Young Leaders Continue Middle East Peace Talks

WITH the collapse of official peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, hundreds of thousands of young people across the Middle East are talking reconciliation online, a former Israeli peace negotiator and founder of the movement said..

Uri Savir, an ex-peace negotiator between Israel and the Palestinians and founder of “Yala Young Leaders,” said the size and scope of his group shows that young people in the Middle East want peace. “The peace process continues online,” he said.

The Facebook group, which has backing from celebrities including Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Sharon Stone, has attracted almost 500,000 followers from around the region, including youths in the Palestinian territories, Egypt and Muslim countries that have no relations with Israel.

The group will hold an annual virtual peace conference on Sunday that will include video presentations by Nobel Peace laureates Israeli President Shimon Peres and Desmond Tutu as well as senior EU, US and Palestinian officials. Letters written by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and former U.S. President Bill Clinton will be published on the site.

Savir served as an Israeli negotiator in peace talks with the Palestinians in the 1990’s known as the Oslo Accords, after the secret talks in Norway that preceded them, which created the Palestinian Authority and set up autonomous zones for the Palestinians.

The landmark talks ultimately failed to yield a final peace agreement. Two decades and several rounds of violence later, peace remains elusive and U.S.-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down last month.

“The young generation in the Middle East is sick of the decisions of their leaders and are very disappointed that the talks stopped,” Savir said. “They have a say in this because it is the young people who are sent to the front lines if there is a war,” he said.

“Young people in the Middle East want peace talks to succeed,” Savir added. He said his site is a “very innovative public diplomacy tool that will in time influence governments.”

The “Yala Young Leaders” group has an online university that teaches peace and reconciliation studies with lectures by officials with real experience in negotiating conflicts in Northern Ireland, South Africa, Rwanda, the Balkans as well as between Israel and the Palestinians and elsewhere


2 thoughts on “Young Leaders Continue Middle East Peace Talks

  1. The young are the only hope our world has; that’s so every generation…after generation…after generation…after generation.

    But the ‘older and wiser’ generations always corrupt the ‘young and foolishly idealistic’ ones, (beginning with potty “training”) until THEY become the ‘older and wiser’ generation ~ and completely cowed, like their fathers before them

    You want to fix things? Get rid of the differences: beginning with religion.
    ….and start with the Second Commandment.
    There’s nothing honourable about them.

    ps….and our problems arise in no other species. Ever wonder why?


    • oops! Meant to say the FIFTH commandment.
      (,,,,, but does applies almost equally-well to the Second; there’s nothing very honourable about THAT god of all the universes either.


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