Knesset's Two-State Solution Caucus Launches Amid Political Shakeup

By The Onevoice Movement, PRNE
Monday, January 17, 2011

NEW YORK, January 18, 2011 - OneVoice joined opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni (Kadima) and several
Knesset members in Jerusalem on Monday to launch the first ever Two-State
Solution Caucus, amid major political shakeups that threatened to further
deadlock peace efforts.


The caucus was conceived and co-created by OneVoice Israel (OVI)-the
local arm of the international grassroots movement OneVoice-and MK Yoel
Hasson (Kadima), chairman of the State Control Committee and himself a former
OVI youth leader. It aims to forge a moderate bloc within the Knesset
committed to the two-state solution and keep pressure on the Israeli
government to achieve this goal.

"We, at Kadima, are committed to setting out a genuine vision, not like
the double dealing you have seen from other MKs today," said Livni, in her
remarks to the caucus. "The only way to ensure a democratic Jewish state is
through the idea of two states… The public will support this when they
realize that this is a clear Israeli interest, not a matter of right or

Minority Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman, a staunch supporter of the
caucus, cancelled his speech at the event following his resignation. Two
other Labor Cabinet ministers quit their positions, taking the party out of
the hawkish coalition government.

"Barak abandoned the Labor Party long before his resignation when he
joined forces with a leadership utterly complacent about the urgency of the
peace process," said Braverman. "In the vacuum created by this government,
civil society in Israel, including the commendable effort by OneVoice Israel
in setting up the caucus, has stepped up in defense of the two-state solution
and Israel's long-term security."

Stalled peace talks and increasingly hard-line government positions left
many Israeli politicians disillusioned and eager to restore conviction in the
principle of two states for two peoples.

Among the other caucus members are MK Nino Abesadze, Zeev Bielski, Shlomo
, Nachman Shai, and Orit Zuaretz. All of them have united under a
nonpartisan body to advance a direct political solution with the

"We all know the outline of the agreement, but what is missing is a
courageous leadership that can make the hard decisions both here in Israel
and the Palestinian Authority," said Caucus Chairman Hasson. "Both parties
need to recognize that we aren't going to get our full dream, but together we
may be able to get the best part of it."

OVI is supporting the event to bolster the existing political will in
Israel to end the conflict, witnessed recently by the meeting held between a
delegation of 100 leading Israelis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in

"We deserve more than a government that threatens to fall apart if you
dare to present a political program," said OVI Executive Director Tal Harris.
"You can be sure that most Israelis and Palestinians are prepared for a
genuine compromise in order to end the conflict. We are here to support a
government that will lead us on such a political process and it is incumbent
upon us to reject any government that will avoid making a decision on this

Dozens of OVI youth leaders participated in the event. Representatives
from the American, British, Jordanian, and Japanese embassies, along with the
heads of top Israeli civil society organizations attended the launch at the
Knesset's Jerusalem Hall.

Quartet Representative Tony Blair, Lord Greville Janner, honorary vice
president of the World Jewish Congress, and American businessman Charles
all wrote letters supporting the caucus' urgent mission. Former
Palestinian Authority minister and senior Fatah member Sufian Abu Ziada also
expressed his support for the caucus.

Ivan Karakashian, +1-212-897-3985, ext. 124, ivan at

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