On 17-18 February, we held a seminar for leading Israeli journalists from diverse news agencies including from Yedioth Ahronoth, Kann, Channel 13, Israel Hayom, Walla, Galei Zahal, Haaretz and more.
In the first session, former Prime Minister Olmert addressed the group. Sharing his views from past negotiations with Pres Abbas, he said:
“We were close to an agreement. A two-state solution is the right thing for Israel. There is no other choice. In the end, you will see that any signed future agreement will look like this.”
On the importance of dividing Jerusalem, he said:
“I used to support the notion of a United Jerusalem but Palestinian neighborhoods – like Shuafat, Jabal Mukaber, Beit Hanina and Issawiya annexed to Israel – have nothing to do with historic Jewish Jerusalem.”
Other sessions including lectures from senior Palestinian leaders and former ministers on the situation in Gaza and the West Bank, a panel discussion with Palestinian women and media experts on how social networks are used as a tool for national struggle.
On the second day of the seminar, the participants were taken on a tour of East Jerusalem to see first hand the obstacles to reaching a political agreement, and the possible solutions touching on issues of narratives, demography, security and socio-economic dynamics.
We will continue to work with the journalists to cultivate their connections with Palestinians, and data, information and arguments that can be incorporated into their future reporting.