occupation, Levin says: "A people cannot be a conqueror in their own country."

1:06 P.M. Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal tells Haaretz's Chemi Shalev in a pre-recorded interview: If Netanyahu were more far-sighted, he would negotiate on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative. For the full interview, click here.

12:37 P.M. Professor Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize laureate in Economic Sciences, says: "Israelis don't talk about the image ongoing territorial oppression projects. The situation looks different from the outside."

12:20 P.M. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat says the city "operates as one unit, from west to east." The Palestinian leadership in East Jerusalem doesn't want to see the city divided, he adds. 

Barkat  says that most Jerusalem residents seek coexistence "but we still have a long way to get there."

11:12 A.M. Sheikh Abdullah Nimar Darwish, the founder of the Islamic Movement in Israel: After I left prison I said to the movment "maybe you won't accept me as your leader - I am now a soldier for peace."

Click here for full coverage of the Israel Conference on Peace, including analyses, op-eds and photos. For the page in Arabic, click here

11:03 A.M. Minister of Immigrant Absorption and Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ze'ev Elkin (Likud): Since 1967 the left and the right in Israel never knew what to do with East Jerusalem.

10:58 A.M. Minister of Immigrant Absorption and Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ze'ev Elkin (Likud): Jerusalem is a city that can't be divided and doesn't want to be divided.

10:50 A.M. EU official Christian Danielsson: EU settlement labelling decision isn't about sanctions, it's strictly a technical decision.

"Reaching peace in the Middle East remains the top priority for the EU," he says.

10:47 A.M. EU official Christian Danielsson: Reaching peace in the Middle East remains the top priority for EU.

10:30 A.M. Tony Blair: The key for breakthrough between Israel and Arab states is the Palestinian issue.

10:25 A.M. Tony Blair: Arab peace initiative needs an update but it's still a good framework for peace in the region.

10:17 A.M. Tony Blair says borders must be based on 1967 lines plus land swaps. "I don't think there's another solution"

"I admire and love Israel. But state of Palestine must exist. Occupation isn't long-term solution," he adds.

10:10 A.M. Rivlin calls for action to improve "the chance that one day we can live together, Jews and Arabs, be the state constellation what it may.

"On the right and on the left, we are behaving like we're paralyzed. We are avoiding asking, what can we do now to live together? We aren't doomed to live together – our future is to live together."   

9:50 A.M. President Reuven Rivlin makes his address:

"Palestinians are here, because they were here in the past - side by side with us, and they aren't going anywhere," he says. "Separation won't make Palestinians disappear, just like Israel won't transform them into lovers of Zion.

9:30 A.M. The Israel Peace Conference kicks off.