New York, January 17, 2011—The launch of the first ever Two-State Solution Caucus in the Knesset received widespread international support from top leaders on Monday.
OneVoice Israel (OVI)—the local arm of the international grassroots movement OneVoice—co-created the caucus with MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima), chairman of the State Control Committee and himself a former OVI youth leader. It’s the first time Israeli Knesset members unite under a nonpartisan body to advance a direct political solution with the Palestinians.
Former British Prime Minister and Quartet Representative Tony Blair commended OneVoice for helping establish the caucus. “To change the realities on the ground the grassroots need to be involved in the process,” he said, in a letter he wrote to the caucus. “I have pledged my support for this group for several years and am honored to continue to do so.”
The launch event coincided with the 25th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. People around the globe signed letters of support to the caucus invoking the hopes and vision of this courageous leader.
“Courageous political leadership, committed to the achievement of a two-state solution, is critical,” said American philanthropist Charles Bronfman. “I urge you to do everything in your power to promote a just and lasting peace... This is a vital necessity for the Diaspora, for Israel, and indeed for the entire Jewish People.”
Among the caucus members are MK Nino Abesadze, Zeev Bielski, Shlomo Molla, Nachman Shai, and Orit Zuaretz. It is supported by government ministers and Israeli opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni (Kadima). The aim is to forge a moderate bloc within the Knesset committed to the two-state solution and pressure the Israeli government to achieve this goal.
Many high-profile personalities signed an online letter supporting the caucus’ urgent mission, including Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Ambassador Thomas Pickering, Rabbi David Rosen, Rabbi Abraham Soetendorp, Ambassador Philip Wilcox, and Dr. James Zogby.
Lord Greville Janner, chairman of the Britain-Israel Parliamentary Group and vice president of the World Jewish Congress, emphasized “the need for peace has never been greater,” and offered the caucus his full support.
OneVoice prides itself on being more than a grassroots movement. It is focused on bridging the gap between the people and their leaders--connecting bottom-up with top-down. Envisioning a tomorrow free from violence and conflict is only one part of its Imagine 2018 campaign. The other part lies in recognizing what it will take and not being afraid to act.