New York, April 30, 2010—OneVoice Israel youth leaders collected 1,000 signatures on pre-stamped postcards from residents of five major cities on Friday urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately return to negotiations with the Palestinians.
OneVoice Israel staff and activists took to the streets in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Petah Tikva, and Be’er Sheva asking residents to sign a pre-stamped postcard with the simple message: “Bibi, return to the negotiation table! We are with you.”
“Our goal is to create a moderate mass of citizens who want to end the conflict,” said Tal Harris, OneVoice Israel’s acting executive director. “Today, 1,000 citizens called for the resumption of effective negotiations and channeled their hope for a peaceful future directly to the prime minister’s office.”
Several Israeli politicians registered their support, including Ephraim Sneh, former deputy defense minister and member of Knesset, Alon Liel, former director-general of the foreign ministry, and Colette Avital, former member of Knesset. Israeli celebrities lent their name to the campaign, including singers Achinoam Nini, Mira Awad, and David Broza, and actors Sasson Gabai and Lior Ashkenazi.
"Netanyahu should enter negotiations not to just go through the motion, but from a sincere and true will,” said Colette Avital. “Now, with his growing support from within his party, it should be easier for him."
Skepticism and indifference among some residents balanced the enthusiastic reactions of many others happy to see OneVoice Israel’s activists raising awareness to end the conflict.
“The main thing is that we've done something today to end the conflict," said Adi Grady, a youth leader from OneVoice Israel’s Tel Aviv University student chapter.